As you may know, I now have a sweet little gig writing blog posts for Two Casitas Santa Fe Vacation Rentals. I have all of you folks to thank – you’ve shown such interest in this blog that you convinced Wendy Kapp of Two Casitas to hire me. It’s quite a treat to get to write about a place and properties that I love.
One of the tasks on my list for Wendy is to find different ways to enjoy a weekend in Santa Fe (dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it) – from the “Opera Season and Canyon Road” weekend to the “Santa Fe on $40 per day” weekend. The latter is an easier topic for me, because honestly, some weekends that’s just about my budget.
One easy way to stay in budget and have a great meal is to eat at La Choza. I started eating at La Choza long ago, when I was a poor single mom living in Albuquerque. They opened in 1983, and I’m pretty sure I was going there in 1984.
It was one of those places, like Berts’ Burger Bowl or the Five and Dime, where I could actually afford to feed my kids and myself when we visited Santa Fe. I hadn’t been there for a few years, so when I stayed at the Two Casitas Luna and was looking for a restaurant in the neighborhood, La Choza came up on my smart phone. It’s at 905 Alarid Street, a quick left off Cerrilos after you cross St. Francis headed to the Plaza and/or Guadalupe Street, etc.
It’s still the same. It’s just on the edge of the Railyard (where it’s always been – the Railyard just grew up around it, so that now the location is hipper than ever). Their website says “We waited 25 years for the Railyard to mature into it’s own!”
The food is still amazing. I had chiles rellenos, my pal Sabrina had vegetarian enchiladas, Bruce had enchiladas, and we had a steaming basket of sopaipillas in the center of the table. La Choza is the sister restaurant of The Shed. The food is just as good (or better) than The Shed, but the prices are more reasonable, the atmosphere is more relaxed and the wait to get in the door is just a tiny bit shorter. Eating at La Choza is what the locals do rather than going to The Shed just off the Plaza.
The prices are still very affordable. The most expensive dish on the menu is the 3 item combination at $9.50. Most dishes run in the $6.95 to $8.50 range.
The margaritas are still perfect, and the Dos Equis is still cold. The building is still just as charming as ever, and I discovered that the building was once the headquarters of Santa Fe’s turn-of-the-last-century Mercer Ranch. The two dining rooms were the ranch’s bunkhouses.
We were there in the winter, but they still have outdoor seating where you can, during the summer, watch the New Mexico Railrunner slow down for the Santa Fe Depot.
So, although writing for Two Casitas is such a hardship (my tongue is firmly in my cheek!), I took one for the team and had dinner at La Choza recently. Loved it! It’s within walking distance of The Luna Two Casitas rental, but I don’t really care where I stay. I’ll be eating here again soon.