Posts for January 16, 2013

Volunteers Rescue 1,000 Restaurant-Bound Cats From Delivery Truck in China

The back of the truck in Changsha.Photo: Reuters

More than four dozen animal lovers in China sprang into action earlier this week when they heard that a truck freighted with more than 1,000 cats on their way to be sold to restaurants had become disabled after a traffic accident on a Changsha highway on Monday.

Twenty-five cats kept in a tiny cage. »

Circles Thai Hosting Beer Pairing Dinners In South Philly and NoLibs

Circles Thai in NoLibs

The South Philly location of Circles Thai, and its sister spot in NoLibs are simultaneously hosting beer pairing dinners on January 30. East Passyunk Avenue’s Bottle Shop is supplying the suds for the meal that’s going to be served at the old original location at 15th and Tasker streets, and the Foodery’s North Second Street outpost will handle the selection of brews for the dinner that’s happening in that neck of the woods. The five-course menus will be identical, but the beers offered will be totally different. Both spots will have two seatings at 6 and 8 p.m. The cost is $50 per person, or $45 for parties with four or more guests. Tickets for the dinners are being sold here for South Philly, and here for NoLibs. Keep reading to check out the menus and beers that will be served.

Read more »

Strangelove or: How We’ll All Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the New Bar From Memphis Taproom’s Owners

Anyone remember Blue Bear Tavern?

Brendan Hartranft and Leigh Maida have settled on Strangelove’s as the name of their next venture, the re-imagining of the space at 216 S. 11th Street that previously housed The Butcher & The Brewer, and before that The Boliermaker, The Blue Bear Tavern, and at one time, Doc Watson’s. The Insider reports that the name has nothing to do with Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 masterpiece, so don’t expect to find a mural of Slim Pickens straddling an a-bomb anywhere inside when it opens. However what we can all count on is two floors, two bars, 18 taps, two beer engines, a solid menu (they’re looking for a chef), and a space for private parties. Mid-March is still the target for an opening. [Insider]

Earlier: Memphis Taproom Owners Take On the Shuttered Butcher & The Brewer Space

Shockers: Nutrition Crusaders Say Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, Others Are Palaces of Fat

Just got home from dinner.Photo: istockphoto

Last year, Men's Health anointed the Cheesecake Factory's Bistro Shrimp Pasta, a carb-y tangle of pasta and crispy shrimp awash in cream sauce, America's most gut-bustingly disgusting meal. Now the Center for Science in the Public Interest named it to their list of Xtreme Eating “dis-honorees” — they estimate that the sodium-soaked batter platter is 3,120 calories. That's three Olive Garden lasagnas! Also on CSPI's black list: Johnny Rocket's bacon-cheddar double burger, IHOP's country-fried steak 'n eggs, and Maggiano's veal porterhouse. But if their goal is outrage, they're x-tremely misguided.

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Coke Bust Shuts El Wingador Out of Wing Bowl

El Wingador with Wing Bowl in his rear-view.

For the first time since Wing Bowl’s inception 15 years ago, five-time champion Bill “El Wingador” Simmons won’t be on hand for the annual binge, purge and stripper-ogling extravaganza when the whole mess unfolds on February 1. And you better believe that the big coke bust back in June that netted the golden-mulleted professional glutton has everything to do with his wings being clipped. Angelo Cataldi, morning host on 94 WIP, which sponsors the gorge-fest, told Daily News columnist Dan Gross that Wingador’s presence at competitive eating contest “could invite negativity that we don't want.” Always the class act, Cataldi added, “There will never be a time when I don't acknowledge his benefit" to Wing Bowl. [Philly Gossip]

Earlier: El Wingador Busted For Coke

Better Boozing: Twelve Bartender-Approved Secret Cocktail Ingredients

And your hangover will be extra fancy, too.

Building out a great home bar is a long-game prospect: It takes time to prune a respectable collection of first-string spirits and mixing gear. But once you’re suited up with all the strapping English gins, malty genevers, chewy mezcals, and rare whiskeys your Ikea shelving unit can handle, what then? In the service of ambitious amateur cocktail savants everywhere, we asked a dozen bartenders to reveal the ingredients they trot out when a drink needs to go to the next level. Read on for alcoholic obscura and game-changing modifiers that will give even your simplest at-home highballs a pro-level boost.

"It smells like a truck stop ... and pours the color of death." »

Matt Levin Exits Square Peg [UPDATED]

Matt Levin

Looks like Matt Levin has left the reservation. And by reservation, we mean Square Peg, where he’s been holding down the kitchen and turning out an all American inspired menu since the restaurant opened last March. Eater says the chef confirmed his departure, but other than that is remaining mostly tight-lipped about it. A rep for Square Peg’s owners Barry Gutin and Larry Cohen are equally mum on the subject, so it’s hard to determine if the split was amicable. Once a critic’s darling, Levin’s stardom began waning when his lowbrow aspirations at Square Peg garnered just one bell from the Inky’s Craig LaBan, who had previously awarded three and four bells for his work at Adsum and Lacroix. In that dismal review, LaBan lamented Levin’s downward spiral from “gastro wunderkind” to “junk-food savant.” [Eater]

Update: Levin broke his silence via Twitter. He says: “Yes I have left square peg. It wasn't fun cooking the same food anymore but I wanted to stay with Larry and Barry so I've decided to go to back to Brûlée Catering where I'll reunite with Jean Marie Lacroix. I will get to be creative again and work with high end ingredients. I'm a passionate cook and can't wait to create some of the best food this city has seen again!!!

Michelin-Starred Chef Endorses McDonald’s McBaguette

Pierre Koffmann, the French-born chef who's received three Michelin stars for both La Tante Claire and Waterside Inn in London, loves the newest item on the McDonald's menu in France. The McBaguette, which is filled with cheese, ham, potato, lettuce, and mayo, is the company's attempt to appeal to local tastes; after the U.S., France is McDonald's most profitable market. Koffmann, who we really hope is getting paid generously for this endorsement, says he'd choose the "good bread" from McDonald's over local vendors. But shockingly, he does admit that it's "not the top bread in Paris." Michelin guide inspectors, please note. [Bloomberg]

Some of U.K. Retailer Tesco’s Hamburgers Are Actually 29 Percent Horsemeat

Not cool.

The British hypermarket chain Tesco has been selling a line of frozen hamburgers that are ostensibly made from beef, but many of those all-natural patties are actually part horse, and one recently tested sample was actually 29 percent horse meat, the Telegraph reports, citing an investigation conducted by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. In addition to burgers, meat pies and frozen lasagnas were tested, and most of these products were found to contain DNA from pigs.

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Valley Shepherd Creamery and Keven Parker Soul Food Cafe Debut at Reading Terminal Market

Valley Shepherd Creamery's New Jersey cow's milk, cave aged Nettlesome.Photo: Valley Shepherd Creamery

Two new stalls are set to debut today at Reading Terminal Market. One is Valley Shepherd Creamery, an offshoot of the Long Valley, NJ dairy of the same name. As the name implies, it will specialize in a variety of cheeses, including a farmers cheese dubbed Phresh, and mozzarella made on site. It will also be home to MeltKraft, which will offer a selection of grilled cheese sandwiches, which folks can request to be cooked with bacon or duck fat, plus several sides, like soups, salad and chips. The other new entry to the market’s roster of vendors is Keven Parker Soul Food Cafe.

Read more »

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