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What restaurants in Albuquerque are truly good and not just good for Albuquerque?

n
ninrn Mar 19, 2011 01:52 AM

Saw the thread on Farina Pizzeria and agree with most of the comments. While it's a decent place, I think it's definitely just in the great-for-Albuquerque category. Which restaurants in the Abq area would you say are great for any city (or even any mid-sized city)?

-----
Farina Pizzeria
510 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM

  1. sandiasingh Aug 1, 2013 07:49 AM

    Indigo Crow.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sandiasingh
      n
      ninrn Aug 1, 2013 12:51 PM

      Motion seconded.

    2. DebitNM Jul 27, 2013 02:26 PM

      I haven't been on here in awhile. This is a great place where they are doing some very nice Asian foods:

      http://www.streetfoodasia.com/

      1. t
        tfallath Jul 11, 2013 01:03 PM

        I like Budai and have gone there since they opened, but my favorite Chinese restaurant in town is ABC, on Menaul near Eubank. It looks like a dive and is decorated like a cliche Chinese restaurant from the 50's, but they served excellent Cantonese food (the owners are from Hong Kong) with a strong accent on seafood. Very often they serve Dungeness Crab, Lobster and oysters in black bean sauce. They also serve huge plates of seasonal veggies: green beans, mustard greens, bok choy, etc. Be sure to order off the blue (family style) menu, for more authentic Chinese dishes.

        1. f
          freshnlow Nov 9, 2011 01:47 PM

          There are a ton of great places listed below but one that is left out, which in my opinion is definitely the best French in town and probably my overall favorite restaurant in the state, is La Crepe Michel. Amazing atmosphere, great prices, and authentic food that I never get tired of. Seriously, check this place out the next chance you get. http://lacrepemichel.com/

          1. t
            tracyH Nov 9, 2011 12:02 PM

            Oh no!!! That is too bad about La Provence! 2 friends that ate there recently confirmed this downhill thing - Bleh!!
            I need to try P'tit Louis next. I should add I am a fan Chez Axel and Cafe Jean Pierre as well,
            but I will miss La Provence's Coq Au Vin very much...C'est la vie...

            -----
            Cafe Jean Pierre
            Albuquerque, NM, Albuquerque, NM

            1. sandiasingh Sep 28, 2011 12:59 PM

              Has anyone been to La Provence lately? Wow--what a nosedive that place took! Hope I'm not re-visiting a worn-out subject, but I haven't seen it posted.

              9 Replies
              1. re: sandiasingh
                DebitNM Sep 28, 2011 07:15 PM

                OH NO! I haven't been there in a while [Spring], what went wrong?

                1. re: DebitNM
                  Erich Sep 29, 2011 04:25 AM

                  Gee, this couldn't have anything to do with the new ownership? ;-) Thanks for the report, sandiasingh, tho I'm sorry to hear it.

                  1. re: Erich
                    DebitNM Sep 29, 2011 06:18 AM

                    who, what, when??

                    1. re: DebitNM
                      Erich Sep 29, 2011 07:44 AM

                      Claus Hjortkjaer (Le Cafe Miche) took over the kitchen earlier this year, I believe.

                      http://alibi.com/food/37899/The-Retur...

                    2. re: Erich
                      sandiasingh Sep 29, 2011 07:41 AM

                      We were there about a month ago and were broken hearted by the changes. We have been going there every couple of months for several years. Usually lunch, but several dinners as well. Six months or so ago, Chef Klaus appeared (I think this was after the sale by the Scalo group) and the French host from Montreal (Jean? Jacques?) took over the dining room. He was a little OTT in his Frenchness, but very hospitable and good at welcoming guests and somelier duties. A month ago when we went in for lunch, the Frenchman was gone. My favorite, hard-to-find-in-ABQ dish, boudin blanc, was not on the menu, nor was the pate appetizer. When I asked the server about it, she looked at me as if I were an alien. "What is that? We don't have that." In reviewing the menu carefully, I saw that the only French item left was the onion soup. Everything else was burgers and sandwiches. They may even have nachos on the app menu.

                      There was a big sign in the wine room for some kind of Texas wine. On top of all that was the music. I was completely put off. Mind you I am in the music industry so I'm a little sensitive about it, but Buddy Holly, Elvis and WALTER BRENNAN (remember "Old Blue?" are not acceptable in a restaurant called "La Provence." It shows an incredible lack of sophistication by the owner, who I believe is Chef Klaus.

