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Friday, August 30, 2013

The Weekly Roundup: British Bon Bons, Beer Caramels, and Building a Better Tomato

  • NYC Tourism: bang for the buck: Victory has a thousand fathers, and the city's tourism boom is no exception. Factors behind the visitor gains in 10 of the past 12 years include improved cultural attractions, lower crime, expanded lodging, a rise of the international nouveau riche and vigorous marketing. 
  • New York City's 25 Most-Anticipated Fall Openings: Fall is absolutely the most exciting time to be a diner in New York City. Here's a guide to everything you need to know about the big fall openings this year.
  • The Great Brooklyn Vodka Experiment: In a Sunset Park warehouse that looks more like a science fair than a distillery, a fisherman, a yoga teacher, two art school grads and a machinist set out to invent the perfect vodka—just because they can.

  • Tomatoes Ripe for Improvement: “I’m 98 percent confident we can make a tomato that tastes substantially better,” said Harry J. Klee, a professor of horticultural sciences. He hopes that the fruits of his labor will be available to commercial growers within four or five years and in supermarkets a couple of years after that. 
  • Almost A Third of Travelers Choose Destinations Based on Eating Opportunities: Conducted by the travel market research firm Mandala Research and sponsored by the World Food Travel Association and other tourism organizations, the study shows that almost a third (30%) deliberately choose destinations based on the availability of activities related to local food and drink, whether it's a beer or wine festival, a farmers market, or a farm to table experience. 
  • Nudged to the Produce Aisle by a Look in the Mirror: He looked down at his grocery cart and felt quite a different tug. Inside the front of the cart, hooked onto its red steel frame, was a mirror. The mirror is part of an effort to get Americans to change their eating habits, by two social scientists outmaneuvering the processed-food giants on their own turf, using their own tricks: the distracting little nudges and cues that confront a supermarket shopper at every turn. The researchers, like many government agencies and healthy-food advocates these days, are out to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.


  • Bleecker Street Records Pushed Off Bleecker Street by Rent Increase: Bleecker Street Records, where music lovers, vinyl aficionados and NYU kids on the hunt for posters to lend their dorm rooms an air of authenticity have congregated for the last 20 years, is losing its home to a rent increase. The good news is that it’s relocating to a space nearby, on West 4th, between Sixth and Seventh.
  • Battle of the Bon Bons in the West Village: London-born Jigs Patel learned from an early age that sweets could yield high profits. This new Bleecker Street shop, like the other before it, has some of Britain's most popular snacks—like the Cadbury Flake (a top-seller), Rowntree Fruit Pastilles, and the chocolate-covered biscuits known as HobNobs. There is also Stumptown ice coffee (on tap), and also savories—like Walkers crisps (translation: chips) and Pot Noodles, Britain's own version of Cup Noodles, which comes in a Bombay Bad Boy flavor.
  • Murray's Cheese: Legendary shop coming to a Ralphs grocery near you?: Murray’s Cheese, Greenwich Village’s cathedral to the possibilities of milk, is coming to Southern California this fall, opening “stores-within-stores” at some Ralphs grocery locations. The openings are the latest in a series of cooperative ventures between Murray’s and Kroger Co., the parent company of Ralphs. Since 2008, they have opened cheese shops in more than 80 stores in 11 states. The goal, the company says, is to reach 100 stores.
  • 5 oz. Factory Opens in the Village: After nine years of serious Dairyland cravings, Manhattanite Daniel Schuman has brought the best of his home state to the West Village with 5oz. Factory. A year’s worth of lactose-curious visits to Wisconsin farms as well as micro cheesemakers and custard shops (approximately fifteen of the best around the country) inspired the menu: Tuna, short rib, and prosciutto-and-honey jam melts ooze with his finds, such as Carr Valley Mobay and Emmi Roth Gruyere.The Midwestern-style frozen custard (vanilla, chocolate, espresso, and caramel) is enough to make you swear off soft-serve. 
  • Brooklyn Confectionary Brings Unique Caramels To Chelsea Market: Hot off their successful inclusion in Ben & Jerry's New York-centric ice cream flavor, Liddabit Sweets is opening their first brick-and-mortar retail shop for all your sugary needs.  The Brooklyn-based company has been peddling their handcrafted candy online and in specialty shops around town since 2009 and now they're bringing their caramels, candy bars and other delicious confections to a small space inside Chelsea Market.

  • Paulaner Brauhaus Exposed; September Opening Planned: On Bowery/Houston: The 9800 square foot restaurant has been under construction for many months.  But in the last several days the plywood came down, revealing the new facade of 265-267 Bowery, once the home of Sammy’s Bowery Follies, a popular 1940′s cabaret.  The restaurant is the first Paulaner micro-brewery in this country; the renowned German beer producer plans to open up many for locations in the United States.

  • It's Dumpling Week at NPR!: As we reported on Monday, one of the dumpling's most impressive qualities — and a reason it warrants an entire week of stories from NPR — is its near global reach. From Warsaw to Wuhan to Washington, D.C., cooks have transformed ordinary lumps of dough into delightful little packages with hidden surprises inside…and more!


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