Bring on the food!
Now that we're solidly on 2020 ground, you've probably seen about a bazillion pieces about food predictions in the new year. Media outlets do this for a couple reasons, not least of which is because sometimes it's just plain easier to do a breakdown of vignettes rather than journalistically dig deep into some topic (we're only humans, we need breaks sometimes). As such, you probably saw SFR's own Zibby Wilder break down some of the thing we'll probably see this year in a recent piece, and we hope she's right about some of that stuff.

But we wanted to keep it going just a little bit. Y'know, look around the food-o-sphere and see what we could glean and find things about which we might get excited. We're thinking we'll get into a "Things We're Totally Not Excited About" thing next week or at some point soon, but for now, feast your eye tongues on these word pops:

Meatless Proteins! Or, Like, Maybe Just Pea Proteins!
OK, OK, OK, OK, OK—we've talked vegetarian stuff and veganism to death in The Fork, but we thought you should all know that we're apparently going to be seeing more pea protein in the coming year. It's already a major player in meatless burgers like Beyond, but our research shows us that its potential as a meatless protein has really only started to be unlocked. As it stands, we like peas, and that old Magic Bullet infomercial told us that sneaking veggies into otherwise sweet and fruity smoothies is a cool thing, so we're kind of hoping that its applications are many, and that we can continue not eating meat and still have access to protein.

Micro-Boozing!
According to Nielsen (they also do TV data), something like 66% of millennials are looking to cut down on alcohol in 2020, and companies that make drinks and stuff know this to be true…we'll get to why that's exciting to us in a sec. Anyway, because of this, said companies are looking for ways to introduce bevvies with either zero booze or just a little bit o' booze, but, like, not enough to make you regret it. We can get behind this, because at a 2017 wedding we drank so much that the following two days were like some kind of hell-on-earth nightmare from which we couldn't awaken. We haven't had a drink since, and we like the idea of booze-less bars. There's that social component without all the substance abuse pressures. "But, The Fork!" you probably just whined. "Nobody says you HAVE TO drink!" That's true, but for those who do drink and maybe don't know this, nobody asks you to go anyplace when you're a known non-drinker. It stinks.

Food Boards 
So, like, 7 years ago while living in Los Angeles (maybe it was 17 years ago, maybe we're still there now … you'll never know!), everything everywhere was the cheese board and the charcuterie and the salted meats and the sweaty cheeses and the boards of wood and slate that had things to eat on them. It's pretty cool but, since this is America and we're trash people, you're probably going to start seeing the rise of boards that eschew cheese and such for things that have no business being on boards. Like the Fry Board, for example. We're absolutely here for this, and we suggest things like Gummi Candy Board, Different Kinds of Doritos Board and All Those Candies From Our Youth We Can't Find Anymore Like, Oh, I Dunno, Dunkaroos, For Example Boards. As more casual brewery-type places continue to open, they're gonna need snacks and in-betweener type things like this. You'll be seeing it happen.

Sometimes Fasting, Sometimes Not
Does everyone here also do that thing where sometimes you're just like, "Eh, I don't really feel like dinner tonight for whatever reason?" We do it, and when we do, it feels great. The thing is, fasting is hard and not fasting is hard, so while you'll certainly see a trend in intermittent fasting (we know the guide in that link is from 2018, but we predict we'll see this a lot this year), we prefer to think of it as "listening to your body. So, like, do that. Mostly, in 2020, we'd just like to think that we won't define ourselves through the tyrannical notion that one MUST eat meals at certain times.

Other States On the Chile Train
New Mexico will always be the chile capital of the universe, but the more we look to other states to see what folks are up to, the more we're realizing that chile is making its way across the land like some kind of … chile-fueled … chile … train. Anyway, if you're reading this outside of New Mexico, let us first apologize for telling you that it'll never be done as well as it is here, and it doesn't matter where you are, that's true. Second, if you're somewhere and you see they have green chile on the menu (good luck getting red, right, non-NM'ers), for the love of all things good, try it! Colorado is onboard, Texas, too, from what we hear, but we're gonna predict that it spreads a little farther into places like Idaho (potatoes and chile are brilliant together) and, like, hopefully someplace like Nashville that can incorporate it into some good ol' Southern BBQ.

