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New York City’s Best Cookie Could Be Headed to a City Near You

Plus, the House of Representatives contends with the fight for $15 this week, and more food news to start your day

two voluminous and large cookies by levain bakery
Levain Bakery’s chocolate-chip walnut cookie and dark-chocolate chocolate-chip cookie.
Photo: Gary Wong/Flickr

New York City’s best cookie could be coming to a city near you

It’s an undisputed fact that Levain Bakery cookies are some of the best in New York City: they’re huge, clocking in at six ounces; they’re textured, with incredible height and craggy peaks; and, when eaten warm, as is the only correct cookie temperature, they’re melt-in-your-mouth delicious, easily breaking open to reveal deep pockets of liquid chocolate within a soft and tender interior.

Since the first Levain opened on the Upper West Side in 1995, New Yorkers and tourists alike have had to endure lines that can stretch out the door — a problem slightly alleviated by the opening of two additional locations in Manhattan, and one out in Wainscott, East Hampton — for their fix of the iconic cookie. But by 2020, the bakery tells Grub Street, Levain could be going national, with Boston, D.C., and Chicago “under consideration” following the opening of a few more New York City outposts, including an Upper East Side location this week.

The plans for national expansion are made possible by an investment from private-equity firm Stripes Group, which has backed other food-sector brands like Blue Apron and Grubhub. After two decades of a slow-but-steady rise, Levain co-owner Pam Weekes tells Grub Street that it’s time to grow faster and more aggressively. Should this all go according to plan, perhaps there’s a future in which there are as many Levain Bakeries as there are late-night favorite Insomnia Cookies populating mid-sized cities and college towns across America.

And in other news…

  • Nearly seven years ago, New York City fast-food workers walked out on their jobs to demand higher pay. This week, the House of Representatives will vote to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour — and it’s expected to pass. [CNN]
  • Nestle has found a way to make chocolate with no added sugar. [Bloomberg]
  • A DoorDash customer claims to have opened up his carton of freshly delivered ribs, only to find that two of the six ribs were gone, and some of the remaining ones has bite marks in them. [Vice]
  • Those deep-fried tempura flakes that add a delightful crunch to sushi rolls have recently been known to spontaneously combust, with the potential to cause restaurant fires. [NYT]
  • A man in New Jersey is suing TGI Fridays for leaving drink prices off the menu, which he says resulted in him ordering a $5 beer and a $3 soda that were pricier than he expected. [The Takeout]
  • Air France’s newest chef partner for business- and first-class meals is Daniel Rose of the Michelin-starred Le Coucou, because of course even French airplane food is fancy. [Forbes]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]