One of my first New Mexican loves
First visit: June 14, 2008
Eighth visit: October 1, 2015
I first came across El Patio when I arrived in town from the East Coast and was staying temporarily in a villa on Sigma Chi bordering the north side of the UNM campus. While exploring the beautiful campus, I found Central (and Frontier, naturally) and a few steps south of Central brought El Patio into view. Lovely and welcoming, I of course sat down on the patio and dived into a most amazing cuisine, the likes of which I had never encountered before. I got hooked, and still am. I became a confirmed chilehead.
Blue corn enchiladas with fried egg on top. Amazing. Carne Adovada Stuffed Sopaipillas. Chiles Rellenos. Green Chile Stew. Green Chile. Red Chile. Christmas. And the list goes on. I found that I could talk with patrons sitting at the tables around me, and they were happy to bring me up to speed on the cuisine of The Land of Enchantment. I loved the food. I loved the people.
This is the first dish I ad at El Patio. If you haven’t been here yet, it should be your first dish, too.
Light egg batter fried to a slight crisp, these are delicious. The chiles are hot but not incendiary, and the lovely green taste shines through. I had them Christmas, but I recommend you get them smothered in Red, which is among the tastiest Red in town. The beans are exemplary.
Combo Plate #1
On our last visit, the Dazzling Deanell couldn’t’ make up her mind, so she settled for the Combo Plate. Chile Relleno, Cheese Enchilada, and a Chicken Taco graced the handsome plate. She declared the meal a huge successm and wanted to know when we could return. Soon, Deanell.
Al new Mexican meals should end with Sopaipillas, especially when they are as good as these. Large, round, puffy, and beautifully fried, the dough had a slight hint of sweetness. Ask your server to bring them piping hot after you have finished the entrées. .
These Sopas are among the very best I have had anywhere.
I knew then that moving here was not a mistake. I never want to return to the East Coast. Or anywhere else for that matter.
What others are saying
Gil Garduño—New Mexico’s Sesquipedalian Sybarite.
“El Patio is ensconced in a converted home just south of Central Avenue on Harvard Drive. A telltale sign you’ve made it to the popular restaurant on this relatively low traffic drive is the can’t miss Taos blue Mexican picket fence. Beyond the fence lies the patio (El Patio), essentially the entire front yard, which is shaded by tall trees, a welcome respite from the sun’s heating rays. El Patio’s patio also welcomes dogs.
“For the duration of its three decade plus, El Patio has been family owned and operated. Founding owners Dave Sandoval (a fellow Taoseño) and wife Gloria Sandoval remain involved, but much of the day-to-day operation has been transitioned over to their progeny, sons Thomas and Christopher who have made some changes, including the addition of a catering service and a sales operation which markets El Patio’s fabulous salsa and green chile. Both can be purchased in the restaurant and at several stores throughout the Duke City.”