Previews of Coming Attractions

As I get older and wiser, I find that my eyesight is slowly deteriorating. It is getting more trying to write as many reviews as often as has been my habit. From now on, I will be very selective about what I post here. Here is my plan:

All restaurant reviewed here must be

  • Outstanding — among the very best that New Mexico has to offer, or
  • Unique — in a class all by itself.

I won’t write a review until I have been there at least four times. As always, I welcome your suggestions. Here is what is in the queue right now.

Except for some special events such as Wine Pairing Diners. Like this one at Blade’s.


Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

The Point Grill

The Point Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

Pork Shank

Pork Shank

M’Tucci’s Kitchen

M'Tucci's Kitchina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

Death by Lemon for The Dazzler

Death by Lemon for The Dazzler

Savoy Bar and Grill

Savoy Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

John's Spicy (!) Burger

John’s Spicy (!) Burger

The Safar

Grill

The Safari Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

Catfish

Catfish

Bucket Headz Southern Home Cooking

Bucket Headz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Fun Stuff, Gossip, Information, Restaurant Posts | Leave a comment

Las Ristras Restaurant

Home-Cooked New Mexican Food in Corrales

Sign

First visit: August 25, 2015
Fifth visit: March  26, 2016 

The owner, Ginger Hunter, a native Corraleña, describes her place as:

Ginger, the charming owner

Ginger, the charming owner

“My name is Ginger. I’m from Corrales, born and raised. I don’t have any special secret recipes, this is the food I grew up with. Las Ristras is not a chain of restaurants. I have never owned a restaurant in my life, this is the first one. Everything is homemade, and is prepared the same way we do at home, only in a commercial setting. I have trained my staff to welcome everyone into the restaurant as if they were welcoming everyone into my home. I treat my staff and guests like friends and family, and try to make it a home like environment. Hopefully what makes a difference is that I care about people and making everyone as comfortable as possible , it makes me feel good to know that when someone comes by, they had a good experience, a good home-cooked meal, and want to keep coming back.” 

And I replied,

“Nicely said, Ginger.
What I like about Las Ristras is that it is not a clone of the many dozens of cookie-cutter NM restaurants. The food is homemade and I feel like I’m eating (and conversing) in Ginger’s kitchen. This is simple food lovingly p
repared.
It is not Mary and Tito’s nor should it be. But then, IMHO, nothing can compare to M&T. [BTW, Antoinette G Knight is also a native Corraleño.]
The Chiles Rellenos are a big hit with me. This place is good, and will, no doubt, surely become very good. I feel at home here, and that counts a lot with me.”

The ristras and other paintings on the walls were created by a long-time friend of Ginger’s, Chef Jon Young, a man of seemingly limitless talents.

OK. Is the food any good?

Would *I* come back here three (and counting) times were it not?

My favorites, so far. Both are excellent.

Sopaipillas

Sopaipillas
Not all sopas are created equal. These perfectly fried pillows of puffiness are the best I have had since Marlene’s closed years (and tears) ago. I have neeb waiting for them.

Chile Rellenos

Chile Rellenos
These are lightly crisped (never soggy), loaded with tasst cheese stuffing, and covered with some of the best green I have had in a long time. Delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best of the Rest

Chips and Salsa

Chips and Salsa
Excellent salsa. Loads of tomato chunks, and hotter than medium. Very fresh and tasty.

Carne Adovada Stuffed Sopaipilla

Carne Adovada Stuffed Sopaipilla
Smothered in a pretty good Rd. The carne is tender and delicious, delicately spiced. Beans and rice are real good. Home cooking like I make in my home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combo Plate.

Combo Plate.
Chile Relleno, Tamale, and Enchilada. The Dazzling Deanell loved this.

Chili Lime Chicken

Chili Lime Chicken
Beautifully grilled chicken with a delicate chile-lime marinade. Delicious. Served with wild rice and veggies.

 

 

 

Chicken Burrito

Chicken Burrito

<b>Beef Enchilada with Egg</b>

Beef Enchilada with Egg

 

 

 

 

 

Tortilla Burger

Tortilla Burger

Fried Shrimp

Fried Shrimp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try everything. It’s all very good. I expect to be back here often. Look for me.

Interior

Las Ristras Restaurant 

(505) 433-4192 
4940 Corrales Road,
Corrales, NM, 87048

Website
Facebook
HoursMenu

Las Ristras Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, New Mexican, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Phở #1

Phở #1 serves up my favorite Phở in ABQ

Pho #1 Panorama

Ninth visit: March 24, 2016 
First visit: June 27, 2008 

There are about 48 restaurants in Albuquerque that serve Vietnamese food. I love Phở. When I moved to New Mexico, I started a search for the  best Phở to be had here.

My Duke City Phở Quest Ends at Phở #1.

