You don't earn the title "The Salsa Twins" for nothing. Brothers Jim and John Thomas take their salsas very seriously, as they are essentially a family heirloom, made using recipes handed down by their grandmother. The twins' parents first opened El Pinto as a seven-seat restaurant in 1962. The name's translation ("the spot") has become more and more appropriate over the course of the now world-renowned eatery's history. Jim and John took over the business in the early 1990s, expanding it into a 12-acre destination restaurant that seats more than 1,200 locals and visiting celebrities, presidents, and wedding guests in five patios, three indoor dining rooms, and a cantina.
But they wouldn't have experienced such profound success?and earned their nickname?were it not for their signature salsas. When customers began requesting that they bottle the mouthwatering condiments more than 10 years ago, Jim and John started a cook-and-bottle night shift at the restaurant. The popularity of their products has grown faster than a cactus in Martha Stewart?s sandbox; you can find them at leading retailers across the country, and you may have seen Lester Holt enjoying them on Today. The twins use flame-roasted and hand-peeled green chilies from New Mexico in all their products, which they manufacture onsite. Their 8,000-square-foot production facility was featured on an episode of History's Food Tech show.
And green chilies aren't the only ingredients the twins are picky about. Somewhere in a supply warehouse between California and New Mexico, thousands of avocados are slowly ripening in three temperature-controlled zones, destined for the restaurant's famous guacamole. El Pinto?voted Best New Mexican Restaurant by Albuquerque The Magazine?mixes fresh onion, housemade salsa, and the kind of creamy hass avocados you can only find in California. You'll also taste the verdant mixture atop El Pinto?s nachos, which the Wall Street Journal has called some of the best in America. The restaurant's combination of Old-World hospitality and authentic ingredients has also earned it numerous awards from the Weekly Alibi, with some of the area's best sopapillas and margaritas.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
When recalling how his Yiayia—or grandmother—taught him to make baklava, the eldest brother of the Nicolopoulos family remembers the way she would painstakingly roll out homemade sheets of phyllo dough onto a clean white sheet. Rolling it thinner and thinner, she would drizzle it with melted butter to keep it soft and moist until finally the delicate dough was so thin her grandson could see right through it to read the words "one hundred percent cotton" on the sheet label beneath. "I didn't realize it then," he says, "but Yiayia was teaching me patience, about quality, and about our heritage."
Fifty years later, that same dedication to quality and heritage permeates the Nicolopoulos' pastry shop, which owes its name to the family's patient matriarch. Each of the shop's dulcet Greek desserts is whipped up using all-natural ingredients—including eggs from free-roaming hens that are cage- and antibiotic-free––and generations-old recipes. To craft rectangles of baklava in true Yiayia Maria style, pastry architects scrupulously hand assemble 30 layers of paper-thin organic phyllo dough, keeping careful eyes out for gusts of wind as they spread a butter-and-nut mixture between each tier. Sweet honey soaks through the pastry structure, seeping into each phyllo wall before the family's signature clove is placed on each piece. Honey also plays a starring role in Yiayia's finikia cookies—which feature hints of cinnamon, clove, and orange in the subtly sweet morsels dusted with walnuts—and tart-like pasta flora butter cookies take a dip in the sweet stuff after being filled with apricot, strawberry, or raspberry preserves.
With a stay at Marriott Albuquerque Pyramid North in Albuquerque (Northern Albuquerque), you'll be minutes from ITT Technical Institute and close to Balloon Fiesta Park. This hotel is within close proximity of Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum and University of Phoenix.
Make yourself at home in one of the 310 air-conditioned rooms featuring flat-panel televisions. Cable programming and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, with wired and wireless Internet access available for a surcharge. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, complimentary toiletries, and hair dryers. Conveniences include complimentary weekday newspapers and coffee/tea makers, as well as multi-line phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
DonÃât miss out on the many recreational opportunities, including an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a spa tub. This hotel also features wireless Internet access (surcharge), concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands.
Enjoy a satisfying meal at a restaurant serving guests of Marriott Albuquerque Pyramid North. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Buffet breakfasts are available for a fee.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, business services, and audiovisual equipment. Planning an event in Albuquerque? This hotel has 27000 square feet (2508 square meters) of space consisting of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Free parking is available onsite.
A stay at Hotel Parq Central places you in the heart of Albuquerque, convenient to Albuquerque Convention Center and Rio Grande Zoo. This hotel is within close proximity of Civic Plaza and KiMo Theater.
Make yourself at home in one of the 74 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and LCD televisions. Your pillowtop bed comes with triple sheeting and Frette Italian sheets. Windows open to city and mountain views. Complimentary wired and wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming provides entertainment. Private bathrooms with showers feature rainfall showerheads and makeup/shaving mirrors.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Treat yourself with massages, body treatments, and facials. You can take advantage of recreational amenities such as a spa tub and a fitness facility. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and wedding services. Guests can catch a ride on the complimentary shuttle, which operates within 3 mi.
At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. A complimentary continental breakfast is included.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, a 24-hour business center, and limo/town car service. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and exhibit space. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary (available on request), and a train station pick-up service is also provided at no charge.
Time may be short before Doug Stevens's next client, but he can always find a moment to talk shop. "I love helping people," he declares. "Helping people look better, feel better. That's the most satisfying thing." Doug has been a nationally certified massage therapist and aesthetician for 15 years, specializing in a process he devised to reduce the appearance of cellulite while relaxing the whole body. The technique combines an endovibratory device oscillating at 35 times per second with ultrasonic heat and his signature bodywork methods. "After the cellulite treatment, the skin is firmer, the appearance smoother," he explains. "People generally really like it, so they'll rebook."
Before receiving certification in Las Vegas in 1997, Doug was in the construction business as a general contractor. But it wasn't giving him what he wanted. "I was looking for a profession that was less stressful, where I could help people. I wanted to be more hands on. And my friends always came to me for massages, so I decided to go into that." Over time, he's added other treatments designed to improve the mood while boosting beauty, such as a photon antiwrinkle light therapy.
Doug describes his studio as very relaxing, with low light and smooth music. Though the ambiance has an undeniable pulse-slowing effect, it's the treatments' results that he credits for his return business. "Some of my clients have been coming every week for six years," he says. "Only the wealthy can usually afford treatments like these. That's not the case here. I want people to focus on how good they're going to feel."