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maryland crab

Santa Fe Restaurant recs

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First, bobag87, thanks for that great summary of your meal at Trattoria Nostrani.

Second, to all who are on this thread and care to respond, bobag87 made me realize that I've been neglecting a big must in Santa Fe: the green vs. red chile experience.  Where can I get a good version of each?  Preferably, if I can taste both at the same meal (i.e. a restaurant that offers both), that would be ideal.

Any traditional New Mexico place worth its salt will give you a choice of red, green, or Christmas (1/2 red and 1/2 green). The Shed actually has several dishes that are red only (i.e. their enchiladas). I actually also think the Shed's green is just ok, but their red is great. I have not been, but many people recommend La Choza a sister of the Shed, for NM food. It is on my list the next time I am in town.

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First, bobag87, thanks for that great summary of your meal at Trattoria Nostrani.

Second, to all who are on this thread and care to respond, bobag87 made me realize that I've been neglecting a big must in Santa Fe: the green vs. red chile experience.  Where can I get a good version of each?  Preferably, if I can taste both at the same meal (i.e. a restaurant that offers both), that would be ideal.

Any traditional New Mexico place worth its salt will give you a choice of red, green, or Christmas (1/2 red and 1/2 green). The Shed actually has several dishes that are red only (i.e. their enchiladas). I actually also think the Shed's green is just ok, but their red is great. I have not been, but many people recommend La Choza a sister of the Shed, for NM food. It is on my list the next time I am in town.

Thanks bobag87. It looks like it's our own little party on this thread. :raz:

Have you heard of Mucho Gusto in the Paseo de Paralto shopping strip? A friend highly recommends it.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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I have eaten at Mucho Gusto one time about three years ago. From what I can remember, it is a no frills place with decent food, but the food is not traditional New Mexican food. I see a couple of reviews that note that it is Chihuahuan food. If I recall correctly, they had a house specialty stuffed chicken dish that was breaded and was good.

I am surprised more folks are not jumping in with thoughts. I know everyone has their own favorites in Santa Fe.

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Second, to all who are on this thread and care to respond, bobag87 made me realize that I've been neglecting a big must in Santa Fe: the green vs. red chile experience.  Where can I get a good version of each?  Preferably, if I can taste both at the same meal (i.e. a restaurant that offers both), that would be ideal.

Any traditional New Mexico place worth its salt will give you a choice of red, green, or Christmas (1/2 red and 1/2 green).  The Shed actually has several dishes that are red only (i.e. their enchiladas).  I actually also think the Shed's green is just ok, but their red is great.  I have not been, but many people recommend La Choza a sister of the Shed, for NM food.  It is on my list the next time I am in town.

I like The Shed and La Choza for margaritas and the green chile stew. The rest of the menu just isn't that interesting to me. The green chile stew is the best I have ever had and is not for the feint of heart!


KathyM

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Any traditional New Mexico place worth its salt will give you a choice of red, green, or Christmas (1/2 red and 1/2 green).  The Shed actually has several dishes that are red only (i.e. their enchiladas).  I actually also think the Shed's green is just ok, but their red is great.  I have not been, but many people recommend La Choza a sister of the Shed, for NM food.  It is on my list the next time I am in town.

I prefer La Choza over most places in town for New Mexican food.

The margaritas are good and I like both their green and red chile.

I think cafe pasquals is a good choice for breakfast/brunch... but that it's overpriced and overrated for dinner.

Their chorizo burrito is probably my favourite breakfast burrito in town.


Edited by Benjamin B (log)

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I prefer La Choza over most places in town for New Mexican food.

The margaritas are good and I like both their green and red chile.

I think cafe pasquals is a good choice for breakfast/brunch... but that it's overpriced and overrated for dinner.

Their chorizo burrito is probably my favourite breakfast burrito in town.

I agree on Pasqual's. The grilled chicken breast sandwich with carmelized onions and manchego on chili corn bread is the one dish I go there for. It's overpriced but you won't find anything else like it in town.

My favorite breakfast is Buenos Dias (two eggs over easy, green) at The Pantry on Cerillos Road. They make the best breakfast potatoes in town! The coffee isn't great but that dish holds me until dinner! I'm not a fan of their red but lots of folks are.

What about lunch at Santacafe? The patio is lovely and the fried calamari it terrific!


KathyM

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I have not had the green chile stew at the Shed and I will have to try it. I also agree that Pasquals is decent for breakfast, but not a spot I would choose for dinner.

