Joe and I recently visited a Vietnamese restaurant here in Albuquerque and tried a Bahn Mi sandwich. It was good but it didn’t have the explosion of flavors that I’ve always heard a great Banh Mi should have. I did a bit of research and came up with a recipe that I think captures the flavor that I was expecting. Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich made with a crusty roll or a baguette, loaded with a marinated protein such as pork, chicken or beef, seasoned pickled vegetables and a tangy spicy dressing. One bite, and I knew this sandwich had exceeded my expectations by far. There are so many layers from the tangy salty flavors to the sweet and spicy tones. There are 3 preps that you need to do a few hours ahead to marinate the meat, brine the veggies and mix the sandwich spread. When it’s time to put it all together, you only need to stir fry the meat and lightly toast the baguette before building it. I hope this version of the Banh Mi Pork sandwich appeals to you as much as it did me!
Posted at 11:15 am by NativeNM, on August 27, 2021
Dion’s is a local restaurant chain that has been around as long as I can remember. They are famous for their pizza, especially the“505 Pepperoni and Green Chile” which is a family favorite. They also make salads and subs which are equally good. All of their subs are delicious but the one thing that stands out is the Greek dressing that comes on the side with most every sandwich. There’s just something about adding that dressing that makes their sandwiches so special. My favorite sub is the Roast Beef & Provolone. It comes on a crusty roll with melted cheese, roast beef, red onions, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, deli mustard and a pickle spear with a side of Greek dressing. Sounds simple but it tastes anything but. I found a copycat recipe online for Dion’s Greek dressing that tastes just like they serve at the restaurant. Once I had the dressing it was easy to recreate the rest of the sandwich. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always enjoy eating at Dion’s for their pizza, salads and subs but it’s satisfying to know that I can make a delicious sub at home that reminds me of Dion’s.
Posted at 11:02 am by NativeNM, on August 13, 2021
It’s August and that means it’s green chile season here in New Mexico. It’s the time of year when the aroma of roasted chile is in the air. We pack our freezers with enough chile to last a whole year until the next years harvest and then we do it all over again. And there’s always a debate about who makes the best green chile cheeseburgers. NM even has a cheeseburger trail marked with a map to locate the the best green chile cheeseburgers in the state. I recently saw a burger on Instagram from the NM State Fair that had a Zia symbol branded on top of the bun. It was one of the most appetizing burgers I’ve ever seen with melted cheese and chopped green chile and if that wasn’t enough, it had a fried green chile on top. I showed it to Joe who immediately said, “I can make you a Zia for the bun”. He has a laser cutter that can burn an image onto all sorts of things. So I took him up on his offer and recreated the burger which I named the Zia Burger. This is the ultimate green chile cheeseburger, at least Joe and I think so!
Posted at 9:31 am by NativeNM, on November 3, 2020
Recently I came across a recipe for honey mustard coleslaw. It sounded intriguing but at the same time I was skeptical. When it comes to coleslaw I’ve always been about the tried and true recipe which has never failed me. I decided to just go with it and picked up a bag of pre-chopped cabbage and added my own spicy honey mustard sauce. To my surprise it was delicious! And it makes a great chicken sandwich which was too good not to share. If there were any doubts, I can truly say this is one of my favorite ways to dress a sandwich. I think I will try it next on some pulled pork or pulled chicken. Continue reading →
Posted at 12:41 pm by NativeNM, on September 18, 2020
Some of the best gyros I’ve ever tasted were from our time in Detroit and Kansas City. We moved to from Albuquerque to Detroit in 1990 where I got to see where Joe grew up in the great state of Michigan. At that time we had two little boys under the age of 3 years old and didn’t get to eat out much. One time Joe surprised me with tickets to go see the Detroit Red Wings play hockey. Growing up in New Mexico I knew nothing about hockey but the experience was thrilling and I immediately became a fan. Joe Louis Arena was located downtown and we would park and ride the people mover transportations rails to get to the arena. Greektown which had some amazing food was located on one of the people mover stops so we would park there and grab a bite to eat before heading over to the game. If you are ever in Detroit and need a great place to eat, visit Olga’s Kitchen or any one of the great restaurants in Greektown. We also had some great Greek food in Kansas City. I loved the gyros at Mr. Gyros which was one of our frequent haunts in KC. One thing about Mr. Gyros is that the servings are huge and everything tastes fresh. This year has been challenging at best to find those those “little known” restaurants here in Albuquerque, especially not being able to sit down and experience a meal indoors. We rarely go out except for takeout and I haven’t found a great Greek restaurant yet to recommend here in ABQ. I’m sure it’s out there, I just haven’t found it! Sorry for the long story but I have been craving a gyro which always brings back memories. I went with grilled chicken gyros which tasted so good with homemade warm flat breads wrapped around Greek and lemon seasoned chicken. The marinade made the chicken tender and juicy. With some tzatziki sauce and freshly sliced tomato and red onion it was one of the tastiest wraps I’ve ever had. I’m a tough critic when it comes to gyros and this one is one of the best! Continue reading →
