General Mills Says on Second Thought, Facebook Users Can Sue After All

Hamburger Helper: He's been burned one too many times.

Well, that didn't last long: General Mills is taking a few steps back from its revised new legal policy, reported in yesterday's Times, which seemed to signal all consumers forfeited their rights to sue if they simply "engaged" with things like the company Facebook page or "liked" a photo. A spokesperson now clarifies: "No one is precluded from suing us merely by purchasing our products at the store or liking one of our brand Facebook pages." The way one is precluded, apparently, is by "subscrib[ing] to one of our publications or download[ing] coupons." Clears things up, right?

Let's get ready to arbitrate! »

Vidalia Onion Situation in Georgia Is Getting Real Intense

"Customers are going to get good, sweet Vidalia onions, and get them before next week." —Farmer Delbert Bland, who began shipping crops earlier this week in defiance of an official state government request. [AJC, Related]

Chobani Adds Savory Dips and Yogurty Desserts to Product Line

The Greek yogurt titan isn't going to let a Whole Foods rebuff and a bunch of party-pooper customs officials ruin its low-fat, high-protein parade: The company is setting sail for yogurty new frontiers with the introduction of Chobani Oats, which consists of its product blended with fruit and oats. Also coming up is Chobani Indulgent, which is some kind of dessert, and later this year, there's going to be a line of Chobani-branded savory dips, bringing everyone a little closer to a world where one can have yogurt in one form or another for every meal of the day. [AP/Crain's, Related]

The Musket Room Hires Eleven Madison Park’s Becca Punch As Pastry Chef

Punch's new chocolate torte with praline and burnt orange.

Grub hears that the Musket Room, one of a select few new restaurants to invest in a full-blown pastry program, has hired Eleven Madison Park's Becca Punch to join chef Matt Lambert and his team. She replaces Rob Rohl, the restaurant's opening pastry chef, who departed this spring. Punch's new desserts, like honey sponge with blueberry-and-buckwheat custard, are already on the menu.

Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Huertas, Racines, and More

Photo: iStockphoto

Each week, Grub Street surveys the entire restaurant landscape of New York, crunches the numbers, and comes up with this: A list of 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 »

What to Eat at Racines, a Paris Wine Bar That Just Opened in Tribeca

Squid à la plancha.Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

This week, David Lanher opened the first Stateside outpost of his beloved Parisian wine bar, Racines, on Chambers Street. He's collaborating with Chambers Street Wines owner David Lillie, Provence-born sommelier Arnaud Tronche, and Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Duca, most recently of L'Instant d'Or in Paris. The well-edited food menu includes French dishes like veal tartare with warm mayonnaise, Mangalitza pork with pig's feet croquettes and ramps, and for dessert, poached pear with buckwheat ice cream. The extensive wine list focuses specifically on natural, organic, and biodynamic wines from small-scale French producers (and, even better, glasses start at $9). Take a look, straight ahead.

Casual vibes. »

High-School Seniors Invent a Better Ketchup Bottle

Ketchup Boy says: "I approve of this."

A pair of enterprising high-school students in Kansas, Tyler Richards and Jonathan Thompson, have created a fairly simple but definitely ingenious fix for the watery goo that sometimes propels out of ketchup bottles, ruining hamburgers and then some. Given the science-project prompt, "It really bugs me when …" the seniors designed what they're calling "The 'Shroom," a device embedded in the cap shaped like an upside-down mushroom. A basin collects water as ketchup, and ketchup alone, squirts out a siphon in the center. It's apparently "based on the Pythagorean cup idea," they explain, also known as "the same principle that toilets work off of." The duo estimates it would cost 23 cents per bottle, but that consumers would be willing to pay up to $3 for the convenience. The guys are hopefully next working on a way to prevent ketchup bottles from being used as non-lethal weapons. [Kansas City Star, Related]

Sarah Jessica Parker Eats Porchetta at Osteria Morini; Katie Holmes Enjoys Kingside’s Cheeseburger

Lady who lunches.Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images

This week, Derek Jeter took the next step in his relationship with Hannah Davis at the Lion, Katie Holmes kicked back at Kingside, and Taylor Swift and Seth Rogen partied together after Saturday Night Live. This, and more, straight ahead.

Read more »

NYC Bars Take Drastic Measures to Cope With Rising Lime Costs

The price of limes has jumped nearly 500 percent.Photo: Shutterstock

In this age of bespoke cocktails, it's almost unimaginable to think that a bar could go without a staple ingredient like limes. But as prices climb ever higher — one owner told us his costs jumped almost 500 percent — that's the measure that some places have taken to combat increased costs. Other bars are resorting to slightly less drastic means, cutting lime juice with lemon, using pre-bottled juice, or simply waiting for customers to ask for lime garnishes (and charging accordingly). Here's how 11 spots are dealing with the limepocalypse right now, but this is only going to get worse in the run-up to Cinco de Mayo, so if you have your own lime-juice horror story, send an email here and let us know; we'll keep this post updated accordingly.

