Restaurants

November 27, 2013

in Albuquerque, Food & Drink

Cafe Vingt Cing (end of the Turquoise Trail, at I-25 near Santa Fe) is closed.

Bonus opening: Mas is now open in the Hotel Andaluz in downtown Albuquerque. The chef is James Campbell Caruso, whose Boca in Santa Fe is so nice. Spanish tapas, etc. In my experience at his Santa Fe places, the tapas are the way to go. Whole sandwiches (at lunch) are a little meh.

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Los Alamos

September 25, 2013

in Food & Drink, Santa Fe

The Hill Diner is closed. Probably for a while now…

On the plus side, Pajarito Brewpub has opened, and it looks pretty popular. It’s in the same mini-mall area as Blue Window Bistro, kitty-corner across the parking lot.

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The Legal Tender, the saloon across the road from the Lamy train station outside Santa Fe, is open again. Here’s the Facebook page.

In Los Alamos, the fantastic salvage store The Black Hole is closed.

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Santa Fe Food

September 12, 2013

in Food & Drink, Santa Fe

I mentioned earlier that Trattoria Nostrani had changed to a French place, Vivre. Now that’s closed too, as is the ramen place adjacent, Shibumi Ramenya.

I also mentioned that Bobcat Bite closed. Happily, it has reopened as Santa Fe Bite, in Garrett’s Desert Inn, at the corner of Old Santa Fe Trail and Alameda. Same great burgers, big new space, and everyone seems really happy.

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A few updates:

Albuquerque:
The Daily Grind coffee place has moved, to 4340 Cutler Ave NE (waaayyy away!), and the old space is called A&B Lunch Box, with a few of the same menu items.

Santa Fe:
Tree House cafe is closed moved to DeVargas Mall (thx for the correction to the correction, Kelly). Now it’s In the old location is a promising-looking coffee roaster, Ikonik.
The Legal Tender in Lamy is closed, but might reopen with new owners?

Taos:
Lula’s is closed.

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If you’re visiting NM this summer, keep an eye on the wildfire situation. This blog (nmfireinfo.com) posts bulletins from the Forest Service.

Two current fires could have an impact on your outdoorsy plans: the Tres Lagunas fire is only 10 miles north of Pecos, and a fire north of Silver City has led to evacuations of Hillsboro, on Hwy. 152.

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Bobcat Bite

June 12, 2013

in Food & Drink, Santa Fe

!!! Tragedy! This restaurant on the edge of Santa Fe has closed, due to a “lease dispute.” That might leave the door open for reopening elsewhere…

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The bar/restaurant in Taos (not the intersection itself!) is closed.

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The ranch north of Taos is closed to visitors! And has been for a while. Sorry for the very, very late notice.

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Max’s

May 21, 2013

in Food & Drink, Santa Fe

This restaurant in Santa Fe is shut.

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Willee’s blues/jazz club has closed.

Azur restaurant is closed.

Trattoria Nostrani is now Vivre–same management and chef, but with a French menu, rather than Italian. I haven’t had a chance to eat there yet.

Earlier, I reported that Joseph Wrede had moved to Tomme (from Tules’ on Palace). But that’s not true anymore! The new chef at Tomme is Daniel Johnson…and I have no idea where Joseph Wrede has gone. Rats.

In non-food-news, Toyopolis has moved around the corner, to 150 Washington Street.

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Bad news: beloved Aqua Santa shut last fall!

Good news: Charles Dale (formerly of the great Encantado) has reopened it as Bouche Bistro.

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A helpful reader just alerted me that the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe is no longer free on Friday evenings. Now it’s only on the first Friday of the month, to NM residents with ID.

Also, the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque closes for maintenance periodically–so it’s inaccurate to say it runs “frequently all year round.” If your trip falls outside the winter ski season, be sure to call ahead to check the schedule. The maintenance schedule is also posted on the website now. Next closing is November 4-15.

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This restaurant in Santa Fe closed last summer. (Sorry to be so slow!)

I’m just reading Andrea Feucht’s Food Lovers’ Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos, released last month. Because Real Food Nation wasn’t included, I suspected something had happened to it! Looking forward to my trip in April to investigate some new places, though.

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Joseph Wrede is no longer at Tules’ on Palace (which has been renamed The Palace, incidentally). Now he’s at a new restaurant called Tomme, at 229 Galisteo.

I knew something wasn’t right at the Palace when I clicked on the menu and saw fried calamari! So not Wrede.

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Ponderosa

February 26, 2013

in Albuquerque, Food & Drink

This steakhouse/bar on South NM Hwy 14 (outside of Albuquerque) is closed. Goodbye to a local institution!

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This restaurant and resort in Tesuque, just north of Santa Fe, is now a Four Seasons property.

The real news is that the chef previously in charge of Terra has gone, so I can’t vouch for the menu any longer. Proceed with caution!

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Jo’s Place is closed. (That’s OK–the family’s two other good restaurants still rock the same block.)

Church of Beethoven is now called Sunday Chatter. (Not sure what happened there, but I guess it’s better not to know about chamber music feuds!)

(Thanks to the New York Times team for updating my 36 Hours in Albuquerque piece and finding these changes!)

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Oh boy! When you get off the train in Lamy (maybe one of the coolest places to get off a train in the U.S…), the Legal Tender restaurant is now open. This also gives a nice reason for a bike ride down the rail trail from Santa Fe.

