We were told by some friends of ours to try Casa Chimayo on our next trip to Santa Fe. It was new since our last visit in 2010, and though we have quite a long list of favorites, this sounded like our kind of place. It’s family owned and operated, the recipes come from the owner’s mother who grew up in Mexico, it’s very casual and the price is right.
The mole was incredible; rich, thick and redolent of chocolate and spices. The lunch menu features plantain enchiladas with mole, but the kitchen was very accommodating and made it with chicken instead. And there was plenty of sauce to enjoy with the flavorful rice.
The cheese enchiladas were made with blue corn tortillas, which I always appreciate, and we ordered them Christmas style so we could try both the red and green chile sauces. I didn’t care for the red chile sauce, it was too thin and light colored, more like a spicy hot sauce. I prefer the thick red chile sauce of La Choza or Tecolote, but the green chile sauce packed a bunch and had substantial chunks of green chiles in it.
We also had a nice green chile stew, though my favorite is the one at Tesuque Village Market, because it’s chile based, not broth based and hence thicker.
The restaurant must have been a house at one time, and now each room constitutes a different dining area. During nice weather, I recommend the funky patio. It’s delightful and, if you’re lucky, the owner will be out there. We enjoyed talking to him and hearing about the restaurant and the heritage of the recipes.
For a while there was no website, which was endearing. But I’m glad they succumbed to 21 Century social media; word of mouth only takes you so far these days, and I want Casa Chimayo to be around for my next visit to Santa Fe.