                      I've heard he owned another French-type bistro in the Heights (was it Cafe Paris or something?) which I never went to because it looked seedy to me. I don't know who he is or who he thinks he is, but my advice would be first of all to change the name of the place to "The Route 66 Diner" and get rid of anything French. There's barely anything left anyway.

                      I was so disgusted that I asked the server for a piece of paper and wrote Chef Klaus a note outlining our issues and disappointments and told him we would not return.

                      Too bad, they had something nice going there. Our French friend from Boston even gave it a heads up after two visits. For Albuquerque, it had just enough uniqueness and authenticity, especially with the food, to set it apart from all the mediocrity.

                      1. re: sandiasingh
                        DebitNM Sep 29, 2011 10:54 AM

                        omg, I am crushed. My last meal was supposed to be Truffle Frites from La Provence. D*mn, just plain d*amn.

                        1. re: DebitNM
                          sandiasingh Sep 29, 2011 01:57 PM

                          Looking at their website, I can't tell if the truffle frites are still on the menu (too small for my iPad)' but the lunch menu they have posted doesn't look like the one we saw (from what I can tell by squinting). The reviews are mostly old altho there are a couple of recent good reviews.

                          Wish I had it in me to give them another try, but it was so disappointing that I can't do it. Mind you, what we gad wasn't BAD (burgers?) but I don't need to go to Nob Hill for a good burger, which is what I told Claus.

                          1. re: sandiasingh
                            r
                            rpl Oct 3, 2011 04:33 PM

                            I can report that the Truffle Frites were definitely gone when we visited this restaurant last and saw Claus there (some weeks ago). So much of the prior menu was gone that it was difficult to figure out what to order. I ended up getting Steak Frites. The disappointment was immense, as the frites I was served were overcooked "battered" fries. Crispy, but awful. I felt more than disappointed, I felt insulted. I won't be back.

                            1. re: rpl
                              DebitNM Oct 3, 2011 04:44 PM

                              sigh.....

                2. DebitNM Sep 27, 2011 06:01 AM

                  Any updated input on Desert Fish?? Groupon has a great deal today http://www.groupon.com/r/uu540663

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DebitNM
                    larrymcg Sep 27, 2011 06:37 AM

                    I got the Groupon before 6 AM today.

                    I have now been to Desert Fish three times, and it just keeps getting better. It is #9 on my Top Ten List, and I gave it my Best Newcomer of 2010 award.

                    You can read my latest blog review of DF at http://www.abqtopten.com/blog/2011/08...

                    1. re: larrymcg
                      DebitNM Sep 27, 2011 07:06 AM

                      I already decided to buy the groupon before I posted here; glad I did. I also am glad to see your link, Larry. I didn't know about your blog and will peruse it now. Thanks!

                  2. g
                    greenchilephil Jun 3, 2011 09:47 AM

                    I think another restaurant worth mentioning is Padilla's. I think their chile is on par with Mary and Tito's and is tied for my favorite New Mexican spot in Albuquerque (I could be biased... I used to walk there about once a week). I also really enjoy VietTaste for Vietnamese. Another place worth checking out is Tacos Mex Y Mariscos, a true Mexican restaurant on 4th street in the North Valley. Their Lengua was tender and delicious and their ceviche was refreshing. I think its usually a good sign if you're reasonably certain you're their only customer who ordered in english that day. Also, I think checking out the restaurants Sophia's place, Jo's place and especially Ezra's place. They are all owned by a man named Dennis who has established these restaurants as hidden treasures of the North Valley. Dennis puts a different spin on some traditional dishes, like blackbean and shrimp quesadillas (delicious) and scallop tacos. His Huevos Rancheros with carnitas are some of the best I've ever had. Of all the places I've mentioned, Ezra's is probably the most relevant to this thread: truly good food and great for Albuquerque

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: greenchilephil
                      Erich Jun 3, 2011 10:22 AM

                      I agree on Padilla's . . . and have to try some of the others. :-)

                      1. re: greenchilephil
                        finlero Jun 3, 2011 10:38 AM

                        I went recently to Viet Taste and definitely agree, it's some of the better Vietnamese I've had anywhere.

                        It's still heavily predicated on what you order. My DC and I looked at each other after we'd had a few bites and said "what do you think?". I was ecstatic with mine (spicy noodle bowl with shrimp), she was "meh" with hers (stir fry with shrimp and chicken); we tried each other's and agreed there was a sizable deliciousness gap. Incidentally, the fresh coconut water is outstanding, served along with with slices of fresh coconut in the glass.

