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Southwest

die Magazine

CHEFS OF THE SOUTHWEST

Featuring Chef Marc Quiñones

A LOOK AT NM CUISINE With Mayor Richard J. Berry

WHAT’S BREWING AT PREMIERE ISSUE www.swfoodie.com

New Mexico Pinon Coffee Co.


IN THIS ISSUE Premiere Issue 2017 | Volume 1 Issue 1

38 4 ABQ365 FEATURED EVENTS 8 A LOOK AT NEW MEXICO CUISINE WITH MAYOR RICHARD J. BERRY

46 COOKING UP SOME FUN AT THE SANTA FE SCHOOL OF COOKING 50 SOUTHWEST FLAVORS Sadie’s Of New Mexico Salsa

11 RESTAURANTS Living La Dolce Vita At M’Tucci’s

52 CATERING KayTahRing To Your Needs

16 BREWERIES Flix Brewhouse

19 CAFES

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55 MENUS Canvas Artistry Golden Crown Panaderia

What’s Brewing At New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company

22 WINERIES St. Clair Winery

26 CHEFS OF THE SOUTHWEST Featuring Chef Marc Quiñones

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31 COCKTAILS & SPIRITS Mixing It Up At Apothecary

34 DESSERTS

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The Best Cookie Cravings Are “Rude”

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38 HOMEMADE FAVORITES Featuring A Favorite Homemade Recipe From Angela Brauer, Anchor/ Reporter For The KOAT Action 7 News Team.

22 42 RESTAURANTS IN HOTELS Embers Steakhouse

44 FOOD TRUCKS Street Food Blvd

COVER PHOTO Chef Marc Quiñones Photography: Bryan’s Photography Venue: El Pinto Restaurant

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Albuquerque’s Daily Source for What to Do

FEATURED EVENTS FRIENDS & LOVERS BALLOON RALLY FEBRUARY 11-12 Sip hot cocoa and celebrate Valentine’s Day with loved ones as 135+ hot air balloons take to the skies at Balloon Fiesta Park. WOMEN & CREATIVITY MARCH 1-31 Celebrate female innovation and leadership in our community with this month-long citywide series including hosted dinners, workshops and creative performances. NATIONAL FIERY FOODS & BARBECUE SHOW MARCH 3-5 Don’t miss the hottest show on Earth! Learn about and sample all things spicy at this 29th annual event held inside Sandia Resort & Casino. SOUTHWEST CHOCOLATE & COFFEE FEST MARCH 25-26 Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Southwest’s largest gathering of chocolatiers, coffee roasters and candy makers at EXPO New Mexico. TABLAO FLAMENCO ALBUQUERQUE EVERY THURSDAY–SUNDAY Be immersed in passionate live Flamenco performances while enjoying authentic Spanish tapas, sangria and more at Hotel Albuquerque.

Find more events at

.com

@ABQ365 PHOTOS© Raymond Watt, Women & Creativity, Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest, National Institute of Flamenco


FROM THE PUBLISHER Good Stuff Is Here! I am beyond thrilled to be presenting the Premiere Issue of Southwest Foodie Magazine! This has been a creative idea in the works for almost two years now. As a native to Albuquerque, New Mexico, my late Grandmother Lucy Baca, was the creative force and inspiration behind Southwest Foodie Magazine. It is because of her hard work and dedication as a local restaurant owner in Albuquerque’s North Valley, why Southwest Foodie Magazine was created. We have for you something different we hope you will enjoy reading about. In this issue, we are featuring local Chef, Marc Quiñones, who is currently at El Pinto Restaurant, as our Chef of the Southwest. Marc was also a featured Chef on Food Network’s Chopped last year and is presenting some of his new creations. M’Tucci’s has two locations, one on Albuquerque’s westside and the other is in the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Read more about M’Tucci’s and their menu selections in our restaurant section. Drinks anyone? The Apothecary shares about cocktails and some of their custom drink creations you can enjoy on the roof top of the Hotel Parq Central. We also have some great coffee creations from the New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company, with two great locations- one includes a drive-thru! Looking for a brew house? Why not checkout Flix? This new business to Albuquerque’s westside is a place where you can enjoy a movie, food and some brews. If you are a wine guru, the St. Clair Winery is a local favorite in Albuquerque’s Old Town area. Their location in Las Cruces, NM is where all the specialty menu items are created. If you have a sweet tooth, have you heard of Rude Boy Cookies? Located in the heart of the University of New Mexico area, these desserts are all custom-created. We are featuring a couple local celebrates in Southwest Foodie! We are ecstatic to have Albuquerque’s own Mayor Berry sharing all about what makes New Mexico food great! Mayor Berry understands the importance food is to our local culture and is sharing more about it. We also have KOAT TV’s Angela Brauer sharing her own homemade recipe in our “homemade favorites!” If you are a native or visiting from out of town and looking for a good place to eat, why not try Ember’s Steakhouse? They are located inside the Isleta Resort & Casino. In my own 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, there are some incredible chefs working in local hotel restaurants that are being overlooked. We are excited to be the first local magazine to be featuring “Restaurants in Hotels!” Ember’s Steakhouse is one of many restaurants in local hotels we will be featuring and this restaurant is liked by many locals! Lastly, is all about our Southwest Flavors. How do you have a magazine called Southwest Foodie and not have the local flavors? We are featuring the story behind Sadie’s Salsa. This will be one of many to come. “Red, Green or Christmas” is the native question, and Chile not Chili is how we spell it! We cannot wait to share more about the flavors that make New Mexico a unique Southwest Favorite. Words cannot express our enthusiasm to have this new magazine in circulation. We hope you enjoy all the “good stuff coming,” in our future issues! Cheers!

Joy Gutierrez, M.S.A., M.B.A. Publisher PUBLISHER Joy Gutierrez M.S.A, M.B.A. GRAPHIC DESIGNER Matthew Gutierrez WRITERS Denise Nava Jessica Sosa Joy Gutierrez M.S.A, M.B.A. Trey Smith

PRINT / DIGITAL PRODUCTION Capri Media, LLC CONTRIBUTORS Bryan’s Photography Additional Phots Credits in Articles

CONTACT Southwest Foodie Magazine 5551 Midway Park Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109 Phone: (505) 345-FOOD (3663) Website: www.swfoodie.com | E-mail: info@swfoodie.com Copyright © 2017 Southwest Foodie Magazine is an entity of Capri Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Southwest Foodie Magazine does not warrant such accuracy or the claims of its advertising clients.

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by Jessica Sosa photos provided by City of Albuquerque

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here is something magical about life in the Southwest. With the beautiful flowing landscapes, the skies that go on forever, and the melting pot of cultures, there is so much to learn, see, and do in our corner of the country. One of the biggest things that brings the people of the Southwest together is food, and right here in New Mexico, City of Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry believes the food is top notch. “There is so much to say about our food,” Mayor Berry says, “It has soul. It’s not just food, it’s about family, it’s about history, and it’s about us and our place here. It speaks to the heart and soul of the Southwest.” As a native New Mexican, I grew up in a household where meal times were family times, and according to the Mayor, this is common in the Land of Enchantment. Every day, families gather around the dinner table to share dishes that have been in the family for generations, and you won’t find that in many other states. “People here are big on families. We like to sit down and eat and spend time together, and food is a big part of that,” he says, “Food is something that moves us to spend more time sparking great conversation and tradition.” In the way of tradition, New Mexico has endless amounts of them when it comes to food. Like the Southwestern region in general, New Mexico itself comes with traditions that span across the state, creating a great variety that speaks to the diverse backgrounds of its people. No two New Mexican restaurants will serve the same version of cheese enchiladas, for example. Some places serve their enchiladas with a fried egg on top (the Mayor likes his blue corn enchiladas this way), while others don’t have it on the menu. “You can find a famous stuffed carne adovada sopapilla at one restaurant. Another one might be known for tortillas, and you can knock yourself out on tortillas. The blue corn are great, the

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flour are great, and there are a lot more options,” he says. Not only are there brands sold by bag throughout New Mexico, but many people still use an old family recipe to make their own tortillas at home. The food varieties don’t stop there. The huevos rancheros recipes vary from restaurant to restaurant and from home to home, with traditional twists you aren’t likely to find elsewhere. But if there is one thing I would say we unite on, it’s the greatness of our chile. New Mexico is famous for its chile, and for good reason. If you are looking to spice up your life, the question, “red or green?” is one of the most important culinary questions you will answer. “The chile is unique here, you won’t find our chile outside of New Mexico,” the Mayor says, “I don’t choose red or green because I like both. You can’t beat a great plate of green chile chicken enchiladas, but sometimes I need a big bowl of beans and red chile. It’s about bringing out the flavors.”


New Mexico’s foods are rooted in the idea that each family comes with its own traditions, creating a diverse culinary landscape that is a food lover’s dream. Try the salsa at El Pinto. It’s guaranteed to have a different kick than the salsa at Garduno’s. Both are exceptional, but they could not be more different. “Throughout the state, the food is served and prepared differently. You will find homemade meals with a uniqueness to them because people are cooking with recipes that their mom passed on to them, and her mom passed on to her,” he says. Mayor Berry says his wife is a fabulous cook, and she learned much of what she knows from her mother, who makes a wonderful plate of enchiladas. The Mayor himself enjoys cooking with New Mexican flair. “I’ll put a steak on the grill and make a nice red chile sauce to go with it. The flavors are just amazing together, and it goes well with a zinfandel.” The love behind New Mexican cuisine is evident in every delicious bite, from the fluffy tortillas we use to scoop up every morsel, to the chile infused menus that have become essential to our foodie educations. For many native New Mexicans, there is a big focus on keeping it local, because the Southwest truly has so much to offer. “We have so many amazing Southwestern entrepreneurs that are bringing unique food to the table, and it all comes back to tradition with a spin. I love biscochitos and even our desserts are made differently around the state,” he says.

