Started out in Alberquerque (sp..sorry) and just had breakfast there. Look I know this is a chain, but I want to recognize them for having some of the lightest and best pancakes in this entire country! Yup...the Village Inns. They whip up that batter in milk shake machines and it does the trick.
Took the Turquoise Trail up to Santa Fe and first stopped at Sandia Peak and took the tram..FANTASTIC!! Do not miss it! They have dining at ground level and at the top, too. Guys, cut me some slack here if I digress a bit off the main topic...food. the purpose is to help others and that's waht I appreciate about chowhound.com
Anyway, Santa Fe was very upscale from lodging to dining....We knew it going in. We had a real good lunch at Il Piatto and we met the chef. A former NY'er too. Good man and he does an excellent job at reasonable prices! Great grilled chicken entree with roasted potatoes (my wife) and I had his freshly made in-house ravoili with gorgonzola ..try to find that today. It was real good. Go there! Very crowded at dinner.
We had a very pricey dinner at SantaCafe. I had a NY 10 oz steak (Neiman ranch) that was very good with legitimate pomme frites...In Boston, we went to this supposedly legitimate French restaurant and the chef served frozen fries! I kid you not. I was so pissed off I wrote to him. His name was Kelly something. Still waiting for his reply.
Anyway, my wife had SantaCafe's Haibut special...good but very bland. Fresh pea shoot risotto, etc. The wine by the glass was $10 and it was not good. But, the highlight of the meal was a fantastic lemon tart....one of our top 10 desserts of all time. So, what can I say...It was $95 for the two of us...No appetizers and one glass of wine. This is a high end crowd in this place, too. No decorations on the walls...stark white. Making a statement?
Good service...all the food was barely cooked...I mean barely. Now we like our veggies undercooked, but these were literally bordering on being raw.
We had dinner at Paul's the following night. Pretty good and less expensive. Also had a lunch at Bumble Bee that was ok. We'd learn it was not that great when compared to Orlando's in Taos though. Hey, we are not Mexican food experts ..what can I say. Hounds recommended the place. we thought we were going to a sit down cafe, but it was really a fast food joint.
Be careful of what you buy in Santa Fe. Especially the pottery. You'll see the same stuff in store after store. The town is very tourist orientated.
A word to the wise. I'll tell you more later on.
Anyway, I'm now going to stop this report and do a separate one on the best G-D damn hamburger I have ever had in my entire life of 60 years! And, I've had a ton of them.