When the Santa Fe Baking Co. abruptly shut its doors in 2016, regulars guffawed, the longtime staff was perplexed, and many Santa Feans bemoaned the closing of yet another beloved local institution. Cut to just a few short months ago, and you'd never even know it happened. Filiberto Rodriguez, an employee of the Baking Co. for nearly two decades, bought the place, re-hired much of the original staff, then cleaned, renovated and reopened with a familiar yet far more focused menu. Gone is the paint-chipped and all-too-plain floor, replaced with tasteful tile; the sunken dining area is also no more. In its place, however, is a more cohesive experience complete with chairs and tables that actually match, baked goods you'd actually want to eat and that same casual atmosphere that launched a thousand regulars oh so many years ago. The menu has been pared down slightly, but you'll still find the same breakfast burrito ($6.50) you've craved for years or the French omelet—the one that comes with a croissant ($10.25). Even the Hungarian mushroom soup ($4.95-$6.75) feared lost with the closure of Back Street Bistro sometimes finds its way to the New Baking Co. and, somehow, the coffee tastes better this time around. It isn't often we get a second chance to recapture something once gone. Let's not forget that. (ADV)

New Santa Fe Baking Company
504 W Cordova Road, 557-6435
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily