We’ve been thinking...

We saw a Facebook post from a Santa Fe foodservice worker heading back into the acid mines, and we think it’s important for everyone to read it, especially if you’re thinking of dining out anytime soon. If the person who originally wrote this somehow stumbles onto The Fork, please email us at thefork@sfreporter.com so we can talk more. We think your awesomeness and truthfulness are essential and, honestly, badass.Anyway, check it:


It’s almost time to leave for work. Mask? Hand sanitizer? Apron? Inhaler? Lysol and wipes in car? Check.


Get to work. Put on mask. Walk inside. Search for gloves that fit. Check station to make sure it’s ready.. I have no idea what I need I just had 2.5 months off. I can barely remember my name.

Sanitize gloves. Get sat. Walk up to first table to see what they want to drink. Fuck. I forgot to bring them silverware. This isn’t pre-covid days when silverware is on table. Facepalm. Fuck. Now I have to change my gloves.

Change gloves.

Table wants coffee. Bring coffee. They ask for sugar. Sugar isn’t on table anymore. Facepalm. Shit. Change gloves again. Get sugar.

Go to take order. Customers masks are off. Try to stand back. 6 feet isn’t possible. They have so many questions. I hold my breath as they speak so maybe just maybe I will not inhale their potential coronavirus.

More tables get sat. Here we go again.


Holding my breath as much as possible. I cant breathe in this mask. They are protected by my mask. I am not protected by theirs. They aren’t wearing one. Holy fuck it’s hot in here.

They all want to chit chat. I love chit chat. But this is not a chit chat world. They can barely hear me because of my mask. I can hear them just fine because they aren’t wearing a fucking mask.

Is today going to be the day I catch this virus?

Silent prayer. More tables. One after another. Masks off as soon as they sit down. There isn’t enough sanitizer in the world to protect me. I’m still smiling. It’s pointless because nobody can see. Why am I even smiling? It’s not helping my tip.

15%, 10%, 12%, 5%.. WHAT THE FUCK?? Really?? I’m risking my life to bring you that margarita for a $3 tip???😭

Shake it off. Holy crap it’s hot. Mask feels like it weighs a ton. I’m not getting any air.

Oh, hello severe asthma. This feels like a GREAT time for you to make yourself known. Now I’m hyperventilating. I need my inhaler. I may pass out.

Yes. I am super high risk, waiting tables during a pandemic and unable to stand 6 ft away from all these unmasked customers.


I NEED 5 MINUTES TO HIT MY INHALER OR I MAY DIE. She agrees to cover my sections. Thank god. Run outside around the corner away from other people so I can pull my mask down, grab my inhaler and open up my lungs.

5 minutes is all I have. I have to get back inside. My section is full. Regular customer walking thru the restaurant with no mask. Are you kidding me? My friend and I tell her she cannot walk thru unmasked. She covers her face with her hands.

Sorrryyyyyy. Oh. My. God.

I’m running 1.5 sections. We all are. Not a single person pulls up their mask when we go to their table. NOT A SINGLE PERSON.

I know its not mandatory but.. My mask protects YOU. I have to wear it for 6 hours at a time. I have asthma. My lungs are a mess. I can barely breathe. Why are you not required to protect ME?? And if you are going to insist on not pulling up your mask when I come to your table, why can’t you tip like you know we are all risking our lives to take care of you??

Shift ends.

Bust ass to clean so I can at finally have that margarita I’ve been dreaming of. Find a safe space to sit away from all my coworkers and customers so I can sit at a table, remove my mask, know I am putting nobody at risk, drink my margarita alone when I’m just aching for some social interaction with my work family.

Get my dinner in a box.

Walk half a block to the employee parking lot. Holy shit my feet hurt. Open car door, pull out can of lysol. Spray myself from head to toe. Sanitize hands. Use disinfectant wipes on steering wheel, door, all surfaces I touch. I still feel gross. One more spray with lysol... Start car. Take off mask. Holy crap that feels amazing...


Get home. My dinner is cold. My feet hurt. I have to do this again tomorrow. Pray nobody infects me. Pray nobody infects my roommate who also works with me. For the love of God, if you go out to eat please, please, please pull up your mask for the few minutes that your server is at your table. Why are you not already doing this?? And, oh my God, tip your server like that burrito you are eating may cost them their life.


Hi, again, Fork here—here to say this is powerful. And here to ask you share it far and wide. It’s important, it’s true and it’s possibly life and death. Multiply this person’s story across the globe, and quit being glib about the masks. We know we’ve been saying something to that effect a lot, and you may be thinking that if this person is at-risk, why are they working? Because they have to. There’s not a choice for everyone. Do your part. Be cool. We’re begging you.

