My Northern New Mexico Itinerary
Hi. I'm from San Diego and making the trip out to New Mexico for the second year because I enjoyed it so much last time out.
The food I am only interested in eating is New Mexican, so please critique my choices and/or recommend me your favorites.
I will be in Taos for the first night and plan to go to the Taos Diner again for Breakfast where I really liked their red chile sauce. I was also thinking about going to Taos Mesa Brewing. What are people's thoughts on El Taoseno? Any other stand outs?
Going to be spending the rest of the time (2-3 nights) based in Santa Fe, perhaps a night in Albuquerque.
I am planning on El Tecolote for Breakfast. Is there any other Breakfast place recommended?
We went to The Shed last time which I thought was pretty good and the Tune Up Cafe was thinking of going to La Choza this time. Tomasitas? Tia Sophia? Are these Worthwhile? What dishes are good at these places?
Will also be in Bernalillo to visit Coronado State Monument, Chimayo, Pecos and possibly Abiquiu.
Finally, where can I try green chile beer?
Tecolote is an excellent choice, especially for their red chile. This is one of those places that is think is underappreciated by locals due to the Diners/Drive-ins/Dives connection and the fact that it can be somewhat overrun by tourists.
You may already know that La Choza offers essentially the same menu as the Shed - it's good, but it won't be a noticeably different experience from your meal at the Shed (other than the atmosphere).
I would skip Tomasita's and Tia Sophia's and consider Atrisco Cafe and the Plaza Cafe (either location) as alternatives (the green chile at the Plaza Cafe can be exceptionally good). Enjoy your visit.
For breakfast I like Tecolote but my favorite is Harry's Roadhouse south of town on the same road but a few miles closer in than Bobcat Bite.
Tuneup Cafe also serves an excellent breakfast as does Chocolate Maven Bakery on San Mateo.
The Bobcat is a MUST if you've not been for their Green Chile Cheeseburger. (10 ounces of perfection, no french fries and cash only.)
I specifically dislike Tomasitas; Tia Sophia is good; Santa Fe's politicians hold court there every morning for breakfast.
Another New Mexican place I like is Castro's on Cerrillos Road across from Jackalope. For excellent Mexican (not New Mexican) Los Potrillos also on Cerrillos.
Don't waste your time with Tecolote; I was distinctly underwhelmed. If you liked Tune-Up (which I do as well) you should definitely try Counter-Culture Cafe on Baca street; their burrito is one of the better ones I've had in town. If you wish to venture a bit outside of town The Tesuque Diner has always been excellent for breakfast (particularly enjoy their green chili and their heuvos rancheros). Tomasitas is also underwhelming.
If you want classic New Mexican food, I can honestly say one of the few places I've ever really enjoyed it is Cafe Pasquals; pricey, but worth it. The actually put some finesse into their dishes rather than just pouring cheap cheese and a giant lake of green chili over everything and calling it, "New Mexican."
As long as this thread has been revived, a few extra data points on same:
I personally love Tecolote Cafe, but deliciousness seems to vary with what you order. I always get the more purely breakfasty stuff (blue corn pinon pancakes, breakfast basket). My better half always enjoys their huevos rancheros pretty well, but she never seeks the place out. I've always thought the NM-style stuff is perfectly good, but probably not the best in town; I would have killed to have a NM place half this good nearby when I lived on the east coast, but here it's one of many. To rcurtism's point above about the red chile, I'm more of a green chile guy, so maybe it's just not a perfect fit for on the NM side of the menu.
Interestingly, although I quite like Counter Culture, I don't really love their NM fare that much, usually opting for the East Asian stuff instead.
Agree on Tomasitas being underwhelming, there are too many better options to waste time and calories on it.