July 3, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Pancakes on the Plaza & More Summer Fun

Traditional pancakes on the Plaza, Santa Fe Wine Festival & more

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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Photo: Flickr User Martin

Pancakes on the Plaza

Tomorrow, thousands of Santa Feans will gather with friends, family and visitors on the Plaza for one of the city's most beloved annual traditions—Pancakes on the Plaza.

The logistics for the day are literally staggering. Some 15,000 to 20,000 Fourth of July revelers will consume pounds of pancakes slathered with butter, drenched in syrup, topped with strawberries and served with sausage, bacon, coffee and orange juice. Here's how it breaks down, roughly:

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 38th year tomorrow, and that's a lot of pancake mix and butter 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 a host of local businesses including Hutton Broadcasting.

Pancakes on the Plaza takes place from 7 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 4 on the Plaza. The event includes arts and crafts vendors, a cool car show and live entertainment on the Plaza Bandstand from 8 a.m. to noon. For more info, click here.

Santa Fe Wine Festival

New Mexico is the country's oldest wine-producing region and the Santa Fe Wine Festival at El Rancho de las Golondrinas offers a fitting way to pay tribute the noble grape.

Cultivated in New Mexico since 1629, Franciscan Friar Garcia de Zuniga and Capuchin monk Antonio de Arteaga were the first to plant wine grapes in the Rio Grande valley of southern New Mexico. Today, wineries thrive in New Mexico, and vintners are producing award-winning wines. There's even a New Mexico Wine Trail, with more than 50 wineries and tasting rooms (click here for more info)

You can sample wine from many of these wineries during the Santa Fe Festival, which takes place Saturday, July 7 and Sunday July 8 from noon to 6 to 8 p.m. and includes 16 wineries, as well as 50 artists from across the stat selling fine art, jewelry, wine accessories and agricultural products. The weekend also features live music by Todd and the Fox and delicious food to keep you fortified, including Roque's Carnitas, which has been providing mouth-watering grilled beef served in a tortilla at every festival since the beginning.

Each year, 5,000 glasses, included in the admission price, are given away to the 5,000 or so people who attend the festival. Many of the guests are repeat visitors, wearing the original t-shirt that was designed for the inaugural festival in 1994.

"People really enjoy this festival because they have the opportunity to talk to the winemakers," says Jon Berkenfeld, executive director of Rancho de las Golondrinas  "And since grape growing is historical in our state, to have it in the setting of a historical ranch like this is always something that our visitors tell us is really great."

The festival has a large following. Last year, for example, 68 percent of the attendees came from outside of Santa Fe, and 49 percent came from outside of Santa Fe and Albuquerque. A total of 25 percent of the visitors came from out of state.

Click here for more info:

Kitchen Angels Adventures a la Carte

Ready for a great culinary experience? Sign up for Kitchen Angel's 2013 Adventures à la Carte, unique events that pair private tours of interesting sites in northern New Mexico with cuisine prepared by some of Santa Fe's finest chefs.

The series kick off July 6 with Splendid Fare II, when diners will enjoy a six-course wine dinner prepared by Stacy Pearl. Authors Robert Benedetti and Jonathan Richards will read from their favorite writes about childhood food memories.

Masters of Native American Sculpture & Cuisine on July 20 features a Native American feast prepared by James Beard-Award winning author and chef Lois Ellen Frank at the Allan Houser Sculpture Garden with music by flautist Phillip Haozous.

For more info, click here.

Who Will Reign Supreme as the Green Chile Cheeseburger King (or Queen?)

Step on up if you love green chile cheeseburgers, one of Santa Fe's most iconic dishes. It's time to judge who reigns supremem when it comes to creating an awesome burger loaded with cheese, green chile and other. The Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting the first ever Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, and your vote will  help choose the top contenders.

To date, 16 restaurants have signed on for the challenge, including Rio Chama, Bert's Burger Bowl, Amaya at Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Fe Capitol Grill, Anasazi Restaurant, Fuego at La Posada RealBurger, Blue Corn Brewery, Agave Lounge at Eldorado Hotel & Spa, Luminaria at Inn & Spa at Loretto, Del Charo at Inn of the Governors, Atrisco Cafe and Bar, Terra at the Four Seasons, Cowgirl BBQ, Cafe Greco, and the Ranch Hose.

You can vote for one restaurant, once a day through July 29 here.

The final showdown takes place between the six restaurants that receive the most votes at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market, Saturday, September 7 during the Green Chile Harvest Festival. A panel of judges will select the Overall Winn, and the public will select the winner by People’s Choice Award via popular vote, after tasting free samples.

Chefs and restaurant owners, remember—your burgers don't have to made of beef. You can use fish, turkey, lamb or other ingredients. You must, however, inclukde cheese and New Mexico green chile, and the burger has to be on your restaurant's menu and remain t there through the end of 2014.

Short, “smack talk” videos will be produced by the final six contestants for display on YouTube, social media and websites. In addition, each of the final six restaurants will demo their burgers in Santa Fe and Albuquerque prior to the final judging.

Restaurants can sign up online as long as they have a free listing santafe.org. For questions or to register, contact Phyllis Archuleta, 505-955-6214, pearchuletas@santafenm.gov .

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