Hallo Berlin Gets Into the Takeout Game
Felix Miller, day manager at Hallo Berlin, tells us that a Hallo Berlin Express will open at 744 Ninth Avenue, near 51st Street, and that it will be a pilot for future takeout spots around the city. “It’s pretty much something that hasn’t been done with a German restaurant or food,” says Miller, though we have to say Mandler’s has a similar concept. The space, which used to house a slice joint, will have a counter where you can watch wursts being made (the ones that are available at the Hallo Berlin cart as well as others), a couple of beers on tap, and seating for about twenty until midnight. It will open in late March, presumably with a sausage party.
Last Year’s Vendy Winner Envies Miss Universe
Our heartiest congratulations go out to Samiul Haque Noor, the winner of the 2006 Vendy Award for New York’s best street vendor. Noor won a cook-off against three other finalists, including the legendary “Arepa Lady,” to take the top honors Sunday night. We contacted last year’s winner, Rolf Babiel of Hallo Berlin, who was ineligible for this year’s contest, at his home in Binghamton, to ask him what’s in store for Noor. “I got a lot of new customers,” Babiel said. “And my lines got longer. Too long! I lost some of the old customers. We had visits from Oprah and Rachael Ray and journalists from Germany and Japan.” Babiel appreciates the attention the Vendys earned him, but one thing made him a little uneasy. “I got a big trophy,” he said. “But they called me up and said they need to take it back. I thought, It should be like Miss Universe, and I could give the trophy to the new winner. It would have been a little more professional. You know, I think the Vendys are a little bit disorganized. But I don’t get carried away.”
Grub Street’s favorite carts
Back of the House
News Flash: Masa Is Expensive; David Burke Gambles in VegasFrom the clandestinely costly to the unabashedly so, the latest industry news is all about the Benjamins.
• Zagat opens the lid on hidden fees like Del Posto’s “straight up” martini charge. [Zagat]
• Forbes runs down the country’s priciest restaurants (Masa, of course, is No. 1). What they don’t tell you is that the picks are apparently limited to one per city — or Per Se, Alain Ducasse, Gilt, Kuruma Zushi, and Daniel would’ve made the list. [Forbes]
• The Hallo Berlin cart raises its prices (Dictator Special now $9). [Midtown Lunch]
• The Met’s Grand Tier Restaurant lets in the unwashed masses (well, Lincoln Center patrons, anyway). [NYS]
• David Burke: Vegas, baby, Vegas! [Nation’s Restaurant News]
What to Eat Tonight
Best of Times, Wurst of Times to End This WeekendConfusingly, Oktoberfest happens mostly in September; it ends this coming Sunday. Rob and Robin recommended five top places to kick the month off with; since you’ve surely celebrated at each of those, here are five more to visit before the festival’s all over.