Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm is a beautiful, secluded property on Rio Grande Boulevard in the verdant, acequia fed farmland bordering the Rio Grande. Though the property is convenient to downtown Albuquerque, it feels like a different world from the moment you turn on to the cottonwood canopied lane.
Designed in 1932 by the “Father of Santa Fe Style”, John Gaw Meem, Los Poblanos combines the charm of a historic inn with the rustic ambience of a working organic farm. Surrounded by fields, greenhouses, and orchards, with peacocks and guinea hens strutting around like they own the place (they do), Los Poblanos is a serene, idyllic hideaway, convenient to all that Albuquerque offers, with privacy and amenities more reminiscent of a charming country inn.
Lavish Lavender Fields
Set among lavender fields, towering cottonwood trees, and lush formal gardens, the 50-room boutique-style hotel is part of a 25-acre estate that encompasses multiple businesses. In addition to the inn, the property is an experimental farm, which carries on an agricultural legacy that began in the 1930s and 1940s when the property was home to the original Creamland Dairies. Today Los Poblanos focuses on organic produce, organic lavender, and honey bees.
The lavender farming is part of a village and state driven sustainability initiative to cultivate a high margin, drought tolerant crop. They have expanded their dedicated acreage over the last few years, planting more lavender. They use a lot of it in-house. It is the central ingredient in their line of spa products, available at numerous retailers statewide and online.
Field to Fork Dining
The produce, and the lavender, is on the menu at Campo, a “field to fork” dining experience catering to guests at the Inn, as well as local gourmands. The restaurant was renovated in 2017, expanding their capacity significantly by renovating one of the outbuildings on the property. The building has a history. It was the original Creamland Dairy milking barn.
The architects took advantage of the shotgun style. The dining room runs directly to an open kitchen, inviting guests to observe. There is a small outdoor dining area that overlooks the lavender fields, with the Sandia Mountains as the backdrop. When the lavender goes into bloom in June, this quiet little patio might be the best brunch locale in Albuquerque.
Campos’ chef, Jonathan Perno, has been recognized as one of the Best Chefs in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation several years in a row. His culinary accolades are plentiful, but he gets uncomfortable when it comes to touting awards and accomplishments. He prefers to focus on the food and Los Poblanos provides an ideal environment for a chef that values fresh ingredients. Fields surround the restaurant, generating many of the vegetables and herbs used in the kitchen.
Corn, beans and squash were staple foods in the Southwest long before the arrival of Europeans. Called the “three sisters”, these foods were the foundation of the local diet. Consumed together they form a complex carbohydrate, making them nutritionally efficient. Corn isn’t native to New Mexico; however, there is ample archaeological evidence confirming that it has been cultivated in this area for more than 4,000 years. The original seeds may have arrived with people during one of many migrations or procured via trade. Regardless, corn is found in almost every ancient cliff-house in the Southwest.
Corn was grown in small plots, often on mesa tops, where water pooled in the sandstone, or in narrow canyons near stream beds. The corn was harvested, dried, and stored for the winter months. Women in Ancestral Pueblo culture prepared corn every day, using tools to methodically grind it into meal. Those agricultural traditions passed from the fields of the Ancestral Puebloans to the fields of today’s pueblos. Corn remains vital to Pueblo people, both as a source of food, and as part of their traditions and ceremonies. Many Pueblo households still grind corn by hand when preparing meal for ceremonial occasions, singing special songs as they grind the corn into meal. There are still traditional corn dances every year.
“From the corn we learn to live, we learn the life that is ours. By grinding the corn we learn the footsteps of life.” ~ Sharon Naranjo-Garcia, Santa Clara Pueblo
For some pueblos, corn remains central to their prosperity. Santa Ana Pueblo grows blue corn. Members of the pueblo handle each step of the process, from planting the corn to disseminating the final products. They grind it in the tribe’s mill, process it, andcreate a variety of products with it. The products are marketed under the brand name Tamaya Blue Corn.
Los Poblanos uses Tamaya Blue Corn to make products like Blue Corn soap and Campos has incorporated Tamaya blue corn into the menu in the form of blue corn polenta bread and blue corn yogurt pancakes. The latter, featured on Los Poblanos’ brunch menu, is a guest favorite, with the texture and flavor of blue corn adding a southwestern nuance to these filling flapjacks.
Blue Corn Yogurt Pancakes
- 1 cup blue cornmeal
- 1 cup boiling water
- A pinch of salt
Pour the water over the cornmeal with the salt. Stir to combine.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 to 1 ½ cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 to 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
- Mix the eggs and the olive oil into the cornmeal until it resembles a smooth paste.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Add half of the dry mix to the cornmeal.
- Add half of the yogurt to the batter. Repeat.
- Adjust to desired consistency with either the flour or the yogurt.
Please leave your recipe modifications, or any questions that you may have, in the comments.
4803 Rio Grande Blvd N.W.
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107
Set among 25 acres of lavender fields, enormous cottonwood trees and lush formal gardens, Los Poblanos is one of the most magnificent historic properties in the Southwest. The property was designed in 1932 by the region’s foremost architect, John Gaw Meem, the “Father of Santa Fe Style”, Los Poblanos combines 50 guest rooms, a working organic farm and world class cuisine. The natural beauty, comfort and privacy of Los Poblanos provides their guests with a memorable experience in a truly relaxing environment. It is also an ideal setting for meetings and special events.
Campo is a casual fine-dining experience featuring the purest field-to-fork menu in the Southwest. Located at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, their Rio Grande Valley Cuisine is rooted in seasonal organic ingredients from their fields, as well as from longstanding relationships with local farmers and herdsman.
To make a reservation: 505-338-1615
The Los Poblanos Farm Shop takes pride in hand-crafting quality, meaningful products. The shop features artisan lavender products made from the organic lavender grown in the fields and distilled on the farm, including culinary lavender. In addition to their products, they sell items by other local businesses.
Contact the Farm Shop: (505) 938-2192
Need Blue Corn?
Southwest Heritage Mill opened as Indio-Hispano Native Foods, LLC in 2005. It quickly grew from a community-based company in Albuquerque to a company with a national and international presence. They focus on roasting and milling whole grain, non-gmo corn, using red, white, blue and yellow corn varieties to produce the highest quality products.