The appeal of Tía Betty Blue’s might seem skin-deep at first. The paint is fresh. The food comes fast enough to service a drive-thru window. A collection of bottled soda pops is so vast, it could be a gimmick. And the image of a raven-haired hottie—Tía Betty Blue, presumably—stares you down from the sign, the walls, the menu. But despite its candy-coated veneer, Tía B’s means business. The food is simple but thoughtful, and it’s different. And as long as food is the priority, who cares how cute the servers are?
Eclectic breakfast and lunch on a quiet Downtown corner
By Ari LeVaux
Café Lush is like a daydream of the way things might be in some future hybrid of Europe and Albuquerque. It’s an urban café on a quiet street corner, with a small menu of simple yet well-crafted dishes and a pledge to use local, seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible. But unlike in Europe, the red and green chile won’t disappoint—unless you’re a member of the New Mexico anticumin coalition.
I usually take pictures when I dine out. Some wind up in this column to illustrate a piece or are posted on FB to share with friends. But I’m missing photos of some amazing meals—meals where I can’t be bothered to take a snapshot before diving in. At that moment, my appetite takes over, and the food writer has to wait.
If you had to pick a single Albuquerque street on which to dine for the rest of your life, you could do worse than Fourth. The diversity of restaurants on this North Valley artery is matched by a uniform unpretentiousness, as if by some silent but Spanglish-speaking truce. Dennis Apodaca has built a restaurant empire on a single half-mile stretch of that pavement. First came Sophia’s Place, named after his daughter. Then came Ezra’s Place, named after his son. And finally Jo’s Place, named after his mom, joined the block party in March.
Nob Hill: 3416 Central NE • 255-4501 Downtown: 723 Silver SW • 244-8099 North Valley: 4026 Rio Grande NW • 344-6714 Uptown: 8001 Menaul NE • 293-6911 Northeast Heights: 4501 Juan Tabo NE • 275-8311 Corrales: 10700 Corrales Road • 938-4717 Bernalillo: 200 South Camino del Pueblo • 404-2100 flyingstarcafe.com
It's easy to find a place that serves toast and coffee in the morning, but true breakfast havens are treasured commodities in this city. Weck's prides itself on its "scratch-made" buttermilk pancakes, chile-doused papas and "full belly" meals that will not only keep you sated all day but will bring you back with the sunrise. Plus, it has gluten-free options. (CC)