“It has soul. It’s not just food, it’s about family, it’s about history, and it’s about us and our place here. It speaks to the heart and soul of the Southwest.” - Mayor Richard J. Berry According to the Mayor, one of the most significant things about the food is the careful time it takes to prepare. “Our cuisine really helps me slow down and appreciate the food. It has a calming affect and allows me to make time for loved ones,” he says, “Although the dishes vary, they all have the same soul. It’s almost like they have steeped the goodness into the food because the depth of flavors is indescribable.” There is no place quite like New Mexico when it comes to food. Every state has its own traditions and values when it comes to the dinner table and its contents, but in New Mexico, Mayor Berry maintains that there is a special vibe: one that he can feel the moment he steps into the state. “If you took me around the country blindfolded and had me try different foods and experience the people and then you brought me back to Albuquerque, I would know right away that I was home,” he says, “It’s the food and the people here. As a Mayor I am so proud of the culture here. I am proud to bring people to our state so they can experience the great things we have to offer.”

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Living La Dolce Vita at M’Tucci’s

by Jessica Sosa | photos provided by M’Tucci’s


You will never have an Italian experience quite like the one you’ll find at M’Tucci’s Kitchina Italiana. With a lively, colorful atmosphere and exquisite Italian dishes, you are guaranteed to call the restaurant a second home after just one experience. M’Tucci’s owners Jeff Spiegel and Katie Gardner moved to Albuquerque from New York City, where they owned 11 restaurants in nearly 25 years in the restaurant industry. The move was a big one and they had a goal in mind: to open up a high quality Italian restaurant and help it grow. “We’re so happy to be here,” Spiegel says, “We’ve been open two and a half years and we can’t wait for more. If you walk in here 25 years from now I want you to feel the same way you do now, experiencing a place with a homey feeling and great food.” As for the restaurant’s creative name, it all comes down to family, or rather, friends who turn into family. “After thinking of about 1,200 names for the restaurant and coming up with nothing I liked, I thought of my good friend’s name, Richard Matteucci. I thought, hey, I could use your name and change up the spelling. He loved it, and the rest is history,” Spiegel says. The creator of M’Tucci’s much-loved menu is Executive Chef John Haas, a partner in the business and the visionary behind the food that keeps people coming back to the restaurant as often as seven times a week, multiple times a day. “I go for classic Italian inspiration with a twist, with clean flavors and a diverse, well-balanced menu. We incorporate the Italian culture but we get to be creative and make things people wouldn’t necessarily expect out of an Italian restaurant,” Haas says. On the menu you will find classic Italian staples like spaghettini and meatballs, eggplant parmesan, and tiramisu, but you can also try dishes like pork belly risotto, hanger steak, and a lime tart with ginger and coconut. When I had the pleasure of eating at M’Tucci’s, I was presented with three dishes to sample that had me wondering where this Italian gem had been my whole life. To start, I had the Grilled Caesar Salad, made with grilled romaine hearts (grilled lettuce has a smoky flavor), shaved parmesan, grilled croutons, and a tasty caesar dressing. Next was the brand new Pan Seared Veal Chop, an herb crusted savory dish featuring pickled fennel and arugula salad, dijon beurre blanc, and garlic mashed potatoes. Last, but certainly not least, came the dessert, a sweet creation called Twinkie D’Italia. The dessert consists of a vanilla jellyroll, candied pecans, and a white chocolate cream filling. Good eats are not complete without good drinks, and M’Tucci’s bar serves up handcrafted cocktails daily. “Our mixologist Austin makes incredible craft cocktails and the flavor profiles of the drinks and food harmonize perfectly,” Haas says.

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As Haas continues to craft the menus (he changes them three times a year), he keeps a focus on creating fresh and inventive dishes that go along with the fun-fueled energy of the restaurant. “Chefs are artists,” Haas says, “We take a lot of pride in our work and it takes passion to craft new dishes for our guests. I want to create a menu that is continually better than anything else I have had.” Additionally, the restaurant prides itself on the casual, contemporary atmosphere they have; something unique to M’Tucci’s. “You can dress up if you want and that’s great, but people wear jeans here and the restaurant completely lacks that pretentious feel that makes you uncomfortable. We want you to be comfortable here,” Haas says. With blue bottle light fixtures, colorful paint, Venetian masks, and Katie’s alligator up on the wall, you feel as though you have stepped into a whimsical Italian paradise when you walk through the doors. “Little kids love this place. They love the art on the walls, and they love my alligator! We don’t have a kids’ menu. We feed them half portions of the adult food because kids like good food too,” Gardner says. The M’tucci’s fun doesn’t stop when you leave. Just a few doors down you will find M’tucci’s Italian Market and Deli, a New York inspired shop with deli style Italian food. “We went on a field trip to New York to find inspiration. We wanted it to be a classic New York deli, right here in Albuquerque,” Gardner says. Complete with old style decorations, M’tucci’s Deli is a haven for anyone looking to get quality deli food on their lunch break. In fact,

Gardner says that she has seen people eat at the restaurant, wait a couple hours, and stroll over to the deli for meal number two. With all of the different options the deli has to offer, we can see why. “We always have the freshest ingredients and we have fun doing what we do,” says Deli Chef Cory Gray. The deli staff bakes their own breads, in varieties including sourdough, rye, and rustic wheat, and makes their own sausages and cheese, along with curing some of their own meats. A little further away, M’tucci’s recently opened the Cocina Grill at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Here, the food is Nuevo Latino, combining Argentinian, Brazilian, Mexican, and Caribbean cuisine into one fantastic menu, according to Spiegel. The grill also features a 40 square foot Argentinian Parilla (wood burning grill), and hosts events including monthly five course wine dinners. M’Tucci’s is also very dedicated to the catering side of the business. “We can cater any type of event, from birthdays to reunions to work meetings,” Gardner says. You may also choose to celebrate in the main restaurant. According to Spiegel, he loves seeing people celebrate their occasions in the high-energy environment the city has grown to love. Both he and Gardner agree: the vibe they have created is absolutely rare. “We are all young at heart around here and that is how it will always be,” Gardner guarantees.


by Jessica Sosa | photos provided by Flix Brewhouse

It’s date night, and you can’t decide where to go. The game plan you’ve come up with is to go grab some pizza, see a movie across town, and then grab a beer over in Nob Hill. But why go to the trouble of making three different stops, when you can accomplish all three goals at one place? The recently opened Flix Brewhouse in Albuquerque is exactly what the city has been hoping for: offering people a perfect location for date night, family bonding, and guaranteed fun. According to Greg Johnson, Director of Sales and Marketing, it’s important to note that at Flix, the friendly staff wants you to enjoy the totality of the unique experience. “Essentially we are running three different businesses all in one: a restaurant, a brewery, and a theater,” he says, “As far as we can tell from our research, we are the only business that does all three in the entire world. We take all of the elements very seriously because we love to give customers the full experience.” Flix is definitely not your average movie theater. It’s basically the amped up version of the theaters you’ve been going to your whole life. The ordering process is easy when it comes to getting your snacks and brews in the theater. That’s right, in the theater. Johnson explains that there is a custom made pre-show that starts thirty minutes before the movie, serving as an opening act for the specific movie you are about to watch. “It gives people time to find their seats, explore our menu, and we are able to talk to guests about the menu beforehand,” he tells me, “During this time some people will order but others will wait until the movie starts. I would say about 95 percent of people will eat in the auditorium.” 16 | swfoodie.com

If you haven’t chosen from the wide variety of foods listed on the menu prior to the movie, a nifty button at every seat allows you to order, anytime. All you do is press the button, write your order down, and one of the staff members at Flix will happily bring you your order. Not only are you able to order food and regular beverages inside the theaters, you can also select a cold beer, a frozen margarita, or a glass of wine. Quality food and a beer while watching the new Star Wars movie? Sign me up! As a microbrewery, Flix Brewhouse is able to brew its beers in house. You can actually see part of the brewery from outside of the building. At any given time, there are twelve different types of beers on tap for you to choose from, providing every beer connoisseur with a perfect match. “Six of our twelve beers are sold nationally at our other locations. However, the other six of the twelve are what we call Mainstay beers. These are recipes that belong to the head brewer of each location,” Johnson explains, “So you are only going to find those six beers at your location, which is pretty unique.”


