The Inn at Rio Rancho & Toro Bar and Grill

Thanksgiving at the Inn

Once again, as has become a tradition at the inn, we have thrown a Thanksgiving feast of epic proportions! An all-you can eat buffet of all the traditional favorites expertly prepared and served by the staff of The Toro Bar & Grill, this years feast was a memorable, gut-busting experience. Of course there was turkey, that all-American holiday favorite, sizzling at the carving station, each slice as succulent as the last, but that was not all that the Toro prepared! They set up carving stations for prime rib and ham too, not to mention popcorn shrimp, chicken cordon bleu, salmon and tilapia! And that, fair readers, were just the entrees. Sides were abundant and of all types: creamy mashed potatoes smothered in made-from-scratch gravy; fruit displays brimming with oranges, apples, bananas and more; sauteed vegetables of all kinds; sweet potatoes; soup, stew and chowder; stuffing (how could you have Thanksgiving without it?); fresh baked pastries and artisinal breads; and, of course, a massive desert display replete with fruit pies, cakes and brownies, cookies and that holiday treat that veritably shouts Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie. The whole smorgasbord was so large that we had to move it into our ballroom to fit it all! I think it's far to say that everyone in attendance was well fed. For those of you who were able to join us on this day of thanks, we'd just like to say thank you for coming and for allowing us to share in your holiday. For those of you who missed this extravaganza, we will be back at it again next year, and yes, we do accept reservations. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Inn!

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Live Music at The Toro Bar and Grill!

Hello All! Just a reminder that the Inn at Rio Rancho's on-site restaurant features live music every weekend! From classic rock to cutting edge groups, we present a variety of great bands to listen to while you enjoy your favorite tequila (mine's Aha Toro!) in a margarita or one of our famous dishes (see previous posts for some of the delicious entrees). This Saturday, September 11th, The Toro Bar and Grill is proud to present "Hustlers," a local band that promises "heavy energy" and "Bottomless, propelling rhythm." They recently won the Battle of the Bands at the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino and are set to blow the doors off the Inn! Stop by and check out their musical stylings and find out who our next big act will be! Remember, it's always exciting at the Toro Bar and Grill, a distinguishing benefit of a stay at the Inn at Rio Rancho! (And if you enjoy our tequila a little too much, you can always spend the night...)

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Summer Nights

Ah, Summer Nights in Rio Rancho... The sweltering heat of the day is finally dissipating, the sun has just set and the sky is gleaming in eldritch blue. The skies in New Mexico are easily some of the most beautiful in the country, and it pays to have a great view of them. In our courtyard, here at the Inn, we have a stunning atmosphere to relax and enjoy the end of the day. Whether poolside with Aha Toro margarita in-hand, relaxing in our gazebo over a glass of red wine, or simply enjoying the lush grass in our lawns, the courtyard is a wonderful place to be as the sun sinks gracefully below the horizon and the stars begin their winking debut in the silky firmament of New Mexico night. This is a gorgeous shot from near one of our Business Plus rooms on the south side of our property facing the pool. The night is a great time to try and spy some of the interesting fauna we have in our courtyard, from bunnies and ground squirrels to the occasional owl and our Cooper's Hawks (our courtyard is a protected habitat for the Cooper's Hawk, in case you hadn't heard). Summer in New Mexico is a magical time and in those hours between day and night, in twilight's silent glow, where better than the Inn at Rio Rancho to enjoy the fading light as a gentle wind whispers low?

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New Lunch Menu!

Fantastic news! The Toro Bar & Grill has just updated their lunch menu and I was lucky enough to be given a sneak-peak taste of one of their upcoming dishes. The fine looking meal you see above is their new Chile Chicken Panini- a savory chicken sandwich on grilled pita bread and garnished with spicy pico de gallo. The first taste was a rush of flavor- the chicken retained all of its juices, though it was grilled, and when coupled with the fresh pico it veritably exploded on the palate. The texture is one thing I'd like to elaborate on, because it was simply divine. The Pita bread, which is lightly grilled, was ever so slightly crispy on the edges before the teeth sank into the soft, pillowy goodness we all know pita for. Then a delightful spread of juices as the pico and chicken enter center stage of the taste bud theater. The chicken was so tender that it melded with the cheese and pita bread into a soft, delightful, melt-in-your-mouth experience complimented by the buttery spice of the chipotle mayo. So as not to go all soft and gooey on you, though, the chefs had the good sense to add all that crispy, juicy pico de gallo which adds a strong southwestern flavor to the dish and adds a complexity to the texture that the teeth enjoy as much as the tongue. The flavor is pure southwestern home cooking with just enough heat from the chile to tell you you're in green chile country, but mild enough to be approachable by even the most sensitive of tongue. (i.e. the heat is noticeable, but not overpowering). And just in case you're still hungry, it comes with a plateful of fries and a pickle. I've been a long supporter of the Toro tortilla burger, but I think this new lunch menu has a few entrees that are vying to be my favorite. This, ladies and gentlemen, is definitely one of them.

