This Banned Captain Morgan’s Ad Doesn’t Seem So Bad

Hear, hear!

England's Advertising Standards Authority, an agency akin to the Federal Trade Commission, has come to the aid of poor Facebook users who, besieged by this innocuous-seeming Captain Morgan's ad, couldn't determine if the troublemaking "Captain and crew were celebrating the end of mid-week boredom, achieved through coming together," or more insidiously implied that a rum-fueled get-together "could overcome boredom and was capable of changing mood" — clearly a fine line, even for a Facebook wall posting that likely took two minutes for a Captain Morgan's intern to bang out. Though producer Diageo argued this one was just one of many, many more Facebook posts, several of which encouraged responsible drinking, the company was forced to take it down. [Spirits Business]

A Miami Diner That Stands As a Civil-Rights Pioneer Will Close Today

Jumbo's, circa 1956Photo: Jumbo's Restaurant/Facebook

For 60 years, Jumbo's has been frying chicken and catfish for hungry people, celebrities, elected officials, and late-night clubgoers in one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods. Though it has a solid food-world reputation, Jumbo's came to fame by blurring Deep South color lines as a result of becoming Miami's first restaurant to integrate back in 1966. It was the first to hire black employees, and now it's one of the last of that era to close. Today is its last day in business.

"I can't tell you how uncomfortable they were serving black people." »

Endless Houston Street Construction Is Also Threatening Katz’s Deli

This happened also.

Ongoing East Houston Street roadwork has stifled business as usual at cheap eats destination Punjabi Grocery & Deli, and directly across the street, even the formidably larger, tour-bus-serviced Katz's Delicatessen says it's starting to feel the effects of the multitiered construction project. Manager Jake Dell claims that water main replacement work has made it harder for customers to get into the restaurant, literally, as crews continuously tear into and patch up sections of sidewalk directly outside, and at other moments water service is turned off altogether. [Lo-Down, Related]

8 Oysters You Should Be Eating This Summer

Go for it.Photo: Richard Rudisill/Getty Images

"A dozen oysters are like refreshing, elegant little jewels on a hot July day," says April Bloomfield, the famed chef and proud ignorer of the rule that you should only eat oysters in months whose names contain the letter r. Avoiding oysters in the summer might have made sense before things like refrigeration and FedEx, but now they can be plucked from chilled waters and arrive shucked in front of customers without ever feeling the summer heat — meaning you should follow Bloomfield's advice over any inherited wisdom you've heard in the past.

Read more »

The Other Critics: Reviews of Racines NY, Bar Primi, and Grand Banks

Bar Primi's a hit.

This week, Adam Platt gave Bâtard three (out of five) stars, praising the "refreshing unpretentiousness" of its prix-fixe menu items like an artichoke barigoule "so technically perfect that it caused my vegetable-snob wife to put down her fork and practically clap with glee." Elsewhere in the city, Pete Wells visited Racines NY and found the dinner and wine to be about as Parisian as any French restaurant in New York City could be, Ryan Sutton praised Bar Primi, and Robert Sietsema ventured to Jackson Heights for some awesome tacos at Bella Puebla. Read it all, straight ahead.

Read more »

All Your Favorite Summer Fruit Has Been Recalled Just in Time for Peak Pie Season

Hold that lattice crust.

The Food and Drug Administration says there's a chance that any number of peaches, plums, nectarines, and pluots handled by the Wawona Packing Company of Cutler, California, between June 1 and July 12 may be contaminated by listeria. The voluntary recall includes fruit sold as individual pieces as well as fruit packed in a variety of clamshell containers, wholesale boxes, cartons, and mesh bags; the produce was distributed to retailers including Trader Joe's, Costco and even FreshDirect.

Read more »

07/22/14

Kickstarter for Feminist Food Magazine; Vegetarian Tasting at ACME

RENDER, a brand-new feminist food magazine based out of Portland, Oregon, has launched a Kickstarter. To help support its "mission to look at food culture through a feminist lens," donate here. [Grub Street]

• Starting Friday, August 1, Contrada is inviting people in to read aloud from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities — one prose poem per day at 6 p.m. The first reader to arrive each day will earn a free drink. [Grub Street]

• Mads Refslund has debuted a vegetarian tasting menu at ACME: It's available nightly, costs $65, and includes nine courses. [Grub Street]

Read more »

Midwesterners Alarmed to Discover Their Ice-Cream Sandwiches Refuse to Melt

What one mom discovered probably won't astound you.

