Of all the most disgusting rogue ingredients you can brainstorm finding in a bowl of chili, "severed furry rat head" is highly unlikely to make the list, because who would even think that up? Well, Bob Wilson now will. The Florida man — and until now Golden Corral regular — claims he, his son, and some friends were eating a buffet dinner recently, and this curly-eared rodent head was a thing he had to spit out after digging into his chili. "The first bite I took out of it was a crunch," he says, already crossing over the TMI zone, "and at the time I was like, 'Maybe, you know, sometimes you get a hard bean inside of chili.'" But alas, there were no hard beans inside Wilson's chili. His next stop was the bathroom. Warning: Snaggletoothed rat head photo, straight ahead.
"Wow that is a rat," the manager concluded.
The votes have been tallied, and Wasabi Ginger is Frito-Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" winner, not the one that "tasted" like cappuccino. America may never know how close it got to cappuccino-flavored chips in every bodega, but it was time to put it out of its misery. That variety was all but universally reviled online, spawned a series of "We tried so you don't have to" consumer reviews, and ultimately got dissed by coffee writer Oliver Strand as "a punch line."
Cappuccino guy still gets paid.
"What do we do to things we don't need/want/like?" Amy Erickson asks on her blog, Oh, Bite It!. "We fry it ... that's what!" In this case, the creator of deep-fried Pumpkin Spice Lattes and, for rougher days, deep-fried tequila shots has put Brach's famous candy corn inside Pillsbury dough rounds and subjected the whole package to a bath of hot oil. The finished product is dusted with powered sugar, zeppole-style, and allegedly yields "doughy pillows" that are "just a shadow of that seasonal, sad, tooth-buster of a treat."
"Why did the phrase 'deep fried candy corn' just crawl across my timeline?"
New York's Grand Central Oyster Bar.Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News
I first heard the term "shit line" from a British journalist who’d spent years in the trenches of Fleet Street. He was describing a venerable old gasbag editor of his, a once-reputable gentleman who was now beyond reproach, despite the fact that he drank himself senseless at lunchtime and took lengthy afternoon naps. This was not meant as a putdown. On the contrary, those who ascend above the mythical demarcation are impervious to the random quibbles and criticisms of everyday life. Those below (i.e., most of us) are judged by harsher standards, and doomed to a life of striving and disappointment. But to be above the shit line is to enter the realm of immortality and myth. There are politicians who qualify (but, like Bill Clinton, many tend to be retired from politics — or dead), and actors (Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts), as well as authors, some of whom are geniuses (Philip Roth), and others whose books sell millions of copies no matter what kind of drivel they write. The same goes for restaurants, of course. Anyone who has spent time eating around this great dining city knows that there are plenty of treasured establishments (and one or two chefs) that have achieved an enviable, bulletproof status, whether they deserve it or not.
Peter Luger, we're looking at you.
Like his forebears lettuce-stomping guy and Subway penis dude, Justin J Speekz knew the decision to pose "sexy" and shirtless in the Tampa Bay Chili's kitchen where he cooked would be a few steps backwards in respect and job prospects. Speekz posted the pictures (which he says were taken after-hours) to Facebook anyhow, with the caption "Some Pics for the 'Sexy Cooks Of Chili's' Calender that the company is putting together lmmfaooo ya boy is the main feature/headliner! Bahahahaha! :D I'll have copies for $15 Yeyyyy!" Then he tagged his own restaurant in the post.
He's autographing aprons.
It's the Champagne of carbonated cold-brew coffees.Photo: Hugh Merwin
Anyone who's opened a bottle of Manhattan Special — the espresso soda that was invented in Brooklyn circa 1895 — might think that carbonated coffee is due for an upgrade. Despite decades of innovation in the way coffee is sourced, prepared, and sold, the addition of bubbles is an innovation that has largely been ignored. That, however, appears to be changing thanks to a collection of coffee nerds and roasters large and small who recognize carbonated coffee as an idea that's time has come — and one that's about to hit the mainstream.
"... we are always experimenting with different techniques and flavors ..."
The "hazed" part comes from its hazelnuts.
The timing on this one could've been a lot better, with a New Jersey school now roiling in yet another hazing incident, but Ben & Jerry's says that after carefully considering the complaints by the parents of a Florida teen who died during a fraternity "hell week" hazing ritual, it has decided not to rename the new "Hazed & Confused" flavor. Sean Greenwood, a spokesperson, said that no one at the ice-cream company meant to "condone — nor support in any manner — the act of hazing or bullying," going on to say the practice has "no place in our society." Greenwood said that the "pop culture reference" had an established precedent and wasn't much different from Cherry Garcia or Phish Food, in other words.
"... it's a pop culture reference ..."
"People are becoming quite precious about what they eat."Photo: Pal Hansen
London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi published his fourth cookbook last week — a follow-up to his best-selling Plenty — called, straightforwardly, Plenty More. It's got 150 vegetarian recipes — including Iranian-style pasta, curry-roasted root vegetables, pea-and-mint croquettes, and black-currant friands. In honor of the release, we sat down Ottolenghi — arguably one of the most trusted cookbook authors in the world, as well as a health-food aficionado — to discuss the new ingredients he features, the recipe most likely to impress a date, and Michelle Obama's viral turnip video. Plus: We've got three of his favorite recipes from the book.
"I keep eat cheap candy in my car's glove compartment."
More than 40 chefs and restaurants will participate.
Get ready: New York Taste, our annual feasting extravaganza, will take place on November 10. This year's lineup, curated by New York's culinary editor Gillian Duffy, is as impressive as ever. Expect chefs like Jonathan Waxman, Bâtard's Marks Glocker, Jesse Schenker, Dale Talde, Lafayette pastry whiz Jennifer Yee, Nomad's Mark Welker, Chad Brauze from Rôtisserie Georgette, and plenty others (not to mention drinks from the likes of Audrey Saunders and Julie Reiner).
How to get in on the action...
This is going to get messy.
Because everyone loves an absolutely devastating restaurant review, here are some choice bits from The Guardian's most read story this weekend — now at 550 comments and counting — in the form of Jay Rayner's Sunday Observer review. A new high-end, formidably named London restaurant specializing in Norwegian red king crab and Nebraskan steak called Beast, the critic writes, is "the most unintentionally funny restaurant to open in London in a very long time."
"Got any friends who are, say, international drug barons?"
Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite
Like corn and tomatoes, garlic has a season—or make that seasons. Locavores track the odoriferous allium’s progress throughout its growth cycle, from spring’s green shoots to summer’s curvy scapes to fall’s papery bulbs, which are cured for several weeks after their late-summer harvest. Local hard-neck varieties—trickier to grow but more complexly flavored than the soft-necks from California, China, and Latin America—can be found now at Greenmarket stands like Keith’s Farm, which bundles them as holiday gifts. Get in the spirit by gobbling every last one of our picks for some of New York’s best garlickiest dishes. Then go off in the woods alone until the pungent bouquet wafting from your every pore subsides.
Pizza, sesame noodles, fried chicken, and more.