Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Restaurants a natural resource.(Dining)

Byline: Charlotte Balcomb Lane OF THE JOURNAL

Two family-owned eateries popular

Ahh, the enchiladas, the carne adovada, the blessings of the sopaipillas. For three wonderful, albeit fattening weeks, the pleasures of the table have included reviews of six small, family-owned New Mexican restaurants in Albuquerque. The three-part series started Feb. 23 in Venue and will continue until March 9.

Many Albuquerqueans take neighborhood New Mexican eateries for granted. With their often shoe-string decors, many people disregard them unless they're hungry for a quick lunch or an inexpensive supper.

But in truth, such restaurants are a vital natural resource. They are a direct link to Native, Hispanic and Anglo cultures that make New Mexico an interesting place to live. Such restaurants are as important to the culture and flavor of Albuquerque as little Italian restaurants are to Chicago and Jewish delicatessens are to New York.

Besides, with fewer New Mexicans having time or inclination to cook at home, and fewer young adults learning the secrets of making good chile from their mothers or grandmothers, family-owned restaurants may represent the future of New Mexican food. …

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