One of my fellow Fellows at the O'Keeffe Research Center goes back east this weekend - and it didn't seem right to me that she should return without seeing the Santuario de Chimayo, and the high mountains at this end of the Sangre de Cristos. So off we went: Chimayo has turned, over the past ten years or so (apart from the Santuario itself) into a kind of religious pilgrimage themed site, with new little sanctuaries and altars popping up each time I go (a colleague explained this to me as local guilt money from drugs being turned into shrines and altars, which is interesting, if true). But the church itself is as peaceful and beautiful as ever, as is the High Road. I had some dim memory that there was a place where one could buy enchiladas etc in Trampas (the Rancho de Chimayo had a 45 minute wait, two tour buses and, in any case, the last time we went, the meal was decidedly indifferent - James Beard ethnic food award this year nothwithstanding).
So we texted a yet further colleague, who comes from Española, where she'd recommend there - and the answer was El Parasol. Terrific basic Northern New Mexico food! Who knew such excellence was to be found in Española!