La Choza is Known for Their Legendary New Mexico Cuisine & Chile
La Choza, owned by the Carswell family, opened its doors in 1983. It is the sister restaurant to The Shed owned by the same family which opened back in 1953 just down from the Plaza. (La Choza means “The Shed” in Spanish.) Both restaurants are New Mexico cooking at its best. The cuisine is a combination of Pueblo, Spanish and Mexican which makes it unique to this area. Located a short drive from the Plaza in the newer artsy district known as the Railyard, La Choza is housed in what used to be the adobe bunkhouse of the turn-of-the-century Mercer Ranch. This eatery is a friendly, warm spot loaded with atmosphere that serves good yet simple food.
Like The Shed, this restaurant is very popular thanks to word of mouth from loyal, local followers and tourists alike. La Choza has been winning awards for their authentic New Mexico cuisine, and their red and green chile for many years. So a word of advice, if you are going for dinner make reservations because they are ALWAYS busy. (No reservations taken for lunch, so get there early.) It is definitely the place to get your “chile fix” in Santa Fe. And even if you aren’t a chile eater, their are many other options you will love even without the heat. You can also ask them to hold the chile or bring it on the side. They are very open to pleasing everyone who walks through their door.
Our party started lunch today with The House Queso and Salsa. Both are made fresh in-house using fresh tomatoes from the nearby local Farmer’s Market. Served with fresh white and blue corn chips, it is a recommended appetizer. The salsa and queso were slightly spicy, but gringo approved.
Another gringo option would be the Mushroom Soup in a light, creamy pureed mushroom broth with sliced fresh mushrooms. This isn’t a dish usually found on a Mexican cuisine menu, but a really good choice.
The Green Chile Stew is for someone looking for spicy. Filled with tender pork and potatoes, this one is delicious and will make you sweat. It comes with flour tortillas.
There are several entrees I would highly recommend.
The Chile Relleno Plate has two roasted green chiles stuffed with Monterey jack cheese, then battered and fried. These are unbelievably light and delicious. Served with pinto beans, a New Mexico version of Spanish rice and a garnish of lettuce and tomatoes, this is a filling meal.
The Crisp Tacos are blue and yellow crispy tortillas stuffed with shredded baked chicken, cheddar cheese, tomato and lettuce. This is served with a side of salsa, pinto beans and posole (hominy stew). These tacos also can be filled with ground beef or red or green chile beef.
Chicken Taquitos which are rolled chicken and cheese filled tortillas, then baked. This dish comes with Spanish Rice, and a choice of two dips; salsa, queso or guacamole.
The Chalupa plate is different from what we know as chalupa in San Antonio. This is one large crisp flour tortilla bowl filled with re-fried beans, lettuce, cheese, salsa, guacamole and Sour cream. You can add seasoned ground beef or chicken, or chicken or pork adovada if you wish.
We also tried an a la carte assortment of Enchiladas: one beef, one chicken and one cheese enchilada all made with blue corn tortillas covered in both cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. They normally come covered with either green or red chile but we asked for the sauce on the side.
Most meals come with a choice of sopaipilla, French garlic bread or tortilla.
Everything we ate here was out of this world good. You should definitely eat at either The Shed or La Choza when visiting Santa Fe.
La Choza has a full bar and they have become known for their large Margarita menu in addition to their chiles. You will also find an ample selection of Tequilas and Mezcal. They only serve 100% Blue Agave Tequila so you might say everything is top shelf. To round out their adult beverages you will find draft, local and bottled beers, a few nice wine choices and some craft cocktails.
**Full Disclosure: I received lunch in exchange for my review. But don’t worry, all opinions are 100% mine.**
Location: 905 Alarid Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505
Phone: (505) 982-0909
Lunch 11:00 – 2:30
Dinner 5:00 – 9:00 Monday through Saturday
Enjoy cocktails in their full bar.
They accept dinner reservations.
PHONE IN YOUR TAKE OUT ORDER!
Location: 113½ East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM, 87501
Phone: (505) 982-9030 Reservations (dinner only)
Open Monday – Saturday
Closed on Sundays
Lunch: 11:00 – 2:30
Dinner: 5:00 – 9:00
To read more about the history of these two restaurants go here.