Sunday, February 23, 2014

Let Me Tell You a Story…

about a young man named Tim Harris.

“As a 2004 graduate of Eldorado High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tim was elected homecoming king by the highest margin of votes in school history.
During graduation week, Tim was also voted Student of the Year by the administration, faculty, and staff.

“In the fall of 2004, Tim moved to Roswell, New Mexico to attend Eastern New Mexico University. Tim earned certificates in Food Service and in Office Skills and worked at a variety of local restaurants including CiCi’s Pizza, Golden Corral, IHOP, and Peppers Bar and Grill…

“After college, Tim…worked as a host at Applebee’s restaurant in Albuquerque...

“Tim spent much of 2009 and 2010 living aboard a sailboat with his parents and traveling throughout the Bahamas. Tim is now widely known throughout the Bahamas and is an excellent sailor and offshore fisherman” (

Tim and his restaurant, Tim’s Place, have been featured on CNN, NBC News, CBS News, The Today Show, and The View and in articles in the New York Daily News, People Magazine, and The Huffington Post.
One more thing, Tim was born with Down Syndrome.

“The famous quote from Walt Disney, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it’ has been the driving force behind the life of Tim Harris…Tim’s life has been defined by exceeding expectations” (
“…Tim Harris has been teaching everyone with whom he comes in contact very important lessons, one of the most important of which is the therapeutic value of hugs. Tim is the proprietor of Tim’s Place, the ‘world’s friendliest restaurant.’ He makes it a practice to bestow his staff and customers with a ‘Tim Hug,’ a calorie free, guilt free treat ‘guaranteed to improve your lease on life.’
“… As of June 30, 2011…Tim had given more than 11,000 hugs according to the Official Hug Counter hanging on a wall. That’s a lot of therapy! Tim doesn’t charge extra for this life-affirming succor and unlike some credentialed quacks who charge an armload, he consistently gets results. Just look at the beaming faces of loyal patrons who frequent Tim’s Place not only for the excellent food, but for the soothing picker-upper of a tight hug from what may well be the Duke City’s most beloved restaurateur” ( As you can see, the number of hugs has increased over time but, since Tim was only briefly in the house during our visit, we were not lucky enough to be recipients.
“’I decided to run a restaurant ever since I was a kid,’ he says. ‘And I wanted my dad to help me create my own life and live near where I work.’
“Tim’s father, Keith Harris, says his son started talking about wanting to have his own restaurant when he was in his early teens. During high school, Tim worked as a host at Red Robin restaurant in Albuquerque. It was there that he learned how to greet people and developed a loyal following.

“Upon Tim’s graduation in 2008, his father says, ‘We were looking as a family at trying to help Tim create an all-encompassing plan for his life in which he could support himself with employment as well as having a lifestyle in which all was in close proximity with each other….”
“…the family financed the restaurant and were not very concerned about it being a success, even with the weakened economy: ‘From the beginning, we had a broad appeal to the community, so I wasn’t as worried about the appeal to the community as I would have been with another restaurant. We have a very unique concept in terms of the restaurant being owned and operated by someone with a significant developmental disability’” (

And one more thing, Tim has participated in Special Olympics competitions throughout New Mexico and enjoys basketball, volleyball, poly hockey, track and field, and golf. He has won dozens of gold medals as a Special Olympian and these are displayed on the walls of his restaurant.

Now is this a great story or what? But let’s not forget that Tim’s Place is a restaurant so the quality of the food presented has to factor into any evaluation. The menu contains a combination of American and New Mexican dishes. Wait! Isn’t New Mexican food really American food? (Even though there are some idiots who believe that American citizens need a passport to visit New Mexico.) Yes, in the same way that the Cajun food you find in Louisiana can—strictly speaking—be considered American food. But both are regional specialties that deserve their distinctive designations.
New Mexican specialties include burritos, enchiladas (both stacked and rolled), and quesadillas. American items include burgers, salads, mac and cheese, and a long list of sandwiches. And, as homage to both cuisines, there is the El Tomas—a Black Angus chicken fried steak sandwich with Southern-style peppercorn gravy and green chile for that nod to New Mexico. And, “(in) its annual Food and Wine issue for 2013, Albuquerque The Magazine‘s staff sampled ‘every dish of nachos in the city’ and selected Tim’s nachos as the eighth best in the city. The magazine described these nachos as possessing ‘fresh roasted chile that topped the mound of crispy chips’ that ‘sent us to a happy place’” (

Both of us eschewed the regular menu items and ordered one of the daily specials. Ignoring the admonition to “never order fish in the desert,” Chuck ordered the fish and chips special that came with cole slaw and fries.
I can’t tell whether the fish entered the kitchen fresh or frozen, but all three of the good sized pieces were sweet and flakey. Chuck, not being a really big fan of cole slaw, raved over this version. It was a combination of red and green cabbages with some shredded carrot for good measure and was tossed with a slightly sweet creamy dressing. And while he didn’t use the tartar sauce that came with his fish, I can attest that it was an excellent house-made version containing just a bit of onion.

The El Tomas did sound interesting and would have been my choice had it not been for the fact that one of the specials was the chile relleno plate. I really enjoy and good chile relleno and hadn’t had one in a while.
My plate came with not one but two good sized chiles stuffed with cheese and then battered and fried. The coating was a little thicker than I like (This is one of those personal preference things.) but didn’t have the intrusive eggy taste that many thick coatings have. And I asked that it be covered with green and let me tell you that this was one powerful green chile.

I could have done without the beans on the plate, but then again, that is often the case. But the plate also came with a side of calabacitas—an item that was entirely new to me. “Technically, calabacita is Spanish for squash, but here in New Mexico we use the word generally to mean this dish made from squash. Calabacitas recipes are like green chili stew recipes out here in New Mexico—everybody has one and it is the best” (

This was a light and fresh mix of zucchini, yellow squash, corn, onions, tomatoes, and spinach that had been just warmed so that all of the veggies maintained their crisp texture. What a delightful alternative to rice! How I wish more restaurants would offer this option.

With our meals, we shared an order of onion rings that, while being cut thicker than we usually like, were quite good.
They had a panko coating and after frying had been lightly dusted with red chile. On the side came a cup of green chile ranch.

Tim could not have achieved his dreams without a strong and supportive family, support that he readily credits in an interview with ‘My mom and dad loaned me the money to open the doors. My dad helped get the word out throughout Albuquerque and the world. My brothers have all worked at my place and they supported me by bringing their friends to the restaurant and giving me business.”
Tim’s Place is not just a great story, it’s a great place to eat when in Albuquerque and fully merits its 4.5 Addie rating.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.


eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف بالطائف شركة الهدي افضل شركة نقل عفش بالطائف كذلك هى افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه الهدى
شركة رش بالطائف
خدمات الطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
نظافه عامه بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف

eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف شقق بالطائف
نقل عفش بالطائف
بالطائف شفط بيارات
تسليك مجارى بالطائف
تنظيف خزنات بالطائف
رش مبيدات بالطائف
نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف

eyad ammar said...

ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء
شركة المتحدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بابها

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك