The Buzz – October 2017

Albuquerque

What’s that, you say? Something could possibly be better than crepes and coffee? Indeed, two locations that serve up myriad iterations of both. But let’s get real here, the thing that truly is better than two spots serving up two of the world’s best things is, well, three spots. And yes, the Westside’s in for such a delightful and decadent early bird’s treat: Breve Crepes and Coffee is opening its third location on the corner of Alameda Boulevard and Ellison Road, right near neighboring Matanza, which opened its doors last month in the former Stumbling Steer space on Ellison Road.

Word has it, Villa Myriam Coffeea local, single-source “family owned coffee producing hacienda rich with history and the love of coffee for three generations,” according to their Facebook page—is opening the doors to its new headquarters at 573 Commercial St. early this month. Their coffee’s available all around town, from La Montañita Co-op to Vernon’s to Standard Diner and beyond. And have you tried their nitro brew? Yum. Head to their Facebook page or check out villamyriam.com.

If coffee and crepes are two of the world’s best things before noon, then pizza, beer and burgers might just be the ultimate culinary treats after the clock strikes 12. And that’s just what Groundstone, The Duke City’s new family friendly dining dig, founded by longtime Albuquerque restaurateur Russ Zeigler, dishes up. Groundstone serves 100-percent grass-fed beef and locally sourced products, and Fano Bread—just a mile down the road—provides the carbs. We can’t wait to check it out. Visit groundstoneabq.com.

Green Jeans Farmery, that cool, innovative indoor-outdoor shopping, dining, hanging dig with its bright container spaces has become a locals’ favorite haunt since its opening over a year ago. Now, just in time for Balloon Fiesta, Green Jeans staple Broken Trail Spirits + Brew (brokentrailspirits.com) is aiming to open up another location, and we have a hunch the new space will be pretty rad, too. Fans of Fork and Fig will know the area: the corner of Menaul and Louisiana boulevards, where The Growing Stage, a children’s theater company, also recently leased a space. The company, which opened in 2003, plans an opening early this month with an open house Oct. 7 from 4 to 7 p.m.

And speaking of burgers and Green Jeans, there’s Rustic Star Burgers, owned by Kelly Adams, whose Rustic on the Green dwells at GJF, too. Rustic Star is taking over the space at Central and Tulane avenues vacated by Pete’s Frites, which recently closed and was also a burger joint. Word on the street has it the new Rustic iteration is set to open its doors early this fall. Rustic Star got its start six years ago as a food truck and moved to Green Jeans in 2015. You can check out Rustic on the Green on Facebook.

After five years of serving up barbecue from the Talking Fountain Kitchen food truck, owners Chris White and Katie Calico are set to open a brick-and-mortar spot in southeast Albuquerque. Their website boldly reads: TFK Café is coming soon! And we’re psyched. They’re moving into the space formerly occupied by Kasey’s at 400 Washington Ave. SE, near Zuni. Check out facebook.com/tfksmokehouse or tfksmokehouse.com for updates

And some (really) big news for fans of beer and food in Albuquerque (you’re reading the Flavor, after all). We bid a fond farewell to one of the Que’s original breweries, Chama River Brewing. If you visited the spot off I-25 or checked out their website recently, you were in for a surprise. The restaurant and brewery, owned by Santa Fe-based Gerald Peters and his Santa Fe Dining Inc.—the parent company for Santa Fe restaurants like Casa Sena, Blue Corn Brewery, Rio Chama Steak House and Maria’s, to name a few—closed its doors late this summer after 12 years in business. According to the restaurant’s website, employees were relocated to Kelly’s, which is still open, as well as to other Santa Fe Fine Dining restaurants in the City Different. In July, SFFD also closed their Central Avenue locations of 35 Degrees North and the Draft Station—the Santa Fe spots are still open. As of press time, we had not officially learned the reason for Chama River’s closing.

Another local institution also recently announced its closure. “It is with heavy hearts that we have to announce the closure of Doughboys Bake Shoppe,” they wrote in a Sept. 12 Facebook post. “We cannot express enough our gratitude to the community for their support.” Doughboy’s, owned by Claudia and Mike Milladge, opened in January at 6300 San Mateo Blvd. The reason for shutting its doors so soon? An alleged name-changing battle with General Mills. Lesson learned: Don’t actually poke that apparently sweet little doughboy in his round little belly. We’ll miss your delicious donuts, cakes and beyond, Doughboy’s.

