Breakfast Twinkie

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At first I thought this product might be a joke but alas Bagel-fuls, frozen bagels which come stuffed with Philadelphia cream cheese, are real. Hostess must be pretty pissed off at Kraft right now for stealing the Twinkie idea and turning it on its head: it went from being a dessert item (last meal of the day) to a breakfast item (first meal of the day). This gives the New Testament idea of “The last shall be first” brand new meaning.
I for one will never be caught eating one of these food-like (its not food) products, that is unless the apocalypse or something similar has happened.


Lucy's Greenmarket Report

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I’m trying to eat simpler these days and I am trying to live by the creed of “If my great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, I’m not buying/eating it.” To that end, I like to get my food direct from the source with as few additives as possible. Organic is good. Its not the be all end all but its better than the alternatives most of the time.
If you are ever wondering what is going on in the Union Square Greenmarket, you don’t need to leave your apartment and go there. Instead, you can check out Lucy Wollin’s report, something she has been writing since 1993. I only just learned of it but as its something that our city’s chefs and restaurateurs pay attention to, I’m going to pay attention to it as well.
Via the NYT


Peaceful Dining

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I gleamed this bit of knowledge from my dinner this past Saturday evening:
Chopsticks originated in China during the Shang Dynasty (1766 – 1122 BC) as a substitute for knives at the table. According to Confucius, knives were equated with acts of aggression and should not be used to dine. Chopsticks then became the eating utensils of choice as neighboring Asian counstries adopted its use and modified it according to cultural preference.


Poke versus Tomoe

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I have been a big fan of Poke, an incredible sushi restaurant by me, for some time now. Since I moved nearby last April, I’ve eaten there on average 2 – 3 times a month. Its BYOB policy is fantastic for oenophiles and budget conscious connoisseurs alike. When the topic of sushi restaurants pops up in conversation, I boast about my neighborhood haunt, going as far to say that it’s the uptown Tomoe. Yes, the legendary Tomoe, where my good friend Mike ordered so much food one time, they refused to serve him, saying that he couldn’t possibly eat all of that fish. We convinced the staff that he’s a whale when it comes to sushi and that no fish would go to waste. Sure enough, he ate everything on his plate (which was more than what the other 3 people ate combined). The staff was so impressed that they brought us a bottle of sake on the house to honor this incredible feat. It was funny then and its still funny now.

The calling card for both of these establishments is a stark décor coupled with superb and sublime sushi. Poke is completely devoid of any décor – it is a plain white empty box with literally nothing on the walls. You feel like you are in somebody’s studio apartment which has been gutted and is in the process of being rebuilt. Tomoe has a bit of décor compared to Poke but all it really has are posters tacked onto the wall. In Zagats, Poke gets a 26 for food and a 4 for décor; a difference of 22 and the only difference I know of that is greater than twenty in the entire guide. Tomoe has less of a spread, though only slightly, as it gets a 27 for food and an 8 for décor; a difference of 19. I guess a poster or two goes a long way.

Mike has been dreaming about his epic meal at Tomoe for years now so I recently took him with me to Poke so that he could compare the two. Unfortunately, my ego took a slight hit as he was not head over heals for the joint. While he loved the rolls, which he declared to be better than those served at Tomoe, he said that the sushi was just okay. He didn’t think the toro was anything special and overall he thought that the pieces were on the small to average size (Tomoe is known for its oversized pieces of sushi). The more I thought about it, the more that I thought that he may be right.

My plan is to, for the first time in over a year, head back to Thompson Street to hit up Tomoe and see what that extra point for food gets ya. Hopefully the line won’t be too long (i.e. over a half an hour) and hopefully I’ll be bringing Mike with me. While I’ll be brown bagging a Sapporo while I wait on the street, as I cannot bring my own alcohol, I’m hoping Mike’s eating prowess once again nets us some free booze.

In case you are curious, here are the reviews from Zagats:

Poke: “Exceptional sushi” sliced by a “friendly chef” at “bargain” rates is slightly muted by the “grim”, “cramped” setup at this East Side Japanese BYO – but regulars say “if you drink enough sake, you’ll think it’s Nobu.”

Tomoe: “Neither rain nor sleet nor snow” deter diehards from this Village Japanese and its “affordable”, “monster-size” sushi that “melts in your mouth like buttah”; defying the “nonexistent decor” and “postage stamp”–dimensions, “ouch”-inducing lines wrap “around the block” every single day.


