Bar Chain Pizza Restaurant Reviews

Boston’s Gourmet Pizza – I-25 and Jefferson Albuquerque, NM


A short while back a good friend of mine was talking about a dessert she had recently discovered, and made the claim it was the best dessert she’s ever had.  Having been invited by her to a different place for lunch, I sat there appalled and disappointed that there was no dessert waiting for me at the end that day.  Fortunately, today had a different outcome, we decided to go to Boston’s. 

Located just North of I-25 and Jefferson, it’s convenient for anyone passing through town, and familiar spot as this chain is located all over the country. 

The place is filled with jars like the ones they often make in magazines, for a cheap gift to give a friend around Christmas.   I wonder if the jars were at any point edible because I am sure they are long past that point.  I do enjoy the food related decor, rather than the random unrelated junk most places have.  jars

Dessert time.  I order this thing called the Boston’s Hot Brandy Cream Pie.  Ok, so this just isn’t fair to begin with, Boston Cream Pie is one of my favorite desserts, OF COURSE I have to give this a try.  The picture is eloquent, perfectly drizzled with a stream of chocolate, the slice of cake sitting on it’s side and perfectly clean.  That’s not what I got, but I am glad for what I got.   

DessertFirst off, it looks like twice the normal portion I was supposed to be given.  I’m Ok with that.  Not being on it’s side, the chocolate on top is what got slightly carmelized and oozy goozy.  I’m Ok with that too.  You can’t see it in the picture, but on the back side of the cake, the chocolate that had melted and oozed behind turned into this thick fudgy syrup.  The butter brandy sauce in the front, is, in a word, amazing.  I could get a glass full of this stuff and it still wouldn’t be enough.  The cake around the edge is slightly dry and crispy from being put through the oven, so it soaks up the sauce like a thirsty fish.  I’m sad to say that sauce disappeared WAY too quickly.  I was about halfway through by the time it was gone, and I had realized it was going fast so I was going easy on it.  So I guess maybe with a normal sized piece it might have lasted.

This cake didn’t last.  I was down to the last few bites when the thought ran through my head, maybe I should order another one?  Yes, it’s THAT good.  I don’t want to know how many calories it contains and I highly suggest you don’t look it up either.  Go to the gym and just stay there for a few hours, it will all work itself out in the end. 

As I was going through the pictures I had taken, I saw one that I completely forgot about. Oh, that’s right,  I ordered lunch before I had dessert.   That dessert pushed all thoughts of this underwhelming Fooddish out of my mind.  It was off of their Healthy menu, except for the sweet potato fries, I was supposed to get rice, but seriously, which would YOU choose?  If you are trying to lose weight, like I am supposed to be, don’t bother with Boston’s.  Their Pizza (which I didn’t have today) is good, especially their Ultimate Pepperoni.  But the healthy side, the veggies were undercooked (I like them crunchy, just not THAT crunchy), the sweet potato fries are good, but like most places, their sweet potatoes grow in a frozen brown paper bag.  The chicken was dry and though it did have a grilled flavor, that was about all it had. 

If you are going to go to Boston’s, get the pizza or pasta.  With a TON of excellent choices on their menu, the Healthy choices offered on the last page.  All in all, you don’t pick this place for the heart healthy tastes.  They also have a bar, so if you just want to go have a drink, hang out with friends and maybe snack on some great bar food, they’ll have something for everyone, well, almost everyone. 

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Burgers Local Restaurant Reviews

5 Star Burgers – Albuquerque, NM


So tell me this Albuquerque, why have I never had deep fried green chile before?  More on that in a moment.  Today’s adventure was the new 5 Star Burgers Next to Whole Foods at Academy and Wyoming.  What’s with all the 5 names all of a sudden?

I don’t know when they opened, and I’m not sure where people are finding out about this place, but it was packed, like really really packed.  The tiny table in the corner was available, so we sat down immediately, good thing too as another rush of people shortly followed.  This, my friends, is a good sign.  5star

The Contemporary design is clean and simple, screaming of an elegant upscale gourmet froo froo place that specializes in stuff like miso-glazed sea bass with asparagus, or grilled lam chops with curried couscous and zucchini raita.  So here comes the standard red and white menu, designed to Menumake the stomach grumble and what do my eyes spy?  Burgers.  Ok, they aren’t just burgers, they are gourmet burgers with Gorganzola cheese and carmelized onions or crispy green chile and BBQ sauce.  You can substitute chicken and they also offer lamb and turkey burgers.  Salmon, steak and salads, fish sliders, is your mouth watering yet?  It’s not a standard burger place, and seems to be designed for the picky LA Producer coming to Abq for their next film.  Don’t worry my fellow New Mexicans, not only is the place local (based in Taos), but they have some great things for a more simple taste.  

