The Buzz- July 2017


Get plowed in Four Hills! Because soon, Tractor Brewing Company—they of the “get plowed” tagline—will be opening a third taproom at Central Avenue and Tramway Boulevard. The new spot will feature a large patio and 24 craft beer and cider selections. “This is an amazing opportunity to open a neighborhood public house. A spot for locals, just like we did in Nob Hill in 2011,” says David Hargis, co-owner and brew master. “We are seeing a trend toward people visiting locations close to home. It is a very responsible practice and we want to encourage it.” The new location joins the Nob Hill taproom and the Wells Park brewery, all of which offer take-home growlers and cans.

Another Santa Fe eatery is headed south to the Duke City. Tomasita’s, a staple of the Santa Fe Railyard for tourists and locals alike, joins Jambo Café in heading down the hill to Albuquerque. The New Mexican restaurant is taking over the Texas Land & Cattle building next to Century 24 Theater at I-25 and Jefferson Avenue. They plan a late fall/early winter opening after renovating the space, owner George Gundrey says. It’s a homecoming of sorts for the family – George’s grandmother opened The Central Cafe on Atrisco and Central in 1946 (it closed in the 1970s, when the family moved north). Bienvenidos, Tomasita’s!

Albuquerque marketing dynamo Maresa Thompson announced her departure from Heritage Hotels & Resorts for the universe of nonprofits. She writes, “It has been my pleasure to work for Heritage Hotels & Resorts and my honor to work with the many businesses, organizations, artists, media and community members over the past six years. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with you.” We wish you all the best, Maresa! (And cannot wait to hear about your next adventure….)

And speaking of Heritage Hotels, Level 5, the rooftop restaurant, bar and lounge at Hotel Chaco in Old Town is now open for dinner. With views for miles, the elegant space touts a “flavor and beauty from the wild” theme of fresh, local ingredients. Chef Gilbert Aragon celebrates New Mexico’s Indigenous heritage with gusto. We hear the subtly spicy-sweet ancho chocolate cherry sorbet is spectacular.

Technology to help me find food trucks? Yes, please! Tasty Spot,, is up and running, allowing you to find a street food vendor in the Albuquerque area on a map with menu items, pictures, pricing and order-ahead options. The app is free and available for iOS (Apple products) and Android, developed by local Todd Bisio, a local entrepreneur and obvious foodie. How cool is that?

Albuquerque now has the only Indigenous comic book store in North America. Red Planet Books & Comics opened in Downtown as an outlet for “Indigenerds,” as owner Lee Francis calls fans of the genre. Francis, co-founder of Native Realities, publishes Indigenous comic books, graphic novels and Native American geek artwork, all featuring the incredible tales of Indigenous icons, First Nations freedom fighters, Aboriginal astronauts and Native American superheroes. Check out Red Planet’s Facebook page for hours, and head to for more on Indigenous Comic Con coming back for the second year in November.

Circle your calendar for July 15 when Lavender in the Village returns to Los Ranchos to focus on everything lavender. What will you find there? Lots of booths featuring arts and crafts, lavender products, antiques and unique home décor. Add a variety of New Mexico beers, wines and spirits, and local foods and culinary treats, and you have a recipe for a great event. A number of educational exhibits, seminars and workshops focused on cooking and healing with lavender also highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture in our area. And you can relax as you engage in open-air yoga classes led by top instructors. Visit

Popejoy Hall has announced what looks like a stellar season, featuring a phenomenal lineup of Broadway hits including Tony Award-winners Les Misérables and The King and I; favorite A Chorus Line; and hilarious newcomer, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. Smash hits The Book of Mormon and Wicked are also returning. Complete details on all the shows at

Condolences to wine lovers and friends and family of Jim Fish, a true New Mexico treasure. The winemaker and owner of Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas passed last month while hiking. We raise a glass of your excellent wine, Jim, to toast your generous spirit.

Santa Fe

Guess who’s on Outside Magazine’s 25 Best Towns in America list? If you said Santa Fe, you’d be right. We topped list for “Best Combination of Mountains and Margaritas.” The towns featured have all the adventure a traveler could ask for, while also offering a drool-worthy food and drink scene, a kid-friendly environment, and a welcome mat to people of all backgrounds. The publication said of Santa Fe, “For a town designed to blend in—a city ordinance requires that buildings look like earthen adobe structures—Santa Fe sure stands out. It’s hard to be inconspicuous when you’re a 7,000-foot-high state capital with 300 days of sunshine, an adjacent 350-square-mile wilderness area, and five French bakeries.” Gracias, Outside!

