Everyone’s got a bucket list, right? Are one of the 100 Things to Do in Albuquerque Before You Die on yours? Local writer Ashley Biggers’ latest book comes out May 15, and she’s got a series of book signings in the Duke City this month. Albuquerque may be known for Route 66, Breaking Bad and its famous green chile, but there’s much more to know—and love—about our lively Southwestern city. Whether you’re a native looking to mark another local experience or an out-of-towner in search of a few vacation ideas, let 100 Things to Do in Albuquerque Before You Die be your guide. The book celebrates the top ways to (re)discover the city—from a trip 4,000 feet up an aerial tramway to a public art walk and a delicious meal afterwards. This guide includes places to hike, bike and paddle, and where to dine on dishes prepared by the city’s top chefs. Visit ashleymbiggers.com/events for details and to purchase the book.
Why does anyone move? Joe S. Sausage, he of the delicious meats, meatballs and pierogi, has moved to the up-and-coming Wells Park neighborhood. Specifically to 1900 Fourth Street, just a block north of Tractor Brewing Company. “I needed to be in a more commercial area, and this area has all kinds of creators, metal workers, hot rod builders, breweries and creative folks,” he says. “There’s so much art and creativity in the area, and the time was right.” The fully functional kitchen will allow Joe to train apprentices in sausage making, offer smoked sausage Saturdays and better coordinate his May 31 beer and sausage pairing at Marble Brewery to close out Albuquerque Beer Week. The Joe S. Sausage food truck will continue to make special event appearances around town, too. Follow on Facebook for the latest.
Central Avenue between Old Town and Downtown is also bustling, welcoming another new restaurant, one with a familiar face at the helm. Owners Ken and Debi Faber are opening Café Laurel at 15th and Central. Ken’s mom ran Christopher’s in Old Town in the 1970s and 80s and he says the famous chocolate layer cake and Old Town Soup will be on the menu, along with breakfast and lunch favorites and a plethora of coffee drinks. Café Laurel joins The Draft Station, Vinaigrette, Duran’s and Five Star Burgers in this booming area.
May 16 is the anticipated opening date of The Ivy Tea Room in Los Ranchos (7015 Fourth Street). Amanda Aragon has been prepping the space with an array of themed rooms: Alice in Wonderland, Hocus Pocus and The Great Gatsby. She’s a longtime English tea tradition maven and is ready to strut her stuff. The menu will include the traditional tea sandwiches, scones and sweets on a three-tiered tray. Watch its Facebook page for hours of operation.
Moms love tea, it’s a fact. So take yours to The Fragrant Leaf in Nob Hill for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea on Sunday, May 10, with two seatings, at 1 and 4 p.m. The event will feature threecourses of savories and sweets, including chilled asparagus soup with lime crème fraîche, chicken and tarragon-shallot tea sandwiches, lavender scones with orange butter, jasmine tea and lemon cake with edible flowers and rose bouquet chocolate truffles. Guests will also be served two kinds of specialty loose-leaf tea selected to complement the food. Seating is limited, so visit thefragrantleaf.com or call 505.255.0522.
Welcome to the neighborhood, Nob Hill’s Empire Board Game Library. Owner Rory Veronda, a board game enthusiast, has launched a new board game library and cafe in Nob Hill, following the trend in other cities. With more than 600 board games from the familiar to the obscure, patrons can play, have coffee and snacks and buy games. Veronda’s location on Central near Amherst is prime for both visitors and Nob Hill dwellers looking for a place to commune. Check its Facebook page for hours of operation.
This year’s 42nd annual Albuquerque Garden Tour will take place in Four Hills, Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour features 14 unique residential gardens with something for everyone, from small patio gardens to large estates. Four Hills is one of the loveliest neighborhoods in the city, surrounded by open spaces. The Council of Albuquerque Garden Clubs consists of 16 member organizations and has been organizing these garden tours for 42 years, each year highlighting a distinct neighborhood. The Garden Tour fundraiser supports the Garden Center at Los Altos Park and an educational outreach program for the people of Albuquerque to see excellent gardens and obtain ideas for their own landscapes.The beautiful demonstration gardens at the Garden Center are open to the public from mid April to mid October. Got to albuquerquegardencenter.org for ticket info.
The New Mexico Philharmonic returns to the ABQ BioPark Zoo for three evening concerts in May. The first is Saturday, May 9, at 8 p.m., bringing the music of Hollywood Heroes and Villains to the Amphitheater stage. Celebrate Hollywood’s biggest, best, and baddest from Superman to The Godfather, Game of Thrones to Gladiator, Star Wars to Phantom of the Opera, and many more! Pops conductor Stuart Chafetz conducts your NMPhil in a night of musical movie magic for the whole family. Then on May 16, it’s Gershwin: Crazy for You!, featuring pianist Logan Skelton, and Memorial Day weekend salutes the troops on Saturday, May 23. Ticket holders can also purchase a gourmet picnic basket (or bring your own goodies) at nmphil.org.
Kudos to Chef Patrick Gharrity of La Casa Sena. He’s participated in the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership’s first-ever Development Day in April, a Department of State and James Beard Foundation-hosted event at Blair House, the President’s guesthouse in Washington, D.C. The La Casa Sena chocolate soup recipe was also selected for the cookbook that was published for the partnership. Nice work, chef!
Chef Gharrity will be joined by Angel Estrada of Midtown Bistro, Martin Rios of Restaurant Martin and Fernando Ruiz from Santacaféfor Communities In Schools of New Mexico at Santa Fe’s gala cook-off event, where they’ll pair with students to prepare dishes May 7 at Capital High School. The program aims to engage parents and students in making culinary arts a career. More at cisnm.org.
