Midday Munching

Midday Munching

Spending a morning strolling downtown Santa Fe and exploring galleries and shops can really work up an appetite. For the perfect midday nosh, stop by Palacio Café.  

From enchilada plates to tacos, smothered burritos, and burgers, Palacio Café makes choosing what’s for lunch pretty tough. No matter what you decide, you won’t be disappointed. And, the big portions will leave you so stuffed, you’ll have to head back to the hotel for a quick nap.  

On the lighter side, there’s a large sandwich menu with many panini and cold sandwich options, including the popular piled-high Palacio Club. Or, you can choose a bowl of pozole or one of the featured salads. Plus, there are plenty of vegetarian options.   

If you get there before 11 a.m., you can savor one of the café’s breakfast items. Think: breakfast burritos, tacos, omelets, and more.  

The cozy Palacio Café is also a great stop for an afternoon espresso or fresh-squeezed lemonade break. Grab a sidewalk table for great people watching and take in the neighborhood.  

Santa Fe misses you! Call us today to book your stay!

Chocolate Heaven Is a Place on Earth

Chocolate Heaven Is a Place on Earth

Chocoholics will find a little slice of heaven right in the heart of Santa Fe, with a truly unique chocolate experience at Kakawa.

Kakawa Chocolate House specializes in historic and authentic drinking chocolate elixirs based on recipes from ancient Mesoamerica, medieval Europe, and colonial America. Served in small hand-painted blue and white Mexican mugs, the flavorful chocolate is barely sweetened, fragrant, and spiced to meet a wide variety of tastes.

Along with the rich chocolate elixirs, Kakawa makes many one-of-a-kind chocolate creations, all made in small batches. Truffles, agave caramels, chili-flavored chocolates, mendiants, chocolate bars, and homemade ice cream are just some of the delicious creations made by Kakawa’s artisans.

Kick up your chocolate habit with the Chile D’arbols, whole roasted New Mexico Arbol chilis dipped in agave caramel and covered with house-blended dark chocolate. Or sip on one of Kakawa’s enticing elixirs. It’s a chocolate oasis in the city, with a bit of culinary history for you to experience.

Getting hungry? Start planning your trip to Santa Fe.

Christmas Eve in Santa Fe

Christmas Eve in Santa Fe

The holiday season here in Santa Fe is one of our favorite times of the year. Lights, music, and a host of annual activities make this a magical place to visit during the Christmas season. But if we could choose just one night to be here in Santa Fe, it would be Christmas Eve.

 

On Christmas Eve, Canyon Road (home to many of the city’s art galleries) is closed to traffic, and the city gathers there to celebrate. The street is alight with thousands of fairy lights, and luminarias (also known as farolitos) which are sand filled paper bags with candles in them that line the sidewalks and the tops of buildings and walls. Historically, this tradition started as small bonfires that were made with crisscrossed piñon branches built in squares about three-feet high and are said to light the way for the Christ child. These beautifully, lit walkways have been a part of Santa Fe tradition since the 19th century.  

 

Starting at dusk, people wander up and down Canyon road, enjoying the sights, and warming themselves up by visiting the many galleries and shops that stay open to offer hot chocolate and cookies. There are even wandering groups of carolers, helping spread the holiday cheer. It’s a time for everyone in Santa Fe to come out and celebrate together.

 

After visiting Canyon Road, many people head over to midnight mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis de Assisi. The doors usually open at 10:30pm, with Lessons and Carols starting at 11pm. By the time the mass starts at midnight, there is not an empty seat. It’s a wonderful blending of Catholic & Santa Fe traditions and not to be missed. If you’re looking for an earlier mass, San Miguel Mission – the oldest church in the United States – offers mass at 7 pm.   

 

Christmas in Santa Fe offers so many different ways to celebrate the holidays. Our location means that you are walking distance to all the holiday festivities, from luminarias and concerts, to midnight mass. Check our availability so you can be close to all the wonderful holiday festivities!  

Santa Fe Food Spotlight: Mole!

Santa Fe Food Spotlight: Mole!

Holy mole! Santa Fe is a foodie paradise—and, no visit is complete without sampling the best mole Santa Fe has to offer.