Read more »

Starbucks Will Open in Original Bleecker Street Records Location

A little bit punk and a little bit frappuccino.Photo-illustration: photo, Robert K. Chin

A recent real-estate industry notice indicates the lease on the 1,500-square-foot space was signed earlier this month, and the storefront at 239 Bleecker Street that was home to Bleecker Street Records will next become a Starbucks. The vinyl store thrived for more than two decades in its West Village home, but was forced to move to 188 West 4th Street after the landlord reportedly increased the rent to $27,000. (Nearby Bleecker Bob's, a favorite of Joey Ramone's, was not as lucky this time last year, when it closed forever to make way for an incoming frozen-yogurt store.) A spokesperson for the coffee chain, which now has more than 280 locations in the city, confirms 239 Bleecker will open this summer. [Real Deal]

Andre Braugher Eats ‘Really Quickly,’ Ends the Day With Hershey’s

"If you don't eat quick enough, you don't get seconds."Photo: Liz Clayman

Most actors would use a hiatus from an Golden Globe-winning sitcom for some downtime, but Andre Braugher, who plays Captain Ray Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, is instead working on his first theatrical producing effort. His play, Oni Faida Lampley's semi-autobiographical Tough Titty, premieres on April 23 at the Paradise Factory. Braugher's busy, but this week, he still found time to sit down for dinner at Esca and Saxon + Parole, find a perfect hot and crusty baguette, and eat sushi while driving. Read it all, straight ahead.

"It's an art: eating sushi while you drive." »

Here’s the Cover for Dominique Ansel’s Cookbook (Plus: Free Cronuts)

Celebrate with a free Cronut, why don't you.Photo: Simon & Schuster

That was fast: Last August, it was announced that pastry chef Dominique Ansel was writing a cookbook, just a scant three months after the debut of Cronuts, and now we have the cover. The dramatic shot of flour, along with Ansel's hands, is an interesting choice, considering how most cookbooks go for extreme close-ups on chef's faces, or heavily stylized food shots.

What's this about free cronuts? »


Food Book Fair’s Pop-up Store; Spring Dishes at Five Leaves

Five Leaves has a new spring menu from chef Ken Addington, featuring dishes like paprika-crusted chicken and a housemade cavatelli. There is a new spring cocktail list, too, which will include a grapefruit margarita and brandy colada. [Grub Street]

• The Food Book Fair will begin tomorrow with a pop-up bookstore in the Wythe Hotel. Find cookbooks and other food-related literary fare through Sunday, April 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. [Grub Street]

Chipotle Plans to Raise Menu Prices This Spring

Based on previous discussions between executives, the whole enchilada is likely going to increase between 3 and 5 percent, which isn't a lot to pay for all that sustainability, right? The changes, which the AP reports are the chain's first in three years, should begin hitting menu boards within the next month and will be in full effect by the summer. Hopefully by that time, the drug-cartel-induced lime shortage will have fizzled out and no one will even think of bringing up the "guacapocalypse." [AP, Related]

This? Just a Cake Made Out of Pizza

Not available in vegetarian.Photo: Boston Pizza

Boston Pizza, the same chain which last year brought you a series of ads based on crude and grotesque rednecks, has outdone itself with this new campaign that ostensibly lets customers vote on 13 pizza "game-changers" ("Pizza Beardkin," "Pizza Cheese Clippers") that straddle the these-days-nonexistent line between fake, plastic novelty products and edible food. One of these will actually go into production; Brand Eating notes that the "pizza cake is leading the votes with over the double the votes of second-place pizza mints." Of course it is. [Brand Eating]

City Dumps Millions of Gallons of Water After Teen Pees in Reservoir

The incident brings new meaning the phrase "waste water."

For some reason, Portland no longer wants 38 million gallons of drinking water — that's some 65 gallons per city resident — after a 19-year-old man peed in it. The deed occurred early yesterday morning around 1 a.m., and video footage shows three teens wandering around the reservoir (police refer to this as "trespassing," the trio later learned) when one heads over to the iron fence surrounding the supply and sends a stream right through the chain-link. It appears this wasn't just nature calling at a terribly inconvenient time. "You can see the sign that says, 'This is your drinking water. Don't spit, throw, toss anything in it,'" a Portland Water Bureau administrator said. "He's four feet away from that sign." The video is online, if you want to get depressed. [CNN]

Platt Chat: The Newest Critics in New York

Roberta's, which received a three-star review from Eater's Ryan Sutton.Photo: Pari Dokovic

Welcome to Platt Chat, a new column where New York critic Adam Platt will talk with Grub editor Alan Sytsma to discuss the dining world's most pressing issues. This week: Eater launches its reviews.

"...a watershed moment..." »

Alex Stupak Launches Five-Course Dessert Tasting Tonight at Empellón Cocina

The "False Passion Fruit Tart."Photo: Diana Perez/Empellón

As he suggested he might, Alex Stupak sends word that he's launching a five-course dessert tasting tonight at Empellón Cocina in the East Village. "We agree with some things we’ve read about the increasing lameness of desserts around the city and the team at Cocina wants to work in the other direction," the chef wrote in an email. He adds, "Desserts are the most fun thing to make. Flavors, colors and textures can be transmitted in a greater number of ways. It’s truly the toy department of the restaurant."

The details... »

Some Enterprising Guy Shucked Oysters on the Subway [Updated]

Anyone who's ever read Mark Kurlansky's The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell is well aware that early New Yorkers once gorged on oysters by the several-dozen at markets, in oyster saloons, stalls, shanties, and pretty much every filthy 19th-century nook of lower Manhattan we'll invariably have to compare to some tavern in Gangs of New York if this sentence goes on any longer. This guy, in any event, seems to be taking the revival of all that a little too far, with his shucking knife, raw bar, and condiments on the N train. It doesn't seem to be performance art, either.

He's got a Ziploc bag of lemon wedges. »

Cheerios Facebook Fans Agree Never to Sue General Mills Under Sneaky New Rule

General Mills has "quietly" updated its legal terms so that any consumer who has redeemed an online coupon for a bake mix or cereal, liked any of its Facebook pages, entered a back-of-the-cereal-box contest, or has otherwise gotten some kind of "benefit" from the company has by extension also relinquished his or her right to sue. Instead, the Times reports, those people have to go through the murky process of "forced arbitration."

No-gurt. »


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