Traditional recipes

Wine Down Friday: What to Drink with a Summer Burger

Wine Down Friday: What to Drink with a Summer Burger

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Matchups by Jordan Mackay

A MELLOW PALE ALEThe gentle hoppiness and maltiness of a medium-weight beer are the perfect foil for a burger with condiments.

Burgers have a lot going on, especially with sharp toppings like pickles, raw onion, cheddar, mustard, and ketchup. Unlike its superhopped cousin, the IPA, a classic American pale ale has a nice refreshing bitterness to parry those punchy dressings without overwhelming. A hint of grainy sweetness rounds off the beefy patty.A LUSH, JUICY REDThe succulent, berry-inflected fruit of a plush red complements a grilled burger's deep, beefy flavor.

Go for a cabernet sauvignon from Paso Robles, California. The warm climate produces cabs with plum and blackberry flavors that embrace the patty while providing enough tannins to tame layers of bacon, cheese, and tomato. A touch of oak offers a bit of toast to reel in the seared beef's smoky crust.

OOPS!Steer clear of light-bodied wines such as rieslings, rosés, and sparklers—their delicate flavors will be overwhelmed by a classic burger's hearty beef and punchy toppings.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 (7 ounce) pouch tuna in water, drained and juice reserved
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery with leaves
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 slices day-old bread, cubed
  • 1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Mix drained tuna, onion, celery, egg, bread crumbs, bread cubes, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. If mixture is too dry to hold together, stir in reserved tuna juice, 1 teaspoon at a time. Divide mixture in fourths and shape each portion into a patty.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and pan-fry the patties until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain patties on paper towels.


4 Summer Cocktail Recipes

1. Orange Peach Mimosa Slush

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup frozen peach slices
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • ¼ freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup Champagne
  • Orange slices for garnish

Slice the orange in half, remove the seeds, and cut off the peel. Add the orange flesh, frozen peach slices, ice cubes, orange juice, and Champagne to a high-speed blender and mix until slushy and smooth.

Pour the mixture into four wine glasses and garnish with orange slices.

2. Honeydew Basil Margarita

Ingredients

  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 4 cups chopped honeydew melon, frozen
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons blanco tequila
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice

In a high-speed blender, add all the ingredients together and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with basil leaves.

3. Summer Punch

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup white vermouth
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups chilled ginger beer

Combine all ingredients into a punch bowl. Serve over ice.

4. Lemon Drop

Ingredients

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cool and then filter into glasses.


Beyond the Burger: Surveying Vermont's Summer Snack Bars

Every culture has its fried-food tradition. In the American South, families gather for buttermilk fried chicken, fish fry and crisped okra in Japan, street stands and bars offer crackling tempura fish and vegetables. Meanwhile, the English sup on fish and chips, and the French tête-à-tête over frites.

Here in Vermont, we have snack bars. Mimicking New England's coastal clam shacks, these often serve lobster rolls and fried clams or scallops — also, franks, burgers, fries and ice cream in every imaginable form and flavor.

For years, Seven Days published an annual snack-bar roundup, proving that food writers enjoy a grease-trap lunch as much as the next person. A few years back, we ditched that tradition to focus on food trucks and other summer snacks.

But in the interim, several summer spots have reinterpreted what a snack bar can be. And so, as this hot, dry summer inevitably tips toward fall, we crisscrossed the state to sample some of Vermont's less common roadside eats. Our stops included casual spots opened by chefs who usually work in upscale kitchens, a farmstand food truck and a rolling smokehouse.

Because if you're going to load up on grease, carbs and sweets, do it in a way that's tasty and interesting.

Honeypie

8811 Route 30, Jamaica, 548-4999, eatathoneypie.com

What do you get when the owners of a nationally acclaimed restaurant open a roadside eatery? Honeypie, that's what. Located in Vermont's Deep South — just 30 miles from the Massachusetts border — Honeypie is sister to SoLo Farm & Table in South Londonderry, a James Beard Award nominee that has been covered by publications including Food & Wine magazine and the New York Times.

Wesley and Chloe Genovart opened their casual spot in a perfectly retro gas station with white tile and rust-accented metal as décor. The fare they serve is a testament to the care they put into sourcing and preparing each ingredient.

All the sausages they offer — such as the long, skinny one in the Vietnamese sandwich, which comes on a hot dog roll with pickled carrots, cilantro, kimchi and mayo — are homemade. Burger meat is ground daily.

The chicken sandwich, creamy with herb-laced buttermilk dressing, is both perfectly familiar and perfectly rendered. The lobster roll, with big chunks of tender Maine lobster meat doused in clarified butter, is a summery standout, tangy with lemon juice and accented by shaved celery.

And, of course, there's dessert. Using a base from the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, the staff concocts ice cream flavors in-house. Classics such as coffee, chocolate and Oreo accompany modern takes such as salted caramel and strawberry-buttermilk.

In this writer's opinion, though, one offering is all you need to round out the back-to-the-future dining experience at Honeypie: a milkshake with chewy flecks of malt that swoop up the extra-long straw. It's great fuel for any road trip.

