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Tim Zagat

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Tim Zagat's favorite drink is iced tea (three-quarters) with cranberry juice (one-quarter).

By Daniel Maurer

Zagat Family Gets Poor Ratings From Employees

Tim and Nina
The office culture at Tim and Nina Zagat's office is "antiquated and weird," a former employee told Portfolio today, of the restaurant-guide publisher, which has been reported to be for sale for up to $200 million. Apparently, few will shed tears when the family passes the torch. "They have vendettas," another former Zagat worker told us this afternoon. "If you piss them off — give them a bad meal, are not as fawning to them as they would like — they'll kick you out of the book. I always thought that kind of vindictiveness was really hypocritical for a company that claims its reviews are 'by the people.'" Yikes! Either that ex-employee has a really good point or is just still bitter about the party the Zagats threw at their Central Park West townhouse last year. "Despite the open bar, the hosts didn't think to rent portable toilets for the occasion, nor did they want employees entering their home to use the bathrooms," says Portfolio. "Instead, suffering underlings were instructed to 'hold it.'" A Zagat rep did not immediately return calls for comment. The Wait Is Almost Over for Zagat Workers [Mixed Media/Portfolio]

Restaurants Sue to Keep Calorie Info Out of Sight; Online Reservations Dominate

The New York State Restaurant Association sues the city to stop having to reveal calorie information. [Nation's Restaurant News] The days of making, and keeping, reservations off-line are over: OpenTable has come to dominate the restaurant business. [NYT] In a Times op-ed, the Zagats plead for real regional Chinese cooking to come and save us from egg foo yong. It would be a revelation, they say — “Imagine … what it would be like to discover for the first time Memphis-style barbecue, New York deli food, soul food and Creole, Tex-Mex, Southwestern, California and Hawaiian cuisines all at once.” [NYT]

Eating Out With Tim Zagat; the Littlest Feinschmeckers

What's it like to eat dinner with Tim Zagat? Something akin to eating with royalty. [Slate] As Texas and New Haven fight it out for the title of who invented the hamburger, Grub Street's editor weighs in. [LAT] How did eating and diet get so complicated? Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, and one of the guys who helped make it so complicated, sorts it all out. [NYT]

Rupert Knows Whether Judith Regan's Kids Are Actually Honor Students

Lawyers for HarperCollins are in possession of Judith Regan's financial statements, will, divorce papers, photographs of her children, unopened Christmas gifts, and a 20-by-30-foot painting of her, among other things. Because she left them all at that office. Ralph Ellison didn't like Norman Mailer and his beat pals because they reduced the world to sex. As Harvey Weinstein was buying the rights to her movie, Mandy Moore was making out with D.J. AM. Hugo Chavez tried to meet Gisele when they were both in Rio, but she shot him down. Owen Wilson hung out with Kate Hudson in Australia.

K-Fed Demeans Fast-Food Workers; David Blaine’s Zagat Stunt

Restaurant-industry representatives want a K-Fed Super Bowl ad in which he's a fast-food worker pulled, because it “leaves the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant.“ Being associated with K-Fed is demeaning enough, no? [MSNBC] Meanwhile, McDonald’s announces its strongest year in three decades. [NYT] Related: Food Network Accused of (Subliminal) Advertising David Blaine, in his most grueling stunt yet, chats with the Zagats at Babbo, calling Tim Zagat “a saint.” [NYP] Related: Junior Zagat Resigns