Iconic NM Restaurants: Silver Moon Cafe

Created: 12/23/2013 7:45 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Two and a half hours east of Albuquerque lies a small town known for its watering holes, nostalgia of a simpler time, and amazing food.

Welcome to Santa Rosa, the City of Natural Lakes, and historic Route 66.

Our food journey begins at the Silver Moon Café where fond memories for many have been made.

"I don't know if they're fond memories but I started busting tables here when I was 10 years old," said Keith Ross, who took over for his family back in the late 90s.

Keith says Santa Rosa is the first spot in the state where westbound travelers can get a true taste of New Mexico.

"The communities to the east of're still seeing a lot more Tex-Mex and so, when you get to Santa Rosa, it's kind of the first place that people get New Mexican food," Ross stated.

Keith's parents started the restaurant in 1959, where the gift shop now stands. Some items sold there are New Mexico true, like cookbooks and Native American pottery, and it all began with a native Santa Rosa rock.

"The AC was broke. My dad got a big rock...just native stone from around here to hold the door open and let some air in. A tourist wanted to buy the rock from him, and so he said "if they want to buy a rock, who know what else they'll buy," Keith stated.

Tourists and locals bought into what the Ross' were creating and that was great food: the best food from Chicago to L.A.

One thing that Santa Rosa is known for is the famous Blue Hole, and the Silver Moon sticks to that theme when making their famous and delicious Blue Corn Chicken Enchiladas, which is made with blue corn tortillas, white meat chicken breast, and more often than not, served with New Mexico green chile. The sides include beans, rice, papitas, or posole.

The food was amazing for sure! That's one thing Keith can lean on for his good business, but he says there's more to it.

Keith says it's more than a business. It has to do with our employees being here for so long like Patsy Gensler who's been working at the café for 15 years.

Although many relics of America's Main Street reside here, Silver Moon has jumped into the 21st century with free Wi-Fi and even a Starbucks!

It's a way that Keith hopes Silver Moon and Santa Rosa move on to a prosperous future.

More: New Mexico Culinary Treasures

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