Amuse-bouche

DR. FIELD GOODS KITCHEN

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Dr. Field Goods

Eat­ing can some­times be an en­durance ac­tiv­ity. There is a culi­nary school of thought that says more is more, spurred on by the Amer­i­can affin­ity for pork belly, aioli, crème fraîche, and the ubiq­ui­tous ex­tra cheese. This kind of eat­ing can be hard on a per­son, but if you’re in­clined to do it dur­ing com­fort-food sea­son, there’s no bet­ter place in town than Santa Fe sta­ple Dr. Field Goods Kitchen. Chef Josh Ger­win has a ded­i­ca­tion to fresh in­gre­di­ents, par­tic­u­larly meats, so ev­ery­thing on the menu is of the finest qual­ity — just keep in mind the restau­rant’s fla­vor pro­file, heavy on oil and cheese and salt, can be some­thing that even Guy Fieri might say is “a bit much.”

While Dr. Field Goods has al­ways been a good spot to sam­ple care­fully se­lected craft beers on tap, the restau­rant has some new ad­di­tions. Chris Mil­li­gan, for­merly award-win­ning bar man­ager at spe­cialty cock­tail haven Se­creto in the St. Fran­cis Ho­tel, has be­come the gen­eral man­ager of Field Goods, re­sult­ing in the ad­di­tion of craft shandies ( beer and wine cock­tails) to the menu. Most of the drinks are made, oddly, with sake — there’s the “Red Dawn” with amarena cher­ries, a “Sake Mo­jito” with lime juice and mint, and the “Sock It to Me” with spicy gin­ger. We tried the mo­jito, which was de­light­fully fresh but so heav­ily over­sweet­ened with turbinado su­gar syrup that it was nearly un­drink­able. It would prob­a­bly have been bet­ter with a frac­tion of the su­gar, and frankly a shandy made with sake may not need added su­gar at all. Field Goods also of­fers beer floats, in case you ever wanted to try some lo­cal La Lecheria ice cream in Left Hand Brew­ery’s Nitro Milk Stout or Best Damn’s al­co­holic root beer — dessert drinks for grown-up kids. They also have non-al­co­holic craft so­das, like gin­ger ale made with fresh gin­ger and lemon juice, but again, too heavy a hand was taken with the sim­ple syrup.

Dr. Field Goods is some­what fa­mous for the Skinny Burger, its high-end ap­prox­i­ma­tion of a McDon­ald’s Big Mac, featuring a vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal fla­vor pro­file with Amer­i­can cheese, Field Goods sauce (a dead ringer for Thou­sand Is­land dress­ing), and mul­ti­ple thin pat­ties made of, ob­vi­ously, higher-grade beef than the burger that in­spired it. The Skinny Burger is fan­tas­tic, with the tangy fla­vor pro­file sat­is­fy­ing in a way that feels like a guilty plea­sure, but with more or less farm-to-ta­ble qual­ity. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing oven-roasted Field Goods pota­toes, served in­stead of fries, are ad­dic­tive squares of starchy per­fec­tion. The kicked-up op­tions of the patatas bravas or kim­chi patatas bravas come slathered in chile aioli or miso-laced aioli and cheese. Un­less you have a high tol­er­ance for fat and salt, th­ese can be a bit puni­tive. Pro tip: Pair the burger with the gar­gan­tuan, heav­i­ly­crusted onion rings.

Some of the other sand­wiches are lighter on the piz­zazz than they used to be. The rib- eye hoagie, a steak sand­wich on a roll, came piled with fresh cu­cum­ber, yel­low pep­pers, and sliced fresh radishes, but the wasabi aioli was heavy while some­how lack­ing

in zing. The steak it­self was beau­ti­fully ten­der. (Dr. Field Goods Kitchen gets all its meat from the Dr. Field Goods butcher shop two doors down.) The New Mex­i­can, a pulled-pork sand­wich with green chile, cheese, and ap­ple ji­cama slaw, could have used a lot more chile. While per­fectly tex­tured, the fill­ing was dis­ap­point­ingly bland. The Cubano was not re­ally a Cubano, made with ex­cel­lent ham and pork but lack­ing the usual mus­tard and tangy pick­les, and it suf­fered from the strange ad­di­tion of lots of fresh herb leaves.

