Santa Fe, 4/5-4/17/2015

Part 2, Great Food

Santa Fe is known for art, art of all sorts, I’ll talk about the non-edible art next time.  This time I want to remember two great spots for their really good food.
These feature great New Mexican cuisine, not really Mexican, not really Tex-Mex, not really what Minnesotan’s think of as Mexican but more the cuisine that has evolved here over hundreds of years blending the flavors and ingredients of Mexican, Spanish, Native American and the last to the table, the Americans moving west.  What ever you want to call it, it is very good. These two places do a particularly good job of it.
Cowgirl BBQ

This is pretty much what the name says and much more.  Every kind of BBQ and whatever can be done on a grill. An entire sub-menu of Cajun/Creole foods including a wonderful seared scallops dish (Susan’s favorite, see her checking the board?) Great burgers from plain to the Mother of all Green Chili Burgers (really, it was spectacular). Breakfast (way beyond scrambled eggs) on the weekend and everything SW as well.
The inside is rustic bunkouse. The walls are covered with pictures of cowgirls, all authentic, most signed, many of those in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and of course Dale Evans.
This was the nice dining room. We have eaten here many times and always enjoy it.
It is almost always busy, this is a very popular spot for the folks who live here. It is hard not to be discovered by visitors so they show up too.  Music on the weekends and one or two nights a week.  And it is right on the bus line from our campground.  
Rancho de Chimayo
Rancho de Chimayo is on the High Road to Taos between Santa Fe and where else, Taos. The road follows the old road to Taos through the mountains.  Chimayo is a small town about 1/3 of the way to Taos and is the home of several prominent weaving families, sculptors and other artists and the Rancho de Chimayo, a generations old family hacienda and ranch turned into a restaurant in the 1960’s to preserve New Mexican food and hospitality that the same family has owned for decades.  They have done well.
We first found out about Rancho de Chimayo in 1980 talking to some folks we met at Zion National Park.  They were traveling much as we were at the time.  No particular path, no particular time line.  They told us about the best New Mexico restaurant they had been at and said we should try it.  We got there twice in 1980 and back every time we have been anywhere near since.  We ran into the same people twice more, the last time in Calgary, Alberta.  We were on our way to Jasper, they were returning from Alaska. A chance encounter.  We were glad they told us about Rancho de Chimayo.

There was still snow in the higher elevations.

It is hard not to really appreciate this drive.

It is an unassuming place, nestled in the hills. The rooms of the house make up smaller dining rooms, each in a different color with original furniture and local art.

There is a bigger dining room that was a back porch.

And out in the back, several terraces for outdoor dining when the weather is appropriate.
The food is always good especially with best friends.
Prickly Pear lemonade and a tastey enchilada.

And a sopapilla with honey.

It is a very pleasant meal in calm, familiar surroundings with wonderful people helping you to enjoy the meal and the moment.

So that’s the food part.  Some folks may not appreciate as we do.  You should come for a visit and sample life and food here.  The desire to come back gets stronger with more visits and the need to stay longer each time seems more important.
Next, art and museums.
I want to thank Susan for her expert editorial part in puting our blog together.
Susan and Roger.

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