Sunday, August 3, 2008


Geronimo's of Santa Fe, New Mexico...
It will leave a HUGE dent in your pocketbook, and it is not worth it, I'm afraid.
Just came home from a disappointing meal---not necessarily because the food was bad, but the overall experience was not up to snuff for such a high-end, high-priced restaurant.  Service is poor.  The wait staff is just terrible.  For instance, we went to dinner with our friends from Denver, Colorado---they are a lovely couple and we had also brought our nearly 8 month old baby.  When the food arrived, they never served the ladies first.  That was the first NO-NO of the evening.  Our drinks were not properly refilled in a timely fashion.  To get plain bread with the cheese plate at the end of the meal was a challenge rather than something that should have been accompanying the plate to begin with.  When our coffee and cappuccino's arrived, there was no proper sized spoon to stir in the cream and sugar.  Little things like that, make a bad impression for a big restaurant like Geronimo's.  Despite all of that, the restaurant, on a Sunday night, was packed.  If only they'd train the wait staff better, I wouldn't be kvetching about what an indifferent meal we had there for nearly $500.00 USD.  For our party of 4, we had 2 bottles of wine, appetizers all around, main courses all around, 2 desserts, 1 cheese plate, 2 coffees and 1 cappuccino.  With tax and tip, it wound up being $475.00 USD.  I ordered the crab cakes for the appetizer and they were just o.k.---not exceptional.  They were actually a bit bready and not very tender, crabby or flakey.  I had the Alaskan halibut as the entree, and it came with a saffron risotto with roasted peppers and chorizo.  I think the risotto was better than the fish, to tell you the truth.  Halibut is a dense fish, and it was cooked densely as well.  It did not melt in your mouth or flake on your fork.  The cheese plate was fine, but again, nothing special.  All in all, a mediocre meal for a high price.  Thankfully, our company made the night wonderful nevertheless.  My rating and thoughts on this place is---don't ever need to go again.  Never ever.  And I don't recommend this place to others unless they want to be totally ripped off with bad service to boot.  I don't ever mind paying big bucks for an overall fabulous experience, but if the wait staff continues the way it is, this place won't be in the restaurant line-up for years to come.


How can I forget Mauka in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I went there this past June with a friend, and had a great meal with good service.  It is situated in the former Kasasoba noodle restaurant on Agua Fria Street.  
It is not cheap.  Dinner for 2, with a glass of wine each, an appetizer each, main courses and 1 dessert, with tip and tax was around $140.00 USD.  It is Asian-Fusion food---I had this salad with blue crab and slivers of red onion, green onion, etc.  It was delicious and delicate.  The main course I tried was the Korean bbq ribs, aka: kalbi, and it came with a kimchi potato salad (that cracked me up) and something else, I can't remember.  The kalbi was tasty, although the meat was a bit tough.  It could have been a lot more tender.  The way my Mom makes it, it falls right off the bone.  Alas, no one ever cooks better than my Mom in the Korean food department.  The dessert was these donuts that were amazing!  They were coated in sugar, and inside had molten nutella out of them.  They were divine.  The dessert and the wine, an Italian Barolo or something, was outstanding.  I would definitely go back and try this place again.  

Santa Fe Baking Company

The Santa Fe Baking Company in Santa Fe, New used to be my tried and true place to go for breakfast burritos in the morning, but after today, I'm not so sure.  I ordered my usual burrito: bacon, eggs, green chile and potatos.  I also got it slathered with green chile.  I got a cup of joe and a large o.j.  I always have loved their o.j.  It tastes fresh squeezed, but I don't think they do it there themselves.  In any case, the bacon in my burrito was a bit tough and chewy.  The eggs were somewhat runny, and the chile inside the burrito was non-existent.  It was basically, a tasteless burrito, which surprised me greatly.  Over the past 5 years, the Baking Company and Tia Sophia's was where I'd go for a breakfast burrito, but now, I think I'll have to rethink my options.  

Friday, August 1, 2008

Harry's Roadhouse

Harry's Roadhouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico is off the beaten path, but so well worth it.  On a Sunday for brunch, the huge line up of people out the door is a little intimidating, but the wait is never very long.  It is run like a tight ship.  The food is fantastic with good prices.  I never feel ripped off.  The food is hearty and delicious, never salty or greasy.  I enjoy their migas with chorizo in the morning with a large fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee that keeps getting poured to the brim.  I've also had their breakfast burrito recently, with Christmas chile (green and red chile) and it was fantastic.  It contained bacon, eggs, potatos and the chile was delicious.  They have a lovely outdoor patio where we sat and inside is not bad, either.  I would go here anytime.  It is worth every penny.

La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California

If you want to surprise your father on his 65th birthday and treat him to an all expenses paid night at a famous spa with a round of golf at the supposedly exquisite course, then La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California is NOT for you.  First of all, after all the work I'd put into faxing the credit authorization form from a Kinko's in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when my Dad went to check-in at La Costa, they STILL took an imprint of his credit card.  Not only did they do that,  they even showed him how much the stay would cost!  A whopping $830.00 USD!!!  For that kind of money, I would expect the Front Desk staff to be a little bit more competent when doing their job and seeing the notes on the account as having the stay been paid for by someone else.  The golf course was apparently not as nice as the municipal golf course Torrey Pines, in Del Mar, California.  That was another big disappointment.  The only saving grace was the nice room they had overlooking the golf course.   At the end of the stay, my Dad's credit card was charged---and so was mine!  When this was discovered 2 days later, I asked to speak to the manager of the Front Desk, who apologized and remedied the double charge.  He also offered to comp my next meal there (without alcohol---what kind of meal is that without any alcohol?) as his apologetic gesture.  I'm sorry, but for $830.00, I could've done a lot more things for my Dad, like send him a couple plane tickets to Toronto, or anywhere for that matter.  He could've stayed at a Four Seasons Hotel for a couple of nights, not just 1 night with a so-so round of golf.  The end result of this is NEVER go to the La Costa Resort and Spa.  It is not good value and it has terrible service.  2 thumbs all the way down.