Albuquerque/Santa Fe for group + feedback?
Looking for some great places in the area. We're actually staying in Santa Ana Pueblo. Group will be about 15 - 25. Suggestions and any feedback on the list below? THANKS! Goals are great food, local, can be fancy or casual, if they do local/organic/sustainable ingredients, even better.
There are only about 3 good restaurants that are within a 30 minute ride or less. One is Prairie Star which is located on the Santa Ana Golf Course about 10 minutes from the hotel. The food is very good. Their website is http://www.santaana.org/prairie.htm. The second is El Pinto which is about a 20 minute drive. El Pinto is a very casual restaurant that serves New Mexican food and great Margarita's. It is a very, fun laid back atmosphere, the food is pretty good, but you really go for the atmosphere. Their website is http://www.elpinto.com/. The final one is High Finance which is located at the top of the tram. The drive is about 20 minutes but the ride to the top is about 15 minutes as well. Amazing view and pretty good food.
Their website is http://www.highfinancerestaurant.com/.
Of these three Prairie Star definitely has the best food. Other than that you are looking at about a 40-45 minute drive into Santa Fe or Albuquerque.
We stayed at the Tamaya Resort at the Santa Ana Pueblo for a conference last week. It was very nice. I didn't eat at The Corn Maiden but, the breakfast at the hotel was quite good and the food in the very spacious bar, was also surprisingly good. There were two parties of 10 -15 in the lounge area next to the bar and it didn't seem crowded at all .
Albuquerque is only 12 miles from bernalillo so it doesn't really take 45 minutes. El Pinto is in the North Valley closer to Bernalillo and High Finance is further up on Tramay overlooking town both are tourist magnets, not really places one goes for the food.
For the 20 minute drive to the Tram, you can skip the ride to the top altogether and still have a great city view while eating wonderful food: Sandiago's Mexican (in the tram building), at the bottom. Excellent fish, New and Mexican-influenced dishes, and chocolate flan....
Here's more of my favorites:
I put this together FYI. These are all places where I have eaten. I have not included any national chains. I hope you can use this info. I probably missed some;
$$ means expensive; type of food is indicated if title of restaurant isn't clear; general location given. All are in ABQ proper unless otherwise noted.
Local chains with mulitple locations:
Garcia's Kitchen - New Mexican
Little Anita's - New Mexican
Flying Star - coffee, desserts, good food; eclectic
Dions - pizza [best chain]
Papa Johns - pizza
Garduno's - mexican [pretty run of the mill]
[Don't bother with seafood, chinese as these just aren't worth it here]
Abuelita's New Mexican Kitchen [about 25 minutes north of ABQ] on the way to Santa Fe
621 S CAMINO DEL PUEBLO
Al's NYPD Pizza - downtown
215 Central Ave Nw
Ambrozia Cafe $$ contemporart[Old town]
108 Rio Grande Blvd. NW,
Artichoke Cafe $$- eclectic, contemporary American
424 Central Ave SE
Barelas Coffee House - New Mexican Food
1502 4th St SW
Casa de benavidez New Mexican - north valley [ 20 minutes ]
8032 4th St. NW,
Cervantes - New Mexican Food
5801 Gibson Blvd Se [near airport]
Duran's Central Pharmacy New Mexican/SW
[old Town; don't let name fool you]
1815 Central Ave. NW
El Patio New Mexican/SW [Univ area]
142 Harvard St. NE
El Modelo Mexican Foods
1715 2nd St Sw
El Pinto New Mexican [20 minutes north of ABQ; on way to santa Fe]
10500 4th St NW
Graze $$ contemporary [Nob Hill]
3128 Central Ave. SE
Gold Street Cafe - american [downtown]
218 Gold Ave. SW
Frontier - new mexican, across from Univ. of NM
2400 Central Ave SE
Great American Land & Cattle $$ steak
1550 Tramway Blvd NE
Il Vicino Wood Oven pizza - Nob hill/University area
[also various locations]
3403 Central Ave NE
La Crepe Michelle - french, in Old Town
400 San Felipe St Nw
Los Cuates New Mexican
4901 Lomas Blvd NE
The Melting Pot - fondue; in Old Town
2011 Mountain Rd Nw
Pars - mediterranean
4320 25 Way NE [near movie complex at Jefferson & I 25]
11301 Central Ave Ne
5209 4th St Nw
Quarters - BBQ [near Airport]
801 Yale Blvd. SE
Ranchers Club $$
1901 University Blvd. NE
Range Cafe - new mexican and american [good]
4200 Wyoming Blvd Ne B2
Robbs Ribbs BBQ
3000 San Pdro Dr Ne Ste C
2321 Carlisle Blvd Ne
Sadies -New Mexican
6230 4th St NW
Scalo - northern Italian $$ [Nob Hill]
3500 Central Ave. SE
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill $$ [Old Town]
2031 Mountain Rd. NW,
Yanni's - mediterranean/greek [Nob Hill/Univ area]
3109 Central Ave Ne
Zinc Wine Bar $$ contemporary [Nob Hill]
3009 Central Ave. NE
Rt. 66 Diner [not my favorite, but has it's fans] [west of Univ. area]
1405 Central Ave. NE
The Range Cafe in nearby Bernalillo is very good. An ecletic mix of food, all well prepared. Bien Shur at Sandia Casino is also very good.
I agree to stay away from High Finance. Take a picnic or just do sunset and cocktails.
There are a number of good places just down the road  in Rio Rancho too.
Do *not* make the mistake of eating at High Finance. The tram to the top should not be missed and drinks at sunset are very nice. Enjoy the view. But the food is inedible and the service--Well, just don't.
I second the Corn Maiden.
El Pinto is *very* casual, and if that's your game, try Casa de Benavides, too.
Sadie's was good when it was over the bowling alley, but it's no longer worth the not inconsiderable wait for a table (an hour and forty-five minutes for a mid-week two-top last time I tried) and the indifferent service.
If you're looking for local/organic/sustainable ingredients? Hmmm. Many Mexican restaurants are going to hit local and sustainable, but organic is not a huge selling priority out here really.
Indeed. The airport is maybe 30 minutes away unless traffic is messed up. That puts Sadie's in the mix. No problem handling a group of the size in question. HUGE portions of really good New Mex Mex. It's casual and loud, so the group could be as convivial as they like without causing a fuss.