SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Baking Company has re-opened in the old Santa Fe Baking spot and neighbors, including me, are rejoicing. Taken over by a consortium of employees after the prior eatery’s unceremonious closing more than a year ago, it has been nicely renovated. The menu is much the same as before, too: smaller (in our recollection), but still full of favorites.
We went for breakfast in the ambiguous hour between 10 and 11 in the morning and discovered much the same crowd of computer-focused regulars, with a few people who, like us, were there to socialize sans electronics. Service was still order-at-the-counter, but we were pleased to see the bakery case stuffed with delectables also made in house, with unlimited and very good coffee from nearby big thermos holders.
I was hungry and ordered the burrito grande ($10.95). Grande it was: stuffed with diced potatoes and scrambled eggs, laced with smoky bacon and smothered with red chile (always my preference). It was perfect and way to much for me to eat at a sitting. The accompanying black beans were savory, and the chile was spicy-hot and flavorful, but not too much for my elderly palate.
My guest chose the carne adovada plate (also $10.95). After a nibble of the fall-apart-tender pork simmered in red chile, I knew she had made the better choice. I love carne adovada and make it at home in the winter months. I can report that the Baking Company’s version was classic and excellent. The New Baking Company serves it with two eggs – cooked perfectly – atop and a side tortilla.
My guest asked for green chile on the eggs, an odd choice in my book because what is carne adovada if not a celebration of red? But it did give me a chance to sample the green, in a filched spoonful. I found it also nicely flavored and a little hotter than the red.
Beans and potatoes rounded out her plate. I wished also that she had opted for pinto beans rather than black (on some dishes, the New Baking Company offers a choice). She didn’t, alas, but if the black beans were anything to go by, they would have been a cut above ordinary.
The New Baking Company’s lunch menu includes the predictable varieties of sandwiches, plus a lot of burger variations, served with soup, salad or fries, as you wish. Main-dish salads are on the menu, too, including some garnished with salmon, chicken or steak. If I go back, I’ll try of one of these.
We liked the refurbishing the New Baking Company’s new owners have done. It remains an understated, no-nonsense place, but it’s now cleaner and nicer, with good art (in rotation, from local galleries) on the walls and spare furnishings. It was pleasantly uncrowded in the mid-morning, although we’d bet (and hope) it is mobbed, as it formerly was, in main mealtime hours.