Posts for February 26, 2013

Shocker: Lawsuit Accuses Budweiser of Watering Down Its Beer

We still love you, blue beer.

Listless teenage boys and Jennifer Lawrence alike will be dismayed to learn that lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs in three states accusing beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev of watering its brews down before passing them on to an unwitting drinking public. “AB’s customers are overcharged for watered-down beer and AB is unjustly enriched by the additional volume it can sell,” reads part of one complaint filed by Thomas and Gerald Greenberg in federal court in Philadelphia. While it's currently unclear just how multiple plaintiffs came to the conclusion that Budweiser is mislabeling its beer, Bloomberg reports two more lawsuits are imminent, in Colorado and Ohio; meanwhile, the beer company, which currently controls 39 percent of the beer market in the United States, steadfastly denies such preposterous claims, adding that it routinely deploys technology that measures "alcohol content in malt beverages to within hundredths of one percent." The plaintiffs are seeking an amount in excess of $5 million in compensation and damages, apparently, because weaker beer ruined their lives. Or something. First it was America's bourbon watering it down, now it's the King of Beers? Does this mean we can expect some horrible news from Bartles & Jaymes about their wine coolers tomorrow? [Bloomberg, Earlier, Related]

They're Not Bosom Buddies

A stripper who reported two days early (why?) to her job at the Glass Slipper has been placed under arrest after a brawl with a waitress that left both with cuts. The club is now being investigated by the Boston Licensing Board. Reports UH: "A waitress offered to share her locker, the stripper refused, words were exchanged, the stripper picked up a glass cup and swung it at head of the waitress, who put up her arm, which deflected it to the floor, where it shattered, after which the two women grappled and tumbled to the floor, now covered in broken glass." Shattered dreams, shattered glass. [UH]

New Study: Democrats Love Bagels, GOP Loves Olive Garden’s ‘Ethnic Food’

A sad new Public Policy Polling survey of registered voters reveals that a vast swath of the country is very sheltered when it comes to authentic spaghetti. It seems that 43 percent of Republicans agree with the following statement: "Olive Garden is a quality source of authentic ethnic food." Democrats don't know good pasta, either; 41 percent of them think the exact same thing.

Read more »

Abandon All Hope: In-N-Out Burger Has No Big Expansion Plans

Staying out of reach.

Hold on to your Shake Shacks and Five Guys, everybody, because In-N-Out is not coming your way anytime soon. In a rare interview with Orange County Register, secretive company scion Lynsi Torres makes it plainer than a Bible verse on a paper cup when she says, "We're definitely not franchising, and we're not going to sell." The 30-year-old heiress, who spends her free time and family fortune on a passion for drag-racing, explains that the company has purposefully plodded slow out of the gate to maintain their famously never frozen food, daily baked buns, and hand-sliced fries. To keep its focus on freshness, every new In-N-Out has to stay close to the company's distribution centers in Dallas and Baldwin Park, the main reason In-N-Out has only expanded to five states in 65 years.

Read more »

Gordon Ramsay Has Really, Truly Relinquished the Spotted Pig Trademark

Sending out good vibes all over.

The British chef angered many last November when it was learned he had moved to trademark the Spotted Pig name in the U.K., leading everyone and their mother to speculate that he was trying to prevent April Bloomfield, Ken Friedman, and one-time rivalMario Batali from opening a branch of their successful New York restaurant across the pond. Ramsay stood down, and while he's been saying for months he'd surrender the trademark, it looks like it's only now official, reports Eater. Unfortunately, there's news today of another pressing legal matter involving the chef: Ramsay, it turns out, also owns the trademark to the name "Brain Freeze," and may in fact be opening a restaurant under that name. "No freakin' way," said some 7-year-old kid in Dade County, responding to the news that papers had been filed last January. "I had that idea when I was 5." [Eater, Earlier, Earlier]

Will the Sequester Really Halt Meat Production?

At least the cows would be happy.Photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Bear with us while we talk food politics for a sec. Even if you aren't thinking much about the sequester — those looming government budget cuts that are set to happen Friday if Congress can't come to some sort of agreement — there is one bit of possible fallout that could affect the food world, big-time: The White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have floated the scenario that cutting the USDA's budget (something that would happen as a result of the sequester) would leave the agency with "no choice" but to give food-safety inspectors unpaid leave, which would in turn halt meat inspections, which would in turn mean no fresh meat for anyone. Not good!

Stock up on broccoli. »

Get Ready for a Pollan Family Cookbook

Sage advice.

“Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food," Michael Pollan famously wrote, but what about more immediate family? We're going to find out, it seems, in the Pollan Family Table, which is being written by the food-policy advocate's mother and three sisters. According to Publishers Marketplace (subscription), the forthcoming cookbook will be chockablock with "Pollan family stories, recipes, cooking techniques, and pantry wisdom for healthy, harmonious meals for every family." While the sagacious, best-selling author — who once told Grub Street all about noshing at Barney Greengrass and ricotta on twelve-grain toast at his mother's apartment — won't be dispensing tips for using sage here himself, he is writing the foreword. Look for the Scribner book in the fall of 2014. [Publishers Marketplace, Earlier]

Boston Chops News: Inspections Underway, Should Open Next Week

Chris Coombs.

Chef Chris Coombs tells us that his Boston Chops should open next week. We'd predicted that it'd be the first big opening of 2013, and while that's not quite the case any longer, we're definitely psyched for him to open his doors in the South End.

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Tiffani Faison Switches From 'Cue to Asian

Tiffani Faison, wokmistressPhoto: Michael Diskin

Not a huge surprise from the woman who once told us, after leaving her chef's post at Rocca, that she planned to celebrate with a trip to Winsor Dim Sum. The Sweet Cheeks chef will pop up at MET Back Bay this Friday and Saturday night to cook an Asian feast of dim sum, wok dishes, "rockin" noodles and more.

Read more »

Nobu and Geoffrey Zakarian Are Cruising

Bingo, anyone?

Is partnering with a cruise line the next step to building a celebrity chef empire? Aboard the uppity Crystal Symphony in July, Nobu Matsuhisa will lead cooking demonstrations, host special Omakase dinners, and schmooze with passengers. A pretty sweet deal, considering he's sailing around Italy. Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian already had plans for a partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, and now he's sweetening the deal by opening a second restaurant on a Miami-based Norwegian boat. Like Matsuhisa, he'll hop onboard to do cooking demonstrations and hold babies for photographs. Since these cruise lines are two of the most luxurious ones, hopefully these guys will avoid feces and four-hour waits for food. [USAT, Earlier, Miami Herald, Earlier]

20 Examples of Counterfeit Meats That Are Way Grosser Than Horse

One of these things is not like the other. Bring on the ammonium hydroxide!Photo: Corbis

For many, Mondays are meatless. Read on here, and you'll probably end up adding Tuesdays through Sundays. While the horse meat scandal continues to expand in Europe and more and more schools and retailers and restaurants who could have sworn they were serving beef find out that they weren't, it's become clear that once added to a food system, counterfeit meat can really have legs, in addition to what are purportedly shanks and trotters. So keep a close eye on your rump roast: Here are some of the worse mystery-meat substitutions from the last few years.

Unfortunate cats, hamburger helpers, and other sad steaks. »

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