Thursday, November 26, 2009

Some "Bests" in Nob Hill

Continuing my solo walk along Central Avenue in the Nob Hill section of Albuquerque, I came upon some interesting eateries.

I thought the exteriors were interesting, but I later learned just how interesting the interiors were.

As I passed this establishment, the name caught my attention, especially since this Irish pub was located in a section of the city just a few blocks east of the campus of the University of New Mexico. Later, I learned that it had earned the designation as having the "best bar food in Albuquerque."

In addition, “In Plain Sight” filmed a whole day at Two Fools Tavern for an episode this season.

"In 1939, Ralph Jones commissioned the construction of a Ford dealership and service station. Designed in the Streamline Modern style, this building was considered one of the most modern facilities in the west at the time." So reads the history of the service station that was one of the first that westbound travelers along Route 66 encountered as they arrived in Albuquerque.

After the Jones Motor Company moved to a new location in 1957, the building housed many enterprises including a moped shop, a thrift store, a body shop, and an army surplus store. Jones Motor Company was officially designated as a historic building in 1993.

When Kellys Brewery purchased the historic building in 1999, the owners' emphasis on restoration and renovation enabled the original character of the Jones Motor Company building to shine through.

Two of the original gas pumps still occupy their familiar spots in what is now the outdoor dining area of Kellys Brew Pub.

My third "discovery" was the Flying Star Café. Owned by Jean and Mark Bernstein, both of whom grew up near New York City, the Cafe opened in 1987 with the objective of coming as close as possible to "the old style automat/cafeterias where you could walk in and eat a full meal or just get a little 'nosh'--anything from a dish of rice pudding to a cream filled cupcake."

Twenty-two years and nine locations later, the colorful, hip eateries appeal to diners of all ages and walks of life. The owners’ mission is to support a sustainable food chain, and their menu features locally-grown products. They use organic food products wherever possible and veg fed, drug-free beef and chicken.

I grabbed this apple crisp pie in their bakery display case with little hesitation. I later learned that among their catalog of "bests" over the years was "Best Desserts."

This amazing pie must have weighed 5-6 pounds--the apples still firm with just a hint of tartness and just enough cinnamon to complement the tartness of the apples without becoming the dominant flavor.

One blogger has rated the Flying Star's pies as one of the four best in the Southwest. Since one of the other three are the pies from Rock Springs Cafe just north of Phoenix--and our favorite place for pies--we believe the award is well-deserved.

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