Santa Fe…An outsiders guide

Santa Fe; the city of adobe buildings, wealthy hippies and artists. Santa Fe is a unique place to visit and full of rich culture.  There are many attractions that draw people, myself included, to Santa Fe. The food, the distinct culture, the art, the numerous spas and a very laid back feeling.  All of these make this city a one-of-a-kind place to experience.

I went with one specific reason in mind. FOOD!!! I’m a huge foodie and I’ve heard that Santa Fe has some of the best in New Mexico. I needed to find out for myself. However, since I was already there, I decided to walk around and see what Santa Fe has to offer. I walked to a location that has been on my “Go-See” list for a while now.  The Loretto Chapel. The Loretto Chapel is the home of the ‘mysterious staircase.’ The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. It is beautiful! And magical. The chapel in itself is stunning. But, then you add this mysterious staircase and you have a chapel that must be seen for yourself.

Loretto Chapel - Front

Loretto Chapel - Mysterious Staircase

Finally, what I came to Santa Fe to do…it was time to eat!!! There are so many places that are highly recommended by locals and tourists alike. How do you decide? For lunch, I just chose the closest location to where I was standing. This ended up being the San Francisco Street Bar & Grill. I ordered enchiladas with green and red chile (here in New Mexico it’s called Christmas…green and red, get it?) and these enchiladas didn’t disappoint. In fact, these were probably the best cheese enchilada’s I’ve eaten.  Often places will skimp on the cheese. Not here. There was layer of cheese upon layer of cheese. And homemade tortillas filled with cheese and topped with chile is like a piece of heaven in your mouth. There were rice and beans that came with my order and while I ate them and they were good, the standout of this dish was definitely the enchiladas, as it should be. And a secret…add a fried egg to the top, you’ll thank me later. If all restaurants in Santa Fe are as good as this one, I see why Santa Fe has a reputation of attracting foodies.

After lunch, I visited one of the better known streets, Canyon Road. Canyon Road is an enchanting half-mile in the Historic District of Santa Fe. This road is full of fine art, galleries, unique shopping, artist studios, and some pretty quaint dining.  Santa Fe attracts painters who work in studios along Canyon Road and often they invite the public to watch them work. I stepped into a quirky little studio where the owner/artist was finishing a piece of art. Seeing an artist in motion was fascinating to watch!

At the end of Canyon Road lies an adorable little place, The Teahouse & Restaurant. I decided I needed to eat something sweet. So I chose this location for their amazing Strawberry Shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcake Heaven

The Teahouse is an acclaimed restaurant that offers over 150 teas from around the world. How do you even decide? I basically closed my eyes and pointed. What I ordered was a hot blooming tea! It’s a rather large round ball of tea that when steeped the tea opens up like a flower bloom.

Un-bloomed teaBloomed Tea

My blooming tea was an experience in itself. The shortcake arrived in perfect fashion. The cake was light, airy, crumbly and the perfect balance of sweet and savory.  This was, by far, the BEST strawberry shortcake I have ever had! And the tea was amazing! I feel like I could make this location a monthly visit.  This was the perfect way to end my day!

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