We are always trying to find new restaurants to try, but end up going to the ones we know are good. I saw this magazine and thought it would be a great way to try all the yummy foods of Albuquerque. We are going through the magazine and marking off the restaurants as we try them. We will be doing a little bit at a time and I’ll be updating this as we try them. If you are ever in the “Land of Enchantment” I suggest you try these places. Happy Eating!
Third Best Pizza (Marios)
Today was our first stop on the Best of the City Tour. We went to a pizza place called Marios Pizza. There were so many different types of pizza on the menu, it was hard to choose just one. We ordered a Greek Salad to share for a starter and then shared a supreme pizza. It was delicious with a little taste of New Mexico, green chiles. We reminisced about our trip to Italy while enjoying a long lunch. Marios Pizza was number 3 on the list for Best Pizza.
Best Ice Cream (Coldstone)
We also knocked out the best ice cream of the city. If you have never been to Coldstone Creamery before get in your car right now and drive to one. It is amazing! There are so many different combinations and the ice cream is so creamy. I always get the Founders Favorite and Scotty always gets the Birthday Cake Remix.
Second Best Gourmet Pizza (Il Vicino)
Last Wednesday we tried Il Vicino which received second place for the best gourmet pizza. This restaurant brews their own beer and makes their pizza on a wood fired grill right there in the restaurant. My favorite thing there was the chili oil. It was delicious to dip my pizza in it. Everyone else that was with us ordered a calzone which was about a foot long! Here is a recipe I found to try and make your own chili oil.
Homemade Chili Oil
Recipe thanks to Giada De Laurentiis
2 cups olive oil
4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes
Combine the oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a heavy small saucepan. Cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees F, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Transfer the oil and pepper flakes to a 4-ounce bottle. Seal the lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.
Best Frozen Yogurt (Menchies)
Right after we ate at Il Vicino we walked over to Menchies which is the best frozen yogurt in ABQ. It wasn’t until I walked over to the toppings table that I realized I couldn’t put any candy on top since I gave it up for New Years. That didn’t stop me from finding plenty of other toppings to fill my cup with. My favorite part about Menchies is the sample cups that allow you to try the yogurt before filling your cup to the brim.
Best Indian Restaurant (Taj Mahal)
Wednesday night we ventured out into the ‘snow.’ It was snow for Albuquerque which meant it was snowing, but not sticking. We weren’t worried about it, but we were still hoping for a snow day on Thursday. We have never had Indian food before, but we went out of our comfort zones and met some friends to try it. We were very pleasantly surprised. I tried the Shrimp Curry and Scotty got the Murg Shaan-E-Delhi (a chicken dish in almond cream sauce). We also tried the Garlic Naan (a delicious bread covered in roasted garlic which we dipped in our sauce). My favorite part of the meal was called a Mango Lassi. It was a yogurt based drink that we got before the meal, but you could have it as a dessert also. I found a recipe on the Food Network if you would like to try it.
9 fluid ounces (255 milliliters) plain yogurt
4 1/2 fluid ounces (130 milliliters) milk
4 1/2 fluid ounces (130 milliliters) canned mango pulp or 7 ounces (200 grams) from 3 fresh mango, stoned and sliced
4 teaspoons sugar, to taste, or feel free to try salt and cardamom seedsDirections:
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. Feel free to try salt and cardamom seeds. The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours
Best Nachos and Fourth Best Patio Dining (Kelly’s Brew Pub)
After having a successful day of working out and running errands we decided to ruin our fitness by eating at Kelly’s. It was so worth it! We were having a beautiful day in Albuquerque and sitting outside on a patio sounded amazing. We both got one of their 14 house brewed beers. Side note, you can brew your own beer at Kelly’s. We shared their Creamy Green Chile and Chicken Soup which is amazing!! I found a recipe online that will hopefully be similar. For my meal I got the nachos. The menu doesn’t say, but the waiter let me in on a secret that you can order a small version of the nachos instead of chowing down on the whole huge one yourself.
Creamy Green Chile Chicken Soup
Recipe thanks to Tortillas and Honey
1 Tbs. canola oil
1/2 large onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 c. chicken, cooked and shredded (store-bought rotisserie works here)
1 c. green chile, diced
1 Tbs. flour
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. half and half
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4. tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Add chicken stock, raise heat and bring to a boil.
When stock is boiling, remove 1/2 c. of broth and let it cool. To the boiling broth, add shredded chicken and green chile.
After reserved broth is cool, add 1 Tbs. of flour to it and whisk until well blended. Add the flour mixture back into the boiling broth and mix well. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, add the cream cheese. Gradually add the half and half, whisking constantly. This is so the mixture won’t be as clumpy when you add it to the soup; if it’s a little clumpy, don’t worry because it will end up melting into the soup.
Add the cream cheese mixture gradually into the soup, whisking constantly. When cream cheese mixture is added, reduce the heat to a simmer then add in the rest of your powdered spices (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper).
Simmer the soup for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the soup thickens. Do not boil.
Ladle soup into bowls and enjoy!
Driving up on Paisano’s you wouldn’t imagine a cute little Italian restaurant would be sitting inside. When we walked inside it felt like we were back in Italy. The waitstaff was very nice and accommodating to our large party. Scotty and I arrived at the restaurant an hour earlier than our party so we had some wine and appetizers. Bread was provided and we also had calamari. What makes this Italian restaurant stand out is the homemade pasta noodles and gluten free options. The recipe below is one for the entree Scotty had.
