Fingers of thick orange flame bend around red brick, heating hand-rolled pizza dough to temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees. In roughly three minutes, the pie emerges with a delicate, golden crust covered in marinara and gooey melted cheese. It's this innovative cooking process that earned RedBrick Pizza a spot on Entrepreneur magazine's 2005 list of top 500 franchises, a 2006 feature in Nation’s Restaurant News, and various other press mentions. But its offerings aren’t limited to specialty pizzas. Besides hand-tossing all pies with no MSG or fillers, chefs can also spurn wheat flour by preparing Italian dishes from a separate gluten-free menu. Trademark Fhazani sandwiches integrate fire-roasted dough with fresh ingredients such as pesto, mozzarella, and arugula. Italian party packs supply festivities with breadsticks, all-natural gelato, and pizzas to wrap around the host’s head in a traditional party turban.
Lorenzo’s Italian Restaurant's culinary whizzes craft a menu of family-style Italian fare from traditional and progressive, fusion-inspired recipes. Old World Italy and New Mexico seductively tango like mismatched police partners throughout the grilled chicken fettuccini Alfanso, festooned with sausage and green chili ($14.25 for full order). A dozen dynamite pasta preparations grace the dinner menu, as well as grilled rib-eye steak, served with mushrooms sautéed in merlot and a side of fettuccine alfredo ($23.25). Lunchtime yields a crew of 18 pizzas (starting at $11) to satiate stomachs, and half-portion lobster ravioli ($11.50) with lemon and butter sauce tickles tinier appetites. Lips sip on one of seven Italian sodas ($2.50), supplemented with whipped cream to mimic the experience of drinking a carbonated cloud.
At Venezia's Pizzeria, pie crafters transform doughy canvases into golden-brown masterpieces en route to a fully stocked menu of New York–style pizzas, calzones, and sub sandwiches. Diners can channel international zest with a slice of the Italian Stallion, which spotlights ground beef, sausage, bacon, and a thick Philadelphia accent ($14+). Barbecue-chicken pizzas ($11+) challenge toothy excavators to tunnel through grilled-chicken strata, and the gluten-free hawaiian pizza's hunks of pineapple and bacon ($11.15) imbue diners with a tropical reprieve sans licking dashboard hula dolls. To satisfy nonannular cravings, patrons can embrace the warm exterior of a philly cheesesteak hero ($6.75) or help a three-cheese calzone ($8) hone its diving skills by dipping the crunchy belly flopper into a side of homemade marinara sauce.
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.
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.