Ethan Hawke Hits Qdoba; ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ Reunion at D’OrLast week Todd Barry told us he was a Chipotle man and we noted that a couple of respected chefs were too — but it seems Ethan Hawke, for one, prefers naked burritos to burrito bols, if a recent sighting at Qdoba Mexican Grill is any indicator. Are notable New Yorkers embracing casual dining chains? Lizzie Grubman did take her client Tailor Made to, um, the Olive Garden…
I Wonder If ‘New York Pizza’ Is a Total JokeDear Grub Street,What’s the deal with Patsy’s and Grimaldi’s? The guy’s name was Patsy Grimaldi, right? Didn’t the place under the Brooklyn Bridge used to be called Patsy’s? I remember going there when I used to come out for AAU games. And where else would you recommend for true “New York–style” pizza? Or is that term a total joke?DeWayne
Blind Tiger Co-Owner Rips the Department of Health, Human NatureAfter being forced to open as a coffee shop and then closing, the Blind Tiger is still awaiting final word on a liquor license for its new location. It’s been a while since the Tiger addressed the issue in its newsletter (“There is no way to know when,” co-owner Alan Jestice updates us. “But we are feeling as confident as humanly possible that the Tiger will roar again”), but in the most recent installment, Jestice has taken to speaking up for another slighted local business, John’s Pizzeria, a high-profile victim of the Department of Health’s zealousness in the days following the KFC–Taco Bell debacle. Mostly, however, we were impressed by his sarcasm-drenched attack on the press, which has, of course, been gobbling up the rat story, and the Department of Health, which has been bitten by it. — Daniel Maurer
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Customers Rush to Pizzeria’s DefenseThe Health Department can’t win for losing: Having failed to close the vermin-infested KFC–Taco Bell, they’re now taking heat for temporarily shutting down coal-oven institution John’s Pizzeria and neighboring Risotteria. Both restaurants protested their closure in the most emphatic terms, and their customers, far from being spooked, jumped right onboard. In a letter put up alongside the closure notice, John’s tells passersby that the city is “trying to save face”: “After SEVENTY years in business, they have decided we need a sink CLOSER TO the pizza-making area,” the note explains. Loyal customers have contributed their own sentiments: “First they came for the smokers,” wrote one libertarian, “then the pizza lovers.” Meanwhile, a punning Risotteria fan has declared that the inspectors are “full of beans.” Your move, Health Department.
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You’ve Got Vermin!As you have almost certainly read, the Department of Health has suspended the inspector who passed the KFC–Taco Bell the day before it was exposed on television as being staffed and patronized exclusively by rats. (Or something along those lines. We were half-watching.) So does that mean, we wonder, that when the department actually flags a restaurant, the place must be overrun by vermin gangs snitching on each other? Either way, we thought it worth taking a look at the name restaurants that have been recently cited.