Spaghetti and Meatballs – A Taste of Italy Restaurant

Whenever you’re in the mood for something simple and easy, you can never go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs at A Taste of Italy. This cute little restaurant deserves attention because they offer delicious food at a reasonable price, plus you can expect quick service.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs at A Taste of Italy

Guests who come in for the first time head to the counter and order the food upfront and choose a booth to sit in. On this trip, the spaghetti and meatballs was a classic choice. The marinara sauce tastes a little tart, but it works well with the pasta and meatballs. In addition to your main course, they offer a light salad while they prepare the pasta. It may not be much, but you get some greens while you wait for your food.

What is surprising is the buttered Italian bread because it tastes so delicious. When you expect toasted bread, it should be a bit crunchy on both the crust and inside; however, when you sink your teeth into the bread it is super soft and super buttery. They spare no waste at great bread to go along with your meal!

Italian Bread

Buttered Italian Bread at A Taste of Italy Restaurant

So when you are in the mood for the classics, A Taste of Italy is the place to go. It can work as a family night to get some Italian food for a good price. Their atmosphere is a bit quiet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of peace while dining in. If you’re not a spaghetti fan, they offer lasagna, and Italian-style sandwiches. While their selection is quite small, it’s still worth the try to get away from the big restaurant names and popular places for something different.

A Taste of Italy is located at
1945 Juan Tabo NE, Albuquerque, NM
(505) 275-8334

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Bandeja Paisa – El Pollo Real

Colombian arepas

Colombian arepas with salsa at El Pollo Real

Colombian food is quite a treat if you can find it in New Mexico. I  enjoy eating the cuisine as often as I can because it is unique to the culture and lifestyle from Colombia. In this latest post at Eat Local NM, the Bandeja Paisa is a great plate to relish in the taste of Colombian food.

First, let me introduce to you Colombian arepas. Arepas are corn meal cakes that are baked, usually tough and served warm–just think of a very thick, hockey-puck size and shaped corn tortilla. But the Colombian arepas are unlike what I just described. They have a cheesy interior and have a soft buttery taste that simply melts in your mouth! If you intend on going, I recommend ordering their Colombian arepas.

Bandeja Paisa

Bandeja Paisa at El Pollo Real

After the arepas, I ordered the Bandeja Paisa. This dish consists of a lot of meat, including a strip of steak, chorizo, and chicharron. The chorizo is a Colombian-style sausage with a variety of meats, and the chicharron is a strip of deep-fried pork rind. These meats are very delicious if you have a penchant for a variety of meat choices. Along with the meat, this plate comes with rice, beans, a cooked egg, an avocado slice, and cooked plantains.

The intended audience for this appetizer and plate are for those seeking something different and those who have lived in or visited Colombia. This dish looks similar to what you might find on a farm: eggs, meat, beans, rice. So if you like eating those items, this dish is for you.

Prices:

Colombian Arepas ~ $4
Bandeja Paisa ~ $11

El Pollo Real
600 Lousiana Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108

505-266-2305

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Chinese Special #1 – South China

Egg Flower Soup at South China

Egg Flower Soup at South China

On my visit to South China, I ordered the special along with my family. What this includes is soup, appetizers, and three different plates along with fried rice.

The first item on the course was egg drop (flower) soup with fried chow mein noodles. It is pretty much a standard soup, but it tastes excellent. It’s not gooey or watery, just right.

The next items were the appetizers. There were three egg rolls, six chicken pot stickers, and six fried chicken wings. These three were pretty good. The picture displayed below shows a sampling of what one might get while out dining.

Appetizers - Chicken Pot Stickers, Egg Roll, Fried Chicken, and a spoonful of sweet and sour sauce

Appetizers - Chicken Pot Stickers, Egg Roll, Fried Chicken, and a spoonful of sweet and sour sauce

I hardly have had pot stickers before, but they went very well along with the sweet and sour sauce. I was delighted to eat the fried chicken, and the egg rolls were small, but delicious too.

The main course were the three plates of Chinese food and fried rice. When a group selects the special, there are just as many corresponding plates as there are as many people. For example, when a couple choose the special, they get Sweet and Sour Pork, Chicken Chow (or Lo) Mein, and fried rice. When three choose the special, they get Sweet and Sour Pork, Chicken Chow Mein, Peppered Steak, and fried rice. When four choose the special–you get the idea, an extra Chinese plate.

Main Course at South China

Main Course at South China

You get a lot of food at South China, which is a great deal for the price you pay for.

