Dunkin’ Donuts Adds Almond Milk Just in Time for Worst Agricultural Crisis in Recent Memory

A California field, not growing almonds.Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As many continue to note, the almond craze is having unpleasant consequences in California in particular, where the demanding little nut is usurping water, harming fauna, and potentially wrecking the infrastructure. California is under a drought so world-historically bad that the state is considering adding a new level — D5 — to the four-tier scale to categorize it, but the almond is having a banner year anyway thanks to safeguards by the state, like ensuring 1.1 gallons of water for every gallon of almond milk produced. All said, it's surprising that Dunkin' Donuts chose now, of all times, to roll out an almond milk option in about 75 percent of its 7,821 stores.

"... staying on top of consumer trends ..." »

Oops! An Oregon Newspaper Accidentally Told People to Eat an Extremely Hallucinogenic Mushroom

This is definitely not a matsutake.

If you regularly have a tough time separating edible fungi from the psychotropic kind in the wild, at least you now have the sympathies of the Oregonian photo department, which ran a photo of the wrong 'shroom in Sunday's paper. Foragers got some exciting news — matsutake mushroom season begins today! — though instead of a picture of the matsutake, there was, less helpfully, a photo of Amanita muscaria, a Super Mario Brothers–y, muscimol-containing specimen the paper says causes "wild behavior." The mistaken mushroom may have inspired Alice's trip-tastic Wonderland adventure, but it's probably not all that great in risotto. [Oregonian]

The Modern Reopens September 15

Just in time for matsutake season.

A broken water pipe has kept Danny Meyer's fine-dining restaurant at MoMA closed since August 18. No one was hurt, but the restaurant unfortunately wasn't able to bounce back as quickly as it had hoped. Reps say everyone's working to fix the problem as soon as possible, however, and the spot is currently slated to reopen on September 15 — most likely right around the same time that Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group will debut Marta, Roman pizzas and all, 24 blocks south in the refurbished Martha Washington Hotel. [Related, Earlier]

A Trip to Habit Burger, a Celebrated California Chain That’s Now Colonizing New Jersey

Could a Santa Barbara–style burger possibly be better than a Shackburger?Photo: Hugh Merwin

Earlier this summer, a burger chain you'd probably never heard of unexpectedly nabbed top honors in a Consumer Reports burger-chain survey, besting Five Guys, Steak 'n Shake, and even the West Coast's much-vaunted In-N-Out. In fact, the winner was another California creation: Habit Burger, or "the Habit," claims to be a Santa Barbara institution, founded in 1969 and, at the moment, in rapid expansion mode. When I heard the first East Coast location just opened in New Jersey, I decided to trek out for lunch and see if this place's burgers were as outstanding as I'd been led to believe. In retrospect, I probably should have just gone to my nearest Shake Shack.

The line was out the door. »

Fast-Food Protests Will Continue This Week With Biggest Strikes Yet

They'd like a raise with that.

Though protests and demonstrations have been subdued in recent months, the ongoing fight for fast-food workers seeking $15 an hour ramps back up this week, with protests planned for more than 100 cities. This time, plans include sit-ins and other forms of civil disobedience, tactics some 1,300 workers unanimously agreed to at their first Fight for 15 convention in July, although so far, they're saying little about what these protests will entail beyond that.

Read more »

Fusilligate: Who Really Created Marea’s Famous Octopus-and-Bone-Marrow Pasta?

Is one Kevin Sippel actually the man behind this masterpiece?Photo: Melissa Hom

Ask any pastavore and he will tell you: Michael White’s fusilli with red-wine-braised octopus and bone marrow is one of the greatest pasta dishes of the century, if not all time. Everyone who has ever tried it loves it. Well, that’s not entirely true. We do know one person, a certain critic, who claims to hate it. But he is a gloomy, disputatious old curmudgeon who, as a baby, would have given his own mother’s milk a bad review had his fat little fingers been able to work the Smith-Corona.

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A Coffee Stand Made Millions Selling Sex on the Side

Always money in the bikini stand.