At the Albuquerque location, you will find brewhouse gems like the Umbra Chocostout, a beer brewed with chocolate malts, roasted barley, and natural cacao nibs, the Flix Golden Ale, a lighter beer with a sweet crisp flavor and dry finish, and the Satellite Red IPA, a dark red ale featuring a mildly roasty flavor, according to the company’s website. “Our IPAs do very well, it’s what everyone is drinking right now,” Johnson shares, “We like to keep everything fresh and exciting for our guests. The bar also has red and white wine, they make some great margaritas, and of course we serve water and soft drinks. There’s no age limit for the location. It’s a family friendly place.” The food menu is extensive, and the menu items pair nicely with the beers the brewery has on tap. You will find a casual dining type of cuisine, according to Johnson, with foods like pizza, pretzels, and burgers gracing the menu. “The prices for the food are really reasonable, with appetizers around $7 and entrees between $10 and $12.50. Ticket prices are competitive, and everything is sold a la carte,” he says, “People can come in for just a drink or food, but most people want to do it all.” We know there are die-hard moviegoers out there who have to have candy and a tub of popcorn for a movie, and we hear you! Flix serves all of the classic movie snacks too, but you’ll find that the tasty menu might sway you toward something a little more filling. “Sure we have the staples, but think of it this way: Why are you going to pay four bucks for a box of candy or a bag of

popcorn when you can pay seven and get chips and queso or ten for a pizza? A lot of people love to grab a beer and share an appetizer during the movie,” Johnson says. Speaking of pizza, Johnson tells me that Flix’s pizza is a big reason people keep coming back for more. Thanks to the company’s executive chef, the staff at Flix knows how to serve up artisan style pizza for guests. “We actually make all our own dough in house, which is pretty cool. It’s really good and I think a pleasant surprise to our guests who wouldn’t expect to find such high quality food at the movies,” he says. Whether you are going out on the town for a date night or looking for fun for the whole family over the weekend, Flix Brewhouse is the place to be. “I really like to highlight that this is a very family oriented experience,” Johnson says, “I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a house where it was okay for dad to open a beer while we had family time, watching a movie or whatever. That’s the vibe we like to have here. It’s like any other movie theater, with some added bonuses.”

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Come to Cook. Come to Eat. Come to Shop.

asses! Awesome cooking cl The Santa Fe School of Cooking features hands-on and demonstration classes taught by some of Santa Fe’s best chefs and a market filled with your favorite New Mexican products and foods. Our signature restaurant walking tours are your entrée to the delicious flavors of Santa Fe and our beautiful new space and outdoor patio are perfect for your special events and private gatherings. Visit us online at santafeschoolofcooking.com.

125 North Guadalupe Street (corner of Guadalupe and Johnson) 800.982.4688 | 505.983.4511 santafeschoolofcooking.com


What’s Brewing at New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company? by Jessica Sosa photos by Simply Design, Kelsey Bishop and Hunter Fitzpatrick

One of my favorite things about mornings is waking up to the heavenly smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting my way from the kitchen. Like a lot of people I know, sipping on a fresh cup of brew helps me think and amp up for the things I have ahead in my day. Here in New Mexico, one coffee company in particular is known for crafting coffee that provides an undeniably delicious aroma and an award winning taste, thanks to a key ingredient: the piñon nut. New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company has been around for 20 years, and if you ask me, their coffee is a definitive staple in the livelihood of many New Mexicans. According to NM Piñon Coffee Co.’s President Allen Bassett, his family purchased the much-loved company seven years ago, and it has continued to operate as a family owned business. Why coffee, you might ask? Well, Bassett says, “So many people drink coffee as a part of their every day routine, and they are always excited to try the different variations of coffee when there is something new to try. People are genuinely excited to drink our coffees.” Since coffee is a morning time essential for many people, it is important to find the perfect coffee to suit your needs. It is also important to take a little step outside of the ordinary cup of Joe. One benefit to the company’s coffee is that it is already flavored, because of the addition of the piñon. According to Bassett, even if you choose to drink the coffee black, you are guaranteed to discover the sweet aroma characteristic of the piñon, and you will detect a distinct flavor in the coffee that is truly unique to NM Piñon Coffee Co. “I am not a huge flavor person and I can tell

you that I drink our coffee every single morning,” he says, “It is subtly flavored coffee due to the piñon, but it isn’t ever overwhelming.” Since the piñon nut is native to the Southwestern region of the country, the company uses nuts that are picked nearby. According to the company’s website, NM Piñon Coffee Co. has concocted a custom piñon flavoring with the nuts, to be sure that every bag of coffee will feature that same well known and muchloved flavor. The coffee itself is created from a carefully crafted mix of three coffee beans from different parts of the world, and the company is currently known to be the largest coffee roaster in the entire state of New Mexico. Everything you order is made fresh in NM Piñon’s factory, where the coffee is all hand roasted in small batches to ensure that every batch is full of the same enticing flavors. The result of this strategic process is a rich, wellblended coffee that features a smooth taste and that unmistakable hint of piñon flavor.

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If you are like me and black coffee isn’t really your style, you need not worry. New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company offers nearly 50 different flavors for their blends, so there is sure to be some wonderful flavor experience for everyone. “Biscochito is one of our best selling flavors because nobody else has it,” Bassett says, “The coffee actually tastes just like the cookie.” The biscochito is a New Mexican favorite, so much so that it actually claims the title of our State Cookie. Try this out in caffeinated liquid form at NM Piñon, where they add in sugar, cinnamon, and anise to create a true coffee based testament to the traditional dessert. Another bestseller is the Mexican Spiced Chocolate, created with chocolate and warm cinnamon for that subtle spice. Bassett says that one of his favorites off the flavors list is Coffee Cake because of its simple taste, a coffee that features a slight mix of cake and cinnamon flavors. Other flavor options include Cinnamon Almond Macaroon, Gingerbread, Irish Cream, Pumpkin Spice, Amaretto, Southern Pecan, Caramel Apple, and the recently added and definitely tasty Chocolate Raspberry. With flavor upon flavor, the bonanza doesn’t end there! NM Piñon Coffee Co. also has a line of Signature Flavors for the blends, which were specifically created to be reminiscent of the Land of Enchantment. These include the Adobe Morning, a medium roast coffee blend with a mild cinnamon spice, the Blonde Piñon, a lighter roasted version of the classic piñon coffee we all know and love, and the Route 66 or Bust, a bold roast that has been sweetened with milk chocolate. I know I need the daily energy that coffee so boldly gives me, but if caffeine is not what you need, NM Piñon also proudly offers decaf. The popular coffee is available at multiple locations. “People can purchase our coffees at several grocery stores throughout New Mexico and a few other states, at Costco, Trader Joe’s, as well as online,” Bassett says. If you stop by their retail store in Albuquerque you might get a free tour of the facility, according to their website, or have a seat at the Piñon Coffee House, where they serve up gourmet coffees, teas, and some Southwestern foods.

At the coffee house, you have the option to get your coffee hot, iced, or frozen, and they even sell ice cubes that are made from coffee, so you never have to worry about your drink getting too watered down. The prices are reasonable and as added perks, you can ask for extra flavoring in your coffee and get it for free, and stop in on Tuesdays for a $2 regular sized latte. If you are more about the tea life, you definitely have options and as it turns out, one of the company’s most popular drinks is a Southwestern twist on a tea lover’s classic. “The next time you come in here, you have to try an Albuquerque Fog,” Bassett suggests, “It is just like a London Fog, but we use the biscochito flavoring instead of the traditional vanilla.” Sounds like a sweet deal to me.


by Jessica Sosa | photos provided by St. Clair Winery

If you journey into the midst of the Mimbres Valley in Deming, New Mexico, you will find St. Clair Winery, the state’s largest winery. Thanks to the landscape and the perfect grape growing weather, this area of Southwestern New Mexico is the country’s oldest wine producing region, and if you have ever sipped one of the delectable wines that St. Clair has to offer, the fact that it is produced in nearly perfect conditions should be no surprise to you. The award winning winery is owned by the Lescombes family, a family with six generations of experience in wine production. According to the company’s website, Hervé Lescombes purchased the vineyard and winery in the early 1980s and St. Clair was born, a successful winery that is now run by his sons, Emmanuel and Florent. According to St. Clair’s Marketing Director, Maritza Gomez, St. Clair is one of the only wineries that sources all of its own grapes. “We are producing these wines at a huge winery, the biggest one in the state, and I think that really sets us apart,” she says, “They are so well produced and there is so much to offer our clients, whether they know a lot about wine, or very little.” St. Clair’s wines come in every variety you can think of, from red and white, to blush, bubbly, and dessert. “St. Clair brand wines are very catered to New Mexico; we really focus on our locals,” Gomez says, “It is very consistent, so if you buy it today, it is going to taste the same if you buy it a year from now. If you have a favorite, you can keep coming back for it and find the same great taste.” The winery produces wines under different brand names as well, including D.H. Lescombes, which Gomez tells me is a French style of wine that is very true to the grape. In other words, each bottle is going to be subtly different, depending on the grape harvest. These slight differences make each bottle deliciously unique.

The company also produces the Soleil Mimosa brand, which can be found in grocery stores nationwide, and even the Hatch chile wines, giving wine connoisseurs a spicy selection that is truly unique to New Mexico. “The Hatch chile wine comes in red chile and green chile, and they are just really quirky and fun,” Gomez says, “They are great for cooking or drinking. The red goes great with rich foods like chocolate, and the green has almost a sweet bell pepper type taste.” As far as best sellers go, Gomez tells me that the Mimbres Red, a sweet wine with soft tannins, blackberry, and vanilla, is a crowd favorite. It is also my personal favorite. “Mimbres Red is definitely one of the best sellers, and it’s a table wine. Moscato has also been really popular this year, that’s more of a pink wine,” she tells me. But no matter what your wine preference is, St. Clair’s large variety of wines is guaranteed to have something that will please even the pickiest wine drinker. St. Clair has three bistros, located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Farmington, along with the tasting room at the winery in Deming. According to Gomez, an Alamogordo location is currently in the works.