Berda's Roadside Eatery

3 Main Street, Essex Junction, 399-9358

From the outside, Berda's looks like a typical snack bar. Sporting an American flag and a sign offering a discount to all military service members, the white trailer operates at the busy Five Corners intersection in Essex Junction and deals in the usual fare, but with inventive twists.

On one steamy summer day, the window is closed, though it's past the eatery's posted 11 a.m. opening. When I wander around to the side in search of someone, a staffer tells me — with a straight face — that they're "a little behind and need to catch up."

The food is worth the wait. The pepper-jack-stuffed Juicy Lucy burger, made with meat from Templeton Farm in East Montpelier and served on a soft, seeded roll, is just right. It's complemented by fries cooked golden in duck fat, plus a Berda's specialty: wonton wrappers stuffed with cream cheese, jalapeños, cheddar and bacon, served with a side of real maple syrup. That last item is a perfect segue into dessert: a waffle cone filled with scoops of maple-bacon Island Homemade Ice Cream.

Berda's owner Cory Charles says he's dedicated to using farm-fresh ingredients in as many dishes as possible to that end, he's perpetually inventing new and exciting offerings. During my visit, he experiments with cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes from Dean Brigante's Farm Stand in Colchester. The slices are crisp on the outside, bursting with juice and slathered in aioli.

Also on the menu are summer movie nights, with family-friendly offerings such as The NeverEnding Story and The Wizard of Oz projected on the side of the truck.

Canteen Creemee Company

509 Village Square, Waitsfield, 496-6003, canteencreemee.com

Of all the snack joints in all the towns in all the world, Canteen Creemee Company in Waitsfield might just be the most creative in its use of soft-serve.

Its opening menu offered a concoction of ice cream studded with pieces of cake, covered in white-chocolate-and-olive-oil dip and dotted with fondant flowers. When I visit, there's a fresh blueberry creemee in a waffle cone with blueberry preserves, lemon drizzle and cookies. A maple variation comes topped with a veritable cloud of maple cotton candy.

Happily, the savory fare is just as exciting as the sweets. Crisp-coated fried chicken, ordered by the piece, comes with the diner's choice of sauces, including Sriracha butter, tangy apricot-honey mustard and an umami bomb of a Korean barbecue sauce made with fermented bean paste. No matter which sauce you choose, the chicken gets a side of creamy, sweet-corn pudding. It's literally finger-lickin' good.

Potential burger toppings include pickled onion, watercress, horseradish and pork roll. But you might want to order the signature kimchi burger, with the spicy cabbage mixed right into the meat. Vegetarians can get a falafel burger or a Caprese sandwich with local mozzarella, tomato and basil.

Co-owned by chef Charlie Menard of the nearby Inn at the Round Barn Farm, Canteen is a destination in itself. The scenic surroundings — rich in opportunities for blueberry picking, shopping, hiking and dips in swimming holes — are the icing on the cake.

Willie's BBQ

3608 Route 22A, Fair Haven, 558-6340

On a strip of grass beside Route 22A, a jet-black trailer called Willie's BBQ emits plumes of smoke from a grill hitched to the back. There, William Tyler slow-cooks rib racks, pulled pork, half chickens and slabs of brisket over a wood fire, Thursday through Sunday.

Armed with a four-year degree in culinary arts and service management from Paul Smith's College, Tyler has cooked for his entire professional life. "I started as a dishwasher when I was 17," he says over the phone. "You name it, I've pretty much done it."

In 2009, Tyler was heading to a different job when he came to a dead stop on 22A. As he waited for a rally of Americade motorcyclists to buzz by, an idea surfaced: A food trailer would do well on this long strip of highway flanked by mountain views.

"That got the ball rolling," Tyler says. He bought his barbecue trailer soon after. "Not a lot of people were doing [barbecue] around here at the time," he adds. "At least not doing it right."

The right way to barbecue, he explains, entails masterminding an alliance of timing and temperature. Tyler familiarized himself with that balance during north-south cross-country road trips, pulling over at barbecue joints that simultaneously provided satiety and inspiration.

At Willie's BBQ, hungry passersby can stoke their appetites with snack-bar mainstays such as onion rings, fries and housemade slaw — or venture into the realm of smoke and heat. Sauces and marinades are made from scratch, as is the rotating roster of weekly specials.

This week, Tyler is psyched about the candied maple baby back ribs: rivets of meat marinated in maple syrup for two days and grilled until the meat is shellacked and spoon tender. Then there's the brisket, which is "just about the best thing you can have when it's cooked properly," Tyler says. "Done right, it's heaven."

Cajun's Snack Bar

1594 Route 100, Lowell, 744-2002, cajunssnackbar.com

On an average weekend day, about 500 people stop at Cajun's Snack Bar. That's impressive for any small restaurant but outrageous in Lowell, where the population hovers around 700.

Jane and Leo "Cajun" Boutin opened Cajun's in 1999 with a menu of seafood, burgers, ice cream and snacks. In 2009, the Boutins' son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Amanda Boutin, took over. Looking to distinguish Cajun's from similar spots in the area, the younger Boutins started serving some of the Acadian foods that Jason had grown up eating at home, including fried catfish, crawfish, frog's legs and alligator. Slowly, the menu grew to more than 100 items.

