Where Padma Eats Cheap in New YorkTangy Tart Hot & Sweet. That’s the name of model turned Top Chef dictatress Padma Lakshmi’s new cookbook, and that’s just how she behaved before swooning fans last night at her Strand book signing. After donning “serious” glasses to read food-related mini-memoirs from the book, she told the crowd that saying “Please pack your knives and go” to Top Chef’s weekly loser was “the hardest part of my job” … and divulged that men often ask her to say it to them in a dominatrix-y sort of way. (“It creeps me out!” she insisted.) She said the show had knocked down any remaining foodie limits she might have had: “I’ll put anything in my mouth once.” Oh, Padma!
New Orleans, New York, New RestaurantNew Orleans, New York: They both start with the word “new.” But recently, there seems to an even greater affinity between the cities. Earlier this week, we mentioned the (now booked) Southern Foodways Alliance party happening Thursday night at 5 Ninth, where N.O. chefs will team up with our own Zak Pelaccio for a free-that’s-right-free culinary blowout. Last night, meanwhile, Brooklyn welcomed a new Louisiana-themed restaurant, NoNO Kitchen, to Park Slope. Greg Tatis, a veteran of Paul Prudhomme’s kitchen, opened the place just blocks down from the N.O.-themed Two Boots on Seventh Avenue — close enough for the untethered tots that crowd the latter to wander on down and check out former before their parents even look up from their bloody Marys. But we digress. NoNo will serve a limited menu until Monday, when they roll out the gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, and other bayou standards.
NoNO Kitchen, 293 Seventh Ave., nr. 7th St.; 718-369-8348
Text Messaging to Improve Midtown Worker-Drone Efficiency?
It’s not unusual for aggressive handbill men to slap flyers into our palms outside the Grub Street offices. But to actually try out a company whose ad we’ve just been handed — that’s positively extraordinary. Today, the unthinkable happened: We used Mobo, a new text-ahead restaurant service, whose handout has been sitting on our desk, to order lunch.
After creating an account with our credit card — this took about an hour to dope out — we found a participating nearby eatery, Two Boots at Rockefeller Center. (Mobo’s 25 participating restaurants all cluster in office areas.) We then ordered a small “Newman” pizza on our phone, via text message, while walking over that way. And sure enough, the food was waiting for us at pickup, already paid for. Mobo had actually worked, lending the smallest bit of convenience to the chaos that is our lunch hour. Of course, it would’ve been even easier if we’d just had something delivered.
Meanwhile, we await the day when someone figures out a way for us to digest lunch electronically. Then we’ll finally have a paperless office.