One week in New Mexico and looking for out of the way places to eat.
While I'm in Minneapolis right now, I lived in Albuquerque for 20 years, and there are a lot of good restaurants there.
Take a look at Gils Thrilling Web Site; he's checked out a lot of them personally.
I think that Gil Garduno and his buds have been to every decent restaurant in New Mexico (and some thaat weren't so good), and has reports on his website. Other Chowhounds and Roadfood.com use him as a reference for NM food.
Personal opinion: I'm not fond of Cervantes, but I do recommend a small family owned Korean restaurant called Fu Yuang at Candelaria and Eubank, in Scottsdale village behind the McDonalds. Be aware that the spicy dishes they serve have the heat of home cooked Korean food. It's gooood!
While in ABQ this week, I checked out one of the places Gil recommended: Athens Eclectic Greek. It was awful! IF this is any indication of his recommendations - I'd suggest moving on without stopping.
The restaurant brought out hummus to start. Great I thought; something other than the usual olive oil to dip into. It was bland and seemed to have dried out along the edges. But I thought the pita would help. Guess again! There was no pita in the bread basket but rather some dry sliced bread resembling [appearances can be deceiving] sourdough. It was not good and didn't help hummus.
My Greek salad was so so at best. The dressing was made with balsamic vinegar which made it too sweet. There was little in the way of herbs such as oregano.
I ordered spanikopita which is my benchmark for a Greek restaurant. The dish arrived and the first thing I noted were the canned green beans! Ick. The phyllo was pretty pale and not too crispy. But it got worse. The spinach used was - you guessed it -- canned!! I couldn't believe it. The worst greek food I have ever had.
Stick with Mykonos Cafe at Mountain Run Center on Eubank and Juan Tabo. IT is the best Greek in town and would stand up to any Greek restaurant. http://www.mykonoscafeandtaverna-2.com/
I'm originally from Taos but went to high school in Albuquerque. In ABQ my regular favorites for breakfast were hacienda express, dos hermanos and wecks. Los cuates is great for lunch and dinner along with Sadies (huge portions but amazing) and Garcia's Kitchen (go to the original down on 4th or 12th or somewhere around there). Lastly, you have to check out frontier while you are down there. It is a college/highschool staple that is open 24 hours a day and gets so crowded around 2 oclock am on the weekends, they have security guards. They do excellent breakfast burritos and green chili and my one mention of something non New Mexican is their sweet rolls. Yum. (BTW all of this is New Mexican cuisine because it's the only cuisine to eat down there). If you make it up North to the amazing town of Taos, check out Orlandos off of Paseo del Pueblo Sur. Great food, great people. Also El Taoseno is a locals tradition for a morning after a good night.
Whatever you do, get ready to answer the question "Red or Green?" And be ready for the heat. It's going to be spicy. Also make sure you have some sopapillas with honey for desert. Also, it seems odd but one of the favorites is Carne Asada for breakfast. Big heaps of tender red chili covered meat served with eggs. Yum. Enjoy, the food down there is very underrated.
I put this together FYI. These are all places I have eaten at and consider my favorites. I have not included any national chains. I hope you can use this info. I probably missed some;
$$ means expensive; type of food is indicated if title of restaurant isn't clear; general location given. All are in ABQ proper unless otherwise noted.
Local chains with mulitple locations:
Garcia's Kitchen - New Mexican
Little Anita's - New Mexican
Flying Star - coffee, desserts, good food; eclectic
Dions - pizza [best chain]
Papa Johns - pizza
Garduno's - mexican [pretty run of the mill]
[Don't bother with seafood & chinese as these just aren't worth it here]
Abuelita's New Mexican Kitchen [about 25 minutes north of ABQ] on the way to Santa Fe
621 S CAMINO DEL PUEBLO
Al's NYPD Pizza - downtown
215 Central Ave Nw
Artichoke Cafe $$- eclectic, contemporary American
424 Central Ave SE
Barelas Coffee House - New Mexican Food
1502 4th St SW
Casa de benavidez New Mexican - north valley [ 20 minutes ]
8032 4th St. NW,
Cervantes - New Mexican Food
5801 Gibson Blvd Se [near airport]
Duran's Central Pharmacy New Mexican/SW
[old Town; don't let name fool you]
1815 Central Ave. NW
El Patio New Mexican/SW [Univ area]
142 Harvard St. NE
El Modelo Mexican Foods
1715 2nd St Sw
El Pinto New Mexican [20 minutes north of ABQ; on way to santa Fe]
10500 4th St NW
Gold Street Cafe - american [downtown]
218 Gold Ave. SW
Frontier - new mexican, across from Univ. of NM
2400 Central Ave SE
Great American Land & Cattle $$ steak
1550 Tramway Blvd NE
Il Vicino Wood Oven pizza - Nob hill/University area
[also various locations]
3403 Central Ave NE
La Crepe Michelle - french, in Old Town
400 San Felipe St Nw
Los Cuates New Mexican
4901 Lomas Blvd NE
The Melting Pot - fondue; in Old Town
2011 Mountain Rd Nw
Mykinos - Greek
Mountain Run Shopping Center
Eubank and Juan Tabo
Pars - mediterranean
4320 25 Way NE [near movie complex at Jefferson & I 25]
11301 Central Ave Ne
5209 4th St Nw
Quarters - BBQ [near Airport]
801 Yale Blvd. SE
Ranchers Club $$
1901 University Blvd. NE
Range Cafe - new mexican and american [good]
4200 Wyoming Blvd Ne B2
Robbs Ribbs BBQ
3000 San Pdro Dr Ne Ste C
2321 Carlisle Blvd Ne
Sadies -New Mexican
6230 4th St NW
Scalo - northern Italian $$ [Nob Hill]
3500 Central Ave. SE
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill $$ [Old Town]
2031 Mountain Rd. NW,
Yanni's - mediterranean/greek [Nob Hill/Univ area]
3109 Central Ave Ne
Zinc Wine Bar $$ contemporary [Nob Hill]
3009 Central Ave. NE
Rt. 66 Diner [not my favorite, but has it's fans] [west of Univ. area]
1405 Central Ave. NE