Friday, November 25, 2011

Las Aventuras de Los Cerdos Glotónes en Santa Fe

Hethyr:  Jon and I just got back from a couple of foodies’ dream-adventure.  He has been so amazing about surprising me with an anniversary trip almost each of the 10 years that we’ve been married (there were a couple there where we were WAY too low on funds to go anywhere, so I’ll cut him some slack there) and this year he took me to Santa Fe.  It’s only a few hours drive but we’d never been there and had always talked about going.  Although the crowd was, on average, a bit older than we’d expected (read lack of nightlife) and there was virtually no music scene, we managed to make every second of the trip enjoyable.  To their complete credit, they’ve got an AMAZING food scene and, in the end, that’s what we’re really after on a vacation.  In fact, almost every restaurant that we went to was part of the Farm to Restaurant Project which made us both very happy!  Here is our belated 10th anniversary trip in photo journal form.  A few of the pictures were taken with our cell phones, so the quality isn't great.  And since I mentioned it, if anyone would like to buy me a super-awesome camera, I’d love to improve the quality of some of the photos on our blog!  Ha!  Okay, just dreaming.  Maybe one of these days!

Night 1...  Dinner at La Plazuela at La Fonda

Our appetizer was the Grilled Bosc Pear, but we forgot
to take pictures!

My dinner:  Felix River Ranch (local) Lamb Shank with
White Bean-Poblano Succotash and Green Beans
Jon had the Enchiladas del Norte... two rolled corn tortillas
filled with chicken and topped with local Hatch green chile
and two eggs!

Dessert consisted of Mousse Shots - Vanilla Bean,
Key Lime (my fave!), Peanut Butter and Chocolate Malt

Day 2...  Breakfast at French Pastry Shop, shopping, art, beer, dinner at Cafe Pasqual's

I swore I was not going to get Nutella for breakfast but
as soon as I ordered the Banana Crepe and the server asked
if I wanted to add Nutella, I said yes.
Complete lack of self-control.
A block, a rock and a crock (or two) of salt
and a bottle of 18-year aged balsamic vinegar
The sweet bike I bought before I found out it didn't run.  ;)
There is almost always a colorful backdrop in
Santa Fe whether it's chiles drying or ladies'
Colorful cocks in a kitchen store.  Tee hee.
Hahahaha... they said "Faux Sheared Beaver."
Did I mention we're incredibly juvenile?
Jon's reflection in a shiny owl.
We wandered upon this sculpture garden by
chance.  It was a great example of the
wonderful art all over Santa Fe.
From Wikipedia...
"Yin... is the dark area occluded by the mountain's
bulk, while yang... is the brightly lit portion.
As the sun moves across the sky, yin and yang
gradually trade places with each other, revealing
what was obscured and obscuring what was revealed."
I love the that sun shining on my face shows
this exactly!
Santa Fe makes average photographers
look like pros.  ;)
Furniture made of stone - at least when it's in a reclined
position with a footstool - is surprisingly comfy!
Jon at Project Tibet.  That Buddha was huge!  I felt
such a sense of peace and calm throughout the garden,
courtyard and shops.  I asked Jon about it later and he said
he felt the same thing.
Kali statue that I loved at Project Tibet.
The bronze dog statues along Canyon Road
were among Jon's favorites.
One art, please!
This was actually a water feature - a stream
of water shoots out of the mouth - but we
snapped the picture on the day the gallery
was closed.

Being my usual monkey-self.
I would be really sad, too, if I had an eyeball
in the middle of my chest.
Time for a break on the patio at the Marble Brewery
Tap Room.
The plaza... most things are closed on Mondays, so it was
a bid devoid of life.

Although he seems to be double-fisting it, that
second beer was actually mine.  =)
Neither of us could get enough of Jon's dinner at
Cafe Pasqual's...  Acorn Squash stuffed with Mushroom
Cream Soup and topped with Pomegranate Arils, served with
Red Quinoa and Garlic French Bread - YUM!

My dinner was a little less exotic since the meal I opted for
first contained cinnamon and I'm allergic.  I ended up with
Dos Tacos Barbacoa - a bit bland, but still good.

Day 3...  Massages at High Desert Healthcare & Massage, bead shopping, lunch at The Shed (we forgot to take pictures!), rainbows, dinner at La Casa Sena (where we were "surprised" by the staff singing Broadway tunes!)

Santa Fe has some really great bead shops!
We bought Jon the two large pendants and I
get the strand of turquoise.  He's been bugging
me to make him new necklaces for a few years -
guess it's time I finally accommodate.