Second Street Brewing’s new Rufina Tap Room/Beer Hall is open and waiting to pull you a delicious pint to enjoy on their beautiful porch. The newest location of Santa Fe’s first brewer gives them ability to run a 20-barrel system, opening new doors for distribution, as well giving them a cannery. The neighborhood—becoming a hub for arts, culture and food—near Meow Wolf, gives them room to grow, too. Stop in and buzz us your impressions.

You’re pardoned if your car drives by the old Clafoutis location on autopilot. Soon, you’ll be able to experience a new bakery there! Dolina owner Annamaria O’Brien is known about town for the pastries she made while baking for Café Fina. Annamaria showcases her Slovakian heritage at Dolina, with old-world recipes for gingerbread, strawberry dumplings and creampuffs. She’s planning brunch daily, in addition to the delectable baked goods. Watch for an early July opening on and the bakery’s Facebook page.

Detour Kitchen welcomes travelers and tourists to the intersection of St. Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road, and you don’t have to make a wrong turn to find it. The new place, owned by Ziggy Rzig, may seem familiar––it’s where his churrascaria concept Omira once was. The Detour is more of a family place, with burgers, New Mexican, pasta and steaks on the menu. Chef Miguel Quintana, a Santa Fe cooking veteran who was at Omira, and has worked at Joseph’s of Santa Fe, Café Esteban and the Inn of the Anasazi Restaurant, is still behind the stove. Try the chile con queso, with chorizo option, for a satisfying appetizer, then move on to the delicious Veracruz-style cod. Rzig’s also the owner of both Pyramid Cafes and Los Alamos’ China Moon.

State Capital Kitchen does brunch! Yep, as of July 1, SCK does weekend brunch from 10 to 1. And they’ll also be serving brunch next door at Santa Fe Spirits on Sundays. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try their innovative new American food, get in there. Especially the dim-sum-like cart full of smaller plates to nibble while you wait for your entrée. Check their Facebook page for updates on menu, time, etc.

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen celebrates its fifth summer with expanded hours, a new dinner menu, and the final month of its popular Thai Nights. July 29th will be the final night of Sweetwater’s award-winning partnership with Tahi-Cambodian Chef Nou Kimnath and August 1st is the start of their new dinner menu. The Tuesday – Saturday  dinner menu will include customers’ lunchtime favorites and new items, such as Indonesian curry, gluten-free and paleo flatbread pizzas, and ongoing seasonal specials. Partners Fiona Wong and co-owner Soma Franks have introduced Santa Feans to a new level of delicious world flavors created with local, organic ingredients. Here’s to the next five years!

Get out of town this summer! Head to the humble village of Cerrillos, pull up a chair and settle in at Black Bird Saloon, housed in an 1880’s building in the heart of Los Cerrillos Historic District. Indulge yourself in the grub––perhaps a juicy El Chivato Burger or a Black Jack Ketchum. Quench your thirst with a tasty pint of local brew and feel the easy-going days of old and new. Owners Patrick and Kelly Torres invite you to this enchanting village, among the little hills and dusty air, just past a blue door and adobe walls. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Wednesday through Sunday. I smell a (brief) road trip…

How does paella at the CCA sound, featuring a special performance by TradiSón, direct from Havana, Cuba? Good? Meet you at Noche de Estrellas: Paella Party on July 20 at the CCA for music in their beautiful indoor/outdoor space, and a multi-paella feast from paella masters John Vazquez and La Boca’s James Campbell. TradiSón is the house band at the famous La Bodeguita del Medio, the historic bar in old Havana, which was Ernest Hemingway’s favorite hangout and where he helped invent their famous mojito. Space is limited, so RSVP to Aidan White at

You already head to the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Add Wednesdays through Sept. 27 to your shopping days for an evening-ish market from 3 to 7 p.m. In addition to the freshest produce around, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market hosts fun family activities, multiple farm-fresh dinner options, and a diverse array of programming from Joe Hayes (author and storyteller) to Wise Fool New Mexico (circus entertainment.) Bring your bags, eat, enjoy the music and fun, and go home laden with the freshest garden bounty you can find.