"We've been evolving to more of a seafood restaurant from a traditional snack bar," Jason Boutin tells Seven Days, noting that his lobster rolls (hot or cold), fried clams and scallops are as popular as the bayou specialties.

As for that alligator, it's more popular than one might expect: Boutin says he goes through 1,000 pounds of "tail sirloin" each season and now works with several purveyors to ensure a steady supply. On the receiving end, the golden, breaded nuggets look like fried clams. Their crunchy crust gives way to white meat that's a little chewy and reptilian in texture the taste is somewhere between catfish and poultry, with a hint of chile pepper spice.

Boutin says he was surprised — but not too surprised — that the unconventional snacks became so popular. "Part of it's the novelty of getting something new and unique," he says. "But the other part of it is that the food tastes good. There's a reason the Cajuns were eating it."

The Copper Plate

776 Glover Road, Barton, 323-4000

Eddie Seadale can't sit still. "I'm just gonna do this," he says, bending over to wipe down a table while chatting with a reporter. Seadale is trim and clean-cut, with the spark-plug energy and easy chatter of someone who's been serving food for decades. As we talk, he jumps up to check an order, to greet a guest or to shoo away his cat, who's making eyes at a visiting dog.

Seadale and his wife, Lorie, purchased the River's Edge Farm Stand just off the Interstate 91 exit ramp in Barton three years ago, after selling their nearby restaurant the Parson's Corner. Last summer, they added a seasonal food trailer called the Copper Plate to their farm-business. "I have restaurant experience," Seadale says. "That's how I make my living."

Though the menu changes daily, it revolves around seafood and sandwiches, such as a turkey-cheddar melt with cranberry sauce and a steak-and-cheese sub with mayo, peppers and onions, which Seadale says he's been making "on and off since 1983."

Seadale builds weekend fare around a Friday seafood delivery from Maine. Crispy haddock sandwiches, fried shrimp po'boys, and whole-belly clams and scallops come served over fries. I snack on a sloppy joe sandwich stuffed with tangy pulled pork, accompanied by a mountain of those same hand-cut fries.

Farmstand produce factors largely into the menu, too. The Seadales grow organic fruits and vegetables — including greens, squash, blueberries and flowers — in the gardens and greenhouses out back. They buy other ingredients from local farms, wildcrafters (you may find chanterelles or other wild mushrooms if you're lucky) and producers. Everything's labeled with its source.

Seadale admits that he's moved away from his original plan to serve more of his own garden produce. "We don't have the resources to grow all that we thought we would," he says, noting that gardening is labor-intensive and time consuming. "But we do what we can."

On a muggy late July afternoon, I sink my teeth into a hot ear of corn on the cob, slathered with butter. Each firm, fresh kernel explodes with a pop, then gives way to a wash of buttery sweetness. "Is this from nearby?" I ask, assuming the affirmative.

"It's from Québec," Seadale says. "You know that that's local, right?"

Shaggy's Snack Bar & Pizza

109 1st Street, Swanton, 868-2021

Shaggy's proprietor Joe Desrochers named the Swanton snack bar for his doppelgänger: the lanky, ever-hungry pal of Scooby-Doo. But this Shaggy doesn't dole out Scooby snacks, nor does he play a sidekick role.

"The food business is in my blood," says Desrochers. "My grandfather Felix owned a hot-food truck in St. Johnsbury called the Yellow Cab Lunch in the '30s he sold things like hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream bars and cigarettes."

Desrochers followed his grandfather's lead and has dedicated most of his professional life to feeding locals. He spent 17 years turning dough at the Swanton House of Pizza before opening Shaggy's, a central feature of the community since it began business 15 years ago.

Standing in line early on a Friday evening, one realizes it's no mystery why Shaggy's is a neighborhood hub. As the queue meanders across the front lawn at five, the chatter is loud and amiable. Shaggy's seems to be the spot for communal catching up.

"I love the Shaggy's Sherbert," one customer says, referring to the snack bar's concoction of black raspberry ice cream, orange soda and lemonade blitzed into a dense shake. Other diners go for the French fries, hand-cut potatoes plunged in hot oil until they reach that sublime moment of crispy edges and creamy flesh.

The menu includes the usual burgers, chicken tenders and onion rings, too. But an aroma more tantalizing than fryer oil emerges from the depths of Shaggy's kitchen. The smells of baked bread and hot cheese waft to the front counter, betraying the presence of thick, Sicilian-style pan pizzas bubbling in the back. Desrochers says he makes the dough from scratch each morning, along with the homemade tomato sauce integral to a Shaggy's pie or an order of mozzarella sticks.

The secret to the sauce? "If he told ya, he'd have to kill ya," says Stacey Desrochers as she and Joe, her husband and business partner, tackle the orders flowing into the kitchen. The couple met when Joe worked at the House of Pizza — "I'd go in as a customer and had a crush on him," Stacey says. She wields a 16-inch knife to slice a crisp-bottomed pizza for an awaiting family of three, who wave to the Desrochers through a window.

