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One week in Santa Fe-BLD suggestions, please!

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Hello friends:

My family and I are spending one week in Santa Fe, plus a day each in Albuquerque and Taos.

Any recommendations are highly appreciated! We are not looking for anything upscale, just good, unique food. We live in Los Angeles and have lots of Mexican food, so distinctly Southwestern would be wonderful.

We also love snacks, desserts and food stalls/trucks.

Also looking for take-out food for our condo and the opera.

THANK YOU!

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  1. Welcome in advance! Honestly, this board has little enough traffic that the best thing you could do would be a search to dig up some existing threads. I'll throw out a few of my midscale favorites and you'll be able to search for tons of info on any of them. Just a note that what you call "Southwestern" we often just call "Mexican", but it's definitely much different out here.

    Santa Fe (all of these good for take-out)

    * Dr. Field Goods
    * 2nd Street Brewery
    * Plaza Cafe
    * Ranch House
    * Vinaigrette
    * Jambo Cafe
    * Counter Culture
    * Santa Fe Bite
    * Santa Fe BBQ Truck
    * Duel Brewery

    Albuquerque

    * Mary & Titos
    * Taca Cabana (Montgomery and San Mateo locations only)
    * The Grove
    * Nosh

    1. I second Mary & Titos for uniquely ABQ. In Santa Fe I like the truck on Cerrillos outside of the kitsche southwest decor store. Also stop by Kakawa for some cool chocolate drinks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: silverfoodie

        Thank you, silverfoodie. We loved the Kakawa pinon caramels and the cherry truffles. The chocolate chili ice cream got even spicier after it sat in the freezer a couple of days...yum. The only thing we wouldn't order again was the chili brownie. It was gluten-free (what were we thinking?) and quite dry.

        1. In addition to finlero's suggestions, I'd recommend La Choza and Cafe Pasqual in Santa Fe for New Mexican and Southwestern respectively. If you're able to drive 15 minutes out of Santa Fe, I think Rancho de Chimayo in Chimayo is worth a visit to try traditional Northern New Mexican food. And, as a novelty, especially if you have kids, you might want to try the frito pie at the Five & Dime General Store on the SF plaza. It's served in the classic low-end New Mexico style (chili and cheese poured straight into a freshly-opened single-serving bag of Fritos).

          If you get tired of NM food after a couple of days in Santa Fe, Jambo Cafe, which finlero mentions, is a homey pan-African restaurant and a nice change of pace. I like the goat stew.

          ==============

          In Albuquerque, I like Tia Betty Blue's for New Mexican these days. It's a zero-atmosphere place in a depressing commercial area not far from the airforce base, but they serve very hot and authentic Chimayo red chile and Hatch green chile, and a number of great breakfast specials like blue corn pancakes with lavender whipped cream. They have a small but nice children's menu, too.

          Some other Albuquerque spots that might work are:

          Range Cafe - a family-style diner with lots of NM favorites, giant pancakes, and big over-sweet layer cakes.

          Nexxus Brewery - a soul food restaurant with a New Mexican twist. Their collard greens stewed with dried NM red chiles are great, as are the mac & cheese, Southern-fried fish tacos, and chicken & waffles. Kids seem to love it.

          Frontier - an Albuquerque institution in the University area, -- a big, somewhat divey diner, with a huge menu of NM food and standard diner dishes. I'm not a fan, but many people here LOVE it. (My sister's friend said if she had to eat only one food every day for the rest of her life, it would be the Frontier green chile breakfast burrito.) If your timing's right, it's a good place to see a lot of colorful Albuquerque characters.

          Indigo Crow - A very pleasant restaurant in an old adobe house in Corrales, just north of Albuquerque and sort of on the way to/from Santa Fe. Nice, simple Southwestern-ish menu, home-made-tasting food, good green chile cheeseburger.
          ==========================

          A lot of my favorite places in Taos have closed in the last year, but Gutiz is good. They call their food a French-Mexican fusion, but to me it just seems like an interesting Southwestern. And El Gamal is a vegetarian Middle Eastern restaurant, so it might not be what you're looking for, but I think it's one of the better eateries in Taos. Very fresh, tasty food.

          1. I have a 52-year old kid who will LOOVE frito pie...thanks! :-)

            1. Thanks again for the Frito Pie recommendation. My partner just had one for dinner and LOVED it. The spice level started off moderate and accumulated....perfect! The employee was very friendly, allowing me to take pics with a smile. There was also something loveably kitchy about eating dinner in a five-and-dime.

              2 Replies
              1. re: running pig

                Yay! So glad your partner enjoyed it! I was a little hesitant to post anything about in-the-bag Frito pie because it's on the trashy end of the Chow spectrum, but I think it's one of the more interesting things people eat in NM.

                If you haven't hit Albuquerque yet and don't have your plans fixed, I'd also like to recommend a place called The Shop in the University area. I posted a thread about it on this board a while back. They've already worked out most of the little glitches I mentioned in that post, and their carne adovada is some of the best I've had.

                1. re: ninrn

                  Thank you, Ninrn. We also really liked Rancho de Chimayo. We were getting pretty hungry after the drive from Taos (longer than expected) and were pleased with the carne adovada and the sopaipilla relleno. The staff was sweet and the patio dining was comfortable The only "miss" was the prickly pear lemonade, which was really, really tart. We would definitely go back!