"The server comes over to your table after you've finished
your cheesecake, carrying a deck of cards
. He or she asks you to cut it and pick any card. Each of the cards has a different chocolate flavor on it, such as lime or raspberry. The waiter then asks you to flip over your cheesecake plate – and there, right in front of you, is a chocolate that corresponds to your card.
They do this mind-blowing trick to every single customer who eats there
." The 6 Most Pretentious Dishes Rich People Pay Money For
There once was a time when your working knowledge of, say, Junot Diaz or Radiohead was all you needed to show some conversational with-it-ness. Now, though? Restaurants - the currency of the young and cash-strapped - are the key to the cultural kingdom.
How to Eat Like a Cuban
"It wasn't until I was adopted into an enormous Cuban-American family, thanks to my fiancé , that I learned how to spot the Cubans—and now that I can, I see them everywhere. In three years, my extremely white self has gone from not being able to pronounce dulce de leche (don’t match those ch sounds—that’s a basic move) to knowing that I like my arroz con pollo asopao (a soupier preparation that ends up almost risotto-like).
Some of the stereotypes are true: Cubans love to party, and they can eat. Backyard pig roasts are the traditional way to celebrate pretty much any special occasion—this is a country whose two greatest exports (if they could export them) are cigars and sugar.
Bottom line: If you find some real Cubans, it's in your best interest to make friends, fast. Here's what you need to know to keep up without looking like a chump."
When you go out to a bar or restaurant, have you ever wondered why your beer costs what it does? Here's your chance to find out
. [more inside]
A catalog of places that used to be a Pizza Hut.
The iconic "Red Roof" design was the subject of a recent episode
of 99% Invisible (previously
As part of the preparation for a special exhibition on the history of Chinese food in America, the Smithsonian opens the world's oldest can of fortune cookies
. More posts on the exhibit research under the Sweet & Sour tag
Jay Porter had two restaurants: one used the normal restaurant business model and one banned tipping servers, which gained national notoriety for a practice that is all but unheard of in the US. Now that the gratuity-free restaurant, The Linkery, is closed, he is writing about the ultimate experience
and the reasons for doing it
. [more inside]
If you find it impossible to make restaurant reservations online it might be because you're competing against bots. A developer explains how it works and just how common it might be in San Francisco
. [more inside]
The bloggers at The St. Louis Slinger Tour
have completed their comprehensive 16 month review of the Slingers
available at 58 different St. Louis area restaurants. Follow them chronologically or check out Tim and Tony's Top 10 for later enjoyment (consensus favorite: The Sidebar
). Also available for your convenience is a list of the worst Slingers in St. Louis (e.g. Uncle Bill's
), to be avoided or ordered out of morbid curiosity. [more inside]
Every Thursday, the Seamless
(a delivery service that serves as a takeout service for over 12,000 restaurants) posts the Best
of the Week
For the past eighteen years, Gil Garduño has been chronicling his adventures in New Mexican cuisine on his NM Gastronome blog
. With over seven hundred reviews of restaurants around New Mexico, Gil's got you covered, whether you like classic New Mexican food
, green chile cheeseburgers
, or even other types
of food that happen to be well-represented in the state. Gil is fierce in his defense of homegrown eateries over chains, saying that "word of mouth is crucial to survival and through this bully pulpit, I’ll do my best to extol the great value and virtue of supporting local restaurants.
" A warning, however: if you like food, and particularly New Mexican food, Gil's excellent and evocative writing about (and photography of) great dishes is likely
than a little bit hungry
20 Things Everyone Thinks About the Food World (But Nobody Will Say) "Needless to say, these are complicated topics, and we can’t do them justice in the space of one list. But they are opinions and issues that we find ourselves circling with friends who work in the industry or follow it closely, and we think they’re worthy of discussion."
"I was never threatened covering the cops beat nor while reporting on a big Mafia trial, but I was threatened – twice – for writing negative reviews of two restaurants. Shows where the passion is, I guess
." Restaurant critics write about (and link to) their most negative reviews and discuss the measured and reasonable responses they received after their publication. [more inside]
The Improper Bostonian: "In a town rightfully famous for its trailblazing female chefs, where Julia Child helped introduce American families to fresh vegetables and unprocessed foods, and Lydia Shire fine-tuned the buttery possibilities of French cooking, women have hardly disappeared from the dining scene. They can be found in other kitchens. But where and why are subject to debate, depending on whom you ask.
