Hot!Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhandle

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billyboy
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/04 16:12:50 (permalink)
Well folks, I figured it was about time for me to add my photo contribution to Wanderingjew's already amazing report.  Better late than never!!  My girlfriend, Dayna, and I were thrilled when we received an invitation to Ayersian's wedding and eagerly looked forward to it as well as to an opportunity to really spend some time in the Land of Enchantment.  I had only been to New Mexico for a day many years ago while passing through and Dayna had never been before. The opportunity to do some serious Roadfooding in a region filled with so much great food I had never tried before and the chance to break bread (and meet many for the first time!) with a number of epic Roadfooders had me giddy with excitement! My apologies in advance for the low quality of some of these photos.  Our usual camera has gone on to its reward and the new (cheapo) one we bought took me a while to figure out.  We flew out of Laguardia in NYC with a transfer in Denver.  Growing up in Central NY meant that I never really was exposed to any harsh weather (aside from the occasional winter blizzard) so this Tornado Shelter sign just struck me as odd.  

Friday July 5th, 2013 - Not many places were open in Laguardia for breakfast at 5:00am when we arrived there so we were pretty hungry upon landing in Denver.  We made our way to Que Bueno! Mexican Grille for an early lunch.  Dayna had a couple of tacos that didn't photograph too well and I had the Chile Rellenos with grilled chicken and green & red chile sauce.  Very tasty and very filling.  I have have ordered too much but I'd happily get it again if I had a bigger appetite.

Welcome to ABQ!!

 

It had been very humid and hot in NYC and the first thing I noticed when we exited the very small plane was that it was so sunny, hot and DRY!  I was loving it!  Dayna not so much.  She like the summer but not a huge fan of high temps.  

During our layover in Denver I had sent some texts out to Roadfooders ChiTownDiner, Wanderingjew, Ralph Melton and Buffetbuster to see what the plans were for dinner tonight.  CTD mentioned that we had reservations at Harry's Roadhouse in Santa Fe, so after we picked up our rental car and had a bit of time to relax at the hotel, we met up with WJ and Ralph (Lori wasn't feeling well) and a short drive later we found ourselves at Harry's.  This shot was just one of many "skies at dusk" shots I took during the trip.  Such a beautiful part of the country and I hope to visit again soon.  

The place was jumpin' and most of our party were already waiting for us on the patio.  So great to finally meet Cousin Johnny, Mariton, ChiTownDiner and Patti!

I started out with a fresh squeezed lemonade (which would become a theme on this trip).

And a cup of chicken tortilla soup.  A bit spicy with a nice corn flavor and soft shreds of chicken.

Dayna's turkey meatloaf & mushroom gravy with collard greens and chunky mashed potatoes were a real winner.

I did enjoy but wasn't bowled over by my smoked and dry-rubbed tri-tip with succotash.  I think I had the "Santa Maria style" in my head when I ordered so I had imagined it would be thicker with a char to it.  

Buffetbuster's fried chicken with potato salad and grilled corn looked pretty good and I managed to snag some chicken and it was full flavored and juicy.  

Wanderingjew's Ranchero Style Hanger Steak was another winner.  Very tender, juicy and had a great crust on it.

CTD led the charge for dessert and we ordered our pie slices and other various desserts before placing the dinner order so as to be sure we didn't get "pie blocked"!  Dayna's apple pie was one of the best I've ever had and the crust was nothing short of spectacular.  

CTD passed around his slice of blueberry pie which I still dream about as of this writing.   The chocolate cream, strawberry rhubarb and coconut cream had me in a daze and I would come back here just for pie any day of the week.  WJ posted some great shots of the other desserts earlier in this thread and from what everyone said there wasn't a dud in the bunch.  Between the great company and amazing food, this was one of the best gatherings I've had the pleasure of partaking in and there was more to come over the next few days.  

 
Much more to come...
post edited by billyboy - 2013/10/06 16:08:55
love2bake
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/04 17:18:53 (permalink)
Ha!  They'd better have a ladies room near the tornado shelter, because a tornado would sure scare the **** outta me...
FriedClamFanatic
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/04 17:30:12 (permalink)
love2bake

Ha!  They'd better have a ladies room near the tornado shelter, because a tornado would sure scare the **** outta me...


They better have a mensroom too..or we gonna share and become WELL acquainted!
 
The pic of the tri-tip looked awfully overdone to me.  Glad it was good.  The sides looked almost as scrumptious as the main
Pancho
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/04 17:51:56 (permalink)
FriedClamFanatic

love2bake

Ha!  They'd better have a ladies room near the tornado shelter, because a tornado would sure scare the **** outta me...


