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Feb 16, 2010 01:01 PM

Santa Fe for the sensitive stomach

My Mom is wanting to go to Santa Fe for a week in early March, and while she would love to sample local eateries, she has pretty severe problems with reflux, and all of the chile would lead to a non-pleasant travel experience for her.

Are there good places to eat where she can get non-spicy food?

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  1. Just about any place can leave the chile off - most NM dishes get their spice from a chile pepper sauce that tops them. Have her ask her server about specific dishes to ensure that chile isn't an inherent part of the dish (as with, say, carne adovada), and she'll be fine.

    And there are MANY restaurants in SF that don't serve New Mexican/Mexican food (Torino's and Clafoutis are two that I'm considering for breakfast this a.m., for instance) . . . tell your mom to have a great trip.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Erich

      Definitely agree with Erich. The red and green chile tend to run pretty spicy here, but SF is also a heavily tourist-centric town, and every New Mexican restaurant will be ready, willing, and able to field requests for non-spicy fare.

      The classic New Mexican restaurant in town is the Shed, as much for the atmosphere as the food; I've never tried the less-spicy stuff, but the menu shows options like lemon garlic shrimp, fish tacos, and steaks, so I'm sure your mom would be fine.

      Second Clafoutis -- lovely breakfast and lunch, run by a warm and welcoming French expat family.

      For my personal taste, the two best restaurants in town aren't New Mexican at all:

      Trattoria Nostrani is one of the better Italian restaurants I've been to, period. Runs very expensive, and service can be a little snotty, but the antipasti and house-made pastas are among the best I've had in the States, and the [top-heavy] wine list is stunning.

      Along similar lines, albeit hailing from a different continent, Shohko Cafe is a strikingly excellent Japanese restaurant. Shohko, the chef-owner, learned to prepare sushi in her native Japan, and she turns out notably thoughtful, nuanced sushi (both traditional and contemporary), as well as truly excellent kitchen fare. The family also owns a sake wholesale business, so their sake list is pretty formidable as well. Shohko Cafe's delicious signature dish is, alas for your mom, shrimp and green chile tempura, but just about anything else on the menu would be great. Again not cheap, but beats out the majority of sushi I've had on either coast.

      I'll also steer you to Harry's Roadhouse, essentially a fun, upscale diner on the edge of town. The menu is eclectic (New Mexican, American, Italian, Moroccan...), the margaritas are great, the atmosphere is boisterous and fun.

      Harry's Roadhouse
      96B Old Las Vegas Hwy, Santa Fe, NM 87505

      113 1/2 E Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501

      Trattoria Nostrani
      304 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

      Shohko Cafe
      321 Johnson St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

      402 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

      1. re: finlero

        I've enjoyed meals in every restaurant that finlero mentioned - good list.