's monthly interview series, 'The Gatekeepers
' talks to the hosts and hostesses at some of the city's most prestigious restaurants, discussing hard-hitting topics such as securing lucrative reservations, choosing the best table, and the favorite dishes of the famous dignitaries that pass through Washington. Their most recent interview
, however, went a bit differently, perhaps revealing a bit more than intended about the world of fine dining -- a world where bribes are de rigeur
, black customers are not seated next to each other, and well-dressed patrons are given preferential service. Though few in the industry will admit to it, bribing the host appears to be the fastest way to get a table
(unless you're a tourist, or the Maitre d' happens to be the CEO of Groupon
and the City Paper
has eaten at 6,090 Chinese restaurants. He's eaten at more than 300 Chinese restaurants in New York alone and visited every state. Here's his list of the top ten Chinese restaurants
in America, all of which are in California, most in Los Angeles. [more inside]
The food desert
has been a regular topic
here on MetaFilter
, posts about which often highlight a particular narrative about the effects of meager food choices for poorer urban communities, negatively affecting health and choice among low income people
. Though not always
. Some new studies
indicate the situation in the US might be more like the latter, not quite as dire as is usually asserted. [more inside]
"Why are small businesses such frequent targets? Because they offer hackers the easiest path to your financial information. In fact, security consultants say, there’s an entire underground industry built around extracting customers’ credit card numbers from retailers’ point-of-sale systems." Slate: Why it’s so easy for hackers to steal financial information from restaurants
Black Chefs' Struggle For The Top
With the restaurant industry booming and chefs becoming celebrities and wealthy entrepreneurs, few blacks are sharing in that success, and as young black men and women enter the profession they are finding few mentors or peers. [more inside]
The Doggie Diner was the name of a Bay Area chain of burger joints that had its heyday in the '60s and '70s. The last remaining restaurant in the Chain was located at the corner of 46th and Sloat in San Francisco, CA. Even after the place became a restaurant with a new name ("Carousel") the giant Fiberglass dachshund head remained as a piece of nostalgia until a storm toppled it on April 1st, 2001. The head was relocated in January 2005
to the median of Sloat Boulevard and became San Francisco city landmark #254. Now the restaurant itself is slated for demolition
. [more inside]
The Surprisingly Undetestable Birth of TGI Friday's
In 1965, a young Manhattanite just “looking to meet girls” added some sawdust, fake Tiffany lamps and a coat of blue blue paint to the $5000 bar that became, nearly immediately, NY's first and most popular singles bar, and eventually, the progenitor of one of the US's most popular restaurants.
is a service that combs through restaurant reviews on other sites and attempts to figure out the best dishes of a particular type in a city of your choice (e.g. waffles in New York
or tacos in San Francisco
) or a particular restaurant's best dishes (say at Alinea
Subway has surpassed McDonald's
as the world's largest restaurant chain. [more inside]
What's the deal with restaurant websites? Devra First, the Boston Globe's restaurant critic, wonders too.
Previous discussion on the blue
(tangential to discussion of OpenTable).
The Bay Area’s smartest diners, chefs, and purveyors now know (and care) where every cut of grass-fed beef and stalk of pesticide-free produce comes from. Yet nearly all look the other way when fish is on the plate. What will it take to stop the eco-fibbing?
Elaine Kaufman, who became something of a symbol of New York as the salty den mother of Elaine’s, one of the city’s best-known restaurants and a second home for almost half a century to a bevy of writers, actors, athletes and other celebrities, died Friday in Manhattan. She was 81.
A glimpse into the business relationship between restaurants and Open Table
. It is not the glowing review you were possibly imagining. This will probably make you think twice next time you go to use it.
"The goal of this journey is to find cuisines from every United Nations member state, within New York City limits, in alphabetical order. " For your gustatory delight, here is The Confined Nomad
New York Magazine has crunched the numbers, Park Slope has taken the title of most livable neighborhood of New York
. [more inside]
Feel like having some Uncanny X-Pasta
(PDF) or an Incredible Hulk Burger
for dinner tonight? Sadly, you'll have to time-travel
back to 1998 to visit Marvel Mania
, the short-lived Marvel Comics theme restaurant
(PDFs) that briefly graced Universal Studios
A complete list of fictional restaurants.
Though as with any "complete list" on the blue, I have complete faith that MeFites can think of some that were neglectfully omitted.
"At Jewish Delis
Are as Lean
as Good Corned Beef" [more inside]
An expose of non-vegan ingredients in pancakes at LA Vegan Thai
inspired the QuarryGirl.Com writers to conduct their own extremely thorough investigation of LA vegan restaurants
, testing their meals for traces of casein, egg, and shellfish. Over $1000 and a chain of interviews up to Taiwan later, they find that half the restaurants aren't as vegan as they claim, with half registering Positive or High and one registering Overload. Some restaurants vowed to conduct their own tests or requested further assistance; one banned them from the establishment.