What's your restaurant scene?

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What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Larry Greenly » Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:35 am

Albuquerque is definitely a restaurant city. There are more than all the Starbucks and WalMarts put together.

Off the top of my head, we have several French restaurants, myriad Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, New Mexican and Old Mexican, American Indian, Italian, and Middle Eastern, Cajun, Greek, Steakhouses, BBQ houses, Cuban, Persian, Spanish, and East Indian. Of course, it goes without mentioning the plethora of fast food joints.

The reason we have so many Asian restaurants and grocery stores is that Vietnamese refuges were located here during the 70s.

So, let's hear about your local restaurant scene--good or bad.
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:51 am

Larry
I'm interested to hear what American Indian cooking is like - a cuisine for which I've never even seen a restaurant.

As for our Norwich scene, plenty of Modern British; Indian(Bangladeshi/Pakistani to be precise); Chinese; Italian; Thai. I suppose I should add to that traditional British (e.g. Fish & Chips; Pub food).

Next level (3-4 restaurants): Tex-Mex; Spanish/Tapas; Greek

Then the odds and ends: Lebanese; Moroccan; Turkish

Probably a couple I've missed out.

There's no longer a French restaurant in town, but plenty of French influence in Modern British. Wish we had more variety in asian restaurants (Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Vietnamese etc.).

regards

Ian
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Larry Greenly » Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:27 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Larry
I'm interested to hear what American Indian cooking is like - a cuisine for which I've never even seen a restaurant.

Wish we had more variety in asian restaurants (Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Vietnamese etc.).


The Pueblo Harvest Cafe is located within the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which showcases the 19 recognized pueblos in NM.

I've never eaten there, but the food leans toward southwestern or New Mexican style. Some sample fare: traditional horno-baked bread, Indian fry bread, posole, mutton stew, corn fries, and red or green chile stews, carne adovada, pumpkin pinon bread, Indian tacos, blue corn pancakes, bread pudding, cinnamon biscochitos, etc.

Too bad you don't have any Vietnamese restaurants. A good Vietnamese restaurant is a good restaurant, indeed.
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:01 pm

In the Buffalo/Niagara area, there are, of course, lots of places that do chicken wings well. It's worth noting that there are very few national pizza chains in the area, as they can't compete with the local fare. A while ago, for a similar thread, I counted the pizzarias listed in the yellow pages - of 45 listed, there were two Pizza Huts (both in tourist areas) and one Domino's. With a large percent of the population having a Catholic heritage, Friday Fish Fries are also abundant, usually haddock, but several places also offer local yellow pike or perch from Lake Erie. Aside from some decent Chinese places located in shopping centers, there is very little in the way of other Asian cuisine. Lots of italian, but not much in the way of Mexican, Indian or BBQ. My favorite fine dining place is located around the corner from me. Here's a tasting note from a dinner there a few years ago.
http://www.wineloverspage.com/user_submitted/wine_notes/tn_536835.html
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:35 pm

Sac-town has a pretty vibrant restaurant scene. We're, of course, not in the league of a place like San Francisco or Boston, but it's come a long way in the last twenty years or so. Ethnic food is big here. Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean places abound as do long-standing Japanese and Chinese restaurants. Lot of good Mexican food, as you might expect. And it's not hard to find examples of any of the above in which your server will have a hard time communicating in English. Restaurants representing European countries are less numerous. There are plenty of Italian places, of course, but only a couple each for Spain, France, Russia, and Eastern Europe.

We have a couple of chefs who have achieved some level of fame outside the area, including Biba Caggiano and Mai Pham. There are a slew of young chefs as well who are trying to make names for themselves, often by specializing in food made from seasonal local ingredients.

As for fine dining, we have the restaurants associated with the above chefs, a couple of high-end steak places (Morton's and Ruth's Chris), and a number of trendy California-food places.

