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maryland crab

Santa Fe Restaurant recs

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Completely agree on the spot in El Rito!! Nothing fancy, but a great overall experience. I used to love Girons in Ojo Caliente as well, but understand it has gone through a change of ownership in the past few years and can't speak for the existing quality.

I agree completely on the driving scenarios you mentioned around Rancho de San Juan. Typically if we were going to eat out, we had early dining times to avoid being out really late and driving back to Rancho in the dark.

Say hello to John and David for us, next time you are out in the area at Rancho!!

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fyfas and tofino, thanks for all of the great information!!

We were back and forth about the pros and cons of staying in downtown Santa Fe vs. Rancho de San Juan and decided on the latter for most of the reasons you give. We're looking forward to some hiking (maybe Bandelier), a drive up to Taos, a visit to the Georgia O'Keefe museum (our friends are friends with the curator) and some R&R. The rates are seriously discounted: 20% and the 4th night free, 20% of dining and all spa services, 10% off wines, so we'll be able to vacation a bit more luxuriously than usual.

Thanks for the tips on driving -- John and David did warn us about the construction -- we'll be sure to be careful of the speed limit. Also, thanks for the tips on picking up goodies at Whole Foods and the wine store.

Would love the directions to the Mexican place in El Rito if you get a chance.

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El Farolito restaurant in El Rito…

About 25 miles north of Santa Fe you’ll come to the small city of Espanola. You’ll be on US 84/US 285. In town they will split off to the left, towards Abiqui and Chama. (Bearing right would take you to Taos on NM 68 through the Rio Grande gorge). Outside Espanola, US 285 bears right and will take you to Rancho de San Juan, your hotel. Staying on US 84 north takes you to Abiqui; about fifteen miles, and eleven miles further to Ghost Ranch, one of the two O’Keeffe residences. Her beloved Pedernal mountain will be on the left.

Before Abiqui, watch for NM 554 on the right. Take it and go thirteen miles to El Rito. The restaurant is across the street from a “General Store” on the right approaching from Abiqui direction (possibly cash-only; don't recall). Should you wish to, stay on NM 554 out of town to Rio Arriba County 111; turn right and go a short distance (mile or two ?) and meet US 285 just above Ojo Caliente, all north of Rancho de San Juan (by about ten or twelve miles). Right turn onto US 285 returns you to your hotel.

*****************

A note about Taos… I was there last Saturday and had an extraordinary lunch at a new “resort” in town, El Monte Segrado on Kit Carso Road about two miles away from the main drive through the center of Taos. The restaurant is called De La Tierra.

The resort is very high-end and, as such, is a bit out of character ( just my opinion) for Taos. That said, should anyone ever want a “destination” in the Taos area; either for a small business conference or a Honeymoon, this is surely it. Spa, suites with hot tubs etc.

The main area in the dining room is a bit “fussy” for me but the garden area where lunch is served (nearer to the bar) was very comfortable. The food was as good as I’ve had anywhere in New Mexico and rivals that had in California. Being a resort, it’s priced to match.

At lunch I had a Horseradish-Crusted Halibut on a Red Pepper sauce with a julienne of vegetables and my wife had something called The Duck Duck Duck Burger. This is a “riff” on the Boulud burger Daniel Boulud started in New York whereby foie gras is incorporated into ground meat. Lots of chefs have taken liberties with the idea. In New York it mainly gained notoriety for being priced at about $ 45. The Taos version is ground breast of duck stuffed with leg of duck confit and foie gras. At $ 16 it is a must-have. It is served with a sherry mayo, a red pepper ketchup and a carmelized onion relish plus truffle french fries. The wine list is extremely good, especially by New Mexico standards. There are $ 4,000 first growths and pages of California wines, many very fairly priced at a little more than two times retail. Only area that was not well represented on the list was California syrahs and boutique California pinot noirs; some representation just not as many as one might expect given the overall length of the list. With this lunch we drank by-the-glass; the duck with a Schug pinot noir, the fish with a Trimbach reisling all at $ 12 per glass.

******************

You mention that you are friends of the O’Keeffee curator; assuming you are referring to Barbara Buehler Lynes, see if she might allow you onto the O’Keeffe property at Ghost Ranch which is private and separate from the Ghost Ranch Conference Center nearby. The home is NEVER open to the public (unlike the Abiqui home which is) and is extremely interesting if you have an interest in O’Keeffe. Simply walking the grounds is like walking into an O’Keeffe landscape


Edited by fyfas (log)

Bob Sherwood

____________

“When the wolf is at the door, one should invite him in and have him for dinner.”

- M.F.K. Fisher

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If you are near Pecos, just a few minutes from Santa Fe, you must try Pecos Cafe and Grill. Doesn't look like much from outside, but once inside, you will be transformed. The building has a long, rich history. Excellent old-world European style cuisine.