The take great pride in their all natural beef, no trans fats, recycled materials and the green friendly options.  Wonder if they’re going to be staring a biodiesel station out back?

The staff all moved with a sense of urgency and still had that new restaurant smell to go along with the new restaurant attitude.  “The burgers are awesome” our waiter said with an friendly and honest tone.  Sign me up!  You can’t go to a burger place and not get a burger!  Especially the first time. 

So let’s start with my girlfriend’s meal of choice, the grilled cheese.  Now this isn’t mom’s grill rainbow bread with Velveeta.  This is a upscale fancied up grilled cheese on sourdough with cheddar, swiss (or in her case pepper jack), provolone, bacon and a Tomato Marmalade.  She gave me a bit and my first thought, “Woah that is sweet!”  The Tomato Marmalade is very sweet, but delicious in it’s own right.  Slow the bacon kicks in and salt takes over the sweet.  The bread is perfectly toasted with just the right amount of butter and cheese.  Grilled Cheese The marmalade is a little sweet for my taste, but maybe as for it easy on tomato (or a fresh tomato) and it’s quite nice, if you like a grilled cheese.  The coleslaw on the side is also quite good, slightly different taste that I can’t quite pick out.  Fries

They serve fries and sweet potato fries, which any self proclaimed burger aficionado would claim as a requirement to go along with any decent burger, gourmet or not.  I like the presentation, served in a mini deep fry basket with parchment paper and a side of ketchup and mayonnaise and green chile mayonnaise.  Wait, don’t you mean aioli?  This is a gourmet place after all, shouldn’t they be serving Aioli?  NO, it’s mayo damnit and thanks for noticing!  Oh and let me tell you, green chili mayo, makes everything they offer taste better. Fries, burger, napkin, salt shaker, the stuff is amazing.  The fries themselves however leave a little to be longing for.  They look feel and taste like fries sliced, frozen and bagged, shipped across the country.  They aren’t bad, but nothing to get excited about. 

Now the burger, let’s start with the picture shall we? 

BurgerI almost want to just leave it at that, but as a picture says  a thousand words, words say words too, so a talking I go.  I ordered the Taos Burger, crispy green chile, bbq sauce and cheddar.  I added bacon, as you are I am sure learning, bacon makes every burger in my opinion.  So that fried stuff under the bun, that’s the deep fried “crispy green chile” and it just makes sense.  The bacon is crispy, the green chile is crispy, the bun is lightly toasted and soft, the patty, which sadly you cannot see, is thick, perfectly cooked and juicy.  Perfectly cooked for me is Medium well, get over it.  Medium well, by the way, is not easy to cook to correctly and they did. 

Ask for napkins, because when I say the burger is juice, I mean dripping down to your elbows.  The only real problem I had is by the time I got to the end of the burger, the bread was falling apart.  Juicy burger, bbq sauce ( and a touch of ketchup), green chile mayo, I mean the bread really doesn’t stand a chance. 

A beautiful view out the window brings a wonderful ambiance to the place, even with the storm clouds a brewing.  view It’s a good burger place and with plenty of options to get as fancy as you’d like (as long as you are not looking for fois gras).   Still reasonably priced, especially for the quality of food you are getting.  Just make sure you get the green chile mayo, it will add a nice little kick to anything you pick.

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BBQ Chain Restaurant Reviews

Rudy’s – 2321 Carlisle Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM


Barbeque places are a dime a dozen, meat, smoke, eat, repeat.  So what makes a good smokehouse?  Juicy meats, nice and smoky without overdoing it, a good sauce and an atmosphere that says, hey, it’s just food, come on in, sit down with your neighbor and make sure to grab some napkins. 

Rudy’s, located just off the freeway, across the street from the Hotel/Indoor Water park can’t be missed with it’s Bright Red Exterior.  

