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Teachers Union Attempts To Get Out Early Vote

...with limited results

Local NewsWednesday, October 22, 2014 by Joey Peters

It may be a down year for voter turnout, but that's not stopping Patricia Gay-Webb from being excited about the upcoming election. 

"I'm not thinking Halloween," the dual-language El Camino Real Academy teacher says. "I'm thinking election. It is critical for us educators because it has gotten so bad."

Gay-Webb, who is also the political action director for the National Education Association's Santa Fe Chapter, participated in the union's statewide effort to get out the early vote Wednesday afternoon. She and other union members alerted teachers in Santa Fe about the effort through flyers and social media before dropping by the Santa Fe County Clerk's Office to assist voters.

The idea is to get as many teachers out voting early as possible. At the County Clerk's office, the teachers were limited from speaking out about which candidates they were supporting. But NEA-New Mexico did make endorsements this year, and none of the politicians they gave the nod to are Republicans. 

"It is very important that we elect candidates who are going to support [a bigger] budget for our schools and who are going to support all the issues that we educators are fighting about," she says. 

NEA is also advocating against "high stakes" testing and the state's current teacher evaluation system.

"It's not really about things that are good for the kids," says Bernice Garcia-Baca, a counselor at Aspen Community Magnet School and past president of NEA-SF. "It's all about data and producing data, whether it's good or bad." 

Still, not many voters were seen casting ballots on this partly cloudy afternoon. 

"I really believe it's the economics because most people are off at second jobs," Garcia-Baca says. "And unfortunately the political process becomes secondary to many of us."

Early voting continues through at the Santa Fe County Clerk’s office through Nov. 1. Other county sites for early voting include the Santa Fe County Fair Building, the Pojoaque County Satellite Office, the Eldorado Senior Center and the Old Edgewood Fire Station.

Former Martinez Aide: Governor Attacks Messenger to Avoid Media Questions

Gov. Martinez goes in attack mode following SFR report

Local NewsThursday, October 23, 2014 by Justin Horwath
Gov. Susana Martinez' paid political advisers went in attack mode Wednesday, following SFR's publication of a story that laid out evidence that her campaign misused taxpayer resources to benefit Martinez' gubernatorial bid in 2010. 

A former Martinez aide quoted in the story, however, says the campaign is only attacking the messenger to avoid media scrutiny.

In the SFR report, the former aide, Anissa Ford, alleges that Martinez asked Ford to take a photo of a license plate of a vehicle and send it to Kip Scarborough, then a top investigator in Martinez' Third Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Ford says Martinez asked her to send the photo of the license plate specifically because the vehicle, parked outside a hotel being used by the campaign, was sporting an anti-Martinez bumper sticker. Scarborough replied he'd find out to whom the vehicle belonged—an indication that he would access confidential information stored in government databases.

Attack mode
Instead of addressing the facts reported by the story, Martinez' advisors attacked Ford and SFR.

SFR presented this specific scenario laid out in the story by Ford to Martinez' top political consultant Jay McCleskey five days prior to publication. He didn't address that scenario directly. He only called it "recycled garbage that's already been discredited." 

That was an apparent reference to an April article by Mother Jones, which briefly mentioned the incident described by Ford.

McCleskey repeated that phrase Wednesday when SFR asked him to comment on the story. He has not responded to a follow-up question asking where the account has been "discredited." And he has declined to address any element of Ford's description of the incident. 

Martinez' advisers called the SFR report a "baseless smear" and attempted to tie Ford to the case of Martinez' former campaign manager, Jamie Estrada.

Jamie Estrada rhetoric
In November, 2012 the FBI raided Ford's home early one morning due to her communications with Estrada. 

Estrada is Martinez' former campaign manager who had a falling out with the governor, after which he used the password and login information he obtained during his time in the campaign to renew its domain name. That allowed him to intercept emails sent to the campaign accounts of Martinez and her staffers. The FBI raided Ford's home because she had been communicating with Estrada about the emails he obtained. 

Ford agreed with federal prosecutors to testify against Estrada in the case. The federal government never charged Ford with any crimes. In fact, she says she has no criminal record at all. 

Nonetheless,  Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez told the International Business Times Wednesday that it's "reckless and bad journalism to try to breathe life into baseless smear by a disgruntled hack whose home was raided by the FBI for her involvement in federal crimes and from a politician whose campaign benefited from the federal crimes for which his operative is now going to prison."

The "politician" is an apparent reference to Third Judicial District Attorney Mark D'Antonio, a Democrat. Ford volunteered on his DA campaign against Martinez' close friend, Republican Amy Orlando, who lost the 2012 race. Recently, D'Antonio released the results of an internal investigation that alleged Orlando's administration destroyed public records before D'Antonio took the office. Investigators, for instance, cannot locate emails sent to and by the account of then District Attorney Susana Martinez.

Sanchez' statement doesn't clarify how D'Antonio's campaign "benefited" from Estrada's crimes. But emails intercepted by Estrada included those sent by Orlando. 

The general public also "benefited from the federal crimes" by gaining important knowledge about the state's top elected official after media outlets, including SFR, published contents of the emails. Those emails showed that the governor's statements on transparency contradicted her administration's actions on the issue as well as  evidence of collusion between a racino lobbyist and Martinez staffers during the bidding process for a lucrative state contract Martinez eventually awarded to that racino.

That's why as Estrada's case moved to trial, he made a whistleblower defense for intercepting and leaking the emails. The judge, a Bush appointee, rejected that defense, however, and Estrada pleaded guilty to two felonies before the case moved to a jury trial. 

'Deflecting attention'
McCleskey attacks the messenger in response to questions about SFR's article to The Santa Fe New Mexican, again calling Ford "disgruntled." The paper reports that the Martinez campaign "vehemently denied" SFR's story, but does not quote a specific denial.

Republican insiders say Martinez' attacks are a pattern.

In September, former state Republican Party chairman Harvey Yates penned a column saying that "McCleskey and Martinez's expertise is the 'attack.'"

"Some activists and politicos also are fond of using a MUTE button," Yates wrote. "They use it to silence inquiry into topics they prefer not to address. They push the button by implying that the offending individual is a 'racist,' or a 'sexist' or the like. They wish to taint the offending party so markedly that other potential questioners will fear to raise the offending issue."

For months, McCleskey has repeatedly declined to answer this question posed by SFR: "Did Susana Martinez’ 2010 gubernatorial campaign, or anyone on its behalf, use any government resource to run a license plate number?"

Ford tells SFR in a statement that McCleskey, "who in fact does have a criminal record," is merely "deflecting attention away from their proven wrong doing." (McCleskey pleaded guilty to a DWI in 1999).

"Don't attack the messenger—the evidence speaks for itself," she writes. "Instead of attacking all the former so called 'disgruntled' employees, why doesn't the administration just answer the media's questions?"

SFR's 2015 Restaurant Guide Is Out!

Here's where to find it

Restaurant Guide 2015Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by SFR

T

hough it might not seem entirely appetizing, SFR's 2015 Restaurant Guide is laden with the blood, sweat and tears of its contributors, who have delivered our biggest guide yet.

Along with naming a new Restaurant of the Year, listing the Top 10 eateries in town and your 20 Faves, we've gone above and beyond with stories on the essential green chile trail, a spotlight piece on local cooking schools, a roundup of the best food trucks in Santa Fe and a historical take on the evolution of Southwestern food.

Want to eat good on the cheap? Check out our lists of five items under $5. In the mood to wet your whistle? Our Happy Hour centerfold has got you covered.

Free copies of the 2015 Restaurant Guide are available at SFR headquarters (132 E Marcy St.) and these fine locations:

  • Buffalo Thunder
  • Canyon Road
  • Casita Cielo Grande
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Chavez Center
  • City Shoe Repair
  • Collected Works
  • Convention Center
  • El Corazón de Santa Fe
  • Del Norte
  • Eye Associates
  • Fitness Plus
  • Fort Marcy Rec. Complex
  • Kokoman Liquor’s
  • Mailboxes Etc.
  • Mesa Public Library
  • Montecito of Santa Fe
  • Montoya Bldg.
  • NM State Library
  • Las Palomas
  • The Plaza
  • Pojoaque Market
  • Runnels Building
  • Sanbusco Market Center
  • SFCC Main Entrance
  • SF School Administration
  • Santa Fe Spa
  • Santa Fe Village
  • Southside Library
  • Sports Medicine Center
  • St. John’s College
  • State Capitol Building
  • State Education Building
  • State Employees Credit Union
  • Visitors Info Center
  • Vitamin Cottage
  • Water Street
  • & The Best Hotels in Town!

You can also check out the digital version of it here. Bon appétit!

Candidate Chat

Maggie Tolouse-Oliver wants to fill the NM secretary of state seat

Local NewsWednesday, October 22, 2014 by SFR

Maggie Tolouse Oliver wants to be New Mexico's next secretary of state.

The current Bernalillo County clerk is running against incumbent Dianna Duran, elected to the position in November 2010 as the state's first Republican secretary of state since 1928.

Duran's campaign representative Rod Adair phoned SFR to talk about the invitation, but she declined to appear on camera.

This is the latest in a series of videos intended to help voters make decisions in the general election. Absentee ballots are already being cast. Election Day is Nov. 4. See videos with more candidates here.




He's running for District 50 against Vickie Perea, appointed to the job by Gov. Susana Martinez after the elected representative, Stephen Easley, died in office.

Perea, a Republican, said she was too busy to meet with SFR and her opponent.

This is the latest in a series of videos intended to help voters make decisions in the general election. Absentee ballots are already being cast. Election Day is Nov. 4. See videos with more candidates here. - See more at: http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-9340-candidate-chat.html#sthash.OOmaIDdt.dpuf

He's running for District 50 against Vickie Perea, appointed to the job by Gov. Susana Martinez after the elected representative, Stephen Easley, died in office.

Perea, a Republican, said she was too busy to meet with SFR and her opponent.

This is the latest in a series of videos intended to help voters make decisions in the general election. Absentee ballots are already being cast. Election Day is Nov. 4. See videos with more candidates here. - See more at: http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-9340-candidate-chat.html#sthash.OOmaIDdt.dpuf

Santa Fe Restaurant Guide Directory

Hungry? Here's where to go for fantastic meals

Restaurant Guide 2015Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by SFR

DOWNTOWN

315 Restaurant & Wine Bar
315 Old Santa Fe Trail, 986-9190

Contemporary French cuisine is paired with seasonal global wines.

Agave Lounge
Eldorado Hotel, 309 W San Francisco St., 995-4530

Nosh on sushi or a Kobe beef slider alongside specialty cocktails.

Alameda Café
227 Don Gaspar Ave., 988-9288

Regional cuisine features favorites like huevos rancheros.

Amaya Restaurant
Hotel Santa Fe, 1501 Paseo de Peralta, 955-7805

Experience a classical fusion of Native American and Northern New Mexican influences.

