Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cake v. Pie: Pie Wins Because Pi Is Infinite!

The Guadalupe Cafe is our favorite place in Santa Fe, but this visit we only got to eat there once. Usually, their pie is homemade, amazing and hard to come by, meaning, you had better reserve a piece when you sit down or it won't be there when you are ready for dessert. Over to the left are the pieces of peach/strawberry pie we had during our last visit to Santa Fe. The crust was a bit thick for my taste and the strawberries were not right, dried out and not oozing sweetness. It was an acceptable pie, but not up to Guadalupe Cafe's usually exacting pie standards. As we had pie in as many places as served it, we had plenty of contestants for the ultimate pie winner.

While Guadalupe Cafe's pie may have disappointed, their food did not. Their chips are homemade and spiced just right. The chile is hot, unapologetically, hot, which is great in my opinion. Their salads are served in HUGE bowls and you cannot physically finish them. They rock!

The blueberry pie we had at Cafe Pasqual's was the winner. I don't have a shot of that pie. It was a very tasty filling, a bit on the sweet side, with flaky crusts. However, eating at Cafe Pasqual's is a mixed bag. We ate dinner and it was wonderful. We also went for breakfast and were terribly disappointed. The Mexican hot chocolate was so sickly sweet that I left half of it. Fred's huevos rancheros were gross. He ended up eating the other half of my chile relleno and scrambled egg dish, which was fine. Sheldon's hot cereal dish was just that: hot cereal with no attempt to dress it up with maple syrup, cinnamon, cream, etc. It was bland and dull. Kitty had French toast that was just ok. Nothing special. I expect something special with the prices that Cafe Pasqual's charges. It did not deliver for breakfast. Dinner was very nice.

We also had a nice pie at Harry's Roadhouse. Harry's Roadhouse is a great, out of the way place that you have to search out to find. It serves amazing food, with a terrific waitstaff and a pleasant, cheerful atmosphere. You can find it all here, burgers, salmon, New Mexican cuisine...and pie.

Another great place, one that is not out of the way, but that is right on the historic plaza in Santa Fe is the Plaza Cafe. We ate there twice and had a snack of a basket of sopapillas and Mexican Hot Chocolate. Their Mexican Hot Chocolate is perfectly sweetened with lots of whipped cream. It is a liquid dream. They had a caramel chocolate pecan pie that was very good, but still, the blueberry pie pulled ahead.

We had a bit of pie gluttony at Zia Diner. I ordered Wicked Cocoa, Fred the strawberry rhubarb crumb, Sheldon went for apple and Kitty had cherry. They were all just ok. I had a bison burger that was very tasty, but Fred was not pleased with his trout or his rice. Kitty found it to be acceptable (she ordered the same thing as Fred) but Sheldon agreed with Fred that the rice was soggy and the trout a bit fishy.

Here is a shot of the apple pie we had at Orlando's in Taos. We all decided that it was a very good pie indeed. Perhaps second in the pie wars.

Orlando's however, was first in the New Mexican Cuisine Wars as they made fabulous chile rellenos, enchiladas, posole, fish tacos, taco salad, carne adovada. We just didn't order anything at Orlando's that wasn't fixed perfectly and served with a smile. However, I must admit to a small feeling of guilt....pie guilt....

You see, my favorite dessert was not the pie at Orlando's, nor the pie at Cafe Pasqual's or the Plaza or any of the pies or sopapillas. My favorite dessert, the one I craved and had to go back for and in fact ordered several of so that I could take some back to my B&B and snack on them later was the state cookie of New Mexico: The Biscochito dipped in chocolate, which Orlando's served.
It is cookie heaven. Light and tasty, with anise seeds and a thick coating of dark chocolate on half of its heart. It was a little bit of cookie love, cookie perfection. I have looked for the recipe from Orlando's, but they don't have a cookbook. I found a couple of potential recipes and will try them and get back to you with the results. In the mean time, if you have a chance to go to Taos, go to Orlando's. Order anything, but make sure you order the Biscochito dipped in Chocolate. It may not be infinite, but I still dream of it.


FredCanDoIt said...

Makes me hungry again. Mmmmm, pie.

FredCanDoIt said...

I believe you meant to say that pi is irrational instead of infinite. (I mean, really...)