New Direction

by Nick
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Published on: March 6, 2013

When I originally was coming up with ideas for a website, I couldn’t  imagine what I could possibly talk about that I could consider myself an expert it.  Then it hit me, food.  I’m a big foodie and I eat out a LOT!  I remember the moment when it hit me too. I had just gone out to a new burger joint, Lumpy’s.  It was so unique and interesting, I hadn’t seen or had anything else like it in Albuquerque.  I have to tell people about this, Eureka!!!!  I really enjoyed writing the reviews, taking pictures and doing what I loved, eating.  But then things got in the way

Last year, about this time I was stressing over buying a new home.  I had spent months looking for a place, I must have seen several dozens of homes and finally picked one.  Well, that one fell through, then I decided on house two, then someone bought that one.  House three, four and five were similar stories.  I finally got to house 6 and was ready to go, put in an offer, just waiting for the bank.  Then another house and finally got in an offer that I felt comfortable with on a house I liked. 

I had several issues with the house, started a new relationship, helped start a new choir, got married, a new job, last year was certainly a year of change.  Why am I telling you this?  Because this site has suffered in my absence.  I have a list of restaurants to review, but It’s been more than a year on most of them and I can’t possible post reviews for places that old.  I don’t go out often enough now to write these reviews anymore so it’s time for a change. 

I’ve come to realize that I had it all wrong.  I’m not a food expert, I have no classical training, I’m just a guy who likes food.  That’s it, that’s what I should be focusing on and that is my new direction. 

With this new house, I’m starting up a new garden.  I am clueless when it comes to gardening, but what I am really good at is diving in head first and exploring the murky depths of whatever project I decide to focus on next.  I’ve done a lot of research already and I’m putting a lot of what I learned into practice.  Does this mean I’m going to have the most beautiful garden in Albuquerque?  Well, yes, of course it does.  Now, I just have to figure out how to get there and I’m going to be doing videos of my journey.  I’ve already got several in the works and my focus is on growing a sustainable garden in Albuquerque.  I want to share with you what I learn and I want you to share with me the things that have worked for you!   What plants grow well in our climate?  What plants need more shade?  What do I need to start growing, do I have to go buy special soil?  All of these things and ton more!  Join me on this journey and let me know how it’s going on the way. 

Mulligan

by Nick
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Published on: October 24, 2011

I started this project on blogspot once upon a time, then moved to WordPress, then moved to a server that I didn’t have to pay a dime for (don’t they always say you get what you pay for?).  So one day I go in and check the site to update a new review and the site is down.  Alright, got to get that fixed, ok, NOW to post a new review.  The site is running SO slowly!  What’s going on?  Fixed, down again, fixed, down again, fixed…..  It’s been down for a while now and there doesn’t appear to be a fix in sight.  This just isn’t working out.  Enter new hosting company and hopefully a much more stable and responsive Foodtasted.com. 

For those of you have previously visited the page, I want to thank you for your patients and your patronage.  This project cost money before, in the cost of food and significant portions of time editing pictures, writing blogs, making sure the site is up.  Now to add another bill to the process, but hey, what people do for the love of food. 

CinematoastI am working on many many reviews as well as updates to the site, but first, I need to fix what’s already here.  The pictures didn’t transfer over, so I need to redo the images.  I know I have a backup somewhere, but at the moment, I think it’s roughly 1000 miles away on a computer that is powered off.  It will likely just have to wait until I get home by next weekend, but soon my precious, soon.  For now, enjoy come Cinema Toast

New Mexico State Fair – Albuquerque, NM

by Nick
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Published on: September 20, 2010

When I was a kid, my mother would take us to the State Fair.  We would marvel over the giant vegetables, trains, animals, performances and of course the food.  We didn’t eat a lot while we were there as it was always over priced and with 3 growing boys, it adds up quick.  We never went on the rides, didn’t even go to the midway, there was no point.  There was however, a lot of art, crafts, people’s heart and soul displayed in a shiny glass case waiting for people to walk by and admire the hard work and dedication they put in to their specific craft.

Midway

It’s been a few years since I have gone to the fair with my mother and a fair few more since I was a kid, but I still love the fair. The sites, the sounds, the crowded streets, it’s all still there, well ALMOST all still there.