Every time I go to a Vietnamese restaurant, I resolve to try something besides Phở. It rarely works. This place has the best Phở I have had since I left Maryland. Almost as good as that at Phở Real in Silver Spring/Burtonsville MD.

I usually get a small Tai/Nam (beef) Phở wherever I go. The version here at Phở#1  is wonderfully spiced and scented (the aroma is critical), is not short on beef, and has ample noodles.

The Food

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

Start your meal with some Spring Rolls.

Thin delicate wrappers stuffed with bits of pork and shrimp. Dip in the Peanut Sauce (moderately piquant). The Dazzling  Deanell was, uh, dazzled. So was I, too. These are among the best and freshest Spring Rolls I have had.  Nearly perfect appearance, taste, and texture. A winner.

 

Lemongrass Chicken

Lemongrass Chicken

Lemongrass Chicken with Vegetables in a spicy brown Sauce

The Dazzler likes Phở plenty, but she really loves Lemongrass Chicken, and that’s what  she had. The aroma of lemongrass wafted up from the plate and she knew that she got the right stuff. The veggies (mushrooms, bamboo shoots, red bell peppers, tiny corn ears, and more)were masterfully done. The brown sauce needed a tad more piquancy (red pepper flakes or Bird Peppers?) Very delicious dish. I may even order it next time, if I ever tire of Phở (fat chance).

Phở Tai Man

Phở Tai Man

Here comes the Phở.

Phở or pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles called bánh Phở, a few herbs, and meat, primarily served with either beef or chicken. Phở is a popular street food in Vietnam[4] and the specialty of a number of restaurant chains around the world. Southern Vietnamese eat it for breakfast and occasionally lunch, whereas those from northern Vietnam consume it at any time of day.

If you order tai, be sure to get it on a separate plate so that it will not be overcooked by the steaming hot broth.

 

Tai

Tai

Garnish

Garnish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Phở

Great Phở

Salty Lemonade

Salty Lemonade

Get a glass of Salty Lemonade(Chanh muối) .

Somewhat of an acquired taste, this stuff has been on my radar for about twenty years.

Chanh muối is a salted, pickled lime in Vietnamese cuisine. Its name comes from the Vietnamese words chanh (meaning “lime” or “lemon”) and muối (meaning “salt”). To make the chanh muối, many limes (often key limes) are packed tightly in salt in a glass container and placed in the sun until they are pickled. During the process, juices are drawn off the limes, which dissolves the salt and produces a pickling liquid which immerses the finished chanh muối.

Look no further. Go to Phở #1. Eat. Enjoy.

What others are saying

Gil Garduño — New Mexico’s Sesquipedalian Sybarite

Stir-fried crispy egg noodle with beef and onion

Stir-fried crispy egg noodle with beef and onion

“Launched in 2004, Pho #1 may well be on its way to earning its name. The seven courses of beef is one–make that seven–reasons why.  Other reasons include a stellar rendition of the name on the marquee; the restaurant’s pho has earned a reputation as among the city’s very best in a city that has embraced pho.

“In a “Chow Down in Burque Town” forum entitled “Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Town” on the omnibus Duke City Fix, Albuquerque’s pho-fanatics weighed in on their favorites.  One of the most frequently mentioned was Pho #1.  Common reasons given were the large number of local Vietnamese families who eat there, the “to die for”soups and the genuinely nice family who owns and runs the restaurant.

“Pho #1 specializes in beef noodle soup, the menu referring to it as “the adventurer’s choice” because of the near limitless flavor combinations in which it is available.  A small bowl of pho is the size of a wading pool, a large bowl the size of a swimming pool.  For a pittance, you can even upsize to an “extra large” bowl which is virtually the size of a pond.  It’s common at Pho #1 to enjoy an asynchronous symphony of slurping, the audible inhalation of noodles being heartily enjoyed by entire families, each member partaking of a different size bowl of pho (similar to the A&W restaurant of old concept of Papa, Mama, Teen and Child burgers).”


 

Phở #1 

(505) 268-0488

International District
414 San Pedro Dr SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108

Hours: 10:30 – 9:00 (Closed Wednesday)

map

 

 

 


frontFacebook

Phở #1 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Vietnamese | Leave a comment

Blade’s – Milagro Wine Pairing Dinner

 

Blade's Bistro

Special Event:
Blade’s Bistro – Milagro Vineyards & Winery
Wine Pairing Dinner
March 21, 2016

The Players

Kevin and Anja Bladergroen

Kevin and Anja Bladergroen

Blade’s Bistro, Placitas NM

“Tucked away in the serene town of Placitas, Blades’ Bistro offers savory European and American influenced cuisine, a warm atmosphere and an ever-changing array of daily specials.

“In everyday life, it is the Bistro that is woven into the daily pattern of meals and celebrations. The Bistro is that little neighborhood restaurant where they know who you are, greet you warmly, and serve you satisfying foods that change with the seasons and define Creative Casual Cuisine.

