Res­tau­rant Re­view Dr. Field Goods Butcher Shop & Bak­ery

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS - Molly Boyle

If you’re any­where in Santa Fe and crav­ing a real-deal deli sand­wich, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any finer than these, each one served on house-baked bread and ar­riv­ing along­side a sub­lime set of ex­pertly sea­soned hand-cut fries.

“The first part of my rit­ual is easy; it’s what our par­ents told us a long time ago, the please and thank you rule. I say thank you — very qui­etly, un­der my breath re­ally — to the moun­tain I’m on and to the animal.” This hunter’s rite, re­counted by writer Rick Bass to

Field & Stream, seems to echo the mind­ful­ness of in­creas­ingly con­sci­en­tious car­ni­vores. For many of us in this age of health con­scious­ness and cor­po­rate food em­pires, if we con­sume an­i­mals at all, we seek lo­cal, sus­tain­able meat like the kind our agrar­ian an­ces­tors raised — grass-fed beef or pas­ture-raised goats that have been whole-animal butchered, us­ing as much of the car­cass as pos­si­ble. This care­ful treat­ment of live­stock, be­fore and af­ter death, speaks to an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the animal’s life and sac­ri­fice. But it can be hard to find a meat re­tailer that hon­ors these ideals.

En­ter Dr. Field Goods Butcher Shop & Bak­ery, an aus­pi­cious op­er­a­tion that opened last spring a few doors down from its moth­er­ship, Dr. Field Goods Kitchen. The kitchen has es­tab­lished it­self as a ca­sual, in­ven­tive foodie-meets-met­al­head haven com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing lo­cal farm­ers and pro­duc­ers, and the retail ven­ture aims to do the same in an open-shop set­ting where butcher Gabe Archuleta breaks down and pro­cesses of­fer­ings from nearby, fill­ing a case five days a week with ev­ery­thing from bone-in pork chops and porter­houses to sausages and bone broth. A short menu of sand­wiches is avail­able Tues­day through Saturday be­tween 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., so you can stop by to pick up a loaf of po­tato bread and some lin­guiça for sup­per and then sit at the small bar — which fea­tures a view of the whole shop — and have a sand­wich and maybe one of the six ro­tat­ing beers on tap.

If you’re any­where in Santa Fe and crav­ing a re­aldeal deli sand­wich, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any finer than these, each one served on house-baked bread and ar­riv­ing along­side a sub­lime set of ex­pertly sea­soned hand-cut fries. Each or­der also comes with a cookie — in our case, a gooey, sat­is­fy­ing choco­lat­e­choco­late chip one. The guy serv­ing you might have a bit of an edge, and you might find your­self bop­ping along to the blare of Du­ran Du­ran’s “Hun­gry Like the Wolf” while you eat. But this could be the best sand­wich sit­u­a­tion you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced in quite a while.

There’s the Pas­trami Reuben: lay­ers of im­pos­si­bly smoky house-cured ruby-red pep­per-crusted pas­trami on chewy seeded rye toast, along with a Thou­sand Is­land-ketchup sauce, nutty Muen­ster cheese, and bright sauer­kraut. It went nicely with a La Cum­bre El­e­vated IPA, the beer’s piney notes round­ing out the salt of the sand­wich and fries. The Bodega, which we rechris­tened the Tony So­prano, fea­tures ham, mor­tadella, pep­per­oni, pro­volone, shred­ded let­tuce, tomato, pick­led onion, and mayo on a crusty house French roll. The fla­vor combo — spicy, briny, sweet, and crunchy — reminds me more of New York City and its sur­round­ings than any­thing else around these parts.

An 8-ounce grass-fed burger, served with ched­dar, pick­led onion, and greens on a house kaiser roll, proved ad­dic­tively juicy and fla­vor­ful, a nat­u­ral part­ner for those ex­cel­lent fries. The Philadel­phia Collins (shaved rib-eye, pro­volone, mush­rooms, and grilled onion on a house roll) might ben­e­fit from the bite of a few pick­les or some Di­jon, but the rib­eye and the mush­rooms are still a rich, com­pelling com­bi­na­tion. The Braun­schweiger sand­wich com­bines the shop’s liv­er­wurst, dark-brown whole-grain stout mus­tard, and pick­les, usu­ally on slices of rye — though ours came on white bread, which must have meant they were out of the rye but for­got to tell us. The white bread made for a less bold fla­vor ex­pe­ri­ence, but the sand­wich was still fairly for­mi­da­ble, with pli­ant, pi­quant liver slices giv­ing way to strong mus­tard and snappy pick­les.

I do, how­ever, wish for greater trans­parency from the butcher counter. They ought to pro­vide con­sumers — who are, af­ter all, pay­ing top dol­lar for meat that comes from mind­ful pro­duc­ers — with more spe­cific in­for­ma­tion about where these an­i­mals are raised. When I in­quired about the prove­nance of the rib-eye I took home for din­ner, the first em­ployee seemed clueless; af­ter con­sult­ing “Chef,” he said the cow def­i­nitely came from Los Lu­nas, though he couldn’t tell me any more than that be­cause of “dis­trib­u­tor con­fu­sion” and vary­ing beef pur­vey­ors. On an­other visit, I was more heart­ened to learn that my an­cho-herb sausage came from a farm in north Pe­cos — the same place that reg­u­larly pro­vides the shop with around three whole pigs a week. I’d be hap­pier still if I could walk into the shop and see the ori­gin of each cut plainly posted on plac­ards be­hind the meat — or, bar­ring that, if the wait staff could kindly, re­li­ably, and knowl­edge­ably an­swer such ques­tions.

The bot­tom line? Any butcher shop that also sells beef tal­low can­dles — prov­ing their com­mit­ment to us­ing all animal parts in in­ven­tive ways — is one I’d like to sup­port. Ramp up the trans­parency, keep mak­ing those in­sanely good sand­wiches, and I’m yours for­ever, Dr. Field Goods Butcher Shop & Bak­ery.

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