Anasazi Restaurant
Inn of the Anasazi, 113 Washington Ave., 988-3236

Sun yourself on the patio during a fine Southwestern meal.

Backroom Coffee Bar
616 Canyon Road

Coffee on Canyon.

Bang Bite
502 Old Santa Fe Trail, 469-2345

This food truck delivers burgers that feel gourmet.

The Beestro
101 W Marcy St., 629-8786
Offers soups, salads and sammies on the go. Their evening crêperie is perfect for date night.

Blue Corn Café
133 W Water St., 984-1800
Cold local brews and chile-infused pubfare in a family-friendly atmosphere.

La Boca
72 W Marcy St., 982-3433
Elegant tapas, Spanish sherry, fine wines; no wonder this place is crowded.

The Bull Ring
150 Washington Ave., Ste. 108, 
 983-3328
Eavesdrop on the conversations of powerful people while savoring steak.

Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill
301 Jefferson St., 820-2862
Serves one of the best fish tacos in town.

The Burrito Company
111 Washington Ave., 982-4453
Get lunch (or breakfast, all day) served fast and tasty.

Burro Alley Café
207 W San Francisco St., 982-0601
Grab a relaxing lunch on the patio before the party animals arrive for an evening DJ.

Café des Artistes
223 Canyon Road, 820-2535
Reboot after a Canyon Road stroll under an umbrella with a glass of wine.

Café Pasqual’s
121 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-9340
Hearty New Mexican breakfasts here are worth the wait.

Caffe Greco
233 Canyon Road, 820-7996
Fuel your inner art critic with tastes of panini, gelato and espresso.

El Cañon Café & Bar
Hilton Santa Fe, 100 Sandoval St., 
 988-2811
Light meals satisfy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

La Casa Sena
125 E Palace Ave., 988-9232
Pianos and show tunes with fine food in a historic hacienda courtyard.

CG Higgins Confections
130 Lincoln Ave., Ste. B, 983-8654
Sinful fudge and other sweet treats.

Cheesemongers of Santa Fe
130 E Marcy St., 795-7878
The city’s only cheese shop makes its debut with house recipes and grilled cheese specials.

Chez Mamou
217 E Palace Ave., 216-1845
The charming café brings a touch of Paris with delectable pastries and quiche.

Cleopatra’s Café
418 Cerrillos Road, 820-7381
Middle Eastern food meets Mediterranean specialties.

The Compound
653 Canyon Road, 982-4353
Fine dining embraces a rich history and regional influences.

Coyote Café & Cantina
132 W Water St., 983-1615
People watch on the rooftop cantina; indulge in the restaurant.

Del Charro Saloon
101 W Alameda St., 954-0320
One of the juiciest (and most affordable) burgers in town to assuage a late-night appetite.

Downtown Subscription
376 Garcia St., 983-3085
Kick back with a well-constructed latte and a good read.

Dream Cakes
66 E San Francisco St., Ste. 19A, 930-2027
Cupcakes turned gourmet.

Ecco Espresso & Gelato
105 E Marcy St., 986-9778
Satisy your cravings for caffeine, gelato or both in the same glass.

Elevation Bistro
103 E Water St., 820-0363
Open till 11 pm, the fresh American-fusion joint stays up for the working class.

El Farol
808 Canyon Road, 983-9912
Nibble on tapas to the sounds of flamenco.

Espresso de Arte
66 E San Francisco St., Ste. LL1, 470-9466
Fine sandwiches at even finer prices.

Fire & Hops
222 N Guadalupe St., 954-1635
The gravy- and chile-covered poutine is to die for, alongside the barrage of beer and wine options.

Five & Dime General Store
58 E San Francisco St., 992-1800

Don’t forget cash as you slip to the back counter for their famous Frito pie.

The French Pastry Shop
La Fonda Hotel, 100 E San Francisco St., 983-6697
You can’t choose wrong with authentic crêpes, quiches and pastries.

Fuego Restaurant
La Posada de Santa Fe, 330 E Palace Ave., 986-0000

Historical intrigue meets global Latin and Southwestern cuisine.

Galisteo Bistro
227 Galisteo St., 982-3700
Escape to an alternate universe with fresh fish from the Florida Keys.

Georgia
225 Johnson St., 989-4367
Stay safe with high-class favorites.

Geronimo
724 Canyon Road, 982-1500
Dine in elegance with nationally recognized dishes.

Guadalupe Café
406 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-9762
Crunch on a hearty brunch inside their fabulous patio.

The Guesthouse
112 W San Francisco St., Ste. 310, 983-7445 ext. 9
Call ahead to find out when the next SF Culinary Academy student-run pop-up dinner is.

Holy Spirit Espresso
225 W San Francisco St., 920-3664
Fill your caffeine quota in this tiny and quirky space.

India Palace
227 Don Gaspar Ave., 986-5859
Authentic Indian food satisfies with a succulent lunch buffet.

Izmi Sushi
105 E Marcy St., 424-1311
Get your sashimi fix alongside chicken yakitori and fresh noodles.

Jalapeño’s
422 Old Santa Fe Trail, 
983-8431
Hearty Mexican dishes satisfy all hunger pangs.

Johnnie’s Cash Store
420 Camino Don Miguel, 982-9506
The general store’s tamales are legendary.

Kernel’s Kettle Corn
Corner of E Palace and Lincoln Avenues, 690-2911
A rainbow of popcorn goodness.

L’Olivier
229 Galisteo St., 989-1919
Fine Southwestern and French dining.

Luminaria
Inn & Spa at Loretto, 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, 984-7915
An intimate patio table complements progressive Santa Fe cuisine.

Mangiamo Pronto!
228 Old Santa Fe Trail, 989-1904
Refuel with Italian espresso and a quick bite.

El Mesón
213 Washington Ave., 983-6756
Spectacular service brings you tapas to the tunes of a Spanish guitar.

El Molero Fajitas
Corner of Lincoln Avenue and E San Francisco Street
Welcome to handheld goodness.

Mucho Gusto
839 Paseo de Peralta, 955-8402
Mexican specialties impress.

Museum Hill Café
710 Camino Lejo, 984-8900
Enjoy wine, soup and dessert with a gorgeous view.

New York Deli
420 Catron St., 982-8900
Got lox? They do, plus a selection of freshly baked bagels.

The Old House Restaurant
Eldorado Hotel, 309 W San Francisco St., 995-4530
The atmosphere’s intimate and meals are consistently delish.

Osteria d’Assisi
58 S Federal Place, 986-5858
Executive chef Christian Pontiggia brings years of cooking in prestigious Italian restaurants to the table.

The Palace Restaurant & Saloon
142 W Palace Ave., 428-0690
Happy hour drinks meet thoughtfully constructed appetizers and dinner options.

Palacio Café
209 E Palace Ave., 989-3505
Sun yourself at a window seat with enchiladas or a sandwich at hand.

El Paseo Bar & Grill
208 Galisteo St., 992-2848
Hit up a theme night for dirt-cheap tacos.

Peta Palace
112 W San Francisco St., 982-4401
Get your gyro, shawarma or falafel in minutes.

Il Piatto
95 W Marcy St., 984-1091
All the fine flavors of an Italian farmhouse.

La Plazuela Restaurant
La Fonda Hotel, 100 E San Francisco St., 995-2334
Dine in the historic hotel’s original 1920s patio sunroom.

The Pink Adobe
406 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-9762
For well over half a century, “The Pink” has satisfied with New Mexican favorites.

Plaza Café
54 Lincoln Ave., 982-1664
Wash down Indian tacos with a prickly pear lemonade.

Rio Chama
414 Old Santa Fe Trail, 955-0765
Go for the steak. Keep an eye out for lawmakers and lackies.

Rooftop Pizzeria
60 E San Francisco St., 984-0008
Enjoy a slice with an impressive view of downtown.

Roque’s Carnitas
Corner of Old Santa Fe Trail and E San Francisco Street, 438-9891
Hit up the Plaza OG for some superb carnitas.

San Francisco Street Bar & Grill
50 E San Francisco St., Ste. 3, 982-2044
Grab a tequila and a pork chop at the old mesquite wood bar.

San Q
32 Burro Alley, 992-0304
Asian-fusion-inspired Japanese tapas.

Santacafé
231 Washington Ave., 984-1788
A local favorite perfect for Southwestern-inspired dishes and long conversations.

Santa Fe Bite
311 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-0544
Green chile cheeseburgers at their pinnacle.

Santa Fe Espresso Co.
56 E San Francisco St., 988-3858
Your one-stop shop for Häagen Dazs ice cream and other mouthwatering treats.

The Shed
113 E Palace Ave., 982-9030
The James Beard Foundation has praised this mecca of red chile and margaritas.

Shohko Café
321 Johnson St., 982-9708
Fresh-tasting ramen and sushi, elegantly presented.

Staab House
La Posada de Santa Fe, 330 E Palace Ave., 986-0000
Enjoy a cocktail in solitude and listen for the ghost.

Sushi Land East
60 E San Francisco St., Ste. 102, 

820-1178

Fresh rolls and nigiri just off the Plaza.

Sweet Lily Bakery
229A Johnson St., 982-0455
The compost cookies are a highlight.

Taberna La Boca
125 Lincoln Ave., Ste. 117, 988-7102
Chef James Campbell Caruso presents tapas in a Spanish-style tavern.

Tabla de los Santos
Hotel St. Francis, 210 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-5700
Chef Clay Bordan brings approachability to seasonal, elegant dishes.

Talin Market
505 Cerrillos Road, Ste. B-101, 780-5073
Grab a healthy lunch at New Mexico’s largest international food grocer.

The Teahouse
821 Canyon Road, 992-0972
Sip one of the countless varieties of tea between bites of pastry.

TerraCotta Wine Bistro
304 Johnson St., 986-1166
Wide selection of wines and bistro-style fare in a down-to-earth environment.

Thai Café
329 W San Francisco St., 982-3886
Satisfy your need for Thai with rich curries and noodle dishes.

Thunderbird Bar & Grill
50 Lincoln Ave., 490-6550
Choose from over 100 tequilas or wines to pair with contemporary Southwestern eats.

Tia Sophia’s
210 W San Francisco St., 983-9880
A breakfast burrito, covered in chile and cheese, as big as your face.

Travel Bug Coffee Shop
839 Paseo de Peralta, 992-0418
Their red chile mocha will transport your buds to faraway lands.

Upper Crust Pizza
329 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-0000
Justify eating too many cheesy slices with one of their famed big salads.

Il Vicino
321 W San Francisco St., 986-8700
Sure, the wood-fired pizzas are great, but the lasagna is a must.

RAILYARD/GUADALUPE STRETCH

5 Star Burgers
604 N Guadalupe St., Ste. A, 983-8977
Happy hour offers crisp beer and great sliders for a surprisingly low cost.

Andiamo!
322 Garfield St., 995-9595
Locally sourced cuisine powers the No. 1 Italian place in town by SFR’s reader’s poll.

