First of all, we know it’s not a new millennium, and we hope the three or four of you who can dig what we’re laying down enjoy the reference. The rest of you? Google it and then act like you knew all along. Or just move along. Regardless, we’re gonna get into bologna in just a sec, but before we do, let’s do a quick recap of what’s been up with us since last we spoke last year:
-We ate too much
-We slept too little
-We fielded family
-We fielded fields in an effort to deal with how we ate too much
-We felt as one with the universe for a brief fleeting moment
So, yeah. Pretty good break. What’d you all get into? We mainly thought about those dishes from our last missive—the one about our 25 Favorite Dishes in Santa Fe (Right Now). We even went out and ate some all over again. It’s all gonne be OK. But let’s talk bologna.
Y’know, bologna is not just one of our favorite ways to tell someone we don’t believe them about something (“aw, that’s a bunch of bologna,” we’ll say—and you can read more about that phrase’s origin here), it’s one of the lunch meats we loved most as a young Forkling. And yet, we don’t really know much about it outside of our mom would put it in sandwiches, and there’s a whole swath of people out there who think they’re too good for the stuff.
Mayhap they’d be less averse to the flattest yet roundest meat treat around if they knew that it’s actually and weirdly considered a sausage, that it’s a direct descendent of mortadella or that its origins lie in ancient Italy, and maybe even Rome—y’know, that same city where people were like, “We think it’s cool you’d like to bed your grandmother, Caligula, now make your horse a senator.”
Anyway, it’s believed that Italians in—get this—places like Bologna liked to flavor their cured meats with a spice derived from myrtle berries, which is a process still used today. Nicer bolognas from, say, a butcher shop or meat biz even use spices such as nutmeg from time to time, so maybe your little bologna theories are just that—bologna. Of course, we mass produce that stuff here in America, but European standards are much more stringent on the matter. Mortadella, for example, must consist mainly of pork in Europe, and you’re gonna see chunks of stuff in it and in bologna if you go to a meat biz.
If you’re picturing, however, Oscar Mayer bologna, know there’s a lot of difference. It’s thinner and you can bite little holes into it then put it on your face with your eyes peering out while you say, “Clarrriiiiiiiice!” You can also contend with how the brand that built a wiener car also makes bologna from meats other than pork (read the labels), like turkey (we like that kind). Like its cousin the hot dog, however, American-made bologna can be made from meat parts for which people have decided they’re too good. That’s a personal preference, we just don’t care about that kind of thing for the most part and know that we aren’t gonna be on our death bed thinking, “We regret eating that bologna that one time.” If anything, we’ll regret the bolognas we didn’t eat. But furreal, bologna is often made from things like liver and kidney and (and this is a real term) the raw skeletal muscle. Often, it’s pigs, just know that and decide what you decide.
How did we wind up with so many words about bologna so far? We kind of blacked out for a second. But we also know we’re not the only food fan who likes that stuff. According to the most recent data we could find, Americans consume something like 800 million pounds of bologna per year. Do you know how many Oscar Mayer packs that is? It’s a lot of them. So, like, do you eat that stuff? Let us know. Oh, and Happy New Year, ya buncha dorks.
We didn’t choose to share this Weird Al song, it’s just the law when you’re talkin’ about bologna.
-On the local front, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe, which produces the annual Burning of Zozobra event (Google it if you’re not from Santa Fe), has announced plans to offer special Zozobra-themed coloring menus to local restaurants. “Specifically, we are looking for businesses or individuals who may be willing to donate black-and-white copies from their copy machine, provide funds for crayons, paper or toner or offer any other form of support to help us kick-start this aspect of our centennial outreach.” Not only that, but we hear there’s a 2024 Zozo-themed sparkling wine from the folks at the Gruet winery, which is meant to usher in the 100th anniversary of the time artist Will Shuster was all like, “What if we built a demon and burned it while it screamed?” If you work at or own a restaurant and would like to know more about those things, email event chair Ray Sandoval at email@example.com.