Happy Anniversary to Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro! In honor of its 15th year, the local institution is celebrating with a month of unique weekly specials. Be sure to head over to the beloved Duke City restaurant for one—or all—of their killer, celebratory deals. Here’s the lineup: Oct. 1-7 features $5 wines, draft and cocktail specials, plus $5 Spinach & Artichoke Dip, and live music is back on Thursday and Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 8-14 brings a flashback menu of signature opening dishes and guests’ favorites from the past 14 years—many with their original pricing. Oct. 5-21, wish the folks at Zinc a “Happy Birthday,” and they’ll treat you to Duck Confit Eggrolls—an award-winning appetizer on the menu since they opened in 2003. The week of Oct. 22-28 brings with it the Retro Tasting Menu, a three-course menu for its original price of only $25…We’ll be darned. Way to go, Zinc, here’s to many more! Zincabq.com.

In September, one of our favorite high-desert oases, Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, celebrated the grand opening of its newly restored dairy buildings. The relocated farm shop now features a new selection of espresso drinks, sandwiches and pastries, and the newly reopened restaurant, dubbed Campo, helmed by Chef Jonathan Perno, is open for business, too. We can’t wait to visit the farm and treat ourselves to Chef’s fresh, farm-to-table dishes. Visit out lospoblanos.com.

On Sept. 20, the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa hosted the Americas finals of its fourth-annual culinary competition, The Good Taste Series. This year’s series brought to New Mexico chefs from the States, Mexico and Canada, and of the 11 participants, all of which exemplified Hyatt’s food philosophy—“Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.”—only two made the cut to The Good Taste Series’ first global contest, which is set to be held in early 2018. Hunter Keels, with Hyatt Regency Atlanta, and Joaquin Estolano, with Andaz West Hollywood, were named the winners of the competition, each winning $2,000. Congratulations to the chefs on their win—we look forward to the global competition!

Ahem, last but not least for the Que: The Before I Die Albuquerque Festival, which runs Oct. 20 to 25, aims to get folks talking about end-of-life issues through discussions, events and art. The event, in its first year, is sponsored by several local companies, as well as Morris Hall, an estate planning law firm based in Phoenix, Ariz. Don’t go before you go to the festival…if you know what I’m saying. But if you do go (to the festival, or heck, for good), Buzz us. We’re curious. After all, we all go sometime…Viva la (antes de morir) Festival.

Santa Fe

A truly fond farewell to Raaga, the delicious Agua Fria Street haunt we’ve loved for the past six years. Owner Paddy Rawal, who served up the restaurant’s final meal on Sept. 23, wrote in a press release, “With deep gratitude and humility I announce that upon the advice of my personal physician regarding my health, I can no longer maintain the pace that Raaga demands.” With autumn now in full swing, we’ll especially miss Raaga’s warming Indian fare and Paddy’s sweet hospitality and humor. Thank goodness he recently released a cookbook, giving us the gift of a little taste of his talent and passion at home in Curry, Korma & Kebab: A Culinary Journey of India. We wish Paddy the very best. Raaga, of course, will be dearly missed.

Santa Fe’s done it again—the City Different’s topped another list. RewardExpert, “a free service that helps travelers fly for cheap by maximizing their miles and points,” according to a press release, recently released its ranking of “2017’s Best American Foodie Towns to help travelers discover new dining experiences in towns across the country.” The report compared towns with populations less than 100,000, widdling them down to the top five foodie destinations across six major U.S. geographical regions. Santa Fe’s ranking: First in the Mountain West. Says the report: “Santa Fe is one of the larger towns RewardExpert analyzed, boasting over 400 restaurants. Santa Fe is known for chefs who create innovative Southwestern fare…” Boo-ya.

