Author Archives: zora

Los Alamos

The Hill Diner is closed. Probably for a while now…

On the plus side, Pajarito Brewpub has opened, and it looks pretty popular. It’s in the same mini-mall area as Blue Window Bistro, kitty-corner across the parking lot.


Heavy rains have done damage all over the state, closing some areas and roads. Check for road status (a useful link anytime), and be sure to call ahead to parks and other attractions in more remote areas. (Gila Cliff Dwellings, for instance, is currently closed due to flooding.)

Santa Fe Food

I mentioned earlier that Trattoria Nostrani had changed to a French place, Vivre. Now that’s closed too, as is the ramen place adjacent, Shibumi Ramenya.

I also mentioned that Bobcat Bite closed. Happily, it has reopened as Santa Fe Bite, in Garrett’s Desert Inn, at the corner of Old Santa Fe Trail and Alameda. Same great burgers, big new space, and everyone seems really happy.


Whoa, Colt Motel is pretty much done for. Really down at the heels. Sorry to see this.

Also, the Budget Host Melody Lane has changed owners, just FYI. Everything seems fine so far, but the previous owner had the highest standards imaginable, so it will be tough to follow. But the steam baths are still there and working…

And, WOW: the Maverick Motel! I don’t normally mention new discoveries here in the updates, but this place is *so* time-capsule wonderful, I have to tell everyone. Super-1940s, snug rooms, chenille bedspreads, all adorable and museum-ish. Very south edge of town, by the ramps to I-25.

Other closings: Chris’s Bakery is gone (sigh, no more doughnuts). Crystal Cafe was not open, when it should have been–but it didn’t look out of business. Anyway, Boomers BBQ, just south of there, is new and great.

Las Cruces

Ono Grindz restaurant is closed.

The Museum of Natural History has moved out of the mall to a spot downtown, at 450 N. Water St. It’s now called the Museum of Nature and Science.

The Stahmann Farms shop south of Mesilla is closed.

La Union Station is closed.

On the plus side, there’s a neat new coffee shop in La Union, called Johnny Lolita’s. It roasts its own beans and hosts a craft-and-vintage market, and a farmers market. A good excuse to drive down Hwy. 28 on a weekend–check the website for the event schedule.

Fort Stanton

This old fort near Ruidoso is now completely in the hands of a preservation group (no more drug rehab for convicts, as the book says!), and has a very nice little museum in one of the buildings. Now worth the short detour off U.S. 380.

Bosque and Socorro changes

Acosta’s restaurant in San Antonio is now called San Antonio Crane, but is supposedly just as good, if not better. (Acosta’s B&B has shut.)

Manny’s Buckhorn is now just Buckhorn Tavern. (Actually, it has been for a while–sorry!)

The museum on El Camino Real is now called El Camino Real Historic Site, and it’s open only Wednesday to Sunday (not Monday, as the book says). It’s now part of the NM Monuments.

Frank and Lupe’s in Socorro sounds like it might be faltering a bit–proceed with caution. I’ll be back through there soon to check it out.

Fire Season

If you’re visiting NM this summer, keep an eye on the wildfire situation. This blog ( posts bulletins from the Forest Service.

Two current fires could have an impact on your outdoorsy plans: the Tres Lagunas fire is only 10 miles north of Pecos, and a fire north of Silver City has led to evacuations of Hillsboro, on Hwy. 152.

El Malpais

Just read this on the website:

All caves in El Malpais National Monument are closed to recreational use.
This closure is due to a combination of factors including the outbreak of a fungal disease that is killing millions of bats.

Oh no! And a good reminder to always check for alerts/changes before you head out (especially in summer, when fire danger is high).

Carlsbad: Caverns and Elsewhere

Man, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. The current edition mentions delays due to roadwork at the caverns. That’s done, but now they’re renovating the elevators, so there’s a huge backup there. See details at the caverns site here. In the meantime, to alleviate the crowding, you can walk out the Natural Entrance Trail, which you weren’t allowed to do before.

Also, in town, hotel rates are even more extortionate than ever. The one sub-$100 option, Days Inn, has doubled its rates, to about $150, rack rate. Gulp.


Thanks to a nice woman I met on the plane, I can tell you that the Do Drop Inn, in Portales, has moved onto the plaza (211 S. Ave A), which is handy, because the old location was on a one-way street that I personally accidentally drove by a couple of times!

Also, she said the Dalley Windmill Collection (a photo of which is on the opening page of the Southeast chapter) has moved to a bigger, more official location, which I believe is 722 E. Lime Street, just off U.S. 70–so you should be able to see the windmills on the main drive through town.

