IHOP isn't really changing it's name to IHOb, but here's what the "b" stands for

IHOP caused quite a stir last week by claiming they are changing the restaurant chain's name to IHOb. They aren't. It's (duh) a marketing stunt and the "b" stands for "burgers." From the New York Times:

Many people said they were distressed, some because they hate the sound of the new word, others because they love pancakes. (Pancakes remain on the restaurant’s menu.) Still others pointed out that the “changed” logo, with its lowercase b, resembled that of o.b. tampons....

Brad Haley, IHOP’s chief marketing officer, said that the idea had been proposed by the marketing firm Droga5 in November. He said that only one IHOP location, on Sunset Boulevard, had undergone a design change in response to the new (fake) name, which is meant to promote a product line of Ultimate Steakburgers.

Read the rest

A visit to a self-service sushi restaurant in Japan

You have probably seen sushi restaurants where plates of different kinds of sushi move past you on a conveyor belt. These kinds of places are called kaitenzushi. Here's one where you order sushi on a touch screen and the sushi arrives on a little rail system, stopping right in front of you. I want to go and see how it works. Read the rest

Finding a "secret" Chinese restaurant in Madrid

The folks at Great Big Story went to Madrid to find a hidden Chinese restaurant known as "The Underground."

Underneath a plaza in Madrid lies one of Spain’s greatest culinary secrets. Cafetería Yulong Zhou is home to some of the best Chinese food in the country. Getting there, however is another story. With no exact address or email, trying to find the restaurant takes some expert sleuthing. With the help of a friend and a hint, we embarked on the journey. Spoiler alert: the dumplings made the trek totally worth it.

Read the rest

This restaurant in New York has only one table

Warung Selasa in Queens, New York has one table. It's in a tiny grocery store flanked by a pest control service and a skin care spa.

Every Tuesday, Indo Java in Queens, New York, turns into the hottest spot in town for traditional Indonesian cuisine. And the best part? You’re always guaranteed the best seat in the house. With only one table, Warung Selasa is one of the smallest restaurants in the city, located inside a tiny, two-aisle grocery store. Owned and operated by Dewi Tjahjadi, Warung Selasa has been spreading the flavors of Indonesia in Queens for the past 10 years.

Read the rest

Peeping inside Paris's new nudist restaurant

O’Naturel is a nudist restaurant in Paris. The New Yorker's Henry Alford had a bite and an eyeful:

Read the rest

Outstanding rant about the surreal design ethos of The Cheesecake Factory

Cleveland games developer Max Sledroom went on a Twitter tear about the amazing, surreal, awful design experience that is The Cheesecake Factory, a place whose calorie bombs rank among America's deadliest, and whose strange religious projects have made headlines. Read the rest

Outback Steakhouse is a chain of Satan

Is Outback Steakhouse the devil's restaurant? Several twitter users mapped the location of Outbacks around some major cities to the shape of a pentacle or pentagram. Are the restaurant's flame broiled steaks delivered rom Satan's kitchen? Or is it just the fact that Outbacks are generally located in the suburbs around metropolitan areas? Outback's response below. (WCPO)

Read the rest

25c vending machine gives boy cocaine instead of toy

The Taqueria Los Altos in Bell Gardens is the place for cheap blow: just 25c a go at the putty ball vending machine!

The mother called police, who arrived and tested the white powder, which was positive for the drug. Police opened the machine and found 136 grams, or just under 5 ounces, of cocaine bundled into other little packages, the Bell Gardens Police Department said in a statement.

Officials said a phone number on the side of the machine was registered to Snack Time Vending company. A woman who answered the phone at that number Wednesday morning told The Times that her company owned two other machines in the restaurant but not the one that contained the cocaine.

“We’re getting a bad rap,” said the woman, who declined to give her name.

Read the rest

The "Pan Am Experience:" luxury dinner, circa 1970, served in a recreated 747

At $300 a person, the Pan Am Experience in Los Angeles costs more than many round trip plane flights. But the food is better and they won't knock your teeth out or kill your rabbit.

Your Pan Am Experience begins at our exclusive First & Clipper class check-in desk. where our Pan Am customer service agent provides each passenger with a 70’s style boarding pass, ticket jacket and first class carry-on tags.

You’ll be invited into the Clipper Club where you’ll have an opportunity to peruse the vintage Pan Am memorabilia including authentic uniforms, airline seats, handbags, artwork, and more. You can mingle with other enthusiasts at the Clipper Club lounge, share stories, and make new friends.

Soon thereafter, you’ll board “Clipper Juan T. Trippe”, our dedication to Pan Am’s first Boeing 747, where you’ll be sprung back in time to the 1970s. As soon you set foot inside the aircraft, your Stewardesses adorned in original Pan Am uniforms will welcome you onboard with a fine cocktail of your choice as Frank Sinatra’s soothing voice will transport you back in time.

With libation in hand, we encourage you to explore the aircraft – from First Class on the main deck, to Clipper Class aft of the galley, and the Upper Deck dining room. The interiors of each cabin have all been uniquely restored to Pan Am’s original cabin décor and branding elements.

Before we “take off”, the crew will perform an in-flight safety demonstration followed by a brief welcoming message from the flight deck.

