Eating and drinking in Albuquerque, Bernalillo and Santa Fe

So, we do do other things in New Mexico besides eat and drink. There’s a fantastic zoo, botanic garden, biopark, aquarium and children’s garden, and there are a thousand places to hike. For a visitor- and family-friendly excursion, ride the Sandia Peak tram, or if you’re up for a challenge, hike the La Luz trail.* If you really hate yourself, hike UP it. And if you really, REALLY hate yourself, the 52nd Annual La Luz Trail Race is August 6. If you’re willing to drive a little, head west to Acoma Pueblo or north to Jemez Springs. But this post is just about eating and drinking.

I didn’t take photos of everything I ate because…yeah, obnoxious. Here are the ones I remembered to photograph. Beware: You can’t order an alcoholic drink before 11 a.m. on Sundays in New Mexico. (And no packaged liquor before noon.) I know, it’s really stupid.

La Cumbre Elevated IPALa Cumbre means “the top.” Get it? This was at my parents’ place outside of Albuquerque, near Bernalillo. We were treated to a brilliant sunset which was unfortunately, courtesy of several wildfires burning in Arizona and elsewhere. 😦

Important side note: we rode the train to Santa so we stayed near the hotel, but if you have transportation (or don’t mind springing for a Lyft) there are a lot of great places that are farther from the Plaza and less touristy/pricey.

Burgers and beers at Santa Fe Bite. Another Elevated IPA. It’s good. I drank a lot of it. This place is casual and affordable** and served up THE best green chile cheese burger I have ever had in my life. We ate on the patio mid-afternoon on a Thursday so there was no wait.

Margaritas on the rooftop Bell Tower at the La Fonda Hotel. (Which I can’t say without thinking of Napoleon Dynamite.) (Disclosure: My parents bought us a night at this hotel as a gift…AND KEPT THE KIDS FOR US WOOOO! It’s not a place we could otherwise afford but if you’re interested in staying there and are similarly not wealthy, look at non-peak seasons and check for discounts online. I cannot say enough good things about the hotel.) This was a pretty freaking good margarita, but honestly I’m accustomed to having the 27-ounce mind erasers (at half the price) at our local Mexican joint so I drained this one in about five minutes. Happy hour is from 12-3 and guests receive a $2 coupon at check-in. Discounted, I think the drink was 8 or 9 bucks. 

Beer and nachos on the patio at Del Charrrrro. After the monster burgers we had at lunch, neither of us had much of an appetite, so we split a plate of nachos and I had a Double White from Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery. (The husband’s NM staple is the Santa Fe pale ale.) This place is casual and affordable.**

Vodka tonics at Evangelo’s. Great local hangout for live music and not touristy or overpriced. We heard a great classic rock/blues band in the bar upstairs. The kids start playing metal downstairs around 10 p.m. CASH ONLY.

Bloody Mary and Huevos Oaxacas (pronounced “weh-vohs wah-hah-cahs”) at La Plazuela at La Fonda. Again, pretty pricey, but if you’re looking for really fancy-ass shit in Santa Fe, this is the place to go. I had my heart set on a Bloody Mary and this was the only place within walking distance that served them at 9 a.m. And holy shit, the food was was good. Note: the Bloody Mary wasn’t on their breakfast menu but the bar was open so we asked, and we received.Right before we got on the train back to Bernalillo, we stopped into Second Street Brewery at the Santa Fe Railyard and I quickly drained a Red and Yellow Armadillo IPA (9.2% ABV) and brought a half-growler of the Diploid IPA with me. MOAR HUEVOS at The Range Cafe in Bernalillo. This place is casual but kinda pricey. BUT, the portions are enormous so you could easily share. The kids’ breakfast came with four pancakes, and they split it.

We also ate at Old Town Pizza Parlor (sorry no pics!) after our zoo excursion, and we had a fantastic Kitchen Sink pizza complete with green chile. They also have a kid-friendly buffet.

We also met some friends at the Kactus Brewery in Bernalillo. It’s a small kid-friendly joint with a rustic patio, live music and chickens out back. I had the cream stout and the IPA and both were good. I didn’t eat anything but the food looked fantastic.

That’s it!

*Just a warning, the restaurant at Sandia Peak is closed (actually completely gone) so there’s currently nowhere to eat or drink at the summit– a picnic or snacks and definitely water is recommended. For an incredibly detailed and comprehensive guide to Sandia hiking, check out my friend Mike’s book, Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide. A new edition with updated maps is coming soon!

And please be careful!

**For Santa Fe, “affordable” is like a few bucks more than I’d consider affordable anywhere else. Gentrification + tourism is a son of a bitch.

vacay photodump yaaaay!

Hey you guys, heeeeey!

