By Stephanie and Walt Cameron
Publishers Stephanie and Walt Cameron are sharing some of their favorite finds around New Mexico in edible’s Eight Around the State. For this issue, they searched for one of our state’s quintessential dishes: carne adovada.
Carne adovada, pork marinated in red chile, prevails in New Mexican cuisine. This meaty dish can come blazing with heat or be mild with a subtle kick. Some cube the raw pork before marinating, while others cook the whole pork shoulder before shredding or cubing the meat. Some serve the meat in burritos or stuffed sopaipillas and others serve it as the main course in all its glory. No matter the variation, technique, or delivery, one can taste New Mexico’s culinary spirit in its carne adovada.
What we are eating: Carne adovada plate with pork, marinated and slow-cooked with red chile, onion, and spices. Served with rice and cheddar-topped refried beans.
Worth noting: La Cocina got its start in 1970 when Eddie and Jessie Martinez opened what was then La Cocina Café. It is still a favorite among locals for northern New Mexican cuisine.
Find: 415 W Santa Clara Bridge Road, Española
Rancho de Chimayó
What we are eating: Combinación Picante—a combination plate with carne adovada, pork tamale, rolled cheese enchilada, rice, and posole, served with a choice of red or green chile.
Worth noting: Rancho de Chimayó’s carne adovada is one of the dishes that helped it land on the America’s Classics list from the James Beard Foundation in 2016.
Find: 300 Juan Medina Road, Chimayó
Orlando’s New Mexican Cafe
What we are eating: Grilled Carne Adovada—grilled marinated pork medallions, topped with chile caribe and served with posole, beans, and a flour tortilla.
Worth noting: Orlando’s is a locals’ and visitors’ favorite, and there will often be a line, but it is well worth the wait. In the winter, wait in the warming hut; in the summer, the patio is the perfect setting to dine al fresco.
Find: 1114 Don Juan Valdez Lane, Taos
Mary & Tito’s Cafe
What we are eating: Carne Adovada Mexican Turnover—stuffed sopaipilla served with carne adovada and cheese.
Worth noting: Operating since 1963, Mary & Tito’s won an America’s Classics Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2010. They have also been Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog’s top-rated restaurant for decades.
Find: 2711 Fourth Street NW, Albuquerque
Posa’s El Merendero Tamale
Factory & Restaurant
What we are eating: Carne Adovada—carne adovada, rice, and beans served with a sopaipilla.
Worth noting: The Posa family has supplied their original tamales (a family recipe) and other specialties to restaurants and markets throughout Santa Fe and northern New Mexico for over thirty years.
Find: 1514 Rodeo Road and 3538 Zafarano Drive, Santa Fe
The Shop Breakfast & Lunch
What we are eating: Carne Adovada Eggs Benny—poached eggs and carne adovada served on a buttermilk biscuit with avocado, pickled onions, and green-chile hollandaise.
Worth noting: The chilaquiles with carne adovada are just as sublime as the eggs benedict. Chef and owner Israel Rivera represented the Southwest on the Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay in January.
Find: 2933 Monte Vista NE, Albuquerque
¡Ándele! Dog House
What we are eating: Carne Adovada—pork roast marinated in red chile. Served with corn tortillas, beans, and rice.
Worth noting: Try not to stuff yourself at the self-serve salsa bar before your food comes—the hot tortilla chips keep you going back for more. We love the patios here; with lots of heating elements, even the coldest day is warm.
Find: 1983 Calle Del Norte, Mesilla
San Antonio Crane
What we are eating: Huevos Rancheros with Carne Adovada served with potatoes, beans, and over-easy eggs.
Worth noting: Although San Antonio is famous for the green chile cheeseburgers at The Owl Cafe and Buckhorn Tavern, this café is definitely worth the visit for breakfast or lunch. They have a lovely screened-in patio to enjoy your meal al fresco before or after heading off to see the cranes at the Bosque del Apache.
Find: 17 South Pino Street, San Antonio
Edible celebrates New Mexico's food culture, season by season. We believe that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. With our high-quality, aesthetically pleasing and informative publication, we inspire readers to support and celebrate the growers, producers, chefs, beverage and food artisans, and other food professionals in our community.