Mouthing Off

A Littleton cook faces criminal charges for allegedly spitting on a policeman's chicken sandwich. Whatever your feelings toward the boys in blue, that's just plain gross. The civilian riding with the officer thought so, too, which upped the ante to two counts of disorderly conduct.

The accused, one Peter Hatfield, says he pulled over the officer's plate in order to give him extra watermelon slices because he thought the officer "might be mad about something." According to the Rocky Mountain News, that something might have been Hatfield's previous arrest by the same cop--which probably called for an extra slice of chicken, not a side of saliva.

The unsavory incident jogged all sorts of memories from a few fellow kitchen-types. Not surprisingly, no one wanted to be named, because here are a few of the things they've seen (and served): spit, both times in a drink courtesy of a cook angry over food being sent back; cigarette ashes dropped on steaks by a grill cook who said smoking made him work faster; fish way past its prime and sprayed with a manager's lavender perfume to cover up the foul smell; chewing gum that dropped from a cook's mouth and into a hot dog bun--a customer discovered that one. By far the most common atrocity: food that fell to the floor and was put right back on the plate.

Leftovers: After nearly fifty years at 2076 South University Boulevard, Dolcamino's is no more. The most recent owner, Mark Putnoy, has other fish to fry, but he will stay on to make pastries for new owners Brett Davy (former pastry chef himself at the Flagstaff) and Jane Truettner (part owner of the Crocodile Cafe) at what will be called the Cous Bay Bistro starting January 21. The garlic pizzas, named Westword's Best of 1993, will stay on the menu, but the new owners will add their own gourmet pizzas, as well as freshly made pastas and a tapas bar, all with what Davy calls a "Pacific Northwest, Mediterranean feel"--a theme that will extend to the restaurant's physical renovation as well.

Kudos to Arby's, for its decision to ban smoking in all of the chain's restaurants starting January 1. I know I'll get a lot of grief on this from you right-to-smokers, and, hey, I believe in your rights. But as a lifelong asthma sufferer, I also feel rather strongly about my right to breathe.

Now if Arby's would just start serving decent food...
Coors Brewing Co. will go national with Zima in February. The "clear malt beverage" that to me is like drinking Fresca and burping beer has had what Coors calls "unusually strong" sales. Zima is produced at Coors' Memphis brewery...Molson beat the American breweries when it introduced the first ice beer, Molson Ice, back in August to a limited market. Now Molson has taken Ice national, and Anheuser-Busch, Labatt and Miller have all jumped on the bandwagon. I think the ice beers taste funky, but some of the brands do have a higher alcohol content than regular beers. They also have more calories.

Ice Light, anyone?