We just got back from Albuquerque and we had a lovely time but now everyone is sick so instead of a whole bunch of (totally compelling and meaningful) prose, I’ll just give you a photodump and you can pretend you like it.

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I ran once while out of town, but my left knee was bothering me even before I started pounding the brutal hills of northern New Mexico and it’s not feeling a lot better after some rest and a lot of icing, so I’m taking a break this week.

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Hills in photo are more brutal than they appear.

Codie went from almost walking to ACTUALLY walking.

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We rode the train to Santa Fe (Kenzie LOVED it…for about 10 minutes and then she said it was taking too long).

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We met up at the Railyard Park for beers and a playdate with one of my high school friends and his toddler.

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We drove to Jemez Springs (an hour or so northwest of Albuquerque) where we hiked, waded in the river and had a picnic.

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Fucking A, right?

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Kenzie would have been perfectly happy dunking My Little Ponies in the river all afternoon.

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We saw a lot of wildlife! My parents live in the foothills north of Albuquerque and their “back yard” is a playground for snakes, lizards, coyotes, rabbits and bobcats.

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We also just did a lot of hanging out at the house and playing outside. My parents don’t have a conventional lawn, but they’ve created a really unique and gorgeous xeriscape using the natural stones and wildflowers found in the high desert.

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Kenzie had a nice place in the shade to dig and get dirty.

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This was our second flight with two kids (the first was back in October), and it went about as well as can be expected. Codie crashed for a few minutes on the way there and a few minutes on the way back, but mostly she was awake and wiggly. Luckily though, she didn’t seem to have any trouble with the pressure affecting her ears and she wasn’t at all afraid of the noise or turbulence on the plane.

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In fact, this is her laughing like a lunatic as we touched down in ABQ.

So now we’re home. The kids were both a little loopy yesterday as we transitioned back to Eastern time and real life, but I’m hoping they’re not full-blown sick and maybe what we have is just a little airplane snot due to the changes in elevation and climate. I’m optimistic (okay not really, I’m praying like mad to God, Odin, Vishnu, Cthulhu and the FSM) that we’ll all get some sleep tonight.

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We’re friends of the chick with the sword and the kid in the hat

Yeah so, quickly, I failed at my blogging challenge but we all knew it was going to happen right? I’m just not cut out for the life of a full-time blogger! I’m not committed! I’m not dedicated! I won’t shill for limp, processed broccoli or stand on my kitchen table to take pictures of my food! Justins has never sent me shit!

Let’s catch you up.

We went to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta again this year. We went when Kenzie was 10 months old but this time, she was old enough to appreciate it for all it’s splendor.

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We also got to see some friends and family, watch the kids play, go running in the mountains and eat a lot of good food and drink some New Mexico craft beer (don’t laugh, they do have some there), but I won’t condescend you by pretending all those photos aren’t already on Instagram. (Regurgitating old content, the cornerstone of a successful blog!)

Our return flight was fairly uneventful except for a couple of baby blowouts which we accepted with utter grace and sophistication.

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Also, to mark the expiration of the Wright Amendment, everyone on the plane got a free alcoholic beverage!

I spent Tuesday getting my shit back together and doing 180 loads of laundry. Kenzie is officially OFF NAPS so things are a little more challenging around here but I can’t complain or else people with real jobs will stop reading my blog.

A lot of people told us Kenzie would start going to bed again if we cut out the naps but I really didn’t want to believe it. She’d still go down for naps right away, but at bedtime, she’d get up 40 times and wouldn’t go to sleep until 10 or 11 p.m. We finally tried no-napping while we were in Albuquerque. We kept her super busy all day long and she went right to bed each night. Last night, she put up a little bit of a fight, but she was still quiet within 15 minutes. A VAST improvement. So it’s pretty clear: we can either have a peaceful afternoon or a peaceful evening and we chose evening.

And yeah, we still have that baby too, and she’s doing just fine. We’re working on getting her out of our room and into her crib, but the first two nights she was in there, she woke up every 1-2 hours so I quit that shit pretty fast. I think I have to commit to several nights of no sleep in order to crib-train (for lack of a kinder term), so I’m totally putting it off. I set an arbitrary crib deadline of next Thursday. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Beer and TV funsies!

Because what better time to talk about television than when I’ve committed myself to reading more?! Sunday was the season premier of The Walking Dead and I thought it was just brilliant! I’m not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched yet, but I really super enjoyed it. There was triumph and joy, tenderness, anguish, torment, fury, revenge, and of course lots and lots of blood spatter and fire and gore.

Only when f-bombs can be used on network television will be truly free.

Only when f-bombs can be dropped on network television will we truly be free.

Last night, I marked the return of the only show I give a shit about now that Breaking Bad is over with a pretty terrific zombie beer while we watched Talking Dead.

