The Fork

The Fork: Readers Sound Off: San Isidro Plaza

We totally read your letters!

Last week we were all like, “Oh, wow, San Isidro Plaza on the Southside has a lot of good restaurants and we like it over there and we like to eat over there and the liking and eating are things we like when we eat!”

It was meant to be a nice sentiment, dammit! It was meant to tell people who maybe somehow didn’t know there’s a whole array of solid eateries that share a single parking lot. And then the readers had feelings. As we have at times been wont to do, we gathered some of those for your reading enjoyment. We’ll also respond to the ones we include herein. Oh, and if you’re wondering, that image from above is a GCCB (which, remember, is the way we mention green chile cheeseburgers to save time) from Santa Fe Capitol Grill. And it’s delicious.

Let’s go!!!


“My husband and I were just at San Isidro Plaza a few week ago and were happily surprised to find the great collection of restaurants. Thai Café also opened closer to Lowe’s. Same owner/cook as the place that was downtown. The food was terrific. Definitely a different presentation, seems more like a take out place with a bit of seating. They really have staffing issues. We were at La Plancha tonight and had some great yucca fries, a Tampiqueña Ribeye and their Paella, which was a terrific soupy mix.”

So says reader Oralynn G., who really gets the whole vibe of what we’re trying to lay down. Will we go eat that Thai food? Duh!


“My astrology group goes to [La Plancha]...after we meet at Tribes to do charts. [La] Plancha has a great happy hour and we all have a beer and some tasty tidbit.”

Regular reader Cheryl B. has life figured out, folks, and we should follow her lead.


“Love The Fork, but one huge call out. Food does not SLAP, it SMACKS! My pops was from Albuquerque but I grew up in Oakland, which is where the term comes from. Music=slaps. Food=smacks.”

Reader John B might have told us this once before, though “slaps” in any “it’s good!” context is wormed into our brain and we cannot stop! Still, John sent a very helpful video from legendary rapper E-40 about the matter, which you can check out here. You and your buddy E-40 win this round, John, but just remember that we’re all at the mercy of Fork Brain (TM).


“OMG, Fork. How could you miss Craft Donuts in San Isidro Plaza?”

Well, dear reader Vicki H., whom we love because you write to us and are always nice, we were kind of hoping this wouldn’t come up, but we’ve sampled Craft Donuts four times now and wound up with debilitating heartburn every time. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us four times, and grrrrrrrrrrl, we might not go back.


“I don’t normally reply, however your article for San Isidro Plaza restaurants failed to include El Milagro—best green chile burger ever—and Craft Donuts. I hope you will amend your next article to include these two omissions. I’m sure they were not intentional.”

What can we say, reader Kay W. other than we fully full-on mentioned El Milagro in last week’s Fork, and we feel our response to the last reader tidily sums up why we didn’t include Craft Donuts. We don’t recommend it to people. We’re glad others like it; it’s not for us. We were trying to be diplomatic, but the readers forced our hand! Or our tines, as it were. We saw you also commented on Facebook. We love that you’re engaged in community and hope to hear from you again!


“I’m waiting for someone to do a comprehensive guide to aaaaaaaall the food trucks on Airport Road.”

We totally hear you, Paula L., it’s just that that’s a big job for one amorphous gas being. Please know that it’s on our radar to try something like that, but also that you can kind of see what happens when you don’t mention something purposefully or even because there’s not enough space. Still, any excuse to try a food truck. Thanks for the rec for the carne asada tacos at the Lupita’s truck. We’re on it! In the meantime, Edible New Mexico’s newsletter The Bite has a little something here.


“You write REALLY shitty copy; DO BETTER.”

No, reader Steve A. Just no. While we imagine you dusted your hands off in victory having written that comment on Facebook and probably told some friends how you totally got us, we went right on back to what we were doing before we read it: searching online for a specific Sugar Smacks cereal commercial and thinking about how the way we write is super-cool.


OK. So what have we learned? That we have a lot of cool readers, some detractors, some food truck fans, some donut lovers, some folks who don’t read too carefully and—most importantly—that San Isidro Plaza does indeed rule. Keep those letters coming, gang, and when we have space to share them like we did today, we will!

While not claiming as robust a history as, say, the Golden Grahams bear (who is, for some reason, a caricature of Bing Crosby), Sugar Smacks’ Dig ‘Em Frog does have a cool hat. Do you think E-40 has ever been like, “Man, these Smacks smack?” We hope so.


