Category Archives: NYC Food Cart
A Shortage Of Frito-Lay Route Drivers In NYC Has Made It Harder To Find Snack Chips There

On a regular basis, I purchase and eat several different brands and types of potato chips, including some Frito-Lay varieties. When I saw an article about a shortage of Frito-Lay snack chips in NYC on the Grub Street website today, I just had to read it.

According to the Grub Street article, bodegas and other small food stores throughout NYC are not receiving regular deliveries of Frito-Lay snack chips because many of the company’s local delivery drivers have quit their jobs.

It turns out that Frito-Lay is changing the pay structure for its delivery drivers nationwide, and some of the route drivers in NYC have been unhappy about the changes. The new pay structure will offer drivers a higher base salary, but will eliminate the highly profitable commissions that some drivers prefer to receive.

Approximately 20 percent of the Frito-Lay route drivers in Brooklyn, the Bronx, midtown and lower Manhattan have left their jobs because of the pay changes.

It is stated in the Grub Street article that some Frito-Lay drivers in urban areas that contain numerous small food stores were earning six-figure incomes with the commissions that were previously available.

While Frito Lay has been trying to cover the stores that were serviced by the former drivers, lots of store shelves in the city do not have any Lay’s potato chips, Fritos, Ruffles chips, Grandma’s cookies, Cheetos or Cracker Jacks to offer to their customers.

Some store owners are so desperate for Frito-Lay snack products, they are reportedly approaching drivers who are doing their routes, and trying to gain access to snack products from them.

Boru Boru Brings Kosher Japanese Cuisine to Manhattan

Since opening in February, Boru Boru has added a touch of kosher flavor to Manhattan’s Asian cuisine scene. With its kosher ramen bowls and pork-free braised meats, the Japanese-inspired eatery is the brainchild of Daniel Zelkowitz.

A graduate of Yeshiva University, Daniel Zelkowitz has extensive experience in the restaurant industry and has helped open several restaurants and sports bars. However, due to the strict kosher diet that he follows as an Orthodox Jew, Zelkowitz was never able to eat at any of his business ventures. Frustrated at being unable to enjoy Japanese and Chinese cuisine, he decided to launch Boru Boru, an Asian restaurant for patrons who follow a kosher diet. Instead of eschewing traditional dishes based heavily on pork and seafood, Zelkowitz developed kosher alternatives. The restaurant’s menu features chicken and vegetable-based concoctions that have been retooled from non-kosher pork-based broths.

Boru Boru officially launched on February 11 on Amsterdam Avenue. It is located in the space previously occupied by Joon’s Westside Fish Market, which closed in November after 30 years of operation. The space has been extensively renovated, and the new dining area now features plush leather booths, exposed red brick and Japanese-style murals. In keeping with its Jewish roots, the restaurant is closed on Friday and Saturday in observance of Shabbat.

Boru Boru’s dishes are primarily drawn from Japanese cuisine, although the menu does include Korean-influenced dishes like Korean-style fried chicken wings and Chinese-style baozi, succulent Chinese buns given a kosher twist by being stuffed with pastrami and mushrooms. Boru Boru has become known for its kosher and vegetarian ramen bowls, seasoned with mushrooms, chicken, cauliflower and tofu instead of pork. The menu also features a tasty char siu brisket, a fusion of Jewish and Chinese culinary traditions.

Caroline Fidanza New Culinary Director for Firth and Tarlow Group

Looking for a great sandwich in New York became a little tougher toward the end of 2017, when Saltie closed its doors. However, the proprietor of that establishment, Caroline Fidanza, who was also responsible for the many creative sandwiches on the menu. has taken on a new role that will get the attention of diners.

Fidanza has reportedly been hired as the culinary director for a restaurant group that includes Roman’s in Fort Greene. Tasked by the owners, Mark Firth and Andrew Tarlow, with giving some zip to their five restaurants, a butcher shop and bakery, her most prominent presence figures to be with Roman’s.

