Printed on coffee mugs, among little Spanish musings that read, "full belly—happy heart" and "a little green chile every day keeps you healthy," Café Castro proclaims its mission: "Serving la gente of Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico since 1990." From a little spot on the bustling six-lane road, Julia and Carlos Castro serve some of the most rib-sticking traditional New Mexican food around at prices for the people. The dining room is clad in vigas and traditional art, alongside community events posters and local artists' work. Of course, start off with chips and salsa ($3), queso ($5), guac ($6) or all three ($8.50); the queso comes with huge chunks of green chile begging to be scooped. Enchiladas ($8.50), the state dish, find themselves in their rightful position at the top of the menu, and because we went on a Wednesday, we were treated to the blue-corn variety ($8.50) served with a trifecta of beans, rice and posole. Find different traditional specials every day of the week, like fajitas (Tuesdays, $9.50), carne adovada (Thursdays, $8.50) and flautas (Sundays, $9.50). The green chile sauce includes more of those huge chunks and tastes super fresh, while the red is smoky, pungent and just spicy enough. The Castros provide a down-to-earth restaurant that's far from the pretentious food scene but still provides top-notch service.
2811 Cerrillos Road, 473-5800
Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday