Tuesday, August 2, 2011

There are over 5000 restaurants in Dallas (probably)...

I think we have only eaten at 6!

As many of you know, I have left my beloved Albuquerque, for bigger and brighter things in Fort Worth, Texas. I was promoted at my current corporate job to be an analyst, and M began a new job all together as an Item Manager for a huge aerospace company.

Currently our living situation is less than we desire. Being cramped up together in a small hotel room for a few weeks can bring out the best and worst of anyone, and we are sick of eating out. Sick of it! I know that there are a ton of place out there, but right now they're a little out of reach. This city is so big and so so hot (no lie - 112 degrees in the car after work), that driving around after work is the last thing that we want to do. So, we're waiting to uncover the delectable dining establishments of the greater Dallas Fort Worth metroplex until we get into our apartment, which thankfully will be ready this week and our home goods will be delivered the following week.
Crazy right?

In the meantime, we grilled a ton of chicken (in 105 degree 60% humidity) and are slowly dining on that and hot and cold sandwiches. Thank goodness I got M a Cuisinart Griddler Gourmet for Christmas last year. 

Reviews are coming on those few restaurants that I have been to, check back later!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: La Quiche Parisienne Bistro - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Chuck has a thing for motorcycles and french food. He shares these passions with Jon Pierre of Cafe Jon Pierre. Through this friendship, Chuck met the owner of La Quiche Parisienne Bistro (who's name escapes me right now). Of course, we had to visit! We went on a Friday; early - around 11. This little gem is located in the the heart of downtown Albuquerque, on Copper and 4th.

They are famous for fresh baked pastries that are made every morning beginning at 3 am. There is an offering of tarts, bread, eclairs, croissants, etc., and to grab one of these delectable delights one must get here early. When we arrived, there was only a small assortment available. Meredith snagged 4 of the 5 fruit tarts that were left, and a gentleman waiting in line behind her left in a tizzy. "C'est la vie," as the French would say or more specifically the French lady at the counter.

In addition to the wonderful pastries, breakfast and lunch are also served. Breakfast is only served from 7:00am until 10:00am, and one can chose from several different omelets or a croissant sandwich. For lunch, there is a nice variety of quiches and hot or cold sandwiches to chose from. The day we visited, we all opted for sandwiches.
Meredith had a sandwich combo with a cold Paris sandwich - cracker pepper, turkey, muentster cheese, cucumbers, avocado, tomato, lettuce, mayo, on a half baguette - and a cup of tomato soup. She said that the sandwich was great, but the soup was just ok; to her, it wasn't very flavorful and was not as thick as she would have preferred.  
I had the hot Provencal sandwich - chicken breast, pesto basil, caesar dressing, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, lettuce, tomato, on foccacia bread - with chips. I think I finished the whole sandwich within seconds. The chicken was so moist, and it had the perfect amount of pesto. The bread was toasted brilliantly to have a crunchy outside, but soft inside.
Chuck ordered the hot Frenchy - roast beef, provolone cheese, horseradish mustard on a baguette, and served with au jus. This was my second choice, and I wish I would've ordered it instead. It looked amazing, and like me Chuck ate it in about a minute. He didn't share, but bragged about how good it was.

The meal was fantastic, albeit a bit pricey. I didn't mind though. Before I left, I hit up up the almost barren pastry shelves to get a lemon tart, a baguette, a couple of mini croissants, and a chocolate croissant with me.
My expanding waistline was not pleased, however my taste buds were!

La Quiche Parisienne Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: Guava Tree Cafe - Albuquerque, New Mexico

After tasting the flavors at Havana Restaurant, we here at the lunch club have been mildly obsessed with Cuban sandwiches. So when I found Guava Tree Cafe on UrbanSpoon, there was no way I was going to pass it up. 

Walking into the Guava Tree gave me a feeling of what I imagine walking into a sandwich shop in Miami would feel like. The brightly colored restaurant is small, yet quaint. The menu was written on a chalkboard. Be forewarned there are only a couple of people working here, including the chef, therefore the service, while friendly, may be slow. It certainly was on the day that Meredith and I visited and we were kind of shocked as there were only a few other patrons. We decided to bask in the unusually warm day and we sat outside. 
For starters we both ordered a cup the Ajiaco, which is traditional Colombian Chicken, Corn and Potato chowder, with authentic guasca herbs and served with side cream, capers, avocado and shredded chicken. The saltiness of the capers and the oily texture of the avocado are, in my opinion, what make the chowder so great. A definite must try.  The serving size was just enough to wet our appetite. 
Meredith bit right into her sandwich when it appeared at the table; I don't blame her. She ordered the Cuban, and was not disappointed by the suckling pork that was encompassed by pressed flat bread. The Swiss cheese was melted fabulously into each and every crevasse.
I ordered the el Guava Pollito sandwich with shredded Chicken Breast, Swiss Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Greens and Tomatoes. I'd have to say I like Meredith's sandwich better than my own, but it was still pretty tasty.

