The food photos are dispersed with scenes from Madrid - about a 45 minute drive from Santa Fe; a once coal mining and railroad town - turned ghost town - brought back to life by a small artist community. We loved our time spent in Madrid and highly recommend a couple hours out there to check out the shops, the Railroad museum and Mine Shaft Tavern. Also pictured - Some of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings and a selfie of me at the museum. I ventured to the museum solo as none of the girls had much of a desire to see it. O'Keeffe is a legend in not only Santa Fe but the art world in general - I was glad to have spent some time immersed in her world.
Breakfast: Cafe Pasquales - located one block south of the plaza in the heart of downtown Santa Fe. The bright and festive dining room features Kelly green furniture, hand painted tiles and murals. One of my favorite meals overall, I had Huevos Motulenos - two scrambled eggs, sauteed banana, feta, green peas, roasted tomato-jalapeno salsa, green chile tomatillo salsa, black beans + a corn tortilla. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring house baked bread, hand churned ice cream, and organic and naturally raised beef, pork, eggs and more.
Tune Up Cafe - casual counter service cafe for a quick + hearty breakfast featuring a cute outdoor patio, just outside of downtown. I kept it simple with delicious Cornmeal Pancakes and maple syrup.
Lunch: El Farol - In the Canyon Road neighborhood, hailed as Santa Fe's most historic + iconic restaurant and bar since 1835. El Farol came highly recommended and while we had a nice lunch - we had a bone to pick! Three of us ordered meals (BLT, Grilled Cheese, Cheeseburger) that advertised as coming with French Fries, naturally! We received our lunches with boring old chips and were pretty disappointed, mainly because the waiter didn't think to mention that the restaurant was out.of.french.fries (what?!!) One of us would have legitimately changed our lunch orders. Two of us would have opted for the salad. My El Farol Grilled Cheese with cheddar cheese, piquillo peppers, smoked papriki aioli, bacon + avocado on pan rustico was good, but I think we'd have to experience dinner here to understand the hype.
Dinner: All of our dinners were a stones throw from the Plaza in downtown Santa Fe.
The Shed features traditional New Mexican cooking that won a James Beard award for excellence in 2003. The Sheds chili comes directly from the farm and is ground on the premises to guarantee freshness. I had the Blue Corn Bean Burrito in what they call "Christmas" style, meaning its smothered in both Roasted Green chili and Red chili. It was SPICY and sublime.
La Boca - Funny story. Via a message on Instagram I learned that 8 time James Beard Award Nominee, Chef James Campbell Caruso is a good friend of mine from high schools Uncle! He came out to greet us and chat so that was a neat connection. Serving Modern Spanish Cuisine La Boca offers contemporary tapas in a space with a lively European wine bar feel. A fanfare of plates starts with Piquillo Peppers (same idea as Shishitos but OMG the spicy ones are pure fire, I got one first bite and wow) and ending with a delectable Paella. In between - everything from my favorite tapas Patatas Bravas to a juicy Watermelon Salad to creative Cantimpalitos - grilled spanish chorizos presented on vertical sticks!
Sazon - Chef Fernando Olea hails from Mexico City and Sazon is his interpretation of contemporary and traditional Mexican dishes. The space heralds captivating pieces of artwork, stunning decor and beautiful tile. This dinner was tricky - we could only get a 5 pm reservation and as much as we tried to time it right, no one was hungry! The tasting of five moles to kick off the meal was marvelous - I truly appreciate a good mole and had never tasted so many creative interpretations. I had a very good Spoa de Amor and Timbales - a trio of mini corn, beet and spinach cakes with mandarin habanero foam, creamy sauce of chile poblano and gruyere cheese.
Drinks: most everywhere had live music, from Jazz to cover bands. We visited Tonic (the art deco bar pictured), Evangelo's, Dragon Room Lounge and Cowgirl BBQ.
Once again, the girls and I had the best time discovering another really cool city. Thank you, Santa Fe!
Where should we go next year?!