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Reopening Goes Widespread

From the Editor: Everything you missed in food news last week

A crowd of people stands, maskless, inside a Deep Ellum bar
A bar in Dallas in May
Kathy Tran

This post originally appeared on May 30, 2020 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.

Let’s just hop right into the news of the food world.

— “Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail.” — the owner of a Bangladeshi/Indian restaurant in Minneapolis upon learning his restaurant was damaged during protests this week.

— Reopening: To keep track of all states, here’s a handy guide, with notable reopenings of bars in Vegas yesterday and casinos next week, dining rooms in Orange County and Los Angeles, patios in D.C., and food trucks in Philadelphia. Also Dallas readers should note soba destination Tei-An is back in business.

— Permanent closures: Brendan Sodikoff’s California Clipper in Chicago, Vivian Howard’s The Boiler Room in North Carolina, Hakkasan in SF, and ~63 locations of middling office lunch chain Le Pain Quotidien.

— The House passed changes to the Paycheck Protection Program loans that would make them way more suitable to restaurants. The Senate gets the next crack at it (or a similar-ish bill).

San Francisco and D.C. will allow restaurants to take over streets, parking lots, and sidewalks for outdoor dining and New Orleans’ mayor is considering similar measures.

— Immigrant-run restaurants, like Oakland’s Vietnamese restaurantsand Houston’s West African restaurants are especially vulnerable right now due to racist lending practices, communication gaps, and a dependence on informal networks.

— Here’s what it looked like out in the bars in Dallas last weekend, and here’s a pretty concerning pool party in Houston.

— What it feels like on the ground for Vegas hospitality workers.

Yellow in Navy Yard combines French baking techniques with Middle Eastern ingredients
Baked goods from Yellow in D.C.
Scott Suchman/For Yellow

— Big congrats to all the James Beard Media Award winners, especially to my colleagues Carla Francescutti and Murilo Ferreira for their video series Handmade and Meghan McCarron and Gary He for their coverage of food on the campaign trail.

— Naomi Pomeroy, Marc Vetri, and Wes Avila are opening restaurants in the upcoming Kyoto ACE Hotel.

— Three places that make me sad I don’t live in the D.C. area (a novel feeling for me): Bammy’s, a new Navy Yard restaurant that serves jerk chicken, Yellow, a new cafe and bakery selling Middle Eastern-inspired pastries and sandwiches nearby, and the Little Miner Taco truck, which is struggling to keep up with demand for its quesabirria in Maryland.

— How credit card companies have altered their dining points rewards strategy to keep high-end customers.

— I often flip through the BraveTart cookbook, get intimidated, and just make the brownies again. But this rec from Adam Moussa is giving me the resolve to give something else a try.

— I bet many of you could benefit from Elazar’s piece about proper fridge organization (especially the inventory list idea).

— Portuguese restaurant chefs were finally coming into their own. But will the loss of tourists kill their momentum?

This week on the podcast

Daniel and I talk to Robert Sietsema, tireless food critic and restaurant-lover, about how he’s been dining out consistently during the pandemic (here’s a dish-by-dish rundown). Then we talk about the biggest food stories of the week.

Off Eater

  • A black restaurateur in Minneapolis on why he closed his restaurant in solidarity with the protestors and put a George Floyd burger on his menu. [Bon App]
  • Beautiful piece connecting the history of the Silk Road, the Muslim contribution to Chinese culture, and the problematic promotion of conformity — all through the lens of food in Xi’an. [T]
  • How the evolution of yogurt trends over the decades in America offers a glimpse into the ingredients, diets, and narratives people were buying into at the time. []
  • This is a good thread by the owner of Providence restaurant North about the inherent problem with putting businesses that value safety at a financial disadvantage by allowing reopenings (and maybe also about the viability of restaurants at all). [@foodbynorth]
  • The mixed six pack is the new way to sell wine. [Punch]

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