February 24th, 2014 § 0 comments

Espanola, a gritty town ten minutes drive from HG/BSK’s Jacona home, is much maligned. It has some social problems (it is known as New Mexico’s meth capital); a political system that is often criticized; much unattractive housing and numerous shopping centers built without an iota of soul or aesthetic foresight. Offsetting this is colorful, vernacular architecture (featuring some wonderful neon signage), a surprising amount of cutting-edge modernism and numerous good places to eat. Foremost among them is Angelina’s, a spacious place that draws a colorful crowd of New Mexicans–young, old, ranchers, cowboys, farmers, government officials, businesspersons. The food is solid Northern New Mexico. Red chile sauce is a specialty but the green is not far behind (on a recent visit, HG had a bowl of super assertive green chile menudo that chased away the chills and any lingering effects of a previous night’s overindulgence in alcohol). During the meal, HG/BSK shared some robust ground lamb burritos (the lamb had been grilled with pico de gallo and melded New Mexican and Middle Eastern flavors). Lamb is a specialty of Angelina’s (sheep have been raised in Northern New Mexico for many generations). At Angelina’s, you can have lamb in many forms. There are lamb burgers (plain or grilled with jalapenos and onions); lamb chops; lamb ribs (Costillas) and lamb fajitas. And, you can specify lamb in any of the traditional plates like enchiladas, flautas, tostadas, etc. for a $1.00 additional charge. Besides the lamb dishes, Angelina’s has another unusual twist. The restaurant serves traditional, down home diner favorites: Deep fried breaded catfish; pork chops; liver and onions; chicken fried steak. You can also get a big, ribeye steak; salmon, trout and shrimp. There’s wine (not exactly a Parisian carte de vins) and beer. Very nice flan for dessert. Yes, Angelina’s does it all. Big portions. Small prices. Lots of plain spoken comfort.


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