I am definitely going to try La Choza on the next trip. Good to see some additional posters ideas.

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For what its worth - with all of the countless New Mexican meals I've had in my life, I had the best ever recently...in Phoenix. The owner of Los Dos Molinos moved from somewhere around Glenwood/Reserve into Springerville and then later Phoenix. It is the freshest, purest New Mexican food I've ever had bar none.

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Any traditional New Mexico place worth its salt will give you a choice of red, green, or Christmas (1/2 red and 1/2 green).  The Shed actually has several dishes that are red only (i.e. their enchiladas).  I actually also think the Shed's green is just ok, but their red is great.  I have not been, but many people recommend La Choza a sister of the Shed, for NM food.  It is on my list the next time I am in town.

I prefer La Choza over most places in town for New Mexican food.

The margaritas are good and I like both their green and red chile.

I think cafe pasquals is a good choice for breakfast/brunch... but that it's overpriced and overrated for dinner.

Their chorizo burrito is probably my favourite breakfast burrito in town.

Besides the price, hat's the difference between the food at La Choza and the food at The Shed?

Okay, so Cafe Pasqual's was a candidate for brunch. I gather that it's not a broken idea.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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For what its worth - with all of the countless New Mexican meals I've had in my life, I had the best ever recently...in Phoenix.  The owner of Los Dos Molinos moved from somewhere around Glenwood/Reserve into Springerville and then later Phoenix.  It is the freshest, purest New Mexican food I've ever had bar none.

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind when I go to Phoenix. Sadly, it won't help for this trip.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Also, I'm considering on spending part of the day at the O'Keefe house. Is the cafe there any good for lunch?


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Alright, I just mapped out most of these restaurants on Google Maps and - my gosh - Santa Fe ain't that big, is it? It looks like I can walk to almost every restaurant from my hotel! The only outliers seem to be La Choza and Geronimo.

On the list so far:

Cafe Pasqual's (for brunch)

Geronimo (dinner)

La Choza (lunch)

Trattoria Nostrani

The Shed

Coyote Cafe

La Boca

I assume that doing both La Choza and The Shed would be redundant?

Any others? Maria's sounds like it's more for the alcohol than the food.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Please do hit up Kakawa for a drinking chocolate at some point. I remember his Oaxaca 1900 being pretty great as was his Paris 1640 (or something like that).

And in the same vane Todos Santos is a beautiful shop with wonderful truffles.

I know its a bit hot to be thinking about these types of places but they're both really special and I'm sure would love to show you their wares.

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SF is tiny. If your hotel is in town, you can walk to Geronimo's. I have lived here before, and just moved back for six months. I thought that this time around I would write reviews for EG. But I can't eat chili in any form without getting really sick. So I simply can't give these places their due. I can give some info though. Tonight we ate at the Shed. Very popular with tourists - we walked in when they opened at 5:30, but any later and you will need a reservation. People were lined up outside when we left at 6:30. My husband liked his red and green sauced enchiladas, but he says that they weren't as good as at Maria's, which is where we frequently go to drink tequilla before grocery shopping at the nearby Whole Foods. Nobody beats Maria's for tequilla. OMG. What was better at the Shed was my fancy little salad, and both of our (non-New-Mexican) soups. My cold raspberry soup was delicious, as was his mushroom soup. At Maria's these types of sides don't exist. The side salad at Maria's is iceberg with some rock-like croutons and a couple of slices of cucumber. So basically, the Shed is more upscale and varied than La Choza and Maria's, but if you are looking for the best or most authentic New Mexican dishes the Shed may not be your first choice. I wish I could be of more help on the chili dishes, but alas. I also agree on No to Pasqual's for dinner - the food is just not prepared well. The Coyote Cafe wasn't anything special last time we went. People say to eat in their rooftop cantina instead. Haven't done that. I am a HUGE fan of La Boca and Trattoria Nostrani. Those are my favorite places in town. Geronimo's is very good too but we are just too lazy to get a bit dressed up to go there. A lot of people like El Farol on Canyon Road. They have music and an active bar scene. The only time we went there was to eat. Our tapas were obviously left-overs from lunch; they were stiff and gummy. Never went back. We had dinner at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum cafe last week, and it was super. Will definitely go back. Good food and wine, and lots of options for my poor old stomach. Hope this helps.

