ABQ Brew Pub opened quietly this past week (with its grand opening slated for March 19), and it was near empty during my visit. So empty that the hostess and two servers were dead asleep at a table when I walked in. Well, not asleep—but they may as well have been for all the action was going on at the bar. Maybe four people were sitting around 20 or so bar seats. Fine with me; it gave me the chance to look around without making people feel like I was ogling their dinners.
If you need a reminder that there’s more to Juárez than disheartening headlines, look no further than El Sabor de Juarez. The sunny little place on Gibson near Carlisle serves Juárez-style Mexican food under the care of owner Jesus Mata Sr. and his son Marcos. Jesus says the only concession to New Mexican cuisine they've made is the addition of flour to thicken the red and green sauces.