Finding Enchantment in New Mexico
We explore northern New Mexico, eat a lot of enchiladas.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: July 26th, 2012
New Mexico is known for being a bit out of this world.
e recently found ourselves testing a new car in northern New Mexico—specifically the area surrounding Santa Fe—and we took some time away from the tough duty of testing a luxury SUV to sample the local cuisine and check out the sights.
We needed caffeine on the drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, so we popped into New Madrid's Java Junction, a hidden gem of a coffee shop located in a tiny town. After sucking down a frappuccino that put Starbucks to shame, we ambled on towards Santa Fe.
Our first food stop was at Maria's in Santa Fe, which has been around in one form or another (it started as a take-out place) since 1952. We chowed down on blue-corn tortilla enchiladas with red and green chiles and chicken, with a side of Spanish rice and refried beans. While not particularly spicy, the enchilada was satisfying enough, and it didn't dent our wallet too badly.
New Mexico is known for being a bit out of this world, thanks to the Roswell incident, and one of our destinations was an Earthship sustainable building, which is a green building that meets standard building codes. Built with recycled and natural materials, the building uses natural processes like wind and rain to provide its utilities, such as electricity and water. According to the company's web site, an Earthship building can be built anywhere.
We needed a home base for our excursion, and our hosts put us up at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado just outside of Santa Fe. With spacious cabin-style rooms with heated bathroom floors and private patios, we felt right at home in the desert.
The last stop on our trip was to downtown Santa Fe. The central plaza is surrounded by plenty of shops hawking Native American clothing and jewelry (much of it on the high end of the price scale), and there are also plenty of street vendors (mostly Native American) selling their homemade wares (generally at more reasonable prices). It's worth a walk if you're in the city.
Before boarding our flight home, we couldn't resist one more enchilada. We hit up Los Cuates at the Albuquerque airport for another enchilada with the blue-corn tortilla. Once again we filled it with chicken and chile. Los Cuates doesn't skimp on the fire factor, as this enchilada cleared our sinuses. We then washed down the spice with a Santa Fe IPA. Our meal got a bit pricy, no doubt due to the airport location, but we didn't mind—it was a fitting send off.
For our take on Southwestern cuisine, click here.