EXCUSE ME THEY'RE CALLED WALKERS.

EXCUSE ME, THEY’RE CALLED WALKERS.

I’d heard from at least one person who wasn’t a fan of this beer, but I really liked it! 3 Floyds has never disappointed me, and this New Belgium gratzer ale collaboration was no exception.

For those who didn’t feel like clicking the link, it’s a “long-buried” (hence the zombies) style using Polish Lublin hops and oak-smoked wheat. It packed quite a bit of flavor into just 4.5% ABV; spicy, chocolatey, smokey and rich. And since I hardly ever drink anymore, it also packed a nice buzz.

Blog challenge reactivated!

So if we’re getting back on track with the challenge, your something scary for today can be that beer up there and that zombie WALKER show on AMC.

As for reading every day, I briefly tried reading instead of staring at my phone during the nighttime feedings, but Codie usually only nurses for about 30 seconds now before going right back to sleep, so I really don’t even have time to do that anymore. I’d get pulled into a good story only to look down and realize she’d been sleeping on me for like 10 minutes. And then I’d feel stupid for still being awake.

But now that they both go to bed at a decent time and aren’t for the present waking at the crack of dawn, I have no excuse not to read in the evenings before bed. Except when there are like, totally amazing shows on television that I just have to watch.

What do you like to watch on TV when you could be bettering your mind by reading books?

okay, just one regurgitated instagram photo

okay, just one regurgitated instagram photo

A foot for a foot or: the history of Acoma Pueblo

WAHHHHH.

Yeah so. Plane delayed. We made it home. Bags did not. Slept in my contacts. Cat woke me up at 4 a.m.

FML.

But, what a weekend — I probably took 300 pictures, so forgive me for posting 298 of them. I will be back on my game tomorrow.

New Mexico was, as always, beautiful. The sun comes up around 5:30 a.m. during the summer, and since we were still on EST I woke up at the crack of dawn and went running– a nice 3.5 in 35 minutes and it felt great! The air is so cool and dry there — sweat actually does it’s job to evaporate and cool you. I almost forgot what that’s like.

You don’t so much mind running at the crack of dawn when it looks like this.

It almost compensated for alll the food I ate (no, not even close).

We went to El Meson Saturday night in Santa Fe for a Flamenco show. It was fantastic! Anika, my mom’s friend is a knockout and she sings like an angel.

I didn’t photograph during the performance but I did manage to get one quick non-flash photo before the lights dimmed.

We also drank gallons of Sangria, ate about 30 pounds of bread and shared some tapas of fried artichoke hearts with goat cheese and grilled mushrooms with chorizo, Spanish coffee and the best margaritas ever (um, but not in that order).

On Sunday we drove out to Grants, NM (about an hour and a half from where my parents live) to the Acomo Pueblo for a tour and short hike.

Always nice to have a refresher course on the heritage of your motherland (especially when you’re a white girl with no heritage). Whoever said America has no history has never been out to Sky City (I’m talking to you, Gwyneth Paltrow).

Acoma is home to the oldest continually inhabited Native American dwelling — they trace their heritage back to Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado in the year 930 AD before settling in New Mexico in the early 12th century. The village is actually at the top of a plateau (for defensive purposes), and a couple thousand still live there today.

The whole plateau-defense thing didn’t work out so well, and Acoma was raided and conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century (who, if you can believe it, were even bigger assholes to the Indians than the Americans were). They were forced to convert to Catholicism and build a church, hauling 300-pound logs 30 miles from the forests at Mt. Taylor. They lived under Spanish rule as slave laborers until an uprising about 80 years later.

San Esteban del Rey, the church that slaves built:

Mt. Taylor (that little tiny blue bump in the way back):

Juan de Oñate (aka dickhead) founded Santa Fe in 1598. At one time, he ordered the left foot be cut off of all Acoma males over the age of 25 as punishment for a Pueblo uprising. Then, for some reason, the dude was still hailed as some kind of explorer/hero, and a statue of him was erected in Española, NM.

In 1998, during the 400th anniversary celebration of Oñate’s arrival, some local badasses cut off the statue’s foot. To our chagrin, a new foot was created by the sculptor and the statue was repaired.

*THE MORE YOU KNOOOOOW*

Now that our history lesson is over, take a look at some more of the awesomesauce while you recover this evening. And be glad you still have both feet.

Peace!

hello amber my old friend

Another glorious day in Midwest Land… I cannot believe we’re in the 70s right now and only 54% humidity (bone dry by our standards).

Oh, and this:

Yum.

That’s it.

I was having one of those blah days and didn’t really feel like doing jack when I got home, but I mustered up the will to do an episode of the Shred — that’s what’s so great about the DVD: any miserable slob can exercise for 20 minutes.

