Posts for November 28, 2012

Southie Art Studio Could Let You Drink and Paint ... the Town Red

As any successful artist might tell you, a few glasses of wine never hurt anyone. Now Universal Hub hears that an art studio in South Boston might combine its studio space with bar space. "At a hearing today, Urban Art Bar attorney Andrew Upton painted a picture of art and alcohol mixing to enhance the social atmosphere among patrons who find brushstrokes a good way to relax," they report. Brush-strokes and beer, that is.

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Consumer Reports Says Our Pork Is Full of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

But is it all hogwash?

It was more than a year ago when the USDA relaxed its official pork-cooking guidelines, but hold up! There’s a new pork predicament on the horizon. A recent study conducted by Consumer Reports finds that the majority of pork products in this country are tainted with a rare bacteria strain known as Yersinia enterocolitica. Like garden variety food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli, the bug identified in the study causes fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea that can last one to three weeks if ingested. However, unlike those more common disease-causing agents, Yersinia enterocolitica is resistant to most antibiotics. And all signs seem to point toward the widespread factory-farm practice of loading porkers with antibiotics as the blame.

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Anthony Bourdain Is Now Foiling Secret Service Keg Parties

In case you missed the State Department's daily briefing on Monday, spokesperson Victoria Nuland was asked about Anthony Bourdain's weekend tweet that suggested the Secret Service personnel who'd rented the phones previously forgot to delete text messages pertaining to their keg parties. Secret Service agents are only allowed to have keg parties under direct orders from the president. "Anything that you’re aware of on that front?" Nuland was asked. "No," the spokesperson said. "But we will have our Embassy follow up on that one for sure." Bourdain is traveling throughout Southeast Asia filming his new show, which presumably means it's safe for all government agent who aren't stationed there to proceed with their regularly scheduled illicit weekend plans. [State via Daily Caller, Earlier]

Heston Blumenthal May Be Opening in the U.S., Probably in New York

What's he working on now?Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Earlier today, Food and Travel editor Guy Woodward tweeted, "Rumour is that Heston Blumenthal will open a restaurant in one of Mandarin Oriental's US hotels - maybe next year. My money's on New York." The brainy English chef, who currently holds three Michelin stars and first garnered attention with his modernist food at the Fat Duck in Bray, already operates a restaurant called Dinner by Heston in London's Mandarin Oriental, which ranked No. 9 on this year's World's 50 Best list.

Is it happening? »

Flavor Ammo: New Ways to Use Old Bay

There's a lot going on in that little tin.Photo: Melissa Hom

When you think of Old Bay — the Maryland spice blend in the yellow and blue tin — you probably think of outdoor crab shacks on the Chesapeake Bay, or maybe a lobster bake on a beach. But there's nothing inherently summery or regional about the blend itself, other than how well it goes with a cold pitcher of Natty Boh. Chefs seem to have realized that. Mission Chinese's Danny Bowien has used it in a dish of Sichuan catfish; the Momofuku group famously seasons their fried chicken with it; plenty of places sell Old Bay–dusted fries and burgers with Old Bay–infused aïoli — the list goes on and the reason is obvious: Old Bay's transformative powers extend way beyond crabs.

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Pigalle Chef "Overreacted," Says Rep

So, as speculation continues to fly over who's involved in the viral Facebook feud between Pigalle and an angry customer—hacker? disgruntled worker?—Grub Street reached out to Pigalle's p.r. rep. The rep told us over the phone, quite straightforwardly: "[Chef] Marc felt attacked and overreacted." We've reached out for an official statement from the chef; if we hear from him, we'll let you know.

Watch This Kid Eat an Ear of Corn in Ten Seconds

We'd hate to think this is the start of a new trend of power-tool-assisted food stunts, because it's only a matter of time before some forlorn teen locks himself in a room with his Lumix, a bunch of bananas, and a band saw. We'll leave it to you to decide if this blé d'Inde à la Home Depot is a cry for help or actually a genius new invention. (That's a trick question, because it's obviously both.) And, as always, don't try this at home.

Cordless corn cobs. »

Watch Jon Stewart’s Take on the Hostess Closure

On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart became the latest person to weigh in on the end of Twinkies. Needless to say, he doesn't seem too broken up about the demise of this "diabetes dispensary." Stewart wonders what he'll have to turn to for "stomach aches and self medication" — Arby's? Boxed wine? The options are grim.

The full clip, right this way. »

Did Pigalle Unleash an Expletive-Laden Rant on an Angry Customer?

Who's to blame?Photo: istockphoto

Oh dear. Pigalle seems to be the latest restaurant that's taken to social media to defend themselves from critics, and it's a case study in why this just shouldn't happen. Ever. At all. Even when your pie is accused of being vomit-worthy. In fact, we just tried to log onto Pigalle's Facebook page, and it seems to be disabled ... that's how bad it is. Luckily, We Love Beantown captured the whole fracas and posted screen shots to their website. Essentially, a disgruntled customer named "Sandy" stated that her pumpkin pie, in the immortal words of so many food writers before her, "literally tasted like vomit." And Pigalle was not pleased.

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Grubstreet Sweeps

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Cookin' Cafe & Grill See the menu

    “Cookin is gooood!”

    I'm picky about meatball subs so when I say is good it's really good

  • The Pour House See the menu

    “Awsome food and drink”

    After spending all your hard earned dollars in the Pru enjoy a few cool one here before you take the T home.

  • Il Villaggio See the menu

    “Absolutely Amazing”

    Having worked at Olive Garden for 3 years I guess I never really knew what REAL Italian food tasted like.


Kara Baskin
NY Mag