And I’m ready to go back to work on Monday! Okay I’m lying. I’m totally not. But it has been incredibly nice to not have to be there for 7 whole days. We had a lovely time in New Mexico and overstuffed ourselves on Mexican food. I know I cook it all the time but you really can’t pass up (several) good Mexican restaurants. When I initially googled dining guides for New Mexico, I thought perhaps people were overdramatizing the fact that chiles are available with everything. They weren’t. You can pretty much get them with everything. We definitely were not complaining about that; I just wish I’d been able to find several jars of the salsas we ate to bring home. It’s okay though, because I have cans of chiles and I’m going to set about creating a dish Erik ate for breakfast last week that basically consisted of two massive breakfast burritos smothered in green sauce and cheese, served with beans. It made me kind of jealous that I just ordered pancakes and eggs for breakfast. Anyway, here’s a quick run down of where we ate while on vacation:
- We spend New Year’s Eve with reservations to a fancy pants restaurant called Epazote located in Santa Fe. The restaurant host gave me free Spanish brut cava and we started our meal with an appetizer of chapulines served on mini corn tortillas with guacamole. Or rather, Erik started his meal that way. He convinced me to eat one of the grasshoppers. It was tasty, but I couldn’t get past the whole “I’m eating a bug” thing. Plus, I think a leg got caught in my teeth. Before ordering our entrees, they brought us a sample of each of the moles the chef had to offer for the evening. All of them were delicious but the best was the mole poblano. I ordered the grilled Angus sirloin with grilled onions and jalapenos, rice, and a mixed greens salad with cilantro vinaigrette. It also came with corn tortillas. Erik ordered the night’s special, Muscovy duck breast with mole poblano, rice, and the mixed greens salad. Everything was tasty and the chef even came out and greeted everyone to see how their meal was.
- We had brunch at Tortilla Flats. I had a simple order of breakfast tacos (ham and egg) on homemade flour tortillas. Erik ate a combination plate (huge portion, I don’t know where he found room for it all).
- We took a day trip to Taos and ate at the Guadalajara Grill. This place had a massive menu and I just had to order barbacoa tacos. They were so good I did not ever want to leave this place.
- In Albuquerque, we found a (very) small restaurant that I also wanted to pack up and take home with me. The Taqueria Mexico is tiny but they make seriously awesome carne asada tacos and homemade horchata. I was most impressed by that as most of the horchata I get in restaurants around my area is the kind from the powder packets. Erik ate another combo plate with a chile relleno made with a green New Mexican chile, an enchilada, and a taco.
- We took a scenic route home that took us through the Four Corners monument which I really wanted to see anyway. There were Navajo vendors there and one truck that made fry bread to order. Erik got a Navajo taco and I ate a piece of fry bread smothered with honey.
I’m not going to lie and say that it wasn’t a huge treat and a big deal that I found a Whataburger in Albuquerque. I haven’t eaten Whataburger since the last time we were in Texas (forever ago) so when I see one, there’s no question we’re stopping and getting a Whataburger with bacon and cheese. Erik ate a green chile smothered Whataburger that also looked good. While passing through Farmington, NM, I got myself a quick lunch from the Church’s fried chicken, another fast food joint I love that I haven’t eaten at in about 6 years. It was very, very satisfying.
- We spent our last night before coming home in Moab, Utah and ate at Eddie McStiff’s. I had an awesome Philly cheesesteak on homemade ciabatta made with prime rib, onions, bell pepper and provolone cheese. They served really wonderful beer battered onion rings on the side. Erik ate a massive mushroom swiss burger made with a garlic infused beef patty. It was so awesomely garlicky that I don’t ever want to make hamburgers again without stuffing them full of garlic.
We obviously had an awesome time and not enough room in our bellies to eat at every place we saw. Now that I’m home, I have a bunch of ideas to try and recreate some of the meals we ate. And as delicious as everything was, you really can’t beat eating your own homemade food. That might be the best part about being home from vacation – it gives us a renewed appreciation for our own cooking. Except now I want everything to be “southwestern” so I made a “southwestern egg scramble” for yesterday’s breakfast.
Southwestern Egg Scramble
diced white onion
a couple tablespoons of diced green chiles
a couple strips of bacon, cooked crisp and diced up
a small roma tomato, diced
corn tortillas and chopped cilantro for serving
Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain it then chop it up. In the leftover bacon grease, saute the onion until translucent. Add in the chiles and tomatoes. Let those cook for a minute. Add in the bacon. Pour in the eggs, cook until done. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with corn tortillas, a sprinkling of cilantro and a side of refried beans.