-Looks like we’ve got some local temporary closures in town just now, but don’t fret because these people will 100% be back. Horno Restaurant, for example, will be closed from Jan. 11-25 for renovations and, according to the Facebook post, “down time.” We salute chef/owner David Sellers for allowing his staff down time, frankly. That’s super-cool. Farther up Marcy Street, La Mama—being one of SFR’s fave new spots—will be closed through Jan. 14. Take note, be cool.
-Just a reminder that Fusion Tacos does Taco Tuesdays right with a special of 10 tacos and two drinks for $22. That’s a glorious deal and it’s available across all locations. As there are now 12 of them, you should be able to get tacos on Tuesdays no problem. And, like, good ones, too.
-And while we’re reminding people about things, Atrisco in Santa Fe’s DeVargas Center cooks up a killer green chile cheeseburger. We know these exist all over the place here, we’re just saying they have a good one because we hadn’t been there in a minute but we totally went there the other day and were like, “Oh, yeah, this is good as heck.”
-As Samuel L. Jackson would say, hold onto your butts for the upcoming Vegan Chef Challenge, which finds restaurants throughout Santa Fe cooking up delicious vegan options for the entire month of March, plant-based menus and, y’know, just, like, vegan stuff, man. Visit veganchefchallenge.org for more on that and to learn what restaurants are getting involved over time. We tell you now because we feel like it.
-Everybody’s favorite downtown dive The Matador (sincerely, we love that place and the folks who run it) is on the lookout for a bouncer two nights a week. According to a post we saw online, shifts run 8:30 pm-2 am and pay $100 a shift plus tips. You must have a server’s license to do this (and if you don’t know what that is, you probably aren’t in the market to become a bouncer). Ask ‘em about it at the bar. They’re open at night.
-According to the Insta page for Chef Dakota Weiss’s Capital Coal Neighborhood Eatery (which you might recall from a story in SFR not so long ago) has officially added the charcuterie component to its already stacked offerings of French dips, Korean fusion, big salads, etc. Anyway, go get them little meats ‘n’ cheeses.
Apropos of nothing, you know how Damien is a little fucking creep in The Omen?
-Oh. Em. Gee. Taylor Swift has a favorite cinnamon roll and the goobers at Food-and-wine-dot-com have the recipe. Now, if you just thought to yourself how you hate Taylor Swift, you’re not alone. Of course, we’re not really on your side in the matter since we attribute much of the hate to institutionalized misogyny, whiny cis dudes and people whose idea of music was cemented in the 1960s (as if “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is, like, good...it’s not). Everyone else? Taylor’s just doing her damn best! God! We aren’t even a Swiftie and we’re like, “Shut it up, chumps!”
-Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (being just about the biggest wine and spirits distributor ever around) has released its list of projected 2024 beverage trends (or bevvie-t’s as we call them), and the information is...well, not fascinating, but...what’s the opposite of fascinating? Dull? No, that’s too far. Well, anyway, the information exists. So what does this big-ass company see for our next year of imbibing? Fizzy drinks, for one thing. We’re gonna see a lot of fizzy drinks. Also? Craft-made liqueurs, because what’s more exciting to a drinker than a small batch version of some bullshit that kind of tastes like black licorice? We’re gonna see alternative grain whiskeys made from quinoa (good lord) and orange wines (good lord) and and premium sparkling red wines (good lord). Read ‘em all here.
-Oh, shit, is oat milk actually bad for humans? Maybe for some people, but we’re choosing to not wanna hear about it since we love it in our coffee. HuffPost has more on the matter despite years of thinkpieces out there all like, “Oat milk for prez!” Oh, real quick, too, apparently the gluten-free set should be wary of the stuff. Just saying.
