Homestyle Union Square Restaurant Chat ’n Chew Served Its Final Pork Chop

End of the road?Photo: Therese-Heather Belen

Word on the street is that Chat n' Chew, which opened 20 years ago opposite Union Square Cafe sporting old barn siding on its dining-room walls and a menu of things like chicken-fried steak, has closed for good. Chat 'n Chew was for years the self-proclaimed opposite of the more prevalent industry's "turn and burn" mantra, a place that deployed its "small town beanery" vibe to great effect in getting customers to stay a while or opt for a slice of Coca-Cola cake. The café was directly across East 16th Street from Danny Meyer's first restaurant, which will also close at the end of 2015 in advance of relocation. [Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, Related]

Watch Mario Batali and Mike Myers Play Beer Pong in Washington Square Park

Last week, Mario Batali's new Hulu show took him to the High Line, where he chummed it up with Jimmy Fallon. Here, the chef and actor Mike Myers get exclusive access to the top of the arch at Washington Square Park, which they follow up with a rather friendly (and oddball) game of beer pong back on the ground. Drinking game aside, watch as Canadian-born Myers professes his love for his home country and talks about his first New York food memory. "Ordering a mattress and ribs when I first got to New York, and the mattress beat the ribs," he says.

"You can still win! Right now!" »

McDonald’s Ordered to Pay $27 Million to Families of 2 Teens Who Died After Parking Lot Beating

McDonald's will appeal.

A jury has found McDonald's "97 percent responsible" for the deaths of two teenagers and ordered a $27 million settlement, over a Bryan, Texas, outlet's allegedly "lax" security. In 2012, a large group of people attacked 18-year-old Denton Ward in the parking lot at a location police say had racked up more than 200 complaints in three years; Ward and girlfriend Lauren Crisp, who was 19, fled but were killed in a collision after she ran a red light while trying to reach the hospital. A spokesperson for McDonald's says they "respectfully disagree with the jury’s verdict and will be appealing the decision." [Dallas Morning News, Bloomberg]


Bradley Cooper Toiled at Burger King to Prepare for His Next Role

He's mastered the Whopper.

The Guardians of the Galaxy actor spent a few hours working on the Whopper line at a London Burger King before returning to film scenes there on Monday. Cooper is starring in a movie that used to be Chef — at least, before Jon Favreau made a movie called Chef — and the setting makes sense because, in Steven Knight's script, the character Cooper plays, a once-great outcast chef returning to the scene, interviews line cooks for his comeback restaurant in the dining area of a fast-food spot and riffs on how much he admires the consistency of mass-produced hamburgers. "The aim was to learn the 'art of the flip,' which he nailed fairly quickly," a source said of Cooper's performance. "There was no real fanfare from him. You’d never know he was a big star by the way he spoke to people." We're just going to go ahead and speculate Cooper's onboard with upping the minimum wage of his fellow burger-flippers. [Mirror]

Lumpia Shack Snackbar Combines Fruit, Jelly, Sweet Potatoes, and Popcorn in This New Dessert

According to Neil Syham, chef-owner of the new West Village takeout shop Lumpia Shack Snackbar, you shouldn’t approach halo-halo without a game plan. He recommends you attack the Filipino shaved-ice drink-cum-dessert from the top down. “When you get to the middle, ” he instructs, “mix the ingredients on the bottom to create different flavors and textures with each bite.” The Tagalog name translates to “mix-mix,” an apt description of this colorful, cooling assemblage of fruits, jelly, tubers, dairy, legumes, and crushed ice. As befits a chef who has spent time in fine-dining kitchens, and who emigrated from the Philippines to New York when he was 5, Syham takes certain liberties with his rendition, which is loosely based on one he ate as a child and on summer vacations thereafter at Razon’s in Manila. That shop omits the standard sweet beans and chickpeas, and so does Syham. He also modernizes the recipe with siphon-aerated foams; swaps fresh local fruit for the canned, syrupy stuff; and tops it not with the traditional puffed rice but with popcorn—the contribution of a fellow vendor at Smorgasburg, where Syham debuted the dessert last summer.

Read more »


Cheeky’s Basement Restaurant; Miss Lily’s 7A’s Movie Night

• The recently reopened Cheeky Sandwiches will open another restaurant in the basement of its Lower East Side space. The new "cave" eatery will be like a "dark alley" but with a "slightly different" menu than the upstairs venue. [Bedford + Bowery]

• This Friday, August 1, Cemitas Mexican Sandwiches & Tacos will replace Yuji Ramen at Whole Foods Gowanus, bringing Smorgasburg favorites like carnitas and barbacoa tacos to the grocery store. [Grub Street]

Miss Lily's 7A's will host a movie night in Tompkins Square Park tomorrow, July 31, starting at 7 p.m. The restaurant will hand out free rainbow popsicles and jerk popcorn for moviegoers to enjoy while watching the Jamaican crime film The Harder They Come. [Grub Street]

Read more »

Dominique Ansel Will Sell These Canned Sundaes in the Hamptons This Weekend

The award-winning pastry chef behind deceptively ice-creamy waffles, calorific shot glasses, counterintuitive s'mores, perma-soufflés, and Cronuts has now come up with this sundae in a can. Because Dominique Ansel is an awesome person, 20 percent of the sales of this meringue-and-macerated-cherry-bedazzled thing will benefit City Harvest.