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the little take out place in espanola "el parasol" at the long john silver

turn is home to some of the best of down home new mexican food in

the region...to echo another post: do not drive between rancho and either

taos or santa fe after drinking ( even sober at night it's bad)

i hear that joseph is finally to open his new place at the la fonda hotel

on taos plaza...mid nov.???

also, if you haven't been to byzantium at the top of ledoux street in taos,

youre missing one of the best restaurant's in the state. menu changes every few month's and the aussie born chef is very creative!

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Some of my favorite casual eats in Santa Fe (and points a little beyond) that I haven't seen mentioned much yet.

1) Huevos Motolenos at 'Cafe Pasqual's' (eggs w/beans, green chile, bananas, peas; have to taste it; will surprise you!)

2) Coconut Cream Pie (to die for; the best i've had) or any pie at 'Harry's Roadhouse' (a little south of town on the Old Las Vegas Highway). Great breakfast, brunch and savories also.

3) Sandwiches or pies at 'Four and Twenty Blackbirds' (cute tiny place w/old fashioned counter; they have really tasty creative sandwiches)

4) Chicken Fried Steak and great beer off the tap in the patio at 'Cowgirl BBQ'

5) maybe an obvious one, but on a non-crowded day you can't beat guacamole and fresh lime margarita's on the balcony overlooking the Plaza at 'The Ore House'

6) quick bowl of posole at 'Tomasita's'

7) breakfast/brunch at 'San Marcos Cafe' south of Santa Fe on the Turquoise Trail. Great food and nice atmosphere near (part of?) a feed supply store. chickens and other clucking fowl greet you as you traverse the parking lot to the front door.

8) Homemade tamales and bizchochitos (N. Mexico anise-cinnamon cookie) at 'Leona's' in Chimayo. (off the street; to the left of the Sanctuario). a long time tradition, excellent and cheap; the best tamale's I've had.

9) grilled squid salad at 'Andiamos!'

Yummmmm... I wish I was in Santa Fe right now.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I've decided to compile a list of Santa Fe musts. I'm looking for suggestions, of course, because I'm tired of doing all this detective work, delicious as it may be, and I dine solo for the most part so it takes me a while to work my way through a restaurant menu. This list took me two years to compile, and I just keep returning to the same places now, hesitant to try anything new. Has anyone tried Bumble Bee's Baja Grill? How about The Canyon? Or Celebrations, for that matter? Paul's? Tulips?

I can't get enough of:

1) The cinnamon rolls on Saturdays at Counter Culture (they've just begun toying with staying open Sundays).

2) The almond croissants at Sage Bakery.

3) The brussels sprouts at the Whole Foods Prepared Foods deli window- oh my!

4) The chicken Tikka Masala at India Palace downtown. The Chevron one sucks. And this is as close to perfect as TKM gets.

5) The banana walnut pancakes at Chocolate Maven. Not what I'd usually go for; too gimmicky, but I'm a convert.

6) The first ten minutes of any salad at Guadalupe Cafe. I'm sort of a legend there, because I always finish my salads, but I'm not always in good spirits by the time I'm done.

7) The rellenos at Dave's.

8) The raspberry pie at Steaksmith. Forgo the dining room, the revolting appetizer menu, the mind-numbing decor, the fistlike and mediocre steaks and the absurdly slow service. Just order a whole pie and bring it home.

9) Bobcat Bite burgers.

10) The Caesar salad at Il Vicino; they leave me no choice! Where can you get a better one, anyway? The Palace is overrated, and they guy who makes them there is such an ass. Three bites in you're ready to throw in the towel from fat exhaustion. Excess oil, cheese and anchovies, if such a thing is possible. Its richness should not be all that makes it delicious.

11) Ohhhh..... the halibut at Julian's.

12) Elk at Ristra. The elk at Geronimo is much more direct if you ask them to minus the bacon, but in general I find the food there to be very inconsistent. I've had some exceptional meals there, and some that I have found totally unremarkable; mostly lunches, dinner specials, and desserts. The seeded rolls are the best part of any meal at G, I think.

13) The best steak in town is at Bistro 315, hands down.

14) The best foie gras is at Rociada. It's Hudson Valley foie gras, so much more velvety than what they serve elsewhere, and without all of the bells and whistles.

15) The Hungarian mushroom soup at Back Street Bistro.

16) The coffee at Ohori's- good, chewy stuff. The best I've found in any American city. Integrity coffee.

17) Mm, the ice cream at Aztec Cafe is the best in town: try the Mint Chocolate Chip made with fresh crushed mint leaves, or, even better, the GC Pistachio.