The info is here.

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It's waiting for you!

Hot off the presses: the third edition of Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque is in stores now! I had a great time researching this last year, and got to do a bit more in-depth research than usual because I was also writing a story for The New York Times.

And, of course, before the book is even out, there’s at least one change I’m aware of: the new Joseph Wrede restaurant in Santa Fe is now called just The Palace. (It says Tules’ on Palace in the book.) It hadn’t quite opened yet when I was there–go and tell me how it is!

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The Albuquerque branch of this taco place is closed. But the Santa Fe ones are still open.

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The Northern New Mexico museum in Questa is closed.

Questa Cafe is closed.

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Fernandez de Taos bookstore/newsstand is closed.

Parks Gallery moved from Bent Street to Paseo del Pueblo Norte, just north of the intersection with Kit Carson Road, on the west side of the street.

Laughing Horse hotel/hostel is closed.

Rellenos Café is now La Cueva, though the menu and food is largely the same.

Loka coffeehouse is shut. It’s now Stella’s, an Italian restaurant.

Zebadiah’s in Angel Fire now goes just by Zeb’s.

The Angel Fire visitor center has moved. Look for it on Hwy 434, just south of the T-intersection with Angel Fire Rd.

Correction: Wired? Internet café is behind Albertson’s, not Raley’s.

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There’s now a tourist info office in the Rail Runner depot in the Santa Fe rail yard–handy.

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The directions to this retreat center in Abiquiu are not quite right. After a few miles on County Rd. 0155, you must turn right through a marked gate (always open), then continue another mile or so to a fork. Bear left to get to the Dar al Islam gate. Bear right to get to Plaza Blanca.

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Plaza Café is closed temporarily, due to a fire, but should reopen by the end of 2011.

Corazon bar/club is closed.

The Ore House bar has moved off the plaza. It’s now around the corner at 139 W. San Francisco Street (formerly/still sorta Milagro).

Annapurna has moved to 1620 St. Michael’s Drive.

Linda Durham gallery is shut.

Lew Allen Contemporary on Palace is no longer strictly contemporary—all of that has moved to a larger space in the rail yard (1613 Paseo de Peralta).

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Embudo Station in Embudo appears to be shut.
Matilda’s restaurant in Espanola is closed.

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The shop Que Chula is no longer open in Nob Hill—it only runs an online shop now.

Atomic Cantina downtown is closed.

The Aztec Motel has been demolished. Sad!

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The office in Santa Fe has moved–it’s no longer on Rodeo Road, but out of the city a little way.

The address is 301 Dinosaur Trail. Where is that, you might ask? It’s just south of where Highway 14 meets I-25. (People who know the area will know it got its name from the dinosaur sculptures there.)

Phone number is 505/954-2002, and office hours are 8am-4:30pm Mon-Fri.

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Old news by now, but this hotel outside of Santa Fe (p63) is closed.

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This place in Mountainair has changed hands, and the rooms have gotten pretty sketchy. I wouldn’t recommend pre-booking here–take a room only if you can inspect it beforehand.

The cafe seems to be open regularly, though, for late breakfast and lunch every day but Tuesday.

I also noticed Alpine Alley, just north of Mountainair’s main intersection–this looks like good coffee and light food.

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The Route 66 Malt Shop is closed.

Theobroma’s downtown branch is shut, as is Cake Fetish.

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Sandia Mountain Hostel in Cedar Crest, in the mountains east of Albuquerque, is shut.

The URL for Sarabande B&B is incorrect. It should be www.sarabandebnb.com.

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In Nob Hill, Stone Mountain Bead Gallery has moved down to the east end of the neighborhood, at 4008 Central Ave.

Seventh Goddess has moved west, opposite Flying Star, to 3503 Central Ave.

Downtown, Visiones Gallery is shut.

And maybe I’m repeating myself, but Saints & Martyrs in Old Town is also closed.

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O Eating House, in Pojoaque, is now a fairly upscale Italian restaurant (but it has the same name). It looks good, if completely different!

The stock at Chimayo Trading Post has dwindled significantly. The owner (his partner passed away) is quite old and doesn’t seem to be restocking the place. Still, if you’ve never been, it’s worth a stop–there are still some treasures here.

In Chimayo, the separate Santo Nino de Atocha chapel has been spruced up and is open all the time now–it’s a bit more modern, but sweet. Take a peek inside, especially in the side chapel.

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As I noted before, the NM history museum is now open. Signage is not quite as detailed as I’d like, but otherwise it’s a nice introduction. The exhibits in the Palace of the Governors (now accessible via the history museum) are the same, fortunately–I find these more interesting.

Walking tours run by the museum go from mid-April to mid-October (not just in summer, like the book says). They last about two hours, and the route depends on who’s leading it, but it covers a couple of miles.

Linda Durham Gallery has moved away from Canyon Road, over to 1800 2nd Street.

Collected Works books has moved to the corner of Galisteo and Water, and now has a coffeeshop inside–lovely.

Adelante Casitas is back to being called Chapelle Street Casitas. Its online booking system is buggy–better to call.

Hotel St. Francis has been redone by the Heritage Hotels & Resorts group–it looks quite chic, but the rates have of course gone up. (The same group has redone the Hotel Plaza Real as well, which is great because that used to be a wasted dump.)

Willee’s bar is shut–it’s now called Corazon and books a lot of hipper live music.

