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Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Weekly Roundup: Hard Times Sundae Burgers Get Easier To Find, Meal Pass is the Foodies Class Pass and Smorgasburg is BACK


  • MealPass, a ClassPass-Style Lunch Service, Launches in NYC This Week: New website MealPass works a lot like co-founder Mary Biggins' first start-up hit, fitness program ClassPass. Members of MealPass, which Biggins started with Katie Ghelli, pay a flat monthly fee, which will start at $99 and eventually go up to $119 for New Yorkers.
  • New Club Lets Toddlers Eat At Upscale Restaurants: Parents with a taste for fine dining are now bringing their toddlers to Michelin-starred restaurants through a new kiddie dining club. The Times writes that the service, called Nibble and Squeak, rents out either private dining spaces or entire restaurants for parents to bring their babies for a meal — including at places like Landmarc, Luksus, and Delaware and Hudson.
  • Former Bourdain Home Les Halles Was In the Process of Being Evicted, Actually: French brasserie Les Halles — the restaurant best known for being Anthony Bourdain's former home — claimed that it closed its Park Avenue South location due to a rent hike issue, with owner Philippe Lajaunie saying they didn't renew the lease because of a 60 percent increase. 
  • Smorgasburg’s Outdoor Markets Return This Weekend: Glance around outside and you will finally notice some of the first signs of spring. The sun sets later, flowers begin to blossom on trees, some dude on the street is wearing shorts even though it's still a little too cold for them. And now the surest sign yet that summer is coming: Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea will unveil their outdoor markets for the 2016 season this very weekend.
    • Get Excited For These Smorgasburg Newcomers: Big Mozz Sticks, Chicago Beef Sandwiches, And A Strange Raindrop Cake.  Yesterday evening at Berg'n, the beer hall in Crown Heights also owned by Team Flea, most of the new vendors were on hand for a press preview, giving away samples of what they'll be slinging starting this weekend.
  • Hard Times Sundaes Burger Truck Goes Brick-and-Mortar in Manhattan: With the opening of Andrew Zurica’s burger stand at UrbanSpace’s food hall, midtown lunchers will finally have access to the griddle-smashed burgers and bacon-wrapped hot dogs that the peripatetic chef used to only sell from the truck he parked, frustratingly, in what seemed to be the remotest corners of Brooklyn.

  • America’s About to Get Whole Magazine Devoted to Gluten-Free Food: Meredith Corporation — owners of brands including Every Day With Rachael Ray, EatingWell, and Shape — will distribute San Francisco publication GFF: Gluten Free Forever beginning April 19, with the magazine's spring 2016 issue. 
  • Study Says Being a Lifelong Vegetarian Ups Risk of Cancer: If you're considering losing your veginity and embracing meat, a new study out of Cornell University offers a strong incentive: Eating a long-term vegetarian diet apparently increases the risk of both cancer and heart disease, owing to genetic mutations.
  • The Most Unsung Fruit Is Sitting in Plain Sight: Eating bananas isn’t all that glamorous. Sweet and self-contained, they’re the quickest and easiest grab-and-go meal we know—a failsafe but never a star in its own right. But bananas are surprisingly versatile, and a few creative maneuvers—courtesy of associate digital food editor Rick Martinez—highlight the creamy, sweet qualities that make them indispensable kitchen rockstars.
  • Aspiring Chefs Hone Their Tastes with This Incubator Supper Club: More than just a venue, Haven’s Kitchen uses this residency program to help cooks develop their creative vision.


  • High Street on Hudson Is One of NYC's Best New All-Day Restaurants: Eli Kulp is one of the smart operators. His bread-and-pastry-centric West Village restaurant, High Street on Hudson (a spinoff of his Philadelphia original, High Street on Market), belongs to a rare class of venues where the rustic pleasures of weekend brunch can equal the refined options of dinner.
  • Chumley's Reopening Faces Further Delays After Neighbors Complain: Opponents of Chumley's — the prohibition-era bar that closed in 2007 — have successfully convinced the state to delay the bar's reopening. According to DNAinfo, a group known as BarFreeBedford asked the State Liquor Authority to send the bar's liquor license request in front of the full board, a move that allows the state to hear from more opposition and delays the bar's right to serve booze. 

  • New restaurants opening in New York City this spring: Pomme Frites, after the late-night favorite was destroyed in a deadly East Village gas explosion last year, the Belgian fries maker is poised to make its return - this time in Greenwich Village - a little more than a year after the anniversary of the tragic incident.

  • Down Home Comes to NYC: Ever heard of a meat-and-three?  No surprise if you haven’t, as it’s a down-home restaurant style that’s considerably more popular in the South than it is in New York — allowing customers to choose their protein (such as meatloaf, pork chops or chicken-fried steak), along with a trio of soulful sides, such as creamed corn, green beans or mac and cheese. 

  • Biang!, Sit-Down Restaurant of Xi'an Famous Foods, Eliminates Tipping: East Village Chinese noodle restaurant Biang! is now a no-tipping establishment, CEO Jason Wang announced on Tuesday. The critically beloved sister restaurant of Xi'an Famous Foods is "following the traditions and customs of Chinese restaurants" by including service in the restaurant, according to a statement.

  • Behind the Scenes at Jacques Torres's Chocolate Factory: Where Science, Craftsmanship, and Magic Merge: When Torres came to the United States from France over 25 years ago, he was already an accomplished pastry chef and master craftsman in his own right. Back then, big candy companies dispensed inexpensive products filled with chemicals and flavorings.

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