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At the bistros, you will find exceptional cuisine that pairs perfectly with the company’s famous wines. “The menu has a great variety,” Gomez says, “It says our food is epicurean style, which is true, but you’ll find all types of food, including some Asian style options we just added. There are heartier options, pastas, salads, and even a Southwestern style meatloaf.” When you are seated at the bistro, you are offered the chance to sample the wine of the month, and the tasting doesn’t stop there. According to Gomez, everything, even the appetizers, has a suggested wine pairing on the menu. For example, if you start off with the Cheese Nosh appetizer, you might try one of the wine flights for some variety. If you choose the Chicken Marsala, the bistro suggests the St. Clair Chardonnay, and the popular white wine Gewurztraminer pairs nicely with that Southwest Meatloaf. “The wine pairings are neat because it helps guests make the most of the experience,” Gomez says, “We work with our servers so they are able to understand how to help guests select the best wine, as well as something they will enjoy. If you want a certain dish and it’s paired with a red wine on the menu and you aren’t a fan of reds, we can steer you toward a white you might enjoy. It’s about finding what you like.”

All of St. Clair’s locations offer tastings, and at the bistros you can indulge in wine flights like the Sparkling Flight or the Sinful Flight that allow you to try 2 oz. pours of three different wines. If you want the full winery experience, take a drive to Deming and visit the winery itself. You won’t be disappointed. “The vineyard and winery tours really give you the whole wine experience. I highly recommend them,” Gomez says, “You go in groups of up to ten or you can even book private tours, and the family hosts you there. It’s really special since it is a family business.” 2016 has been a fantastic year for the winery, with their new dessert cream-sherry style wine, Kiva, scoring 96 points (St. Clair’s highest ever score) in the Tastings.com World Wine Championship Competition, and a record harvest, bringing in 1,464 tons of grapes, according to a recent press release. This means St. Clair can produce about 1.3 million bottles from the 26 grape varieties grown on the extensive property. According to Gomez, the winery is so successful due to the dedication to producing fine wines. “Everything we do supports our vineyard,” she says, “All of our bottles come from New Mexico and all of our product is locally produced. It’s something the Lescombes family loves to do.”


by Jessica Sosa photos by Bryan’s Photography

For award winning Chef Marc Quiñones, working with food is something he has always had a passion for. As the recently hired Executive Chef at the historic El Pinto Restaurant in Albuquerque, he spends every day crafting delicious, traditional menu items and doing what he loves the most. Quiñones knew he wanted to be a chef at 14, while working at a popular hamburger chain. “I would try to make the burgers my way by throwing in some different spices,” he says, “The food was great but I was always trying to add my own spin on things and alter them myself.” Spinning the classics has become a specialty for Quiñones, as he creates indescribable dishes that are a truly unique foodie delight. The chef looks all over the world for inspiration, but he likes to keep it local when it comes to fresh ingredients. “At El Pinto we are planning on growing a lot of our own produce in house and moving towards becoming a self sustaining grower,” he says, “Until then I will work with local farmers in the Albuquerque and Corrales area. We want to provide diners with a clean, healthy, organic experience.” Although everything Chef Marc concocts is a scrumptious contribution to our food experiences, he plans on sticking to tradition when it comes to the menu at El Pinto, with a few of his own personal touches. “I will be launching a weekend brunch menu that will be fresh and fun, with a unique and innovative touch that stays true to the heart and soul of the traditional menu,” he says, “These are old recipes passed down from grandma. I want to refine and add to something that has already proven to be very successful.” The iconic Albuquerque restaurant creates famous, award winning salsas, a menu staple that Chef Marc will leave untouched.

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“Why fix what isn’t broken? El Pinto’s salsas are known all over. The salsa isn’t going anywhere. Anyone who comes to New Mexico wants to eat at El Pinto. It is historic, traditional, and you are guaranteed to eat good, authentic, New Mexican cuisine,” he says. Quiñones has an easy response to his favorite type of food. “I love eating chicken,” he explains, “There are so many different ways you can approach it. I would say I eat chicken 3 to 4 times a week.” Though food options are endless, the seasoning options are too. This choice chef says he tends to use garlic as a base for most of his coveted dishes. “I love garlic, so I use it quite a bit. I like to work with a lot of Puerto Rican style and Latino style dishes as well.” Chef Marc will offer nightly specials at the restaurant, bringing his own style to the restaurant’s signature menu. Quinones’ creativity comes from a lifelong trait of experimenting with his cooking. “It’s about playing with the savory and the sweet flavors all on one plate, seeing the way the flavors work together.” According to Quiñones, growing up in the New York Bronx has a lot to do with his ability to create fantastic meals from the simplest of ingredients.


“My mom could work magic with a can of pork and beans,” he says, “And I thought if you can take something so simple and turn it into something spectacular, I can do that with other things too.” As a chef in New Mexico, Quiñones is excited to be a part of the state’s ever-growing culinary experience. After working across the country in places like New York City, Hawaii, and California, he feels right at home in the Land of Enchantment. His cooking is at home here too. “I like to use local ingredients and flavors and present them in a way that is modern, reformed, and inspired. The way you present food and the techniques in which it was prepared say a lot about it,” he explains, “When you have a different type of presentation it gives you an edge.” In a career full of highlights, Quiñones says the accomplishment he is most proud of is his experience competing on the popular television show, Cutthroat Kitchen. “Competing on the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen was one of my proudest moments as a chef, by far. It really changed my life and was a huge honor to be on the show with great chefs from places like New York and LA. I was proud to represent New Mexico, and I went all the way to the finals.” As a well-known and widely renowned chef, Quiñones acknowledges that whatever he does as a chef represents New Mexico’s culinary industry and contributes to the state’s cultural diversity. Since New Mexico is known for excellent food, it is also known for the people, like Quinones, who have dedicated their lives to making those wonderful flavor combinations on your plate. Quiñones is ready to return to his roots in Albuquerque and take the helm of the well-known and frequently visited restaurant. “I have always been a fan of El Pinto’s food and atmosphere,” he says, “It is such an honor and a blessing to come in as the Executive Chef. The restaurant is fun and busy, and so many people are coming through the doors looking for excellent food and an excellent experience. I can’t wait to work at such an iconic restaurant.” Some exciting things are cooking over at El Pinto. “We will be dry aging bone-in ribeye in house, in our own dry age room, which is a big deal. We can offer customers a unique steak experience, along with the top notch New Mexican cuisine,” he says, “We also raise chickens and get fresh eggs on the property.” With so many industries on the rise in New Mexico, it is no surprise that the food industry is making a name for itself, and it wouldn’t be possible without the chefs. “New Mexico is really going places in the culinary industry and it is truly amazing to be a part of it,” Quiñones says.

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By: Jessica Sosa Photos Provided By: Hotel Parq Central

Mixing It Up at


L

ocated inside the historic Hotel Parq Central is a swanky lounge called Apothecary. Featuring an indoor seating area with comfortable chairs and dim lighting and a spectacular rooftop patio, patrons at this local gem can sip on tasty, eclectic cocktails while enjoying a breathtaking view of the city of Albuquerque.

In fact, the infusions that Apothecary features take an ordinary drink into the realm of extraordinary, as many of the classic alcohols such as gin, vodka, and tequila feature flavors like orange or lavender. If you are a little more on the spicy side, you may even opt for a drink that includes house-infused green chile vodka. Olé!

According to Yancy Sturgeon, Managing Director of the property, what makes the lounge’s flavorsome creations so unique is the detailed dedication to the freshness and diversity of the drinks they serve. “I think it’s about our attention to detail, because these are drinks that are handcrafted,” he says, “We are using alcohol that has been infused with different spices to make most of our specialty drinks, so you will not find normal bar mixes at Apothecary. People who visit us are wanting to try that handcrafted experience.”

Choosing from the extensive drink menu at Apothecary is exciting, because you have so many options to choose from, and you get to read the ingredients included in each one, which is a unique find and a plus for cocktail lovers. Despite the fact that Apothecary has a full bar, most guests tend to go off the menu, where you will find refreshingly different beverages to take you outside of the normal bar scene.

Apothecary is known for mixing up some of the best drinks the city has ever tasted, and Sturgeon says that the staff of welltrained mixologists has everything to do with it. “We are looking for the best people who have really taken the time to learn the art of making cocktails,” he says, “Our specialty bartenders, mixologists, are very passionate and creative which helps to make our drinks so special. They work with infused alcohols to create our full menu.” 32 | swfoodie.com

“We do not have shot glasses in the Apothecary and I think that’s important,” Sturgeon notes, “We like to have a different philosophy when it comes to serving a drink; It can be delivered “neat” or “on the rocks,” but never as a shot. We are dedicated to serving classic cocktails and we hope it will set us apart from the rest.” As far as your options go, the drinks have clever names and even more clever ingredients in them. Apothecary aims for a prohibition-era type vibe due to the history of the building, so you will find a whole page of classic drinks from that era on the menu.