Atrisco Café & Bar
193 Paseo de Peralta, 983-7401
Top-of-the-line New Mexican comes to you fast.

Bambini’s Steaks & Hoagies
905 S St. Francis Drive, 699-2243
Travel to Philly with a tasty cheesesteak.

Bouche Bistro
451 W Alameda St., 982-6297
Unfussy French food in a chic environment.

Bert’s Burger Bowl
235 N Guadalupe St., 982-0215
The Food Network’s Guy Fieri says these green chile cheeseburgers are the real deal.

Blake’s Lotaburger
404 N Guadalupe St., 983-4915
The essential Santa Fe breakfast burrito, served on the cheap.

Casa Chimayó
409 W Water St., 428-0391
A long family history guides homestyle New Mexican recipes.

Chopstix Oriental Food
238 N Guadalupe St., 820-2126
Your hankering for cheap Chinese food has met its match.

La Choza
905 Alarid St., 982-0909
New Mexican favorites and famed margaritas near the Railyard. Try the veggie posole.

Clafoutis
402 N Guadalupe St., 988-1809
Pastries that make you beg.

Cowgirl BBQ
319 S Guadalupe St., 982-2565
Live music accompanies tasty barbecue and frozen margaritas. Kids menu available.

Dinner for Two
106 N Guadalupe St., 820-2075
Don’t let the name deceive you. You’ll want to bring a group with these quality dishes.

Flying Star Café
Market Station, 500 Market St., Ste. 110, 216-3939

Pull up a free magazine between bites of baked goods.

Jinja Bar & Bistro
510 N Guadalupe St., 982-4321
Eclectic flavors transport you to the Pacific Rim.

Joseph’s of Santa Fe
428 Agua Fría St., 982-1272
Chef Joseph Wrede turns sophisticated dishes into art.

Junction
530 S Guadalupe St., 988-7222
Watch the game or catch a quiet moment on the patio with classic fare.

Kohnami
313 S Guadalupe St., 984-2002
Bring a crowd to sit at a traditional Japanese table in a cozy private room.

Omira Bar & Grill
1005 S St. Francis Drive, 780-5483
Savory, sizzling meats come until you say when at this Brazilian-inspired buffet.

Pizza Etc.
556 N Guadalupe, 986-1500
Locally sourced pies melt in your mouth.

Pizzeria da Lino
204 N Guadalupe St., 982-8474
Wood-fired pies and cool gelato with Old World character.

Pranzo Italian Grill
540 Montezuma Ave., 984-2645
Polish off Italian comfort food to the sounds of live piano.

Raaga
544 Agua Fría St., 820-6440
Fine spices and fresh herbs infuse northern Indian fare.

Rasa Juice Bar
815 Early St., 989-1288

Great organic, cold-pressed juice.

Ristra
548 Agua Fría St., 982-8608
New Mexican-inspired French food that works.

Santa Fe Bar & Grill
187 Paseo de Peralta, 982-3033
Incorporates indigenous foods like squash, corn and chile with contemporary American dishes.

Second Street Brewery (Railyard)
1607 Paseo de Peralta, Ste. 10, 
989-3278

Reliably delish food highlights the subtleties of craft beers.

Swiss Bakery Pastries & Bistro
401 S Guadalupe St., 988-1111
Light, buttery pastries serve as the gateway to European-style brunches and more.

El Tesoro Café
500 Montezuma Ave., Ste. 104 988-3886

Breakfast, hot and fresh, served on a cute indoor patio.

Tomasita’s
500 S Guadalupe St., 983-5721

A Santa Fe favorite famed for its chile and margaritas. Great menu for kiddos as well.

Tree House Pastry Shop & Café
163 Paseo de Peralta, 474-5543

Rethink vegetarian and organic with delectable breakfast/lunch options.

Vanessie
427 W Water St., 982-9966
This piano bar serves exquisite cocktails.

Whole Hog
320 S Guadalupe St., 474-3375
Barbecued pulled pork just the way you like it.

Whoo’s Donuts
851 Cerrillos Road, Ste. B, 629-1678
Boston cream, maple bacon and more made from scratch daily.

Zia Diner
326 S Guadalupe St., 988-7008
Stylish comfort food, with a covered patio perfect for large groups.

SOUTH CAPITOL

Back Street Bistro
513 Camino de los Marquez, 982-3500
Sip soup surrounded by art.

Body Café
333 W Cordova Road, 986-0362
Find Zen after yoga class with a tasteful vegan creation.

Café Café
500 Sandoval St., 466-1391
Italian gets a Southwestern spin.

Capitol Coffee Co.
507 Old Santa Fe Trail, 983-0646
Try their medium roast Plaza blend.

Chicago Dog Express
600 Cerrillos Road, 984-2798
Get your Chicago- or Coney Island-style urges satisfied here.

El Chile Toreado
950 W Cordova Road, 500-0033
Arguably the best breakfast burritos in town.

Kakawa Chocolate House
1050 E Paseo de Peralta, 982-0388
Rejuvenate your body and mind with an ancient chocolate elixir.

The Kitchen Window
418 Cerrillos Road, 982-0048
The Design Center’s newest addition offers a delectable green chile biscuits and gravy plate.

Maria’s
555 W Cordova Road, 983-7929
Pair your New Mexican entrée with more than 100 margaritas to choose from.

Mariscos “La Playa”
537 W Cordova Road, 982-2790
Somehow superior Mexican seafood in the landlocked desert.

Nile Café
620 Old Santa Fe Trail, 501-0612
The same beloved Mediterranean of the former food truck in a brick-and-mortar establishment.

Pizza Centro
418 Cerrillos Road, 988-8825
Specialty New York-style pizza can be served by the slice—if you can handle eating only one. Gluten-free crust available.

Pyramid Café
505 W Cordova Road, 989-1378
Mediterranean of all stripes, Greek to North African.

Restaurant Martín
526 Galisteo St., 820-0919
Chef Martín Rios supplies a succulent stream of progressive American cuisine.

Sage Bakehouse
535 Cerrillos Road, 820-7243
Freshly baked bread, stellar sandwiches and more.

Saigon Café
501 W Cordova Road, 988-4951
Vietnamese perfect for dining in or take-out.

Santa Fe BBQ
600 Old Santa Fe Trail, 573-4816
Their pulled pork will make you dance and sing.

Santa Fe Baking Co. & Café
504 W Cordova Road, 988-4292
Take it easy with a juice bar and free Wi-Fi.

Saveur
204 Montezuma Ave., 989-4200
A killer buffet and salad bar that feels quintessentially French.

Shake Foundation
613 Cerrillos Road, 988-8992
Carnivores and vegetarians alike sing the menu’s praises. Enjoy an shepherd’s lamb burger or their portobello mushroom one.

Tiny’s Restaurant & Lounge
1015 Pen Road, 983-9817
Chomp on two-buck tacos every Tuesday at this laid-back karaoke/music venue.

Vinaigrette
709 Don Cubero Alley, 820-9205
Step up salad with local ingredients and juicy steak.

Yin Yang
418 Cerrillos Road, 986-9279

Chinese food hits the spot.

TRIANGLE DISTRICT/ ST. MICHAEL’S DRIVE

Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café
1620 St. Michael’s Drive, 988-9688
Finish off a vegetarian meal with a cup of their popular chai.

Back Road Pizza
1807 2nd St., Ste. 1, 955-9055
Relax with some pizza, friends and beer.

Blake’s Lotaburger
2004 St. Michael’s Drive, 471-8694
Burgers and fries done right.

Chocolate Maven Bakery & Café
821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980
Chocolate may be the main event, but their brunches are phenomenal.

Chow’s Asian Bistro
720 St. Michael’s Drive, Ste. Q, 471-7120
Asian fusion, artfully plated.

Counter Culture
930 Baca St., 995-1105
A café serves up eclectic eats and atmosphere. The meatball sandwich is worth a taste.

The Green Owl
1698 St. Michael’s Drive, 471-9184

Grab a coffee in the drive-thru or sip a soup inside.

Felipe’s Tacos
1711 Llano St., Ste. A/B, 473-9397
Authentic and health-conscious Mexican tacos make a stop here so worth it.

Iconik Coffee Roasters
1600 Lena St., 428-0996
Hand-roasted coffees in a hip environment.

Loyal Hound
730 St. Michael’s Drive, 471-0440
Tantalizing craft beers and the best fish ’n’ chips in town.

Midtown Bistro
901 W San Mateo Road, Ste. A, 820-3121
Executive chef Angel Estrada curates inspired gourmet dishes.

Mucho Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe
1711 Llano St., Ste. G, 473-7703
Sandwiches at their best.

Pizzeria Espíritu
1722 St. Michael’s Drive, 424-8000
Piquant pizza for when the mood strikes.

Second Street Brewery
1814 2nd St., 982-3030
Frothy pints and easy meals abound at the brewery’s original location.

Sunrise Family Restaurant
1851 St. Michael’s Drive, 820-0643
American and New Mexican favorites at affordable prices.

SweetWater Harvest Kitchen
1512 Pacheco St., 795-7383
Nourish your body and soul with lovingly prepared, sustainable dishes.

El Tapatío
1640 Hopewell St.

Enjoy Sunday menudo at this popular food truck.

Tecolote
1616-A St. Michael’s Drive, 988-1362
A special bread basket awaits at the recently reopened New Mexican favorite.

Verde Juice Co.
851 W San Mateo Road
Organic juices that nourish and detox.

WEST ALAMEDA/
AGUA FRÍA

Barrio Brinery
1413-B W Alameda St., 699-9812
The fine fermented food store is always in a pickle.

Betterday Coffee Shop
905 W Alameda St.
Embrace your inner hipster with concrete and corrugated metal décor and Portland coffee.

CG Higgins Confections
847 Ninita St., 820-1315
Otherworldly fudge and sweet treats.

The Kitchen (at Plants of the Southwest)
3095 Agua Fría St., 465-9535
A friendly joint serves only one vegetarian, occasionally vegan, lunch entrée a day. The open-mindedness is worth it.

Masa Sushi
927 W Alameda St., 982-3334
Noodles and sushi at a mellow neighborhood haunt.

Pho Kim
919 W Alameda St., 820-6777
Warm your soul with pho, traditional Vietnamese noodle soup.

Piccolino
2890 Agua Fría St., 471-1480

Flavorful Italian at an accessible price.

The Real Butcher Shop
907 W Alameda St., 780-8067
Specializing in organic heritage meats from small family farms, a bite of animal flesh has never tasted this good.

Tune-Up Café
1115 Hickox St., 983-7060
Three Central American-style meals a day in a neighborly atmosphere.

Valentina’s
945 W Alameda St., 988-7165
Mexican and New Mexican favorites north of Cerrillos Road.

CERRILLOS ROAD CORRIDOR

Adelita’s Mexican Restaurant
3136 Cerrillos Road, 474-4897
Reboot with menudo and mariachi on a lazy Sunday.

