DR. FIELD GOODS KITCHEN
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.
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.