The Fork

The Fork: Ode to a Clafoutis sandwich

That’s it—we’re adding Clafoutis to our regular haunts list!

The way we see it, there are two types of people in this world: Those who get that there’s a wildly satisfying beauty to craving something and then getting it, and those who don’t ever do that and are weirdos.

In the case of your old pal The Fork, we woke one recent Saturday morning with a hankering for a ham and cheese sandwich, and we sure as shit knew there was no reality in which we were willing to make it ourselves. Like, what, bro? We were going to go to the store, buy bread and ham and cheese and then make that sandwich? Liiiiiiike, what, our dudes? We were going to have already bought those things days before our craving? God, no. Get lost with that, bro!

Not having that stuff coupled with an increasing sense of ennui presented challenges beyond the simple we-were-too-lazy-to-make-our-own-sandwich thing. We don’t know if you know this, but it’s weirdly hard to get a ham and cheese sandwich in a restaurant. Either some dorkus chef is always trying to elevate the thing with weird ingredients, or people think you want a Cubano or they scoff at you with intense derision and say, through clenched teeth, “We don’t make a dumb ol’ sandwich here, Fork, let alone one as simple as a ham and cheese.”

And then, we found it: Clafoutis. In fact, the folks from that canny Cordova Road café took a look at Santa Fe and agreed the citizenry totally needs a ham and cheese sandwich on a local menu—and they’ve dubbed it the jambon fromage for that extra bit of Frenchiness.

Good thinking, owners Anne Laure and Philippe Ligier and daughter/manager Charlotte Kolkmeyer. Very good thinking.

For you see, as much as Clafoutis has all kinds of quiches and breakfast items (some only available until 11:30 am) and the sort of gorgeous bread and pastry case that makes you go, “Now that is one gorgeous bread and pastry case,” it also offers up a few sandwiches, like the aforementioned jambon fromage, the poulet salade (chicken salad) and, yes, the Cubain with grilled ham and pork, Swiss cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo and mustard (and they’re all just $9.95; or $3.90 more to include a side salad, which we did).

Which brings us back around to the jambon fromage, which we woke up craving, and which we got, dammit. And while we know it’s a simple sandwich, Clafoutis’ version with fresh tomatoes and lettuce, plus a bit of butter, tastes precisely like a similar sando we got from a street vendor in Marseille so many years ago (we’re not kidding—it tasted exactly like that thing). Not only that, but the house-baked bread had just the right amount of crunch and the salad’s leafy green texture and solid olive oil-based dressing made for a complete winner. Heck, we even felt kind of healthy, particularly since that dang sandwich was big enough to take home half for later.

Thus, when we opened the fridge at around 9 that night, more out of boredom than actual hunger, we’d never been so happy to see a leftover box. We tore ravenously into the other half. “Dammit, that’s it!” we shouted out loud in the darkness. “Clafoutis is going on the regular haunts list!”

The End.

PS: We also totally went to town on a slice of spinach and ricotta quiche ($11.50), and it was one of those 10/10 moments that makes you forget you’re basically eating egg pie. Yeah—that’s right. We don’t care about quiche!

PPS: Oh, dang, we almost forgot we had a Nutella crepe as well ($7.50). The crepe part was a nigh-perfect blend of soft and crisp and thin and crepe-y, but we didn’t love that it was otherwise coated in powdered sugar and the Nutella came in a blob on top rather than in a melty and inextricable fashion throughout its folds. We want our Nutella crepes to be borderline erotic, y’know? Yeah. You know. This was a small issue, though, and it’s not like we didn’t eat the whole thing. Really, though, we can’t stress enough that we’re all about that sandwich.

PPPS: Seriously, though, where else can we get a ham sammie around here that isn’t our own fridge?

This one gives us Deee-Lite vibes, only it’s not nearly as good.

We Get It, We Blew It!!!

In we blew it news, we pulled a real boner in last week’s Fork by conflating the words “uni” and unagi.” In short, uni=urchin, unagi=eel. Our bad. Can you ever forgive us?! IT WAS AN HONEST MISTAKE, NO FOOLING!


