Falafel Mecca Offers City Gluttons a Challenge Not Easily Refused
We love Forest Hills, and we love falafel, at least in the form in which it appears at On the Grill, our number one go-to shawarma-and-falafel place in the five boroughs. But are we, or you, man or woman enough to beat On the Grill’s falafel challenge? Gothamist’s Joe DiStefano reports that the restaurant has instituted the Great Falafel Eating Contest, which stipulates that anyone who eats five falafel sandwiches in 29 minutes gets them free, plus a $50 gift certificate – presumably, to be spent on more falafel sandwiches. If you’re thinking, “Pshaw! There’s no meat in falafel! I can eat all I want!,” be warned: Tzur Kalaf, On the Grill’s colorful owner, bakes huge, puffy pitas in-house, every one of which could paralyze an average person. And his sandwiches aren’t small. Which is maybe one more reason why you should go to On the Grill and make the effort.
On the Grill, 98-102 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills; 718-897-4829.
Competitive Eating Comes to Forest Hills, Well Sorta [Gothamist]
Back of the House
Best This, Best That … We Say, ‘Who Cares?’
The year-end rush to give out awards has started in earnest, and two totally meaningless such contests present themselves to us today. On Endless Simmer, the nominations are in for Eater of the Year and include Tony Bourdain, Padma Lakshmi, some locavores, and Joey Chestnut. Are you kidding? Why even ask the question? If Joey Chestnut, having vanquished Kobayashi and established himself as the greatest competitive eater in the world, doesn’t get this award, why bother giving it? The man deserves it just for eating 103 Krystal burgers in eight minutes earlier this year.
New York Eaters Ready Themselves for Ramen Contest
Given that the typical night in a noodle bar basically looks (and sounds) like a competitive-eating contest, it’s not hard to imagine what’s store for us at the 2007 Naruto Wii World Ramen Eating Championship Saturday at the Nintendo Store in Rockefeller Center. (The contest is part of the launch of a new Nintendo Wii game.) On the other hand, it’s always a question as to which New York eater is going to come out on top. Over on Epicurious, Michael Park profiles a few of the contenders including rivaling roommates Crazy Legs Conti and Tim “Eater X” Janus.
Le Cirque Scrambles for Relevance; P*ONG ExpandingA myriad of consultants and experts are surrounding Sirio Maccioni, giving advice on how Le Cirque can recapture its now-departed magic. [Insatiable Critic]
Dessert bars are a hot enough trend right now that some restaurants and bakeries are transforming themselves at certain hours, while others, like P*ONG, are built expressly for the genre. [NYP]
Related: Because Our Desserts Are as Good as Everyone Else’s Entire Meals
Speaking of which, Asian dessert guru Pichet Ong will open a shop devoted to ice cream, pudding, and cookies next door to P*ONG on August 17. [Strong Buzz]
Nobu Coming to the Hamptons; AMA Gets Behind Calorie-Posting LawOn some summer weekends, Nobu will be setting up a satellite location in the Hamptons – presumably near Howard Stern’s place. [NYP]
The American Medical Association gets behind the city’s requirement that fast-food chains post calorie and other nutritional information on their menus. Not that the chains have any intention of complying. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Ratatouille is being hailed as an instant classic, especially for foodies: “The food is drawn and imagined so beautifully (with the help of French Laundry chef Thomas Keller, who consulted on the movie) that you walk out wishing you’d made reservations at Per Se.” [Slate]
New York Rated Top BBQ City in the U.S.; Kobayashi Making Bookies SkittishNew York is listed as the No. 1 destination for BBQ in the U.S.(Memphis, in case you were wondering, was No. 10.) [BizJournal]
World-champion competitive eater Joey Chestnut isn’t buying talk of Takeru Kobayashi being hurt: The Tsunami “could come to the Fourth of July with his jaws wired shut, and I’m sure he could still do all right; he’s that good of an eater.” [NYT]
Related: Hot-Dog-Eating Champ Struck With Jaw Arthritis Determined to Gulp On
The odds-makers, though, aren’t as confident about a crippled Kobayashi, and the board shows it. [McBrooklyn]
Hot-Dog-Eating Champ Struck With Jaw Arthritis Determined to Gulp OnThe 2007 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest should have been one for the ages – the Ali-Foreman of competitive eating. After an uninterrupted six-year run, Japan’s Takeru Kobayashi was about to meet his match in American Joey Chestnut, who broke “The Tsunami”’s world record earlier this month in Phoenix. But as you may know, Kobayashi came down with jaw arthritis and can barely open his mouth — and, to make matters worse, the trophy the two nations are jousting for, the Mustard Yellow Belt, has been lost.
New York Hot-Dog Eaters Take It to the Next Level
At the Nathan’s hot-dog eating contest July 4, competitive-eating fans across the world will be watching to see if Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi can defend his title against the American upstart Joey Chestnut. But here at Grub Street, we’re always more interested in the local angle. New York is representing with two of the country’s top eaters, East Village roommates Tim “Eater X” Janus and Crazy Legs Conti.