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Black necked stilt in flight

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Food talk

I still don't feel so good after my trip. Heavily fatigued and beset with a slight but lingering brain fog, it might take a few weeks to put my shop and affairs in order. I had an invasive immunotherapy treatment two days after my return and while they are not as bad as chemo the effects are in no way pleasant either.

Will continue these post cancer maintenance treatments on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future.

Feeling shitty, I went home early yesterday, to try to regroup. And I hope it goes without saying but feeding the blog is not a priority when I am feeling like crap. I am going to take my time trying to resurface, heal and rest a little bit.

Feeding myself, of course, is quite a different story and I thought that I would regale you with tales of recent repasts in order to keep the blog continuity thing going and in case anyone out there is interested in my gastronomic wanderings and excesses.

But please, if you feel like chiding me, I have already heard from Big Dave about my diet and he was far off base, accusing me of neglecting vegetables in my carnivoric indulgences. Honestly, nothing could be farther from the truth, those that have dined with me know that I treat my body like god's holy temple, that is if the god is one of those fun loving types like Bacchus or Krishna.

I haven't talked about food much lately so will start with a meal in Encinitas at the Il Trulli Trattoria that the Sommers shared with the Calvins, great friends from Phoenix.

I had a gigantic veal chop that was superb. I probably started with a salad, can't really remember. Sue Calvin is a true foodie and she made a tactical error, ordering the veal chop milanesa instead.

Don't ever do that, I made that mistake in Parma. You end up eating this dry thing that tastes like sandpaper, always forgo the breading.

My great bgf  Lena loves Il Truli, especially their lobster ravioli. 

Afterwards we took a nice walk to Swamis and looked at the ocean, enjoyed a lovely North County evening.

The trip was not exactly a gustatory home run. I will try to remember the high points. Tommy's in Barstow of course. Have to get a chili burger if I am rolling through town.

Albuquerque is a bit of a fog. Great breakfast at Duke City Kitchen. Incredible tigas dish, homemade biscuit and jam. Fabulous. I told some fellow dealers and they were eating there every morning after.

A shmatta dealer I know said that we should go to Sadie's on Fourth one night, best Mexican food in the world. It wasn't.

I was going to go out with Terry and Vickie for Japanese food and somehow it turned into a very expensive meal at Ruth's Chris

Expensive or not, it was awesome, split the porterhouse for two with Terry. Great service, great food, they gave us our own room for the large party. My favorite steak house.

Got to Santa Fe Sunday night and had a great goat curry at India House along with vegetable samosas and naan. I am not a huge lover of Indian food, sometimes my stomach can't take garam masala but this was wonderful. Not cheap but excellent.

see, an avocado.

The next day the trade blanket impressario and I had lunch at La Choza. Weakest posole I have ever eaten, don't really understand the buzz. Interminable wait. Sopapilla could not have been more blah.

The Calvins and the once funny comedy writer Barry Friedman who knows nothing about food had a meal with me at the Santa Cafe on the spur that was great. 

New owners and menu, the incredible ahi tuna tartare is now history but I had a wonderful moroccan lamb chop with cous cous that was exceptional.

Santa Cafe is still my favorite spot for good food in Santa Fe, new owners or not.

We dined at the  Opuntia Cafe for lunch at the top floor of the Railyard the next day, I had a good cuban sandwich and a nifty local root beer. Nice open place full of quite beautiful people.


That night I dined at Jambo, the African Caribe place that has been a longtime favorite. I had a trio of lamb curry, goat curry and a peanut chicken dish.

It was good but I suggest you skip the coconut shrimp, four measly overcooked orphans on a small plate. They have plainly forgotten how to cook them.

Several foodie people I respect had told me before the trip to eat at the glorified comfort food restaurant Arable

Guy Fierri did a vlog on them a few months back. 

They are located way the hell out in Eldorado.



excellent soul rolls...





I ordered the chicken mole nachos, not the best choice. 

Others at the table had shrimp and grits and a very good bison osso bucco fries dish, which they liked. 

Finished off with an apple green chile tart that they called a pie. 

Place was good but not earth shattering. Almost a little too funky. Had a great group there in any case.


Gee, what else? Went to Paper dosa one night, was not impressed at all. My local dosa joint is much better.