“In Santa Fe, maybe more than anywhere else,” Mayor Javier Gonzales says in an Indigenous Peoples Day press release, “Native Americans have left an indelible mark on the culture and history of the people and places of this region. We are proud to be part of a national movement that recognizes the importance of Native culture and history.” Last year, Santa Fe officially designated the second Monday of October Indigenous Peoples Day in honor of the incredible contributions to American, Santa Fe and New Mexico history and culture by Native peoples. Oct. 9 brings a free, daylong celebration to the Santa Fe Plaza, commemorating our Native American community members, friends and neighbors. The City commissioned Jemez Pueblo Artist George Toya to create artwork for the celebration. Event Chair and past Governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque George Rivera says in the press release, “Collaboration, recognition and celebration is the focus of Indigenous Peoples Day. The event provides an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to experience Native culture and expand their knowledge and appreciation of indigenous communities in New Mexico.”

This is pretty much a good-thing collision. On Oct. 18, the Street Food Institute and La Boca join together to co-host an “outstanding in-the-field” dinner, inspired by the flavors of Spain and the Mediterranean, at Green Tractor Farm in La Cienega. Dave Sellers, who’s representing the Street Food Institute and joining La Boca Chef James Campbell Caruso for the dinner, says, The Street Food Institute is “an amazing, roving farm-to-table group,” that’s only been to New Mexico once before. Green Tractor, of course, is one of our favorite local Farms…if you’ve visited the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, you’ve probably also tried, eaten and cooked with their produce. And La Boca, the vision and realization of Chef James, and an eight-time James Beard-Award winner, is a Santa Fe establishment in need of little introduction. Don’t miss this delicious opportunity to see what these two chefs cook up in the beautiful outdoor kitchen on five beautiful acres just outside of town. Visit labocasantafe.com/events.

In September, Local Flavor writer Melyssa Holik showed us what’s what and where’s where when it comes to late-night sips, sups and stuff, and as of last month, we have what might just be the real tonic to tame any lack-of late-night-lounge laments. Winston Greene, whose face you might recognize and whose drinks you’ve probably sipped around town, recently opened his jazz bar and comfort-food haven—open till 3 a.m.—to cure the spirit, inside and out. Winston tells us the exceptional cocktails and the “uniqueness of the experience you’ll have here” are reason enough for a visit to Tonic on the Corner of Water Street and Don Gaspar Avenue (the old Atomic Grill spot). “We put a lot of intent [into] how the three tenants of our business (cocktails, comfort food and jazz) all work together to create an uplifting yet mellow experience. So whether getting off work or out on a date, people will leave feeling fulfilled and happier than when they came in.” Each cocktail, he says, “is a hand-crafted original marrying flavors and color into something you’ve never had before yet feels instantly familiar. Like a wave of warm nostalgia sweeping across your pallet. It’s my hope the beverage program becomes something we’re really known for.”

Those of us who live in or near Eldorado could not be more thrilled to have Renée Fox and Dave Readyhough’s Arable in the hood. The owners of Loyal Hound opened their second spot late in July, with a smaller menu than the Hound’s that “changes a lot more—a lot of it’s based on what we are getting” locally and seasonally,” Renee says, in a chat with the Flav. “We’ve been doing a lot of heirloom tomatoes from Albuquerque and local sweet corn—a lot of fresh food paired with locally sourced protein, Kyzer Farm pork,” and local chicken and beef. Arable’s serving brunch on the weekends, too. And it’s totally worth the beautiful drive out of Santa Fe proper to check out the brunch menu, which Renee says “is really different, really creative breakfast and dinner food, a mix of sweet and savory.” Check out their Facebook page.

Taos

The Taos County Chamber of Commerce holds its third annual Sabor, A Taste Of Taos on historic Taos Plaza Oct. 8, from noon till 4 p.m. Sabor is a delightfully delicious showcase of Taos-area restaurants, including Gutiz, Old Martina’s Hall, The Bavarian, 192 at The Blake, Rhoda’s Restaurant, The Gorge Bar and Grill, The Alley Cantina, Great Noodles, El Monte Sagrado, Common Fire, Sol Food Market, Taos Mesa Brewery and more. The restaurants will offer tastings from their menus and specialty bites created just for the occasion. In store this year is a Dish Judging contest for the Best of Sabor entrée, vegetarian dish and dessert. Nosotros provides the tunes and there’s a kid zone with activities for the youngins, to boot.

by Mia Rose Poris

 


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