Pat and David

Candy Lady breaks bad with chile chocolate

Candy Lady breaks bad with chile chocolate

Debbie Ball created the bright blue crystal meth prop for the first two seasons of Breaking Bad. It's quite a badge of honor in a city that's obsessed with the AMC cult series that went off the air in 2013 but lives forever in online streaming. Fans still flock to the Candy Lady (424 San Felipe NW, Albuquerque, www.CandyLady.com), her jam-packed shop in Albuquerque's Old Town, to pick up 100 gram packages of Breaking Bad Candy for the folks back home. Most can't resist heading to a back room where cardboard cutouts of Walt and Jesse stand behind a table of blue crystals. Fans can slip on black sunglasses and black pork pie hats—the basic Heisenberg identity—and pose for pictures scooping said crystals into plastic...Read More
Mary & Tito’s: the hottest red and green you’ll ever love

Mary & Tito’s: the hottest red and green you’ll ever love

We have one piece of advice for you when you visit Mary & Tito's (2711 4th St. NW, 505-344-6266) in Albuquerque. Bring plenty of Kleenex. The red and green chile sauces that accompany most dishes are so hot that they will make your eyes water and your nose run. We don't mean to scare you off. You just need to be prepared. The food is so good that you will want to eat every bite. Order a soda to accompany your meal and the server will bring you a big glass full of ice and a can of your choice. When you've downed it all, she will bring you another. The refill is free. That is a distinct kindness. Mary & Tito's is located in...Read More
Cafe Pasqual’s in Santa Fe also feeds the spirit

Cafe Pasqual’s in Santa Fe also feeds the spirit

There's a tradition in the pantheon of Catholic saints to consider San Pasqual as the patron saint of cooks and kitchens. Paschal Baylón was a late 16th century Spanish lay Franciscan brother who was known for adding vegetables, meat, and pieces of bread to the thin broth given to the poor. Cafe Pasqual's (121 Don Gaspar Ave., 505-983-9340, pasquals.com) has been dishing out three meals a day since 1979. Founder and executive chef Katharine Kagel, originally from Berkeley, California, has kept up the charitable heritage. She helped create Santa Fe's food bank and co-chairs the capital campaign for Kitchen Angels, the group that provides free hot meals delivered to Santa Fe's homebound. In 1999, just the second year of awarding America's Classics awards, the James...Read More
Santa Fe’s Shed earns its James Beard Classic stripes

Santa Fe’s Shed earns its James Beard Classic stripes

We've learned to trust the James Beard Foundation for more than pointers to chefs on the cutting edge or up-and-comers bound to be the culinary superstars of tomorrow. The “James Beard America's Classics” honors tradition by highlighting a few top practitioners of regional cuisine. So when we were in Santa Fe for Indian Market last month, we made a beeline for that city's two Beard Classics. We began at The Shed (113 E Palace Ave., 505-982-9030, sfshed.com). If you're strolling up East Palace Avenue under the arcade to stay out of the sun, The Shed is hard to miss. A colorful sign under the arcade points you inside to Prince Patio, a 1692 hacienda where the restaurant occupies the patio and several of the surrounding...Read More
Robust harvest from New Mexico’s high desert

Robust harvest from New Mexico’s high desert

Sometimes we just get lucky. We drove straight for the Santa Fe Railyard on the opening day of Indian Market earlier this month. We smugly figured we could park there and walk into the plaza where the gigantic gathering of Native American artists had already sucked up the downtown spaces. When we opened the car doors, the air was heavy with the come-hither scent of fire-roasted green chile peppers. We knew we were on to something good. In fact,we had stumbled into a glorious celebration of northern New Mexico bounty, or more specifically the Santa Fe Farmers' Market (1607 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, 505-983-4098, santafefarmersmarket.com). Now 50 years old, this institution takes over the Railyard plaza every Saturday year-round, as well as Tuesday mornings...Read More
Fundraiser gala fare channels Shaker spirit

Fundraiser gala fare channels Shaker spirit

In early August, we had the pleasure of attending the annual fundraising Gala at Hancock Shaker Village (hancockshakervillage.org). One of the more prosperous of Shaker communities in the Northeast, “The City of Peace,” as its inhabitant called it, reached its height in the 1830s. More than 300 Shakers worked 3,000 acres of land just west of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in the heart of the Berkshires. Since 1959, the community has been a history museum with 20 original buildings, a working farm, a wealth of Shaker artifacts, and many excellent interpretive programs. The village's signature building is the Round Stone Barn, pictured at the top of the post. It's a landmark structure in America vernacular architecture. We ate dinner at tables in the hayloft level. Shaker beliefs...Read More
Reviving white wine sangría for summer dog days

Reviving white wine sangría for summer dog days

We're in the hottest, sweatiest part of summer in the northern hemisphere. These are the dog days—and not because we want to loll around in the shade with our tongues hanging out like a couple of bluetick hounds. Apparently the period is so named because Sirius, the dog star, rises and sets with the sun. That's about as much scholarship as we care to indulge when it's this hot. But the temperatures give us a great excuse to revive a drink we have been making since Hector was a pup. Or at least since we cribbed it from a 1970s Bon Appétit! magazine. It's an extremely refreshing white wine sangría with the added punch of Orange Curaçao. For several years we endured an aesthetic crisis...Read More
Summer travel picnic #2: wild rice salad

Summer travel picnic #2: wild rice salad

This nutrient-dense and filling wild rice salad has seen us through many an epic road trip. Sealed in plastic containers, it keeps well in a cooler with ice. We've enjoyed it on picnic tables between lighthouses on the Maine coast and, most recently, on a trip down the entire length of the Connecticut River via the various river roads of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The original recipe came from the Boston Globe food section a few decades ago. In those days, wild rice was considered an indulgent delicacy. Then Trader Joe's got into the act. In fact, we stock up on TJ's wild rice and dried Montmorency cherries every time we visit. We have long since lost the original clipping, but to look...Read More
Summer travel picnic: pesto, chicken & corn

Summer travel picnic: pesto, chicken & corn

For the next couple of posts, we'll been doing the reverse of “bringing the taste of travel back home.” When we're faced with long road trips in the summer, we often resort to dishes that bring the taste of home out on the road. One of our stand-bys for rest-stop picnics or campground suppers is a pasta dish we call “pesto salad.” That's shorthand. The dish evolved pretty much by accident. We grow a lot of basil in our garden. When it flowers madly in hot weather, we keep the growing tips clipped to prolong the season. That means we have a gallon or so of basil sprigs every few days. Since it doesn't refrigerate well, we turn it into pesto, adding a lot of...Read More
An American shortcut to Spanish tortilla

An American shortcut to Spanish tortilla

Wherever we go, the local cuisine always seems to have a go-to item—something easily ordered, quick to prepare, widely available, and nearly foolproof. In much of the U.S., that's often a hamburger. In France, a slice of quiche and a salad. In Spain, it's the potato omelet, or tortilla española. You never know where you'll get a great tortilla. The lowliest dive bar serves tortilla and bars attached to fancy restaurants offer it. You can even get a decent one in the refrigerator cases in many supermarkets. The tortilla can be the model of simplicity—a magical amalgam of eggs, potato, onion, and olive oil. That's the first image on the right, shown with tomato-rubbed bread in La Gardunya at the back of La Boqueria market...Read More