Gardunos : Oh Fair New Mexico

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by Karen Fayeth

So one day, you’re walking down Vegas Boulevard and…

January 18, 2010 by · Comments Off on So one day, you’re walking down Vegas Boulevard and…
Filed under: awkward, Brooklyn, Gardunos, good eats, life, New Mexico, New York, Opinions, peculiar, photography, The Good Man, truth is stranger than..., Turistas, walking, weirdity, where I come from 

Oh man, I can’t *believe* I forgot to blog about this… I think I Tweeted, but 140 characters does this no justice.

So picture it if you will. Las Vegas Boulevard just a week or so ago.

I’m over at the Mirage because I was hungry and wanted the fare offered at the Carnegie Deli***.

I swear, I am a New York Jewish girl, because I gotta have their chopped liver salad. Just *gotta* have it!

So after finishing my meal and losing a few bucks to the slots, I decided to walk.

I always have to take some time to walk Vegas Blvd to see how it has changed. Plus, you get a whooole different view of The Strip at street level.

There I am walking north on the strip headed toward Fashion Show Mall with a destination of the Trump Hotel nestled in behind the mall, when I see a little alcove-like thing in the wall around the Mirage.

People are lined up there and I figure, well, it’s some Vegas thing, a mostly naked show girl, an “amazing double” dressed up as Michael Jackson (only I just saw him a couple hours ago back at the Bellagio) or a Three Card Monte game, who knows.

I was not prepared for what I saw.

Not. Prepared.

I come around the bend and see this lush green inset in the wall with a railing.

Ok, you know when you go to a cathedral or a really large Catholic church and they have the Virgin Mary Grotto? With the statue and the railing and the somber tones?

Yeah. It was like that.

Only the statue people were worshiping was this (click for full size):

If the imagery isn’t immediately clear to you, that’s a golden rendition of Sigfried and Roy and a white tiger, festooned with fakey shards of crystals shooting out of the cement moorings.

Oh man, everyone was snapping photos like the red carpet. They’d put the kids in front of this thing, or the lady would get in front and the guy would take the photo then the guy would get up there and the lady would snap away, and then the whole family would crowd in there.

People were beside themselves to get photos with this statue.

In a non-ironic way.

Well, I found a break in the crowd and grabbed a couple iPhone photos so I could show The Good Man and we could look at this later and ponder just WTF.

I have no answers.

Other than that’s Vegas, I suppose…

***Not intentionally, but we ended up having an “old home” week in Las Vegas. We went to Garduños to fulfill longing for the food of my youth, then later I took The Good Man, a Brooklyn boy, back to the Carnegie for a monster Reuben (corned beef, if you please).

Woo! Thank you!

October 6, 2009 by · Comments Off on Woo! Thank you!
Filed under: Albuquerque, Gardunos, good eats, latent childhood, New Mexico, Opinions, road trip, travel 

Hit 115 visitors yesterday, a new record for my little blog that could!

Thanks to all the eyeballs that (who?) dropped on by! Much appreciated!

Today I embark on a journey back to New Mexico. We’ll see what sort of trouble I can get myself into!

And oh yes, there will be good eats. Of that there is NO doubt!

Is Big Brother Watching?

To my Albuquerque friends, welcome to the fray.

According to today’s ABQjournal, ya’ll are getting Google’s “street view” maps.

They photographed the streets here in the Bay Area a bit back. It’s both cool and creepy. Cool in that when I’m going to a restaurant I’ve not been to before, I can take a look, see what it looks like and spot it more easily from my car. Creepy in that I looked up my home address and by God, there it is. On a nice clear sunny day.

It was a quiet day in my neighborhood. I’m not there, at least not outside. Not like the scores of people who are up in arms over how they’ve been caught on Google’s camera, like this couple who have even filed a lawsuit.

It’s something of a game online, web forums dedicated to finding nekkid people on Google street view. And yes, by the way, there are quite a few. Some worth seeing…others, notsomuch.

Street View really is a fascinating thing. I mean, it can put you “right there”, which is cool. When they are done with Albuquerque, I fully intend to look up lots of favorite places in a homesick kind of way. I may gaze longingly at the Garduño’s location on Academy for hours…(it’s not there yet despite the article saying much of Albuquerque is already done)

I just looked up the house I grew up in. It’s there. And the residents have totally redone the house. Almost didn’t recognize it. Whoa! (bastards took out my mom’s rose bushes!)

Ok, it is also pretty creepy. Especially when you see people caught unawares as the van rolls by.

On Sunday, The Good Man and I were waiting for a table at our new fave breakfast place. While leaning against our car, I heard a van rattle by and pause. It caused me to turn around. Turns out Microsoft might be launching a similar service. At least that’s what the van said on the side. So there I’ll be, face hungry and agog on yet another street view service. Just. Great.


At least I had my clothes on.

For fun: top 15 street view sightings. No nudity on this one, just FYI.