Outside, the picnic tables are beginning to fill up, and yet more cars are turning toward the bright-orange snack bar. Come to think of it, it's the same color as the lettering on Scooby-Doo's Mystery Machine.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Raising the Bar"


That famous Featherblade burger? Here&rsquos how to do it at home

For a brief time, some of the most Instagrammed burgers of the pandemic were available over a wide radius, but as couriers became busier, delivery of Featherblade’s bacon cheeseburger was restricted to Dublin city and county.

The rest of the country could only look on in envy at the juicy beef burger, melting mature Cheddar cheese, and that famously thick slab of caramelised smoked bacon, topped with bright pink pickled onions.

The Dawson Street steak restaurant’s takeaway kit earned a 9/10 score from Irish Times restaurant critic Corinna Hardgrave, who described the burgers as being “stupendously good,” with “deep, savoury, meaty beefiness with a hint of smoke coming through.”

So what makes these burgers so special, and can they be replicated at home, without the kit? Aaron Fitzpatrick, head chef at Featherblade, shares some of the secrets of his creation. “In my opinion, to create the perfect burger, you need to use a combination of meat cuts.” The Featherblade patty has applewood-smoked brisket, aged striploin and a little chuck beef and suet.

“Most burgers will have an 80 lean meat to 20 fatty meat ratio. Using a little bit more fat than this really makes a big difference. Grass-fed beef is also much better to use in a burger, as it has so many more layers of flavour than corn fed beef. The grind of the mince is also very important. For the perfect burger I would always use a medium grind.”

The Featherblade bacon is smoked in-house. “We order raw pork belly and cure it for 10 days in our own special mix, then sugar coat it for two weeks and then smoke it for six hours over applewood. This results in a sensational sweet and smokey bacon, and when you fry it the sugars caramelise and give it a dark, crunchy outside,” Fitzpatrick says.

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A strong mature Cheddar cheese is melted on to the burgers when they are almost cooked, and the whole lot is assembled on a brioche bun. “Brioche is my favourite to use, because it has butter and eggs in it, making it a rich and delicious bake. It also doesn’t get as soggy as some buns do.” Brioche burger buns are available from lots of supermarkets, including Aldi and M&S.

Fitzpatrick recommends constructing the burger with care – burger architecture, he calls it. “If I order a burger and it has a giant toothpick in the middle of it, I know it’s going to be a bit of work to eat, and it really shouldn’t be. I believe putting most of the toppings on the bottom is key. It makes the burger easier to eat, as it’s less messy and there’s less chance of it toppling over.”

Black garlic mayo and pickled onions complete the composition of the burger. Black garlic can be found in bulb and paste form in the Chan Chan range of condiments developed by chef Kwanghi Chan, and available to purchase online. Pink pickled onions are a cinch to make. Just slice red onion into thin half-moons and immerse them in red wine vinegar (into which you have dissolved a little caster sugar, if you don’t like them too sharp), and they’re ready to eat in a couple of hours.

That’s it, the Featherblade bacon cheeseburger, deconstructed. Just make sure to use good quality beef, it’ll make all the difference. If you’d still prefer to have someone else do the work, chef Gráinne O’Keefe’s range of beef burgers for Bujo, as well as vegetarian and vegan burgers, can be ordered for delivery nationwide on Fridays. These sell out fast though so keep an eye on the website for each week’s release.

Here are a few more burgers, from the Irish Times recipe archive, to ring the changes, including Gráinne O’Keefe’s ultimate beef burger with onion rings and rarebit cheese sauce.


Easy Summer Cookout Menu

Start your summer cookout with a mix of vegetables and protein. A fruity mango salsa and lime-infused shrimp skewers go particularly well together, and neither take that long to prepare. Or, try grilled veggies as a starter or side.

If you’re looking for a super-easy main course, go with simple grilled clams and oysters. All you have to do is clean them, put them on the grill, wait a couple of minutes for them to open, and you’re done!

Feasts Fit for the Grill

Ready for a bigger challenge? Feed a crowd with skirt steak fajitas or a couple of grilled vegetable pizzas. Or go with an old favorite (with a new twist) like grilled Tuscan chicken or grilled salmon with salsa verde, which both work nicely. Classic burgers always hit the spot, like a bacon-blue cheese burger or juicy "super" burgers with homemade ranch on top. Or, let guests build their own burgers by firing up basic patties and then laying out bowls of caramelized onions, rosemary-scented bacon and more toppings.

You’ll need a drink to wash that all down –– go with tequila-spiked lemonade or a simple agua fresca. For dessert, grilled fruit is easy and refreshing: Try grilled bananas topped with maple creme fraiche or grilled peaches drizzled with honey and yogurt.


Best Local Chain Burger: Blue Door Pub

Order: Cease & Desist
Key Ingredients: White and yellow American cheeses, pickles, onions, lettuce, ’Merican sauce

Sometimes true burger success comes in taking a risk , like opening a restaurant during the worst recession of the last 30 years, or messing with the cheese inside the traditional Juicy Lucy. Blue Door Pub did both. Putting blue cheese instead of American inside two beautifully seasoned patties of Minnesota beef and calling it a “Blucy” seemed crazy. But the bomb of umami from the earthy cheese and the beefy burger is glorious, the name is trademarked, and one eastside location is now five spots, including an outpost at the airport. Don’t miss the Bacon Blucy, with smoked bacon-cheddar cheese.
Locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Blue Door’s Mount Blucuvious

Photo by Danielle Gernes styling by Lara Miklasevics

Bonus: The impossible-to-bite Mount Blucuvious, with fiery ghost-pepper cheese, fried avocado, spicy bacon, and cilantro-lime sauce.