Posted at 4:04 pm by NativeNM, on February 22, 2019
I may have mentioned that we vacationed in the Florida Keys recently. We met up with Joe’s brother Chuck and our sister in law, Melody (whom I affectionately refer to as my sister of the heart). Mel found a little cafe tucked in the heart of Key West called Cuban Coffee Queen. She was an instant fan of their coffee and sandwiches and I am so glad she suggested we stop by for a quick bite. Her favorite is the Cuban Mix which is a more traditional Cuban sandwich with Mojo pork, sliced ham, cheese, pickles, mustard; you know what I’m talking about. But they also made some sandwiches that varied a bit from the traditional Cuban. I was intrigued by the Jose Marti which was loaded with Mojo pork, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and a horseradish mayo. Joe loves the traditional Cuban but I talked him into splitting a Jose Marti with me and it was fantastic. I immediately wanted to recreate it when we got home, of course Joe wanted his traditional Cuban with mustard and pickles so I made one of each. I researched how to make Mojo pork and found there are two ways to go about it. I could cook it low and slow in a citrus marinade until it pulls apart like shredded pork or marinate the pork first then roast it until the outer layer has caramelized leaving the inside of the pork moist and tender. I chose the latter and cut it into small bite size pieces to pile on our sandwiches. They tasted so good and much like the sandwiches we ate at the Cuban Coffee Queen. I can’t wait to make them again! Continue reading →
Posted at 10:17 am by NativeNM, on January 18, 2019
I can’t tell you how much Joe and I have enjoyed being back in New Mexico. Everything old seems new again!! Don’t get me wrong, I will always miss KC and all the memories we made over 25 years. Things change over time and we have found that many of our old favorite places to eat are no longer open. We have inspired to try out a new restaurant, cafe, diner or local favorites each week to see all that Albuquerque has to offer. One that stands out is “Hannah and Nates Market Cafe” in Corrales, NM, which serves breakfast and lunch daily. The first time we tried H & N’s was with an old friend from high school, which made it all the more memorable. The atmosphere is so homey, actually it’s located inside an old house with several rooms throughout with an old kiva fireplace that makes you feel right at home. The menu has something for everyone and it’s hard to choose with so many delectable choices. Their lunch menu has many toasted sandwiches plus some New Mexico favorites. I ordered the New Mexico BLT and it was the best BLT I have ever tasted!! Seriously I love just about any BLT but this BLT with green chile, avocado and Monterey Jack cheese put it over the top. And for $1 more you can add an egg which is very New Mexican. This has to be the easiest sandwich I’ve ever recreated at home and one of the tastiest by far. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to top this NM BLT! Continue reading →
Posted at 10:40 am by NativeNM, on September 6, 2018
Summer is almost over and I’m not ready to let it go. I still have places to explore, farmers markets to visit, things to grill outdoors. I’m just getting used to the daily routine of being in a new home, getting familiar with new surroundings and finding my way around a new kitchen. For others it probably would be a breeze, but for me it takes time. Yes, summer is leaving and fall is just around the corner. It won’t be long before summer grilling turns into fall baking and soups for the soul. It may be late in the summer but I’m still enjoying the farm grown tomatoes which highlight this incredible grilled cheese. Envision crisp bacon strips, tomato slices and grated cheese between two slices of Josh’s artisan bread, toasted on a hot cast iron comal. That makes one great sandwich! And for a slightly different taste, add a few slices of avocado. Maybe next time I’ll try a fried egg on top, I can only imagine how good that would be! Continue reading →
Joe and I are enjoying being back in Albuquerque and trying some of the local restaurant favorites. While I cook most of our meals during the week, on the weekend we try to get away from the daily grind and nearly always go out for a bite to eat. One Saturday we tried a new place, at least it’s new to us called Filling Philly’s. They feature steak and chicken philly cheese steaks as well as meatball sandwiches. But what caught our eye was the Green Chile Philly. I can tell you my mouth was watering just reading the description. And it didn’t disappoint, It was delicious!! The distinct difference between my cheese steak and Filling Philly’s is the cheese sauce. They use cheese whiz which does taste good but I envisioned a creamy Oaxaca cheese sauce. Oaxaca cheese melts so creamy and makes the best cheese sauce and dips. I especially love it paired with green chile. My love of cheese steaks have no bounds, this one has to be one of the best! Continue reading →
I love burgers, all kinds of burgers, even burgers that take on a different identity. Occasionally I come across a menu that serves a burger with a fried egg on top. I’m not sure an ordinary burger with a fried egg is that appealing to me but I did start to consider the possibilities. The burger that kept coming to mind was an enchilada burger with a fried egg dripping yolk over the sides with melting cheese and a ground beef patty drenched in chile. I’m partial to red chile enchiladas, but Joe prefers green so I made one of each. There’s no way to pick these up and take a bite without something good dripping from you chin so it’s best to eat with a knife and fork. I promise, these burgers taste delicious and are by no means ordinary! Continue reading →