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Chufi

Chilies In The Desert

125 posts in this topic

I am pleased that you chose to visit the USA and hope you will come back. We have a lot more to see. Try eating your way through Louisana, Mississippi and some of the other southern states. I did want to add that in my limited travels, the Grand Canyon is the most awesome sight I have ever seen. When I stood on the southern rim and looked down at the Columbia River below and I tried to imagine how long it took the river and mother nature to cut that huge "ditch" it put my time and place on this earth in an entirely different perspective.

I am not necessaily a religious person, but I was that day when I realized I am only a blip in time.


Edited by ldenney (log)

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Oh, I know! It's just a shame if they thought they HAD to experience the parks that way.

uhm... that´s not what we thought. And we found it was not so easy to escape the crowds, even when spending an entire day at a park. And I never meant to say that we did not enjoy the wonders of nature that we found on our way.

I guess we are just a little weird in the things we enjoy the most. Our solitary hike up the mountain in Durango, we enjoyed more than the hike in Bryce Canyon. My simple burger at the Burr Trail Grill, I enjoyed more than my much anticipated dinner at Cafe Diablo.

What we love about travelling in the US, is that this is ALL there.

More food tomorrow!!

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So sorry to hear about your abrupt dinner at Aqua Santa! I love that place so much...

And, ha, the scene at Coyote Cafe is pretty silly, no? Santa Fe's flashiest. (Most New Mexicans would say all those flashy people must've come from Dallas.) I think the restaurant is not so hot, but it's a cultural experience...


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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I am enjoying this topic so much, Chufi. I had lunch with Rob and Tyler yesterday after spending the morning doing a significant amount of shopping in Silver City Old Town.

I had one less than optimal experience at the Coyote Cafe. I usually stay at La Fonda in Santa Fe and take most of my meals there but one place I did enjoy was Tecolote Cafe. I've also had meals at The Pink Adobe, which I thought was okay but overpriced. Brunch at Clafoutis French Bakery & Restaurant was excellent and I try to get there at least once each visit.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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And, incidentally, getting back to markemorse's comment about Mexican food... I'm not sure what it's like in AZ, but in NM, the devotion to New Mexican food (which everyone calls Mexican, and when they mean Mexican from Mexico, they say 'Mexican Mexican') is so strong that it overpowers a lot of regional Mexican Mexican stuff. Basically, you have to treat Mexican Mexican like any other ethnic food, and seek out the immigrants cooking it in a dedicated restaurant--and there aren't many full sit-down restaurants devoted to it, mostly just taco joints.

Case in point: There is (or was) a restaurant in Taos called Antonio's, specializing in high-end regional Mexican. He had a token page of New Mexican stuff on the back of the menu. Soon, he had to move it to the front page of the menu. Then he had to shut down that big space and open a smaller cafe, specializing in chile rellenos (NM-style), though he does still squeeze in chiles en nogada on the side.

Down in the southern part of the state, Mexican Mexican is more "out," probably because it's closer to the border. And even what I think of as New Mexican food is weird down there--creamy green chile? Nasty... But that's what I start thinking when I go into AZ or TX and order enchiladas. Just not the same, and almost never as spicy-hot.

Chufi, was it still chile-roasting season when you were there? Green chile roasting is one of my favorite smells.


Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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I am also loving this post. So glad to see you guys loving a part of the country that's so dear to my heart. I am also a huge Edward Abbey fan and was seriously considering growing up to be him for a few years. May still do it, though I doubt he'd approve so much of my hoity-toity fine dining obsession...

I lived in Salt Lake City for two years as a sprout and it tickles me to see people from outside the US approaching Western food as a novelty. Utah cuisine ain't exactly anything to write home about, though I would add that Hires Big H in Salt Lake makes one damn fine burger. Good luck finding good Mexican in Utah, at least outside SLC...though the Red Iguana does make one hell of a mole amarillo! I do remember the Moab Brewpub had pretty decent food...excellent chile quesadillas. One tip: the root beer float at rural Utah Tastee Freeze type joints is usually commendable!

Did y'all run into any fry sauce? Or green jello? I almost want to start a Utah "cuisine" thread.

I remember eating at Cafe Diablo on a trip to my BELOVED Capitol Reef when I was 12 years old. I was a huge duck fan even then and remember being very impressed with my dish. The chef there certainly has a penchant for "tall" food which in this case works. I also loved being able to wander around the huge garden there in the cool of the evening. Makes me happy to know the food is still excellent!

I have many happy memories of the food in Santa Fe and New Mexico. Do you take your enchiladas red, green, or Christmas? (Christmas all the way!) Mmm, and posole...

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I have many happy memories of the food in Santa Fe and New Mexico. Do you take your enchiladas red, green, or Christmas? (Christmas all the way!)

I'm a Christmas girl, too. The best. I mean, why deny yourself anything?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I forgot to emphasize to Chufi and Dennis that they should get some posole...it looks like I will have to bring some supplies back from Phoenix this Christmas and make them a batch...

