There's nothing like looking through food magazines to work up a wicked hunger. After a week of drooling all over copies of the latest foodie rags I've somehow managed to lose my appetite for anything that isn't actively glistening, steaming or oozing juices. Also, I only want to look at my food in the warm light of a fire's glow, preferably as I lay on a fluffy Persian lamb rug at my house in Aspen (or wherever it is these food magazine people hang out in February). If firelight doesn't do it, I know I can also try holding a bite below a tungsten bulb and looking at it up really, really close. I'm not sure why, but for some reason extreme close-ups of food seem to make me drool. In Gourmet I flip past a long shot of croissants but am stopped dead by a larger than life Triscuit topped with cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream. I don't even like Triscuits but I think I can actually see the grains of salt shimmering within the wheaty woven cracker and it makes my mouth water. If only there were a team of 10 prepping my every morsel and I never had to leave my furry perch in front of the fire. I guess I'll just have to pump up the glisten factor of my teriyaki chicken bowl with extra sauce and eat it by the warm light of the TV.
“On Corrales Road, just past Hooters but before you get to Applebee's.” That's how Narendra Kloty describes the location of Bombay Grill, the Indian restaurant he hopes to open at 3600 Corrales Road this April. Kloty is also the owner of Santa Fe's India Palace, a much-loved city institution located a few blocks south of that city's plaza. He says that Bombay Grill's menu will include more grilled items and more Atkins-friendly dishes than familiar Indian menus do. Right now renovation is underway, a process Kloty describes as “de-Orientalizing” the place. Of course he could leave all of the dragon-paned lanterns hanging and put Dan “The Automator” Nakamura's Bombay the Hard Way disc on shuffle/repeat but that might be a little too postmodern for Rio Rancho.
With full-service bars both inside and on the patio, free Wi-Fi access and a funky, global menu, The District (115 Fourth NW), promises to shake up the city's lunch, dinner and late-night scenes. The menu, created by Chef Jeff Cordova, looks creative and approachable, with Jamaican steak frites salad, slow-roasted pork carnitas and pan-seared potstickers but no hamburgers.
When I lived in Chicago and biked around all winter, I learned firsthand how much a stiff drink can warm the cockles of your heart even on the coldest day. A shot of whiskey brings color to the cheeks, calms the chattering teeth and makes the ride back home through the slushy streets seem a little less daunting. Though winter in Albuquerque is a lot less traumatic, there are still moments when we need a warming draught to get ourselves through. Here are a few places we turn to for that tonic on a cold night.