Aldana’s Restaurant
3875 Cerrillos Road, 471-0271
The place consistently pulls off the evasive chile relleno omelet.

Asian Restaurant
2400 Cerrillos Road, 983-3600
If you’re lucky, your dinner buffet might include tasty frog morsels.

Baja Tacos
2621 Cerrillos Road, 471-8762
Treat yourself to an authentic and affordable taco experience.

Blake’s Lotaburger
3200 Cerrillos Road, 471-2433
Get your burger fix here.

Burrito Spot
2207 Cerrillos Road, 474-6202
Killer burritos slaughter late-night cravings.

Café Castro
2811 Cerrillos Road, 473-5800

Hometown favorites highlight chile and sopaipillas.

Chris’ Café
3568 Cerrillos Road, 424-3566
Munch on a Mexican and American brunch or lunch at this casual stop.

El Comal Café
3571 Cerrillos Road, 471-3224
Flavorful New Mexican in a modest location.

Dion’s Pizza
2014 Cerrillos Road, 424-7333
Grab your pizza by the slice.

Dr. Field Goods Kitchen
2860 Cerrillos Road, Ste. A1, 471-0043
Comfort gastropub fare at its finest.

India House
2501 Cerrillos Road, 471-2651
Some of the heartiest, tastiest plates of Indian food in town.

Jambo Café
2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269
Out-of-this-world Caribbean and African flavors combine with attentive service.

Jarochos Taquería
2820 Cerrillos Road, 204-5756
Sweet horchata and jaw-dropping low prices make this taco shack a worthy stop.

Lan’s Vietnamese Cuisine
2430 Cerrillos Road, 986-1636
Freshness and color make lunches here worth having.

Lulu’s Chinese Cuisine
3011 Cerrillos Road, 473-1688
At night a bumpin’ nightclub. By day, some of the best Chinese in town.

Mariscos Costa Azul
2875 Cerrillos Road, 473-4594
Seafood here makes the coast feel closer.

Mr. Polish
1311 Siler Road
Insane Polish sausage breakfast burritos.

Mu Du Noodles
1494 Cerrillos Road, 983-1411
Sustainability is a priority with their signature noodles.

Ortega’s Jerky
2841 Cerrillos Road (on the Cheeks parking lot)
Carne seca
at its best keeps it simple with salt and native chile marinades. Accept no less.

El Paisano Café
3140 Cerrillos Road, 424-9105
A lunch counter with some of the most delicious grub in town. Try the daily guisado options.

El Parasol
1833 Cerrillos Road, 995-8015
Cheap, mouthwatering burritos perfect for a picnic.

Pizza 9
1965 Cerrillos Road, 982-8989
Chicago-style pizza a thousand miles away from the Windy City. Gluten-free crust available.

Pollo Asado
2841 Cerrillos Road (on the Cheeks parking lot), 316-4085

Even Colonel Sanders would bow down to Ludovico Arizmendi’s bitchin’ chicken.

Los Potrillos
1947 Cerrillos Road, 992-0550
Molcajete al pastor
is only one of the extraordinary authentic Mexican items on the menu.

Realburger
2641 Cerrillos Road, 474-7325
Mix it up with a luscious turkey burger.

Red Enchilada
1310 Osage Ave., 820-6552
Central American offerings include rich pupusas and enchiladas with New Mexican and Salvadoran influences.

Restaurante El Salvadoreño
2900 Cerrillos Road, 474-3512
Best pupusas in town.

Revolution Bakery
1291 San Felipe Ave., 988-2100
Irresistible gluten-free treats that just say no to sawdust.

Taquería Argelia
2045 Cerrillos Road
If eating a shrimp cocktail off a food truck is your thing, your ship has come in.

Taquería del Pueblo
3668 Cerrillos Road, 316-0039
This truck does tacos and it does them right.

Thai Vegan
1710 Cerrillos Road, 954-1780
Thai gets even tastier with pungent vegan options.

Tokyo Café
1847 Cerrillos Road, 982-1688
Drive-thru sushi. Enough said.

The Pantry
1820 Cerrillos Road, 986-0022
Diner-style breakfasts bring weekend lines out the door.

Tortilla Flats
3139 Cerrillos Road, 471-8685
Boasts homestyle regional faves.

Weck’s
2000 Cerrillos Road, 471-9111
Generous portions of breakfast and lunch comfort foods.

RODEO ROAD

Blake’s Lotaburger
2820 W Zia Road, 438-2411
Add some seasoned fries to your order for a taste of New Mexico nirvana.

Double Dragon
3005 S St. Francis Drive, Ste. D3, 989-8880

Wind down with satisfying Chinese food. Open late on weekends.

Garbo’s @ Montecito Santa Fe
500 Rodeo Road, 428-2925
Indulge in classic continental dishes in a unique and open retirement community.

Home Run Pizza
2801 W Rodeo Road, 424-6666
Their “double play meal deals” are enough to feed the entire team.

Java Joe’s
2801 Rodeo Road, Ste. B8, 474-5282
Lounge with a computer and coffee.

Joe’s Dining
2801 Rodeo Road, 471-3800
Diner-style fare emphasizes sustainability.

La Loncherita
3918 Rodeo Road, 395-8927

Fantastic street food and aguas frescas.

Los Amigos
3904 Rodeo Road, 438-0600
Finer posole never touched your lips.

Maki Yaki
3003 S St. Francis Drive, Ste. C, 
 820-1930
Give a whirl at the spicy tuna bowl.

Posa’s/El Merendero
1514 Rodeo Road, 820-7672
Its tamales are celebrated.

SOUTHSIDE

Blake’s Lotaburger
3200 Cerrillos Road, 471-2433
Regional comfort on the go.

Blue Corn Café
4056 Cerrillos Road, 438-1800
Craft brews and local chow, made from scratch.

Buffalo Wild Wings
3501 Zafarano Drive, 471-3353
Choose from 16 signature sauces and get your grub on!

Burrito Spot
5741 Airport Road, 471-1602
If hunger strikes, it’s a wrap at the local fast-food staple.

Cleopatra’s Café
3482 Zafarano Drive, 474-5644
Belly dancers frequent this Mediterranean space.

La Cocina de Doña Clara
4350 Airport Road, Ste. 4, 473-1081
Mexican food for lovers of the authentic.

El Comal Café
3571 Cerrillos Road, 471-3224
The combo plates and stuffed sopaipillas here deliver.

Crumpackers Café & Bakeshop
5 Bisbee Court, Ste. 108, 471-0226
Handmade food with locally grown ingredients makes you feel at home.

Desert Grows Mobile Kitchen
6800 Cerrillos Road, 470-5967
Order up a Ribera-grown salad along with a fantastic Italian meatloaf panini and baked goods to eat outside or take away.

Duel Brewing
1228 Parkway Drive, 474-5301
Try the ice cream float made with Duel beer…yum.

Flying Tortilla
4252 Cerrillos Road, 424-1680
Dependably delectable New Mexican and Mexican dishes.

Horseman’s Haven
4354 Cerrillos Road, 471-5420
Accept the challenge of the hottest green chile in town.

Jalapeño’s
1 Valle Vista Blvd., 316-0496
A venerable food truck that delivers fresh flavors.

JC’s Express
4350 Airport Road, Ste. 15, 424-8889
Probably the only place in town you can get Chinese, American and New Mexican food at the same time.

Los Dogos
3985 Cerrillos Road, 455-6147
Surrender your taste buds to this food truck’s Juárez-style dogs.

M.A.M.A.’S World Take-Out
3134 Rufina St., 424-1116
Middle-Eastern, American, Mexican, Asian and Salvadoran fare unite.

El Milagro
3482 Zafarano Drive, Ste. C, 474-2888

New Mexican cuisine paired with a damn good green chile cheeseburger.

New York Deli
4056 Cerrillos Road, 424-1200
Breakfast is served all day at this hotspot.

Panadería y Lonchería Esmeralda
6417 Airport Road, 424-9452
The bakery you never considered.

El Parasol
298 Dinosaur Trail, 995-8226
Choose from tamales and tacos or burgers and fries.

PC’s Restaurant & Lounge
4220 Airport Road, 473-7164
Delectable New Mexican eats.

Pizza Centro
3470 Zafarano Drive, Ste. D, 471-6200

New York-style pizza with a big, pushy taste. Gluten-free crust available.

Plaza Café Southside
3466 Zafarano Drive, 424-0755
An extensive New Mexican menu satisfies your need for variety.

Posa’s/El Merendero
3538 Zafarano Drive, Ste. A2, 
473-3454
Mexican eats far beyond their famous tamales.

Puerto Peñasco
4681 Airport Road, Ste. 1, 438-6622
Authentic Mexican features seafood and more.

The Ranch House
2571 Cristo’s Road, 424-8900
Famous barbecued meats in a cozy space.

Refresquería Las Delicias
4350 Airport Road, 438-0280
Mexi snack foods that make you wish diabetes wasn’t a thing.

El Rey del Pollo
4350 Airport Road, Ste. 18, 570-1380
A venerable palace for pollo asado al carbón.

San Q South
3470 Zafarano Drive, Ste. C, 438-6222
The Japanese joint offers traditional donburi bowls and tapas.

Santa Fe Capitol Grill
3462 Zafarano Drive, 471-6800
Grab a fancy dessert before a trip to the movies.

Sol Santa Fe Bar & Grill
37 Fire Place, 438-0535
The popular live music venue boasts a newly introduced menu.

Tacos Adelitas
3565 Cerrillos Road, 474-4919
Superior Mexican street tacos.

Taquería La Hacienda
Corner of Airport Road and Fields Lane, 577-8068
The
spot to hit up for your elote en vaso fix.

Thai Café & Noodle Treats
3486 Zafarano Drive, 424-1818
Fresh, colorful Thai food that glorifies veggies.

Tribes Coffeehouse
3470 Zafarano Drive, Ste. A, 473-3615
Gander at the work of local artists and have sandwiches and soups with a cup of Joe, too.

Wow Dawgs Eatery
3530 Zafarano Drive, C-3, 471-0108

Gourmet hot dogs just the way you want ‘em.

NORTH OF SANTA FE

5 Star Burgers
1032 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos
(575) 758-8484
Bow down to the 5 Star original.

Angelina’s
1226 N Railroad Ave., Española 753-8543
Family owned and operated, Angelina’s is a true Northern New Mexico institution.

Chili Works|
1743 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos, 662-7591
Make sure to stick with their in-house protocol when ordering a burrito.

Dandy Burger Drive-In
424 S Riverside Drive, Española
753-4234

A local favorite of the burgers- and fries-loving set.

Doc Martin’s
125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos (575) 758-1977
Weekend brunch at the Taos Inn eatery is a must.

