Starbucks Closes for Training, Dunkin’ Hopes to Benefit; Late-Night Eating NotEvery Starbucks location in the country will be closed from 5:30 to 8:30 this evening, and Dunkin’ Donuts is sure to reap the benefits by offering small espresso drinks for 99 cents. [Snack]
Though restaurants seem to be recession-proof, consumers’ budgets and diets are not. Soaring food prices — milk costs 36 percent more now than it did a year ago — have some New Yorkers changing their grocery habits and eating out less. [NYDN]
Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a proposal yesterday to give 1,000 new licenses to street vendors who will sell produce items in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and heart disease. [Metro NY]
Sarah Jessica Parker Will Be Watching the Vendies Last week we aired Chris Noth’s lament about the corporatization of the city. Turns out his Sex and the City co-star Sarah Jessica Parker is also looking out for the little man. During Ralph Lauren’s recent 40th-anniversary party, Parker told our reporter Amy Odell that she loved the magazine’s “Street Fare” feature. “I’ll eat anything if it’s off of a cart,” she confessed — her favorite being a Middle Eastern one on Sixth Avenue somewhere between 47th and 55th. So she’s not worried about hygiene? “I think they’re actually pretty vigilant about it,” she said. “They’ve got these business men standing in line for three hours to get their lunch … and you don’t hear a lot of reports about intestinal issues.” As for her favorite eatery that isn’t on wheels, she admits, “I don’t know how to pronounce it correctly. S-F-O?” Is this how one of the girls ended up at El Cantinero and not Il Cantinori in that episode?
Related: Street Fare [NYM]
Back of the House
Handicapping the Vendies
The Vendy Awards, a.k.a. the Homeless Beards, are upon us again, and the finalists for Street Vendor of the year have just been announced. As at the Beards, a familiar cluster of luminaries dominates the nominations. These are not necessarily the very best carts going, but the ones whose years of service and body of work has earned them a high reputation among sidewalk gastronomes. The nominees, and our handicapping, are below.
In the Magazine
This Week, We Keep It Street
You might be interested to know that your morning coffee was marked up 1,000 percent by the street vendor who just sold it to you. It’s just one of many fascinating tidbits in “Cartography,” a complete road map to New York City street food. Though Grub Street has previously selected its top five favorite carts, this week’s issue goes all out, not only ranking the city’s best twenty carts but also offering a glimpse into the daily experiences of street vendors. If the feature doesn’t sell you on the guts and glory of sidewalk cuisine, well, fine then — Rob and Robin have singled out several more conventional restaurants to look forward to this summer.