Inspired by Sophie's "7 things about Albuquerque that make my friends in other cities burn with jealousy" post, I'm submitting my own - foodie style.

Red and green chile -
This is obvious, but it has to be said. Nowhere else in the country do they have chile quite like what we have here. When I first moved to Albuquerque, I thought there was no way I would ever get into the chile culture. I was so very, very wrong. We have a friend in Houston who wants my enchiladas recipe. But I can't really give it to him knowing that he can't get green chile where he is. I just need to get off my duff and send a care package with the proper ingredients.

Quality Vietnamese restaurants -
We may lack a great Chinese restaurant, but we certainly have a wealth of fantastic Vietnamese options. Da Lat and Trang are a couple of my reliable favorites. In Albuquerque, you're never far from some rockin' Vietnamese food.

Memories of the Duke City Diner-
My favorite nostalgia moments are reserved for this now defunct truck stop diner near I-25 and Menaul. At one time it was the 24-hour alternative to the Frontier. With grits. Mmm, grits: one food that is very hard to find in Albuquerque. The same heavily made-up, big-haired waitress worked there every time I went in the middle of the night. Her name wasn't Flo, but it might as well have been. The pictures of Elvis on the wall were genuine homage, not just decoration.

Dixon Apple Farm-
A tasty day trip in a lovely locale. As fun as the voyage to buy the half bushel of apples is, the greatest moment is when you're home, staring at that massive bag on the kitchen counter, wondering how in the world you'll get through the whole thing. Apple pies, apples raw, apples for friends, apple bread, apple clove decorations, apples in your dreams, apples when you wake, apples, apples, apples!

TaLin-
I already went on at length about my love affair with TaLin. *winks and smacks TaLin lightly on the rear*

Sushi in the Desert-
I like that slightly naughty feeling like I'm getting away with something when I get some nice fresh sashimi in Albuquerque. With a major body of water nowhere in sight, we still manage to have a proliferation of sushi restaurants. And there's some pretty decent ones at that! I'm curious to hear what everybody's favorite sushi digs are. I still like the sashimi special at Shogun - there's something about the hypnotic boats that keeps me going back.

Los Poblanos-
A wonderful fresh organic veggie and fruit option for folks. Even better, go visit the actual farm. With the tremendous lily pond, historic bed and breakfast and spacious location near the Rio, it's a real gem. Los Poblanos offers a great opportunity for community-supported agriculture in the midst of a growing city.

Bonus-
Our wealth of wineries. We sure have a bunch all around the state. Casa Rondena is a pleasant stop off in the North Valley. They have an attractive property and well run tasting room. I've been a bit critical over the years of some NM wines - many seem to be either overly sweet or too aggressively tannin-y. But the quality overall seems to be improving all the time. And I could live on the Gruet sparkling wines - I'd nominate them as among the very best in their price range and holding their own against a lot that are more expensive.

Views: 5

Tags: chile, green, los, mexico, new, poblanos, red, vietnamese, wines

Comment by James Tapia on February 28, 2008 at 2:08pm
Hey Edith,

Would you be willing to post your enchiladas recipe here on your page - or on my page? I'd like to make some ABQ enchiladas here in Chicago (for some friends) - of course I'll have to have my sister send me some New Mexico Red Chile from ABQ.

...and as far as Casa Rondena wine - I absolutely love it. My favorite is the 2005 Meritage Red. I even order bottles and have them shipped to me in Chicago.
Comment by Kelly on February 28, 2008 at 3:34pm
I'll toss in that it is remarkably easy to find local/near local foods here. Whether flour, wine, meat, dairy, and in season, fresh veggies, we in the Duke City can eat local all the time.
Comment by Mary Schmidt on February 28, 2008 at 4:43pm
When I came here for a weekend 7 years ago to find a place to live - I almost broke down in tears of joy when I walked into Smith's and saw all the chile. Red, green, fresh, canned, frozen, hot, medium, mild, extra-hot. This native New Mexican was (finally) home! (And then I nearly killed myself eating at every Mom and Pop, hole-in-the-wall, locally-owned place in town the first month. Chile, chile, chile, and sopapillas!)

I also love that I can buy eggs from the Flying E Ranch in Estancia. Free-range, hand-gathered. (You can find at John Brooks and Sunflower.) I also love the local dairy we can buy - Rasband is also at Sunflower. And you can get Mickey's milk at the Triangle grocery in the East mountains.

The "winery tour" is a standard for my out-of-town visitors. Most recently, Casa Rodena - which my wine drinking friends loved.
Comment by once banned twice shy on February 28, 2008 at 5:50pm
Roadrunner lady: I am pretty sure that the cat who runs Los Poblanos Organics leases land from that rich, entitled family, and is not, himself rich and entitled (wish I could remember his name) He survives the old way, on work from the land, too. He grows a lot of what comes in the boxes each week, but that which he doesn't grow, he gets from local or close-to local organic farmers, and therefore supports other organic farmers in their concerns. I have friends who supplied his green chile this year, as a matter of fact. From a "heritage farm" (cough, cough--hate these trendy terms in Santa Rosa. I might add that that rich, entitled family could just as easily not lease land to the man who runs Los Poblanos organics, and sell to developers or just let the ground sit there, but they instead give the land to someone who wants to do something healthy and beneficial with it...
Comment by once banned twice shy on February 28, 2008 at 5:51pm
Well, maybe I shouldn't say they "give" the land, but they give this guy the opportunity to make something of it.
Comment by Rita on February 28, 2008 at 6:21pm
James, if you have a Wal Mart near by you might be able to find those dried red chiles in the produce section; I've found them just about everywhere a Wal Mart store exists. Hey, even the powdered works great; same store, same dept. Check it out before sending your sister to Smith's. We make ours for every special event in this family, or just because!
Comment by hettie on February 28, 2008 at 7:50pm
once banned, I'm not sure california counts as "close to local" when it comes to organic foods in the produce boxes from los poblanos.

I agree that we're lucky there are so many local farmers who sell beautiful produce at the farmers' markets. I recommend the sat. market at robinson park (also fabulous for java joe's breakfast burritos and people watching) and the thursday market at morningside park, which should be starting up the last week of may. mmm, fresh local goodies.

edith, you forgot to mention a fringe benefit of all that chile: the smell of roasting chiles which wafts through the air in the fall! it's a scent that makes me want to put on a sweater and hunker down for cold weather.
Comment by Alicia on February 28, 2008 at 8:34pm
Can I just add my two cents and say that I am madly in love with th ered chile from El Patio. I hate to say this but its better than my mothers and hers is hard to beat. I have never found a restraunt that served decent red until El Patio. Thats just my opinion. As for green, we bought from Sichler farms and it was simply delicioso. I can eat green on anything.
Comment by tesuquedog on February 28, 2008 at 9:18pm
Thanks Edith, I like your list. If I could add one thing it would be sweet corn from Schwebach Farm. Don't forget the calabacitas to go along with your enchiladas.
Comment by James Tapia on February 29, 2008 at 8:28am
Rita,

...but they don't allow Walmarts to be built in the city limits of Chicago. But if I make a trip out to the suburbs soon, I'll be sure to pick some up.

Thanks for the tip!

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