Dija Know… Joe’s Restaurant Newsletter -87 April 2013

Locavores, come celebrate the First Annual Burger Week at Joe’s April 15 – 21!

If taxes took a bite, bite back!  Enjoy a 2 topping Beef Burger all week long with  homemade chips lettuce, tomato and red onion for the incredible price of  $7.99!  (Regular price 12.97)  No limit, eat in or take out.  This is top quality New Mexico beef raised and finished on grass and grass alone; making it sustainable, delicious and nutritionally far superior. Then add to that Joe’s unique mesquite open-fire grilling – yummy!

Take full advantage of Burger Week.  Bring friends and family.  Clearly this is a very special price for a limited time only.
Also we’re working on some new burger creations with our great new chef, Lester:   Bourbon Chutney Burger (India meets Kentucky),  Hawaiian Burger (Canadian bacon, grilled pineapple and Teriyaki glaze), Pizza Burger (house-made fresh mozz, grilled pepperoni and pizza sauce). See menu for prices for these special burgers.


Watch for Mothers’ Day Special 3 course Prix Fixe Menu.  Lester and Roland are working on some fun dishes and homemade ice creams – who knows what they’ll come up with!

Fatty foods that make you skinny.  Continuing this series we move on to everyone’s favorite, chocolate. Women have instinctively known possibly forever, that chocolate is quite simply good for you.  A recent study using men found that when they ate 3.5 ounces of chocolate 2 hours before a meal, those having dark chocolate took in 17% fewer calories than those who ate milk chocolate.  So the kind of chocolate does matter.  Darker is better.  You know, like the chocolate in Joe’s mousse pie and truffles – LOL. Researchers believe that because dark chocolate takes longer to pass through the GI tract, it staves off hunger and helps with weight loss.
Today I had the opportunity to address the concerns of one of our guests.  She articulated her desires and very kindly made suggestions for items she felt we could and should offer given our food philosophy.  Her main concern was to avoid GMOs.  Another was her preference for organic foods.  It was an opportunity to review what we offer and to take stock of where we stand as a commercial food operation in a world dominated by agribusiness.  Because many, perhaps most, of you have the same concerns, I am sharing here (somewhat edited) the personal response I sent her:
Dear ____,
I can best address your concerns by saying the following.  We, as food service operators, submit our pleas and preferences to an industry that has become increasingly deaf – controlled as it is by the marriage of corporate profit interests and government agencies whose priority no longer is to protect consumers. Industrialized farm subsidies are a huge factor as well.

Roland and I conduct our business with the highest integrity and transparency.  I’m sure you must know, Joe’s is indeed the biggest buyer, by a long shot, of local clean food products.  We do know our growers.  (You can see this discussed in DiJa Know back issues).

Your multiple issues are not something we are unaware of.   We are an, I’m sure, annoying voice for change with suppliers and manufacturers.  I will forward you my last ketchup battle with Hunts, aka ConAgra.
A few specifics:

1.  We do have real maple syrup.  It is an additional charge and justifiably so – $$.
2.  We offer jam that is devoid of HFCS, sweetened instead with cane sugar.  These products are 50% higher in cost to us.  Local jams, when available are wonderful but their cost is in the stratosphere, so we use them only for special desserts, sauces, garnishes.
3.  Most of our sautéing is done in ghee and/or olive oil

4.  We have petitioned Coke repeatedly about reverting back to sugar, like it is in Mexico and other Central and S. American countries.  Deaf ears.  So we do offer many beverage choices that are not sweetened with HFCS.

5.  French fries – the industry now supplies a (God knows what’s in it) coated FF.  We avoid that “enhanced” product.  Once you are aware of it, you will see that a majority of restaurants have opted to use it, even sweet potato fries!  Our French fries are a simple sliced potato. Our potato chips are made in house, with no additives, but not organic.

4.  We do use organic NM flour for most of our baking, except the gluten free.

6.  Deep frying — we have campaigned for the return of coconut oil for deep frying, as it was the (healthy!) standard before the corruption of the vegetable oil industry in the 60’s. This has not happened…yet.  So currently there is no workable alternative to canola and soy oil … as I say…YET.

7.  Much is hidden behind the label “organic”.  It is not always better & in my opinion and can be seductively deceptive. Consider the source of many organic products – China. We try to avoid Chinese products as their contents are questionable and even unethical, as illustrated by many food and product recalls.   But again…it is almost impossible to avoid all of them due to the high cost or unavailability of equivalent US products.   Why?  Because of unfair trade agreements that do not favor US production.  China has us by the (edit).  A most complex world we live in now!