While there’s no guarantee that some of her past classics like the Clean Slate and Scuttle butt will find their way onto the restaurant’s menus, Fidanza will work with each establishment’s chef to forge new paths. Prior to that, she apparently is helping Roman’s introduce her former legendary Big Italian.

Though nothing other than a statement released to the media about that sandwich being introduced on St. Patrick’s Day has been announced, it’s clear that Fidanza’s fingerprints are already busy. That particular date is when the restaurant’s brunch will make a triumphant return, giving diners roughly a week to whet their appetites.

As opposed to chains, which rely on standard ingredients, Fidanza looks far beyond that scope to provide items like hot soppressata, sesame focaccia and agrodolce squash. That focaccia, along with cornichon has helped her set herself apart from competitors.

The reunion with Firth and Tarlow renews a connection that first began roughly two decades ago, when Fidanza was based at Savoy. Spotting her talent right away, the duo hired her to work at Diner in Williamsburg. There, something as simple as the lettuce sandwich was created along with uniquew items like oatmeal-caraway cookies.

Chef Hemant Mathur Adds to Restaurant Empire

Indian chef and restaurateur Hemant Mathur announced on Wednesday that he is planning to open a new eatery called Saar Indian Bistro. The successful chef, who already owns five other Indian restaurants in New York City, has not finalized the menu, but it will likely be based on cuisine specific to a particular region in India.

Saar will be located just off of Broadway on West 51st Street between the Neil Simon Theatre and the Gershwin Theatre. Like his other restaurants in Manhattan, Mathur plans to have a bar and a dining area with 64 seats. The eatery will also serve Indian-style tea to patrons and offer a catering service.

Mathur has become one of the most prominent Indian chefs in the country. A native of Jaipur, India in Rajasthan, he honed his cooking talents in opulent luxury hotels in India like the Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi and the Taj Bengal in Kolkata. He immigrated to the United States in 1994 and began working his way up the ladder at various restaurants like Tamarind and Diwan Grill.

In 2004, Mathur opened his first restaurant, Devi. In 2007, the Union Square restaurant became the first Indian restaurant in the United States to receive a Michelin star. Mathur left Devi in 2010 to open Tulsi, which became known for its signature dish of tandoori grilled lamb chops. In 2014, Mathur branched out and launched Fine Indian Dining Group, which manages a stable of five Indian restaurants in Manhattan.

Mathur’s specialty is focusing on certain regions of Indian cuisine, rather than forming pan-Indian menus. Each of his restaurants covers a certain region. Dhaba, his restaurant in the Curry Hill area around Lexington Avenue, offers Punjabi dishes like Amritsari fish and Punjabi murgh. Nearby, Chote Nawab focuses on Awadhi cuisine from Lucknow and Deccani-style dishes from Hyderabad. Mathur has not revealed which part of India he will draw on for the menu at Saar, but expects to make his final decisions in time for the resturant’s grand opening in April.

Marc Murphy Shutters West Village Restaurant

Chef Marc Murphy announced on Monday that he has decided to close Ditch Plains, a popular seafood eatery in the West Village. Citing the skyrocketing cost of space in the Greenwich Village Historic District, Murphy hopes to reopen the restaurant in a new location. Murphy was previously forced to close another branch of Ditch Plains in 2014. Located on the Upper West Side for three years, the restaurant also fell victim to the city’s rising rental fees.

Murphy was exposed to Italian and and French cuisine from an early age. Born in Milan, he also lived in Paris, Rome and the French Riviera commune of Villefranche-sur-Mer as a child. He trained at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education and gained experience at multiple restaurants in Europe and New York. In 2004, he opened Landmarc, a Tribeca bistro that drew on his European training. In 2009, he was introduced to a wider audience when he began appearing on the Food Network’s Chopped cooking competition series as a judge. He has since become a fixture on television, judging adolescent chefs on Chopped Junior and making dozens of guest appearances on shows like Rachael Ray, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and The Today Show.

