If you’re hosting the holidays this year and plan on Martha Stewart-ing the whole business, from decorating the table with fresh pine branches to making your doomed-to-fail soufflé, then kudos to you. The rest of us mere mortals will be calling in backup for side dishes, putting on Moana for the kids to watch for the sixth time time and trying valiantly just to keep everyone happy and civil at dinner. This is our Holiday Dining Guide—the issue where we help you make it through the holiday season unscathed with recommendations on where to eat, drink and be merry on the days when most things are closed. Whether or not you choose to bring your family along to these meals is up to you. We won’t judge.
Are you really going to go to the grocery store and buy molasses and some cute little holiday-themed cookie cutters? When are you even going to use molasses again? Yeah, just save yourself the hassle and order your holiday baked goods—cookies, panetones, yule logs, etc.—a little in advance, so you can get the goods right when you need ’em.
Burque Bakehouse—You’ll have to be quick and eager to get holiday baked goods from Burque Bakehouse: This local small-batch bakery is so popular they’ve been known to sell out of goods at market days within the first hour. Check out their menu (off-menu they also make Buche de Noel, a traditional Christmas cake) at burquebakehouse.com and call 234-6294 to place your pre-order, available for pickup until Dec. 23.
Alchemy Confections Co.—I can’t hype this place enough. If you want to really wow your family or holiday party guests, Alchemy Confections Co. will certainly provide. Their cookies are unique and beautiful, each one made with artisanal ingredients, many of them locally sourced. Check out alchemyconfectionsco
Swiss Alps Bakery—Swiss Alps Bakery is the best place to get your traditional European Christmas baked goods—think stollens, panatones, yule logs, springerles, pfeffernüsse and gingerbread cookies. You can see the full array of their holiday offerings at swissalpsbakery.com/
The holidays are stressful, and anything that makes them a little less stressful could actively save your relationship with your family. With that in mind, here’s a few options for catering and food pickup that will make your holiday meal as peaceful and mild as that old manger in Bethlehem. Don’t worry about whether the ham is burning—worry about whether your sister is stealing the familial spotlight with her new doctor boyfriend.
Jan’s on 4th—Jan and her husband C.E. have been catering for almost 10 years, so you know their stuff is good. Check out janson4th.com/
La Montanita Co-Op—La Montanita is a great catering option, especially if you have some vegans or vegetarians among your tribe for the holidays. You can go for a classic turkey/mashed potatoes/
Tully’s Italian Deli—If you’re looking for a large piece of meat to put in your oven and feed your family with, you need look no further than Tully’s Italian Deli. Call 255-5370 to place a pre-order for your glazed ham, prime rib roast or whole turkey, and pick it up until Dec. 23.
Jason’s Deli—OK, OK, I know Jason’s Deli isn’t like, a locally-owned business or anything. But it is convenient as hell, and they can cater in quantities that are beyond the powers of meager mom-and-pop delis. Order online from their catering menu at jasonsdeli.com, and select delivery or pickup—both available up to Dec. 23.
There’s no shame in going out to eat on Christmas Day, especially if, y’know, you don’t celebrate Christmas. There are several places in Albuquerque that are not only open on the 25th, but serve a special Christmas menu—meaning you won’t have to give up on your favorite seasonal activity of carving slices of meat off a bone with one of those big two-pronged forks.
Isleta Resort & Casino’s Embers Steakhouse—Treat your family to a Christmas dinner that you don’t have to cook. The Embers Steakhouse at Isleta Casino (11000 Broadway Blvd. SE) offers a special fixed-price Christmas day dinner: a three course set menu at $24.95 per person. The meal includes an apple, pear and candied walnut salad; honey-mustard glazed ham with vegetables; and a traditional Viennese chocolate cake. Make your reservations by calling 244-8288.
Santa Ana Star’s Feast Buffet—For a less formal (but equally tasty and easy for you) dinner, head to Santa Ana Star Casino for a special Christmas buffet at their restaurant Feast Buffet (4 Jemez Canyon Dam Rd., Bernalillo). Dinner is $19.95 per person, and service starts at 4pm. You don’t need reservations unless you’re bringing a party of 10 or more—in which case, call 867-0000.
Sandia Resort & Casino—Did you know that Sandia Resort & Casino has 10 different dining options in it? Well, one of those dining options is Bien Shur (30 Rainbow Rd. NE), the restaurant that overlooks the golf course and the lovely Sandia foothills, serves a three-course fixed menu on Christmas Day. Service is from 1 to 8pm. See the full menu and make reservations at sandiacasino.com/
So, you can’t legally buy liquor on Christmas Day in New Mexico because of something about religion, I guess. But Christmas Eve is just as worthy of a drink as Christmas Day, right?
Ibiza at Andaluz Hotel—Amidst all the holiday festivities, you need not only a stiff drink, but a good stiff drink. You’ll find that at Ibiza (125 Second Street NW), the rooftop bar at Hotel Andaluz. With one of the best views of the mountains in the city and top notch cocktails to boot, you’ll wonder why you don’t come here more often. Sure the drinks are a little stiff in price, too—but hey, it’s the holidays, and you ought to be in the giving spirit anyway (seriously, tip those bartenders well, people). Ibiza will be open from 11am to 9pm on Christmas Eve.
Anodyne—Oh come, all ye faithful, to this watering hole that will sure as hell not judge you for ordering a Long Island Iced Tea at 4pm. According to the bartender I spoke with, the place will be open regular hours on Christmas Eve—that is, 7pm to midnight. However, don’t be surprised if they decide to close up shop a little early to give their staff a reprieve and send your drunk self home. You can find Anodyne (409 Central Ave. NW) upstairs from Sister Bar.