We’d like to preface this week’s edition of The Fork by letting you know that we did not hate the thing about which we’re going to tell you.
It’s a new product (new to us, anyway) that we stumbled across in our travels (by which we mean new SFR Staff Writer Andy Lyman brought it to the office and stone-cold foisted in upon us), and we’re going to tell you what it is momentarily. Before we do, just know that we sampled this product expecting the worst, only to discover that, like we said, we didn’t hate it. But still, we think it’s an unholy abomination and, as such, we have to ask: Why does this thing exist?
Oh, right—we didn’t tell you about the thing in question yet, which is weird since you probably saw the photo above already. Ah, well. Anyway, get this—the thing in questions is a new bevvie consisting of Coca-Cola and coffee. Coffee and coke. Coke/coffee. In one can. Yup. Why does this thing exist?
Is there not enough caffeine in those things separately? Were there people out there who really dug one or the other but always secretly longed for a combo? Even worse, have people been putting these things together of their own volition? Truly, mashup culture has gone too far when we have this veritable heart attack juice roaming the markets and preying on people like, oh, we don’t know...students who need to study late, people who like to be alone at night or those being stalked by Freddy Krueger. Now, those aren’t real stats, but we have to assume they’re real things.
What does it taste like, you ask? Well, it’s kind of interesting. It’s very Coke-forward at first, with the carbonation doing the ol’ fizz-a-roonie-doonie and the acidic soda bite hitting hard. But then the coffee notes start to appear. At first, our body rejects the flavor combo outright, but then—and we can only assume the folks at Coca-Cola know this—we start to get curious. Is one sip enough to truly make a judgement? We like to be well-informed when we’re fixing to talk shit, so that leads to another sip. And another.
Suddenly, reality as we know it slows around us, like some sort of slow-motion sci-fi nightmare. We can see through time. We feel the gigantic, horrible, beautiful, unknowable heartbeat of the universe. Everything goes black, and we set adrift in a warm sea of swirling colors and primordial emotion manifested into our minds in a way akin to the tunnel of light one sees when closing their eyes so tight.
And then? Daylight. Or rather, dusklight. Waning light. It’s early evening when we come to in a field. We’ll later learn we ended up some 1,500 miles from home, but for now, we just know there’s an empty Coke/coffee can in our hand and we’re experiencing the kind of headache that would slay a god. In the distance, mild traffic on the highway and, closer, crickets in the tall grass.
We wander aimlessly for what feels like hours, maybe even days. At some point we must have lost our pants, because the cars won’t stop to help us. And it’s dark before we come across the roadside diner, its bright lights shining like an oasis in the distance. We sprint there, not caring that the sharp rocks on the side of the road are cutting into our feet. Inside, the waitress greets us warmly, seemingly unconcerned by our bloody feet and lack of pants. She offers up use of the phone, and we attempt to call home and explain the situation. “There’s no one here by that name,” the voice on the other end says. So we hang up.
That’s when we notice the outfits—strange and luminous like all the colors of the rainbow dancing in a wet and ever-changing ballet of beauty. We’ve never seen such clothes. We’ve never seen such technology, come to think of it. Scared and frantic now, we try to sputter out words, failing and growing more frustrated. The waitress gives us a glass of water in a strange vessel. We wet our throat. We take a breath, and finally, we manage to eke out a phrase: “What...what year is this?”
We won’t bore you with the other minutiae of this completely real and 100% accurate series of events, like finding out how far into the future the Coke/coffee combo sent us or how we managed to travel back through time to the present in time to write this newsletter. We will, however, point out that the weird combo thing is nothing new in the food world.
There was a time, for example, when people called HB Reese mad for wanting to combine choco and peanut butter. There was a time when you’d have committed anyone you knew who suggested that cheddar and caramel popcorn are weirdly excellent together. You ever had soy sauce on ice cream? Sriracha on Oreos? The peanut butter and onion sandwich Fred Savage made in his 1989 classic film, Little Monsters? Heck, there was that period about 10 years back when potato chip makers were throwing together any weird-ass combo of flavors they could think to try. Pickle juice and butts flavor? Fishlips and donkey burps? Why?! OK, those are fake, but we do recall being baffled by chicken and waffle chips. Look, we know that’s a great combo in non-chip form, but did a chip need to exist? It tasted wrong, too.
Anyway, after our experience with Coke/coffee, we learned a lesson: We actually think we wanna try any combos of things coming our way. Why did we sassmouth the Coke/coffee combo? Why did we snip a lock of Andy’s beard with which to do witch stuff? Could it be we’re from a generation that so adamantly doubled down on ironic enjoyment that we don’t know what’s real anymore and we need to dunk on anything that doesn’t fit our myopic world view? Could it be that Coke/coffee is a good product that’ll be good for people? Naw, it’s probably terrible for you, but you’ll need to be your own judge...guy. Person?