The green-chile stew is still ex­cel­lent, spicy and chunky with pork and pota­toes, topped with crum­bled cotija cheese (the menu says it comes with ched­dar, but it was cotija when we had it), and ac­com­pa­nied by a warm flour tor­tilla. Some of the other starters were more in­tense, how­ever. The carne adovada egg rolls were a heartier-than-an­tic­i­pated choice, crunchy with a not-too-spicy, richly sea­soned fill­ing, served with a thick peanut dip­ping sauce that could have used a lit­tle su­gar to coun­ter­bal­ance the salty soy sauce. The rolls were a bit over-fried. The oven-roasted Brus­sels sprouts ar­rived with ev­ery deca­dent ad­di­tion that could be made to a veg­etable, topped with ba­con, cheese (the menu says cotija in this case, but what ar­rived looked more like fresh cheese curds), and but­ter. If this is your bag, by all means or­der the dish — it was salty, cheesy, fatty, and per­fectly crunchy all at once — but be fore­warned, it will to­tally spoil your din­ner. On a third trip, roasted veg­etable arancini, deep-fried risotto balls topped with fresh tomato sauce and moz­zarella cheese, were pleas­antly creamy and warm­ing, crunchy on the out­side and gooey on the in­side, though some­what burned.

Dr. Field Goods also features a prom­i­nent pizza oven — we tried the most un­con­ven­tional pizza-like op­tion, the onion naan spread with hummus, house-cured sal­mon, let­tuce, and crème fraîche. The dish didn’t work as a whole — it would have been perfect with­out the hummus, which sort of dragged the whole thing down — but the sal­mon was light and beau­ti­fully cured, and the naan was like a flaky pizza crust, in a good way. If you want your New Mex­i­can com­fort-food fix, you can or­der a gi­ant dish of baked en­chi­ladas. We tried the green-chile-chicken va­ri­ety, which was rather ho­mo­ge­neous in tex­ture but de­light­fully sooth­ing and fill­ing when topped with an over-easy egg (and enough food for two peo­ple all by it­self) — more like an en­chi­lada casse­role than en­chi­ladas as most norteños think of them.

If you can han­dle it, there’s dessert. We tried the ar­roz con leche, deep fried balls of rice pud­ding topped with caramel sauce and La Lecheria’s vanilla ice cream. The rice balls were crunchy on the out­side and soft on the in­side, very rem­i­nis­cent of the risotto ap­pe­tizer, and the caramel sauce had just the right toasted fla­vor to make you want to lick it off the plate. On an­other trip, the the­atri­cally large, much-In­sta­grammed bread pud­ding came out a tad burned (the same trip as the arancini — maybe the oven was hav­ing an off day) and was served in two gi­ant tri­an­gles that were nutty, dense, and not too sweet, with an­other perfect caramel sauce. The chai whipped cream on top was foamy and didn’t need to be sweet­ened — plain whipped cream would have been perfect.

The es­sen­tial thing at Dr. Field Goods is to know what you’re get­ting into when you or­der. Long­time house fa­vorites are mostly con­sis­tent, and if you’re up for the deca­dence and calo­ries and salt and cheese and gen­er­ous aioli, or­der any­thing you like. If want a more bal­anced meal, be ju­di­cious and have one of the fresh house sal­ads in­stead of what­ever sec­ond item you were con­tem­plat­ing.

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The Skinny Burger is fan­tas­tic, with the tangy fla­vor pro­file sat­is­fy­ing in a way that feels like a guilty plea­sure, but with more or less farm-to-ta­ble qual­ity.

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