Only 500 will be made. »

Max Fish Makes a Triumphant Return to the Lower East Side This Weekend

The Fish is back.Photo: Max Fish/Facebook

One year ago, pretty much to the day, fabled Ludlow Street bar Max Fish closed its Parliament Lights-smoke-aged doors for good, a victim of ever-escalating rents. Owner Ulli Rimkus pledged to reopen in Williamsburg, but the bar's longtime proprietor seized an opportunity to rebuild the Fish on Orchard Street. Max Fish 2.0 opens Saturday, August 2, and will keep hours of 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., seven days a week. The cigarette-shaped light fixture that once hung outside near the awning is now enshrined safely inside, and Rimkus says the old, beat-up pool table will be back soon, along with a rotation of new artwork by locals. "I don’t want it to be a Max Fish museum," she says. [DNAinfo, Related]

Upper West Side Restaurant Corvo Bianco Has Closed

The white crow has flown for the last time.Photo: Melissa Hom

Voluminous Columbus Avenue restaurant Corvo Bianco, which opened a year ago with an ambitious-looking menu and acclaimed chef Elizabeth Falkner in the kitchen, has had a run of bad luck. The reviews were resoundingly not great, and Falkner, who replaced the Michelin-starred Andrea Cobbe, left in February. Its next iteration, with ex-Scarpetta chef Chris Wyman, didn't seem to fare so well, either; the restaurant is now closed, ostensibly for maintenance, and Eater hears a "big-name chef" is currently in talks for a reboot with restaurateur Luis Gonzalez. [Eater NY, Related]

McDonald’s Tells the Government It’s Pretty Sure Angry Employees Are Someone Else’s Problem

Next stop: McDonald's Drive in Oak Brook, Illinois.Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis

In a ruling issued yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board announced that McDonald's Corp. can be considered a "joint employer" alongside franchisees when it comes to resolving labor-practice disputes. The decision came as part of a closely watched case brought by workers fired for unionizing, and the unprecedented move stands to broaden a previous interpretation of when, exactly, companies including Burger King and Yum Brands — whose stores are nearly all franchisee owned and operated — will be required to address instances of labor violations and lawsuits related to wages and discrimination. The fast-food giant, perhaps unsurprisingly, is trying to keep that franchisee-franchisor Great Wall in place.

Read more »


Here’s Nathan for You’s ‘Dumb Starbucks’ Episode in All Its Glory

The comedian Nathan Fielder is always trying to help the little guy — he once even came to a struggling liquor store owner's aid by providing a loophole that would allow him to sell alcohol to minors — and now here's the Dumb Starbucks episode everybody's been waiting for, which started as an attempt to help a small business owner get off the ground by pretty much wearing out the legal definition of "fair use" and parody. The behind-the-scenes stuff that went down in L.A. around the time of the Dumb Starbucks media frenzy is basically one ridiculous moment stacked on to something absurd, and so on. Watch Dumb Blonde Roast take on a life of its own, straight ahead.

The video. »

Journalists Subpoenaed in ‘Pink Slime’ Lawsuit

Slime me to the moon.

Back in March, a South Dakota judge couldn't really find anything frivolous about Beef Product Inc.'s small-nation-GDP-size $1.2 billion lawsuit against ABC News for its 2012 report, which introduced "pink slime" into the lexicon of grocery store shoppers and effectively devastated producers of what's technically known by the less-slimy industry name "lean finely textured beef." In addition to naming Diane Sawyer in its suit, BPI has now subpoenaed five food writers: Pulitzer-winning Times reporter Michael Moss, food-safety crusader Michele Simon, and three Food Safety News reporters.

"... a fishing expedition ..." »

Sam Sifton Will Edit the Times’ Newly Renamed ‘Food’ Section

He's back in a New York (Times "Food" section) groove.

Food writer, former restaurant critic, and noted Thanksgiving expert Sam Sifton has been appointed to food editor at the New York Times, a move he notes on Twitter makes him the first to hold the role since the Craig Claiborne era. Sifton currently presides over the recently-launched NYT Cooking section, a multimedia-heavy approach to home meals and entertaining, and in addition to renaming the paper's "Dining" section to the more straightforward "Food," there are other changes ahead: Current section editor Susan Edgerley will be the new deputy editor, and the combined new app-and-print section will "provide a central location for all Times readers’ cooking and dining needs." The full memo (via Capital) sent out by executive editor Dean Baquet is straight ahead.

