Monday, January 31, 2011

Muchas Gracias

Chama River at the Flying S Ranch

Before we say "Happy Trails" to state # 31, we would like to say Muchas Gracias to the warm, friendly people of New Mexico and tell you about the delicious experiences of dining in this state. 

First, New Mexican cuisine is NOT smothered in cheese and sour cream, so the flavors of the chiles, corn and meats can really be savored.  And there are few things more New Mexican than an Enchilada.  You can order red or green chile, (pronounced - chi- lay; they will correct you) or "Christmas" - half and half.  Sauces are rich, seasoned with ajo (garlic) and oregano.  And they are served with frijoles (beans), posole (hominy) and sopaipillas (fried bread). 

Frommer's Travel Guide for this region describes the trend of "Creative Southwestern" cooking as chefs creating dishes that incorporate traditional Southwestern foods with ingredients not indigenous to the area.  We describe it as..."phenomenally delectable!"

Nestled among the dozens of "art" galleries along Canyon Road are many fine restaurants. We give our highest recommendation to 2 of them:

Guy loved the Escargot!

The Compound
Have the Buttermilk Roast Chicken!

Awesome food in serene settings!

I mentioned in my last post, Graham's Grille in Taos, where we had lunch.  This place is reason alone to visit Taos!  When you go, you must have the El Pequeno Baked Macaroni & Cheddar Cheese with mild green chile and hickory smoked bacon...YUM!  And they have Graham's Famous Burgers; our favorite was the Middle Eastern Lamb Burger.

Following is a list and short review of other restaurants we enjoyed in Santa Fe:
(I have included a link, in case you are ready to make reservations!)

Anasazi Restaurant
Delicious meals right inside our hotel.  Try the Chicken Nachos and Prickly Pear Margarita!

O'Keeffe Cafe
Next to the museum.  Have the Boudin sausage special of the day!

2 blocks from our hotel.  Try the Shitake & Cactus Spring Roll w/ Southwestern Ponzu!  

The Shed
Steps from the Cathedral.  Best Enchiladas...ever!

Aqua Santa

And we saved the best for last!  Aqua Santa is a tiny one room restaurant.  It has a cool layout with a kiva fireplace in the corner and a big table of breads and wines in the middle.  Across the "living room" of tables is the fully visible countertop kitchen...dinner and a show!  The chef and owner, Brian Knox, is a devotee of the Slow Food philosophy...go prepared to spend the evening savoring excellent food.  On the excellent wine and beer list Guy found - Monk's Ale, Draft - made by none other than the monks at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.  (We didn't see that!) 

We enjoyed 3 delicious courses.  Guy loves a Caesar Salad and he says this was one of the best he's ever tasted.  I started with Pan Fried Oysters with Aged Balsimco and Watercress...Oh My!  Second course, Guy ate Oven Baked Wild-Caught Salmon with French Lentils and Tapenade and for myself - Endlessly Braised Shepherd's Lamb with Deep Fried Leeks...(I never want to eat lamb again, unless it is this!)  And the perfect ending...Buttermilk Panna Cotta or Chocolate Mascarpone Parfait...I am not kidding! 

In warmer months, request a table on the patio and dine under a huge, leafy cherry tree.  This was a perfect way to end our tour of State # 31!

Aqua Santa was Heavenly !

As always, we would like to thank some special people for making our travels possible:

  • Anita & Stephen - Thank you for taking care of our home and demonstrating your scanner.
  • Roswell Animal Hospital - Thanks for taking care of our "puppy girl" - Lady Lightning.
  • Manuela - Thank you for your dining recommendations in Santa Fe and advice on Taos.

Also, the only photos from NM that were not taken with our camera were provided by:

This is my final post on New Mexico.  Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Flying S Ranch!

Coming soon...State # 30...New Jersey

Next time:  SNOW ON THE BEACH!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the restuarant recommendations! Santacafe looks really yummy, and I made reservations at The Compound for Christmas day! XOXO