Tiny hanging tea lights cast orange orbs onto the lavender-hued walls. Thatched wicker chairs gather around tables, round and tapered like the heels of giant boots. Though these decorative embellishments may seem bold, the Martinez family wants them to be fixtures of a much greater statement—a culinary statement, one that won Los Equipales the title of 2011's Best Mexican restaurant according to Weekly Alibi.
The Martinez family changes the menu every three weeks to focus on the specialties of a different state of their native Mexico. Homemade sauces such as sweet mole and spiced tequila cream marinate fresh fillets of red snapper, salmon, and spice-infused chicken. While waiting on sizzling plates of fajitas to cool, patrons can also ask servers about their private rooms, which accommodate up to 110 guests or 500 tapped telephones.
Nestled on the outskirts of the Santa Fe National Forest in the Pojoaque Valley, Estrella Del Norte Vineyard not only creates its own wines, but also stocks, sells, and hosts samplings of many other Northern New Mexico ambrosias. Arriving visitors meander down a pebbled pathway, past a flower garden, eclectic sculptures, and adorable grapevines whining for affection, entering the quaint tasting room lined on one side by a rustic wooden bar. Groups gather around tables, studying lists and sampling wines originating from the likes of Santa Fe Vineyards, Black Mesa Winery, and the homegrown vines just a stone's throw from the tasting room’s set of tall french doors.
Our Texas wines are more than a reflection of our personal dedication to making world-class wines. They represent our culture and desire to share all that means in one of life's finer pleasures. Handcrafted wines with true Texas spirit. Zin Valle - made in the place where the star touches the mountain. Salud!
Ron and Olha Dolin didn’t discover their shared passion for wine and spirits until after they were married. Together they use Ron’s Ph.D. in engineering and Olha’s generational knowledge of producing vodka and brandy in Eastern Europe to craft handmade wines and fine spirits. Their wines include the specialty Emotion series, which includes cherry sherry, apple ice wine, and a wine made from rose petals. The two also distill spirits ranging from blue corn vodka and bourbon to gin made from New Mexico juniper, pinon, chamisa, sage, and rose hips.
Pacific Paradise merges the flavors of the Far East and the Pacific Islands into an extensive and far-reaching lunch and dinner menu. Placate palates with the spicy Thai eggplant ($6.95 for lunch, $8.50 for dinner), tenderly sliced Mongolian beef ($8.50 for lunch, $11.95 for dinner), vegetable tempura ($7.95 for lunch, $9.95 for dinner), or Pacific Paradise's signature seafood-rice pizza ($15.50), a smattering of the sea stir-fried with jasmine rice, egg, and pineapple, all baked and served with soup and a salad. The Malaysian sautéed scallops ($8.95 for lunch, $13.95 for dinner), finished off with mushrooms and coated in a curry coconut sauce, will have taste buds rising up and high-fiving each other in victory, while the Hawaiian golden crisp chicken ($8.50 for lunch, $10.95 for dinner) evokes nostalgic memories of the decade you spent whittling wooden teddy bears on a desert island. Spicy options also abound at Pacific Paradise, with heat-bringing dishes such as the marinated Tibetan lamb kabob ($12.95), the Mongolian beef roll with asparagus ($12.95), and the kung pao tofu ($10.50), which consists of crispy, deep-fried tofu in a spice-laden kung pao sauce. A full sushi menu is available, as is a monsoon’s worth of wine and beer options.
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.