Now for anyone who has attended the New Mexico State Fair before (or pretty much any fair anywhere for that matter), it would be obvious why, on a food blog, I am writing about it.  For me, and most of my friends, the fair has become more about food than it is about anything else.  I’m sad to say that for a lot of people, it’s more about the fair.  This year seemed a little more sparse than previous years.  With the fair closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and no more Park N Ride service, it seems I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Well, lets get on with the food. The first think you notice, besides the big rides hovering over you after all, is the food.  You are almost immediately bombarded with the smells and sounds of cooking and it is fantastic.  If they could make a cologne of that smell, I’d buy it.  Then again, that would make me constantly hungry, so it’s probably a good thing.

Mainstreet

What to get?  So many choices?  Do I go with the Mega Corndog? The giant Pretzels?  Curly fries, Barbeque, Corn, something battered and fried?  Pizza, Hamburger, Hot dog?  All the greasy fast food you can possibly think of and more is at your beck and call.  Well as I went with a couple good friends of mine and they already got the Mega Corndog: (Something that I would only order if I were feeding  a very large family… or small country)

Megadog

TurkeyLegI will revert to the one request made of me on my trek to the Fair.  I have to get a turkey leg.   This massive smoky bit of caveman goodness is brought to you by several stands at pretty much any fair around the country.  Reminiscent of Victorian movies displaying the favorite of kings, a giant hunk o meat, slightly dried on the outside requiring a good solid tug from the teeth.  It tastes almost like ham, with the amount of smoky saltiness inside something that is usually lacking in any kind of flavor.  I didn’t finish.  As a matter of fact, with 4 of us there, between the Turkey leg, Mega Corndog, sausage on a stick and a giant order of curly fries, we were stuffed and ended up throwing a bit away.  Sad, but that is the fair for you.  Sausage

 

 

 

 

 

 

CurlyFries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much more food to try, how in the world are we going to get through it all?  For my readers, I do what I have to, but for the moment, we’ll take a short break from food to discuss, the rides.  Every year they have a big ride, something to scare the crap out of any but the most diehard adventure seekers.  This year they had two.  The slingshot, a personal favorite of mine, which I didn’t get a chance to go on this year for the belly full of food review I didn’t feel like tasting a second time.  New this year is Bungee Jumping.  Churro

This 130 ft tower sports a very nice airbag at the bottom, incase something goes wrong.  To the left of the tower?  My hand holding a churro, sadly to say there was no airbag for that in case something went wrong.  Had I known the churro had been sitting in a heater case slowly evacuating any and all excess (and all necessary) moisture as well, I was left in desperate need of something to drink.  Add the fact that it was probably around 90 degrees outside and it’s time to try out one of the dozen and a half lemonade stands around the park.

Tell me this Albuquerque, why is it, in an area as densely populated with refreshing beverage stands as a rock concert is with over aged groupies trying to relive their glory days, is it so hard to find a good and refreshing lemonade?  I tried several and they had about as much to do with lemons as a fried Twinkie has to do with Health food.  Everything is made from a syrup, it’s time to take a different path.

Fortunately, in the sea of oddly shaped bottles, there is another stand with oddly shaped bottles dispensing slushies.  With several different flavors to choose from, you are welcome to pick your combinationSlushy .

I chose grape and strawberry, my gf chose orange.  Both were delicious and cold.  Though it’s also made from a syrup, that is where my expectation is and that is exactly what I got.

The tube of icy goodness gave us time to walk around the fair, see the sites.  The art there is amazing.  Sadly, no one is allowed to take pictures, but if you go to the fair, you really should look at the art.  Several buildings full of crafts, paintings, sculptures, carvings and more will help you pass the time between first and second meal.

Knowing I had to pace myself, it’s time for cotton candy.  There is no finer cotton candy in all the land than at the Dairy Barn on the north end.  An Added bonus, they also have ice cream and cows.

On the way in I had a lovely conversation with a lady who taught me all about the process of making yarn.  She was, in herself a living display.  The tools, different stages of the process and final products all around, she was happy to give an explanation of how you go from a sheep to a sweater and all the steps in between.  It truly was fascinating to hear here get excited about something she had obviously done since she was a kid.  I highly suggest you stop by and say hello and really take in what the fair is all about, the farmers and craftsmen.

Now, on to the cotton candy!….Wait, what does that sign say?

CottonCandy

RetiredLet me give you a closer look….

Devastation, heartache, murderous rebellion!  How could they?  What happened?  Every time I went, for years, they were busy, slammed. Take a ticket and wait for your cotton candy, fresh and slightly warm from the machine.  Piled as high as an elephants eye and oh so light and fluffy.  Panic, desperation, sugar low!!!  It’s a sad year.

They retired.  Let us take a moment of silence and pay our respects….

