Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: Great Food in Santa Fe

With snowy weather settling into Montana, likely for good, I've found myself spending far too much time browsing for winter flights to somewhere warm and sunny. As you know, I spend most of the year with a severe cast of wanderlust. Though I have a soft spot for Arizona, I think Trevor's heart will always be in New Mexico, a place that he once called home. After last week's collaboration for some great halloween flicks, we thought we would try it again. So, this week, we're bringing you a list of ten great restaurants in and around Santa Fe - our personal cure for the traveling blues. Whether you're an experienced traveler or looking to plan your first cross country trip, Santa Fe is a great place to start - especially if you're a fan of great food.

Though many vacation locales claim to have many fabulous restaurants, Santa Fe is unique in that all of the restaurants listed below are locally owned. While each has its own unique specialities, all feature an impressive menu. That being said, the interior and decor might not be what you expect. As Trevor would say, great food comes from great food. Here, in no particular order, are his ten favorite places to eat in and around Santa Fe:

1 // La Boca is a Spanish tapas restaurant that can hardly be compared to any other, and this comes from a man who loves tapas. Chef/Owner James Campbell Caruso not only prepares authentic spanish dishes but he does so with fresh ingredients provided by the Santa Fe Farm to Restaurant program. Though some of Santa Fe's culinary claims lack in decor, La Boca features a compact, quaint and cozy atmosphere with a great wine selection. Curious yet? Check out the menu here.

2 // Vinaigrette features locally grown ingredients, as well; but, rather than employing an outside farm, during the peak season, owner Erin Wade provides seventy percent of the bistro's produce from her own 10-acre farm. As Trevor would describe it, "Just go. I could tell everyone how great the multitude of fresh and vibrant salad combinations are but I'll never do it justice." In addition to great fresh salads (with ingredients like diver scallops and lemon-herb chickens), Vinaigrette also offers patio seating, and a dozen salad-friendly wines.

3 // Dinner for Two always features a great fresh fish entree created by Chef Andy Barnes, a New Mexico native. Like other Santa Fe restaurants, Dinner for Two also works with the Farm to Restaurant Project. Perhaps the best part, though, is the fresh made dinner bread baked just before service each day.

4 // Bobcat Bite is known for what Trevor insists is the world's best green chile bacon cheeseburger, and like I've said before, that boy loves his green chile. (He may be on to something though, the restaurant and it's burger have been featured in all kinds of magazines, and was even on Food Network!) While Santa Fe has plenty of downtown restaurants, Bobcat Bite is off the beaten path on Old Las Vegas Highway. Make sure to get their early, as the historic building features limited seating. Trevor suggests that upon arriving, writing your name on the board and get ready to enjoy the juiciest burger of your life.

5 // Zia Diner is a staple of the Santa Fe food scene. Typical of any diner, the Zia has a large menu full of classic diner cuisine, but also authentic New Mexican. That being said, the quality goes above and beyond any basic diner, the Zia uses grass-fed, additive-free beef and free-range chicken and eggs - plus, the menu is marked for gluten free options. While visiting Santa Fe a few months ago, Trevor made sure to make a trip to the diner for his favorite breakfast, heuvos rancheros and local, organic, fair-trade Agapao Coffee. In addition to offering classic diner fare, the Zia also has a bar behind the main dining room and a wide variety of drinks.

6 // The Red Enchilada serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, all with classic New Mexican dishes. As Trevor simply put it, "So simple. So good. Huevos rancheros with red chile? Wow!" If heuvos rancheros aren't your thing as they certainly aren't mine, this Santa Fe favorite also offers classics like pupusas and enchiladas.

7 // Tribe's Coffeehouse is home to the biggest, heartiest sandwiches in south side Santa Fe. Served on the freshest locally baked bread, they're made with the best meats and cheeses and the freshest of vegetables. On top of that, the coffeehouse features the best homemade soups. If breakfast is more your thing, Tribe's also offers a large selection of New Mexican dishes - not to mention they also feature the best hot or cold coffee and espresso drinks.

8 // Santa Fe Baking Company is a quirky place to grab a quick and delicious breakfast - with entrees like Steak and Eggs, Trevor's favorite. For lunch, the cafe serves up tasty sandwiches, along with more traditional southwestern fare.

9 // Michael's Kitchen is located outside of Santa Fe in the town of Taos. As soon as you walk in, the homemade baked goods and pastries will catch your eye - that is, if you don't spot a celebrity first. In addition, Michael's Kitchen also offers an extensive menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Trevor suggests the Stuffed Sopapilla filled with beans, cheese, onions, and ground beef. Trevor's favorite part, though?  Topped with green and red chile. Want to try it his way? Just say "Christmas", the locals will know what you mean.

10 // Frankie's Casanova is another perfect choice for breakfast - try the pinon nut pancakes or a breakfast enchilada. The atmosphere adds to the experience with a bar that looks like it is straight out of the wild west. Plus, it's in the scenic little town of Pecos, 25 miles north of Santa Fe.

So tell us, is good food part of your travel itinerary? What's your favorite town to eat in? 

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