Medium Rare

In search of a great steak ; Being neighbors with Texas, many may wonder what Northern New Mexico has to offer when it comes to perfectly cooked steak. 

By Will Hooper 
Medley, Photo By Sam Joseph

 The area is no stranger to cattle. We sat down at three restaurants cooking up their interpretation of the perfect piece of meat, each as delicious as the next.

Unique and palatable


Medley has been voted best restaurant in Taos for the past two years. Everything on the menu is unique and extremely palatable — and their steak is no exception. Medley serves their take on traditional steak frites (or steak and fries), along with a 14 oz. pork porterhouse that this writer almost mistook for a steak.

The restaurant serves a hanger steak, made rich with a perfectly-seasoned crust. While the exterior of the steak brings out specific notes of peppered beef jerky — in part due to the peppercorn demi-glace — the inside is cooked to a perfect medium-rare, providing diners with an evolving texture throughout. With beef sourced from Colorado, the fresh taste is evident. The shoestring fries served with aioli are seasoned to perfection and go well with
the steak.

Medley, Photo By Sam Joseph

Other notable menu items include the grilled broccolini with saffron yogurt, garlic chips, infused olive oil and goat cheese; the crispy shrimp tacos with sweet chili mayo; the brussels sprouts with parmesan and bacon bits; and a fantastic cheese plate.

Served with a handmade cocktail or a local IPA, you can’t go wrong at Medley, which seems to act as a high-end restaurant and local hotspot seamlessly. With relatively cheap prices and a full bar on one side of the building, the restaurant is a place to check out, whether you want some quick finger food or a high-end steak. 

Medley, Photograph by Sam Joseph

Premium cuts and pricing

Martyrs Steakhouse

An obvious place to look for a good cut of beef in any town is at the local steakhouse. Martyrs Steakhouse, which is under the new administration of Chef Kimberly Armstrong, certainly doesn’t disappoint. With a range of premium cuts and pricing, any good lover of meat can find a delicious dish here. The filet mignon, cooked medium-rare — per the chef’s recommendations — may be by far one of the most tender steaks in the area.

Sided with an authentic chimichurri sauce and mashed potatoes, the tenderness of the steak greets the creaminess of the potatoes for a mouthfeel that leaves the two almost undistinguishable. If you’re not up for chimichurri and mashed potatoes, don’t worry — the steaks come with a selection of sides and sauces served á la carte.

Martyrs SteakHouse, Photograph by Sam Joseph

Other menu items of note include the top sirloin and the salmon, which is great with the lemon buerre blanc sauce. Perhaps one of the best items on the menu is the opening bread basket, including a creamy rosemary herb butter, roasted garlic and plain butter. The taste of Martyrs’ use of organic beef from the nearby San Luis Valley shines through in each cut.

The restaurant has been open since 2013 but has flourished under the new ownership of Armstrong. The restaurant has two separate indoor dining rooms, and their downtown patio offers a great space to sit and people watch.

Martyrs SteakHouse, Photograph by Sam Joseph

Perfect dining experience

Sabroso Restaurant and Bar

Sabroso, like Martyrs Steakhouse, serves several different cuts of beef, including steak frites, a filet mignon and a seared prime NY strip steak. The giant strip steak comes packed with sides of mashed potatoes, grilled seasonal vegetables, crispy onions, and is covered in a shitake mushroom brandy cream.

Sabroso, Photograph by Sam Joseph

With a freshly squeezed margarita and an appetizer of Maryland-style crab cakes, their steak is the perfect end to the dining experience. Manager Audra Herrera said they are currently getting their beef from US Foods “which has a great quality of meat,” but that they also try to source locally, and get all of their bison from Beck and Bulow, the local Santa Fe butcher.

The restaurant has been a staple of Arroyo Seco for 14 years. With 36 tables inside, 40 tables outside and plenty of trees to shade the area, the ambiance is just right. They also have live music with no cover charge, and local musical legend Jimmy Stadler plays at the restaurant every Wednesday evening. You’re sure to find something delicious here, even if you aren’t in the mood for steak.

Sabroso, Photograph by Sam Joseph

Other options for a great steak

The Gorge Bar & Grill

Mikuna Grill

ACEQ restaurant

Lambert’s of Taos

Texas Reds/Lost Love Saloon & Lodge