Have been skiing at Taos for over 30 years. Have had dinner here half a dozen times over the last 4-5 years. The food and dining room service were always worth 4 or 5 stars. The last time I ate there will be the "last" both figuratively and literally however. During our dinner there was a "guest" at the bar (immediately adjacent to the dining area). He was exceptionally loud and quite irritating. When I asked our server if they could do anything about him, their response was basically "That's not part of my job description." So I asked to speak to the manager - who didn't come to me, I had to go to them. The manager basically told me that the noisy lout was "a regular" and that there wasn't anything he could do about it. So I guess, I'll just take my business over to the Blake, or the St Bernard, where the food is also quite good and the atmosphere more suitable for an enjoyable meal. Heck, for that matter, I'll even take Tim's Stray Dog over the Blonde Bear. At least I expect that place to be boisterous and I know that I'll get a great cheeseburger.
Great food, good selection of drinks. The duck wings are excellent. Very tasty and good crispy breading. The onion rings are dusted with chili powder and are flavourful. Pasta del giorno (pasta of the day) is usually a good, and relatively inexpensive, choice. My favourite is the duck breast which has a good chewy texture and lots of flavor.
Great dining experience. Popped in the storefront of cafe naranja, expecting a quaint coffee shop. Was led back to the dining room (which I believe is mostly used for The Blonde Bear dinner guests) and was pleasantly surprised. Menu covered all of the classic breakfast staples with a few New Mexican twists: Breakfast sandwiches, bfast burritos, granola, huevos rancheros, green chili biscuits & gravy, eggs & meat, etc. The croissant sandwich was good sized, and croissant tasted freshly made. The green chili biscuits and gravy lived up to their expectations and more. Cheddar biscuits were light and fluffy, while the gravy was thick and layered with green chili. Had a good enough kick to wake you up in the morning, but not send you home right away 😉. We got to taste the red chili, and that one is slightly more debilitating (according to my husband - I stayed clear). Service was fast and friendly.
The restaurant staff was great and the breakfast was good and inexpensive. The bar service was one of the worst I've ever experienced. Rayshaun the bartender the night we were here was extremely rude and disrespectful. He blatantly ignored us standing at the bar waiting for service while making eye contact several times. He waved me off multiple times while continuing to take other orders and serve the "regulars". Eventually I had to interrupt him to ask for a beer at which time he asked the waitress to serve me. I'm sure all the regulars here who knew him on a first name basis love the guy. But from a visitor's perspective, he could not have been more rude.
Dinners here (and breakfasts at Cafe Naranja) are a significant step up from usual ski fare— in the same league as the St. Bernard, IMHO.