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Casa Chimayo: Real Food, Real Hospitality (Santa Fe, NM)

I'll preface this post by telling you that I’m not New Mexican so I can only rate Casa Chimayo by what I know: food quality and hospitality. I will not attempt to compare it to other Santa Fe New Mexican institutions.

Last week my parents came up from Chihuahua, my uncle and aunt from El Paso, my wife and I from Denver and we all rendezvoused in Santa Fe for some family time. We stayed at the Inn of the Governors’ and asked for some recommendations for New Mexican in the neighborhood. I had been to The Shed and various restaurants in the Chimayo area in the past and was just OK with the food; since the concierge had heard good things about Casa Chimayo, we decided to walk over in the freezing weather and give this relatively new place a shot. (I believe it just opened in September, 2011)

The restaurant itself is very homey, as in not fancy or refined. It's as if you walked into a typical old New Mexican adobe. But the reception was as warm and inviting as the kiva in the corner of the room. They sat our group down right away and took good care of us.

Since I was in charge of food and accommodations for this outing, I was nervous as to how my family would relate to the food; I shouldn't have! They loved it! Very good "norteño" they said, "just like your abuelita makes"...high praise indeed. The calabacitas (zucchini squash with corn, onion, and a bit of cheese) were spot on. They were just like the ones my mom made when I was a kid; in fact, she reminded me that I hated to eat calabacitas as a child, yet now I couldn't get enough! The chile verde was perfect, from the salsa, to the chile on the tamales. My brother couldn’t get over the perfection of the masa in the tamales rojos.

On our way out, the owner invited us back to hear the trio that would be playing the next night. Sure enough, as we were making plans the next day, I asked my family if they wanted to try a different place...no way, they all wanted to go back for more!

The second night was amazing; again great food and hospitality. We tried, the Chile en Nogada (rated very highly by my tío); carne adobada, a deep red chile stew, definitely norteño style, not southern Mexico style that you find at taquerías; posole, tamales, taquitos, etc. We even ordered the fajitas if you can believe it! The beef was perfect, and the home made flour tortillas were beautiful. By the way, I had never had natillas in a restaurant before, they had just the right sweetness and texture.

The music was perfect too. The trio came over and mom and my tía started quizzing them with obscure requests. They got them all! When my family couldn't hold back any more, we pulled the tables back and made room for my tíos to start up an impromptu dance...unforgettable.

I'm was suprised not to find info on the boards about this place; and am curious to hear from others on their impressions. Perhaps the locals can put my experience and theirs into context for the New Mexican purist. I, however, will always recommend this place on it's own merits, and be thankful for the two wonderful evenings I was able to spend with my family and Casa Chimayo's family.

Dec 22, 2011
sazcuy in Southwest

Estilo Chihuahua en Denver

Nice recommendations! I'm excited to check these places out; I'll let you all know what I found.

Jun 17, 2009
sazcuy in Mountain States

Chihuahua Recommendations

Any restaurants in the city of Chihuahua that have classic norteno cuisine?

Jun 03, 2009
sazcuy in Mexico

Chihuahua Recommendations

Thank you so much! I remember when we'd drive to Chihuahua as a kid. We would always stop in dusty Villa Ahumada for tortillas de harina and some queso asadero. I'll have to do that again.

You've really got my memory going about what to expect. I can't wait to hear your report back from your trip.

Jun 02, 2009
sazcuy in Mexico

Chihuahua Recommendations

Heading into Chihuahua for a few days in July, wondering if there's anything I shouldn't miss. I'll be hitting the city of Chihuahua as well as some of the small towns around Ciudad Delicias.

Looking for: traditional Norteno style restaurants in this area as well as what you consider the best Sotol to buy.

Also let me know what you would consider a traditional Chihuhua dish.

Thanks in advance for any help, it's been years since I've been to Chihuahua.

Jun 02, 2009
sazcuy in Mexico

Estilo Chihuahua en Denver

Hello Everyone!

I'm on a quest for some good Norteno food from Mexico. I've been all over this town (Denver) and have found great food from all over Mexico, but I haven't found any that I'm thrilled about from the northern area.

I need some true regional cooking; homemade tortillas de harina de trigo, machaca, carne con chile rojo, etc. I realize it's not the most diverse or exciting of Mexico's regions when it comes to food, it is cattle country, after all. But them's my roots, and I need my fix.

There are so many immigrants from Chihuahua and Durango here, you'd think there would be some good places. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places. Before conducting a survey on Federal, I think I'll check in with you.

Eagerly awaiting,

SAzcuy

May 08, 2009
sazcuy in Mountain States

Dining with a large group in Denver

Well Hollym, I'm not sure you were interested in the whole "small chain vs. large chain" argument that was stirred up!

Back to your question; here are my thoughts on your list.
Vesta Dipping is great and would be a resounding: YES.
Via has recently closed, so: NO.
Lola is one of my favorites. If you like seafood, they have amazing Mexican-style seafood. Also they have a large dinning room, plus a downstairs lounge/party room. I'd say: YES.
Potager is trully my favorite restaurant in Denver. My reservation, however, is that they don't take reservations and are very busy with a bustling, but not large dinning room. For your group: NO.

One recommendation if you are looking for something like Potager; in the same neighborhood is Table 6. They have a private dinning room and take reservations. Food is awesome!

Oct 29, 2008
sazcuy in Southwest

Classy Meat and Potatoes in PDX

Thanks for the great suggestions!

Any more feedback on Veritable Quandry? I went there maybe 8 years ago and liked it, is it still a hit?

