Posts for April 24, 2012

What You Missed at Jen Carroll’s Pop-Up: Jon Gosselin and Spike Mendelsohn

Jen Carroll

Life After Top Chef cameras were indeed rolling last night when Jen Carroll took over the reigns at Mémé for her one-night-only Concrete Blonde pop-up. Carroll turned out a handful dishes to give the crowd of 40 or so friends and family a taste of what to expect from her forthcoming solo effort, which still doesn’t have a home. We hear that the black bass with spring vegetable ragout, potato espuma, and carrot buerre monte was to die for. Fellow 10 Arts alum and rock star pastry chef Monica Glass chipped in with chocolate peanut butter ice cream sandwiches and assorted petit fours. Still the question tha was on everyone’s lips was: What was “professional nobody” Jon Gosselin doing there?

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Moo: A Brief History of Mad Cow Disease in the U.S.

You won't like us when we're angry.Photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Today, USDA officials confirmed the country's latest instance of mad cow disease. The cow in question was discovered at a rendering facility in central California, and its meat didn't enter into the food chain, and the USDA says we're safe — which is good news for people who buy Steak-umms. So we're probably okay for the time being, since of course this isn't even the first time an infected cow's been found on U.S. soil. Let's take a look back ...

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Bob Brady Begins His Week-Long ‘Food Stamp Challenge’

Congressman Bob Brady learns his grocery haul exceeds $35Photo: Courtesy Karen Warrington

Congressman Bob Brady, whose First Congressional District is one of the nation’s hungriest and neediest, took on the “Food Stamp Challenge.” Yesterday he, Mayor Michael Nutter and State Senator Vincent Hughes began the seven-day trial. For the rest of the week each of politicians will subsist only on the amount of food that the average food stamp benefit can pay for. And that works out to a measly $5 a day. Brady, Nutter and Hughes are participating in the challenge to raise awareness about the importance of food stamps (now called SNAP), and the difficulties that those who depend on them to feed their families face everyday. The challenge comes a week before the controversial asset test for SNAP recipients goes into effect, and ultimately disqualifies thousands of low-income families from receiving food assistance.

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New Lawsuit Reveals the World’s Grossest Meat Product Is Probably Steak-umms

Um...

And here we thought pink slime was bad. Turns out that stuff pales (heh) in comparison to Steak-umms, which the name alone should tell you is bad news. For the uninitiated, Steak-umms are not dog food, but are instead kind of like a frozen DIY Philly cheesesteak. But in a trademark-infringement suit this week that pitted Steak-umms owners against a South Philly cheesesteak and pizza shop named Steak 'Em Up, the ugly truth of the mass-produced sandwich steak was revealed. And the details are pretty bleak.

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Heart Attack Grill Owner Delighted That Diners Keep Heading to the Hospital

Doing America proud.

Up until now, it's been difficult to believe all that garbage from the self-helpy The Secret claiming that whatever you put out into the universe comes back to you. But strangely, it rings true in Las Vegas, of all places. The local Heart Attack Grill outpost watched another customer go down this weekend from health issues that hit in the middle of their meal, necessitating a trip to the hospital. The trauma follows fast on the thick calves of an incident here in February, where paramedics had to come between a customer and his "Triple Bypass Burger" after he had a heart attack at the restaurant, which promotes pure lard-cooked "flatliner fries" and "Quadruple Bypass Burgers" packing 10,000 calories. Today, the L.A. Times shares a few words from the owner, Joe Basso, who couldn't sound more thrilled about another customer falling unconscious while drinking a margarita and smoking this past Saturday.

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Meet the Multidimensional Drive-Thru of Tomorrow

Not actually the drive-thru of tomorrow.Photo: Christopher Tompkins/iStockphoto

What are the best minds in fast food thinking about? "The drive-thru as an incredible opportunity to innovate," that's what. That's according to a report from Big Red Rooster, which is not itself a fast-food chain, but is a "multidimensional brand experience firm" (rough translation: consultants) that helps fast-food chains, er, we mean "quick-service restaurants," get their act together better. In the scary/fascinating world they conjure up, what is now an "impersonal, drive-around-back experience" could become a multimedia phantasmagoria of sensation and delight guaranteed to increase your loyalty to Scream-a-Burger or Taco Wowzo. Here's how.

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Raven Lounge Did Not Burn Down Yesterday

Smoke rising up over 17th and Walnut last night.Photo: Holly Keefe

Contrary to what was reported, blogged, tweeted and repeated around town yesterday afternoon and into the evening, Center City’s Raven Lounge did not burn down. In fact the Center City bar and club was open for business last night, once the fire department had cleared out after extinguishing the fire that struck Raven’s neighbor, the former home of Genji and Kyngo Japanese restaurants, and the apartments above it, NBC Philly reports. Though firefighters were in and out of the club repeatedly to gain access to the properties that were engulfed in flames next door, miraculously the building did not suffer any fire, smoke or water damage. Still, the Raven Lounge’s website could use a little sprucing up. It’s still promoting St. Patrick’s day shenanigans. [NBC Philly; Metro]

Pinkberry Heads to India

Pinkberry, the frozen-yogurt chain that has proven surprisingly resilient, will soon be opening its first location in India, a country that many people say could soon become the world's largest growth market for restaurants. (That honor currently belongs to China.) Nation's Restaurant News says India is the eighteenth country that will house a Pinkberry, which currently has spots in far-flung places like Kuwait and Peru. And would it surprise you to learn that Starbucks is eying India, too? No, we bet it would not. [NRN]

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