We told our hosts at the B&B that we'd like to basically eat our way through Santa Fe and they came through with great suggestions for every kind of culinary yumminess, so we tucked in like locals. One thing we didn't do was take many pictures of the eats. Yeah, I know, what kind of blogger am I? I should have been setting up a lightbox on the table and getting artful, well-lit macro shots of our salted caramel brownies. A comedy of errors with my camera followed me around Santa Fe. I brought a camera, it promptly went dead, I finally went to a convenience store to get batteries, and those were also dead (so glad I paid $6 for them, gah), ended up trying to take a few with my phone (hence all the blurry, non blog-worthy shots). This is why I am not a food blogger.
The friendly proprietor. He lets you try every single flavor of drinking chocolate before you order.
Kakawa, the only place we went to twice AND got some pictures from, and it's not even a restaurant. It's a chocolate house. Oh my stars and garters. Sublime, thick, historical drinking chocolates in many imaginative flavors, served in pretty little cups and saucers. Flavors ranged from serious, 100% cacao Mayan Fullspice (a chile laden chocolate punch in the nose) to the more Larissa-friendly Jeffersonian (a buttery chocolate bear hug) with lots of variation between.
El Farol, for gourmet Spanish tapas. It's right on Canyon Road, where a whole bunch of galleries are. MMM mmm MM. Delectable. We split a five dish meal that included marinated portobellos, fried avacado, chile shrimp, seared tuna on spinach, and slow roasted pork with figs. It's too bad I got choked on a wayward swallow of water toward the end of the meal and had to spend ten minutes in the ladies' attempting to cough out my socks. I'm suave and sophisticated like that. Shouldn't swallowing water be kind of instinctive after you are forty?
Cafe Pasqual's the night we went to the Lensic, for organic nouveau foo-foo NM cuisine. Exclusive vibe (read $$) combined with cramped quarters (esp. the claustrophobic hallway to the ladies), eclectic decor, and slightly disturbing murals on the walls. We had fancy beet/bleu cheese/lettuce pyramids that were impressive looking but challenging to conquer with fork and knife in a graceful fashion. We split the pork chop special (scrumptious and perfectly done with cider drippings, sausage stuffing and some kind of flavorful wilted greens).
Other unphotographed deliciousness:
La Plazuela at La Fonda, ok, probably not a locals kind of spot, but still a great experience (delicious carne asada, juevos rancheros, spicy butternut soup). It was a great introduction to the Santa Fe hospitality scene and easy to get to from where we were walking around the main plaza on our first day, and the service was faultless and so friendly.
Tune-Up Cafe, where there was a definitely locals-only feel, and where I devoured THE best chile relleno I've ever eaten EVAR. We grabbed available table space in the small no-frills dining area filled with other smart hungry people. I almost licked my plate.
We tried some African cuisine one evening at Jambo Cafe. Wonderful roti (flat bread similar to naan), spicy lentils, rice, coconut chicken curry, but the much-lauded goat stew was not for me. The fatty chunks of meat put me off, but I did eat around them because the sauce and vegetables were still very tasty. Their hot chai was strong, fragrant, sweet and hot. Perfect for a cold night and some pretty serious conversation we were having about Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Next post: what we did in Santa Fe
Earlier post: where we stayed in Santa Fe