Santa Fe >El Farol Restaurant & Cantina
My favorite. I never miss an opportunity to go to El Farol while in Santa Fe. The simple, beautiful experience of sitting on their porch in a summer afternoon and dining al fresco while enjoying a nice glass of wine and the best gazpacho I have ever had is one of my favorite experiences in life. I've never eaten indoors there or come in the evening, but I can tell you that they do an excellent job of combining Spanish tapas favorites with New Mexican dishes with a decidedly European vibe. The only drawbacks are the service, which can be pretty lax and the popularity of the place with motorcyclists. The rude riders who park outside and then gun their extra-loud motors while people are trying to relax and eat only a few feet away on the patio just shouldn't be allowed. I don't understand why Canyon Road would even permit motorcyclists because it really destroys the peace and calm of this otherwise beautiful area of Santa Fe.
El Farol made me cry. I gave many chances cuz I luv the location,atmosphere,& tapas.But I'll NEVER go back.Once,my hubby & I went on an early Tues.evening & the OWNER was rude cuz we didn't make reservations.We didn'tknow!But we let it go.Another time we went & there was a cover for a band.We couldn't pay.As we were leaving,a DOORMAN started yelling! we went for our friend's bday once & we had awful service.Our server would forget about us,walk past us a jillion times, was very curt,etc.So we didnt go back for another 2 yrs but we decided to check it out for lunch.We were seated in plain view of the server station leading to the patio.There was 1 young lady working with a few males.I watched this girl & all these guys displaying a gross amt of PDA.Butt grabbing & slapping, massages, guys coming up from behind & groping,giggling. I couldn't believe it! I'm sayin 1 female among 5 or 6 male coworkers.It was unappetizing & I was mad to pay $50 for lunch to have to see all of that throughout my meal.Then the CD player was skipping & it took someone 3 or 4 min.to stop it.Maybe cuz a bartender was busy messin with this girl, who knows!So we didnt go back for another yr & a half then we decided to give dinner another shot.The prices had been removed from the tapas menu, which I thought was weird.That aside,it took my server 30 min.to get a glass of wine.When we got our meal, we were informed there was NO BREAD! At a tapas restaurant! Unacceptable! Then we realized our food was STONE COLD.We took a couple bites& couldn't eat anymore.Cold fried polenta,fried avocado,pork,shrimp=gross.Then it took our server 15 min.to check in.We told her it was cold & she comped the meal,which was nice,but i couldn't believe probably $50 worth of food was comped( i dunno how much it cost, since the prices weren't listed)& a manager didn't come over & ask what was wrong! I cried a little out of frustration.By the time we got out of there,it was too late to go anywhere else nice.So we went & had a burger at a bar.
Fun Evening. We went on a Friday night, when they had a blues band. There was a $7 cover charge. It was very crowded and had a very small dance floor. The music was great and the peoople were very nice, both locals and tourists,of all ages. (We had planned to eat dinner here, but hadn't made reservations and couldn't get in. So, we went back after dinner.) It was fun. I can't rate the food, since we didn't eat here.
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