Backstreet Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Old Town Albuquerque. Locals love it. We appreciate its unique architecture and have tremendous affection for its character and personality. We hold its religious celebrations in reverence and admire the passion with which its secular fiestas are celebrated. We delight in reminding “colonists” that it’s older than many New England cities which dominate history books. Old Town is where we take all our friends and family who visit us. Much as we love it…and we do love it, many of…

Casa Taco – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Nowadays, hoy en día, with our world full of war and violence and lack of love, a world full of greed A world of domination, grasping power, venal stupidity, real evil. Don’t get me started. It’s good to know that a conversation about tacos will always engender a sense of comfort and happiness. If only we could sit down at a big round world table and eat tacos in a spirit of love we might begin to work on world…

Plaza Cafe Southside – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant (circa 1918), the Plaza Cafe is so popular that long waits to be seated are commonplace. Compound that with the hassle of trying to find a parking spot that isn’t a marathon’s length to walk to and from the Cafe then having to navigate through throngs of awestruck tourists and it’s a restaurant we don’t visit as often as we’d like. Our visits might become even more infrequent thanks to the 2003 launch of the Plaza…

Canvas Artistry – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Edible art” isn’t just some trite phrase pedantic food critics use when food has aesthetic values that delight our senses. Mankind has been been intrigued by the concept of food as art since the dawning of rational thinking. Prehistoric cave paintings such as those in Les Trois Frères in Ariège, in southern France, depict families gathering around the fire to share the foods they had prepared, an event made possible by the discovery of fire. Fire, it goes without saying,…

Coyote’s Rooftop Cantina – Santa Fe, New Mexico

National Geographic Traveler once described Santa Fe as “a hypercultural hybrid–equal parts Wild West and New Age, Native American and Hispanic, old money and old hippie”…a city “used to mixing things up and still creating an oddly seamless whole.” It truly is the City Different, a city with an identity, substance and style all its own. Is it any wonder it has earned acclaim as one of the most popular travel destinations in the world? Yet, to many people, Santa…

Eloisa – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Expansive views bathed in salubrious, sun-kissed air punctuated by languid breezes. Cerulean skies graduating in depth and brilliance the higher they climb above the horizon. Surreal topography of unnaturally contorted, dappled sandstone formations and juniper laden foothills. Lush, well-tended gardens blessed with an abundance of vegetables, herbs, flowers and shrubs. Such was the idyll Georgia O’Keefe called home. On Sunday, July 19th, 2015, another transcendent artist–one whose medium is food and whose canvas is the palate—spent the day at the…

Del Charro Saloon – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Can it truly be that the more things change, the more they stay the same? In 1776, Fermin de Mendinueta, governor and captain-general of the Spanish province of New Mexico, declared that “Santa Fe settlers are “churlish types” who are “accustomed to live apart from each other, as neither fathers nor sons associate with each other.” In 2013, Travel & Leisure published a list of America’s “snobbiest cities” and Santa Fe made the list at number five. The list was…

The Turquoise Room – Winslow, Arizona

The concept of “fast food” had a far different connotation during the Southwest’s Frontier days than it does today. This is especially true if one traveled via railroad through hundreds of miles of desolate, open country. In the more densely populated and genteel east there were often several cities between most destinations. This allowed for frequent rest and refreshment stops. Passengers rode in relative comfort in Pullman cars with dining cars. In the wide open west, only twenty minutes were…

La Cantina at Casa Sena – Santa Fe, New Mexico

In the dark ages of 1979 when the world wasn’t nearly as connected as it is today, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) ruled the airwaves throughout the United Kingdom just as it had since its founding in 1922. Young listeners complained that the monopoly of control had forged a monotony in programming. For Yanks like me, however, the so-called “monotony” provided the most interesting diversion. In perhaps trying to appeal to listeners of all demographics with a one-size-fits-all approach, the…

La Plazuela at La Fonda – Santa Fe, New Mexico

History and Hollywood have glamorized the Colt 45 revolver as the “gun that tamed the West.” Known as the “Peacemaker,” the .45 caliber pistol was used by all the famous lawmen and cowboy heroes of the old West. Wyatt Earp used the Colt 45. So did Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody. It was often the deciding factor in the unrelenting battle of good and evil, the means by which law and order were established in a frontier in…

Tesuque Village Market – Tesuque, New Mexico

The most successful Indian revolt in North American history occurred on August 10th, 1680. On that day, more than 8,000 warriors from the various Native American pueblos in New Mexico put aside deep historical differences and banded together to drive the Spaniards from their ancestral lands. This event is celebrated each year in Tesuque Pueblo. Tesuque Pueblo played an integral role in the rebellion. Two Tesuque runners were dispatched by pueblo leaders to enlist support for the revolt. The runners…

Cafe Pasqual’s – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Pasqual Baylon’s devotion to the Mass and the Holy Eucharist was so fervent that when assigned kitchen duty, angels had to stir the pots to keep them from burning.  It’s ironic therefore that San Pasqual is the recognized patron saint of Mexican and New Mexican kitchens, a beloved saint whose smiling countenance in the form of various art forms graces many a kitchen, including Katharine Kagel’s kitchen in the world famous Cafe Pasqual, one of Santa Fe’s most popular restaurants.…

Casa Chaco – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

In A.D. 850, the ancient Anasazi began building the pueblos archaeologists posit were the hub of an ancient culture inhabited in its heyday by more than 5,000 people. By A.D. 1000, Chaco Canyon was the flourishing heart of religious and governmental life for an advanced culture that has since been assimilated by Native American pueblos dotting the Rio Grande valley. Using remote sensing technology, archaeologists discovered roads radiating from Chaco Canyon like the spokes of the wheel, connecting the canyon…

Peppers – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

True to the restaurant’s name, Peppers chefs play tribute to chiles and peppers so ubiquitous to New Mexico cooking. In many of their creations, they incorporate New Mexico green and red chile, chipotle, Chimayo red chile, Habañero, Serrano, Pepperonici and red and green bell peppers (a chile icon denotes all items in which chiles or peppers are used in the preparation). Despite the often clever use of chiles and peppers, Marriot’s signature restaurant suffers from inconsistency that has kept us…

Plaza Cafe – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Just as with people, a city is best defined by its heart. For Santa Fe, that would be its historic Plaza which has been, for much of four centuries, the city’s hub of commerce, culture and government. The Plaza is at the confluence of El Camino Real (the Spanish Royal Road from Mexico City), The Old Pecos Trail and the Santa Fe Trail. These historic transportation routes made settlement possible and facilitated trade and commerce. Today the Plaza is comprised…