First off, just a little apology for last week’s edition of The Fork arriving days late. Our bad. We hope no one was too bummed since, y’know, we know you live your lives based around when The Fork comes to your inbox. Thanks for your kind words of concern on the matter. We love most of you!
But let’s get going this week, right? Right.
We know we’ve been talking about national food holidays a lot lately, but it’s something by which we find ourselves endlessly fascinated. Think about it: People decided there would be days set aside to consider and celebrate specific foods, and that’s just kind of amazing. Especially since the rest of us were all like, “Oh, National Corn Fritter Day? Sounds normal to us—make it so!” (National Corn Fritter Day is July 16, though, so you already missed it.)
Anyway, we admit we’re obsessed, but you’ll have to admit that whenever we mention one of these days, all y’all readers get in touch to talk about how you like them and how we missed certain specifics and how National Make Up Your Own Sundae Day (being July 11) is totally real. We believe you, so let’s break down the National _____ Day of the days through which this edition of Le Fork runs. We have suggestions for how to engage, even. And don’t think that just because we didn’t mention your favorite place means we don’t know or care about it and/or you—KNOW that it means that.
Thursday Sept, 22: National Ice Cream Cone Day
Even though it will no longer operate its Marcy Street storefront, local ice cream company La Lecheria is still going strong at its newer Railyard spot in Santa Fe, and there’s also an ice cream truck in the works. Setting aside how badly we’re hoping for it to sell those little styrofoam airplanes and/or those Ninja Turtles popsicles where the eyeballs are actually gum balls, we think you’ll likely be able to wrangle up a sweet ice cream cone from the house that owner Joel Coleman built.
Friday, Sept. 23: National White Chocolate Day
White chocolate isn’t truly chocolate in that there’s no cocoa particles in it, but it’s still a pretty tasty little treat. We looked all over the internet for a reliable local place to buy white chocolate and came up blank, but we KNOW we’ve seen it at Señor Murphy’s (barring some kind of Berenstein/stain Bears situation), so maybe just pop in there and ask? If you want to know more, know that white chocolate is pretty much cocoa butter and sugar and vanilla, and that those Hershey bars with the cookie chunks and the white chocolate are awesome. We think they’re called White Choco Cookie Chunkers or something. Yeah, that sounds right.
Saturday, Sept. 24: National Cherries Jubilee Day
We’ve never seen this on a Santa Fe menu in our entire lives, but we’re sure you’ll write to tell us it exists someplace, and we can’t wait to learn where that is. What’s that? You don’t know what cherries jubilee is? Well, you should watch the Frasier wherein Frasier and Niles buy a restaurant but then ruin everything with their Crane charm. It seems that both the Crane boys continually add a little more brandy to their cherries jubilee throughout the episode, leading Roz to become the victim of a mini explosion. Daphne, meanwhile, slams an eel to death. What a romp! Since we don’t believe you’ll actually watch that episode (It’s season 2, episode 23, from 1995 and called “The Inkeepers”) , we’ll just tell you that cherries jubilee is a dessert wherein cherries are soaked in liqueur, often brandy, and flambéed (set the eff on fire). You put ‘em on ice cream or something, we guess. Pie? Wait. Is it just pie without crust? That’s the best part of the pie!
Sunday, Sept. 25: National Quesadilla Day and National Food Service Workers Day
For the quesadilla part, we’ll just say you should go to Felipe’s Tacos. For the other part, we have a little more to say, namely that you should be out there tipping your foodservice workers as hard as you can—20% at least. Even a little more. To put it another way, an extra buck spent on tips a bajillion times over can only be good for food workers, and it’s not a big deal to most people eating out in restaurants. Like, on this day, tip an extra buck. Maybe two. Then start doing that all the time everywhere because the job is hard.
Monday, Sept. 26: National Key Lime Pie Day
If this were a couple years or even a couple weeks ago, we might have suggested something very different, but now that we’ve had the key lime pie at Tesuque Village Market upon the insistence of our editor, we have to say it’s the best in all of Santa Fe. Chewy and limey (side note, do you know the term “limey” comes from the limes that scurvy-addled sailors had to eat to combat said scurvy?) and with the finest whipped cream this side of...whatever region has good whipped cream. Austria? We don’t know, that’s in our head. Maybe because of The Hotel New Hampshire and that chapter about whipped cream and blood? Boy, the things we like sure are all over the place, though we’ll admit to liking John Irving less and less the more we age. Or don’t age. Are we even a person? Are you living in the real world? Keep passing the open windows. #Schlagobers
Tuesday, Sept 27: National Chocolate Milk Day
This one can go to hell with our grandma, mainly because we could never get all the lumps out when using Nestle Quik powder. And what’s up with that shitty Johnny-come-lately, second-string Trix rabbit mascot? You’re fooling no one, Nestle. Are you saying there are other, non-powder ways to make choco milk? Fie and foo! A pox upon ye! Prove this dark magic or forever be banished from the Hinterlands!
