OddFellows turns into an Ice Cream Sandwich Shop

oddfellows-sandwich-shop03.w600.h400The OddFellows location on East 4th Street will transform into a sandwich shop this Friday. The menu will be entirely devoted to ice-cream sandwiches. Sam Mason’s menu will include items more appropriate for the colder seasons: ice cream and toppings stuffed into a brioche bun warmed on a panini press. There will also be customizable ice-cream sandwiches which offer a choice of flavor, topping crunch, and one of five cookies. OddFellows will continue to offer their unique favored flavors like corn-bread, vanilla bean, etc. and will offer cookies like spiced ginger, oatmeal and chocolate chip. However, while customers can customize their own ice-cream sandwich, there will be a signature creations menu including the Corn-bread Odd Pocket which is corn-bread ice cream, cornflake crunch, and blueberry compote inside a toasted brioche sandwich. Other signature sandwiches are S’mores, which has s’mores-marshmallow ice cream, marshmallow sauce, graham-cracker, and a chocolate cookie, The Classic, which is vanilla-bean ice cream, chocolate wafer, salted caramel and hazelnut, and the Chocolate Chunk, chocolate-chunk ice cream, coffee crispies, and hot fudge.

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The Pope’s Visit was a Financial Disaster for Restaurants

pope-francisPope Francis has visited the Stateside, and generated an influx of people to the states. While the city had built up that the Pope’s visit would potentially cause an economic boon, contrary to belief, the restaurant industry saw a decrease in customers. Restaurant owners were excited about the millions of hungry pilgrims that would be drawn to the city. In Philadelphia, organizers predicted Pope Francis’s stay would generate nearly half a billion dollars for the city.

In New York City, David Chang was among the first to express his disappointment as he tweets “Love the new pope but he’s a restaurant cooler on par with the super bowl and oscar’s.” While in Philadelphia, chefs around own started complaining Saturday about the lack of customers, and faulting the city’s overeager security apparatus. Stephen Starr, owner of about 20 Philly restaurants, said that things were “worse than Hurricane Sandy, the city scared all of our customers away… What should have been a feeling of family and community was turned into a police and military operation.” Moreover, Marc Vetri’s famous Vetri was celebrating their anniversary with special half-off prix fixe, but did not acquire as many customers with loads of reservations open. Verti, also, complained about the myriad gates and road closures that “hurt small and large business alike” and eventually closed. Some restaurants didn’t even bother to open on Sunday.

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Styrofoam Ban is Overturned

styrofoam-300x225New York City has been making initiatives to ban polystyrene foam containers, also known as Styrofoam. Last April, the Restaurant Action Alliance and Dart Container Corporation filed lawsuit contesting the ban. And now, Manhattan Supreme Court justice Margaret Chan has overturned the measures to ban styrofoam. The Department of Sanitation commissioner’s move to eliminate the containers doesn’t have enough viable reasons for banning such a product. Moreover, Chan points out that there are plenty of evidence suggesting that styrofoam can be recycled. Implementing recycling methods for styrofoam can potentially save the city $400,000 annually.

A representative for City Hall, however, disagrees with Chan’s decisions with overturning measurements to ban styrofoam. “We are reviewing our options to keep the ban in effect.” The ban initially went into effect on July 1st, with penalties for noncompliance delayed until January 1st. Businesses that produce styrofoam, and those that use styrofoam will now be able to continue implementing the material until further interference from the city.

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David Chang Launches Fuku Fingers with Danny Bowien

16-mission-chinese-kuku-fingers.w529.h352David Chang has just recently done a collaboration with Daniel Humm with their toast offered in Momofuku Ssäm Bar and the NoMad Bar. Now, David Chang has launched a new project with Danny Bowien. Bowien says “The collaboration came together seamlessly. Dave reached out and asked if we wanted to work together on a Fuku Fingers dish…It seemed like a natural fit because, at the end of the day, we both want to serve something simple- this is the type of food we both want to eat.” David Chang and Danny Bowien each combined their concepts from their respective restaurants to create two different dishes offered exclusively in each restaurant. Mission Cantina will exclusively sell Fuku Finger Crunchy Wraps and Fuku+ will offer Mission Chinese Fuku Fingers.

The Fuku Finger Crunch Wrap is made of shredded pepper-jack cheese, Russ & Daughters salmon-skin chicarrón, smoked habanero honey, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño pickles, buttermilk dressing, and crunchy corn tostadas, wrapped in a flour tortilla grilled. While the crunchy wrap will be $13, Mission Cantina has noted that $1 of every sale of the Fuku Finger Crunchy Wrap will be donated to Edible Schoolyard NYC.

