No. 7’s Birthday Party; the Cleveland’s New Large-Format Options

• To celebrate its sixth birthday, No. 7 is bringing on Fung Tu's Jonathan Wu and Brooks Headley for a three-course, $50 family-style supper on Friday, September 5 at 9:30 p.m. Email katherine@no7sub.com for reservations. [Grub Street]

The Cleveland has launched four-course, large-format dining options: a whole leg of lamb set, wild-caught seafood, or a fully vegetarian dinner for $70 a person. [Grub Street]

• On September 4, Eataly will celebrate its birthday with a Greatest Hits Dinner in Birreria. Details here. [Grub Street]

Tiny Indiana Town Despises Oreo for Sending Them Lots of Tiny Cookies

Imagine this wrapped in plastic, then paper, in a box, tied with twine, and so on.

To drum up interest for its new Mini Oreos, the cookie company invented a "Small Town America" campaign and shipped the miniatures to 50 minuscule U.S. towns as some kind of reward for staying humble. But as the hazards of small-town life go, it seems that all 81 residents of Mauckport, Indiana, came to a rapid consensus that it kind of sucked to get a solitary, quarter-size cookie, packaged in a sad plastic wrapper, to share with the household. "This is the talk around town and, to us, this is just a big joke," Debbie White told the Star after documenting hers on Twitter.

Phase two! »

Korean Barbecue Specialist Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Will Open Manhattan Location This Fall

Coming to 32nd Street.

Coming very soon to 319 Fifth Avenue is Kang Ho Dong Baekjeon, a chain owned by Korean comedian and former wrestler Kang Ho Dong. Stateside, its Jonathan Gold-approved L.A. location and Flushing outpost are connected to the original but are independently operated, and the 150-seat K-Town location will be Baekjeong's American flagship. As such, the owners have brought on chef Deuki Hong, who cooked at Jean Georges and Momofuku, and who is now wrapping on a cookbook co-written with food writer Matt Rodbard, so expect a lot of finesse with that grilled pork jowl. The restaurant will be open until 6 a.m. on weekends, and will eventually tack on lunch hours as well. [Facebook]

Spiking Booze With Straight Viagra Predictably Ends in Entrepreneur’s Arrest

Hard sell.

To "increase liquor sales and make money fast," also to promote other types of growth, the owner of the catchily named Nine Springs Ecological Agriculture Development Co. in Hubei province ordered some internet sildenafil citrate, Viagra's active ingredient, then dissolved it into baijiu, a strong liquor that already delivers a hefty kick in the pants. The entrepreneurial guy even managed to sell more than a thousand bottles until he was arrested six months later. He's now in jail, where he'll no doubt be planning the nitty-gritty of opening his first bar. [China News Agency, Fox Business]

Doctor Who’s Cast Reacts to New York’s Newest Doctor Who-Themed Café

Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi at last week's BBC America fan screening in NYC.Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images

Brilliant Scottish actor Peter Capaldi is about to make his debut as the 12th incarnation of the namesake title character in the very long-running British show Doctor Who, which has its season premiere this weekend. Last week when the show's cast and writers were making the rounds, we had a moment to speak with Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, who plays continuing companion Clara Oswald. Grub also got a moment with venerated writer and producer Steven Moffat, and all three seemed absolutely delighted to hear that the show's fandom has now taken root in the Dutchess County town of Beacon in the form of a full-on Doctor Who restaurant, officially making two places in the state that have TARDIS-themed interior decor. At the Pandorica, even the tablecloths are Police Call Box blue.

"Fabulous. That's great. That's brilliant. Wow. That's amazing." »

Bakery That Supplied Crumbs Laid Off 75 Workers After Cupcake-Bubble Bust

Soar like an eagle, s'mores cupcake!

In addition to scores of corporate-side workers and all employees at its now-shuttered retail locations, 75 shift bakers at Melita Bakery in the Bronx lost their jobs after Crumbs abruptly shut down last month. The remnants of the once-mighty cupcake chain are now being retooled into some kind of viable frosting strategy, and while partner Emanuel Darmanin says his bakery, which partnered with Crumbs for 11 years, says he's ready to give it another shot, right now things look grim. Just before the filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, standing orders for 225,000 cupcakes per week suddenly dropped 100,000, and beyond the workforce cuts, Melita had to renegotiate terms with suppliers. Then there were also the actual crumbs that Crumbs left behind in the form of surplus batter, which had to be converted into something resembling a fleet of zombie cupcakes prior to disposal. "We have to bake them to throw them away," says Darmanin. [WSJ, Related]

Café Owner Told Job Applicant ‘Coffee Culture Is More About White People’

At least the place makes okay-looking foam art.

