Thursday, November 04, 2010

There'll Be Some Changes Made

I'm not too big on putting a whole bunch of personal information on the blog. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but the personal stuff (except as it applies to hunting, fishing, tramping about, cooking, reading, and so forth) isn't really relevant.

In any event, by way of explanation as to why my already sparse blogging is going to get even lighter and the context of SFA is going to change a bit; A and I are moving, transitioning from high desert to the boundary of the Southern Great Plains and the Northern Chihuahuan Desert. The reason for the move is a job, of course. I've been out of work for a stretch and hey, you go where the work is. Although headed for flatlands, we'll still be in NM and have a bit of elevation, along with living within sight of mountains (though, being NM, that can still be a good part of a day's drive away).

So, our duck hunting has been delayed a bit and, once it starts, it'll probably be on smaller waters and perhaps playa lakes. I anticipate good quail hunting.

I've had a good time the last thirty years in Albuquerque. Even though the city has grown so continuously that a lot of the fun stuff is further out or harder to take advantage of, you have to love the open space and the variety of outdoor adventures only a couple hours away.

For those visiting Abq., I'll offer a few suggestions that might not be found in guidebooks.

First, the best breakfast in town is carne adovada and eggs at the K & I Diner on South Broadway. I'm a big fan of carne adovada and try it almost everywhere, at least once. If it isn't best at the K&I, it's darned close. Plus, their coffee is pretty good.

Next, the best live music venue in the area is the Santa Fe Brewing Company. Located on the south end of Santa Fe, it's a forty-five minute drive from Albuquerque and they offer good beer made on location, good food, and host a lot of good shows, particularly during the summer and if you like Americana. If you're spending a couple of days in this area, check out their schedule to see if you can catch a show. While there, buy a growler of their Chicken Killer. Smooth, malty, dark-ish. Good beer and, at 10% alcohol the bartender will warn you to be sure to "drink it all in one place".

NM has a wine industry and many of the wines are pricey if good. One exception is Gruet sparkling wine. The blanc de noirs is a great food or sipping sparkler at any price, let alone the $11-15 you find it for retail. Their winery is located along a freeway frontage road here in town. Not exactly scenic (and the grapes are grown 200 miles south) but worth stopping in for a taste.

If it's cold, or if you have a cold, or just feel like warming right up, stop by a Bob's Burgers and get a large chile cheese fries (green). Bob's has the hottest green chile of any of the burger joints and the combination of yellow cheese, salty fries, and hot chile will soothe your throat, clear your sinuses, and bring a sweat to your brow to break that fever (if sick, otherwise, it just tastes real good).

Best gun store in town for used, antique, or really interesting is Ron Peterson's.

Northern New Mexican food in a dark bar- you can always get fideos, quelites or carnitas at Charlie's Back Door. The food isn't always great, but it's usually good and the menu is unique in this city.

Best baguette in town, and probably the state, is at Le Paris up on Eubank.

All this is purely one guy's opinion, of course, and a semi-native at that. Thinking about this stuff, I'm struck by what's no longer around town: best fish taco place-gone, best bar for live music-gone, best Vietnamese food by a mile-gone, best fly shop-changed much for the worse, best grower's market- isn't a really good one anymore; best video store-gone, the big used bookstore-gone, the bookstore that held lots of author readings-gone. Guess it is time to check out a new scene.

P.s. Title reference here.


Chad Love said...

Good luck on the move, and I can sort of commiserate on the job situation. Lately the only thing I've been doing full-time is keeping my wife's bird feeders full...

Hope you at least have the opportunity to work in your chosen field with the new job. I've been contemplating that used book store more and more lately. That or a goat farm or something...

If you're in an area with quail perhaps some time I could shamelessly mooch a hunt off you. Next year I'm considering a NM and/or AZ "upland freeloader's odyssey" in which I travel across NM in search of desert quail and mountain grouse. Figure I could bum a trip from Steve Bodio, bum a trip from Greg get the idea...

Look forward to the resumption of your blogging once you get settled in...

Peculiar said...

It'll be a pity not having you so close, but I definitely want to spend some time in those southeastern mountains one of these days. Best wishes on the new job! And I may have to print a copy of this post to keep in the car for when we're hungry in Albuquerque.

mdmnm said...

Definitely give me a shout- McReynolds probably has better grouse spots, but I know some (usually) good mountains & meadows. As for quail, there should be scaled quail & gambels & I've flushed Montezuma's in the nearest mountains to where we'll be on turkey hunts.

Jackson- thanks! You all head down there-give us a shout and we can provide a base.

Hubert Hubert said...

Yeah, good luck on the move! I really enjoyed this post by the way, very interesting for me, a Brit, to get a local's tour of a town like this. Cheers,

Chas S. Clifton said...

Good luck, and thanks for the recommendations. Too often I am just blasting through Albuquerque on the highway or, if traveling by Amtrak, restricted to the Central Avenue area. But there are two bottles of Gruet in the fridge--it is darn good for the price.

Terry Scoville said...

Chad, best of luck with your move and new job. I look forward to your continued adventures afield.

mdmnm said...


Thanks, too & welcome. A bottle of Gruet in the fridge is always a good stash- ready for a small celebration or pick-me-up. If you have a bit of time in the train station, there's a new French bistro a couple of blocks away that I've heard good things about.


Anonymous said...

Good luck moving. I left Montana after 30+ years and have been in Wyoming for just under a year. Always hard to give up old haunts, but discovering new ones can be fun too. Get back on the blog soon, it's great to see your thoughts.

EcoRover said...

Thanks for the tourist tips and good luck on your move. Hope you have fine adventures afield from your new home. My condolences, by the way, to "Anonymous" who had to leave Montana for Wyoming. That's gotta hurt.

Steve Bodio said...

Mike, Chad, Jack-- let us ALL get together somewhere for quail--?? I mean, I am walking well for the first time in a couple of seasons and who knows how long? NM isn't that huge or OK that far away...

I don't know how the population will be here yet but will soon. For Chad: land here ( western Socorro cty) is spectacular, population iffy, altitude fierce for those used to lower elevations as BOTTOM is 6500'.

You new area-- will call- may be better, and you have small pond ducks even more so if my semi- secret new surprise peregrine is working...

Good luck!

mdmnm said...

Thanks! Yeah, the learning curve for new country is tough and the last few years I've come to rely more and more on knowing some places and times. On the other hand, as you say, finding a new spot is good fun in its own right.

Welcome to the tips, hope you get down to try some of them out.

Yeah, a new year quail hunt sounds good, particularly if we can locate some birds.

Pete said...

Mike, a bit belatedly but nevertheless, best wishes getting settled in. I had no idea that getting skunked for one lousy grouse season could drive a man straight out of town, but what ya gonna do? :-) Looking forward to your hunting and cooking adventures in new areas.

Trout Caviar said...

Happy holidays to you and yours, Mike, and very best in 2011. Hope the move brings many good things.


mdmnm said...

Thanks for the wishes. With any luck, hunting (& blogging) by around the turn of the year.

Brett- Thanks!
Happy Holidays to you all, too.