The 8th Annual Lavender in the Valley Festival takes place July 8-9 at Purple Adobe Lavender Farm. Created to celebrate lavender and lavender products in the Chama Valley, this year’s festival’s theme is “Country and Western Down on the Lavender Farm.”  There will be music, food, dancing, art and of course, products made with the fragrant flower. Purple Adobe is is located between mile markers 210 and 211 on Hwy. 84 in Abiquiu. This event is an absolute highlight of the summer. Check out their website and just follow the purple flags!

Artists Laura and Rick Brown are not Jewish and not Polish, yet they set out to rebuild Gwoździec, a magnificent wooden 18th-century synagogue in Poland destroyed by the Nazis. Their vision inspired hundreds of people to join them, using their hands, old tools and techniques to bring Gwoździec’s history, culture, science and art back to life. The Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival brings Raise The Roof, the story of the Browns’ dream and an extraordinary journey that uncovers a lost world along the way, with the Browns for a discussion, to CCA on July 11. Tickets and info at or

Creative Santa Fe and Santa Fe Institute kick off the InterPlanetary Project July 18 with a panel discussion that includes smart scientists, writers, thinkers and more. People like planetary scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the principle investigator for a mission to explore the asteroid Psyche; science and technology journalist Kate Greene, who spent four months on a simulated Mars mission for NASA; screenwriter, producer, director and author Jonathan Nolan, who collaborated on the film Interstellar, and the Westworld TV series; and science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, currently a Miller Scholar at the Santa Fe Institute. And Stephenson will be at the Jean Cocteau on July 17 talking about and signing his latest novel, Seveneves. Tickets to the panel at and the book signing at

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival proudly presents its 45th season from July 16 through Aug. 21, in beautiful, intimate venues in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. With more than 40 concerts performed by over 80 of the world’s top classical musicians and ensembles, the Festival includes nearly 100 works that span the 17th through the 21st centuries, including five commissioned premieres. Countertenor David Daniels, in his Festival debut, serve as artist-in-residence. Classic chamber works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms and Dvořák as well as less-familiar masterworks by Verdi, Bruch, Puccini, Poulenc and Shostakovich are on the bill, as well as Festival commissioned pieces by William Bolcom, Brett Dean and Julian Anderson. Details at

On July 18 and July 25, the Santa Fe Garden Club hosts its 78th Annual Behind Adobe Walls Home and Garden Tours, featuring four different seldom-seen private homes and gardens each week. Board the bus to see a variety of architectural styles and high-desert gardens. Members of the Garden Club host the event and tour proceeds benefit the Santa Fe Garden Club’s local ongoing education, beautification and conservation projects including Phase II, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands Learning Laboratory at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden and the newly re-designed New Mexico Museum of Art courtyard garden, a legacy gift to the community from the Santa Fe Garden Club. Call 505.984.0022 or email

We note and mourn the passing of David Curtis, who with wife Susan Curtis founded Santa Fe School of Cooking. Condolences to her and Nicole Curtis Ammerman, the school’s director of operations, on their, and the Santa Fe community’s, loss.


Taos School of Music presents two stellar concerts at Taos Community Auditorium in July. The Shanghai Quartet plays Mendelssohn, Bridge and Brahms on July 16 and 19, Robert McDonald performs Mozart, Schuman, Debussy and Chopin in a solo piano recital. For tickets, to learn more about Taos School of Music and view the 2017 summer Chamber Music Festival calendar, visit

If you need an invitation to explore, immerse and enjoy a week of culinary delights and flavors in Umbria, Italy, with James Beard-recognized Chef Chris Maher this September, consider this an engraved one. Cooking Studio Taos invites you for six nights, with guided winery and olive oil producer tours and cooking classes. Call Valerie at 575.776.2665 to snag one of the last spots. And arrivederci!

Truly an area treasure, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was announced as the winner in USA TODAY’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards for both top attraction in New Mexico and top attraction in Colorado. This highest, longest and most authentic steam railroad in America runs 64 miles through tunnels, above timberline, through gorges and over trestles. Readers from around the country were invited to vote. Last year, readers voted the Cumbres & Toltec the nation’s most scenic railroad. The Cumbres & Toltec offers daily rides out of both Antonito, Colo., and Chama, as well as a number of special departures, including dinner trains, a geology train and children’s rides. Visit All aboard!

by Kelly Koepke


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