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]

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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]

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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.

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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]

Veselka’s 54 Minutes of Insanely Cheap 1954 Menu Prices Happens Wednesday

These potato pancakes cost 50 cents, but only for less than an hour.Photo: Melissa Hom

Beginning on Wednesday night a 6 p.m. sharp at Veselka, that 24-hour bastion of carbohydrate glory on the corner of Second Avenue and East 9th Street, management will roll out a menu of 10-cent coffee and 60-cent borscht, just like it did in 1954. The throwback continues apace with $1.50 pierogies, $1 blintzes, stuffed cabbage at bargain-basement prices, discount egg creams, and more, and the catch is that the deal will only last for 54 minutes, meaning you've got to get in and order your mushroom-barley by 6:54 p.m., when the deal ends. So maybe call that cab now or go pitch a tent in the East Village. In the interim, check out your options, straight ahead.

Meat pirogis, blintzes, coffee, and potato pancakes. »

Ice Cream Shop’s Planned Parenthood Benefit Met With Deluge of Threatening Phone Calls

Uh-oh.

Two-year-old Portland, Oregon, shop What's the Scoop? received a series of threatening phone calls and messages, apparently from anti-abortion activists, after it announced proceeds from its limited-edition "Rose City Revolution" would go toward Planned Parenthood. The business regularly donates to various charities and nonprofit organizations, but last week its proprietor found that its Planned Parenthood flavor — honey-vanilla with rose petals — had prompted an atypical glut of complaint calls, as well as an outpouring of shock, hate, and bad puns on Twitter.

"... simply stomach churning ... " »

Burmese Pop-up Now Serves Vegetable Fritters and Shave Ice at a Street Fair Near You

Pea parathas, soft spring rolls, and some eye-popping "Burmese frozen delights" are now being sold on Saturdays at a variety of locations through Manhattan under the nom de pop-up Burmese Bites. The proprietors of the new stand, which Eating in Translation says is an extension of operations at the Myanmar Baptist Church fun fair, seek to rectify a shortage of Burmese food in the "street food industry." The city has few full-fledged Burmese restaurants anyhow, another reason why the debut is pretty exciting. [Official site via Eating in Translation]

Williamsburg Residents Not Exactly Flocking to Their Brand-New Starbucks

The scene this morning.Photo: Julia Reinstein

Williamsburg's first Starbucks opened this morning at 6 a.m. sharp, and Grub Street stopped by to check out the scene — or rather, the lack of one.

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FDA Actually Has to Warn People Not to Eat Pure Powdered Caffeine

The FDA has issued a sternly worded safety advisory about anhydrous, or powdered caffeine, after a teenage boy from Ohio died in May from an overdose. "The difference between a safe amount and a lethal dose of caffeine in these powdered products is very small," a FDA spokesperson told the AP, unlike, say, the espresso content in those alarmingly sized Starbucks monstrosities. A teaspoon of powder, described as "nasty" tasting even in one of its more positive reviews, contains the caffeine equivalent of 25 cups of coffee. [AP]

Brooks Headley’s Veggie Burger Pop-up Was a Huge Success

Headley in action last night.Photo: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

At 5 p.m. yesterday, a line stretched down Eldridge Street, people waiting upwards of an hour to get into the space that recently housed Family Recipe. "What's going on?" a passing cyclist asked at one point. "Veggie burgers!" was the response — perhaps not the one the cyclist was expecting. Of course, these weren't any old veggie burgers; they were the new, much-hyped creation of Del Posto's James Beard Award–winning pastry chef, Brooks Headley.

Read more »

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