The Biggest Surprises in NYC Dining in 2018

A dinner spread at Le Sia

“Serena Dai, editor of Eater NY: I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised by this because the world is such a garbage fire, but it was interesting to see how quickly powerful people (and a lot of media) were to embrace the return of the Four Seasons Restaurant seemingly without any caveat. I guess I’m an optimist, which means I will always be a little bit surprised at how naive old-school power is. Did the 40 investors really think that Julian Niccolini’s past behavior wouldn’t impact perception of the restaurant among the new audience they were reportedly aiming to attract? Did they really think amazing food and a $30 million build-out could overcome years and years of baggage — now newly visible in the age of #MeToo — when nobody from the restaurant came out front to address the fact that the face of the restaurant is an admitted sexual assaulter? People can’t move forward without an apology, but here, there wasn’t even really that. Yes, it’s legendary; yes, it’s hugely influential. But we live in a different world now, and sometimes it is okay to pay our respects, and then lay a restaurant to rest.”

See more here.

New on the Menu: Jack in the Box’s Late-Night Proposition

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“Jack in the Box is expanding its “french fries in a box” concept to two more potato, fat, and dairy concoctions that would make any cardiologist squirm. In the company’s defense, they’re going to try just about anything to keep their franchisees happy right now. Also in Jack’s defense? It doesn’t have the meal in this installment that must worry doctors the most.

Every few weeks Skift Table will wrap up the latest seasonal and new items on chain restaurant menus in the United States. We don’t call out everything (sorry limited-time Pumpkin Spice something), but we will call out items that are notable for what they mean to a chain, the season, or consumer habits.”

See more here.

McDonald’s Is Selling Cheesy Bacon Fries In Certain States

“McDonald’s traditional hot and crispy fries are getting jazzed up with two classic add-ons: Smoked bacon bits, and a gooey drizzle of real cheddar cheese sauce. It’s not quite the gravy-and-cheese-curd-topped poutine of our Canadian neighbors, but if you like your fries with a little something extra, this is your side dish.”

View more here.

Pomme Frites asks for Help

PommesFritesThe beloved belgium fries shop Pomme Frites is getting ready to reopen in its new location on MacDougal St. Pomme Frites was a victim of the 2nd Avenue fire this past March. While this fry shop was a legendary fries shop in the St. Marks area, fry lovers are anticipating the shop’s return. In attempts to quickly reopen the shop, the owners Omer Shorshi and Suzanne Levinson are asking for donations to help buy fryers, fridges and appliances needed to make their famous fries and sauces. While the original location was insured, the equipment is dated from 1996 when the store first opened that claims won’t be enough to cover new appliance costs and legal claims are a slow process.

Pomme Frites are estimating a goal of $64,000 in equipment funds. A total of 180 people have donated so far at an average of $10 which is slightly 10 percent of the full goal. Pomme Frites is giving vouchers to those that donate for an order of fries with three toppings, something that would sell for $9 at the old shop, so it essentially allows people to pre-pay their first order of fries. Shorshi and Levinson are hoping to reopen the shop by October and are constantly asking for their beloved followers to donate.

To read more on Pomme Frites, click here

Adult “Happy Meals” at Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake, the healthy neighborhood diner on 124th St and Lenox Ave., has recently introduced the “Happy Meal“— an adult-friendly take on the popular fast-food combo meal. Instead of a plastic toy and unhealthy fare, this Happy Meal pairs a glass of from Harlem Shake’s new wine list wine with all-natural, healthier renditions of classic American comfort food, like the Kale & Chickpea Salad or the Harlem Burger. There’s a Happy Meal to fulfill everyone’s cravings, whether customers’ New Years resolutions are to be a better penny pincher or to indulge themselves more, both financially and nutritionally.

“Secret” Menus, or Not-So-Secret Menus…

Mark Wilson, contributing writer at Fast Co. Design, detailed the ins and outs of “secret” menus at restaurants including Chipotle, Starbucks and In-N-Out Burger. Chipotle’s “Quesarito,” Starbucks’ 170,000 customizable beverage permutations and In-N-Out’s “animal-style” fries are a few of the secret (or not-so-secret) menu options that add to these restaurants’ mystique and allure.

“I think of it as the customer’s the brand manager,” Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s Communication Director says. “The experience of the public is something different for everyone, like an iPod in a way. How many billions and billions of iPods are in circulation, and yet no two [playlists] are alike. You buy a burrito, I buy a burrito. We pay the same thing for it, and they’re two very different things.”

Read about Wilson’s comically relentless quest to order the arcane “Quesarito” at Chipotle, amongst his other classified culinary discoveries.

That Tot Spot dedicated to tater tots is now open on Saturdays at Williamsburg’s Artists & Fleas Market

Tater tots are paired with special recipe spices and sauce. The team at That Tot Spot suggested picks are Bacon Spiced Tots with Bourbon Spiked Ketchup, Cajun Spiced Tots with Red Island Sauce or Crab Spiced Tots with Crabby Mayo. Sounds delicious!
That Tot Spot is located at 70 N 7th Street between Kent and Wythe Avenue