Posts for January 16, 2013

Volunteers Rescue 1,000 Restaurant-Bound Cats From Delivery Truck in China

The back of the truck in Changsha.Photo: Reuters

More than four dozen animal lovers in China sprang into action earlier this week when they heard that a truck freighted with more than 1,000 cats on their way to be sold to restaurants had become disabled after a traffic accident on a Changsha highway on Monday.

Twenty-five cats kept in a tiny cage. »

Shockers: Nutrition Crusaders Say Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, Others Are Palaces of Fat

Just got home from dinner.Photo: istockphoto

Last year, Men's Health anointed the Cheesecake Factory's Bistro Shrimp Pasta, a carb-y tangle of pasta and crispy shrimp awash in cream sauce, America's most gut-bustingly disgusting meal. Now the Center for Science in the Public Interest named it to their list of Xtreme Eating “dis-honorees” — they estimate that the sodium-soaked batter platter is 3,120 calories. That's three Olive Garden lasagnas! Also on CSPI's black list: Johnny Rocket's bacon-cheddar double burger, IHOP's country-fried steak 'n eggs, and Maggiano's veal porterhouse. But if their goal is outrage, they're x-tremely misguided.

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Dunkin' Donuts Expanding to California Even Though California Already Has Better Doughnuts

Not better than the Donut Man.Photo: PSD/Flickr

With the kind of fanfare more appropriate for a coronation than a franchise opportunity, Dunkin' Donuts announces its plans to expand to Southern California today. The Massachusetts-based chain, which once had a short presence in the Golden State but failed to thrive, currently has just one store in Camp Pendleton. The chain says it is "now recruiting multi-unit franchisees" to open locations in L.A., Orange County, Ventura, San Bernadino, and San Diego. Some people are going bonkers at the prospect. But we already have really, really good coffee and doughnuts in California, so why should we care about another chain coming here? We shouldn't.

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Note to Restaurateurs: Family Members With Cancer Don't Justify Late-Night Hours

Hardly a nocturnal pleasure.

We have to admire the guy's work ethic: Golden House owner Xian Wan tried to adopt late-night hours despite city approval because he wanted to make more money ... because his son was dying of cancer. He appeared at a Boston Licensing meeting today with an interpreter and his son's death certificate in hand, but the judge wasn't swayed.

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Better Boozing: Twelve Bartender-Approved Secret Cocktail Ingredients

And your hangover will be extra fancy, too.

Building out a great home bar is a long-game prospect: It takes time to prune a respectable collection of first-string spirits and mixing gear. But once you’re suited up with all the strapping English gins, malty genevers, chewy mezcals, and rare whiskeys your Ikea shelving unit can handle, what then? In the service of ambitious amateur cocktail savants everywhere, we asked a dozen bartenders to reveal the ingredients they trot out when a drink needs to go to the next level. Read on for alcoholic obscura and game-changing modifiers that will give even your simplest at-home highballs a pro-level boost.

"It smells like a truck stop ... and pours the color of death." »

Jamie Bissonnette and jm Curley: Two Great Things That Go Great Together

Bissonnette's pasta, ready for revelry.

Grub Street hears that Jamie Bissonnette, hot off a trip to Hong Kong, and Louisville's Ed Lee (610 Magnolia) will pair up to cook a six-course meal for Revelry for Charity. In fact, it's a monthly dinner series that matches top Boston chefs with their national counterparts, so Bissonnette and Lee are just the tip of the iceberg. (Why do we think Jose Andres might be next?) As the name suggests, it's all for charity: Bissonnette and Lee have chosen the World Hunger Relief and the Claddagh Fund as their beneficiaries.

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Michelin-Starred Chef Endorses McDonald’s McBaguette

Pierre Koffmann, the French-born chef who's received three Michelin stars for both La Tante Claire and Waterside Inn in London, loves the newest item on the McDonald's menu in France. The McBaguette, which is filled with cheese, ham, potato, lettuce, and mayo, is the company's attempt to appeal to local tastes; after the U.S., France is McDonald's most profitable market. Koffmann, who we really hope is getting paid generously for this endorsement, says he'd choose the "good bread" from McDonald's over local vendors. But shockingly, he does admit that it's "not the top bread in Paris." Michelin guide inspectors, please note. [Bloomberg]

More Potbellies Are Boston-Bound, But Musicians Are at a Minimum

Hold the guitar solo.Photo: Potbelly

Boston Hospitality reports that a second Potbelly is headed Downtown, assuaging the worries of countless cubistas who really, really need their Wreck fix. Just one problem: BH's Adam Castiglioli also Tweets that, per the Boston Licensing Board, they're having trouble finding musicians—those infuriatingly languid crooners who hazily strum in a corner while you're salivating in line, hoping to make it back to your desk with a skinny turkey sandwich and cookie before that 1 p.m. meeting.

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Some of U.K. Retailer Tesco’s Hamburgers Are Actually 29 Percent Horsemeat

Not cool.

The British hypermarket chain Tesco has been selling a line of frozen hamburgers that are ostensibly made from beef, but many of those all-natural patties are actually part horse, and one recently tested sample was actually 29 percent horse meat, the Telegraph reports, citing an investigation conducted by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. In addition to burgers, meat pies and frozen lasagnas were tested, and most of these products were found to contain DNA from pigs.

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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