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Oct 30, 2009 09:20 AM

Los Potrillos, Santa Fe. Erm. .. Okay. .

The reviews are raving, but the food doesn't measure up.

The trio of salsas they serve at the beginning were silly. The guacamole (I think. It was green, anyway, and didn't taste like green chile) tasted like sour cream with cucumbers and onion. The chipotle stuff was OK, as was the third choice, but I'd have preferred just a dish of nice, fresh salsa.

Main course was the pollo en mole. Mole is supposed to be a rich, rather savory, though slightly sweet chocolate-based sauce. This tasted more like someone melted a Hershey bar over the chicken. It didn't taste bad, entirely, but was too sweet, and did not taste as mole should. The accompanying corn tortillas, on the other hand, were fantastic. Fresh and soft, and exactly how they're supposed to be, and how you almost never find them in the USA.

The margarita was good, though. Fresh limes obvious in the drink. Might go here for drinks, but there are better places for food.

Los Potrillos
1947 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505

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  1. I've never gotten their mole - it doesn't strike me as the kind of joint where an old lady is roasting and grinding seeds for hours to get the mole just right, and I've always assumed that it just came out of a jar. I haven't eaten at Potrillos for over a year now (due to their sometimes odd schedule), but I've had a number of nice things there.

    1. I've never had the mole there either, but I do enjoy their goat and peanut stew. It's very fatty, but in a good way.

      There are a LOT of different kinds of mole, some with quite a bit of chocolate, some with none at all; I think a lot of places that do use chocolate differ in whether they're making a very dark Oaxacan style, a lighter brown Puebla version, or a red style. Of course any kind ought to taste good or it's not being made right, but there's no single "authentic" type.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bortukan

        I grew up in NM, and my whole childhood mom made all sorts of different moles that she learned how to make while living in Mexico. I've had lots of the stuff over the years, and have never until a few weeks ago had any that tasted like a milk chocolate bar on meat ;)

        Trouble is I haven't been back to NM in a couple of decades, and so I don't really know where the good restaurants are anymore - I had to guess, and this place had gotten some rather impressive reviews, especially for authenticity, so I figured it was safe to try something that needs to be in the range of authenticity.

        As for the liquor license, the waitress claimed silver tequila, and if it wasn't tequila in there, I'd be pretty surprised. Either they've upgraded their license, or they're hoping an inspector doesn't drop in.

        1. re: shadowfax

          What style was theirs supposed to be, if any was specified? I'm really curious now... I really like the black Oaxacan kind, but almost never see it anywhere, sigh.

      2. Los Potrillos does not have a full alcohol license so whatever margarita you had was likely a wine margarita. They do offer several beers however.

        I like their food and while I rarely order taco plates anywhere, I am addicted to the shrimp tacos at Los Potrillos; four soft tacos nicely seasoned accompanied by a rice that compliments the tacos nicely.

        Los Potrillos
        1947 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505

        1. Came in and smelled a pretty strong smell of air freshener or disinfectant. The tortilla chips were wet with oil. We ordered beers and margaritas, which came and we wondered why the margaritas were not very good. When one of us sent them back, they said "what's wrong?" "It's too sweet" was the answer. "Oh, well they are made with wine, you know we have no liquor license." Would have been helpful to say so.

          The food came. Kids meals were ok. The mole chicken was very sweet and although it had a bit of good mole flavor it was not special. One of us ordered chicken with a pineapple sauce, not what I would have chosen, but whatever... It came with a very heavy cream sauce. Would have been nice to know. The cabrito was much hyped by some reviews. Smoked meat came in a large bowl with some sort of red chile sauce, but was inedibly salty. Very nice salsa with pumpkin seeds (I think) and salty beans with slices of hot dog. Yuk. Home made tortillas were not very good -- a bit dry and not as good as good homemade or indeed good storebought ones.

          One person ordered shrimp fajitas and liked them.

          Can't imagine what the fuss is about. Prices good, portions large, but would never go back or recommend.