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I´ll get to questions and comments later - first, some more pics!

Day 15 - Santa Fe

we got up early and went to the Santa Fe farmer´s market

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I love visiting farmers markets when on holiday, although its always also a little bit of a bittersweet feeling.. how I would love to buy stuff and go home and cook something!

Instead, we made a little museum trip to Whole Foods where we found more chiles..

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wow! look at all those chiles :biggrin:

.. and where we bought a light lunch to eat at the hotelroom. Good thing we had a light lunch, even though we did not know what Verjuice had in store for us.. yet...

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Day 15 - Santa Fe, continued

Our good fortunes had gotten us an invitation to eGulleter Verjuices house that night. She had invited a couple of friends over for cocktails and nibbles, and as soon as we walked in the door we were greeted by this:

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La vie en rose, a raspberry/rosemary cocktail. (I hope Verjuice will chime in to correct any of my descriptions of food and drink.. I made no notes so am going solely on cocktail-hazed memory here).

Different cocktails kept coming (in the background here you can see the makings of Shogun, a lychee/sake ?? cocktail:

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and Verjuice kept producing delicious little bites:

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(candied bacon at 7 o´clock - mmmmm)

Halloumi, figs and prosciutto:

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I pretty much stuffed myself with the appetizers because I honestly thought that this was a cocktailparty with finger food... and then all of a sudden Verjuice starting setting the table and said: "Now it´s time for food" and we sat down to a multi course dinner!

Salad with roasted beets and goats cheese, then a delicious and very rich puff pastry thingie with onion compote and creme fraiche, and then this ´duo of eggplant´:

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(sorry that the pics are all so dark and blurry!)

Then there was Fattet Hummus, toasted pitta bread layered with garlicky yohurt, hummus and chickpeas... so good. Verjuice had done some good research because some of my favorite foods were in this dinner.. and the nice thing also was that it had been 2 weeks since we had chickpeas or eggplant or any Middle Eastern flavors!

Just when we thought we could eat no more out came this:

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I adore anything that combines chocolate and peanutbutter, and this was peanutbutter icecream and a chocolate caramel tart (with a little fleur de sel if I´m not mistaken)

Oh, oh, oh.


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Day 16 - Santa Fe

That day we wake up slightly tired (we´d stayed talking to Verjuice long after all the other guests had gone) and a little blue. It did not help that it was cold and rainy, but I think it was more the moment in the vacation... the moment when you realize there´s less vacation before than behind you, and the moment when even though you have another week of leisure left, thoughts of home and work start creeping up on you.

We decided to take it easy, very easy, and we went to the fabulousTen Thousand Waves Spa just outside Santa Fe, where we spent the entire day steaming and relaxing and getting massaged. The place does not have a restaurant but they have salads and sandwiches for sale and we had a very nice and light soba noodle salad for lunch.

In the evening we met up with Verjuice again for some Santa Fe food and drink. We went to Maria´s.

"I´ll have a margarita", said Dennis. At Maria´s, that´s easier said than done.. here´s Verjuice holding up the entire Margarita menu:

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I don´t much about tequila, so I decided a tequila sample was in order.

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That´s the tequila menu on the sheet of paper underneath the 3 glasses.

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let´s get to work!

Ofcourse there was food too:

Quesadilla´s

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barbecued ribs

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Dennis´chicken with green chiles

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my combination platter, which has a tamale, a taco, chile relleno, burrito.. with red and green chile

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That´s a lot of food eh? I needed it though cause after my tequila sampler I went on and had 2 margarita´s. We were so deep in conversation that I hardly noticed them.. :wacko:

After dinner Verjuice asked if we were ready for round 2, and then took us to the Cowgirl bar.

A little lesson from Chufi: if you feel you have had enough margarita´s, it´s probably wise not to order another one. And lesson # 2: If you feel you´ve had enough margarita´s, and still order another one, it would be wise not to order ANOTHER one.

Wise, I was not. We had a fabulous time, but, the after effect was not so pretty. Even the thought of a margarita makes me slightly queasy right now....


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Day 17 - Santa Fe

I did not get up very early that morning and when I did, I couldn´t decide if I was still sick or ravenously hungry. We went to the public library to check on email and other stuff, and as we were there I suddenly knew that yes, I was hungry, I needed food, more specifically, I needed eggs and Diet Coke.

Left Dennis to his email and went to the Plaza restaurant which is, you guessed it, right at the Santa Fe Plaza, where I had this deliciously appropriate breakfast of eggs, bacon, potatoes and toast. And 2 huge Diet Cokes.

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Is there a place more soothing than 10000 Waves? I make a point of visiting there whenever I am in Santa Fe. It helps that it is just up the road from where my brother lives.

I am really getting a hankering for some green chiles!


Edited by docsconz (log)

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Glad I met you and Dennis before the tequila did you in! Sorry you had such a rough night. Did you venture past 10000 waves at all? The rain in town covered the mountain in snow probably above 8,000'. The combination of the yellow aspens and snow covered evergreens was beautiful.