I ordered Chuck a Arepa Pabellon with shredded beef with black beans, sweet plantains and fresco cheese, wrapped in an arepa to go. I didn't get a picture, but he said that it was pretty good. 

The prices are reasonable, the service is good, and the food is good. I'd recommend this restaurant, so go check it out!

Guava Tree Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Lupe's Antojitos Mexican Food - Albuquerque, New Mexico

By now, you all know that I have a soft spot for burgers and tacos. I was totally on board to try Lupe's Antojitos Mexican Food when suggested by Meredith's husband, Matt. I've seen this place a thousand times, when driving through the International District, and always took note that there was never a shortage of cars in the parking lot.

We visited the restaurant around 11:15am on a Friday. There were a few diners already there, but we were greeted and seated right away. There were telenovelas playing on the tv's in the background, I loved it even though I didn't understand what the plot was.

Right away, chips and chile sauces were brought out to us. At first I was hesitant to try them...I had a brief OCD moment thinking about squirting the sauce out from a bottle that looked like it had been around the block awhile. The moment only lasted a split second though and as I watched Matt and Meredith dig in, I did too. I preferred the green chile sauce. I could taste the lime and cilantro, and it wasn't too spicey. I tried the red sauce too, and thought it was a little bland. However that could just be my strong dislike of red chile talking.I know, I know...I just don't like it! 
For my entree, I ordered a plate of chicken tacos. It came with refried beans and rice. I also ordered a  carne asada street taco. The chicken tacos were ok, but the real gem of the meal was that street taco. It was delicious! I loved how it came with lemon, instead of lime. I actually ordered another one after I finished the first. The refried beans were really good too! They were mashed perfectly, and not all lumpy. The rice was just ok. Just like red chile, it's not one on my favorite things. I'm not a real picky eater, so it's kind of weird that that the 2 things that I really don't like are New Mexico staples!
Matt ordered chicken enchiladas with red sauce. Like my taco plate, the came with beans and rice. I didn't try the enchiladas, but they looked delicious all smothered in queso fresco.
Meredith ordered a fish taco, and a side of rice. She mentioned that the taco was just ok, and nothing spectacular. I shared my carne asada street taco with her and it was her clear favorite.

All in all, it was a good lunch. I'd go back for those street tacos! The prices were pretty reasonable, I ate for around $10 before tip. The restaurant was clean and the service was great. There is not a website, so here are the details:

Lupe's Antojitos Mexican Food - Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 255-4082
8302 Zuni Rd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108

Matt was an honorary lunch club member for the day. He made a great suggestion, and we're looking forward to him joining us again someday. Chuck was not in attendance because he has a new funky work schedule that is ruining everything! Just kidding, he was able to join us for a recent visit to a downtown french eatery that I'll be writing about soon! 

Lupe's Antojitos and Mexican Food on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Cool Water Fusion - Albuquerque, New Mexico

I've been eying the reviews of Cool Water Fusion for months now, but there hadn't been a good opportunity to hit it up yet. We knew that we had to go on a day when we had a little more time, but who knew when that would be. Then the day finally arrived...Meredith and I finally had the chance to visit a few Friday's ago. Chuck was on vacation or had the day off, and wasn't able to go with us.

We arrived around 11:00am, and were the second set of customers there. We were greeted and seated right away. Which was a good thing because there was only one waitress. Eventually another one showed up, but not for about another half an hour.
When we ordered the bruschetta of the day, the waitress told us that they doesn't usually serve appetizers for lunch. I think she noticed our immediate disappointment, because she went back to the kitchen to ask if they could accommodate our request. Luckily the kitchen said yes, and we were brought the most delicious bruschetta that I have ever eaten. It had braised pork, corn, red onion, cilantro, and a nice fresh aioli to top it off.

