Ordering Takeout and the New World Order

Regular reader? Then you know The Fork has long been an advocate for taking care of service workers, particularly as it applies to those who eat out. The short version? Working in restaurants is hard, and when the people who patronize restaurants take it upon themselves to turn dining out into a whole…thing, it makes it so much worse. So, as we often do, we reached out to buds who work in the service industry (those who haven't been laid off due to the pandemic, that is) and asked them how it's all going. Then we synthesized that information in the lab with our proprietary algorithm, and we'll now translate that raw data for you.

In simplest terms? The restaurant industry has taken a real hit, and we can sympathize as members of another industry taking a hit right now. Like SFR, restaurants' business model has much to do with people congregating, and we just can't do that anymore, y'know? We understand why, of course, we're just saying that it's a shame. Even tried-and-true restaurant geniuses like David Chang have said they're not sure what the next year will look like for the places that feed us, so keep that mind when thinking about what's for lunch or dinner.

A good first step? Start with the places you'd like to see survive, and this means local joints. Do you really think Buffalo Wild Wings or Chick-Fil-A are gonna shut down? And even if the chains in Santa Fe do, is that as crippling or horrifying as the mom 'n' pop spot that's given to the community and been there for us even in our darkest days? At SFR, this has meant that on the very few trips to the office we've made (while strictly observing social distancing), we've made a point to order takeout and we've made a point to order local. Our most recent pickup was from Felipe's Tacos, an eatery in business since the early '90s and exactly the kind of burrito/quesadilla/taco eatery we want to be open once we can leave our homes freely. We're happy to report that owner/chef Felipe Martinez was very serious about advice from the New Mexico Department of Health and even went so far as to disinfect our credit card before and after using it. That kind of thing is appreciated. As we continue putting out the paper each Wednesday (which means visiting the office on Tuesdays), we plan to continue ordering from local places. So watch out, La Choze…we're coming for you.

You think you're scared? You probably are. We are, too. But from the grocery store workers to the remaining restaurant employees, we're talking about people forced to choose between interacting with the public during a crisis and losing their jobs. The people we've spoken to understand everyone's stress level to a certain point. In other words, they feel about how you do, and you should ask yourself if you feel like being mistreated right now. This means no yelling, understanding things are moving more slowly or that if your order contains a mistake, it's a lot more effective to calmly explain where you're coming from than to scream like the worst thing of all time just happened to you.

So you tip, right? You should. And huge. We're not saying $20 on a $25 bill (though, if your'e rich, why not?), but we are suggesting that 30% wouldn't be out of the question right now if your'e able. Think of it like a helping out tax. Think of it like a good way to show support and solidarity. We know times are tough, but The Fork makes less money than you'd think, and we're still taking care of service folks.

Otherwise, spread the love out as much as possible. And we want to reiterate that thing about not stressing over the chains. They'll survive, but we'll never be able to replace our Café Castros or our Felipe's Tacos or our Palacio Cafés. Many of these places are operating on a razor-thin margin, if they're doing anything besides breaking even at all. Remember that, order often if you can and just—as always—be cool.

We've been updating the list of open local spots, and you can check that list out by clicking right here.

¡Where to Donate Alert!

You might have seen a recent online story from SFR about how Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven from the Netflix show Stranger Things) donated the equivalent of 20,000 meals to the Food Depot in Santa Fe. Stranger Things was just about to shoot here, and it's a moving gesture, especially considering Brown hasn't even stepped food in New Mexico yet.

But this got us thinking about how food banks and similar orgs working with food and/or sustainable agriculture that might be the best places to offer financial support right now. We know, we know, we know—there's a cacophony of sources looking for a few bucks (SFR is even one of them) and money's tight for many, but if you're looking for some place to kick bucks, try out some of these links:

¡Bonus Thing Alert!

Don't forget about Squash Blossom right now, the farm-to-table company that hooks you up with fresh produce and such for a nominal fee. We don't know about you, but as chips and dips and choco things become easier to eat for dinner while we're trapped at home, the idea of fresh veggies winding up on our doorstep sounds allllllllright.

