Posts for April 24, 2012

Urban Lobster Shack on Wheels Takes Midtown; Reservations Available for Tonight’s L’Artusi Cocktail Dinner

• A new social site for the lonely diner has recently launched, but it’s for girls only. Invite for a Bite is the new initiative from Cressida Howard, whose site allows women who’d prefer not to eat alone to connect with other female foodies and meet up for a meal. Bon appétit, ladies! [CNN]

• Seats for tonight’s 6 p.m. seating (better hurry!) of the first-ever cocktail dinner at L’Artusi have opened up. The dinner will include eight cocktail tastes paired with four courses for $105 per person. Tickets can be purchased here. Get ‘em while they’re hot! [Grub Street]

• The Great GoogaMooga — the music festival for foodies — has announced the official lineup for the two-day feast-fest. Big names include Hall & Oates, Holy Ghost!, Escort, and many more. The free tickets have already ‘sold out,’ but scalped tickets are allegedly being sold on StubHub for as high at $118. [Eater, Gothamist]

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Tyler Florence Releases Super-Cute Kids’ Book

Ty-Flo's empire gets bigger ... with the little ones.

Tyler Florence, who recently said that overnight success takes fifteen years, is the father of three young children with wife and business partner Tolan Florence, and he's released his first children's book today, Tyler Makes Pancakes! Here's an excerpt: "Tyler and his dog, Tofu, are hungry for blueberry pancakes." Adorbs!!

War on Brunch Claims First Casualty

For the first — but certainly not the last — time this season, the brunch killers struck this weekend, when the Department of Consumer Affairs regulators issued a citation to the owners of Lokal on Lorimer at 9:35 a.m. for (we hope you are sitting down) serving brunch before noon. [Brooklyn Paper]

Moo: A Brief History of Mad Cow Disease in the U.S.

You won't like us when we're angry.Photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Today, USDA officials confirmed the country's latest instance of mad cow disease. The cow in question was discovered at a rendering facility in central California, and its meat didn't enter into the food chain, and the USDA says we're safe — which is good news for people who buy Steak-umms. So we're probably okay for the time being, since of course this isn't even the first time an infected cow's been found on U.S. soil. Let's take a look back ...

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Holy Apostles’ Soupy Savior

Starting this Friday for a year of Fridays, some 1,200 hungry people who line up for lunch at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Chelsea will get to sample 500 gallons of Ben Tabatchnick's hand-crafted soups, courtesy of the bow-tied, fourth-generation soup-maker and philanthropist from Somerset, New Jersey. Tabatchnick's donation to the Episcopalian church's soup kitchen, the largest in the city, amounts to a $52,000 annual savings for the organization, which had its state funding cut in half this year.

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Bunglaow 8 Is Back, B*tches

Props to Scott Conant for telling us the truth about not taking over the former XL space. Turns out, it's Amy Sacco who is going in for the taking on West 16th Street, with her relaunch of Bungalow 8! Stay tuned as details on how to party like it's 2005 come out. [Eater NY]

New Lawsuit Reveals the World’s Grossest Meat Product Is Probably Steak-umms

Um...

And here we thought pink slime was bad. Turns out that stuff pales (heh) in comparison to Steak-umms, which the name alone should tell you is bad news. For the uninitiated, Steak-umms are not dog food, but are instead kind of like a frozen DIY Philly cheesesteak. But in a trademark-infringement suit this week that pitted Steak-umms owners against a South Philly cheesesteak and pizza shop named Steak 'Em Up, the ugly truth of the mass-produced sandwich steak was revealed. And the details are pretty bleak.

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Shake Shack Rolls Out a New Burger, the SmokeShack

SFW, barely.

Shake Shack's burger offerings have stayed pretty constant as the chain has expanded (consistency across locations is Danny Meyer's whole goal, after all) — until now. Grub noticed recently that the UES Shack seemed to have newcomer to the lineup, and reps confirm that both the Upper East Side and Madison Square Park locations are offering the SmokeShack, "a cheeseburger topped with Niman Ranch applewood-smoked bacon, cherry-pepper relish, and ShackSauce." We're drooling. Has anybody out there given it a chomp?

Heart Attack Grill Owner Delighted That Diners Keep Heading to the Hospital

Doing America proud.

Up until now, it's been difficult to believe all that garbage from the self-helpy The Secret claiming that whatever you put out into the universe comes back to you. But strangely, it rings true in Las Vegas, of all places. The local Heart Attack Grill outpost watched another customer go down this weekend from health issues that hit in the middle of their meal, necessitating a trip to the hospital. The trauma follows fast on the thick calves of an incident here in February, where paramedics had to come between a customer and his "Triple Bypass Burger" after he had a heart attack at the restaurant, which promotes pure lard-cooked "flatliner fries" and "Quadruple Bypass Burgers" packing 10,000 calories. Today, the L.A. Times shares a few words from the owner, Joe Basso, who couldn't sound more thrilled about another customer falling unconscious while drinking a margarita and smoking this past Saturday.

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Meet the Multidimensional Drive-Thru of Tomorrow

Not actually the drive-thru of tomorrow.Photo: Christopher Tompkins/iStockphoto

What are the best minds in fast food thinking about? "The drive-thru as an incredible opportunity to innovate," that's what. That's according to a report from Big Red Rooster, which is not itself a fast-food chain, but is a "multidimensional brand experience firm" (rough translation: consultants) that helps fast-food chains, er, we mean "quick-service restaurants," get their act together better. In the scary/fascinating world they conjure up, what is now an "impersonal, drive-around-back experience" could become a multimedia phantasmagoria of sensation and delight guaranteed to increase your loyalty to Scream-a-Burger or Taco Wowzo. Here's how.

