People Are Waiting 9 Hours to Eat at Hot Doug’s Before It Closes for Good

This is a Hot Doug's Polish sausage, a specialty of the house.Photo: Benny Mazur/flickr

It was almost five months ago when Doug Sohn floored the hot-dog-loving public with the news he's closing his namesake business after more than a decade of innovation with Chicago-style dogs, Italian sausages, bratwurst, andouille, corn dogs, and other encased meats. Sohn slapped an ominous wiener-themed doomsday clock up on his site, poured himself a drink, and got back to work, probably thinking that would be the end of it. Instead, now that the last days of Hot Doug's are entering single-digit territory, Sohn has arrived at work each day to find rambling lines of people waiting to get in, reportedly up to a quarter mile long at times. Here's a look.

The dog days are (almost) over. »

Momofuku Milk Bar Soho Opens Tomorrow

The new shop is next to the Band of Outsiders store.Photo: Paul Wagtouicz

Band of Outsiders creative director and confessed cookie addict Scott Sternberg opened his first American store two weeks ago in Soho, which is great, but truth be told we're just a bit more excited about the little corner he carved out and walled off for his friend and erstwhile collaborator Christina Tosi, the inventor of Sternberg's very favorite cookie (a toss-up, he has said, between the corn and the blueberry & cream).

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Adam Platt Calls Singapore ‘Asia’s Great Food Bazaar’

Dumplings from Lavender Square Food Centre.Photo: Adam Platt

Earlier this summer, New York's own Adam Platt took off for a few days in Singapore, a trip that made everyone in the office suitably jealous. And today, Platt's feature on the city is up at Town & Country — if you haven't been to Singapore (or even if you have), it is the kind of story that will make you start checking out flight prices immediately. There are tales of oyster-omelette breakfasts, trendy coffee shops, some of the best Peking duck in the world, and practically every other kind of food you'd ever want to eat.

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Milk & Honey Will Close October 25, But Will Relocate (Again)

Petraske, bartending, most likely with Joni Mitchell playing in the background.Photo: Jed Egan

Sasha Petraske tells Robert Simonson that a pesky demolition clause in his current Milk & Honey lease means he'll be forced to close the establishment next month. The second version of the upscale cocktail bar debuted in January of 2013 at 30 East 23rd Street, a space that's three times larger than the bar's original Lower East Side location. (That one's Attaboy now.)

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Cricket Protein Bars Just Secured $1 Million in Funding

Good with a little cashew and a little ginger.Photo: Butterfly Hunter/Shutterstock

Entrepreneurs Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz, the two Ivy League grads who sell protein-packed energy bars made with finely ground cricket flour that just so happen to also be totally kosher, have just closed on an ambitious $1.2 million seed round. Investors include Collaborative Fund and Start Garden, which have previously helped uplift everything from Uber to, well, Lyft. Tim Ferriss is also onboard, and though the broader bug-cuisine sector is burgeoning, in New York at least, the author and media tycoon said that opportunities like this one come "along perhaps once every few decades." So then, is it time for everyone to start eating bugs yet?

"The possibilities are massive." »

5 Restaurants That Reversed the Curse of a Doomed Space

Haunted?Photo: Courtesy of Claudette

The news that Danny Bowien will reopen Mission Chinese Food in the former Rosette space got Grub thinking about cursed restaurant spaces. After all, Mission Chinese will be moving into a location that housed both LTO and Rosette in the past few years. But is there really such a thing as a cursed space, one that houses project after project, only to see each inevitably fail? It can seem that way, but every once in a while an operator will break through, landing a successful spot in a site that formerly saw nothing but bad luck. In fact, here are five such places that have done just that.

The Musket Room, Dizzy's, and more. »

Seattle Will Fine People Who Throw Away Too Much Food

Absolute rubbish.