Also, any other thoughts on the Steak and Chophouse?

Oct 02, 2008
sazcuy in Pacific Northwest

Classy Meat and Potatoes in PDX

Greetings from Denver!

I am shopping for an anniversery gift certificate for my brother and his wife. They live in Woodburn, OR and don't get out to Portland much. I wanted to treat them to a nice dinner in Portland but not sure where to send them.

I've studied the NW board and most of the recommendations in the "nicer" category (Le Pigeon, Lucier, Sel Gris) tend to be a bit too "refined" for my brother. I'm looking for an independant restaurant (though he'd probably be happy at Applebee's!); high quality; great service; romantic. "En fin", something a little better than he's used to, without being totally alien.

Help!

Sep 12, 2008
sazcuy in Pacific Northwest

Denver Cheap Eats for the Convention?

Very close to the Pepsi Center, you will find the Lure Lounge. They have a great happy hour from 4-7pm. $3 apps, from seared scallops to grilled pork belly; good stuff.

The Market on Larimer Square was already mentioned, the food isn't great, but they do have good pastry and coffee, also free Wi-Fi.

Another idea is McCormick's in Lodo. (17th and Wazee). They also have a good happy hours, two in fact: 3-6pm and 9-11pm. $2 cheeseburger and fries, etc.

I work downtown and a popular place to get lunch or coffee, as has been mentioned, is the Tattered Cover bookstore. Inexpensive box lunches, good coffee and pastry, wi-fi.

Depending on how far from the Hyatt you want to get, I might recommend City o'City at 13th and Sherman. Basically it's right behind the Capitol Building if you are walking from Downtown. They have great locally roasted coffee, housemade pastries and a light vegan/vegetarian menu. Great pizza. They also have a happy hour where everything is $2 off, including the beer.

Hope this helps and hope you have a great and safe DNC.

Aug 21, 2008
sazcuy in Southwest

Pueblo Colorado

Anyone have recommendations for Pueblo. Open to any cuisine or price range.

Aug 08, 2008
sazcuy in Southwest

potato pancakes, DEN?

I've never been there. I just remember someone told me that they serve Central Europen food. Another possibility is Budapest Bistro on South Pearl St. I don't know if they do serve the potato pancake but they do have great goulash!

Jul 31, 2008
sazcuy in Southwest

potato pancakes, DEN?

I haven't tried it but I know that Sobo 151 on Broadway serves it. Here is their info:

www.sobo151.net

151 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
(303) 778-1560

Jul 30, 2008
sazcuy in Southwest

Denver- Food sourcing

Groceries nearby:
Vitamin Cottage (natural food grocers/produce), 2375 15th St (corner of 15th and Platte) Denver CO, 80202 (303) 458 5300: www.vitamincottage.com

Marczyk Foods (high-quality meats/cheeses/prepared foods/charcuterie/wines), (Uptown Neighborhood, about 5 minutes from DownTown) 770 E 17th Ave Denver, CO 80203 (303) 894-9499: www.marczykfinefoods.com

If you are at the Cherry Creek farmers' market, you should stop in to Cost Plus (right next to the farmers market), good wine/beer selection and also specialty foods. Nothing fresh, lots of imported jarred/canned/bagged goodies.

In a pinch, the Market on Larimer Square, bakes and delivers pasteries, cakes, as well as sandwiches, salads, etc. (1445 Larimer Square, Denver 80202); www.larimersquare.com/restaurants/66/...

Ethnic:
Pacific Seafood Asian Market, (about 15min from DT) 2200 W Alameda Ave # 2B, Denver, CO - (303) 936-4845‎, there are other Asian markets in this center.

Farmers' Markets:
Cherry Creek: (1st and University, in Mall Parking) Saturday morning, about 25 vendors;

East High School: (Colfax and Columbine, about 10 min from DT) Sunday mornings, about 8-10 vendors;

Civic Center Park: (In front of Capitol Bldg. Colfax and Broadway) Wednesdays from 11am to 2pm, EXCEPT ON AUGUST 27 - CLOSED

I agree that on Colfax and Washington (two or three blocks from Marczyk) is your best bet for booze; great selection and prices.

Jul 29, 2008
sazcuy in Southwest

Denver- Bakery

Andre's in Cherry Creek, Swis Patiserie www.andreschocolates.com
Les Delices de Paris (5303 Leetsdale Dr.) great French bakery;
Gateaux Bakery on Speer, just south of downtown, www.gateauxpastries.com

Jul 29, 2008
sazcuy in Southwest

denver trip august-ethnic eats suggestions? [moved from Midwest board]

Could you be a bit more specific. This is kind of a broad question. Denver has many restaurants that fit into the "asian and latin" headings. Maybe tell us more about pricing, service level, and what you've read about already that intersts you. We can then go off of that.

SAzcuy

Jul 29, 2008
sazcuy in Southwest

Mimi's Cafe?

I'll second the Pot Roast, I've had it several times and it's always been very good.

Nov 28, 2007
sazcuy in Chains

Guadalajara Book Fair 11/22-28

No trip to Guadalajara would be complete without visiting Karnes Garibaldi: http://www.karnegaribaldi.com.mx/
A Guadalajara institution!

Nov 21, 2007
sazcuy in Mexico

Thanksgiving in Denver

The Burnsley Hotel Restaurant has a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, from 11am to 3pm. $29

http://www.burnsley.com/restaurant.html

Nov 20, 2007
sazcuy in Southwest