Boasting one of the most extensive menus of home-style diner cuisine in Santa Fe, the Plaza Café Southside offers hungry people great food, inventive and satisfying margaritas and cocktails, and dessert concoctions that make you forget to care about calories. Carrying on the world-famous tradition started by the Razatos family in 1947 Santa Fe, owner Leonardo Razatos has brought many of the familiar dishes from his family’s original restaurant, Plaza Restaurant on the Santa Fe Plaza downtown and has added many more tempting items to the menu. It’s a charming establishment with a ’50s-era diner-like ambience. Plaza Café Southside is an anchor among the restaurants and cafés congregating around the Regal Stadium 14 theater at 3466 Zafarano Drive in the San Isidro Plaza.
The menu runs a wide gamut, including everything from pancakes and egg dishes — breakfast is served all day and night — to sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, burgers (including a house-made quinoa version), melts, the newsworthy Frito pie, salads, steak, chicken, and fish. You can order a margarita, a martini, wine or beer, horchata, prickly pear lemonade, espresso, a root-beer float, a vanilla malt, or a red-velvet-cake shake.
In support of the farm-to-table program, Plaza Café Southside doesn’t take a lot of shortcuts - they use local grass-fed antibiotic-free beef and cage-free eggs. All of their pastries, desserts, and breads are house-made daily. Hash browns aren’t pulled from a bag of frozen, pre-shredded spuds. A house-made jalapeño malt vinegar is offered for dunking your super-crisp fried fish. Other highlights: Baja-style fish, flaky white cod breaded lightly and fried to perfection, topped with a creamy sauce, cabbage, tomato, pickled onion, avocado, and salsa or pico de gallo, and the ACE BLT (A stands for avocado, C for cheddar, E for fried egg, and you know the rest). Across the board, servings are generous, and many single orders could probably feed a family of four.
Now, about Plaza Café Southside desserts - It’s true that life is short, so, as they say, eat desert first! Think apple and spicy roasted green chile pie with a generous dose of cinnamon. Or, how about the weightiest cupcake you’ve ever held. They have many original recipes, including their variation of Tres Leches – a vanilla cake is sodden with not tres, but cuatro leches! Undeniably, It’s a decadent undertaking.
Plaza Café Southside is located opposite the Regal Cinemas in Santa Fe’s Southside and are open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays they add an extra hour to 10 p.m. Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 pm. The website is terrific viewing or check in with them by telephone at (505) 424-0755.