Burger King Japan’s Black Burgers Are Even Worse in Real Life

This one is the showroom model.Photo: Burger King Japan

This is the day of reckoning for Burger King Japan's Kuro Burger, otherwise known as that thing with the black cheese, dyed-black bun, and squid-ink-powered onion-garlic sauce that became the fast-food media sensation of the year. Alas, the hamburgers people have been served so far seem considerably less delicious-looking than the ones in ad, as seen here.

They do apparently taste pretty okay, though. »

How to Get Ample Hills Ice Cream Delivered Right to Your Home

You'll have to supply your own cone, though.Photo: Melissa Hom

It's only been two months since ice-cream specialist Brian Smith opened the cavernous Gowanus location of Ample Hills Creamery, and now here's news that his company will begin shipping pints nationally starting next week. There's a six-pack collection of "classics" including Peppermint Pattie and the shop's famed Salted Crack Caramel flavor, while the "Choose Your Own Adventure" lets customers take their pick of the classics but also adds "wild card" flavors like Mexican Hot Chocolate. It's $60 for six pints, and orders are shipped in dry ice so your ice cream is "as perfect as it was" at Ample Hills HQ. There's no option to order six pints of the "It Came From Gowanus" flavor just yet, perhaps because it's just much too dangerous in such large quantities. [FWF, Related]

Just What You Never Wanted: Airline Food Delivered Directly to Your House

What's the deal with airline food, anyway?Photo: Shutterstock

The high-pressured environment on airplanes attenuates everyone's sense of smell, which has a profound effect on the way food tastes. Which is why it's extra weird that someone in Germany has started a subscription service that brings airplane food right to your door once a week. The menu, which covers stuff like ricotta cannelloni, looks suitably coach, or maybe just a few notches above that since it's provided by the same people who cook for Lufthansa.

Read more »

The Grub Street Food Festival Is Back on October 5

Sunday ... Sunday ... Sunday.

On Sunday, October 5, Grub Street will once again be taking over the Lower East Side's Hester Street Fair. It's a friendly takeover, of course, and as always, there's going to be lots of great things to eat: Food this year includes South African street food, award-winning Asian-inspired arancini, Meat Hook Sandwich Shop snacks, bites from El Quinto Pino, chocolate-bourbon pecan pies, fruit pies, and more flan than you can probably handle. Headliners Roberta's will be here, along with Café Habana and Asiadog, with scoops from Davey's Ice Cream and Doughnut Plant doughnuts for dessert. The lineup is still growing — we'll have more than 75 food vendors in all — but check out the list so far.

Seriously, lots of pie. »

Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: GG’s Opens, the Modern Returns, and More

Photo: iStockphoto

Each week, Grub Street surveys the entire restaurant landscape of New York, crunches the numbers, and comes up with this: the most-talked-about, must-visit places in the city. They might be new, or they could be older places that have gotten a recent jolt of buzz. No matter what, these are the restaurants where you should make a point to eat sooner rather than later.

Read more »

America’s Beloved PBR Will Be Sold to Russian Brewers

Russian brewers see the glow.Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

It looks like Pabst Brewing Co.'s new owner will be Oasis Beverages, a Russian beer distributor and its largest independent brewery. Investor TSG Consumer Partners will take a minority stake. Folks "briefed on the matter" tell the Times that the agreed-to price for PBR, plus legacy lagers like Old Milwaukee, Colt 45, Schlitz, and Lone Star, was still north of $700 million. It's not quite the billion everyone had hoped for, but it's nearly three times what C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. paid in 2010 for the company.

Read more »

Now Olive Garden’s Employees Are Threatening to Strike

Scott A. Miller/AP/CorbisPhoto: He'd boil the pasta in salt water, too.

With morale around Olive Garden so soured that the guys at the top are telling each other to Google "how to cook pasta" and nitpicking the so-called "Cadillac" of takeout bags, thousands of the fast-casual chain's workers say it's time to petition Darden executives and shareholders to hear their concerns, which they say are more serious than breadstick waste. Workers mostly want to make clear they "aren't assets to be sold off."

