Been in Albuquerque for a few days and thought I would share a few food notes. There's a lot of noise about Los Cuates and the place has won a fair number of awards. We went there yesterday and frankly I don't see the appeal unless you have a family of 12 and want to take them to dinner for less than a C note without a bunch of happy meals. It's basically that Americanized kind of "mexican" food where there are 50 items on the menu but all are some combination of hot tomato gravy, some form of tortilla, meat and cheese. Nothing special. But if you are desparately short on change, by all means.
Giving up on recommendations we went to La Cantina (I think that was the name) in Old Town facing the square. We didn't expect much, but even then we were disappointed. I actually watched my frozen drink sit at the bar melting while we waited more than 15 minutes for a glass of water. The drink wasn't bad, but how hard is it to mix pinapple juice, coconut milk and cheap tequila? After we heard our neighboring table complain AND the tepid soup arrived with clearly distressed brocoli, we bolted.
The story has a happy ending, though. The Indian Pueblo Cultural center has a charming little restaurant where the food is made fresh from scratch with a substantial amount of pride. The green chili stew was firey with a nice assortment of fresh potatos (clean and unpeeled), chilis and corn. My spouse was relieved with a Sandia salad, served with raw zucchini and sunflower seeds. I regret not trying the fry bread because it sure looked good as it landed on other tables.