Posts for January 22, 2013

Five Restaurants That Really Should Have Food Trucks

A healthy wrap at Life Alive.Photo: Facebook/Life Alive

With a new batch of food trucks ready to hit the streets come spring, we've come up with a little wish list of restaurants that really deserve trucks of their own. Let us know what kinds of trucks you desire in the comments.

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Here Are Five Videos of Mutant Eggs-Within-Eggs

Speaking of things that are both creepy and chicken-related, a YouTube phenomenon was born recently when a guy named Sean Wilson cracked open a very big chicken egg only to reveal it contained another entire chicken egg, shell and all. But Wilson's hardly the first lucky fellow to stumble upon the mythical, elusive egg-within-an-egg. Check out Wilson's moment, straight ahead, then see four other bewildering videos of overstuffed ouefs.

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Here's Asta's Opening Night Menu

Asta la vista, baby!Photo: Urban Daddy/Melissa Ostrow

You asked, we answered: We've procured the opening night menu for L'Espalier ex-pat Alex Crabb's much-ballyhooed Asta. The 41-seat, three-five-or-eight-course restaurant is located at 47 Mass Ave., on the edge of the Back Bay. Behold: braised celery; carrot, licorice, and mustard oil; and seaweed pasta with mussel foam. Full menu, in all its multi-course glory, right this way.

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Can Fan Art Save Twinkies?

Day of the Dead Twinkies by Nancy Peppin.

The fate of Hostess is still in limbo, but one artist is bringing attention to the nationwide outcry for more Twinkies. Nancy Peppin makes Twinkie-inspired art, using mediums such as watercolor, mixed media, and creative writing to express her love for the "ultimate American food icon." It gets stranger; her "Twinkies in history series" shows how she thinks Charles Darwin and Leonardo da Vinci would have portrayed Twinkies in journals and books. One of her pieces includes the prolific passage, "Twinkies radiate out from the spring St. Louis breeding area to the summer nesting habitats throughout the world. Populations are heaviest in the North American 7-11 meridian." So is her beloved, possibly extinct Twinkie now just a cultural artifact?

She did title a painting 'The Last Snack.' »

Watch This Creepy Chicken Licken Fast-Food Ad From South Africa

Hey, don't worry, that creepy white guy in the Rayon tie and sweater vest who watches you from the street every time you enjoy some fried chicken on the privacy of your balcony — who happens to also haunt your family picnics and is the same guy who ogles you while you wait for your laundry to finish drying — isn't coming to come murder you later on, he just wants you to save him a thigh. This drab new ad for South African fast-food chain Chicken Licken's new "Soul Fire" line shows that even fast-food stalkers need a little bit of new flavor every now and then.

Creepy people get hungry, too. »

Homaro Cantu on Miracle Berries, Chewing Tin Foil, and the Best Peanut-Butter Cookies Ever

Homaro Cantu uses his noodle.Photo: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images

Eight years ago, the Chicago chef Homaro Cantu, who regularly serves guests edible menus and "prints" flavors like broccoli and Cheddar using rapid prototyping machines, was contacted by a friend on behalf of a chemotherapy patient who could no longer taste food. "She said everything she chewed tasted like metal and rubber," he says. Because the 36-year-old chef develops flavors and invents techniques for corporations in his spare time, Cantu approached the problem of the chemo patient's lost appetite like any other fully funded research project, synchronizing his innovative and do-gooder impulses. He ordered thousands of spices and industrial flavor compounds, and back in the restaurant kitchen, he and his team set out plates of rubber bands and aluminum in at the top, like some demented food pyramid. "My pastry chef and I got to work," says Cantu, "chewing on tin foil and rubber for weeks at a time in different combinations with other ingredients just trying to figure out how to change the taste."

"Our product will be cheaper than sugar." »

Start-Up Backers Should Consider Actually Enjoying Restaurants Before Trying to Sell Stuff to Them

Come here often?Photo: Jason Lee

Scott Kirsner's recent Innovation Economy column about start-ups offering apps to the (wary, profit-margin-conscious) restaurant industry is rife with fun anecdotes, but this quote from a venture capitalist was our favorite: "What is a restaurant but a few guys cooking, some people carrying plates, and 50 people sitting there with smartphones, waiting for their food and doing nothing?”

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McDonald’s Lied About Selling Halal Food

How do you slaughter your animals?

For food products to be billed as halal, they have to be prepared according to strict Islamic dietary laws. The criteria specifies which foods are allowed (pork, for example, is forbidden) as well as how the food must be prepared. If God's name isn't invoked before an animal is slaughtered, no dice. McDonald's has two franchises in the country that sell halal products, and both are in Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the nation's largest Arab and Muslim communities. But Ahmed Ahmed, a special McChicken sandwich detective, discovered that one of the Dearborn locations wasn't complying with Islamic dietary laws.

Lawsuit time. »

Here’s That Tim Hortons–Ryan Gosling Coffee Mug You’ve Been Waiting For

Good morning! Canadian chain Tim Hortons is introducing a very, very limited-edition movie tie-in: an official Ryan Gosling Gangster Squad coffee cup. The Ontario-born actor gave an interview to movie site in which he professed an admiration for the movie tie-ins of his youth, specifically Burger King's Dick Tracy soda cups. “I thought I might get a cup out of this deal,” said Gosling. The interviewer suggested the coffee-and-doughnuts chain would be a good fit.

Gosling agreed. »

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