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.

Best NYC Mexican Restaurants To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2019

Taqueria Santa Fe

Topping the list is Taqueria Santa Fe. Located at 4708 47th Ave. in Sunnyside, it is the highest-rated Mexican restaurant in New York City, boasting 4.5 stars out of 305 reviews on Yelp.

See more restaurant here.

Chipotle skips sponsorship of college bowl games, offers free delivery instead

Image result for Chipotle skips sponsorship of college bowl games, offers free delivery instead

In honor of college football season, Chipotle Mexican Grill is offering free delivery now through Jan. 7 on any Chipotle order worth $10 or more.

“Given the iconic nature of Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl, many consumers have pointed out that we should sponsor a bowl game,” Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt, said in a company press release. “We listened and decided to do something about it. But, rather than spending millions on a traditional game sponsorship, we decided to give that money back to our fans in the form of free delivery.”

With the help of expanded delivery partnerships and the ability to offer delivery directly within Chipotle’s mobile app and website, the company has seen steady growth in digital orders. Last quarter, digital sales grew 48 percent, with digital orders accounting for 11.2 percent of sales, according to the release.

Read more here.

Chipotle Is Tired of Being Behind on Digital Strategy

“Chipotle’s new CEO Brain Niccol pulled no punches when he sat down for his first earnings call in April and candidly described Chipotle as an invisible brand. “This brand needs to be leading culture, not reacting to it,” Niccol said at the time.

In day-to-day operations, that’s led to a significant shift in the way that the company thinks about growth. Niccol said that he encourages more of a “test-and-see approach” on new initiatives under his watch, and in practice, the team has been freed up to move much more quickly on making decisions and testing new innovations. Niccol himself practices what he preaches — three months after he officially started as CEO, Niccol announced that Chipotle would be relocating its headquarters from Denver to southern California and closing down the New York City office.”

Read more here.

Chipotle’s Health Scares Do Little For Competitors

CmM6g2YWEAAbmDC.jpgAfter their third straight quarter of declining sales, things continue to look bleak for the once-great Chipotle. The company posted sales this quarter down 24% from the previous year, and quarterly profits of $26 million (compared to $140 million immediately before the E. Coli outbreaks late last year).

One might think that such a plummet would be good news for competitors, but so far the opposite seems to be the case, with other Mexican fast food and fast-casual chains seeing a decline as well. Taco Bell’s same-store sales fell 1%, due in part to a decrease in foot traffic despite hefty advertising dollars spent selling items like the “Quesalupa.” Qdoba on the other hand tried to specifically target Chipotle customers, but claims such ads and promos ultimately hurt their margins.

To read more, click here.

Free Burritos Can’t Help Chipotle Recover before 2018, But Maybe Burgers Can?

burrito burger 009.JPG

Chipotle’s next move?

After their colossal – and well publicized – downfall, Chipotle has been doing everything possible to get back in customer’s good graces. That includes giving away about 9 million free burritos earlier this month, according to the chain (that’s $62 million worth, if anyone’s counting). They plan to send another 21 million free food coupons in the mail this month. But analysts from Wedbush Securities point out that, while sales may be returning slowly, the coupon strategy isn’t a sustainable one. Eventually, guests have to forget the reason they stopped coming in the first place.

The investment firm downgraded Chipotle’s shares and cut their target stock price from $450 to $400, saying that “current valuation reflects an overly optimistic outlook regarding Chipotle’s path to recovery.” They do not expect Chipotle to recover the sales lost from the salmonella, norovirus and E. Coli outbreaks until at least 2018.

One curveball to these predictions may be the news that Chipotle has applied for a trademark on the name “Better Burger,” indicating they have plans to recoup the losses in another way. It’s a strange move considering the number of existing burger chains, and there’s no word yet from Chipotle on how they plan to market themselves in this arena.

To read more, click here and here.

Steven Starr’s El Vez Opening in Battery Park

Stephen Starr, the well-known Philadelphia restaurateur is opening his second El Vez location in Battery Park City tonight. This is the third restaurant Starr has brought to New York City from Philly after Buddakan and Morimoto in 2006. The menu at this El Vez is somewhat less extensive than the one in Philly but plenty of nachos, quesadillas, ceviches, and tacos. The space includes a massive bar and walls lined with round banquettes. There’s a photo booth and a large outdoor patio with a take-out burrito bar opening in the next few weeks.