Give the Holiday a Chance

I’ve never much been one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. While roses are beautiful and chocolate is delicious, something about the holiday has always felt a little too contrived—too Hallmark, shall we say. True lovers, I reasoned, don’t need an arbitrary day or bottles of wine tied in red and pink bows to show their special ones they love them.

Maybe I’m softening as I grow older, or perhaps it’s because I have a Valentine of my own this year, but I’m giving the holiday a chance. After all, a sweet little surprise can be the best treat, and since February 14 rolls around each year, why not play along? As a novice at romantic shopping, I asked a few veterans to suggest the perfect gift for this formerly dreaded day of love. Continue reading

The Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown

Green Chile Cheeseburger SmackdownThe First Santa Fe Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown Winners

Judging from the number of burgers consumed and the satisfied smiles, the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, held in the Santa Fe Railyard today, is destined to be the first of many more to come. After all seven competitors were done and the judges’ points and people’s choices were tallied Santa Fe Mayor David Coss announced the two winners:

Overall Winner: The Original Realburger

People’s Choice: Cowgirl BBQ

Each burger was tasted and awarded points by a panel of six judges:

Cheryl Jamison-James Beard Award winner, well-known cookbook author and one of the country’s foremost authorities on barbecue, grilling, and smoke cooking.

Michael Bauer, long-time food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Cathy Barber, food, travel and lifestyle editor for the Dallas Morning News.

Kate Krader, Restaurant Editor for Food & Wine magazine.

Ellise Pierce, cookbook author and new Santa Fe resident

The burgers were judged on:

·      Appearance

·      Burgerability/Eatability

·      Quality of Ingredients

·      Melding of Flavors

·      Chile Flavor/Heat

The People’s Choice Award was determined by ballots cast by individuals who bought tickets to taste all seven burgers.

Below are the winning chef bios and burger descriptions:

The Original Realburger

Owner and chef John Chavez has been cooking all over Santa Fe for decades, opening Realburger in 1974. Generations of local families have been devoted to his burgers and New Mexican food, following his restaurants and eating his catered meals.

The Burger

Burger, cheese, green chile, toasted bun, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle on the side


Cowgirl BBQ

Chef Patrick Lambert is chef and a partner in the Cowgirl. He worked and studied in kitchens in Switzerland, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Hawaii.  He was the chef and a partner in restaurant THAO in Santa Fe. From there he went to the Taos Inn, returning to the Cowgirl where he has been chef since 2001.

The Burger

Ground burger, melted jack cheese, tomato, New Mexico green chile

The other competitors were:

Terra at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado – Chef Andrew Cooper

Luminaria Restaurant and Patio at Inn & Spa at Loretto – Chef Brett Sparman

Bert’s Burger Bowl – Chef Fernando Olea

Agave Lounge at Eldorado Hotel & Spa – Chef Evan Doughty

Dr. Field Goods – Chef Josh Goodwin


The Contest was sponsored by the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors’ Bureau

Off the Plaza – Santa Fe Neighborhoods

When it comes to Santa Fe, people think of the Plaza. We all know and love the Plaza. For festivities, people-watching and the occasional loitering about, it just can’t be beat. But it really is an almost ludicrously small segment of what Santa Fe has to offer. (And I’m guilty of it, too. As I researched this article, I discovered neighborhoods I had never truly explored, right in my own town!) So, for frequent visitors, curious travelers or residents who just haven’t poked around much, here are a few places—close to and far from the Plaza—that are worth digging into.

Canyon Road Santa FeCanyon Road

A few blocks from the Plaza off Paseo de Peralta, the Canyon Road neighborhood is a short but sweet stretch of galleries, clearly marked with a Canyon Road sign at the start and the appropriately named Last Gallery on the Right at the end.

This quiet neighborhood positively exudes charm and is practically bursting at the seams with creativity and inspiration. It’s a treat for the eyes, both inside the galleries and on the street, where cheerful gardens and brightly colored storefronts line the street for a half-mile. Adobe architecture and beautiful courtyards feature prominently alongside one of the highest concentrations of galleries you’ll find anywhere. Although the densely packed shops do have something to suit every taste—from pre-Columbian to postmodern—it makes for a pleasant stroll even if you’re not interested in art. The Wiford Gallery’s moving sculpture garden is particularly crowd-pleasing; it’s spacious, appealing and peaceful. Continue reading

Santa Fe’s Newest Rooftop Bar

It’s exciting news for anyone who enjoys rooftop dining in Santa Fe: Tanti Luce 221 is opening a new rooftop extension to their restaurant on Marcy St. The new space, on the corner of Alameda and Shelby St. offers Santa Fe residents and visitors a new choice for elevated downtown dining. The Deck, as it is called, surrounds a courtyard which is ringed by private dining areas and retail showcases from Turquoise Butterfly. The retail area celebrated its ribbon cutting on June 25, 2013, and the rooftop Deck opens in time for 4th of July weekend.


4th of July: Local Flavor Favorites

It’s America’s birthday party, and it wouldn’t be complete without friends, fun, and of course food. Here’s what Local Flavor is cooking up for our Fourth of July celebrations:

basilHalibut Ceviche Champagne pairing RecipeAnasazi Buffalo BurgerScallops

Summer Zucchini and Squash with Porcini Vinaigrette

Golden Beet and Kale Salad

Blade’s Bistro Watermelon Gazpacho

Halibut Ceviche

Anasazi Truffle Buffalo Burger with Vermont Cheddar, Apple-Smoked Bacon and Chile Mayonnaise

Prosciutto-Wrapped Jumbo Scallops over an Arugula Salad with Port-Soaked Figs

Happy Independence Day everyone!