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L.D. Birkelbach
I am a Mexico-born, Cd. Juarez-raised El Pasoan.
An entrepreneur who writes for a living and finds passion in any given intersection of food, culture, communication, and health.
Interests: travel, cooking, writing
Recent Activity
It's odd. And it's always been odd to me. When I lived in Juarez there were quite a few seafood restaurants. Next to Chinese food, people of the region have sought to break the burrito and steak monotony with seafood. I'm a huge fan of fresh seafood; most of my seafood cocktail memories involved seafood near the sea. Or at least in locations darn near the sea. Clearly, here, we are not by the sea. Yet day after day, another one pops up. I'm talking about Pacifica, El Barco, and the upcoming Villa del Mar. Add these to Shellsy, Puerto... Continue reading
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On Saturday, I ventured to the Ardovino’s Farmers Market—finally. I kept my expectations in check, considering the region and its climate, this year’s freeze and drought, and my last experience at the farmers market, which was heavy on handmade soaps and candles and low on food. I have nothing against arts and crafts—in fact, how cool to buy a handmade doll, apron, or necklace as a gift at the farmers market! But I’m more into cooking, as you know, and often I dream in farm-to-table sequences! And to boot, I have been working hard to finish school the last six... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
Bill, who used to live in El Paso, is coming in on Sunday on business with three other people. They are wanting to know if there is a place that is serving Easter dinner--doesn't have to be fancy, he said, just good. I suggested they try Cattleman's ranch and Great American on Alabama. Any other leads? Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
Taco afficionados sent in their suggestions (thanks for those--at very short notice!), and Mando Rayo and I hit the streets this past Saturday, as I recount in my previous blog entry on Cachito's food truck. Check out Mando's post on http://tacojournalism.blogspot.com/2011/04/el-paso-taco-hunt.html I have a few more leads for Mando's next visit, but the more vetting the better. If you have suggestions for taco places, let us know by replying to this post or by sending an e-mail through the link (see left side of page) on the tacojournalism blog site. Again, thank you for the suggestions, and thanks to Mando... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
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Yesterday, I went on a taco crawl with "tacosseur" Mando Rayo (http://tacojournalism.blogspot.com/)--an El Pasoan who now lives in Austin and is a dedicated taco journalist. We tried three places together were on our own for the first two. Although I'm posting the link to Mando's full review as soon as it's available, I couldn't wait to let you know about Cachito's food truck, which I hit up when I was going solo. Lonches, burritos, and tacos. You pick. An ice cold Mexican soda in a glass bottle. For some, it's the beginning of a long, hard day--breakfast fuel. For others,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
I'll be going on a taco/burro crawl with taco journalist Mando Rayo (http://tacojournalism.blogspot.com/) tomorrow at lunch. Where should we go? I've got a few leads but would love your recommendations for great tacos and burritos in the area. Any hidden treasures? Food trucks? Dives? Look for our write-up soon! Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
FYI P.F. Chang's fans, P.F. Chang's is offering a 15% discount as a post-tax filing incentive on Monday, April 18th. The only thing better than a satisfying meal is a satisfying meal with a discount. Enjoy... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
Next Thursday, make plans with friends and family to dine out for life! Enjoy a meal at a participating local restaurant restaurant (See www.diningoutforlife.com), and at no additional cost to you 25% of the proceeds of that day's meals will be donated to a local AIDS service organization. In El Paso “Dining Out for Life” is produced by International AIDS Empowerment (http://www.internationalaids.org/), and all monies raised will help this agency provide services such as testing and counseling, education and prevention programs, support groups, case management, “We Care” emergency financial assistance, and a weekly food pantry among others. This is such... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
In a recent press release, Allmenus.com decided to declare March 31 National Order-in Day. Whether you buy the hype or not, on this declared holiday Allmenus.com will be offering its customer base a 50% discount on orders of $40 or less. This online food website has the upside of convenience, though the El Paso page is slowly getting populated. When I clicked on Thai food, Pei Wei was the only option. When I clicked on Vietnamese food, same thing. But I noticed the Little Diner in Canutillo was recently added, so it must just be a matter of time. All... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
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I’ve loved chocolate truffles all my life, but my romance with the underground mushroom has been more recent. The truth is, despite the distinct flavor of this delicate fungus, it took me a while to be able to pinpoint the flavor. Now, I die for it. Despite its sophisticated flavor, truffle oil marries well with simple dishes: try truffle salt on oven roasted potatoes or a truffle oil grilled cheese sandwich. Last night, I tried a combination that will probably have me wanting to go back to La Jolla Kitchen (on Resler almost at the corner with Belvidere) again and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
I had lunch at Crave today and heard from Chef Rudy that he's been working on a new dessert which he's releasing tomorrow: orange creamsicle tres leches cake. He says it's the traditional cake but infused with orange. It's local, it's orange. And it's in the University area. Will it become a Miners' favorite? BTW, look for a second Crave location at 11990 Rojas in early May. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
A few days ago I went to one of my old favorites, the L&J, and went through my usual drill. I ask for both red and green salsas and I dip my chips just a tad. If I catch too much of either salsa my mouth is on fire to the point that I can't handle the entree. I like heat, but I don't like to numb my taste buds. That's just me. There are others out there though, who are competitive about heat. Heat seekers, where do you go to get your thrill? What place in town packs the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
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Have you been to Los Colorines on the first floor of the Chase building downtown? If you work downtown, you probably have. But if you don’t, it is worth the visit. The tortilla soup is famous. It is hearty enough to have on its own yet the broth is light and each ingredient retains its own flavor and texture—a well-balanced combination. The Colorines torta is satisfies a big appetite—perfect bread layered with ham, bacon, avocado, and lettuce. It is very tasty. I highly recommend this lunch spot, right in the center of town yet off the beaten path. What are... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
