Thai Pepper has been replaced by Thai Tip. Signs on the restaurant, on Wyoming just north of Constitution, changed less than a month ago when the former owner sold the business to John and Tippawan Sherrod. The Sherrods wasted little time during the transition, doing only a quick cleanup and moderate redecoration of the dining room. John Sherrod said it helped that they inherited a good customer base. "We've converted everyone whose come in the door," he says. His wife Tippawan, she's Tip for short, does the cooking along with two other cooks. One of her assistants is her nephew from Thailand, here in Albuquerque while he gets a masters degree in business from UNM.
Mr. Sherrod works as a commissioned salesman at Sears when he's not describing the subtleties of his wife's pad thai. He says he isn't worried about competition from the other Thai restaurants in town, in fact he says many of the restaurant owners are friends who see each other at parties and love to talk shop. "We've had some folks over from the other restaurants already," Sherrod said. The menu at Thai Tip is extensive, with pages and pages of noodles, curries and stir-fried dishes. You'll be relieved to know that the food is good. While a dish of Thai eggplant seemed oversalted, the spicy and sour thom yum soup (served over a flaming Sterno) was delicious, as was a brightly colored green bean curry. Fans of Thai Pepper, or Thai food in general, will not be disappointed. Call 323-7447 for more information.
Brickyard Pizza is now open in the still-new building ReBar inhabited until earlier this summer (2216 Central SE, 262-2216). Derek Young, Brickyard's owner, didn't intend to follow in ReBar's upscale menu footsteps. His concept for the space is simple: cheap pizza and a full bar. Young is keenly aware of who he expects to butter his bread: college students with little time and less money. That's why he offers specials like $3 for a slice of cheese pizza and a pint of Pabst. The place looks the same, as in, far better than your average cheap pizza and beer joint. The food is confined to sub sandwiches, calzones, salads and two kinds of pizza, deepdish Sicilian and regular handtossed. The pizza isn't the best we've ever had but the ambiance is good and the price sure is right.
Speaking of notably good atmosphere, Café Azul is the name of the little café in the County Courthouse (Fourth Street and Lomas). You may have noticed the bright blue chairs arranged under the courthouse portico. It's actually a very nice spot to sit and enjoy a simple breakfast or lunch. Café Azul's menu is typical of office building cafés, with breakfast burritos, huevos, enchiladas and sandwiches, but the folks at the counter are very nice and the outside tables are pretty and peaceful. It's shady and cool, with the bubbling fountain masking much of the street noise. Check it out.
Trader Joe's is now open in Santa Fe. Check out this week's “Cool Stuff” for details. And when you say your prayers tonight, ask for an Albuquerque store, OK?