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Jul 2, 2009 07:47 AM

First visit to Albuquerque

we are visiting in about 2 weeks and looking forward to our first visit. We have done some research but need some additional advice about local great food. Moderate pricing is best, but open to all.We are staying at Marriot on Louisiana blvd and do not have a car, so we would like to keep it closer by via taxi or walking if possible.
For breakfast Le Peep looks good..any thoughts, any additional places.
Dinner we are considering Chef du Jour, Brasserie Proveance, Duran Central Pharmacy, and have also checked out Zinc, Scalo, Savoy and Seasons.
We have Friday and Sunday night dinner to fill and Saturday, Sunday and Monday breakfasts to fill.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide

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  1. You aren't going to have a car?? Taxi's aren't easy to come by and walking in ABQ from Marriott on Louisiana to Central [where you have quite a few restaurants listed] is really far. Bus is possible, but it can be arduous.

    Chef du Jour - is this Jim White's on Central? If so, it isn't open.
    Brasserie Provence is on Central in Nob Hill, is excellent, their truffle frites are simply to die for, but not within walking distance.!
    Duran Central Pharmacy is a longgggg way, near Old Town.
    Seasons is also in Old Town.
    Scalo and Zinc on Central, in Nob Hill, are not in walking distance.

    Don't know Savoy.

    Le Peep is a national chain, its ok. You can walk there.

    The bests bets for restaurants in walking distance from Marriott are: in ABQ Uptown, Pei Wei Dinner, Buca de Beppo.

    Seriously, I can't imagine visiting ABQ without a car.

    I have a list of my picks:

    Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: DebitNM

      Deb is right: cabs are going to be a bear.

      You can do this, though!

      You can walk down and catch the RapidRide 766 bus that will take you from the Uptown Transit Center (about 1/4 mile S of you on the other side of Louisiana) all along the parts of Central you'll want (including Nob Hill, Old Town, and the University area). Got to the ABQ Ride website and find the data you'll need, including a trip planner. The Rapid Ride is an express bus that only stops about every mile or so but you can grab a transfer to a local 66 bus that will stop every block. There are Rapid Ride stops in Nob Hill, at the University, and in Old Town (as well as Downtown, should you want to see a movie or take the train to Santa Fe for the day).

      You'll be staying right across from Cake Fetish (a cupcake place) on Louisiana. You will be a bit west of one of the Flying Stars on Menaul around Pennsylvania.

      Have fun with it - hope this helps. :-)

      1. re: Erich

        Eric [or is E Rich? -- I always wonder] has given you great tips for using the bus.

        I would pass on Cake Fetish, I was underwhelmed by it.

        What else are you going to be doing while in town? I still can't fathom having to travel strictly on buses to see sites etc. ABQ is really not like most metro areas.

        If you are going to Santa Fe, the Railrunner will get you there except on Sunday.


    2. Within walking distance there are many chains (Macaroni Grill, Pei Wei, Fuddrucker's, Elephant Bar, Calif Pizza Kitchen, Starbucks), but of course we all hope you"ll try the local fare. In ABQ Uptown is Marcello's Steakhouse. I've heard it's good (think expensive steak). There is also a Satellite Coffee next to Pei Wei. It's great for coffee, dessert and some light snacks. Might work for a light breakfast. There's a Garduno's across the street from the Marriot. It's a local Mexican chain. Not my fave by any means, but decent and walkable. Le Peep is fine for convenience. Japanese Kitchen is nearby for sushi or teppen grill.

      All the places you mentioned in your original post are good (Duran's doesn't do anything for me, though). You can walk around Nob Hill and just choose what looks good to you. Zinc, Scalo, La Provence, Nob Hill Bar & Grill... all within a few blocks of each other. Chef Du Jour is very good and is near Old Town. Personally, I would skip Savoy (same ownership as Seasons).

      There'a a little lunch spot not too far from the hotel called the Oak Tree Cafe that is good. It's sort of hidden near the Sheraton.

      Please be aware that you will not be able to hail a cab in this town. You will need to call ahead and arrange to be picked up. The Rapid Ride as Erich described is a good alternative to get to Nob Hill. Any decent restaurant will call a cab for you when you are ready to leave, but a car is the easiest way to get around in ABQ.

      Let us know how you make out!

      3 Replies
      1. re: abqdeb

        Thanks for everyone's advice and comments. We are going to be attending a convention which is at the Marriott but have some free time to explore on our own. Chains not at all interested in except for maybe convience, but we would much rather go to independent and local places after all. We know that everything is not close but we were not sure how spread out the city is. Bus's are perfectly fine and they look like they are easy to navigate, so again cab's don't make a difference to us. If we had more free time we would have rented a car to explore the city, but thats not the case. Just more interested in a few good meals.
        I called chef du jour and they are on vacation until 7/7 and left a message to get back to us. If that works out we will go there Friday 7/17, which leaves dinner on Sunday 7/19, breakfast for Sat-Mon.

        1. re: rf24230

          Grab breakfast Saturday morning at the Frontier on Central- its an institution in ABQ, I cant imagine a trip without it. Its dirt cheap, and always busy, but you will get the most delicious freshly made flour tortillas (they pull them right off the stove and onto your plate) and I love their sweet rolls.

          I have to agree with Debit, we checked out cake fetish and while their cupcake selection included a ton of fun ideas, the cakes themselves were rather... meh.... I'm on WW and after splurging and giving it a try I was left thinking "I wasted my points on that... dang it. "

          1. re: ma_bell_deve

            I also tried "Cupcakeology " on Carlisle, just off Indian School, near I40. Skip it too, same thing. A bit dry, not a fine crumb. Maybe it's the lack of humidity, or the altitude but the cupcakes aren't making the grade.