Full rainbow after a cold rain.
Dinner at La Casa Sena (another farm-to-table restaurant)...
I had Red Chile-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Sweet
Potatoes, Puréed Peaches and Apple-Mint Salsa - delicious!
However, I kept stealing bites of Jon's New Mexico Beef
Ribeye with Sautéed Chard and Green Chile
Mashed Potatoes.  That is some of the tastiest beef I've
ever had.  And Green Chile Mashed Potatoes?  Genius!
Of course we couldn't stop with dinner...  dessert was
Lavender Crème Brûlée with Habanero Sugar.  And, of
course, we forgot to take pictures until it was almost gone.

Day 4...  Santa Fe Farmers' Market, lunch at The Station, more art, dinner and bluegrass at Back Road Pizza

Walking in to the Santa Fe Farmers' Market...  we bought a
colorful bunch of dried chiles from this booth
to hang on our front door.

Jon bought breakfast from the Intergalactic Bread stand... 
Green Chile and Cheese Flatbread.
I bought three varieties of carrots from this stand...
gold, purple and orange.
Pretty produce in the early morning light.
I also bought some of this freshly milled Whole Grain
Blue Cornmeal from Talon de Gato Farm.
Chiles, chiles everywhere!
We bought some heads of garlic from this guy.
More pretty produce including some purple & green kale.
At the South Mountain Dairy stand, we
purchased some Green Chile Squeaky Curds
and some Chipotle Ribbon Havarti.
Although the market was in the Railyard,
it was anything but run-down.
Lunch at The Station...  Jon got the Brie,
Bacon and Turkey Panini and I got the
Chunky Potato Soup with Italian-Style
Meatballs.  Another farm-to-table
restaurant - they make it easy to eat well!
New Mexico Rail Runner at the Railyard.
A couple of the naughty carrots we bought
at the market.  =)
One of our favorite gallery displays - at Galerie Züger.
Such pride and strength portrayed!
¿¡Dónde están mis pantalones!?
Beautiful tree pose.
Such life in this sculpture!
Pizza, beer and bluegrass at Back Road Pizza,
which has been featured on the Food
Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives."

Day 5...  Breakfast at Clafoutis (we forgot pictures again, but I had Coconut French Toast and Jon had Waffles with Fresh Fruit), hiking and Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs

Hiking near Ojo Caliente - the weather was perfect!
We saw this along the trail...  happy belated 10th
anniversary to us!
After several miles, we were ready to head
back to Ojo Caliente for some much-needed
soaking, although we didn't take pictures of
that part of the trip.  We did rent a private pool
for a couple of hours around dusk.  It was
amazing watching the stars come out and I
even saw a shooting star.  Perfect end to a
perfect trip!
Rocks and a pottery shard I found while hiking.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Jon:   There are lots of important elements to an awesome vacation.  Well, actually there's just one.  Food.  Really good food.  Which is why any successful vacation must be well-designed.  It must include a two-phase plan, including (1) where to eat and (2) how to best waste time in between meals.  Hethyr and I kick ass at executing this plan.

With the savvy use of that crazy interwebby thing, determining the location of our next meal was a breeze.  As Hethyr mentioned, there are dozens of farm-to-table restaurants in Santa Fe, which made me quite happy (and slightly depressed upon returning to the factory-to-table restaurants of the Springs).  After gorging on all the aforementioned farmy goodness, phase two began.  Knowing that burning calories was our best way to eat again sooner rather than later, we chose to walk as much as possible in between meals .  When movement became too physically unbearable, phase two's backup plan was implemented:  Drink.  Few things increase the desire to masticate quite like a beer in the belly.  Oh yeah, and sitting in a hot tub works too.  I believe it is the sound of the water jets that remind me of a stomach growling, thereby fooling myself into believing I am ravenously hungry when I actually am stuffed full of cheese and green chiles like some sort of freakish walking enchilada.

So it went for five gloriously relaxing days.  Food, food, and more food, satisfying the most primal of needs (or at least one of the top two).  Oh yeah, and the art and shit was nice too.

Upon returning home, it was conveniently time to go to sleep, wake up, and begin the process of our Thanksgiving day gorging... a nice buffer in between the pseudo-world of vacation and the real-world of home.  Thankful for gluttony?  You betcha.

Happy National Eat 'Til You Puke Day!


  1. Sigh . . . it's 7:00 am, and now my mouth is watering and my tummy is growling. It's gonna be a loooonnnnggg day! I could SO be a little piggy in Santa Fe. :-)

  2. I know, right? Every time I look through these pictures, I get hungry all over again! =)

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