dining


Food

Welcome, Balloonist: Eat Like a Local

Fifty-two tasty dining options for visiting humans

Barelas Coffee House: yum, yum.
Barelas Coffee House: yum, yum.

To me, the fluttering plastic banners all around town that say “Welcome Balloonist” (singular) conjure up an image of a solitary traveler arriving in his lonely airship. I mean, it just seems like a paucity of hospitality to welcome only one. Imagine the awkward situation of two balloonists showing up at the same time. Which is the welcomed balloonist and which the unwelcome? I suppose “Yankee Go Home” is singular too, so maybe I’ve got this all wrong.

For balloonists, Yankees, and out-of-town visitors of all kinds, our Chowtown Restaurant Guide offers a special hand-selected list of 52 local restaurants from Albuquerque, Santa Fe and parts in-between for your dining consideration. Full contact info, menus, maps and more are available for your iPhone, iPod, Android smart phone or any old web browser. Delicious!

V.18 No.41 | 10/8/2009

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A.M.

Best Breakfast Overall

It's easy to find a place that serves toast and coffee in the morning, but true breakfast havens are treasured commodities in this city. Weck's prides itself on its "scratch-made" buttermilk pancakes, chile-doused papas and "full belly" meals that will not only keep you sated all day but will bring you back with the sunrise. Plus, it has gluten-free options. (CC)

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P.M.

Best Sandwich

Hey, guess what? Relish’s Uptown store is now open for dinner. Think about how much you love Relish’s sandwiches—how its chefs knead out creamy globes of mozzarella fresh each day, how they take time to hand-crank black pepper onto each sliced-to-order tomato. Now imagine the care and attention they lavish on every step of assembling your beloved, award-winning sandwich and what kind of magic they could work on a meal like dinner. Now go get the car keys, because your fantasy is a short trip away from becoming a reality. (LM)

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Best Tofu:   Fei’s Health Café
Lindsay Holmes

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No Bones About It

Best Tofu

While there are still some out there who have yet to be converted to Team Tofu, there are plenty of us who have, and we know a perfectly done piece of tofu is a magical thing. At Fei’s, everything is vegan, so tofu isn’t the poor stepsister of meat dishes; it’s frikkin’ Cinderella. (EAH)

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Best New Mexican Restaurant:   Sadie’s
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

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State Treasures

Best New Mexican Restaurant

If massive portions, killer Margaritas and a bustling atmosphere are the criteria for best New Mexican restuarant in Albuquerque, Sadie's is as down-home Land of Enchantment as you can get. Plus, there’s the salsa. Oh, the salsa. Don't be a tourist—get the hot variety. (MD)

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Best Restaurant to Loosen Your Top Button:   Tucanos
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

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Gluttony

Best Restaurant to Loosen Your Top Button

Folks, it's an all-you-can eat Brazilian meat restaurant. If you're not loosening your top button, you're doing it wrong. In fact, loosen your fly a little bit, too, and wave another one of those skewer-wielding waiters over your way. There may be another meat there you haven't consumed. (DOL)

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The Sweet Stuff

Best Desserts

Dessert? Um, yes, please. We'll have the éclair. No, wait, warm raspberry-peach pie à la mode. No. A slice of the fruit tart. Actually, make that bread pudding. Wait—we've got it! Tiramisu. ... Or how about we just get all of the above? You don't need us to tell you Flying Star is the best place for desserts; you already know. (CC)

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Best of the Rest

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests

It's the atmosphere at El Pinto that will really charm your visitors. If they love the food as much as the lovely restaurant—open since 1962—they can take the perfect salsa, roasted green chile and red chile sauce back home with them in jars. (MD)

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Best Greek:   Olympia Café
Sergio Salvador salvadorphoto.com

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Around the World

Best Greek

Great prices and lunch specials, spitfire service, and some of the best potatoes in town make Olympia Café your top pick for Grecian delights. Olympia started dishing up piping-hot homestyle fare in 1972, and it’s been a University-area favorite ever since. (MD)

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