"... a predatory hedge fund ..." »

Neil Patrick Harris Lunches at Landmarc; SJP Dines at Acme

Out and about.Photo: Raymond Hall/Getty Images

With Fashion Week behind them, celebs emerged into the perfect fall weather to enjoy meals out on the town. The cast of Orange Is the New Black partied at the Lodge, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade stepped out at Bounce Sporting Club, and Neil Patrick Harris lunched with Chuck Lorre. Read it all, straight ahead.

David Beckham sighting. »

2014 Is on Track to Be the Best Year Yet for White Truffles

A thing of beauty.Photo: Lever House/Twitter

For a certain breed of high-caliber restaurant, fall means white truffles, and white truffles, of course, mean money. So even though it's still technically summer for another few days, the first few shipments of this year's truffle crop have boarded jets and cleared customs all over the world, and Grub's sources in Northern Italy say Umbrian authorities are already busting truffle thieves ahead of the season's official start, which won't start for at least a few more days. This trend doesn't show any sign of slowing down, since restaurants that get shipments first can charge the truffle-craving masses even higher supplements while supplies are still scarce.

Make it snow. »

Ben Lyons Tries to Eat Chinese Food Every Sunday Night

Lyons, at La Caridad 78.Photo: Melissa Hom

!+[sponsored-jack-daniels]Ben Lyons made a name for himself by covering entertainment news for MTV and E!, and now he's juggling several gigs: He's a correspondent on Extra, as well as the host of both an ESPN radio show and Yahoo's film-focused web series. And yet, this week, the ever-busy Lyons — who splits his time between New York and L.A. — also found time to stop at his favorite Cuban-Chinese restaurant on the Upper West Side, eat Mexican food several times, and feast at his favorite Chinese restaurant, Shanghai Grill. Read all about it, straight ahead.

" ... so I ate my feelings." »


Taco Bell’s Bánh Mì Offshoot Will Replace Its ‘Communist’ Logo

Still too early to know if the food's offensive.

For the past few days, Dallas's sizable Vietnamese-American community has made clear its distaste for Bánh Shop, the ambitious, bánh mì-centric fast-food prototype Yum! Brands opened up last week. Specifically, as numerous critics and at least one online petition made clear, the issue was with its red, five-pointed star logo, which invoked communist Vietnam's flag and color. Those who protested the logo said the company's choice was insensitive and "hurt and offended" the community, including refugees who had fled Vietnam in the 1970s.

"... we should have recognized this logo could be offensive ..." »

Scottish Bars Where You Can Watch Tonight’s Referendum Voting Results

You can eat at Highlands, too.

Today, millions of Scots headed to the polls to vote on independence from the U.K. — and the results will start rolling in at 5 p.m. ET. If you're an expat, news junkie, or a good old-fashioned sot, you might want to watch the historic vote unfold at a local Scottish bar. We've rounded up a quick list, straight ahead.

Beer, beer, beer. »

Blue Bottle Has Launched Its New Coffee-Delivery Service

Minimalist new packaging, another Blue Bottle hallmark.

Marking a big step in the $26 million expansion plans of Blue Bottle Coffee, the chain is launching a new mail-order subscription service called Blue Bottle at Home. The reason, according to a post on Blue Bottle's official site, is that the company is in the home stretch of acquiring the Tonx coffee delivery service, and this new move will expand the company's reach considerably. (Other roasters, such as Intelligentsia and Stumptownm offer similar services.) Tonx co-founder Nik Bauman, now Blue Bottle's "director of digital product," tells Fortune they'll really be "sweating the details" here, a very Blue Bottle–ish thing to do. New and existing subscribers can choose from subscriptions of single-origin beans, blends, or an espresso-specific subscription. (Sizes are also variable: — 6-, 12-, 24-, or 36 ounces are available.) And it all arrives in your mailbox, according to Fortune, within 24 hours of being roasted. [Blue Bottle Blog, Fortune, Earlier]

Why It’s Time to Start Eating Tibetan Yak Cheese

In New York, chef Eric Ripert serves grated yak cheese in a plate of truffled pasta.Photo: Courtesy of Aldo Sohm Wine Bar

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, the predictably upscale offshoot of Manhattan's famed Le Bernardin, has been open all of two weeks, but already those who navigate the snack-oriented menu may be puzzled by the appearance of something described as Tibetan yak cheese. It's offered either grated in a plate of truffled pasta, or on its own for $10 an ounce. "Imported from the Tibetan Plateau, Yak cheese is considered a rare delicacy with great health benefit," the menu reads, in case you need a little more incentive to give it a try. The wine bar will actually help expose yak cheese to perhaps its biggest audience outside the Himalayas — just as soon as the first few wheels clear customs.

