Growing up in California, “Irish nachos” — french fries covered with cheddar, ranch dressing, bacon and chives — were often on the menu for Taren Archibeque, the owner of freeze-dried candy company Sticky Fingers Candy.
When Archibeque moved to Albuquerque, the candymaker noticed that loaded fries were a novelty rather than the norm.
“You don’t really find a lot of it here,” Archibeque said. “I kind of decided to start making some fries, and pulling inspiration from traveling and places I’ve lived.”
Along with Snacc Attack Jerky owner Francisco de Jesús, Archibeque is changing that in Downtown Albuquerque by opening Bang Bang Fries at 230 6th SW. From 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the space is home to Cecilia’s Cafe — but, at night, the restaurant reopens from 4:20 p.m. to 11 p.m. as Bang Bang Fries. The restaurant had its grand opening Jan. 11.
“It works out for everyone, you know,” Archibeque said. “Try to build the community, and try to grow each other and help each other out.”
Archibeque has been using the kitchen at Cecilia’s Cafe as a commissary kitchen for Sticky Fingers Candy.
Archibeque, whose family is originally from New Mexico, moved to the Land of Enchantment to pursue a career in the culinary industry. But they ended up pursuing massage therapy instead — a job that took Archibeque across the world, from neighboring Colorado to Thailand.
But Archibeque eventually returned to Albuquerque — and culinary, starting up her candy business. She teamed up with Jesús after they met at a concert.
For the past three months, they have been setting up and selling their fries at galleries around town.
“We’ve sold out every time,” Archibeque said.
Their travels have influenced the Bang Bang Fries menu, which features such items as Thai yellow curry fries, and a host of international snacks and drinks, such as Coke from Japan.
“I think I bring something new, you know, a new food adventure that people haven’t tried,” Archibeque said.
In addition to such menu staples as Japanese Curry, Hawaii and BBQ fries, customers can create their own fry, choosing from a long list of proteins, sauces and toppings.
“They can … build their own thing and … their own favorites, too,” Archibeque said.