Chispa! bar closes at 11pm now.

Green Palace teahouse is shut.

Carlos’ Gosp’l Cafe is shut. The space in the Design Center now sells NYC-style pizza by the slice–it looks good!

El Tesoro in Sanbusco Center is no longer particularly Salvadoran–the menu is more standard Mex-New-Mex, but everything looks good.

The Treehouse cafe moved to 1600 Lena Street (and unfortunately didn’t bring the nursery with it!).

The Blue Heron restaurant is shut.

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Fernandez de Taos bookstore has moved around the corner, onto Paseo del Pueblo Norte just next World Cup coffee.

The road running along the Rio Grande gorge on the west side has been paved, so you can head down this way and then jog over to Ojo Caliente and on south to Santa Fe–another scenic route, with potential for a hot-springs break! Look for the turn off US 64, about a mile west of the gorge.

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Joseph’s Table is shut! Sad. Sabor de Antonio, a Mexican-style seafood and steak place, is now in the space–which is funny, because this is the second time Antonio has taken over Joseph’s Table’s old space.

Dragonfly Cafe is no longer open for breakfast, except for Sunday brunch. Now it does lunch and dinner (and is closed Tues).

Guadalupe Cafe and the Sustaining Cultures bookstore is shut.

Maverick County Food Co. is shut–it’s now a Japanese place.

Apple Tree is shut.

Byzantium is substantially cheaper than it used to be.

Antonio’s has reopened next to where Guadalupe Cafe used to be, with his good Mexican menu–roast lamb, cochinita pibil.

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The Laughing Horse Inn is no longer particularly cheap, which is odd. I now think the Taos Inn has one of the better deals for solo travelers.

The Paragon Inn has changed names and is embroiled in a bit of a local scandal, and I can’t really bring myself to recommend the place.

Mountain Light no longer functions as a B&B, just a longer-term retreat center.

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The Pink Schoolhouse Gallery is shut. Which means…there appear to be no functioning businesses left in Tres Piedras.

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In Red River, Texas Reds moved across the street and east about a block, and The Hole Thing is shut.

In Questa, Paloma Blanca coffeehouse has shut–it is now an all-purpose restaurant that doesn’t look particularly notable.

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Consetta’s, the Green Restaurant, is shut.

And sincere apologies–the area code here is 575, but I failed to update many of the businesses listed.

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I’m sure there will be more changes as I continue this trip, but here are two:

Chef du Jour restaurant is shut. (Jennifer James is now cooking at her own place again, Jennifer James 101–and she got nominated for a James Beard award!)

Relish sandwich shop is shut.

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This hostel on N. Hwy. 14 in the East Mountains outside Albuquerque has shut.

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This little cafe in downtown Albuquerque is closing. Sniff.

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American Eagle (the American Airlines subsidiary) has finally started direct flights between Dallas and Santa Fe. Response has been enthusiastic, so it looks like the flights will be a permanent thing, beyond the 60-day trial.

Direct flights from Los Angeles to Santa Fe are set to start in November.

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The New Mexico History Museum, an extension of the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, opens this weekend.

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Taos is jumping on the successful Rail Runner link between ABQ and Santa Fe: Starting June 4, Taos Express will run a shuttle bus will between Taos and the Santa Fe Rail Runner depot, timed with the train’s arrival, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Round-trip price is $10, and you can transfer to the Taos Chile Line town bus for free.

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This hotel in Albuquerque–the renovated La Posada/former Hilton–will finally be opening in September of this year, and the website is taking reservations.

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Per a reader comment, it looks like this restaurant in Chimayo will reopen in July, after the fire that had shut it for a stretch.

(Thanks, Terry!)

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This museum in Albuquerque has moved to its new, bigger location at 601 Eubank SE.

It has also changed its name to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. More info here.

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The second edition of Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque is available now!

Fortunately, no obvious corrections to be made yet. But I’m sure a few will appear shortly.

The big news in the area is twofold:

1) The RailRunner commuter train now connects Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Schedules are here.

Note that, as a side effect, as far as I can tell, there is no longer a regular city bus linking the ABQ airport to downtown–there is now a free shuttle. Which would be nice, except it runs less frequently and is timed to coordinate with the RailRunner’s departures to Santa Fe. Still, if the times work in your favor, you could easily enjoy a car-free visit to Santa Fe (and Albuquerque).

2) Allegedly, daily direct flights to Santa Fe will be starting June 11. They’ll be operated by American Eagle (American Airlines) out of Dallas-Ft. Worth.

This has been on the table before, and very close to starting, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

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The Rail Runner commuter-rail service between Albuquerque and Santa Fe has officially started. This is just about the coolest thing to happen in New Mexico in decades!

For visitors, this means you could take the dedicated shuttle from the ABQ airport to the Rail Runner, and hop on the train direct to Santa Fe. No rental car, no hassle–ideal especially for a weekend getaway.

I say “could” and not “can” because a lot depends on the train schedule–it doesn’t run super-frequently (about once an hour during rush hours, with only a train or two in between). The last train to SF departs the ABQ Sunport stop at 6:09pm.

But the trip takes a little less than an hour, and you arrive in style in central Santa Fe–suave! Roundtrip is $8.

For schedules and other info, see the Rail Runner website: www.nmrailrunner.com.

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A little slow on this, but the restaurant Rancho de Chimayo had a fire this summer. It’s closed until at least April 2009.

