The Foodgeek (July 2008)
"I was there last night...taping an episode of my third food segment for Arlington County TV (AVN). Kip (the owner) is great, and his food is authentic New Mexican, and wonderful.
The special of garlic and spinach quesedilla was tasty (with fresh tender spinach and fresh garlic), and I also had a chicken enchillada which I smothered with red and green sauces (AKA Chrustmas). The black bean soup was good as well.
The station's Intern raved about the nachos.
I've been there several times, and have enjoyed the huevos racheros for breakfast."
See the Segment on YouTube
Pepper Magazine (May/June 1994)
"You wouldn't expect to find a place like the
Santa Fe Café in downtown Rosslyn, Virginia, the business
district of Arlington. . . An unpretentious and humble restaurateur
named Kip Laramie - a man with an obscene fondness for spicy, Southwestern
style cuisine who learned his culinary skills from an old line cook
at the White House - successfully established an equally as unpretentious
and humble little Southwestern-style café. It's a chile oasis
situated below sidewalk level between high-rises offices of bristling
steel and glass."
Magazine (October 1994)
" Best of Arlington"
This modest Rosslyn café does a good job
of recreating the simplicity of style and purity that characterizes
New Mexico-style cooking. Meals start with a basket of tortilla
chips, including blue-corn chips, served with a salsa that tastes
of good ground chile, not tomato sauce.
The best dishes here are found not on the regular
menu, but on the daily list of specials. Posole, often a special
at lunchtime, is a basic "hog and hominy" dish, a stew
of pork, green chile and hominy, mildly hot and richly satisfying.
Dinner specials range from the traditional to the unusual. The pork
adovado filling for burritos is particularly good. The pork, simmered
with red Chimayo chile, is full of flavor. Oysters are rolled in
blue-corn meal, fried crisp, and served with a fresh tomato salsa.
Grilled chicken breast is served atop a tasty wild rice-and-buckwheat
pancake and topped with a sauce made from Chimayo chile and oranges.
The margaritas, made from freshly squeezed limes,
are tart and delicious.
Washington Post (February 1990)
In addition to the reasonable prices, first-time
restaurateur Kipling Laramie has brightened the plain rectangular
dining room with the colors and symbols of the Southwest, such as
turquoise paint beneat the chair rail, a grouping of cactuses against
rough stucco walls, and a bunch of dried ancho chiles. Indeed, his
presence is palpable as he greets guests with gusto and is quick
to answer questions about ingredients by trotting out samples from
the kitchen. . .
The food is fun and pleasing too, particularly the
specials. They reach beyond the familiar enchilada, taco and burrito
combinations to include other dishes that focus on the unique flavors
and ingredients of New Mexico. . .
Santa Fe Café is as sprightly and well intentioned
as its enthusiastic owner, and for the most part, good intentions
here translate into good eats.
New Mexico Resources (Fall/Winter 1996)
(New Mexico State University)
" New Mexico's Cookin'"
In Arlington (Va.), Washingtonians hankering for
chile can get a fix at Kip laramie's Santa Fe Café - a family-oriented
neighborhood spot that seats 100.
"'I'm cautious about saying it's authentic,
because I know northern New Mexican food is different from southern
New Mexican, and it's very regionalized," Laramie says.
Although he says he serves 'more generic' New Mexican,
Laramie seems to have the ingredients right. He uses Hatch chile,
chorizon, pinon nuts, and refried and black beans. He's also known
to top a layered enchilada with a fried egg.
New Mexico plays prominently in Laramie's menu.
His biggest combination plate is called the "Truth or Consequences,"
which includes chile relleno, a large chicken burrito, beef enchiladas,
rice and refried beans, as well as tostada chips with chile con
queso and guacamole. All for just $10.95.
The draw to his restaurant, Laramie thinks, is simply
that people like spicy food.
He says the trend began in the 1970s with a clamor
for Szechuan and Hunan cuisine. That was followed by national cravings
for hot Thai food. Next, American regional cuisines like Louisiana's
Cajun and Creole foods became popular, followed by Mexican.
"Now, we're adding New Mexican to the list,"
Once people are exposed to the fiery fare, they
get hooked, Laramie says. And he knows what he's talking about.
"Green chile and pork stew used to be a special,"
he says. "Now, if I don't offer it all the time, I get abuse
from customers. They call me up to make sure I'm serving it."