“There’s a story behind the Cease & Desist Blucy. It’s a gourmet Big Mac, originally named the McBlucy. After receiving a cease and desist letter from McDonald’s, we decided to have fun with it and keep it on the menu as the Cease & Desist.” –Marissa Schafer, creative and marketing director

The Burger at Lowry Hill Meats

Photo by Danielle Gernes styling by Lara Miklasevics


The ManiLife PB&J Beef Burger

Kitchen rebels, get ready to smother ManiLife peanut butter and chilli jam all over this outrageous burger. Serve with smoky wedges on the side for the true American dream.

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the potatoes into wedges.

2. Add the potato wedges to a baking tray with a generous drizzle of vegetable oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and the smoked paprika then give everything a good mix up. Put the tray in the oven and cook for 25-30 min or until the wedges are golden and crispy – these are your smoky wedges.

3. While the wedges are in the oven, peel and finely slice the shallot into rings. Add the sliced shallot to a bowl with the red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar and salt. Set aside to pickle – these are your pickled shallots.

4. Season the beef mince with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Massage the meat with clean hands for 1 min (this helps them to hold their shape while cooking). Divide the mince into 2, shape them into patties and refrigerate until later.

5. Wash the little gem lettuce, separate the leaves and set aside for serving. Grate the cheddar cheese.

6. Heat a large, dry, wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) over a medium heat. Slice the brioche buns in half. Once hot, add the brioche halves to the pan, cut-side down, and cook for 3-4 min or until golden. Once golden, transfer to a plate and set aside for later.

7. Return the pan to a high heat. Add the beef patties and cook for 5-6 min on one side, or until browned. Once browned, flip the patties and top with the grated cheddar cheese. Cover loosely with a lid (or some tin foil!) and cook for 2-3 min further or until the cheese has melted and the patties are cooked through.

8. Drain the pickled shallots. Spread each brioche base with the mayo and each brioche lid with the chilli jam. Build your burger by topping the base with the pickled shallots, lettuce leaves, a cheesy patty, some peanut butter and finish with the lid. Serve with the smoky wedges to the side.


Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Red Wine Hot Chocolate is a dark chocolate blend of flavors is so rich and decadent you are sure to fall in love at first sip. Get Recipe Here.

Hawaiian BBQ Pork Walking Taco Recipe

Walking tacos are the newest and best excuse I have for eating chips. These deceptive little foil packets contain a whole meal. Get Recipe Here.

Grilled Barbecue Chicken and Vegetables in Foil Recipe

A whole three course meal in an easy little package. Get Recipe Here.

Cajun Style Grill Foil Packets Recipe

Make sure to keep these on ice until you start up the campfire, they pack the full range of savory taste and fresh crunchy flavor. Get Recipe Here.

Camp Chili Cornbread Recipe

Just because you’re around a campfire doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to some comfort food. This recipe will have the whole camp lethargic from being so stuffed! Get Recipe Here.

Camping Mac N Cheese Recipe

Ooh I love mac & cheese, anywhere anytime. Taking everyone’s favorite side to the woods with you will make you an instant favorite around the fire. Get Recipe Here.

Easy No Knead Skillet Bread Recipe

Cooking bread in the woods? Yeah, we do that. This bread recipe will have you wanting to make your own. Get Recipe Here.

Grilled Blooming Onion Recipe

A grilled version of a certain trademarked franchises best selling appetizer and in the comfort of your own camp chair. Get Recipe Here.

Chili Campfire Bake Recipe

Got a skillet, make sure you bring it to the campsite because you’re going to want to make this for dinner. Just make sure you bring enough, no need to start a fight now. Get Recipe Here.

Easy No Mess Camp Burgers Recipe

This is a great way to make burgers while out camping but without the mess. Sign me up! Get Recipe Here.

Grilling Fires Potato Wedges Recipe

You should never have to sacrifice the fries with your burger just because you’re sitting around a fire. Get Recipe Here.

Camping Farmers Breakfast Recipe

Don’t forget a big breakfast before you go hit the trail or float the river, this will be sure to fuel the whole clan during your many adventures. Get Recipe Here.

Dutch Oven Bacon Cheese Pull Aparts Recipe

Bacon and cheesy pull apart bread you will want to snack on all day. Get Recipe Here.

Camp Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Now I am not saying you have to forget the s’mores but this might be a welcome departure/addition for your next camping trip. Get Recipe Here.

Dutch Oven Caramel Apple Pie Recipe

Caramel apple pie that you can bake at a campsite. Shhhh, you had me at caramel and apple and pie. Get Recipe Here.

Easy S’mores Bars Recipes

Ooh I love any idea that gets me more s’mores. Get Recipe Here.


Best of Santa Fe — Food & Drink


Help keep local journalism fighting for you. Donate today to Friends of the Reporter.

