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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Film & Food had the pleasure of having lunch with Eric from Follow Eric on Tuesday.  He is an all-around nice guy and we hope you get a chance to meet up with him around ABQ.  We decided to try Urban Hotdog Company, near Cottonwood Mall, since neither of us had been there before. I’m super pleased with that choice since I left there happy with meeting a new friend and fellow blogger and full from a delicious lunch!

Decisions, decisions. So many great creations on their menu but I settled on Le Bleu for myself and the Starter for my choosy teen tag-along.

Complimentary fries. A blogger perk, perhaps?

 

Le Bleu is…Le Yum

 

Le Bleu is a masterful creation.  A juicy hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with sauteed mushrooms, bleu cheese, and fresh thyme.  The buns deserve a mention here. Eric and I both thought they really helped move these dogs from “normal with great toppings” to gourmet status.  The bread is from local bakery, Pastians, and baked fresh daily. UHDC toast and butter the buns to give each selection that little something extra. And it works!

My teen is a bit of a choosy eater so she opted for the Starter, which is usually served with typical condiments: mustard, ketchup, onions, and relish.  She, however, likes her doggies plain.  So in her honor, I have henceforth renamed the Starter…the Purist.

naked Starter dog…The Purist. Or should that be, The Naturalist?

The sweet potato fries here remind me of 5 Star Burgers‘ fries but without all the oil that usually accompanies them.

Sweet potato fries

 

And now, take a look at what Eric ordered:

 

It’s Crafty!

 

The Crafty Dog is loaded with mac & cheese and chopped bacon. I’m ordering that when I go back to UHDC and soon! I intend to work my way through the menu.  For those of you who aren’t into hot dogs but your dining companions are, there is always the Not Dog. It could be a burger, specialty sandwich, or salad. Keep an eye on their website for details and specials.

Coming soon, Urban Hotdog Company will be handing out a type of rewards card to keep track of which dogs you are trying.  Also, look for an earlier opening time, 9 am, during the holiday shopping season.  They’ll be revealing a new breakfast dog and tasty specials so get ready!

Urban Hotdog Company on Urbanspoon

I love New Mexican food as much as anyone yet I like to try something other than green chile sometimes. I know, I know. That sentiment is sacrilege here in Albuquerque.  But consider expanding your palate and you might stumble upon such gems as the Talking Drums restaurant on San Pedro.  It’s easy to find with it’s clear signage and there is plenty of parking.  The restaurant itself is super clean and tidy, which I appreciate as a diner, with comfy booths and spotless tables.

Easy to spot!

Perhaps you’ll be greeted by Alex, one of the owners, who can answer your questions about the menu, should you have any. My problem was choosing what to eat!  Since I wanted to sample a few different items, I chose the appetizer featuring four small dishes: suya, puff-puff, moin moin, and fried plantains.

Yum x 4

 

Suya is a West African specialty somewhat akin to the kebab. As part of this appetizer sampler, it is served sans skewer and mixed with raw diced onions. You’ll love puff-puff, a fried bread which can also be served as a dessert by adding syrup and shredded coconut. My favorite of this little quartet is moin moin. It has almost the same consistency as tofu, which makes sense since both are bean curds.

Moin Moin is made from steamed beans which are served here with minimal additions. This makes it a perfect selection for vegetarians.  However, Alex told us that in Nigeria, it is typically steamed along with egg, meat, or other tasty morsels. And it did taste marvelous alongside the suya so I’d be curious to try the Nigerian moin moin.  And lastly, we have fried plantains. So very delicious!

My lunch companion and I shared a large plate of rice and brown beans with stew. To this, we added meaty, generously-sized goat joints.

Beans and rice and goat. Baaaa!

The beans in the dish weren’t under-cooked yet kept their shape.  Topping the combo was a tomato-based stew, flavored with chili peppers which give it a little kick. Not overly spicy but quite flavorful.

And lastly, take a look at these drinks! You must try the palm “wine” from Ghana. It’s made from the sap of palm trees and slightly fermented. It has a low alcohol content but you’ll still feel it if you drink a large bottle! It is a perfect complement to the West African cuisine.  If that doesn’t entice you, try a non-alcoholic Jamaican ginger beer.

Palm Drink and Ginger Beer. Bottoms up!

 

On your way out, go next door to the Zenith African/Caribbean market.  The family has owned and operated the store for many years but only since February have they integrated the restaurant and shop in the larger space they currently occupy.  It’s well-stocked and tidy so you’ll easily find something to take home.

 

Talking Drums African Cuisine on Urbanspoon

November 2012
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