Tucson and ABQ trip report
We had a few favorites in Tucson: Poca Cosa was wonderful , we loved Marisco's Chihuahua for shrimp ceviche and we returned frequently to Teresa's Mosaic cafe for mexican and Oaxacan specialties. Chef Alsiha's was very bad, a great disappointment. The Polish Cottage had pretty good pierogis and good kielbasa. Beyond Bread had reasonably good bread, especially the rye. The Co-op was minimal. The gelato at Frost was delicious, really delicious. Frog's European bakery pretentious, expensive and limited. meh.
We liked the food in Tucson more than we had expected to.
Albuquerque: we ate out rarely as our breakfasts at Los Poblanos Inn were fabulous and really filling. We ate their farm to table dinners twice, highly recommended in a beautiful setting. For quick eclectic meals, Flying Star was quite good and lovely to sit on the patio. Thai Vegan, recommended by many, was awful: everything was sweet and gluey. Mary and Tito's ok, but just ok.
A difficulty for us in ABQ was that several places we wanted to try closed at 2 after serving breakfast and lunch and we were never ever hungry by then after Los Pobalnos' breakfasts which were included and magnificent so we could not bear to go easy.
We had only one meal in Santa Fe; a friend took us to Zia Diner for lunch. The nachos were great, too full to eat anything else.
Just to offer a little counterpoint on Frogs, my better half just brought some croissants and macarons home from Tucson and we thought all of it was pretty incredible. The plain croissants had a great depth, almost a caramel flavor that made them taste good despite being most of a day old. I thought the macarons varied in excellence: the heavier flavors like chocolate and raspberry were a little oppressive, the lighter flavors like pistacchio and dulce de leche were stellar, the texture was absolutely spot-on across the board.
Thanks for the report. Good to know about Thai Vegan. I've been meaning to try it, but now won't bother. Sorry M&T's was a disappointment, but that's authentic homestyle New Mexican food. Not very impressive on first acquaintance and sorely lacking in any real nutrition, but over time a weird addiction to those flavors and ingredients builds and one starts loving it. I guess New Mexico itself is sort of like that. Did you like the rooms and the general management at Los Poblanos, too?
I love New Mexico and I really had been enjoying the mexican food in Tucson so that may have been the problem. I remember on my last visit ten years ago I found lots more food I liked.
Los Pobalnos was perfect. We stayed in a suite in the original building and felt like we could live there forever. unpretentious comfort, wonderful art, great food, really nice and obliging staff. i would stay there again in a heartbeat. I'd love to see it in Spring.
We wished we had gotten to Sophia's ( Sophie's?) How does that compare to M&T's?
Yes, I think NM food can definitely suffer in comparison to all the vibrant, fresh flavors of good Mexican food.
I don't think you missed much by skipping Sophia's Place. I was very enthusiastic about it when I first went there. -- A former Chez Panisse cook, trying to make fresh local food back at home in NM. He makes nice food -- nothing special if you're coming from California or New York, but good for Albuquerque. It has so much potential to be a great spot, but it's SO dirty, Magiesmom, and, at the end of the day, the prices aren't low enough or the food interesting enough to off-set that level of grunge.
When you come again, maybe try Farm & Table (although it sounds like Los Poblanos might be doing the same thing, and maybe even better), Zacatecas, and Birria El Alex (if you don't have that type of restaurant at home). If it's warm outside, Paleteria Michoacana de Paquime is worth a stop, too, for a wonderful array of Mexican frozen desserts. And I hope the lotus pond is in bloom next time you're at Los Poblanos. I think it's one of the most beautiful things in Albuquerque