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R.I.P. Sparks

The alcoholic energy drink is no longer.

By Daniel Maurer

I Want to Eat in a Place Where Valentine’s Day Doesn’t Exist

Dear Grub Street,
Where should I go for an anti–Valentines Day dinner? My girlfriend of four years just broke up with me, and I want to eat somewhere where I won't see any couples, or think of couples, or anything connected with couples. I want to eat out somewhere that is a million miles from Valentines Day. Signed, Cupid’s Sworn Enemy

Eric Ripert to Feed Reader Who May Lose Sense of Taste

Dear Grub Street,
Next weekend I’m getting surgery done on an impacted wisdom tooth which is growing very close to a central nerve. I’ve been told that if this nerve is damaged, there’s a chance I will lose a large part of feeling in my face – including a loss of my sense of taste. I’ve gone into “doomsday mode”, thinking of all the best flavors this city has to offer in an effort to get them ingrained into my gray memory. As of now I’ve got a reservation at Degustation, will be making at least three visits minimum to Ssäm Bar, and another to Sasabune. Are there maybe two or three dishes or places that should be added to this ever-growing list? Le Bernardin is in my sights of course, but understandably may be difficult to get into.
Signed,
Facing My Final Hour

Food Writers Continue to Be Confounded by Steak

Sparks
Details recently put out a list of “The Best New Steak Houses in America,” and it was not inaccurate. Most of the places across the country that delight enlightened meatheads made the cut: Cut in LA, Michael Mina’s butter-crazed Stripsteak in Vegas, and Robert’s (ill-served by an unrepresentative piece of choice beef in the picture) are indeed among the best going. But writers and diners alike are too happy to be served a big steak to gauge it accurately, which makes all steakhouse features unreliable at best.

New York Rated Top BBQ City in the U.S.; Kobayashi Making Bookies Skittish

New York is listed as the No. 1 destination for BBQ in the U.S. (Memphis, in case you were wondering, was No. 10.) [BizJournal] World-champion competitive eater Joey Chestnut isn’t buying talk of Takeru Kobayashi being hurt: The Tsunami “could come to the Fourth of July with his jaws wired shut, and I’m sure he could still do all right; he’s that good of an eater.” [NYT] Related: Hot-Dog-Eating Champ Struck With Jaw Arthritis Determined to Gulp On The odds-makers, though, aren’t as confident about a crippled Kobayashi, and the board shows it. [McBrooklyn]

Worst Celebrity Tip Ever; San Gennaro All Done?

If the community board’s street-events committee has its way, the San Gennaro festival may get the boot from Little Italy. [NYDN] Jeremy Piven is now banned from all Nobu restaurants for taking a table for twelve in Aspen and then tipping the waiter with an Entourage DVD. [Jewtastic] A morbid look, inspired by the DeMarco’s tragedy, at the history of restaurant shootings and their aftermaths. [NYS]