Best pozole in Santa Fe?
I'm heading to Santa Fe soon, and greatly looking forward to it. I've never been in the winter, but I'm thinking that nothing sounds better on a cold winter night than the perfect bowl of pozole. I've had the version at The Shed, which was good the time I had it, but not inspiring (unlike the red enchiladas there, which I adore).
Does anyone have a suggestion for where to go for amazing pozole? Other good winter food suggestions? Thanks!
I just came back from my trip to Santa Fe, so I wanted to post a few highlights (posole-related or otherwise):
- A quick posole recap: I tried the posole at La Choza, The Shed, and La Plazuela. La Choza and The Shed have very similar posole (predictably, as they are sister restaurants and probably use the same recipe) - both were good but would have been much better with a bit more salt and spice (which I added myself and was quite happy after I did). The posole at La Plazuela was absolutely fantastic - spicy, smoky, with nice chunks of moist pork shoulder and the perfect amount of seasoning. I had it as a side and could have easily had a whole bowl.
Top food experiences in Santa Fe from my recent trip, starting with the best:
-- La Plazuela - inside La Fonda hotel. They served up the best breakfast of the trip, and honestly one of the best breakfasts in recent memory. I generally have low expectations of hotel restaurants, but a local foodie friend highly recommended La Plazuela for breakfast and they were right to do so. The huevos rancheros were perfection, served with the aforementioned posole, smoky black beans, a rich spicy red chile and topped with crispy migas - serious clean-plate club food. My wife had the French toast with berries, which was great, but I kept catching her eying my food. Beautiful dining room, pleasant service, good coffee, really nothing to complain about - I would go back any time.
-- La Choza - If you like The Shed, La Choza is a great alternative. Easy to get into, inexpensive, and more options than you'll find at The Shed with the same great red chile. The carne adovada was very good (definitely for spicy food lovers), and the chile relleno was about as good as you'll find anywhere. The sopaipillas were light and flaky - a tad greasy but really good.
-- The Shed - More expensive than La Choza, but still not too bad unless you're plowing down the cocktails, and it's hard not to leave with some leftovers for a complete second meal. I have a soft spot for The Shed's habit of serving garlic bread with their meal - sounds odd, but it really works when you're sopping up their amazing red chile.
-- The Plaza Cafe - Yeah, it's a bit touristy and the menu jumps around the globe a bit much for my taste, but somehow it retains some honest charm and they obviously care about the food they prepare. I had a bowl of green chile stew - not exceptional, but very tasty and a welcome bowl of comfort food on a cold day. Sopaipillas were good but a bit doughier in the middle than I like.
-- Tia Sophia's - If I lived in Santa Fe, I'd probably be a bit of a regular at this place for breakfast. I love cozy little greasy spoons, and Tia Sophia's fits the bill. Inexpensive, huge portions, not even attempting to be gourmet but the food is solid. I wish they had a few more Mexican options for the breakfast burrito filling - I'd rather have chorizo, pork or chicken than bacon or breakfast sausage.
-- Upper Crust - Low-key local pizza joint with a number of creative choices - not a destination restaurant by any means, but a nice place to grab a well-made pizza. Loved the green chile on the pizza (way better than green bell pepper any day).
-- La Boca - Easily the most expensive meal of the trip by almost double, but was only okay. A few dishes were stellar, others were clunkers. I loved the arugula salad with drunken goat cheese, and the pork loin with beets and candied lemon zest was also excellent. On the other hand, the grilled hanger steak with smoked sea salt caramel came highly recommended, but was bizarre and unpleasantly candy-tasting and was cold and raw in the center - not so good. Cozy place, but the quality was hit or miss the evening we went.