Read the rest

Forget sushi boats, check out the sushi bullet train

At the new Magic Touch Bullet Train Sushi restaurant in Cerritos, California, you order off an iPad menu and the rolls arrive via model bullet trains. I can't wait for them to upgrade to maglev trains. (via Laughing Squid)

Read the rest

Diner "overwhelmed with customers" after Michelin star awarded by mistake

Le Bouche à Oreille is a perfectly decent working class diner in Bourges that'll feed you a slap-up meal for €10. La Bouche à Oreille, though, is a brilliant €48-course restaurant in Paris. Only one of them should have been awarded a Michelin star, but don't tell that to the posh sorts descending en masse upon an overwhelmed greasy spoon.

The Michelin Guide apologised, saying it had confused the café with a more refined establishment of the same name near Paris. The listing was changed on its website, but not until two days later.

Véronique Jacquet, who runs the café, said it had a regular clientèle of local tradesmen. “Suddenly, we were rushed off our feet. Reporters were coming in and then my son phoned me from Paris, where he lives. He almost died laughing.”

Three cheers for the diner's chef, Penelope Salmon: “I put my heart into my cooking.” Read the rest

Moby Dick's Restaurant lease blocked due in part to its "offensive name"

A building council in Vancouver, BC commercial building are reportedly refusing to allow one of the building owners to lease to Moby Dick's Restaurant, a fish-and-chips franchise, in part because of its name. According to a lawsuit, the building council claims that “that the word ‘Dick’ in Moby Dick was an offensive term" and "also claimed a Moby Dick sign would hurt the value of neighboring properties, and that the restaurant would bring increased litter and violate city laws on odor." From Courthouse News Service:

“It was clear by the end of August 2016 that the Strata intended to refuse any signage proposals belonging to Moby Dick which resembled its traditional trademark and brand,” the complaint states. “Instead, the Strata demanded that Moby Dick adopt a signage that was ‘minimalist’ both in color and design. As such, the Strata wrongfully denied Moby Dick’s use of its logo, brand name, and goodwill recognition at the commercial property.”

Mengfa seeks declaratory judgment and damages for interference with business relations.

Read the rest

Eating at all of LA's grand old restaurants and dives, one at a time

The Remains of LA blog has a mission: to "visit all the cool old places in LA (not all at once)." I met its proprietress today, working at my local Burbank library, and I share her passion for LA's old restaurants, though I lack her devotion! As she notes, "sometimes the food is good, and there are nice people." Read the rest

Railway Paradise: How a Fine-Dining Empire Made the Southwest Palatable to Outsiders

Who were the Harvey Girls, and what were the Harvey Houses in which they worked? It's actually more innocent than it sounds, as Hunter Oatman-Stanford explains in his latest piece at Collectors Weekly. The Harvey Houses were a series of eateries and hotels run by a British ex-pat named Fred Harvey alongside the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad tracks that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Girls were women from the East Coast and Midwest, imported to replace the local, often uncouth male waiters in towns like Raton and Belen, New Mexico. Together, the Girls and the dining establishments they worked in lent an air of respectability to the still-wild American Southwest at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, as Hunter learned when he spoke to Richard Melzer, author of Fred Harvey Houses of the Southwest.

Here's a snip from the article:

In 1883, Harvey had decided to fire the rowdy male waiters at his restaurant in Raton, New Mexico, and hire respectable young women in their place. Customers responded so positively to the female staff that Harvey began replacing all of his company’s male servers, advertising for women employees in newspapers throughout the Midwestern and Eastern states.

Unlike much of the Eastern United States, in small Western outposts, it was acceptable for single young women to work and live away from their parents — though they were often stigmatized as being prostitutes or sexually promiscuous. “The Harvey Company called its servers ‘Harvey Girls’ — not waitresses — because the term waitress had a bad connotation: It was linked to the saloon girls,” who were viewed as bawdy and indecent, Melzer says.

Read the rest

A Jew and his sandwich

What did you think about on New Year’s day? I sat in my home in Washington, DC, and dreamed the dream of a middle-aged Jew.

Not of wealth.

Not of fame.

Not of my wife and daughter or other assorted family members and friends.

Not of travel to a foreign land.

And not even of my grandmother’s chicken soup. As a person she was a monster, but boy she made good chicken soup.

NO! I was dreaming of a pastrami sandwich.

I was craving a pastrami sandwich.

Every store was closed here, of course, being New Year’s Day, but it wouldn’t matter—there’s no pastrami worth a damn in this town.

At that moment my body needed to be magically transported to New York City or Los Angeles, the only two places I’ve ever had a really a fabulous pastrami sandwich. (Maybe there’s one in Chicago, who knows?)

In New York, I go to the 2nd Ave. Deli; in LA, I go to Art’s on Ventura Blvd. The 2nd Ave Deli has a long history, and plenty of tragedy (the original owner was robbed and shot to death bringing the day’s cash to the bank in 1996). Then the landlord got greedy and forced them out. His nephews reopened the restaurant on 33rd Street just west of Third Ave. They did a good job: tiled floor, pressed tin ceiling, “A” rating from the Health Department. And the aroma is what I want to smell in heaven when I die. Your tush hasn’t been in the chair for five seconds before Health Salad and sour pickles are on the table. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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

More posts