Best Artisan Chocolate

The magicians of Kakawa Chocolate House say they are on a mission to re-introduce chocolate-—real chocolate—to the people. "Mission accomplished!" you'll say. Kakawa's magical drinking elixirs and hand-crafted agave caramels, chocolates, truffles and ice creams are so perfect they seem like illusions—until you get one in your mouth.

1050 Paseo De Peralta, 982-0388 1300 Rufina Circle #A4, 930-5460

Who couldn't get behind "everyday indulgences" that range from craft chocolate barks to surprises like "Sierra Blanca" chocolate—white chocolate with tangy lime and slightly spicy chile chocolate? You, that's who. (Speaking of who, Whoo's Donuts is next door. BONUS).

851A Cerrillos Road, 473-2111

Todos Santos Chocolates

A high-end chocolate shop that is as yummy to look at as its chocolates are to taste. The truffles made in-house are of Valrhona, a fancy French dark chocolate, and packaged offerings include some of Europe's finest.

125 E. Palace Ave., #31 (Sena Plaza), 982-3855

Best Asian Restaurant

We're so glad you agree that giant, crispy, flippy, floppy dosas are among the funnest foods in the world to eat. Paper Dosa also ensures they are delicious, with fillings including rich chutney, gooey chile and cheese, and spicy basil. But then, as you well know, everything else here is delicious too—from seasonal soups to Farmer's Market Uttapam.

551 W Cordova Road, 930-5521

Jinja's expansive menu covers the spectrum of Asian food—from Polynesian-inspired drinks to America's favorite Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Malaysian dishes. There's something for every taste at Jinja—your votes prove it so!

510 N Guadalupe St., 982-4321

How lucky are we that we have a place that can transport us to another place and time in mere minutes? To chef Kiko Rodriguez and his creative, delicious takes on Japanese izakaya up Hyde Park Road, we say "Arigato!"

21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, 428-6409

Best Bakery

The Chocolate Maven may be hidden away from Santa Fe's hustle and bustle but it's definitely not a secret. Who would think lurking behind those cold corrugated steel walls would be such welcoming, warm, flaky sweetness? Apparently you think so, and for good reason—the Maven's bakery menu is a beast. We counted 145 items on the baked goods menu alone. Unbutton your pants…or perhaps you already have.

821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980

Clafoutis' bakery case is a beautiful thing, which is why we probably aren't the only ones who have perused it with the intention of ordering a pastry or two and ended up with five or six.

333 W Cordova Road, 988-1809

Some people give bread a bad rap and these, obviously, are people who have never had Sage Bakehouse bread. This bread is so good that Sage Bakehouse can use words like "wrinkles" and "tang" to describe its offerings and still have us salivating.

535 Cerrillos Road, 820-7243

Best Breakfast

The Pantry started serving up comfort food to Santa Fe in 1948 and still has us firmly wrapped in the hefty hugs that are its breakfasts. So wrapped up that we all couldn't fit in The Pantry's arms anymore and they had to open another one—or…dos? Anyway, the numbers speak for themselves: according to The Pantry you, the people, consume 26 tons of potatoes, 7 tons of green chile and 2 tons of coffee there every year.

1820 Cerrillos Road, 986-0022

The place where the chile term "Christmas" is claimed to have been coined holds a sacred space in the hearts of many a Santa Fean. One, because Tia Sophia's has been starting our days right since 1974 and two, because they don't scrimp on the chile. Or cheese. Or anything else.

210 W San Francisco Street, 983-9880

Oh, hai, Clafoutis. Fancy seeing you here again. Not only do we go all flaky for your delicate and delicious baked goods, but we're also dough in the hands of your breakfast mastery.

333 W Cordova Street, 988-1809

Best Breakfast Burrito

Let us all bow to the altar of good mornings and give thanks for the blessing that is El Parasol's breakfast burrito. Just like with most of El Parasol's offerings, it's simple and straightforward quality that makes a morning brighter. A base of egg, potato and cheese combines with add-on choices including chorizo, sausage, ham and bacon to give your tummy a good morning stretch.

1833 Cerrillos Road, 995-8015 298 Dinosaur Trail, 995-8226

OK, another claim for Tia Sophia's is that the term "breakfast burrito" was invented there. Discuss amongst yourselves but really, who cares who came up with the term? You already decided they make a damn fine one.

210 W San Francisco Street, 983-9880

The Pantry offers all the New Mexican standards that you crave in a brekkie B. Plus, now it's possible to order online before you swing by the main drag.

1820 Cerrillos Road, 986-0022

Best Brunch

Your choice here reflects the fact that a great brunch isn't necessarily a heavy one. And, also, that you really, really like Clafoutis. It doesn't hurt that the prices for such succinctly French fare rarely top $10. What a joy to cut through a rich orange sun of egg yolk into the steaming, savory heart of a sanguine Croque Madame for just $7.90!

333 W Cordova Road, 988-1809

That you can literally watch the bread rise through a window in Chocolate Maven's dining room is a hint that what you see is what you get here: creative brunch options that range from savory "eggsadillas" to sweet blue corn blueberry pancakes.