This one’s just for reader Caitlin R. NOBODY ELSE WATCH THIS!!! SERIOUSLY!!!


-In case it wasn't clear, there are a lot of restaurants opening back up of late. We grant you, the capacity is limited, but that doesn't mean all our worries are over. Just be aware. If you'd like to learn more, the New Mexico Hospitality Association has a new site up to make it even more understandable. Click here for that.

-Did you catch SFR's cover story this week? It came out yesterday, Julia Goldberg wrote it? There's a book excerpt from Gina Rae La Cerva's new book, Feasting Wild: In Search of the Last Untamed Food? Well, if you didn't, you should. It's clickable riiiiiiight here.

-You might have noticed more local restaurants are taking their show outside, or at least to some of the space right outside their existing spots. We reported on this awhile back, but y'all should know that more places are looking into doing this, and we're all about it.

More Tidbits

-Maybe you'll just get some chickens and they'll just lay some eggs, right? It'll be easy, right? YOU CAN ORDER THEM IN THE MAIL, RIGHT? Right, technically, but this-here piece explains some things you should know before you jump into the deep end of the chicken pool. Oh, also, we once had a friend who had a rooster named Rambo. Just so you know.

-Since we're all talking about restaurants reopening so often right now, we thought this piece from the staff at eater.com (we love the site, OK?!?!) about how 17 cities are faring while restaurants reopen was very interesting. That's photojournalism, little babies!

-We like delish.com because they have great recipes pretty much always, but with Black Lives Matter at the forefront of our consciousness, we particularly enjoyed this rundown of nearly 50 black chef and food folks who you can follow on Instagram right now.

-A rather interesting series of events have been going down at Bon Appetit lately, as it turns out that its editor Adam Rapoport not only used a brownface Halloween costume some years ago in efforts to make fun of the Puerto Rican community, it turns out the company wasn't paying its employees of color the same way as its white people. Gross. There's an interesting Twitter thread here, and news of Rapoport's resigning here.


In the print edition of SFR, food truck liker Cole Rehbein returns with word from chef Ras Rody’s food truck bonanza!


A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

Number of Letters Received

30*A smaller number than last week’s, but a few straggler survey responses. Boiled down to their essence, we believe a lot of people are going to wait before going out to eat, but they’ll make up for it with takeout. Win/win, maybe? Stay safe, that’s all we’re saying.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (an unedited letter from a reader)

“Dear Fork Correspondent,I am reading your latest piece with curiosity for who you really are. Is the cutsie, snarky attitude just a cover for trying to fit in to the “Woke” Santa Fe crowd or are you really and truly invested in this attempted Socialist takeover of a free Constitutionally based society? There is a very big difference between “Woke” and being awake. All those walking around with face coverings are not protecting themselves or others from the dreaded COVID 19. It seems it’s become the latest fashion trend that equates to being a part of the herd. Do your research. It is UNHEALTHY to go around wearing something over your face that deprives you of oxygen, prevents exhalation of CO2, a waste product which you then inhale. It encourages latent viruses you carry in your body to become active. AND when did it become acceptable behavior to shame??? That is immature and well, shameful! Journalism is an important profession. You, my friend are not a journalist. You fail to give accurate and well researched information. It appears you are only in it for the entertainment aspect and to elicit a reaction from the reader. The Zombie Apocalypse Cult will not last forever and when people begin to use critical thinking instead of Group-Think, where will you be? You would do well to stick to covering local food issues and to do your research before you spout politically driven ideology. Oh, and by the way, ALL LIVES DO MATTER!!!” *Setting aside how exhausting we find this letter from reader Kimberly D., we want everyone to know that we believe in masks, couldn’t give less of a shit whether or not she considers us a journalist and LOATHE “all lives matter” soooooo much. It’s like this: If you go to a doctor with a broken arm and they tell you all your bones matter, you’re gonna want that arm looked at right quick. Thanks for reading, Kim! As we said in our email, enjoy reading some other newsletter—this one obviously is not for you. P.S. We’ll never reveal our identity. NEVER!

Actually Helpful Tip (another unedited email from a reader)

“You are a treasure, a jewel, a diadem in the SF Reporter’s crown. I devour your words and feast on your observations. You are a banquet for ALL our senses.”*OK, we get that this won’t help people, but it helped us immensely. Sue K., you’re allllllllllright!


Fully, full-on wearing a mask, The Fork

If there’s two things we love in this world, it’s Muppets and this song by Jim Henson. This isn’t food related, it’s just a really great cover that we wound up hearing for the first time in a number of years while we were looking for high-quality vide from The Music Man last week (Me First’s cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is AMAZINGLY good).