Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chairs, Chairs, Ceviche, & Shrimp

NOB HILL--They didn't look that special: 6 small wooden chairs stacked up seat on seat someplace near the front windows of the Antique Specialty Mall on Central SE. They did have a blocky look to them with carved geometric designs on the backrests. Still, $4000 seemed a bit steep for the six, even if the piece of paper taped to one of them did say the three magic letters: WPA.

I had just been looking at four other chairs in a back room, trying to figure out how to justify buying them...and where, exactly, I could put them if I did buy them. They were also small and carved, but totally different. They had turned details and the seats were carved into concave shapes. Amazingly, some of the seat bottoms still bore saw marks from what looked to have been a hand saw. The little sign said that they were hand-made, from Taos, and had been in the family for 4 generations. The price for these wonderful pieces of New Mexico history had been marked down to $280 for the set! What a total bargain. MaryAnn said, "Get 'em."

But not this time. Not me. YOU get 'em.

We were still talking about those little pieces of furniture as we drove away south on Jefferson. Hey, what's this? A big new sign on that drive-in bank building said, "Los Equipales Restaurant." Now I love equipal furniture. We have some at know, those round pigskin chairs from Mexico. Well, we had to stop.

Los Equipales Restaurant specializes in coastal Mexican cuisine. Their menu is about 70% seafood, but also has things like enchiladas suizas. I always crack up when I read that...Swiss enchiladas!

Anyway, we started out with ceviche, fresh seafood with lime sauce. I wish I had taken a picture of it because the presentation was simple but elegant. I just wasn't that smart. I was too busy enjoying the eating aspect. MaryAnn ordered the enchiladas suizas and I had the special, shimp enchiladas. I do love shrimp. They also had a couple of really tempting soups but maybe next time.

Everything was delicious and tasted totally fresh. And the restaurant was beautiful - complete with tablecloths and equipales chairs. I liked the fact that the kitchen was visible. I liked how new everything felt new; the place has only been open two months. But most of all, we loved the warm and comfortable feeling that those equipales lent to the room and our time there. Erika, one of the owners, said that at night they light candles on the tables.

What would all this set you back? Most dishes are under $10. They are open until 9 p.m.


Anonymous said...

John Fleck said -

We took your advice. A yummy meal ensued. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful food and service! Better outdoor lighting needed at night for safety purposes. Please pass on this information to the management of Los Equipales.

Anonymous said...

One of the best values in Albuquerque. The owners and Executive Chef Henrique are nothing short of the finest hosts on the planet. You arive a customer and you leave feeling like part of their family. Oh, and the selection of boutique wines from Spain, Mexico, Chile and Argentina with some from France thrown in for good measure are perfectly pair with their cuisine!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I, too love equipales and recently bought a table and 2 chairs in Mexico. You said you have some at home. I'm wondering if you'd share with me how you take care of them. I know the leather has to be conditioned regularly. What do you, how long have you had your equipales and how is the leather holding up? Thanks for your advice.

NewYorkPocho said...

BTW, "Mexican" food is largely seafood based -- the norte~no food served in NM and elsewhere is a regional specialty -- it is not true Mexican food.