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Albuquerque Innsights

A local innkeeper knows New Mexico secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

Bocadillos – Slow Roasted Perfection on a bun!

October 19th, 2014

There are not enough sandwich shops in the world, in my opinion. I love a well built sandwich for breakfast lunch or dinner. So, when a new sandwich shop opened in our neighborhood, needless to say but I’ll say it anyway –  I was delighted! It’s called Bocadillos. Google says “bocadillo” translates as “sandwich”, but I looked further knowing boca in Spanish means mouth in English, and then I found that “dillo” translates from Italian to Spanish as “recomendar” meaning to recommend or to tell in English. I can hang with that..I recommend this to your mouth, definitely.

sign of blakes man Meurtos

This is the dio de los meurtos version of New Mexico’s iconic Blakes Lottaburger man. This doesn’t mean “long live Blakes”.

They have a difficult location, easy to find but not so easy to navigate with the car unless you are ready for it, but lucky for them they are right next to one of Albuquerque’s mainstay burger joints, Blake’s Lottaburger, and if you miss the entry turndown to Bocadillos, you can use the Blake’s to enter their parking lot. Whew.

Located next to the Blake’s on Menaul, east of Rio Grande Blvd and west of 12th St., drive just a little further west of the new traffic circle at Indian School and Menaul, you will find Bocadillos – the best sandwiches in Albuquerque’s North Valley. How lucky for us, it’s just 1 1/4 miles from our driveway.

What makes a perfect sandwich? Well, that can vary greatly depending what you have a craving for. What Bocadillos offers is a deliciously sloppy sandwich on a toasted bollo (hoagy) roll that is definitely not for people who like to be neat, prim, proper. If you are unwilling to have the juicy goodness of slow-cooked meats run down your hands and perhaps out of the corners of your mouth and down your chin, stay away.

Bocadillos has a small breakfast and lunch menu, and I think the smaller menu is an integral part of their success. Since I rarely have the opportunity to try anyone else’s breakfast menu, I’m going to concentrate on their lunch menu because that is what I’m most familiar with. There are only six sandwich choices, and believe me – that’s all they need.

Bocadillos 5-0-Philly

The 5-0-Philly is slow roasted beef with green chile, mushrooms pickled bell pepper, onions and muenster. Juicy perfection, with chipotle potato salad on the side!

5-0-Filthy Bocadillos

5-0-Filthy – Juicy slow roasted chicken with green chile, bacon, chipotle mayo and asadero cheese, lettuce and tomato. Side is grape tomato, artichoke heart and moz. salad.

They slow roast ALL their meats to moist and dripping perfection, and the very juicy sandwich line up is pork (Cubano), beef (5-0-Philly), corned beef (Duke City Ruben), chicken (5-0-Filthy), turkey (TnA). If their is a vegetarian in your group have no worries, because the only other sandwich in the line up, the Salad Shooter, is huge and chock full of fresh veggies, mushrooms, cheese and the heavenly house chipotle mayo.

Each sandwich has a complement of various fresh veggies, cheese, and sauce or dressing, making any choice a unique experience. I’ve tried them all and have no favorite because of that uniqueness. Every order comes with a house-made side order to choose from, like chipotle potato salad, slaw, tomato and artichoke heart salad or chips if that’s what your liking with a sandwich. Last winter they offered a savory chipotle corn chowder they have won Food Awards for, and I hope the bring it back for this winter season. I miss it!

Bocadillos’ success has forced an expansion and they’ve now increased the seating capacity by at least 200%, and that’s not all that’s new. They have acquired a beer and wine license and will be serving very soon. Their new dining area has it all – picnic bench style seating, cafe tables and a bar. Decor is aesthetically geared to a younger crowd, but very comfortable and attractive.

Staff at Bocadillos

Lovely, caring staff! They were busy cleaning up, but paused to pose for a pic.

For now – their hours are:
Breakfast: M-Fr 6am to 10:30am, Sat 8am to 10:30am
Lunch: M-Sat – 11am to 2:30pm

Please check out Bocadillos’ website to see any changes that may happen in menu or hours and also to check out their catering options. Next time I throw a hoop-ti-doo I’m gonna let them do the food!

FYI – Chipotles are smoked jalapeños. Some old timers in New and old Mexico go out in the desert to prepare their chipotle by digging a hole in the ground to create a smoke chamber. Their methods are well kept secrets that are passed down to future generations. Chipotle has risen to fame in recent years with the rise of all “hot” foods and makes damn good condiments!

I know the best places to consume in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!

Dia De Los Muertos, Calaveras and La Patrona

October 8th, 2014

Day of the Dead figurinesIn certain areas of Mexico in November they hold an ages old tradition of honoring family and friends who have passed. This is became very important in Mexican culture because it was believed that we experience a second death when all who knew, honored and remembered us have also passed. Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a very important day to remember and honor deceased loved ones. It began as a joining of the beliefs of the indigenous people of Mexico before the Spaniards arrived, and the Catholicism they brought with them.

La Patrona CalaveraAs tradition goes, on or near All Saints Day, families of a village or town have a procession to the local cemetery with flowers and offerings of the deceased’s favorite foods, trinkets, photos, etc., and their final resting place is decorated with these items. It isn’t a mournful time, but rather a celebration of the lives of all past ancestors. Candy skulls are decorated, special foods and sweets are shared and the atmosphere is generally upbeat, but respectful. Calaveras, (skulls/skeletons), are used to represent the past ancestors. Celebrants may even paint their faces like calaveras.

As will often happen with these kinds of heartfelt traditions, they know no borders, and New Mexicans celebrate Dia de los Muertos too. Since most people no longer live near the resting place of their ancestors, Albuquerque celebrates with a Marigold Parade, (marigolds being the most official flower used for this holiday), and people will paint faces and carry alters that honor their passed on loved ones to place along the parade route. This was once primarily a Hispanic celebration, but now everyone is welcomed to celebrate Dia de los Muertas.

Calaveras had become very trendy stating in the early 1900’s in Mexico, and today they are even more popular, especially during Dia de los Muertos. Pictured in the tin frame is La Patrona, a very important calavera. She represents all women heads of households; our mothers, grandmothers and aunties passed. She holds the keys to the cupboards, and runs the home and everything tied to it. Everyone in the household defers to her. She is loved and respected. I made this La Patrona for my daughter’s new mother in law, to celebrate the joining of our families.

marigoldParadeAlbuquerque has its own Dia De Los Muertos celebration, the Marigold Parade. This year the date is Sunday, November 2nd. If you are interested in participating or just viewing the parade, be sure to visit the official Muertos y Marigolds website for all the details. For information about previous Marigold Parades, Dia de Los Muertos and calaveras visit my past blog post from 2012, it’s full of more history and details.

I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!


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copyright 2009 :: sarah dolk, adobe nido bed and breakfast, albuquerque nm :: photos by susan see, abq, nm & marianne groszko, mariannephotography.net