ATTN: 'Les Miz' fans: Watch this family deal with the quarantine in the best way possible—show tune parody!

Also

-We've told it on the mountain about the Santa Fe Master Gardener Association before, but if you've got plots at home and wanna do garden stuff, now's the best time ever to get hip to its presence and email newsletter.

-Didja know the Santa Fe Farmers Market is still open? Ditto Sky Coffee. Things are happening in the Railyard still, so the Railyard updated its website to give you the most up-to-date info possible. For the love of God, be safe and smart, though. Six feet! STAND SIX FEET AWAY FROM PEOPLE!!!

-Our friends at Edible New Mexico have kicked off a super-cool promotion called #TooSmallToFail, wherein they (and the Instagram influencers at @simplysantafe) are offering gift cards and support for New Mexico Restaurants. Learn more riiiiiiiight here.

–Sad news out of Santa Fe this week as The Fork has learned an employee of downtown Italian restaurant Il Piatto has died. We do not have the details, nor do we wish to speculate, but we will say that we met Bram McMahon a number of times in our old restaurant worker days, and he was never anything but an upstanding gentleman and force for positivity. Our thoughts are most assuredly with the other staff of the restaurant as well as the many foodservice workers who knew and loved him.

More Tidbits

-Eater.com (probably our favorite food-based site ever) has some tips and/or tricks for making your kitchen a better place to cook. Heed these words, plan those meals, try your best to not succumb to chips and chocos.

-Workers for Whole Foods, Amazon and grocery store delivery service Instacart are all in the striking mood, and their demands don't seem so weird. We're talking hazard pay and maybe some personal protection. When you hear about days these people are doing these things, don't be a scab and maybe shop someplace that treats their workers how they deserve.

-We know a lot is up in the air right now, but as this article will tell you, WIC and other benefits for the food insecure are usually dispersed around the first of the month, and those of us who are (for the most part) OK should not pop into the stores and buy everything up before these people get a chance. Take special note of price tags that bear the "WIC" title as well, and leave those for the people who really need them right now.

-Meanwhile, if you've turned to instant ramen in your hour of need, USA Today has tips for making it sooooo much better than just heating and eating.

-Lastly in news not specific to Santa Fe only…news, HuffPost wisely has a breakdown of ways to disinfect your kitchen, including those items you just brought back from the store.

Check out this Michigan doctor with more tips for keeping your food clean right now.

Finally

In the print edition of SFR, agriculture enthusiast Julie Ann Grimm figured out some of the best practices for growing chile right now, and she’s passing the wisdom on to you!

A quick note before we get to the correspondence section: You were all wonderful this last week. So many kind and encouraging words which, frankly, we can all use right now. Keep being your wonderful selves!
____________________________________________________________
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence 

Number of Letters Received
67
*Many tips and we thank you all!

Most Helpful Tip of the Week 
“I don’t even care about this quarantine.”
*Please do, though. Please?

Actually Helpful Tip
From an anonymous employee of Santa Fe pharmacy Pharmaca who appreciated the work being done by their grocery store sibs and wanted to pass along some of their own struggles while also helping:
“We want to suggest to anyone who is sick, to please take advantage of either the parking lot delivery, or home delivery we are offering. You can call in your order and either wait in your car, or have it home delivered. It’s much safer for all involved, including us!”
*Oh, word. Heed this!
____________________________________________________
Donating when possible,
The Fork

¡POST-SCRIPT ALERT!

The Fork knows we all need to relax, so we’re happy to bring you a link to a project spearheaded by an audio professional buddy who is dealing with the boredom by being amazing.

Sound artist James Lutz (aka Auralborealis) has traveled the world field recording beautiful sounds, and he’s now curating a bandcamp.com page full of gloriously relaxing sounds. We’ve been listening and we wanted to pass along the info to you in case you could use a little white noise relaxation right about now.

Click this link right now!

You’ll be feeling relaxed in now time.