We left OKC the next morning and stopped in Amarillo to check out the Big Texan. We had driven by it many times, but never stopped in. If you haven’t been through there, this is the place that has the famous 72 ounce steak, which is free, if you can eat it in an hour or less (along with all the other sides). It’s not something I would aspire to, but Anna wanted to stop and see it. The place is really nice inside and they have a gift shop. I notice on their menu that they accept gold and silver bullion for payment. As we were leaving, a couple pulled in on a yellow Goldwing, and it looked like it could have been Roger and Jane Holm (which would have been the biggest and most amazing coincidence in the world). It wasn’t Roger and Jane, but they were from Minneapolis (which is still an amazing coincidence). I chatted with them about touring on the Goldwing, and they said they love it.
We finished the day’s drive and pulled into Santa Fe in time for dinner. I had been looking forward to all the green chiles. We hadn’t eaten all day and we were starving. For part one of our dinner, we drove over to the Tune-Up Cafe. Unfortunately I had run out of time when I was planning the trip and didn’t get a chance to watch the DDD episodes for New Mexico. We we’re going to have to wing it.
The Tune-Up Cafe is a great little cafe which just went through an expansion. They have a nice dining room in the front, a gorgeous bar off the back, and plenty of seating on the patio out front. We got a cozy little deuce in the bar and drew a friendly waitress named Marquee. We hit the jackpot with her because she is a total foodie, knows everyone in town, and is originally from Chicago. So we had tons of stuff to talk about. We ordered the green chile cheeseburger and a bowl of green chile beef stew. She got us lined out for the Santa Fe tour.
The food was outstanding. The stew was rich and the flavors were very well developed and balanced with the heat of the chiles. They make this dish with flank steak and it was melt in your mouth tender. I thought for sure it was an all day affair, but other than the homemade beef stock, the chef says it only takes about two hours. I couldn’t wait to get home and make some. The burger was great too and cooked perfectly. It was scrumptious and really hit the spot. The fries were crispy crunchy delicious and went along well with the garlic aioli. Part one of our dinner plans was a smashing success.
Part two of our plan involved getting a pizza to go at Back Road Pizza. We went inside and were lucky that there wasn’t a long line. They have a very enticing menu and I had it narrowed down to two of their signatures pies. The New Mexican features green chiles, red onion and pepperoni. Yum. But they also have my combo favorite which is called “Norm” and features house made sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives. Tough choice. I wanted to try them both. The woman who took our order suggested that we get both on one pizza as a half and half. Perfect. That’s what we ordered and the woman happened to be the owner herself, Piper. We chatted her up a bit and she was just as friendly as she could be. She’s from Boston (where her parents still live) and so we raved about Sam LaGrassa’s Chipotle Honey Mustard Pastrami sandwich.