Victorian Charm in Charming Old Las Vegas, NM
First visit: August 26, 2010
What a find! We were directed here by our good friends and next door Corrales neighbors, both natives of Mora, who really know this part of the state.
The historic Plaza Hotel sits at the southwest corner of the historic Plaza in the old part of historic Las Vegas, New Mexico. The real Las Vegas. The hotel, est. 1882, sits on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a stunner. We planned a day trip to Las Vegas to visit the annual art fair held on the park-like grounds of the Carnegie Library, one of two such libraries still standing. The fair was fun, but the real hit of the day was the brunch at the Landmark in the Plaza.
Over the years, The Landmark Grill has managed to skirt the here-today-gone-tomorrow fate of many eateries by being, simply but defiantly, the place where all of Las Vegas loves to eat. A favorite of locals and travelers alike, the Landmark Grill welcomes patrons to breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year. Bright, hospitable and staffed with a friendly team and welcoming atmosphere, our formal dining room is a reminder of Victorian origins, light and bright with high ceilings and windows that overlook the Las Vegas Plaza. Their food is definitely 21st Century Americana with a New Mexican flare, offering a wide range of familiar selections plus daily lunch specials and weekly dinner specials. Sunday brunch is accompanied by live acoustic guitar music. The setting and staff may be formal, but they welcome all patrons, from the more formal to those in comfortable summer travel wear.
For our Sunday brunch, we walked in the front door of the historic Plaza Hotel and were greeted with the sweet sounds of a harpist playing lots of songs whose words I know, such as “Beautiful Dreamer” and many other old standards. I resisted the urge to burst into song. On entering the beautiful high-ceilinged dining room, we were instantly transported backward in time to another century where time moves more slowly. I felt right at home in my Stetson and Paul Bonds. We sat in the back corner of the room (shown in one of the photos accompanying this review) where we could survey all. Handsome families with polished children behaving themselves on the pressed-wood-back chairs. Sweet.
Jane had the Blue Corn Enchiladas (flat this time, not rolled) with cheese, and declared that she has had none better. The texture and taste were so superior that she wondered aloud why we would want to go anyplace else in NM for this dish. The cheese was correctly gloppy, and both the Green and the Red were close to being perfect, just a tad shy of those at Mary & Tito’s. The tortillas held their form, and did not turn into mush (mushy tortillas suck).
I had a traditional brunch offering of Eggs Benedict. This is not Hollandaise-out-of-a-can EB, but the real stuff with proper tartness and mouth feel. Accompanied by some of the the best, crispiest, and tastiest papas to be found in NM, this was a delightful dish. Dump some of the Hollandaise on the papas for a special treat.
Great brunch. Beautiful venue. We’re surely going back.
Save time to drive around the old part of town. There are hundreds of historic Victorian structures — dwellings, businesses, and more.