The toppings are what draw me to this fine little pizza place (mostly take-out, but there are a few tables). How does Boticelli Chicken (marinated in honey, pineapple juice, and cumin) or spinach sauteed in balsamic vinegar, oil, and garlic sound? Kasseri cheese? Where else offers either cooked-on or fresh-after tomatoes?
There are 13 Masterpiece combos, some featuring goat cheese or cheese combinations like fontina/mozzarella/ricotta.
Wheat crust is available and, of special note, so is a darned good gluten-free crust (10" or 12" only) for an extra charge. Five sauces include a pine-nut-free pesto.
Calzones are a bargain at $6.95, filled with ricotta, mozzarella, fresh mushrooms, sweet fried peppers, spinach, and onion. Add one of 7 meats for $1.00 more.
Eight salads, including two pasta salads, come in small, large, or family size.
Cannoli or tiramisu are the sweet endings.
Three of my favorites at Chow's (I visit the Westside location in Cottonwood Mall):
- Beef spring rolls (I rarely eat beef, but these are sooo good)--crispy, with a beef, celery, and green onion filling, diagonally sliced and served with a wasabi sesame dipping sauce.
- Coffee chicken--strangely delicious.
- Chow's special iced herbal tea, with fruit juices, fresh mint, and honey.
On my most recent visit, I spied a new appetizer I want to try: Szichuan calamari.
I've tried Namaste's lunchtime buffet several times now, and it's always a winner. Plenty of variety in spice and veg/nonveg. Saag paneer and chicken tikka masala are outstanding frequent buffet items. Tandoori chicken is a staple. I once had Nepalese goat (in a delicious red sauce). Among the 6 or so condiments, the raita, the onion chutney, and the Nepalese red pepper sauce are my favorites to complement both entrees and the naan which is delivered to your table. There is variety-lettuce salad available, as well as fresh fruit and desserts (though I've yet to save enough room to try them) including an intriguing version of warm "carrot cake."
So far, have tried only savory crepes--chicken & mushroom with veloute sauce, and spinach with bechamel sauce--but am hooked. Evening specials, including moule et frites one day, sound wonderful. And where else these days does the chef wear his tall toque? Open kitchen, nicely appointed dining room, and a little patio too.
Pan Bagna, the sandwich immortalized by Calvin Trillin in his New Yorker piece--I'd been on the lookout for it on an Albuquerque menu for quite awhile. Found it here. To be sure, it is a Southwestern version of the acclaimed French market fare: green chile layered with the marinated tuna, sliced hardboiled egg, muenster cheese, tomato, and leaf lettuce between thick slices of house-baked brioche bread. So rich and tasty--craving satisfied! For a dollar extra, be sure to opt for their pasta salad--with rotini, fresh tomato, and sliced black olives--as it's much better than average.
Tried the enchiladas Mihoacanas based on Alibi review and was not disappointed. Dee-lish, and so different from New Mexican enchiladas. The red sauce was especially good, and all the veggies topping them made it so fresh. Three enchiladas per order is almost too much food. I'd give location and decor max 2 stars, but food is worth a trip even from the Westside. Currently restaurant closes at 3pm--don't know if that's permanent--and they do open early for a rather extensive breakfast menu.