O N C E U P O N A T I M E - on the corner of Don Gaspar & Water Streets, just down from the Santa Fe Plaza - there wasn't a CAFE PASQUAL'S. I know. I know. Hard to believe that this icon of gastronomy and delight is a mere 35-years old. But according to Katharine Kagel, the dynamic owner/chef of this legendary eatery, there was life on this corner before Pasqual's opened in March 1979.
Way back in 1923, says Kagel, there was a Buick dealership where the cafe kitchen is now and the dining room was a Texaco gas station. From 1923-1935 the LIBERTY CAFE flourished. Next came the K.C. WAFFLE HOUSE. Then in 1954 the MAYFLOWER CAFE held sway over this burgeoning corner until 1971 (the owners now own Tomasitas on Guadalupe). Next? The GOLDEN TEMPLE OF CONSCIOUS COOKERY. When it closed in 1978, POGOS SANDWICH SHOP moved in.
A year later, on the advice of Theo Raven, the remarkable creater/owner of DOODLET,S for 55-years, Kagel approached the owner of 121 Don Gaspar. A year later, CAFE PASQUAL'S opened its doors to raves and the line out the door during breakfast and lunch (they ONLY take reservations for dinner), attests to the restaurants' and Kagel's wizardry in the kitchen.
The Menu embraces many cultures and cuisines in addition to old and new New Mexican favorites. There are Thai, Italian and African dishes, the latter inspired by a recent trip Kagel took to South Africa. And all the ingredients are carefully sourced, seasonal, fresh and organic, including the wines.
"We make our guests world bigger by bringing global food to Santa Fe and into our kitchen, explains Kagel, whose background was in Chinese catering.
BLT with turkey bacon anyone? And the Kale salad is amazing. But if you'd prefer to drink your kale, the Hippie Dippie Green Drink below - is a healthy and delicious way to begin your day, says Kagel.
And yes, I ate this generous slice of Orange Chiffon Layered Cake with Orange Curd and Raspberries.
And now, we're going to visit
C A F E P A S Q U A L 'S G A L L E R Y
Perhaps one of Santa Fe's BEST KEPT SECRETS. The gallery is next door to the Cafe - on Water St. Follow the yellow bricks and take the elevator to the second floor, and your there. I discovered this charming, colorful space - filled with international and local art - a few years back. It's the perfect destination after your CAFE PASQUAL'S repast.
Collograph by KATHARINE KAGEL - yes, she's an artist as well.
Pasqual's Gallery is also the exclusive representative for the work of Yolanda Rawlings, Lorenzo Mendez and the grandfather of mica work - Felipe Ortega, who has brought back this ancient method from near extinction, single handedly restoring Jicarilla Apache style/pueblo mica
Leovigildo Martinez from Oaxaca did the murals in the restaurant in addition to the menu cover, and his lithography, ceramics, sculpture, oils, and watercolors are in the gallery. Pasqual's is the exclusive representative of his work in the U.S.
BOOKS & GOODIES - PERFECT TO FIT IN A SUITCASE
EASTER? LOVE IT!
C A F E P A S Q U A L ' S
121 Don Gaspar @ Water Street
RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER ONLY
C A F E P A S Q U A L ' S G A L L E R Y
103 E. Water Street 2nd Floor
Hours: Every day 10 - 5pm
Tell them CHASING sent you!