Adorable little Star Wars desserts offered at L.A. restaurant


The Star Wars merchandise machine is in full death-march, and we're already sick of the Force-sploitation. But this offbeat little gimmick has us smiling--and jonesing for some sweets.

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Chuck E. Cheese targets moms with lattes, salad, and more wine and beer


Chuck E. Cheese is hoping to market itself to "millennial moms" by expanding its beer and wine offerings, selling lattes, and amping up the salad bar. They should put in a boxing ring to ensure better viewing of the infamous Chuck E. Cheese parental brawls that break out at kids birthday parties!

“Her kids know it’s a fun place to go, but millennial moms want to provide that great experience without sacrificing for themselves,” Greg Casale, head chef of Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company CEC Entertainment, told Bloomberg. “Before she was a mom, she was going to places like Panera and those concepts. She wants something that fits into her millennial lifestyle.” Read the rest

City commissioners approve shooting range/restaurant that serves booze

Daytona Beach, Florida commissioners approved a combination 12-lane indoor gun range and restaurant, that serves alcohol, to open in the city. Read the rest

Man sues "Throwed Rolls" restaurant after being injured by thrown roll

Pastor Troy Tucker is suing Ozark, Missouri's Lambert’s Cafe, billed as the "Home of Throwed Rolls," after a flying roll allegedly hit her in the eye and lacerated her cornea. Read the rest

Watch how some restaurants sneakily craft “steaks” from lesser parts using “meat glue”

Some lower-quality eateries are actually passing off 'formed steaks' melded from lower-quality scraps as the real deal. Here's how they do it.

Crowdfunding Toronto restaurant expansion for Fonda Lola

Our own sysadmin Ken Snider writes, "Toronto Mexican Restaurant Fonda Lola, in an attempt to both raise capital for bulk purchases (to lower costs) as well as create a War Chest to open a second location, has decided to issue 1000 public shares at $75 each, via Indiegogo." Read the rest

A terrible restaurant for Canadian bankers called America

It's in Toronto's Trump hotel, main courses are $45, and it sounds fucking awful. Read the rest

Arby's new Meat Mountain

Arby's, inspired by customers who inquired about a poster in the restaurant depicting a heap of myriad meats, now sells an off-menu "Meat Mountain" piled with various kinds of animal flesh for $10. Here's what's between the buns: Read the rest

PETA unable to make cannibal Dahmer's home a vegan restaurant

Unfortunately, PETA is not able to turn noted cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home in Bath, Ohio into a vegan restaurant. The plan was to call the restaurant "Eat for Life: Home Cooking" but zoning laws stood in their way.

"It was also suggested that we consider converting it into a vegan bed and breakfast, but we're not optimistic that many people would want to make the trip to spend a night in the house.," PETA Media Director Moira Colley said.

Of course, the whole idea could easily have just been a PETA publicity stunt. In any case, the home is still up for sale. (WKYC, thanks Gil Kaufman!) Read the rest

Proud Bird restaurant humbled by huge rent hike

Back in the aerospace heyday of the 1960s-1980s, the Proud Bird restaurant was the steakhouse of choice for Los Angeles industry workers, who gathered to drink strong martinis and talk shop.

But the Proud Bird (founded in 1958 by a B-17 WWII pilot) will fly no more, thanks to a one-two punch of a gigantic lease hike and declining patronage.

Mid-Century culture fanatic Todd Lappin has a beautiful Flickr set of the storied dining establishment (which is where I swiped the photo above), and the LA Times has an article about the Proud Bird's impending closure, save an 11th hour miracle.