 

Food is only one of the reasons to go to the fair.  One of my big draws every year is the Blacksmith.  I can stand at the Blacksmith blacksmith stand for hours just watching as they heat metal until it’s red hot, manipulate it with hammers, vices, chisels, pliers and their own two hands into beautiful artwork.  Fire

 

 

 

 

 

Mesmerized by the dancing fire, this is an art form that I am glad some people are keeping alive.

They have beautiful pieces of hand worked metal for sale as well as constant demonstrations of their work and skill.

I asked one of them as I watched him bend and hammer metal into an interesting shape, “What are you making?”

“The most useful tool known to man, a bottle opener with a cork screw.”

 

After testing my friend’s patients to their limits, it was best to get back to the food.  They were all still full from lunch, but for me, I had a review to write.  I needed to eat the food, not for myself, but for you.  As much as I am willing to give of myself, sadly I have to say I didn’t not have a chance to try everything at the fair.  Here are some of the highlights of what I DID get a chance to try though:

Tom Tom Donuts.  Light, crisp, made in a special machine right in front of your eyes.  They do not get any fresher than this.

Donuts

Cheese Fries from the Hand Cut Fries:  Store bought nacho cheese, I’m always happy to partake.  Fresh cut fries, hot, fresh, lightly salted.  Though not as good as I remember from last year, still quite tasty.

Fries

You can’t go to the fair and not get corn.  There are several places around in which you can get your fill, but my favorite, by far is the Cornfield.  Cooked just enough, hot and still had a nice crunch.  Your choice of seasonings from salt to garlic powder to parmesan cheese, you can make any kind of Corn you want.  Whatever you do, eat this last, or bring dental floss, you’ll need it.

 

Corn

A few things I didn’t get to try, but something you should think about while you are there:

CaramelApple

CandiedApples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NutRolls

 

 

 

 

I didn’t get a chance to go down Fry alley, which heads to the Hispanic and Indian Villages.  The food is amazing in these areas.  I always get the fry bread in the Indian Village, but this year, there just wasn’t enough time in the day.  On the way there, along with all the shops, you can get deep fried Twinkies, snickers, Oreos and all sorts of other crazy things you wouldn’t normally want to add calories to.

There are so many things to see at the fair, that even though several exhibits are not as active as they once were, there is always something new to try.  Liquid Nitrogen ice cream for example.  Oh why can’t I have 4 stomachs like a Flowerscow?  Sadly I had to pass.  Go check out the vendors, get some ice cream or checkout the wooden flowers.  See a show, like the guy on the 6 foot high Unicycle that rides around a juggles hatchets and knives, or go bungee jumping, (before lunch please).

Unicycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KettleCorn

 

 

The last thing to get before leaving the fair is Kettle corn.  Never had kettle corn?  It’s a salty and sweet popcorn that is just about the best thing ever.  This year I got a small bag as I always have too much, but it’s well worth it.

The fair is a good time, even if the only cotton candy they have are in little bags, pre-smashed for your annoyance.  Drink lots of water, wear a lot of sunscreen and get your cotton candy inside the Exhibit Center along with your candied apples. Go and see what New Mexico has to offer,  I mean, how often is it you get to see a 325 lbs pumpkin?

Pumpkins


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Something new

by Nick
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Published on: August 15, 2010

Any of my friend’s (and my mom) would tell you, I am a picky eater.  Which is actually one of the reasons I started this site as well.  I figure, how can I review places when there is so many things out there that I am currently unwilling to try?  Which brings the question, why should you trust me to review a place if I refuse to eat half of what is on their menu?  Well the answer will come in two parts. 

First of all, I am pushing myself to try new things.  The more I find out about food, the more fascinated I get and the more I want to try.  If humans have been eating these things for hundreds of years and seem to be doing alright for themselves, why can’t I?  There is a certain level of difficulty in getting over prejudices when it comes to trying new things and I am sure there are many things that I will probably just never try.  Snails, really?  Be honest with yourself, there are things out there that you will never try as well, unless you are a REALLY adventurous eater, in which case send me an email, I would love to add your point of view to my blog. 

HotandSourThis weekend for instance, my girlfriend wanted to go to a new Chinese food place.  I had read a little  about them and they supposedly had a really good hot and sour soup.  I will write a review on the place soon, but for now I want to focus on my dedication to the food experience.  A year ago, heck even a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have touched the stuff, not really my kind of thing.  But why not?  What was in it that was so bad?  All mental, so I tried it and much to my surprise, given there were several elements within the soup I normally would have avoided, I tried it all.  On top of that, I enjoyed it.  So here is to trying new things. 

