Doc Martin’s Restaurant — Taos, NM

We visited Taos for the first time in 2010 looking for a quick meal and bypassed the steak entrees, maybe because of the higher price tag and opted to try the Elk Burgers. That meal was one of the food highlights of the trip.

We returned to Doc Martin’s this year and looked forward to the Elk Burgers, and they did not dissapoint.

We walked a couple of blocks to reach the restaurant and got there about 15 minutes before it opened. Doc Martin’s is inside the Taos Inn and adjacent to the inn’s bar, which was packed this day because there was a huge crowd waiting to get into the Taos Solar Music Festival.

Once the place opened, we were seated and served promptly. The window panes dividing the restaurant from the bar area isolated us from any barroom discussions and we enjoyed our Elk Burgers with gusto.

Props to our waitress, who didn’t know much about the beer they served on tap. She talked to the bartender and was able to tell me more about their selection and made an educated choice, which also did not disappoint.

Elk Horn Cafe — Chama, NM

We were driving from Durango to Taos and had no clue where we were going to stop. The lone Yelp review was our only guide… and it turned out to be a great find.

Driving through, there’s not much to look at in Chama, and the Elk Horn Cafe was no exception, as the outside has as much charm as a dusty unpaved parking lot can give a place.

The interior, however, was a different story. It had a nice, clean layout and the wait staff was cordial and helpful. I ordered the Green Chile Cheeseburger, which according to the menu won some kind of regional award. Very tasty burger although the chile was a bit hot. Picked some of it out, no problem.

I don’t recall if they serve beer, but it would have been a better complement to the tasty chile served on the burger.

The fries were good and the refills plentiful. Give this oasis as try when crossing through the desert.

Also posted on Yelp!bit.ly/RpbNFV

The Range — Bernalillo, NM

Who knew there was a town called Bernalillo, NM, by the side of the road on the way to Albuquerque? Not me! Thank you, Yelp, for suggesting this restaurant.

We mapped our way to the restaurant for lunch and soaked up the wild decor of the place. They have an extensive menu and it all looks good… having had one too many burgers during this trip, I ordered the Steak Sandwich Tampiqueña (which nobody in the US can decide on a  standard way to prepare it), which consists of a 7 oz grilled NY Steak strips topped with grilled poblano, red bell pepper and onions with green chile, sliced avocado and melted white cheddar (description from their menu).

My wife had the Chimayo Chicken Sandwich (my second choice), which is described as a grilled chicken breast brushed with Range Cafe hot sauce, topped with bacon, avocado and Swiss.

If you are a true fan of hot green chile, get the Chimayo sandwich. My wife’s palate is a bit more sensitive to heat than mine, so we exchanged the second half of our sandwiches with each other. I think they do a bit more than just brush the chicken with the sauce… it’s green chile goodness is soaked to its very being.

The steak sandwich was a complete meal on a toasted bun. I recommend you plan to eat half of the sandwich at the shop and take the other one home or for the road. Lots of food, all good.

But because we ate the whole thing, we only got to look at the desserts. Try one and let me know what you think!

Also posted on Yelp!bit.ly/ZNjw5r