-Coffee mega-chain Starbucks is under fire this week, and not just because the coffee tastes bad and that people should have more to their personalities than making Tik-Toks about liking it. The chain now hides the cream and oat milk behind the counter, meaning that adult people who know how they prefer their coffee are now forced to live under the thumb of employees who do not give a shit how you like your bevvies. But that’s not even the reason. Rather, the Washington Consumer Protection Coalition (which protects consumers) says the bean-based behemoth has rigged the gift card game. How so, you might ask? By encouraging consumers “to leave unspent money on their cards and apps,” according to a statement from the WacoProCo (an acronym we just invented and is not real) Think of it like...OK, there’s a couple things to consider. First, you know how you have cards in your wallet or purse that have, like, two bucks on them? They already made that money, but you’re just sitting there not actually spending it, so they’ve given you nothing in return. Further, according to the complaint, customers can only reload their accounts in $5 increments, meaning it’s harder to zero out the balance over time; like, you’ll always have a little left over. It might not seem like a lot or a big deal, but the WacoProCo (which, again, is not a real term they use) says the company has pocketed something like $900 million over five years. Boo! Filth! Slime! Muck! Rubbish! Booooo!
-Speaking of coffee shops, some stuck-up engaged couple in Indianapolis (that’s in Indiana) with a real attitude about small businesses got married inside a locally-owned coffee shop without the shop’s permission, leaving the ownership flummoxed...baffled...nonplussed...bemused...c-mused...and so on. Yeah, it’s true—these people did this. Now, we’re fully behind a couple doing this at Starbucks, but they could have reserved the shop—a services its Instagram totally advertises. To put it plainly, stick it to corporations whenever you want (and we include places like Starbucks and Meow Wolf on that list), but leave the little guys/gals/theybys out of it. Jeeze.
-Just because we feel like we have to mention it, the entire dang world is losing its mind over those travel cups from the company Stanley because one of them survived a car fire and kept its contents cold or hot or whatever (we only know what La Forkette told us, and we were only paying, like, 65% attention to her at the time...and we will NOT look up the story), so people are now waiting in lines to buy fucking cups and Tik-Tok is doing that thing where people are like, “Hey guys, it’s me your favorite cup girlie just here to talk about my stupid fucking cup!” Anyway, it’s a cup, but Eater-dot-com suggests it might be more than that. Included in the story? Video of people literally sprinting toward the cup at a Target. We’re begging you, humanity, to get a better caliber of thing to care about than a cup. We’re sure it’s well-made. We’re sure it does what vessels do. We’re sure you’ll be OK if you don’t get the limited edition one. And while we’re at it, get a better personality than those belonging to the Starbucks/Chick-fil-A/Target/Stanley cup people who go online and act like that’s fucking anything! It’s boring. Like, you’re boring. You’re boring and it’s weird. And there are books and films and food...oh, wait—we think we understand suddenly. Can it be that the crippling weight of existence under capitalism and technology means that we, as people, must do whatever ridiculous thing we can in the moment for that fleeting dopamine hit which seems to whisper, “you’re gonna be OK, at least for the next 24 hours?” Must we chase that constantly in the form of cups and bad coffee that the internet told us we like? Could it be that knowing most of us will never own a home or feel true love or even visit a doctor regularly means squeezing out even the most temporary moment of joy? Can the cup be a distraction that calms the screaming self-doubt and gut-wrenching sadness and poverty? Does Chick-fil-A actually taste OK, and we have to do whatever we can to feel human, even for an instant? Nope. The Chick-fil-A homophobes are wrong, Starbucks sucks huge. AND IT’S A FUCKING CUP! Get real, vitamin breaths!
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence
In this week’s print edition of SFR not only did our boss pop by the newly reopened San Francisco Street Bar & Grill, he’s starting to think CHOMP food hall might be allllllllright.
Number of Letters Received
*That’s for three weeks, though. Dang.
Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader)
“I fucking love when you swear, it’s funny.”
*We agree with the shit outta you!
Actually Helpful Tip(s)
“Did you know Fusion Tacos does Taco Tuesdays? It’s so worth it.”
*We do now, thanks to you, reader Jeff D.! No, not you, regular Jeff D., a new Jeff D. Anyway, we put it in the local section up there, did you see it?
We warily welcome you to 2024,