  • We’re glad writer Matthew Narvaiz from the Santa Fe New Mexican did a piece about Zacatlán chef/owner Eduardo Rodriguez, because Rodriguez is cool, he’s talented and he’s up for a Beardo (or, if you want to be technical, a James Beard Award, which is like the Oscars of food).
  • We’ve enjoyed the Edible New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown event on more than one occasion, so we are very much here for its new Burrito Smackdown event going down on June 8 in the Village of Los Ranchos. If it’s like the burger thing, it’ll sell out, so hurry! And if you didn’t know what’s what, these Smackdowns are super-fun gatherings at which local restaurants vie for top honors with their best burger—or burrito this time. This year’s crop of contenders include a glut of Albuquerque restaurants such as KūKri, Tikka Spice (who won the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown at one point), Scalo, Oso Grill, Vegos and VM Coffee, plus Las Vegas restaurant The Skillet. For a full list (including booze purveyors), follow the link above.
  • We were just talking about smash burgers last week, and now we’re gonna tell you some more about it in the form of a question: What do you know about One Trick Pony Burger? It’s about to be more than you did a second ago. First off, follow @onetrickponyburger on Insta. Now that you know it exists, know that it’s a pop-up smash burger biz with an owner looking to expand into food truck form via kickstarter (here’s a link for that). As of this writing, OTPB had raised roughly $14,000 of its $20,000 goal with just about two weeks to go. You cool? Cool. You should also follow that account so you know when pop-ups get popping.
  • Santa Fe’s Kitchen Angels, a nonprofit dedicated to feeding the homebound, kicks off the 25th Anniversary Angels Night Out event on Thursday, April 18. For the unfamiliar, Angels Night Out finds participating Santa Fe restaurants offering up 25% from every bill as donations to Kitchen Angels. And though we’d love to list every single place taking part in the give-a-thon, the list is downright massive, so we’ll just link to it instead. Here it is.
  • Meanwhile, in Albuquerque, mega-franchise-owning company The Flynn Group has announced they’re set to re-open six remodeled Applebee’s locations across that fair city on Monday, April 15. If you’re all like, “Boo, chains!” like us, you should at least know that the company plans to donate $1 from every check during opening week to The Storehouse New Mexico, a nonprofit dedicated to providing free groceries to New Mexicans in need. The Flynn group also owns stuff like Wendy’s and Taco Bell and Planet Fitness and such, so trying to escape their razor-sharp talons is likely a fool’s errand. We do hope, however, they might have some sway in bringing back the seven-layer burrito to Taco Bell. How about it, Flynn Group? For us?
  • Did you hear about the soft opening at Zeng Chinese Restaurant? Seems the new biz in the former Santa Fe Bite at 311 Old Santa Fe Trail (yes, it’s attached to the El Sendero Inn) held a soft opening earlier this week, and early reviews (literally just from a nerd we know who ate there) are positive. Zeng doesn’t seem to have much of an online presence yet, but let’s give it some time, huh? Still, a very nice woman over at Zeng confirmed by phone that Zeng is from the same folks who brought you Dumpling Café and Dumpling Tea & Dim Sum. Neat!

Give us the burrito!

More Tidbits

  • You know how people are always making jokes about the broken ice cream machine at McDonald’s? Welllll, it turns out that while a bunch of entitled brats suffering from McFlurry detox enjoy acting like it’s about lazy workers, it’s really more about the specificity of the machines. In a helpful new piece from Food & Wine-dot-com, writer Emily Price breaks down how it actually goes when you learn the machine is down. You want a gross over-simplification? A lot of times those machines are totally broken, and only special technicians can work on them thanks to copyright law! Interesting.
  • Over on Grubstreet-dot-com, find a rather interesting compendium-type piece about New York City’s social history as told through the lens of its restaurants and written by folks like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Adam Platt and many others. “Who Ate Where” is a breezy read, too, and free for a limited time, according to the little pop-up window that appeared on our screen.
  • Are we sad that more than a minute of footage from the upcoming third season of Hulu restaurant-focused show The Bear leaked online? Hardly. If anything, we’re excited to get a little taste of what’s next for the Jeremy Allen White/Ayo Edebiri-led drama that somehow won a Golden Globe for comedy despite being not particularly funny at all (it’s still a great show). In fact, we’ve been championing The Bear since the start, and we’ve got the receipts to prove it right here.

A totally scientific breakdown of The Fork’s correspondence

In this week’s print edition of SFR, things get a little word- and book-heavy, but that can only be a good thing. Keep an eye out for future food coverage, though, including our 2024 Restaurant Directory dropping on April 24.

Number of Letters Received: 28

*1/2 smooches.

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

“Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.”

*Cool. Are you glad you wrote that that way? Do you feel good about having done that? We cried.

Actually Helpful Tip(s):

“Dateline: 1959

Location: Roselle, NJ

The White Diamond on Saint George Avenue smashed their burgers. The C-shaped counter had about 14 or so stools. In the center was the grill. Next to the grill was a large stainless steel bowl filled with golf ball-sized globes of ground meat. The cook would take one and throw it forcefully down on the grill. The sizzling began when he smashed the burger with a heavy wooden handled spatula. The result was a 2 1/2 ounce flattened burger. It was served on a soft roll which could be warmed on the grill. At two for 35 cents plus always very crispy fries and a coke, you could eat for 60 cents. How I managed to get that much disposable income is another story.”

*We’re starting to think that Culbertson guy who took smash burger credit was a bit of a dick. Thanks for the letter, reader Eddie B.

“The Oklahoma Onion Burger is the best of all possible smash burgers. And I say this as someone who is deeply suspicious of anything emanating from Oklahoma.”

*Some of our best friends are from Oklahoma, Gordon H., but still—we love your enthusiasm.

Full of ham,

The Fork

Letters to the Editor

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