18) The creme brulee at Pranzo- what a surprise this came as. It's a knockout.

19) The barbacoa at Bert's La Tacqueria. Don't knock it 'til you try it.

20) The guacamole at Gabriel's, though the rest of the food there does next to nothing for me.

I especially agree with numbers 7 and 13, venues for two wonderful evenings this past fall. Number 5, whose smell I often adopted, was a dish I frequently saw, but never tried. At number 18, dined I once recently and last at night, while selection 9 found my bro and I before a hike.

:biggrin:

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I especially agree with numbers 7 and 13, venues for two wonderful evenings this past fall. Number 5, whose smell I often adopted, was a dish I frequently saw, but never tried. At number 18, dined I once recently and last at night, while selection 9 found my bro and I before a hike.

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Homemade tamales and bizchochitos (N. Mexico anise-cinnamon cookie) at 'Leona's' in Chimayo. (off the street; to the left of the Sanctuario). a long time tradition, excellent and cheap; the best tamale's I've had.

They also make some of the best burritos I've ever had. Lemonade too.

The Horseman's Haven! (on Cerillos?) The 'greasiest spoon' in Santa Fe, and superb green chile breakfast burritos.

Also, Daniel's Fajita Stand off the SF plaza - hands down the best fajitas I've ever had. Every time I'm in town, I race to the plaza to have one.

The sopapillas (sp?) at the Plaza Cafe are fantastic, too. As is their green chile.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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If you are near Pecos, just a few minutes from Santa Fe, you must try Pecos Cafe and Grill. Doesn't look like much from outside, but once inside, you will be transformed. The building has a long, rich history. Excellent old-world European style cuisine.

What I've always found memorable about the Pecos Cafe and Grill is the way people's forks freeze halfway to their mouths when they hear the chef yelling (again) at his staff. Hard to feed the soul when the tummy is getting upset. I do takeout instead. Also, it's a minimum of 30 minutes from downtown Santa Fe to Pecos - which is a beautiful trip, but I'd go in the morning or afternoon for Frankie's Coffeeshop, or in the evening for Renate's.


I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Yes, last time I was at the Pecos Cafe and Grill the chef provided the floor show by treating all staff in the place (back and right out in the front of the house!) horribly, then walking by our table and asking how we were enjoying our evening! That was months ago and I haven't been back because of his attitude. :angry:


"Portion control" implies you are actually going to have portions! ~ Susan G

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I'm going to Santa Fe at the end of March/beginning of April. What are the don't miss restaurants in Santa Fe and Taos? Also, a hotel recommendation (reasonably priced, nothing fancy) would be much appreciated...Thanks!

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I'm going to Santa Fe at the end of March/beginning of April. What are the don't miss restaurants in Santa Fe and Taos? Also, a hotel recommendation (reasonably priced, nothing fancy) would be much appreciated...Thanks!

Hotels -

Swanky -

Inn on the Anasazi - good location to plaza and restaurants

Rancho de San Juan - located about a 40 minute drive northwest of Santa Fe (near Ojo Caliente). I still think this is one of the nicest properties anywhere in the southwest - if you are looking for beautiful rooms, without the hustle and bustle of Santa Fe - go here!

Casa Chimenas (Taos) - outstanding property just outside of town!!

Not as swanky -

Inn on the Alameda - great standby

Grant Corner Inn - small B&B, great location!

The Fechin Inn (Taos) - good value, chain hotel - walk to town.

Restaurants:

Geronimos - the perennial favorite

Cowgirl Hall of Fame - local fare and local color (trust me)

Cafe Pasquals - good anytime, but a dynamite breakfast

Trading Post Cafe (Taos) - wow, enough said!

El Paragua (Espanola) - great nachos, taco plates - takeout spot next door does killer breakfast burritos - oh yeah - great sopapillas!

Tons more stuff available - talk to the locals when you arrive to get the latest recommendations!!


Edited by tofino (log)

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As mentioned above, Geronimo, Cowgirl and Cafe Pasquals are all very good.

Other nice place for atmosphere, food and drinks is El Farol on Canyon Road (tapas) in a very old adobe building. Separate room with very old bar and often music.

Two nice bars for cocktails: The Palace (separate room from the resto) and the Dragon Room. Two hotels with nice bars: Inn at Loretto Ibig firelplace) and La Fonda.

I love Harry's Roadhouse which is a 10 min drive from downtown.

For N. Mexican food-- I think Tomasita's has good food-- the atmosphere has almost a "chain like" feel to it and is kind of busy--but they have a good bowl of red or green and posole. The Shed is fun atmosphere but I think the food is actually better at Tomasitas... or at the Shed's sister restaurant-- La Choza. The vibe at The Shed is nice though---you might enjoy it enough for the atmosphere. I just like a little more bite and depth of flavor from the chle dishes.

