Rancho de Chimayó will reopen Oct. 18 with a grand opening 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 featuring an open house with self-guided tours of the restaurant, bar, outdoor patios and new kitchen, music and complimentary refreshments but no table service.
For more information, call 505-351-4444 or 505-984-2100 or visit www.ranchodechimayo.com.
Favorite Dish: "In October 1965, the home of Hermenegildo and Trinidad Jaramillo became Restauranté Rancho de Chimayó. Arturo, Hermenegildo’s grandson, and his wife Florence had an idealistic vision in their plans for the house and land. Their restaurant would preserve the rich traditions of their family and its proud culture."
Rancho de Chimayó is currently scheduled to reopen in late August of 2009 (see website) after more than a year long delay, which was the result of the entire restaurant having to be brought up to current commercial building codes after the fire that damaged its kitchen in July 2008. The teenage arsonist who was responsible for setting the fire was arrested last year but has not been prosecuted, despite his also having burned down two local residences, a business in nearby Española and a cow.
Leona Medina-Tiede started selling her tortillas nearly thirty years ago from a roadside stand and now has a modest restaurant located next to El Santuario in Chimayó that offers dining alfresco. In addition to such things as tacos, burritos (including Chicharrón) and burgers, the menu includes a variety of traditional Northern NM dishes such as posole, menudo, carne adovada, as well as a number of other items prepared with red or green chile. Vegetarian versions of some of the items on the menu are also available, as are her whole wheat tortillas. (Leona is a major tortilla producer and her products are sold in markets throughout the southwest, as well as via her website). The restaurant is open daily in the summer from 11am to 5pm but is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Favorite Dish: Forget everything you know about 'chili' If you're not from NM, because with all due respect this isn't like the lesser examples you'll find in Texas or the Mid-West. Chile is a unique local staple that comes in two basic forms, referred to as either "green" or "red" (the best is a local strain grown in Chimayó but most is commercially grown in Hatch NM, the self-proclaimed "Chile Capital of the World"). Green chiles are picked unripe and fire-roasted before being peeled for use, while red chiles are allowed to ripen and dry on the vine before being ground into a powder. Red chile is generally perceived as being 'hotter' or more piquant than green chile since it's effects are felt on the tongue and mouth rather then in the stomach. Ask for 'Christmas' if you want to taste them both in a single dish - some sour cream or milk will dampen the fire. In any case prepare to have your sense of well-being stimulated and heightened by the potent physiological and pharmacological effects of NM chile.