Cowgirl BBQ ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
Food: Though BBQ is in the name, barbeque is only one portion of their rather large menu. They also have steaks, burgers, seafood, and yes, New Mexican cuisine. We went here to add a bit of diversity to our diet, and so I settled on the Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich. Apparently the smothered in Salsa Diablo was featured on the "Heat Seekers" show. They brought mine on the side, and it's definitely a sizzling red chile blend. But nothing overwhelming. In fact we thought it was quite tasty, and I dipped my wonderfully cooked fries into it throughout the meal. Couldn't really tell you if the Pulled Pork was any good on its own, because it was completely drenched in the chipotle barbeque sauce - just as advertised. The brioche bun is perfect for handling the moist sandwich, and managed to stay firm. Overall, an excellent barbeque sandwich. Mrs. RJG, despite the premise of why we were there, ended up ordering the chile relleno with the Christmas chile. She reports that the cheese was fantastic (asadero she suspects), and both the red and green had splendid flavors and a nice kick. Our first meal here was clearly a success!
Drink: We were there before 6, and took advantage of the excellent Happy Hour specials, and each ordered two margaritas. They were small, but flavorful, with a nice punch (not overly - to be expected though). They also have 24 taps, with a nice selection of craft beers, though surprisingly a bit light in the New Mexico department. Which was the primary reason I indulged in margaritas instead.
Location: Very close to Fire & Hops that we just reported on. On Guadalupe, except south of Alameda this time. And once again, parking is a challenge. We found street parking with meters. Since we were there before 6, the cost was only about 50 cents. So bring a little change with you if you go early, otherwise it's free after 6. The restaurant itself is pretty spacious with a large courtyard for those who like to dine outdoors. The interior is decorated with Cowgirl memorabilia (vintage posters, signed autographs, that sort of thing). It's really quite cool. Oh, and they have live music (country/roots/folk/bluegrass, etc...) every night usually starting at 8/8:30.
Notes: You may be surprised to find out that the Cowgirl BBQ heritage comes from New York City ("get a rope"). It was a purposeful concept restaurant, but working closely with the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Hereford, Texas. They opened the flagship restaurant in 1989 (or 1988 depending on which website you wish to believe) in the West Village and it's still active. It was approximately 5 years later that one of the partners decided to open up in the "real west", and they've been in Santa Fe ever since.
Rating: 4.0 (only one visit, so it's tentative)
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 am – 11:30 pm; Friday-Saturday 11:30 am – 12:30 am; Sunday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm