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Oct 8, 2013 01:16 PM

Just one Breakfast/Lunch/Brunch in Santa Fe

We're looking for your suggestions for our one and only meal in SF. Friday on the "early" side (meaning somewhere between a late breakfast and normal lunch). Not particularly geographically constrained, though we'll be headed down to ABQ via the turqoise trail so somewhere super far north of town isnt ideal. Low to mid brow (if there was a fancier suggestion and it was a MUST-go, by all means throw it out there).

Where do you send someone for their one and only taste of Santa Fe?

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  1. Tecolote Cafe is my favorite, Plaza Cafe Southside (skip the downtown one) is my wife's favorite, so for the sake of marital bliss we alternate between the two. Both do brunchy stuff with a mixture of NM/American sweet and savory.

    My favorites at Tecolote Cafe are usually the sweeter fare: killer blue corn pinon pancakes, a fun little bakery basket of quickbreads, although their jalapeno bacon is amazing too.

    My favorites at Plaza Cafe Southside are usually the savory fare: amazing breakfast burritos, very good cheese enchiladas, huevos rancheros, etc. Plaza also does all its own baking so the breads and what not are reliably great too. It's also right on the road that becomes the Turquoise Trail, so that wouldn't hurt either. And perhaps a little early in the day, but Plaza also has one of the very best green chile cheeseburgers anywhere, best with their sugar cured bacon, served on an absolutely awesome potato roll.

    IMHO Tecolote Cafe has better red chile and Plaza Cafe Southside has better green chile.

    As an alternative, a lot of people love the brunch stuff at Cafe Pasqual's downtown. I haven't been there in forever so I can't comment, just know it's a tiny spot and very popular so don't plan your schedule too tightly if you choose to go.

    2 Replies
    1. re: finlero

      Appreciate the detailed and thorough reply. Im definitely more of a green chile over red and savory option over sweet person, so i think we may try Plaza Cafe of your two options, unless we end up somewhere else entirely (im not 100% in charge of this decision making).

      In any case, i will report back for sure.

      1. re: tex.s.toast

        Cool, good luck. By the way, depending on how much you care about decor, I should have mentioned that Plaza Cafe Southside is in a rather antiseptic-looking newish strip mall, and although they've done a nice job with the space (large scale local art, vintage photos from their original location), there's still a bit of a generic feel to the digs. Obviously CH is about finding deliciousness wherever it may lurk, but seems worth mentioning that you definitely wouldn't be dining in a canonically Santa Fean viga-adorned adobe hut. (Tecolote is in a dingy old building without a lot of outward charm, Cafe Pasqual's would be your best bet for a classic Santa Fe vibe.)

    2. Wanted to follow up after our visit with a report back: stopping in at Iconik for a really excellent pour-over cup of their el salvador. travel buddies enjoyed some espresso and tea as well as a couple of their cookies. I could have seen myself spending lots of time there if i was a SF local.

      Met up with some other friends at Plaza Cafe on the south side, and as promised the food was great. Tried a bunch of stuff but thought that the burger as part of the green chile cheeseburger (plus bacon) was outstanding, and if anything it could have used a bit more of the chiles.

      suprise winner was the green chile applie pie (w/, i believe, cheddar in the crust as well) that was beautifully harmonious, pleasantly spicy and not overly-sweet as apple pies can get. others really got into the red velvet flan but neither of those things do much for me in isolation, and i didnt find the combo any more compelling (not that it was bad, just not to my tastes).

      Thanks, finerlo, for the help.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tex.s.toast

        You're welcome! Glad Iconik and Plaza treated you well. Thanks so much for reporting back, the feedback is always helpful, and it surely improves your chow karma as well.

        1. re: finlero

          absolutely. im genuinely interested if anyone on these boards has tried Iconik's "bullteproof" which was described to me as hot pour over blended w grass-fed butter, coconut oil, honey and sea salt. when the cashier's response to "how is it?" was "some people like it" it was not too hard to pass up, but im curious if anyone actually likes the taste and is not drinking it for the health "benefits"