If you’re on any kind of schedule, you should probably avoid Ben Michael’s restaurant on even a half-busy evening. The slow-moving spectacle that often passes for service will be frustrating if there’s some other place you need to be. But if you aren’t in a hurry, that same chaos could pass as entertainment. And if you show up during a quiet lunch hour and you’re the only one there, expect to be treated like royalty.
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When the roosters get tough, the tough make coq au vin
By Ari LeVaux
Coq au vin, literally “rooster in wine,” is a recipe that can be simple or complex. My version is geared toward those starting with a big, tough old rooster in the yard, but it works with any chicken. An old hen would also do the trick, but I don't kill my hens. So that leaves the roosters, the meaner the better.
The line between Mexican and New Mexican food has always been thin. Perhaps nowhere in Albuquerque is this border more porous than at Rincon del Pollo, on north Fourth Street near Alameda, where few of the menu items can be ordered without answering the New Mexico state question. But the owners, Rifiel and Ana Rivera, call their food Mexican.
We break for lunch at a fast-food place. My buddy's order is an animated, life-sized, chicken-shaped food thing that runs, comically around on our table. It has been woven together from strips of chicken cold cuts and is stuffed with a mustard potato salad. I go to the window and order one for myself.