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SF is tiny. If your hotel is in town, you can walk to Geronimo's. I have lived here before, and just moved back for six months. I thought that this time around I would write reviews for EG. But I can't eat chili in any form without getting really sick. So I simply can't give these places their due. I can give some info though. Tonight we ate at the Shed. Very popular with tourists - we walked in when they opened at 5:30, but any later and you will need a reservation. People were lined up outside when we left at 6:30. My husband liked his red and green sauced enchiladas, but he says that they weren't as good as at Maria's, which is where we frequently go to drink tequilla before grocery shopping at the nearby Whole Foods. Nobody beats Maria's for tequilla. OMG. What was better at the Shed was my fancy little salad, and both of our (non-New-Mexican) soups. My cold raspberry soup was delicious, as was his mushroom soup. At Maria's these types of sides don't exist. The side salad at Maria's is iceberg with some rock-like croutons and a couple of slices of cucumber. So basically, the Shed is more upscale and varied than La Choza and Maria's, but if you are looking for the best or most authentic New Mexican dishes the Shed may not be your first choice. I wish I could be of more help on the chili dishes, but alas. I also agree on No to Pasqual's for dinner - the food is just not prepared well. The Coyote Cafe wasn't anything special last time we went. People say to eat in their rooftop cantina instead. Haven't done that. I am a HUGE fan of La Boca and Trattoria Nostrani. Those are my favorite places in town. Geronimo's is very good too but we are just too lazy to get a bit dressed up to go there. A lot of people like El Farol on Canyon Road. They have music and an active bar scene. The only time we went there was to eat. Our tapas were obviously left-overs from lunch; they were stiff and gummy. Never went back. We had dinner at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum cafe last week, and it was super. Will definitely go back. Good food and wine, and lots of options for my poor old stomach. Hope this helps.

nibor: Yes, it helps a great deal. Thank you.

So, I gather that Trattoria Nostrani is not formal dress?


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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UE, really no where in Santa Fe is dressy. I rarely take anything fancier than jeans and a nice shirt. It is definitely a boots and jeans town. Geronimos and the Compound are perhaps the only exceptions to this.

Also, you can walk everywhere in the general plaza area, which contains most of the restaurants you mentioned. Geronimos, the Compound and El Farol are on Canyon Road. I am not sure where you are staying, but it could very well be walkable from your hotel as well. Most decent hotels in town have a courtesy shuttle that will cover all of the places mentioned.

[Warning -- a non-food paragraph, please forgive me.] I assume by the O'Keffe House you mean Museum. While it is a nice place, please don't overlook some of the other Museums in town. New Mexico's culture (both culinary and otherwise) started and continues with the Native American groups that continue to live there and practice their traditions today. Let me know when you are going, there may be a traditional feast day going on at one of the Pueblos around town and this would be a must see. I would highly recommend the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (which currently has a fantastic exhibit of Native American painting from artists at the Santa Fe Indian School from the 30s and 40s). Also the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture provides a great exhibit on the history of the Native peoples in the Southwest -- the exhibit was produced in close collaboration with the 19 Pueblos and the other tribes in the State. Both Museums are on Museum Hill about 2 miles from the plaza.

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Santa Fe is a very casual place. Here, not having a restaurant website up and running goes along with things like maybe the plumbing not working right, windows not closing tight, things not being particularly clean, and nobody caring very much. That is part of the charm. We have been alternating living here and in Irvine, CA, a planned community in Orange County where everything is efficiently buffed to a shine. (Like South Coast Plaza, focus of another thread right now) I take such a deep breath when I get back to SF, but do have to adjust to the pace, or lack thereof. The tequila helps!

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Geronimos is still good but since DiStefano left for Coyote it has gone down a bit. I believe the chef from The Ore House is now the chef there. I had a great meal there a couple of months ago and I still think it was the best in SF.

Coyote Cafe is back and getting better. It has a slight Asian slant to the dishes but I think DiStefano will find his way. He did leave a couple of Mark Miller's classic on the menu which were fantastic.

Cafe Pasquals is great for breakfast or lunch. I would choose breakfast.

Another great place for drinks on outside patio is Inn on the Anaszi which also is great for breakfast. Last time we ate there for Dinner is was a bit boring.

La Casa Sena is also great for dinner as well as the Santa Cafe which have lovely outside garden seating

Dont miss the Shed or Marias for lunch, if you have the chance.


Edited by hapacooking (log)

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Geronimos is still good but since DiStefano left for Coyote it has gone down a bit.  I believe the chef from The Ore House is now the chef there.  I had a great meal there a couple of months ago and I still think it was the best in SF.

