Hello?

We'd like you to imagine the gamut of emotions we experienced whereupon opening our email yielded well over 100 results—only for us to learn the vast majority of them were auto-replies about how whoever-the-heck was out of town. Crestfallen. CRESTFALLEN!

But it also got us thinking about how people SHOULD go on vacation when they can. We mean, just because The Fork can't ever go anywhere doesn't mean you shouldn't. And then our train of thought continued through something like 45 stops, and we ended up here:

Wouldn't it be cool to remind people about food that's a little farther away but also pretty awesome?

Yes, it would. But, if you're anything like us and work so much you're pretty much guaranteed to have a heart attack at your desk, you might have to settle for day trips or even quick evening trips. And so, let us point out a few restaurants within easy driving distance that you might not have thought about in a minute or maybe ever if you've indeed never actually thought about them. If you have, just be like "word" about it. Like, you don't have to email us to tell us you've thought about these places recently. You can email us about other stuff. Please do!

Frankie's at the Casanova in Pecos
The Pecos-Glorieta area is GORGEOUS, first of all, especially this time of year. While the people we spoke to in our lives about it assumed there was little more to do out there besides fishing and, um, river watching, we'd definitely recommend Frankie's. We're talking great New Mexican food, the kind of burger that still haunts our dreams and, if you so wish, some of that famous river-watching we were talking about before.
BONUS: It's only, like, a 25-minute drive from Santa Fe.

The Mine Shaft and/or The Hollar in Madrid
Because SFR's copy editor would kill us if we didn't include Madrid in our list of nearby but not so near as to not need a car eateries (and she might just kill us anyway), we're here with a two-fer in Madrid, that one-time coal mining town that's evolved into what one might describe as a hippie hideaway. Anyway, with respective 4.5 ratings on Tripadvisor, you just know these places are good. We'll even invite the copy editor to throw in some words here:
hi Madrid homies! I love you guys. -CJ
Did she do it? Cool. Cool.
BONUS: If you're making a day of it, the Jezebel Soda Fountain transports us back to a simpler time wherein soda shops and choco malteds were things people would do regularly.

Black Bird Saloon in Cerrillos
If you like the Madrid-ish area but are looking for a place you've maybe never been (not counting people who've def been there), the Black Bird Saloon in Cerrillos has alllllll the stuff you could want from delicious salads featuring fruit to one of the best brekkie b's we've ever had in our lives.
BONUS: The little photo gallery on their website is adorable.

Gabriel's in Santa Fe But Also a Little North of the Opera
Maybe the quickest to get to, this is the place you heard about where they make guacamole at your table. It just occurred to us we haven't been there in some time, so … maybe we'll go with you? PSYCH! You'll never unearth our secret identity!
BONUS: Oh, did we not mention the guacamole thing?

For an upcoming edition of The Fork, we're also looking for little holes in the wall that you believe not a lot of people know about. Shouldn't we share those things? We'd love to know more. Tell us more. DO IT!

Check Pecos out, man! This is just very pleasant.

Also

-The very nice people from The Compound dropped us a line to let us know about a special promo deal for all you skiers out there—namely, that if you bring in a valid lift ticket through April, they'll knock 20 percent off your bill. Very cool. Try the salmon.

-We may have mentioned this before, but we also forgot so assume you did, too, but Arroyo Vino is hosting a special dinner in honor of the dearly departed Anthony Bourdain. For $59 per person (which sounds like a lot, but when you read what we're about to say you'll probably be cool with it), you'll get fantastic dishes like a salade nicoise featuring Campari tomatoes, marble potatoes, egg and more, plus steamed mussels, a tartiflette (a DELICIOUS potato-based meal) and more—including Valrhona choco mousse with fresh raspberries. Ten bucks from every prix fixe meal sold goes to suicide prevention, too. Nice touch.

-Animal Protection of New Mexico recently released a pretty nifty dining guide for vegans and vegetarians that lays out restaurants across the state that take such things into account. The organization does a lot for the animal citizens of New Mexico, and as more of the world turns to vegetarian and vegan dining for both health and environmental reasons, stuff like this is going to become invaluable. Way to go, APNM!

-There's a new super band in town, which we mention in a food newsletter because their first show goes down at La Casa Sena. Find The Queen and I (with Bella Gigante, Mikey Baker and Busy McCarroll) at the upscale restaurant/good wine place this Sunday, March 24 at 6 pm.

-You might want to bookmark this page if you're looking for pop-up dining experiences. Your friends at Edible are all about that and have some cool things coming up in Santa Fe and Albuquerque in the coming months.

-PSA: Having tried the choco-taco at Albuquerque's Pop Fizz (it's at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which is also awesome), we want everyone to know that it is both incredible, but too large for one human person. We tried the cookies and cream version, but there's a horchata one, too! They also do mint choco chip and others. Now you know, so now you can go.

-Chef Fernando Ruiz of The Lodge at Chama restaurant (which is in Chama) recently beat celeb chef Bobby Flay at cooking. Score one for us, and take one away from every ginger chef with a chip on their shoulder.

More Tidbits

-Speaking of Bobby Flay, whom you may recall as the chef who would go to other chefs who'd been making a dish for a million years and talk a bunch of shit to them about it, he has a new Food Network show called The Flay List. In this show, he and his daughter Sophie go around eating stuff while the rest of us curse our parents because they didn't hand us a bazillion-dollar TV contract that consists of going around eating food.

-We also hear tell of a new food podcast titled Something About Food?, and while we don't know how good it is just yet, the website looks all right. Still, if you have some good food podcast tips, we're all ears.

-Over on delish.com, they claim to have tried out over 130 different choco chip cookie recipes in their test kitchen before finally finding the definitive best cookie of all time. If someone makes these, you can drop off a batch at SFR's office, and we'll be the judge. Or maybe we'll see if our partner will make 'em. Either way, we want them and wanna know if you get results.

-Kroger grocery stores (or, as we call 'em locally, Smith's) recently ended a grocery delivery pilot program in Arizona that was all about robo-cars with no drivers. The next phase is to see how it goes in Houston, and those who were part of the program will continue to get deliveries, just from human people instead of autonomous cars. What do you readers think of this?

USA Today talks about making your own Shamrock Shakes. That's all.

-You ever heard of Pizza Huts P'Zone? No? Well, it's like a calzone, but only bigger and more pizza-ey, we guess. Like the McRib, it's only around for a short time each year, and popsugar.com's Chanel Vargas is all about it. Ben Wyatt would probably be pumped, too.

-In Puerto Rico can't get a break news (which we're not FOR; we're strongly against, in fact), Procesadora La Hacienda, Inc., a meat processing company, was forced to recall all kinds of corned beef recently. Bad news for St. Paddy's earlier in the week to be sure.

-You might also want to bookmark eater.com, because they've got really great think pieces popping up all the time, this week in the form of the question: What happens when toxic restaurant culture reaches customers? It's a good read.

Finally

In the print edition of SFR, food enchantress Zibby Wilder wants to know why she can’t spend money at restaurants as quickly and easily as she’d like.
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A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence Number of Letters Received
103
*But you know the score already.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week 
“Stop calling us nerds!”
*No deal.

Actually Helpful Tip
“If you like steel-cut oats with cranberries, try this: steel-cut oats sprinkled with curry powder and topped with dried cranberries, shredded coconut and peanuts.”
*Thanks to Fork reader Robyn. Again we say to you GASP!
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Hang tough,
The Fork