Had a good sushi dinner with Bradford at Kai on St. Michaels after a ridiculously long wait.

I was invited to a meal at one of the tonier places in town, Sazon, but after driving around for about ten minutes and failing to find parking for the big truck, sought cheaper if not more accessible pastures.

My friends who went loved it, said it is the best food in Santa Fe right now.

I had several good meals at Los Potrillos, one of my sleeper haunts. Mexican food in Santa Fe, not real easy to find.

I had birria the first night there, a bit soupy and the great pork ribs they serve the next. 

Watching Warmboe eat a jalapeƱo and get all weepy was worth the price of admission.

Santa Fe in August is not complete with me until I get my breakfast trout at La Plazuela at La Fonda which has been changed on the menu but is still good. Great breakfast with Joseph and Linda and Mr. Funny guy.

Some of the pics came out sideways and I am too tired to straighten them so you will have to work with me and visualize.

Mornings were either the Pantry or Wecks. I love the corn beef hash at the former, Wecks serves a red chile egg dish that was so hot it was inedible but the pancakes were good. People like Wecks because it is cheap and the food is decent. Hit the Plaza Cafe one morning for flapjacks too.

One night Friedman and Voracek and some friends of theirs all met me on Alameda at Pho kim. I couldn't help repeating the name over and over, the o in the first syllable being soft. 

I love the name of this place and the food was even better. I had the imperial soup of the old capitol Hue, Bon Boi Hue. It was great.

Warmboe and I spent our last night out dining at the Bullring. I had a great veal chop, ate far too many vegetables this trip and my body was craving flesh frankly. If I remember correctly, he had the prime rib. 


I was a little down my next to last night in town and decided to hit Denny's for the pot roast. Man did they destroy that in two years. It was actually pretty good before.

Steve and I hit Harry's Roadhouse on the way out to his place. I had the turkey meatloaf and almost got into it with a big mouthed tweaker but kept my cool.

That basically wraps up the food portion of the blog for the month. Stopped at John Feldman's for great coffee and even better challah on my way out of town.

And before you start chiding me and waving your finger in my face over my diet, think a little bit. I am on the road for three weeks. I don't have a kitchen. You want me to start grazing on chamisa and black eyed susans? Man has to eat.

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It was Leslie's birthday Monday. We went to the Temecula Creek Inn and dined at Cork / Fire Kitchen, which was just awarded a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. We were seated on the patio with a  view of the golf course.

We started with a grilled romaine caesar and iron skillet brussel sprouts, which are of course everywhere today. (If there was truly bacon candy in them, as advertised, we never saw it.) Still both dishes were tasty and delicious. This is a true farm to table place, most of the veggies grown a hundred and fifty feet from the kitchen.

I had a crispy skinned mallard duck and she chose the bistro steak with chimichurri. My duck was a tad oversalted but still quite edible. She loved her meal. Service was great. I will definitely be going back. Afterwards we went to the casino, something we do about once a year. We both won money, me at blackjack, Leslie at the slots. A great day and birthday for my wonderful wife!

4 comments:

Ken Seals said...

Very enjoyable and educational account of your NM eating experiences. I hope you feel better quickly.

Blumoon said...

Thanks Robert...although I wouldnt go w many of your food choices I always enjoy the tour

Valerie Tate said...

Your comments regarding restaurants in New Mexico reminded me of a fabulous restaurant we found in Albuquerque, Zea's, however, when I Googled the restaurant, I was sad to discover that they are permanently closed. Their main restaurant in New Orleans, LA, is still open, so I hope one of these days to get out to that restaurant. Zea's was the first restaurant where we were urged to try their cheesy grits, which were fabulous. I have since found a recipe that would compete with Zea's recipe...mine might even be a tad better. Will have to have you and Leslie over to dine with us!!! I will even make my upside down apple pie (with pecan brulee)!

Liz said...

Interestingly enough, Mom never made or ate Indian food. She told me it was because dad detested ginger. I never asked him about this. She also never made it for any of her other families as far as I know. I was in my late 20’s before I ever tasted it. Learned how to make it because I was living with an Indian guy. It is still not my favorite cuisine, but mg really likes it, so I make it for him.

There is an Indian/Mexican fusion restaurant down the street. Closed for the summer, so I have never been there. The idea sort of terrifies me, but friends like it.