Las Fuentes Restaurant & Bar
Bishop’s Lodge Resort & Spa, 1297 Bishop’s Lodge Road, 819-4035
Specialties blend hints of Spanish, New Mexican, French and Native American influences.

Gabriel’s
4 Banana Lane, Pojoaque 455-7000

Fresh guacamole made at your table characterizes the quality of this local favorite.

The Gorge Bar & Grill
103 E Plaza, Taos, (575) 758-8866
The gastropub concept invades our neighbors to the north. Give the fried green beans a go.

Izanami
3451 Hyde Park Road, 428-6390
Japanese-inspired small plates a short jaunt from downtown.

JoAnn’s Ranch O Casados
938 N Riverside Drive, Española 753-1334
Traditional New Mexican food served in a great setting, just south of the Río Grande.

The Love Apple
803 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos (575) 751-0050
Excels in inventive, organic home cooking.

Lovin’ Oven Bakery
107 N Riverside Drive, Española 753-3493
Donuts, bizcochitos and more.

El Meze
1017 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos (575) 751-3337
Regional-inspired rustic comfort food.

Painted Parrot Buffet
Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, 30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, 819-2060

Make good use of those stretchy pants before hitting the nickel slots.

Pajarito Brewpub & Grill
614 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos, 662-8877
Good beer and karaoke every Tuesday.

El Paragua
603 Santa Cruz Road, Española, 753-3211
Superior Hispanic fare.

Rancho de Chimayó
300 County Road 98, Chimayó 984-2100
New Mexican dishes traditionally prepared. Vegetarian options available.

Ranchos Plaza Grill
8 Ranchos Plaza, Ranchos de Taos
(575) 758-5788
Serving sopaipillas the size of your head.

Red Sage
Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, 20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, 819-2056
Creative dishes balance sweet and savory with flare.

Sugar’s BBQ & Hamburgers
1799 State Hwy. 68, Velarde, 852-0604
Famished on the road to Taos? Stop by for a homestyle burger.

Taos Diner I & II
908 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos (575) 758-2374; 216 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Ste. B, (575) 751-1989
More than just huevos.

Terra Restaurant
Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, 
 198 State Road 592, 946-5700
Desert views and innovative cuisine emit a vibe authentically New Mexico.

Tesuque Village Market
138 Tesuque Village Road, 988-8848
New Mexican delicacies and diner standards in the thick of Tesuque.

SOUTH OF SANTA FE

Café Fina
624 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 466-3886

Feel less guilty about leaving a few bites behind—the Eldo stop composts scraps.

Harry’s Roadhouse
96 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 989-4629
Comfortable classics in an family friendly atmosphere.

Epazote
86 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 982-9944
New World cuisine that treats mole as a sublime inspiration, not just a sauce.

The Hollar
2849 State Hwy. 14, Madrid, 471-4821 

Down-home Southern cooking.

Java Junction
2855 State Hwy. 14, Madrid, 438-2772
Beans are roasted less than 20 miles away.

Mama Lisa’s Ghost Town Kitchen 
& No Pity Café
2859 State Hwy. 14, Madrid, 471-5769

Wholesome eats at a quaint café.

Mine Shaft Tavern
2846 State Hwy. 14, Madrid, 473-0743
The roadhouse offers stiff drinks and live music.

Pecos Trail Café
2239 Old Pecos Trail, 982-9444
Fine New Mexican cuisine.

Pizza Centro
Agora Center, 7 Avenida Vista Grande, Ste. D7, Eldorado, 466-3161
Your stop for awesome pizza.

La Plancha de Eldorado
7 Caliente Road, 466-2060
Original Latin flavors and more.

San Marcos Café
3877 State Hwy. 14, 471-9298
New Mexican dishes where the peacocks roam.

Steaksmith at El Gancho
104 Old Las Vegas Hwy., Ste. B, 988-3333
One of the most scrumptious steakhouses around.

5 Under $5: Sweet

Restaurant Guide 2015Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by Enrique Limón

Hankering for something sweet after all those chimis? Here are some toothsome options for just five bucks and under:

 

Gelato shake $4.85
Ecco Espresso & Gelato
With a Willy Wonka assortment of housemande gelatos—ranging from stracciatella to whiskey cream—Ecco is the place to satiate your sweet thirst. Try the gelato shake, a 16-ounce monument to all things liquid good. Cheers, Augustus!
105 E Marcy St., 986-9778 


Pine nut brittle $3.85
CG Higgins
When it comes to sweet treats, this place does it right. Wolf down on this uniquely SF treat to fill your crunchy and chewy piñón and butter quota. Your dentist’s billing office will thank you.
130 Lincoln Ave., Ste. B, 983-8654


Compost cookie $2
Sweet Lily Bakery
Surrender to chewy chocolate and butterscotch chips, oats, coconut and mashed-up pretzel sticks that together form a Voltron of unmitigated yum. Best part is, not a worm in sight.
229 Johnson St., 982-0455 

 

Fresas con crema $4.50
Refresquería Las Delicias
Head down Airport way for a healthy dose of Mexi-snacks (we’re using the term “healthy” metaphorically here.) Delight in paletas as far as the ojo can see and, if you’re up for it, a nice cup o’ strawberries, sugar and cream cheese. Now, where’s my OneTouch?
4350 Airport Road, 438-0280


 

Green chile cupcake $4.50
Dream Cakes
Yes, the rumors are true…we put green chile on everything here—burgers, cereal, personal lubricant. Enter Dream Cakes and “The Santa Fe”—a chile-infused cornbread cupcake topped with a whipped-to-perfection honey butter cream. Your move, Roswell.
66 E San Francisco St., Ste. 19A, 930-2027 


What are some of your favorite cheap eats?

Bake Me

Restaurant Guide 2015Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by SFR

When it comes to dining, Santa Feans know that it doesn’t get any finer than traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation. Here you’ll find three delectable options to make you fire up that oven courtesy of the FUZE.SW food conference, which in 2015 enters its third installment. ¡Provecho!


Chocolate piñón Torte
Lois Ellen Frank From Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, © 2002, Lois Ellen Frank (Ten Speed Press) Serves: 12 for desert

The Feast Day is one of the biggest celebrations of the year among the Indian pueblos of New Mexico. To honor their patron saints, the people of each pueblo gather together. They attend Mass in the morning and hold a procession into the plaza, where an altar houses their patron saint. After Mass, dressed in ceremonial clothing, ancient traditional dances begin and are offered at various times throughout the day. Members of the pueblos, relatives, visitors and tourists often view these dances. Each pueblo has different rules, and I suggest that you check with the specific pueblo you are visiting for guidelines on dress and ethics.

After Mass, many of the women return home to set up for the day’s feast, which they have been preparing for, in most cases, for days and set the special dishes up on their tables with chairs crowded around them. On each table is a variety of salads, stews, meats, homemade breads and of course, desserts, both traditional and modern dishes.

During the afternoon, as the dances are going on in the plaza, relatives and visitors drop in and enjoy what foods each household has to offer, express their thanks and leave to go back to the dances. People drop in throughout the day to taste the fine foods at many different houses. It is a festive day filled with warmth and friendliness.

This recipe is my adaptation of some of the tortes I sampled at different pueblos, and I serve it a lot in my catering company, Red Mesa Cuisine. I like to serve it with two sauces: a from locally grown farmers market peaches from the Velarde family’s farm and a hand-harvested prickly pear fruit syrup. You can decorate the entire torte and set it out with the sauces for a buffet, or you can slice it and plate it individually for your guests. Either way, it’s a wonderful dessert.

1 cup of raw piñón nuts (pine nuts, walnuts or pecans may be substituted)

2 tablespoons blue cornmeal

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

9 ounces semisweet chocolate

6 egg yolks

3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar and 2 tablespoons blue cornmeal for decoration, optional

Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, grind the piñón nuts to a very moist nut butter. Add the blue cornmeal and blend again for about 30 seconds, just long enough to combine.

In a double boiler over medium-high heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally so that they melt and blend together evenly. Add to the piñón mixture in the food processor and blend for about a minute until smooth.

Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl, and add to the other ingredients in the food processor. Blend again until smooth. Always add the egg mixture last. Otherwise the eggs will curdle from the heated chocolate.

Pour the batter into the prepared greased pan and pat down with your fingers until evenly spread in the baking pan. This is a thick batter, and you will be able to handle it. Bake approximately 10 to 12 minutes, depending on your oven (convection works well for this torte) or until the cake springs back when the center is touched. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool before decorating. This is a dense torte, and to me it resembles dense, very moist brownies. I like it very moist, which is why I only cook it for 10 to 12 minutes; if you desire a crisper torte you can cook it slightly longer.

When the torte has cooled, after 20 to 30 minutes, remove it from the pan, and then be creative with the decorating process. You can do individual stencils on each slice or decorate the entire torte. To make the Southwestern motif pictured, cut a stencil out of cardboard. First, dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar using a medium sieve, lightly tapping the sides and moving it in a circular motion around the surface of the torte. Then, carefully holding the stencil as close to the torte’s surface as possible without touching it, sprinkle the blue cornmeal through a sieve over the exposed areas. Carefully remove the stencil without disrupting the design. For a finishing touch, place a few piñón nuts at the corner of each stenciled triangle.


Carne Adovada
Bill and Cheryl Alters Jamison From the 50th Anniversary The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook, by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, © 2014 (Lyons Press/Globe Pequot). We love the Jaramillo family’s version of this fiery Northern New Mexican specialty. Serves: 6 to 8

Chile Sauce and Marinade

8 ounces (about 25) whole dried New Mexican red chile pods

4 cups water

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons diced yellow onion

1 tablespoon crushed chile pequin (dried hot New Mexican red chile flakes)

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano

3 pounds thick boneless shoulder pork chops, trimmed of fat and cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes (if you plan to use the meat in burritos, cut it into the smaller size pieces.)

Shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce and—in season—diced tomato

Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until just golden. Immediately remove from the heat.

Break the stems off the chile pods and discard the seeds. It isn’t necessary to get rid of every seed, but most should be removed. Place the chiles in a sink or large bowl, rinse them carefully and drain.

Place the damp pods in one layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about five minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning them. The chiles can have a little remaining moisture. Remove them from the oven and let cool. Break each chile into two or three pieces.

Purée in a blender half of the pods with 2 cups of the water. You will still be able to see tiny pieces of chile pulp, but they should be bound in a smooth thick liquid. Pour into the saucepan with the garlic. Repeat with the remaining pods and water.

Stir the remaining sauce ingredients into the chile sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken, but should remain a little soupy. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature. Stir the pork into the chile sauce and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Oil a large, covered baking dish.

Spoon carne adovada into the baking dish. Cover the dish and bake until the meat is completely tender and sauce has cooked down, about 3 hours. Stir once about halfway through. If the sauce remains watery after three hours, stir well again and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more.

Serve hot, garnished with lettuce and tomato if you wish.


