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Side Dish

Culinary crumbs and gastronomic gossip



Foil shizzle, indeed
Big ups for Chipotle Mexican Grill, which claims it will serve more than 52 million pounds (roughly 200 million meals) of naturally raised meat (NRM) in 2008, an increase of 40 percent over 2007. The move should solidify the chain as the world's leading seller of said product, a good thing considering it touts spending more money (as a sales percentage) on its food than any other restaurant in any food category.

But keep in mind that Chipotle's goal of serving NRM in all its locations isn't yet reached: Pork is the only NRM product in every store, with naturally raised chicken in 80 percent of stores and naturally raised beef in roughly half of nearly 700 locations. Visit for more.

Tracking the trans fat ban
Members of Manitou Springs' Food for Hearts, the group aiming to make the city the first in the state to go trans fat-free, are holding a bake-sale fundraiser and informative celebration at 7 p.m., Jan. 20 at the Community Congregational Church of Manitou (103 Pawnee Ave., Manitou Springs). Presenters at the free event will include Mayor Eric Drummond, along with local health practitioners and a food distributor. RSVP at 685-5979 or

Let there be drink
Cubanacan (208 N. Union Blvd.) recently added a full bar area to its building. A grand reopening (not that the almost-year-old operation really closed) is set for Jan. 26, with drink specials all day and live music from 7 to 10 p.m.

According to owner Irvin Rey, traditional Cuban mojitos (rum served with mulled sugar or simple syrup and fresh mint), as well as flavored mojitos, such as passion fruit, will be specialties.

Any Friday would be a good day to sample one, with two-for-one $7 mojitos from 4 to 6 p.m. Call 302-4516 for restaurant hours and more details on the news.

Brews with bites
The Blue Star (1645 S. Tejon St.) is hosting a five-course Bristol Beer Dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22, with food by chef Jason Miller paired with Bristol's Red Rocket, Edge City ESB, Smokebrush Porter, Nitro Winter Warlock, XXX Warlock and Old No. 23 Barley Wine. The cost is $60 plus tax and gratuity. Call 632-1086 or visit for more.

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