They better have a mensroom too..or we gonna share and become WELL acquainted!

The pic of the tri-tip looked awfully overdone to me.  Glad it was good.  The sides looked almost as scrumptious as the main
That doesn't even look like beef...all the tri-tips I've ever had were beef anyway. Looks like pork. Side looked yummy.

billyboy
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/04 17:57:15 (permalink)
It was pretty tender and definitely beef but I think the flash on the camera may have washed out that tri-tip somewhat.
 
L2B and FCF, I've seen hurricanes but never a tornado except in the movies and footage on The Weather Channel and that's enough to scare the bejeebus outta me!
billyboy
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/04 18:49:00 (permalink)
Saturday July 6th, 2013 - After a good night's sleep, I started thinking about breakfast and WJ and I texted each other to see what plans were in store.  WJ, Dayna and I meet outside the hotel and made our first stop of the morning at Satellite Coffee in Albuquerque.  They both LOVE their coffee but I never developed a taste for it and the last time I had a cup was in the year 2000 when I was in Seattle for a couple of weeks.  

Little did I know how good this Mexican Latte would be!  Hints of chocolate and cinnamon accented the excellent coffee.  Who knew it could be like this?!  Thanks for re-introducing me to the joy of coffee, WJ!

And our breakfast destination across from the University of New Mexico campus, Frontier Restaurant.  The pics from the RF review and the good word from fellow RFers made this a must stop for me.  

Frontier is very casual, walk up to the counter and give your order sort of place.

Everything in here smelled so good and the menu had so much that I wanted to try.

I love the light system they have to let you know when it's your turn.

I went with the Huevos Rancheros, Christmas style (red & green chile on top) which was a hot, decadent mess and I loved every bite.

Dayna had the Huevos Lite with scrambled eggs that she seemed to like.

I was really happy with these Western Style Hash Browns smothered in cheese and chiles.  I usually get home fries in NYC but hash browns seemed to be the prevalent style in NM.  

The hot, fresh tortillas were wonderful and an excellent vehicle for scooping up any errant bits of chiles, egg yolks and beans on my plate.  And to wash it all down?  A house made lemonade that was very refreshing.  

The one weak link for me was the much talked about sweet roll.  I've eaten my fair share and could possibly say that I'm "Body by Sweet Roll!" but this one just seemed somewhat dense and tough.  Glad I tried it but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

The Duke seemed to have a presence at many places in Albuquerque.

After our most filling breakfast, we walked around the neighborhood and stopped in at Winning Coffee.  Definitely a "locals' coffee house, I felt somewhat naked as I didn't have any tattoos or a Van Dyke.  The people there were very nice but the hot chocolate, not so much.  It tasted more of steamed milk than of chocolate.  They had some great signage inside listing local acts/bands, some with names I can't list here.

As much as I love the name of this shop...

I love these signs even more!  There really seemed to be an "attitude" of sorts in this neighborhood.  Not in a bad way but one that displayed an independent streak.  That and a whole lotta tattoo shops.

A short while later we drove over to Old Town Albuquerque to check out the shops.  Such a nice area and place to take a casual stroll.  The town square had a group speaking about the days of Billy the Kid and there were so many sights to take in.  

Wanderingjew...

and Billyboy having fun and trying to blend in (not really!)

More John Wayne at a local gift shop.

And lots of chiles on display.

WJ and Dayna checking out some jewelry.  These local artisans have been setting up on this street for decades and then man Dayna bought a very pretty necklace and bracelet from had learned how to make jewelry from his mother and has been selling here for over 20 years.  

While we were shopping this man was walking by selling homemade pork & green chile sandwiches and baggies of fried dough bites coated in cinnamon sugar.  I was tempted to try the a sandwich but Frontier wasn't that far in the rearview mirror of my stomach and we had lunch plans with Ralph and Lori Melton in a couple of hours so I opted for the fried dough.  A tasty snack ideal for walking around the square.  

And the close-up.  

Our lunch stop was at Mary & Tito's Cafe and many thanks to Wanderingjew and Buffetbuster for this wonderful recommendation!

The chips were crisp and fresh tasting and the salsa was flavorful packed a nice heat.

WJ ordered a small bowl of chicharrones and they tasted like really, really good fatty, crispy bacon nuggets.  I pulled a "Michael Stern" of sorts and put one in a tortilla with a squirt of honey inside for a crispy, salty, sweet treat!  We thought the tortillas may not have been house made as they didn't seem as fresh as the ones at Frontier.  