What do you all predict?

Also

-The original Iconik Coffee Roasters on Lena Street has kicked off its annual seasonal menu, and it's full of good stuff like salmon cakes with a lemon-garlic aioli ($9), seasonal ramen with poached egg and additional organic chicken or steak ($10), a Japanese skillet steak ($13) and, obviously, street tacos with steak, swiss, caramelized onions and, if you prefer, chipotle salmon ($9).

-The fine folks at Santa Fe Spirits (they make that super-great Colkegan whiskey) have an art project in mind. Seems they have about 12 2L whiskey barrels that aren't suitable for use in the distillation process, so rather than just toss 'em, they're asking entrepreneurial artsy types to sign up, pick 'em up and create something cool. The final creations will be judged by the staff, and the winner gets a 53-gallon barrel to do whatever with. Neat! You must physically go to the distillery to pick it up and register, so reach out by Jan. 31 to get involved.

-Like skiing and then doing cool stuff once you're done skiing? Then you'll probably like The Compound's 3rd Thursday Winter Wine Series. As the name implies, folks who visit on the Thursday Jan. 16 (the day this-here email came out) will get down with  a special red wine tasting and small plates for $75 per person. Also, folks who went skiing the same day and can prove it with a lift ticket will get 20% off their lunch, dinner or bar bill, so The Compound is really embracing winter.

-We know it's only January, but tickets are available for New Mexico Restaurant Week, which kicks off in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos and Los Alamos throughout February and March. Santa Fe's week runs Feb. 23 through March 1. Fairly warned be ye, says we.

Our video gift to you this week is a very drunk Orson Welles filming a wine commercial (technically Champagne, though we all know the rules about wine/Champagne provenance).

-As we all know by day, climate change has pretty much set the entire country of Australia on fire, and it's a truly tragic set of events. But from that tragedy emerges a bright spot or two, here or there, including how helicopters are air-dropping carrots to feet hungry wallabies. It's called Operation Rock Wallaby, which is adorable. Also, if you're looking to donate to Australia, here's a link to find out more.

-HuffPost says it's important to know that while food is helpful in keeping your body OK, it's really not the same as medicine. Yes, yes, we're sure you've read articles about people who beat cancer by consuming raw beets or whatever, but remember that seeing doctors when you're really sick is probably smart.

-In shit that doesn't matter but the internet turned us all into a bunch of total effing weridos news, Regal Cinemas is apparently ditching Coca-Cola for Pepsi, and this is somehow a big deal to people. It's a strong contender for The Fork's Annual Who-Caresies, an awards show we just cooked up that will hand out middle fingers to people who flip out over not being able to buy Coke at one damn place.

-We figure we haven't gotten into an argument with any of you in a little bit, so here's an article about how science says that microwaving tea might not be such a bad thing after all. According to an Australian educator, it tastes better and is somehow better for you. Don't shoot the messenger.

-Lastly this week, eater.com gets into the darker side of so-called sustainable to-go containers. Yes, plastic and such are bad, but no, the compostable options that have been taking their place are not always better. Read on before you send us any "Oh, yeah?!?!" emails.

Finally

In the print edition of SFR, beer chaser Zibby Wilder visits the new Santa Fe Brewing Co. expansion, including the massive and beautiful beer hall.
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A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence 

Number of Letters Received
27
*Still vacation-ing, eh?

Most Helpful Tip of the Week 
“Have you seen this Orson Welles wine commercial?”
*Thanks, friend of ours we won’t name to protect your privacy (and ours)!

Actually Helpful Tip
Nada.
*Why you wanna hurt us?
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Get you a sammie that looks at you like we looked at that egg sammie,
The Fork