According to prosecutors, a handful of Washington's bikini coffee stands — an infamous roadside feature there — actually were doubling as drive-through brothels. Owner Carmela Panico is charged with promoting prostitution as well as laundering more than $2 million from the off-the-books earnings at tiny huts with names like Java Juggs, Twin Peaks, and the Hot Spot staffed by workers in bikinis or lingerie. "Droves of men" would queue up, pay $20 for a $6 coffee, then get more than coffee.

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What to Eat at Birds & Bubbles, Opening September 9

There's more than just chicken.Photo: Melissa Hom

Most people do not consider fried chicken and Champagne in the same wine-and-food-pairing class as, say, Muscadet and oysters, Sauternes and foie gras, or even steak and Cabernet Sauvignon. Perhaps that will change with the opening of City Grit honcho Sarah Simmons’s southern-style restaurant, Birds & Bubbles, on September 9.

Read more »

What You Need to Eat and Drink Before Summer Is Really Over

Quick! Before it all melts!Photo: Melissa Hom

Labor Day has come and gone, but, technically, the first day of autumn isn't until September 23. That means you have exactly 21 days to end your summer on a high note and make the most of late-season corn, stone fruit, and tomatoes — as well as lobster rolls, rosé, and tacos, of course. To make things easy for you, Grub has compiled a checklist of some must-hit New York summer 2014 experiences.

Spend exactly $10 on a fantastic burger. »

Here’s Todd English’s Mug Shot

Not a good look.

How was your Labor Day weekend? Maybe you managed to get out of the city and enjoy some time at the beach, or spent late-summer evenings at a friend's country house. Todd English was out in the Hamptons where, around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, he was pulled over by police and reportedly charged with misdemeanor DWI. He posted bail and was eventually released later in the morning. Through a lawyer, English denied the allegations. [NYP, NYDN]

09/01/14

Restaurant Review: At Nomad Bar and Bar Primi, Bar Food Gets Some Serious Upgrades—but Bring Earplugs

Photo: Sarah Silberg/New York Magazine

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s loud, gilded, insanely crowded NoMad Bar, which opened in June around the corner from their popular NoMad Hotel operation on Broadway and 28th Street. There’s the vaulted, mostly windowless ­double-height space, which can feel faintly claustrophobic even if you’re sitting at one of the balcony tables peering down on the crowd of assorted nabobs and hedge-fund hustlers rioting around the bar. There’s the sepulchral lighting, which makes the room look, even on the brightest of summer evenings, like a basement nightclub in Vegas or the inside of a pharaoh’s tomb. There’s the long wait for a table, which was quoted as an hour and a half “at least” to one of my beleaguered colleagues, before he was recognized by the crack staff and whisked to one of the tables reserved, conspicuously, for VIPs.

Read more »

08/29/14

We’re Starting Our Last-Minute, Late-Summer Road Trip a Few Hours Early

You want sprinkles or not?Photo: Christopher Villano/Corbis

We're shoving off a few hours early, but just remember there's a lot to look forward to coming up right after the break: Thoughtfully devised Champagne and fried chicken pairings, smoked meat on Martin's potato rolls, killer ramen, and innovative Manhattan clam chowder piqued with mezcal and chiles. Also in the Department of Things to Look Forward To: Team Torrisi will go coastal on the high line, Alex Stupak will cook tacos al pastor, and Jody Williams and Rita Sodi will fry baby artichokes and stuff sardines with delicious things. Check out New York's fall drinking and eating previews when you get a chance, and have a great and safe Labor Day weekend. (And watch out for flying pturkeydactyls and nose-to-tail bros — they're the worst.) We'll be back here on Tuesday morning with some scoops to fill these cones.

