Set in an 80-year-old adobe home in Taos’s historic district, Eske’s Brew Pub soothes parched patrons with a lineup of handcrafted beers, and a menu laden with traditional pub fare favorites. Sate carnal cravings with a lean ground-beef burger topped with cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles on a whole-wheat bun ($6.75). Or add New Mexico green chilis to the meaty meal ($7.25), igniting flavorful mouth arson solely for the purpose of quenching it with a fruity and refreshing Apricot Ale. The 10,000 Foot Stout blends tall tastes of caramel, chocolate, and roasted barley, evening out the girth of the Fatty burrito ($8.75)––a heap of beans, homemade mashed potatoes, feta, and cheddar ensconced in a wheat tortilla, and lavished with house-made green-chili turkey stew. Patrons looking to shave seconds off of their meal time can also opt to combine fare and fermentation into one super supper by sampling the grilled bratwurst-and-sauerkraut sandwich ($6.25), sinking teeth into a brewksi-soaked sausage served with braised sauerkraut, stone-ground mustard, mashed potatoes, and a french roll that's been given a stern talking to.
El Meze's chef Frederick Muller alchemically transmutes local and organic "food of the mountains" into a menu of regionally inspired cuisine from Spain, northern New Mexico, and the Mediterranean. Start off with a shared plate of chicharrones, a braised pork belly that is flash-fried and dusted with chili and smoked Spanish paprika ($8). Appetites can stay sprightly with a small meal of fresh Penn Cove mussels in an herb broth ($13), or stay grounded during a gravity outage with a large meal of truchas yerba buena, a whole trout marinated in mint and cilantro and preserved with lemon and garlic ($19). A dessert of mini cardamom doughnuts drenched in caramel chocolate sauce defuses sweet teeth before their timer reaches zero ($8).
Boasting a menu of modern and traditional Mexican dishes, Antonio’s bold flavors meld with the cozy charm of its classic hacienda setting, creating a satisfying north-of-the-border experience for hungry guests. After feasting on guacamole, swiftly prepared by tableside avocado tamers, diners indulge in chipotle shrimp tacos ($9.50) or a bowl of sopa Azteca, featuring a zesty menagerie of black beans, chicken, and jalapeño ($4). Stuffed with crab, shrimp, and smoked salmon, the enchiladas de mariscos highlight oceanic wonders without the typical water danger of seaweed splinters ($11.95). Adventurous meat fans delve into Antonio’s seasoned leg of lamb in the barbacoa de borrego ($14.95) and the yak rib-eye con hongos al ajo, a hearty steak with garlic mushrooms and potatoes ($15.95). With the restaurant's adobe walls adorned with murals depicting Mexican folklore, patrons discover new stories to tell around the water-cooler factory's water cooler.
For roughly 50 miles, the Rio Grande winds through canyons and the Taos Ski Valley, passing along reddish-brown hills and the distant peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here, fisherman Taylor Streit casts his line into the rushing water and snags a rainbow trout. An expert fly fisher, Mr. Streit has guided other anglers through Northern New Mexico's waters for more than three decades. He's written three fishing books, been inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, and lit up television screens on programs such as Legends of Rod & Reel. But perhaps the greatest testament to Taylor Streit's success is his son Nick—a championship fisherman in his own right and the current owner of Taos Fly Shop.
Nick has guided trips alongside his dad since he was a teenager, and —along with a full staff of expert anglers—the two continue to lead fishing trips that catch brown trout, rainbow trout, and other fish species in waters such as the Rio Grande and the lower Red River. For their most-dedicated customers, they run a fly-fishing school. Their beginner programs teach basics such as how to cast a line, whereas intermediate classes teach anglers how to read a river's water. Back on dry land, Nick also sells flies, fly rods, and other fishing gear.
Anna and Sancho Soeiro operate their Canyon Road café five days a week, serving organic fare largely sourced from local farmers’ markets. Dish n' Spoon Cafe's menu spans soups, salads, and sandwiches (made with chicken-curry salad, for example, or roast beef and horseradish), and caters to the noncarnivorous with veggie burgers and veggie lasagna. The café itself is housed in what was a one-room grocery store for 70 years; after moving in, the Soeiros decided to reflect the welcoming environment and community loyalty it represented in the repurposed space.
Cubbies of knickknacks, sculptures, and other gewgaws and gifts line the walls, creating an atmosphere of cozy, quaint chaos. The faces of frequent customers smile from a Star Wall of pictures, and kids chomp organic PB&J or grilled-cheese sandwiches before running off to play in the restaurant’s special kids’ corner. A Santa Fe Reporter write-up notes some of the café's Santa Fean charms—"quirkily mismatched" plates and silverware, and a patio where patrons can sprinkle sunshine and shredded clouds on their meals.
New Mexican correspondent Rob De Walt describes how, in 2009, Mayor David Coss declared August 14 Dish n’ Spoon Day in honor of the Soeiros’ consistent dedication to volunteer work and community service—they've been involved in historic preservation, the Buckaroo Ball, and a court-appointed advocate program for survivors of juvenile abuse or neglect. Every Monday, Dish n’ Spoon runs on a pay-what-you-can price structure, allowing patrons to live within their means or finally use that stash of leprechaun gold that banks refuse to convert to U.S. dollars.
Pranzo Italian Grill treats lunchers and diners to authentic Italian fare. Lunch offers pizza pepperoni with marinara, mozzarella, and pepperoni ($14.45), which can be paired with insalata mista, whose green mixture is decked out with toasted pine nuts, tomato, and sweet red onion ($7.95). For dinner, sip a mochaccino ($4.25) while snacking on cozze con finocchio, an antipasto dish of black Mediterranean mussels soaking in a saffron-garlic broth ($10.95). Lasagna Bolognese keeps guests satisfied with layers of pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, meatballs, Bolognese, and marinara ($16.95), and gnocchi astice fills stomachs with house-made gnocchi and lobster among bacon, chili flakes, garlic, peas, and saffron cream ($25.95).