July 3, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Santa Fe’s Summer Feasts

"Patriotic pancakes, culinary adventures, new burger joint and Best of the Road contest"

By Lynn Cline

Gourmet Girl

Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.

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Fourth of July Pancakes

Have you ever wondered about the logistics of serving some 15,000 to 20,000 Fourth of July revelers at  Pancakes on the Plaza, one of Santa Fe's most beloved annual traditions? We certainly have, and we decided to ask Terry Williams-Keffer of Pancakes on the Plaza about the ingredients required for the Fourth of July feast. Here are the ingredients she listed that are required to cook up this year's pancake breakfast:

2,500 pounds of pancake mix

3,000 pounds of pork sausage

100 pounds ground coffee

500 pounds frozen strawberries

3,000 1.2 pints of milk, half chocolate and half plain

300 gallons of orange juice

92 gallons of syrup

21,000 pats of butter

Now consider that this Fourth of July event celebrates its 37th year this week, and that's a lot of pancake mix, butter and sausage over the years.  But it's all worth it, as Pancakes on the Plaza raises funds to help nonprofit groups chosen by event sponsors The Rotary Club and The Santa Fe New Mexican, who took the event over from United Way last year.  Hutton Broadcasting is one of many Santa Fe businesses sponsoring the pancakes this year.

Pancakes on the Plaza is a community tradition held from 7 a.m. to noon Wednesday, July 4 on the Plaza, where thousands will gather to enjoy a plate of piping hot pancakes slathered with butter and syrup and paired with sausage, strawberries, hearty coffee and a healthy serving of orange juice.

Pancakes on the Plaza also includes arts and crafts vendors, a cool car show and live entertainment on the Plaza Bandstand from 8 a.m. to noon. Performers include Manzanares, the Santa Fe Concert Band, the Santa Fe Men's Camarata, the Air National Guard Band of the Gulf Coast and Bus Tapes.  Other activities include a silent auction and a children's coloring contest in which the winner gets a new bicycle. For more info, visit http://www.santafenewmexican.com/www/pancakes/eventinfo.html

Kitchen Angels Adventures a la Carte

Kitchen Angels Adventures a la Carte offer a wonderful way to explore the history, art and culture of the region and enjoy a great meal prepared by one of Santa Fe's acclaimed chefs. The events raise funds that provide nutritious and delicious meals for the homebound prepared and delivered by Kitchen Angel's volunteers. 

Splendid Fare, a seven-course dinner at a secret venue, is the next Adventure a la Carte, held Saturday July 7 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Certified Master Chef Anthony Damiano of SUP and his wife, Lisa Damiano of the Santa Fe Community College, prepare the meal with seasonal ingredients, paired with wines chosen by sommelier and wine critic Mark Johnson. The dinner features readings from the work of famous food writers performed by Santa Fe actor and film critic Jonathan Richards and award-winning writer, producer and former Second City actor Robert Benedetti.

Funds raised from sold-out Splendid Fare will allow Kitchen Angels to create and deliver 803 healthy meals to homebound residents of Santa Fe.

Adventures a La Carte offers an opportunity to go places that people normally don't have access to and have adventures," says Tony McCarty, executive director. "Our events feature smaller groups, so you really have a chance to get to know the people you're sharing the adventure with. They're always fascinating."

Upcoming adventures include Masters of Native American Sculpture & Cuisine, featuring a tour of the Allan Houser Compound in Galisteo and a four-course Native American feast prepared by renowned chef photographer and author Lois Ellen Frank. The event takes place Saturday, July 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. To see more Adventures a la Carte events and to make reservations, click here.

Best of the Road

Santa Fe is one of just six finalists in the Best Food category of the Best of the Road competition, sponsored by Rand McNally and USA Today, and the judges are coming to town this weekend to see how we rate.

The RoadBros team, a two-man team of travel bloggers Mike Shubic and Brian Cox, arrives in Santa Fe this week, accompanied by The Travel Channel and the Rand McNally RV, which are covering the events. They've been eating their way across the country, visiting all six of the Best Food finalist cities in their effort to choice the winner.

Events in Santa Fe kick off Wednesday, July 4, when the team arrives in time to enjoy dinner and a show at La Casa Sena, and dessert in La Fonda's Bell Tower bar, where they'll watch the sunset and fireworks. Thursday, their schedule includes a Santa Fe School of Cooking culinary walking tour and lunch with a margarita primer at Maria's. Mayor David Coss officially welcomes the team during the opening of the Santa Fe Bandstand at 6 p.m., followed by cocktail competition then dinner at Coyote Café.

Friday features a trail ride at Bishop’s Lodge, lunch at The Compound, the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail and dinner at Restaurant Martin. Chef Matt Yohalem of Il Piatto prepares a farewell breakfast featuring farm fresh ingredients at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.

Other finalists in the Best Food category include Lewiston, N.Y, Burnsville, MN, Bloomington, IN, Charlottesville, VA and Walla Walla, WA. Winners will be named on July 17. Good luck Santa Fe! For more details see, www.bestoftheroad.com and follow the RoadBros visit at www.santafe.org .

Santa Fe Gets a 5 Star Burger

Green chile burger fans are going to love the new burger joint that opens this week in DeVargas Center. 5 Star Burger specializes in hormone and antiobiotic-free green chile cheeseburgers on toasted brioche buns. The restaurant has locations in Albuquerque and Taos and recently opened a Denver eatery.

5 Star Burgers gets it Angus beef from Harris Ranch and fresh grinds it daily at the restaurant.  The menu includes the signature 5 Star Burger, topped with Gorgonzola cheese and applewood smoked bacon. The Taos Burger comes with crispy green chile, barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese. Specialty burgers and sandwiches include the lamb burger with tzatziki sauce; the Coho salmon burger with tomato, onion and mayo and the 5 Star TYurkey Burger served with sage, onion and peach or cranberry chutney.

But you don't have to be a carnivore to enjoy 5 Star Burger. Their menu also offers an array of salads – Shanghai Chicken, Caesar Spinach, Iceberg Wedge and more – entrees including Blue Crab cakes and Asian Glazed Salmon, as well as a kids' menu with macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese and fries.

5 Star Burgers sources local products, uses recycled and biodegradable paper products and recycled drink cups. The business also uses energy efficient equipment and recycles its frying oils for biodiesel fuel. Click here for more info.

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