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“Unexpectedly good”
Review of Timbuctu at Mariposa - CLOSED

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Timbuctu at Mariposa
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Okay, huh? This place is at the far end of the earth, in the middle of nowhere, located inside of the visitor's center of a housing development. It's the size of a postage stamp. How then, is it conceivable, that this place showcases an awesome menu with some of the best executed food I've had since moving to the Albuquerque area.

Seriously, if this place seats 40 people I'd be surprised. The appetizer's are plentiful, but run of the mill. Still, the red chile hummus is slightly sweet and very tasty. My only complaint would be the insufficient amount of toast points that accompanied it. There are a few salads to choose from, though nothing that stood out as overly interesting. The dinner entrees on the other hand, were very interesting. There are a couple of fish dishes, the found everywhere salmon and a more interesting trout dish. There are a couple of Mexican based dishes including a Carne Adovada and Fajitas that sounded delicious. Then there are the less often found offerings including a pork chop, duck confit, pork belly and a seafood sofrito. My husband had the duck, which included 2 full thighs and legs over mashed potatoes with carrot peels. The duck, while slightly dry had a delectable crispy skin and an outstanding port reduction. I went for the pork belly. Delicious, unctuous, smoky pork with a orange marmalade/green chile "laquer" which added a lovely sweetness to the smoky and salty pork. Though I will say that the green chile could have been a bit more prevalent. The dish could have benefited from a slight bit of heat. The pork belly was served over pureed butternut squash and wilted spring greens that added a nice bitterness to the sweetness of the squash. Portions are also substantial, definitely getting your money's worth.

For dessert there were only 2 offerings. A poached pear served with vanilla ice cream and a panna cotta with raspberry sauce. The pear was good, but lacked flavor (hint: try poaching it in that port reduction you used with the duck). The panna cotta was delicious, slightly sweet and creamy with a slight bite from the raspberry sauce.

Service was good, but a little slow. Actually, I think it was the kitchen that was a little slow as opposed to any fault of the servers. In their defense however, I will say that several tables seemed to come in around the same time so I'm betting the kitchen was slightly overwhelmed. By the time we were finishing dinner around 8:00PM, the place was packed, and several tables had turned over since we arrived.

What I'm really not clear on is what this place is doing in the location they are in. Had it not been for a Living Social coupon that my husband purchased (failing to check the location first), we never would have found this place. The chef clearly has some chops and I wonder how long he/she will last at this out of the way location. Regardless, I will willingly make the trip to eat there again.

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Thank Diane L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (8)
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4 - 8 of 8 reviews

Reviewed January 26, 2013

Like others, we had a Living Social coupon and decided on an early dinner. Driving out to Mariposa is like driving to Tamaya or Placitas but what a view of the city and Sandia. We had the salmon and also the seafood pasta with crab cakes as an appetizer. Amazing presentation; wonderful blend of tastes and textures. Service was attentive and the atmosphere lively. For a romantic and/or small bistro experience, Timbuctu is the place. We'll definitely be back.

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Thank carylanddon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

Had brunch here today with family. Very relaxed atmosphere. Awesome views. The brunch selection was great. We had the Rancheros del Rio and the Classic Breakfast. Both were prepared very well. The red chile was very tasty and the house made chorizo was quite a surprise. The drive out to Mariposa in Rio Rancho was definitely worth it!

Thank LenRivera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We went there last night on a Living Social deal. It's a small place, and was packed! I was glad we made a reservation. The service was very attentive and the food was gourmet and to die for! I was a little worried ordering salmon in New Mexico, but the chef did it perfectly. Very flavorful and tender, the risotto was creamy and delicious with a little spiciness, and the asparagus was perfectly cooked with still a bit of snap in it. I would definitely order that meal again. My hubby had the sliced sirloin, and his also came beautifully presented, perfectly cooked and delicious! We'll definitely be back.

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Thank Theresa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We drove out to Timbuctu (literally) from Placitas for dinner. We arrived at about 6:15 on a Saturday and the place was packed (always a good sign). We had to wait only a few minutes for a table, which was nice. The atmosphere is very lively and boisterous, with a cool, contemporary decor. The staff was very friendly and seemed genuinely happy to have us there. The food was simply AMAZING! We started with the crab cake appetizer to share, which were probably the best crab cakes we have ever had. For our entrees, we each chose the beef tenderloin (which arrived undercooked, but they gladly took them back for more cooking). The steaks were incredibly juicy and flavorful. They were served with an incredible porcini risotto along with delectable sautéed vegetables. The plate also had a delicious red-wine reduction that complemented the flavors brilliantly. The wine we chose to accompany the meal was delightful. It was a wonderful experience and we will definitely plan on returning to Timbuctu again and again….such a great find!

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Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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