"The section front for Dining will be rebranded as Food ... " »

President Obama Continues His Tour of America’s Best Barbecue Joints

That's a very large drink.Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Hot on the heels of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, President Obama stopped by the equally revered Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City last night to hang out with some folks and eat some 'cue. The president didn't cut the line this time — as he did at Franklin — and instead just walked up to the window to order some ribs, a Bud Light, water, and fries. POTUS was also in the mood for some cole slaw, but the restaurant was out. "You didn't save any for me?" the most powerful man in the world reportedly asked when informed of the outage. "Come on, man, I thought you were going to hook me up."

Barbecue selfies with Obama. »

The Other Critics: Reviews of Russ & Daughters Cafe, Dover, and The Gorbals

Two stars.

This week, the Underground Gourmet's Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld explored the "peaceful coexistence of old and new" in Ridgewood's foodscape. Elsewhere in the city, Pete Wells loved Russ & Daughters Cafe, Ryan Sutton decided Dover's tasting menu was not worth its price tag, and Robert Sietsema found The Gorbals faltering with "almost there" dishes. Read it all, straight ahead.

"... like edible smog." »

Toby’s Public House Eyes Second Brooklyn Location

Toby's in Manhattan.

Looks like Columbia Street is about to get an outpost of Toby's Public House, the well-loved South Slope bar and wood-fired pizzeria that also has a Kenmare Street location. The restaurant's reps appeared on the agenda for a community board meeting held earlier this week to score a liquor license in the former Caselnova space, which was more recently home to panini café La Bottega. In addition to Pok Pok, which will soon occupy three storefronts total along the South Brooklyn block, Columbia Street is now home to the just-opened, Instagram-ready bar and restaurant Orchard, and is about to get its own hot-dog-centric bar. [Related]


Perla’s New Burger; Little Muenster’s LES Outpost to Close

• Starting today, Perla has a new burger, offered from 5:30 to 7 p.m. — or until it runs out. The $15 burger is a custom Pat LaFrieda blend of Razza Piemontese beef topped with Taleggio, Cheddar crisps, escarole, and roasted tomato on housemade tigelle bread. It's served with with tater tots all'Amatriciana, crispy chickpeas, and Pecorino Romano. [Grub Street]

• On August 2, Little Muenster's Lower East Side location at 100 Stanton Street will shutter its doors just shy of being open three years. [Bowery Boogie]

Shake Shack will open its second Chicago location at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel sometime in 2015. Its first Chicago outpost is set to debut in late 2014. [Grub Street]

Meadowsweet launches Sunday brunch this week, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu includes huevos rancheros, doughnuts with jam, Reuben sandwiches, and more. Full menu here. [Grub Street]

Read more »

This Ice-Cream Sandwich Just Will Not Melt

Last week we heard about the intrepid Cincinnati-area mom who was alarmed to find out her son's ice-cream sandwich hadn't melted even after it was accidentally left out in the 80-degree sun for 12 hours, and then again when she replicated the results with a second Walmart-brand bar. The retailer responded by saying its sandwiches don't readily render into puddles of sticky goo because they in fact contain less cream and butterfat, but that the treats are totally FDA-approved and besides, the dairy-deficient factor also keeps the price point down. Here, one of the guys from some place called Kickin' Country 100.5 Sioux Falls taps into his inner investigative journalist by leaving his own Walmart ice-cream sandwich out for more than an hour. Watch as a control scoop of another kind of ice cream next to it turns into a puddle, then as the guy feeds the melted stuff to his dog.

"... there's a little bit of meltage going on here ..." »

Momofuku Noodle Bar Will Serve Throwback Menu to Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary

Ten years of pork buns, ramen, and more.

"I hope not," David Chang told Grub Street recently, when asked if he was planning anything special to celebrate Momofuku's ten-year anniversary, adding, "I really don't want to." Well, apparently the chef has reconsidered, and the restaurant will embark on all kinds of festivities starting August 18. (It's fun news, especially considering Chang's broader impact on cooking in New York and beyond.) Plans include the release of commemorative merchandise; a limited-edition "peaches 'n' cream" cookie at Milk Bar; and, from August 18 to 24, there's going to be a "throwback menu featuring dishes selected from our archives over the past decade" served at Momofuku Noodle Bar. A Momofuku rep tells Grub Street the menu details are still being finalized, but we're guessing it may involve at least one iteration of pork buns. (Hopefully some fried chicken with Old Bay, too.) [Momofuku LP, Related]

Wendy’s Decides It’s Time to Get Out of Russia

Cold War season for Frosties.Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wendy's announced yesterday it will close the handful of locations it currently operates in Russia, less than a week after a watchdog group essentially declared war on McDonald's burgers and Filets-O-Fish and called for the fast-food company to shut down. Four Wendy's have already closed, and the remainder will follow in a matter of weeks. The company cites problems with its Russian franchisee Wenrus, which "has not expressed interest in growing Wendy's business in Russia, nor have they shown the resources to successfully operate the existing restaurants on a long-term basis," according to a spokesperson who adds that the decision "had nothing to do with politics." Wendy's came to Russia in 2010 with big plans to establish 180 locations; it ultimately opened eight. [Bloomberg, Related]


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