Friday, August 26, 2011

Sophia's Place (Albuquerque, NM)

Whenever I go to New Mexico, the recommendations I've received for Albuquerque had mainly been Frontier and Sadie's. Frontier's has its own charms: it's extremely cheap and open very late, perhaps even 24 hours? Sadie's ... well, Sadie's feels a bit more like Bucca di Beppo to me. It's huge, you wait for a table with a pager, the portions huge. Then comes Sophia's Place.

Sophia's Place sits a few blocks from Sadie's, a small hole in the wall that's made more famous by being on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Sophia's Place is pretty much a breakfast and lunch place, they close at 3 pm every day. I arrived at 2:45 but they were already starting to close so I sat and ate on the patio.

The regular menu has the usual tacos and enchiladas, plus breakfast items and french toast which seems to be quite popular. I eyed the daily specials and after much indecision, ordered the Calabacitas Relleno.

The Calabacitas Relleno is a chile poblano stuffed with squash, corn, zucchini, and cheese, doused in spicy tomatillo sauce and topped with shredded cheese. Despite being a hole in the wall, this dish was more refined than many places in New Mexico, more care was taken in its preparation. Yes, it was spicy and heavy, but it wasn't overly sauced, or overly stuffed with cheese as they tend to be. I'm not sure what made me order a stuffed chile, being weak to spicy foods as I am, but I was sure glad I did.

The black beans here were quite something, too. Chipotle salsa was added to boiling beans and they are stewed and pureed into something close to a paste in texture, thick and spicy.
Sophia's Place
When you spend more than a week in New Mexico, most of the restaurants' menu started to sound the same. It becomes harder to choose a restaurant. Well, Sophia's Place should be one of your choices for lunch, just as it will be on my list for my subsequent visits to Albuquerque.

Sophia's Place
6313 4th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 345-3935
Sophia's Place on Urbanspoon


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