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More Buzz Over Restaurant Liebrandt; A Meatball for the Ages

A second trivial press release (uh, the Oregon Museum of Science gala?) alludes to Restaurant Liebrandt 2007, and the chef’s chef is suddenly besieged with questions, which he vows to answer “in due time.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Related: Vegetables Suggest Liebrandt’s New Restaurant Is a Reality After a nerve-racking two-day delay, a judge has cleared the way for the $565 million Whole Foods–Wild Oats merger. [NYT] The ruination of Times Square is now officially complete, with news of an IHOP on the way. [NYP] A counterterrorism detective has been fired for what might be the best defense for failing a drug test ever: marijuana-spiked meatballs. [NYT]

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Fancy Food Show Brings Colonial Fruit Drinks and Our Old Friend Kulfi

We took a break from our regularly scheduled Greenmarket food fest to hike through acres of fancy foods from the world over at last week’s Fancy Food Show. Over 2,000 displays filled the Javits Center with everything from antifreeze-green Chilean avocado oil to Brooklyn-made gummy bears that were actually the size of honey bears. To avoid going into fancy-food shock, we honed in on the (often overlapping) new and organic/natural categories. Here’s highlights, all currently available in the city.

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Lower East Side Residents Seek to Cream Ben & Jerry's

Lower East Side couple Paul Nasrani and Simi Mir are taking on Ben & Jerry's in a dairy case near you. Their all-natural Adirondack Creamery ice cream, made from hormone-free milk and cream from local farms, is now available in flavors like Whiteface Mint Chip and Barkeater — just look for the plain white cartons at Garden of Eden, Westside Market and Amish Markets, and Fine Fare. The couple is committed to selling only within 150 miles of the dairy in Kingston, New York, where Nasrani drives to make flavors ranging from coffee to peanut butter. Still, with the emphasis on localization, we wonder why they’re considering using Oregon cherries for an upcoming flavor. What's wrong with the ones at Union Square? —Alec Appelbaum

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Hell's Kitchen Northeast's Holes-in-the-Wall for Hotshots

If the gangs who once ruled Hell's Kitchen could see the neighborhood now, filled with media hotshots and admen from places like Hearst, Random House, Time Warner, and Ogilvy, they'd no doubt shake down the few fancier restaurateurs and then duck into one of the tiny Asian or Middle Eastern joints for a cheap plate of stir-fry, noodles, or spicy kebabs. Behind the countless family-owned storefronts in the micro-micro-neighborhood centered around 53rd Street and Ninth Avenue, you can find some of midtown's most enlivening flavors and aromatic, well-spiced cooking.

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