Sunday, September 20, 2015
Second Street Brewery ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
Food: On our first visit back in 2013, Mrs. RJG and I just stopped by to try one of their handcrafted beers before dining elsewhere. While there, we noticed they had a special on green chile chicken noodle soup. I can honestly say it was the best chicken noodle soup we've ever had! And very spicy! It's too bad it's not a menu item. They offer a similar green chile chicken stew, but it's a bit different (still very good though). In any case, we vowed to come back for a full meal on our next visit to Santa Fe (we were wrapping up our trip at that point). In 2014, we decided to have a mid-week lunch here. I tried their grinder, which was outstanding. And I want to say they had the chicken noodle soup again, which I had along with the sandwich. Their version of the classic grinder, is very much like an "Italian sub" or "hero". I remember loving the bread and the seasonings, and of course you can't go wrong with mortadella and capicola. And the homemade potato chips were excellent as well. So it was with much anticipation that we returned for our final meal in Santa Fe for 2015. This time we ventured for dinner. It occurred to me that we had yet to try their New Mexican food, beyond the soup. So along with the green chile stew (as mentioned above), I tried their New Mexican Style enchiladas. Ummm.... yea, this isn't Casa Chimayo or La Choza that's for sure. They were OK, and the red/green chiles were decent recipes, but to be brutally honest, this isn't Second Street's forte. I suspect they have it on the menu out of obligation more than passion. I think pub fare is where their heart is. The whole black beans were good, but the rice was a BIG MISS. They weren't cooked - like waaaay undercooked. Crunchy and down right annoying as I kept eating it by accident since it was sprinkled into my chile sauce. We were fortunate (or unfortunate depending on one's perspective) to be seated at a table next to the kitchen. And the wife and I noticed that about 75% of the dishes coming out of the kitchen were Fish and Chips. Big blobs of brown food. And we were salivating just looking at it. I'm sure each meal comes with a co-pay card to the nearest clinic, but you only live once, and you might as well go down happy. Mrs. RJG for her part, was wise and stuck more to traditional brewpub offerings. She had the Patty Melt made with buffalo meat. She let me have a couple of bites, and I have to say it was absolutely delicious. And the fries were great as expected. This is exactly what Second Street is good at. I really love this place, so now I know better on what to get. Rule: Avoid New Mexican food at Second Street. Get Pub food instead.
Drink: Like we said about Blue Corn, I'm sure they have other things to drink, but unless you are alcohol intolerant or the designated driver, one really should sample their crafted beers. We've tried about 5 each now over the last 3 years, and every one of them was delicious. This time we stuck to the APA/IPA tradition, as that was their specials brews at this time.
Location: No prizes for guessing they are on Second Street. The restaurant comes up suddenly, but you'll know you're there once you hit the railroad crossing. In the grand tradition of Santa Fe restaurants, parking is limited. Basically the street east of the railroad, and the dirt road along the rail tracks are your next option. Don't be fooled by the lot across the street, which says in somewhat small letters "Parking for Second Street Studios only". Keyword: Studios. We made that mistake, fortunately realizing it prior to leaving the lot, and getting towed away no doubt. The restaurant itself is very spacious, and gets crowded in the evening. It's very popular. Also worth noting is that on the evening we were there, they had live music, which featured a very fine jazz trio and was perfect for the setting.
Notes: Second Street first opened in 1996. Second Street has another location at the Railyard/train depot, which isn't far from here, and I suspect represents an overflow option.
Rating: 4.0 (I ordered the wrong thing. I have faith this is a place we'd go often to)
Hours: HOURS: MON - THUR 11AM-10PM; FRI & SAT 11AM-11PM; SUN NOON-9PM