Posts for November 27, 2012

An Offally Good Collaboration Dinner Coming to Le Virtu

C'mon, have a little heart.

Looks like we’ll never get that raincheck for the Italian autumnal cookout that Superstorm Sandy screwed us out of at Le Virtu, but next week the restaurant’s chef Joe Cicala will offer a collaboration dinner that should serve as an offally good consolation. Six chefs will prepare dishes with organs and other often overlooked parts from at least five different animals. The dinner is scheduled for December 3 with two seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m., and will cost $60. Chefs joining Cicala for the evening include Sam Jacobson, soon to exit Sycamore, Pat Cancelliere from 943, Jennifer Choplin, and Eric Paraskevas from newly opened Bainbridge Street Barrel House. Keep reading to see who is cooking what.

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Vaguely Vulgar Restaurant Name Has Chattanooga in a Tizzy

Say it three times fast.

The guys who own Aretha Frankenstein and Crust Pizza in Chattanooga are making patties from grass-fed beef, bringing in some "extraordinary" buns from Atlanta, getting liquid nitrogen to cool their milkshakes, and even installing a very large recliner in their new restaurant, called Sofa King Juicy Burger. Say that fast enough, though, and you'll realize it's a restaurant name only a 9-year-old would love. In Chattanooga, some citizens are upset by the thought of increased expletive uttering because of the still-under-construction restaurant, with one newscaster even asking, "How will this go over with locals and those looking to put down roots?" One town resident says he will stop at nothing to make sure the restaurant does not open, but no one takes him seriously because his name is Noah Vale. [HuffPo]

Stephen Starr on the Fiscal Cliff: Keep Calm and Continue Eating and Drinking

Stephen Starr might be the only person right now in the this country who isn’t worried about the fast-approaching fiscal cliff. Despite pundits and blowhards of every stripe and shade sounding the alarm that the looming forced tax increases and spending cuts will spell certain economic doom, the “King of Restaurants” said that he is “more excited now than ever.” He added that during the worst of the Great Recession, his company opened ten new restaurants, and that uncertainties about 2013’s economic outlook aren’t going to stop him from opening restaurants in Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C. Check out the full clip straight ahead.

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Supper Rolling Out Late Night Happy Hours, ‘Mostly Meatless’ Mondays, and ‘Weekend Warrior’ Brunches

Supper's Mitch PrenskyPhoto: Jason Varney

Mitch Prensky has a bunch of new weekly menu features and specials that he’s introducing at South Street’s Supper. Each week at the restaurant will now begin with a “Weekend Warrior Brunch,” served on Mondays from 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and featuring the full Supper brunch spread, plus $4 Bloody Marys. Monday evenings will feature “Mostly Meatless Mondays,” a fully vegetarian menu showcasing the season’s freshest bounty picked that day at Prensky’s Blue Elephant Farm. Tuesday will be devoted to the restaurant’s pastrami fried chicken, which Food & Wine named one of the country’s best. Wednesdays will have Scratch Biscuits, the mobile and pop-up biscuit sandwich concept that Prensky launched last summer with his wife Jen. Thursdays will offer “Blue Plate Specials,” diner-inspired comforting dinners, like meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, and pot roast. Keep reading for more details, and a sample Mostly Meatless Monday menu.

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Joe Blow: Patent Office Denies Dunkin’ Donuts’ ‘Best Coffee’ Claim

America might run on Dunkin', but that doesn't necessarily mean their coffee's any good. Boston-based coffee empire Dunkin' Donuts' petitioned to trademark the phrase "best coffee in America," but the U.S. Patent Office rejected the claim, saying it's "merely laudatory and descriptive," not patent-worthy (perhaps the office's staff prefers Starbucks?). The Dunkin-deprived folks at the Los Angeles Times also note that "insiders" can order the coffee with flavor shots, but those in New England realize that the proper way to order a DD coffee is "regulah," with sugar and cream. [LAT]

Twinkies Takeover? Tastykake Maker Is Top Contender to Bid for Hostess

Gone, but not for much longer.

That didn't take long: It's only been about a week since Hostess shut down its three dozen bakeries and put its nearly 20,000 employees on the unemployment line after mediation talks fizzled out, and a potential buyer for the brand has already emerged. The Wall Street Journal says that Flower Foods, the Georgia-based baker that last year snatched up Philadelphia’s Tasty Baking Company — makers of Tastykakes — is a top contender to make a strong bid for at least some of Hostess's assets.

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FDA Shuts Down Trader Joe’s–Associated Peanut Butter Plant

Back in September Trader Joe’s voluntarily pulled its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter from store shelves over concerns that it had sickened dozens with salmonella. Yesterday the FDA, wielding new power granted to it from last year’s food safety law, moved to shut down the New Mexico facility where the offending peanut butter was made. (The plant also made peanut butter for companies like Whole Foods and Target.) Identifying the peanut butter and other nut products processed there as a "reasonable probability" of causing serious health problems or death, the agency suspended the manufacturer Sunland Inc.’s registration. The AP says that under old rules, the FDA would have had to take Sunland to court to block it from producing or distributing food. Now the onus is on the company to prove that its facilities are clean and safe before it can resume operations. Considering FDA officials discovered dirty equipment, improper handling of ingredients, and trailers full of peanuts outside the facility that were left uncovered and exposed to rain and birds, it sounds as though they've got some work to do. [AP, Earlier]

Watch This Chinese Dishwasher Sanitize Plates Like Nobody’s Business

This video, posted on LiveLeak and YouTube yesterday, shows a super-speedy pot washer who, with his soapy squeeze bottles and trusty sanitizer (we hope) at the ready, dispenses with a stack of twentysomething dim sum plates with finesse and ease. This man and his scrubbie are keeping the dream of scullions everywhere alive. If you've ever scrubbed pots and washed dishes in a restaurant, this one's for you.

Long live the four-compartment sink. »

Grubstreet Sweeps

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Bryn Mawr Pizza See the menu

    “Pizza is alright”

    The food is alright... there honestly is no "atmosphere" since it consists of just an oven, two small tables and a television.

  • Derek's See the menu

    “Everything a restaurant should be!”

    Others talk the talk, Derek has always walked the walk.

  • Lion King See the menu

    “My other spot”

    When it comes to the generals...(chicken that is) they'll make you sign up for recruitment


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