New Mexico Report from SF Chowhound (Santa Fe centric)
Golden Crown Panaderia:
Service was friendly and warm at this local bakery. Casual outdoor seating.
Biscochitos were flavorful with a satisfying texture (some crunch, but not too hard). Slightly sweet. Enjoyed the blue corn flavor.
We stopped by this restaurant (also in Santa Fe) to get in a quick meal in the afternoon. Reminds me a bit of the Tender Greens chain in California. Flavorful salad menu with quality ingredients. Good ratio of protein to other ingredients. Food could be the type you find anywhere in the U.S. (certainly in California). Service was friendly - has a nice patio.
The Hollar Restaurant:
Outdoor patio. Relaxed, unhurried service. Good quality ingredients. Goat cheese was tangy, ingredients were fresh. Large portions. A good place to stop for a meal if its on your way.
The only fine dining restaurant we went to on this trip. Wine list has some very reasonable deals (California centric). Cocktail list was decent. Portions were large compared to SF fine dining.
A few dishes had a sense of place (prawns with corn) but many were the standard tuna tartare type fare found in fine dining across the country. Food was flavorful with a tendency towards savory with a bit of sweetness. A satisfying meal and well prepared, but not a place that stands out.
Service was very friendly, efficient and capable. If you feel like a formal experience, than this is a good choice, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here coming from SF, NY etc.
Stopped here for a quick light lunch - ordered 5 or 6 small dishes (snow peas, gyoza, rice balls, seaweed salad etc.). Flavorful fresh food. Exactly hit the spot of what we wanted. Plates are small (hence 5 or 6). Really enjoyed the Black Sesame Pana Cotta. We were told once we were there that reservations were a must typically, but when we went the restaurant was about 1/2 full.
It was solidly as good as anything in SF (except for the Gyoza - the filling was a bit watery and not particularly flavorful - the dipping sauce was nice) and satisfied a craving for a light meal.
We felt like soup and ended up at Lan's. Ordered Vietnamese Street Noodle Soup with Pork. Pork was of good quality (no overly gristly or fatty bits). Soup broth was very flavorful (a lot of unami) and a bit sweet - only needed a slight spicyness boost with some Siracha. The soup came with the additives (cilantro, bean sprouts etc.) already added.
Really enjoyed it as a casual, hearty meal with low- to medium expectations- equal to anything I've had, and different preparation from most pho I've had.
Railyard Farmer's Market:
Perhaps due to the time of year, it was predominantly prepared goods (breads, jams, spices, sauces etc.). Fun to check out for a bit, but I wouldn't make a detour for it.
Vegan/raw centric in a small space that feels like your friend's really awesome kitchen space. Ordered a blackberry smoothie w/ hemp and other such ingredients. Flavorful, a little too chunky/icy. At $9 a little pricey for the satisfaction (though I'm sure the ingredients are expensive). Very relaxed. Glad to experience it once, but it's not really the type of eating I like to do.
Wait is long and not well-managed here - which makes it not ideal as a tourist unless it's your last stop of the day. Margaritas are OK. I liked the depth of the red chili that I had on my enchiladas. Slightly smoky/earthy and a good level of heat. The green was a bit nondescript. A good introduction to New Mexican food - but be prepared for a super long wait.
Service is very relaxed, casual and unhurried. A really large, quality selection of teas - food is acceptable. A really nice spot to hang out during the slow season on Canyon Rd. (I imagine at the height of the tourist season it may be different).
Tecolote Cafe (Landlord dispute/Closing):
We came here for breakfast on their last day due to a landlord dispute. They are hoping to reopen.
Satisfying taqueria/diner level Mexican/New Mexican food. Very efficient service. Red chili sauce was hot and bright. Green chili sauce was more staid. Very good with eggs and potatoes.
La Cueva Cafe:
Acceptable Mexican and New Mexican food. Not a lot of heat to the sauces.