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Santa Fe Recs


Brandt

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10 hours ago, Texzilla58 said:

Any mention of Santa Fe I get a hankering for breakfast at Cafe Pasqual’s. And a green chile cheeseburger at Santa Fe Bite.

And breakfast for me most places is a papas plate like that but just green chile. Good eats!

Add in Geronimo's for dinner, and you've just had a perfect food day.

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Posted (edited)

I think I put it in the burger thread a long time ago but the green chili cheese burger at Real Burger on Cerillos is excellent and getting it on a sopapilla (served non-sweetened of course) puts it over the top. The sopapilla makes a great bun/wrap because it's large, holds together and is complementary to the burger. The only downside is getting it as a double makes it way too sloppy to eat. Another great, cheap eat. Don't get me wrong, Geronimo and Pasqual's are amazing and in a different league but if you're there for a longer stay and want to explore...

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Also the tacos and quesadillas at El Chile Toreado are unbelievable as well. Best quesadilla ever. They have a very nice toppings bar. This one has added marinated red onion, green chile and pico.

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Edited by Chopper
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Posted (edited)

A friend just went to Santa Fe and I gave her a list of restaurants. I'll paste here. Not comprehensive by any means.

Also if your wife or gf is looking to do some clothes shopping, Uli's near the plaza is highly recommended. She does well with casual professional and is very affordable. And if you call and speak with her (pronounced ooli) she'll pull items for you in advance. Also the place doesn't look like much when you walk in but trust me, esp for your wife and esp if you get the owner's assistance.

Relatively expensive and fancy, but world class food and service - Geronimo, Sazon. Each also offers happy hour prices and seating in their bar areas. Geronimo is a place you won't forget. Make reservations well in advance. Sazon is refined interior Mexican and is also incredible.
 
Radish and Rye - anything here but their fish dish was great imo. Beautiful space and bar. Possibly the best pork chop you'll ever eat.
 
Loved by tourists and locals - Cafe Pasqual's, Burger Stand at Burro Alley, Tune Up Cafe, Fiesta Oaxaca, The Pantry, Izanami at Ten Thousand Waves. The Pantry also has a new location a couple blocks from the plaza or the original on Cerillos.
 
Jambo - caribbean
 
Paper Dosa - Indian food that's a step above any other I've tried.
 
Local's favorites - Rowley's Farmhouse, Loyal Hound, Madame Matisse, Piccolino, Alicia's tortilleria. Piccolino's and Alicia's both count as "dives." Piccolino is basic italian pasta but so good and they do really well with fish, too. Their pizza is mediocre however.
 
Bakeries - Clafoutis is an amazing french bakery and cafe with a huge, spectacular pastry case
 
Sage Bakery - amazing breads, almond croissants, coffee
 
Dolina - owned by a woman from Slovakia. Slovak pastry and cafe.
 
Herve' wine bar. Great space to enjoy an hour or two. Small plates and sandwiches.
 
Edited by Chopper
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I hope you don't miss the breakfast burrito at El Chile Toreado. Mixed meats + xmas style. My number one craving after moving away from there.

Oh. Hi.

This was legit. Everything mixed together and finished on the flat top unlike the assembly line taco and burrito places. Just great.

Confirmed on this second trip to Santa Fe is that all the mid range Plaza area restaurants are just okay. They’re relatively bland to cater to Midwest tourists. Even my kids commented that nothing was spicy. The high end restaurants are great and the local low and mid range places are great. Stay away from anything else.

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3 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:


Oh. Hi.

This was legit. Everything mixed together and finished on the flat top unlike the assembly line taco and burrito places. Just great.

Confirmed on this second trip to Santa Fe is that all the mid range Plaza area restaurants are just okay. They’re relatively bland to cater to Midwest tourists. Even my kids commented that nothing was spicy. The high end restaurants are great and the local low and mid range places are great. Stay away from anything else.

b1a30c16ff82568d417660cc208d1aab.jpg

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Man....I remember when the Plaza Cafe was a real diner -- I'm talking 30-40 years ago.  Shit, back then, there was a Woolworth's on the plaza with a kick-ass old school breakfast/lunch counter.

My dad would work in Santa Fe for a couple weeks every summer.  Mom and I would tag along, but he had the car, so we just walked everywhere.  One of our routines was to grab a newspaper, stop at the Woolworth's, and have breakfast (coffee and a cigarette for mom), read the paper, and chat with the staff and the locals.

And sometimes lunch at the Plaza Cafe.  Diner grub, but also some creative specials -- I remember a great special of lengua in green chile, and one time (more recently, maybe 20 years ago), they made a pumpkin pozole that my wife and I still talk about.  Santa Fe was a lot simpler back then.

