Jay Fox's Dining Guide
ON THE ROAD AGAIN… WITHOUT ME
“By itself, tofu is like wet foam rubber, but you’d no more eat it by itself and expect fine dining than you would stare at a blank canvas and expect to see fine art.” — Victoria Moran
I WROTE A COLUMN ON WEIRD STUFF, but the computer crashed and took all my word files with it, so you get something fresh and exciting today. I don’t even remember what I wrote cuz it was almost two weeks ago when I wrote it but it had to do with the opening of Dunkin Donuts here in metro Denver. I also had some choice words for that horrid Krispy Kreme product that is still around town. But that’s all old news that never made it to the printer.
On the subject of DD, perhaps the best donuts in America, I see that Peyton Manning’s younger and allegedly not-so-smart brother, Eli Manning, may really be the smarter of the two. He (Eli) is doing endorsements for DD, while Peyton is endorsing some disgusting pizza chain. Ugh. I guess it comes down to who gets the bigger Big Bucks. I thought there was a law that you had to actually use or consume the product you use. Nothing about liking it. But I could not even endorse that ick.
One of my great pleasures in life is when G leaves town. Usually that’s to visit relatives but on this trip she took The Cuda and two of her cousins to La Veta, San Luis, Taos and Santa Fe with stops in between.
I say my great pleasure only cuz I get to eat what I want for dinner and watch what I want on TV. If I choose to go to a movie, I can see whatever I want. I did all of that in the four days and nites they were gone. The ladies did bring back some goodies to eat and findings of great food and drink.
G reports they stayed in a wonderful Comfort Suites in Taos, N.M. We’ve stayed in Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites fairly frequently cuz they are always clean and comfortable. We really don’t plan on spending any time in the motel other than to bathe, sleep and change clothes. But this particular motel was exceptional.
The rooms were comfortable with expanded bathrooms, the staff was terrific and the free breakfast was super yummy. Even has a pool and hot tub. (1500 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, 575-751-1555; www.taoshotels.com). That’s kinda the main drag down thar.
They also found a terrific Mexican restaurant in Taos, Orlando’s New Mexican Café. They don’t have a real address but it’s at the corner of Juan Valdes and Hwy 64, on the main road about 1.8 miles north of the Plaza. They do have a phone: 575-751-1450.
G reports that the blue corn cheese enchiladas were amazing, but not quite as great as the avocado pie. The ladies also swooned over flan and biscochitos. I can’t believe no one ordered the house-made Mama’s apple pie. Only $.50 extra for a la mode. I’m sure they had some real food also. While the menu offers traditional fare, they also offer blue corn beef or chicken enchiladas, los colores, fritto pie, grilled carne adovada (marinated pork) and even a 5.2 oz. burger. Not ¼ lb., not ½ lb., but a 5.2 oz. burger! If you got three of them, you would have 15.60 ounces. Darn near a pound. I’ll bet the owner is an accountant, waddaya think?
They also offer a “sloppy bro” (grilled open-face burger with stuff) but I was intrigued by the La Reina — rolled blue corn cheese and onion enchilada with choice of chile, two grilled pork medallions, topped with chile Caribe (red chile pods blended with water to a puree and seasoned), and served with posole and beans. Yo!
Remember that Northern New Mexico fare is different than Colorado or anywhere else. Often the red chili is hottest but you never know. Always ask.
This popular eatery is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. They have been awarded Best Restaurant in Taos County every year since 2005.
The ladies moseyed on to Santa Fe where they continued their escapades of eating and shopping, shopping and eating. It was reported that the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe is still a great rest stop as well as dining experience.
My good bud Michael Floorwax and I were loose on the town while the ladies were off to New Mexico, so we ventured out that Saturday nite. That north end (Thornton, Northglenn, etc.) is booming in the dining business. There are restaurants everywhere and they are all mobbed. An hour plus wait at Olive Garden is ridiculous.
We ventured over to an old fav of mine and a new place for Wax, but I’m not going to tell you the name of it, not yet. Only one visit does not a column make.
Suffice it to say, the rooms were gorgeous, the service was fantastic and the grub was amazing. We had pretzel things, pasta, Caesar salad and perhaps, just maybe, the best burger that I’ve had in Colorado. Ever. Maybe. G and I are going to check it out.
Our wandering dining critic will be back on the Colorado trail for his next column. Send him your suggestions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.