NYC Officials Are Looking Into Grubhub’s Reviled Restaurant Fees

New York City government officials are now diving into the Grubhub debacle, in which several restaurants have accused the food delivery app of slyly charging fees for customer phone calls that never resulted in actual delivery orders.

City Council’s Committee on Small Business will hold an oversight hearing to investigate those fees, as well as others charged by similar apps like like DoorDash and Uber Eats — an act that could eventually lead to more government regulation.

The hearing will go down on June 27, giving local restaurateurs a chance to voice their concerns. City officials will specifically focus on how these fees and other policies are affecting NYC restaurants, especially small mom and pop shops, the Post reports.

“If we see there is abuse, or if there is a manipulation here, then it could certainly be referred to the legal authorities,” Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj tells the Post. The hearing’s findings could eventually lead to the involvement of the Public Advocate, the city Comptroller, or the state Attorney General, he says.

Read more here.

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“As NYC’s only culinary high school, Food and Finance High School provides a unique educational opportunity to students and families in the community.

Students learn the true reward of hard work, dependability and time management from a staff of acclaimed chefs, educators and business leaders that oversee their curriculum, field trips and internships. Food and Finance works to understand its students’ barriers of success and develops additional programs to support their needs and dreams.

Preparation for higher-learning and the workforce is key to the ongoing success of our students. NYC comes together at Food and Finance High School to provide a rigorous and rewarding Regents Diploma and culinary curriculum for our students. We’re more than a school, we are a community that supports our students as they tackle new challenges and reach new heights. We work to inspire and to empower our students.

The Food Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that exclusively supports Food and Finance High School through job training and internships, our visiting chef program, and college and career readiness programming.”

See more here.

https://paigepapers.com/2019/05/24/17608/

East Village’s Jiang Diner Is a Magnetic New Entry Into NYC’s Chinese Dining Scene

Lamb stuffed shumai dumplings

“(…) Jiang Diner also refers to its purse-shaped manti dumplings as shumai, even though they are not the sort of fragile little dumplings one finds in a Cantonese or Japanese restaurants. They are nevertheless quite good, bulging with a wet lamb or beef filling. The dumpling skins are way more delicate than the doughy ones found in, say, a Uzbekistan restaurant like Nargis Cafe.

The greatest strength of Jiang Diner lies in its introduction of dishes we hadn’t really seen before in New York. Most brilliant of all, but also on the expensive side, is its plate of lamb ribs ($26), either steamed or roasted, and presented with dipping reservoirs of powdered Asian cumin and thick chile paste. Those who eschew fat should avoid these, but there is no more flavorful lamb in town, except perhaps some local versions of Mexican barbacoa. Another dish that shouldn’t be missed is the steamed eggplant with fresh garlic paste ($8), which will feel somewhat familiar to anyone who frequents local Sichuan restaurants. This one also features potatoes, while red bell peppers add sweetness. I liked it so much that I tried it twice, and the time it was served to me warm, it was transcendent.”

Read more here.

Request for Proposals

For the development, operation, and maintenance of food, beverage and/or merchandise concessions at three Kiosks (Kiosks 1, 2 and 3) at Fordham Plaza in the Borough of the Bronx. 

Solicitation Numbers: Kiosk 1: 84119BXAD338, Kiosk 2: 84119BXAD339, Kiosk 3: 84119BXAD340
Issue Date: May 2, 2019
Due Date: June 6, 2019 at 2PM

In a public plaza, a small building stands. The building is closed and the doors are shuttered.
REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS (KIOSK RFPS)

The Department of Transportation (“DOT”) is seeking concessionaires for the development, operation, and maintenance of a food, beverage and/or merchandise concession at three Kiosks (Kiosks 1, 2 and 3) at Fordham Plaza located at Fordham Road, Third Avenue and East 189th Street in the Borough of the Bronx (“Plaza”). DOT is releasing a Request for Proposal for each kiosk available on the City Record at the following links or enter the Solicitation number in the search field of the City Record homepage for the publication.

Kiosk 1: 84119BXAD338
https://a856-cityrecord.nyc.gov/RequestDetail/20190425025

Kiosk 2: 84119BXAD339
https://a856-cityrecord.nyc.gov/RequestDetail/20190425026

Kiosk 3: 84119BXAD340
https://a856-cityrecord.nyc.gov/RequestDetail/20190502021

DOT is also seeking proposals for food, beverage and/or merchandise concession in the Café Building at Fordham Plaza. The Request for Proposals for the Café Building is found here: https://a856-cityrecord.nyc.gov/RequestDetail/20190402014. Prospective proposers are encouraged to consider applying to as many of these RFPs as they are interested in.

TERM
In each Kiosk RFP, DOT is seeking a kiosk concessionaire for one (1) five-year term with three (3) five-year renewal options, exercisable at DOT’s sole discretion. No longer term will be considered. This concession will be operated pursuant to a license agreement issued by DOT; no leasehold or other proprietary right is offered.

