Posts for December 11, 2012

Someone Finally Invents a Burrito-Dropping Drone

Time well spent: Some dudes put together a concept for a burrito-delivery drone. Just tell the aptly named Burrito Bomber where you are via your smartphone, then wait for hellfire your carnitas to rain down by parachute. Practical? No. Awesome? So awesome.

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Chifa Dishing Complimentary Grub During Garces’ Book Signing Saturday

Chifa’s going to be putting out a serious spread Saturday for head honcho Jose Garces’s book signing sesh on Saturday. While the Iron Chef’s there signing copies of The Latin Road Home from 4 to 6 p.m., the Peruvian-Cantonese restaurant’s chef de cuisine, Natalie Maronski, will serve bites from the Peruvian section of her boss’s book, plus some samples of new menu items. The grub's gratis, but books and cocktails come with a charge.

Japan’s Massive Tsukiji Fish Market to Close Next Year, Relocate in 2014

New York might be swimming in fake fish, but an iconic tourist destination for sushi lovers the world over, Tsukiji Fish Market, is growing. The 78-year-old bustling, chaotic, wholesale marketplace is the largest of its kind in the world, and Tokyo officials say it has outgrown its current digs (and the governor wants its centrally located real estate for other purposes). Recently they unveiled designs for a new fish market a mile and a half away in the Koto Ward that's 40 percent larger than Tsukiji at 408,000 square meters (more than 4 million square feet).

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Assault Charges Keeping West Philly Coffee Shop Closed; Someone Stole Fergie’s Bicycle

Try a little decaf, machete dude!

West Philly’s Café Cláve went dark this week, and appears to remain that way for the time being. The sudden closing of the Cuban-themed coffee shop near 43rd and Locust streets is due to co-owner Armen “Gooch” Terzian’s recent run-in with the law. West Philly Local reports that Terzian is facing charges of aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation, possession of an instrument of crime, terroristic threats and simple assault, following an incident in which he allegedly swung a machete around and spewed a torrent of racial slurs at a man who was cleaning the street outside of the cafe. He’s due in court on December 24, and there’s no word on when, or if the shop will reopen. Meanwhile, on the East side of the Schuylkill, some no-goodniks ripped off Fergie’s bicycle.

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Weight Lost: Number of Obese Kids Dropping in Some Cities

Still fat, but not quite as fat as before.

American kids are still getting way too fat — and still in alarming numbers, too. But there is some promising news: They aren’t getting quite as tubby as they were a few years ago. The New York Times reports that between 2007 and 2011, the number of obese children dropped 5.5 percent in New York, 5 percent in Philadelphia, and 3 percent in Los Angeles. Researchers were so surprised by the drop in obesity rates that they first questioned the accuracy of the numbers. What’s more, they’re not sure what’s behind the downtick. But surely far-reaching and multifaceted efforts, like those in play in Philly to rid schools of sugary drinks and fatty foods while educating kids about portion sizes and exercise, appear to be helping. [NYT, Earlier]

Jim Gaffigan on Delicious-Looking Celebrities and Being ‘the Opposite of a Vegan’

"Halle Berry looks delicious."Photo: Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan

At last night's premiere for the third season of Portlandia, there was a lot of talk of veganism and restrictive diets (SNL's Taran Killam on the Master Cleanse: "I did it for three days and shat water like you wouldn't believe"), but Jim Gaffigan, upcoming Portlandia guest star and famous opponent of Hot Pockets, had the most to say on the subject.

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Union Trust Appears to Be Down For the Count

Union Trust

Save for a Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa miracle, there appears to be nothing that will keep shuttered and under water Union Trust from surfacing from beneath its fathoms of debt. A rep for the financially troubled restaurant filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday to dismiss a request to borrow money, the Insider reports. That means that a hearing scheduled for January 8 could see the sunken steakhouse’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy converted to Chapter 7, which means complete liquidation of its assets could be in order. And that’s only the half of it.

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Hostess Drew on Pension Funds to Cover Operating Costs

Oh, Hostess. Apparently as the snack-cake maker skidded toward oblivion, the company scrapped pension contributions and used money previously earmarked for employees' retirement funds to cover operating expenses. Which, as we all now know, didn’t quite work out as far as keeping Twinkies rolling off the production line and workers working are concerned. (The Wall Street Journal says that the decision to end pension contributions was what set the stage for the standoff between the company and its unionized employees.) Rerouting pension contributions isn’t necessarily illegal, but it’s still pretty scummy. [WSJ]

Finding Grace: See the First Service at Curtis Duffy’s Restaurant, Opening Tonight

In the final installment of our video series Finding Grace: The Making of a Restaurant — chronicling the creation of Michelin-starred chef Curtis Duffy's much-anticipated Chicago restaurant Grace from gutted space to finished restaurant — we're in the kitchen on the first night of service. (Grace's official public opening is tonight, but last week's dinner for a small private party marked the first time they fed paying guests.) General manager Michael Muser admits to nerves and perfectionism, saying, "If it was up to Curtis and I, we wouldn't open for four months," but chef Duffy is confident about his team and his menu, and for the first time, he shows off one of Grace's dishes — a wagyu beef course with seasonal accompaniments including matsutake mushrooms and salsify. This is one of the country's most ambitious new restaurants, and it's your first glimpse of the food and the interior (which have been kept under wraps until now), as well as the conclusion of the story our video series has been telling since April. See it all in this seven-minute video, straight ahead.

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