Alibi V.13 No.9 • Feb 26-March 3, 2004 

Gastrological Forecast

Do people really still give up vices for lent? It's shocking but true: they do, especially in heavily Catholic areas like New Mexico. This is a fascinating religious ritual, a physical and mental marathon of self-denial. A few years ago I gave up booze for lent (mostly just so I could refuse drinks with the line, "No thanks, I gave it up for lent"). But the joke was on me; I'm not so good at self-denial and this 40-day-dry-out was brutal. I think I actually only lasted about 36 days, finally breaking down at Launchpad with a couple of double-tall Bombay Sapphire and tonics. It's so easy to obsess about whatever you're avoiding (booze, cigarettes, candy, pay-per-view porn) that the whole challenge is to think of something—anything—besides the object you've given up. When I was in Sunday school I thought the whole suffering thing was stupid. Why suffer when you don't have to? Needless to say the lesson was wasted on me. Why not pledge to keep everything in balance for lent? I will not do tequila shots. I will not have casual sex with strangers. I will not eat a Snickers and a bag of Fritos and call it lunch. Then again, this moderation doesn't entitle you to any sort of Mardi-Gras blowout. And that is really the best part of lent: getting all the evil out of your system beforehand.

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The Dish

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Yashoda Naidoo does that Ayurvedic voodoo so well! The owner of Annapurna Chai House told me that she expects to have a third location of her popular vegetarian/Indian/ayurvedic restaurants open by early April. Right now there is one at San Mateo and Copper and another at Silver and Yale. After months of searching, she finally settled on the perfect location (2120 Juan Tabo NE at Menaul), close to the Ayurvedic Institute. Students at the Institute, Naidoo says, have long been requesting an Annapurna nearby. This will be a relatively small space, with only about 30 seats. Naidoo is planning a trip to India in March to pick up supplies for the restaurant and to scout for ayurvedic cooks who can help take some of the kitchen work off of her shoulders.

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Eating In

Making Classic French Onion Soup

Caramelized onions need only a little help to become this hearty, favorite soup

This fancy-sounding soup is actually a humble dish that has sustained its popularity because it delivers dynamite flavor from only a few cheap ingredients, it's easy to make and it's even low-fat, assuming you don't drown it in cheese. In fact, the soup is so flavorful that it can easily stand on its own, without the customary crouton and melted Gruyère. Sans cheese, a small serving fits well as part of a multi-course meal.

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Food 101

What Makes Food Go Bad?

The better question may be: What keeps food from going bad?

Q: I've always wondered why some foods go bad so quickly even if refrigerated, while others seem to last forever without refrigeration. Is there any rule of thumb?

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Image courtesy of the artist

EVENT HORIZON ()

Romance, Classical Guitar and High Tea

Romantic Classical Guitar and High Tea

Martin Ly is a local classical guitarist who attended Manzano High School before studying classical guitar performance at the University of New Mexico. The guitar program at UNM, as one might recall, is headed by the heady and totally awesome Michael Chapdelaine, who's been guiding young hands as they explore the frets and frequencies associated with the nylon-stringed axe for over 30 years. It figures then, that Ly rocks too; you can hear his amazing reach and subtle sonics…
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Image via Pixabay

EVENT HORIZON ()

Southern Comfort in the Comfort of the Southwest

Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and Southern Food Pairing

Flights to Kentucky are expensive, and they have Polar Vortices over there. (Yes, that is the plural of vortex. Look it up.) Instead of making that trek on the hunt for some strong liquor and Southern hospitality, why not do some barstool tourism at O’Neill’s Pub in Nob Hill? This Wednesday, Feb. 20, come by to enjoy pairings of four Kentucky bourbon whiskeys with four Southern comfort dishes any time between 5 and 8pm. You’ll sip on Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Buffalo Trace and Blanton's bourbon while the kitchen serves up fried green tomatoes, honey corn fritters, smoked brisket and a pecan pie tart. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday night, huh? The pairing is $25 per person and, obviously, only for those 21 or older.
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Chowtown Restaurant Guide

Although this is the big week for romantic candlelit dinners, hopefully you make time for a few of those at other times of the year as well. If not, well, maybe it’s time to start. Here’s a few of our suggestions for places to take your sweetie out to dinner on a special day, even if that special day is just “Friday, and it’s been a long week.” You’ll probably want to make reservations for these ones, and wear your nice shoes.