Despite his success behind the stove and on television, Murphy has struggled to expand his restaurant empire in New York. In addition to closing two branches of Ditch Plains, he also was forced to scale back operations at Landmarc Tribeca in July. Currently, the restaurant is not available to the public and is only open for private events. However, Murphy still retains his Landmarc location inside The Shops at Columbus Circle.

Manhattan Chinese Restaurant Receives Zero Stars

The New York Times caused a stir Tuesday when food critic Pete Wells reviewed Manhattan Chinese eatery DaDong and gave it zero stars. Citing tasteless dishes and high prices, Wells expressed his displeasure with the Chinese chain’s first foray into the United States.

DaDong began life as a single restaurant in Beijing, China. Specializing in Peking duck, DaDong Roast Duck was founded by chef Dong Zhenxiang in 1985. Dong developed a special roasting method using a circular wood-burning stove to cook his version of a crisp, juicy Peking duck. His take on the traditional Beijing favorite proved to be popular and helped propel Dong to the position of one of the most famous chefs in Beijing. Due to this success, his flagship restaurant in Dongcheng District was soon joined by other branches in the city. Dong has since spread his eateries into Shanghai, where two of his DaDong restaurants have earned a Michelin star each. In 2017, he expanded DaDong into Manhattan.

Located near Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, DaDong’s newest location opened in December 2017. Spread over two stories, the eatery’s menu is built around its Peking duck. However, due to New York City regulations, the duck is cooked over gas instead of traditional Chinese wood-burning stoves. The restaurant also offers other dishes like Pacific geoduck clams, sweet and sour pork ribs, steamed king crabs, Kung Pao chicken and shrimp, and Wagyu beef.

However, the New York eatery’s extensive menu has not impressed reviewers. Pete Wells wrote in his review for The Times that he found DaDong’s famous Peking duck dish dry and tasteless. He also cited an overabundance of sweetness in many of the restaurant’s dishes. Adam Platt of GrubStreet gave the restaurant a similarly uncomplimentary rating in January. Although not quite as dismissive of the Peking duck, Platt also cited an overuse of sugar in the menu and bemoaned the $98 price tag for the duck dish.

Brooklyn Barbecue Quality Becomes a Source of Debate

The growth and popularity of barbecue has brought with it more competition around all areas of the country. Some these locales are more recent with their improvements when it comes to crafting this delicious menu item and has given rise to the belief that such avid fans translate into better quality.

That led an online site, Munchies, to tweet about the rapid development of Brooklyn as a hotbed of barbecue, going so far as to state that it was taking over the world. Inevitably, those on social media took notice of the item and debated the merits of such a statement, with many taking issue that the New York borough has surpassed such havens as Texas, Kansas City and the South as a whole.

The restaurant used to make this claim was the Williamsburg-based Fette Sau, though the linked article that was included in the original tweet was nearly four years old. Besides the dated reference, some other social media users took issue with the photo included of the restaurant’s contribution to barbecue.

The photo included some pieces of meat, a pair of pickles, a pair of small rolls and a beer. The meat was considered to be below the quality that the more traditional venues serve to their customers. In addition, the simple fact that the pickles had not been sliced, a customary sight in barbecue-oriented restaurants, was pointed out. Finally, the presence of rolls indicated that sliced bread was usually what was offered to those seeking a sandwich.

There were also some more caustic responses, though the fact that Fette Sau continues to make its mark in the borough of Brooklyn will likely negate such disparaging remarks. In all likelihood, the rivalry with this particular meat will continue in the years ahead, with personal opinion the ultimate judge.

Basement Raises the Roof in the Beef Game

Meat is definitely on the menu at Basement, yet getting to experience is something that requires a little creative scheduling and a willingness to venture into new surroundings. It also requires a hefty wallet that will rule out the casual drop-in crowd, though those that venture into will likely be pleased with their decision.