More recently, I took the family there for spring break.  Middle of the day, I got a phone call from opposing counsel on an issue that had been pretty contentious and had to be dealt with.  I sat on a bench in the middle of the plaza and had my conversation.  Later, my kids explained that they were embarrassed because the whole world could hear me tell opposing counsel "that's fucking bullshit!" about something or other.  I explained to them "well....it WAS fucking bullshit."  So, there's that.

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12 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:


Oh. Hi.

This was legit. Everything mixed together and finished on the flat top unlike the assembly line taco and burrito places. Just great.

Confirmed on this second trip to Santa Fe is that all the mid range Plaza area restaurants are just okay. They’re relatively bland to cater to Midwest tourists. Even my kids commented that nothing was spicy. The high end restaurants are great and the local low and mid range places are great. Stay away from anything else.

b1a30c16ff82568d417660cc208d1aab.jpg

778c82f9989a61833e39556111982749.jpg

goddamn I hate you right now....

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6 hours ago, Brisketexan said:

Man....I remember when the Plaza Cafe was a real diner -- I'm talking 30-40 years ago.  Shit, back then, there was a Woolworth's on the plaza with a kick-ass old school breakfast/lunch counter.

My dad would work in Santa Fe for a couple weeks every summer.  Mom and I would tag along, but he had the car, so we just walked everywhere.  One of our routines was to grab a newspaper, stop at the Woolworth's, and have breakfast (coffee and a cigarette for mom), read the paper, and chat with the staff and the locals.

And sometimes lunch at the Plaza Cafe.  Diner grub, but also some creative specials -- I remember a great special of lengua in green chile, and one time (more recently, maybe 20 years ago), they made a pumpkin pozole that my wife and I still talk about.  Santa Fe was a lot simpler back then.

More recently, I took the family there for spring break.  Middle of the day, I got a phone call from opposing counsel on an issue that had been pretty contentious and had to be dealt with.  I sat on a bench in the middle of the plaza and had my conversation.  Later, my kids explained that they were embarrassed because the whole world could hear me tell opposing counsel "that's fucking bullshit!" about something or other.  I explained to them "well....it WAS fucking bullshit."  So, there's that.

One of my good friends from college would call his coffee and cigarette breakfast the "Don Williams" (Coffee black, cigarette.  Start my day, like all the rest)

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23 hours ago, CooterBrown said:

This was legit. Everything mixed together and finished on the flat top unlike the assembly line taco and burrito places. Just great.

Yes! Glad you enjoyed. That food trailer has been in SF for years and this is its third location. First the father ran it, now daughter. They are both awesome people and their attention to detail is great.

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Final report as we head back to Austin tomorrow.

This is my second trip here and I’m less in love with Santa Fe than I was after my first trip.

For a city with a ton of restaurants, there’s not a lot of restaurants. There’s little variety.

The major problem with all the mid range New Mexican restaurants is that there’s one recipe for each dish and no variation allowed. Every place is interchangeable. A few weird things they all had in common was that every place undercooks beans and rice and food is served lukewarm. Tomasita’s, The Pantry, Del Charro, La Choza all were the exact same.

Best meal was Rowley’s Farmhouse Ales. Very good beers and every dish was excellent.

The Shed was the best nice New Mexican but El Callejon was the best Mexican and better overall.

El Parasol was the best dive and I’d rather go there for New Mexican than any of the others. Bumblebee’s Baja Grill was great fast casual. Those two were the only restaurants with spicy food.

El Chile Toreado was the best breakfast hands down. Just a prefect breakfast burrito.

Whoo’s Donuts were great but they cost $35/dozen. The blueberry blue corn cake donut was the best.

Boxcar and Weck’s, the New Mexican Chili’s and Denny’s, are respectable for that they are.

There’s zero nightlife here. Even the breweries are absolutely dead on Friday night.

Did some great light hiking. Hit Bandelier, Valles Caldera, Upper and Lower Atalaya Mountain, and La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs.

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On 3/18/2022 at 9:37 PM, CooterBrown said:

Final report as we head back to Austin tomorrow.

This is my second trip here and I’m less in love with Santa Fe than I was after my first trip.

For a city with a ton of restaurants, there’s not a lot of restaurants. There’s little variety.

The major problem with all the mid range New Mexican restaurants is that there’s one recipe for each dish and no variation allowed. Every place is interchangeable.

The Shed was the best nice New Mexican but El Callejon was the best Mexican and better overall.

El Parasol was the best dive and I’d rather go there for New Mexican than any of the others. Bumblebee’s Baja Grill was great fast casual. Those two were the only restaurants with spicy food.

Whoo’s Donuts were great but they cost $35/dozen. The blueberry blue corn cake donut was the best.

There’s zero nightlife here. Even the breweries are absolutely dead on Friday night.