                        -----
                        Viet Taste
                        5721 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110

                      2. d
                        donnak Apr 30, 2011 09:14 PM

                        Since I'm a chowhound, not a foodie, I don't eat in expensive restaurants, but there are a few relatively inexpensive places in Abq that are outstanding. Viet Taste on Menaul. Mykonos on Juan Tabo and Eubank (much better than Yannis!). India Palace I'd give a B+ to. And I do love the carne adovada at Los Cuates, although it's just one of many good NM restaurants--Sadie's, Monroes, Eloys--i'm a traditionalist, i guess you can tell! Also gluten intolerant, so that limits where i can eat. Am looking forward to trying Budai, since up til now I haven't found a really great Chinese restaurant here. I like Thai Tip and Orchid Thai, they would be good anywhere--both make everything fresh, so be prepared to wait--both are tiny, family run places. Oh, tried Annapurna this week--ayurvedic vegetarian Indian, on Silver and Yale--very good food, although it's Indian home cooking, not festival food, and to die for mint and lavender iced tea. I'd go back just for that!

                        -----
                        Viet Taste
                        5721 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110

                        Thai Tip
                        1512 Wyoming Blvd NE Ste E, Albuquerque, NM 87112

                        Los Cuates
                        8700 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112

                        Budai
                        6300 San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                        1. y
                          yahooer Apr 28, 2011 08:51 PM

                          We were in Aluquerque a year or two ago and had a most memorable dinner at the Standard Diner. I had one of the specials which may have been duck tacos and it was right up there among the best things I ever ate. We'll be back next week so please tell me if Standard Diner is still good. I didn't see it on anyone's list.

                          -----
                          Standard Diner
                          320 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: yahooer
                            n
                            ninrn Apr 30, 2011 10:00 PM

                            My experience at Standard has been that some things are very good every night, but you never know which ones they're going to be. I guess the specials are usually a good bet, but not always. They used to have a genuinely inspired pastry chef, but whoever that was seems to have left because their desserts have gone down hill and on a couple of evenings they've even said they weren't offering any desserts at all. I'm glad Standard's here, but I don't put it on my GFA list (good for anywhere) because you could never get away with that kind of inconsistency in most other markets.

                          2. larrymcg Apr 28, 2011 10:25 AM

                            For what it's worth, here (in no particular order) is my Hall of Fame. Pick for yourself those that are "Good for Anywhere:"

                            1. Best Green Chile Cheeseburger -- Sparky's (in Hatch) ♥
                            2. Best Stuffed Sopaipillas (Carne Adovada) -- Mary and Tito's; Infinitesimally close runner-up -- Rancho de Chimayó Restauranté
                            3. Best Red Chile -- Mary and Tito's
                            4. Best New Mexico Meal Ever (tie) -- BellaLuca (Truth or Consequences)
                            and Lucia (Albuquerque)
                            5. Best Thai -- Siam Cafe
                            6. Best REAL Mexican -- El Norteño and Los Equipales [tie]
                            7. Best Indian -- Namaste
                            8. Best Bread Pudding -- Barry's Oasis and Lambert's (Taos) [Tie]
                            9. Best Coffee Shop -- Oasis Coffee & Tea (Corrales)
                            10. Best New Mexican Restaurant -- Mary and Tito's
                            11. Best Pizza -- Nicky V's Neighborhood Pizzeria
                            12. Best Chinese -- Budai ♥
                            13. Best Corrales Restaurant -- The Indigo Crow
                            14. Best Seafood Restaurant -- Desert Fish
                            15. Best Cubano -- The Guava Tree
                            16. Best Pasta Dish Ever -- Orvietto at Nicky V's Neighborhood Pizzeria ♥
                            17. Best Middle Eastern Restaurant -- San Pedro Middle East Restaurant

                            -----
                            Indigo Crow Cafe
                            4515 Corrales Road, Corrales, NM 87048

                            Los Equipales
                            4500 Silver Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

                            Barry's Oasis Restaurant
                            4451 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                            Budai
                            6300 San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                            Nicky V's Neighborhood Pizzeria
                            9780 Coors Blvd., Suite A, Albuquerque, NM 87114

                            1. n
                              NVJims Apr 21, 2011 02:11 PM

                              The Artichoke Cafe on old 66 between Downtown and I-25 is quite good.