Pizza Pizza

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Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of pizza “officially” being in America. On November 14th, 1905 New York City granted Lombardi’s Brick Oven Pizzeria a license to operate, making it the first pizzeria not only in New York City but in all of America as well. I for one love pizza and think that this auspicious occasion should be celebrated by one and all. Here are a few reasons why:

  • It is everywhere, its quick and its convenient. Doesn’t matter what time of day it is – if you are hungry, there is a pizzeria nearby and you’ll have a slice in your belly in no time flat.
  • It is like sex – even when its bad its good.
  • It contains all 5 food groups in one tasty slice: grains (the dough), fruits & vegetables (the sauce), dairy and calcium-rich foods (the cheese), proteins (if in fact you get sausage, pepperoni or chicken on your slice) and fats and oils (the stuff that turns 2-3 napkins translucent).
  • It is the perfect compromise: “You want to cook?” “Not really.” “You want Chinese?” “Nah.” “Thai?” “Nah.” “Italian?” “Eh, not really.” “Well, what about just pizza then?” “Pizza? Yeah, I can do that…”
  • It is a good indicator of inflation. A slice of pizza almost always mirrors the cost of a subway ride. Going back to when a slice was a nickel, economists have shown that the slice of a piece of pizza and a ride on the subway have remained almost equal for the last 100 years. When you see a slice of regular pizza hit $2.25 or $2.50, look out for an MTA fare hike. For about a year a plain slice was $2.00 while the subway was only $1.50 a ride so I knew something was coming and sure enough, the MTA raised the fares. Coincidence? I think not.
  • Some of the best commercials have been for pizza. Any of these ring a bell? “Avoid the Noid.” “Regular price, Four bucks, Four bucks.” “Its not delivery, its DiGiorno.” And don’t get me started on the Little Caesar’s commercials. In fact, I’m going to try and hunt down my favorite pizza commercials and post them here.

If you have any other reasons why you think pizza is so fantastic, post a comment and let me know. If you don’t like pizza, I want to hear from you too because I just don’t see how that is possible…


Landlord Sues Restaurateurs Over Ghosts

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I just had to post something funny – too much Katrina coverage can really keep you in a dark mood. This was filed by the AP yesterday:

Landlord Sues Restaurateurs Over Ghosts

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The owners of a Japanese restaurant who claim their newly renovated building is haunted are being sued by their landlord for refusing to move in.

An offer to hold an exorcism was refused, according to the 2.6 million dollar lawsuit filed by the owners of the Church Street Station entertainment complex last month in Orange County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit also asks a judge to decide whether the building is haunted and, if so, whether the ghosts would interfere with the restaurant’s business.

Christopher and Yoko Chung had planned to move their Amura Japanese Restaurant into the building in October 2004, but backed out of the lease.

The Chungs’ attorney says subcontractors gave several documented reports of having seen ghosts or apparitions in the restaurant at night. The attorney also says Christopher Chung’s religious beliefs require him to ”avoid encountering or having any association with spirits or demons.”

Thanks Jessie for making me smile – something I haven’t done too much of lately


Coq Roq

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Now this is getting just plain silly: First the Subservient Chicken, then the Sith Sense and now Coq Roqdamn I wish I worked on the Burger King interactive account! Coq Roq is the web site for a made-up band called “Fowl Mouth” – its a great flash site that advertises BK’s new Chicken Fries (I can feel my arteries clogging just having typed that). Check out the gallery area; I think it’s neat how it switches from picture to picture.

Thanks Todd for sending this to me – and to think I thought Coq Roq was a gay band…


What kind of messages does this site send out, especially when it’s backed by a huge corporation? Ultimately, what it’s doing is sexualizing fast food” is just one opinion out of many about this campaign. After the jump, read about all the controversy Coq Roq has kicked up.

From AdAge:


Some Sexual Double Entendres Removed From Site Overnight

July 26, 2005 by Kate MacArthur

CHICAGO ( — Even though it has suddenly removed sexual double entendres from its new Web site,, Burger King today denied it had received any complaints from consumers or other outside groups.

This screen grab was taken in the ‘Gallery’ section of Burger King’s site yesterday. Today, the ‘Groupies Love the Coq’ caption was removed. The company denies it made the changes because of outside complaints. The site is linked to Burger King’s main Web site and is promoted in a new Burger King TV commercial.

Crispin Porter, created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, the agency that created Burger King’s Subservient Chicken site, is designed to look like the kind of crudely outrageous Web site created by a rock band.

The Web site’s double entendre name, along with the lyrics, demeanor and the sophomoric presentation of the fictitious heavy metal group, projects the illusion of something designed to offend the sensibilities of mainstream adult America.

Among other things,, which is linked directly to the main Burger King Web site, includes photo galleries with Polaroid-style shots of young girls with the handwritten captions “Groupies love the Coq” and “groupies love Coq.” Since the site went live yesterday, those captions and others have been erased from the online materials. took screen shots of those removed materials yesterday afternoon.

“Nothing on the site has changed because of any reaction to the site,” said Edna Johnson, senior vice president for global communications for Burger King Corp., which is owned by private equity firm Texas Pacific Group. Mrs. Johnson said photo cutlines were written and then assigned randomly by computer software that as since been disabled. She said malfunctions in the Flash and XML programming were responsible for putting the “Groupies love the Coq” on the photos of the young women.