Food Event at Housing Works; FeelFood’s Fashion Week Special

Housing Works will bring together the authors of The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail (Robert Simonson), The Meat Hook Book (Tom Mylan), and Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal (Ava Chin) on September 3 at 7 p.m. More info here. [Grub Street]

FeelFood will offer an $18 prix fixe "Fashion Week Ready" menu, where you get one main, one juice, and one dessert. It'll be served from September 1 to 14. [Grub Street]

The Cleveland's hosting a Labor Day cookout, with an à la carte menu of wagyu hot dogs, grass-fed burgers, barbecue ribs, and a kale salad. [Grub Street]

• Next week, A Voce Madison launches a new happy hour: $7 cocktails, Prosecco and Peronis from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. [Grub Street]

Someone Went on an Emoji-Themed Diet for a Week

Food hieroglyphs in need of a rosetta stone.

Human guinea pig Kelsey Rexthroat puts herself on a weeklong all-emoji diet for The Atlantic, discovering firsthand the Atkins-unfriendly horrors of lots of rice and rice-derived things. Rexthroat is all set on emoji lore and history, academically speaking, but that doesn't get in her way of confusing the sake bottle for milk, or alarmingly discovering that 8 emojis involve rice, and 11 are desserts (12 if you count dango). But hey, the Unicode Consortium knows it can't please everybody, and there's tons of alcohol on there anyway, plus who complains about burgers, fries, pizza, and cake? [Atlantic]

Your Almond Consumption Is Killing California’s Salmon and Honeybees

Shelled or unshelled, it's a problem nut.

Americans sure love almonds these days, and for good reasons, we tell ourselves — the nut is practically the reigning champ of health foods and it's a great dairy alternative, and while it doesn't have Stephen Colbert commercials, what other nut is cool enough to have its own Twitter account? There are, however, apparent downsides: Almond mania is killing salmon and honeybees and otherwise hogging California's drought-stricken water.

Everybody eat cashews! »

Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Berg’n, Bâtard, and Lots 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 »

On-Break EMTs Rescue Applebee’s Customers and Staff From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Scary stuff.

Justin Gau and Kyle Page, two Long Island volunteer EMTs, had hardly even sat down to get some riblets at their local Applebee's in Hauppauge before the carbon monoxide detector they were carrying "went crazy" with a reading that registered twice the safe limit. In slight disbelief, they reset it twice to make sure it wasn't the kind of glitch that might "screw up everyone's evening," and it turned out that an errant hot water heater was filling the place up with odorless and lethal gas. Thanks to Gau and Page, the more than 100 customers and staff got out just fine. Six months ago, a defective water heater at a nearby Legal Seafoods leaked carbon monoxide, killing the restaurant's general manager and sickening 27 others. [ABC 7]

Iconic Katz’s Deli Has Sold Air Rights, But the Pastrami Is Safe

Coming soon: Some kind of cantilevered building right behind here?

The structures surrounding the Katz's Delicatessen have been soaring to all kinds of new luxury condo heights for some time — just look here for the current state of things — and now with the inexorable rush to crowd Houston and Ludlow Streets with the tallest buildings city zoning will permit comes the news that the venerable, 126-year-old restaurant has sold its air rights. The buyer, along with the details, have not yet been identified, but Katz's proprietor Jake Dell says the pastrami sandwiches will keep on coming no matter what happens.

"The most important thing is that the future of Katz’s is secure ..." »

Jared Leto Stops at Bar Primi; the Clintons Dine at Sotto Sopra

Drama on Bowery.Photo: Splash News/Corbis

In this week's installment of Celebrity Settings, Joaquin Phoenix picked up tofu sandwiches in the East Village, the Clintons dined out in the Hamptons, and Michael Jordan partied at Tao Downtown and Avenue. Read it all, straight ahead.

Tory Burch, Robert Pattinson. »

You Should Totally Apply to Become Noma’s Next Pastry Chef

Go, spin sugar out of juniper and pipe fermented green strawberries into florettes.Photo: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters/Corbis

Can you curl together two perfect quenelles with your left and right hands simultaneously? Have you been itching to make fruit leather out of sea buckthorn and beets? Are you the bomb at pâte à bombe? If you answered yes to any of these questions, but even if you didn't and you're qualified, you may want to check out this listing René Redzepi has posted in search of a pastry chef for Noma.

Read more »

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