After that, I wasted no time hopping into the tub with a brewskay.

Fat Tire Amber Ale, Shiner and Heineken were my go-to beers in college. It’s what yuppies drink who think they’re into craft beer.

Not that’s it bad — I really do like Fat Tire. But I love it in the way that you still love a band when you knew them before they were big. Some of my people are from Fort Collins, so they always had some around. Naturally I grew up trying to sneak Fat Tires from them before I was 21. (It’s true, sorry mom!)

This weekend the hubs and I are flying to Albuquerque for a too-short long weekend. Plan is to do some hiking, some lounging…some flamenco. Okay, I personally won’t be flamenco-ing; my mom’s friend is part of this group that performs at a little tapas bar in Santa Fe once a month. It’s a really cool thing to watch…and the sangria’s not too bad either!

…and running! Last time I was in Albuquerque, I was injured and couldn’t take advantage of the glorious foothills and crisp, dry air of my homeland. This time around, I am definitely going for a run.

Tomorrow’s Thursday — run? Meh. Probs. But not four miles again. My quads have been a little tender lately; not sure why. Could be the squats and lunges, could be the extra mileage. Two miles sounds absolutely splendid.

And you know what else sounds splendid? Another Fat Tire.

Blog post title obviously inspired by S&G, Sound of Silence.

doh

So.

I’ve had this agonizing pain in my right heel ever since I woke up the day after the race. I apologize for not griping about it sooner but I had a lot going on…

I did get to chat with my bad-ass marathon-running aunt and uncle about it over the weekend and they both knew exactly what it was.

The unofficial diagnosis? Plantar fasciitis. According to Wikipedia, it’s caused by wearing crap shoes with no arch support, over-running, being fat, etc.

Aunt Mary advised me to start rolling it on a soup can (or something similar) immediately, stop wearing shitty shoes, ice it, and get into some custom orthotics, like, now.

I guess I sort of missed the boat on orthotics but you’ll be glad to know I had a handful of family members who were more than happy to remove a shoe and show me theirs (yeah, they’re all like me).

I’ve heard these things can get quite nasty if you let them fester too long so I’m trying to stay on top of it. My parents sent me home with a spare foot massage stick that resembles a doggy chew toy (which is under my foot and rolling at this moment) and I’ll be making an appointment with a podiatrist, post-haste.

Needless to say, no running happened in the ‘burque. But I did manage to consume my weight in enchiladas and try some new beers (and thus, gain five pounds)…

It’s always something, I tell you.

I slept until NOON yesterday. I know. I haven’t done that since college. I got home from the airport around midnight Saturday and then sacked out for the next 12 hours. I almost got up at 10 but then I remembered we’re out of coffee so I said the hell with it and went back to sleep.

Here’s a photo tour of my weekend in New Mexico starting with some feet.

Some beer – Santa Fe Brewing Hefeweizen (And they had the Fiesta IPA on draft at the airport!)…

The scene…

A lovely door…

Carne seca van…what, you don’t buy your beef jerky from a roadside van??

The view from our living room…

The wine (Mission Point Pinot – yep, mom shops at TJs too)…

Some cousins, Katie, Daniel, Jane, me and Jess (I’m tormenting Jess, who thinks he’s too cool to be photographed)…

Mama, Katie, me, aunt Claudia…

Jane and her boo Andrew. They are butt crazy in love. It’s disgusting. =)

Sweet hippie van at the Range Cafe…

THE RANGE. best.huevos.ever.

Bye-bye!

Hope Monday’s not being too much of a jerk to you guys.

Peace!

ABQ bound

Departing for ABQ at 1500 today.

After having a couple of days to sort things out, I’m a little ashamed to admit I’m actually really excited to go to my hometown this weekend (in spite of the circumstances, of course.)

I love flying.

And I’m probably one of the few people post-9/11 who actually still has a good time in airports. (And, am I the only one who thinks charging an additional $5 for a printout of your full-body scanner image would be a great way for airports to make a little extra cash? Just me? Okay then.)

I love people watching, and I love the opportunity to sit, uninterrupted for three hours and read a book. I will also love having a brewskay and a hot dog at MDW during an unfortunate three-hour layover there this evening.

Plus, Albuquerque = the FAM; dry heat, running in the mountains, glorious sunsets and…green chile EVERYTHING.

And…my grandpa was 97 years old, people. NINETY-SEVEN! So this is going to be a celebration. We are thrilled to have known such an awesome dude, and we’re also elated he’s shuffled himself loose the mortal coil and he’s no longer suffering. (It’s the rest of us miserable slobs I feel sorry for, heh.)

I love him so much!

See you guys next week — peace!