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This doesn’t refer to anything specific in the book–I just thought it was a big step forward: You can now bike all the way to the Balloon Fiesta grounds (thanks, Duke City Fix).

Balloon Fiesta traffic is the single biggest mental deterrent for going, I’d say. The park-and-ride bus system works, but if you can get there under your own power–so much cooler! And a pre-dawn bike ride would be great.

In other news, there’s now an actual flushing public toilet in Madrid! (Previously, porta-potties were all that was available.)

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This cafe in Santa Fe (p. 63) is closed.

(Thanks for the tip, Leo!)

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On p. 176, I describe the Jemez State Monument as being south of Jemez Springs. In fact, it’s just north of the town. Also, the parking area for Spence Springs is more like 1.6 miles north of Battleship Rock.

This isn’t news, obviously–it’s just plain wrong. I have no idea how it happened, and I’m embarrassed it took me so long to realize it. Apologies!

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This restaurant in White Rock (p. 73) is closed.

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This place in Los Alamos (p. 73) is shut.

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This has been moving around a lot due to the construction on Railyard Park. Short-term: check the website (www.santafefarmersmarket.com) for locations. Long-term: there will be a permanent year-round market hall in Railyard Park, which will open sometime in late summer/early fall.

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Just FYI, ABQ’s transit system is now called ABQ Ride, not SunTran (p. 181). The Downtown-Old Town Trolley (p. 181) doesn’t run anymore, though. There is a free bus, called the Downtown Get-Around, that makes a big loop around downtown, between Lomas and Silver on 3rd and 5th streets.

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Chef du Jour (p. 161) has expanded, and chef Jennifer James (formerly of Graze) is now cooking here. The dinner menu (yes, there’s dinner now too) changes monthly, and is a great deal.

Ambrozia (p. 163) is closed. The chef now runs the new Nob Hill Bar & Grill, where Gulp/Graze used to be.

I reported earlier that Blue Dragon (p. 164) had closed. It has now reopened.

The Frontier (p. 165) is no longer open 24 hours–tragedy! It’s open 21 hours: 8am to 5am.

The Miner’s Chuckwagon in Madrid (p. 175) has moved–it’s midway through town, part of a larger Pit-BBQ operation. It wasn’t actually operating when I passed–it looks like it will rev up when summer gets underway.

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Nizhoni Moses (p. 153) no longer exists. There are now two Nizhoni galleries, with jewelry and RC Gorman work—one’s on Church St., one block behind the church.

Martha’s Body Bueno (p. 154) is closed. Martha’s products will be available at an upscale lingerie shop called Seventh Goddess, on Central a couple of blocks east of Carlisle (“upper Nob Hill,” as it’s being called these days).

Hey Jhonny Home (p. 154) is shut—but the original shop is still there.

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The radio station 104.1 (p. 149) is no longer “Latino and proud” format. I was enjoying 105.9 this time, though, which was a lot of contemporary Mexican pop and rock.

Gulp (p. 149) is closed. The whole Gulp/Graze compound is now the Nob Hill Bar & Grill, run by the chef from Ambrozia.

Gorilla Tango (p. 151) theatre is closed. As a consolation, keep your eyes peeled for the Pajama Men—I hear they are an excellent improve duo, splitting their time between Chicago and ABQ.

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Hiway House (p. 159) has redone its rooms—not so retro, but the carpeting is fresher. Ownership is a little cagey about prices, however, which can be annoying. Feel free to bargain.

La Posada (p. 161) will be reopening as Andaluz—not sure when yet, however.

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Gypsy 360 (p. 120) is now the Maverick County Café—totally different menu, but very good. Open only for long lunch (11am–4pm or so).

El Pueblo (p. 121) is not open till midnight in the winters—my mistake. It closes at 10pm.

Antonio’s (p. 121) is closed; fortunately, you can still get his chiles en nogada at the much smaller Rellenos Café, on Paseo del Pueblo Sur at the corner of Quesnel.

The Burrito Wagon (p. 122) is gone. (I saw it parked in someone’s yard a few blocks away—so sad!)

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Fechin Inn (p. 117) is now the Wyndham WorldMark, a timeshare resort.

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Blue Rain Gallery (p. 111) has moved to Santa Fe.

FX/18 (p. 111) has moved to Bent St, east end, closer to Taos Inn.

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Winter hours from the Blumenschein Museum (p. 98) are 10am to 4pm Tues through Sat, and noon to 4pm on Sun. (I’m remiss in posting this—someone alerted me to this months ago!)

The address of Gearing Up bike shop (p. 113) is 129 Paseo del Pueblo _Sur_–it’s just south of the intersection with Kit Carson Rd.

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Coyote Café (p. 60) is no longer owned by Mark Miller, and has been taken over by the same restaurateur who owns Geronimo. I enjoyed my meal there, but the menu is completely different and the cooking—while ambitious on the surface—is actually pretty standard stuff. It’s certainly the place to schmooze in Santa Fe right now.

Kasasoba (p. 61) is shut. It’s now another high-end Asian place.

Tiny’s (p. 62) is incorrectly placed on the map. It’s actually off the east side of St. Francis Dr., south of Cerrillos—Pen Rd. here is not really a street, but a big parking lot.

Horseman’s Haven (p. 62) has remodeled, and locals say it’s not so good anymore.