Now for the food. Since I was in a group of three, we were able to get three plates: sweet and sour pork, chicken chow mein, and peppered steak. The sweet and sour pork is pretty much as it is, sweet and sour sauce covered around breaded pork chops along with a topping of sesame seeds. The chicken chow mein is an amalgamation of bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, crispy noodles, and, of course, chicken. The peppered steak is a simple item of thinly sliced steak sauteed with onions and bell peppers.

This meal is intended for people who want a lot of food for a great price. Also, if you dine-in regularly, the staff usually remembers what you regularly order. That is an awesome convenience for eating often there.

Prices:

Chinese Special #1 ~ $8.00 per person
Hot Tea ~ $1 per person
Iced Tea ~$1.50 per person

South China
1502 Wyoming Boulevard NE
Albuquerque, NM?
(505) 323-0072

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Albuquerque Maize (Corn) Maze – Rio Grande Community Farm

Corn at Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm

Corn at Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm

Who says food is meant for humans? In this Eat Local NM post, I talk about corn that is grown in a farm within the city boundaries of Albuquerque. It’s neat to see that this farm is in the middle of an urbanized city. But that doesn’t defeat the purpose of getting out of the urban environment to get some fresh air and a change of scenery.

Corn field at Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm

Corn field at Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm

The Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm is a way for kids and adults to have fun walking through a corn maze. Every year they design a different and difficult maze on the corn field for people to walk through. Also, while inside of a corn maze, it’s hard to keep your bearings. The great advantage of having a corn maze in Albuquerque is that you can sometimes find the Sandia Mountains through the thicket of corn stalks and a couple of trees on the border of the field. Other than that, you are on your own with the provided map to navigate through the field.

Besides that, the corn on the field isn’t suitable for human consumption. According to their flier, the corn they grow and harvest goes toward birds. It is a kind of corn that has hard kernels and its purpose is for dry animal feed. Animals in New Mexico have to eat too, and this is a blog about food discovered and eaten in New Mexico. After inspecting a few ears of corn, it is simply difficult to remove the kernels.

Ear of corn at Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm

Ear of corn at Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm

Corn field at Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm

Corn field at Albuquerque Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm

The purpose of this field is to capture the adventure of kids and adults as they traverse through a corn field. As a reminder for those who come late in the day before sunset, bring a flashlight, and light jacket, since the corn field closes well after sunset at 9 p.m. Optionally, bring a camera with you and capture your adventure through the maze!

For more information, visit http://www.riograndefarm.org/programs-events/maize-maze/

Admission Prices:
Children (under 4) ~ Free
Children (4-11) ~ $4.50
Adults (12 and older)~ $7.50

Event span:
September 3- October 31st, 2010

Hours:
Fridays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Saturdays, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sundays and Holidays, 11:00 am- 6:00 pm

Rio Grande Community Farm – Maize Maze
1701 Montano Road NW

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Breakfast Burrito & Sweet Roll – Frontier Restaurant

Breakfast Burritor at Frontier Restaurant

Breakfast Burritor at Frontier Restaurant

Frontier Restaurant is one of the most popular hangouts for nearly everyone. Plenty of people dine at the Frontier because their food is great and quickly made to order. A lot of college students frequent the establishment, and sometimes come back again the same day.

On this trip to Frontier, I had two of their popular items: a breakfast burrito and sweet roll. These delectable menu items are what make the Frontier a great place for anyone needing a quick bite.

The breakfast burrito is made with a tortilla, one that is made in the restaurant on their tortilla-making device which you can see from the dining area. It is filled egg, cheese, hash brown, and green chile. This burrito is very simple and affordable. The fact that their tortillas are made in the restaurant means that they strive to serve their food as fresh as possible.

Sweet Roll at Frontier Restaurant

Sweet Roll at Frontier Restaurant

What I had next is another favorite menu item. Sweet rolls are ordered on their own and it’s just what you get. A honeycomb-like roll with a buttery sugar glazing. They prepare these rolls ahead of time, spread the butter and sugar on top, and refrigerate. When one is ordered, it goes into the microwave where the roll is heated up and melts the butter to make it a very delicious dessert. It is important to eat this roll when it is warm, because it is soft and gooey.

The intended audiences for these two menu items are those who want to get a quick bite, dine with friends, or just love great food.

Price ranges:

Breakfast Burrito ~ $4.50
Sweet Roll ~ $2

Frontier Restaurant
2400 Central Avenue Southeast
Albuquerque, NM 87106-3507

(505) 266-0550

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