You won't even recognize the place. Fourth Street Café's transformation into Ralli's is complete and the Downtown restaurant is open for business again. Ralli's (the name is pronounced like Rally's) looks absolutely nothing like the dated, cramped coffee shop that used to take up an unassuming spot on the Fourth Street Mall. Gone are the carpeting, mismatched furniture and bad pastel color scheme, replaced by dark, glossy wood on the floors, tables and bar. Forest green upholstery and accents make Ralli's look like the classy pub it hopes to be. The menu hasn't changed much, though. Ralli's is still serving breakfast and lunch much the same as they always have. Diner standards like omelets, club sandwiches and chicken salads remain the same. The dinner menu is similar to lunch with the addition of bar-food favorites like fried mozzarella sticks and the place is now open from 6 to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, until midnight on Sunday.
Congratulations to Harder Custom Builders, an Albuquerque firm that recently won a $10,000 prize in a Jenn-Air kitchen design contest. Harder's luxury kitchen design featured a full-line of Jenn-Air appliances, maple cabinets, hardwood floors, a semicircular island and probably cost more than I make in a year.
After I dissed low-carb tortillas two weeks ago, a reader wrote in and explained that in order to make them palatable, the tortillas need to be microwaved for 30 seconds. The reader further explained that the only reason he ate them was because he was sticking to the Atkins diet that had helped him lose over 30 pounds. That's no mean feat, losing 30 pounds, and I'm damned proud of the guy but no diet is going to make me eat tortillas that taste like Play-Doh. No way.
So-called organic fish is not organic. According to the Organic Consumers Association, federal rules governing the use of the word organic to do not apply to fish, only to plants and animals grown on land. No fish can be legally certified organic but that doesn't stop producers, retailers and restaurateurs from labeling it that way. Sure, fish labeled "organic" may be raised without antibiotics or hormones and fed high-quality feed but there's no way of knowing for sure. Buy fish only from retailers who can tell you exactly where the fish came from, whether it was wild caught or farmed and if farmed, how it was raised. If you can't get answers to these questions then it's probably safest to assume the worst.