Excerpt: ‘The Hamburger: A History’How the burger rose to cultural ascendency in the new millennium after years of critique from environmentalists and anti-establishment thinkers.
Soul Food Comes to Bed-Stuy!; 2nd Avenue Deli’s Not Really KosherBedford-Stuyvesant: A “family-run seafood/soul food take-out spot” called 71.Ate has opened at 417 Nostrand Avenue, and while the fried whiting is tasty, the house-made banana pudding will definitely make you want to come back. [Eat for Victory/VV]
East Village: Ruhlman’s hosting a nose-to-tail dinner with “gut man” Chris Cosentino on Tuesday, March 4, at Astor Center. [Ruhlman]
Murray Hill/Kips Bay: Can the 2nd Avenue Deli really be called kosher if it’s open on the Sabbath? Many observant Jews, whom Frank Bruni has chatted with, say no. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Tribeca: Bouley has been denied a liquor license for his proposed Japanese restaurant and cooking school, Brushstrokes, “based on the history of the owner, having problems with the community in the past, and the way he runs his establishments.” [Eater]
Upper East Side: Mia Dona is currently BYOB until the liquor license comes through next week. [Eater]
It’s the End of the Line for SchnäckSchnäck, the Red Hook hamburger-and-hot-dog mecca that was one of our favorite additions to the Brooklyn restaurant scene — nay, to American vernacular cooking! Co-owner Harry Hawk tells us that the end is nigh, but he will not give an expiration date. We hear through the grapevine that the proximate cause of the closing is a lost lease, but having seen ever-thinning crowds over the past year, we are more likely to believe that the poor location and awful service softened the victim up for the final blow. Schnäck is a resilient entity, however, and it would not surprise us to see it pop up somewhere else; in the meantime, Schnäck burgers, or their near equivalents, will continue to be available at Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City.
Patsy Grimaldi’s Fall From Grace
Such is our reverence for Patsy Grimaldi, the pizza patriarch behind Grimaldi’s, that when we heard word, via Slice, that he had come out of retirement to cook slices at the Aviator Sports Complex at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, we immediately began saving gas money to make the trip. The place is so remote — all the way down Flatbush Avenue, just before the Marine Parkway Bridge — that you practically need to be Hernando de Soto to find it. It’s a kid’s paradise, with two NHL-size ice rinks, indoor soccer, basketball courts, and the rest. But for the unathletic children, of course, the real draw is the food court, where you can find Schnäck burgers, cheesecake from Junior’s, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory desserts, and, yes, Patsy’s pizza. Are those slices worth the epic journey?
Schnäck to Scherve Schupper, Schports FansRed Hook’s haute fast-food joint Schnäck has been popular with children and drunks since it opened. But that just won’t cut it anymore. “The neighborhood is changing and expanding,” owner Harry Hawk says, “and we have to change and expand with it.” In an effort to feed Red Hook’s new families, whom Hawk sees as “looking for and needing an affordable meal,” the eatery will be adding entrées to its menu, including steak, spareribs, chicken dinners, and other comfort-food standards. Schnäck is expanding in another way, too: The restaurant now runs a burger concession at the food court in Aviator Sports and Recreation, the new sports complex at Floyd Bennett Field — where more children and (postgame) drunks await.