Picking favorites is hard to do when you have so many choices, but the city seems to be pretty fond of the Prickly Pear Margarita, an award winning tequila based drink featuring sauna blue agave tequila, Cointreau, prickly pear puree, agave nectar, and lime. No matter what drink you choose to imbibe, it’s clear that no two are made the same. “We have classics like a Manhattan that we can make, but we are going to put our own little spin on it to make it special,” Sturgeon says, “It’s truly about the creativity of making a unique cocktail, which hopefully you’re not going to find anywhere.” Recently, a friend and I decided to visit Apothecary for a celebratory drink and the rooftop experience, and I made an excellent choice in the Milady, a drink featuring house-infused earl grey gin, honey, lemon, and lavender bitters. The taste of lavender throughout the drink was deliciously untraditional, and was one of the most unique cocktails I’ve ever tried. As I have come to discover, the lounge’s large selection of bitters has a lot to do with the flavors you taste. I had to get a cocktails lesson on the word “bitters,” and Sturgeon gave me some insight into what exactly they are. “Bitters have been around for years,” he tells me, “When you include a bitter in a drink you are essentially changing the flavor of the drink without altering the cocktail itself and all of the other flavors that go into it. We’ll use it with, say, vodka or gin and it creates an amazing taste. You’ll find flavors like chocolate, orange, celery, and rhubarb upstairs.”

The lounge’s menu typically changes three to four times a year, according to the seasons, largely in part to the commitment Apothecary has to keeping their ingredients, and your drinks, fresh. “It has a lot to do with which ingredients make the most sense with the weather and the seasons,” Sturgeon says, “ For example, around the fall and winter seasons you are going to find drinks that include apple and cider type flavors. But in the summertime no one is going to order that because it’s not in season.” Even though the exceptional cocktails at Apothecary bring people in by the dozens, the lounge’s rooftop patio location is another big draw. The patio has several seating areas and tables and a full view of Albuquerque at its finest. If you come in during the late afternoon into early evening, stay until the sunset. You definitely won’t be disappointed. “This is really the only place in the city that you are going to find a view like this,” Sturgeon says, “You get the sunsets, the city lights, and the mountains. If the service is good and the drinks are good, and the view is like the one we have at Apothecary, you can’t beat it.” As for the future of Apothecary, it’s looking as bright as the city lights you can see from the rooftop. “We are local, locally owned and historic, and it really is a cool little place to check out with friends or co-workers,” Sturgeon says, “I’d like to keep spreading the word about us, as there are many locals that still have not heard of us.”

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The Best Cookie Cravings are

“RUDE” by Jessica Sosa photos provided by Rude Boy Cookies

Cookie fanatics are always on the hunt to find the perfect cookie for a cold glass of milk. Well, chocolate chip groupies look no further, because the team at Rude Boy Cookies is serving up one-of-a-kind cookies every day that will be sure to satisfy even the most hard to please sweet tooth. According to Co-owner and Founder Mike Silva, he was at a state fair when a booth selling “incredible” cookies caught his eye, and he decided then and there to open up his own cookie shop right here in Albuquerque. “Everyone has their favorite sweet,” he says, “For me, my sweet of choice is definitely a chocolate chip cookie.” A few years later, Silva teamed up with friends Kristin Dowling and Eli Quinn, who immediately jumped on board with the idea of creating a specialty cookie shop like no other. Since then, Rude Boy Cookies has become recognized far and wide for concocting “cookies with an attitude.” The shop’s name has deep roots in ska and reggae music, two of Silva’s biggest passions. “I’m a huge fan of ska music and the term ‘rude boy’ refers to the people who first listened to this music, and to the way they dressed,” he says. Rude boys originated in England and wore black and white sharp suits and thin ties. As a result, Rude Boy Cookies is decorated in black, white, and red checkerboard. The red, Silva says, is inspired by the UNM Lobo colors. Inside the shop, you will find that each cookie has a special flair all its own, thanks to the combined efforts of the team and the unique ideas they continue to dish out. “Kristin is an exceptional baker,” Silva says, “We like to try new things that are creative and aggressive and just go for it. We don’t like to do things that are fitting to the standard, we like to experiment and think outside of the box with interesting recipes and combinations.”

Rude Boy Cookies’ goal is to be unlike any other traditional cookie shop you might walk into. With a truly unique menu, the shop is an unparalleled fixture in the state. The cookie menu features both classic and deluxe flavors, including the 2 Tone Red Velvet Signature cookie, vanilla sugar cookies, and peanut butter cookies that Silva guarantees are “better than mom’s or grandma’s.” You will also find the snickerdoodle, which is Kristin’s favorite, and, of course, their own variation of the chocolate chip cookie. “We have fun trying new stuff, but it always comes back to the classics for me,” Silva says, “The chocolate chip is definitely our best seller. Having a good chocolate chip cookie is a telltale sign that you have good cookies.” If you are curious about what makes Rude Boy’s chocolate chip cookies so exceptional compared to others, Silva has an easy response. “I can tell you with confidence that no one else uses our secret ingredient, and that ingredient really shines through. Of course, I can’t tell you what that ingredient is,” he laughs. The menu’s deluxe cookies section includes the salted caramel shortbread, s’more, and even gluten free cookies that are so tasty you wouldn’t know the difference. The shop aims to offer cookies no one has ever seen, and the cookies are large compared to other cookies, at around 4 to 5 inches each, meaning you could technically satisfy your craving with just one or two (but we always encourage thirds).

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Even though the cookies bring people to Rude Boy, the other options seem to be just as popular. The shop boasts Albuquerque’s only milk bar, which has become a hit with adults and children alike. “Any bar has taps,” Silva explains, “Well, instead of dispensing beer, our taps dispense milk. We have white, 2%, and chocolate on tap.” The fun doesn’t stop there. You will also find flavored syrup for the milk, made locally by Joliesse Chocolates, in flavors such as cappuccino, banana, and raspberry. Cookies and milk are a famous combination, but what about cookies and ice cream? The shop serves local ice cream and gives new meaning to the words “ice cream sandwich.” You select the sandwich and the filling, and it’s completely customizable. “No ice cream sandwich here is ever the same. You can pick any two bars or cookies and mix and match them, and then you choose a flavor of ice cream, we only use local Creamland ice cream, and then you mash it together and make this big delicious monster beast,” he says. Rude Boy Cookies offers monthly specials and hosts ongoing events like Cookie Shot Fridays, where you get a chocolate chip cookie “shot glass” with a chocolate lining inside, and you get to shoot the milk and eat the shot glass afterward. What is more fun than a shot glass you can eat? You’ll also find different Cookies for a Cause fundraising events at the shop. With Cookies for a Cause, non-profit organizations are able to work with Rude Boy to raise awareness and money in a fun way while working with the Albuquerque community. According to Silva, helping out is a huge part of why he loves his job. “We are a minority because we are woman-owned and locally owned and operated. We love working with other local places and organizations in the city because it’s all about giving back.” If you are in desperate need of a cookie but can’t make it over to Rude Boy, you need not panic. On Fridays and Saturdays the shop now offers a delivery service. “Our delivery service is really popular with the Greek houses on campus and we are open late, 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays, which has been big for us with college kids,” Silva says, “Also, say a couple gets out of a late movie and wants something sweet, they can come in to the shop and hang out and have some awesome cookies afterward to finish off a great night.”

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Homemade Favorites Featuring a favorite homemade recipe from Angela Brauer, Anchor/Reporter for the KOAT Action 7 News team. by Jessica Sosa | photos provided by Angela Brauer

When trying to decide what you want to make for tonight’s dinner, there are a lot of things you have to consider. You want to make sure that you cook something healthy and fresh that still tastes good and pleases your pallet, but you also want to choose a meal that will be easy to make and won’t require hours for preparation or leave you with a hundred dirty dishes in the sink to clean up afterward. If you are anything like me, you have become well acquainted with the realities of life on the go. There are some days where there are so many things that have to be done that you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all accomplished. As much as I enjoy cooking and learning how to make different types of food, I can definitely admit that on busy days such as those, the idea of having to make dinner is completely unexciting, and a bit of a pain.

Luckily, there is no need to stress out about finding easy meals because there are fantastic, wholesome recipes out there that can help you save time, and they are guaranteed to taste just as good as the recipes that take hours to prepare. Why should you settle for less quality and less healthy options when you can make a warm homemade meal that will not only work for you and your potentially hectic schedule, but your family and friends as well? Angela Brauer, a news anchor and reporter from KOAT 7, has provided us with one of her fast and tasty favorite recipes, and it’s sure to bring a new spice to your dinner table. Angela needed a quick and easy dinner to make for her busy days at work, and she found it when she came across her Spicy Sausage Pasta recipe. “I work mornings and I am always running around because I am super busy at the news station,” Angela says, “I was looking around for good, healthy recipes to make for dinners a few years ago, and I found this one. I absolutely love it, and it’s a lot of fun to make.” Another upside to this flavorful dish is the minimal amount of cleanup it requires after the cooking. “Honestly one of the worst parts about cooking dinner for me is the cleanup afterward,” she says, “But the great thing about this recipe is that it uses just one pan and it is done in just about an hour.” Minimal dishes and a quick easy meal sounds like a good plan

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to me! As far as cooking the pasta, Angela says that it is highly customizable because you can tweak the recipe to fit your personal foodie preferences. For instance, she says, “You can really use any type of pasta, but I prefer to use egg noodles in mine. I think they soak up the sauce in the dish a little bit better than the other types of noodles.” She also says that the cheese is her favorite part of the recipe. “I seriously love the cheese. I put cheese on everything and I always put more cheese in this recipe than it says to,” she laughs. Another benefit to making this on the go Italian dish is that it makes for some pretty good leftovers, which, as we all know, is incredibly helpful for days when we need to bring something to work for lunch or just want something easy to heat up at home instead of cooking a new meal. “This dish holds really well in the fridge, I’ve found,” she says, “You know how sometimes when you cook pasta it just isn’t good at all when it is reheated? This isn’t like that at all, it tastes exactly the same when you heat it up again.” The tasty sausage pasta with a spicy kick has been a hit with Angela’s family and boyfriend, who all love when she makes it for them. “I am Italian so I really love to cook a lot of different kinds of pasta, and people have loved it so far so that is really great. It’s a hit for sure!” Angela says.