Yak-tales. »

Here’s a Restaurant That Rewards Customers Who Give It Bad Yelp Reviews

A real one-star cioppino.Photo: Botto Bistro/Facebook

Botto Bistro, a Bay Area Italian restaurant that gives zero fusilli about its standings on Yelp, has now turned to asking customers to trash them with one-star reviews, all in protest of the site's alleged ability to manipulate rankings. How this will look to Yelp users who aren't in on the joke isn't clear, exactly, but so far it's working: 83 of its 148 reviews now give the fewest stars on offer. The complaints stay pretty tongue in cheek, however: "My food arrived before I wanted it to come. It was too hot to eat. It brought back all kinds of terrible memories of eating in Italy," and "I can only give this place one star. To do otherwise would show them disrespect."

Very clever, guys. »

The Cotton-Candy Ice-Cream Cone Is Now a Reality

Hubba hubba.Photo: Courtesy of OddFellows

It's been two months since Sam Mason tweeted about a cotton-candy cone at OddFellows Ice Cream Co. Now it will finally hit the menu at the Williamsburg location. On Friday, the ice-cream shop will debut a new hybrid dessert: It consists of s'mores ice cream (smoky burnt-marshmallow base + graham cracker + chocolate + burnt marshmallows) in a chocolate-dipped sugar cone, covered with smoked cotton-candy.

And a gratuitous close-up shot. »

Horrific Animal Cruelty Exposed at Farm for Domino’s and Pizza Hut Cheese Provider

An activist working undercover on a New Mexico dairy that supplies mozzarella giant Leprino Foods videotaped workers assaulting and beating the cows. The New Mexico Livestock Board tells the AP they're investigating the incident at the farm, whose cheese is used by several national chains and food brands, "very aggressively."

"... a culture of cruelty and neglect ..." »

Check Out This Marvelous S’mores Espresso Drink

Yes, that is a smoked vanilla bean marshmallow.Photo: Brendon Glidden/Instagram

Here now, the S'mores Gibraltar, which is currently being served at the two Onyx Coffee Labs in Springdale and Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is, in short, something of a beautiful thing. As one might expect from its name, the drink has a foundation of espresso and steamed milk, and is topped with a handmade "smoked vanilla bean marshmallow" and graham cracker.

"...smoked vanilla bean marshmallow..." »

Why Tartine Breadmaster Chad Robertson Is Going Global

"Any place we open, it's because I have a baker who's worked with me for years and wants to go."Photo: Courtesy of Chad Robertson

Chad Robertson, the owner of San Francisco's Bar Tartine and Tartine Bakery, is among the most — if not the most — renowned bakers in the country. He's revolutionized the game by favoring ancient grains and naturally leavened bread (and also created a pastry that has its own cult following — the morning bun). Until recently, Robertson seemed content with keeping his business small in the Bay Area, but in the coming year, he'll expand in many directions: He's opening a bakery in Tokyo, developing a burger bun for Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi's new fast-food concept, releasing another book, and launching a second San Francisco outpost in the Heath Ceramics factory. Grub Street called him up to chat about his big plans.

"We're looking at London." »

Inside the World’s Most Mysterious Nutella Emporium

The shop currently houses about 150 kilos of of Italian Nutella.Photo: Liz Clayman

When the world learned last month that an independently owned Nutella shop called Nutelleria would soon open in Brooklyn, the news raised a number of unique questions: Who actually owns this place, anyway? How are LA and Miami locations already in the works? Why does Nutelleria's sloppily designed website feature a fully working game of "Snake"? And, most importantly, how do the owners plan to avoid getting sued by the company that makes Nutella? It was all very strange, so Grub Street reached out for answers. But now, after seeing the space and meeting the apparent owners, we have even more questions.

"I can't disclose further than that." »


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