Dayna and I split a carne adovada stuffed sopaipilla, Christmas-style. At first, I wasn't crazy about it as I had scooped up a big spoonful of the red chile which was intense.  But on the second bite, I made sure to get some pork, that crispy fried crust and both the red & green chile.  The combination of all those textures and flavors was truly magical!

I spied some cake under a glass dome and asked our server about it.  He said it was a Mexican wedding cake made with (I think) walnuts and pineapple and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.  I could have eaten this all by myself but my ahem, svelte figure is very glad that we shared!  Mary & Tito's is a just a really wonderful, small, unassuming place that puts out some amazing food and I would definitely put it on a "must stop" list the next time I'm out here.

 
Much more to come...  Stay tuned!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2013/09/05 08:41:05
Sundancer7
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/04 19:30:24 (permalink)
I have had several trips to that area but never had the food adventure you had.  Outstanding pics and food.
 
Paul E. Smith
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/04 19:37:50 (permalink)
Lawd...............WJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A Yankees T-shirt???????????????  It is a dismal day in South County, Johnnycakes become lead, Clam Fritters fret, Chowder starts looking longingly at Milk and cream ( but ABHORs that Tomato stuff!)
 
Oh....the hat is cute
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/05 15:16:34 (permalink)
Thanks for adding in your report Billyboy as it is wonderful to relive this all over again.  And I am still kicking myself for not making it to Mary & Tito's.  Any chance either you or WJ will write a review?
wanderingjew
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/05 15:19:48 (permalink)
buffetbuster 

Any chance either you or WJ will write a review?

Any chance we'll ever have a restaurant review editor again?
CajunKing
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/05 17:46:09 (permalink)

 
Now where is that ale bottle he should be holding and that would be a perfect picture.
ann peeples
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/06 07:37:08 (permalink)
Great company, great food and a great occasion to all gather together!! Wonderful report-thanks all!
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/06 09:13:03 (permalink)
This is the most unique trip report I've ever read - a featured headliner with a supporting cast, and a wedding to boot!
buffetbuster
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/06 09:32:02 (permalink)
Not sure if I like being considered WJ's sidekick!
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/06 22:12:14 (permalink)
CajunKing



Now where is that ale bottle he should be holding and that would be a perfect picture.

Slight Correction CJ---
You drink Ale in England-You Drink Cerveza in the Southwest! 
http://nmbeer.org/brewers/
 
billyboy
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/07 15:43:15 (permalink)
Saturday July 6th, 2013, cont' - After lunch we made our way back to the hotel in Rio Rancho to relax for a bit and then took the very convenient shuttle to the wedding site in Corrales.  These metal sculptures were made by Amy's cousin.

 The home where Chris & Amy were married was designed and built by Amy's aunt and is now my official "dream home"!  

 They had fresh squeezed watermelon juice (agua de sandia, that Amy had pressed herself!) and as well as local wines

 and locally brewed beer!  Talk about regionally appropriate!  I think Wanderingjew was really in his element here!

 And some locally baked cookies...

Biscochitos, anise-flavored shortbread cookies that are the state cookie of New Mexico.

 The tent set up in the backyard

 and the well-appointed tables with the two colors predominantly seen in the Southwest, orange and turquoise.

A very intimate setting.  We couldn't have asked for better weather.  It was a bit hot but it rained for a spell later in the evening and cooled things off a bit.  And just off in the distance (though you can't see them from this pic) are the Sandia (watermelon) Mountains.  A truly wonderful backdrop to a very special day.

 The bride and groom and the wedding party.  Chris & Amy had written some very funny, heartfelt vows that spoke to the qualities in each other that they both really admire and the things that bring them both much joy.  Dayna and I were honored to have been able to share in their wedding day.

 Everyone saw this log & saw setup but I'm not sure if anyone knew what it was for.  From what I remember the sawing of the log is a Dutch tradition and symbolizes the teamwork and effort that the couple will need to put into their marriage for many years of happiness together.  Did I get it right, Amy??  

 The very regional dinner was catered by the Roadfood reviewed Garcia's Kitchen and was amazing.  The one plate I of which I didn't take a photo!  Carne adovada smothered in red chile sauce, pork & green chile tamales, refried beans, fresh tortillas, beef enchiladas, Spanish rice and maybe some more.  Honestly, taking notes wasn't on my list of priorities that evening.  We had such a wonderful time meeting so many different people in Chris & Amy's life and being able to spend some QT with the bride & groom as well as other RFers in attendance!  I'm talkin' about you, Buffetbuster, Mariton, Cousin Johnny, Ralph Melton, IceCreamChick (aka Lori), ChiTownDiner, Patti, WanderingjewBruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle!!  Chris said how the catering at many restaurants tends to be a shadow of what is offered at the restaurants themselves but that Garcia's was just as good as what you would get at their restaurant any day of the week.  I haven't had much New Mexican food up to this point but everything tasted so fresh, the colors were so vibrant and bright and I'd definitely make Garcia's a must stop on my next trip to NM.  