KathyM

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Day 16 - Santa Fe

I don´t much about tequila, so I decided a tequila sample was in order.

gallery_21505_6252_35474.jpg

That´s the tequila menu on the sheet of paper underneath the 3 glasses.

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let´s get to work!

Regarding the tequila tasting, what were the results? Did a winner emerge?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Klary, I'm so glad I found this thread. You are one amazing woman and writer and photographer and on & on I could go.... It brought back wonderful memories of my road trip with Morten and his then-girlfriend a few years ago, when I saw many of the same places.

It's on my Bucket List to go back to Moab and Bryce Canyon. I don't know when that will be, but this is a nice reminder to hold me over until that day comes.

It was nice of you to mention visiting Moab in memory of Bill, aka Flocko. When he died, we were making plans to meet in person. I think of him a lot.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I look forward to reading more.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Glad I met you and Dennis before the tequila did you in!  Sorry you had such a rough night.  Did you venture past 10000 waves at all?  The rain in town covered the mountain in snow probably above 8,000'.  The combination of the yellow aspens and snow covered evergreens was beautiful.

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KathyM

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Glad I met you and Dennis before the tequila did you in!  Sorry you had such a rough night.  Did you venture past 10000 waves at all?  The rain in town covered the mountain in snow probably above 8,000'.  The combination of the yellow aspens and snow covered evergreens was beautiful.

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Beautiful indeed. Nice photo!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Day 17 - continued

So after I had my eggy breakfast, dennis was hungry too. We went to a little restaurant owned by friends of Verjuice, we had met them at her cocktailparty, French and Italian, they have a cozy little place where they serve sandwiches, fresh pasta they make themselves everyday, and salads. Everything fresh and made on the spot and served with incredible hospitality and enhusiasm. They're tucked away in one of Santa Fe's many covered 'markets', and a bit hard to find, but well worth seeking out. Torino's @home

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I watched Dennis eat and only had a bite of his pasta, because I had a big afternoon of eating ahead of me.

I had booked a Culinary History Tour with the Santa Fe School of Cooking. An afternoon which wold shed some light, finally, on all thedifferent culinary infleunces on the Santa Fe cuisine. (Mexican, native American, Spanish and Santa Fe style). ofcourse I was a bit too optimistic, and while I had an enjoyable afternoon, it was more an afternoon of sampling the foods at different restaurants than actually learning much about the history of culinary traditions in New Mexico.

Anyway, onto the food. We started out at the test kitchen in the School of Cooking with these red and green enchiladas:

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Our first restaurant stop was the Mexican restaurant Los Mayas

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take that margarita away from me please :raz:

I later heard it wasn't made with tequila but with something called mezcal wine.. so not as strong?? It smelled like a margarita though...

Chiles en nogada

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Our next stop was the museum for native America Art, where in one of the rooms this navajo chef (whose name I can now not remember but will look it up later) had prepared this simple chili for us, made with bison, beans and chiles. It was the best thing I ate all afternoon.

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From there we proceeded to la Boca, a Spanish tapas restaurant where we were served this delicious little dish of scallops and mussels in a mustard sherry sauce:

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... and finally to the Coyote Cafe for this dish of lamb and potato puree with a mushroom sauce. Solid and nothing wrong with it but not really interesting.

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Overall, I think my expectations for this afternoon were set too high, although I don't only blame myself for being disappointed. While I understand that these things are targeted at people who know much less about food than I do... I still think they could have talked just a little bit more about the story behind the food.

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Day 17 - continued

After this afternoon, I wasn't really in the mood for dinner! But ofcourse Dennis had to eat so I decided to take him back to la Boca, so we both could have some small dishes.

By now I was in the mood for a little pick me up and a nice manzanilla did the trick

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I had a salad with beetroot and goatscheese and some house cured salmon with a fennel salad:

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Dennis had a salad with roasted pears and cabrales and a 'canelones'of crab abd scallops with a creamy sage-cheese sauce

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Overall, I would highly recommend la Boca if you're in santa Fe and want to eat something not New Mexican. It's an elegant little place, good service, nice vibe and great food.

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Day 18 - Santa Fe -> Silver City

The next day we said goodbye to Santa Fe, a little sad to leave the town and especially Verjuice, who I had called just to make sure I had not made a complete fool of myself on margarita night . I just hope I'll meet her again some day and present myself in a more composed and dignified manner :biggrin:

Anyway, the road was calling. Like many times when we were driving in the SW there's really one one road.. the map is not really necessary.. but I like to study it as we go and see the progress we make!

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We stopped for lunch in Truth or Consequences, at the Happy Belly Deli, a delightful little place with a nice courtyard. Soup and sandwich, my idea of a perfect lunch:

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Grilled cheese and green chili sandwich. I was eating as much green chiles as I possibly could.. knowing it would probably the last time I'd ever taste them.

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