So, Los Poblanos, probably my favorite place to stay in NM (maybe anywhere), has expanded again.
It’s pretty dramatic, but like previous changes, they’ve done it with impeccable taste. There’s a whole new block of rooms, a bigger farm shop (with a little coffee-and-snacks bar) and a whole new space for the restaurant, which is now called Campo.
Oh, and non-guests can go there for breakfast! Reservations required, though.
Re: the boxed text “Acoma vs. Onate: Grudge Match,” there was an interesting follow-up story in the New York Times, in which the man who sawed off the foot in 1997 met with a reporter and showed him the piece. The man remains anonymous. It’s a good story, set against the context of recent controversies around Confederate memorial statues.
Otherwise, in Albuquerque:
–Sad news: Stevie’s Happy Bikes is closed in Corrales! But still open for mobile services.
–Bad news: Sophia’s Place is closed!
–Good news: Dennis Apodaca, the chef-owner of Sophia’s, reopened in the Imperial Building downtown as Maya Cuisine. (In the book, it says to look out for a branch of Sophia’s Place here…so this is at least partially correct. Just hard to recognize if you don’t know Apodaca by name.) I wasn’t able to go, but it looks great and has high scores from Gil Garduno.
–Bonus news: branch of Monk’s Corner, which sells goodies from the Christ in the Desert Monastery in Abiquiu, also opened in the Imperial Building.
In/around Santa Fe:
–The Children’s Museum has reopened.
–In summer (May-Oct), Valles Caldera lets in only 35 cars a day to drive up into the reserve (past the visitors’ center), and no more vehicles are allowed in in the last two hours. Elk hunting is now allowed, so that’s going on September-October.
–There’s now a super-hip vintage-trailer hotel (“and starlight campground”) across from Taos Mesa Brewing: Hotel Luna Mystica.
Alas, Albuquerque’s first cat cafe is already closed. (This might have been a popup thing I got a little too excited about!)
El Rey Inn has changed owners, which worried me, but so far there have not been radical changes to the property. (The new website makes it look crazy-chic, but the rooms I saw were the same as always.)
Bodega Prime is an absolutely excellent cafe across the street from El Rey Inn. (And El Rey is currently serving their great pastries as the continental breakfast…but is in the middle of building a restaurant, so this may go away.) It’s a huge bonus to have such a good bakery away from the center of town.
–The Spaceport is currently not running tours, though a new tour provider supposedly will be taking over May 1, 2017. See www.spaceportamerica.com for details.
–Oasis Motel is closed.
–Pelican Spa’s “Red Pelican” wing is probably the best of the properties. Housekeeping can be a little bit spotty though.
–Latitude 33 restaurant is even better than when I last checked. Should get a “moon” callout!
–A brewpub is set to open in T or C in May, on Broadway. Be sure to check it out!
–Sierra Grande Lodge’s restaurant is now operating for all meals, and it’s very good. Don’t be alarmed by some of the high-price entrees (elk and pronghorn from Ted Turner’s ranches!). There are many affordable items on the menu, including an excellent green-chile stew for $3.50. Gruet rose is only $22 or so for a bottle, which is a steal.
–Catwalk Trail is open again.
–Burgers, Brownies & Beers, Oh My! is now called Shevek’s Casual. Same solid menu.
–Tapas Tree Grill is quite good. (I don’t normally call out good new finds here, but because I won’t be updating the 11th edition of the book, I want to draw attention to these!)