Restaurants & Bars


Santa Fe Report in several parts


Restaurants & Bars 8

Santa Fe Report in several parts

goingoutagain | Aug 23, 2006 08:45 PM

Since we are two Chowhounders with sometimes diverging opinions, our week-long trip may end up as multiple posts.

O'Keeffe Cafe was a disappointment to me. We'd had terrific lunches there (I remember the portobello napoleon as transcendant on first eating, merely good on the second) and were eager to try dinner.

First, the good news: 50% off the excellent wine list on Sunday evenings. (Same discount at Pranzo, another restaurant with the same ownership, and they offer a local's 50% on Wednesdays.) Terrific service. Nice atmosphere. Huge servings on the tasting menu. The food was the not-so-good news. The roast vegetable tower appetizer was greasy and the eggplant was bitter. The coconut shrimp appetizer was overcooked. The venison chop and the beef tenderloin were in the same dark gravy and neither was very good. Dishes that got better reviews: the romaine salad with ground pistachios (they use nuts in so many dishes); the creme brulee, the duck confit with garlic risotto.

Shohko usually features wonderful sushi; but on a Monday night they were out of so many things (including the Kobe beef, so it wasn't just a seafood-after-a-busy-weekend issue) that we were limited in what we could order. We also didn't appreciate a $3.50 surcharge (amply disclosed) for fresh wasabi. Would recommend a different night of the week for this restaurant.

Maria's is so reliable: we go for fantastic margaritas and acceptable New Mexicon food. Last night we had the added benefit of our entire table, which ranged in age from 41 to 54, being carded. This made us very happy, which led to more margaritas. Great waitress service led us to the best selection of margaritas. The chile rellenos are very good, and though my ribs were good, I understand that they are sometimes dry.

We couldn't face the line at Cafe Pasqual's for breakfast today so we went to the Plaza Restaurant, right on the (you guessed it) Plaza. What a great find! We may never go back to Pasqual's, even though there is often a line for the Plaza Restaurant, it had several open tables today at 9:30, when the wait was 25 minutes at Pasquale's. My papas fritas were very good (and I couldn't complain about the spiciness of the chile, not that I would, since the menu cautions "not responsible for spiciness of the chile"). My BF's Huevos con Nopalitos, scrambled eggs with cactus, crema, mushrooms, and served with real hash browns, were to die for good. Will go back again this trip for those.

The Fajitas truck at the southwest corner of the Plaza produces a credible tamale for $1.00 and terrific chicken fajita for $3. We recommend going early in the lunch hour, because on a return for a second fajita at 2:30 the meat was being kept warm instead of grilled to order, and it suffered a bit.

More later....

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