Yesterday, the Seattle City Council passed a 9-0 vote in support of an ordinance that will allow trash collectors to fine residents $1 every time they note perfectly compostable food waste taking up "10 percent or more" of any haul. This not only means that workers will be taking a very close look at rubbish — they already flag bins that that contain recyclables — but they'll also be keeping tabs on trashiness over time, thanks to state of the art computer systems that are already on board the city's fleet of garbage trucks. This will allow for the city to increase penalties — maxing out at a not-high sum of $50 — for repeat offenders. All those who regularly shun pizza crusts or incur mounds of fruit pulp while undergoing extensive juice cleanses should consider themselves warned. [Seattle Times]

Five Points Will Reopen With a New Name and Concept

Ch-ch-changes.

Yet another example of a restaurant redo: Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer tell Grub that Five Points in Noho, which closed for a revamp in August, will reopen as Vic’s in early October. Chef Hillary Sterling — an alum of A Voce, Lupa, the Beatrice Inn, Bar Bolonat, and most recently, Corkbuzz Chelsea — will cook a rustic Italian-Mediterranean menu.

Brunch time. »

Why Everyone Should Want Tavern on the Green to Fix Its Problems

Photo: Sarah Silberg/New York Magazine

The almost-immediate implosion of the new Tavern on the Green is a true spectacle. The major critics' reviews were one kidney punch after another, waiters and other FOH staffers still act as though it's their very first night in a dining room, and now, less than six months since the vast restaurant reopened, opening chef Katy Sparks is already gone. It's got all the elements of a classic shitshow, but it's one we should all be rooting to see fixed, because in a way, it's our shitshow. Tangled up in this mess is one element that doesn't usually accompany other restaurant tragedies: millions of dollars of taxpayer money.

"...harmony will abound!" »

09/22/14

This French Chef’s NYC Arrival Is Great News for Fine Dining

Anne-Sophie Pic's mini empire of restaurants in Europe will soon be fortified by two NYC openings.Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Today, you may have seen the news that Anne-Sophie Pic — the third generation, three-Michelin-starred chef who already has a mini-empire of restaurants bearing her name in Europe — will open two restaurants in New York. There will be the "relaxed yet elegant" dining room La Dame de Pic, along with the more casual Metcafé, appearing on the scene sometime next year at 510 Madison Avenue at 53rd Street. And while Pic doesn't have the same international name recognition of some other European chefs, Grub Street is very excited about this — in fact, Pic's arrival is some of the best news NYC's fine-dining scene has gotten in a long time. Here's why.

Hey, no pressure! »

Taco Truck Busted for Serving Food With ‘a Side of Meth’

Two dime bags to go, please.

Authorities in Colorado say they've shut down an aspiring Gus Fring whose 17-person meth operation made at least some of its sales via a Denver taco truck. The Colorado attorney general's office alleges that a member of the group, Oscar Ruvalcaba, would run as many as 55 pounds of drugs at a time from Mexico to Denver, whereupon he'd distribute it Juan Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzales would then distribute them to other group, including Maria Arellano, who allegedly sold the meth out of El Paisa Taco Truck alongside tortas and burritos on handmade tortillas. "The brazenness of this ring was astounding," Attorney General John Suthers said in a statement. "Customers could literally walk up to a food truck and order a side of meth with their taco." [KUSA]

Japan Now Has Pitch-Black Hot Dogs, Too

All black everything, then?Photo: Tokyo DisneySea

All-black cheeseburgers don't even sound good in theory, and they definitely don't seem to translate to anything even remotely edible-looking, but that didn't stop Japan's Burger Kings from rolling them out. And now there's a black hot dog to match. Officially, what you see is "the 'black' version of the Gyoza Sausage Bun" at Disney World's Tokyo DisneySea Yucatan Base Camp Grill, a Halloween special that might be delicious for all we know. But it mostly looks like what would happen if Tim Burton and Ed Hardy co-hosted a cookout.

It's limited-edition, you may have guessed. »

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 Beer

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]

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