THE OTHER RED MEAT On Jan. 1, the U.S. government grudgingly dropped its decades-long ban on the importation of beef from Argentina. Given the lousy state of their economy, you'd think Argentinian beef exporters would have been lined up to ship their world- famous product to the one big market that had been closed to them. Restaurateurs like (Argentine-born) Marco Casas-Beaux are ready and more than willing to introduce it to U.S. diners. But everyone's going to have to wait a while until the Argentine government gets its steers in a row: Casas-Beaux says the earliest an import permit will be issued is February, so the parrillas at his Buenos Aires Grill won't be sizzling with the toothsome produce of the pampas till March. WHY YOU ARE STILL FAT So you have the USDA's new, improved food pyramid pasted on the refrigerator door and you still keep getting porkier? Well, kids, turns out it's not so much what you eat as (doh!) how much. And thanks to last month's Puget Consumer Co-op newsletter Sound Consumer, we now know how much that much is. Based on a chart from another USDA Web page comparing the Food Pyramid's recommended servings of grains, dairy products, etc. to what you actually get at a typical restaurant or fast-food emporium, turns out you're eating anywhere from twice (for starches like rice or bread) to six (pancakes) to eight (a medium bag of movie popcorn) times as much per "serving" as the pyramid recommends. Read the bad news for yourself at www.pccnaturalmarkets.com DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER Zagat or Michelin it's not, but an American Automobile Association restaurant award is still worth having, especially when it's the "Five Diamond" rating. So here's to Woodinville's The Herbfarm for being one of just 53 such operations in America (and the first in Washington state, to boot). PEDDLING ON THE PIKE Have you ever dreamed of kicking over the traces of everyday life and going into business for yourself purveying Aunt Griselda's watermelon chutney to a discerning public, or maybe that family recipe for walnut-marshmallow macaroons? The Pike Place Market Authority is looking for the likes of you to take up residence in one of the new specialty food-product stands they're setting up in the Market's North Arcade this spring. Eight of the space's total 45 feet of frontage can be had for a modest $280 a month, including access to a communal sink and cooler. Interested? E-mail property manager Brittney Farrow at Brittney@pikeplacemarket.org. YAY! (OOPS . . .) Seattle Weekly's intrepid Sips column beat industry-insider Wine and Spirits magazine with our January 1 coverage of Oregon's newest boutique winemaking operation. Too bad we didn't use our spellchecker; the name of the facility is Carlton (not Carleton) Wine Studio, in Carlton (not Carleton), Oregon. "Carleton" looks classier, don't you think? But still . . . Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at email@example.com.