Monday, September 21, 2009

Hotel Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Why go to Santa Fe for hotel ambiance when you can wander into the Hotel Albuquerque and feel as if you are there?

The New Mexico Turn Around Conference was held at the Hotel Albuquerque this past week and it was my first time in the recently renovated hotel. I was impressed.

Located in Old Town Albuquerque, the Old Town Hotel exemplifies “Albuquerque Style,” a unique blend of New Mexico’s Native American, Mexican, Spanish and Western cultural influences and was listed in the April 2001 issue of Travel + Leisure as one of “25 Stylish Hotels under $200.”

Q-bar was the place to be at night and the live music was great. From their website: "Voted 'Albuquerque's Best Happy Hour' venue 3 years in a row and 'Best Ladies Night Out.' This multi-venue bar is Albuquerque's most sophisticated and ultra-chic hot spot."
I would recommend Hotel Albuquerque for lunch at CafĂ© Plazuela & Cantina, or a conference/meeting or an overnight stay; no matter the reason you won't go wrong at this venue when looking for the ambiance and spirit of old New Mexico.

Hotel Albuquerque just enhances the enchantment of New Mexico....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pueblo Harvest Cafe & Bakery, Albuquerque, NM

The night couldn't have been more perfect. It was warm enough to sit in shirt sleeves but just cool enough that the crackling fire behind our table provided a soothing warmth. Located within the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the Pueblo Harvest Cafe &  Bakery serves breakfast and lunch on Sunday and Monday, but expands to include dinner service for the remainder of the week. With the fresh air of patio dining, also featuring live music for entertainment, I think the Cafe is destined to become one of my favorite places.

There is over 1000 sf of dining area on the main floor, and another 1000 sf of private dining room space upstairs, Pueblo Harvest Cafe can accomodate any size party.

Last night we gathered to celebrate several birthdays as we enjoyed the casual ambiance on the outdoor patio. And we weren't the only group who chose the Cafe for their birthday celebration, there were at least two other groups of 10 -15 that also celebrated last night. The entertainment was phenomonal, with Hillary Smith's amazing vocals rocking the house for several hours.

The food was good (we had the amazing appetizer nachos) and reasonably priced. Others had various main courses and everyone raved about their selections. Some in our party tried the Green Chili Beer and found it 'interesting'. Let's just say she didn't order a second of the same variety, having satisfied her curiosity with the first.

In the words of the Cafe management: "Our Native-Fusion cuisine is inspired by the traditions and ingredients cultivated by our ancestors. We bring to the table, 25 years of experience and we are enthusiastic about crafting delicious food that will bring diners back to us again and again.”

There was a selection of bakery goods that looked irresistable, but somehow we resisted. Next time I doubt we will have as much control.

My friends and I  wandered over to the Gift Shop, which was closing before 6 PM, so we were disappointed and saved our dollars. They might consider leaving the Gift Shop open a bit later when someone like Hillary Smith is going to be there and a crowd can be expected.

All in all, it was a lovely night with good folks, great music, bubbly drinks and a comfortably classy but affordable venue. I would recommend the Pueblo Harvest Cafe to anyone, and will also add that if you have a chance to see Hillary Smith live - do it! She's amazing, as were the musicians behind her.