Restaurant: Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a new place that opened up on the corner of Esplanade and Mystery in Fauborg St. John (where La Vita used to be). Apparently, this is a new incarnation of a restaurant that used to be down on Frenchman, and it’s being run by one of the original owners and utilising their pre-K menu.

Now, of course I never visited the first Santa Fe, so I can’t do a comparison, but I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly thrilled with my experience at Santa Fe Redux. None of the offerings really stood out as interesting to me, and I felt the menu itself was designed poorly. Under each heading (appetizers, salads, etc.) was written a wine suggestion that was supposedly meant to go with every dish in that section. I found that problematic for its generality–if you’re going so far as to suggest wine, do it for every dish, not every section; also, the way they worded the wine advertisements sounded a lot more like they were trying to upsell me rather than suggest the best accompaniment for my meal.

Our server was serviceable, but obviously inexperienced. None of the tables had salt and pepper on them, which I probably wouldn’t have noticed–I rarely use them when provided–but Brother O’Mara likes to salt his tortilla chips, and it turns out I did have to ask for salt once I got my entree, unfortunately.

The complimentary chips proved somewhat more oily than one would expect, and the salsa tasted a bit like canned tomato sauce. The food arrived, and was plated beautifully, but both Brother O’Mara’s beef burrito and my taco salad were unexceptional. Not bad, simply fine.

Now, I almost titled this post “Santa Fail”, but I know that it takes time for a new restaurant to work out its kinks, and I’m sure some of the things I didn’t enjoy about Santa Fe will resolve themselves in the coming months. Maybe I will give it another chance once they’re a little more settled, but for now I’m sticking with Juan’s Flying Burrito.

I’ll leave you with something postive about the place, the lovely presentation of my taco salad:

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(photo by lafille)

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2 Responses to “Restaurant: Santa Fe”

  1. St. Ignatius Says:

    It begins and ends with the Chicken Maximilian, or at least it did at the old Santa Fe. There’s a lot of nostalgia about Santa Fe. I think that’s partly because of the food (which was good) and partly because it was a really fun Tex Mex place where people didn’t bring their kids, but did drink lots of margaritas. I hope the new location captures some of the old magic.

  2. Boo! I keep on hoping to encounter some good Mexican in New Orleans and am often disappointed. Margaritas do hide a lot of terrible flaws in Mexican joints…

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