After another session transporting our things to the new house, my bf and I decided to skip Leederville, and head to Subiaco for dinner instead. We wandered around for a while, but since we had driven past Santa Fe, one mention of Mexican food and he was sold.
It was a rainy sunday night, and it was about 7pm so it wasnt busy at all, but we were seated no worries and had some water bought out. The menu looked good, we were having trouble deciding, should I get the pork chimichanga? Or the paella? And for entree? Chicken wings, chilli poppers, albondegas?? I had trouble deciding because it all looked really good.
We decided upon the chorizo espanola, cooked in ranchero sauce and wine, with olives and potatoes, served on a sizzling skillet with tortillas for entree. This came out fairly quickly, sizzling as promised! It looked good, but a big portion size for an entree... We soon found out that we really needed something like sour cream or guacamole to tone this down. It wasnt overly hot but way overspiced, the sauce was overreduced and its flavour was far too concentrated and rich. It was a really heavy entree, too salty and too much. We drank an entire bottle of water while eating it. We asked for another bottle of water but didnt get one...
For mains I decided on the New Mexico Paella, which had chicken, snapper, squid, prawns and chorizo cooked with arborio rice, a medley of vegetables and their special Santa Fe spice mix, with crispy tortillas. Bf ordered the Santa Fe Famous pork ribs, slow roasted until tender, basted with either homemade chipotle bbq sauce, or sticky bourbon glaze, served with your choice of fries, garlic mash or corn on the cob. He went for the bbq sauce and chips.
Our meals came out, again, fairly quickly, and the serving sizes were generous. Unfortunately it just meant more of the paella. It wasnt nice. The fish served on top tasted like it had been cooked on the same grill as everything else, and didnt really taste much like fish anymore. The chicken was quite dry, but I ate that anyway. The prawns were somehow the nicest part of the meal I think, I thought they'd get lost in the, again, overspiced and rich flavours in the paella but they managed it. Maybe I liked them because they muted the flavour of the rice... The Santa Fe spice mix was too much. It overpowered everything, and made all the elements of the dish just taste like a spoonful of spice mix. The crispy tortillas were a nice textural change to the stodgy rice, however they tasted a little like old oil, which wasn't pleasant. I didnt eat that much of it, I left about half of it.
The ribs were quite a big serve as well, lotsa ribs, lotsa chips, about 3 lettuce leaves. The ribs weren't cooked in a sauce, it was poured over it at the end instead. They had obviously been slow cooked for a really long time, the meat literally just fell off the bones. Knife and fork not necessary at all! They definately needed to be cleaned up better though, it seemed like scrappy butchering - there was still alot of slippery slidey bits that just peeled off the underside of the ribs, as well as bloodlines and things like that... as tasty as they were, for the price you pay, you expect them to be finished better than that.
The service was fine all night, though one of the waitresses interrupted conversation about what to order, to ask if we were ready to order, which I found strange. We asked for more water but didnt get it. I also thought the fact that they only served cleanskins and that they were $7 a glass? The decor was pretty standard for a mexican place, nothing to report there, however I felt the tables were a bit squished in.
I wonder how often people come to Santa Fe when they DONT have all the specials and happy hours? The bill came to almost $80, which I thought was overpriced for what we got. I probably wouldnt be back, if I want mexican food, Ill head to Zapatas!