Mariscos La Playa (p. 63) no longer has its Cerrillos Road outpost—that’s now a different seafood place, which people also say is good.

Guadalajara Grill (p. 63) is shut.

La Diligencia (p. 63) is now called Jalapeno’s—not quite the same cool ranchero style.

The Churro cart (p. 63) seems to be gone, as is Lucky Barbeque (p. 63).

Dave’s Not Here (p. 63) is shut.

Blue Heron (p. 64) has a new chef, and the food isn’t nearly so Asian. It’s very delicious, though—worth a drive out.

O Eating House (p. 70) is open only for lunch and dinner now—no more doughnuts.

Blue Window Bistro (p. 73) changed hands, but it’s still good. The menu is a bit different now, though—none of the chile relleno crepes.

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Budget Host (p. 53) is now a Red Roof Inn.

El Rey Inn (p. 54) is incorrectly placed on the map—it’s actually about midway between Llano St and 2nd St, so closer to the plaza than on the map.

Chapelle Street Casitas (p. 54) has changed its name to Adelante Casitas.

La Tienda and Duran House (p. 54) is now part of the larger Las Palomas property across the street. Physically everything’s the same, but there are reports of service suffering. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough info to judge.

And I didn’t include the Santa Fe Sage Inn (www.santafesageinn.com) in this book, but it has since gotten a complete overhaul and is now excellent value—free wi-fi, pool, big breakfast, really comfortable beds and clean rooms. It’s only a little farther out of the center than Santa Fe Motel & Inn.

I’m hearing terrible reports from La Posada de Santa Fe (p. 56), and it did seem exceptionally scattershot when I visited. At least I’ll have to retract that ‘top pick’ status.

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Addison Arts (p. 46) is shut.

Meyer-Munson Gallery (p. 46) is now called Meyer East. Little has changed, though.

Chuck Jones (p. 46) has moved up to Palace Ave, downstairs from Fusion (ex-Swig).

Maya (p. 47) is open only till 6pm, at least this time of year. That 9pm closing must be only for summer high season—sorry about that.

Sybele’s (p. 47) is shut.

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Rooney’s (p. 41) changed into LeMoyne’s Landing (reported earlier), but it’s now a French café called Clafoutis, serving breakfast and lunch till 4pm. Tasty and fresh, and good pastries.

Rodeo Nites (p. 41) is shut.

Jean Cocteau cinema (p. 42) is now the Film Museum—more of an organization, and not-very-frequent screenings.

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The Awakening Museum (p. 35) is shut.

Sun Mountain Bike Co. (p. 51), now better known as Mellow Velo, has moved to 638 Old Santa Fe Trail—that’s just a couple of blocks south of Paseo de Peralta. It’s also phasing in a new phone number: 505/995-VELO.

More roads have been paved en route to Diablo Canyon (p. 51, driving directions on p. 52), so you have to look out for the dirt road 4.6 miles in—it heads uphill and bears slightly right, while the main paved road turns left. If you miss the turn, you’ll find yourself on a giant subdivision loop, soon heading south and then back east toward the city.

Poeh Museum (p. 70) now has its permanent display open. Its not quite as multimedia-crazy as planned, but it’s a neat series of dioramas, plus room for temporary exhibits. Hey, it’s free.

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I’m in NM, and I have a lot of changes to post for Santa Fe and Taos (and probably more for ABQ to come), but I won’t get to it for a few more days. If you’re just about to leave for a trip, email me and I can tell you–otherwise, check back in another week to freshen up your book.

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A big fire gutted Golden West (p. 146), in Albuquerque, and the neighboring Launchpad and El Rey are at least temporarily shut from damage as well.

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Taos Ski Valley will start allowing snowboarders on its slopes as of March 19, 2008. Truly a major change.

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If Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque isn’t enough for you, get ready for Moon New Mexico, with many pages devoted to the farthest corners of the state. It comes out September 28. And there’s an update page set up for the book, just waiting for news!

I talk (and talk and talk) about New Mexico on this fun podcast, the Amateur Traveler. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of discussion of New Mexican food, and a very rambling outline of all the various places you can visit in the state, including Pie Town and Truth or Consequences.

You can download the podcast at the Amateur Traveler website, or go via iTunes–I definitely recommend the iTunes-enhanced version, which includes some great photos.

Many of those photos happen to be mine–I just uploaded a bunch of the pics I used for the book to my Flickr stream. Easiest to see them in the New Mexico set.

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Jennifer James, formerly of Graze (p. 166), will be cooking at Chef du Jour (p. 161) starting September 4–this is great news! (Thanks, Duke City Fix.)

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This hostel in Albuquerque (p. 158) now has a website: www.rt66hostel.com.

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This cafe in Albuquerque (p. 164) is closed.

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It looks like this great little diner in Albuquerque (p. 162) is closing! Very sad.

Thanks to Duke City Fix for the tip.

UPDATE: Actually, no–just closing for a few months. It should reopen with a patio area, and maybe even a deep-fryer!

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The diner in Tres Piedras (p. 105) is closed.

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This chocolate shop (p. 119), and La Folie Restaurant, which I mentioned in previous updates, is now completely shut.

But fortunately you can still get the Xocoatl chocolates at Cid’s grocery store and Taos Home Grown, on the plaza.

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This place in Taos (p. 120) no longer serves dinner.