The restaurant’s name is an acknowledgement of its actual location, underneath the much-more prominent Tetsu. The concept is the brainchild of Masa Takayama, who not only runs both of these establishments, but also the iconic Masa. Even though Takayama is considered among the finest sushi chefs, there’s no reason to be concerned that he’s stretching himself too thin in the highly-competitive world of beef-oriented restaurants.

That’s because his concept of meat omakase delivers ohmi, ranked among the finest beef from Japan, and adds in proteins that are rarely glimpsed by diners. Capping this storied list is the always-alluring sight of caviar. Given that equation, the price tag for the meals offered of $350 and more sounds about right, even if it does rule out a good-sized portion of the population.

That scheduling aspect comes into play because the restaurant is only open from Wednesday thought Friday. Those shying away from healthy portions of beef can try some surf to counter the turf, such as crunchy garlic and steamed shrimp. Still those who like chicken won’t be disappointed by offerings like shanghaiese drunken chicken and chicken-neck skewer. In the latter case, these are definitely menu items that won’t be seen at your local KFC.

The elite dishes on the menu both combine beef with one of two combinations. The first has wasabi that’s joined with black truffles and rice that’s tantalizingly immeresed in garlic butter. The second has beef tartare and caviar on top of garlic toast.

NYC Value Food Week

New York City is known for many things. One of the biggest reasons that people consider visiting New York City is the great food. Each year, the city has a major event where it celebrates the best value restaurants in the city. This is a great time for people to find quality food at an affordable price. One of the reasons that people do not healthy food options is the high cost. This event in New York City is designed to give people more access to healthy food choices.

Why Health Matters

The leaders of New York City have taken major steps to help improve the overall health and wellness of people who live in the city. The mayor of New York City decided to ban the sale of carbonated beverages over a certain size. Although this sparked some outrage, there are many people who agree with the decision.

The food value week is the perfect time for people who live in the city to discover new food choices. There are numerous people who complain about the high cost of organic food.

With all of the new health initiatives in New York City, there are many people who have started to live a healthier lifestyle. This event is a great way for people to start eating a healthier diet. In addition, the city encourages people to exercise on a daily basis. There are many people who walk to work in order to get more exercise. Numerous studies show the health benefits of eating natural food and exercising regularly.

In the past, this event has been a major success for business owners and for people who want more healthy food options.

Fillipino Restaurant Suceeds Against the Odds

Nestled in the Filipino enclave of Woodside, Queens, popular local eatery Tito Rad’s Grill is celebrating its eleventh anniversary. In a city where restaurants constantly come and go, the Filipino restaurant relies on a tasty menu packed with traditional favorites and a loyal customer base that returns again and again for the grill’s hearty take on Filipino comfort food.

Tito Rad’s Grill is the brainchild of owner and head chef Mario Albenio. Albenio grew up in the southern Philippines, learning to cook from his mother who owned a small roadside eating stand. Although he originally wanted to commune with the outdoors by training in forestry, Albenio soon found that his favorite place was in the kitchen hovering over a stove. He eventually made his way to New York City by way of Manila and opened the first incarnation of his grill in 2006 with his sister Nenette. The restaurant’s home-style Filipino cooking quickly attracted a steady customer base, and Albenio soon found himself facing long lines as people crowded in for a table. Due to his success, he was able to move into a larger space adjacent to the grill’s original location on Queens Boulevard.

The menu at Tito Rad’s Grill is packed with the flavor of the islands. In addition to tasty favorites like inihaw na panga (tuna jaw), a specialty of Albenio’s native island of Mindanao, the restaurant also offers traditional dishes like manok sa gata and beef adobo. Diners can also sample crispy pork-filled lumpia, the Filipino take on Chinese-style spring rolls. The menu also features seafood-based dishes such as pampano, tuna belly and galunggong, a delicious pan-fried mackerel scad. The grill has gained acclaim for its desserts as well, with purple ube ice cream and colorful halo halo rounding out a selection of flavorful desserts.

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