Santa Fe, New Mexico. A great city filled with culture, history, art, and most of all, food. Santa Fe is one of the best cities in the world to pig out. Fantastic Mexican food with the classic New Mexico spin: red chilies and green chilies. You can get red and green chilies anywhere in New Mexico, and they will always be good, but different regions or restaurants may specialize in one or the other, so always ask. Now, on to the restaurants.
The best breakfast you will ever have comes from a petite place on the corner called Café Pascual's. Café Pascual's opened in 1979 and has been the star of the show ever since. While everything I have tried from there is fantastic, I always get the huevos rancheros with red chili sauce (occasionally I get half red and half green). It is a big bowl of gooey goodness that is to die for. The eggs, beans, and cheese explode in your mouth, and the chili soaked tortilla makes life worth living. This dish is the best breakfast you will ever eat. Even though you have no reason to order anything other than the huevos rancheros, the chorizo burrito is also fantastic, and Café Pascual's also has some amazing smoothies.
Next up, we have a dinner so spicy it will burn your tongue, but you will not care because the food is so darn good. Welcome to Horseman's Haven. Let’s start with the salsa. There are three levels of salsa, ranging from hot to deadly. Level one is your typical spicy salsa. It has fantastic flavor and it should not be underestimated. Also, the red and green chili salsas that come with the food are also technically level one, but one is spicier than the other. The level two salsa is probably the hottest salsa I have ever had. I only had a little, and it felt like my tongue was going to fall off, but it tasted so good it was hard to stop eating it. That is the problem with this restaurant, it is so spicy that you should have stopped eating a long time ago, but it is so tasty that you cannot resist another bite. You need to sign a waiver to eat the level three salsa, which I did not even consider since the level two salsa was barely tolerable.
The thing to get at Horseman’s Haven is the 3D Burrito with green chili sauce. It is a massive burrito with beans, meat, cheese, and more, and it is drenched in green chili sauce. The chili sauce is very spicy and adds up quickly. I highly recommend having a glass of milk handy. This is probably the best burrito I have ever had, which is saying a lot because I eat a ton of burritos. You could also get the enchiladas in the green chili sauce, and you would absolutely love them, but they just aren’t as good.
You can get a good green chili cheeseburger almost anywhere in New Mexico, and sometimes stopping at a Blake’s on the side of the road on a long drive can be fantastic, but you can do better. The Burger Stand at Burro Alley has some fantastic green chili cheeseburgers. It was a warm and sunny day and they had some great outdoor seating, so we went out there and got some drinks. It was lunch time, and we started to get hungry so we got two burgers to split among the four of us. They were amazing! Even though we were not hungry after we finished eating, we almost got more. The flavors, the warmth, and the texture all made for the perfect burger. The bakery next door also had some great pastries that we ate for desert.
Another place to get a great, but different green chili cheeseburger is at the Plaza Cafe, which is right on the Santa Fe plaza. This restaurant founded by Greek immigrants in 1905 and serves a mixture of southwestern and Greek food. They have a normal green chili cheeseburger, but the thing to get is the tortilla burger. It is a tortilla topped with a burger patty which is smothered in cheese, green chilies, fries, and more. There are no buns, just gooey goodness.
Even without the food, Santa Fe would still be one of my favorite cities, because there is so much going on. The food just makes everything ten times better. If you have not been to Santa Fe, pleas go. It will be well worth it. And if you have already visited this amazing city, I know I do not need to tell you to go back.
This is Café Pasqual's
These are the huevos rancheros with red chili sauce from Café Pasqual's
This is the chorizo burrito from Café Pasqual's
This is the 3D burrito with green chili sauce from the Horseman's Haven Café