The Fork

The Fork: Having ourselves a little Meltdown

What the fuck is up, Denny’s?!

In the grand scheme of things, we wouldn’t say that we use DoorDash a lot. Maybe it’s, like, once a month, and even then we feel really guilty about it. But sometimes you’re hunched over your work computer weeping audibly because you’re so hungry and the tasks just keep on tasking and there’s no way on Earth you’re gonna be able to get up, go someplace, eat food and come back in the amount of time that remains before that thing you’re doing gots to get got.

Which is to say, we just ordered via DoorDash from a sandwich shop called The Meltdown, and we have some thoughts about the experience.

First off, when the hell did a sandwich shop called The Meltdown open in Santa Fe? Well, it’s complicated. See, though The Meltdown exists within DoorDash (and in its own online ecoystem, should you care to look), it’s actually fucking Denny’s. Yeah—that Denny’s. You know the one. The place that has, like, Lord of the Rings-themed meals such as the Sweet and Sauron Chicken? And—oh, wait, hang on a second? Thanks.

OK, we’ve just learned that Sweet and Sauron Chicken is not real, so we apologize, but in our defense, the thing we ordered just before we wrote this was called the Breakfast ‘n’ Bed (it was a breakfast thing).

Further, the point remains the same: It’s wild that Denny’s is trying to Trojan Horse an ostensibly higher-quality (than Denny’s normal stuff) sandwich eatery faux-biz within its hallowed halls. Is this the same Denny’s that paved the way for a waiter in Needles, California, to bring us a plate of bacon for which we never asked? The same Denny’s that our mother has described as “fake food” for out entire life? It can and it does, you just have to go looking for that info, and it certainly isn’t saying it on DoorDash.

It’s weird to do a semi-sorta-kinda ghost kitchen within an existing non-commercial kitchen (by which we mean it isn’t a private space where people make tamales or hot sauce in bulk). If you don’t know what a ghost kitchen is, it’s one of those fake restaurants that seems real online through its branding or whatever, but really it’s just a room where people make sad food. It’s worth a Google, because we’re not about to go through the whole history here, but it’s weirdly fascinating.

Anyway, we anticipate that you might have questions about The Meltdown (again, being the covert Denny’s-owned sandwich shop hidden within Denny’s but brazenly flaunting itself online), so let’s get out ahead of them:

How was the sandwich?

Pretty good. It was a breakfast number with bacon and scrambled eggs and Swiss and American cheeses served on toasted sourdough.

Was the bread a little too toasted?

You bet it was, buds.

Was the napkin in the bag soaking wet?

There were two napkins, actually, and yes, they were soaking wet.

What did it cost us?

$14 before tax, but with tip and everything, we hit $23. Yikes. In our defense, we always add a dollar to whatever nonsense tip the app suggests, but we should not be eating $23 breakfast sandwiches.

Would we order it again?

Probably not. In fact, no, we think we’re good forever on that one.

In summation, if you’re on a food delivery app and think a place called The Metldown sounds good, ask yourself how you feel about Denny’s first. We’re pretty sure that if there is a purgatory, it’s not some Dante nonsense—it’s a Denny’s with a secret sandwich shop.

Best thing to ever happen in a Denny’s.


