Spanish Food Hall Will Be Open Next Spring

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“Mercado Little Spain in his first New York project and a collaboration with Spain’s most famous culinary siblings Ferran and Albert Adria.

Read more here.

New York Restaurants Open Kitchens to Refugee Chefs

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“As many people in the restaurant industry grow increasingly vocal about immigrant and refugee rights, an NYC festival shows how chefs are making a tangible impact—and how diners can, too.”

“The Refugee Food Festival, which launches in New York City on June 14 and runs until the 17th, is a significant act of solidarity; three restaurants are opening their kitchens to two refugee chefs. Chef Nasrin, of Iran, and Diaa Alhanou, of Syria, will be hosting three unique dining experiences in the city, serving cuisine from their home countries.”

To read more click here.

NYC Has a Ban on Black Foods with Activated Charcoal

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“The DOH has forced at least Morgenstern’s and Round K to stop selling their popular black-colored edibles.”

“Scientists are generally skeptical of the purported health benefits of activated charcoal, like getting rid of bad chemicals in the body, but in small quantities, activated charcoal is not going to hurt you, either. It’s become super trendy for cafes and restaurants with a healthy bent across the country to serve, both in beverages and in foods. Cocktails, burger buns, bagels, and juices have all been sold with the stuff lately.”

To read more click here.

The Restaurant Inspector: Rising Grades, Fainting Owners

“New York’s inspectors have long been capable of showing up unannounced, recording violations and, if necessary, shutting down a kitchen. But in 2010, they acquired a new dimension of power: the ability to assign letter grades (printed on placards that must be visible from the street) and to post their findings in an online database where anyone can scrutinize a restaurant’s inspection history. Restaurateurs complained bitterly about the “scarlet letters,” and what they saw as punitive enforcement aimed at raising money for the city.

 

Eight years on, that furor has cooled. The number of restaurants with an A grade rose to 93 percent in April, from 81 percent in that first year. Yet many restaurateurs still feel aggrieved about the rating system; they talk of the health inspectors as arbitrary, unjust — and frightening enough to send an owner to the hospital with a panic attack.

As it turns out, the man in beige who precipitated that crisis is a pleasant, even-keeled individual named Fayick Suleman, who lives in the Bronx with his wife and two children, and — like the letter-grading system — is celebrating his eighth anniversary at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.”

To read more click here.

31 Terrific Places for Breakfast in Manhattan

“Atla serves breakfast until 1 p.m., but dropping by in the morning is a quieter scenario. The chilaquiles are the move, and diners are likely to be surrounded by food writers who can’t stop frequenting the place.”

To read more click here.

Let’s Dance — Cabaret Law Repealed

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A law known as the Cabaret Law was put into place during Prohibition to restrict dancing in New York City Bars. It was enacted in attempt to control speakeasies and since the 1920’s, bars and restaurants needed to obtain a cabaret license to allow dancing. In New York city, only 97 out of roughly 25,000 eating and drinking establishments had a cabaret license because these licenses were both extremely costly and time consuming to obtain. This November, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio repealed this law. Beginning this weekend, March 30, 2018 legal dancing in the city’s designated zones is allowed.

Our main question – who even knew about this law? Bars did. For being known as the city that never sleeps, how could dancing all night be banned? As New Yorkers, we walk into bars and see people dancing, grooving, swaying along to music but never once did it cross the average patrons mind that this was illegal. How have so many establishments been able to get around this law for so long?

It is said that the Cabaret Law wasn’t necessarily put in place to cut down on dancing, but rather to crack down on the people who dance. “The Cabaret Law was enacted during the height of Harlem Renaissance” and “even years after the law was enacted it targeted marginalized groups under the pretense that somehow they were more dangerous than anyone else. Basically, anything the NYPD deemed dangerous, this law was used to get in those spaces and shut them down” (Thrillist).

Over the decades, many bars have been forced to shut down after being hit with major citations. Bar owners and bartenders kept music down and dancing to a minimum to avoid these fines and penalties. Ever been asked to stop dancing by a bartender? This is why. Certain bars throughout the city have been fined purely for letting people “sway” to music.

So, what’s about to change? To some, it may not seem like a lot. But, to others, their favorite spots might turn into the bars their owners always dreamed they would be. Bars are more likely to start promoting dancing and music just because they can. This could change the entire nightlife culture throughout NYC. According to Thrillist, Royal Palms’ owner stated “we never had plans to become a dance club.” But, with this new appeal she said, “we might be a little bit more encouraging in our advertising and social media about coming to the club to get down.”

When dancing is banned, people still find a way to get down. Warehouse parties with well-known or aspiring DJs have become quite a scene. These parties are drug filled and considered “underground”. Many of them don’t announce the location until the day of; which, most warehouse party-goers probably didn’t realize is because the parties are illegal. The New York Times quoted “when we stop people from dancing they go straight to these warehouses…People haven’t stopped dancing, they’re just dancing in these extremely unsafe, unregulated environments”. Well, this is all changing.

Going out for a night on the town, dancing with some friends, and enjoying the best that music has to offer no longer means being restricted by certain DJs sets, having to go to a concert, being required to get a table at an elite club, or heading to an unknown location at a specific time. Now, you can bust a move wherever you please. Bars and restaurants will begin promoting a more focused music and dance culture. Random dance parties can, and will, breakout wherever anyone sees fit.

After signing the repeal De Blasio said “when freedom of expression is not allowed, it’s not New York City anymore. Imagine how insane it was that you needed a license to allow people to dance.” We couldn’t agree more.

MeMe’s Diner

header Their Success . . . There’s something to be said about taking an age-old concept like a diner and reinventing just enough to meets our modern culinary demands. Back in the 1400’s when Leonardo Da Vinci famously expressed “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Meme’s diner on Washington Ave in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn was most certainly not his inspiration. What did however spawn from that idea is the feeling you experience while dining at Meme’s. Their menu is sophisticated yet straightforward. Daring while self restrained. And comforting while modern. With classic menu items like Parmesan style chicken cutlet with greens to a mouth watering Patty Melt, not only will your taste buds be excited but your experience will be refreshing.

For dinner, be sure to try the Meatloaf or Crispy Noodle Salad. If you’re a side lover like myself, do not leave before ordering the Crispy Potatoes, which are spot-on-delicious (Hint: ask for a side of “Comeback Sauce”)

Weekend brunch fans? You do not want to miss this menu. Of course, there are the staples like a classic breakfast sandwich, which is offered on a potato bun with baked eggs, cheese sauce (cheese sauce!), greens, and bacon. Or the Breakfast Plate with everything you know any love about filling your belly on a Saturday or Sunday morning. One thing you wont don’t to leave without trying is the Meatloaf Sandwich. This monster throws down a slice of their classic meatloaf topped with a fried egg, on garlic toast with bbq sauce and crispy shallots.

Don’t blink at their cocktail menu either. Their eloquent soft-spoken bar, which blends effortlessly into the space, serves up unobtrusive classics like Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, or Negronis. Meme’s wouldn’t be Meme’s though if it didn’t put a little flair behind their work. For this, try the Cosmopolitan, a cocktail that would have Annabelle Bronstein coming back for seconds.

Takeaways . . . The classic diner we all grew up loving has been declining in numbers over the years. Meme’s is brining it back in all the best ways. The menu is extremely inviting with subtleties that elevate dishes to a new level. It is refreshing, while offering top-notch hospitability in a dining space that is welcoming to the point where you might just stay for another round. Bottom line- everyone needs a Meme’s in their life.

Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 5pm – 11pm, Saturday: 10am – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm, Sunday- 10am – 5pm

Location: 657 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Phone: (718) 636-2900