Santa Fe dining: our top Food Thoughts for 2013

It’s time for our 2013 round-up of favorite Food Thoughts posts from the year, both yours and ours. Most, but not all, focus on the Santa Fe dining scene. We’re picked the top five and it was hard to choose, so hard we cheated and added two more at the end.

Burritos and chile

The Pantry's breakfast burrito, pgoto/courtesy The Pantry

The Pantry’s breakfast burrito, pgoto/courtesy The Pantry

I began my search for the best breakfast burrito in Santa Fe when Steve had a small café and I wanted to compare the competition. Until then, I’d never really been into them. I hadn’t been in Santa Fe too long and the chile was just too spicy for my gringa palate. But I was on a quest. I’ve had a breakfast burrito in most breakfast restaurants in town and share them in Searching for the perfect Santa Fe breakfast burrito. After 10 years, I can even eat the chile at the infamous Horseman’s Haven, though, in full disclosure, only the level one and it brings me to my knees. Still, their green chile is infamous for bringing tears to most people’s eyes, so I’m in good company. Because their smothered burritos are not for the faint-hearted, they’re not on my list, but if you have an asbestos palate, you’ll love them.

Kelly Urig filming, Red or Green, photo/courtesy Kelly Urig

Kelly Urig filming, Red or Green, photo/courtesy Kelly Urig

We loved meeting young, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Kelly Urig and readers loved this post, too. Urig made The Chile Film (La Sangre Roja y Verde de Nuevo Mexico for her Masters’ thesis at San Diego State. Urig is from a chile farming family in the Mesilla Valley in Southern New Mexico, where the famous Hatch chiles are from. She grew up with chile in her blood. The half-hour TV show is fun to watch whether you’re a chile fan or not. Meet Kelly Urig in The Chile Film: Red or Green?

Joan Medina getting ready to string chiles into ristras, photo /Steve Collins

Joan Medina getting ready to string chiles into ristras, photo/Steve Collins

We met and Joan (pronounced Joann) and Lowlow Medina in Chimayó when we went to visit their gallery in this quiet village on the High Road to Taos. They are warm and welcoming and treated us like family. We visited them in October to see how chile ristras are made. Joan did a demo for us and we shared it with readers. It was one of our most popular posts of the year. Apparently, many readers wanted to know how to make a ristra. You can learn, too. Read Ristras and pumpkins: How to make a chile ristra. Next year we’ll bring the video camera!

 Chuck eats Santa Fe

Chuck in front of Coyote Cafe, Santa Fe, photo/courtesy Chuck Eats the Street

Chuck in front of Coyote Cafe, Santa Fe, photo/courtesy Chuck Eats the Street

Interviewing the Cooking Channel’s enthusiastic young chef, Chuck Hughes of Chuck Eats the Street was one of my top food experiences of the year. He’s as nice over the phone as he seems on the show and a lot of fun. We were offered the interview as Chuck “ate” Santa Fe’s Water Street in a show that debuted last August, but was shot in colder weather. He and Katherine Kagel, the Chef/owner of Café Pasqual’s, encountered a bit of snow driving in an open-air Jeep. It’s a fun interview and a fun show. You can catch the interview here and perhaps, you can catch a rerun of the show.

Pie ‘r’ us

Kathy Knapp with her Cherry pie, photo/Steve Collins

Kathy Knapp with her Cherry pie, photo/Steve Collins

For years we’ve wanted to get to Pie Town, NM to try the legendary pies baked by Kathy Knapp at her Pie-O-Neer Cafe. Local photographer turned filmmaker Jane Rosemont and her husband Dick are producing a film about Knapp and her pies called, The Pie Lady of Pie Town. They brought the quirky baker to their Santa Fe home for a fund-raiser for their project. Knapp is an amazingly warm and funny woman and you realize people come to the café as much for her as for her delicious baked goods. If you’re ever in her neighborhood, stop in for a piece (or two) of pie. Call ahead, she’s not always open. If you have a favorite pie ask her to bake it. If she has time and the ingredients, she probably will. We fell in love with Kathy Knapp and are planning a visit to Pie Town next year. You’ll love her, too! Read The Pie Lady of Pie Town.

Last but not least

Here’s two more we loved:

Shohko and Hiro Fukada at their first cafe photo/courtesy Shohko Cafe

Shohko and Hiro Fukada at their first cafe photo/courtesy Shohko Cafe

We’re big sushi fans and it’s challenging to find good sushi in Santa Fe. We’ve been eating in Shohko Cafe for years and loved the story behind Shohko Cafe: how sushi came to Santa Fe and how the the Fukuda family got to Santa Fe and opened the city’s first sushi restaurant. We think you’ll enjoy it too.

If you want to dine out in Santa Fe (or Albuquerque or Taos) and want to know where to go The Food Lover’s Guide to Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos is the book to get. For the most part, food writer Andrea Feucht and I have similar opinions of local eateries. The downfall, as with any guide, is it becomes obsolete the minute it hits the printer. Some of the places she’s recommended have bitten the dust, but if they’re open and consistent, she’s right on. You can read post here.

Ahidding behind a coffee mug photo/courtesy Andrea Feucht

Ahidding behind a coffee mug photo/courtesy Andrea Feucht

We’ll have lots more Food Thoughts for you in 2014. Check out the blog on Mondays for them or better yet, subscribe and they’ll be delivered directly to your inbox.

Wishing you a wonderful 2014 filled with good and great people to enjoy it with.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “Santa Fe dining: our top Food Thoughts for 2013”

  1. MikesRoadTrip
    December 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Love that Coyote Cafe!

    • Billie Frank
      January 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      It’s sure been around a while. Bet you got to eat in a bunch of great places when you were here.

  2. Michele Peterson
    December 30, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    Wow, those cherry pies look amazing. Further proof that New Mexico has some of the best food in North America.

  3. Leigh
    December 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Chiles and cherry pie – what’s not to love. Sounds to me like you’ve had your fair share of interesting food experiences in 2013 – and hope there are lots more for 2014.

    May it be a great year for you.

    • Billie Frank
      January 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      We sure did and I hope so, too. We sure ended the year with a great one- dinner at Shohko Cafe. We tell readers about the places we like to eat. If we don’t like them- we don’t write about them. Happy New Year to you, Leigh and wishing you many great hiking, biking and traveling experiences in the new year- and of course that means good food, too.

Leave a Reply

Current day month ye@r *

CommentLuv badge