                              1. p
                                pinoncashew Apr 7, 2011 06:40 PM

                                So much good food in Albuquerque....For starters...New Mexico, classic.
                                Duran's - either location or......my absolute favorite, for the moment, Los Compadres
                                Mexican - I would say Tacos Mexico on Lomas, I always smell like onions, lime, and cilantro after I leave so go only when you have no where to go after. ....don't forget to try our little pupuseria down on bridge.
                                Ok, Vietnamese - Our ultimate favorite is Vietnamese 2000 hands down.....seriously delicious.
                                Pizza - Still love me some Il Vicino and I really enjoy Mario's, their pizza and traditional pasta, and Saggio's, pretty much everything there is super tasty.
                                Mediterranean/Persian - Sahara on Central seriously good

                                Sushi - everyone has their favorite, I don't know I still love Shogun always.
                                Let's see what else, chinese - I really like ko palace at lunch only, not dinner, I don't know I think the dinner prices just do not substantiate it when you can get great combos at lunch.
                                Greek - I love Gyros and Yanni's, both have different atmospheres and prices ranges from the other.
                                Surpisingly good I thought was Jinja, really enjoyed it. Is that a local restaurant? I don't know just assumed it was for some reason.
                                I would have to agree with the Grove, love the proscuitto, asparagus, yummy bread and cheese and poached eggs dish....extra proscuitto please.
                                I think that people really look down on the food in Albuquerque but I always crave it when I am away, we have an amazing non-pretentious culture here, people who work hard and eat hard! All types of food are really amazing here not just our chile alone....hope you guys agree too.

                                -----
                                Il Vicino
                                321 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

                                Saggios
                                107 Cornell Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

                                Los Compadres Restaurant
                                424 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105

                                Jinja
                                510 N Guadalupe St Ste P, Santa Fe, NM 87501

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: pinoncashew
                                  n
                                  ninrn Apr 8, 2011 01:47 PM

                                  Thanks, pinoncashew, what's good at Los Compadres?

                                  -----
                                  Los Compadres Restaurant
                                  424 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105

                                  1. re: ninrn
                                    p
                                    pinoncashew Apr 10, 2011 08:04 AM

                                    Their red and green is equally tasty and not overly spicy, I'd say it's perfect. I love their enchiladas with red, their chile rellenos are delicious, like you would have in mom's kitchen, and their steak and eggs is served la plancha style it is yummy too with eggs over medium, a great breakfast or lunch place......service is well enough to get me the great food....but I'm not blogging about service in this post so I'll just focus on the food...hope you like it, let us know..

                                2. t
                                  tracyH Apr 4, 2011 08:52 PM

                                  I agree with The Grove, Bahn Mi Coda, Torino's, El Modelo and Giovanni's being great. I am not a fan of Budai ...
                                  Hm, what can I think to add...we really love Prairie Star but it is in Bernalillo. The Guave Tree Cafe is amazing. We also frequent Brasserie La Provence and I am always impressed with the food. I wish I had more to add but I am happy that things have changed since we moved here 9 years ago, there seems to be more quality and competition out there =)

                                  -----
                                  Prairie Star Restaurant
                                  288 Prairie Star Rd, Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 87004

                                  Brasserie La Provence
                                  3001 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

                                  Budai
                                  6300 San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: tracyH
                                    DebitNM Apr 5, 2011 07:11 AM

                                    Not familiar with Guava Tree Cafe - where is it and what do they serve? Thanks.
                                    {BTW - my last meal will be the truffle fries from La Provence ! :o) }

                                    1. re: DebitNM
                                      t
                                      tracyH Apr 8, 2011 11:50 AM

                                      They serve Latin American food - my favorite thing on the menu is the Cubano, but everything is good =)

                                  2. sunshine842 Mar 22, 2011 12:28 AM

                                    don't know if they're still there, but I was taken to Zinc for a business dinner a few years ago. I'd have been delighted to have been served that meal in any city.

                                    1. Erich Mar 19, 2011 09:38 AM

                                      What a wonderful thread topic!

                                      I'm sure I'll think of more, but just off the top of my head, I feel that these fit the bill:

                                      Mary & Tito's Cafe - world class red chile and carne adovada
                                      Budai - wonderful Taiwanese; delightful hostess
                                      Torinos - wonderful lunch; wonderful owners
                                      Antiquity - great service; Julia-Child-circa-'63 food
                                      Savoy (I like it somewhat better than Zinc and Seasons - go figure) - great service, food, drinks
                                      Mac's La Sierra Coffee Shop - great cheap food, great service
                                      India Kitchen - consistently as good as anything I ever had on Devon Ave.
                                      Mykonos - specials are generally outstanding, particularly when the old lady is in the kitchen
                                      Giovanni's - when Rosario is there, the best NY pizza I've had west of Jersey
                                      Dog House Drive-In - red chile footlongs
                                      Little Red Hamburger Hut - OCD owners make for SUPERB red/green burgers/fries
                                      Duran's Pharmacy - good red; delightfully sassy waitresses
                                      Taqueria Mexico - the food almost makes up for the attendant hassles
                                      Restaurante El Alex - birria - never had any as delicious as this
                                      El Modelo - delicious, don't tell me what's in it