 The happy couple cutting the spelt & honey cake that was recreated from an ancient Roman recipe.  Like nothing I have ever tasted and very good.  No sugar was used so the sweetness was very subtle and would be perfect with a cup of coffee (or tea in my case.  Or maybe coffee if WJ can get me to drink another cup!!).  The mini cupcakes were delicious and came in flavors such as dulce de leche, lemon poppy and watermelon.  

 Later in the evening this bottle of Hatch Green Chile Wine showed up on our table and I just had to try it.  A very mellow white wine with a slight green green kick and flavor at the end.  Lots of dancing, karaoke and good times.

 
Chris & Amy, we can't say enough how happy we were to be able to come out to New Mexico and be part of such a wonderful weekend!  
 
Much more to come...
 
Greymo
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/07 16:14:58 (permalink)
What a lovely, special and Roadfood-worthy wedding!  WJ will not be able to top this!!
leethebard
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/07 17:01:18 (permalink)
wow....what a wedding!!! Blessings to all!
agnesrob
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/08 11:38:11 (permalink)
Wonderful pictures! Amy looked beautiful! Looks like a lovey wedding! Congrats to both!
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/08 22:21:29 (permalink)
Congratulations to the happy couple!  Looks like a wonderful and special wedding!  I love all the traditions represented!
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/09 03:52:47 (permalink)
Sunday July 7th, 2013 - Dayna slept in the morning after the wedding, as did Ralph & Lori (we were staying in the same hotel).  Wanderingjew & I drove over to Sophia's Place on 4ht St. in Albuquerque to meet up with ChiTownDiner and his wife, Patti, for breakfast.  

I always love it when a restaurant dresses up their bathroom doors.  It's the little touches that give me a good feeling about a place.

So much great food to choose from...

When we arrived, the place was packed and you might be able to tell from this pics...it's really tiny.  We opted to sit outside under the red roof in the first pic.  I love that New Mexico sun but it sure does get hot awfully quick, especially if you're just sitting in it.  We were a bit concerned that we wouldn't find a table but eagle-eyed Wanderingjew spied one about to open and he went outside to secure it.  

Patti's breakfast sandwich on grilled bread was a winner and the salsa on it provided a bit of a kick and fresh flavor.  I ordered a side of these wonderful thin cut, crispy breakfast potatoes.  That had a spice rub on them that was a bit sweet but gave them a nice little kick.  

I was craving blue corn pancakes and WJ had heard that Sophia's had gotten good marks on theirs and they certainly didn't disappoint.  A bit of fluffiness, a nutty texture from the blue corn, covered in pinion nut butter and topped with a fresh berry compote and real maple syrup, these were exactly what I had wanted. 

 CTD passed around sample of his breakfast burrito, stuffed with scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese and topped with green chiles.  I think this might be my order next time around.  

 And this thick-cut, crispy, yet chewy bacon was a hit with everyone.  So very glad to share one last meal with CTD and Patti before they headed back to Chicago and I hope to be siting across a table from them once again soon!  Sophia's may be a very small place but they sure pack in a lot of big flavor.  

 Dayna and I didn't feel like doing much exploring today so we just hung around the hotel and eventually I knew I needed to get in at least one run before I left the Land of Enchantment.  I walked out the hotel and crossed the street with the idea of running down the same road we had ridden on the night before on the way to the wedding.  It was such a beautiful (and very hot!) evening and my run was bringing me closer to the Sandia Mountains.  I even passed a gecko and the roadside along the way.  The only thing that made me nervous was when I kept seeing signs from companies offering snake removal.  I couldn't help but wonder, "Is this a 'thing" out here?"  Exactly how many snakes should I anticipate running into/stepping on during my run?  Thankfully, none!  Much like Indiana Jones, I HATE snakes!  Hate 'em!!  
Many people say there isn't much difference between a dry heat vs. one with high humidity.  95 degrees is 95 degrees!  I have to disagree with that assessment.  While it was very hot, I didn't feel like my soul was being sucked out like I do while running in NYC during late July/early August.  The tough part about the course I ran was almost no trees to be found along the way.  Just lots of low lying scrub brush which meant that the gorgeous New Mexico sun was bearing right down on me.  I made sure to bring my water bottle but I ran out of water halfway through my run.  Luckily, at the halfway point was a local convenience store named Frontier Mart.  The really cool thing about this place, to me anyway, was that they had a hitching post for horses and a pump with a hose for water.  I went inside to ask if it was potable water and if I could use it.  They said yes so I went back out and pulled the hose from where it was stored inside of a pipe and someone had stuffed a muddy Peanut M & M's wrapper in it.  Guess I'll be buying bottled water today!  I am glad though that I had a chance to go inside and cool off for a bit and check out the store.  Lots of local wines, cookbooks, dried chile powders and many other local specialties.

