Posts Tagged ‘food’

Rio Rancho Pork and Brew

March 19th, 2010
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Rio Ranchos sixth annual Pork ‘N Brew BBQ State Championship complete with continuous live entertainment, fun jumps, pig races, kids corral, and, of course, food galore – at the Santa Ana Star Center in the new Rio Rancho City Center.

The Pork ‘N Brew is sponsored by the Rio Rancho Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is a fully sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Society event – one of the top 10 events on the Society calendar. With more than 30,000 in attendance last year, Pork ‘N Brew has become one of the largest two-day events in New Mexico. Winners go on to participate in Kansas City, KS at the Nationals.

The Pork & Brew has quickly become one of New Mexicos favorite annual events, said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department, entertaining both family and friends year after year. The folks in Rio Rancho are to be commended for their efforts in creating such a popular attraction.

Northern New Mexico at its Best – Taos!

February 27th, 2010

What can you say about Taos, New Mexico? It’s one of those magical places you’ll want to return to time and time again. I’ve been there many times and can’t get enough of the place.  The year round weather is just wonderful.  Not too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter.  The history is rich … the galleries phenomenal … and I don’t think I’ve been to many places as small as Taos that have such an exceptional number of great restaurants.  I’m a lover of Graham’s Grille just off the plaza and the Texas BBQ  and Trading Post just south of town.  There are far too many to mention here so you’ll want to stay awhile and try them all.

On our latest trip we had a ball.   Stayed at the Hampton Inn and Dana and Raymond made us feel right at home.  They have a great breakfast buffet that is included with your room and it’s not unusual to see noted local artist, Richard Alan Nichols,  painting in the lobby or to hear the incredible flute music of Frederick Aragon (appearing live) helping you dream a little over morning coffee.

el-monte-sagradoWe packed a great deal into this adventure taking in a variety of art galleries downtown, visiting the Kit Carson museum to learn a little of Taos history and spent an incredible day at the El Monte Sagrado hotel and spa.  Now this is one place that you need to spend some time.  The spa is like none I’ve ever seen and on my next trip I’ve been invited to stay at the hotel and after seeing the rooms and suites I may just be enticed to move in permanently!    The El Monte is one of those “comfort food” type places where you could easily spend a few days and never leave the grounds.  Pampering here is second nature to the entire staff and you’ll want for nothing!   This is a world class destination in a world class town.  And … while doing some filming on the restaurant patio I ran into Dennis Hopper of “Crash” TV fame (Okay … let’s not forget “Easy Rider!”) taking a break from filming and  having a casual meal by himself.  He is quite an accomplished artist himself and told me that Taos is rapidly becoming “home” for him.  He just loves New Mexico and is quite the good will ambassador for our state and Taos.

But Taos is more than just downtown.  We headed up toward Taos Mountain and on the way took a balloon ride with Ed Smith of the Pueblo Balloon Company.  Now this wasn’t just a hot air balloon ride … this was a ride DOWN through the Rio Grande Gorge. Ed is a great guy and has lots of stories to share about the early days of Taos that he shares on the ride to his launch site.  After the ride we took a walk across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge … one of the tallest in the country.  Spectacular!  And…it’s a long way down!

taos-ski-valley-winterThe Village of Taos Ski Valley and the Ski Valley itself are filled with fun places to visit and things to do.  I think most people are of the opinion that Taos is a place to go in the winter to ski.  I’d spend a week or so there in the summer.   The Taos Music Festival had its inaugural run this year and was a huge success.  Outdoors with the mountains and valley in the background.  Blankets and picnic baskets spread on the ground. Blue skies and great music.  What else is there to say?  While you’re waiting for the music to start … try some Frisbee Golf!  Now that is a lot of fun and you get a good share of exercise, too, when you consider that part of Taos Mountain ski area is used for the course!

taos-bavarian-innWe had a great lunch at the Bavarian Inn just up the mountain from Taos Ski Valley.  Thomas and Jamie Schulze are the owners who believe that “good” just isn’t good enough.  Their patio is open in summer and winter and is right at the bottom of one of the mountains chair lifts.  If we ever meet remind me to tell you the story of the stein of beer that Thomas shared with me!  It’s one of those that you have to hear in person.

Chuck, our native New Mexican, had never had true German food.  Thomas is from Munich (I believe) and he knows good Bavarian food!  Chuck has made me promise that the next time we’re up there we’ll pay the Bavarian a return visit for the combination sausage platter.  That’s what I had and it was so good I selfishly refused to share more than one bite with the crew … Chuck included!  The Bavarian has four ski chalets for rent year-round and Janine and I will definitely be booking our room there for the upcoming ski season!

taos-ski-valley-summerWe spent time rock climbing with Jay and Donna Foley.  Something I hadn’t done before and neither had producer/director, Chuck, who wedged himself in a large crevice to get some great shots of Jay climbing.  Something I definitely want to do again.  Jay has actually done some climbs that required overnight stays sleeping in a hammock attached to a rock on a sheer face canyon wall!  Don’t think I want to try that … but …

Big Al Johnson is a cowboy everyone should meet.  A tall, gentle man who wakes up every morning thankful that he gets to do what he does … take folks like us on high mountain horseback rides at over 10-thousand feet elevation.  His stories are fabulous and the care he takes to make sure everyone enjoys the ride is second to none.  Just a wonderful guy with a couple equally as wonderful people working for him.  He does overnight camp stays, too, and I’ve promised him that I’ll be back for that experience, too!  He explained what the stars and night sky look like from up there but I think this is something you have to see to believe. What a great day rock climbing and horseback riding!

The great thing about Taos Ski Valley and the Village is that if you like to fish you can fly fish right out of your “home” … or very close by.  Just another great example of places to go that offer something for everyone!   Taos does that and a whole lot more!  Spend a week there and enjoy Northern New Mexico to the fullest.

Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant

October 9th, 2009
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Nestled at the base of stunning Kachina Peak above the European-style village of Taos Ski Valley, offers guests the comfort and charm of an authentic alpine ski alm amid the majesty of New Mexico’s storied Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

This warm and welcoming guesthouse, constructed of logs and furnished with European antiques, provides ski-in/ski-out convenience while dispensing Old World hospitality. Four spacious guest suites, two with full kitchens, accommodate parties large and small, and the nationally acclaimed restaurant serves up Bavarian specialties on its sunny outdoor deck or in the cozy dining room.

In addition to the lodge’s suites, The Bavarian now offers its new Chalets, a carefully phased expansion. The development’s initial phase of six chalets consists of three, three-bedroom units that are 1,951 square feet and feature ski-in/ski-out access as well as all the amenities of the adjacent Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant.

Secluded but sociable, opulent yet casual, The Bavarian is a magical retreat that brings you a taste of the Bavarian Alps in the American Southwest.

Visiting Pie Town

September 30th, 2009
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Pie Town on U.S. Hwy 60 is visited by a myriad of travelers seeking a more relaxed route as well as hikers and bicyclist’s from around the world traveling the “Great Divide” from Mexico to Canada.

At nearly 8000′ above sea level this western town has a Post Office, a Chiropractic doctor, A VLA (Very Large Array radio telescope), and “Lester Jackson Park” which hosts the Annual Pie Town Festival on the Every second Saturday in September. It is also home to the world reknowned Daily Pie Cafe!

Learn more about visiting Pie Town here.

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