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New Mexico Roadfood Tour 2010


A visit to New Mexico during the height of chile season takes us from Albuquerque, where the State Fair is underway, north to magical city of Santa Fe, then finally south to the chile-growing country of the Mesilla Valley, where we will be hosted by Dr. Paul Bosland, the world's foremost chile expert.

Frontier
Powdrell's Bar-B-Que
Plaza Café
Five and Dime General Store
Pasqual's
Roque's Carnitas
Santacafé
The Shed
Bert's Burger Bowl
Owl Bar
Buckhorn Tavern
La Posta de Mesilla
Frontier - Albuquerque , NM
Meals at the Frontier are great quick-eats, New Mexico-style. Count on superior huevos rancheros and oven-hot flour tortillas at breakfast; at lunch, there is green chili stew by the bowlful, big broad enchiladas that can be had with beef or vegetarian-style with meatless green chili, cheese and onions; and there are chalupas and tacos and excellent blue-plate hamburgers.
Powdrell's Bar-B-Que - Albuquerque , NM
Mr. Powdrell is gone, but his beef remains a landmark -- tender and full flavored, each handsome strip saturated with smoke and oozing natural juice, the heap of them spread with an explosive cinnabar-red sauce.
Plaza Café - Santa Fe , NM
Santa Fe's oldest restaurant has a broad, friendly menu of classic diner fare, New Mexican food, and Greek specialties. The sopaipillas are the best in town and the garlic-infused quesadilla is memorable.
Five and Dime General Store - Santa Fe , NM
When you order a Frito pie at the Five and Dime, mild and meaty red chile is ladled into an open “Big Grab” bag of corn chips, then shredded cheese is spread across the top. The chili is hot enough so the cheese begins to melt, and by the time you plant a plastic fork, it’s molten. Chopped onions and jalapeno chips are offered as a garnish.
Pasqual's - Santa Fe , NM
Pasqual's is Santa Fe's favorite corner eatery, specializing in bright, modern versions of New Mexico classics. Among not-to-be-missed regional and seasonal specialties are local trout, chicken mole, and Mexican hot chocolate. The corned beef hash is some of the best in the west.
Roque's Carnitas - Santa Fe , NM
A food truck that parks at the corner of the Santa Fe Plaza, Roque's Carnitas serves just one wonderful thing: strips of beef that have been marinated and charcoal cooked with onions and chilies. They are loaded into a tortilla which comes tightly wrapped in foil for eating on the stroll or on a bench in the Plaza.
Santacafé - Santa Fe , NM
In this stylish, upscale restaurant you will find brilliant southwestern flavors with an Asian or Continental twist. Crunchy smoked pheasant spring rolls come with a dipping sauce of mint and four chilies; pan-seared swordfish is accompanied by saffron couscous; huge tempura tiger prawns loll in a puddle of sweet-and-sour-and hot red chile coulis. Meals begin with chile-spiked brioche, and conclude with such luxuries as warm toffee pudding or Tahitian vanilla bean crème brulée.
The Shed - Santa Fe , NM
Located in a hacienda that dates back to 1692, the Shed has been a fixture at the east end of the Santa Fe Plaza since 1953. A quiet, comfy place, its specialty is native New Mexican fare, including definitive carne adovada and pollo adobo. Chilled red raspberry soup is listed as an hors d'oeuvre, but it also makes a cool refresher for dessert.
Bert's Burger Bowl - Santa Fe , NM
Bert's claims to have invented the green chile cheeseburger -- a big, flat patty of beef sizzled on a grate over charcoal, from which flames lick up and flavor not only the meat, but also the bright orange cheese laid upon it. Dollops of fiery minced green chile are mounded atop the cheese, and unless you say otherwise, your burger will come dressed with mustard, pickle, lettuce, onion, and tomato.
Owl Bar - San Antonio , NM
The green chile cheeseburger is what has put this out-of-the-way watering hole on the good eats map. Crusty, gnarled patties of beef are covered with chopped hot green chilies and the chilies are in turn topped with a slice of cheese that melts into them and the crevices of the hamburger.
Buckhorn Tavern - San Antonio , NM
The chile that tops the Buckhorn Burger is not as hot as what's used at the nearby Owl Bar, but it has a stronger, sharper chile flavor. A small amount of American cheese and onions mix well with the chile, while layers of tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and mustard separate the meat from the bottom bun. Messy? Yes. A memorable burger? Definitely.
La Posta de Mesilla - Mesilla , NM
La Posta is one of the grand old Mexican-American restaurants of the Southwest, serving such classic New Mex fare as tostadas compuestas, which is a crisp-fried corn tortilla cup into which is ladled red chili con carne, beans, cheese, lettuce and tomato. A sort of prototypical supernacho, these hearty cups come three to an order for dinner, or as one part of a combination plate that also includes a chili relleno (a large cheese-stuffed, breaded, and deep-fried chili pepper), and a taco as well as guacamole salad.

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