Make sure you stroll around the La Casa Sena Plaza--check out the small but excellent wine store and maybe sit out on the courtyard patio of the restaurant next door for a nice selection of wines by the glass.

Inn on the Paseo is a very nice and a good price. They have nice parking and are located only 2-3 blocks from the plaza. We've stayed there several times and always been comfortable. The location is hard to beat for the price.

There is a bunch of info already up on scattered threads--you may want to check them out

here

or

here

And please post more questions after you check out some of these options too...


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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On Cerrillos Road (the south side of Santa Fe, and about 15-20 minutes from the town square or plaza), there are a host of chain hotels that are dying for lack of tourists at the time of your arrival.......I think if you Google "Santa Fe, hotels, Cerrillos Road" you should get a comprehensivelist of *very* reasonably priced places to stay.

My best friend and I had lunch today at the International Cowgirl Hall of Fame - which I agree is a must-not miss - and I have to recomend the appetizer of Cabeza de Ajo..............it's two heads of roasted garlic served with an acidic green salsa, melted jack cheese, and small rounds of garlic toast. Ohmygod it's good!

Hope you have a good trip!


I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Casa Chimenas (Taos) - outstanding property just outside of town!![

I second this recommendation of Casa de las Chimeneas. It is a wonderful place if you like feeling pampered. The only caution is that it is very popular, so reserve well in advance.

El Paragua (Espanola) - great nachos, taco plates - takeout spot next door does killer breakfast burritos - oh yeah - great sopapillas!

There is a branch of El Paragua in Santa Fe, El Parasol at 1833 Cerrillos Road. It is takeout only and the menu is limited, but the food is all made in house and excellent, always dependable. I particularly like the red chicken burrito. Be sure to get the homemade salsas, too.

Have a good trip!


Linda

-------------------

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

--- Henry David Thoreau

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Hi everyone. I'm delurking to add my $.02 on this topic.

I rarely see anyone mention Maria's. I (FWIW) love the place. The food is excellent traditional Nu Mex and the Margarita menu is 6 "pages" long. One problem with Maria's is that you may have a looooooong wait for a table.

I don't know if it's still around because I heard a rumor that they were going chapter 11 is the El Ray Inn. It's an older (50's) motor lodge renovated into a beautiful place to stay.

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Hi everyone.  I'm delurking to add my $.02 on this topic. 

I rarely see anyone mention Maria's.  I (FWIW) love the place.  The food is excellent traditional Nu Mex and the Margarita menu is 6 "pages" long.  One problem with Maria's is that you may have a looooooong wait for a table.

I don't know if it's still around because I heard a rumor that they were going chapter 11 is the El Ray Inn.  It's an older (50's) motor lodge renovated into a beautiful place to stay.

Thanks for both of those recs. (and thank for de-lurking... :smile: )

I've been meaning to try out Maria's; just haven't been there yet.

And I was trying to remember the name of The El Rey Inn for this thread. I've never been there but was intrigued when I read the reviews of it. review. It sounds like an institution of sorts and I've hoped to check it out sometime...


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Sorry about the misspelling, it was late and it's been a while since we've been there.

Also thanks for the link to the Inn. It's been way too long since we've been there and I was afraid that they wern't around anymore.


Edited by BobL (log)

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I don't think the Fechin Inn in Taos is a "chain" property; it was built by Joe Shepps of Santa Fe who restored/developed the Sanbusco Center in the Guadalupe district of Santa Fe. He also owns the Inn on the Alameda, a small hotel in Santa Fe near Canyon Road.

And, just a minor point... Maria's restaurant while very good is not New Mexican but Mexican. Margaritas are very worthy.

Finally, Cowgirl Hall of Fame is (imo) ordinary at best. It is popular so I know I'm a dissenting voice but there are many far better places in town for this type of casual dining. Part of its popularity, I believe, is that it is very family friendly; loads of kids there.


Bob Sherwood

____________

“When the wolf is at the door, one should invite him in and have him for dinner.”

- M.F.K. Fisher

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Thanks so much for the recommendations.

We ended up reserving at Casa de Chimeneas in Taos. On a friend's recommendation, we're staying at Adobe Abode in Santa Fe, since we wanted to be close to the Plaza. Is this a decent place to stay, I hope...? Couldn't get much from their web site.

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Don't know about Adobe Abode, but for sure the location can't be beat.

Hope you fill us in on your culinary adventures in Taos and Santa Fe as well when you return.

Have a great trip.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Does anyone know anything about Las Palomas? I'm looking for a place to stay for 3 nights near the end of March.

The restaurants will be outta food by the time I'm through with them.


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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