Posts for May 23, 2013

Saturdays Surf Collaborates With La Colombe; Gilt Taste Is Over

Saturdays Surf NYC is partnering with La Colombe for a signature coffee blend. The fusion of ingredients from Brazil, Ethiopia, and El Salvador will be available in the shops and online. [Grub Street]

• After two years, Gilt Taste is closing. All products will now be sold through Gilt Home. [Eater]

• SAVOR's American Craft Beer & Food Experience event is on June 14 and 15 in the Altman Building on West 18th Street, with food from San Francisco's the Monk's Kettle. Purchase tickets here. [Grub Street]

Murray's Cheese Bar is now serving lunch on Thursdays and Fridays. A flight of cheese is a fantastic mid-afternoon pick-me-up. [Grub Street]

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Derek Jeter Is No Philip: Ranking Celebrities’ Fake Starbucks Names in Order of Credibility

Wonder what gave it away?Photo: Tom Meinelt / Splash News

Derek Jeter apparently tried to pass himself off as a dude named Philip while ordering coffee at Starbucks in Greenwich Village yesterday, but is that so wrong? Chances are you don't give your real name at Starbucks, because no one does. The practice of baristas scrawling names on customers' cups has been around in some markets for a while and is now a more or less universal thing that only seems to have engendered a vast proliferation of fake coffee-customer names. There are fake Starbucks names Tumblrs and alter ego blogs that go to show that no one likes giving their real name at the counter (except for Jessica Alba, ever the iconoclast). So, celebrities, as the adage goes, are just like us, and the proof is straight ahead, ranked from most to least credible.

Meet "Bob," "Nadia," and "Spencer." »

Austin’s Franklin Barbecue Pops Up in New York; Mighty Quinn’s Expands

This week in brisket: Aaron Franklin of Austin's acclaimed Franklin Barbecue is coming to New York as part of a Texas Monthly barbecue pop-up at Hill Country on June 6; tickets are $50. Meanwhile, East Village–based pit-master Hugh Mangum will open a second branch of Mighty Quinn's Barbecue early next year at Brookfield Place, where the restaurant will join Long Island chain Skinnypizza, Umami Burger, Dos Toros Taqueria, Num Pang Sandwich Shop, Chop't, Dig Inn, Sprinkles Bakery, and Little Muenster as part of the new construction's massive food hall. [TMBBQ via Eater NY, PR Newswire, Earlier, Related]

Marin County Announces Summer-Long Soda Ban

Outlaw!

SFist reports that for the duration of June, July, and August, Marin County residents will encourage one another — gently, we hope, in a civic way — not to drink soda. Invites will go out for fizz-less picnics, birthday parties will be bereft of Coke, and Sprite-loathing brothers will turn against Sprite-loving brothers. That's right: It's no deposit, no return time. By structuring the summer soda ban as a temporary, nonbinding, and nonpunitive incentive, Marin County hopes to accomplish what New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's defeated health code amendment could not, mostly by making life without soda really fun. They've even got a web page, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube contest, and then some to show you how fun it's going to be. [SFist, Earlier]

Learn How Alex Stupak Makes His Flour Tortillas

The Empellón Cocina and Taqueria chef shared his recipe with First We Feast, revealing that when he started out, he drove his staff to the ground attempting to grill perfect corn tortillas. Stupak thought flour tortillas were beneath him, but a food-writer friend (whom he will not name) convinced him otherwise. It was actually his pastry-chef wife, Lauren, who perfected the recipe, which the kitchen could easily produce in mass amounts. The four-ingredient recipe's pretty straightforward: Just make sure you eat the tortillas "immediately with butter and sea salt." Instructions we can follow. [First We Feast]

Italy Braces for McPasta

It's been described in the Italian press as a pool party featuring "the devil and holy water," but this new tuna and pennette salad — a joint venture of American hamburger company can-do and the ancient Italian extruder — is listed on the menu as "a balanced and skilful mix of tuna, tomatoes, peppers, capers and olives, seasoned with a pinch of oregano and salt." It debuts tomorrow at McDonald's locations in Italy and is being promoted like a healthy, mega-hyped Mediterranean diet kind of thing, but it's still just McPasta to us. (Bright side: We're now this much closer to getting a viable noodle burger Stateside in our time.) [Guardian, Earlier]

Iced-Coffee Number-Crunching: How to Get the Cheapest Possible Cold Brew

It's just better when it's cold.Photo: iStockphoto

As recently as two years ago, cold brew — coffee that's brewed slowly without heat for a sweeter, altogether better iced-coffee experience — was still a novelty in New York. Now there's a spate of new ways to track down some "toddy" (as connoisseurs call it) aside from ordering to-go at your local café: single-serving stubbies, pre-bottled concentrate, growlers, or even home delivery. But the diversity of buying options also means you can pay very different amounts to get your cold-brew fix. So, which one is cheapest?

Growlers, delivered to your door! »

Post-Blaze Chez Panisse Reopens With Ritzy $2,500-Per-Head Fund-raiser

Summer solstice 2013.