  • Though it will be over by the time you read this, numerous items (think commercial restaurant equipment) from Posa’s Zafarano Drive location were auctioned off after the restaurant closed without warning roughly a week-ish-plus-a-day-or-two-maybe ago. We know this thanks to the website Local Auctions-dot-com, which handled the liquidation.
  • People are always writing us like, “Hey, Fork—love your style, but when are you going to tell me when/where to get some fried chicken?” Well, we’d tell you to keep an eye on Horno Restaurant and Santa Fe Bite, as both do special fried chicken days—and no, we’re not saying those are the only places, so don’t yell at us. But now we’re going to tell you that Arroyo Vino hosts a special fried chicken dinner courtesy of executive chef Allison Jenkins on April 4. At $59 a pop, it’s a mite pricey for some of us, but know that you’ll also get mac & cheese, deviled eggs and a chopped salad. You’ll find seatings at 5 pm and 7:30 pm, but we’d imagine they’ll sell out fast, so call (505) 983-2100 ASAP for those rezzies.
  • We are super-excited to let everyone know that the Lazy Buffalo Trading Company from 18-year-old entrepreneur Melissa De La Cruz has opened a mobile coffee/food truck kinda thing on the Northern New Mexico College campus in Española. De La Cruz’s new biz is perhaps even cooler than it already sounds as she imports Columbian coffee beans from her grower-grandfather Mario Tovar. If you’re in Española (or just heading there) and want to check it out, you’ll find the Lazy Buffalo open from 7 am-3 pm on Tuesdays at the school’s Center for the Arts parking lot. De La Cruz also reportedly pops up at Presbyterian Española Hospital on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Also cool? De La Cruz worked with the school’s Small Business Development Center to make it happen. We just want coffee from businesses about which we feel good, so score one for...feeling good.
  • We thought this March 18 piece from the Santa Fe New Mexican about French joint Mille teaming with coffee roaster Tom Patton seemed familiar, and then we realized that’s because SFR reported on it last December. No big. More pastry and coffee for all (they said smugly).
  • Looking for a local food rec? We’ve got one for you, buds. At Ohori’s Coffee Roasters—the Pen Road one—you’ll find a little fridge case thing with food all up in it. And sometimes, in that friedge, you’ll see a pretzel cheese roll from Albuquerque’s Mata G Vegetarian Kitchen. It’s not in there all the time, but when it is? Oh, baby! You’ve got Swiss and Muenster cheeses, a pickle, tomato, micro greens and dijon mingling in a pretzeled bun kind of thing, and it is BITCHIN’! We forget how much they charged us because we were salivating and making werewolf noises about that little sammie, but just try it. Will it be the greatest sandwich of your life? No. Right now that honor might go to Santa Fe’s Bread Shop for literally any of the rotating sandwiches they serve up (they have vegetarian options, too!). Will it be a light and tasty lunch that doesn’t put you to sleep? Yeah!

Our boss made us listen to this and now it’s stuck in our head. So it’s gonna be stuck in your head. Welcome!

More Tidbits

  • Do we think we’ll be in Osaka, Japan, anytime soon? Nope. But if by some weird set of circumstances we do wind up there, we’ll be glad to have this list of the 38 Essential Osaka Restaurants from Eater-dot-com. Now you have it. And should you go, please bring us back some of the cooler Kit-Kat flavors they have over there, like whiskey and/or red bean. Thanks!
  • Bad news, gang—chocolate prices are on the rise. In fact, the price of cocoa hit an all-time high this year (and we mean 2024) at $5,874 on the New York commodities market, according to Food and/or Wine-dot-com (who themselves cite the BBC for that number). Stupid inflation, right? Naw, not in this case. Well, we mean, don’t get it wrong; inflation sucks, existence is a prison, none of us asked to be born. But in the case of Cocoagate 2024, it’s really more about drier weather caused by stupid El Niño. This impacts the crops (side note, how gross does it look when people pull the innards out of cocoa beans? Shit looks like some kind of super-maggot crawled into the dried corpse of an even bigger super-maggot), driving up prices. You’ve been told.
  • While we’re not going to get into it because our doctor said that if we rolled our eyes any more they’d get stuck in our head, allowing us to see our own brain, but that space dinner we brought up last week is still very much a thing, and there are more details emerging that you can read about right here.
  • “Is chai good for you?” asks USA Today with a recent piece titled “Is Chai Good For You?” We know from years working coffee and restaurants that people in Santa Fe love them some chai, so we figured you’d wanna know. Short answer? Yup. It’s pretty good for you. Whew! Close one!

A totally scientific breakdown of The Fork’s correspondence

In this week’s print edition of SFR, some jerk got to splurging at the Eldorado Hotel’s Agave. We’re not jealous.

Number of Letters Received: 26

*Why do you want to not read the newsletter then yell at us?!

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader):

“About the dinner in space with a robot proposal...what if he/she says no? What then? This concerns me.”

*Oh. Em. Gee. Reader Holly [last initial omitted] is right!

Actually Helpful Tip(s):

All those sweet, sweet taco recs.


We totally do read your letters,

The Fork

Letters to the Editor

Mail letters to PO Box 4910 Santa Fe, NM 87502 or email them to editor[at] Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to specific articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.

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