I recently returned from the annual trip my wife and I
make there to run a music workshop. I always eat well
when we are there and would like to share a bit.
The Monte Vista Fire House is a very good restaurant
serving what I like to refer to as "television
cooking". That is cooking such as is done by the chefs
on the cooking programs on TV. Good tasting and very
attractively prepared. The prices are higher than last
year, but still somewhat cheaper than in Philadelphia,
for comparable food.
The Scalo Italian restaurant in the Nob Hill section
serves some of the best Italian food that I have had
outside of Italy. I guess you could call it northern.
Again, the taste is excellent and it is beautifully
presented. Pastas run under $10. One visit I had
there most expensive special of the evening, a grilled
tuna on a bed of soft polenta, with grilled asparagus
and a blueberry compote. I know that the dish sounds
like a collection of all sorts of trendy things, but it
was a treat. It cost only $17.95, and was worth every
Someplace entirely different is "El Bandito" on Central
Avenue (Route 66), just west of Girard. It is a simple
Mexican place -- simple, cheap, good and authentic.
The style of cooking is that of Mexico City. They have
wonderful beverages -- horchata and aguas frescas.
They latter are made with water, sugar and fresh fruit.
The flavors include sandia (watermelon), melon,
strawberry and alfalfa(!).
I ate at a few Vietnamese places, including Cali
Noodle, Vietnam and one whose name I have misplaced.
The last (without a name) was the best. In fact it was
much better than I am used to in Philadelphia.
Of course, one can't forget the Frontier. A unique ABQ
institution. You have to visit there at least once.
It is at the corner of Central and Stanford, right
across from UNM. Open 24 hours. Truly where the elite
meet to eat.
A large dinner we gave in connection with the workshop
at the Quarters on Yale was disappointing. Their BBQ
just didn't seem up to par. Much better BBQ is to be
found at Rudy's, on Carlisle, just north of I-40.
Why not let us know what your favorites are.