Catch up here! Time in Taos, Day 1
When ES and I awoke the next morning, we wandered down to the sunny, open patio room of our B&B for breakfast and were greeted with glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice, hot coffee, and a plate of assorted mini muffins and scones.
Jars of wildflower honey, collected from beehives on the premises, graced each table.
While on the side there were cold cereals and milk for the taking, the main attraction of breakfast was this entree of huevos rancheros with bacon. As you can see, pieces of fruit were beautifully arranged all around the edges of the plate, creating a cheerful presentation that set the tone for the rest of the day.
And what a day it was! We went to the Rio Grande Gorge, a breathtaking sight behind the rails of the bridge we stood on. Vendors in the parking lot just before the bridge sold handmade goods as well as local honeys and jams, and I ended up getting some beads and a necklace with a teeny, stone pendant on copper chain (you all know I love jewelry).
We also went to check out Earthship headquarters. "Earthship" refers to a completely sustainable, self-contained home built entirely from recycled and re-purposed materials—for instance, glass bottles embedded into walls provide both light and structural support; electricity and water come solely from sun, rain, snow, and wind; food comes from vegetables and fruit grown on the premises. I'll admit it's a bit kooky, and the buildings do look like a somewhat odder version of something Gaudi might have built, but I admired the devotion to sustainability that Earthship homes demonstrate.
Later, in the tiny little town of Arroyo Seco, we shared a cup of ice cream at the ice cream shop Taos Cow. Ours was half blueberry flavor and half Cherry Ristra: dried cherries, piñon nuts, and chocolate chunks in a rich vanilla base.
The word ristra came up again when we visited Taos Pueblo, a living Native American reservation. Turns out ristra refers to the huge bundles of red chili peppers hanging from the awnings and doorways of the homes we saw all over New Mexico, placed there for both functional and decorative purposes. At the reservation we didn't eat anything with chilis, but we did share a freshly made frybread drizzled with honey, as well as a piece of prune pie.
With all that snacking, it took ES and I a while before we felt hungry, but after going back to our B&B, lying around in the two-person hammock, raking the giant zen garden, and strolling the on-premises labyrinth, it was dinner time. We headed over to La Cueva Cafe, a small, relatively new Mexican restaurant that used to be called Rellenos Cafe. We started off with an order of the Ceviche Mexicano, consisting of lime-marinated fish chunks mixed with pico de gallo, topped with avocado, and paired with chipotle mayonnaise. I'm more familiar with the Peruvian style of ceviche, but I was delighted with the flavor and extra creaminess that the avocado and dipping sauce added to the dish. 'Twas a large bowl of deliciousness, and cheap, too!
Our entrees were less notable, though not bad. I went with the Plato Combinado, consisting of one chile relleno, one enchilada, and one taco all smothered in green chili, while ES went with a two-taco plate.
Once our meal was done, we wandered over to the Adobe Bar at Doc Martin's Restaurant. A live band was playing in the main area, and we managed to snag a small table by the window, close enough to hear the music but far enough so that we could still chat. With eminently sippable margaritas in front of us—classic for ES, pomegranate for me—hanging out in the bar was the perfect wrap-up to a long and busy day in Taos.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Catch up here! Time in Taos, Day 1