Sazon, just a few blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza, puts a spotlight on mole. Since 1991, Chef Fernando Olea, a native of Mexico City, has been preparing a variety of signature moles in his Santa Fe restaurant.

Ranging from spicy to sweet, Sazon features a selection of moles made fresh each day, including Mole Negro, Mole Poblano, Coloradito, and New Mexico Mole, which Chef Olea created in 2009, to commemorate Santa Fe’s 400-year anniversary.

A sauce of complex flavors that combines toasted and ground spices, seeds, nuts, chocolate, and chile, mole recipes can include more than 30 ingredients. Every great Mexican cook has their own unique recipe, but mole remains a Mexican cuisine mystery because its exact origins are unknown.

Sazon serves its moles with locally sourced meats and produce, and fish flown in daily. The rest of the menu is full of authentic Mexican fare and a variety of decadent desserts. There is also an extensive wine, tequila, and mezcal list, along with specialty cocktails, some named after famous Mexican artists, like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

With its inventive menu, first-class service, and rich Southwestern décor, Sazon is a destination in itself. You’ll receive a warm welcome and feel like you’re visiting a lifelong friend, as Chef Olea often greets each diner.

The ambience of the restaurant draws you in, with works by some of New Mexico’s finest artists decorating the space. The main dining room features a large mural illustrating all of the ingredients found in mole that was painted and presented to Chef Olea by Federico Leon De La Vega, a well-known artist from Mexico City.

For a taste of authentic mole in a relaxing artistic location, Sazon is a must-visit dining spot when you visit Santa Fe.

And if you don’t feel like venturing out for a meal, our own Agoyo Lounge also has a signature mole dish – our Chicken Mole Tostadas. Enjoy an evening in savoring something from our cantina menu, which offers a wide variety of international tastes and flavors, from mole dishes to our famous Cowboy Hash, Salmon Chipotle Tacos, and even Moroccan Sliders.

Staying in town? See if your favorite spot is available 

Dys(ney)Topia

We have just returned from a weeklong trip to the Greater Disney Entertainment Complex in central Florida having thoroughly “done Disney” and, no offense to Old Walt, it only made us appreciate the values and unique attractions of the Inn on the Alameda.   Traveling as a family with a nine year old turning ten was an eye-opening and bracing examination of today’s lodging trends. While we were dazzled by Disney the trip truly brought us a renewed appreciation of our home and inn.

La Bajada

Traveling to Disneyworld is an exercise in corporate homogeneity and the contrast to New Mexico is apparent upon arrival.  Orlando International is a confusing labyrinth of poor signage and retail opportunities that must be maneuvered before even setting a foot in Florida proper.  The Interstate to the corporate state within a state that is Disney is an endless stretch of billboards and novelty shops.  There cannot exist an experience in sharper contrast to the stark beauty and endless views of the drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, as the wide sky rises up to meet you when cresting La Bajada hill and gazing out at the City Different nestled placidly beneath her clean blue skies and rising Sange de Cristo mountain peaks.

Once in the Disney Complex you are in a vast and all encompassing world of orchestrated consumerism where money is abstracted into the form of a “Magic Band “ with which you just swipe your wrist to charge gifts, rides and meals.  Disney seems to have found the highest common denominator for all of America in entertainment and lodging. Here one would believe that the food options are limited to just a few repetitive items, with lots of starch and sugar. This is unfortunately for the Disney visitor an unfulfilling, if filling, dining experience, totally different than one’s experience at the Agoyo Lounge at the Inn where we seasonally change our unique regional cuisine, like our Chicken Enchiladas. At the Inn we pride ourselves on a level of personal service and customer engagement which is reflected is our high numbers of returning guests.

Chicken Enchiladas

It is impossible to not dwell on Disney’s countless differences with Santa Fe.  Few locations in the United States are so deeply entrenched in location, place and history.  Cultural contexts in New Mexico are deep and wide, encompassing Anglo-American and Hispanic settlers over hundreds of years and Native Indian occupation over thousands.   To travel from the Inn on the Alameda to the Plaza is to walk the same byways and streets that have been walked upon for hundreds of years.  You will see independent vendors, shops and galleries offering authentic and world class goods.  Santa Fe is no fantasist vision sprung madly from the visions and dictates of a multinational corporation, it’s as real and as authentic a location as you’re likely to find on this continent.  We can truly say we’ve “done Disney”, and we are now done with it.   What we see when we look at the Inn on the Alameda is authenticity and reality where the guest is treated with recognition and respect, and it is this vision that becomes bracing in its clarity when contrasted with Orlando.

