Sunday, April 22, 2012

Zia Diner -- Santa Fe, NM

Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives has been in Santa Fe, NM so many times that we felt we had to try a couple of the establishments that they visited. Our first was Zia Diner ( at 326 S. Guadalupe Street (505-988-7008). It looked a bit more upscale than you would expect. I would not describe it as a diner, drive-in or a dive.  It was a beautiful day and we opted to sit out on the patio.
Buffalo Burger

Fallan, our waitress, was prompt and helpful. Since it was lunch time, we decided to go for burgers. I ordered the Buffalo Burger ($12.95) and Rob ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich ($10.75). Both are served on a Brioche bun with carmelized onions, chipotle mayo and sweet potato fries. Fallan asked me how I wanted the burger cooked. I don't know anything about how buffalo is best cooked, so I asked her to advise me. She asked how I liked my steaks and guided me to go a little more rare on the buffalo. We settled on Medium rare -- pink middle.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich
The plates arrived and the food smelled wonderful. The sandwiches are served open faced with lettuce and tomato so you can build your own as you like it. I kept adding more chipotle mayo to mine, I just could not get enough of it. It was flavorful without having too much bite. Rob and I built our burgers and cut them in half, trading a half with each other. The buffalo was good, but overcooked. It was not pink in the middle, which left it a little dry. As far as flavor is concerned it didn't taste much different than a pretty decent hamburger. Rob did not agree with me on this point. He liked it. In my opinion, the chicken was better. It was cooked nicely, remaining moist. The real show stealer was the sweet potato fries. They were slim cut, but not so small that you lose the flavor. Fried perfectly, so that they were crunchy and non-greasy. They were beautiful.

We liked Zia, though I left wondering why it deserved to be on a national food show. Maybe it was an off day, maybe I didn't choose the best dish. Would I eat there again? I probably would, it was nice, the food was good, the prices affordable, but I doubt I'd do the Buffalo Burger again.

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