Alice Waters's iconic Berkeley restaurant was damaged heavily by an electrical fire that broke out in the early morning hours of March 8. Recovery has been swift, yet despite earlier estimates, it now seems as though the full-service dining room and café won't reopen until June 21. But the soft opening will coincide with creamy, soft-ripened cheeses, as well as Mission figs, heirloom leafy greens, and the best red currants you've ever had, all of which may be served at the first-night fund-raiser for Waters's Edible Schoolyard Project. The solstice-themed shindig will set you back $1,000 for café seats or $2,500 at the more formal restaurant. [Chez Panisse via Eater, Earlier]

Don’t Freak Out or Anything, But There’s a Buffalo Trace Shortage

We may be looking at trace amounts of Buffalo Trace.Photo: Buffalo Trace

The Kentucky distillery that produces everything from Eagle Rare to Pappy Van Winkle doesn't want anyone to get worried, but it may not have enough bourbon to get you through the summer. Or the weekend. It's all kinda up in the air right now. "Buffalo Trace estimates the bourbon shortage could start at any time and may last a few years, based on current sales trends," marketing director Kris Comstock wrote in a press release sent out yesterday.

What time do you close tonight? »

New Small-Format Cookbook Short Stack Launches Kickstarter Campaign

The covers look like chocolate bars!

Riding the wave of food journals is Short Stack, Nick Fauchald's series of small-format, hand-stitched cookbooks. Each edition is inspired by a specific ingredient and written by a single author — a "love letter" of sorts. The first three volumes are "Eggs," by writer Ian Knauer; "Tomatoes," by hospitality consultant Soa Davies (formerly of Le Bernardin); and "Strawberries," by author and food stylist Susan Spungen. Fauchald's aiming to raise $50,000 so he can begin printing books by the end of July and get them into bookstores in August. You can donate to his campaign here. [Earlier, Kickstarter]

Check Out Barista Kazuki Yamamoto’s Amazing 3-D Latte Art

You are being watched.Photo: Courtesy じょーじ/Twitter

A 26-year-old Osaka-based barista named Kazuki Yamamoto is creating some of the funniest and most impressive latte art we've seen these days (and we've seen a bunch). Check out some familiar faces, straight ahead, and head over to Bored Panda to see some of Yamamoto's most fantastic 3-D latte foam projects, including a giraffe that cranes straight out of the coffee cup, conjoined pandas, and some random guy giving you the thumbs-up, most likely because you're drinking the best cup of coffee art ever.

Half-decaf, 1 percent, E.T. phone home! »

Jonathan Gold Ranks the 101 Best Los Angeles Restaurants

Providence is the winner.

The Los Angeles Times is publishing a book about Jonathan Gold's favorite restaurants, and today, the paper has released the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic's picks. This is his first annual list for the Times, but he did similar compilations when he wrote for L.A. Weekly. Michael Cimarusti's Providence scored his coveted top spot, followed by Rodeo Drive sushi restaurant Urasawa. But it's not all fine dining: Kogi BBQ Taco Truck came in at No. 5. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal (No. 7) and Nancy Silverton of Mozza (No. 4) are the only ones on the list to have received James Beard nominations this year. Check out Gold's top 20 restaurants and an interactive map of all 100, straight ahead.

Cut made the cut. »

Beyond Angostura: 14 Small-Batch Bitters You Need to Try

These pretty bottles make for great gifts, too.Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

Welcome to the Great Age of Bitters. For a while, the world has had Angostura, Peychaud's, and even newer brands like Regan's Orange Bitters. But in the past couple of years, start-up companies have begun to use local and sometimes even organic ingredients to handcraft and produce the potent cocktail flavorings. Some bitters 101: They're made by infusing high-proof spirits with concentrated herbs, fruits, vegetables, roots, and spices — and new businesses are experimenting with exotic flavors like Jamaican jerk, coffee, and even black-and-white (as in the cookie). The stories behind these start-up companies are interesting: There's a Violet Hour alum making cherry-bark-vanilla bitters, a husband-and-wife team experimenting with Mexican mole, and a Hawaiian duo using local chocolate. Check out all of our favorite small-batch bitters, straight ahead.

Don't rhubarb bitters sound good? »

Fatburger Expands to India, For Some Reason

Makes perfect sense.

Only chicken, turkey, and legume-based patties will touch the grill when Fatburger opens the first of 25 new stores in Northern India later this year, Nation's Restaurant News reports. Ditto the 25 outlets coming to Southern India in the next five years. Despite the fact that none of these Fatburgers will actually serve the chain's signature beef burger, chief executive Andy Wiederhorn is nonetheless jazzed about Fatburger International, citing the “mind blowing” potential for expansion into regions where local economies have improved and more people are apt to waste money on combo meals. And it's raining Fatburgers everywhere: The 61-year-old California-based chain is not only "bringing Hollywood to New York" this year with several new NYC stores, it's also opening in Cairo this weekend for the first time, then in Lahore next Friday. [NRN, Earlier]

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