Well, there are 10 fresh inches of snow outside, so we must be home in Santa Fe. A couple of quick reports from our road trip around the lower half of NM:
Portofino (Roswell) - decent low-frills red sauce Italian on the main drag. Huge rave for their homemade bread, delicious 6-inch focaccia-style rounds both served in a basket while you wait for your meal, as well as a great base for their panini. Other stuff was fine, but the bread improved everything around it.
Trinity Hotel (Carlsbad) - although our breakfast here was only ok, wanted to put it on the radar given the upscale vibe and array of wines from their affiliated vineyard. The fairly new hotel is in a renovated 19th century bank, and they've done a nice job preserving the space, while adding some tasteful modern touches. The dinner menu looks to be straight-ahead middlebrow Italian, so quality could be anywhere from great to dreadful depending on the execution. Wines are from the owners' own Luna Rossa Winery in Deming, which is a nifty touch to the experience. If anyone has tried dinner here, by all means please post about it -- would love to hear how it was.
Camino Real (Deming) - pretty good Mexican/New Mexican. Red and green chile were each a little milder and creamier than I'm used to up north. Thick chips were served warm, with pretty good salsa, breakfast served all day. Wouldn't expressly seek it out, but it sure beat a chain restaurant.
El Camino (Socorro) - 24-hour diner that looks like it hasn't changed since the 70s. I liked my breakfast burrito well enough, really liked the pinto beans on the side. Was also impressed by my DC's salad, which came with a nice assortment of fresh veggies, including an entire ripe avocado. The adjoining lounge, also a time machine, looked like it could be a lot of fun.
Manzanares Street Coffee House (Socorro) - didn't get to go here, but wanted to ask if anyone else has? They say they brew (the absolutely outstanding) Intelligentsia Coffee, they have pictures of latte art on the website, and make their own gelato, so everything about it looks really promising. If you've been, please post!
El Camino Restaurant & Lounge
707 N California St, Socorro, NM 87801
El Camino Real
900 W Pine St, Deming, NM 88030
Portofino Italian Restaurant
701 S Main St, Roswell, NM 88203
Manzanares St Coffeehouse
110 Manzanares Ave E, Socorro, NM 87801