 On the run back I passed a cluster of adobe houses and the street leading into the neighborhood was named "Yippee Calle".  I didn't think anyone would believe me unless I had a picture.  It occurred to me that upon seeing this sign many people of my parents' and grandparents' generation would immediately think of Roy Rogers.  My first thought was, "I wonder if John McClane lives here?".  

 
Up next...do you know the way to Santa Fe??
 
buffetbuster
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/09 07:57:01 (permalink)
Yippe Calle, I love that!
 
The food at the wedding was indeed just as good as you get at the restaurant and considering we are talking about Garcia's, that is really high praise.  Here are a couple photos of the buffet line:


wanderingjew
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/09 08:19:02 (permalink)
Greymo

What a lovely, special and Roadfood-worthy wedding!  WJ will not be able to top this!!


The trip report or the wedding? If it's "the wedding" then apparently you know something that I am completely unaware of " />
 
On an aside, I'm glad that Billyboy and buffetbuster steopped in as I really took a step back from taking any photos at the wedding as I just wanted to enjoy the experience ...I did take a few photos of the ceremony itself on my smart phone but that's about it..
Foodbme
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/10 01:55:46 (permalink)
that's a gorgeous looking Buffet!
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/10 15:44:56 (permalink)
WJ and BB, I totally forgot to get photos of my plate and the buffet!  Thanks for those shots, BB!  Fantastic.  I'm craving Garcia's all over again.
billyboy
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/10 21:26:08 (permalink)
Monday July 8th, 2013 - Dayna and I slept in later than we had planned and got a late start up to Santa Fe.  It was such a beautiful day and we saw lots of cool cloud formations on the hour-long drive.  This one really reminds me of a dog crouching waiting for someone to throw a ball.


 A short drive on Rte. 66 near Santa Fe and we made it!  Many thanks to ChiTownDiner for the parking lot suggestion and all of the wonderful food texts he had sent over the previous days that gave us some inspiration.  

 Our first stop was for lunch at Cafe Pasqual's in the heart of downtown Santa Fe.  There was a short wait for a table so we poked in a few stores and then upon coming back we had the option of sitting at the communal table in the center of the restaurant.  I would highly recommend this option if you have the chance.  Not everyone enjoys talking and sharing space with total strangers but it worked for us.  We met a number of interesting people, each with their own story to tell.  One woman was traveling from Texas up to her summer house in Jackson Hole, WY and always makes this cafe one of her stops along the way.  The guy sitting next to Dayna was an actor from L.A. who decided to live in Santa Fe half of the year as the film industry was really picking up in New Mexico.  A couple at the end of the table had just gotten married and they were spending part of their honeymoon here.  Our server busted my chops when he saw my Boston Red Sox hat.    

 From the moment I walked in I had a good feeling about this place and the food was just as good as the conversation.  It just felt really homey and lived in, like one of those neighborhood institutions that everyone knows about an loves.  

 The front of the menu.

 I started out with some fresh squeezed lemonade.

 Dayna ordered the Griddled Polenta with Sauteed Chorizo, Corn and Red Chile (from the menu:  Green Chile-Flecked Fried Polenta on a Pool of Red Chile Sauce, topped with Our Chorizo, Roasted Corn Niblets and Two Eggs Your Way).  This was very good but I think I'm more of a green chile kind of guy.  That red chile was pretty intense!

 I had the Smoked Trout Hash (from the menu:  A Golden Gruyère Potato Cake with Two Poached Eggs, a Scatter of Smoked Trout and Tomatillo Salsa).  I really enjoyed this dish and everything came together nicely.  

 The side of red chile bacon we ordered was a smoky, salty, spicy, sweet and chewy plate of porky goodness.  Dayna is not a big fan of bacon but she really loved this!

 We thought about getting the the $11 espresso milkshake for dessert but kept thinking of John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction" and just couldn't justify the cost.  We settled on a pair of cookies we spied at the register.  A Mexican wedding cookie, like a shortbread with almonds, I think and a chocolate-mint crackle cookie, both of which were excellent though I think the Mexican would be ideal with a cup of tea.  