Carmella’s Baked Chicken Flautas
Carmella Padilla Makes approximately two dozen

These are very easy and very yummy. I always make them with my own cooked chicken, but I added a note that one could use store-bought roasted chicken in a pinch. I tried to turn it into a formal recipe, but much of it is according to taste and preference (how much chile you want to include, how creamy you want the flautas to be, how full you want them to be, etc.).

1 whole chicken

1 pint sour cream (use more if you want creamier flautas)

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup chopped fresh roasted green chile (use more or less according to taste)

2 dozen blue corn tortillas

Grated Monterey jack cheese (optional)

Garlic salt (to taste)

Olive oil or canola oil for frying tortillas

Boil chicken until cooked. Drain and cool. Discard skins and shred chicken. (Store-bought roasted chicken, skinned and boned, can also work if you’re in a hurry.)

Place shredded chicken in bowl, add sour cream, onion, chopped chile and garlic salt. Mix well to achieve a moist consistency.

Fry tortillas very lightly in oil (do not let get crisp), so they can be easily rolled. Place tortillas individually between paper towels to drain excess oil and cool.

Fill each tortilla with a heaping spoonful of the chicken mixture and roll to approximately a 1 1/2-inch diameter. (Use less mixture if you want lower-fat flautas. Fuller flautas may require more chicken mixture.)

Place flautas seam side down, side by side, into a glass baking dish. Spread a thin layer of sour cream and a light dusting of grated cheese on top.

Bake flautas at 350 degrees until warmed through, approximately 20 minutes. Serve individually in whole portions for best presentation.

Origins of Southwest Food

All Mixed Up

Restaurant Guide 2015Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by Rob DeWalt

Santa Fe’s culinary scene is, always has been and always will be a melting pot

Oh, what a tangled, chile-smothered, pinto-flecked, cheese-covered, squash-sided, corn-kissed, globally appropriated web we weave.

That’s the short story of Santa Fe’s culinary trajectory, from the arrival of the Spanish, through the reign of hotelier/entrepreneur Fred Harvey and his railway-eatery revolution, to the present day. Recipes have been passed down through generations, dishes have been refined and reinvented to suit new dietary trends and tastes, and mountains of books, articles and blogs have been written celebrating Santa Fe’s vibrant restaurant scene and culturally rich culinary traditions.

Yet, while we remain protective of our red and green chiles and sauces, flat enchiladas, natillas, chicharrón burritos, roadside piñón caches and fluffy sopaipillas, we are also so proud of them that we cannot stop bragging. Sometimes, the smack talk comes with consequences.

In the past few years, our town’s food-focused pride has translated into some awkward situations that extend way beyond the occasional 505 Facebook argument about who makes the best carne adovada. They include, on a national scale:

A Frito pie–centric Internet flame war between locals and esteemed chef/writer/television producer/former heroin addict/dodgy boozer/best-selling author Anthony Bourdain; a green-chile throwdown with the entire state of Colorado; and the “New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway”—a promotion hatched by the New Mexico Tourism Department based on the notion that breakfast items wrapped in flatbread are unique to this region and will make people want to visit and spend money here.

Historically, sharing the tasty wealth—even if it’s in the form of a boast—has served New Mexico and Santa Fe’s culinary scenes well for more than a century. But it would take two pioneering Northern New Mexico women and a German-born chef to truly put New Mexico cuisine on the map.

According to scholar, historian, Mabel Dodge Luhan authority and author Lois Rudnick, the first-known published cookbook of New Mexican dishes may be attributed to home economist and writer Fabiola Cabeza de Baca y Delgado y Delgado de Gilbert (1894-1991), who, in 1931, published Historic Cookery, a circular of recipes assembled from her many years traveling throughout the state and working as an agent for the New Mexico Agricultural Extension Service. Its contents speak loudly to the unique combination of Anglo, Native, Spanish and Mexican flavors that melded over time in rural communities throughout Northern New Mexico.

“It was the first time New Mexican recipes were printed with exact measurements,” Rudnick says, “allowing home cooks to prepare chile sauces, corn dishes, meat and egg recipes, vegetables, salads, soups, breads, desserts and drinks. It was, from the very beginning, fusion cuisine.” Then-governor of New Mexico Thomas J Marby even sent copies of Cookery to governors and officials in other states as a way to promote New Mexico’s unique food traditions. (Breakfast burritos were not part of the package.)

“And you can’t forget Cleofas’ contributions to spreading the word about local tastes,” Lois says. “Cleofas M Jaramillo was Fabiola’s contemporary and friend, and they cofounded La Sociedad Folkórica de Santa Fe, which collects and preserves traditions and customs of the city’s Spanish ancestors. Cleofas, too, was descended from Spanish gentry and self-identified as Spanish American.” Jaramillo’s cookbook, The Genuine New Mexico Tasty Recipes, was published in 1939 and again in 1942. “The title clearly indicates that it was intended for more than a Hispano readership,” Rudnick says. “In parentheses in the original edition appears a recipe for ‘Potajes Sabrosos,’ and there’s a lovely photo portrait of her in an ‘old-fashioned gown’ to accompany the front page. The front page of the original edition also says, ‘Old and Quaint Formulas for the Preparation of Seventy-Five Delicious Spanish Dishes.’”

While Jaramillo and Cabeza de Baca may have had the earliest go as committing New Mexican recipes to book form, it was Germany-born chef Konrad Allgaier who, beginning in 1930, introduced many of Santa Fe’s turistas to the local cuisine. A popular chef at the La Fonda—a Harvey House hotel at the time owned by the Fred Harvey Co.—Allgaier served his guests plenty of the continental cuisine that graced the menus of other Harvey properties and dining cars around the country. But he also prepared guacamole, posole, sopaipillas, chiles rellenos and other New Mexican fare. According to Stephen Fried, author of Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Wild Business of Civilizing the Wild West—One Meal at a Time, few of Allgaier’s New Mexican recipes still exist on paper. But Fried insists that many of the flavors that continue to punctuate classic New Mexican dishes, as well as more contemporary Southwest-fusion fare, can be attributed to Allgaier’s curious palate and total embrace of Native American, Mexican and Spanish flavors throughout the northern part of the state.

Fusion 2.0

In 1987, just as the Santa Fe Farmers Market was enjoying its new digs in the Sanbusco parking lot off Montezuma Avenue, a former Chez Panisse chef who then went on to open the (now-closed) Santa Fe Bar & Grill in Berkeley, Calif. (1981-1984), moved to Santa Fe and opened Coyote Café on Water Street.

Mark Miller, often lauded as the founder of modern Southwestern cuisine, put Santa Fe’s dining scene on the map, and while he is no longer involved with Coyote Café, current chef/owner Eric DiStefano continues to make Santa Fe cuisine shine at both Coyote and Geronimo.

While Miller was in the midst of starting a culinary revolution of his own, across town at Santacafé, chef Michael Fennelly was wowing diners with his East-meets-Southwest cuisine, an elegant fusion of Asian and Southwestern flavors. When Fennelly left Santacafé in 1988-1989, a succession of chefs that included Santa Fe Culinary Academy’s Rocky Durham, Street Food Institute director David Sellers and celebrity chef Ming Tsai continued to improve on the restaurant’s East-Southwest theme. Today Santacafé keeps some of Fennelly’s classics on the menu while allowing its kitchen staff to experiment with more locally sourced ingredients.

Coming Home

Chef John Sedlar, a former Santa Fe resident who opened a highly acclaimed restaurant in 1994 in the LA area called Abiquiu, shares credit for highlighting Santa Fe’s modern Southwestern cuisine on a national scale. Actually, he wrote a book about it (Modern Southwest Cuisine, Ten Speed Press, 1994), and has published other titles celebrating the foods of his former home, such as The Great Chile Relleno Cookbook.

Sedlar returns to Santa Fe as the head chef/owner of Eloisa, a new pan-Latin restaurant at the recently opened Drury Plaza Hotel on Palace Avenue. The restaurant is scheduled to open early 2015, and with that, another exciting chapter in the long and delicious fusion history of Santa Fe’s food and dining scenes will surely be written.

Essential New Mexican

The Big Chill & The Best Chile

Restaurant Guide 2015Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by Rob DeWalt

Whether it’s for red, green or Christmas, smothered or salsa en el lado, Santa Feans’ love for New Mexico chile only deepens with the changing seasons

Chile’s grip on the psyche of Santa Fe and New Mexico seems to strengthen with every new degree drop of the autumn mercury. Call it an addiction, an obsession, hyper-focused nostalgia or just an engrained part of our regional cultural identity: It’s a part of who we are, no matter where we come from or where we may wind up.

Freezers are crammed with bags of roasted Hatch to last through the winter and summer. Jars of earthy, complex, red Chimayó powder commonly share prized home-pantry real estate with the simplest of seasonings, such as pepper and salt. Bags of dried pods are usually on hand for a big batch of red sauce, and those who like an extra kick in their chiles rellenos make sure that there are at least a few ounces of powdered green within reach. But how could a single ingredient—one that, as we know it today, is less than a century old—so captivate an entire geographic region?

In 1907, pioneering horticulturalist Fabián García began chile-pepper crossbreeding experiments at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now known as New Mexico State University). But it wasn’t until 1921 that the first standardized New Mexico chile (the New Mexico No. 9) came to bear.

“I think people should realize that this plant affects New Mexicans the way pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes have affected people who live in the Burgundy region of France,” says food historian, author and Chile Pepper Institute cofounder Dave DeWitt. Like the great wines of Burgundy, there is deep agricultural history with the New Mexico chile that certainly predates the chile cheeseburger. You see, its specialness, its unique ability to make us weak in the knees, is all about terroir: A specific soil makeup, climate, geography—the taste of the seasons and the land, and the effort put forth by generations of farmers, can be experienced by biting into the fruit itself. Try achieving that level of culinary absorption with a Buffalo wing.

Santa Fe is teeming with restaurants where chile dishes abound, and some are more “authentically New Mexican” than others, to be sure. Wherever you head to get your chile fix, remember this: If it tastes good, sparks memories of chile experiences past and reminds you that you’re home, that’s all that matters. (One thing, though. If it has a bunch of cumin in it, it’s probably about as New Mexican as Manhattan clam chowder.) Note: If you are vegetarian, it’s always a good idea to ask if the chile sauces have meat. Many a chilegasm has been thwarted by not asking the right questions at service.

Heat of the Moment: 10 iconic local places to get your chile on right now

Atrisco Café & Bar: For more than 40 years, the family of Atrisco owner George Gundrey has served up some of the finest traditional chile dishes in the state: Mayflower Café, Central Café, Tomasita’s, Tia Sophia’s, Diego’s and now Atrisco. Tourists and locals alike flock to Atrisco for Gundrey’s Northern New Mexican favorites, including the otherworldly Christmas-smothered bean-and-beef-stuffed sopaipilla. You can get the whole-wheat sopaipilla if it makes you feel less guilty. For smaller appetites, try the “Relleno Bueno” plate: a single relleno with green chile, posole and beans.

