So, I'm entering my stories in a new database these days. To be sure it's a hassle but the fun part is that I've got to train its spelling dictionary from scratch. The program recognizes myriad obscure international places and names but apparently not any of the ones I use. It knows the initials for the British Broadcasting Company, of course, but it also wants to use them for BBQ. When writing about my Jewish friend's recipe for kugel I get confused for a second when the computer asks me if I'm talking about the capital of Rwanda—Kigali. Very worldly. If you were ever turned off by an extra goaty-smelling brick of feta you'll be delighted to know that FileMaker Pro thinks it smells so much like feet that we should spell it that way. When I mention an Atkins special it wants to substitute a latkes special. Would you like a side of irony with that? A certain Italian restaurant I know almost got accused of serving veal jicama (it knows jicama but not piccata?) and calamari with mariner sauce. Mmm, salty. And when I recently wrote about hamburgers my fingers slipped and all of a sudden I found myself describing a big, fat hombre dripping with meaty juices. Whoa! How many of your abuelitas would blush if you asked what they had cooking in the horny today? More than a few. And I doubt Mary at Mary and Tito's would be pleased if I accepted the offer to substitute Tit's for her late husband's name. No, not so much.
All the News That's Fit to Eat
Oooh, pizza. So tasty! There's a new homestyle, Southern Italian restaurant up on Eubank (1435 to be exact), where Lo Stivale used to be. The place is called Al Vincenzo's after the two partners, Al and Vince, who opened the restaurant in late November. The space got a bit of a facelift, with fresh earth-toned paint and subtle, cable lighting. Al, also known as Albert D'Angelo, grew up in New York and Albuquerque but recently moved back from the Big Apple and decided to continue his career in the restaurant biz with a restaurant here. He serves good thin-crusted pizza with all the usual topping options plus a few specialty combinations like the Vegan: mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon and ground beef. Ooh, wait, sorry, that one's called the Abruzzi. But seriously, there are a few pasta sauces without meat and a number of veggie-heavy salads mixed in among the meaty, sausage-y pastas. D'Angelo hopes to expand the menu when his beer and wine license is approved so look for exciting changes in the coming months.
Monkey Bread: Sweeter Than a Barrel Full of Sugar Gliders
Celebrate the Year of the Monkey—in name at least
It is a little known fact that this popular homestyle recipe got its name because it's so good that it will cause your guests to tear each other to shreds with their canines like rabid baboons fighting over the carcass of a baby gazelle. OK, I totally made that up. The real reason is because this oopy-goopy, sweet and buttery bread is so tasty that in order to not rip each other to shreds your group will need to reinforce your social bonds by engaging in an all-out chimp-style orgy (Google search: bonobos) before dividing the monkey bread into equal parts. Alright, alright, I made that up too. I have no idea why they call this stuff monkey bread. All I know is that I eat so much of it and get so much gluey sugar goop all over my face that I don't need to wax my mustache for weeks. That's true.
Know Your Ingredients
A Guide to Specialty Food Stores
From Andouille to ziti
Looking for andouille sausage, fresh hoja santa leaves, pickled ginger, coating chocolate or pomegranate molasses? It's all available here in Albuquerque at one of our many specialty purveyors. These little mom 'n' pop shops allow us to dip our toes in the cuisines of the world without spending a fortune on airfare. Clip out this handy directory and refer to it anytime you find yourself agonizing over where to find Rocky Mountain oysters.