It is the cusp of Spring here in Silver City NM, the trees are just starting to leaf out, the snow in the mountains is mostly gone, the weather is near perfect and the town has a quiet feel. Most shops are only open until 5:30, some restaurants are closed more than open and the University is on break. The historic downtown is colorful, quaint and fun to explore.
We are staying at the Rose Valley RV Ranch which at one time was out of town but now sits at the edge of the urban sprawl off Hwy 180. Down the way is a Walmart and a Albertsons which are the biggest shopping options in town, there are no Starbucks and no big chain restaurants like Applebees or the Olive Garden.
The RV Ranch is just that, a sprawling piece of land, gravel roads with big spacious RV sites that each have a privacy corrals, evergreen juniper shrubs and trees. You enter through the gate with an old western arch.
The property is complete with a old water tower, farm equipment and and a bath house which holds the laundry, book/internet room and four bathhouses. This is a great location in which to do day trips in the area, and is quiet and friendly.
Despite its slightly gritty feel, Silver City has started to grow on me. People are friendly, laid back and really love living here. Diversity is valued here and the city is home to hundreds of artists, painters, potters, printmakers, weavers, glass blowers, jewelry makers and other artisans make their home here. Live music abounds here as well and we have heard some great music on our stay here.
There are some great restaurants, none overly expensive or fussy. 1Zero6 and Revel were are two favorites for dinner. Jake, the Chef at 1Zero6 opens the restaurant 3 nights a week and publishes the menu by email. Choose your entrée when reserving and know you will get a terrific meal made with fresh ingredients by a seemly perfectionist chef. I had the best seat in the house to watch the action in the kitchen.
Looks are deceiving as Jake is not your typical chef in the white starched coat, nope he is rather casual in attire but that’s where it ends. Recently back from Oaxaca Mexico and inspired by the cuisine, he did not disappoint.
Tlayuda con Falda
Oaxacan tlayuda toasted and spread with spicy black bean cooked with avocado leaf and spices. Topped with roasted pork shoulder, fresh chorizo, queso fresco and fresh herbs, then folded and grilled.
Chicken braised, bones and all in spicy stock, de-boned and layered with fresh masa sheets, house mole, queso fresco and crema agria. Capped with queso and baked.
Served with a salad.
On the more casual side, we had a great beer and green chile cheese fries at the the Little Toad Creek Brewery and for a bit of culinary diversity, we ate at Tapas Tree House which wowed us with the Vietnamese Crepe and Banh Mi. No shortage of good eats here in Silver City, just don’t expect any pretense!
There is a lot to do in the area, hiking, biking and scenic driving jaunts abound within a 120 mile radius of Silver City. Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark, Pinos Altos or City of Rocks State Park are all fun places to explore. The Gila National Forest area with 3.3 million acres is spectacular and two great day trips with in the vast area will take you to the Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument or the Catwalks Recreational area.
So, why the description – gritty? Well, this was an old west mining town and now a small university town so the definition of gritty from the urban dictionary fits it well past and present…
harsh, coarse, rough and unrefined, as in film depictions that portray life as it truly is, without false distortions, stylizations, or idealizations”.
Upon arrival, I may have leaned towards first part of the definition but after a week in Silver City, the later part is what strikes me as the correct definition. There is no pretense here and ones affluence is not easily defined nor really a subject of much interest by anyone. Actually, quite refreshing!