As for us, well, we’re likely not gonna get back to the Coke/coffee combo. We actually see it being addictive. We will, however, eat Jell-O with weird shit in it, like mushrooms and olives (which, if you look to cookbooks from the 1950s and 1960s, is somehow real) but mostly because we like how it jiggles and sways. Why are we like this? Don’t answer that. Just be glad we got back from the future, or you’d be stuck with some other goober who’d probably write newsletters like, “New chef makes nice food at place you can visit.” God, can you imagine how dreadful that would be?
If you’d like to learn more about Coke/coffee, click this link to enter the seventh circle.
These people would probably think the Coca-Cola corporation has gone mad with power.
-Did we already mention Dakota Weiss, chef at Coyote Café, will be opening up a more permanent location for their Catch Poke restaurant? Weiss has been serving up poke at the CHOMP food hall this summer, but now that it’s fixing to get dark at 3:30 in the afternoon, they’ll be moving on to greener pastures or, at least, bigger pastures. We honestly think we might have told y’all this before, but we can’t remember. Either way, enjoy the info!
-We also hear Arroyo Vino is up to something really good in tandem with the Santa Fe Playhouse. Dubbed An Iliad with Patrick Osteen, it’s a little bit theater and a whole lot dinner. The Nov. 10 meal includes roast beet and orange salad, grilled octopus, lamb meatballs and lots more. While you eat, Osteen will regale you with Homer’s classic tale of Trojan War action. You’re looking at $125 per person and you MUST reserve your spot by calling the restaurant at (505) 983-2100.
-It’s just a rumor, but we hear the folks who own the Santa Fe Bar & Grill might have found a buyer. They’ve been trying to sell for some time, says our spy, but also that’s a bit of a drag because an SFR staffer ate there recently and loved it.
-Also, we know we’ve been telling you about this for some time, but word on the street is that Felipe’s Tacos is likely to change hands by Dec. 15. Plan accordingly.
-For some reason we’ve been spending a lot of time in Albuquerque lately, and we’ve got two recs for all y’all if you’re headed down there. First up is Little Bear, a very nice coffee shop staffed by very nice people who’ve repeatedly made us a great cup and been super nice about it. Our other rec is Kap’s Coffee Shop and Diner, where we had a most excellent brunch, where the workers are nice and where, it seems, just about everything comes with hash browns. You must try the cinnamon roll, too. We don’t know who Kap is, but we’re all about a diner. Why is Santa Fe so anti-diner? Imagine if we had a 24-hour place that served eggs and quiches and fries and stuff...IMAGINE IT NOW!
Nobody said anything to us about Australian cereal Grinners, so the video stays. Again, it will be in this slot until someone at least mentions they’ve seen it. And we’ll know if you’re lying. You need to prove you watched it.
-If you’ve been following the news at all, you might have heard that unfunny late night host James Corden was recently banned from NYC eatery Balthazar after the owner described him as a “most abusive customer.” Well, it turns out Corden is nothing if not cordial and got himself un-banned following what must have been a pretty sincere apology. Apology or not, people should be nicer to waitstaff, and we’ll just say we weren’t all that surprised by Corden’s jerkishness.
-Dr. Pepper has a new bourbon-flavored soda that doesn’t contain any alcohol, and you know what? It sounds pretty good. We like a good old DP now and then, and we used to quaff bourbon like some sort of Kentucky-based professional drinker.
-It seems Halloween is going to be a little pricier this year as candy prices have gone up. According to reporting from Food & Wine, the Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent Consumer Price Index notes the cost of candy has jumped 13% since last year. Sorry, kids. Guess you can’t come to our house. Good luck finding it, anyway.
-If you follow this link, you’ll find a recipe for peppermint meringue from the folks at Delish-dot-com. We just think it sounds good, and we think the photo will make you go, “Ooooooh!”
-Lastly in non-specifically New Mexico news, the folks at Thrillist-dot-com have suggestions for food- and drink-themed Halloween costumes. To give you an idea of what they’re laying down, corn is the second suggestion. Literally corn.
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence
Number of Letters Received
*And they’re reading us all the way down in T or C!
Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader)
“Useless as usual.”
*You sure this wasn’t something you wanted to say to yourself in the mirror? UMBERS!
Actually Helpful Tip(s)
Regular reader Iris M. turned us on to a trio of snacks, including crispy seaweed snacks from a company called Nora, Trader Joe’s chile and garlic cashews and Taco Bell brand cheddar crisps. We want all of them, Iris, so thank you!
*We’ll take any kind of cashews we can find.
Back From the Future,