                                      (I note that Albuquerque has some truly world-class Vietnamese, but I am completely out of touch as I don't think I've been to any of these restaurants in over five years - I used to like Huang Thao, but that was in the early '90s.)

                                      Please understand that these I've listed have different things that make them great - at least some of the food is solidly very good at all of them though I'm not claiming that it all is (e.g., I have never ordered a burger at Dog House and anyone who expects a world-class steak at Mac's deserves what he gets), but the service and environment definitely vary. I unhesitatingly bring people from all over (including food snobs from the Big City) to these places and have never been let down.

                                      Again, my compliments on a superb thread idea! While I believe it fairly cries out for a companion negative topic, such would probably be too divisive.

                                      -----
                                      India Kitchen Restaurant
                                      6910 Montgomery Blvd NE Ste D, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                                      Mac's La Sierra Coffee Shop
                                      6217 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87105

                                      Little Red Hamburger Hut
                                      Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM 87104

                                      Budai
                                      6300 San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: Erich
                                        Erich Mar 19, 2011 05:22 PM

                                        I just want to note that I did NOT copy finlero's list or even see it until just now - he posted before me, but I was working on my post for quite a while.

                                        That said, I think it's interesting that we had similar thoughts about the Vietnamese.

                                        1. re: Erich
                                          finlero Mar 19, 2011 10:33 PM

                                          Great minds.

                                          1. re: finlero
                                            j
                                            jjdot Mar 21, 2011 10:41 AM

                                            Casa Vieja

                                            Nobody has mentioned Jennifer James yet--i've never been but it seems to get a lot of praise.

                                            -----
                                            Casa Vieja
                                            4541 Corrales RD, Corrales, NM 87048

                                            1. re: jjdot
                                              finlero Mar 21, 2011 11:28 AM

                                              Just one hound's opinion, but I personally think Jennifer James 101 epitomizes 'good for ABQ' but not 'truly good'. The ingredients are fresh and high quality, the recipes are modern, the technique is solid, (the prices are high), but in a national arena, this place is totally missing the wow factor.

                                              I'm pleased it exists in ABQ, I hope NM gets tons more places with similar culinary playbooks, but I think JJ101 is really lucky it doesn't have stiffer local competition.

                                              -----
                                              Jennifer James 101
                                              4615 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110

                                              1. re: finlero
                                                n
                                                ninrn Mar 21, 2011 11:31 PM

                                                What a coincidence, I was just going to ask what you all think of Jennifer James 101 and Casa Vieja, and here are jjdot and finlero's posts. I've never been to JJ101, but was not wowed by Graze.

                                                Two I think I would add to the good-for-anywhere list:

                                                Huong Thao, which Erich mentions, and, though it's not quite a restaurant, La Crepe Parisienne. Their croissants and breads like the multi-grain ciabatta are amazing and could probably hold their own in NYC, if not Paris.

                                                -----
                                                Casa Vieja
                                                4541 Corrales RD, Corrales, NM 87048

                                                Jennifer James 101
                                                4615 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110

                                                1. re: ninrn
                                                  Erich Mar 22, 2011 06:52 AM

                                                  BTW, James Beard finalists for best chef SW were announced this a.m. - JJ didn't make the cut. WTG on making the semifinalists, tho.

                                                2. re: finlero
                                                  d
                                                  donnak Apr 30, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                  Yeah, I did Jennifer James once, the tapas place--one excellent dish, two that were ok but not great. Disappointing.

                                          2. re: Erich
                                            b
                                            bruce3404 Apr 1, 2011 09:37 AM

                                            Glad to see El Modelo finally showing up on a Chowhound post. In three visits to ALB over the years, the only recommendation I could draw out of friends and locals was Sadie's. I kept thinking that I must be missing something, but a third visit this past week confirmed that this is merely average NM Mex (though the chips and salsa are very good). Yesterday, I found El Modelo and my faith in ALB New Mex Mex was restored. The place is a bit of a dive in the sort of area where they film the underside of ALB in Breaking Bad, but it's far from unsafe. "Seating" is picnic tables outside and plastic combo spoon/forks. Only open until 7PM, but delicious, real and cheap. 50 or so patrons, only three of us Anglos. What more need I say?

