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A few notes from this lovely city: Santa Fe Bite, a rather sterile looking diner in a mid-range hotel lobby, delivered the best green chile sauce ever. I had it on chicken enchiladas, friend had it on a breakfast burger served on a cheddar biscuit. OMG. Spicy, smoky, very slow-cooked flavor. On Alameda, a few short blocks from the historic square. Maria's is hidden in strip mall hell off of Cerritos Rd, about 1.5 miles from the historic square. It's not a bad walk if you start at the railyard area (weekend farmers' and crafts markets are a pleasant diversion), which transitions to a greenspace that is pedestrial friendly much of the way. However, on foot you have to cross a very busy intersection, which I would not attempt after dark. The restaurant looks ancient, and it seems the more modern chain stuff just grew up around it. You can see the ladies making tortillas from one of the dining rooms. The building is adobe and beams and wide plank floors. It's worn but extremely clean. I had the New Mexican specialty of blue corn tortillas stacked with ground beef, Christmas style. The red chile sauce was so delicious. It will spoil me for all the versions, especially in the mid-west, that call a tomato-based sauce "red chile sauce." It was pure roasted chile, plus garlic and onion maybe...the server said it was vegetarian, so no meat stock. Friend had huevos rancheros that disappeared in record speed. Maria's serves chips with a good, slow-burn salsa, and then brings hot sopapillas with lunch. It's a lot of very good food at reasonable prices. The Pink adobe has a lively bar that delivers a respectable green chile stew, perfect on a cold night after sightseeing. It's cheap for a huge serving, full of tender pork and potatoes. The italian cafe right across from the Inn at Loretto, Mangiamo Pronto, is pleasant for a cappucino or glass of wine in a sweet brick patio. Terrible bagels, though! Kaune Food Town on Old Santa Fe Rd at Alameda, about 10 minute to walk from the historic square, is a convenient, expensive stop for in-room or picnic provisions. It's got a decent wine selection, fresh produce, a deli, and some gourmet groceries. It's hard to find a convenience store in the historic center of town, so if you want fruit or other snacks this is a good option. They also sell hard liquor. Will report back in after our remaining 2 days here.
Five years ago was the last time. Sure, it was a friendly, but both teams played full strength. And we tied them 1-1.