Posts for November 5, 2012

Todd Carmichael’s Dangerous Grounds Premieres Tonight

Tonight’s season finale of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations leaves a huge empty crater in the vast wasteland’s barren and potholed terrain. Exactly what will fill that void remains to be seen. But one potential contender for perking up the prime-time void is Dangerous Grounds, the travelogue that traces La Colombe founder, thrill-seeker and world-record holder Todd Carmichael's global quest for the ultimate cup of coffee. It premieres tonight on Travel Channel after No Reservations wraps.

‘Spot-On’ Yanako Plays Things ‘a Shade to Safe’; Bun Bo Hue a ‘Big Bowl of Steaming Hot Goodness’ at Mekong River

• Craig LaBan makes the case for “standard but spot-on” Yanako being “a worthy addition to Manayunk,” but he laments the fact that “more than capable” chef Agus Lukito plays the sushi and authentic Thai standards “a shade too safe.” [Inquirer]

• Adam Erace came to Pennsport’s Mekong River for the soup, but stayed for, and enjoyed a “bountiful Vietnamese chicken salad ‘go gai’”; “Salmon-pink footballs” of ground spiced shrimp threaded onto sugarcane skewers; and ground beef rolls that “rocked.” The bun bo Hue delivered a “deep, meaty taste brightened with the perfumey citrus tones of lemongrass” in the “big bowl of steaming hot goodness” that he came in search of. [Courier-Post]

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Kitchen Horror Stories 2012: Eleven Ghastly Tales of Restaurant Mayhem

Get ready for more grisly stories.Photo-illustration: Drew Luster

Each Halloween, Grub Street runs a series of Kitchen Horror Stories — gruesome tales from behind the pass. (Here's last year's!) But last week, with so many chefs and owners living out actual (flooded, powerless, ingredient-spoiling) nightmare scenarios after Sandy, the mood hardly seemed right for a new set. Today, the Northeast is a long way from a full recovery, and it's tough to overstate how important it is to get out and support restaurants as they work to get running again. Even so, let this year's set of stories serve as a reminder of just how incredibly hard chefs and restaurant workers are. We can think of no other job where things like severed digits and horrible burns occur with at least some frequency — yet kitchen staffs work through them as if they were nothing, even when just reading about them would make most people squirm. See what we mean, straight ahead.

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Wahlberg Brothers Sue Burger Business Partner for Being an Idiot

Needs a meeting with H.R.Photo: Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg apparently chooses his movie roles better than his business partners: The Boston Globe reports that he's sued Edward St. Croix, who managed the family's Boston-area burger restaurant, Wahlburgers. The lawsuit alleges that St. Croix is essentially the biggest moron in the world: He did an "abysmal” job and “failed to meet even the most basic duties as business manager.”

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Bainbridge Street Barrel House Opening Later Today

Barrels of fun at Bainbridge Street Barrel House

It’s been a long and arduous journey leading up to the opening of Bainbridge Street Barrel House, the bar and restaurant from “someone that is somehow associated with Bella Vista Beer Distributors” at Sixth and Bainbridge streets that’s inspired by the time honored craft of coopering. Following more than a year’s worth of rehab efforts that included replacing walls, floors, ceilings — essentially everything — to bring the forever-vacant former Norge appliance showroom to life, it’s finally ready for its public debut today at 4 p.m. Though menu details are mostly absent, the Barrel House’s peeps sent out word that for the opening they will offer complimentary passed hors d'oeuvres, and discounts on wines by the glass, Barrel House bourbon punch, and beers from Neshaminy Creek brewing.

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Now Open: Wursthaus Schmitz, Serving Wursts and Other German Specialties at Reading Terminal Market

Wursthaus Schmitz

It seems like Wursthaus Schmitz, an extension of the venerable South Street beer hall and restaurant Brauhaus Schmitz, which put real German cooking back in the local foodiesphere, has been threatening to open at Reading Terminal Market for, like, forever. After breezing through a final inspection on Saturday, the new stall opened on the east side of the historic marketplace. Like its Brauhuas flagship, the stand will serve Chef Jeremy Nolan’s wursts, charcuterie, pretzels, salads, and other German specialties. In days to come, a full spread of hot and cold sandwiches, as well as platters will be available, too. The only downside to all of this is, Wursthaus won’t be pouring the Brauhaus’s incredible selection of German beers.

Wursthaus Schmitz, 51 North 12th Street, (215) 922-4287

Full-Service Cafeterias Cooking Again at Some Philly Public Schools

Looks appetizing, huh?

Though it’s hardly the Eatiquette model of cafeteria operations that Marc Vetri came up with, the ever embattled Philadelphia School District recently took a huge step toward improving the quality, and nutritional integrity of meals it serves to students. According to the Inky, schools began re-staffing cafeterias at 10 schools, and preparing lunches on site. During the 2010-2011 school year, the district shut down cafeteria kitchens at three-quarters of the city’s public schools in an effort to offset colossal budget shortfalls. In lieu of meals prepared on site, the district contracted with a service that trucked in pre-packaged lunches from New York. And, not surprisingly, the kids hated them, and most reportedly ended up in the trash. Just as Vetri maintains, children know, and respond to fresh-cooked meals with reputable and recognizable ingredients. There’s no doubt this is a huge improvement, but with only 10 schools’ cafeterias back in action, there’s still a long way to go. [Inquirer]

Related: Junk Food Ruining America’s Military

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