Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Dying of Consumption

Yes, that is a really cheesy title for a blog post, but we ate a fucking LOT of cheese over the last couple of weeks. Christmas was spent with my sister Jesse and brother-in-law Michael J. Fox in Albuquerque as well as in Phoenix with the rest of my folks. A trip to New Mexico is always hotly anticipated due to that state's being the home of two prime eating locations: The Frontier in Albuquerque, serving the best green chile breakfast burritos ever:

and the town of Pie Town, which has TWO restaurants serving pie: the Pie-O-Neer,

and the Daily Pie Cafe.

I ask you, what is not to love about a state that contains both of those heavenly places, AND the Very Large Array? But wait, there's more: Jesse and Mike introduced us to two more craveable places in town. One, a Mexican restaurant called El Norteno, served the most succulent barbacoa that I have ever tasted, and the other, Garcia's Kitchen, which made such spicy and rich and truly unforgettable green chile -- both pork and chicken -- that I don't think any other will do for me from now on. Not to mention Monica's El Portal, whose stuffed sopaipillas with chicharrones were crispy and fatty and just perfect for helping me forget the incontinent woman who sat next to me, reeking, on the plane ride over.

I'm not sure I am going to be able to contain all of the goodness of this vacation in one post, because already I'm forgetting that even before we arrived in New Mexico, Andy and I had the amazingly great fortune to have our connecting flight out of Dallas leave from the new DFW Terminal (Terminal D, if you find yourself there and hungry), which houses an airport branch of the Reata Grill. The Reata in Alpine, Texas was the home of one of my earliest food epiphanies -- smoked quail over pasta, which sounds so simple but was so perfect -- so I was literally jumping for joy in the terminal when I spotted it. There is nothing like some pork tamales with pecan salsa and a very cold draft Shiner Bock to make you forget you have been on a cramped plane for four hours.

So, onward from Albuquerque. We ate at the Daily Pie Cafe in Pie Town.

Jesse won, I think, with her apple-cranberry walnut crunch pie, but I won for weirdness with my "New Mexican Apple Pie" which was described by our waitress as "a sort of woody flavor, with pinon nuts and green chiles." That was kind of how it tasted. Woody.

Before that we had stopped at the Very Large Array to take lots of photos of ourselves posing next to enormous radio antennae that communicate with the cosmos.

(This is just this mini-VLA that we played with -- it is like a whispering gallery)

Those antennae are Really Big.

In Phoenix we breakfasted on citrus from my parents' trees. This was the healthy build-up to a weekend filled with such things as a Christmas breakfast of Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding and bacon cooked on the barbeque and Champagne:

creamy soups for dinner, all the Black Butte Porter and Shiner Bock we could drink (which was not actually all that much given that we were at a much higher elevation than we are at home), and occasional gorgings on my two favorite California fast-food outlets that have been imported to the endless suburb that is Phoenix: Rubio's and In-n-Out Burger. Bask in the glory that is the Double-Double Animal Style:

Mmmmm. Fish tacos. I see them on menus at fancy restaurants, but I never order them, because Rubio's has perfected the recipe for $1.59 each. Seriously. Why mess with perfection?

Eventually we came home, full to the point of exploding. So what did I do? I made a huge vat of baked macaroni and cheese. On the plane next to the stinky lady, I groggily asked myself the question: what one food could I literally eat all day long if there were no fullness issues and no health or weight consequences? And the answer I came up with was baked macaroni and cheese. I just can never get enough of it. No helping is ever too big. Something about the blandness, the saltiness, the texture, the greasy cheese -- I could eat it for an entire day. What could YOU eat for an entire day without ever getting sick of it?

And now, I heed the siren song of the elliptical machine. I will post more, and photos, as I remember it. Right now it is all one giant cheesy blur. See, I almost forgot to mention the mini cream puffs that we dipped in chocolate fondue on New Year's eve, and the fried cornmeal cheese-stuffed things that Sabrina made earlier that evening. What kind of food blogger do I think I am? The forgetful kind, that's what. Oh, and also, the Golden Crown Panaderia across the street from Jesse and Mike's house?

The one that makes the Green Chile Bread and the gingerbread pigs and the bread shaped like a whole turkey? It ROCKED.


At 7:08 PM, Blogger Mona said...

Did you say In-n-Out animal style? Dang! I'm impressed. I thought that was known only to the west coasters :) I would do anything for one of those burgers. I think they need to better their fries but what gives. I'll take a shake instead. Happy New Year!!

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Mrs. Delicious said...

Mona, you are so right -- their fries are awful. I don't care if they are "fresh not frozen" -- they suck. I lived in Berkeley for two years enjoying the beauty that is In-n-Out, but made the Animal Style's acquaintance long ago when my friend from San Diego took me to In-n-Out for the first time and schooled me in its secret menu ways. Happy New Year to you too! I loved reading about your Christmas in Big Sur -- made me homesick for NoCal!


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