Like I mentioned a second ago, there are things that I will just not eat, I know that.  As much as I hate to admit it, eggs, I just can’t do it.  I’ve tried, several times.  I even tried the egg drop soup this weekend.  I could appreciate it for what it was, even if I didn’t really enjoy the soup myself.  With that said, it’s not just my opinion anymore.  I have a lot of friends who enjoy food just as much as I do.  I have begun enlisting their help in my reviews for those things that I am not as familiar with.  I want to make sure to find people who are on the same level as I am, so that I’m not bringing in opinions that are contradictory to what I feel.

In the end, part of the experience is trying something new and that is what I intend to do.  Move out of my comfort zone, experience the world in food. 

The Search Continues

by Nick
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Published on: July 25, 2010

As I sat watching the Feasting On Asphalt on the Cooking Network tonight, I realized that I took on this site for more reasons than just review restaurants.  I’m on a quest, a quest for the best of what Albuquerque has to offer.  I say Albuquerque because that’s where I live, but honestly, I want the best food the world has to offer. 

I’m a Food Network Junkie and Feasting on Asphalt has become my roadmap.  I watched in awe as Mr. Alton Brown went from Donut shop to Donut shop, trying each one of them, allowing them to choose the best of the best and judging textures, tastes and a variety of other factors to really decide, which place had the best donuts?  Then I think of Albuquerque and wonder, Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme?  There has to be more, as a matter of fact I KNOW there are more, but this is a perfect example.  Where are the homegrown stores?  Where are the little mom and pop shops that have been doing their brand of delicious eats for 50 years and know half of their customers by name?  Where are the places that know how to do food right and were started with such a passion they had no choice but to succeed, even if their name remains hidden among the chain stores? 

I’m here to seek you out!  I’m here to find out what is the best of the best of Albuquerque, not just for myself, but for you.  I want to support local business and bring about a change in the answer to what is for dinner.  I want real food from real people and I will not stop searching.  Join with me Albuquerque, let me know of your favorite stops, the places that only you know about.  As nice as it is to keep that little corner store to yourself, do them a favor and support their business.  I’ll let them know you sent me (only if I write a nice review, I promise). 

Park Party Time!

by Nick
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Published on: May 16, 2010

I’ve decided that 2 times a year I am going to do a party at the park, once before it gets too cold and once when it gets warm enough.  The first one was last October and it was great.  It was a fairly small group, which was nice as we all gathered to play games, eat some awesome grilled chicken.  So now it’s time to do it again.

Though I’m getting a later start with this one because of moving, I think the weather will work out quite nicely.  Hopefully by that point the wind will have calmed down a bit.  Since it’s at the park, it is an open invite for anyone who wants to show up.  You are welcome to drop on by, I would appreciate it though if you could let me know you are dropping by that way I can make sure to look for you.  Bring something to throw on the grill (I’ll have some) and let’s have a blast.  Here are the details:

Park Party Part 2

Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010

Time: 12:00pm – 7:00pm

Location: Academy Hills Park

Street: Eubank and Juan Tabo (near Academy)

City/Town: Albuquerque, NM


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Moving Day

by Nick
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Published on: April 27, 2010

Or more specifically moving week. I finally got everything transferred over from the original site at Blogspot.com.  It took a while as I had to start from the ground up, but it looks like I’m there, or at least very close.  I have big plans now that I’m here.  Soon there will be a Recipe section to the site.  I’ve already have several new reviews, several recipes and a lot of expansion coming soon. 

I would like to get your suggestions of places to review.  So email me, post comments, write me on Facebook or Twitter and let me know what you’d like to see.  For now, I bid you goodnight, until I Blog to you again. 

It’s all about the food

by Nick
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Published on: March 21, 2010

I eat a lot of food, every day I eat at least 3 different times and I’ve been doing that for over 31 years now.  Granted there are times I miss a meal here and there, then again there are those times when I go for more than my daily recommended dose.  I guess you could say that makes me an expert. 

It’s not just about eating food though, it’s about tasting it.  It’s about enjoying the food as it gets shoveled down your gullet, really and truly enjoying every bite, every flavor, every texture.  There is more to food than the nutritional values. 

I cook, I go out to eat a lot, I am a Food Network Junkie and with all that, it’s time I do something with all my studying and useless food knowledge.  So here it begins, a Blog about food.  My plan is to review restaurants, recipes, techniques, anything and everything in my little world of food.

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