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Authenticity the hallmark of Marley’s BBQ

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bizO-Dyer_Jessica_BizOWant a little taste of Texas without having to cross the state line?

Marley’s Central Texas BBQ is ready to serve.

The city’s newest barbecue joint started smoking last month, bringing some Texas flavor to a small strip-mall dining room in northeast Albuquerque.

The brisket at Marley's Central Texas BBQ is smoked up to 18 hours.  Pictured is the chopped brisket sandwich with bacon potato salad.  (Greg Sorber / Albuquerque Journal)

The brisket at Marley’s Central Texas BBQ is smoked up to 18 hours. Pictured is the chopped brisket sandwich with bacon potato salad. (Greg Sorber / Albuquerque Journal)

That means brisket – cooked in the “low-and-slow” style associated with the heart of Texas – sausage, spare ribs and pulled pork, as well as the expected accompaniments like beans, potato salad and cole slaw.

It’s a relatively short menu, but that’s kind of the idea.

“We want to do a few things and do them well,” says Mara Mannarino, business partner to owner Shane Beckham.

Marley’s consulted with restaurant veteran Gene Woodson to develop the menu. Woodson – currently manning the smoker and the kitchen – moved to Albuquerque from Texas’ Hill Country, where he learned the barbecue ropes. Central Texas brisket, he says, doesn’t require fancy sauces.

“It’s basically very simple: It’s salt, it’s pepper and a good cut of beef,” he says.

Woodson is also serious about the wood – the beef at Marley’s spends anywhere from 15 to 18 hours smoking over post oak sourced from the Austin area.

Marley’s goes far for the sake of authenticity, getting its Black Angus beef from various suppliers in Texas and its sausage from Elgin, a city that proclaims on its official website that it is the “Sausage Capital of Texas.” Pecans for the Marley’s pecan pie come from the central Texas city of San Saba, also known as the “Pecan Capital of the World.”

“We’re pretty picky about our ingredients and from where we get them,” Mannarino says.

Everything is made from scratch, Woodson says, including his special bacon potato salad and the herb-and-green-chile-flavored pinto beans.

Meat at Marley’s comes by the half-pound ($7.95-$9.95) or as part of a sandwich ($9.95, including one side) or two-side plate ($12.95). It’s available for carry-out and dine-in.

The 53-seat Marley’s dining room carries on the Texas theme with burnt-orange paint and a Texas flag hanging from the wall. It’s a casual atmosphere with patio-friendly furniture and a roll of paper towels on each table.

Marley’s is located at 6219 Montgomery NE, at the northeast corner of the San Pedro/Montgomery intersection.

It is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The phone number is 639-5962.

How about some waffles?

Waffles for breakfast. Waffles for lunch.

Waffles topped with hot green chile.

Waffles with a toasted coconut crunch.

The "Bombay Coconut" waffle at Tia B's La Waffleria features a rice/coconut flour waffle with mango sauce, whipped coconut milk topping, and roasted coconut garnish.  (Courtesy of Daniel Boardman)

The “Bombay Coconut” waffle at Tia B’s La Waffleria features a rice/coconut flour waffle with mango sauce, whipped coconut milk topping, and roasted coconut garnish. (Courtesy of Daniel Boardman)

Even with its all-waffles-all-the-time design, Nob Hill’s newest restaurant will attempt to suit nearly any craving.

Tia B’s La Waffleria – which opens to the public Thursday at 3710 Campus NE – gives customers thousands of possible waffle options. In addition to about 20 established waffle combinations that cover both sweet (the Dark Chocolate Raspberry) and savory (the Chicken Mole) territory, customers also can build their own.

That means picking from seven different waffle batters – wheat-buttermilk, blue corn-buttermilk, falafel and rice-coconut among them – and then ramping up the flavor any way they see fit.

The kitchen will prepare the waffle with anything from a long list of add-ins, like dried and fresh fruit, bacon and ham, nuts, veggies and even black beans.

Toppings include flavored syrups, house-made sauces, red and green chile, and various whipped creams.

“Hopefully, it won’t get boring,” says owner Daniel Boardman, who also has incorporated multiple gluten-free and vegan waffle options.

La Waffleria’s origins can be traced to Boardman’s first restaurant, Tia Betty Blue’s in southeast Albuquerque, where the blue-corn waffles have grown into a customer favorite. The Tia Betty waffles proved popular in both their sweet incarnation (featuring fruit, syrup and whipped cream) and also when served more like huevos rancheros (with eggs, cheese and chile).

Boardman says he started thinking the simple waffle could serve as the backbone to a whole new enterprise given its potential pairing with anything from salmon to rhubarb-strawberry sauce.

“I think waffles are like bread,” he says inside the 30-seat eatery, where customers get counter service and most combinations ring up about $8-9.

Boardman also was attracted to their relatively simple preparation. At La Waffleria, a pair of cast-iron waffle makers handle most of the workload, reaching cooking temperatures of 570 degrees to give each dimpled cake what Boardman calls a “crispness.”

La Waffleria is open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The phone number is 492-2007.

Adios, Dos Hermanos

Albuquerque has lost Dos Hermanos once again.

The popular burrito eatery shuttered its only location last month, closing the curtains on what had been the brand’s second act.

“For the last three years, we have been competing with the economy, rising food prices, rising wages, higher taxes and now construction,” says a post on the Dos Hermanos Facebook page. “We put up a hell of a battle but they won.”

The first Dos Hermanos opened in 1992, and the concept gradually grew into a small local chain. But several locations closed in 2011, and the last original site went dark in early 2012.

Longtime employee Todd Johnson revived Dos Hermanos in a previous Journal Center location at 7600 Jefferson NE. It shut down the final week of June.

Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment.

If you have retail news to share, contact me at jdyer@abqjournal.com or 823-3864. For more regular updates on Albuquerque shopping and restaurant news, visit my blog at abqjournal.com or follow @abqdyer on Twitter.

 

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