-Mike Schepps

Mike’s Blog: La Conquistadora

La Conquistadora de Santa Fe

La Conquistadora de Santa Fe

In a small Chapel within St. Francis’ Cathedral lies a remarkable figure. A unique piece of devotional art and an amazing witness to history, La Conquistadora, continues to be venerated today within the Catholic Church. Standing only 30 inches tall, she is the oldest recorded Madonna in the United States. She was built in Spain, travelled to the new world and witness to the bloody climax of the Pueblo Revolt. Then smuggled into exile, protected from harm, companion to De Vargas through his reconquest of Santa Fe and New Mexico, and worshipped today as a divine symbol of peace and avoidance of bloodshed. The history of this Icon is an apt representation of the rich and colorful past and present of New Mexico.

Po'Pay

Po’Pay

Carved in Spain during the early 17th century, the delicately featured Icon first entered recorded history in 1625. A Franciscan missionary by the name of Fray Alonso de Venavidez installed and dedicated a small shrine in Santa Fe at the Church of the Assumption. Changes in Catholic dogma had begun to emphasize Mary and the Immaculate Conception, and the church became the first shrine to Mary in what would become the United States.

Beyond the walls of the chapel, however, there was great unrest. These were the years of harsh conversion, dissolution of traditional social structures, forced labor, cruel punishments and devastating disease amongst the native Pueblo inhabitants. It was in this context that the Pueblo Revolt, as discussed elsewhere on the site, began.

Don Diego de Vargas

Don Diego de Vargas

It is said that The Lady had warned the Spanish settlers of the coming revolt with dreams and visions and signs. Despite these premonitions, the settlers were unprepared for the violence of the Pueblo Revolt, when a coordinated rising amongst the pueblos exploded on August 12, 1680. Led by the charismatic holy man, Po’Pay, the Puebloans sought to eradicate all traces of the Catholic religion. Santa Fe burned, 21 friars were killed, and the colonists fled. Amidst the violence and chaos, The Lady was rescued from the burning church and accompanied the fleeing settlers.

Moving to what is today Juarez, Mexico, the settlers nursed hopes of returning to their former homes. The Lady was held by the exiled settlers for twelve years. It was in 1691 that Spain sent forth Don Diego De Vargas to reclaim the New Mexican territory. Setting out with the exiled colonists and his soldiers, De Vargas began the resettlement and reconquest of New Mexico.

Traveling with a large host under the banner of the Lady De Vargas presented an intimidating and imposing presence. Under his banner, many of the rebellious tribes surrendered peaceably and re-pledged their allegiance. It is this event, the largely peaceful reconquest of Santa Fe and New Mexico, that we still celebrate today with Fiesta. Under the banner of The Lady, now known as La Conquistadora, Santa Fe once again came under Spanish rule.

Though rebellion and harsh persecution would continue over the next few years, Santa Fe itself was not threatened again.   Recognizing the improbability of the initial peaceful reconquest, the Settlers began an annual veneration in thanks for the icon’s aid.

La Conquistadora became an integral part of the native Catholic iconography. Volunteers pledged their time and money to the Icon’s celebration and exaltation. Today the Cofradia del Rosario [or Rosary Cofraternity] continues to be active in the New Mexican Catholic community.

Dressing La Conquistadora for her annual appearances soon led to her amassing a significant collection of jewels, dresses, and coverings.   Her veneration is reflected in the beauty of her coverings and the elaboration of her worship.   Her procession grew over time, and what was a simple shelter soon became a Chapel. Over time, a great Cathedral rose around the smaller Chapel and today the Basilica of St. Francis surrounds the Chapel.

La Conquistadora endures as a celebrated Icon to this day, remaining an essential part of Santa Fe’s temporal and spiritual history.

BOOK NOW