Spring, Spring!
Now, we of course have no way of knowing where y'all are reading from, but we do assume a healthy chunk of our followers are right here with us in Santa Fe. And they could tell you the same as we're about to—it's been nice here lately. Like, spring-adjacent. Like, we can wear a sweater and not have to worry about our bulky coat outside of how well it hides The Fork's weird body.

But we digress and say the following—we don't care about rodent predictions or anything, we're getting into spring NOW, even if that means we're gonna be freezing!

We're particularly excited because peas and asparagus—two spring-sprouty veggies that happen to be some of our favorites—generally start popping out of the ground around now. Oh, sure, there are greenhouses and humankind has tamed the wild land to grow such greenery whenever the hell we see fit, but we like that some of our favorites perk up when we do (we have a spring birthday). And even though we're not about to detox ourselves or anything, we hear this is a good time o' year to do that:

-Cut down on alcohol (yeah right).
-Cut down on sugar (never)
-Ditch refined and/or processed food (uhhh … no)

And then you can up the ante with things like:

-Fruits like guava, grapefruit and other in-season citrus guys like mandarins and such (ok, fair)
-More whole grains (duh)
-Get more probiotics (kimchi?)

-Eat smaller portions (warmer weather makes that easier somehow)
-Get lots of water (good advice all the time)
-Stop doing things like putting miniature Newman's Own cookies on top of ice cream ('twas a terrible plan)
-Sleep more (also good all the time)
-Try to get outside (never)
-Use those leftovers (macaroni and peas with green chile? yeah, we're gonna eat you)

How about you, Forkers? You do anything interesting as we get into spring?

To help set the mood…

-The 2019 National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show is coming up in Albuquerque March 1-3. It's pretty much what it sounds like and is the 31st time they've done it—get those tickets now, fans of this stuff!

-Speaking of Albuquerque, the inimitable Monica Demarco, who goes by Cthulha, releases their new album Always Who You Were on Feb. 16 and is offering a special release show/pop-up dinner event rolled into one. We're talkin' 10 courses from chefs like Joseph Corte, Beth Floyd, Faron Stout and Christina Cavaleri—plus music. We're telling you now because it'll probably sell out and seems super-cool. Get them tickets.

-The Souper Bowl went down last weekend in Santa Fe and, as it has been for 25 years, was killer. The winner, as it were, was Nath's Inspired Khmer Cuisine—a chef without a dedicated restaurant who has been known to host Khmer pop-ups at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen—with a reportedly incredible chicken red curry soup. Dig? Dig. Other winners included Kingston Residence of Santa Fe, Social Kitchen + Bar and El Castillo Life Plan Community.

-Don't forget that Santa Fe Restaurant Week is coming up from Feb. 22-March 3. To celebrate the festival of food's 10th iteration, we'll remind you 10 more times. In all seriousness, though, it's a wonderful opportunity for the denizens of our burg to get special treats from the countless world class chefs who live here. Something to chew on. Ha! Swish! Count it.

-As was reported in The Fork a billion Forks ago, Baja Tacos, reeling from popularity and having to live with somehow creating a standout brekkie b in a sea of brekkie b's, has taken over the old Wendy's in College Plaza here in Santa Fe (2081 Cerrillos Road if you're nasty). Go wild on all that good stuff!

HB 31 is making its way through the New Mexico legislature, and it's complicated to be sure, but can be understood through how many local servers are freaking out over the possibility of lost tips. Look, a higher minimum wage sounds great and all, but not when it costs people their livelihoods. The language will probably change but, for now, there's a Facebook group of servers working hard to fix this thing and who'd probably appreciate your support. As always, we're more inclined to side with the people in the trenches than not.

-The Chocolate Maven, which we sometimes call "Choco-Mave" has kicked off a beta version of an online ordering platform. What does this mean for you? It means no more interacting with people until you're picking stuff up … if you want. You can still call them, but if you're hurriedly trying to get a cake going at a bakery while doing other stuff, this'll probably be pretty cool. You've been told.

Nominations for SFR's annual Best of Santa Fe poll are open now. What does this mean? A couple things:

1.This is NOT final voting, it's just a way for our readers to nominate their favorites. We'll give you plenty of warning when voting comes around, but if you're the type who wishes certain places would win, here's your chance.

2. SFR doesn't choose the winners. Ever. We never have. It's all up to you!

3. Share this info everywhere. EV-ER-EE-WHERE-UH!

More Tidbits
-In both food and "good news for print media" news, the Los Angeles Times is bringing back a standalone food section for the first time since 2012! Why does this matter to you if you might not live there? It just does, shit!

-Like fruit juice? Word, that's cool—but maybe you should know that there is sometimes arsenic and lead in those things. Say what? Yup. As NPR's Alison Aubrey reports, "Consumer Reports tested 45 fruit juices, including apple, grape and juice blends, and found that 21 of them had 'concerning levels' of cadmium, arsenic and/or lead." Yikes. You can find out more here, or otherwise just start juicing things your damn self.

-Over at eater.com, the playlist of the hip restaurant is explored. You'll apparently find all kinds of TV on the Radio, LCD Soundsystem and lots more at "cool" eateries everywhere.

-As loath as we are to share anything from Fox, this isn't political nonsense so much as it's news you can use for the dog in your life. You may recall a number of dog food recalls in recent months, and we can add another one to the list from Hill's Pet Nutrition. Sorry, folks—there's just too damn much vitamin D up in there.

-If your dog is really bummed about this news, they make a beer for dogs, so … get that rascal some? Our stream of consciousness went someplace adjacent to dogs with drinking problems, but if you employ moderation in getting your dog trashed, you should be fine. If you're thinking about getting your cat some beer, read this first.

-Epicurious breaks down the most affordable (and tasty) widely available coffees around. As you might imagine, Peet's is on the list, but also some brands we never heard of we'll now be looking to brew.

-Turns out Trader Joe's has a rosé salad dressing. Yes, it's real, and yes, you should feel weird if you just audibly went "oooh!" upon hearing that information. Could make a good gift, though. In the card, write: "Dear Karen, here's a salad dressing that's also rosé. Never mind how intrinsically awful it is that I thought to get you this, and start getting wasted with that Cobb. Also, your dog is probably drunk from dog beer."

In the print edition of SFR, Zibby Wilder spent some time chilling out with the YouthWorks! culinary program folks, including Carmen Rodriguez, the winner of the 2012 New Mexico Restaurant Association Chef of the Year. The program is excellent and doing really cool things. Check it out.
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence 

Number of Letters Received
*With many defending our freedom fry choices.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week 
“I look forward to Thursdays!”
*Because it’s 1997 and Friends is on?

Actually Helpful Tip
*Nobody helped us with anything this week! Not even a little bit. Not even at all!
Dog Beer,
The Fork