At first glance (or first couple dozen glances, because I’ve been here a LOT), you notice the sign on the side wall.  Now go back and actually READ the sign…I’ll wait…   Now what in the world would cause a restaurant of any kind to advertise themselves as the worst of anything?  Surely this place can’t be the worst, I mean if you advertised as such and it was true, wouldn’t that mean you’d do no business?  Well there is a reason they are still open, so pay not attention to the wall before you, seriously, it’s just weird.  


As you enter the place the first thing you notice is the line wrapped around a trough of sodas chilling in icy water.  Red and white are the colors of choice, as a lot of places have.  Didn’t they do a study to say that color combination makes you hungry?  If it’s not the colors it’s definitely the smell.  Even driving by you can smell the sweet smoke of slow roasted meats.  Quite the selection, but I always get the same thing.  Turkey, Ham, potato, pudding.  Menu

The potatoes are smoked and a nice dark brown color.  They are typically HUGE too.  It would be very easy to go there and just get a potato.  You can also get the potato loaded with your choice of meat, but I suggest you buy them separately and mix the two yourself.  Sour cream, butter, cheese, no bacon, no extra salt or black pepper.  The butter and cheese provides enough salt for the soft and fluffy interior of this smoky delight.  Just warm enough to melt all the cheese, just a hint of the smoke flavor helps bring out the potatoness of the potato.  It just tastes really natural.  I always plan on saving the skins, but by the time I’m done with the rest of the food, I feel the need for a nap and it never happens. 

Once upon a time I think I got the brisket, I remember not being a fan.  I’ll try it again sometime, but then there’s turkey.  Oh yay, turkey, that dry gravy soaking meat that you have at Thanksgiving.  It’s a good thing my mom makes a good gravy because the turkey is always dry.  That’s turkey, right?  WRONG.  This turkey is something else.  It’s moist and succulent, amazingly flavorful (yeah, flavorful turkey) and probably the best thing I’ve ever had smoked.  Dinner

Once upon a time my parents had a smoker.  My favorite thing was the smoked turkey, which they very rarely did because outside of the 2 months at the end of the year, how often do you see turkey in the grocery store?  It was good, very very good, but sadly a distant memory, but I’m happy to say this turkey is as good as it comes. 

The ham is also smoked and it’s amazing.  Salty and sweet, smoky like bacon, but meaty and juice.  Though today’s batch had a fair vain of fat, it was easy enough to cut out.  The downside, you pay by the pound, so that was some expensive fat! 

There are sides, most of which are served in line in their chill chest.  Several of the options are desserts, which I’ll get to Sidesmomentarily. With all the sides served family style, this is not a place you go on your own, unless you are just going for the potato.  It really deserves to be enjoyed with a large group of people at one of their large picnic type tables.  They serve a very good slightly spicy BBQ sauce on every table with salt and pepper in the old (cleaned out) beer bottles.  BTW, the turkey and the ham, do not need sauce.  I honestly think the sauce overpowers the turkey and serious, it’s juicy turkey with a ton of flavor.  Dessert

  My sweet tooth is a-calling.  A simple dessert, pudding.  Whipped topping from a can and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbs.    The crumbs are also used inside the pudding to give a slight texture to the pudding, though when the chunks are large, they get soggy, it’s somehow still good.  Well, how can you really go wrong with chocolate?  Only thing missing is an IV, but then again that would bypass your tongue, and that would be a shame. 

Every time I go to Rudy’s, I eat too much.  Everything is full of flavor and tender, juicy bits of Barbeque heaven.  It’s a chain in NM and TX, but they seem to do things right.  They are typically very consistent and have a wide selection of food for every taste, except maybe a vegetarian, unless you eat butter sour cream and cheese, then go get a potato. 

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Burgers Chain Fast Food Restaurant Reviews

5 Guys – Albuquerque, NM

I’ve driven by the place before and thought, huh, I wonder what that is?  Every time I had that thought, I completely forgot the place existed until my Girlfriend reminded me and actually looked it up.  Then a friend of Signmine at work said, “Hey, it’s Open and it’s really good!”  Ok, so there go my dinner plans, time to try a new place!  

We walk up and the place is packed, doesn’t appear to be an empty seat in the house.  I’ve seen pictures online and they all appear to be the same layout.   White and red are the colors of the day!  And the sign says it all, burger and fries. 


