SANTA FE, N.M. — My epicurean comrade and consultant The Good Doctor suggested I join him for lunch the other day at Dr. Field Goods, and a word to even a fool can be sufficient. I’d heard from an experienced waiter that the restaurant and bar with the quirky name, what my old man would call a “tavern,” had the “best burger in town.”
TGD had mentioned something about “edgy” and, indeed, walking in this day, the effect was one of interrupting a party. Big L-shaped bar, open wood-fired oven blazing, some tables inside and out, a couple of high-top counters along one wall. What is this LOUD electro, quasi hip-hop with Hawaiian-like guitar background music? “Atmosphere,” answers the tightly black-clad, tastefully tatted, nose-pierced waitress.
And while most restaurants have atmosphere, Dr. Field Goods has attitude. A mix of biker chic and truck stop gourmet, lots of beers, stouts, ales, etc., three TVs on – NFL draft, MLB Network and a Cooking Network – and meat. Meat with attitude.
Local owner chef Josh Gerwin is all about fresh, local, farm-to-table “New Mexico fusion meets the rest of the world” comfort food. (All of the bread is made in the super butcher shop/bakery a few doors down from the restaurant and there isn’t a microwave or can opener on the premises.)
What with the build-up, I had to go for a burger, but first a cup of Green Chile Stew ($9/bowl; $6/cup), classic New Mexican style with big chunks of pork and firm potatoes, good and hot green chile (and a few reds thrown in for good measure), a bit of garlic and cumin (maybe), topped with sharp cheddar cheese, served with a flour tortilla. Do not order a cup. Order a bowl. Order two. We have had green chile stew from San Luis, Colorado, to Las Cruces, New Mexico, and, simply put, Dr. FG’s is as good if not better than anything we’ve ever had. (And with a pint, divine.)
The Good Doctor concurred with our assessment of the stew and recommended the Southern Braised Pork Chop special ($24) with green chile-cheddar croquette and collard greens, but we hesitated. A superb and very healthy-looking Garden Salad ($8) of seasonal greens and vegetables tossed in sherry vinaigrette and topped with a sliced Hangar Steak (add $8) was delivered nearby and attracted attention. But we stuck with the original plan and ordered The Skinny Burger ($14), three 2 oz. house-ground New Mexico beef patties stacked in a fluffy bun, American cheese, fresh tomatoes, shaved red onion, served with “field good” potatoes. The operative word that I missed in the order was “stacked” and, expecting a trio of mini-burgers, I was a bit surprised at the rather imposing pyramid of burgerettes. If meat and potatoes is what you are after, you have found your spot.
Also formidable is the dessert menu, but we opted for a beverage instead. We watched as a couple of nice, older ladies pulled up in a Prius, stepped into the establishment, looked stunned and staggered back out. Dr. Field Goods, like hip-hop, is not for everyone and will never be an acquired taste. You either dig it or you don’t.
We dig it. A lot.
Afterwards, The Good Doctor picked up four flank steaks, never frozen, at the butcher shop/bakery; he reported later they were superb.