This post originally appeared on March 9, 2019, 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.
I’m in Austin for a quick 48-hour trip to participate in Vox Media’s SXSW events (and hopefully consume many tacos). Yesterday I spoke with Iz Harris onstage about her (incredible) new Eater show Travel, Eat, Repeat and then with Nightshade chef Mei Lin about the inspirations behind her many dishes, including her famous congee (which is extremely delicious). Today I’ll be talking to recent Top Chef alum Nini Nguyen about the cuisine of New Orleans.
On my hit list this visit: Veracruz, Carpenter Hall, Better Half, Nickel City, Holy Roller, Domo Alley-Gato, all of the things at the Line.
This has been a big week in the world of restaurant news (see below!) but my head is mostly in the world of travel. Iz’s travel show, my travel to Austin and how to prioritize my dining, and crucially, this big new travel hub the team launched this week alongside our massive guide to Taipei. We’ve been commissioning and building out maps and guides to dining destinations around the globe for years now and brought on a full time travel editor Lesley Suter last year, but it wasn’t until this week that we organized everything we do in one, well organized place. I think it’s a useful tool but also inspiring for those who don’t know where they want to go. And it’s pretty! Kudos to the team.
Let’s get into it. I need to leave my hotel room so I can spend more time eating and less time typing.
- Intel: Sqirl’s Jessica Koslow revealed the East Hollywood address for her new takeout spot Sqirl Away; Dave Chang’s Majordomo is coming to Vegas; author and television host Samin Nosrat announced her new cookbook; the Michelin Guide will return to LA after an almost decade-long break as part of a California guide (brought to you by the state’s tourism board); Mario Batali is finally divesting from his restaurants; lauded Atlanta barbecue spot B’s Cracklin’ suffered a major fire; failed startup Munchery owes $6 million to small business owners it never paid and customers with unredeemed gift cards; New York CIty politicians are fighting the Health Department’s ban on CBD-laced food; a reservation mix-up at Alinea brought out the worst in celeb chef Cat Cora and (to a lesser degree but ... still) co-owner Nick Kokonas; Nancy Silverton will open an Italian steakhouse called The Barish in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel next winter; Chicago’s Au Cheval opened in New York this week, drawing massive waits for its famous burger; beloved Austin food truck Veracruz All Natural is being kicked out of its original location; Philadelphia outlawed cashless operations; New York institution Moishe’s Bake Shop closed suddently; and Curtis Stone will open a restaurant in Dallas with the owners of upscale Le Bilboquet.
- How indie food book sellers are faring (not terribly!) in the age of Amazon.
- From this week’s Life in Chains: “McChicken sandwiches tasted nothing like the Vietnamese food we knew, but they achieved something magical by being at once warm, filling, and cheap. There was a thrill in feeling so full after spending so little.”
- If you are going to SXSW, you’ll need this guide (also come say hi).
- Interest in unionizing is growing among food-service workers.
- Credit card points obsessive Dan Frommer lays out how to get the most for your restaurant spending.
- A very helpful guide to understanding the dining options at the intense and overwhelming new New York development Hudson Yards.
- Watch: two different approaches to cooking the most underrated cut from a cow.
- How to make your home look like super on trend LA hotspot Bavel.
This Week on the Podcast
This week on the podcast, Dan and I discuss February’s best food stories, including Delta and Diet Coke’s questionable airplane napkins, the Michelin Guide’s California expansion, Martha Stewart’s new line of cannabis products for pets, and the new trend of throwing cheese at your baby for instagram laughs.
- A beautiful profile of chef Niki Nakayama, of LA kaiseki destination n/naka, and her challenging path towards personal and professional recognition. [New Yorker]
- Resy might be sold soon. [Recode]
- The annual New York Times Magazine music issue is always a favorite. I found the initial essay about Springstein especially poignant: “To live a long enough life in a place founded, in part, on violence and volatility is to know that long life may depend on someone else walking through a door you wanted no part of.” Also lol ‘Baby Shark’. [NYTMag]
- Crunching the numbers of all the Uber-For-X companies and why so many fail to make an impact [The Atlantic]
- Brett Martin on chef and activist Tunde Wey: “...if there’s a model for Wey’s short, incendiary career, it is Kaepernick, whose most radical transgression has been to blast away the notion that sports can be simply a realm of mindless escape. Wey wants to do the same for food.” [GQ]
- José Andrés, who is helping Venezuelans in need right now, spoke about his abusive mother and his struggles with fatherhood on the Death, Sex and Money podcast. [NPR]
- Raise your hand if you believe Joe Bastianich when he says he “just wasn’t around” Mario Batali and his restaurant group during the last decade because he was too busy filming MasterChef. [NYT]
Take care, enjoy the weekend, and if you like this newsletter, please forward it to a friend.