You've seen it a hundred times before: a handwritten sign taped to the stall door, reading, "Please do not flush tampons or sanitary napkins." In fact, you've probably seen it so many times that you don't even think about it anymore, except maybe to wish you didn't have to be reminded about sanitary napkins in the middle of your dinner. Eeeeewww, right? But I recently saw a sign that went a little further. It asked patrons not to flush tampons but then explained that it costs a lot of money to have plumbers come out all the time to unclog the toilets. It suddenly occurred to me that I had to call plumbers out to my house twice in the first two years I owned it—before instituting my own no-flush rule. The first episode cost me $250 (it was a holiday weekend); the bill was $125 the second and final time. Imagine how many times your toilet gets flushed compared with the toilet at a busy restaurant. There's a big difference. I talked to Curt at TLC Plumbing who confirmed that tampons are the cause of 80 percent of toilet clogs. He also said that the busiest restaurants sometimes call for help every month or so. Brutal! Look, it's yucky and I hate to have to say this, but wrap 'em up and throw 'em in the trash can, ladies. Your 30 seconds of convenience could cost your favorite restaurant hundreds of dollars.
All the News That's Fit to Eat
What do you know, we've got an Afghan market! Nabi Yari, an Afghan native who moved here from California, opened Marco Polo Market last Wednesday at 607 San Mateo NE (255-1325). The market is just a few doors down from the Mediterranean Café, the new but misleadingly named Moroccan restaurant. Most interestingly, the market includes a small bakery where they make traditional Afghan bread, a puffy flatbread (no, puffy and flat are not mutually exclusive) about 33 inches long and 13 inches wide. What do you do with a big, long, flat bread? Well, you put stuff on it. What kind of stuff? Stuff you find at the Afghan market, duh. Marco Polo stocks Afghan and Iranian spices, rice, juices, yogurt drinks and cheeses. It's open from 9:30 a.m. until about 6:30 p.m. every day.
Food for Thought
Looking for Lunch in South Central NM
A visitor from New Jersey finds hope, and a warning, in Truth or Consequences
As we checked out of our Socorro motel at 6:00 a.m.—so that we could catch the sunrise at Bosque del Apache—I asked the desk clerk if there was a spot to pick up some breakfast and a good cup of coffee on our way. She gave me a wide-eyed look and said, "I wish!" Surely the local hotel clerk who has lived here all her life must be mistaken. Our East Coast tourist mentality made us sure that we would find an adorable little café or something along the way. Or there would be a nice little cafeteria there. Open at 6:00 a.m. With fresh coffee. And yummy homemade baked goods.
Schwarzenegger Bans Foie Gras in California
What the ban means for ducks, chefs and foodies
On Sept. 29, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that would ban the production and sale of foie gras in California as of 2012. The bill provides seven and a half years for California's only producer, Guillermo Gonzales of Sonoma Foie Gras, to come up with an alternative method for fattening the livers of his ducks. At issue is the practice of force-feeding ducks (and geese, which Gonzales does not raise) to produce the enlarged, fatty livers that have been prized by gourmets for centuries. But the spotlight shining on foie gras should also be illuminating the larger issue of how we think about the food we eat and how we believe animals should be treated.
Wine and Chocolate Experience
Slate Street Cafe serves up killer food and even better drinks, with a wine selection that makes most people's heads spin. With all that culinary creativity flowing in the back of house, Slate Street proudly presents the Wine and Chocolate Experience. Not content to offer just wine and chocolate, they curate an experience with a five-course hand-crafted menu featuring the food of the gods paired with vino. On Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 6:30pm, attendees with reservations are in for a treat, with a new menu upping the ante from last year. The highlight of last year's menu was Cocoa-dusted Pork Shanks with an Horchata White Chocolate Drizzle. So, expect quality, high-end dining and a unique culinary experience. Tickets are $69 and the event is 21-plus because of, y’know, the wine. To book your seat, call 243-2210 ASAP.
Get Out There
It’s summer in Burque and myriad patios await your presence. Snap the kids out of their bought air-and-video game trance for an outing that culminates in the joyful consumption of healthful and delicious paletas—no, really!—or invite some colleagues and comrades out to smash the swanky local rooftop bar scene with you. If you’re looking for a more pastoral vibe, get your farm-to-table on in Albuquerque’s resplendent North Valley. Here are a handful of our favorite patios in The Duke City. Don’t neglect to slather on some sunscreen and install a rideshare app (such as Uber, Lyft or zTrip) on your smartphone ... in case you over-hydrate.