"Designed by an 'intrepreneurial' team of young Taco Bell executives in a 'secret war room' at the chain’s Irvine, Calif.-based headquarters, the new [fast-casual taco] concept is nothing like the mothership brand — except that tacos are on the menu…. The project has been led by Jeff Jenkins, Taco Bell senior brand manager and 'resident disrupter,' who is also leading the company’s mobile ordering initiative…. Deciding to 'zig while everyone else zagged,' the team decided to take 'the best of American cuisine and put it into a taco,' he said." —The only missing elements [...]
"The size and racial makeup of a city, the price of a meal and even the weather can skew the quality and quantity of online restaurant reviews, according to the first large-scale academic study to analyze how outside factors affect crowd-sourced review sites."
Will one of these items capture the particular combination of culinary gimmickry and inexplicable desirability that turns it into the next ludicrous obsession which even people whose friends refer to them as "foodies" without derision will stand on line through inclement weather for hours to procure simply so they can broadcast their consumption on Instagram or Twitter, thus somehow providing themselves with a temporary respite from the constant crushing concern that their lives lack any value or meaning? I dunno, probably.
"[R]ight now, if I had to wager on what might be the next pork belly or kale salad, I'd put my chips on bologna," says David Chang.
"Citing kitchen trends at the high end of residential real estate, companies say homeowners are buying oversize pots and pans to sit on their oversize professional cooktops in oversize kitchens."
"The Hat may not have been a great restaurant—apart from its excellent name—but for a long time it was a necessary one. It was a place where a poor twentysomething with $40 in his pocket could eat and drink like a king on a Friday night, and, for one hour, not think too badly of the way New York was treating him."
Oh thank God: "For those who didn't get to sample the meaty menu item, KFC is offering one more chance: Starting April 21, the Double Down will return to the fast-food chain." In case you have forgotten, the definitive review of that, uh, foodstuff, appeared here four years ago.
Is East Village roastbeefaria This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef closed for good? That would be a shame, there are so many memories from our early days as a food vertical.
You are not gonna believe this either, but it turns out that there are actually places in Midtown where you can get a salad for six bucks.
In what the city's Law Department is calling "a win for the community" around Union Square, the state's highest court has ruled that "the Parks Department can move ahead with a plan to allow a seasonal restaurant to open in the park's recently renovated northern pavilion." This is not just a victory for those who live in the neighborhood; it is a boon to any hungry traveler whose desperation for sustenance is so strong that they cannot venture out to one of the dozen other options that are literally within eyeshot of the food desert that is the north end of the square. This will be especially welcome [...]
"Managers, hosts, waiters, sommeliers, chefs and cooks care about their place when they have no immediate plans to bolt…. But today, eatery employees seem not to respect even their bosses. Many start a new gig with an exit strategy already in mind. One unmentionable reason: The legal crackdown on 'management' employees (which can mean just about anything) misappropriating tips from lowlier staffers makes it harder to make the bucks that some once took as their due. In the new climate, all it takes is the hint of a better deal elsewhere to lure them out the door." —Service at city bistros is worse now that higher-ups don't have as many [...]
"A clever barista turned the Astor Row Cafe’s 'B' rating into a more desirable offering, mixing it with some ingredients from the alphabet to serve up 'brunch.'" —This is great, except for the part where I'm going to hear it as "bee-runch" in my head from now on, and also I guess the part about the "evidence of mice or live mice." I mean, I'm not saying I live in conditions that are any better. It's New York, there's always something creeping around there in the dark. [Photo via]
• "It’s about control, especially for millennials. They want the ability to customize and control what’s happening to the food that’s being prepared. They want it the way they want it."
• "It’s about flavor distribution. If you order a deli tossed salad you put dressing on it and the dressing distributes over 50 percent of it, and you end up stabbing a cherry tomato."
• "It’s nice because it’s something you can’t do at home. You’d have to buy so many ingredients it’s just not possible.” —"The ceaseless chop of the curved two-handled blade known as a mezzaluna provides the background music for lunch in Manhattan these days." [...]
Would your apartment pass the city's restaurant inspection test? Of course not. You live in filth and even if you make an effort at tidying up every now and again the fact remains that here in New York City a thin layer of doody covers all, even the actual doody you do your best to step over as you move around town. Your surfaces play host to an orgy of bacteria, where the grossest of germs satiate their sick desires in a frenzy of deviant pathogenic passion. At night when you sleep the rats and roaches come out and dance a dervish of delight on your countertops as [...]
"As much as you strategize or you think that you're going to define yourself, ultimately you get defined, whether it's by the press or by the… public. And a lot of your calculation is meaningless. You become what you become."
"Different cuisines encounter different problems. Many Asian restaurants cook enormous batches of rice, which sit around too long for the department’s liking. LGC recommends they cook rice in smaller batches, to better regulate its temperature. Elizabeth Meltz, Mario Batali’s food safety overseer, told the New York Times that she has dealt with inspectors who seemed unfamiliar with kimchi, which is literally spoiled cabbage but safe to eat. Raw fish is an issue in Japanese restaurants, as is glove wearing, or the lack thereof. Many chefs refuse to wear them, though they are required to, because the latex taste gets into the fish and it’s hard to do fine knife work [...]
"He was a 'happy-go-lucky' guy who was notorious for spicing up life on benefits in the medieval Belgian town of Ghent by strolling into a restaurant, calmly ordering lobster washed down with the finest brandy or some other gastronomic delight and then walking out without paying the bill." You'll never believe what happened next!
"They may be the most pampered chickens on the planet. On certain days, a truck pulls up alongside their quiet, spacious coop on an Amish farm here and delivers a feast that seems tailored to a flock of two-legged aristocrats. Before long, the rust-colored birds are pecking away at vegetable peelings and day-old bread from some of Manhattan’s most elegant restaurants, like Per Se, Daniel, Gramercy Tavern, the Modern and David Burke Townhouse."