Nilson Dos Santos, who is black and a Brazilian-born resident of Sydney, Australia, interviewed for a barista job at the inner-city café Forbes and Burton, but was apparently turned away because of his race. Owner Steven Hu, who reportedly moved to the city from Shanghai less than a year ago, was apparently shocked and surprised by Dos Santos's skin color when they sat down to chat on Sunday. "But you're black?" he asked, before adding, "my customers are white. I don't think they'd like to have their coffee made by black people. That's not part of the coffee culture. You're African."

The owner says he was "just being honest." »

Slaughterhouse Owners Allegedly Ordered Employees to Process Meat From Cancer-Stricken Cows

Ribeye sans cancer eye, please.

A federal grand jury has charged Jesse Amaral Jr. and Robert Singleton, owners of the now-defunct Rancho Feeding Corp., plus two employees, with conspiracy and fraud after they pushed diseased cattle past USDA inspectors and then sold them. The indictment alleges employees were instructed to cut the heads off diseased cows while the inspectors were out to lunch, then sneak others through the slaughterhouse by putting healthy heads on the bodies of ones that had telltale "cancer eye," not to mention slice away those otherwise problematic "USDA Condemned" stamps. The California-based company shut down in February after it recalled some 8.7 million pounds of meat, which was used in everything from Hot Pockets to supermarket burger patties. [NYT, Food Safety News, Related]

Ketchup vs. Catsup: Why Heinz Is Irreplaceable

Minetta Tavern serves Heinz, but Cherche Midi opts for fancy-ass ketchup.Photo: Shutterstock

At Cherche Midi, Keith McNally's latest restaurant, the French fries are truly outstanding. They retain all the best attributes of fast-food fries — uniformly golden, very thin, perfectly crispy — while still managing to feel handmade. They nail the sweet spot on the spectrum between elegant, old-school New York dining, and the generic greasy drive-through that you frequented as a teenager. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the ketchup that arrives, in a small, nondescript ceramic cup, with the fries. Is it Heinz? No, it's darker than it should be, and not nearly smooth enough. There's too much spice, not enough sweetness. It is fancy-ass ketchup, and all it does is make you wonder why you can't just have Heinz — like at McNally's other restaurants, Minetta Tavern and Balthazar.

"I don't like it when Heinz is not offered." »

Rose’s Luxury, High Street on Market, Estela Named ‘Best New Restaurants’

Estela placed in the top three.Photo: Estelanyc/Instagram

Bon Appétit released its annual Hot 10 list, with Andrew Knowlton awarding Washington, D.C.'s Rose's Luxury the top honor. (Last year, Alma placed No. 1.) "Rose's isn't just in the restaurant business; it's in the making-people-happy business," Knowlton writes. Philadelphia's High Street on Market ("superstar bread program") and New York's Estela ("Your job as diner is to literally dig deeper and revel in the reveal") round out the top three. Check out the full list, straight ahead.

Read more »

Burst Pipe Temporarily Closes the Modern

Cleaning up.

A hot water pipe burst above the ceiling at the Modern in midtown on Sunday night. No one was hurt, but the restaurant is closed temporarily until cleanup and repairs can be completed. Union Square Hospitality Group's Terrace 5 and Café 2 at MoMA remain open, and meanwhile, the Modern expects to reopen for dinner service tomorrow night. [Official site]

08/18/14

Lobster Bash at Jeffrey’s Grocery; Back Forty’s Crab-a-Palooza

Back Forty's annual crab-a-palooza returns from August 26 to August 30. Tickets available online for $55. [Grub Street]

Madison Square Eats will return from September 5 to October 3. [Grub Street]

• Lobster Bash is back at Jeffrey's Grocery, from Tuesday through Saturday. Check out the menu here. [Grub Street]

• On Thursday, August 28, the Strand Book Store will host Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks author Priya Krishna from 7 to 8 p.m. [Grub Street]

Restaurant Owner Isn’t Sure Why Everyone Hated Her Nazi-Themed Spaghetti

In all its newly renamed glory.

Tsao Ya-sin, owner of the Italian restaurant Rock Hill in Taiwan's capital Taipei, readily admits she "know[s] little about World War II," but the shortcoming must have seemed neither here nor there when she picked the Third Reich–themed name "Long Live Nazi Spaghetti" for her pasta special because it has German sausage in it and, well, she "wanted to get customers' attention." She's done well: Her noodles have elicited sharp rebukes from Taiwan's Israeli and German embassies, which recommended to Ya-sin that it's perhaps time to review European history. More remarkable, the dish has been on the menu from the start, since last year's grand opening, and Tsao said no one ever complained until the local news arrived. Whatever the case may be, it's undergone a much less offensive name change and is now called "World Champion Spaghetti," to honor the Germany's World Cup victory. [Taipei Times]

Taco Bell Gives America $1 Normcore Burritos

Taco Bell has gotten one step closer to just giving its food away.Photo: Taco Bell

Along with a gentle reminder that it "continues to lead the industry with value menus," a format it allegedly pioneered in 1988, Taco Bell today unleashed a nationwide rollout of its "Dollar Cravings" menu section, which includes minuscule quesadillas, a taco filled with potatoes, something called the "Cheesy Roll up," and two kinds of burritos. One of those is filled with beef, while the other is just meatless with rice and beans, and as if to drive home the utter mundanity of it all, Taco Bell heralded the menu with a bunch of really boring food photos like this one, which seem like they were shot by your friend who's just learning the basics of photography. The entire non-deluxe promotional blitz was promoted on Snapchat.

