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Culinary crumbs and gastronomic gossip

Where's the beef (from)?
Ranch Foods Direct's hormone- and antibiotic-free natural meats have become a staple for conscientious consumers, both in retail markets and local restaurants. RFD's branding is so well-recognized that most purveyors listed on its Web site proudly display the RFD logo in their windows.

That's all fine and dandy with owner Mike Callicrate, unless he finds out that inside those windows, you're actually still slingin' commercial meats. According to Callicrate, he's had to ask more than one local fine dining establishment to desist falsely using his name.

Currently, Callicrate's got a beef with Palapa's Surfside Restaurant (5710 S. Carefree Circle). Its Web site claims the restaurant has "teamed up with" RFD, but Ranch Foods doesn't count Palapa's as a partner.

When I call CEO Kevin McCarthy to ask about the disparity, he replies, "We have used them for certain dishes. We use them periodically ... our menu changes every couple of days."

Callicrate says Palapa's hasn't placed an order with RFD since January, and he's considering filing a trademark violation action.

"We've gotta quit lying to our customers, and we've really got to instill some integrity into our businesses," he says. "We're all trying to keep up with the national chains ... but we certainly can't compete by being deceptive. That's simply not acceptable."

Passing the buck
The Blue Star (1645 S. Tejon St.) will be re-gifting in a good way through August. Dine on Mondays, and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region earns a portion of the night's sales; Tuesdays, the Trails and Open Space Coalition gets the same treatment; Wednesdays, TESSA; and Thursdays, the Friends of Cheyenne Caon. Call 632-1086.

'Hasta la vista, Fatty'
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a scribble to legislation banning the use of trans fats in California restaurants last week, making it the first state in the nation to do so. Big ups, Arny.

Take note
Second annual Busses at the Brewery (hosted by a local vintage VW bus club) featuring German food, music and beer; noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2 at Bristol Brewing Co. (1647 S. Tejon St.). Call 633-2555.

Murder in Salt Creek mystery dinner, 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Briarhurst Manor Estate (404 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs). $60 plus tax and tip, call 685-1864.

Battle of the Best: Nosh's James Davis and crew versus Whole Foods' Chris Miller and team. Sample and vote on best drink, entre and dessert; 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2, at Nosh (121 S. Tejon St.). $30, call 635-6674 for more.

Dish on menus, events and food-related news at scene@csindy.com.

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