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Culinary crumbs and gastronomic gossip

Crack(berry) kills (in sales ... relatively speaking)
Last August, we reported that the Pinkberry fad had finally reached Colorado Springs in the form of Zoneberry at Coffee & Tea Zone (25 N. Tejon St.). Those of us at the Indy who've become addicts haven't stopped calling the semi-sweet frozen yogurt-like treat by its street name, Crackberry, popularized in Los Angeles.

But owners Young and Kathy Yoon say they haven't heard too many customers order by that name, though they say demand has steadily increased month by month for the product. Tejon Street has yet to see (if it ever will) a line rounding the block for Zoneberry as one did in West Hollywood around Pinkberry's original location.

If you've yet to sport some crack(berry) around town, get with the program already. Call 632-3887 for more.

Are you experienced?
A colleague recently completed one of Experience Wine's "A Friendly Introduction to Wine" classes. (As opposed to those other classes out there: "A Raging A-hole's Guide to Grapes" and "Hey Stupidfaces Drink This!") She reports that the two hours, complete with handouts and tastings, was quite informative and well worth the $40. (Now let's just see if she can get off the Thunderbird ...)

Upcoming classes include "Sweet (German) Wines" from 5:30-8 p.m., July 23 at Palapa's Surfside (5710 S. Carefree Circle). This $45, two-and-a-half-hour class features appetizers and six wines. Call 282-8688 for more or visit experiencewine.net.

Fill the boot, hit the duck
The Colorado Springs Firefighter Chili Cook-Off to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 4-9 p.m., July 18 on Tejon Street between Pikes Peak and Colorado avenues; call 260-8777 for more.

Bronc Day Festival fundraiser wine tasting and auction, 4-6 p.m., July 20 at the Mucky Duck restaurant (10530 Ute Pass Ave., Green Mountain Falls), $15; call 684-2008 for more. (The 70th annual Bronc Day, which includes a pie-eating contest, runs 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 2 in Green Mountain Falls.)

Wait for it ...
I've spied two new downtown storefronts bearing advertisements for eateries to open soon. One, Smiley's (323 N. Tejon St.), is located across from Poor Richard's, next to the recently opened Flavors on Tejon. The other, 3 Hermanos (16 E. Bijou St.), is across from Zeezo's, near Sparrow Hawk.

If you've ever worked in a restaurant ...
Full disclosure: All of the information I'm about to relay regarding Fast Food, the most awesome restaurant musical/literary dinner ever composed, is extremely biased by the fact that my old colleague and former Indy contributor Aaron Retka wrote it and that I am one of the original cast members returning to sing in it. So that's on the table.

For the uninitiated, a bit of backstory: Before it became an Arby's last year, 331 S. Nevada Ave. used to be an independently owned, gourmet restaurant with a loyal following under chef Brent Beavers, called Sencha. At said place, the staff (including Retka and I) annually performed a handful of literary dinners multi-course meals thematically matching a performance, based usually on a work of popular or classic literature, like Frankenstein or The Princess Bride.

Toward the end of Sencha's glorious run, Retka wrote Fast Food, a 10-song rock musical set in a fictitious restaurant, that rings true as any eatery in which you've ever worked. Song subjects range from dumpy customers and bad tips to miserable side work and fragile front- and back-of-the-house relations.

Oh, and there's a love story.

Speaking as a witness to past audience response, I can guarantee if you attend, you'll laugh so hard that you'll shoot fine wine laced with Kobe beef burger bits out of your nose or something equally grotesque in a gourmet way. And you'll probably get a sweet buzz.

Aug. 10's revival of Fast Food at the Warehouse Restaurant (25 W. Cimarron St.) features a (loud) live band and local vocalists Mike Stephens (The Fox Hole Prayers), Kellie Palmblad (Eyes Caught Fire) and Mike Nipp and Jeff Fuller (El Toro de la Muerte), as well as many Sencha veterans. Seven courses paired with wines ($75, not included tax/tip) will be prepared by Beavers and various Club Nine chefs to benefit the club's Rock Ledge Rendezvous on Aug. 23 at Rock Ledge Ranch. The lengthy evening of Fast Food

entertainment and feasting begins at 5:30; reservations are required (and recommended early) at 475-8880.

Bridge over Fountain Creek
While in touch with Warehouse owner Chip Johnson regarding his upcoming plans for reviving the establishment's brewery (see p. 20), we asked him for an update on foot traffic since the Cimarron Bridge's reopening.

"The bridge closure most definitely had an impact on our overall business," he says, citing customer feedback that it was "a pain to get to us." Johnson says he's relieved the bridge is now open, and he's noticed an increase in dinner sales and a clientele shift to more tourists. Wouldn't you know: Most are asking for beer.

Send the word on new menus, events and food-related news to scene@csindy.com.


Fast Food
The Warehouse Restaurant,
25 W. Cimarron St.
Sunday, August 10, 5:30 p.m.
Call 475-8880 for reservations.
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