Coyote Cafe is back and getting better.  It has a slight Asian slant to the dishes but I think DiStefano will find his way.  He did leave a couple of Mark Miller's classic on the menu which were fantastic.

Cafe Pasquals is great for breakfast or lunch.  I would choose breakfast.

Another great place for drinks on outside patio is Inn on the Anaszi which also is great for breakfast.  Last time we ate there for Dinner is was a bit boring.

La Casa Sena is also great for dinner as well as the Santa Cafe which have lovely outside garden seating

Dont miss the Shed or Marias for lunch,  if you have the chance.

Two other recommendations came to me today from a colleague who visits Santa Fe a lot.

He agreed that Cafe Pasqual's is better for lunch/breakfast.

He said the Geronimo was nice.

He highly recommended The Apple Tree in Taos.

The Pink Adobe was also cited as a very good restaurant.

I had not heard of the latter two. I thought I'd vet it with some folks here whose dining acumen might be sharper than my acquaintance's.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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What ever happened to Mark Miller?

Also, my colleague recommended Rancdo de Chimayo, which seems closed at present.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Tragically, Rancho de Chimayo had a fire last year and has yet to reopen. It was a beautiful drive from SF to a beautiful hacienda property with really good food and better cocktails. Their Chimayo cocktail with house grown apple cider and tequila is one of my all time favorites and the local Chimayo red chile used in their food is great. This place truly excelled in its setting and environment. The food was simple and traditional. Honestly some of it was fairly pedestrian, but their traditional New Mexico dishes were great. It looks like they plan to reopen in August.

As for the Pink Adobe and its Dragonfly bar, it is good food. Really good food by most standards, but SF has a lot of good places to eat. It is an old Santa Fe institution and would not be a mistake for a casual lunch. For dinner, there are other places that are a must ahead of the Pink Adobe.

UE -- when are you going to Santa Fe? I might have some further suggestions if I know when you are going to be there.

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Tragically, Rancho de Chimayo had a fire last year and has yet to reopen.  It was a beautiful drive from SF to a beautiful hacienda property with really good food and better cocktails.  Their Chimayo cocktail with house grown apple cider and tequila is one of my all time favorites and the local Chimayo red chile used in their food is great.  This place truly excelled in its setting and environment.  The food was simple and traditional.  Honestly some of it was fairly pedestrian, but their traditional New Mexico dishes were great.  It looks like they plan to reopen in August. 

As for the Pink Adobe and its Dragonfly bar, it is good food.  Really good food by most standards, but SF has a lot of good places to eat.  It is an old Santa Fe institution and would not be a mistake for a casual lunch.  For dinner, there are other places that are a must ahead of the Pink Adobe. 

UE -- when are you going to Santa Fe?  I might have some further suggestions if I know when you are going to be there.

I think right now, I'm pretty set on having lunch at The Shed and Cafe Pasqual's. But I need one more lunch. I'm debating between The Cantina at Coyote Cafe or perhaps lunch in Taos at The Apple Tree.

Dinners at Geronimo and another. And then an early dinner before the opera.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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The Compound is very good; doubt you'll be disappointed. Chef/owner Mark Kiffin was James Beard Best Chef of the Southwest in 2005.

You also mention considering lunch at The Apple Tree in Taos. Just my opinion, but... don't. It is nothing special and at times is downright poor. In Taos, depending on types of food you are craving, consider Orlando's on the north side of town for New Mexican dishes, Graham's Grill on the main street of Taos, just north of Kit Carson Road or Joseph's Table in the La Fonda Hotel on the south side of the Plaza.

Graham's Grill

Joseph's Table

and lastly, a recent New York Times Travel section writeup of Joseph's Table -

New York Times - Joseph's Table


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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The Compound is very good; doubt you'll be disappointed.  Chef/owner Mark Kiffin was  James Beard Best Chef of the Southwest in 2005.

You also mention considering lunch at The Apple Tree in Taos.  Just my opinion, but... don't.  It is nothing special and at times is downright poor.  In Taos, depending on types of food you are craving, consider Orlando's on the north side of town for New Mexican dishes, Graham's Grill on the main street of Taos, just north of Kit Carson Road or Joseph's Table in the La Fonda Hotel on the south side of the Plaza.

Graham's Grill

Thanks, fyfas. That's very helpful.

re: Graham's Grille. I gotta ask: what's the story behind the "JC Penney Burrito?"


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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