SITE VISIT 
There will be a strongly recommended on-site proposer meeting and tour of Fordham Plaza. The tour will take place on May 15, 2019 and will include a tour of the Café Building starting at 10AM and a tour of the kiosks at 11AM. We will be meeting at Fordham Plaza under the canopy at the Café Building doors in the northeast corner of the plaza near the corner of Fordham Road and Third Avenue. If you are considering responding to this RFP, please make every effort to attend this meeting and site tour. DOT will view favorably proposers that attended the site visit.

PROJECT MANAGER
The Project Manager for this concession is Brandon Budelman. All RFP questions and/or inquiries should be directed to him. He may be reached at:

Phone: (212) 839-9625
Email: concessions@dot.nyc.gov

You are receiving this email because you are on the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) mailing list for Food and Beverage or Merchandise solicitations.

Hard copies of the Kiosk RFPs can be obtained, at no cost, commencing on Thursday, May 2, 2019 through Thursday, June 6, 2019 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays, at the ACCO Contract Management Unit (CMU), 55 Water, Ground Floor; New York, NY 10041. The entrance to the CMU office is located on the south side of the building facing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Proper government issued identification is required for entry to the building.

https://paigepapers.com/2019/05/02/17585/

Three Owls Market: One Part Bodega, One Part Restaurant

Three Owls Market

“Lehrer Dumaine seeks to close the gap with Three Owls Market, which is one part bodega, one part prepared-foods all-day cafe and one part bar. The Mamaroneck, N.Y., native who lives close by, (“I’ve got it down to an eight-and-a-half-minute walk,” she says) hopes to serve the neighborhood with New York City bodega staples like Domino sugar, Heinz ketchup and toilet paper — and also feed and imbibe them, with a full menu of hot sandwiches, prepared vegetable dishes and rotisserie chicken, as well as craft beers and wine for happy hour.

To staff her full kitchen, Lehrer Dumaine brought in head chef Greer Lou, who previously worked as a private chef for Jessica Seinfeld at her Hamptons home, and is a veteran of Alice Waters’ Rome Sustainable Food Project.

Lehrer Dumaine has been working on Three Owls since 2017. The landlord for the property informed her the previous tenant — the Nonno Gourmet deli and bodega run by a man named Charlie — wanted to hang up his hat. Lehrer Dumaine said yes, and started on renovations and acquiring a liquor license; a process she says allowed her to become closer with the community.

“The liquor license process required me to meet with the neighborhood associations around here,” she explains. “That was really eye-opening to me because I’d never been involved with city politics before — just seeing how influential the people who live in a neighborhood can be, determining what goes where.”

Read more here.

NYC’s Balkan restaurants share culture, traditions with classic dishes

Djerdan Burek, a restaurant that was started over

“Most cultures have some kind of crispy, melty combination of bread and cheese: for Italy, it’s pizza; for the United Kingdom, it’s the toastie; for Brazil, it’s pao de queijo. And for the lesser-known “Balkans,” it’s the burek. Reminiscent of Greek spanakopita, burek is a flaky, layered phyllo dough pie that can be filled with the likes of cheese, beef, spinach, potato or apple. (…) Djerdan Burek, with locations in Astoria, Brooklyn and a factory in New Jersey, was started more than 20 years ago by Esma and Hamo Medunjanin, refugees from Bosnia. It was a true mom-and-pop shop then, according to daughter Selma Medunjanin-Ismajli, who took over the business with her two siblings when their parents retired.”

Back in the late 1990s her mother was making burek pies at home in their one-bedroom apartment and selling them to a local Balkan restaurant, and her father saw an opportunity. They rented a building on 34th St. and 31st Ave. in Astoria — where the restaurant is still located — and her mother worked the kitchen while her father worked the floor.”

“At this time many Bosnian refugees had settled in Astoria and not much was available to them,” Medunjanin-Ismajli explained. “We were one of the first Balkan restaurants to start up in the area. It was a very simple mom-and-pop restaurant with homemade food and friendly familiar service. To this day we try to operate and maintain the same principles and service.”

Read more here.

The New York City Restaurant That Prohibits Cell Phone Use

Il Triangolo

“(…) Gigliotti, who is 52-years-old, opened Il Triangolo in April 2011, which specializes in Southern Italian food. He created many of the recipes including homemade fettuccini ala Triangolo, chicken frangelico and shrimp limoncello.  It seats around 60 people.

He owns a cellphone bought for him by his daughter and thinks they’re a useful gadget for ordering items.

But back in 2014, when cellphone use started proliferating and most of his customers starting taking out their smartphones during their meals, Gigliotti became irritated. He noticed that “people weren’t paying attention to their food, their surroundings or their own family members.” No longer were his customers conversing; they sat there and ate and checked their cell phones as if they were dining alone. In fact, their behavior slowed everything down in the restaurant. Instead of eating and leaving quickly, they’d spend more time dining because they weren’t concentrating on eating their food and instead zeroed in on checking their emails or the web.  Meals that once took two hours were taking two and a half hours, and guests waiting longer for a table.

Gigliotti put up a small sign that said no cellphones placed on the table. When he encountered new customers, he’d tell them in person about the policy. If customers receive a phone call during the meal, they’re asked to step outside of the restaurant so as not to disturb any guests. Almost everyone complies.”

Read more here.