Cheap Ethnic Eats in Albuquerque, Arlington, and Cincinnati, OH

Albuquerque, NM

el-modeloGranted, Mexico is only about a two hour drive from Albuquerque.  But to get authentic Mexican food, you don’t have to go that route.  A good Albuquerque restaurant for Mexican food is El Modelo Mexican Foods on 2nd Street SW.  If you go, be sure to try their famous stuffed sopapillas. Other excellent choices are the chile spare ribs, hojas, tamales, enchiladas, menudo, burritos, and carne adovada.  A couple of things to know about El Modelo. One, it is basically a carry-out only restaurant. Second, phone your order ahead as the wait can be 20 minutes or more at times.

Arlington, VA

Arlington restaurants are plentiful, but for great Thai food, check out Sawatdee Thai Restaurant on Clarendon Boulevard.  I love pad thai with shrimp, and they have the best in the city.  The noodles are chewy, and there is plenty of shrimp.  Another good choice is the pineapple fried rice.  If you like spicy food, they have a menu section of curry dishes. The portions are good and the service is excellent.  The decor is beautiful with Asian art, sculptures, and Buddhas everywhere.  Sawatdee Thai Restaurant is located in the Courthouse Plaza which is conveniently located at the Courthouse Metro stop.

Cincinnati, OH

There are some good Cincinnati restaurants, but for great Indian food, try Ambar Indian Restaurant at 350 Ludlow Avenue. Ambar has created some dishes that are uniquely their own.  Be sure not to miss the chicken tandoori or the chicken tikka.  Other great dishes here are the lamb vindaloo, shrimp masala, and shrimp bhuna.  For dinner, feast on their shrimp and lamb curry or the Ambar India Special which is a portion of a few dishes served on a platter.  There is a vegetarian menu section as well with such as aloo choley (chickpeas and potatoes) or malai kofta (vegetables).