Address: 2811 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507
Phone: (505) 473-5800
Known For: New Mexican & Sopapillas
What I had: Chile Rellenos, Chicken Tamale, Veggie Tamale, Beans, Rice & Sopapilla
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
I found this place on the recommendation of a few locals. This is one of the surefire ways to a good meal…assuming you hear it more than once, and randomly. I was told they had excellent chile and that their sopapillas were fantastic. Now I can attest to that as well. Both their chiles (red & green, “Christmas”) were awesome and the sopapilla with honey was fantastic. Melt in your mouth, fluffy and delicious.
This was actually my first taste of a sopapilla and now I’m hooked…if only these were more readily available outside of the Southwest. If anyone is unfamiliar a sopapilla is basically a flour tortilla that is deep-fried that produces a light puffy but crisp pastry. It has a large air pocket in the middle and can be stuffed with sweet or savory ingredients or eaten as is.
I got the combination plate of Chile Rellenos, chicken tamale & a veggie tamale. It came with a good amount of beans, hominy and rice which were all tasty. I find that frequently refried beans can be overly salty but these were not. You could sense that they made this fresh and it wasn’t canned…another rarity.
The Chile Rellenos was superb. All of the ingredients melded perfectly and none overpowered one another. This was the highlight of the meal. The tamales were both nice but nothing spectacular. They were certainly good to eat but I’ve found some exceptional tamales elsewhere. There was a small amount of shredded lettuce and tomatoes that also came on the plate but this tiny addition added a lot to the dish.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the freshness of everything that came out of the kitchen. The food quality was of the utmost and I got the sense that they have a very small amount, if any, of cans in the back. I didn’t inquire but my guess is that most everything is cooked on premise. I know this shouldn’t be a glaringly plus-point but sadly nowadays it is. It felt as if there were several grandmas in the back cooking me dinner, and I mean that in a very good way.
The staff was very attentive and friendly. There were several families there and I would say for good reason. The prices are extremely low considering the quality and portions. I highly recommend anyone that is looking for a good Southwestern meal and at a very reasonable price make it a point to stop into Cafe Castro. It sure as hell beats any Chili’s or Chevy’s. This is what I’d call a diamond in the rough.
Sep 1, 2009 @ 17:37