193 Paseo de Peralta, 983-7401

El Parasol: Although a lot of locals swoon about the tacos at this small takeout-only joint, the green chile stew, house-made pork tamales, and calabacita burrito smothered in red are some of the best you’ll find along the world’s most annoying street.

1833 Cerillos Road, 995-8015

La Choza: The Shed’s sister restaurant excels at both chiles rellenos and blue-corn carne adovada enchiladas smothered in the establishment’s heavenly red, which somehow tastes slightly different than The Shed’s super-popular sauce.

905 Alarid St., 982-0909

Santa Fe Bite: Green chile cheeseburger. That is all you need to know. Ten-ounce and 16-ounce varieties are listed on the menu of this venerable institution, which once operated as Bobcat Bite on Old Las Vegas Highway. If you’re feeling dainty, a six-ounce burger is available upon request. 311 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-0544

Tomasita’s: Atrisco’s George Gundrey mans this Santa Fe staple, which has been in the family since 1974. And as the sign says inside the waiting room, the restaurant is not responsible for your reaction to very spicy chile. The cure-all for hangovers and the onset of a cold is certainly the Tomasita’s “Big Bowl”: A build-your-own bowl with any combination of red or green, beans, posole, ground beef or chicken and a steaming-hot sopaipilla.

500 S Guadalupe St., 983-5721

Horseman’s Haven Café: Boasts the spiciest green chile sauce in town, and it has to be ordered by name: Level Two. The level one is also good, though not as hot. Hearty eaters will enjoy the “Plato Sabroso”: a 12-ounce steak and one rolled enchilada smothered how you like it, beans, posole, rice and a sopaipilla. The blue-corn cheese enchiladas are a great vegetarian option.

4354 Cerrillos Road, 471-5420

The Shed: The home of the best restaurant-made red chile sauce on the planet since the early 1950s, The Shed doesn’t take reservations. Waiting is worth it, though, especially if you just dream patiently about the enchilada and taco plate or the blue corn burrito.

113 E Palace Ave., 982-9030

Los Amigos: This family-friendly, Southside hub serves up mouthwatering NM staples alongside hearty American comfort food, steaks and chops. The red chile/pork posole is rivaled only by one other place in town. Also try the chile relleno burrito with green chile sauce and papas. On Sundays from 4 to 8 pm, senior citizens get a 15-percent discount and on Wednesdays, they roll out a special kids menu with $1.99 entrees.

3904 Rodeo Road, 438-0600

Posa’s The Factory & Restaurant: Red chile-pork tamales are a must here (it is a tamal factory, after all), but the red chile-pork posole should not be missed. There’s an addictive oiliness and salty heat to the broth, and the cooks are generous with the porky goodness. This is the après-ski munch of your dreams.

1514 Rodeo Road, 820-7672

Tia Sophia’s: This lunch-and-breakfast-only restaurant is known for its long morning queues and breakfast burritos smothered in house green. Two oddities: It costs a dollar to add an egg to your breakfast burrito, and you can request fried bologna as your burrito’s meat of choice. Should you imbibe in the flesh, give this one a try.

210 W San Francisco St., 983-9880

20 Faves

Restaurant Guide 2015Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by SFR

Andiamo!
Santa Feans looking for a different kind of Italian dish should look no further than this local joint, which follows the basic conventions of the Boot’s cuisine with a slightly different twist. The meatballs in its traditional spaghetti dish ($10.25, large $14), for instance, are made of a rich blend of veal, pork and beef. Though the restaurant can get on the pricier side during the dinner hour, each weekday comes with an affordable lunch special. Monday’s special is chicken piccata ($11.75), a traditional dish of meat, roasted potatoes and greens served in a creamy yellow sauce that serves as the meal’s base. Food soaks easily in the sauce, which is made with a mix of white wine and butter. Traditional Italian appetizers like flash-fried calamari ($7) also stand out on their own here. Not overly fried, the calamari has a light taste complimented by an aioli sauce with a heavy citrus flavor. (JP)
322 Garfield St., 995-9595 Lunch Monday-Friday; dinner daily. 


Café Fina
Like its name suggests, eating here is a fine experience, no fuss. A casual atmosphere commingles with scrumptious breakfast items like the housemade granola bowl ($6.95) served with seasonal fruit and Greek yogurt and the asadero cheese goodness of the Eldorado omelet ($9.75). For traditional with a twist, try the migas ($8.95)—scrambled organic eggs served with black beans, guac and sour cream over a whole wheat tortilla, or the equally amazing huevos motuleños ($9.75)—over-easy eggs on a corn tortilla with beans, local feta cheese, sautéed bananas and your choice of red or green. Lunch is equally irresistible with squash quesadillas ($9.50) and bomb corncakes with chipotle marinated shrimp ($10.50). Make sure to leave room for dessert as a meringue menagerie beckons. Think scrumptious Mexican wedding cookies, buttery croissants and life-changing peach galettes. (EL)
624 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 466-3886 Breakfast and lunch daily. 


Chocolate Maven
When you could just as easily enjoy a coffee at home for a fraction of the cost, why go out? Often, it is for a pleasant atmosphere. And the friendly service and warm décor go a long way to making the Maven a pleasant destination even before the food arrives. Of particular interest is the window placed in the rear wall of the dining area, which reveals the industrial kitchen beyond. There, you can observe the bakers creating fresh, delicious-looking desserts while you enjoy your own over a cup of espresso ($2.50). Both entrées and dessert are excellent. The roasted garlic soup ($6-$8) is mild, but not bland and the Reuben ($14) is tasty, although a bit pricy. Try the soup and sandwich combo for $10-$14 at a much better deal. The desserts were similarly upper crust and the whipped cream topping on the carrot cake ($6) and chocolate mousse cake ($7) was fresh made—and was enough to put all but the most enthusiastic nitrous addict off the canned stuff. [Chef] hats off, Dharm Khalsa. (IM)
821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980 Breakfast and lunch Mon-Fri; weekend brunch; high tea Mon-Sat. 


El Farol
Sitting on the front porch, perched in a tall chair and soaking in the sights of Canyon Road while noshing on plate after plate of flavorful tapas at El Farol is undoubtedly one of the quintessential authentic Santa Fe moments. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or the tenth, or you’re a local craving a night out, having a meal at the place that bills itself as the city’s oldest restaurant and cantina is worth it. Choosing just five tapas to start, however, can be a difficult task, so asking your knowledgeable waiter to make suggestions about the myriad choices is helpful. But for lunch with a friend, the five for $38 deal is spectacular. The flash-fried avocado with pico de gallo and lime yogurt is remarkable, and the gambas al ajillo, four sautéed garlic shrimp in a spicy red sauce, are finger licking. There’s also Spanish goat cheese and chorizo, and flamenco and other nightly entertainment to boot. (JAG)
808 Canyon Road, 983-9912 Lunch and dinner daily.


Georgia
My late grandmother, Altagracia, had but one caveat when dining out: Do not order pasta. “The food of the poor,” as she called it, could easily be made at home, and culinary excursions were designed to get in touch with your bolder side. Feeling just that, I started off with pan-fried shrimp ($14) served over grits and a spicy sofrito garnished with crispy pancetta and scallions. For my main course, the braised short rib pasta ($24) with braising sauce reduced to au jus with cream and wild mushrooms and topped with Parmesan snow was at hand. “This is the dish that’ll have you remembering me at night,” Executive Chef Brett Sparman said as he delivered it personally, under the watchful eye of a monumental photograph depicting Ms. O’Keeffe, silver hair wrapped tightly in a bun. It’s clear that restaurateur Lloyd Abrams has done it again with this Johnson Street eatery, and while it might be too early to line up contenders for next year’s Restaurant of the Year, one thing is for sure: Georgia is on my mind. (EL)
225 Johnson St., 989-4367 Dinner daily. 


Jambo Café
The smell of sweet spices lingers, reggae blasts from the sound system and fills the air, prompting the host leading guests to their tables to dance all the way there. I’m sitting underneath a sign that boasts, “Guy Fieri ate here,” but I won’t hold that against them. This is the beauty that is Jambo, a low-key eatery specializing in African and Caribbean cuisine that, now in its sixth year of operation, is a Santa Fe staple. I’m a sucker for crab cakes and the ones here ($9.95), covered in fried cornmeal and topped with Caribbean sauce, are among the best I’ve tasted. Main courses are not for the shy. If you can’t settle for just one item, try the best of all worlds—the house combination plate ($14.95)—which encompasses chicken curry, rice, roti, coconut lentils and goat stew. Interested in a side of good karma? Jambo donates 5 percent of earnings to their own kids’ health clinic in owner/chef Ahmed M Obo’s hometown of Lamu Island, located off the cost of Kenya. (EL)
2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269 Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday. 


Joseph’s of Santa Fe
A 400-year-old, human-sized statue of St. Michael watches over the dining room—a family heirloom that’s moved with chef Joseph Wrede from the restaurant he closed in Taos to the one he opened in the Santa Fe’s Guadalupe district. Long ago, Michael lost his sword. But that’s about the only thing missing from this prime example of the city’s fine dining genre, packaged as a culinary pub that also offers a bar menu and boasts well-trained staff who work as a team to serve up a memorable meal. The dinner menu isn’t cluttered with too many choices, instead offering a few carefully selected options. A natural bison rib-eye ($38) melts in the mouth alongside local oyster mushrooms and pickled haricot verts that are part of a small salad, and a crisped eggplant entrée beefed up with French lentil tahini purée is a meatless standout ($20). For dessert, you’ll find a butterscotch pudding ($12) topped with salty caramel and a bittersweet chocolate bistro cake ($10) that are nothing short of heavenly. (JAG)
428 Agua Fría St., 982-1272 Dinner daily. 


Loyal Hound
Leave your enchilada cravings at the door; Loyal Hound is here to redefine Santa Fe comfort food. Attitude-free and taste-heavy describes this newly opened St. Michael’s Drive eatery to a T, where honest pubfare is plentiful. You might consider starting things off with the deviled eggs with “frisky” jalapeños ($5), or the braised bison short rib nachos ($11), yes nachos, topped with Tucumcari cheddar and queso Oaxaca. Sip on one of six microbrews on tap and get ready for entrées like the pork and waffles plate ($11), with its Belgian waffle topped with braised heritage pork, or the never-lets-you-down “Old Skool” fish ‘n’ chips platter starring a couple of beer-battered filets served with housemade chips, green chile slaw that’ll make you want to bathe in it and malt vinegar tartar sauce that would make even a Britton become a believer. (EL)
730 St. Michael’s Drive, 471-0440 Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday. 