Read more »

100 Montaditos Will Give Away Free Sandwiches Tomorrow

Game on, jamon.

Spanish chain 100 Montaditos specializes in thumb-size sandwiches laden with things like sausages, sliced cheese, jamon, hardboiled eggs, almond cream, and all manner of condiments. Its New York City expansion push continues tomorrow, August 19, with the opening of its second shop at 177 Ludlow Street. Show up between the hours of noon and 3 p.m. and you'll get two montaditos for free. If you miss it, chances are you'll have another opportunity soon in a different neighborhood: Franchisee Mini Hospitality plans to open 26 more 100 Montaditos within the next three years. [Related]

Golden Cadillac Will Reopen As Boilermaker Next Month

So long, Cadillac.

Seventies-themed bar Golden Cadillac served its last Disco Daiquiri last month, and now partners James Tune, Don Lee, and Greg Boehm of Cocktail Kingdom have added bartender Erick Castro to the mix and will debut Boilermaker next month in the space. The retro cocktail list lovingly cribbed from Playboy's Host and Bar Book has been overhauled with a selection of actual boilmakers, including one combining Old Grand-Dad bourbon and Brooklyn Lager and another that teams up Ramazzotti amaro and Victory Storm King Stout. There will be four cocktails on tap, including a Zombie made with three kinds of rum and classified as "cool & refreshing" on the menu. (There's a two-per-person limit on that one.) Chef Miguel Trinidad will cook hamburgers modeled on specimens found at In-N-Out Burger and Corner Bistro, reps say. Boilermaker will open early next month. [Related]

Cambridge Needs an Intrepid Student to Study a Lot of Chocolate

Only EU citizens need apply.

Cambridge University has issued a call for one lucky Ph.D. student to take a deep-dive into the realm of next-generation chocolate, specifically chocolate that softens at a higher temperature, starting in January of 2015. The idea is that science has not done enough for bon bons, truffles, and candy bars to reach their fullest potential, and melted Cadbury bars suck, anyhow. "The project will investigate the factors which allow chocolate, which has a melting point close to that of the human body, to remain solid and retain qualities sought by consumers when it is stored and sold in warm climates," they write. This basically means you'll wear stuff with lots of pockets, fill those pockets up with chocolate, walk around, and eat the chocolate (we think). The gig's open only to qualified students from the EU, and obviously will be a life-changing experience for the right person. Your life will really be like a box of chocolates, for the duration of the three-and-a-half-year commitment, anyhow. [AP]

The Seinfeld Restaurant Is Pretty Meh About Accommodating Customers in Wheelchairs

Tom's Restaurant.

A new lawsuit claims that Tom's Restaurant doesn't comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, but management at the iconic Morningside Heights greasy spoon is seemingly unfazed, an unfortunate and a perfectly Seinfeld-worthy response. Carolyn Coleman, who is wheelchair-bound, says that the diner violates the ADA starting with "steps at the entrance" and in 41 other ways. "We no have access for handicapped," manager Manuel Papas tells the Post, adding "it's not a problem in the summertime," he says, when Tom's offers sidewalk seating. The restaurant, family-owned since the '40s, has apparently never felt the need to remodel to provide wheelchair access. Asked if the diner might reconsider, Pappas wasn't sure. "Maybe. Someday," he said. [NYP]

Williamsburg’s Second Starbucks Will Dazzle Patrons With Alcohol

That's one way to stand out from the competition.Photo: Stefano Amantini/Corbis

Though plans are in place to bring small plates and merlot to "thousands of stores" overall, only 30 Starbucks stores out of 20,000 currently pour beer or wine, so it's a big deal, maybe, that the coffee chain has confirmed it's seeking a liquor license for its next Williamsburg location. "Just as every customer is unique, so are our stores and we consider a broad range of products and services for each location," a spokesperson explains, noting tentative plans also include bringing in pricier "reserve" coffee.

Read more »

A South Korean Restaurant Banned ‘Africans’ Over Nonexistent Ebola Risk

And, uh, no smoking, either.Photo: Harriet Harriet via HBC/Itaewon Information Board/Facebook

Two identical signs went up over the weekend at JR Pub, an establishment popular with expats in Seoul, South Korea, that barred all of the 1.1 billion people from Africa in the same manner one might announce the ATM is on the fritz. Unsurprisingly, the paper signs prompted a deluge of outrage after someone spotted the ridiculous message and posted a photo to Facebook.

"... wildly selfish ..." »

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