Alibi V.27 No.41 • Oct 11-17, 2018

Best of Burque Restaurants 2018

American Cuisine

Best Appetizers

TFK Smokehouse

grilled cheese

Alibi readers agree that TFK Smokehouse—housed in a former miniature golf course headquarters that used to be known as Highland Swing—is one of the best BBQ joints around town. But who knew the place also had award-winning appetizers? Well, Alibi readers knew, of course, and they adjudged the aperitifs here to be number one. Head on down to this place to enjoy reader favorites like beer battered green chile strips or the famous smoked pork chile cheese meatballs. Just don’t eat too many of these pre-dinner goodies, ’cause their entrée menu will make your mouth water too. (SC)

2) Brixens

3) O'Niell's

Best Wings

Brixens

Brixens has the best wings. Say it again with fierce unity, folks: Brixens has the best wings. You may not be able to fly on them, but eating the chicken wings at this Downtown eatery and cantina is still dreamlike and so joyful. In particular, Brixens’ salt and pepper wings are crispy and come with a creamy ranch dressing that makes the drinks that will inevitably follow more festive than ever. (SC)

2) Monte Vista Fire Station Restaurant

3) Frank's Famous Chicken & Waffles

Best Burger

Grassburger

As the name suggests, Grassburger burgers are made from 100 percent US grass-fed beef. This makes their already tasty burgers healthy, too. Yes, you read that right. They have quarter pound and half pound patties at the ready, so come in hungry. If you have a food allergy, never fear, the family who owns Grassburger also has food allergies and knows exactly how to help you eat out with your dietary restrictions. There are gluten-free, vegan and paleo-friendly options. They even fry their fries in sunflower oil so humans with peanut allergies rejoice! (VS)

2) Laguna Burger

3) 5 Star Burgers

Best French Fries

Grassburger

Are you a crispy fry lover or a squishy fry lover? Crispy and squishy fiends alike can find a fry for them at Grassburger. They have both regular French fries and sweet potato fries on the menu. And the best part for our gluten-free and peanut allergy friends is they keep the sunflower oil they fry the fries in free of allergens so you can enjoy truly gluten-free and peanut-free fries! Eat 'em dry or try dipping those golden sticks of joy into one of their three house-made signature chipotle, ranch or BBQ sauces. (VS)

2) Blake's Lotaburger

3) Rustic on the Green

Best Barbecue

TFK Smokehouse

With owners originally from Tennessee, TFK Smokehouse has come into town and shown local BBQ lovers what's up! With a choice of house-made sauces, including their Carolina mustard sauce done so right, there's a flavor for every discerning palate. Beyond the standard BBQ items on the menu they kill the game with dinner specials like a smoked carne adovada taco salad, smoked ribeye and even smoked pastrami in their Reuben. Each side is also created with as much care as the meats. Give 'em a try and check out some of the cool wares from local artists for sale in the restaurant. (MF)

2) ABQ BBQ

3) Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-B-Q

Best Steakhouse

Vernon's Speakeasy

Traditionally speaking, a steakhouse is a restaurant that is dimly lit, is populated by plush leather seating and booths, has a tray of condiments—including a vast variety of crackers—available on the table when one arrives and of course the best broiled cow meat available for human consumption. It helps if a lounger or pianist is involved, but you get the idea. Given those parameters, plus their penchant for meaty excellence, Vernon’s Speakeasy was voted Best Steakhouse this year. Vernon’s is literally underground, clothed in red velvet curtains and the restaurant serves everything anyone who craves cooked animal flesh can admire, from filet mignon to prime rib and and a delicious boneless ribeye. What are you waiting for, carnivores? (AM)

2) Monte Carlo Liquors & Steak House

3) The Cooperage

Best Seafood

Down N Dirty Seafood Boil

In a town that’s about 700 miles from the sea, you’d think there’d be a dearth of decent sea food to be found. But you’d be wrong because there is so much good ocean harvested cuisine around here, it would even drive a native of Boston or San Diego crazy as they contemplate the possibilities which range from Mexican sea food to Cajun treats from Davy Jone’s locker. Count Down N Dirty Seafood Boil as number one on your list, and then roll on down to one of their Albuquerque locations to enjoy some great eats from the ocean, including snow crab legs, lobster and clams. (SC)

2) Pelican's

3) Slapfish

Best Salad

Vinaigrette

This airy establishment offers a wide variety of gourmet salads. Many ingredients come straight from the owner’s farm in northern New Mexico. The ingredients are always nicely paired with the right dressings. Salads are innovative without being too experimental. The cobb and the Caesar don’t stray too far from the traditional, while the arugula duck salad is like nothing you’ve had before, but certainly something you’ll want again. Portions are reasonable, protein add-ons are available and substitutions for vegetarian diners can be easily made. (CM)

2) TFK Smokehouse

3) Flying Star Cafe

Best Sandwiches

TFK Smokehouse

Not only does TFK Smokehouse have some killer barbecue (ahem, it took home the top spot in that category, too), but it also has some top notch sandwiches to boot. Try their Burqueño cheesesteak made with smoked prime rib, or the Hawaii 505 BBQ sliders made with pulled pork, house-made green chile sweet sauce, pineapple and topped with coleslaw. Not into meat? Dig into the BBQ Bell (grilled portobello sandwich) or the spinach caprese. If your mouth isn't watering yet, you should get that checked out. (TG)

2) Brixens

3) Flying Star Cafe

Best Soup (American style)

Flying Star Cafe

With fresh soups made in-house everyday, you don’t know what’s on the menu until you arrive, but it’s guaranteed to be good. Don’t let the casual café atmosphere fool you. Ingredients are organic and locally sourced when possible. The daily soups featured often include tomato bisque, zuppa Italiana, high altitude gumbo and chicken mulligatawny. (CM)

2)Al’s Big Dipper

3) The Cooperage

Best Grilled Cheese

The Grove Cafe & Market

What makes a good grilled cheese? It's all about the cheese, baby. And oh boy, does The Grove know what they're doing. White cheddar, harvati and aged provolone (that's right, three cheeses) are melted between slices of sourdough. With options to add caramelized onions and green chile, it's no wonder readers voted The Grove the best of the best. (TG)

2) The Shop Breakfast and Lunch

3) Flying Star Cafe