Posts for February 19, 2013

Grey Poupon to Ruin Classic ‘Pardon Me’ Ad

Don't call it a comeback.

Is nothing sacred? It's been sixteen years since the "Pardon Me" Grey Poupon commercial aired, and in an effort to boost sales and compete with the cooler condiments, Kraft is reviving the spot and adding a bunch of twenty-first-century crap. The new commercial, which will debut during the Oscars on Sunday, begins in the same way as the original, with two fancy men exchanging mustard. But then, "the scene continues with the second car speeding off without returning the mustard. A wild car chase through a golf course and city streets ensues, complete with explosions to make the spot look like a trailer for an action adventure movie." Did Michael Bay direct this mess? Pass the ketchup. [AP]

Apple Tattooing Is a Very Real Thing

Does Che look better on a Gala or a Pink Lady?

Edible Geography explores the history of the apple stenciling subculture; people around the world are branding innocent fruit with everything from Che Guevara's face to the Apple computer logo. A Japanese pop star even put his picture on apples to give out as presents, which we're pretty sure is the fruit equivalent of a tramp stamp. So how does this work? First, apples are covered in wax paper bags during the growing season, producing a pearly white skin. Then, they're adorned with stencil stickers that block the sunlight. It's basically the same thing that happens when you accidentally tan while wearing sunglasses. Apple tattooing isn't a recent phenomenon; it stems back to nineteenth-century French fruit-growers. But for the past few years, it's actually been on the decline. Your move, people of Williamsburg. [Edible Geography]

Samuel Adams Will Finally Be Available in Cans

A Sam Can mock-up.Photo: The Boston Beer Company

The Boston Beer Company announced this morning that, after two years of meticulous ergonomic and sensory research, they'll offer twelve-packs of their Samuel Adams Boston Lager in cans, starting in early summer. (Until now, Sam Adams has been sold exclusively in bottles.) CEO Jim Koch, never a fan of cans until spending millions to develop what he says is his own superlative vessel, believes that "cans have changed," per a release. Craft brewers, like Brooklyn's Sixpoint, long ago proved that good beer can indeed be found in cans. The logically named "Sam Can" will differentiate itself with a flared lip and wide top, designed to let those luscious hoppy aromas waft freely from can to nose. More important, it'll probably be just as easy as other cans to hide at the beach. [Official site]

GQ Names the ‘12 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2013,’ Includes La Vara, Central Kitchen, and Vedge

Richman doesn't care if his waiter smells.

It's a big day for lists! GQ critic Alan Richman dropped his roundup of the country's top twelve restaurants, which are places he identifies as "casual, kindhearted, original, and a little too loud." Richman deems fine dining a "democratic institution"; his idea of a perfect night out includes eating off cutting boards and waiters wearing dirty T-shirts — not wild foraged ingredients or twenty-course prix fixe menus. And by omitting Mission Chinese Food, his list is by default different than most others of its kind. Last year, L.A.'s ink took the top spot, and the crown now goes to Little Serow, a Thai restaurant in Washington, D.C. Check out where else to go if you want to feel "coddled, welcome, and well fed," ahead.

St. Anselm and Bäco Mercat made the cut. »

Old Favorites, and a Few Surprises, Show Up on the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Semifinalist List

Will Gilson, on the rise.

Boston makes a strong showing in this year's James Beard semifinals; finalists will be announced on March 18. On the list are usual suspects like Roger Berkowitz (best restaurateur), Jamie Bissonnette (best chef: Northeast) and Barbara Lynch (outstanding chef, and one of the few female chefs on the list). But there are a few surprises, too.

Read more »

Here Are 2013’s James Beard Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists


The James Beard Foundation just announced its annual restaurant and chef semifinalists, and per usual, the list is a behemoth. Some highlights: Danny Bowien's nominated for Rising Star Chef; and Andrew Carmellini, David Chang, and Marc Vetri are going head-to-head for Outstanding Chef. In the coveted Best New Restaurant category, EmpellĂłn Cocina is facing stiff competitors like Chicago's Balena and Grace, San Francisco's Rich Table and State Bird Provisions, and Vernick Food & Drink in Philly. Last year's winners included Chicago's Next, Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, PDT, and Boulevard in San Francisco. Check out the massive list of semifinalists ahead, and stay tuned until March 18, when the Foundation will reveal the lucky finalists.

Will Outstanding Bar Program go to the Aviary or the Bar at the NoMad? »

Medford's Tiny, Delicious Tenoch Will Bring Mexican Food to the North End

Mole enchiladas at Tenoch.Photo: Tenoch

Great news if all goes according to plan: One of our favorite Mexican holes-in-the-wall, Tenoch, will open a second restaurant in the North End. Tenoch is currently the tamale hot spot in Medford Square.

Read more »

Benjamin Netanyahu Has a $2,700-per-Year Ice Cream Budget

"Who used the scooper last?"

Dude, that's a lot of literal and figurative Rocky Road: In the midst of increased scrutiny and the implementation of austerity measures, it seems as though the prime minister of Israel has been eating an unhealthy amount of expensive ice cream.

Cup or cone, Mr. Prime Minister? »

Watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jim Beam Commercial

In an international ad for Jim Beam Bourbon, Jack Dawson chips away at a block of ice, showing us how he could have single-handedly saved the Titanic from sinking. Our friends at Vulture noticed that he only says four words in the seventeen-second spot. But we think he mouths "wow" six seconds in, so let's make it four and a half.

Never let go. »

This Was the Best Dish at Boston's Lamb Jam

Gone in 60 seconds.Photo: KCB

We had the tasty opportunity to judge the 2013 Boston Lamb Jam over the weekend. Sequestered in a private room, we were plied with miniature portions of every imaginable permutation of lamb, from leg to shank to breast to shoulder. While there was some dissension in the ranks, every judge agreed on one thing: Our favorite dish was smoked and braised lamb belly with pickled radish and herb salad, wrapped in a steamed bun. Of course, this was a blind taste test, so we had no idea who'd conceived the majestic morsel until later. Turns out it was Michael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern, who was awarded the coveted Best in Show prize. He'll move on to a national Lamb Jamb competition. Adobo lamb tacos with pickled onion and mezcal cheese wiz (really) was the other big favorite, prepared by Brian Reyelt at Citizen Public House. He even thought to pair his taco with stout, which is never a poor idea. Anyway, we snapped this photo of Scelfo's creation before devouring it. Maybe he'll add it to the menu at Russell House? Please? Note a bit of spicy aioli peeking out. [BFOL]

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