“Blades’ Bistro with its warm atmosphere offers uncomplicated, unpretentious food and daily specials that keep you coming back often. Bistro cuisine is a mix of European and American influence. This is all done with high quality ingredients, “the melting pot of taste.” A little of this and a little of that make rustic food so inviting. This is all brought together country side in a classical Bistro setting.

ABQ Top TenI love this place. The Braised Apple Calvados Sweetbreads (Ris de Veau) are among my all-time favorite dishes. Amazing. Blade’s has earned a spot (currently number 8) on my coveted Albuquerque Top Ten List.

 

 

Larry and San Francisco de Asis with Merlot at Milagro

Larry and San Francisco de Asis with Merlot at Milagro

Milagro Vineyard & Winery, Corrales NM 

Website
Facebook 

“Handcrafted from Vine to Wine.

“Milagro Vineyards create wines in Northern New Mexico from vineyards located in and around the picturesque village of Corrales. Convinced that wine is made mostly in the vineyard, Milagro meticulously raises all the grapes used to make its wines. Wines are handmade in an Old World style, using barrel aging in fine French Oak and bottle aging, to reflect the “Place” or “Terrior” they come from.

The Garden

The Garden — I spend a lot of time here with my friends.

“Milagro has produced wines from vinifera grapes since the vineyards were planted in 1985. Currently they include small production of a Rose, red & white table wine – Corrales White and Corrales Red – and varietal wines of Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.”

 

Rick and Mitzi

Rick and Mitzi, Proprietors

The Milagro Tasting Room is open on weekends (monthly during warmer weather), and is a lovely place to sit and sip with your friends. Or make new friends. I am here often. The grounds are gorgeous.

Rick and Mitzi Hobson, the proprietors, will be glad to bend your ear about their fabulous handmade wines. Be sure to get on their mailing list for their latest news.


The Food and Wine

Blade Milagro Wine Dinner Menu

Blade Bistro – Milagro Vineyard & Winery Dinner Menu

White Asparagus Soup

White Asparagus Soup

First Course 

Fresh White Asparagus  Soup, with

2014 Milagro Vineyards & Winery Riesling

Had I encountered this soup while I was judging soups at the Roadrunner Food Bank’s Annual Souper Bowl, it would have won the Critic’s Choice First Place Award. And this is a tough competition.

This soup is delicious. Perfect appearance, taste, and texture.  I could eat it every day. And the 2014 Riesling is one of my favorite Milagro whites. Excellent pairing.

Sablefish (Black Cod) Misoyaki Style

Sablefish (Black Cod) Misoyaki Style

Second Course 

Sablefish (Black Cod) Misoyaki-Style Pan seared set atop a cauliflower puree, with

Milagro Vineyards & Winery Library 2010 Old Church Chardonnay

My first sablefish in New Mexico. Veray tasty, and the three-cauliflower puree was truly spectacular. The slight bitterness complemented the slight sweetness of the fish. A beautifully balanced dish.

The Old Church Chardonnay was just right, and while Chardonnays are not among my favorites, the pairing really worked well.

Herb Crusted Colorado Rack of Lamb au Natural

Herb Crusted Colorado Rack of Lamb au Natural

Third Course 

Herb Crusted Colorado Rack of Lamb au Natural and roasted acorn squash, roasted red beets and green beans

Milagro Vineyards & Winery Library 2008 Merlot

Lamb is my favorite red meat, and this is one of the very best Lamb Racks I have had in this state. Done medium rare, it had perfect appearance, taste, and texture. The herbing and the wine reduction were spot-on. I want this again.

The Library Merlot is one of my favorite Milagros, and the pairing could not have been better.

Grand Marnier Dark Chocolate Brownie

Grand Marnier Dark Chocolate Brownie

Dessert

Grand Marnier Dark Chocolate Brownie with a White Chocolate  Ganache

Milagro Vineyards & Winey Library 2009 Old Church Zinfandel

The brownie had a powerfully sweet taste. I loved it. The Zin is among the best that New Mexico offers, and I love it. But I think the pairing was flawed. The intense sweetness of the brownie didn’t work well with the  berry taste  of the Zin — they fought each other.

My dinner companions — Pamela Jackson, Barbara Chase, and Linda Poindexter Chase — also were wowed by this event. None has previously visited Blade’s, and we are all ready to return. I sure hope that Kevin and Anya will keep up a regular train of these events. When they do, get your reservation early. And make sure that you are on their mailing list.


Blade’s Bistro 

Blade's Hours(505) 771-0695

 221 State Highway 165 #L,
Placitas, NM 87043

Website
Facebook
Menu

map

 

front

 

Blades' Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

Posted in Bistro, Information, Wineries | Leave a comment