The line is separated out with a giant stack of potatoes and strategically places boxes of peanuts.   It seems oddly placed, I mean a burger and fries joint with peanuts?  Cause when I think burgers, I think peanuts.  I did not see a single person in the entire building eating a peanut.  Everyone is chowing down on what appears to be a pretty damn good burger and some amazing looking fries.


All toppings are free, you get your choice of a regular burger, cheeseburger, bacon burger, bacon cheeseburger or little versions of each.  The difference?  The little ones have one fresh, never frozen patty, the regular burgers, have 2 all fresh, never frozen patties.


The staff was very helpful in giving you directions if you’ve never been there before.  You pick all your toppings, which are free to add and I was sad that after I placed my order, I look over and some them piling grilled onions on a burger and that was not one of the options I picked.  Most places have “grilled onions” that are slightly warmed, not really cooked.  These were carmelized so they were nice and dark on the outside without being soft slimy piles of mush.  Next time..

Your choice of fries, cajun or regular and a very limited selection of drinks.  As we go around the corner to get our sodas, I was pleasantly surprised, 2 soda fountains with 8 selections each and hardly a duplicate amongst them.  Time for pictures!  Looking behind the counter was a mess of people running around, overcrowded, but somehow managing the dance in expert fashion.  People at the grill in the back, people wrapping burgers on the center table, off to the side making and seasoning fries, and gathering orders to give them to customer impatiently anticipating their one of a kind burger. 

Given time to look around the place, you notice all the signs on the wall.  Comments like, “The Best $5 Burger a Man Can Eat,” “Tastiest Burgers In Town,” “5 Guys Serves Heaven On A Bun.”  It would appear they are very proud of their reviews.  Let’s see if they’ll quote me. 


Ok, wait, something’s not right here?  That picture looks a little…flat?  Ok, so I took a few pictures and walked up to the menu to get one last photo.  Very shortly after a nice lady with blonde hair walks up and asks if we were enjoying ourselves and waiting for our food?
“What’s your number?” she asks.  “I’m sorry but we don’t allow people to take pictures, it’s against policy.”  Um..what?  …  Ok, so I guess now I’ll have to draw the experience to you.  PS, the above Menu picture is not mine, but I found several online that people have taken perhaps covertly.  Not wanting to get them in trouble, I only used a picture of the menu.  Maybe they want no proof they actually exist I guess.  Maybe they think we are stealing their souls?  I promise I’ll give it back! 

So finally food time.  Begin covert operation of taking a damn picture of my damn food so FriesI can post it on my damn blog and give a  damn visual aid!   So here I am checking my text messages when magically my camera went off!  Oh, I’m sorry, but since it’s here, I figure people might like to see the fries, which are amazing by the way.  These are not your typical fast food fries that are coated in a batter to make them crispy.  They are freshly cut, lightly salted, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and hot.  DAMN They’re hot!  Cajun style are also amazing, and not your typical cajun seasoning.  It’s got an herbal flavor, not sure what it was, but I like it!  Spicier than most cajun fries and just as crisp as the 5 guys fries.  You can’t tell from the cups, but they are huge, there is a ton of fries here.  On top of that, you should have seen the bag!  I would have taken a picture, but it’s against policy and I had already checked the weather on my phone and sadly no random snapshot happened this time.  Let me just say, these cups were probably at least halfway overfull. 

With the second half of their namesake down, it’s time for the main course.  So here it is, the 5 Guys Burger.


Looks promising, certainly cheesy.  First thing I notice when taking a bit, Mmmmm…crispy bacon.  I can’t tell you how much I love bacon on a burger.  Unfortunately I can’t say much more about the bacon because, though it imparted a great crunch, there wasn’t as much flavor.  I’m not a cheese snob by any means.  Give me a good chunk of cheddar on my burger and I am happy.  I am not a fan, however, of American Cheese.  For some, it may remind you of your childhood, the grilled cheese your mom used to make.  Well my mom used Velveeta.  The cheese seemed to overwhelm the burger, with as much all fresh, never frozen meat there, I didn’t really taste it much.  The bun was your standard store bought generic buns, which soak up the juice coming from the burger, making them nice and soggy. 

Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad burger, there just doesn’t seem much special about it.  Definitely go there for the fries, seriously, the fries are awesome.  Get a hot dog while you are there, or a burger, or if you REALLY like American cheese, get a cheeseburger.  It is fresh, and though the picture above may not look as appetizing as your photo they put in menus at Applebees, it’s real.  

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Chain Comfort Food Restaurant Reviews

Cracker Barrel – I-25 and San Antonio Albuquerque, NM

So pull up a chair and let me tell you about a place where family values still mean something.  Where the food is just like mom used to make and the service feels like family. 


Ok, so that may be going a little overboard, but that’s the idea, an old timey place where you can get unique comfort food like no where else in town.  The first thing you notice when walking in, it’s a store.  Wait, where’s the restaurant?  Oh, it’s in the back of the store.  If you go on the weekend, you have to wait, which makes the store concept kinda nice.  If you have a sweet tooth like me…you are in trouble.


ValomilkThis is a retro candy counter with all kinds of candy and treats that I highly suggest you check out, but do not buy anything before eating dinner.  You may wander off with a case of Valomilk like often happens to me.  You’ve never heard of Valomilk?   Dude, you seriously need to get to Cracker Barrel, if not for anything else, for the Valomilk.  I never leave the place with at least a few.


Once you get to the table you are presented with 2 GIANT menus.  Breakfast, served all day, and Lunch and Dinner.  Once again, I was given plenty of time to look over the menu, but not too much before it was time for something to drink.  You don’t need to look at the menu for this.  You want the Lemonade.  My lemonade of choice, Raspberry, you only have 2 choices, that and regular.  Normally it comes in a nice frosty mug which looks like it was carved out of giant piece of clear ice.  Today though, just a mug.  Still cold, tangy and oh so good.  They have your standard sodas and Raspberry iced tea too, but I never seem to get past the lemonade. 


Wall The decor reminds of TGIFridays in the early part of last century. The tchotchkes are all antiques and remind of me of several museums I’ve seen.   In the cold months, a nice fire is sparking, but today is a warm today, so fortunately the fireplace is just full of ash.   You are distracted from the fact that it takes a long while to even order your food as they put a game Toyon each table and off to the side, checkers.  I beat this one though, twice, while taking pictures and still waiting for ordering food.  Granted, they are busy, I’m seeing a lot of that lately and I’m impatient.  

They are known for their Chicken and Dumplings.  So of course I got the pot roast.  I’ve had the Chicken and Dumplings before, and they serve flat noodle like dumplings, which are good, but just not peaking my interest.  And seriously, how can you go wrong with Pot Roast?  Fried Chicken, Country Fried Steak, Meatloaf, Lemon Pepper Grill Rainbow Trout, this is rustic hearty food.  You get 3 sides which has a huge list to choose from.  Carrots, Mac & Cheese and Mashed potatoes round out my meal.   

Well, no style points for a clean plate, but hey, when did your mom ever serve you a pristine clean plate?  First things first, mac and cheese.  The flavor is Plateperfect even if lacking in texture.  Chefs always talk about cooking noodles until just al dente, these are not those noodles.  I imagine trays of mac and cheese sitting in the back room for hours bubbling away and the mushy noodles are my proof.  Lightly steamed carrots with a little bit of crunch…no.  You could mash them with a fork, which wouldn’t be bad, mashed carrots because they are very sweet.

Ok, so mashed potatoes maybe?  Yes, soft, fluffy, slightly chunky, skins included.  These are very rustic and just like I imagine they should be.  Now for the namesake, you don’t order sides, you order Pot Roast.  It’s good, peppery, and completely soaked in gravy, just as it should be.  Occasional you pull up these odd slimy translucent things, turns out they are onions.  You’d expect all this food to be a giant salt lick, but surprisingly, they do not taste very salty.  You’d be tempted to pour a couple pounds of salt to enhance the flavors, all of which are good if you can get over some of the textures, but I implore you, don’t.  It’s really not necessary and I’m sure that if you really take a look, it’s probably plenty salty.  Biscuit

They serve with your mean, Rolls and corn bread.  I LOVE cornbread and this is no cornbread. I expect a nice little light and fluffy puff of corn sweetness.  The mealy texture present a flavorless and bland little hockey puck. I highly suggest you pass and go for the rolls.   The rolls are good, but I’m pretty sure they are made with vinegar instead of buttermilk.  They don’t quite have that creamy texture you get from buttermilk biscuits, but a faint hint of the vinegar twang.   It’s better than the rolls I make at home, but I still think I prefer the rolls from KFC, yeah, that’s right, KFC. 

