The Mine Shaft Tavern – Madrid, New Mexico

“You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. St. Peter, don’t you call me cause I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company store.” Those immortal lyrics, hauntingly performed by crooner Tennessee Ernie Ford describe with a poignant reality, the plight of the American miner even onto the 20th century. By payday, which came at month’s end, miners did indeed owe their souls to the company–for the company house in…

Mama Lisa’s Ghost Town Kitchen – Madrid, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Steeped in rich history dating from the early 1800s, Madrid has been transformed from a hard- and soft-coal mining town with shafts as deep as 2500 feet down into a distinctive artist’s community. In the 1970s, artists and craftspeople converted old company stores and houses into shops, galleries and services. In doing so, they transformed what might otherwise have become yet another storied New Mexico ghost town into a popular tourist destination. Situated on the storied Turquoise Trail, Madrid is…

The Hollar – Madrid, New Mexico

It wasn’t that long ago that if you played “word association” with almost anyone outside the Mason-Dixon line, the first thing coming to mind if you used the term “Southern food” was probably something like “heapin’ helpins’ of hillbilly hospitality.” During their nine-year run as one of the most popular comedies in the history of American television, the Clampetts, a hillbilly family who relocated to Beverly Hills after finding oil on their property, introduced “vittles” to the American vernacular.  Vittles,…

Tocororo Cafe – Madrid, New Mexico (CLOSED)

New Mexico is a dichotomous land, a land which welcomes contrast and diversity, where the state-of-the-art trappings of modern society are juxtaposed against ancient cultures with traditions that have gone largely unchanged for centuries. It’s a land in which the sophisticated and the rustic are equally at home. It’s a land in which the best New Mexican cuisine might just be found in Cuba (that would be El Bruno and the best Cuban food could well be the one served…