Two Fools Tavern
I have a friend who wouldn’t even taste the great green chili jam we made last fall. He just flat refuses to consume one more food with green chili in it. The amazing jam? A casualty of the over-marketed New Mexico palette. The state cuisine is like the architectural planning limitations in Santa Fe. We have created an artificial flavor landscape – artificial in the way it is dominated by this distinguishing signature thing we grow and cook and promote the hell out of here: that damn hatch chili.
That’s why Two Fools Tavern in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill is such a treasure. You walk in off of Central avenue. Exit southwest. Enter Ireland.
My biggest question was how could I possibly not have known about the location boasting the very largest selection of Scotch whiskey in the entire southwest, bested nationally only by outliers in Seattle and Nashville?
My biggest beef was the fact that on an unusually overcast and typically shivery winter day, this beautifully wood paneled room was so busy, for such an extended “lunch rush”, that I had to wait hours for enough table and room space to light and shoot the plates of “Guinness Beef Boxty” and “fish and chips”, the aroma of which both drive me to distraction.
My biggest heart pang gratification of the day – the charismatic man in the bowler hat and his friend, who kindly entertained my request to shoot them, and were in fact having their last fond farewell meal before the bowler hat moved to Wisconsin, or North Dakota, maybe. Somewhere very distant and not here.
Point being: all we really want is a feeling of authenticity. Frankly: fuck facade. We can smell the cheap patina of plastic artifice a mile away, and we feel dirty when we indulge it anyway, for convenience or budget or efficiency.
No – we want the real thing: true camaraderie, a warm place on a cold day, real football on the telly (Barcelona v. Milan, i think), dark stained wood and a really, really good single malt to engender a sense of nostalgia for a place we never knew, but feels good to remember anyway. Enter: Two Fools Tavern.