Albuquerque Trip Report
- george osner
We went to the Balloon Fiest this year for the first time. From a ballooning point of view, the weather was highly uncooperative; we only got to fly once in the 6 days we were there due to rain and wind.
On the advice of chowhounds found elsewhere on this board, we hunted up Frontier one day at lunch, and found it funky and good. Truly ambience-free! The food was great and inexpensive. The paper hats on the help were entertaining. The counter help was friendly despite the long lines.
One evenig we went with local (recent transplants from CA) friends. We went to Sadies, a huge place that set my chow-sensors tingling telling me to go away. They announced a 50-min wait and handed us a pager (typical of the big places here). Erica said she'd heard of another place nearby and we handed her the cell phone--they had room for us immediately, we walked out the front door and could see it from where we stood.
Fajitaville, on 4th just so. of Osuna, is one of those places I love to find--a dive to all appearances, with great food and friendly ambiance. As you'd guess from the name, it has a parrothead character, with an outside dining area under a corrugated steel cover (too cold that eve. to use), and a very laid-back staff.
We started with chips (fresh and excellent) and a salsa sampler--Salsa Fresca, green chile tomatillo, charred tomato chipotle, apple jicama, pineapple, mango.
I had a fish taco with the chipotle salsa, Elise had a special seafood platter with scallops and the apple jicama salsa (with liberal use of cilantro). Erica had grilled vgetable fajitas, Chris went for the chicken. Everything was completely delicious, it was the kind of place where conversations mingle, and the total cost with tip for dinner & beers for 4 was just over $40. How could you ask for more than that? One restaurant guide listed this as "Mexican." It's not, nor is it traditional New Mexican, so don't expect that. It's modern southwestern, and very good.