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Apr 22, 2002 04:29 PM

Santa Fe Chile?

  • s

I miss eating at Tomasita's in Santa Fe... red and green chile smothered enchiladas and burritos - and I cant get that unique taste anywhere in the Midwest.

Anywhere I can buy New Mexican Chiles or actually get a Santa Fe type of meal here in Chicago?

Also - has anyone noticed that the term "Santa Fe" is applied to just about any type of food that is NOT really associated with Santa Fe cooking?

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  1. flo's restaurant, serves real santa fe food. here, i must make a disclaimer that i provide desserts to the restaurant. one of the owners is from santa fe and his family owns a place in santa fe called, i think, 'the shed', which has been there for decades. they have red and green homemade salsas.the food is wonderful. they are open for breakfast and lunch only, closed mondays.

    flo, 1434 w. chicago, (312)243-0477

    2 Replies
    1. re: joan

      Oh, man. I love The Shed! I've gotta try Flo's.

      1. re: springer

        springer, i told renee, the co-owner of flo's (along with her husband, rodney, whose family owns the shed), that someone from the message board was all excited to hear about flo's and would probably be in to eat real soon, and she wondered if you are related to an office supply store in santa fe called springers?!?

        also, i forgot to mention that there is a chile vendor at the south end of the sunday maxwell street market who has a tremendous collection of chiles, some of which i havent seen elsewhere. (btw, flo's imports their own new mexican chiles for their sauces) joan

    2. Ah, Tomasita's. And the Shed. Brings back wonderful memories. I'll have to try Flo's. If it's as good as those two places, it'll be a real treat.
      As far as buying chiles, have you tried El Mercado under the Sheridan el stop on Irving Park? Or the Del Ray at Foster and Broadway? Both have good selections of the common chiles.
      I have also been buying various chiles from The Chile Shop in Santa Fe for years. Small operation, nice and helpful folks. They have a website at which has their catalog online and they can be reached at 505/983-6080. Or you could e-mail 'em at the website. Good luck.
      Gypsy Boy
      PS (By the way, I was just given the name of another supposedly excellent chile supplier in Texas by the name of Pendery's. I called for a catalog but haven't received it yet. They were highly recommended.)

      5 Replies
      1. re: Gypsy Boy


        Never heard of the office supply store.

        I have found Chimayo chile powder that you can buy online from Chile Cauldron (also Hatch enchilada sauce - good stuff if you dont have time to make the original) that fits the bill - but my cooking doesnt match Tomasitas. If Flo's has roast beef burritos served christmas style, I'm moving back into the city!

        1. re: springer

          My husband and I are both originally from New Mexico and are experiencing the same unfulfilled craving for chile that you are. We heard about Flo's and unfortunately were extremely disappointed. They offer nothing even close to a burrito smothered in red chile! Yes, the did have some chile on the menu, but it wasn't very spicy or flavorful like chile you could find at practically any restaurant in Albuquerque or Santa Fe.

          1. re: eariley

            I recently spent some time in Albuquerque. One of the surprises is that there are many places serving utterly conventional Mexican food but claiming it as "New Mexican". Yes, there are some wonderful places there, but you have to seek them out. What you are likely to find at "practically any restaurant" there is no better (and no different) than you typically find in most neighborhoods in Chicago.

            (For the most part, Santa Fe has a bit higher level of quality and variety, but it's not *that* different from Albuquerque in this regard.)

            1. re: eariley

              I have to report that when it comes to New Mexican chile, we have actually found the real deal in Chicago! We heard about the Zia Cafe in Lincoln Park and finally had a chance to try it this weekend. The owner is from New Mexico and gets his chile from Hatch and it is definitely the real thing! We had the green chile cheese fries and burritos smothered with red chile. Both were excellent and true to New Mexican tradition. If you have a chile craving, this is the place to go in Chicago.

              1. re: eariley

                It's great to hear that there's a place for a chile fix in Chicago. Here in Milwaukee, there's none to be had, unless you make your own. Which brings me to a question I posted some time ago on the Southwest board, and the Home cooking board, but got little response.

                Besides the Chimayo powder, does anyone know of a good shipper of fresh red or green chile (I can find dried here just fine.).

                Oh, to be in the Shed, right now........

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