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New Railyard Cafe, Santa Fe

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This is in the same space as the (lamented) former Railyard, which failed last year. The present incarnation is owned by the 315 Bistro folks, but with emphasis on American comfort food, similar to the old Railyard. It's been getting good notices (including Best New Restaurant, from the Reporter), and we finally tried it for lunch today.

It wasn't very good, overall. Service was fast & friendly, and there was a good crowd for late lunch (around 2PM). Good bread (from Sage Bakehouse), S.Fe Pale on tap.

I had a Philly cheesesteak sandwich ($11). it was just OK -- meat wasn't very good. My wife had zucchini cakes, a special, which turned out to be two little cakes the size of smallish crab cakes, for $11. She liked the cakes (what there was of them), but not the sauce, which tasted strongly of dry onion soup mix.

For dessert, we tried the German chocolate cake, served warm with whiped cream. She liked it more than I did, but it was pretty good for me.

After lunch, we stopped at a nearby gallery, and chatted with the proprietor, an acquaintance. She said she'd much preferred the old Railyard, though she'd had the cheesesteak and liked it. The former owner still operates Celebrations on Canyon Rd, and we'll have to get back there, though parking there is a real challenge.

We won't be in any hurry to return to the new Railyard.

Happy chowing--
Pete Tillman

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  1. I went shortly after they opened and liked The Railyard. Place "felt" good, service was good and the food was good for a lunch.

    Sadly, subsequent visits have been more like your experience. Food that was ordinary at best with ever-smaller portions whether salads or sandwiches. In a town where 8+ ounce hand-formed hamburgers are available plenty of places, the one at The Railyard was hard to find on the oversized roll; and for $8.95 or so.

    It's a pity because as The Railyard redevelopment effort gets going (which it is doing now, finally), the restaurant is a natural.

    I don't go any longer.

    1. Would you please mention some restaurants which you enjoy in SF? Upscale or holes-in-the-wall....we like both...just good food and good value. Our favorite is Cafe Pasqual's, but we like the Bumble Bee and Del Charro, also. Have not been to many places. I did not like Gabriel's at all....and we must be in the only people in American who have had two out of two bad experiences at Santacafe.

      Thanks for your ideas.

      1. That's surprising. I had a very pleasant lunch there about 2 months ago. I was surpised at how good at was, the service and atmsophere were nice too. I think like most restaurants and especially in Santa Fe, it is hit and miss. I still really like Senor Lucky's at the Old Palace. Always good, innovative and great service and nice to sit outside in the festive patio.
        Jeff-Abiquiu,NM

        1. Thank you for the information!

          1. I can't get the menus to come up on Senor Lucky's website. Can you charactize the type of food, please?

            Also, have you been to Swig?

            1 Reply
            1. re: laredo

              I recommend you start a new thread. You will receive many responses. Senor Lucky's cuisine is categorized as Nuevo Western-Southwestern and Swig is across the street from Senor Lucky's. They had the same owners until they sold Swig. Ask the viewers about Swig by starting a new thread. Have fun!

            2. Oops...sorry for the faux pas. Thanks for cluing me in!!

              1. Thank goodness I found this post - thought I was going nuts.
                We've been meaning to try the Railyard but only had our first chance today - and it was ghastly. Tepid coffee, soggy fries, hamburger not worth eating (I'm watching my cholesterol - If I eat red meat, it has to be REALLY good).
                After all of the rave reviews I'd read, I was wondering what alternate universe I'd stepped into.

                1. Santacafe is not what it used to be. Now with the cookbook and the press, it has become a "destination" and both the service and food have suffered. As a local I used to eat lunch there often (ten years ago) and it was fine, but I would defintiely skip it now. There are many other great places to eat; Ristra, Geronimo, etc. You are not the only ones to have had a bad experience there. Skip Coyote and the Railyard (tourists dont even eat there!) too. For a cheap lunch try the Cowgirl.