Wednesday, Sept. 28: National Strawberry Cream Pie Day/National Drink a Beer Day
We’ve never seen a strawberry cream pie here or anywhere (and, brother, we’ve seen some pies), so we don’t know what that’s all about, but we do think y’all can find a beer to drink, right? We aren’t about to sit here rattling off a list of local places with beers, OK? Just...find a beer if you want one. Go find one. Go out and find one. LEAVE YOUR LITTLE HOUSE AND FIND A LITTLE BEER! PUT ON YOUR LITTLE SHOES AND YOUR LITTLE HAT AND TAKE YOUR ID TO SOMEPLACE THAT HAS BEERS AND YOU DRINK ONE, OK?!? Side note: If you know of and/or can make strawberry cream pie, we want in.
There—seven lonely days make one lonely week, and seven lonely sporks make one lonely Fork. We dunno, we’re just rhyming and showing off our love of old songs. Seriously, why are we like this? So, yeah. Them’s the days. Do the days. Or not. Get vertical with Dew. Or don’t.
What in the ever-loving Australian nonsense is this Quik commercial?!!?!? And that thing at the end about the new jaffa flavor? We had to look up what jaffa is, and we’re not super-pumped about it. It’s some weird-ass oval-looking-ass citrus fruit. Get the heck outta here, Quik rabbit, with your jaffa BS. Jaffa sounds like Australian slang for cool...like, someone would be like, “Did you see the new Yahoo Serious flick, mate?” and their mate would be like, “Crikey right, I did, mate, and it was jaffa!” Hahahahah! Oh, man, Australia’s gonna have our legs broke.
-Let’s see...what’s going on locally? Ummmmm. We already told you about La Lecheria up there, so that’s kind of pointless. Oh! We know! We’ll remind you about the Plaza pushcart vendor application thing. So, you know how there are people who sell stuff down on the Plaza, food included? Well, they’ve opened up space for some new applicants, and if you wanna be out there doing street food and being cool and stuff, you can download an application right here. We liked when there was the hot dog one. Are they still down there?
-Looks like Santa Fe’s getting a Nothing Bundt Cake franchise over in the Trader Joe’s/Baking Co./Fun Noodles strip mall at Cordova and St. Francis. The Las Vegas, Nevada-based cake shop does—get this—bundt cakes. We’ve never been, but we hear it’s good. No word on an open date yet, but take a look next time you’re over there by Trader Joe’s.
-Don’t forget about the 20th Anniversary Community Celebration SEED THE FUTURE from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. The party is all about recognizing market all-stars, from Rocio Produce’s Rosa Maria Alcantar to Amy Fagan and Keegan Crumpacker of Crumpacker’s Bakery. Yo, isn’t Crumpacker a great name for a dude into baking? It’s like a butcher named Beefaroni or something. We’re here for it.
-Even though it was ages ago that The Fork told you that Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery would be expanding downtown with a new taproom and also pottery from owner Jason Kirkman’s wife, Angela Kirkman—who owns Santa Fe’s Paseo Pottery—people are just now starting to write us to ask if we know about it. We know about it, we knew about it. We know all. No open date yet for the new Palace Avenue location, but we’ll let you know.
-We’ve seen some kerfuffle online in regards to a Facebook group called “Worst of Santa Fe” wherein local foodservice people trade stories about shitty customers. It’s a private group, so not everyone can join, and we like it that way. Like, we’ve never seen any of the posts, but SFR has definitely run some things featuring waiters who’ve come up against the worst and weirdest humanity has to offer (follow this link for more on that). Anyway, if you ever question whether you’re a bad customer at a restaurant, you probably are. Those who know they aren’t ruining lives just plain know that. We won’t link to the group, but we do want you to think about being cool when you’re eating out—and that it’s really funny when restaurant folks talk shit. It’s one of the few things we miss about working in the industry...pretty much just the shit talk and the mountains of cocaine.
-Seems the Legal Tender Saloon & Eating House in Lamy might soon be on the market, including its liquor license. According to a story in The Santa Fe New Mexican, building owner (and majority liquor license owner) Allan Affeldt has put something like $2 million into the business and is set to move on to other things. Meanwhile, the restaurant’s chef, Sean Sinclair, told the New Mexican he plans to be open in a limited capacity (Friday, Saturday and Sunday dinner service) until the building sells—which means y’all should call ahead and make sure they’re open if you wanna go.
-Albuquerque bar Happy Accidents has been named the country’s best new bar from the folks at liquor.com’s 2022 Liquor Awards. That’s no small feat, because there are just so many bars out there. See all the finalists and categories and winners and losers here.