Here is her coveted recipe with a few notes from Angela on how to best prepare it for yourselves at home:

Spicy Sausage Pasta Ingredients:

e p i c e R

• 1 tbsp of olive oil • 1 lb of smoked sausage (Angela recommends buying a mild Italian sausage for this ingredient, but any type will work fine) • 1.5 cups of diced onion • 2 cloves of minced garlic • 2 cups of chicken broth • 1 10 oz can of mild Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles (Angela suggests that you can also use fresh tomatoes and chiles, like she does at home) • 1/2 cup of heavy cream • 8 oz package of penne pasta (Angela uses egg noodles, but any noodle works well in the dish) • 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper • 1 cup of shredded cheese (Any type of cheese is fine, and Angela says the more the better!) • 1/3 cup of thinly sliced scallions

Directions: •

First, add the olive oil to a skillet and put it on the stove over medium heat. Add in the smoked sausage and onions and cook for about five minutes, or until the sausage is lightly browned. Add in the garlic, and cook until it is fragrant, or about thirty seconds.

Add the broth, tomatoes and chiles, cream, pasta, salt, and pepper, and stir in. Bring the food to a boil, cover the skillet, and then reduce the heat. Allow the skillet to simmer until the pasta is tender, for about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Remove the skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Top the food with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with the scallions. Broil it until the cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly. Allow time for the pasta to cool and serve. Enjoy!

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Embers

by Denise Nava photos provided by Embers Steakhouse

T

Steakhouse

ucked away in one of Albuquerque’s luxury casinos, Embers Steakhouse offers a sophisticated dining experience for both visitors and locals alike. Located on the third floor in Isleta Resort and Casino, Embers is the perfect dinner spot for a romantic time for two or a fun, family get-together. Known for its excellent steak and seafood choices in New Mexico, guests can also experience a variety of cocktails during sunset on the rooftop patio.

While visiting the restaurant during the dinner hour, no reservations were needed. This may be different on other nights during the week as the restaurant is only opened Tuesday through Saturday, 5 pm to 10pm. I encourage making reservations if you have a party of six or more. Deciding to sit at the bar during my visit, service was attentive, friendly and welcoming. The bartender was on point and available when needed. Ordering a chilled glass of white wine, and crab cakes as an appetizer, the restaurant had just enough liveliness and conversation happening to enjoy a quaint dinner with others. The crab cakes were fresh and melted off the fork after dipping into the specialty Hollandaise sauce. They were delicious. Also, the bill came back with an affordable price for a night out with friends. While relishing in another glass of wine, families, friends and couples dined together throughout the night. Guests were either appreciating a break from the casino play downstairs or locals looking for hearty meal on a Saturday night. If you are a guest at the hotel and casino, Embers provides a small trip upstairs to enjoy a moment that is not like the casino experience. Formal sitting and great views, Embers provides patrons with a brief escape from the sounds of slot machines, celebratory yells and buzzers. It’s a great dining experience for adults who want a change from the common hotel restaurant ambiance.

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Not only does Embers provide a formal dining area, the restaurant does have a private room for larger parties. While hanging out at the bar, “happy birthday” rang through the restaurant walls. The birthday group was allowed to bring in their own cake and partake in dinner and drinks together. It made for an exciting surprise and entertaining addition to the night. Next to the main bar is a mini-sports bar equipped with a couple televisions, standing area, and bar top service. So if a night of drinking and cheering for your favorite sports team is on the to-do list, Embers is perfect getaway spot from the typical casino bar area. Ember’s menu has some of the originals like salads, steak, and chicken, but the seasonal dish selection has over six to seven seafood options including red trout, Atlantic salmon, and snow crab (mostly winter choices). Although these are seasonal items, halibut and trout are regulars on the yearlong menu if seafood is what your craving. As for the most popular item on the menu, Embers offers a variety of signature steaks served with seasonal vegetables and potatoes (mashed or baked) or rice pilaf. The best part about ordering a steak is being able to select the style or flavor of your steak. The steakhouse has three different options. Choose between three styles, Classic, New Mexican, and Embers. The Classic style is topped with lime cilantro butter, providing the traditional flavors for a delicious homemade steak. The New Mexican style allows your taste buds to enjoy a traditional New Mexico meal. Ordering this style will get green or red chile (or both chiles) on your steak. If you are looking for filling and tasty southwest meal, go for the New Mexican. Lastly, the Embers style steak is topped with bourbon whiskey sauce, giving customers an old-fashioned barbeque taste. When you finally add your sides, choose a glass of wine that Embers has paired with your steak style, you cannot go wrong Although the weather was chilly, a moment by the fire pit on the rooftop patio was a great way to end the evening. The rooftop area supplies guests with the perfect romantic atmosphere, especially for couples looking to escape from the normal bar scene. As I sipped my drink on the patio area, I was happy to see the weather permitted for one drink and a sky full of stars. It was definitely a view that cannot be beat. With such a great view of the Albuquerque metropolis, Embers provides an atmosphere that anyone could enjoy. To check out more about Embers Steakhouse, visit Isleta Resort and Casino’s website. Through there you can read more about the menu, seasonal food options and make reservations.


by Jessica Sosa photos provided by Street Food Blvd

Food trucks have become an exciting eating option for the foodies out there. There are pizza trucks and ice cream trucks, trucks that serve up fresh sandwiches, and trucks that wrap breakfast burritos. But when you step up to the window of Street Food Blvd, you are in for a fusion of flavors that will leave you wanting more. According to the truck’s co-owner Raul Maestas, he owns the business but he also works it, and that is important. “We like to do things that no one else is doing,” he says, “We don’t want to serve food that you see everywhere. Like with our nachos, we put a fried egg on top and people love it.” The BLVD Nacho is a hit at this food truck, featuring carne adovada, red chile pork, or brisket, corn tortilla chips, nacho cheese, pico de gallo, queso fresco, and the essential fried egg topper. Maestas classifies Street Food’s menu as “fusion food,” featuring menu items with hints of Korean, Mexican, Hawaiian, and Latin flair. Since he formerly worked at a sushi restaurant, Maestas is even known to whip up the occasional round of sushi. The key to this food truck is creativity. To keep things from getting too routine, Street Food Blvd likes to tweak the menu frequently, giving customers a chance to sample even more of the goodness. “We have a lot of regulars that come to the food truck, especially when we are parked at the breweries,” he says, “I like to change up the menu because we can’t just feed them the same thing every time. We want to give a little variety and some new things they can get excited about.” Exciting indeed, and what is more exciting than a new twist on a taco? When I stopped by the truck it was tacos galore on the menu. My plate was packed with three of the featured tacos, and although they were different, they played well together. The BBQ Pulled Pork Taco featured a bacon slaw and a mild sweetness that I find essential to good barbeque. Next I tried the Baja Beer Battered Fish Taco, which boasted a crafty green apple slaw and cilantro garlic crema, along with a Korean powder. Lastly, my personal favorite was the Tempura Fried Avocado Taco with green apple slaw. This avocado creation is one of the truck’s best selling items. “The fried avocado tacos sell well to everyone, but especially our vegetarian customers,” he explains, “People who don’t eat meat love them.” The creative menus feature everything from a brisket or chicken “sangwich,” to Korean BBQ Chicken Quesadillas and a Takone Twist, a tortilla filled with ingredients such as carne adovada, nacho cheese, and pico de gallo. Every beer battered item has a special tie to local breweries, which is unique to Street Food Blvd. “When we work with the breweries we use that brewery’s beer in our batter,” Maestas explains, “It’s a great way to work with the businesses and stay local.” Street Food Blvd loves working with the city’s local businesses and fellow food trucks. If you have a nagging sweet tooth, Street Food Blvd has the solution. The truck features treats like fried cupcakes and strawberry shortcake. If anything can improve on a cupcake, it’s frying it in funnel cake batter. “I use the batter to make the red velvet fried cupcake I have today, along with our other desserts,” he says, “The truck is a carnival type so I do like to play with that type of food.” 44 | swfoodie.com


I have lived my whole life loving funnel cakes, and knowing that I can eat a version of them outside of State Fair season is enough to keep me coming back to this food truck. For Maestas, owning Street Food Blvd has been life changing. “It’s a totally different type of business,” he explains, “But I get to keep doing what I love doing, and that is serving up great food at an affordable price. It’s a family business, so it’s great to work with your family every day.” The close bond of the staff helps give the food truck the friendly vibe it’s known for, helping people get even more excited about the food they are about to try. Maestas says that his menu is always influenced by where he is parked that day. The food is always fusion based, but you might find him at Tractor Brewing or Marble Brewery one day and the next day he could be parked somewhere a little more kid friendly. In that case, he says the food would cater more to the kids. The truck always posts its location on Facebook, encouraging fans of the unique street food to come join the flock of people enjoying whatever the crew has cooked up that day. The food truck’s mobile business has opened up a world of possibilities to the Street Food Blvd team. Say hello and buy a taco at one of the city’s Summerfests and many of the other food events throughout the year. “We want to be a part of as many events as we can,” Maestas says, “We also do event catering, and that is really fun. We either do it out of the truck or we work with you to set up serving dishes for the food.” Street Food Blvd’s goal is to “give a new name to street food,” and they have certainly accomplished it. The truck brings a specific amount of food per day, and when it all inevitably sells out, they pack up and head home. Maestas advises that owning a food truck is all about having a passion for what you do and allowing it time to pay off. “Creating a food truck is hard. You work long hours and it takes time to establish,” he says, “But you can’t give up because you are building your brand. Learn from everywhere you go and make it your own.”