And there's one place here that I think is pretty unique. At The Kitchen, you get very fine food all from local sources in what amounts to a dinner party atmosphere with a touch of Emeril thrown in for good measure. It's an amazing place that I really like (although my wife wouldn't go back if you paid her.)

Overall, I think we do reasonably well here.


Mike

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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:17 pm

We are situated in right smack on the line between what New Hampshire calls the “Seacoast Region” and the “Lakes Region.” They are quite culinarily different. To the north most of the upscale restaurants are in country inns. Most of these allow dinners who are not guests, and many are excellent providing eclectic menus with capable chefs, many who hail from stressful positions in Boston, New York, etc. To the south the primary venue is seafood, but in places like Portsmouth and Dover there are many independents with a wide range of specialties. Ethnic food is not as diverse as we would like. You can get excellent Italian food at all levels from up scale down to each village’s “________House of Pizza.” There is small handful of acceptable Chinese restaurants and the local Vietnamese run Thai restaurants sometimes right next door to each other. There are a couple a decent BBQ places, but no Mexican restaurants of any note. Cinco de Mayo may as well not happen here restaurant wise.

The nearest restaurant that serves dinner is twenty to twenty five minutes away in good traffic and weather, so we eat at home a lot.
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:10 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:Albuquerque is definitely a restaurant city.


Louisville is too ... rumor has it that the city has more restaurants (or does more dining out, or something) per capita than any other city in the US. I can't claim that we're a match for dining destinations like NYC or Boston or San Francisco, but we beat up on other regional cities like Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Nashville and, I'd argue, even larger between-the-coasts metros like Atlanta.

We have a good mix of ethnic (including some offbeat entries from a surprisingly large and diverse refugee community - Vietnamese, Bosnian, Senegalese - and a growing body of upscale eateries with signature chefs doing innovative stuff.

It's a great town to be a food-and-drink writer in.
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:43 pm

Not very good here in Redding. Recently, an upscale Maritime Restaurant and Grill has opened and offers fine dining with beautiful presentations. A couple of local Italian places serve good food with nice atmosphere. Two nice local Mexican restaurants serve good food. Newer on the scene is Vantage, which pairs wine with small bites, and a new steakhouse across the street,….both hot spots with the 30+ crowd, noisy, but busy. Redding is full of Starbucks, and local coffee houses (which have better coffee than Starbucks), Olive Garden (which the locals love) Red Robin, Logan’s, Outback, etc.

About 70 minutes away in the mountains, the towns of Mt. Shasta and Dunsmuir have some very fine restaurants, with very good chefs. The locals flock there on weekends and special occasions. The artsy scene is getting big here, more cultural events happening, lots of folks with money in this town, and the foodie scene is getting better. We are still a steak and potatoes town, but with the population reaching 100,000 mostly from So. CA and the bay area, I believe we are seeing a good change. Trader Joe’s is supposed to offer us a brand new store in 2007 and the supermarkets finally carry most of the products I want.
It is interesting that all around us are many very small towns that seem to have the best restaurants. Just minutes away in a small village that still looks like the old west, is a great locally owned restaurant that serves terrific breakfasts.
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby TimMc » Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:40 am

The San Joaquin Valley is famous for it's eateries.

Italian, Mexican, Basque, Asian...it's all here. :D
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Larry Greenly » Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:43 am

Robin Garr wrote: Louisville is too ... rumor has it that the city has more restaurants (or does more dining out, or something) per capita than any other city in the US.


It would be interesting to calculate the figures. I know Albuquerque is up there; we have a restaurant about every 100 feet.
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Re: What's your restaurant scene?

Postby Robert J. » Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:47 am

Robin Garr wrote:Louisville is too ... rumor has it that the city has more restaurants (or does more dining out, or something) per capita than any other city in the US.


I've heard this about Austin, too. I'm not sure if it holds anymore but our scene is thriving. We have it all with an obvious tilt toward Mexican. There are plenty of good Asian places as we have a good population. Also, good Indian (eastern), French , Italian, Seafood, Continental and, of course, barbeque.
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