ACEQ is Farm-Fresh Comfort Food at Its Best
**Full Disclosure: My husband and I received dinner in exchange for my review. All opinions are mine.
Have you ever had the pleasure of stopping into a small neighborhood restaurant sort of off-the-beaten-path and mostly frequented by the locals to find some really delicious food? Well that is kind of what happened when we stopped in to ACEQ a small eatery just north of Taos on the way to the Taos Ski Valley.
ACEQ is in a town, or more like a bend in the road, called Arroyo Seco. If you didn’t know this place was here, you would probably never notice it. In fact that’s kind of what happened to us. We had been invited there for dinner by a friend, and even though we know it was there, we had a bit of a problem finding it. It was after dark when we arrived into town and probably because of lack of street lighting, it was hard to see the sign of the owl which we were told to look for. However, after several phone calls, one to the restaurant who sent someone out to locate us (we were actually in their parking lot), we did make it. And we were so happy we did.
ACEQ is a family owned farm-to-table restaurant located in the Arroyo Seco Plaza on State Road 150 (the road you take to the Ski Valley). The moment I walked in to this cozy restaurant, I felt welcome. You know that feeling when you walk into a friend or family members house and you want to just sit right down and get comfortable and start talking to others in the room. And you are getting excited about eating whatever is cooking because it just smells so darn good. And your stomach starts making noises cause it is anticipating something good coming. Well, that’s exactly how I was feeling here. I almost couldn’t wait to get a menu in my hands so I could start enjoying what I was smelling.
This restaurant is all about comfort, from the food to the friendly atmosphere. The owners/chefs Noah Pettus and Brittany Garner are all about utilizing the freshest ingredients they can find and combining them in a way to literally wow the palate. ACEQ’s wonderfully flavorful food reflects the diverse culinary background of these talented chefs to showcase fresh local produce prepared beautifully.
Our appetizer, for example, was Churros made from winter squash dusted in thyme sugar and served with a Blue Cheese dipping sauce. I mean really, who would have thought of doing this? Yet it was one of the best appetizers ever. The Churros were light and fluffy and crisp on the outside with just a light dusting of the thyme sugar. And it combined so well with the dipping sauce. Do not, I repeat DO NOT eat a ACEQ without ordering this!
I ordered the Fried Chicken and Waffle with maple, butter and hot sauce as my entree because who can pass up fried chicken at a place like this. I just know they are getting their chickens from their backyard. And yes, this chicken was so fresh, moist and fried to a nice brown color. It was lightly battered so it didn’t end up being greasy either. Just perfect fried chicken like Grandma used to make for Sunday dinner.
Along with this we tried a couple of unique vege sides. I say unique because it wasn’t corn on the cob, or steamed broccoli, or something boring like that. These dishes were combinations of vegetables that were put together by angels. Dish one was Fried Brussels Sprouts in a cider glaze sauce made from puréed squash, apple cider and cream topped with Parmesan cheese. Dish two was Red & Yellow Beets and Avocado slices atop Arugula and topped with sunflower seeds served with house-made goat cheese. The beets had been cooked in apple cider for tenderness but which made them truly delicious with a sweet-tartness. The third dish was Baby Squash lightly grilled with white corn and red onions and served with the home-made goat cheese. The grilling was just enough to bring out the flavors of each ingredient and still left them firm. All three of these dishes were equally wonderful and each one could have served as an entree. Very delicious!
Be forewarned, all the dishes are ample enough to share and are very filling.
And just like at Grandmas, we had homemade pies for dessert. Both the Chocolate Cream Pie and the Buttermilk Pie were made from scratch on the premises. Both pies were just like you would have expected, rich filling in a buttery, flaky crust. Perfect in every way imaginable.
As to be expected, the menu changes with the seasons, but whatever the season, you are sure to be happily surprised and well fed!
ACEQ does offer both wine and beer on the menu which includes craft beer from local and regional breweries.
Tuesday – Saturday 5:30 to close
480 New Mexico 150
Arroyo Seco, NM 87514