Saturday, April 11, 2009

Still more Vegan Santa Fe

I'm really not STILL in Santa Fe, (I wish I was!!) but I did want to share the rest of my vegan adventures before returning to the sometimes-boring every-day food in my own kitchen...
Santa Fe hasn't had the best reputation for vegan options, but I feel that's unfounded. We've been there many times and never gone hungry. Always nice to have some recommendations to work with though. While there are too many to list, I wanted to make a point of mentioning several of the very vegan-friendly places (ones I haven't raved about before) that we visited while in Santa Fe, should any of you be planning a trip there (and you should!!). And, while I love traditional New Mexican options - green and red chile, beans, sopapillas, etc; However, this trip (in thinking back) we were in the mood for Asian type cuisine which may sound odd considering our location, but happily, I can report we weren't disappointed.
Chows Asian Bistro had been recommended to us by friends several years ago and we returned for a late dinner Sunday night. (There aren't many options in town on a Sunday evening) Staff are vegetarian-knowledgeable (no hidden chicken-broth, etc) and friendly. Nice selection of vegetarian menu items. Plus they'll sub tofu in many of the other entrees. Totally LOVED the lettuce wraps and Kung Pao Tofu.
Kakawa Chocolate House (since I'm a chocolate fiend) was another "must-do" stop. Kakawa is a small artisanal chocolate-maker specializing in Historic European and Mesoamerican Aztec Drinking Chocolate (I'm copying from their website here): "Kakawa Chocolate House chocolate elixirs span the time period 1000 BC to the mid 1900’s AD." Amazing stuff. And since I'm a history geek, even more fascinating!!
The drinking chocolates are served in tiny demitasse cups. A good thing, as they're strong, dark, sometimes unsweetened and VERY intense. They're also almost all dairy free since ancient recipes didn't use dairy in their chocolate ("...based upon Pre-Columbian/Mesoamerican anthropological and historic culinary research" - YAY!) You need to try it if you're at all a chocolate fan, they even have free samples!
My fave was the Mesoamerican Pepper-Allspice drinking chocolate. They also have truffles and molded chocolates (some vegan) so we got a few Kakawa 4 Chili Blend chocolates to take home. (Not for the faint of heart).
ChocolateSmith was the next stop in the chocolate tour. More unique, handcrafted, local vegan options, more knowledgeable chocolate people. More samples. YUM! (If the name sounds familiar, they were recently on Food Network). Check out the Green-Chile-Pistachio chocolate bark. Or just step in and absorb the heavenly smell....

Chopstix was a nice surprise as a quickie take-out late-lunch option one day. Santa Fe restaurants seem to all take a siesta from 3 - 5 and if you've missed lunch, pretty much ANYTHING looks good around 4:00! But the lady behind the counter was helpful, friendly and understood our need for vegan Chinese food. We were well taken-care of. I'd definitely go back again.
Shohko Sushi Cafe is also totally worth raving about. (Yes, vegans eat sushi, no fish, veggies only, if you haven't tried it, you MUST!!) Consistently rated as one of the best sushi places in all New Mexico (I know, not like you'd think of sushi actually being good in New Mexico but it was!! ).
We went to Shohko with Mariela and Leif one evening and, along with the great company, (and *ahem* lots of saki) we had some of the best sushi EVER! The menu had lots of veggie options and we completely enjoyed every moment! Better yet, within a minute or so, walking distance, of the B & B!!

And finally, speaking of my friend Mariela, (<<-- Aren't they a CUTE couple - awww...) her lovely lunch café, appropriately named Vegan Santa Fe was definitely the highlight of our trip. So good, in fact, that it deserves it's very own blog post. (Yes, more Santa Fe blogging.) I'll add the yummy-ness soon!

Stay tuned!!!


Binx said...

Chocolate! Awesome. Looks like you had a lot of fun and good food!

Bianca said...

That drinking chocolate looks amazing! I wanna go to Sante Fe!!!!

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Cynthia said...

I like that cup and saucer

Alisa said...

I added your recommendation for the chocolate house to Go Dairy Free, with link to this post. It sounds awesome!

Tofu Hunter said...

That tofu dish looks amazing!!! Bummer it's all the way in Santa Fe!