The green chile pork stew cap­tured our hearts and brought friends back for more. Served with three cheese que­sadilla wedges, at $6.95 for a large bowl it has got to be one of the best buys in town.

Pasatiempo - - AMUSE-BOUCHE -

Lo­cated between Su­san’s Fine Wine and Spir­its and Tiny’s in the shop­ping plaza at the in­ter­sec­tion of St. Fran­cis Drive and Cer­ril­los Road, The De­tour Kitchen is hard to see and hard to reach. But the new­est project of Santa Fe restau­ra­teur Ziggy Rzig, who for­merly op­er­ated Omira and an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket at the same lo­ca­tion, is worth the search.

The menu, which fea­tures the same op­tions at the same prices at both lunch and din­ner, is di­vided between House Spe­cial­ties and Lo­cal Fa­vorites, with soups, sal­ads, tacos, bur­ri­tos, burg­ers, dips and other starters filling in the gaps.

The gua­camole is clearly made from scratch. On one visit, large nuggets of av­o­cado gave the creamy dip some wel­come tex­ture; a top­ping of diced toma­toes, onion, and pep­pers added crunch and spice. A few days later, an equally fresh and chunky bowl of guac looked en­tirely dif­fer­ent: Blended with a small amount of chopped onion and a few bits of tomato, the added color and bright herbal fla­vor came from minced epa­zote and cilantro.

The cala­mari starter was browner and crisper than ex­pected, but the au­di­ble crunch, from panko rather than fine bread­crumbs or a rice flour bat­ter, was ad­dic­tive. Our first serv­ing fea­tured larger than usual pieces of per­fectly cooked ten­ta­cles, rings, and body tubes; our sec­ond or­der was equally ten­der and crunchy, although the pieces were smaller and the bowl in­cluded a few rounds of bat­tered and fried green chile.

The trio of slid­ers (ground beef, lamb, and egg­with plant) was well cooked and well pre­sented, a gen­er­ous side of crispy, salty, hand-cut fries. The smoky wedges of egg­plant stacked with a slab of grilled zuc­chini and a strip of sweet, roasted red pep­per was the most in­ter­est­ing of the group — and one of sev­eral avail­able veg­e­tar­ian op­tions on the meat-for­ward menu.

On one oc­ca­sion, the stew was gar­nished with a large hand­ful of friz­zled sweet pota­toes that added a pop of color and crunch to the dish. An­other time the bowl was topped only with a light sprin­kle of cheese. Like the gua­camole, both ver­sions were de­li­cious — but the vari­a­tions in pre­sen­ta­tion made me think that din­ing at The De­tour Kitchen was a bit like open­ing For­rest Gump’s box of choco­lates: You just never knew what you were go­ing to get.

That kind of free­hand in­ter­pre­ta­tion may have been a large part of the prob­lem with the least suc­cess­ful dishes we tried. The charred sir­loin, de­scribed on the ta­ble­side menu as “sous vide pre­pared and fin­ished on the grill to achieve your ideal tem­per­a­ture” showed no sign of time spent in the hot water bath that can ten­der­ize tough cuts of meat and de­liver an ex­act amount of done­ness. The large, flat, thin piece of meat, cov­ered in an un­ad­ver­tised thick gravy, was not medium-rare, as re­quested,

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