A Dining & Cookbook Adventure
Don and I had so many reasons for stopping at The Pink Adobe, when visiting Santa Fe, in July.
The restaurant opened in 1944, in a house that is now over 300 years old. That's a good reason there.
Don and I also have fond memories of the restaurant from when we dined with our kids, 18 years ago.
They loved the cozy little rooms inside the pink building... but they hadn't learned to love Santa Fe style cuisine yet.
Don and I arrived at 6 and found quite a few seated on the patio, between the restaurant and the Dragon Bar.
We headed left into the Dragon Bar.
Our son and daughter-in-law had been recently on their honeymoon and raved about Happy Hour.
We sat at the bar and soaked up the colorful atmosphere. An upside down Christmas tree hung from the rafters and a few dragon images lurked nearby.
But the most interesting decoration was the tree trunk behind us, wrapped in colorful lights.
The Tree in the Book
The live tree, was the very tree, shown on page 228 of our Ford Motor Cookbook from 1959. We of course had our silly cookbook with us and hoped to have some fun sharing with others.
But things were pretty busy for a while. We grabbed some popcorn and took a look at the page ourselves.
Funny. The book illustration showed the tree growing through a roof, but there was no enclosed bar.
Sharing Conversation... and the Book
After a while, we began chatting with Bob, who was eating dinner at the bar, beside us. We had a lot in common and the conversation was entertaining. I asked him a lot of questions about Los Alamos, where he works. I really wanted to ask him why he was letting the bartender eat off his plate. It turns out that Randy the bartender, was Bob's son. He had missed lunch that day and Dad was happy to share. I was amused.
At some point I shared the book with Bob and he was clearly amused. He shared it with Randy, when the rush was over. Another restaurant server walked by and Bob showed her the cookbook, featuring Pink Adobe.
We had such a good time at the Dragon Bar, we hardly needed to amuse ourselves more. But we were starved. It was time to revisit the cozy restaurant, we had enjoyed 18 years ago.
We headed over to the original pink building.
I recognized the cozy room where we once dined with the kids.
I can't remember what we ate, but I do remember there had been a fire burning and it felt like we were dining in someone's home.
The hostess seated us at a corner table, in a room beside the courtyard.
The adobe and beams and colorful artwork, made the room equally inviting.
Bread and Menu
I would have been happy with a meal of bread!
We dug in, while we looked through the menu.
Enchiladas and Gypsy Stew
Carolina was our server. She was attentive and quick. I didn't bother her with the cookbook until she brought my enchiladas and Don's Gypsy Stew.
Then I dared to ask. "Do you think they still use this recipe for the enchiladas?" She glanced at the book and said she didn't think so.
Time to Eat
Don and I chuckled to ourselves when she left. You just can't expect everyone to get excited about the silly cookbook.
We dug into our food. Don's green chile stew, was thick and tasty with Gruyere. Evidently the soup was served when the restaurant opened in 1944. I'm sure my Enchiladas Pink Adobe was better than the recipe in the book. It was made with Chimayo red chile, served on blue corn tortillas with cheese, beans, rice & posole.
More Chatting with Carolina
The crowded restaurant began to empty and Carolina ended up spending a little more time at our table. We talked about the wonderful cat painting behind us and Carolina chatted about her upcoming trip to New Orleans with her mother and daughter. She was so excited.
Carolina took another peek at the book and offered to pose for a photo. I asked if she thought the tree in the book was the same tree in that's in the bar, today. "Yes!" She assured me. "Go out and look!" I looked through the window bars first and then I stepped out the side door.
More New Friends
As I stood in the courtyard, I studied the illustration. Then, I looked at tree growing through the roof. Some nearby diners, (who happened to be right beside our window) noticed me with the book.
"Have you noticed this very special tree over here?" I asked. Before long I was practically seated at their table and the book was being passed around. I introduced them to Don, through the window. We gabbed a few more minutes about Rice University and law and blue states... Then they insisted it was my turn to be in a picture.
Through the Window
I handed over my camera and headed for the side door.
Once at the table, Don and I leaned towards the book, that I displayed between the bars. Oh what a silly time.
After a bit, Don and I headed off for our B & B, just a short walk down the road. What a fun memory.
The sweet pink house was as cozy as I remembered. The food and drink was yummy. And the people were fun. Our cookbook did another good job of bringing people together!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.