A concerned Cincinnati-area mom started asking questions after she discovered her son's ice-cream sandwich was left outside in 80-degree weather and barely melted at all, even after 12 hours. She took a second Walmart-brand ice-cream sandwich, put it on the patio, and that one didn't melt either. Cue the intrepid local news station, which conducted a side-by-side investigation of three brands and found that while a pint of Häagen-Dazs deteriorated rapidly in full sun, the Walmart Great Value sandwich pretty much held its shape and didn't melt, thanks in part to gum-stabilizers and a relative dearth of butterfat and cream. "Walmart's sandwiches contain less, so they are more affordable," the chain said in a statement. "But they are healthy and meet all FDA guidelines." [WCPO]

George Mendes Will Open New Restaurant in NoMad

Mendes

Georges Mendes took to Twitter to announce his five-year-old Aldea will soon have a restaurant sibling slightly uptown, at 835 Avenue of the Americas near West 29th Street in NoMad. The Times adds that the menu will be "rustic Portuguese" and inspired by the chef's roots; its target opening is December. In addition to Aldea, where the menu is influenced by modernist touches, Mendes this year opened 100 Sardines at the outdoor market Mad. Sq. Eats, which serves soups, sandwiches, and rice dishes based on the arroz de pato served at his Union Square restaurant. [NYT, George Mendes/Twitter]

Danny Bowien Will Curate Huge Brooklyn Food Conference

He's also bringing the Mission Chinese Food pop-up to Manhattan.Photo: Melissa Hom

The Mission Chinese Food and Mission Cantina chef has joined Mario Batali and the Northside Media Group, which publishes Brooklyn Magazine, on the second annual Taste Talks event. As curator, Danny Bowien has enlisted industry folks like Brooks Headley and Andy Ricker for events, with writers and editors such as Peter Meehan, Sam Sifton, and Adam Rapoport from the media side. Panels, quasi-secret dinners, and a World's Fair Pavilion-esque free component called the Future Food Expo round it all out. More information can be found here, and true to his multitasking self, the fall event is not the only thing Bowien's got in the works: His ongoing Mission Chinese Food pop-up in Brooklyn will branch out to Manhattan on Sundays at Mile End on Bond Street starting this weekend. [Official site, Related]

Chipotle’s New Plans Include ‘Really Small’ Stores Without Seats

The burritos remain the same.

Despite raising prices across the board, Chipotle is selling a bazillion burritos right now, and the future looks even rosier. This must help CFO Jack Hartung feel somewhat unstoppable, which is probably why the company is looking to maximize the burrito distribution process with new spots that favor takeout. During a call with investors yesterday, he laid out plans, sort of, for "some really, really small scrappy restaurants" with limited seating.

It opens up a new realm of restaurant real estate. »

Upper East Side Development Plan Takes Out 4 Restaurants at Once

A real estate developer has spent $44.8 million for a parcel that now includes six buildings on Second Avenue between 80th and 81st streets, and plans to build an incoming high-rise mean that all the restaurants along the strip are being forced to close and relocate. Relative newcomer Agora Turkish moved out earlier, while Nancy Lee, owner of the 30-year-old Chinese spot Pig Heaven, still hasn't found a new space. A branch of Cascabel Taqueria and Johnny Foxes will also close; the worn-in Irish pub's final day is Sunday. [DNAinfo, Related]

Nearly Half of Crumbs Locations Won’t Be Reopening

While it's pretty unclear what Crumbs of the Future will actually sell — mail-order gluten-free cupcakes in jars? Dippin' Dots? — one sure thing is that, for at least 21 stores, the answer is nothing at all. The company's attorney says "most unprofitable" Crumbs locations have had their leases rejected. That leaves 27 locations when the chain comes out of bankruptcy at the disposal of the new owner, presumably CNBC's Marcus Lemonis, who admits "it's going to be a herculean effort." For better or worse, all 19 NYC stores emerged unscathed. New Jersey, meanwhile, mourns six. [NYP, Earlier, Earlier]

AriZona Unveils Fine Oak-Aged Iced Tea

Some real vintage tea.Photo: Courtesy of AriZona Beverage Company

The folks at AriZona, fine beverage specialists that they are, will now try to fancify black tea for bodega-going "connoisseurs" by steeping it in American oak rather than, say, the easier route of just going 100 percent orange pekoe. It's opted for wood chips over increasingly costly barrels, as many wineries do these days, though authorities as esteemed as Robert Parker regularly appreciate tea notes in oak-aged wines, so there's that, only now those are tea notes also in tea. The Unsweetened, Lightly Sweetened, and Lemon flavors come in "one-of-a-kind" barrel bottles with "rivets" down the side, so it's possible the container takes longer to make than its contents took to age. [Official release]

