Dija Know… Joe’s Restaurant Newsletter -67 March 2012

Fresh from the farm!

We love this old painting by Ellen Segner. It’s so fresh and charming and embodies the qualities we endeavor to bring to you in our food.  Hope you like it too.


YES IT’S TRUE – Joe’s is now open on Mondays! That makes it 7 days a week 7:30AM straight through to 9:00PM.  Pretty much 363 days a year.

You are invited to the Santa Fe Restaurant Association’s Annual Fundraiser – The Culinary Arts Ball Wed March 28. Enjoy a sumptuous 5 course feast prepared by five of Santa Fe’s most exciting chefs – each course paired with an exceptional wine.  (A side note, Roland and Sheila have tasted some of these wines – indeed, they are exceptional). The event is set at the incomparable Encantado Resort, with special room rates being offered for Culinary Arts Ball attendees. Live music, dancing and a silent auction (exceptional goodies are always donated!) complete this magical evening.  If you love fine wine and great food in a spectacular setting, come join us. You will be supporting our culinary community and the Santa Fe Restaurant Association. An unbelievable bargain at $150. Ask Roland for tickets. We’ll see you there!

We are very pleased to debut a new food supplier.  Henceforth our beans for coffee, decafe, espresso and decafe espresso will be from Agapao.  Agapao is a Santa Fe company that distributes organic fair trade coffee.  We hope you love it as much as we do.  But if you don’t, . . .

Joel Salatin has a new book out – Folks, This Ain’t Normal.  Joel was prominently featured in Michael Pollan’s paradigm-changing book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  Joel is a hardheaded food purist, wants Big Government out of his fields.  His beautiful self-sustaining Polyface Farm is located in VA and is a near perfect template for the local sustainable food-production movement that is swelling every year. The message about our food is coming through loud and clear.  You 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.  Joel’s book is for sale here.


Current events:  SF Restaurant Week Sunday March 4th through 11th.  Ask to see Roland’s special prix fixe menu.  Following that, our famous St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef & Cabbage will be on the menu starting Monday Mar 12 for the whole week.  Easter Sunday is April 8th.  Roland will again create a special 3-course prix fixe menu for that day.  And finally, 2 people we know will celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary in March. OMG!

Would it be an understatement to say we are living through some unprecidented events and times? It is by no means all bad news but the current economic picture is challengng for many, both private citizens and businesses.  My aunt Jennie who passed not so long ago at nearly 102, told me about living through the 30’s Depression era. Her pithy counsel to me in 2007 at the onset of this current economic downturn, “Sheila, two things – become very resourceful and learn grow a garden.”
Anyway . . . in my lunches out over the last several months, I have observed restaurants cutting costs in many ways.  I do not blame them! However in some cases the cost cutting rendered my meal (previously very satisfactory!) unacceptable in quality.  We just cannot do that here at Joe’s. Compromise on food quality is anathema to what we hold dear. We too are faced with having to cut costs.  But it won’t be in the quality of our food.  One of the choices we have made is to streamline and reduce our main menu.  It will be smaller, but the good news is that your old favorites will not disappear, they will just rotate in and out.  Also there will be  broader selection of daily specials.  So look for our lunch specials between 11 and 2 and dinner specials starting at 5.  And may we assure you, we will not compromise food quality.

Joe’s tee shirts are available for sale at $16. They are organic cotton and printed right here in Santa Fe.

I am always delighted to see the sustainable local “food philosophy” reaffirmed from different sources. KYG (know your grower) is something we have written about here time after time.  Now let me quote a young Stanford U student who grew up in Albuquerque in a recently published ABQ Journal article.  “As 2012 gets under way and you plan your eating habits, think beyond the supermarket to consider where your food comes from.  Knowing the sources of your food is not only empowering-it’s much better for our society and our planet.” You go Rachel Kolb!  Couldn’t say it better!

Here are some thoughts and words of food wisdom from 2 of my favorite food gurus, Michael Pollan and Joel Salatin.  Eat only food that was available before 1900.  Prior to that we didn’t have the industrial processing capabilities that today produces so much of what we find on supermarket shelves and fast food outlets. America’s food companies could care less about health.  It’s all about taste manipulation, shelf life and cheaper product.  And cheaper means you take out the good stuff and substitute it with junk.  So what can we do? (I’m continuing to paraphrase)

1.       Quit buying processed food with ingredients you can’t pronounce.  Despite what you think, you really don’t need this stuff.

2.       Buy local farmers market foods.

3.        Eat what can be produced in a kitchen, not what can only be produced in a laboratory (eg.: high fructose corn syrup, Splenda, chicken nuggets).

4.       Meditate for 5 minutes about what you think your body would thrive on today.  Feed it.

If you have followed these newsletters (all of the back issues are available at JoesDining.com and some on the table near the curved glass brick window), you are aware of my low opinion of fractionated foods– foods that are separated from their natural formulations.  For example, I abhor skim milk and low fat products, decaffeinated coffee, egg white omelettes – you get the idea.  My feeling about committing these atrocities to food is that whites and yolks belong together for a reason, that the fat content of milk is there for a reason and why the heck drink simulated coffee if you don’t want the “buzz”?  Some of this feeling can actually be backed by science.  We have been learning in the last 15 or so years how vitally important fats are to brain function (and many other functions).  In fact in the case of skim milk, once the fat is removed, processors then must turn summersaults to recapture the texture that we are accustomed to.  To do so they often add powdered milk which contains oxidized cholesterol, which is much worse for arteries than naturally occurring cholesterol.  So, to compensate for that toxic assault, antioxidants are added.  Not such a simple food anymore.  And of course removing fat from food, makes it eversomuch harder for

your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like the marvelous hormone-like substance we call Vitamin D. What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to

deceive, as Sir Walter Scott said.  The bottom line is (at least as I see it) the less we mess with food, the more whole natural food we eat just the way it grows, the better our bodies understand how to process and utilize it for our benefit.

u We recently revisited our mission statement.  We already had one, but in reviewing it, it was rambling and full of platitudes that everyone says.  You know – to be the best, to offer the most, to exceed the expectations of absolutely every person on the planet – same as Apple or IBM or Coke.   So after some deep thought we are comfortable with this –
Joe’s mission is:

To strengthen our health,
to protect our land,
to grow our economy
by serving local sustainable food.

u Free food!  With a Joe’s gift card for $100 (when you pay with a check or cash) it is programmed to give you an additional $10 worth of food free. This is our “frequent diner” card.

u Joe’s hand-made French chocolate truffles.  Do you know anyone who wouldn’t  love a little red bag of divine truffles?  $1.99 @  or 6 for the price of 5  — $9.95

u Are you on Joe’s check list? Are you using your credit cards less frequently?  I know we are and somehow it is liberating.  Far less paperwork and fees and more fees.  Then there are the regulations – they change frequently and always in the BB’s (big banks) favor. We as taxpayers have contributed generously to the BB’s bailouts and their CEOs’ mega bonuses.  Well, enough is enough.  Here at Joe’s we are going retro and will do what we can to encourage guests to pay by personal check and of course time-honored cash and precious metals!  So if you are a “regular” and wish to pay by check, please ask your waiter to get you on Joe’s check list.

“Never believe anything until it’s been
officially denied.”
            Otto Von Bismarck


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