Beer and hockey go together like ice skating and getting the crap beaten out of you by guys missing one or more front teeth. Good times! Next time you're out at (S)Tingley Coliseum for a Scorpions game check out the brand new team beer: Scorpions Ale. Rio Grande Brewing makes the team's official beverage, which debuted two weeks ago, and brewer Scott Moore describes it as, “a hoppy California-style pale ale with a rich, copper color, hoppy nose and clean finish.” Scorpions Ale is available at all of the beer stands at Tingley and costs $5.50 per cup (Budweiser costs $4.50). It is also on tap at O'Niell's Uptown and other sports-friendly bars. Look for 22-ounce bottles of the brew in retail stores early next year.
One of the best things about Albuquerque is finding fantastic little mom 'n' pop taco shops in the most unexpected places. Carlitos is the name of just such a place that opened a few weeks ago at 10th and Coal (where Stufy's used to be). Chef/owner Carlos “Carlitos” Montoya is a Santa Fe native who grew up helping his mom cook for nine kids plus ranch hands. He told me that he gave up his first love, woodcarving, for cooking the same New Mexican food he grew up with. The menu at Carlitos is huge, so when a few of us walked over for lunch the other day we had trouble deciding what to order. Luckily we ended up picking some specialties of the house like enchiladas “Carlitos Way”: blue corn tortillas topped with chile, cottage cheese and carne adovada (it's marinated for three days.) Think cottage cheese would be gross on enchiladas? Think again. It's great. We also tried the shrimp tacos Francesca and a blue corn tamale plate. All delightful, authentic and generously portioned. The adovada is meltingly tender and we all loved the side of calabacitas. Sit in the brightly painted dining room, take out (call 246-0290) or drive-through. Yeah, can you believe it? The place has a drive-through.
Two amusing bits from the world news, donated by “Odds & Ends” columnist Devin D. O'Leary. First, your wildest dreams have come true and some kooky inventor has come up with a gadget that allows you to inhale, rather than drink booze. The AWOL (Alcohol Without Liquid) device is apparently something like those vaporizers that your grandma used when the baby was sick. Booze is poured into a diffuser capsule attached to an oxygen generator and inhaled, giving an instant reaction. Thank God, right? I'm just so exhausted from all that drinking! Meanwhile, in Thailand, a Bangkok hotel has assembled what it claims is the world's largest noodle tree. Yes, it's a 16-foot tall Christmas tree made out of noodles. Why didn't I think of that before? I'm starting work tonight on my bacon tree.