Mystic pizza bread
Named in tribute to the 13th-century Sufi poet, philosopher and mystic, Rumi's Kabab (635-7749) will soon open at 36 E. Bijou St., the site occupied until June by the Persian Grill.
According to owner Shams Forough, who hails from southwestern Afghanistan, the restaurant will serve traditional Afghan cuisine. One example is Qabeli Palau, lamb topped with rice that's mixed with carrots, raisins and nuts. Also expect lamb and beef kababs and daily-made naan bread, which Forough says differs from Indian naan in that it's baked, not fried. He likens it to pizza crust.
When asked whether he's concerned about moving into a downtown market already saturated with Middle Eastern cuisine, Forough responds, "We don't have competition. We're totally different."
Call it a change of Heart: What was Heart of Jerusalem Café at 15 E. Bijou St., is now Taste of Jerusalem Café (tasteofjerusalemcafe.com). Co-owners Hussein Abukhdeir and Abdul Nasser recently decided to part ways after nearly two years, leaving Nasser the newly named downtown space and Abukhdeir the location at 4587 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.
Nasser says he and new partner Aladdin Azziz will run with the same menu for the moment, with plans to make small changes and additions in the future. Noting a dearth of ice cream near Acacia Park, Nasser has already added Blue Bunny to his offerings.
• In celebration of its fifth anniversary this month, the Melting Pot (30-A E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-0300) will randomly distribute five $50 "dip certificates" to diners, nightly from Aug. 24 through 28.
• Points for creativity: The High Altitude Happy Hour fundraiser for the Manitou Springs Economic Development Council on Aug. 28 will begin with a reception at the Cog Railway Depot (515 Ruxton Ave., 685-9741) at 4:15 p.m., followed by a 4:45 train ride to the top of Pikes Peak and back. Appetizers and wine will be served on the train. It's all $50; RSVP required.
• The Margarita at PineCreek (7350 Pine Creek Road, 598-8667) will host a Clam Jam at 3:30 p.m., Aug. 30, featuring clams, mussels, crab, oysters, crawfish, salmon, chowder and more for $49 plus tax/tip.
• For those interested in the "opportunities of commercially producing organic seed," and the basics of the craft, the Washington-based Organic Seed Alliance (seedalliance.org) will host workshops Aug. 31 in Rocky Ford and Sept. 2 and 3 in Longmont. The Rocky Ford event is free; the two-day Longmont event costs $100 and requires registration.