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Santa Fe Burger Update

rcurtism | | Jan 16, 2014 04:56 PM

Tried two new places in the past week that I haven't seen discussed here. The first, Shake Foundation, has been doing a brisk business since it opened a few weeks ago near the intersection of Cerrillos and Paseo de Peralta. It's a riff on the Shake Shack concept and apparently the brainchild of Brian Knox, former chef/owner of Aqua Santa. There's no indoor seating, so you can eat in your car or huddle under a heat lamp (it looks like they're set up for extensive outdoor seating in the warmer months).

I had a basic green chile cheeseburger with shoestring fries and a chocolate shake. The burger was on the small side (about 3.5" in diameter, maybe halfway between a slider and a full size burger), with fairly spicy green chile, an obviously hand formed and flavorful patty, and a soft bun with a hint of sweetness (reminiscent of a potato roll). Shoestring fries are not my favorite rendition of fried potatoes, but these were about as good as the genre gets. My biggest disappointment was the milkshake with Todos Santos chocolate - the shake itself didn't seem very chocolaty, and the chunks of dark chocolate at the bottom plugged up the straw and didn't really integrate with the rest of the shake. Overall I came away a bit nonplussed, but I also never really got worked up over the Shake Shack when I was living in NY so this just may not be my thing.

We also stopped by El Milagro, a hole in the wall across from Plaza Café Southside that boasts of serving some of Santa Fe's best burgers, and they did a pretty good job of backing up that claim. Burgers are cooked to order, and they hit our rare and medium rare orders pretty much spot on. Green chile was plentiful and hot, and the onion rings were decent (the fries less so). The buns kind of disintegrated toward the end due to the juiciness of the burgers, but that's kind of a tough thing to complain about. A very pleasant surprise overall.

Since I've been a white knight for Santa Fe Bite in previous posts here, I should also add that I'm having a difficult time getting their burgers cooked to what I consider a proper degree of rareness. At the old location their success rate was better than 9 out of 10. So far at Santa Fe Bite I'm 2 for 5. I'm sure this is just a function of the increased volume and probably somewhat inevitable, but it has lessened the appeal of the place for me.

Enough about burgers, already!

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