821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980

Not only does Dolina serve up food with beautiful intention, it does so seven days a week. It has been said Dolina's rich, savory paprikash is so good it could be brunched on all seven of those days. Even so, branch out because every dish on Dolina's menu is an adventure.

402 N Guadalupe Street, 982-9394

Best Burger

Santa Fe Bite

Names and locations may have changed for this Santa Fe staple but…it's back and what has not changed is its damn fine burger. You love the green chile cheeseburger, you love the bacon green chile cheeseburger, you love that you can get beans (two kinds!) with your burger, you love the gluten-free buns, you even love the house-made veggie burger! But what you love most of all is the friendly service that Santa Fe Bite, in whichever incarnation, has also been serving up since 1959.

1616 St. Michaels Drive, 428-0328

The Burger Stand has obviously succeeded in its quest to elevate the common burger. If Best of Santa Fe also had a category for "Best Fries" we have a strong suspicion The Burger Stand would again be among your favorites. Delicious burgers, best fries ever and top-tier people watching: a winning combination.

207 W San Francisco St., 395-8210

Some say the secret to success in the restaurant industry is to keep it simple. This would explain the success of Shake Foundation, because it provides the juicy burger and then lets you go nuts with your pick of simply delicious stuff to put on it. Case in point: Where else can you top your burger with whipped lardo?

631 Cerrillos Road, 988-8992

Best Chef

In the 11 years Jambo Cafe has graced us with its mouthwatering mix of Kenyan/Caribbean/Mediterranean offerings, its jerk chicken, lamb burgers and curry dishes have become almost legendary. As has its chef and owner, Ahmed Obo. In this space last year we wrote, "Each year we start to wonder if we should even have a vote anymore or just hand it over to Obo indefinitely." Perhaps we should—this is his sixth year running in the top chef spot. Asante Sana, chef!

2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269

Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín

Martín Rios' reputation for fine chefery is obviously well-known and appreciated around these parts—and beyond. In addition to multiple James Beard nominations, and the creative, seasonal dishes he serves up at Restaurant Martín, Rios and his wife Jennifer are passionate supporters of equines in need at The Horse Shelter.

526 Galisteo St., 820-0919

Kathleen Crook, Market Steer

You voted Market Steer "Best New Restaurant" last year and apparently that excitement hasn't faded. Chef and co-owner Kathleen Crook knows her way around beef, from cooking it to roping it in addition to being a highly trained chef, she's also a rodeo-roping world champion. Talk about earning her chops!

210 Don Gaspar Avenue, 992-6354

Best Chile

No surprise here. The Carswell family has been serving up some of the area's favorite food—and, obviously, chile—for longer than some of us have been alive. In that time, they've achieved a certain level of perfection that keep them packed even at lunch on a Tuesday. La Choza's chile isn't just a favorite pool for food to swim in, it's the base for one of La Choza's most-ordered dishes: chunky, spicy, Vitamin C-packed green chile stew.

905 Alarid Street, 982-0909

Hey, look! Another instance of not being surprised. Being that The Shed is the "mother" restaurant of La Choza, you get the same delicious chile, just in a different setting. One of our favorite places to watch tourists sweat!

113 1/2 E Palace Avenue, 982-9030

Like The Shed and La Choza, Tomasita's has been around a long time and it shows, especially in its chile. It's sort of like you have to have been around at least 30 years to even claim you've got some of the best. Young 'uns: Don't even try to compete.

500 S Guadalupe St., 983-5721

Best Cocktails

We all know the people-watching in this spot is hard to beat, but what also can't be beat is the atmosphere in which Coyote Cafe & Rooftop Cantina presents a cocktail. It's bright. It's fun. It's creative. All the same can be said for the cocktails, colorful ingredients for which range from passionfruit and lychee to watermelon and Pop Rocks.

132 W Water St., 983-1615

Oh, Paloma, dove of our hearts. Not only do you craft a killer cocktail but you make us feel light and free and special while doing so, whether in your immaculately designed interior or al fresco on your cheery seasonal patio.

401 S Guadalupe St., 467-8624

In some hotel lounges you meet the most interesting people. In some hotel lounges you can actually get a real drink. Secreto is both of these, as popular with visitors as it is with local,s thanks to its long tradition of fine mixology/ists.

210 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-5700

/>Iconik Coffee Roasters | Katherine Lewin

Best Coffee

Iconik has won our hearts pretty much because it loves coffee as much as we love coffee. Adopters of the third-wave coffee movement, the folks at Iconik serve up a cuppa made of beans that are intelligently sourced, grown and roasted. We like to think we can taste the difference but, really, all that matters is that it's killer coffee. And the food is pretty good, too.

314 S Guadalupe St., 428-0996 1600 Lena St., 428-0996 202 Galisteo St., 988-4226

Three busy locations centered in the downtown area keep the brews coming—not just the dark ones, but 33 coffee varietals and roast levels. We love the atmosphere at the Luna building, including the hidden patio. It's super laid back, ideal for enjoying any of Ohori's fine micro-roasted coffees.

