P.M.: Lunch and dinner
 Alibi V.19 No.40 • Oct 7-13, 2010 

Best of Burque Restaurants 2010


Lunch and dinner

Best Lunch Combo

Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches

Best Tea: New Mexico Tea Company
Best Tea: New Mexico Tea Company
5900 Lomas NE • 262-1451
Maybe it's the nostalgic brown paper sack that Baggin's stuffs its lunches into. More likely, it's the fat sandwich, fresh deli salad and chocolate chip cookie that's waiting within. (LM)
2) Lumpy's Burgers
3) Tie: Flying Star Café, Relish Sandwich Shop

Best Sandwich

Relish Sandwich Shop

8019 Menaul NE • 299-0001
A well-made sandwich is a beautiful thing. Lovely breads, gorgeous cheeses, splendid meats—that's only the beginning at Relish. What puts this gourmet sandwich shop over the top is radiant veggies and homemade twists. (MD)
2) Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches
3) DG's Deli

Best Salad

Dion's Pizza

Far Northeast Heights: 10401 Montgomery NE • 293-7183
Far Northeast Heights: 8010 Academy NE • 821-3911
Far Northeast Heights: 857-0100 Wyoming NE • 857-0100
Southeast: 1600 Towne Center Lane SE • 248-1010
Upper Nob Hill: 4717 Central NE • 265-6919
Four Hills: 11000 Central SE  • 296-0771
North Valley: 6308 Fourth Street NW • 345-4900
Westside: 10010 Coors NW • 899-0400
Westside: 121 Coors NW • 831-3131
Taylor Ranch: 4200 Montaño NW • 898-1161
Rio Rancho: 4101 High Resort SE • 896-2222
The salad-loving folk keep coming back to Dion's fresh greens, with "mix" or without ... and did we mention that ranch? There are probably as many tasty uses for its signature dressing as there are things that Dion's does exceedingly well. (AF)
2) Scarpa's
3) Il Vicino

Best Steakhouse

Paul's Monterey Inn

1000 Juan Tabo NE • 294-1461
High-backed booths and a dark, sultry ambience imbue Paul's Monterey Inn with an old-school steakhouse vibe that you'd be hard pressed to find elsewhere in this forsaken age of chain restaurants. (JB)
2) Monte Carlo Steakhouse
3) Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse

Best Barbecue

Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-BQ

Midtown: 2321 Carlisle NE • 884-4000
Westside: 10136 Coors NW • 890-7113
Rudy’s famously bills itself as having the “world's worst” barbecue. I doubt that. It's impossible to have bad barbecue, especially at Rudy’s. (JB)
2) The Cube
3) Tie: Pepper's Ole' Fashion BBQ, Quarter's

Best Burger

Blake's Lotaburger

More than 75 locations statewide: complete list of locations and phone numbers at lotaburger.com
You know it; you love it. When I lived out of state, I would call out for Blake in the middle of the night. (JB)
2) Lumpy's Burgers
3) Owl Café

Best Pasta


3120 Central SE • 268-5965
Chef/Owner Joey Minarsich isn't into cutting corners—more like rolling, filling and pinching made-from-scratch pastas with his own two hands. Before running your next marathon, hit up Vivace for a blissful carbo-load. (LM)
2) Scalo Northern Italian Grill
3) Trombino's Bistro Italiano

Best Soup

Annie's Soup Kitchen

3107 Eubank NE • 295-8601
Well, it does have “soup” in the name. Throw in some country kitchen ambience and a daily changing roster of soupy choices, and Annie's can't be beat. (DO'L)
2) Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches
3) Flying Star Café

Best French Fries

Blake's Lotaburger

See P.M., Best Burger for contact information.
Duh. No one can resist those curly, hot, seasoned spuds. Dip them in shakes, smush them between the buns of your burger, eat them one by one. Wipe the grease from around your mouth, and smile. (CC)
2) Brasserie La Provence
3) Lumpy's Burgers

Best Tacos

Taquereía Mexico

415 Lomas NE • 242-3445
2) Bumble Bee's Baja Grill
3) Taco Cabana
Good luck getting a seat at this tiny Mexican diner. Taquereía Mexico's handful of chairs and stools are usually occupied by devout diners worshipping los reyes of all tacodom. ¡Viva Taquereía! (LM)

Best Pizza

Dion's Pizza

See P.M., Best Salad for contact information.
Our readers say that Dion's has the best pizza around. Those sandwiches that come in a box with all the chips are also delightful. (JB)
2) Il Vicino
3) Tied: Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar, Saggios