  • We were saddened to learn that baker Thomas Kamholz will shutter his Plantita Vegan Bakery in Santa Fe soon due to the rising cost of freaking everything. We don’t know if you ever had a vegan treat or bagel or pizza from Plantita, but it’s a loss for sure, especially for vegans. SFR ran a story with Kamholz just about three years back when he was first popping off. “The one thing I know I can do that has an impact is to be vegan,” he told the paper at the time. “The ethical treatment of animals, the environmental feels like a good option for anyone who wants to have an impact.” We recommend following Plantita on Insta, too, as Kamholz appears to have one last pop-up event slated for March 2 at 1704 Lena St. from 9 am-1 pm.
  • This is the last damn time we’re gonna mention it, but Feb. 29 (being the day this week’s Fork dropped and also a leap year and also a Thursday) is the final day of 2024′s Santa Fe Restaurant Week. So, if you’ve been dying to check out special menus or whatever, you’d best get into that in the next couple hours.
  • Anyway, back on the vegan wavelength, the Santa Fe Vegan Chef Challenge is a-coming and will run through the month of March. If you’re terrible at context clues, know that it’s a challenge for Santa Fe chefs to do vegan stuff and there will be soooooo many options at spots like Alicia’s Tortilleria, Poki Tako, Oshia’s Pizza, Horno and many more. Find more info and a list right over here.
  • If you’re a weird little super-freak who hates good food and hasn’t been by Jambo Bobcat Bite (being that amazing eatery that was once simply called Bobcat Bite, then it closed, then it moved, then it moved again, then chef Ahmed Obo from Jambo bought the original one and turned it into something special), you should read up a bit about the place, then know it’ll kick off spring hours this week, which means 8 am-3 pm on Monday and Saturday, then 9 am-3 pm on every other day that isn’t Sunday. They’re closed Sunday, super-freaks.
  • Rumor has it that Madrid eatery The Hollar, which closed last December, has new owners who are trying to re-open as...well, something or other soon. We don’t have names yet, but this info comes from one of our spies who has never once led us astray, so...score.
  • Local steakhouse Market Steer announced online that it’s finally gearing up to move into its new location on Washington Street in Santa Fe—the place FKA El Mesón. No word yet on an opening date for that beyond mid-spring (renovations take time, dammit!), but you should know that the house chef Kathleen Crook built will serve in its current location inside the Hotel St. Francis through March 30, then it’s a waiting game.
  • New Mexico Magazine’s Molly Boyle (who fully has a bunch of cool pieces in SFR from a couple years back) delves into the history of Allsup’s and its beloved chimichanga/burrito in her story, “The Cult of Allsup’s.” It’s a good one, too—real fascinating. “Allsup’s offerings inspire a cultlike following among gas station food enthusiasts, YouTube influencers, drunk college students, long-haul truckers, and hungry road trippers,” Boyle writes. “Clothing lines have sprouted in tribute, with T-shirts and hoodies honoring the convenience store’s unique stamp on the Land of Enchantment. Tattoo artists bestow renderings of the chain’s logo, hot sauce packets, and wrapped burritos upon the faithful.” And speaking of the faithful, longtime Fork Frenz (TM) will no doubt recall our own love letter to the gas station’s glorious gastronomical goodies from 2022. Point is? You should get you a chimi.

For the vegans—a little Nerf Herder.

More Tidbits

  • You know how those ride-share apps have surge pricing, which is to say that prices fluctuate based on how many people are desperately trying to get someplace? Well, not to be outdone, fast food chain Wendy’s says it’ll get into what it’s called the “dynamic pricing” game in 2025. What does this mean? It means that prices will change all the freaking time and everyone everywhere will hate it and the world will take another step into the nightmarish cyberpunk existence from such classic books as Don’t Do Things That Cause the World to Take Another Step Into the Nightmarish Cyberpunk Existence.
  • Seems the FDA has approved a new drug meant to treat severe food allergies (like, oh, say, peanuts, for example). Xolair, as it is called—and which kind of sounds like a robot who loves to fly—comes to us following trials that found of 168 adults and kids with food allergies, 68% could eat a couple peanuts after treatment without collapsing into an anaphylactic heap. We’d point out that peanuts aren’t that good, but also we’ve never been faced with death should some asshole at a restaurant not actually check if there are peanuts in or around whatever dish we wanna eat.
  • Apropos of that last item, a doctor from New York died after eating at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World resort last October, and her husband is suing because the staff allegedly confirmed the food was allergen-free. In the suit, Jeffery Piccolo alleges that his wife, Kanokporn Tangsuan, collapsed after eating at the Raglan Road Irish Pub at the resort, and that despite self-administering an Epi-Pen, she died from “anaphylaxis due to elevated levels of dairy and nut in her system.” It’s so important to train staff in these matters for exactly this reason. We’re not even sure everyone understands how serious nut allergies tend to be, but now a woman is dead, her husband’s life is destroyed and that Disney worker, who, yes, made the gravest of mistakes, admittedly, will never ever be OK again.
  • In names-that-are-so-stupid news, KFC has introduced the Chizza, a combination of—get this—chicken and pizza that exists for some reason, no matter how sad that is if you stop and think about it for a second. All hail Emily Heil from The Washington Post, though, who, of the unholy food combo, writes, “Why?” Look, allow us to extend a little bit of advice to any would-be pizza innovators out there: Stop it. Y’know what folks want when they eat pizza? They want fucking pizza—pizza that they know. It’s a comfort food at this point, and it’s not the kind of thing for which there exists some new style that’ll win over the masses. We’ve crammed cheese literally all the places; we’ve added all the toppings; we’ve perfected it. LEAVE IT ALONE, KFC! Go back to what you do best—giving people diarrhea.

A totally scientific breakdown of The Fork’s correspondence

In this week’s print edition of SFR, the nerds in charge were all like, “Let’s not do food again this week!”

Number of Letters Received: 25

*One more than last week!

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader):

“Your mom sounds like a jerk.”

*YOU sound like a jerk!

Actually Helpful Tip(s):

To the reader who is fully aware of the cabbage/wiener/potato dish? You saved our sanity.

*Thank you so much!


The Fork

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