9.  GMO. Lately both CA and NM refused to pass the GMO labeling law. I beg your pardon??!! Simply outrageous.  Can you say Monsanto? The consequence to us and to you is that it is extremely difficult, sometimes impossible to get to the TRUTH about GMO ingredients in food.

The bottom lines are:

To run Joe’s offering only pristine food (that is 100% local, organic and non-GMO) would be heavenly but also certain suicide. The cost of, for instance a pristine chicken dinner at Joe’s in today’s dollars would be something like $45 – $55.  Who would pay that?  Roland and I have to pick our battles and rest assured that what you DON’T see, are our battles behind the scenes.  We offer the best we can while walking the very fine line of staying in business.  This is not a high profit margin business and to “push our food issues” too far would be ruin for us.  I hope you receive this is in the spirit it is intended.  We (Roland and I) deal with and discuss these issues ad nauseum almost daily.  Your letter is taken in good spirit and was very pleasantly presented.  We are gratified that people like you “see” what we are doing so that together we can bring about the change we wish to see manifest.                      Sincerely,  Sheila and Roland

When’s the last time you enjoyed a really good Rosé? Domaine de Nizas a French Mediterranean Rose is now on our list.  Crisp, dry, vibrant, elegant and I would add romantic. Aromas of raspberries, strawberries and violets.  By the bottle $29 and starting Mothers Day, you can get it by the glass too.

Why is locally grown food so very important to Joe’s?  Why do we keep hammering on this “buy local” theme? There are many factors that are out of our hands when it comes to our food supply.  Most of what ends up on the American dinner table derives from a shockingly few giant agribusinesses.  Their influence reaches from designing the (GMO) seeds to planting, harvesting, processing and shipping. We as consumers cannot with confidence hand over the entirestewardship of our food to these few multinationals. Our passion here at Joe’s is for a local sustainable food supply – food produced by growers who are accountable for what they grow.  KYG – Know Your Grower.  We are able to look our local farmer in the eye and ask him about his growing practices or even visit his operation. This gives us the confidence that we are eating food that is healthy,

wholesome, non-genetically engineered, often better than organic, humanely treated and minimally processed.  It is grown with a smaller energy-use footprint and transported short distances. We cannot divorce human

health, the economy, ecology, personal (perhaps spiritual) satisfaction or honorable work from food.

Food is fundamental. What we eat, where it comes from, the stewardship of food animals, the nurturing and building of soils – all these factors affect us at a cellular and visceral level … whether we slow down enough to be aware of it or not. We are fortunate in Santa Fe to have a dedicated farm base producing a wonderful array of goods.  Here at Joe’s we do our best to offer this bounty to you, keeping dollars in the community.  In the interest of transparency, in 2008 Joe’s spent $30,000 on local foods.  In 2009 that increased to $60,000.  And for 2012 we exceeded $100,000.  During the growing season as much as 95% of our menu is locally sourced.
Land, economy, health – inseparable.


Tuesday is Spaghetti and Chianti Night at Joe’s.  Still $29.95 for two!  That will get two of you Caesar salad, Spaghetti Bolognese (made with our grass-finished local beef) and a great ½ liter of Chianti. Wadda deal! Finish your meal elegantly with Sandeman’s Reserve Porto and/or Joe’s silky tiramisu.

♥ Joe’s hand-made French chocolate truffles.  They are close to divine.  Who do you know who would love a little red bag of truffles?  $1.99 @ or for the price of 5, get 6 for $9.95.

Tired of still paying for BB’s (big banks) bailouts? Tired of lining the pockets of the uber-rich Wall Street bankers? Every time we use a credit card part of that 3%-5% fee contributes to the above.  Now let’s be real – in today’s world no one can function without a cc, but there are still (legal) alternatives that can save us all money and reduce our subsidies to the BB’s.  We have a couple of suggestions: (1.) Are you on Joe’s Check List?  If you are a “regular” and wish to pay by check, please ask your waiter to get you on the list.  (2.) Joe’s “frequent diner” or gift card – when you purchase $100 gift card with cash or check, get a $10 card free!

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.

About Chocolate:

Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Beans are vegetables. Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, therefore they are in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.

2801 Rodeo Rd (at Zia Rd) Santa Fe, NM   87507
505-471-3800       www.JoesDining.com
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