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Also closed, both locations (p. 119). It’s like there’s nowhere to get a pastry there anymore!

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This place in Taos (p. 120) is closed.

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The Kit Carson Park Ice Rink (p. 114) is no longer, nor is Don Fernando Swimming Pool. The Taos Youth & Family Center, 407 Paseo del Canon, on the south side, has combined both of these functions, with a bigger indoor pool, as well as an ice rink–probably better for the community, but less fun for visitors, as the ice rink is no longer outdoors and easily accessible.

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This B&B in Taos (p. 116) is shut.

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The skating rink in Taos (p. 114) is no longer in Kit Carson Park–there’s now a new rink in the Taos Youth & Family Center, 407 Paseo del Canon, on the south side.

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The convention center in Santa Fe has been torn down, so the tourist info kiosk mentioned in the book (p. 48, 85) is no longer there. You can pick up brochures and maps at the CVB offices in the Santa Fe Arcade on the plaza, 60 E. San Francisco St.

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Mary Cabot Wheelwright’s home in Alcalde (p. 84) is unfortunately no longer open–the whole place is up for sale. Too bad, considering all the work that went into the renovation.

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Sorry–I listed the wrong phone number for this Espanola restaurant (p. 76)–it should be 505/753-3200.

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This cafe in Pojoaque (p. 70) is no longer open for breakfast. Hours are:
11:30am-2pm and 5:30-9pm Mon-Fri
11:30am-2pm and 5:30-10pm (maybe later) Sat

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This restaurant on Canyon Road in Santa Fe (p. 62) has changed hands–it’s now called the San Miguel Restaurant, and is open only for lunch, 10am-3pm. I don’t know yet if it’s any good, though.

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No, this Japanese restaurant in Santa Fe (p. 61) does not open at 5:30 in the morning on the weekends, as you might’ve guessed. Correct hours are:
11:30-2pm and 5:30-9pm Mon-Fri
5:30-9pm Sat and Sun

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This Santa Fe restaurant (p. 60) now serves brunch all year-round.

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Steepings, the tea place near the plaza in Santa Fe (p. 57), is closed. And it seems like Tribes (also p. 57) is as well, as the phone number has been disconnected. If someone knows different, please email me!

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Either hours have changed significantly for this Santa Fe restaurant/bar (p. 41, 61), or I was totally confused when I wrote the book. Er, also, the phone number is for the takeout line–call the resto at 505/982-2565.

Here are the proper hours:
11am-2am Mon-Fri, kitchen closes at midnight
11:30-2am Sat, kitchen closes at midnight
8am-midnight Sun, kitchen closes at 11pm

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This Santa Fe gallery on the plaza (p. 46) has effectively shut. The new incarnation is Victoria Price Contemporary Art & Design, at 550 S. Guadalupe St. in the railyard–and, as the name suggests, the emphasis is much more on new work, rather than the rugs and turquoise jewelry.

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This Santa Fe gallery (p. 46) has moved from Canyon Road: it’s now at 554 S. Guadalupe St. Its hours have also changed: 10-5 Mon-Thurs and Sat, 10-6 Fri.

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This Santa Fe cafe (p. 62) serves dinner as well, Tues-Sat. Prices are very reasonable–nothing’s more than about $15. Good crowd, and a great bargain. Cash only.

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This restaurant in Santa Fe (p. 59) is significantly changed (it goes by the name Senor Lucky’s), and I wouldn’t characterize it as family-friendly any longer….especially now that they’ve installed the mechanical bull. (Yikes.)

UPDATE: This place has closed very suddenly, as of 2/15/07. (Thanks for the tip, Woody!)

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This Santa Fe restaurant (p. 61) added a very nice bar area–you can order the full menu here, or just have some of the delicious snacks.

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This bar in Santa Fe (p. 41) has changed hands, and the new management has lowered the drink prices; happy hour is $4, and the rest of the time cocktails max out at $10, making this place much more accessible. (No reports on whether this has resulted in a lower rate of celebrity sightings.) Currently the place is open Wed-Sun, and the nightly schedule listed in the book is no longer accurate.

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This Albuquerque sight (p. 138) has changed the schedule of dance exhibitions slightly: summer schedule is only through October, not November. Museum admission is up to $6. The website is www.indianpueblo.org. And the Pueblo Harvest Cafe (also on p. 162) now opens at 8am, not 7.

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Prices at this Albuquerque place (p. 158) have gone up just a tiny bit, to $18 for dorm beds and $24-35 for private rooms. It’s not much, but it can make a difference to those on a serious budget.

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I realize I left out a crucial detail on this cool museum outside Albuquerque (p. 173)–it’s open only April through October. I hope no one’s been caught out by that one. Oh, and admission is $3.

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This nice little resto in Albuquerque (p. 166) is closed (as of today). The adjacent bar, Gulp, is still open.

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This place in downtown Albuquerque (p. 163) is now called JC’s New York Pizza Department and has added a nice little bar area, with arcade games and good beers on tap. Hours have changed too: now 11am-11pm Sun.-Thurs, 11am-3am Fri. and Sat. (Yes, 3am–very handy after the bars.)

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This semi-Irish pub in Santa Fe (p. 41) is shut. It has been replaced by LeMoyne’s Landing, a New Orleans resto relocated here after the hurricane, which is so far getting fairly decent reviews.