-Lastly this week, some sad news out of California as Opuntia Café Executive Chef Kim Müller’s longtime partner Alissa Marquis tells SFR that Müller has died. We do not know a cause of death, but last we heard Müller had been working on a new dinner menu for Opuntia. The Fork is always sad to hear about artists dying, and as food might be the highest art of all, this feels particularly tragic. We also appreciate that Müller’s love for the Santa Fe community ran so deep, she kept on working for Opuntia well after she left the state for Manhattan Beach, California, in 2016. Müller grew up in Santa Barbara, and before working with Opuntia, she brought her chef skills to the world as the inaugural chef at Izanami, the celebrated Asian eatery at spa/resort Ten Thousand Waves—for which she was a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award in 2014—as well as defunct or still-going iconic local spots like The Compound and the Galisteo Inn. Müller also held positions in New York City and California restaurants, and was involved with the Santa Fe Farmers Market and nonprofit Cooking with Kids, which seeks to train kids in the joys of food and the kitchen. In other words, Müller walked so today’s popular Santa Fe restaurants could run, and she kept the food love going in California with Marquis telling SFR Müller had recently helped open a culinary arts program at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Rest in power, Kim—and thanks for some truly great meals over the years.
On a lighter note, these Australian food ads have transported us to another dimension. We are particularly vexed by the very first one that seems to feature some sort of telecom-based relationship quarrel solved with a frozen dinner’s very existence. And then there’s this other one with some kind of cereal demon riding a zebra and lassoing corn and driving a forklift in an apparent homage to video games. It’s probably the creepiest thing we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen The Cremaster Cycle. Anyway, the name of the cereal is Grinners, and...we dunno, it’s wild. Like everything in Australia, Hemsworths included. There’s even an old Pizza Hut commercial in this reel that we theorize featured a then-star of some kind—but we’re more interested in the guy playing the delivery boy, whom we learn is named Dougie and who is being followed by a large group of screaming women. What a world. What a time to be alive! We just love old commercials so much.
-NPR-dot-com has an interesting little number on how foraging helped a writer discover a whole world of free food. If you didn’t know, the foraging movement has been pretty huge in recent years. If that piques your interest (and you’ll notice we used the correct “piques” there), a good place to start would be with Alexis Nikole, aka Black Forager (or @blackforager), whose popular Instagram account has brought foraging to a whole-ass generation of people. How about a link to that account? OK—right there.
-Since nothing feels good anymore, know that Pizza Hut has announced its own version of Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza, appropriately (and horribly) dubbed the Italian Taco. Is this offensive? We’re not sure. Anyway, the truth is it’s just a slice of pizza folded in half—as one does with pizza—and Pizza Hut was poking fun at Taco Bell. We thought that the combo Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/KFCs you’ll find dotted across the hellscape of America meant they were owned by the same people, but whatever else is gonna happen, we hate it. Thank you. Seriously, though, is that offensive? We sincerely cannot tell.
-As we were just saying last week, you’re about to see waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy more pumpkin things out there, and the folks at Delish-dot-com have a running tally of the Trader Joe’s versions of those things. It’s OK to like this stuff. Don’t be ashamed. Just have the things. Go ahead. We must admit, the pumpkin sticky toffee cake looks beyond good. And we’ve been known to have the little pumpkin-flavored ice cream cones. We like pumpkins, sue us. They’re the best gourd, obviously.
-We really liked this story about a television food stylist, which is to say, it’s about a person who makes weird food that appears in TV shoes like Foundation and Hannibal. What a neat job! Did you know food stylist was a job? Do you ever see food on TV and think about how you wanna eat it, whether or not it looks weird? Of course you do. We all do.
-After that Albuquerque bar Happy Accidents won that award from Liquor-dot-com, we decided to look into the website to see if it’s any good, and you know what? It’s pretty good! We learned some cool things about distillers and wineries and bars in various areas (we’re never giving up saying “various areas” now—deal with it America). Point it, if you are into spirits, you might add ‘em to your list of sites you visit regularly.
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence
In the print edition of SFR this week, there exists an ode of sorts to Valentina’s and the outrageously good al pastor tacos there.
Number of Letters Received
*Like you, dear readers, we also had a lot of egg questions we now have answers for—and learning is the most fun of all!
Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader)
“I read this to my mom and dad, and they think you’re not very funny.”
*Oh, yeah? They think this is easy! Writing a thing week in and week out? What have they done that’s so funny, outside of unleash you on the planet? BURN! Or, in local parlance, UM-BERS!
Actually Helpful Tip(s)
“Calling something Pumpkin Spice when there’s no pumpkin is misleading. Let’s call these products what so many of them are—No-Pumpkin Spice Whatevers. Spices without the pumpkin. Like the Tate’s cookies, which are really just ginger snaps.”
*Reader Stephanie C. dropping knowledge and fully changing up our Tate’s-buying game. Ginger snaps? More like Never snaps! Or something clever. See you in hell, Tate’s Bakeshop, or whatever you’re called...with your dumb little bags and your dumb little rat faces!
P.S. When we do these super-long Forks, are you super-sad?