Have you tasted Taberna’s new menu? The geniuses at this James Campbell Caruso restaurant have added to the great culinary landscape of Santa Fe with a transformation into Nuevo Latino cuisine, a fresh, modern approach to cooking the New World flavors of the Americas. The cuisine borrows ideas and ingredients from the diverse and delicious Latino cultures of North, South and Central Americas. Chef/owner Caruso teamed up with former head chef Kiko Rodriguez, a native of Vera Cruz, Mexico, for a fresh, Latino style. Now executive chef at Taberna, Rodriguez’s nuevo Latino tapas and large plates will delight. Chef James will be focusing his talents and energy on La Boca with a new menu launching soon as well. We can’t wait to try them both!
Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe announces new Restaurant Estevan, featuring locally sourced Northern New Mexico cuisine. Chef Estevan Garcia opens his eponymous restaurant early May, featuring authentic Chimayo chile, local goat cheese, lamb and chicken, as well as cocktails designed by local distillery Santa Fe Spirits and locally brewed craft beers and wines. Garcia is a native New Mexican and a recognized originator of southwest regional cuisine, noted in major publications such as Gourmet, Bon Appetit and the New York Times. Congrats Chef!
Verde Juice Company opened its second location inside Collected Works Bookstore last month. The cold-pressed juice company’s expansion to a second location means fresh, healthy juice options in the downtown area, serving locals and tourists looking for that perfect Santa Fe something. “Opening a small counter inside Collected Works is a perfect fit for us. Healthy raw juice is the new coffee break, a delicious way to get a nutrition-packed snack or meal replacement on the go, or while browsing in the book store,” said owner Kelly Egolf. Speaking from personal experience, the juices are delish.
Jamie Lenfestey, executive director of Heath Concerts for the past four years, has joined Albuquerque’s presenter of world, eclectic and popular music and events, AMP Concerts, run by Neal Copperman. Lenfesty, now AMP’s director of operations in Santa Fe, will continue to book and produce concerts and events in the City Different under the auspices of AMP Concerts. Says Jamie, “I am proud of what we did for Santa Fe while I was there and I wish them well as they focus their energy on the exciting new HeathSUN project to solarize Santa Fe. I am extremely excited to be joining forces with my friend Neal and look forward to working together to grow AMP and New Mexico’s concert scene.”
Besides great exhibits, the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors has something for everyone. Bring the family, bring your friends or just come by yourself on Saturday, May 23, for Harvey Girls Day, as declared by Governor Susana Martinez. In the girls’ honor, the Palace Press is creating commemorative placemats, using a woodblock carved by artist Willard Clark for La Fonda Hotel. Pick one up at the front desk (free while supplies last), then stay to see Setting The Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy. Check nmhistorymuseum.org for details, including seven-days-a-week summer hours beginning May 1.
Gardening season is in full bloom at Modern General. Erin Wade, owner of both Vinaigrette and Modern General, started Sunday Afternoons at Modern General, a monthly series starting in May with topics spearheaded by experts, artisans and other inspired individuals looking to share their unique passions and visions with Santa Fe. Due to space limitations, demos are reserved first come, first served at bit.ly/1GVwGBP.
Congratulations to local author Deborah Madison for The Greens Cookbook, just awarded a culinary classics award at the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Considered the gold standard among cookbook awards, IACP’s Cookbook Awards have been presented for more than 25 years to promote quality and creativity in writing and publishing and to expand the public’s awareness of culinary literature. Nice job, Ms. Madison!
May 1 marked the opening of the Violet Crown cinema, restaurant and bar at the Santa Fe Railyard. Part movie house, part restaurant, the Violet Crown shows arthouse, independent, regional and Hollywood studio films, featuring smaller, more intimate auditoriums, reserved stadium seating and state-of-the-art projection and sound. The restaurant touts “chef-prepared entrees with an emphasis on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients,” 30 rotating draft beers and six wines on tap. Dinner and a movie anyone?
Every spring, modern dancer/choreographer Julie Brette Adams returns to the Santa Fe Playhouse with a performance of evocative and contrasting works. This year, with One Woman Dancing, thecontrast takes on new meaning with her special guest Christopher Bowen, a native Santa Fean. Together they will premiere l’Ange, inspired by images from Gustav Klimt paintings and angelic visitations. Tickets for the May 8 through 10 performances at 505.986.1801.
Theater Grottesco creates performance that is visual, explosive and full of surprise, juxtaposing classical theatrical styles with a daring, poetic research of culture and imagination. The Moment of YES!is a theatrical event about communication, creating common culture, the many propositions we receive each day and the humor and humanity of the journey. It is dance, theater, music and twists on ancient theatrical styles woven together into a unique theatrical experience, relishing complicity and tracing the cracks that can grow into their own monsters. Tickets at theatergrottesco.org or call 505.474.8400.
It’s official! Gutiz is expanding! Construction began in March and continues through May. The grand re-opening is scheduled for June. We can’t wait to enjoy the (already) delicious cuisine of owners Jennifer Peterson and Randy Morris and Chef Erica Miller for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Watch its Facebook page for more details.
Taos has gorgeous annual lilac offerings—along ancient acequias (irrigation networks crisscrossing the region), hugging adobe walls and lining roadways. In celebration of these heritage and contemporary blooms, Taos’ third annual Lilac Festival is held the last two weeks in May. Groups participating include Los Jardineros, Ace Hardware, Petree’s,the Taos Arts & Culture District, La Posada Inn,the Taos Chamber of Commerce and many others. Updates at taoslilacfestival.com.
Story by Kelly Koepke