Chala at Ya, Corrales—The Flying Star Café will open its first Westside location just north of Coors and Alameda (10700 Corrales NW at Cabezon) on Monday, Aug. 7. It's a “soft opening,” meaning the Flying Star people don't want media people like me heralding its arrival just yet. (Sorry, not happening.) What they do want you to be aware of is the public grand opening on Aug. 19, when they'll have all the kinks ironed out, live music and other fun stuff from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
I worked at the Olive Garden right out of culinary school—I was young, I needed the money—so I had a pretty thorough grounding in the mass production of Italian food. I used to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to make 50-gallon tanks of meat sauce, and bread row after row of chicken Parmesan and little mozzarella triangles. Then it all changed. Prepackaged came, saw and conquered, and instead of the fresh, handmade favorites on the menu, there were bags of premade frozen mozzarella patties and chicken parmigiana. This really bugged me, but I did not know why at the time.