The Big Pig Out in Santa Fe
|September 27, 2012||Posted by hog under Restaurant Reviews||
There is nothing like going back to a town you haven’t been for 25 years and looking for the same restaurants. It’s silly really. I mean, they say that restaurant years are like dog years, so that poor dog would be 175 years old!
The good news is that in Santa Fe I found the more things change the more the stay the same. I attempted in four days to eat a blend of the traditional southwest spots mixed with some new-fangled restaurants that represent today’s cooking. Net net: don’t sugar coat it Santa Fe, even with newer restaurants, your best bets are the tried and true.
Now although I will mention that La Boca did a good job of delivering farm fresh small plates, highly seasoned, clean and well-prepared, and The Compound is pretty much worthy of its James Beard nomination for pushing the continental style, with culinary underpinnings, to complement classic Santa Fe style, our favorite spots were the super casual breakfast/ lunch places where the lines were long and the portions huge.
Take “The Shed,” family run for four generations, that restaurant would draw me back to town in a flash. The enchilada plate, pictured, with two rolled blue corn, cheese covered with green chile, served with pinto beans and pozole, feels as if the same green chile pot has been on the burner for years, perfectly picante and as good as a blue tortilla gets.
Another no brainier is Tia Sophia, cute as a button, for a dive of a place. The menu will warn you that the restaurant takes no responsibility for the heat of the chile, and that’s smart. The highlight is still the sopapilla, warm from the oven and completely decadent with powdered sugar and honey.
Another standout was Pasquals, a newer and popular restaurant that boasts everything organic. Put your name in and come
back to the fiesta-style communal table for breakfast or lunch with enormous portions and first rate Santa Fe chow. Dishes like “Pigs and Figs,” bacon-wrapped with blue cheese and mizuna, are a bit more creative, as is the profusion of Vietnamese specialties. But overall , house made tamales with red chile chicken and green chile jack; or smoked trout hash, a golden gruyere potato cake with two poached eggs, trout and tomatillo salsa are spot on.
After four days, and many enchiladas later, we were ready to fly home cargo, but did manage to find a few of the old dogs still kicking around. Worth a visit: Casa Sena for singing waiters, and El Farol, perhaps the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe, for some ample tapas and an icy cold margarita. That is if you can find the room to stuff it all in.
Shed Creative Cooking
113 East Palace Avenue Santa Fe, NM 87501
121 Don Gaspar Avenue Santa Fe, NM 87501
210 West San Francisco Street Santa Fe, NM 87501
653 Canyon Road Santa Fe, NM 87501
72 West Marcy Street Santa Fe, NM 87501
La Casa Sena
125 East Palace Avenue Santa Fe, NM 87501
808 Canyon Road Santa Fe, NM 87501