So we arrived late in Santa Fe the first night of our stay in this great city. I had read the wonderful reviews for Taberna La Boca and had noted on their web site that they had a late Happy Hour from 10-11PM. We were tired from our flight and really ready for some wine and tapas, so we headed as quickly as we could to Taberna. It was still crowded as we approached the bar to order wine. The bartender barked loudly that he couldn’t possibly serve any wine or beer since they close the bar at 11PM. I looked at my watch and it was exactly 10:45PM. The bartender was obviously too lazy to give us our drinks and let us remain with the other customers, many of whom had still had full drinks on their tables. It was a Thursday evening, but really! One of the waiters seemed embarrassed and was very helpful in giving us the name of another place where they would still be serving. So we were determined not to return. However….
The next evening we drove out to the countryside in search of Harry’s Roadhouse, which to our huge surprise was closed when we got there. My fault: I hadn’t called ahead, but it was a Friday night and I had checked their website and there was no notice of being closed. But I digress. By the time we got back to the Plaza area and parked our car, there didn’t seem to be anything open, so I suggested we return to Taberna La Boca since I now knew how to find it in its somewhat odd location. Maybe the good food reviewed elsewhere would end up making us forget our previous evening’s experience. We arrived and asked to be seated inside, having noted many empty tables there. The hostess said that they were taken and we had to sit on the patio. As the evening progressed, most of those tables inside were never again occupied. I am supposing that the patio edict was solely for purposes of convenience of the servers and not for convenience of the customer.
We had a Mural reserve wine which was fine, and the pilsner draught was especially good. We then ordered Bocadillos, which turned out to be perhaps one small greasy semi-stale submarine roll cut in half. Inside was a whisper thin piece of Serrano ham, a wilted piece of arugula and olive oil. A total rip-off and a real disappointment. We then ordered the large portion of Pasta Vegetales with shrimp so we could share it. It was an adequate size, but the shrimp were overcooked and there was very little flavor to the pasta/vegetable mixture. Another disappointment. We did decide to have a Pot de Crème for dessert (mysteriously written as Pots de Crème on the menu – I wonder what happened in the translation). It was fine and we enjoyed it.
The place has a trendy hipster vibe and I suppose that is the draw for the crowd there, but I don’t really get it. I would not ever return, due to the service mentality, the quality of cuisine and the fine dining prices which are exorbitant for the much less than fine dining experience there.
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