 We walked through a small mall area and up to the plaza where we found the RF reviewed Five and Dime General Store.   

 The Frito Pie looks and sounds so tempting but we were so full after lunch that we needed a break so we just walked around the store, picked up some postcards and strolled along the plaza for a while. 

 I did find these riffs on the party classic Red Solo Cup.  Made me think of this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKZqGJONH68  (Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup - NSFW)

 After working off our lunch with some walking and window shopping we found Roque's Carnitas cart on the plaza.  Available for birthdays, weddings, bar mitzvahs, divorces, you name it!

 And a nod to Roadfood as well!

 What is a carnita, you ask?  

 And Roque himself was manning the grill today, proudly displaying my carnitas.  

 Dayna and I found a park bench and luckily I remembered the RF review and took plenty of napkins.  This was sooooo good!  The beef was really tender and had a nice char to it and that salsa was spicy and filled with chunky tomatoes.  The peppers and onions were good but at first it reminded me of fajitas, of which I am not a fan, but these were tiny strips that had some good char on them as well.  Much like the Chicago Italian Beef or the Philly Cheesesteak, this must be eaten while leaning forward as it is a wonderfully juicy mess and it WILL drip on the sidewalk.  

 A cool watermelon agua fresca to wash it down.  Ahhh!!

 It was turning into a pretty hot day and Dayna was starting to overheat a bit to we stopped into this Cathedral to cool off, sit and contemplate for a spell.  

 A very beautiful place but sorry, no pictures inside which I think is a good idea.  Sometimes it's a good thing look upon and take in the environment before us with our own eyes.

 It started to rain s we popped into a small mall that CTD had told us about and found Dream Cupcakes, which turned out to be quite good.  I think we picked up a Key West and a Chocolate Lovers.  We had a nice conversation with the owner who said that he and his wife would be packing up soon and moving the business to Hawaii.  I wish them well.

 

 

 On our way back to Albuquerque, we encountered the strangest thing:  a rain storm followed by intense hail (in this pic) then clear skies for a few miles followed by the same intense weather agin for a few more miles. I've never seen anything like it before.  The hail was so intense that it was almost impossible to see the lines on the road or the traffic in front of us.  I'm usually pretty cool and collected when driving in most conditions but this totally stressed me out.

 The one thing I knew I must try before leaving New Mexico was a green chile cheeseburger (GCC) and in a REALLY bad case of Travelin' Man Syndrome, we arrived in New Mexico just after the RF reviewed Bobcat Bite had closed at their old location and a few weeks before they would be opening up in their new location AND our dinner the first night was a just a few mile down the same road as the old location.  Oh fates, how you tease me!!  We had debated where to go for dinner tonight and after a few texts to Wanderingjew and Buffetbuster, we decided to check out the Owl Cafe.  How can you NOT fall in love with a cafe shaped like an owl?  

 And it's on the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail!  Yippee!

 Loving all the stools.

 And lots of local specialties too.  

 My eyes honed in on the dessert case when we walked in and I knew a slice of pie was in our immediate future.

 The only question remaining was do I get my very first GCC fully dressed (lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard) or naked?  I texted my Roadfood spiritual guide, Buffetbuster, for his sage advice.  He likes his naked and I was leaning that way too.  If I came all the way out here to taste those green chiles I don't want to cover them up with all sorts of condiments.  Bun, beef, chiles, cheese and top bun.  That's all!  This was a really good cheeseburger and those chiles have just the right amount of heat to make their presence known and the lips slightly tingle.  I hope to try many, many more one day.

 Dayna and I split a slice of apple pie, which was good but paled in comparison to the ones we had at Harry's Roadhouse just a few days before.  

 
Just a bit more to come...

 
 
   
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/10 22:35:42 (permalink)
Really good stuff, billyboy. Really good.
buffetbuster
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/11 08:38:31 (permalink)
billyboy-
You do know what that cowboy riding the pepper is yelling?   Yippe Calle!
 
Perfect choices of where to eat.  It seems that other than the weather, you had a great day in Santa Fe.  IMHO, Pasquale's is a vastly underrated Roadfood restaurant and among the all-time greats.  After the last meal our party had there, I won't be taking it for granted anymore.  And your instincts are right on, the community table is the way to go. 
 
It really is a shame the way it worked out that you didn't get to visit the Bobcat Bite.  No doubt you would have loved it.   
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/09/11 08:41:25
love2bake
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/09/11 08:55:36 (permalink)
I love your interpretation of the cloud formations!!!
 
