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Found 6 results

  1. I will be traveling to Albuquerque, NM for work next week. Any good restaurant suggestions? I will be staying in the downtown area without a car, so suggestions within walking distance would be most welcome.
  2. I power-watched all of "Breaking Bad," and think it just may be the best TV series I've ever seen. I'm now watching "Better Call Saul," based exclusively on my adoration of "Breaking Bad," coupled with the comments on this website. I've made it through Season 2, Episode 8 ("Fifi"), and unfortunately, I don't think it's even in the same stratosphere, quality-wise. We can certainly discuss this. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** (I'm Going To Give Away Some of the Overall Story Arc Below) Truthfully, there are two - and only two - characters I care about in "Better Call Saul": Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Mike Ermahntraut (Jonathan Banks), and that's only because it lends some background to their *tremendous* characters on "Breaking Bad." In particular, the way Mike parted from the Philadelphia Police Department (and his corresponding love for his granddaughter, Kaylee (Faith Healey and Abigail Zoe Lewis in "Better Call Saul," Kaija Bailes in "Breaking Bad") - which I find both adorable and heartbreaking). I'm almost finished with Season Two, and not one single mention has been made of Saul Goodman, which just doesn't seem right to me. More importantly, I find literally every other story arc interminably dull: There is nothing at all I find interesting about Kim Wexler (Rhea Seahorn), Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), or Chuck McGill (Michael McKean, despite my unabashed love for McKean in "This is Spinal Tap"). All three of them bore me to tears, and their story lines - especially the annoyingly overplayed electromagnetic hypersensitivity subplot with Chuck - have me pining away for a return to Jimmy, Mike, or even *any* member of the cartel. That saxdrop says there's a loss of momentum in Season Three almost guarantees that "Better Call Saul" will be a wrap for me after Season Two - I can't imagine it getting much worse. As an unwanted side issue, Mike has clearly aged since the filming of "Breaking Bad," and thinking back to the near-superhuman things he did in that series (remember him walking through the desert after being shot?) makes them seem absolutely impossible. Mike Ermahntraut just may be my favorite character in either series - his stoic toughness reminds me of Anton Chigurh in the great "No Country for Old Men," but Ermahntraut also has the ridiculously high-level mental acuity of any action hero you could think of - the whole package wrapped in a laconic series of silence, accentuated with the occasional grunt. This series has (I think) made me like Saul Goodman less overall - it was better not knowing where he came from, or how he got to be such a bad-ass attorney. Am I the only person who loved "Breaking Bad," but isn't loving "Better Call Saul?" Why is this series boring me to tears? Not to propose the obvious, but I really feel like they made it just to wring out as much money as possible from their product, and not because they had any story to tell.
  3. "Ronda Rousey Stunned in 2nd Round by Holly Holm at UFC 193" on cbsnews.com This is interesting: "Holly Holm: 'Ronda Rousey was in Unfamiliar Territory When She Finally Got Hit'" by Damon Martin on foxsports.com (I know some people on here don't like fighting, but I find combat sports to have a purity to them that only a few others, such as running, have - there's no equipment, there are no balls (especially in the women's division); it's just human vs. human, and as primal as can be - I suspect it's the oldest sport in the world. If it wasn't for people getting permanently injured, I would *love* ultimate fighting, but unfortunately, that's just not how it works. So yeah, I understand perfectly well how people can despise this sport.)
  4. A few notes from this lovely city: Santa Fe Bite, a rather sterile looking diner in a mid-range hotel lobby, delivered the best green chile sauce ever. I had it on chicken enchiladas, friend had it on a breakfast burger served on a cheddar biscuit. OMG. Spicy, smoky, very slow-cooked flavor. On Alameda, a few short blocks from the historic square. Maria's is hidden in strip mall hell off of Cerritos Rd, about 1.5 miles from the historic square. It's not a bad walk if you start at the railyard area (weekend farmers' and crafts markets are a pleasant diversion), which transitions to a greenspace that is pedestrial friendly much of the way. However, on foot you have to cross a very busy intersection, which I would not attempt after dark. The restaurant looks ancient, and it seems the more modern chain stuff just grew up around it. You can see the ladies making tortillas from one of the dining rooms. The building is adobe and beams and wide plank floors. It's worn but extremely clean. I had the New Mexican specialty of blue corn tortillas stacked with ground beef, Christmas style. The red chile sauce was so delicious. It will spoil me for all the versions, especially in the mid-west, that call a tomato-based sauce "red chile sauce." It was pure roasted chile, plus garlic and onion maybe...the server said it was vegetarian, so no meat stock. Friend had huevos rancheros that disappeared in record speed. Maria's serves chips with a good, slow-burn salsa, and then brings hot sopapillas with lunch. It's a lot of very good food at reasonable prices. The Pink adobe has a lively bar that delivers a respectable green chile stew, perfect on a cold night after sightseeing. It's cheap for a huge serving, full of tender pork and potatoes. The italian cafe right across from the Inn at Loretto, Mangiamo Pronto, is pleasant for a cappucino or glass of wine in a sweet brick patio. Terrible bagels, though! Kaune Food Town on Old Santa Fe Rd at Alameda, about 10 minute to walk from the historic square, is a convenient, expensive stop for in-room or picnic provisions. It's got a decent wine selection, fresh produce, a deli, and some gourmet groceries. It's hard to find a convenience store in the historic center of town, so if you want fruit or other snacks this is a good option. They also sell hard liquor. Will report back in after our remaining 2 days here.
  5. Gallup, New Mexico has captured my heart for its natural beauty and cultural vibrancy. The food scene is evolving, but let me share my notes so you may avoid the duds I have endured. If you seek personality, your best bets are the El Metate Tamale Factory, Westend Donuts & Deli, and La Montanita Coop Food Market. El Metate is located near downtown, in a residential block, and has some rocking food. Westend Donuts is in West Gallup, and is run by a dedicated owner, great donuts, apple fritters, and good subs on thoughtful bread. La Montanita is back downtown, has local products, fresh produce, bulk grains, and just good ingredients. For the bar scene, there are two areas to check out. My favorite spot is the Coal Street Pub, located in the heart of downtown Gallup. Nice beers, decent kitchen, fun bar to meet the locals. Live music on certain nights. Should you yearn for a shot, take "the Walk" down a block to the American Bar, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last Saturday. Head back to your bar seat at CSP. After last call, head 3 blocks down to Sammy C's, named by CNN as one of the top 100 sports bars in the nation. Fun venue with tons of autographed jerseys and headshots. Another tour starts with the 49er's Lounge in the legendary El Rancho hotel. The 49er's Lounge has recently been named one of the top 50 bars in the Nation by Esquire's David Wondrich, and it certainly has the bones to someday live up to this potential. Someone needs to bring a cocktail program to this venue. Thereafter, head to Goodfellas for a nice divey bar scene. After last call, cross the street to Panz Alegra to keep the night alive with all the rowdy friends you've just made. Honorable Mentions: Blunt Coffee: funky stand that has the best beans in town. Angela's Café: inconvenient hours, but located at the Amtrak station. Solid café, I enjoyed my chicken salad croissant. Badland's Grill: best NY Strip in town for sure, I'd stick to this entrée and not much else. Fratelli's: local love for this pasta/pizza/gelato joint, but thoroughly unremarkable. Still beats Applebee's where I had "issues" after eating half my salad, and is a bit more distinctive than the perfectly acceptable (for Gallup) Cracker Barrel.
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