Cluckin’ Bell Gets the DOH Treatment in GTA IVEarlier, Serious Eats revealed that Nathan’s makes an appearance in Grand Theft Auto IV (hardly a surprise), as Johnson’s, “Home of the Weiner,” and today brings something truly hilarious.
Latin Flavor to Bring Spice Back to the Porn Emporium in Clinton HillClinton Hill: Residents glad to see Tamboril Latin restaurant replacing a porn emporium, assuming the space is properly sanitized. [Clinton Hill Blog] An Italian restaurant with an exposed-brick interior will open in the space next to Joseph Tyler Salon on Myrtle Avenue. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Coney Island: Not all attendees of Nathan’s hot-dog binge yesterday were there to bask in the gluttony of the contest; costumed protesters encouraged meat eaters to “Give Peas a Chance.” [Gowanus Lounge]
Flatiron: Pixar’s latest film got you hungry? Borough Food & Drink is among the city’s restaurants now serving ratatouille, and its version is topped with cheese from Joe’s Dairy. [NYDN]
Gowanus: The 60-year-old Italian-foods market on President Street has closed and may make way for a café from the owners of neighboring Canal Bar. [Gowanus Lounge]
Gramercy: Ian Schrager’s high-end Asian restaurant Wakiya in the Gramercy Park Hotel is now taking reservations from July 24 onward. [Eater]
Harlem: From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Uptown Vets will host this month’s man-and-beast coffee mingle at St. Nick’s Dog Park. [Uptown Flavor]
Prospect Park: The Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket accepts credit cards. [NYT]
Ask a Waiter
Tamica Gazson Serves Hot Dogs to Freaks at Nathan’s FamousWith the annual battle for the Mustard Belt (well, the fake Mustard Belt, anyway) set for tomorrow, our thoughts turn once again to Coney Island, which poet Federico García Lorca called “The Landscape of the Vomiting Multitudes.” We hope there will be no urges contrary to swallowing (as the Major League Eating rulebook puts it) tomorrow, and you’ll want to hit the original Nathan’s Famous stand on Surf and Stillwell — in which case nursing student and trusty counterperson Tamica Gazson will be there to dog you.
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]
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.
Back of the House
Sbarro Disappears Into the Corporate MawGiven how generic and fast food–y Sbarro is, news that the Long Island–based chain was just bought by a private-equity firm probably isn’t breaking too many hearts. But believe it or not, the Sbarro family has owned and operated the business for the last 50 years; it now joins Nathan’s, Blimpie’s, Carvel, and a growing number of other New York–area businesses run as franchise “brands” from a central office. At this rate, we could be seeing Carnegie Delis and Momofukus in food courts across the country. Or perhaps we’re just lapsing into fantasy again.
MidOcean Partners Announces Agreement to Acquire Sbarro, Inc. [New York dBusiness News]