Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Great Balls of Fire and Local Cuisine - SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

Our travels to Santa Fe landed us, non-threateningly, between two major forest fires outside of town.  While the destruction of vegetation was fast moving and certainly sad, it provided some pretty spectacular shots on our first day in town.
The shot on the left is actually the distance of the fire from town (shot from the hill behind the Santa Fe Opera, which sits outside of Santa Fe a short distance), and how it looked in the morning, that day.  This was the Pacheco Fire, in the Santa Fe National Forest - by mid day, they had had a "bit" of a flare-up, and we were met with this spectacular sight.

As a crowd gathered on the street, the smoke billowed and changed rapidly in front of us - devastating, yet haunting and fascinatingly beautiful at the same time - this was a natural caused fire.
By midday of our second day in town, we witnessed the start of a second fire...this one to the west of town, and what was to become the largest in NM history - The Las Conchas Fire burned more than 150,000 acres, threatening Los Alamos National Laboratory and the town of Los Alamos.

We were offered some pretty spectacular views of the fire from afar that evening, though they did not translate as well here (or perhaps it was the cause and effect of the amount of tequila consumed that evening) - if you look at the bottom of the smoke, you can see the red of the flames - horrifying again, but a pretty breathtaking light show.
With which, the mention of liquid libations, brings us to the local cuisine, and a few recommendations throughout the town.

The first lunch stop on any trip through town commences at this quaint little restaurant - "The French Pastry Shop and Creperie" at the La Fonda Hotel - 100 East San Francisco Street, (505) 983-6697.  Handmade pastries, tasty sandwiches, and the BEST French Onion Soup you'll ever hope to eat - bring cash, as checks and/or credit cards are not accepted - it's worth the hassle, believe me.
Tomasita's Santa Fe (situated next to the Santa Fe Train Depot), 500 S Guadalupe St., (505)-983-5721 - ALWAYS a sure bet for an outstanding meal, great margaritas (leading to blurry, nighttime fire photos), and fresh, hot sopapillas.  Reservations are not accepted, so get there early - the wait is well worth it.  Tomasita's sits next to the Santa Fe Train Station - while you're waiting, wander over and talk to Sam...I did!  A round-trip train ticket between Santa Fe and Albuquerque will cost you $8.00 per person, for a day trip.
And that, leads me to this...the creme de la creme...the best for last...our most favorite local Mexican fare in town.  A place that draws us back at least twice, before leaving town - the food is exquisite, and the Margaritas are as outstanding as the 100+ menu for them is varied and long - a friendly, charming atmosphere - win, win, WIN!
Maria's New Mexican Kitchen, 555 West Cordova Road, (505) 983-7929, Mon. – Fri. 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, Sat. – Sun. Noon to 10 pm - Maria's is home to over 100+ Margaritas from which to choose - yeah, pretty much THE MOTHERLODE OF AMERICAN MARGARITAS, as they've been called.  The owner has written "The Great Margarita Book" (Al Lucero, with a forward by Robert Redford who frequents the restaurant, at a special table, when in town).
This was the last night of our Maria's trips...a night where the delicious, but hot, Carne Adovada actually gave me a nose bleed...even as spicy as it was, it was mouthwatering!  We were feeling so good and laughing so hard, that I thought my nose was just running a bit.  I like my food spicy hot, and the margaritas potent - I got both.  I don't know who might have been worse off that evening after two ass-kicker "House Margaritas" (I actually got up and hugged the waiter - I believe I actually told him I loved him) dad and I in this goofy shot, or my Mom, who seemingly couldn't focus the camera!  If you eat no where else in town, don't miss this one!  Blue agave like you wouldn't believe!


Jackie said...

I hope to visit here, I hope to buy my friend a drink, I hope the blue agave is as blue as in my dreams.....jackie (channeling Red)

Anonymous said...

I have tryed ceveral times to comment on your newest post, dear - but today your comment link does not seem to work? Anyway, your post about the great tour with your parents seemd to have been wonderful, and filled with fantastic experiences - with both nature - and the joyes of big cityes.
What beautiful photoes can come from nature catastrophers. HUGS, Dorthe

Carole said...

so sorry about the fires. must happen often there with the lake of rain.
i think that french restaurant must be so good ppl don't mind paying in cash.

you and your dad look so cute.


Just BE Farm said...

It looks like you had a fantastic trip, Bobby and I have never been to Santa Fe but are tempted to make the trip now!!! We love our food spicy too and just had some very good posole for dinner ourselves. We are so thrilled that you took the time to stop into our new blogging experience and say hello as well as posting our give away on your sidebar! Thanks for the warm welcome and support! We'll be looking forward to more posts from you as well. Following you!!!

~Bobby & Eric~

The Primitive Bucket said...

You look like you had a great time Sis!!

Love you