13 New Burgers That Demand Your Attention

Daniel Humm's staff assembles one mean burger.Photo: Paul Wagtouicz

In this patty-mad city, you can find high-end burger royalty (Minetta Tavern, the Spotted Pig), outstanding no-frills options (JG Melon, Shake Shack), iconic stand-alones that create their very own categories (the spartan, lunch-only Luger burger; the world's most sought-after veggie burger), and there are always new contenders for connoisseurs to consider adding to the canon. The city's latest batch of remarkable burgers runs the full gamut, from excellent $10 knockouts all the way up to patties that are painstakingly assembled in a Michelin-starred chef's kitchen. These 13 newcomers are all poised to take their places, in one form or another, among New York's hamburger mainstays.

Shallot jam, dry-aged beef, and billionaire's bacon... »

China’s Expired-Meat Scandal Now Includes Burger King and Starbucks

Thrown out.

As bad as it was to learn yesterday's news that several fast-food restaurants in China, including McDonald's and Pizza Hut, were serving "recycled meat", it looks like the situation has worsened with the revelation that Husi Food Co Ltd also supplied expired meat to Starbucks, Burger King, and other chains throughout the country. Authorities say that the company, "a unit of the U.S.-based OSI Group LLC," may ultimately face punishment for food safety violations, while representatives from McDonald's and KFC parent Yum! Brands released statements expressing concern and a zero-tolerance policy for unsafe meat. All of the affected chains now say they have discarded the affected meat, of course. [Reuters, Related]

07/21/14

ReBar Owner Jason Stevens’s Prison Sentence; Charlie Palmer’s Crimson & Rye Opens

• Jason Stevens, reBar's former owner, has been sentenced to tax fraud and grand larceny. Stevens will serve three to ten years in prison for stealing $200,000 in sales tax, and he also admitted to failing to collect $1.2 million in sales tax. [Real Deal, Related]

• Tonight, Charlie Palmer's Crimson & Rye opens to the public. Located in the Lipstick Building at 198 East 54 Street, the restaurant has a craft cocktail bar and a menu that includes shared plates like corn pancakes with caviar. [Grub Street]

The Musket Room has a new summer bar snacks menu, with bites like buffalo sweetbreads and bone marrow with uni and orange. [Grub Street]

Read more »

Jerk Chicken Ramen With Scotch Bonnet Chili Paste Sounds Very Spicy

In the grand tradition of Dassara's matzo ball variety and, well, thousands of other noodle bowls that don't adhere strictly to the holy ramen quadrumvirate of tonkostsu, shio, shoyu, and miso comes this jerk chicken version now being served as a special at Miss Lily's 7A Café. The soup at the East Village offshoot of Miss Lily's also contains jerk pork belly, soy-marinated ackee, and chili paste made from fermented scotch bonnets. It's $15 and is available Mondays starting tonight, then goes until supplies run out, and you're probably going to need a fresh juice to go with that.

Tennessee Steakhouse Joins the Hot New ‘Guns Welcome’ Trend

No shoes, no gun, no service?

Those Elvis theme nights probably do all right, but Shiloh Brew & Chew, a "family-style" steakhouse in Tennessee, really scored with locals when it prominently put a "Guns Are Welcome" sign in the window. It's a big boon for business so far, says owner Sharma Floyd, with lots of fringe benefits: "I lost a whole group of motorcyclists because they thought I didn't allow weapons," Floyd says. Those bikers are presumably back, as well as the Guns & Ammo contingent.

Read more »

Tips for Jesus Leaves Lucky New Orleans Server $10,000 Tip

Wait, that's the Customer Copy.Photo: TipsForJesus/Instagram

A member of the global anonymous monster-tipping syndicate TipsForJesus has outdone him or herself by leaving a really big gratuity at Galatoire's in New Orleans's French Quarter. The group's $9,000 bill was pretty mammoth on its own, too, though, meaning past tip percentages were technically more generous. Still, it may set the group's record for total haul. In the future, though, benefactors may want to double-check which slip they're scrawling out for the rest of the world to marvel upon — this time, they filled out the "Customer's Copy." [Instagram via Eater]

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