Chain Restaurants Are Where It’s At!Ed Levine, over at Serious Eats, raises a good point today in his spirited defense of Houston’s: Why is everyone so down on chain restaurants? Easy Ed basically recaps a good meal he had at Houston’s, but we actually think he could have gone a lot further. Essentially every restaurant should aspire to be a chain restaurant, and every restaurant does.
Rayuela Brings More Brunch to the LESDumbo/Fulton Ferry: Friday night at Rebar promises “free partial-nude drawing.” [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: Simone on First Avenue is closed, but let’s pray not for good. [Down by the Hipster]
Lower East Side: Rayuela has launched a weekend brunch with arepas and poached eggs, churros and Mayan chocolate, and guanabana mimosas plus live salsa music Sundays. [Grub Street]
Midtown West: Just when you thought he’d had enough of the limelight, Rocco DiSpirito will be the guest chef tomorrow at the Condé Nast cafeteria. [Eater]
Times Square: Ruby Tuesday will sidle up next to Red Lobster but may fare better with New York diners thanks to “fully upholstered chairs.” [Lost City]
Williamsburg: New fro-yo destination /eks/ whips up fresh organic yogurt and incorporates recycling holes into its cartoon-covered walls. [Gridskipper]
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New ‘Tenderloin District’; the Thai’s Bitchin' in Hell’s KitchenThis week in the news you can use, you’ll find guides to everything from sports grub to beets, plus an argument for why size matters.
• On the heels of Planet Thailand’s move to Chelsea, a roundup of chili-deploying joints in Hell’s Kitchen. [NYT]
• Ravioli and pierogies with beets sexify the “sturdiest of root vegetables.” [NYDN]
• Swear off Peter Luger after Alan Richman’s thrashing? Check out the new “tenderloin district” around Penn Station. [AMNY]
• Grub for sports fans, including all-you-can-eat wings at Blondies. That’s right — they went there. [AMNY]
• Size does matter: gems like the Little Owl versus trendy juggernauts (hello, Hawaiian Tropic Zone). [MUG]
• We’re also psyched about Ruby Tuesday: Chains like Japan’s grill-it-yourself-joint Gyu-Kaku and tofu-cheesecake purveyor Kyotofu to take Manhattan. [TONY]
Restaurant Chain to Culturally Cheapen NYC, Finally
If you’re like us, you’ve long awaited the 10,000 square feet of pure, unadulterated Ruby Tuesday slated to land in Times Square come April 2007. But you’re probably not like us. Since the restaurant will be an outpost of the kind of generic, corporate family chain to which New Yorkers are said to be most averse, the place is bound to take its lumps next year. But there’s a good reason we’re soft on these cheery mega-eateries.