No complaints

Ms. Johnson said neither the marketer nor its agency, Crispin Porter, had been contacted by any groups. “We haven’t had any complaints. The site launched slightly more than 24 hours ago and the changes are typical of a new Web site that is being tweaked.” She added that a misspelling of Burger King had also been fixed.

But even industry insiders were surprised by the gaffe of the CoqRoq site, with some noting that the bar, first raised first by Burger King’s subservient chicken and later upped by the Paris Hilton erotic carwashing spot for CKE Restaurants’ Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., has pushed the limits of what fast-food marketers will do for attention.

“There’s a fine line between getting the attention of the core target and risking offending the masses,” said Chris Carroll, senior vice president and director of marketing for Subway’s Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust.

The lead singer of Burger King’s fictitious rock band CoqRoq is named Fowl Mouth.

Ralph Norman Haber, partner, Human Factors Consultants, an expert on subliminal perception and subliminal advertising, said there’s nothing subliminal in the site or its advertising and that both males and females appear to be targeted equally.

“As far as I could see both sides of each one of these comes in for being the target,” he said. “Everybody is picked on and it”s kind of fair game. I think it’s probably an effective ad. From my point of view I thought it was very creative.”

However, outsiders are asking how a corporation of Burger King’s stature could have approved the use of such a concept.

‘Offensive in general to families’

“Just the name Coq Roq in general is offensive to families,” said Aliza Pilar Sherman, an authority and author on women and the Internet and founder of cybergrrl. “I can’t imagine if parents of a smaller child saw this. They’d say they don’t want their child exposed to this. Where do we as responsible individuals draw the line? Of course there’s freedom of speech but does that mean Burger King should be perpetuating stereotypes, negative attitudes and demeaning behavior to the market.”

“Burger King is perpetuating a crude type of stereotype,” agreed Dr. Martha Allen, director of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press. “They’re serving junk stereotypes degrading and harmful to women.”

The fact they adjusted the site indicates “they’re crossing the line and they know it in some sense,” said Pat McGann, director of outreach for Men Can Stop Rape, a group that works with young men to foster healthy relationships with women. He called the entire site an example of material that confuses men about what it means to be a man.

Sexualizing fast food

“What kind of messages does this site send out, especially when it’s backed by a huge corporation?” he asked. “Ultimately, what it’s doing is sexualizing fast food.”


BBQ in NYC this weekend

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If you plan to be around Manhattan this weekend, then the 3rd annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party might be for you. Let’s face it, if you’re not full of yourself and in the hamptons, might as well just be really, really full.

The event will feature mouthwatering barbecue from 10 of the nation’s top pitmasters, live jazz, blues, and bluegrass, a bbq documentary, seminars with ‘cue experts, great merchandise and more. Regional specialties like brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and even pig snoots (?!) will be smoked on site by ‘cue legends all the way from Texas, North Carolina, and St. Louis among other top bbq destinations. “Yo dude, let’s like go smoke a pig snoot!”

It’s on Saturday, 6/11 and Sunday, 6/12 from 12:00 to 6:00 in Madison Square Park and on Madison Avenue between 23rd & 26th Streets.

Thanks Neu


From Monty

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Trip Down Mass Marketing, Media Tie-In Lane

So, I’m listening to Virgin Radio on-line this morning, and “Star Wars” Episode III has already debuted in London (5/16/05), and there is supposed to be an interview with C-3PO at some point today (evening London time). It got me thinking about C-3PO and all the merchandising Star Wars has generated…a memory came to me, and of course a Google search has come through once again…

C-3POs Cereal

Do you remember these things? As I recall, they were basically Cheerios in the shape of a digital looking 8, slightly sweetened, and total horseshite….and I had to have them. Especially since there was usually a cheap cut-out cardboard mask on the back of the box…ah the memories. Can’t wait to see Episode III on Thursday at 12:01 A.M…does this make me a dork? I won’t be wearing any costumes, or reciting any lines. However, I may hit on a couple of Princess Leia’s…if they are dressed a la Return of the Jedi…


Kids Able To Buy Pot-Flavored Candy

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Local 6 News in Central Florida recently reported on a controversial pot-flavored candy found to be for sale to kids. The lollipops called “Chronic Candy” are marketed with the slogan “every lick is like taking a hit.” A recent taster said merely, “I think it’s a great product for bringing back memories. You’re not going to get a buzz, you are not going to get the munchies and you won’t get stoned.”

Even though they are meant for adults, there is no warning barring their sale to minors and the intrepid reporters were outraged that any child could just buy one. “This is just a gimmick for a 12-year-old wanna-be pothead to kind of get into,” warns counselor Lui Delgado said.

Capitalism at its best. I love it.

Thanks eNos