Proud Bird, aerospace watering hole, about to run dry Read the rest

Inside NYC's Balthazar bistro

Balthazar is my favorite restaurant in New York City. Sometimes when I visit, I eat both lunch and dinner at the SoHo brasserie. It's good that I don't live in NYC because I'd be washing dishes there to work off my addiction to their steak frites. Apparently, one in 10 people order the steak frites. I learned this from Willy Staley's fascinating New York Times Magazine article this week, "22 Hours in Balthazar": Read the rest

Reporters kicked out of Amy's Baking Company after complaining of fly in drink

Following a spectacular public meltdown staged by a couple running a Scottsdale restaurant, reporters from the Phoenix Business-Journal decided to see what all the fuss was about. They were not disappointed. Read the rest

Scathing restaurant review

Pete Wells' review of Guy Fieri's new restaurant is worth reading even if you would never dream of eating out in Manhattan or, indeed, have never eaten food at all. [New York Times] Read the rest

Key to the Gustavademecum

Last week, I posted about the The Gustavademecum for the Island of Manhattan, a delightfully geeky, DIY-made, mid-20th century dining guide produced by a physical chemist for the benefit of traveling scientists and engineers.

One of the key features of the guide was an elaborate series of symbols and letters that provided a lot of information about various restaurants in a small amount of space—and which look like some kind of crazy alchemical shorthand. In the original post, I included a page from the guide, so you can look at that to see the symbols in action.

Hugh Merwin, who wrote the story on The Gustavademecum for Saveur, also scanned a page from the guide's key, which didn't appear in the original story. You can see some of it above, and visit his personal website to see the full key. Read the rest

A midcentury Happy Mutant's dining guide to New York City

This is a page from Gustavademecum for the Island of Manhattan: A Check-List of the Best-Recommended or Most Interesting Eating-Places, Arranged in Approximate Order of Increasing Latitude and Longitude — Prepared for the convenience of mathematicians, experimental scientists, engineers, and explorers. Which is possibly the best name for a dining guide ever.

Physical chemist Robert Browning Sosman passed this pocket-sized guidebook out at conferences and updated it regularly between 1941 and 1962.

The key feature: Sosman's ... somewhat unique ... observations about the restaurants he visited. And the fact that much of that information was encoded in a sort of proprietary shorthand, cribbed from scientific symbols. The result looks something like a cross between restaurant listings and an alchemist's workbook.

In each of the guide's at least 15 editions, Sosman reviewed 300 restaurants, relaying facts like cuisine and cost, as well as esoteric observations like tableside lighting (measured in lumens) and waiters' estimated IQs. All of it was written in a mashup of mathematical figures, glyphs, Greek, and astrological symbols. A sigma meant there was samba dancing. A lowercase "m" suggested that Madison Avenue types frequented the restaurant

Sadly, the story that this comes from doesn't include a cheat sheet guide to deciphering Sosman's shorthand. A major disappointment. Perhaps one of you can add to the information here?

See more photos of Sosman's dining guide at Saveur Read the rest

Foodies and aviation geeks, unite: A380-themed restaurant launches in China

A waitress poses inside an egg-shaped dining booth at an A380 theme restaurant during a media event before its official opening in Chongqing municipality, April 25, 2012. Special Class, the name of the restaurant, is about 600 square metres in size, including the six private rooms, and can serve up to 110 customers, local media reported. The restaurant officially started business on May 1, 2012. (REUTERS) Read the rest

The Grand Forks Herald reviews the new Olive Garden in town

Here's a sentence I never expected to type: You should really read the Grand Forks Herald's review of The Olive Garden.

This is in North Dakota, for those not familiar. With almost 100,000 people in the metro area, it's the third-largest city in the state. It recently got its first Olive Garden and critic Marilyn Hagerty got in ahead of the lunch rush.

The place is impressive. It’s fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway. There is seating for those who are waiting ...

At length, I asked my server what she would recommend. She suggested chicken Alfredo, and I went with that. Instead of the raspberry lemonade she suggested, I drank water.

She first brought me the familiar Olive Garden salad bowl with crisp greens, peppers, onion rings and yes — several black olives. Along with it came a plate with two long, warm breadsticks.

There are several things to love about this review. For me, it's about the nostalgia. If you grew up in places where Olive Garden and Red Lobster really were the best restaurants in town, you can't help but feel a warm twinge of homesickness reading this. It's not judgement. I can't judge. I chose to go to Applebee's for my fancy high school graduation dinner.

But the best part about this review comes from some background information dug up by intrepid Duluth News reporter Brandon Stahl. In the course of verifying that this was, in fact, a real review, he uncovered something wonderfully upper-Midwestern. Read the rest

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