Harry's Roadhouse, Old Las Vegas Hwy:
Regular hounds know my long-standing affection for Harry's. My single favorite item on their menu is their chicken quesadilla, made with smoked chicken breast and the best quesadilla I know.
Fo our last visit, I branched out and tried their smoked beef shortribs. These may have been the best ribs I've ever had. Smoky, cooked just right, unbelievably good. Sauce on the side, please, and I never even touched it, the meat was so good. A new favorite.
Incidentally, Harry's hamburger, normally the best in town, isn't right now. I had one the visit before and it was undercooked, dry and just not very tasty. Thought this was just the odd bobble, but our table-neighbors, a pleasant couple from Arroyo Hondo... well, the wife said she sent her burger back twice, and it still wasn't good. Caveat emptor.
Rio Chama steakhouse, Old S.Fe Trail, downtown:
Rio Chama is fast becoming one of our favorites: the food is excellent, it's seldom crowded, decor (by Gerald Peters) is tasteful, service is good, there's real a/c and parking. What's not to like? An overlooked gem.
Lunch yesterday was typically excellent (they serve until 3PM, another advantage): I had the chicken enchiladas ($9), the best in town: lightly-smoked chicken chunks, cooked with just a bit of stewed apple (I think), and pretty near perfect. Wife had their fine burger ($8.50), cooked just right, and served with enormous sweet onion rings.
Other good choices are their texas-style beef chile, excellent beef but too spicy for my aging system to handle, but a good choice if you like it HOT, and good value at $7 for a big bowl. At night I often get the beef salad ($11?), which is consistently excellent. Desserts are wonderful, too. Of course, you can spend $25 or 30 on a big steak, but you don't have to.