1098 1/2 S St Francis Dr. (at Pen Road) 505 Cerrillos Road 507 Old Santa Fe Trail

Java Joe's has been around since 2002 and in that time it has appeared on this list more than once. You all love the locally roasted coffee, tasty pastries and the fact that Java Joe's sit-down location is a no-frills, great place to simply relax or plan for world domination.

1248 Siler Road, 930-5763 2801 Rodeo Road, 474-5282

Best Dessert

Chocolate Maven, we see you—again and again on this list, in particular. And why not? You've got so much sweetness to share. You have cake, you have pie, you have cookies, you have chocolates, you have cupcakes, you have tarts, you have cookie dough, you have…all the baked goods. We love that we can order these ahead for holidays and special occasions, making us the most popular people at all the parties.

821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980

You again! Clafoutis desserts are not only beautiful to gaze upon but they satisfy that yearning deep in our souls. You know, the one every human has for expertly crafted French sweets, whether they know it or not.

333 W Cordova Road, 988-1809

Harry's desserts are the stuff from which sweet dreams are made. The selection isn't huge, but instead a collection of ideally executed standards like sour cream coffee cake, strawberry-rhubarb pie and brownie sundae with hot fudge and caramel.

96 B Old Las Vegas Highway, 989-4629

Best Fermented Food or Drink

Take some smarty-pants chemists who love beer, let 'em loose, and you get Rowley Farmhouse Ales. This small brewery just off Cerrillos Road is big news in the beer world, taking home the most medals of any single brewery at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. The sour-style ales may be what Rowley is known for in the bigger world, but here at home we love Rowley not just for its fascinating fermentations, but also for offering up an extensive list of international beers and a menu of creative, gut-busting gastro-pub fare.

1405 Maclovia St., 428-0719

HoneyMoon Brewery: Hard Kombucha Brewery

Sunset Magazine called HoneyMoon's hard kombucha "buzzworthy," and you apparently think so too. The Southwest's first producer of artisanal alcoholic kombucha offers its crafts on tap as well as to-go. We recommend both.

907 W Alameda St., Unit B, 303-3139

Barrio Brinery brings delicious fermented flavors from around the world to our little 'hood. From spicy fermented escabeche and tart sauerkraut to puckery pickles in natural salt, not vinegar, Barrio's brined goods pack flavors you'd never expect from vegetables.

1413 B W Alameda St., 699-9812

Best Fine Dining

Geronimo regularly tops your list of favorite places to dine fancy in Santa Fe. Sure, the elk tenderloin is expertly tender and the mesquite grilled Maine lobster satisfyingly savory-sweet, but it's Geronimo's service that makes eating here an experience in itself. Whether you are enjoying a cup of velvety soup in the bar or celebrating with a four-course meal in the dining room, the service is so intentional and authentic you leave feeling like someone special.

724 Canyon Road, 982-1500

In the 20 years chef Mark Kiffin has owned The Compound, he's amassed awards ranging from James Beard to the Edible New Mexico Local Hero—not to mention appearing here as your "tops" a multitude of times.

653 Canyon Road, 982-4353

Sazón bills itself as "an adventure in flavors" and doesn't disappoint. What was disappointing was how long we had to go without Sazón last year due to a fire that kept us apart from chef Fernando Olea and his mindblowing moles.

221 Shelby St., 983-8604

Best Food Cart/Truck/Stand

Beloved for its breakfast tacos and burritos, El Chile Toreado also pleases those looking for less "spice" with Polish sausage and hot dogs. No matter the choice, you're sure to end up with something tasty served by some of the friendliest folks in town. The fact that the most expensive thing on the menu is $8.25 definitely doesn't hurt but still, it's amazing food for the price.

807 Early St., 500-0033

Jambo's a sure winner here with not one, but two Jambo Hapa trucks to fill your need for spicy, smoky jerk chicken, creative curries and island-spiced stews. Also…there's the fries: sweet, cumin and harissa lemon.

Jambo Hapa One, 2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269

Jambo Hapa Two, 505 Cerrillos Road (Luna Plaza), 469-5749

Back Road Pizza is one of your favorite pizza places, so it makes sense you love its big red pizza truck, too! Unfortunately, "big red" is off the streets for the here-and-now that is the COVID pandemic, but we'll all share a holler when she's back on the road delivering delicious slices to our hungry mouths.

We all know Anthony Bourdain, bless his heart, made this Frito pie famous by ripping into it—and not in the way a Frito pie is meant to be ripped into. But Bourdain issued a mea culpa and everyone was back to celebrating the local Five & Dime favorite. Aside from eating the tasty, gooey concoction, one of the best things about this moveable Frito feast is watching other people try and eat it.

58 E San Francisco St., 992-1800

Both of El Parasol's Santa Fe locations serve up a hefty Frito pie with lots of beefy, whole bean chili. While it's hard to say just what makes one Frito pie better than another, in this case it's got to be El Parasol's spectacular red chile.

1833 Cerrillos Road, 995-8015 298 Dinosaur Trail, 995-8226

What doesn't Plaza Cafe Southside offer? Their something-for-everyone approach extends to the Frito pie, which can be ordered full-on carnivore style with your choice of steak, beef or chicken or—gasp!—vegetarian with calabacitas and beans or Impossible meat. The vegetarians thank you!