For my entree I chose the Croque Madame Sandwich, which also featured the braised pork along with swiss cheese. It was served on top of a poppy seed bun with bechamel sauce and an egg. It came with house made potato chips. All of the flavors blended together beautiful but the bechamel sauce really made the sandwich. It was rich and creamy, and so so so good!
Meredith had the Cajun Chicken Sandwich - blackened chicken, pepper jack cheese, sauteed bell peppers and aioli. It was also served with house made chips. I had a small bite, and it was really good too. The chicken was spicy, and very moist. Meredith enjoyed it, but she snacked on my sandwich a lot so it may not have been the most exciting choice. 

The prices were fairly reasonable, and the restaurant was clean and stylish. The service was great, and not to slow; I saw that a lot of people had this complaint. 
I'd definitely go back. I'd like to check it out for dinner next time. 

Cool Water Fusion on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Thai Tip - Albuquerque, New Mexico

On our quest to hit up just about every Thai restaurant int he city, Meredith and I went to Thai Tip on one of our lunch club Friday's. Chuck actually recommended it, but he couldn't come with us on this particular trip.We got there early, around 11:15am and were the first to arrive. We were seated right away, and greeted by our waiter almost immediately. From what I gather, the man who waited on us is the husband of the Chef. Her name is Tip, hence the name Thai Tip. I caught a quick glimpse of her through a crack in the kitchen door when I visited the restroom. She was moving a mile a minute, and I was very impressed with that.
Meredith ordered a Thai iced tea to start. It was tea sweetened with with heavy cream. It was heavenly. For an appetizer we ordered the mini egg rolls. They were filled with cream cheese and crab; like a crab rangoon but in egg roll form instead of won ton or dumpling form. These were amazing! I probably could have eaten 20 of these...it was ridicules.
I ordered the Silver Noodles with beef and vegetables for my entree, and Meredith had the Massaman Curry. I actually preferred Meredeth's dish over mine...I mean mine was pretty good, but the texture of the silver noodles was a little too slimy for my taste. I've had rice noodles before, but not like this. Besides that the flavor was good, and the spiciness was excellent.

The Massaman Curry was excellent. There was a hearty amount chicken, yukon gold potatoes, and peanuts. The coconut flavor was rich and creamy, but not overwhelming. It was served with a plate of heart shaped rice; a very nice touch! Meredith said that it was probably the best Thai that she's had in Albuquerque...so far.

I thought that service was pretty good. We were served fairly quickly, and the waiter was very attentive. The prices were a little on the high side for lunch, however you are given pretty generous portions. I'd go back...most definitely!

Thai Tip does not have a website, so here are the details: 
1512 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112
(505) 323-7447

Thai Tip on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Rt. 66 Malt Shop and Grill - Albuquerque, New Mexico

After reading a lot of reviews, I was a bit skeptical about having lunch at the Rt. 66 Malt Shop and Grill. I have to see things to believe them though, so when M suggested taking our chances I was all for it. The restaurant is very cooly decorated with pieces from the 50's. They have old fashioned diner tables and booths, a checkerboard floor, and a great jute box.

We we greeted promptly and seated right away, but the wait service was slow...and it seemed as though the waitstaff was unorganized or even confused. The restaurant was full, and there was only one cook. It took a long time to place our order and even longer to get our food.

I ordered a bacon green chile cheeseburger and M ordered a bacon cheeseburger. I also ordered a frito pie...just because I wanted to try it. We both ordered a side of hand cut fries too. I was regretting not ordering anything from the soda fountain, but when I saw the table beside us get their soda fountain orders 20 min. after they placed their order my regret went away.

I thought that my burger was pretty good. It was a nice size. The patty was obviously hand made and was juicy and flavorful. The green chile had a little kick, but wasn't too spicy. The bacon was plentiful and crispy. M said that his burger was "meh..." even though he ate the whole thing (sorry honey). The fries were pretty good too; a little greasy. It didn't seem like they were seasoned with parmesan cheese like their menu said. The frito pie was delicious, and my favorite part of the meal. It was huge, and had a ton of frito's. It had a New Mexico style red chile that the waiter tried to talk me out of. I thought it was very flavorful, and not to spicy.

I don't know if I'd make a conscience decision to go back to the Rt. 66 Malt Shop, but if I was with someone who wanted to go...I'd go back. It wasn't that the food wasn't good, it was that the service was chaotic and it took forever to get our order. The prices were decent too.

Check it out and tell me what you think...

Route 66 Malt Shop & Grill on Urbanspoon

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