The fragrance of delicious food, garage doors leading to an outdoor seating area (which will soon be dog-friendly) and long, rustic community tables all set the tone for one of the most welcoming and popular happy hour spots in Albuquerque. You would never know by its vast following that Starr Brothers Brewing opened its doors less than a year ago. This Northeast Heights restaurant has already made ‘regulars’ out of newcomers and it is undoubtedly well-deserved.
I’m personally a huge advocate of local eateries. I will visit a chain restaurant every once in a while for the fun of it (Cheesecake Factory’s cheesecake has my heart) but, for the most part, you will find me at hole-in-the-wall and family-owned restaurants. I can always tell a difference in the quality, service and atmosphere. Starr Brothers prides itself on providing fresh, locally sourced food at all times – and it shows.
Named after owner John Starr and his three sons, Conner, Malcolm and Winston, Starr succeeded in his dream of opening up a brewery with meticulously crafted beer and gourmet offerings.
One of the things that my husband, Jesse, and I love about this restaurant is that the food is always phenomenal and always consistent. What more can you ask for? I have had far too many experiences at other restaurants in which I fall in love with a meal and am dismayed to find that the quality is drastically inferior the second or third time around. We have yet to experience this at Starr (thank goodness); we know exactly what we are going to get every single time we visit.
If you’ve been around me in the past few months, you’ve definitely heard me raving about their Poutine Burqueno Fries. You guys – these fries! I may or may not dream about them and take quick pit stops at the restaurant to satisfy my incessant cravings.
When the house fries arrive at the table, they have a crispness throughout that is difficult to match. Jesse says that they are better than the french fries at Blake’s Lotaburger – which I think is a huge compliment.
These fries are smothered in a red chile gravy and topped with chopped green chile, adding just the right amount of spice and an extraordinary flavor combination. I always add steak to mine, and when the plate first arrives, I can see the juice of the meat dripping out of the tender, bite-sized pieces. The appetizer is finished off with melted Monterey Jack cheese and green onion. I promise that you will want to order seconds before you even finish the plate.
On top of my own meal, I ate half of my husband’s Pork Belly Mac & Cheese plate. This is not your average mac and cheese dish. It immediately appealed to me when I saw that the pasta was floating in a creamy, cheesy goodness, rather than a sticky paste. I typically never eat Mac and Cheese, especially at restaurants, but I will definitely be ordering this again the next time I go.
Penne pasta is paired with delicious and ultra-thick chunks of pork belly and smothered in a bacon cheddar jack queso. The chef tops this dish with garlic breadcrumbs and green onion to add texture and accentuate the flavor.
I ordered the Starr Burger (for the millionth time.) This burger is one of my favorites in Albuquerque, primarily because of the buttery brioche bun and green chile ranch aioli (I always order extra for dipping purposes.) The meat is consistently crisp on the outside and tender on the inside matched with salty bacon to add just enough “crunch” into every single bite.
You’re probably thinking that I can’t love every single thing on the menu. Fair enough. Everyone has their own preferences and, for me, the green chile stew was mediocre (compared to my momma’s recipe, of course) and the seasonal pumpkin bread pudding was not for me.
I would say it’s a plus to find a restaurant where you actually have to search to find something that isn’t over-the-top delightful. A few other favorites off of the menu include: A La Carte Tacos with the option of steak, chicken or fish, the roasted pork Cubano sandwich, Greek Chicken (as a lighter option), Fish and Chips and “mmm”-inducing Creme Brulee.
Lora Goza, Head Chef at Starr Brothers, deserves much of the acclaim that the restaurant receives. Goza grew up as the son of a military officer and worked in kitchens in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Las Vegas and New Mexico. His resume is filled with highly-esteemed restaurants such as Thomas Kellers Bouchon, Copelands, Marcello’s Chophouse and Chama River Brewing Company. His expertise, skill set and professionalism is displayed through every dish.
This restaurant and brewery is one of the most lively places in town. Families bring their kids in for an evening out, business people meet after work and the variety and atmosphere is great for a fun date night. It’s safe to say that this family is doing a great job in creating a must-try eatery in the heart of Albuquerque. A note to other breweries in town: you have some stiff competition.
Read more about drink options here.
A little holiday treat for you:
Show this coupon to your server before December 31st to receive 15% off of your meal!
Address: 5700 San Antonio Dr NE, Ste B1 Albuquerque, New Mexico
Phone: (505) 492-2752
*Free food and products were provided in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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