The Mission Chinese Fuku Fingers will be the first white meat offered from Fuku that is tossed with Mission Chinese’s Chongqing spice blend, chili oil, sliced scallions, and topped with fried chilies. The Fuku Fingers will be $16.

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Governor Cuomo Proposes ‘All Industry’ Minimum Wage of $15

Unknown-1This past summer, legislation passed that restaurant chains in New York would need to implement yearly increases for minimum wages until 2018 for NYC and 2021 for the rest of the state to incur a $15/hr wage. However, Governor Cuomo has announced his intentions for all industries to increase minimum wages in New York State. “You cannot support a family on $18,000/ year in New York State, not to mention have a decent living,” Cuomo said. The New York State minimum right now is $8.75 and will rise to $9.00 in January, which is an annual salary of about $18,720 assuming 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. However, a $15 wage would raise yearly salaries to about $31,000.

Cuomo’s intentions to drive salaries in all industries will potentially effect the hospitality industry the most. The hospitality industry occupies some of the lowest paying jobs in the economy. Many of the employees in the hospitality industry conduct a tip based wage, where the minimum is $5.00. An average server in the greater New York Metropolitan area makes $13.21 per hour after tips, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. In New York State, servers make an average of $12.16. NYC cooks make about $13.41 and dishwashers make about $9.66.

The tipped minimum wage will be increasing to $7.50 in January. However, for Cuomo to increase minimum wages for all workers in all industries to be $15, he will need legislative approval.

Many businesses have opposed the raise in minimum wages as it increases labor costs, and can potentially cut back on hourly staffing and reduce hiring. However, those that support “Fight for Fifteen” disagree with examples from San Francisco and Seattle, as the rising minimums in those cities did not prompt to a significant layoff or closure of hospitality industries. Moreover, believe that these measures will increase employee retention, decrease worker reliance on taxpayer subsidized public assistance programs like food stamps and stimulate consumer spending throughout the economy.

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Sodium Regulations Passed in NYC

UnknownThe Board of Health unanimously voted in favor of the new bill that would require New York City chain restaurants to identify menu items with more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium. The new regulations will go into effect starting December 1st, but only for NYC restaurant with more than 15 chains nationwide. This includes McDonalds, Burger King, Panera, Subways etc. However, while these regulations will be implemented a lot will not effect these restaurant chains.

Surprisingly, many burgers and items on the menus of Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food chains do not hold the regulated 2,300 milligrams of sodium to qualify them as marked items. Burger Business conducted research on McDonald’s cheeseburgers and concluded that one would need to eat four to reach the FDA’s daily sodium limit. Likewise, one would have to eat three Burger King’s Triple Whopper to consume the estimated FDA regulated sodium amount. Other chains like Wendy’s, Checkers, White Castle and Dairy Queen also do not use the regulated about of salt in their products to use mandatory labels. “It is possible that no fast-food chain in New York makes burgers that will get salt-shamed.” Red Robin, Chili’s and Applebee’s does have some menu items that are more than the recommended sodium amount that will need to be “salt-shamed.” Carl’s Jr. was noted to have a couple of items that were more than 2,300 milligrams in sodium, but Carl’s Jr does not have locations in New York and will not be required to label their menu’s.

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David Chang Continues to Surprise with Fuku+

imageDavid Chang’s Fuku opened this past summer and has instantly dominated social media and headlines with its spicy chicken sandwich. Today, David Chang had announced that a new restaurant is opening called Fuku+. While Fuku had a limited menu offering only spicy chicken sandwiches, salads, and fries, the newly opened Fuku+ has a much larger menu. Fuku+ will serve fried chicken bites with “JD sauce”, salt and pepper shrimp, a Sichuan pork flatbread, and ranch and oriental salads. Customers can also order the $400 Fuku XXL with prior reservations that serves 4-8 people. It includes the signature spicy fried chicken sandwich, slow roasted pork butt, fried short ribs, sichuan pork bread balls, salt and pepper shrimp, french fries, the Fuku+ salad, daikon slaw, biscuits, and milk bar cookies.

A Momofuku representative has expressed how although the limited space on the 1st Ave location of Fuku can’t cater for a larger menu, this new location can host more and cater with more options. Fuku+ is open for lunch and dinner. Located on 15 W 56th St.

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