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The restaurant at the Galisteo Inn (p. 64) is open on Tuesdays now as well, and has a direct phone number for reservations: 505/466-8200. The prices have also gone up significantly–$20 is the low end for entrees, and they range up to $38. But there’s a smaller “tapas” menu, which is really just bar food–smaller versions of entrees, some burger-y things, etc., so don’t let the prices deter you from a drive down here in the summertime.

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This Santa Fe restaurant (p. 60) no longer has the “No Higher Than Twenty-Six” category on its wine list, and its overall menu looks a fair bit duller than it used to. I haven’t had a chance to eat there again recently, but these two factors knock it out of the “top pick” category, unfortunately.

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First, Cookworks (p. 48) is closed, and that is not news at all, since it happened in late 2005. I just haven’t had my eyes open wide enough the past few times I’ve driven through town–sorry.

Prices on the four city-managed museums–Palace of the Governors, Museum of Fine Arts, Folk Art, and Indian Arts & Culture–are all up by $1 (to $8). Which means 4-day passes are now $18. But there’s a new 2-museum pass for $12–for either Palace of the Governors/MFA or Folk/Indian Arts–which is pretty handy. Also, Sundays are free to all New Mexico residents.

More news on the way shortly…

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This cafe in Socorro (p. 170) is closed–it has been replaced by nice coffee place, Manzanares Street Coffee.

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I’m starting another trip to New Mexico tomorrow, so stay tuned for more updates.

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This cafe in Santa Fe (p. 58) has closed at its downtown location, but fortunately has reopened in the Design Center, 418 Cerrillos Rd.

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Never mind the move to the Overland complex reported below–Sheva Cafe (p. 120) is now completely closed, “under mysterious circumstances,” according to the Taos News.

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An outpost of Santa Fe’s popular Mexican seafood joint Mariscos La Playa (p. 63) is opening soon in Albuquerque, on Central Ave. west of the Rio Grande.  It’s very near Sandia Peak Inn (p. 159), on the same side of the street.

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I ate at this restaurant in Corrales (p. 166) on this past research trip, and the menu has changed substantially from what’s described in the book.  It does have a few mid-range New Mexican items, but the bulk of the menu is $20-and-up entrees.  My group and I had salads and the green-chile-chicken stew, and none of it inspired raves.

I can’t really recommend the place for a full dinner anymore, but it is still a nice spot for a drink and a snack while you’re in Corrales–ideally outdoors on the patio.

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Greyhound/TNM&O buses now arrive at a new depot across 1st St., next to the Amtrak station.

Re: Tingley Aquatic Park (aka Tingley Beach, p. 158), I spoke too soon–the landscaping is still nowhere near finished, though I did see people fishing in the ponds, and the train to the zoo is running.

Re: Faulty Trail (p. 157), I realized the directions don’t really account for all the ways you could get lost.  First, turn on Canoncito, not Corte de Canoncito, which is the next turn to the north.  Then stay on Canoncito for a full half-mile–there’s a fork early on, and you need to bear right to stay on the main road.  Just as the paving ends, there’s another fork, and that’s where you want to bear left, onto Cole Springs Rd. You’ll pass through one fenced area, with ‘private property’ signs, before you reach the locked gate described in the book.  There’s very little room to park there, so you may want to park in the pullout right at the Cole Springs Rd. turn.

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El Vado Motel (p. 159) is closed.

La Posada de Albuquerque (p. 161) is also closed, but is under major renovation.  This is great news, because the place was on its last legs.

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Chef du Jour is now open for dinner Thurs.–Sat., from 5 p.m. on, but it is closed entirely on Monday.

And the phone number is 247-8998–my mistake.

La Posada de Albuquerque (p. 149) is closed—it looks like it’s undergoing big renovations.

Monte Carlo Steakhouse (p. 162) has helpfully labeled the entrance to the place.

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Budget Host (p. 115) has a fresh coat of paint and wireless Internet access. Prices are now squarely in the $50–100 category—a double room is about $65 now. But it’s still the cleanest budget motel in Taos. Try to get one of the back-facing rooms, for less traffic noise, and if you want a non-smoking room, make sure it’s adjacent to other non-smoking rooms, because the walls are thin, and the smoke smell can seep through.

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Texas Reds (p. 126) is up and running, rebuilt after its fire. But it’s open only for dinner, starting at 5 p.m. I just cruised through town during lunch, and tried Mountain Treasures, a little gallery/café just west of Brandenburg Park, across from The Lift condos. The deli sandwiches were good, and used homemade bread.

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Momentitos de la Vida (p. 122) is closed. It has been replaced by something called Sabroso—not sure yet if it’s good.

Sheva Café (p. 120) has moved into the Overland Sheepskin Co. shopping complex, up the highway, closer to the “old blinking light” intersection, on the east side of the road.

Antonio’s (p. 121) is still serving Mexican dishes—but they’ve been moved to the back side of the menu, and the New Mexican stuff given more prominence. Not a real change for the diner, as the food is just as tasty, but it’s funny to see that Antonio has had to cater more to local tastes. He has also opened Rellenos Café, on Paseo del Pueblo Sur, one block south of Kit Carson Road. Rellenos has the usual NM stuff, but also the yummy chiles en nogada, at a lower price than at the formal resto.

