My wife and I are thinking of making a move to ABQ because of her schooling. It's a big deal to move and so does anyone have any thoughts on being Paleo in ABQ? Pros, Cons...selling features...problems to over-come? We bike and walk as our transportation, we mass transit as needed. We don't drive. Avid hikers who eat fruit/tuber/veggie heavy Paleo and meat as desired, I guess you can say "High-carb Paleo".
I appreciate any help people can give me.
Thank you everyone for your thoughts! It's great to get some insight from people who I have at least a little in common with. (Diet if nothing else...)
Keep it comin' if you are so inclined, it's really appreciated!
I live in ABQ! I live near the river, in an old neighborhood filled with old adobe homes. Life is slow in New Mexico, is magic. The sky looks different every day.
It's a meat eaters paradise! I visit a few different Mexican butchers (I speak fluent Spanish which helps) and get the most wonderful cuts of locally raised meat. They give me bones for free! Sometimes my favorite butcher will give me a big bag of sweetbreads, kidneys, hearts.
If you live near the university or near Old Town, you can manage without a car. I don't drive that often. I ride my bike everywhere, and sometimes take the city bus. Since I live near the bosque, I can walk a couple of blocks to the state park and walk the winding path that follows the Rio Grande. Right now the geese are migrating, and the ducks are beginning to nest. We will soon see ducklings wandering the neighborhood behind their mothers. You can ride the bosque's bike trail to the Zoo in one direction or all the way to Bernalillo in the other.
There are plenty of good places to eat out in the city. Gold Street Cafe will cook your eggs in butter and they have excellent bacon! Some of the small Mexican restaurants - and you have to know which ones - cook everything in real homemade lard, and you can make a wonderful meal out of carnitas or carne adovada or liver and onions. The food in New Mexico is incredible. You can get chopped green chile literally everywhere (hell, even McDonald's).
The smell of Albuquerque in August and September will make you cry - the roasters sit in parking lots, turning wire cages over open flames, pounds of chile rotating, turning black. It's absolutely orgasmic.
This can be the land of mañana - people take time to get things done. I think the city is beautiful, but out of towners may think it's unkept in places, but that's just New Mexico. We're not a city of facades and fake praise. Everything here is achingly real.
If you like hiking, we have awesome trails in the Sandia Wilderness. You can hike the volcanos on the west side. Skiing is just 45 minutes away! And the ancient cultures seep into your consciousness here, will infect your dreams.
New Mexico is both the Land of Enchantment and the Land of Entrapment. It's tough to make a living, but you are in good company if you are poor (like me).
But as for Paleo living? heck yes. Can't imagine a better place.
I haven't lived in ABQ for a while, but I can tell you that if you don't have a car, you'll want to live near the university (I assume your wife is attending UNM, I'm an alum). The town is so spread out that public transit is really annoying. I didn't have a car the whole time I lived there and did fine in the university area. Restaurants, bars, a great grocery co-op, hair salons, shops, drug stores...everything you need within a few miles radius.
When I left, ABQ was really starting to come into its own with restaurants. O'Niell's has the BEST green chile bacon burger. Flying Star Café will become an anytime favorite (I worked there for 5 years), and they're pretty special-request friendly. They had a Brazilian restaurant by the big movie theater downtown, so that's a good option if it's still there. There is a smattering of places trying for a more upscale experience, and you won't have trouble eating Paleo at them.
Mexican food might be harder to navigate. Lots of pinto beans, tortillas, and cheese on everything. Trust me, they will be confused if you ask for modifications.
It can seem unfriendly, trashy, and weird at first. I don't know where you're from, but some people have been afraid of it until they got used to it. I grew up in NM, so I never noticed. :) But give it some time and it'll grow on you. Lots of great folks there too.
I'm in ABQ! Born and raised! I grew up hating it but have learned really appreciate it for what it really is here. Like the first commenter said it really is REAL and that's what won me over. I don't know any purely Paleo restaurants but I know which ones we frequent so I'll give you our list. Monroe's- great mexican food!! I get carne adovada platter (pork in red chile) with sweet potato fries and calabacitas (squash, onions and green chile). Five Star Burger- Gluten free bun available, local beef (though not grass-fed), also offers sweet potato fries. Holy Cow- grass fed burgers, but no gluten-free option for bun. Whole Hog- BBQ Rudy's- more BBQ Farm and Table- expensive restaurant full of deliciously cooked local foods, grass-fed beef and local pastured eggs. I haven't been here but really want to go! It's just too expensive for anything other than special occassions. The Cube- more BBQ!! Though this restaurant offers more, very yummy! Orchid Thai- fantastic thai food! I order a meat dish and ask for double instead of rice. So good! Le Peep- our favorite breakfast frequent! Great service and the food is so yummy, I love the green chile breakfast sausage! Tucanos- a brazilian restaurant downtown. Very yummy and TONS O MEAT!
Stores that are good are Trader Joes, Whole Foods, any of the local co-ops (though I find them to be too pricey), and Kellers for meat (lots of organ meats, grass fed beef, buffalo, elk, fish etc).
Hope this helps :)
If you love some seriuos wind and your neighbors trampolines landing in your yard, this is the place to be.
Seriously, we moved out here (Rio Rancho) from Jersey about 5 years ago and are well adjusted. Kids, dogs, everyone is thriving.
I would imagine you can be pretty paleo where ever life brings you. We are and there is no issue for us. Like a few folks have said. I fyou live downtown or by UNM, you can walk or bike to where you need to be.
As far as outdoor stuff goes, this place has it all. We just spent the week snowboarding in Taos and it was amazing.
Hit me up if you want more info!
I guess the question I have now is where are you living now? Of course there are parts of town that you want to avoid spending too much time in, but if you are from any where close to a big city (like I was from North Jersey) you should not worry too much. By the university is plenty safe. My daughter is a soph down there and she walks around campus and has never said anything to indicate it is not safe. We go down there often because it is fun and there are lots of nice places to eat and enjoy the nightlife. Overall, ABQ is a great place ot live if you bike, very bike friendly. It can get a bit cold in the winter at times but nothing that should stop you if you are a hardcore biker and you dress properly. Auga nd Sept are awesome out here. I am serious about the wind, it is horrible in the spring. But may not be so bad down in town, but out here in RR it sucks. Good food, lots of micro brewerys, a cool culture, no traffic to speak of if you come from cali or the east coast. The is nothing about ABQ that makes me worry.
I use this site to find farmer's markets around town on different days of the week: http://farmersmarketsnm.org/Farmers_Markets/Market_Locations/index.html
For cheap and easy dine-in or drive through I like to go to Taco Cabana. I order the beef fajitas and skip the tortillas. The salsa bar has fresh cilantro, limes, pico de gallo. I dump it all on one plate like a meat salad.
La Montanita Co-op will be close near UNM.
I'd also check out the Santa Fe farmer's market, which is larger, if you're in the mood.
Did you decide yet?
Just one additional note - someone just recently started a local website/blog for Paleo folks here in the Duke City: http://www.paleoquerque.com There's a FB page, too.
It is just getting started so hopefully will be a good meetup point and socialization, etc.