Take a Look at America’s First Matcha Bar

Here's the matcha latte, usually prepared with non-dairy milk.Photo: Melissa Hom

Matcha — fine-ground, powdered green tea — has all the nutritional benefits of green tea (and then some), with an intense energy boost that rivals coffee. It's a traditional drink that's offered in a few Japanese coffee shops around the city (Bosie Tea Parlor, in particular), but now single-concept MatchaBar is open in Williamsburg. The owners, brothers Max and Graham Fortgang, are importing their matcha directly from farms in Nishio, Japan, and they'll serve tea, milk-based matcha lattes, as well as desserts and a food menu catered by Watty & Meg. And starting in October, the space will double as a speakeasy at night. Take a look, straight ahead.

Iced matcha. »

Will You Pay $10 a Month to Watch Paula Deen Reruns?

You cannot put a price on this.

Paula Deen's new 24/7 "digital network" is one step closer to launching on Wednesday. And people interested in the celebrity chef's complete oeuvre will want to know that her company, Paula Deen Ventures, has purchased the rights to Deen's full catalogue of Food Network shows, including a season of Home Cooking that was pulled from the channel in 2013 when things weren't looking so good for the Southern personality. That means 440 episodes of material are ready to go for people willing to pay the $9.99 monthly subscriber fee (or $7.99 for people who sign up for an entire year).

Plus, a Paula Deen documentary. »

Saveur Names Adam Sachs New Editor-in-Chief

Sachs, with one of his many Beard awards.Photo: Ken Goodman/James Bead Foundation

The food writer Adam Sachs, who's served as editorial director at Tasting Table since June of 2013, has now joined Bonnier's food glossy Saveur as editor-in-chief. He replaces James Oseland, who resigned last month after he was informed the magazine's publisher was planning to reboot the 20-year-old brand and appoint one person as editorial director to "oversee its presence across all platforms."

Read more »

10 Delicious Ways to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah in New York

Blue Ribbon Bakery Market's challah doughnuts.Photo: Diggy Lloyd

The Jewish New Year starts on Wednesday, September 24 (and ends in the evening of the 26th), and regardless of your religious adherence, New Yorkers can agree that it's one of the best food-centric holidays — a perfect excuse to feast on braised brisket, matzo-ball soup, chocolate babka, and honey cake. Whether you're looking to pick up a spread to go or to take your bubbe to a nice sit-down meal, Grub's got you covered. Here are ten solid ways to observe the high holiday, straight ahead.

A prix-fixe meal at All'onda. »

The Newest Starbucks Latte Tastes Like Guinness

Inspired by the "rise of craft beers."Photo: Starbucks

Select Starbucks markets in Ohio and Florida are now test-marketing a new drink called the Dark Barrel Latte, which "highlights chocolaty dark caramel and toasty stout flavors" and is served in a conventional paper cup, not a barrel. While the coffee giant fine-tunes plans to simultaneously open upscale cafés and super-speedy "express" locations, it's also apparently looking beyond Pumpkin Spice with a drink that tastes like dark beer but contains no actual alcohol.

"Yuck." »

09/21/14

8 Great New Versions of Okonomiyaki

Ivan Ramen’s Lancaster okonomiyaki.Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

East Village entrepreneur Bon Yagi might not have introduced okonomiyaki to New York when he started serving the savory Japanese cabbage pancake at his street-food shack, Otafuku, in 2000, but he certainly popularized it. (Earlier sightings do exist: In a 1988 review of Oyshe on the Upper West Side, former New York Times critic Bryan Miller referred to the “light and healthful style of cooking called okonomiyaki, which the restaurant bills as health food for the samurai warrior,” and described the version he sampled as “intriguing for the texture but, on the whole, bland. A good dose of salt and pepper or fresh herbs would make all the difference.”) Miller and even Yagi, who relocated and expanded his shop (now Otafuku x Medetai, 220 E. 9th St., nr. Second Ave.; 646-998-3438) earlier this year, probably wouldn’t recognize today’s riffs on the actually not so healthy dish whose very name invites tinkering. Okonomiyaki, which has been compared to pizza, latkes, and omelettes, translates to “as you like it, grilled,” and in Japan, diners choose what meat or seafood they want incorporated into the flour-and-egg batter. Its defining characteristics include its texture (crisp outside, gooey within), its agreeable greasiness, and its distinctive garnish: squiggles of Kewpie mayo and a sweet ketchup-soy-Worcestershire-type sauce, a sprinkle of nori powder, and a blanket of shaved bonito flakes that flutter from the heat.

Today’s chefs take even more license than the food’s name suggests. »

09/19/14

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." »

09/18/14

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. »

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