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Each individual class the school offers lasts for around three hours, where professional chefs teach everyone, from novices in the kitchen to experienced cooks, how to whip up Southwestern, New Mexican, and Native American cuisine that is sure to impress even the toughest food critic. Classes offered include instruction on how to make delicious foods such as rellenos, tacos, burritos, tamales, and different types of salsa. The school also holds green chile and red chile workshops to teach you how to work with the fiery New Mexican food staple, and offers a three day long Southwest Culinary Boot Camp. Now, don’t let the words “boot camp” deter you. These classes are designed to give you all of the skills you need to be a Southwestern cooking wizard. All of the classes with Santa Fe School of Cooking are held at the school’s advanced facilities. Aside from the individual classes that are perfect for any occasion, whether you decide to go as a couple or just on your own, Ammerman says the school hosts a number of private events, including rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties. These classes range in price since they can be personally customized for each client, depending on the event and the number of guests coming along. “Rehearsal dinners are great and they are so fun to teach because a lot of the time the dinners have two families coming together, sometimes for the first time with everyone, and cooking a meal together is such a wonderful way to bond,” she says. Santa Fe School of Cooking hasn’t done any actual weddings yet, but they do focus a lot on wedding affiliated events such as these. Along with the afore mentioned pre-wedding events, ladies looking for a unique way to celebrate their recent bride status could also consider having a bridal luncheon with the cooking school. After all, cooking is an entertaining and educational activity that not only brings couples together, it brings friends and family together too. “We do a lot of bridal luncheons here,” Ammerman says, “We find that people like to come and

drink wine with their friends while they are learning to cook something new. It’s a special experience to have together.” If you choose to do so, you have the option of bringing your own decor for your event, though you can be sure the school has everything you need for what you have planned. Each person who schedules a private event with Santa Fe School of Cooking works directly with employees to ensure a highly enjoyable cooking experience for everyone involved. Santa Fe School of Cooking provides a warm, friendly vibe that draws people in from all over. If you have never lifted a spatula in your life or you just feel like wearing what you have on already, you need not fret because taking a cooking class at this school means that you don’t have to worry about dressing up or not knowing enough about cooking. The staff is here to teach you everything you should know about Southwestern cookery, and they are happy to do so, in a laidback environment. “It is definitely not one of those fancy joints where you have to worry about everything,” Ammerman says, “It’s a down home family business. It’s always been that way and that’s the way we want to keep it.” As the director, she also tries to do personal introductions for every class to show how much the school and the art of cooking means to her and to her family. With this cooking school, it’s all about family. Ammerman’s mother opened the school 25 years ago when she decided to pursue one of her dreams and as a result, opened this cooking school centered on teaching people like you about New Mexico’s regional food. Over the years, individuals, groups, and couples have found a cultural homey niche and the keys to culinary fun at Santa Fe School of Cooking. “We have continued to bring so many people in because even when people get tired of buying material things, they will never get tired of having exciting experiences,” Ammerman says, “People love to come here and take these classes together because they love to share their experiences together.”


by Jessica Sosa | photos provided by Sadie’s of New Mexico

For over fifty years, Sadie’s of New Mexico has been a spicy staple in the New Mexican food community. With a dedication to old family recipes and providing a welcoming environment, the restaurant is known among locals and people far and wide as a family place. At Sadie’s your taste buds can experience an excellent plate of enchiladas, mouth- watering sopaipillas, and, of course, their award-winning salsa. If you find that your culinary life is lacking in spice, Sadie’s has exactly what you need. According to Executive Chef Brian Stafford, his Aunt Sadie started the family business in the ‘50s, along with her brother and sister: Brian’s mother Betty-Jo. Though the entire menu is full of delicious family recipes that provide a taste of New Mexico, the restaurant is most well known for its salsa. Spicy enough to evoke all of your senses, and filled with deeply bold flavors, Sadie’s Hot Salsa brings people in by the dozens, every day. The salsa’s flavor profile might seem complex, but Stafford says the recipe is actually very simple. “It’s a blend of tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, and other spices,” he says, “We don’t use green chile in our traditional salsa, and there are no frills involved. I think that’s the mistake people make when they are trying to perfect a salsa recipe. They throw in too many ingredients and make it too complicated.” The classic, straightforward recipe, like the other food recipes at Sadie’s, is a family recipe that comes from Sadie herself. According to Stafford, she and her brother worked hard to perfect the iconic salsa recipe over the years. Even better, the salsa has remained the same over time, with few changes along the way. The Hot Salsa is a family staple for hundreds of families who have frequented Sadie’s over the years. If you like your salsa hot, there is no question: this is the one for you. “My Aunt Sadie and my uncle could eat the hottest chile ever. I don’t know how they did it,” Stafford says, “I’ve always loved to eat hot chile. But for some reason I think the chile was hotter back then. It was so hot it could make your ears ring.” Even though the salsa might not be quite that hot these days, it will still get your eyes watering and your taste buds buzzing for more. 50 | swfoodie.com


We know the hot stuff isn’t for everyone, though, and so does Sadie’s. Even though the restaurant started out with just the traditional Hot Salsa, they have since added several more variations to the mix, including the milder Sadie’s Not as Hot Salsa. “We came out with our Not as Hot later on, which is the exact same recipe as the Hot but with a mild taste. It’s what you would call a medium salsa,” he says. Along with the two classics, you will also discover Sadie’s Roasted Green Chile Salsa, Sadie’s Red and Green Chile Sauces, Sadie’s Cilantro Salsa, Sadie’s Roasted Garlic Salsa, and Sadie’s Lobo Salsa. According to Stafford, the Roasted Green Chile Salsa, made with fresh Hatch green chile, has become quite popular. As far as playing favorites, Stafford says that it’s really hard to do. But, if he had to choose, “I think the traditional Hot Salsa is always going to be my favorite. I also love the Roasted Garlic though, it’s got excellent flavor.”

The opportunities don’t end there for this versatile product. It’s used on tacos, burritos, burgers, hot dogs, and steaks. People dip their veggies into it. If you are a ranch dressing fanatic like myself, Stafford says that a 50/50 mix of the Hot Salsa and your favorite ranch makes an incredible dip. If you like to experiment in the kitchen, Sadie’s Salsa is a fun and tasty tool. At Sadie’s, you are guaranteed to find a salsa recipe that is oneof-a-kind. “I think the number one thing that makes our salsa stand out is that it’s got a really classic New Mexican flavor,” Stafford says, “It’s really about the simplicity of it. We put three or four ingredients together and there it is.”

In addition to giving locals a much-needed serving of true New Mexican cuisine, Sadie’s also gives back to the community. “The Lobo Salsa is really neat actually, and it’s a really tasty salsa,” Stafford says, “We worked with UNM to create it, and some of the proceeds from the sales directly benefit Lobo athletics.” So how do people who don’t live in or get to visit New Mexico often get a taste of Sadie’s? Stafford tells me that the salsa used to be produced at the restaurant on 4th Street, but it has become a much bigger production now that word has gotten out about the wonder that is Sadie’s Salsa. Now, people can grab a jar of the salsa around the country. “Our salsas are sold at our locations here, of course, and we sell them online and can ship them anywhere,” he says, “You can find our salsa in 10 to 15,000 stores across the country. We are also sold in Sprouts stores across the country. That is really great because stores like Sprouts are all about having very clean labels and our salsa is a very clean product. Las Mananitas in Albuquerque sells our products, as do other grocery stores around the city.” The traditional way to eat salsa is, naturally, with chips. But if the chips aren’t calling your name you never have to worry about finding something to go with Sadie’s Salsa. Stafford says that the delicious product pairs well with everything you can think of. “My brother and I have done a couple cooking shows where we show how to use Sadie’s Salsa in different ways,” he says, “You can use the Hot Salsa as a dip by adding it together with some cream cheese and eating it with crackers. We also did a crockpot carne adovada recipe with our Red Chile Sauce and diced pork. The Green Chile Sauce makes an excellent green chile stew.”

