Merkat Busts Out Its Own Secret Room; Red Hook Vendors Safe Through Fall

Merkat has its own secret, PDT-style back room, Merkat Negre, with a chalkboard menu and a “young, pleasantly noisy crowd.” [Restaurant Girl]

A typical weekend for a Red Hook soccer-fields vendor involves endless prep work, setting up by 7:30 a.m., cooking all day, and breaking the stand down at night … [NYT]

But the vendors’ rituals are safe until October 28, thanks to the intercession of Senator Chuck Schumer. [Serious Eats]

Foie gras may contain rogue proteins that can lead to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and rheumatoid arthritis — or not. But foie foes feel vindicated anyway. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

FDA regulations allowing for the sale of “chocolate” made with various fats subbing in for cacao would be a global chocolate tragedy, op-ed claims. [NYT]

This is a golden age of falafel we’re living in, with new chickpea meccas all over the place. [NYP]
Related: Euro Falafel Titan Making Waves in Union Square [Grub Street]

Cheese costs are going up all over the country, and that means that pizza costs are going up too: “Experts see no immediate relief in sight for pizza makers.” [Forbes]