Classic Fettuccine alla Carbonara
Recipe thanks to Better Homes and Garden
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and crisp-cooked
3 ounces prosciutto, sliced 1/8-inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 9 ounce package refrigerated fettuccine
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cracked black pepper (optional)
In a medium saucepan, cook onion in hot butter about 5 minutes or just until tender. Stir in bacon and prosciutto. Cook and stir for 3 minutes more. Carefully add white wine. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add whipping cream and milk. Bring to a gentle boil.
Gradually add 1 cup of the hot cream mixture to egg yolk, stirring constantly. Add egg yolk mixture to cream mixture in saucepan. Return to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and the parsley, stirring just until cheese melts.
Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine according to package directions; drain well. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl. Pour sauce over hot pasta; toss to coat. If desired, sprinkle pasta with additional Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Third Best Late Night Eats (The Last Call)
My drunk food in college consisted of Jimmy Johns, Smigs (Amigos), or as a last resort Papa Johns. The first two were yummy and did the trick, but it was nothing like what the college kids of UNM get every weekend. We stumbled upon this place when we were out with friends one time and we have gone back three times now. What is bringing us back? TRUFFLE Grilled Cheese!!!!! Marble Rye Bread + Dill Aioli + Sharp Cheddar + Swiss + Smoked Gouda + White Truffle Oil= Amazing After the Bar Food. I found the following recipe for truffle grilled cheese, you have to try it!
Grilled Cheese with Truffle Oil
4-cheese Italian blend
White truffle oil
Cut a slice of provolone in half and place one half-slice on top of each piece of challah.
Top the provolone with a small mound of shredded Italian cheeses, parsley, and a drizzle of truffle oil.
Close up the sandwich, and butter the outsides of the bread.
Griddle on medium heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.
Best Locally Made Product and Best Local Farm (Los Poblanos)
This little hidden gem was made aware to us by a friend visiting Albuquerque. He had found this place on the Top Ten Hotel For Food Lovers list. Driving up to the hotel started off the experience with a bang. Huge trees line the drive as you get closer to the beautiful property. The menu is seasonally driven based off of the food available on the farm. There were only two options for breakfast, apple pancakes and eggs benedict. Scotty and I got one of each so we could try them both. After a delicious brunch we took a walk around the farm as we were followed by a couple chickens. The farm store provided a way to take a little of our experience home with us. The lavender farm is what gave this unique hotel its award for Best Locally Made Product. I bought their Lavender Hand Soap which was only $12!
Recipe thanks to The Pioneer Woman
3 whole English Muffins
3 slices Canadian Bacon
3 whole Eggs (plus 3 Egg Yolks)
2 sticks Butter
1 whole Lemon, Juiced
Cayenne Pepper To Taste
First, bring a pot of water to a boil. While the water’s boiling, place a few English muffins halves and an equal number of Canadian bacon slices on a cookie sheet. Lightly butter the English muffins and place them under the broiler for just a few minutes, or until the English muffins are very lightly golden. Be careful not to dry out the Canadian bacon.
Now if you do not have an egg poacher you can poach your eggs by doing the following: With a spoon, begin stirring the boiling water in a large, circular motion. When the tornado’s really twisting crack in an egg. Or two. Or three. The reason for the swirling is so the egg will wrap around itself as it cook, keeping it together. Cook for about 2 ½ to 3 minutes.
In a small saucepan, melt 2 sticks of butter until sizzling. But don’t let it burn! Separate three eggs and place the yolks into a blender. Turn the blender on low to allow the yolks to combine, then begin pouring the very hot butter in a then stream into the blender. The blender should remain on the whole time, and you should be careful to pour in the butter very slowly. Keep pouring butter until it’s all gone, then immediately begin squeezing lemon juice into the blender. If you are going to add Cayenne pepper this is the point at which you would do that.
Place the English muffins on the plate, face up. Next, place a slice of Canadian bacon on each half. Vegetarian variation: you can omit the Canadian bacon altogether, or you can wilt fresh spinach and place it on the muffins for Eggs Florentine, which is divine in its own right. Place the egg on top of the bacon and then top with a generous helping of Hollandaise sauce.
Note: To ensure that everything is hot at the time when it’s ready to serve plunge the poached eggs back into the hot water just before serving, and make the Hollandaise at the very last minute.
On our way to brunch at Los Poblanos, our friend spotted a sign for the Casa Rondena Winery. We said, “Yolo!” and decided to try it out. The area was surrounded by beautiful buildings resembling Italy. We started off by doing a tasting of all the wines available at the winery. The staff was extremely nice and made the experience even better. One of the staff members even showed us around the property. We chose a bottle and a table outside to sit and enjoy the beautiful weather. We ended up staying until 6:00 and left as members of the winery. With the membership we get benefits including two bottles of wine a month and the privilege to have picnics on the property.
I have wanted to try this place ever since I saw Walter White frequent it on Breaking Bad. Walter didn’t have the time to try the Three Cheese Sandwich in between poisoning Lydia, but he sure missed out. We arrived at The Grove at a good time, right before the crowd came rushing in and formed a half hour line. We drank fresh squeezed orange juice with our meal. We plan on going back to this place to try many more items.