 

Don't disagree with anything you say. Just will add,

- during low season, if there's night life it's pretty much limited to live music at the Santa Fe Brewing HQ (outside town about a 20 minute drive) or at Meow Wolf. From glancing at the listings it appears they're not booking all that many shows though, perhaps due to covid effects. In town the Cowgirl is pretty much all there is but not 'til it gets warmer at night. Unless of course there's a free show at the Railyard or the Plaza; that's all during summer though. Also there's always the Tesuque Casino maybe 10 minutes outside of town. Built 2 years ago and a step above others.

- for long stays and added food variety there's a few options that I can think of...not much but - Dumpling Tea House off the Plaza, Mampuku Ramen, Jambo Cafe, or pasta at Piccolino. Also for Vietnamese, Pho Ava. And Izanami is excellent.

- for donuts, Craft Coffee & Donuts is donuts made to order at the food trailer park at Old Santa Fe Trail and Paseo de Peralta. Best to call it in or place your order on-line - pretty sure they have their own app. Whoo's is okay but way overrated imo.

- the warmer nights of July and August bring Opera season but once the opera is over they bring in some big touring acts and the facility itself is amazing. It's fun to go once even if you don't like opera. Problem is the nights get cold before October so there's not a lot of opportunity.

Cafe Castro was always my favorite for New Mexican food. I heard they were struggling due to the pandemic and had switch at least temporarily to counter-service only, but worth checking.

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Big fan of Tesuque Village Market... not in Santa Fe proper per se but, man, it's like an 8 minute drive. Great local place tucked in Tesuque.  Mostly locals.  Austin vibe.  Strong cocktails... definitely one of our favorites.  Been four times over our past two two trips.

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Forgot to mention Chocolate Maven. Killer bakery...tried quite a few different baked goods and everything was good. The green chili and cheese stuffed croissants were glorious.  The house made chimayo chile potato chips were also top shelf.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had only been to Santa Fe once, twelve years ago, before landing in ABQ this morning with my wife and heading up. I sent her this thread and she did her own research. 

We did The Shed for lunch and I had chicken enchiladas Christmas style and a pork taco. It was terrific. Good, easy rec. 

Went to Meow Wolf with both of us being purposely ignorant about what it is. I thought it was fun and I would love to bring a few of my weird/nerdy kids to it. My wife, who is razor sharp but not super artsy, basically just went along with it and afterwards told me she wasn’t sure what in the fuck she just witnessed. I told her we now have to go to the new one in Vegas in a few months. She seemed … less than enthused. 

Went to Vino Arroyo tonight. Not sure if it was a rec here or elsewhere, but it was excellent. We had sardines and toast, pork tagliatelle, and then she had wagyu steak and I had the duck. I would highly recommend this place. Also, they had great wine at low prices. 

Anyway, thanks for the help and doing a bunch of the additional recs over the next few days if the hiking doesn’t kill me first. 

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Had a good time today. 

Did a chorizo burrito at Cafe Pasquale’s and a spicy virgin bloody mary. Terrific. Asian 23 year old female pic attached, Christmas style. 

Hiked to Packacho Peak at 8600 feet. We got caught in an unexpected snow storm up there. It was a lot of fun. 

Bought a longhorn specific sculpture while fucking around and pretty happy with it long term. 

Went to Market Steer tonight and part of the menu included beef bacon. I had to try it. Fucking delicious. Would recommend that steakhouse as your SF steak place. 

Chorizo Christmas Breakfast Burrito:

 

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One of the best burgers in Santa Fe - Alien Burger at Second Street Brewery Railyard location.

It may be better without the guac so think about getting it on the side. But the blue corn-dusted and fried chile relleno, stout queso, smoked bacon, chile jack cheese, crispy fried onions, hatch chile and brioche bun are on point.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the rec on El Chile Toreado chopper. Had it for lunch. Asada and al pastor tacos and adobado quesadilla. Everything was so good. Best quesadilla I have had. Will get over there for breakfast burrito at some point.

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7 hours ago, po elvis said:

Thanks for the rec on El Chile Toreado chopper. Had it for lunch. Asada and al pastor tacos and adobado quesadilla. Everything was so good. Best quesadilla I have had. Will get over there for breakfast burrito at some point.

I'm not sure if it's still on the secret menu but the carne deshebrada is awesome too if you happen to go back for lunch. The way I found out about it is that I was having a conversation with the father of the current owner and it's what he would always order. [He ran the food stand for many years when it was located in front of the old Ace Hardware on Siler Road. His daughter went to culinary school to train as a professional chef but decided she wanted to be in Santa Fe and run the trailer.]

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ate at La Choza tonight. Had read a review of someone saying that the food was bland and they relied on their Chile for flavor. That was exactly my impression. I had the ribeye with enchilada with red sauce. I wasn’t expecting a great piece of meat at a place like this but while it looked good and was cooked well,it didn’t have much seasoning at all. The enchilada was great though. I would go back and order the enchilada plate. The GF’s sopapilla with chicken adovado was very bland. Despite this, I liked the place.

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