Johnny the Tofu-Maker’s Wobbly Treat Blows Into the East Village; ChinantlaBedford-Stuyvesant: Grungy bodega Chinantla, known for its Eat for Victory–approved $2 tacos, has just undergone a massive clean-deli renovation. The tasty tacos haven’t just survived the transition; they’re better. [Brooklyn Based]
Chelsea: Trestle on Tenth highlights the wines and cheeses of the Jura region (which extends through France and Switzerland) in special pairings on offer March 4 to 9. [Grub Street]
East Village: You can find high-quality prepackaged tofu by Kyoto’s “Johnny the Tofu-Maker, Blowin’ in the Wind” at Sunrise Mart, and the jiggly treat is so creamy you might want to forgo a sprinkling of soy sauce for a drizzle of honey. [Gothamist]
Hell’s Kitchen: Zanzibar has a new bar menu that’s served Monday through Saturday until 2 a.m. and includes Mediterranean meze and Asian appetizer platters. [Grub Street]
Meatpacking District: 4-Foodies hits up Sue Torres’s communal Mexican spot Los Dados for its next tasting event on Monday, March 10. [4foodiesusa.com]
Midtown West: Trying to decide between a Five Guys burger and one from Burger Joint? This handy midtown-hamburger slideshow should help. [Zagat]
Tribeca: David Bouley pulled back his application for a liquor license for Brushstrokes in response to community opposition, postponing, not bowing out of, the fight. [Eater]
A Dovetail Spy Scandal; Gordo Ruins New Jersey Valentine’s DayA Food & Wine contributing editor has been working as a hostess at Dovetail, the new three-star restaurant, for the past two months. Part of her arrangement with chef John Fraser? To spot food writers and alert the kitchen, but apparently she was no help in pointing out Frank Bruni. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Shake Shack and Burger Joint will face off tonight at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival for the title of champion in the “Burger Bash.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Landmarc at the Time Warner Center is throwing an Oscar party of sorts this Sunday, featuring a five-course tasting menu and two flat-screen TVs in the dining room. [Zagat]
Downtown Designer Gordon Hull Is a Burger Lover, But at What Price?
Gordon Hull, founder of downtown design collective Surface to Air, proves that “not all hipsters are vegan” (per the headline of a men.style.com video) by riding around in a limo visiting Burger Joint, Rare View, and Corner Bistro. The feel-good video curiously doesn’t mention that about four years ago Hull founded an underground burger club that had its own salute, a screening process that measured a potential recruit’s “burgability” based on questions such as “How many burger joints can you name in ten seconds?,” and a demerit system that resulted in the expulsion of certain members of the club when they failed to show for monthly “meatings.” Sounds cute, right? Except that we’ve heard from disgruntled members that Hull became “drunk with power” and ended up alienating more than one burger lover by enforcing these rules quite stringently and using the club as a vehicle for self-promotion. But, hey, it seems to have worked!
See, Not All Hipsters Are Vegan [Men.Style.com]
Gavin DeGraw’s New Bar Promises ‘Best Cheeseburger in Town’UrbanDaddy has a first look at singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw’s new blues bar National Underground in the old Martignetti’s Liquors space (remember when Anthony Martignetti was just a lowly dive-bar owner?), which we’ve discovered will eventually include a downstairs where live acts will rock out after acoustic acts end at 10 p.m. upstairs. Co-owner Duggins King (longtime co-owner of Terra Blues) tells us he’s also planning to add about a dozen beers on draft and a food menu that he says will challenge Burger Joint for the best cheeseburger in town. Color us skeptical, but King assures us, “I come from Texas and my partner comes from upstate New York. We’re a couple of country boys who like cheeseburgers. If it tastes right, we’ll serve it. If not, we won’t.” We’ll have to wait till February to see about that, but in the meantime, the bar part of the operation opens on Thursday.
National Underground, 159 E. Houston St., at Allen St.; 212-475-0611.
The National [UrbanDaddy]
Prune Alum Doesn’t Fall Far From the East Village TreeClinton Hill: The construction workers who opened Il Torchio have created an intimate space serving elegantly constructed Italian tapas but can’t resist sporting baseball caps and — beer in hand — approaching customers to say what’s up. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: Prune alum Matt Hamilton will run the kitchen at Belcourt when it opens next month. [NYS]
Harlem: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que offers up a Labor Day-weekend recipe: really salty potatoes (yes, that’s 2:1 spuds to salt). [NYS]
Midtown West: The London Times picks the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridian as the best burger in New York. [A Hamburger Today]
North Fork: A foodie farm tour featuring tastings and cooking demonstrations on September 9 will make a stop at Garden of Eve, a supplier to Flatbush Farm. [Brooklyn Based]
West Village: Anita Lo always has a vegetarian entrée available at Annisa in addition to the one listed on the menu. [Restaurant Girl]