Mariscos Costa Azul
The interior of this Cerrillos Road hub, complete with bright paintings of the tropics, does its best to help city patrons forget that they live in a dry, waterless desert. Mariscos’ meals are simple Mexican seafood fare, no more and no less. Chips and salsa here come with an avocado sauce that’s light and mild. The salsa is heavy on tomatoes and once downed, leaves a slight bite on the back of the tongue. Quesadillas ($6.95) are a hefty appetizer, enough to fill one person on their own. They’re stuffed with white cheese and an additional choice of shrimp or beef ($8.95). Mariscos is liberal in its use of tomatoes and avocado, which come as a side to la mariscada caliente ($12.95), a heaping plate of grilled shrimp, scallops, octopus and fish. Like the restaurant, the food is humble, though an array of five different hot sauces at each table is sure to spice things up if needed. (JP)
2875 Cerrillos Road, 473-4594 Lunch and dinner Wednesday-Monday. 


Midtown Bistro
Brunch, a much-debated topic among stand-up comedians and no one else, is great, and Midtown Bistro knows how to do it right. Don’t let the elegant, understated décor fool you into thinking that you’ll be subjected to thin streaks of food, artfully clarified of all substance. The Bistro offers elegant interpretations of the classics that will leave you happy, full and ready to hibernate. Take the waffle ($12) option for example, where every element is perfectly balanced, from the fluffy, flavorful waffle, so much better than that IHOP nonsense, to the tweak of heaping it not only with bacon and syrup, but also cottage cheese and dried fruits. There are plenty of brunch staples like the omelet and steak and eggs ($11-$16). Then there are the more unusual options like the gluten-free (...really?) calamari appetizer ($9). The coffee ($2) is a little weak, the mimosas ($8) are just right, the service is superb and there’s no reason to miss out on this excellent fare. (IM)
901 W San Mateo Road, Ste. A, 820-3121 Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday; brunch Sunday.


Omira Bar & Grill
A big appetite is a must for the full effect of this member of the Brazilian buffet family. Diners who pay one price ($17.95 for lunch and $27.95 for dinner) are treated to a sumptuous salad bar with creative compositions of cold and hot vegetables, soups, breads and cheeses. Then comes the meat. And it comes. And comes some more. Waiters shuttle by with skewers loaded with lamb, filet mignon, pork, chicken and shrimp for starters—all cooked in the back on a rotisserie and available if you leave on the lamp at your table. Like yours rare or well done? Most meats are ready to go at the desired temperature, with one side cooked more thoroughly than the other. Chef specialties including “fusion dolmas” of marinated shredded beef in a spicy sauce. Turn the light back on when you see these come out of the kitchen. Skewers of pineapple glazed with sugary goodness and banana fritters on the buffet line serve as dessert, and don’t forget the wine. (JAG)
1005 S St. Francis Drive, 780-5483 Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.


Pho Kim

Vietnamese is king at the Solana Center hideaway where ordering might be by the numbers, but the food is near close to fine art. You can tell by the number of local chefs who go there when they hang their aprons up. Wet your whistle with some da chanh (limeade soda, $2.95) or sua dau nanh (soybean milk, $2) and feast in the likes of the No. 4 pork sausage rolls ($3.99 for two) and the bodacious No. 7, sticky rice with sausage and shrimp. OK, now take another sip of that limeade and get ready for a feast in the form of a dozen pho options (all $10.50 or under), the fantastic No. 38—fresh vermicelli noodles with grilled shrimp, pork and an egg roll for good measure ($9.95)—or any of five banh mi selections (my personal favorite is the No. 101, the combinations sandwich that mixes chicken, beef and pork for $6.59). Subway, eat your heart out. (EL)
919 W Alameda, 820-6777 Lunch and dinner daily.


Pizza Centro
Much like determining the “best” breakfast burrito, green chile or margarita in town, subjectivity (as well as a tough skin) is key. Really, there’s no winning these arguments and ultimately, like with anything else food-related, it comes down to a matter of taste. For my buck, Pizza Centro’s original location delivers with its array of hand-tossed pizzas ($12-$17) and primo toppings like baby mozzarella, artichoke hearts and truffle oil ($2-$3.25 each). A couple of pies I recently brought into the SFR editorial department—the veggie Alphabet City and the roasted-chicken-topped SoHo—were immediately wolfed down by staff. Sun-dried tomato and whole-milk mozzarella commingled on the ladder and made for a symphony of flavor. At one point, I had to fend off art director Anson Stevens-Bollen with a butter knife for the last slice. Judge for yourselves. (EL)
418 Cerrillos Road, 988-8825 Lunch and dinner daily.


Plaza Café
Learn an important lesson here: Santa Fe’s mythic tri-cultural heritage isn’t the whole story. For one thing, it misses the role of places like Plaza Café and the huge influence of Greek families on the city’s development. That means this is also the place where you can score the best of opa and hola. Try an authentic moussaka ($15.45) courtesy of the Razatos family recipe of thinly sliced eggplant, beef seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon and oodles of béchamel sauce. Or sink into cashew mole enchiladas ($14.95) that capture the bitter spice of regional red chile with the balancing sweetness of chocolate. Portions are ample and service is down to earth. Closed for a few years after a 2010 fire, the restaurant has been lovingly restored and partly suspended in the 1950s. The beveled glass of the dessert case beacons even the overstuffed with its housemade pies and cakes. (JAG)
54 Lincoln Ave., 982-1664 Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.


Raaga

Inside Raaga, the aromas of polished wood mix elegantly with the various spices cooking in the back kitchen. There are several appetizers to choose from, and I opt for “Raaga Tiki” ($6.95)—two crispy brown potato cakes filled with spinach, garlic and fenugreek leaves. It comes with a green mint chutney dipping sauce that tastes a bit like liquefied cilantro. For the main dish, I choose my favorite Indian plate: chicken tikka masala (small: $9.95; large $15.95). Though most standard chicken tikka masala curries are orange in color, Raaga’s is notable for its pinkish hue. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the waiter mistook my order for a plate of meatballs. The curry is thick, almost like a paste. It’s also spicy, creamy and sweet, and has the tendency to separate from the chicken chunks, a characteristic that seems to give the curry a mind of its own. Rice and naan bread, the latter of which must be ordered separately, compliment the standard Indian entrée. (JP)
544 Agua Fría St., 820-6440 Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday.

Sage Bakehouse
Rustic chic traces lines throughout this bakeshop that teeters between South Capitol and downtown. One thing that is set in stone here, however, is the exceptional quality of their artisanal loaves—sourdough, Kalamata olive, whole-wheat farm and more under the watchful guidance of owners Amy Cox and Andrée Falls. Along with ambrosial pastries and quiches, the open-faced sandwiches ($6.75 full; $3.50 for a half) here are a must-try. Enjoy the tarragon chicken salad on organic earth or the tuna, Roma tomatoes and pesto on paisano. For the delectable combo of textures and flavor, the jamón serrano tartine with smashed avocado on toast (pictured) transports you to Ibiza in one fell swoop (sans the glow sticks) and reigns supreme. I hope you left room for dessert; I see you eyeing that pear almond tart slice ($5). (EL)
535 Cerrillos Road, 820-7243 Breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday.

Shake Foundation
Brian Knox of Aqua Santa and Café Escalera fame did good with his unassuming burger shack that serves up portable treats on the daily. “Dedicated to the preservation of the original green chile cheeseburger,” in the words of their website, Shake delivers that plus a fantastic NM shepherd’s lamb option ($5.50) and a fried oyster sandwich ($5.50) with red chile that’ll have you begging for more. Vegetarians can also rejoice with the Portobello mushroom burger ($5.75). Enjoy some hand-cut shoestring fries ($3.75 for a single; $5.50 for a double) to complete your meal and oh, you want a shake with that? Like its moniker suggests, options are plentiful at this Mumford & Sons-approved shed. Try an “Adobe Mud” one for $5.75 made with Taos Cow ice cream. I will wait, I will wait for those. (EL)
613 Cerrillos Road, 988-8992 Lunch daily.

Shohko Café
Forget the three-martini lunch; go to Shoko Café for a three-sake lunch instead. Three-glass business class flight ($12) of sake is a proper apéritif. The flight includes the smooth Okunomatsu (Inner Pine Tree), the more animated Hananomai (Dance of Flowers) and the strong but forgiving Namahage (Devil’s Mask). Before the main course, the chef serves up snap peas, pickled ginger and airway-clearing wasabi. The menu offers a dozens of hand rolls and sliced rolls, including unique sushi standouts like the Philadelphia roll ($7, with cream cheese) and the Santa Fe roll ($7, with green chile tempura). There’s a tempting offering of salmon and tuna sashimi appetizers. Vegetarian or meaty buckwheat noodle dishes give an out to those who want to play it safe for the main course. But more insatiable appetites should look to bento sets. The beef teriyaki bento set ($18) starts with hot miso soup, assorted tempura (mushrooms, carrots and green chile breaded and fried), bonito (white fish) dipping sauce and two small salads—the spinach salad, drenched in tahini, is a perfect textural dance before the final act, a bowl of steamy white rice and five cuts of tender beef with teriyaki dipping sauce on the side. (JH)
321 Johnson St., 982-9708 Lunch Monday-Friday; dinner Monday-Saturday.

Taberna La Boca
This hidden sister of the posh European restaurant that won SFR’s Restaurant of the Year in 2013 is styled to function as overflow for the original La Boca and to offer a more casual atmosphere for lunch and happy hour. Unhurried service will stack your table with tapas and inch out room for glasses of wine, port and sherry, so don’t go if you’re in need of a quick bite. Instead, plan to take your time noshing on a few pintxos such as the alcachofas, roasted artichokes wrapped in grilled jamón serrano, stuffed with creamy Spanish goat cheese and served with a basil and piñón pesto. Daily special tapas can also be rewarding; on our visit it was bruschetta loaded with crimini mushrooms and béchamel sauce. Ensaladas that also vary by the day include a thick slab of watermelon and dabs of feta topped with microgreens, and they’ve got bocadillos, known to the rest of us as sandwich platters. (JAG)
125 Lincoln Ave., Ste. 117, 988-7102 Lunch Monday-Friday; dinner daily; brunch Saturday-Sunday.

Vinaigrette
There was a time when getting both a table and a parking spot during the lunch hour at Vinny’s seemed like a minor miracle. Thanks to the addition of patio seating and a lease on part of a nearby parking lot, eating here has become easier. That’s good for Santa Fe diners because even then, it was worth the fight to get in. The restaurant known as the salad bistro offers a splurge lunch or a low-key dinner that is reliably flavorful with a known healthy quotient. Salads that combine sweet fruit and pungent cheeses or spicy greens are standouts, including the “Nutty Pear-fessor,” with grilled Bosc pears, Maytag blue cheese, toasted pecan halves and a port ruby vinaigrette paired with a nice tuna steak ($19.25) or the protein of your choice. Choose to top the famous all-kale Caesar with grilled chicken ($15.75), and you’ve got a winner. Soups and sandwiches round out menu choices, and a short list of desserts includes key lime cheesecake. (JAG)
709 Don Cubero Alley, 820-9205 Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday

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