September 27, 2011 4:25:23 PM PDT
Hello again everyone! I hope the weekend treated you well. I wrote the last post about eating strategies while traveling because it has been on my mind lately. After a bit of a hiatus, I am quickly approaching travels of my own! At the end of this week I will be leaving L.A. to stay with family in the bay area for a few months. Next weekend I will also be flying to North Carolina to attend a wedding, so if anyone has any restaurant/bar/coffee shop recommendations in the Durham area, I would greatly appreciate it!
When I began this forum, I thought it might be helpful to write a few recommendations for L.A. dining to start off with, because I live here and it is a popular travel destination. Now I thought I would give some restaurant suggestions for Santa Fe, NM, which in addition to being a popular travel destination itself, is also where I grew up and learned to love food.
Breakfast: Chocolate Maven
I chose The Chocolate Maven for breakfast (although they also serve lunch, dinner, and apparently high tea) because that was always my favorite time to eat there. Also because they are a café and bakery, so if you eat breakfast elsewhere, you could always hit up the Maven for a pastry and coffee mid-morning. Their menu is so extensive that I won’t even attempt to sum it up, but I will say that everything I have ever had there has been great.
Lunch: La Choza
Word on the Santa Fe streets is that La Choza is the sister restaurant of the Shed, a much more well known (and more expensive) New Mexican restaurant just off the plaza. According to Google Translate, La Choza means “Hut”, which is close enough to “shed” for me. The few times I have eaten at the Shed the food has been amazing, but if you are looking for a quieter, more laid back lunch in the Railyard area, you are better off going to La Choza.
My first instinct when writing this forum was to suggest New Mexican food to you for each meal, which I should probably explain: New Mexicans are wild about our Chile sauce. Green or Red, usually meatless sauces dominate the cuisine, and for the most part these chilies are only available in New Mexico, and conveniently have a somewhat addictive quality. If you like spicy food, you must try New Mexican Chile at least once in your life.
Their menu is basic New Mexican food (pretty much Mexican food with New Mexican Chile on everything), and I love the ambiance. The patio is cute and sheltered, the wait staff wears festive apparel, and the food is hearty and delicious. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Dinner: Il Piatto
When I lived in Santa Fe, Il Piatto was where I went for a special night out. The atmosphere is casual enough that you feel at home as long as you haven’t been doing hard labor all day, but classy enough that eating there feels like a treat. I can personally recommend the Tomato Mozzarella Bruchetta or the Pumpkin Ravioli with brown sage butter and pine nuts, and there are many tasty-sounding meat dishes that I have not tried, but I assume are wonderful.
I had to add the Cowgirl Hall of Fame (the full name of the establishment) to this list simply because I love it so much. The décor and server apparel are shamelessly western, there is a big patio for live entertainment and drinking beer in the sun, and they have Karaoke on Monday nights. If eating BBQ in New Mexico and the chance to try an Ice Cream Baked Potato sounds like your cup of tea, then I can wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommend the Cowgirl for your enjoyment.
This post was edited by Elektra Tropoloc at September 27, 2011 4:27:11 PM PDT