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Las Maracas (911 Talbot Ave. in Canutillo) shakes up our Latin food palate with Puerto Rican flare. It was written up in the EP Times in October 2010, but I heard about it from my in-the-know friend Richard P. Now that I know where it is, I have an excuse to ride my bike there and not feel the least bit guilty about indulging. Owner Raymond has been serving breakfast, lunch, and (early) dinner at the Shorty’s gas station for a year and four months now. The Cuban Sandwich is his specialty—it is way yummy: pulled pork, ham, cheese, and... Continue reading
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El Paso is not at the culinary forefront most of the time, and I’m referring to food trends when I say this. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that while we have some phenomenal home grown signature dishes that I have no doubt we can capitalize on (green chile mashed potatoes, chorizo home fries, etc.), our most popular restaurants focus on bringing home food trends than on creating them. Don’t get me wrong. This is a good thing. Not everybody can travel, for one reason or another, and even those who travel often have trouble eating out of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
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This is Rosa. She is standing next to her daughter, Irasema, outside of their roasted corn shop in Ruidoso. Originally from Chihuahua, Rosa has lived in the Ruidoso area for 18 years. For a little over two months, Rosa has been selling roasted corn on the cob and in a cup on Sudderth in one of the shopping centers (look for the giant ear of corn). A specialized product sold two ways. To me, this is the best of both worlds. Whether you’re a cob or a cup person, chances are you’re a corn person. And roasted corn, whether on... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
I'm working from home today, but several people have asked me if I know if places downtown and elsewhere are open for lunch.... Those of you who are out and about, what's for lunch? Continue reading
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 As I munch away at my desk on my beautifully textured, wonderfully colored, and tasty, tasty trail mix (raw almonds, roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries & papaya cubes--a to-die-for combination!), I thank heavens for Sun Harvest. I went last night and stood in front of the bins, wondering what kind of desk-side snack I might create for long days of writing at the UTEP library. I was distracted by jars of ready to use Indian sauces and fair-trade chocolate bars. I also found myself wandering into isles, and wishing that I had more time to cook. Everything looked... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
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From the drive to sights of a train wrapping around a sun-tinged Mt. Cristo Rey, for me Ardovino's Dessert Crossing is always a treat. It feels familiar like home, but in the most unique, eclectic, and elegant of ways. One of my favorite things to do is to go there on a more quiet night for a cocktail and appetizers. Once in a while though, even the familiar surprises me. A few evenings ago, as soon as we walked by the woodfire oven at the entrance, its embers a warm contrast to the crisp night air, I knew we wouldn't... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
The catch? Make a new Lunar Year resolution. Here are the details; pay special attention to the dates. Pei Wei is inviting diners to celebrate during the first week of the Lunar New Year (the first week of February)with a new dish and a special deal. Guests who visit Pei Wei on January 26 or 27 will receive a free card to sample the all-new Korean BBQ entrée when the dish is released the following week. The card is valid for one free order of the entrée and is redeemable during Pei Wei’s Lunar New Year celebration from January 31... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
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Last night I was at Crisostomo on Mesa, and this poster caught my eye. So I did what it says. I asked for rules. 14 burritos is the Crisostomo record. Those interested in the challenge must eat 14 burritos (or break the record by eating more). Two of the burritos must be chile relleno burritos, and the others can have any of the fillings. The winner gets a prize and their picture taken, I believe. You couldn't pay me to do this, but I know that Man vs. Food and other food athletes (how's that for an oxymoron?) are out... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
Some of you might have been anticipating this day. Others may not know what in the world I'm talking about (this holiday was news to me until last week). Today is National Hot Buttered Rum Day. If you've ever sipped on a hot beverage to stay warm, it makes complete sense--that's one of the stories about the origins of this cocktail. People drank hot buttered rum to stay warm in cities, and sailors drank it on their voyages across saes. Another story, which I've heard about whiskey in the U.S., is that people turned to alcohol in Europe when drinking... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
A good friend asked me what the secret to a spongy outer coating on a chile relleno is. From what I know, the key is in beating the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and then incorporating the yolks (which have also been beat until fluffy/pale yellow). I think that for the most part we can agree on this, right? After consulting with several seasoned chile relleno cooks, these are the variations or tips that I hear: -coat the chile in flour before dipping in the beaten eggs (this way the egg sticks more easily to the chile) AND... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
Last night I couldn’t sleep; I thought about this blog and my neglect. I haven’t checked in in a few weeks. The truth is, food has taken a back seat. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been eating, and eating well. At Christmas my brother in law David and I fixed a feast for the ages—enough food for a week! Since he was in town we hit every food spot we could possibly fit into ten days (beginning with the stop at L&J’s of which I wrote in my last post). But my food “mojo’s” been gone. My custards curdled, my... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2011 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty
Very often people ask me what my favorite restaurant in El Paso is, and I usually struggle with the answer because I like different things from different places. And so often these "things" come from hole in the wall places. So I thought I'd share what I was craving after 19 days of being out of the country on a research trip. All I could think about was getting off the plane and getting a nice cold michelada and some tacos at L&J. Very revealing. I knew I liked that place, but I never thought it would be my first... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2010 at Bite Me | A blog for all things tasty