Glenwood and Reserve

The Blue Front Cafe in Glenwood has closed. This means there’s only very limited dinner options there–a pizza place (Mario’s) open a few nights a week, till 8pm, and the Golden Girls Cafe, also just a couple of nights per week. Golden Girls does good basic breakfast every day, though.

The Rode Inn in Reserve is completely gone. I think it got knocked down for a government parking lot? I honestly can’t tell. I haven’t had a chance to check the alternative lodging options in that town yet.

The Adobe Cafe, outside of Reserve, has reopened. I honestly didn’t know it had closed, and I don’t know yet whether it’s different owners and how/if it has changed, as it was closed on the day I drove by. But for now, proceed cautiously…

Silver City and Hillsboro

First, en route to Silver City, in Hillsboro, the Barbershop Cafe has changed hands and is now much more a consignment shop, with a cafe off to the side. No sign of tremendous cakes, alas. The livelier place to eat is across the street, the Hillsboro General Store.

In Silver, Dos Baristas coffee has changed names to Yankie Street Coffee, owned by the same folks who run Vicki’s Eatery.

Isaac’s bar has closed.

Silver City Brewing has new owners and is now Q’s Southern Bistro.

Truth or Consequences

The hot springs Hay-Yo-Kay in Truth or Consequences appear to be closed are open! (Combination of closed-for-the-day and for-sale sign was misleading.)

Sierra Grande Lodge was recently purchased by Ted Turner–nothing has changed just yet, but it may get spruced up.

Breathe Inn

This lodge near Lake Roberts has new owners, and is now called Little Toad Creek Inn. And it’s in *much* better shape all around–rooms spruced up, restaurant revamped, and even a tavern with house-distilled booze and their own beer.

Hours updates

A helpful reader just alerted me that the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe is no longer free on Friday evenings. Now it’s only on the first Friday of the month, to NM residents with ID.

Also, the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque closes for maintenance periodically–so it’s inaccurate to say it runs “frequently all year round.” If your trip falls outside the winter ski season, be sure to call ahead to check the schedule. The maintenance schedule is also posted on the website now. Next closing is November 4-15.

Alamogordo and Carrizozo

Helpful reader Allen wrote in with the following changes:

ALAMOGORDO – FOOD – Coffee and Lunch

Olive Branch Coffee and Deli has closed.


New Mexico Airlines no longer flies to Alamogordo. There is no commercial air service to Alamogordo.


Outpost Bar & Grill is closed.

Looks like the Outpost has been shut for a while. Bummer. I’m heading out on a research trip in April, so look for more news rolling in.


I noted last fall that Badlands Burgers in Grants was closed, and another reader confirms this and also writes, “Personally, I’d consider El Cafecito as a a food addition for Grants.” Good to know there’s another palatable option–I’ll check it out in my next trip. (Thanks, Warren!)

Alamogordo changes

More reports from helpful reader Allen:


The address for New Mexico Museum of Space History should be 5004 US Highway 2001. The given address of 1100 Oregon Avenue is the Family Recreation Center, which has nothing to do with the museum. Also, the new web site is The site given, is obsolete.

The entrance to Alameda Park Zoo is at the northwest corner of 10th Street and White Sands Boulevard. The address given, 1321 N. White Sands Blvd., is the back door and is used for deliveries.

The Tularosa Basin Historical Society Museum has been renamed the Alamogordo Museum of History, although the signage outside the museum has not changed. Their web site is

Taos changes

Fernandez de Taos bookstore/newsstand is closed.

Parks Gallery moved from Bent Street to Paseo del Pueblo Norte, just north of the intersection with Kit Carson Road, on the west side of the street.

Laughing Horse hotel/hostel is closed.

Lula’s cafe hours are now 7am to 6pm Monday to Saturday.
Nope. Back to breakfast and lunch only: 7am-4pm Mon-Fri, 8am-3pm Sat.

El Gamal’s hours are now 9am to 9pm daily.

Rellenos Café is now La Cueva, though the menu and food is largely the same.

Loka coffeehouse is shut. It’s now Stella’s, an Italian restaurant.

Zebadiah’s in Angel Fire now goes just by Zeb’s.

The Angel Fire visitor center has moved. Look for it on Hwy 434, just south of the T-intersection with Angel Fire Rd.

Correction: Wired? Internet café is behind Albertson’s, not Raley’s.

Dar al Islam

The directions to this retreat center in Abiquiu are not quite right. After a few miles on County Rd. 0155, you must turn right through a marked gate (always open), then continue another mile or so to a fork. Bear left to get to the Dar al Islam gate. Bear right to get to Plaza Blanca.