Best Calamari

Scalo Northern Italian Grill

See Around the World, Best Italian for contact information.
The fritto misto, as the Italians call it, is delizioso here. But Scalo doesn't stop with light, crispy calamari, nor with delicate pieces of fried shrimp. You also get little sides of spicy marinara and lemon aioli sauces for dunking. Mama mia. (LM)
2) Jinja Bar & Bistro
3) Pelican's Restaurant

Best Hotdogs

Dog House Drive In

Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
1216 Central SW • 243-1019
Hot dogs aren’t just for ballparks and barbecues. If you’ve got an itch for a frank, find a massive variety anytime at the Dog House. Even celebrities eat there; it was featured in locally made, Emmy-winning favorite “Breaking Bad.” (CC)
2) The Cube
3) Tie: Costco and Top Dog

Best Sushi

Shogun Sushi

3310 Central SE • 265-9166
Shogun has little wooden boats that circle a little moat. Customers pick up their lovingly made food off the boats. That is cool. So, so cool. (JB)
2) Azuma Sushi and Teppan
3) Tied: Japanese Kitchen, Sushi King

Best Dim Sum

Amerasia and Sumo Sushi

800 Third Street NW • 246-1619
Hyangami Yi's been serving up homemade dim sum in this town for years. When the cart comes around with plump bao, noodle salad and other delectable dumplings, go ahead and get another helping; Alibi readers approve. (MD)
2) Ming Dynasty
3) Budai Gourmet Chinese

Best Meatloaf

The Range Café

Northeast Heights: 4200 Wyoming NE • 293-2633
UNM Area: 2200 Menaul NE • 888-1660
Bernalillo: 925 Camino del Pueblo • 867-1700
To be specific, Tom's Meatloaf. Tom stuck his name on it, and he seems to deserve most of the credit. Served hot outta the oven with a side of garlic mashers and some mushroom gravy, it's the kind of meatloaf that'll make you wanna slap your mama. (DO'L)
2) The Standard Diner
3) Mannie's Family Restaurant

Best Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings

Northeast Heights: 8505 Montgomery NE • 275-9464
Westside: 10015 Coors NE • 922-9464
Get baskets of wings smothered in your choice of more than 14 different sauces ranging in heat level and flavor, all while enjoying any game you please on a multitude of big screens. (AF)
2) Tie: Hooters, Wing Stop
3) Tickles & Snooks Wings 'n Things

Best Bar Food

O'Niell's Irish Pub

Northeast Heights: 3301 Juan Tabo NE • 293-1122
Upper Nob Hill: 4310 Central SE • 255-OPUB (6782)
Get the fried pickles. Or the green chile-slathered Burger in Paradise. Or any one of O’Niell’s hearty, satisfying meals, which are as kind to vegetarians as they are to your palate (very). In a city without many late-night dining options, O’Niell’s is a saving grace. (CC)
2) Two Fools Tavern
3) Gecko's Bar and Tapas

Best Wine List

St. Clair Winery and Bistro

901 Rio Grande NW • 243-9916
To be fair, most of the wines on the list have the words “St. Clair” in front of them. But that’s a good thing, according to the voters. Be it Mimbres red, St. Clair port or white Zinfandel, these hometown vintners have got you covered. Now would somebody tell us the difference between a Shiraz and a Syrah? (DO'L)
2) Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro
3) Scalo Northern Italian Bistro

Best Beer Selection

Marble Brewery

111 Marble NW • 243-2739
Marble pumps out a hefty variety of regular and seasonal beers, made onsite and in small batches. You can throw back a draft at Marble's bar, pick up a six-pack at several local retail spots, take home a 64-ounce growler or get three sizes of kegs filled. How's that for selection? (LM)
2) Kelly's Brew Pub
3) Two Fools Tavern

Best Tea

New Mexico Tea Company

1131 Mountain NW • 962-2137
Neatly fitted cases are filled with a world of tea—carefully harvested treasures that pack scents to beguile and comfort, excite and tease. A visit provides tea and company. (MY)
2) St. James Tearoom
3) A TeaCo (The Annapolis Tea Company)
Results reported by John Bear (JB), Christie Chisholm (CC), Marisa Demarco (MD), Adam Fox (AF), Ari LeVaux (ALV), Laura Marrich (LM), Devin O’Leary (DO’L), Mina Yamashita (MY)