I think it stays true to the hearty home cooked meals as long as your mom was like my mom and overcooked all the veggies (or used canned veggies).  The menu is not TOO highly priced for the amount of food you get and the tastes are good, if the textures are not.  All in all, you really need to go get Valomilk.  If it were not for Valomilk, I am not sure I’d crave Cracker Barrel too often.  But hey, sometimes you even crave McDonald’s right? 

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Local Restaurant Reviews Thai

Orchid Thai Cuisine – Albuquerque, NM

A couple of years back, while I was working in the film industry, I was on a show for a short stint, just a couple of weeks.  I am not sure how it came up, but my boss told me about this dish called Luad Na.  Broccoli and wide rice noodles in this Thai gravy, delicious!  Ok, so I had to try it, which I did, but that’s really what this post is about.  I don’t want to blog about some long lost memory of my first experience there, that doesn’t really do anyone any good.  The good news though is I went there tonight, so I can talk about it all I want. 

This place is downtown, just on the edge of Nob Hill.  You can’t miss it, it’s the one with the giant murals on the side. 


The door is in the back and it feels a little seedy, but as they say, don’t judge a restaurant by it’s surroundings.  The first thing you notice when you walk in, the wonderful aroma, a mixed bag of all different kinds of Thai deliciousness.  If you could only judge a place on it’s smell, this would get top marks. 

You are given a few minutes to look around at the pictures posted on the wall, the murals on the inside and all the Thai inspired trinkets set to make you think, oooh they must be from Thailand.  And they might be, but somehow I don’t think this is how they decorate restaurants in Thailand.  I may never know.

Let me preface this by saying I am American, I enjoy American food.  I am very much a burger and fries kinda guy, so I may not always be so comfortable in such a foreign choice of food. 

When finally we were given our seats, the waitress gave us the time to look over our menu completely before checking if we were ready to order.  This may be due to the fact that at 8 on a Sunday night, the place was packed.  Though we didn’t wait for a table to sit, shortly after we did, several others had to wait.  On a Sunday?! Thai Iced Tea

We picked our meal from the complicated and strange words found on many a Thai menus.  Dumplings (hey something I recognize), Guay Teow Luad Na (can’t go there without the reason I went there in the first place), Sweet and Sour Pork (hey, something else I recognize!), and Thai Iced Tea.  Oooh Thai iced tea, it’s like drinking a big glass of Sweetened Condensed Milk, but better.  The seahorse is a nice touch too.  It’s pretty standard for what it is, but delicious all the same.  So sweet (make sure to get a glass of water too), just a hint of tea-ness, the perfect drink to go with dinner. 


Out come the dumplings.  I’m not sure what was in the sauce, but it’s got a slight tang, salty, just a hint of sweet in the background.  The Dumplings are your standard chicken based dumplings.  Fried until crispy and gone faster than you think they should be.   Dumplings

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before the Luad Na.  Mmmm… Luad Na.  Wide Rice noodles are hidden deep under a pile of Broccoli and Chicken.  Everything coated in this brown gravy.  I hate to call it gravy because gravy is what you put on turkey at Thanksgiving when mom overcooked it again.  This is a strange sauce, a mixture of sweet and salty, a hint of burnt sugar, but in a good way.  Give Guay Teow Luad Name the “gravy” in a bowl and something to dip in it!  I’m not sure what would be good to dip in in, but give it to me in a bowl anyway and I’ll just drink the stuff.  Yeah, it’s good.  

There is certainly no lack of sauce there either, as you can see, but somehow, when you finish off the broccoli, chicken and scrape up the last bit of noodles to get to that sauce, you find it’s all gone?  Did someone come by and lick the plate clean when I wasn’t looking? Oh wait, that was me. 

Broccoli is cooked to perfection.  A lot of places love serving mushy broccoli WAY more than I enjoy eating it.  This stuff has a bit of a crunch to it still, which is OK by me.  Chicken taste like sauce, noodles taste like sauce, it’s really all a vehicle for the sauce. 

