Comic Patrice O’Neal Considers Himself a Big Buffet Dude
Patrice O’Neal became a comic after he decided he wasn’t really into football and has since gone on to host VH1’s Web Junk, as well as make appearances on HBO’s Def Jam Comedy Jam, Comedy Central, and The Office. If you catch his Valentine’s gig at Stand-Up NY tonight, you might hear him riff about his diabetes — “Why couldn’t the doctor tell me, ‘Patrice, you can never eat Brussels sprouts again’?” — and, sure enough, he’s taking measures to control his weight: “When you get close to 40, you start to feel those years of ham hocks.” Nevertheless, his eating philosophy flies in the face of Mireille Guiliano’s. He tells us, “I don’t go to any sexy places to eat where they give you half a lamb chop and one bean. I like going, ‘Uhhh, I’m done’ when I eat.” And where can a man find that experience?
Back of the House
IHOP Introduces Its Own Ultrahip Line of Apparel
If you had to rank all the nation’s top pancake chains by degrees of hipness, we think it would be fair to say that IHOP would come out at or near the top. First it created, or seemed to create, a shadow restaurant in Times Square; then a “hip-hop IHOP” in downtown Brooklyn; and now, to celebrate their 50th anniversary, it created IHOP’s own line of casual wear for the flapjack fashionista with a love of breakfast corporate branding. The shirts seem to mimic the primitivist vibe of the seventies retro tees pioneered from the Cotton Factory and a million other manufacturers. There’s even a trucker hat. But don’t wear it to the hip-hop IHOP. Or anywhere, for that matter.
IHOP Celebrates Birthday With Clothing Line [NRN]
A Hip-hop IHOP in Brooklyn; Grant Achatz Beats CancerMary J. Blige and Foxy Brown’s producer, known to fans as Don Pooh, owns what is already being called the “hip-hop IHOP” that opened in downtown Brooklyn yesterday. [NYDN]
Related: The Phantom IHOP of Midtown West
Meatpaper magazine is a popular read with both carnivores and vegetarians, which is how the founders learned that bacon, delectable treat of treats, “is how vegetarians change their minds” when they revert to their meat-eating ways. [NYT]
Today in unsubstantiated rumors: David Bouley’s forthcoming Japanese restaurant/cooking school will open across the street from Upstairs at Bouley. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: David Bouley to Open Restaurant With Japan’s Top Cooking School
The Phantom IHOP of Midtown West
The coverage of the IHOP that may be coming to Times Square and is definitely coming to Brooklyn neglects to mention a great mystery. Search for IHOP in the Yahoo white pages (and on Citysearch and various other sites) and along with the one in Harlem you’ll find a listing on 240 W. 35th Street. We know this because we tried to go there once and instead of being greeted by a Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruity we found, of all things, the International Food House and Buffet, an all-you-can-eat Latin spot where there’s salsa dancing at night.
Magnolia to Lure Cupcake Crazies to the Upper West SideChelsea: Trestle on Tenth launches weekend brunch this Saturday with a fall menu that includes bacon-and-onion rösti and banana-stuffed French toast with vanilla syrup.
Fort Greene: IHOP is making more New York moves: In addition to taking on Times Square, the chain will open an outlet on Livingston Street near Bond Street. [NYDN]
Midtown East: Bloomingdale’s has moved tangy fro-yo pioneer Forty Carrots from the basement to a larger, more befitting seventh floor space. [NYT] Sherry-Lehmann wine store has completed its relocation to Park Avenue at 59th Street. [NYT]
Red Hook: You may have missed LeNell’s absinthe tasting (she drinks it up by the way), but she’ll host a tequila tasting this Sunday in honor of Mexican Independence Day. [LeNell’s]
Upper West Side: A second Magnolia bakery will open on 69th Street at Columbus this winter, and owner Steve Abrams thinks he can keep it a secret from tourists. [Eater] Juan Cuevas has left Blue Hill to be the chef de cuisine at Ed Brown’s Eighty One, which should open in December. [NYS]
More Buzz Over Restaurant Liebrandt; A Meatball for the AgesA second trivial press release (uh, the Oregon Museum of Science gala?) alludes to Restaurant Liebrandt 2007, and the chef’s chef is suddenly besieged with questions, which he vows to answer “in due time.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: Vegetables Suggest Liebrandt’s New Restaurant Is a Reality
After a nerve-racking two-day delay, a judge has cleared the way for the $565 million Whole Foods–Wild Oats merger. [NYT]
The ruination of Times Square is now officially complete, with news of an IHOP on the way. [NYP]
A counterterrorism detective has been fired for what might be the best defense for failing a drug test ever: marijuana-spiked meatballs. [NYT]
Back of the House
IHOP and Applebee’s Approach the AltarThe $2.1 billion acquisition of Applebee’s by IHOP probably didn’t set too many New York foodie hearts aflutter. The two restaurants are largely interchangeable to the eyes of Manhattan feinschmeckers, and even their most loyal customers in Rego Park and elsewhere think of them mostly as feeding stations, or, in the case of Applebee’s, places to pick up used-carpet salesmen. But there’s more to both companies than meets the eye, with two different business models and even two different corporate cultures. Our crack staff analyzes the deal at Daily Intel.
IHOP Bids for Applebee’s: The End of an American Institution? [Daily Intel]