Those breakfasts at Cafe Pasqual looked awesome.  I also think I could spend a week enjoying the daily specials at the Owl Cafe.
 
"A very beautiful place but sorry, no pictures inside which I think is a good idea.  Sometimes it's a good thing look upon and take in the environment before us with our own eyes."  Excellent observation.
 
Thank you for sharing!!
billyboy
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Re:Magnificent Memories in the Land of Mañana and................... a Piece of the Panhan 2013/10/06 15:56:05 (permalink)
Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 - Time to finally put this trip report to bed with the last installment!  Dayna and I woke up and headed across the street for breakfast at Weck's, a local chain.  

 My Carnitas Papas with green& red chile, eggs, hash browns and cheddar & jack cheese was a big bowl full of food and way more than I should have ordered.  I wish I had liked it more but it was too salty for me and I think I may have been reaching my cap on Mexican food for this trip.  

 Dayna had some type of omelette with green chile and hash browns and she really liked it.  

 To work off some of that food, we arranged to meet Wanderingjew at the Sandia Peak to head up to the top for some gorgeous views of Albuquerque.  I still can't get over how beautiful the skies and cloud formations are out here!  

 It was a lovely day though there wouldn't be any hiking as the trails were shut down due to fire hazards.  The tram was still running and we could take it up to the peak and walk around on the platform for a while.  

 Dayan and I getting ready to go up. 

 These next 7 shots are of the tramway ride up to the top of Sandia Peak and the view from the platform.  It really was stunning up there but I am terrified of heights and that ride up totally freaked me out.  I held on to one of the poles in the tram with a death grip the entire way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 We parted ways with Wanderingjew for a few hours and made our way over to Paleteria Michoacana de Paquime for some tasty frozen treats.  Between Ayersian's review and the texts I received from Buffetbuster and ChiTownDiner during our trip, I just knew we had to stop here!  

 Love the artwork here.

 Dayna's paleta with kiwi, mango, strawberry, pineapple and some other fruits was amazing.  So fresh and the intense flavor of pure fruit really shone through.  

 My pistachio esquimal, dipped in chocolate and covered in chopped nuts was terrific too.  They had so much more here that I wanted to try that a return visit is definitely in order.  

 We made plans to meet up with Wanderingjew, Buffetbuster and Mariton for dinner at Padilla's Mexican Kitchen.  This is a place that WJ came to regularly when he lived here about 25 years ago and he was eager to revisit.

 

 I loved that guacamole appetizer, especially the presentation with the chips already in it like little sharks!  Buttery, creamy, spicy and chunky, just how I like it.  I did like guacamole prior to this trip but for many years I had suffered through so many bad renditions that resmebled art class paste.  To me, guac is one of those dishes where less is more.  Not too many ingredients and the less mixing/processing the better.  I first had it prepared tableside a few years ago at Rosa Mexicano in NYC and was blown away at how truly amazing it could be.
 
BB, Dayna really did enjoy meeting you, Mariton and Johnny and hanging again with WJ (she had previously met he and Sandra with me for dinner at the Second Ave. Deli last November).  I wish I had taken notes but I believe that my dinner choice was a combo plate consisting of a beef taco, tamale and enchilada with rice & beans, smothered in green chile sauce.  I distinctly remember not wanting red as I had tried it a number of times at various restaurants on this trip and found it to be pretty intense and found myself preferring the subtler flavor of the green.  Everything on this plate was really good and just tasted really fresh.  I would put Padilla's on my must stop list for my next trip out here.  Thanks for the great conversation WJ, BB and Mariton!


 The sopaipillas with honey drizzled on top were fantastic and that dessert really was just like horchata pudding.

  I'm just going to copy what I had written earlier in this thread as I think that it best summed up my feelings about this place.  I have to say, great call on Padilla's, man!  I was really blown away by that place.  So unassuming on the outside but just fantastic, homemade food.  Right after we ordered, I went to use the restroom which was in a corner of the kitchen.  Someone was in there so I waited and could see a woman turning something in a cast iron skillet and across the hall I spied two 5-gallon buckets filled with dried red chiles that were soaking (presumably in water) to be made into sauce.  Both of these things made me very excited for our meal as it really seemed that a lot of care went into using fresh, local ingredients and making most, if not, everything by hand.  Another winner on this trip and as a post-script, I was just talking to WJ on the phone a few nights ago and still gushing over how much I truly loved Padilla's, three months later!  