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In Plain Sight

What a wild experience! In March of 2010 the Inn at Rio Rancho had the privilege to host the staff and crew from USA Network's "In Plain Sight" TV series! It was an incredible couple of days and an unforgettable experience. For the staff here at the Inn it was a rare opportunity to see the filming process first hand, to experience the fabled "Magic of Hollywood" right in our own hotel, and to meet with some first class professionals as they practiced their trade. On the first day of shooting it was as though our front lobby had been transformed into a frenetic hive of cables, cameras, lights and, of course, tons of people. It was amazing to see how many people are actually required to film a show like "In Plain Sight," it was much more than I had anticipated when we first told that they would be using our property. But there they were, several dozen ominous looking suits, harried script writers, meticulous costume designers and actors all zipping about the lobby on various errands and tasks. It was impressive to see how they managed to keep things organized among so many different people, with special respect to the director and producers for their hard work in that regard. Over the next few days they filmed in the Toro Bar and Grill, our on-site restaurant specializing in tequila, the kitchen, and the presidential suite and never once, in the time that I spent with the crew, did I ever see their enthusiasm flag or their excitement waiver. Indeed, they seemed to be as excited about the show as we were, maybe more. It could just be me, but seeing people that dedicated to and inspired by their job engenders a contagious sense of avidity and I was bragging about the experience for days. When the episode finally aired on USA Network on May 12th it was so surreal to see so many familiar sights in such an alien environment, that is, on my TV screen with dynamic characters inhabiting the spaces I see every day. The best scene, for me, was in the kitchen of the Toro Bar, because I remember so clearly the repetitious call for silence, the declaration that "we're rolling" and the "Eaagh!" as one character was attacked. Again. And again. And again. To finally see the finished scene was quite a treat. To all the crew of In Plain Sight, thanks for making my day, heck my month, by coming here and inviting us to watch the magic happen. To the fans of the show, come on down and see the actual locales where the scenes were filmed, maybe spend the night in the Presidential Suite and enjoy the amenities of one of our best rooms, now famous thanks to USA!

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Solar Street in the Main Ballroom

Solar Street. The Inn at Rio Rancho Main Ballroom. They both conjure images of fun, music, and good times, but when they get together it's a kind of magic. Here's Solar Street rocking the Ballroom at our St. Patrick's Day party. They played all night and the dance floor was jumping the whole time. Good good times.

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The Matthew Project II Rocks Toro Bar and Grill

The Matthew Project II is a band we've seen before at Toro Bar and Grill and remains one of our favorites. In this video they tease the crowd by starting to play a request and then stopping in favor of another song. We love having them play in the bar, and can't wait for the next show.

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Food Review - Toro Mahi Mahi

Hello again everyone. It's time for another edition of my absolute favorite feature here on this blog, the Toro Bar and Grill Food Reviews. Those of you who know me will know why this is my favorite feature, and those who don't know me can most likely guess. It's the food! The fantastic food. A top notch meal prepared just for me by a talented chef... the anticipation, the smells, the sights and sounds, I'm telling you, it's willpower alone that allows me to photograph these dishes before chowing down. Our chef is a true master, and being in the kitchen while the food is being prepared adds an extra level of enjoyment for me. Today's dish is currently our Toro fish of the day, the Toro Mahi Mahi. The Toro Mahi Mahi is perfect for the health conscious customer and is a great dish for the whole family during Lent. The fish is grilled to perfection and served on a bed of baby spinach. Spanish rice, corn, and pico de gallo accompany the fish, and it's topped off with fresh limes. I made good use of the limes, squeezing an ample amount of juice onto the fish before taking my first bite. The fish was incredible and the sides fit with it wonderfully. I feel like if I myself were a chef and had the vocabulary to really express everything that's going on in this dish I could do it more justice, but in layman's terms, it was the bomb. Totally the bomb. It almost rocked my socks right off. Come on down to Toro Bar and Grill today and give the Toro Mahi Mahi a go. You'll thank me if you do.

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More Great News for Art Lovers!

The Inn at Rio Rancho and Asto Museum of Art are hosting another free, open to the public art show right here in the heart of Rio Rancho. Join us this March to see one of a kind works by world renowned artists. Opening reception February 27th 6 pm to 9 pm. All are welcome.

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Toro Bar and Grill - Kelly makes a Margarita

Join Kelly from The Toro Bar and Grill as he shows us how to make a proper all-natural margarita the Toro way.

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Spring Preview

We had some very dramatic weather this afternoon here in Rio Rancho, NM. A huge mass of clouds rolled in and completely blocked our view of the mountains. When they moved on, the mountains were glittery with fresh snow and the sun was bright and warm. Winter is not over, but Spring is coming, and today we got a sneak peak.

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The holiday spirit was in the air today as we put up our decorations here at The Inn at Rio Rancho. We got the whole crew together and spent the afternoon turning the lobby and grounds into a winter wonderland, and, as if in response to our festive attitudes, the weather man said we can expect snow by morning. It's rare for the whole staff to be working together on the same project, and having everyone together created nothing but good times. Look forward to even more holiday themed posts as the weeks go by, and keep an eye out for a debut post from our newest author Sara!

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Welcome Sara!

Everyone can now look forward to posts from the newest addition to our blog family. Sara Heffern is the Banquet and Catering Manager here at The Inn, and we anticipate great updates from her and her staff in the very near future. Bienvenido Sara! Buena suerte!

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Unbroken Journey

It's time for the third of our art shows here at The Inn at Rio Rancho. The title of the show is "Unbroken Journey" and it will feature weaving and tapestry work by world renowned artists.

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Our First Show was Such a Hit...

That we're having another! That's right, stop by Rio Rancho's newest art venue and see this international exhibit. Wine and cheese reception September 4th 2009 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Click image to view full size.

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