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Danny Meyer on ‘Regulars’ Versus ‘Fresh Blood’

Why regulars weren't enough.

That there's a "regular" who invented 1-800-LAWYERS, has a burgundy limo, and spends $4K a month at random-ass French Roast is interesting in itself, but also in this story about repetitive dining at New York restaurants, Danny Meyer thinks back to Tabla, "the only restaurant he has closed," because it wasn't sustainable. DM says, "You need fresh blood because, look, regulars die. They divorce. They move. They become regulars at other places. Things happen." [WSJ]

Details on the Wick & the Well, Bushwick’s Upcoming Giant Beer Garden and Music Venue

Joshua Riccholt, outside the venue's former-brewery digs.Photo: Selene Preston, Impossibly Pretty Camerawork

The Paulaner beer house on the Bowery isn't the only suds venture in the works: News broke a few months back that a couple of alums from the Knitting Factory were planning a destination beer garden (the Well) and music venue (the Wick) in a former brewery space in Bushwick. We spoke to co-owner Joshua Richholt (also formerly of the Jazz Standard), who told us the Well should open this summer, while the Wick is slated for fall. The Well is a "public house," as Richholt describes it, with a 4,000-square-foot interior complete with 30-foot ceilings, and an 11,000-square-foot backyard. He and partner Shay Vishawadia will offer 60 beers on tap and another 200 in bottles, with every brewery in New York State represented.

There's food from Urban Rustic too. »

The Dutch’s Pastry Chef on Her ‘Best of New York’ Perfect Pies

Remember drooling over the pie from the Dutch in our "Best of New York" issue? To coincide with that wild temptation, we've once again teamed up with NYC Media to create video companions for some of this year's picks, just like we did with the city's best fried calamari, care of Parm. Without further longing, here is Kierin Baldwin on her killer crusts, fillings, and all that sweet stuff.

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Andy Ricker Planning Outdoor Lunch Service for Pok Pok Ny

The midday magic will happen around the corner in the side yard.

Andy Ricker tells us that once Pok Pok Ny is fully running (it's five nights a week right now, you'll recall), he plans to roll out an outdoor lunch service. The chef-owner mentioned selling food from a cart in the side yard, bringing out a big rotisserie for grilling game hen and the like. He also plans to offer simple fare like khao soi (the curry-broth noodle soup) and papaya salad — dishes that won't require disturbing the kitchen as it preps for dinner. Diners will be able to eat outside or inside, most likely purchasing drinks from somebody walking around with a cooler. Might as well start inventing your excuses to take an extra-long lunch break now.

Andy Cohen’s Teenage Years: Entenmann’s Pop’Ems and All My Children

From Erica Kane to Tom Colicchio.

An exclusive excerpt of Andy Cohen's memoir, Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, has been released, with memories of BravoAndy eating entire boxes of Entenmann's Pop'Ems donuts while infatuated with Erica Kane on All My Children, and discussing Pine Valley all throughout dinner while his Dad listened to his own "smooth-jazz station in his head." Sounds about right! [Bravo]

Win Tickets to the New York Culinary Experience’s Chocolate Extravaganza

Free chocolate, right this way.

If you've checked out the lineup for this year's New York Culinary Experience, put together by New York Magazine and the International Culinary Center, then you know that chefs like Mark Ladner, Floyd Cardoz, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten will spend this coming weekend teaching ticket holders the ins and outs of their trade. And we have good news: Grub has two tickets to Jacques Torres's Chocolate Extravaganza session on Saturday afternoon, and we're giving them away to one lucky reader.

Here's how you win. »

Pinkberry Heads to India

Pinkberry, the frozen-yogurt chain that has proven surprisingly resilient, will soon be opening its first location in India, a country that many people say could soon become the world's largest growth market for restaurants. (That honor currently belongs to China.) Nation's Restaurant News says India is the eighteenth country that will house a Pinkberry, which currently has spots in far-flung places like Kuwait and Peru. And would it surprise you to learn that Starbucks is eying India, too? No, we bet it would not. [NRN]

No More Booze on Late-Night LIRR Trains

Sorry, Long Island travelers, the good times are coming to an end. Newsday says the Long Island Rail Road is banning alcohol on trains between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, "in hopes of curbing violence against train crew members by drunken passengers." Shoulda kept it together, Long Islanders. [Newsday]

Chipotle Lets Gonzalez y Gonzalez Stay, Sin Burritos

Not long ago came the happy news that thought-to-be-lost Village Mex standby Gonzalez y Gonzalez would live on. Now DNA Info is saying that comes with conditions — the building's primary new tenant, Chipotle (which took over half the space), has okayed the restaurant's reopening as long as it doesn't serve burritos or fajitas. The policy has already given rise to an off-menu black market — a customer told the website she ordered a bean-and-cheese "wrap" at Gonzalez the other day. Let us know what happens if you ask for that animal style. [DNA Info]

That Kardashian–Fatty Crew Restaurant Gets a Name

Big fan of Street Figher.Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Earlier this month, we told you that at least one member of the Fatty Crew was teaming up with at least one member of the Kardashian Krew on a meatpacking restaurant project, and now that project has a name, which will help you either go to it or avoid it at all costs, depending on how you feel about this, um, interesting project.

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