Taos Report - long
- peregrine Aug 14, 2008 08:23 PM
The Mr. and I spent several days in Taos and ate very well indeed. Local standards are generally high, and meals ranged from good to spectacular.
Good: Michael's Bakery and Café for a quick lunch. Nicely done hamburgers with the usual fries, lettuce and tomato. I had the open-face chili-burger, which was quite tasty. There were display cases full of pastry, but we weren't in the mood. They also had the usual selection of tacos, burritos and enchiladas.
New Mexican Style - traditional: Orlando's, north of town, has a New Mexican menu that covers everything from enchiladas to fish tacos to what we had, chile relleno with a skewer of marinated, grilled shrimp. Very nicely done. Dessert was avocado pie a la mode.
New Mexican - creative: Rellenos, just south of the plaza, is a small place with some indoor tables and a patio. Organic ingredients, interesting combinations and variations. We ordered one elk burger with green chile (buffalo also available) and one of their house special Rellenos, a large pepper stuffed with spiced beef and topped with an interesting cream/rum/fruity sauce, which tastes lots better than it sounds! We swapped plates at the half, as we often do, and both enjoyed the two contrasting plates. Very good!
Continental: The Downtown Bistro has continental and Spanish dishes. We shared a duck a l'orange, a bit dry, and a nicely-done lamb dish. Dessert, plenty for two, was a tres leches cake. Very good all 'round.
Nouveau Mexican - the spectacular: Graham's Grill took the prize. They have both small and large plates, as well as a divine dessert menu. We shared everything. Two appetizers, small plates, crab cakes and oyster nachitos, were unbelievably fresh. The nachitos were fried oysters on individual blue corn tortilla chips with salsa. For a main dish we ordered lamb, which was perfectly done medium rare and accompanied by mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. The two desserts we shared were a pecan pie and a molten chocolate cake, both a la mode. They were so rich, they really needed the excellent vanilla icecream to cool them off a bit.
No reports on breakfast, which we had at our B&B, so is not generally available.
Service in all places was attentive without being overbearing.
Thanks for the report -- sounds like you had a nice trip!
Strong second to Orlando's, which has become my favorite place in Taos (we moved here about a month ago). I'm gradually eating my way through the menu, and haven't had a bad meal yet. My favorite remains the Frito pie, which is the best I've had anywhere. Excellent biscochitos (cinnamon sugar cookies -- we both prefer the plain) and apple pie. Cheerful, efficient service, very reasonable prices. It's in El Prado, a couple miles NE of the plaza on US-64 -- look to your left as you pass the green El Prado sign (northbound).
The only downside is, very popular, so the wait can get log on the weekends. Once you're seated, they're very efficient, even when it's full. Outstanding restaurant. Do ask about the chile if you don't want hot, and do try the chile caribe, which is earthy and very, very good.
Cheers -- Pete Tillman
The Dragonfly Cafe and Bakery, next to the post office, has wonderful breakfast and bakery goods if you don't want to wait at Michael's.
Orlando's is wonderful; our dear friends that live in Taos consider it their home away from home.
Pete, have you tried 999dine.com? It is a great way to save on meals, we have used it many times in Taos as well as SF, ABQ and Durango. Lambert's, Graham Grille, and others are available.
Don't for get the anise seed in biscochittos, yummmmmm.