Just Say No to Level Two

18 Mar

Being as my phella is legitimately part Irish (and I’m so pale I can often pass for it, too) we went with a green theme for the day in honor of ol’ Patrick.

We went light for breakfast, as we were heading to Ten Thousand Waves for massages.

Let it be said that while I LOVE phood, there is nothing quite like baring it all in a communal bath to harken small pangs of indulgent eating regret.

Not to worry- I shirked it off quickly 🙂

As an official end to any sort of confidence that I had in the world of spicy phoods, I basically had my rear end handed to me at lunch.

As I settled myself into a booth of the Horseman’s Haven Cafe, I was already reveling in smug anticipation.  My phella assured me that their Level Two Smothered Green Chile Cheeseburger was spicier than anything I’d ever tried.  Yeah right, I thought.  I have habanero extract at home… and that stuff’s nuts.

I take immense pride in my ability to handle spice, and leading with my ego was certainly my phirst mistake.  My second mistake was not reading between the lines when we ordered the Level Two, and our waiter informed us that they were no longer allowed to serve it, as they’d been sued after its heat sent someone to the ER.  We navigated the red tape by getting our burger served at Level One with a side of Level 2 sauce.

Here is what arrived moments later:

I am ecstatic that I grubbed on the Level One for a phew bites before heading to the Level Two, because the phlavor was unbelievable.  Great amount of spice with an awesome buttery aspect to it.  We decided to phorgoe the phries that would normally come with the burger and ordered this side of Posole instead- which was wonderfully tasty.

So at this point, I’d made my effort to be polite and pace myself before getting to the real reason I was sitting in a gas station cafe decorated with odd family photos and such.  I took a piece of the hamburger bun and soaked it in the Level Two sauce.

Mistake number three was putting that demon sauce in my mouth.

Within moments, my stomach had seized up like a baseball, tears were streaming down my phace and every instinct was screaming to phind the nearest object with which I could kill myself and end the misery. The pheeling passed over the next phew hours but left me in a slightly drunken braindead state.  Upon reflection, I will mention, as somewhat of a disclaimer, that the phlavor of the Level Two was really not good- very bitter…  but the Level One was good enough that I would willingly give a gas station restaurant a try anytime.

Moral of the Horseman’s Haven story:  I am humbled, and also shamed, and I will never again let my ego do my eating.

We grabbed drinks and dinner at our phriend’s place, the Marble Brewery and Tap Room.  We tried quite a phew of their beers while soaking up the awesome setting.  The spot overlooks the main plaza in Santa Fe.  We were there at night and it was awesome, but I’d bet a daytime stop would be great, too!

We ordered their #3 Pizza which was comprised of chicken, pinenuts, cotija cheese and more of those damned green chiles.  Just kidding, all suicide inspiring green chile complaining aside, I am a definite phan…

The pizza was definitely enjoyable, but what was truly amazing was the blue cornmeal crust.  It had the perfect balance of sweet and savory and was thin but substantial with excellent texture.  We raved about it for the rest of the night.

We ended the evening in true St. Patrick’s Day style at a bar with some phriends.  I think that was an excellent plan, as I believe the drinks I consumed helped to ease me to sleep so I avoided nightmares of Level Two coming to get me… 🙂


One Response to “Just Say No to Level Two”


  1. Margarita Madness « phoodfotos - May 16, 2011

    […] Empanada appetizer pheatured tri tip and Hatch New Mexico chiles, and I quickly phorgot the painful lessons learned at Horseman’s Haven in Santa Fe in March and said yes to […]

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