Alibi V.17 No.41 • Oct 9-15, 2008 



Dog House Drive In, Best Hot Dogs
Dog House Drive In, Best Hot Dogs
Eric Williams

Lunch, dinner and beyond.

View Dog House Drive In in Alibi Chowtown Chowtown

Best Sandwich

Tie: Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches, Relish Sandwich Shop

In our strained economy, quick lunches sometimes take priority over a nice sit-down meal. But just because you’re in a hurry doesn’t mean the quality of the food you eat has to suffer. In a two-way tie, Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches and Relish Sandwich Shop make first-rate fare that gets to you in a jiffy. When you rush back to your job, you’ll be refueled by piled-high meats, melted cheeses and freshly baked bread. (SM)

2) M Café

3) Dion's Pizza

Best Salad

Dion's Pizza

Dion's Pizza should consider changing its name to Dion's Pizza and Super Awesome Salad That Even Meatetarians Want To Eat. It's a little long, but it's accurate. Dion's secures the superior salad slot for its consistent leafy green dishes topped with croutons, cherry tomatoes and the No. 1 ranch dressing in the universe. It there a Best of Burque Restaurants category for best salad dressing? We nominate Dion's. (AD)

2) Relish Sandwich Shop

3) Flying Star Café

Best Steakhouse

Monte Carlo Steak House

If you’re shelling out dough for steak, you want it to be one mighty good cut of meat. Of all the steakhouses in town, Monte Carlo Steak House has the most reasonable prices by far, considering the quality of cow you’re sawing into. The prime rib is dynamite. Take a bite and let the juice dribble down your chin. (SM)

2) Gruet Steakhouse

3) Paul's Monterey Inn

Best Barbecue

Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-BQ

Rudy’s is fond of proclaiming that its “sauce is boss.” If that’s the case, then its pork tenderloin, beef brisket and smoked turkey are quickly climbing the corporate ladder. Order your meat by the pound and have a seat next your friends and family (and everyone else’s) at one of Rudy’s giant picnic tables. Make sure to buy a bottle of barbecue sauce for future home-barbecue endeavors. (SM)

2) Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque House

3) The County Line BBQ

Best Burger

Blake's Lotaburger

When it’s made to order with Angus beef, fresh veggies and slathered in mustard, a hamburger can be your best friend. That’s the way Blake’s Lotaburger always makes it. Plus, it's got the seasoned fries, onion rings and strawberry shakes to make sure your hunger doesn’t rear its ugly head for awhile. If that sounds good, then you’re in luck, because you’re probably no more than 40 feet from one of Blake’s gazillion locations throughout the state. (SM)

2) Owl Café

3) Wimpy's

Best Pasta


Fresh is the name of the game at Vivace, and it's a game Duke City diners like to win. Vivace offers more than 30 pasta dishes, each one made from scratch with Italy in mind. Consistency and attention to taste earn Vivace top honors in pleasing pasta lovers. (AD)

2) Scalo Northern Italian Grill

3) Paisano’s Pasta and Regional Italian Cuisine

Best Bread Basket

Artichoke Café and Wine Bar

It’s unclear how Artichoke Café and Wine Bar manages to concoct the savory, pocket-sized morsels it lines its bread baskets with every day, but its patrons are thankful. With startlingly tasty flavors that rotate daily, some people go to Artichoke for the carbs alone. In fact, we’re on our way right now. (CC)

2) Slate Street Café

3) Chama River Brewing Company

Best Soup

Landslide: Annie's Soup Kitchen

Soup can nurse you back to health, keep you warm on a wintery night and provide comfort after a hard day. By far, the place Albuquerque goes when it needs a liquid pick-me-up or just a loyal sidekick to a sandwich is Annie’s Soup Kitchen. Hearty broth joined by tender meats and savory vegetables keeps the soul satisfied. (SM)

Best French Fries

Kelly’s Brew Pub

Sweet potato fries might take a little getting used to, but once you’re hooked, no other kind will cut it. Kelly’s Brew Pub always includes a healthy portion of sweet potato and classic fries with its entrées, and you can douse either kind in chile and cheese. They look best next to a buffalo burger and a pint of microbrewed ale. (SM)

2) McDonald's

3) 66 Diner

Best Tacos


Hard or soft? That’s the existential question readers faced when placing their bets on Best Tacos in Albuquerque. Do you favor New Mexico’s crunchy-fried yellow corn shells or the supple, white-corn, soft-taco variety from Mexico? Turns out more Alibi readers go for the crunch. The golden goodies at Sadie’s deep-fried the competition. (LM)

2) Perico Acapulco Chillys

3) Tie: Acapulco Tacos & Burritos, Bumble Bee's Baja Grill, El Taco Tote

Best Pizza

Il Vicino

There are a lot of positive aspects to pizza, but perhaps none greater than the fact that almost anything tastes great on top of one. Olives, pineapples, goat cheese, bacon, broccoli—as far as pizza’s concerned, it’s come one, come all. Il Vicino understands this and has crafted more than a dozen specialty pizzas piled with toppings galore that you can add to or subtract from when creating the pie of your dreams. (SM)

2) Dion's Pizza

3) Golden Crown Panadería

Best Hot Dogs

Dog House Drive In

Tubes of meat are fascinating spectacles. How can so much flavor be packed into such a small surface area? Here's another good question: Why isn’t every hot dog a chili-cheese dog? Beefy Texas chili and gooey melted cheese are the perfect complements to an American classic. Dog House Drive In is all about the chili-cheese dog, and its employees work at lightning speeds to get your food to your car milliseconds after you’ve parked. (SM)

2) Top Dog

3) Costco Food Court

Best Egg Rolls

Japanese Kitchen

A good indicator of an Asian restaurant’s quality is its egg rolls. At Japanese Kitchen, the little cylinders of crispy-fried heaven are just one of many signs pointing to delicious. We, the eaters of Albuquerque, would like to give Japanese Kitchen a little sign that reads: "Eat these egg rolls—they are the bomb." Being voted No. 1 by Alibi readers gets them just that, but in fewer words. (AD)

2) Tie: Café Dalat, Ming Dynasty, Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

3) Chow’s Chinese Bistro

Best Soda Fountain

Model Pharmacy

Few things pleasure the palate and foster a sense of nostalgia as much as the soda fountain. Made-from-scratch, syrupy confections bring us back to what we remember (or imagine) from a simpler era. Our readers agree that the best place to go back in time is Model Pharmacy, voted the Best Soda Fountain in the city. (CC)

2) 66 Diner

3) Route 66 Malt Shop

Best Wine List

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

Wine bars are picking up speed as the place to hang in Albuquerque. Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro has catered to the fine food and vino crowd since 2003, making sure to stock its wine cellar with the best selection of originality and depth. The winos of Burque tip their glasses to you, Zinc, for keeping our many tastes satisfied. (AD)

2) Artichoke Café and Wine Bar

3) Tie: Scalo Northern Italian Grill, St. Clair Winery & Bistro

Best Beer Selection

Kelly’s Brew Pub

This town is many things: a lover, a fighter, a sometimes downer and a place where you need a drink. Lucky us, this is also a town where you can really get a beer. From microbrews to imports, Al-beer-querque is unassuming in its vastness. This year, the numero uno beer nod goes to Kelly's Brew Pub. The Nob Hill establishment housed in a 1939 automotive building makes more than 20 in-house brewskies, ample ammunition to wet you desert-parched whistle. (JCC)

2) Chama River Brewing Company

3) Tie: Anodyne, O'Niell's Pub, Spinns Burgers & Beer, Two Fools Tavern