Xocoatl (p. 119) now shares space with a restaurant called La Folie, and has an entrance on Paseo del Pueblo Norte, just north of Kit Carson Road. The hours have changed too: Although the sign says they’re open for breakfast, the current hours are noon-3 and 6-9pm Tues-Sun (closed Mon).

Tim’s Chile Connection (p. 120) is more clearly signed as Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina, in the second-to-last entrance to the whole ski complex, as you go around the parking lot.

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In Madrid, the shop Woofy Bubbles (p. 175) is shut, as is Talking Bridge Gallery (same page), which had the old soda fountain in it.  Chances are, whoever rents that space next will operate the soda fountain as well, so all is not lost.

And I thought Madrid was looking a little tidier than usual…and it turns out it’s been being used as a movie set, for some Disney movie called Wild Hogs.  The fancy new diner turned out to be a movie set–no idea if it will actually turn into a business.

As for Cerrillos, Enchanted on First (p. 175) is closed.  On the up side, the petting zoo seems to have expanded, and Mary’s Bar had three patrons!

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I’m heading back to NM for another research trip on Tuesday–so expect some new information to be posted here.

For more detailed reports about my trip, which will cover the northeastern part of New Mexico (Las Vegas, Capulin Volcano, Cimarron) as well as the area northwest of Taos (Tierra Amarilla and Chama), see my main blog, Roving Gastronome.

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A reader just dropped me a note to say his experience at the Hotel Blue in Albuquerque (p. 159) was far less than satisfactory: the pool was closed, the airport shuttle was discontinued “until further notice,” the shower didn’t work, and his non-smoking room had an ashtray in it and smelled smoky. And then there was the small matter of a cockroach.

From this info, it sounds as if the original manager, who was extremely scrupulous, has gone on to another job. This is really disappointing, since this would be a huge waste of a hotel in a prime location.
So, until I check on this myself when I’m back in ABQ next month, proceed with caution. You might consider instead the Best Western Rio Grande, in roughly the same price category.

UPDATE: I checked on the Hotel Blue in September ’06. The pool was closed this summer due to citywide water restrictions during a severe drought–this can affect hotels all over the state.

The staff claims an airport shuttle is available, and the rooms look clean enough, but there was a general air of disorganization and slight untidiness about the place–cigarette butts around the front door, for instance, and rumpled carpeting in the room I saw. The staff was having problems with the in-room Internet access, but weren’t really equipped to fix the situation. If I’d been staying there, I would’ve been deeply frustrated.

I’d say this hotel is still a decent option, though at this point, I’m removing the wholehearted “Moon Pick” support of the place.

I’ll check in again in December.

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Westward Airways is officially no longer serving Taos (p. 129). A business consortium in town is lobbying for service from another airline, but so far nothing has been arranged.

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The hotel (p. 117) alerts me that not only is No. 301 a balcony room, but so is No. 302–which doubles your chances of securing a good deal and a view!

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The new entry point to Acoma Pueblo (p. 169), which includes the Haak’u Museum, is now open. Firsthand reports say the building is very impressive, especially compared to the portable trailer that had been the starting point for bus tours.

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Rita’s (p. 122) has opened as a proper restaurant, down in Ranchos de Taos (4133 NM Hwy 68). I haven’t checked it out yet myself, but if the tamales are the same, I can’t imagine what could go wrong.

All summer long, there’s music on the plaza every Thursday from 6pm to 8pm–apparently a fun scene well attended by Taos residents, with dancing.

(Thanks to the folks at Taos Lodging for the update!)

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Alma del Monte in Taos (p. 118) will no longer be functioning as a B&B after October 6, 2006–it’s shifting to a full house rental, for weddings, retreats, etc. So if this place sounds appealing, book your visit now…or plan on renting it out later with your whole gang of friends.

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…that Rancho Jacona (p. 55), just outside of Santa Fe, has a swimming pool, which the makes the place even more desirable. Not the spot for people looking for a city break, but really a good deal for those who want a little bit of country life not far from all the sights, especially for families.

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Grant Corner Inn (p. 56 and p. 58) in Santa Fe is closed.

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San Juan Pueblo, north of Santa Fe (p. 70), is now officially known as Ohkay Owingeh, the original Tewa name (“strong village”).

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Martha’s Body Bueno in Albuquerque (p. 154) has moved to 3901 Central NE.

The awesome tastiness of Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill, till now only in Santa Fe (p. 59), is coming to Albuquerque: one branch is opening right across from Flying Star in Nob Hill, at Central and Amherst.

Pearl’s Dive in Albuquerque (p. 163) is closed. Rats. Not sure what’s going in its place.

Worse, though, is that Coyote Moon in Lemitar (p. 170), which served some of the best New Mexican food I’ve ever had, is now renamed Tina’s…which is pretty much a guarantee that the man who used to run the place is gone. Very disappointing. You’ll have to hold out till San Antonio for a meal on your way to the Bosque del Apache.

Or you could stop at Socorro Springs Brewing Company, on the north end of the main drag in Socorro. This place used to be on the plaza, and then it was gone, which was pretty sad, but now it has reopened in a gigantic spot–presumably with the same good beer and basic food, but I haven’t checked yet.

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Welcome!

May 6, 2006

in Uncategorized

Welcome to the update page for Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, a travel guide that was published in March 2006. I’ll be in New Mexico several more times this year, so I’ll be getting new info about the area all the time. Stay tuned, and check back here before you take your trip. And if you hear some news, or find something that’s changed, please email me!

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