February 22, 2008 by · Comments Off on Tradition
Filed under: Albuquerque, Bay Area, big weather, borracho, Celebration, Gardunos, good eats, green chile, Opinions, weekending, where I come from 

It’s a lovely thing. It’s a way to bind people together (and not in that “I can’t breathe kind of way”), a way to identify each other, a way to mark time.

In my life there are plenty. Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Posole at New Year’s. Ham at Easter.

Noticing a theme here? My traditions do tend to revolve around food.

Fair enough.

When I was living in Albuquerque and working at Sandia Labs, the Friday tradition was happy hour at Gardunos over by Winrock Mall.

Delicious margaritas, happy hour tasties, and Mariachi as a way to end the week. That can’t be bad.

Today I’m enjoying a Bay Area tradition. Observed by most restaurants in the area and also by the cafeteria where I work.

Clam chowder.

: slurp slurp :

Oh yeah, baby. I know it’s Friday when there is a steaming pot of chow-dah at the Cafeteria. As far as I know, it’s homemade on site. This week’s batch isn’t as tasty as last week, but that’s ok. It’s still all kinds of yum on a cold rainy day.

The engineers will line up in droves, often the only time all week they toddle out of their black hole labs to see the light of day. I get in line with my unwashed brothas to savor the aroma.

Lop off a slice of sourdough, and that’s a little bit of heaven right there on a plastic tray.

So, ya’ll entertain yourselves, I’m enjoying a tradition over heah.

Happy Friday to all.

My Happy Meal

July 9, 2007 by · Comments Off on My Happy Meal
Filed under: Albuquerque, Bay Area, dessert, Gardunos, good eats, Love, Opinions, San Francisco, Sodini's 

In one of those “I saw something and that gave me an idea for something else” moments, I was scanning the Albuquerque Tribune today and looked under the “Photos” heading where sometimes they have little “Viewfinder” vignettes with a cool black and white photo accompanying. Today there is a link with the title Viewfinder: His happy meal.

It’s a cute little story about a dog. But that’s not the point of this post.

Just reading that title in my stressed out work haste made me think about food, comfort food (it is my lunch hour, after all). I have been so tweaked out with work and personal issues that I have been eating a LOT, lately. Taking to fats and sweets and salty to try to make me feel better about a life that feels on the verge. It’s doing nothing to help my waistline and doing even less to improve my mood.

Nonetheless, as I sit here with rumbling in my tum, I had a thought upon reading that title “What meal would make me happy?” Kind of like a turn on “If you were on death row, what would be your last meal?”

My mom wasn’t that great a cook, so I don’t have a lot of “home cooked” stuff I could list. But let me take a stab at it.

If I had to eat a last meal and there were no space or calorie limitations on my tummy, here’s top ten what I’d have:

1) My best friend’s homemade chile rellenos. She makes them with chile grown by her uncle, the flavor is fantastic and she has just the right batter to make them light and delicious. Alongside her with her pressure cooked pinto beans, she makes the best beans, hands down.

2) Beef Lasagne from Sodini’s in San Francisco. And the seafood linguini…..

3) Fried Calamari from Caesar’s down near the Wharf in San Francisco. And the Minestrone….

4) The green chile chicken enchiladas with an egg and sour cream on top from Gardunos….and a couple margs…I love Gardunos mix. And the carne adovada……

5) Pretty much anything made by my brother-in-law, but his mashed potatoes rock my little world…….

6) My mom’s tortillas “back in the day”. She can’t put the finesse on ’em like she used to, but circa about when I was seven years old and we’d come home from Saturday Mass and she’d roll ’em out and I’d cook ’em on the griddle. Layer on marinated beef or game meat, cheese and you were off to the races……

7) Anything from Legal Sea Foods in Boston.

8) Hamburger. All of the following:
A green chile cheeseburger from Blakes.
A Whataburger.
A Fuddruckers hamburger circa 1986. (I went recently, it’s yucky now, but back then it was da bomb! ).
A carefully cooked thick burger over a campfire on a bun that *might* have a little sand or ash on it but who cares because you’ve been swimming in the lake/fishing/ hiking/ skiing all day and you are FAMISHED and besides you already ate two hotdogs……

9) My own chile con queso and chips

10) Huevos rancheros from this restaurant in Albuquerque that is now defunct and it will plague me all day until I can remember the name……

Honorable mention:

Biscuits hand made by the mom of my college roommate along with her homemade apricot jam….next to two farm fresh (I pulled ’em this morning) over easy fried eggs.

Homemade ice cream (my best friend’s recipe) and a couple of my homemade chocolate chip cookies

Anything from Chopies, Nopolitos or Sadies

An Owl Burger (the one in San Antonio, NM, not the Albuquerque location)

Pizza from New York City, preferably the borough of Brooklyn….

Anything from the Aqua Grill in SoHo.

A good old fashioned Polish buffet alongside my Midwest family in South Bend. Ah the fried chicken! And the sausages! And the saurkraut! : drool :

Crabs, lobsters and clams straight outta the pot by the pool at the home of my best friend from high school. Ah, those were good days…..

I’m sure there is a lot I’m missing, but that’ll do for now. I’m happy. And hungry.

: rumble :

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