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Santa Fe Favorites

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My family and I will be visiting the Santa Fe, NM area during mid April. We enjoy good restaurants and are always open to new and unusual eating experiences. We would enjoy hearing from other chowhounds, especially local residents, who can recommend good restaurants and would be willing to share their favorites with us. Also any sights or adventures not to be missed? Thanks and good eating.

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  1. t
    Tha Groovin' Gourmet

    A couple of places spring to mind:

    For breakfast or brunch check out Tecolote Cafe
    on Cerrillos.

    Assuming you are flying into Albuquerque and driving to SF you might want to check out Blue Corn along I-25 in ABQ (Jefferson exit, west side of freeway on the service rd). Excellent SW brewpub fare, including killer chipotle corn soup.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Tha Groovin' Gourmet

      Note: the original/flagship Blue Corn Cafe is on Water Street (second floor) just next to the Plaza in Santa Fe. I believe the cross street is Don Gaspar.

      Also recommend Rio Chama next to the Capitol.

      1. re: Merritt
        t
        Tha Groovin' Gourmet

        Cool! Thanks for the tip. So they have the whole microbrewery thing going on there?

        I'll have to check it out on the next trip.

        1. re: Tha Groovin' Gourmet

          I don't know if the microbrewery is part of the SF shop. However, the square footage is smaller...could be they get their brews from the Albuquerque branch. We discovered it on our honeymoon almost nine years ago, and we still go back, and probably drink the beer, but it's not something that I have managed to retain in memory!

          Next time you are in the Albuquerque airport area, check out Cervantes' on Gibson. Great home-style NM food, and you can get a combination plate with carne adovada AND a chile relleno. Good stuff.

          Cheers, Merritt

          1. re: Merritt
            t
            Tha Groovin' Gourmet

            I'll certainly give the SF outpost a try, as Blue Corn in ABQ is usually a must stop. I'm a pale ale guy, and their High Altitude is a good one. And I just can't seem to not order the chipotle corn chowder.

            Thanks for the tip, and I'll return the favor...I totally enjoy Perea's on Central. Probably my favorite refrieds anywhere and nice portions for reasonable prices.

            1. re: Tha Groovin' Gourmet

              i once found the recipe in an ABQ newspaper for blue corn cafe's chipotle corn chowder soup...i have lost it and really am craving it, but since i live in TX now, that is not possible. could you get me the recipe?

              1. re: Brittany

                I stopped by the Blue Corn Cafe recently (in Jan) but wasn't superbly impressed. Then again, I didn't know to order the corn chowder (wasn't a planned stop, wish I had done better research). Is this still a local favorite (I can't seem to find anything more recent than this thread on it?)

                1. re: Brittany

                  Here is the recipe for Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery Grilled Corn and Chipotle Soup as given by their executive chef at a cooking demonstration in 2001. I haven't tried it yet so can't comment. Happy Cooking!
                  GRILLED CORN & CHIPOTLE SOUP
                  (Serves 4-8)
                  6 medium-size ears corn
                  2-3 chipotle peppers
                  1/4 cup red onion (large, diced)
                  2 cups water
                  4 cups (2 pints) heavy whipping cream
                  Dash white pepper
                  Dash ground comino (cumin)
                  Corn Relish (recipe follows)
                  First, grill the corn. The simplest method is to shuck the ears and rub the corn with vegetable oil and kosher salt, then grill over an open flame. Allow some of the kernels to pop and blacken, which will add flavor and character. Remove the corn to a cutting board and scrape off all the kernels with a sharp knife. Get every part. Divide the corn in half; then divide one of these halves in half (to use for the garnish).
                  In a blender or food processor, combine half of the corn with the onions, chiles, spices and about half of the water. Pulse briefly until you achieve a coarse paste; add more of the water as needed to blend, but try not to overblend, as you want a few chunks left.
                  In a large saucepan combine all of the ingredients, except the grilled corn set aside for the garnish, in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. The soup needs to cook down by about half to thicken and reach its richest flavor and thick texture.
                  Garnish with a crispy fried tostada (we use fried flour tortilla wedges) and a dollop of Corn Relish:
                  Corn Relish: Combine the reserved grilled corn with 1 tablespoon diced green bell pepper; 1 tablespoon diced red bell pepper; 1/8 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeƱo, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey. Sprinkle with a little salt. Allow to rest at least an hour before serving.

      2. Plaza Restaurant - Breakfast, lunch or dinner. Been there a long time. Fantastic posole and other New Mexican faves. Never been disappointed.
        Maria's. New Mexican. Local hangout. Massive tequila collection.
        Pasqual's. Everyone lines up for breakfast but make dinner reservations - it's worth it.
        The Compound. Nouvelle American, could be the most creative chef in Santa Fe. Expensive.
        Coyote Cafe. Almost a cliche but still fantastic food.
        Pink Adobe. Santa Fe icon and the menu hasn't changed in 30 years. I prefer drinks at the Dragon Bar rather than dinner.

        Link: http://www.flyingmutts.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: Alan

          I totally agree with Alan regarding the Plaza, I love this place...Something about it , old time Santa Fe feel but with a modern atmosphere, great food and great servers who have been there forever. I also agree that Maria's is worth a stop, the food has slipped a little but the drinks and tequilla collection can't be missed.
          Yes, on Pasqual's as well. Top nothch breakfast spot, prime location...Some people gawk at the prices, but you get what you pay for. Unique Breakfast items!
          Yes also on the Compound, Coyote Cafe and The Pink Adobe is very, very Santa Fe. I have to totally disagree with the recommendation of The Tecote Cafe, I just don't get it. It's sort of a dump, sorry to say and the food is just so mediocre...I've tried it 4 times and it just gets worse. Maybe some locals like it because they meet friends there, My friends don't go there, We all go to Harry's Roadhouse for breakfast!

        2. We had a very good meal at Harry's when we were there in October - don't miss the pie! (We enjoyed the strawberry rhubarb).

          We had breakfast and dinner at Pasqual's and definitely enjoyed the breakfast more.

          A couple locals pointed us towards Maria's - whooeee....strong margaritas and HOT carne adovado!

          1. Blue Corn Cafe is good (2 of them in Santa Fe) but I still think Maria's is the best Mexican food in the city (near Cerrillos and Cordova) Not a gourmet --but saying Mexican food and gourmet in the same sentence is (in my opinion) an oxy-moron. Real Mexican food is not intended to be gourmet---much to the surprise of The Coyote Cafe. No locals eat there. The Pink Adobe maybe--but not most of the tourist traps downtown.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bronco Billy

              I would also have to disagree that locals don't go to Coyote Cafe. Ate there last night and in walked Gov. Bill Richardson. He may not be an average citizen, but is certainly a local. Food was excellent too.

            2. I beg to differ...Lots of locals frequent the Coyote Cafe. In fact, in summer when the Coyote Cafe Cantina is open, it's mostly locals as is the main restaurant. The Pink Adobe also is filled with locals as is The Plaza Cafe. AS for the comment on Tourist traps downtown.... You might want to do your homework before making such bold statements and maybe be more open to all of our wonderful restaurants In Santa Fe. Wow, Maria's being the best in Santa Fe.....I guess you don't get out much, oh well.