Pat and David

Bode’s serves quintessential N.M. road food

Bode’s serves quintessential N.M. road food

We love places like Bode's General Store (21196 U.S. 84, 505-685-4422, bodes.com) in Abiquiú where you can pick up everything that you truly need. Established as Grants Mercantile in 1890, the establishment was bought by Martin Bode in 1919. When the highway was moved from the the village center to its current location, Bode's moved as well. It now fills a long adobe building on the side of the road. As the commercial and social center of its small New Mexican community, Bode's sells groceries and wine and beer, the tools considered essential for home repairs, fishing and other outdoor supplies, some kitchen utensils, knives, gift items from local artisans, and a good line of books. Gas pumps long ago replaced the stage coach stop....Read More
Little Red Hamburger Hut has that ABQ heat

Little Red Hamburger Hut has that ABQ heat

We didn't go looking for the Little Red Hamburger Hut (1501 Mountain Rd. NW, Albuquerque, 505-304-1819). We just stumbled across it when we were on our way to the Golden Crown Panadería (also on Mountain Road) for breakfast. Like road runners and skinks (about the only other critters out in the August sun in Albuquerque), we were on foot. Call us suckers for graphic art, but the six-foot-wide rendering of a double burger with red chile sauce would have been enough to hook us. Then we saw the dancing chile peppers. Various signs proclaimed the Little Red Hamburger Hut as the home of the red chile hamburger. Hey, it would only be lunch. What was there to lose? The posted hours were a little confusing,...Read More
Gruet sparkling wines just keep getting better

Gruet sparkling wines just keep getting better

We've been drinking Gruet wines for about 25 years now, and we hope to keep drinking them another 25. That would be something to celebrate—which is appropriate for an American winery that produces sparkling wines that rival good Champagne. Quality can always be had at a premium price, but entry-level Gruet Brut starts at $15. That's hard to beat, even if you step down to bulk-process California sparklers. The top of the line—a grand rosé that sits three years on the lees—is only $39. (Those are winery prices.) When we're in Gruet country, we always try to stop at the Albuquerque tasting room (8400 Pan American Freeway NE, Albuquerque; (505) 821-0055, gruetwinery.com). For one thing, this space has the full line of Gruet wines, including...Read More
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