    Out last stop of the night was at the Doghouse.  BB had wanted to check out the neon here and it didn't disappoint.  The incredibly spicy chile dog that BB and I tried was tool intense after only two bites but...

    ...the chocolate-cherry shake worked wonders to cool down my burning tongue!  We all parted ways at this point as we were flying back to our respective cities the next day.  It really was so great to spend some quality time with you all and to be there to celebrate with Chris & Amy.  I look very much forward to our next meet-up!

Wednesday July 10th, 2013 - Dayna and I had planned to get up early to check out the Petroglyphs or perhaps to pickup some bread at Golden Crown Panaderia but we ended up sleeping in.  On the way to the airport I was lucky enough to get a shot of one last cloud formation that reminded me of a rodeo rider with his arm extended backwards, holding on to a bucking bronc.  That's all for this trip from the Land of Enchantment.  Thanks for reading!  I'll post "The 411" soon.

 
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2013  
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Que Bueno Mexican Cafe
      8500 Peno Blvd (Gate B52, Denver Airport)
      Denver, CO 80249
      Ph# 303-342-3372
      Website:  http://www.flydenver.com/fooddetails?URI=tcm:8-627
 
2.)  Harry's Roadhouse
      96 Old Las Vegas Hwy
      Santa Fe, NM 87505
      Ph# 505-989-4629
      Website:  http://www.harrysroadhousesantafe.com
      RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R.../4880/harrys-roadhouse
 
3.)  Satellite Coffee
      1628 Alameda Blvd NW
      Albuquerque, NM 
      Ph# 505-899-1001
      Website:  http://www.satellitecoffee.com
 
4.)  Frontier Restaurant
      2400 Central SE
      Albuquerque, NM 87106
      Ph# 505-266-0550
      Website:  http://www.frontierrestaurant.com
      RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R.../Overview/305/frontier
 
5.)  Old Town Albuquerque
      Website:  http://www.albuquerqueoldtown.com
 
6.)  Mary & Tito's
      2711 4th Street NW
      Albuquerque, NM 87107
      Ph# 505-344-6266
      Website:  http://www.maryandtitoscafe.com
 
7.)  Sophia's Place
      6313 4th Street NW 
      Albuquerque, NM 87107
      Ph# 505-345-3935
 
8.)  Cafe Pasqual's
      121 Don Gaspar
      Santa Fe, NM 87501
      Ph# 505-983-9340
      Website:  http://www.pasquals.com
      RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R...Overview/1386/pasquals
 
9.)  Five & Dime
      58 E. San Francisco Street 
      Santa Fe, NM 87501
      Ph# 505-992-1800
      Website:  http://www.fiveanddimegs.com
      RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R...and-dime-general-store
 
10.)  Roque's Carnitas
        San Francisco Street & the Old Santa Fe Trail on the Plaza
        Santa Fe, NM 87501
        No website
        RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R...iew/55/roques-carnitas
 
11.)  The Cathedral Basilica
        131 Cathedral Place
        Santa Fe, NM 87501
        Ph# 505-982-5619
        Website:  http://www.cbsfa.org 
 
12.)  Dream Cakes
        66 E. San Francisco Street, Suite 19-A
        Santa Fe, NM 87501
        Ph# 505-930-2027
        Website:  http://www.dreamcakesgourmetcupcakes.com
 
13.)  The Owl Cafe
        800 Eubank Blvd NE
        Albuquerque, NM 87123
        Ph# 505-291-4900
        Website:  http://owlcafealbuquerque.com
 
14.)  Weck's
        1620 Rio Rancho Blvd SE
        Albuquerque, NM 87124
        Ph# 505-896-1411
        Website:  http://www.wecksinc.com
 
15.)  Sandia Peak
        30 Tramway Road NE
        Albuquerque, NM 87122
        Ph# 505-856-7325
        Website:  http://www.sandiapeak.com
 
16.)  Paleteria La Michoacana de Paquime
        6500 Zuni Road SE
        Albuquerque, NM 87108
        Ph# 505-266-3408
        No website
 
17.)  Padilla's Mexican Kitchen
        1510 Girard N.E. 
        Albuquerque, NM 87106
        Ph# 505-262-0115
        No website
 
18.)  The Doghouse
        1216 Central Ave SW
        Albuquerque, NM 87102
        Ph# 505-243-1019
        No website
 
19.)  Garcia's Kitchen
        1113 4th Street NW
        Albuquerque, NM 87102
        Ph# 505-247-9149
        Website:  http://www.garciaskitchen.com
        RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R...w/7341/garcias-kitchen
 
post edited by billyboy - 2013/10/07 23:12:17
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