Sweet and Sour Pork time!  Man that stuff is violently red, the picture doesn’t quite do it justice.   Are you noticing a theme here?  They put an Orchid on everything!  I take a bit of pork, it’s crispy even though it’s covered in the sweet and sour sauce.  It tastes so familiar!  As Sweet and Sour Pork2the question runs through my head, “I wonder what makes the sauce so red?” The answer comes to me…Maraschino Cherry juice.  It’s not sweet and sour sauce at all!  It’s just an empty bottle of Maraschino cherries that they couldn’t figure out what to do with.  Add some corn start, pineapple, red bell pepper, onion and carrots and you have a Thai sweet and sour?  Alright, I’ll go for it.  As strange as it sounds, it’s pretty damn good none the less.  May have to use Maraschino cherry juice as a glaze on my next grilled pineapple. 

All in all, the place is delicious. If you want some good food, Thai or not, they have a very large menu, and for us lazy Americans, who don’t want to take the time to learn what we are ordering, they are ok with pointing and saying, “I want that one.” 

With the overdone decor, a bit slow on the service, they make up for it with great food.  When a place does not have an empty table in the house on a Sunday at 8, they are obviously pleasing the masses, and I certainly consider myself pleased. 

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Burgers Drive In Fast Food Local Restaurant Reviews

Lumpy’s – Albuquerque, NM

Last week a friend of mine walks up to me and asks if I’ve ever had an ‘In and Out’ Burger.  Having worked in the film industry for 2 years, I am very familiar with the place, even though I have never been there.  So of course my response, no.  “Well, do you like Burgers?”  Considering I eat at least probably 3 burgers a week, that was an easy answer.  “Well there is this place, up on Central near Coors…”

The place is Lumpy’s, the style is a fast food type burger.  Before you stop reading at Fast Food, trust me, keep reading.   Lumpys

When first I drove up, I wasn’t sure what to think.  It’s a little shack on the edge of a parking lot.  Almost looks like an old style drive in, but the line was huge, so they must be doing something right.  Off to the side is another bunch of people writing on little brown Bags, a quick look at the menu explains the unusual ordering process.

The bags have the menu in the form of checkboxes.  Next to the bags, a stack of crayons. First, pick your burger, 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4,  you want lettuce Tomatoes and Onions?  Check the boxes.  Wait… no bacon?!  Seriously?  Ok, for the moment we’ll overlook this little oversight.   Lumpys Bag

Next, what kind of cut to your potato?  You’ve got Chunky, Skinny or Skrewy.  I got the skrewy fries, which are more like the spiral cut potato chips like you get at the fair. Mini Corn dogs, chicken strips, and your choice of soda or tea rounds out the menu.  Wait, what’?  That’s it?  Seriously, it’s only burgers and a couple choices for the “young at heart” crowd.

Ok, so bag filled out, standing in line and you could tell who has been there before because there was a stand of baskets.  In these baskets are the potatoes that you pick from.  Yeah, that’s right, you pick your own potato.  Make sure to grab a nice big potato because you’ll probably be standing in line a while anyway.  Oh yeah, and they have sweet potatoes too.  It took close to an hour from the point we got in line, to when we got our food.

It was worth it. The sweet potato fries, skrewy, amazing.  They break up more than the idaho potatoes, but so sweet and crispy.  The regular potatoes were less cooked, but strangely good.  Some parts nice and crispy, other parts soft, just a little salty, I’ll have to go back and try the other cuts.

Ok, so the burger.  I got cheese, lettuce, green chile, ketchup and ranch.  They also have this Cali sauce, which is similar to Thousand island, but smoother and creamier, slightly tangy, slightly sweet.

The 1/2 lbs consists of 2 1/4lbs patties.  The never frozen meat is cooked on a super hot griddle giving a nice brown crust on the meat.  The buttered and toasted kaiser is soft on the outside, crispy on the inside.  The cheese is ridiculous, it’s what I call a CHEESEburger.  It’s a fast food burger, it’s greasy, gooey, very large and thin and in every way damn good!  The closest thing I could relate it to is Blakes, but better (which is saying something because I like Blakes, but that’s another show).  The only thing missing, is bacon, that burger would have blown my mind, if it had bacon.  Lumpys Menu

It’s fresh, it’s local, and it’s certainly worth the drive, not only for the experience, but for the food as well.  It’s not gourmet, but it’s not supposed to be, just a damn good simple burger with an unusual experience.  Go forth and comment.�

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