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KayTahRing

to Your Needs

by Jessica Sosa | photos provided by A KayTahRing Company

When planning any important event, whether it is a small business luncheon for twenty-five co-workers or your very own wedding day with over a hundred guests, selecting a quality catering company can be a challenge. You want to find a caterer that will fit your needs and budget, while supplying you and your guests with food that makes every bite memorable. At A KayTahRing Company, owner Hanif Mohamed and his staff know exactly how to cater any event to your liking, with any style of food you can think of. According to Mohamed, choosing to open up a catering company just sort of happened one day, and we are glad that it did. “I’ve been doing this all of my life, having spent a lot of time working with food and beverages in the hotel industry over the past thirty years,” he says, “We have a continental background in the United States and Africa, which I think makes us unique.” Mohamed brings more than his impressive work background into his business though; for him, it’s all about family, good food, and a dedication to exceptional service. He tells me that KayTahRing’s creative name comes from the names of his two children, Kayhaan and Tahir, and the “ring” at the end of the name stands for what holds them all together. Due to Mohamed’s lengthy experience in serving up creative and delicious foods to his clients, the company is able to offer a large array of cuisines for your feasting delight, pleasing even the most picky of customers. “There is a very wide range of foods that we can make for you,” he says, “Anything from classic New Mexican to Italian or something more exotic. Our food is 90% made in-house and this is all made from scratch cooking. 52 | swfoodie.com

We aren’t making large quantities of food beforehand and heating it up.” In fact, when KayTahRing caters an event, Mohamed guarantees that your made-from-scratch menu is made fresh that day, just for you. In a world of frozen foods and re-heated lasagnas, KayTahRing’s dedication to keeping it fresh is a breath of fresh air. The company’s high quality ingredients have earned them rave reviews from their clientele, who keep coming back for more. As far as creating the menu for your event, the sky seems to be the limit at KayTahRing. Mohamed and his team are ready and willing to give you a fully customizable menu to work with, and it’s all about what you are looking for. “For us, it is about the food not the fluff and that is why we find using fresh, healthy ingredients so important,” he says, “Your menu can vary depending on several factors: you, your budget, your venue, and the type of event you are hosting that you have hired us for. You help us create your menu based on what you want and we are always ready to work with your budget.”


When it comes to the amount of people you typically have to work with when planning an event, it can get stressful. There are so many different professionals to talk to and coordinate the planning with that many people find themselves getting overwhelmed. At KayTahRing, you’ll find a different kind of atmosphere to suit your needs and calm your stress levels. “We are owner operated, which isn’t something that you see a lot,” Mohamed says, “Through every step of the catering process you are dealing with me. I am answering your questions and helping you plan the exact details of the food at your event. We also do one event at a time because we do not want anyone to be stretched too thin and we want to be able to offer the quality that is expected from us.” High quality food and service is what it’s all about at A KayTahRing Company, because according to Mohamed, choosing the food for your event is one of the most important elements you bring to the table. Consider the events that you have attended recently. What do you remember? If you say “the food” right off the bat, then you are on the same track as most people. “You may take a lot of time choosing your venue or your dress or what have you, and that’s great, you should,” he says, “But when people look back at your event they are going to remember things like the food and the atmosphere, the way that it made them feel. That is why our job is so important. If the ca-

tering is bad, you are going to remember something like that. It can’t take too long or be too hot or too cold. It has to be done correctly.” Even though the excellent food is the main focus of this catering company, they also have a variety of event planning abilities that make KayTahRing a one-stop shop, so to speak, for many of the necessities. It is all about what you envision for your event and how much help you are going to need. “We can really do a lot of it for you, from helping you with the rentals, linens, and silverware, to just providing you with the food and the good service. It completely depends on your needs and what you want.” According to Mohamed, whatever you need, he and his staff are happy to do it for you. Making the catering choice for an event can be tough and at times hectic, but the friendly staff at A KayTahRing Company is here to make your job easy, and delicious to boot. If you’re tired of the same old sandwiches gracing the tables of your staff dinners, give these caterers a call: you won’t be disappointed (and neither will your stomach). “For me, it is about exceeding our customers’ expectations and providing them with excellent customer service that goes above and beyond,” Mohamed says, “We always strive to bring something unique and truly different to the table for every one of our clients.”

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Menu

Canvas Artistry

www.canvas-artistry.com

ABOUT

3120 Central Ave. SE Albuquerque, NM 87106 (505) 639-5214

Canvas Artistry offers a multi-cultural street food menu with the influences of each other combined. We work closely with local farmers and Hours of Operation vendors to ensure that the ingredients used are not only fresh, but Tuesday-Saturday 4pm - 2 am support our local economy. All dishes prepared will be planned Sunday 2pm - 12 am around what is currently in season. Canvas Artistry is an eatery, bar, and urban art collective.

Specialty Notes: Kitchen Music Art Bar

SAMPLE MENU SELECTIONS Local Flavor

Our Food

Kids Menu

Chips n Dip Green Chile Cheese Fries Jalapeño Poppers Buffalo Wings Green Chile Cheeseburger Vegan Portobello Burger Canvas Burger Taco Burgers

Asian Chicken Skewers Sweet Chili Glaze

Burger or Chicken Tenders Fries or Salad

Ahi Tuna Poké Pineapple, Sweet Onions Jicama Relish, Fried Won Ton

Desserts

Soups and Salads

Green Chile Chicken Soup House Salad Asian Salad

Tacos Pork Carnitas Tempura Battered Avocado Blue Corn Beer Battered Fish Chipotle Marinated Shrimp Porcini Crusted Carne Asada

Tempura Fried Spam Musubi Sriracha Marinated Pineapple Fried Spam, Honey Soy Reduction Braised Short Ribs Chipotle BBQ Sauce Jicama Slaw or Fries Tortas Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato Pickled Jalapeños, Chipotle Mayonnaise Served with Fries Grilled Elotes Cotija Cheese, Cilantro Lime Aioli Chimayo Red Chile

Stuffed Sopapilla Ice Cream Tacos Bread Pudding

Drinks

Local Beers Local Wines

Hand Crafted Bonita Applebum FatCap Margarita C.R.E.A.M. Nog KRYLON Cherry Tree JUXTAPOZ Daiquiri Third Eye Chai

Green Chile Fettuccine Alfredo Menu items subject to change. Items listed may not be a complete menu. Visit restaurant website and location for more information.

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Golden Crown Panaderia

Menu

www.goldencrown.biz 1103 Mountain Road NW Albuquerque, NM 87102 (505) 243-2424 Hours of Operation Tuesday-Saturday 7am - 8pm Sunday 10am - 8pm

Specialty Notes:

Locally Owned and Operated Original NM Green Chile Bread Wine and Beer Selections Latte Art

ABOUT Golden Crown Panaderia is an old fashion neighborhood bakery in the Albuquerque old town area. We have supplied breads and pastries to many of Albuquerque’s finest restaurants and hotels including the Hyatt Hotel, Petroleum Club, Smirolls International Cuisine, Albuquerque Convention Center, Amadoes Pizza, etc. Many of our wholesale and retail customers have been using our baked good for over 25 years. Golden Crown Panaderia is committed to preserving the integrity of the old fashion neighborhood bakery.

SAMPLE MENU SELECTIONS Breads

Appetizers

Sandwiches

Roasted Turkey Sculpture Original NM Green Chile Bread Honey Whole Wheat Bread Cinnamon Raisin Whole Wheat Bolillos Mexican hard rolls Appaloosa Bread Dark and light rye swirled Seven Grain

Garlic or Cheese Bread

Turkey and Swiss Ham and Swiss Avocado Wonder Pastrami and Provolone Roast Beef and Provolone Genoa Salami and Provolone

Cookies

Biscochitos "Original" Biscochitos "Chocolate" NM Wedding Cookies "Original" Marrantios " Molasses Cookie Biscochitos "Cappuccino" Biscochitos "Sugar Free" NM Wedding Cookies "Chocolate"

Pastries Empanadas Turnovers Orejas Pan Dulce " Mexican Sweet Bread" Dessert Flautas Tostadas “Cinnamon Crisps”

w/Dipping Marinara

Buffalo Wings

Baker’s Salad A blend of crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, black olives, crisp bell peppers, red onions served with a fresh small bolillo and a biscochitos.

Create Your Own Bakery Pizza Pizza Size

Personal 8”, Medium 12”, Large 14”, X-Large 16”

Crust Selection

Peasant Crust, Blue Corn Crust, Famous New Mexico Green Chile Crust

Oven Fresh Bakery Specialty Pizza Hawaiian Pizza Golden Crown's Combination Vegetable Pizza Golden's Big Meat

Drinks

Serving Seattle’s best coffee lattes and mochas.

Vanilla Latte, Raspberry Latte, Caramel Macchiato, Peppermint Mocha Trio, White Chocolate Mocha, Classic American Latte, Hazelnut Latte, Almond Latte, Classic Mocha, Carmel Mocha

Hot Coco, Mexican Hot Coco Teas (hot and cold) Milkshakes,Smoothies Soda, Juice, Sparkling Water 38 Local Beers on tap, 8 Wines and Champagne

Menu items subject to change. Items listed may not be a complete menu. Visit restaurant website and location for more information. 56 | swfoodie.com


PIÑON COFFEE HOUSE 4545 ALAMEDA BLVD NE • ABQ 5222 4TH ST NW • ABQ pinoncoffeehouse.com (505) 312-7994 (505) 312-7876


Enjoy local flavor and flair in beautiful dishes designed to pair with our New Mexico-made wine!

ALBUQUERQUE 901 Rio Grande Blvd NW 505.243.9916 FA R M I N G TO N 5150 E Main St 505.325.0711 LAS CRUCES 1720 Avenida de Mesilla 575.524.2408 D E M I N G TA S T I N G R O O M 1325 De Baca Rd SE 575.546.1179

www.stclairwinery.com

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