This post originally appeared on October 27, 2018, in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.
First up, please check out our brand-new video series, Sugar Coated, in which host Rebecca DeAngelis gets to research and develop new confections, techniques, and wild experiments in some of the country’s best bakeries, pastry kitchens, and restaurants.
Otherwise, right now I’m very much enjoying responses to the news that Mission Chinese, the renegade Sichuan restaurant/partyplace, serves what appears to be a big bowl of spicy ice — listed on the menu as “water pickles” — for $8 in Manhattan and Brooklyn (and for delivery!). (Danny Bowien swears it’s more than just flavored ice.) The reactions are better than the dish itself.
Do you think he’s trolling us all, a la Eater’s Serena Dai?
Do you think it’s end times, a la New York magazine’s Adam Platt?
Do you think this is no worse than charging for bread and butter, a la chef Dave Chang?
Do you think it’s no worse than paying for bottled water, a la Alison Roman?
I know everyone is going to want to dunk on this but...what's kakigori? I read it was "America's Hottest Dessert." https://t.co/yKMszlzgdT Don't get me wrong; I love kakigori and granita and know there's skill involved. But they're also "just" flavored frozen water. https://t.co/PheOXTnxch— Francis Lam (@Francis_Lam) October 26, 2018
Do you think it’s no different than kakigori, a la Francis Lam?
Do you think this is another sign of Bowien’s genius and his demand that a diner truly explore a dish, a la this guy on Twitter?
OR do you think they’re “misleadingly named” and “confusingly categorized,” but also a “terrific high-contrast tool to see how and from what vectors we assign value to food as a retail good!” a la Helen Rosner?
What a delight.
- Intel: How restaurants are dealing with Austin’s boil water notice; Dave Chang is opening a Noodle Bar in LA; the Line Hotel is opening a branch in Mid-Market San Francisco; Marc Vetri bought a 125-year-old butcher shop in Philly’s Italian Market; the owners of trendy New York bar Mr. Purple are opening a new bar in major D.C. development the Wharf; UberEats sees virtual kitchens as its key to explosive growth; Seattle star Renee Erickson is close to opening her Roman pizza place in the Amazon Spheres; the owner of Au Cheval will open a restaurant on top of the new massive Restoration Hardware that opened in the old Pastis space; Pim Techamuanvivit will open a large new Thai restaurant called Nari in SF’s Hotel Kabuki; Chick-fil-A ”hopes” to open in D.C.’s Dupont Circle; a popular Filipino pop-up is taking over Oakland’s Juhu Beach Club space; Junebaby chef Edouardo Jordan will open a new spot focused on heirloom and ancient grains late next month; New Orleans is getting its first non-airport Shake Shack; Justin Bieber ate a burrito like an alien; and here are some photos inside Austin’s new Bakery Lorraine.
- Restaurants aren’t doing enough for servers who stutter.
- An interview with the owner of beloved SF food bookstore Omnivore (spoiler: cookbook authors are the new celeb chefs).
- Just a reminder that Andrew Zimmern is opening a pan-Chinese 200-seat restaurant/tiki bar in a suburban mall with the son of the guy who founded Chi-Chis.
- The critics: Ryan Sutton loves Mark Ladner’s chicken parm sandwich at Pasta Flyer and doesn’t so much love New York’s first all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue spot; Robert Sietsema thinks Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski’s lukewarm bowl food needs some work; and Bill Addison is smitten with Philly standout Suraya.
- How Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat changes the rules for who gets to eat on television.
- Watch: Fishing for invasive Asian carp, which jump out of the water and into the air when agitated.
- Watch: The Meat Hook’s Ben and Brent make sausage at Olympia Provisions (and it’s pretty cool).
- Buy: a favorite baker’s favorite kitchen scale.
On the Podcasts
This week on The Upsell, Daniel and I talk to butchers, small-business owners, and Youtube stars Brent Young and Ben Turley about the wild world of sustainable meat.
And on this week’s episode of our business podcast, Start to Sale, hosts Erin and Natasha talk to Piera Gelardi. a co-founder of Refinery29, about how she had to adapt her role and strategy as her business grew.
- How an Austin barbecue restaurant owner is grappling with the temptation to sell his land to vulture real estate developers for a life-changing $5 million sum: “It makes me cry, when I’ve got to choose between my neighborhood and money.” [TM]
- Remember when those economists said Seattle’s minimum wage hike hurt most workers? They’ve changed their tune. NYT]
- Uber hopes to have food-delivery drones by 2021. [WSJ]
- In my next life I want to be a cool bookstore owner who publicly calls my landlord a “dickhead” when he raises my rent by 136%, a la Sarah McNally.
- Choire Sicha is so good he can make a blah column about personal tech within the newsroom funny and strangely profound. [NYT]
- Really enjoying this “Hungerlust” series from Culture Trip, especially the one about a Paris baker who was able to come out with the help of his naughty baguettes. [Culture Trip]
- Cookbook author J.J. Goode brings his typical self-deprecating humor to his own disability in his search for a one-armed cookbook. [Taste]
- Costco, which sells 60 million rotisserie chickens per year, is building an awe-inspiring (in the scary way!) production system to cut out the middle men. [NPR]
- The current and complex state of Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world. [Curbed]
- Saving this for the weekend when it shows up in print, but New York Times Magazine’s Candy Issue! [NYTMag]