I recently got the opportunity to travel to New Mexico and try cuisine in a variety of cities around the state. Cary, unfortunately, had to stay home and work so I was on my own for finding good food. Luckily, I was with some good friends who had been before and knew of several great places to try.
When we landed in Albuquerque, we decided to head over to Old Town to find a place for lunch. We opted for Casa de Fiesta Mexican Restaurant because the menu price was reasonable and it was air conditioned. I had a very mixed experience. The food was good, but the service was very poor. The experience was particularly frustrating because it was obvious a very important person was sitting at the table next to us and had excellent service. I’m a glass half full, positive person. I hope that the service experience was an anomaly for this restaurant and our waitress was having a bad day.
The salsa was very different than any I had experienced before with a nice chili flavor and subtle hints of roasted tomatoes. It was very good.
The tamale plate featured three homemade tamales with a choice of either red or green chili sauce. After asking about the heat of both sauces, I went with the milder of the two, the green chili sauce. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten the sauce on the side. In New Mexico, mild has a different meaning than in the South. This mild was pretty hot, but very good. The tamales had a nice smooth texture and large chunks of tender pork.
At the end of the meal, we ordered sopapillas. Unlike the crusty sopapillas in Mexican restaurants back home, these had a heavy, doughy texture. Every restaurant (with exception of an Italian restaurant) that I ventured into in New Mexico had a bottle of honey on the table. The honey is drizzled over the sopapillas. The beauty of this arrangement is that you can control exactly how much honey you want. I’m a huge fan of honey and always pour with a heavy hand. This particular treat tasted a little like biscuits and honey. An excellent way to end a meal!Casa De Fiesta Mexican Grill
2004 S Plaza St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104