                                            1. re: bruce3404
                                              Erich Apr 2, 2011 04:51 PM

                                              It's more Mexican than New Mexican, though.

                                            2. re: Erich
                                              n
                                              ninrn Apr 8, 2011 01:45 PM

                                              Hey Erich, inspired by your comments, I took my parents to Savoy for lunch yesterday and it was great. Good food, good bread, nice atmosphere, and, most surprisingly, priced about the same as Flying Star at lunchtime. I had dinner there shortly after it opened and it was fine, but somehow I never went back. Thanks for the reminder.

                                              1. re: ninrn
                                                Erich Apr 19, 2011 01:10 PM

                                                Just saw this post - glad to hear it! We really blew it with friends this past weekend and did NOT leave a restaurant-that-will-not-be-named in favor of Savoy. (When it became apparent that things were awry, we thought about abandoning the first restaurant and heading to Savoy. Alas, we did not. We still had fun with our friends, but we would have had a nicer meal at Savoy.)

                                            3. finlero Mar 19, 2011 09:08 AM

                                              For what it's worth, although there aren't that many non-NM-style places in ABQ that are the very best of their kind I've had anywhere, I've been steadily impressed that in terms of bang for your buck, ABQ is a great town for chow. The number of ABQ places that can pull off, say, a B or B+ rendition of a cuisine when grading on a tough, chowish curve, but at much lower prices than San Fran or NYC, is really impressive.

                                              Places I think are truly good for anywhere:

                                              * The Grove - coast-style cafe, breakfast and lunch, probably the best espresso I've found anywhere in the Southwest. And I'm a total sucker for their pressed aged salami sandwich.
                                              * Budai - excellent Chinese and Taiwanese, with the xao long bao dumplings being a rarity in any city.
                                              * Banh Mi Coda - canonical renditions of banh mi, since I discovered Coda I've stopped bothering to get my fix when I'm back in Boston.
                                              * Giovanni's Pizza - maybe not quite as good as you'll find at a handful of spots in Brooklyn, but I think this place's NY-style pizza stacks up impressively well against most of the other pie I've had in the country.
                                              * [This space reserved for a full-service Vietnamese place. I haven't discovered my go-to yet, but considering there are approximately 3 billion Vietnamese restaurants around Central and Louisiana, there has to be a great one.]
                                              * NM-style places - take your pick, too many to name. The place I still think gets overlooked is Taco Cabana, whose NM branches (especially the two on San Mateo and Montgomery) are head and shoulders above the rest of the chain thanks to their amazing homemade small flour tortillas and vats of warm green chile.
                                              * And a few upscale places up in Santa Fe, weirdly all on the same little street, deserve accolades for being both national-caliber-good and well worth a periodic drive from ABQ - Shohko Cafe, Trattoria Nostrani, and arguably Shibumi Ramen, the new ramenya by the owner of Nostrani.

                                              -----
                                              Trattoria Nostrani
                                              304 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

                                              Shohko Cafe
                                              321 Johnson St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

                                              Budai
                                              6300 San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: finlero
                                                n
                                                ninrn Apr 8, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                Have you tried Desert Fish yet? I went once and think it has the potential to be a part of this list. I didn't order all that well, but other stuff looked fabulous and my sister nominates it for a place here. Would be interested in knowing what you, Erich and others think?

                                                1. re: ninrn
                                                  DebitNM Apr 8, 2011 04:35 PM

                                                  Where is Desert Fish located - never heard of it.

                                                  1. re: DebitNM
                                                    Erich Apr 9, 2011 07:02 AM

                                                    Nob Hill-ish. Ninrn, everyone I know who's tried it has raved about Desert Fish. I don't care for seafood, though, so I've not gone. :-)

                                                  2. re: ninrn
                                                    DebitNM Jul 27, 2013 02:26 PM

                                                    Closed....

                                                  3. re: finlero
                                                    larrymcg Apr 28, 2011 10:15 AM

                                                    For Vietnamese, I consider Kim Long on and Pho #1, both on San Pedro, to be the tops.

                                                    -----
                                                    Pho #1
                                                    414 San Pedro Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

                                                    1. re: larrymcg
                                                      k
                                                      kbengler Jul 25, 2012 04:07 PM

                                                      I second the nod for Kim Long on San Pedro. For Vietnamese...

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