Recommended by locals and featured in an episode entitled “Aces of Authenticity” on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” Casa Chimayo is a delight for someone seeking traditional New Mexican food with a story.
For starters, try Mercedes’ Posole. This deeply flavorful soup begins with braised pork shoulder stewed in a red chile broth with spices and posole - corn kernels boiled until they “bloom” into what resembles soft popcorn and absorb the surrounding flavors without losing the flavor of corn. I tried posole various ways while in Santa Fe and this was my favorite.
If you like sweet and savory, Chile en Nogada is also a great choice. The online menu has a mouth-watering description.
The blue corn enchiladas, and everything our party of four tried was delicious. As they say in the Caribbean, “Paso un angelito.” (“An angel passed over us”, normally used when the table goes quiet as all are distracted in savoring the meal.)
For dessert, try the natilla. Think of crème brulle when it’s warm off the stovetop and hasn’t yet been placed in the oven to convert to custard. Or fresh ice cream custard before it’s frozen. Rich and satisfying, but not as thick as custard. Served in a large chilled martini glass, eaten with a spoon, with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Divine. With a fresh, perfectly crumbly bizcochito (akin to cinnamon-flavored shortbread), taste buds and olfactory senses are suspended in momentary bliss.