New Mexico Chow : Restaurants for the Rest of Us, by Scott Sharot
The first great -- and immediately apparent -- thing about this book is the size and format. At a slim 9"x"4", it will fit in just about every glove box and center console out there. All of the reviews are written in a down-home country prose with a brevity of ratings -- mostly based upon how much a meal will cost. The author's comments are often humorous and provide vividly useful descriptions of the type of dining experience one can expect to find in each of the establishments.
I consider this book to be my new "secret weapon." Since I am often accompanied by another road food adventurer who has perfected the "eye-roll commentary" when viewing an aesthetically-challenged eating establishment, I can now, with authority, whip out this book and point out the author's recommendation for ignoring the décor and savoring the offerings at places like the Coyote Moon Café in Lemitar or Robb's Ribbs in Albuquerque.
In the introduction, the author establishes the ground rules: " I have chosen to list places that show a commitment to serving really good food. The guide is not limited to New Mexico cuisine or even restaurants with a roof over them " What's great is that the author really delivers, covering establishments with menus from Ayurveda vegetarian and "full carnivore" to ethnic Greek and fancy French.
In about two weeks, I will
be headed to Wyoming, and I am sorely tempted to take a slight
detour and spend some quality time eating my way through New
Mexico with Scott Sharot as my inspiring guide. As the author
says it: "Above all, chow is fun. Let's eat!"