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Entries in Food (747)


Man Arrested at Burger Village After Posing as Underage Police "Informant"

Here's an interesting one: Nick Yadav, the manager of Burger Village (on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Third Street), reached out to me Tuesday night with a curious story. Here it is, repeated in full with his permission:

As the Manager of Burger Village, a family operated restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn, I would like to report an incident that occurred on Saturday April 16th in the evening around 4 pm. A gentleman walks into the restaurant, sat at the bar, ordered food with beer.  After finishing his meal with two beers he was presented with the check/bill which was approximately $45 and change.  He returned the check without any payment, but he wrote the following on the back of the check:

'I'm an informant for NYPD, that’s up to you to call the police but you have just given two drinks to a minor.

We are cracking down restaurants and businesses who give drinks to minors.'

As I read the note, he looked at me and asked if I had read the note.  Then I asked him for his ID/badge but he had nothing on him. So, I told him to settle the bill which he did not.  Eventually I called 911 and he was arrested by the cops from 78th Precinct.

By no means did he look like a minor to me or my staff because we always ask for an ID if a customer asks for beer or wine and seems underage. 

Restaurants, please beware and look out for customers like the above who pose as a cop or informant like the above and misuse this regulations and rules to their advantage."

If you're going to dine and dash, why not just dine and dash? This seems like a rather elaborate prank to pull to just end up waiting around to be arrested.

Photo via Nick Yadav.


Closed for Business: Applewood, 501 11th Street

Applewood, the pioneering farm-to-table restaurant, has closed after 11 years on 11th Street near 7th Avenue, DNAinfo reports. Owners David and Laura Shea told the site that running the restaurant while living in upstate Columbia County, where they moved to three and a half years ago, had become "a herculean task."

Applewood opened in September 2004, and with its seasonally-changing menu and emphasis on fresh and sustainable local ingredients it was at the vanguard of a movement that's since become the norm. For years it's been considered one of the neighborhood's best, but with the arrival of newer options like Talde, which occupies the opposite corner, it's hard to imagine that its slightly off-the-beaten-path location didn't begin to work against it. “There’s room for everybody, but at the same time I started to feel like the Brooklyn restaurant scene was getting pretty diluted,” Shea told DNAinfo. “There were just too many choices.”

A quintessential neighborhood mom-and-pop spot, Applewood will certainly be missed. There's been a trend of New York City chefs and restaurateurs choosing to open restaurants upstate, however, so I have a feeling that we haven't heard the end of the Sheas.


Manhattan's Fiat Cafe to Open Second Location in Former Cubana Cafe Space 

Well, that answers that: A month ago I asked if Cubana Cafe, on the corner of Sixth and St. Marks, was closed for good after being shuttered for several months. Over the weekend, window signage went up indicating that the space's next tenant will be a casual Italian restaurant called Fiat Cafe, which has a location on Mott Street between Spring and Kenmare in Nolita.

The restaurant has a fairly extensive menu of traditional breakfast and brunch dishes, and the lunch and dinner menu includes antipasti, salads, panini, pasta, and a handful of entrees. Coffee and espresso also seem to be specialties. It's very reasonably priced; panini average $8 and pasta dishes $9.50, and it has four Yelp stars with more than 300 reviews.

Cubana Cafe was decent but decidedly nothing special, and an inexpensive and relaxed Italian restaurant seems like a perfectly acceptable addition to the area.


Closed for Business: Fresh Bite, 168 5th Avenue

Eight months after opening on the Fifth Avenue and Degraw Street, the corner deli Fresh Bite has closed.

The shop was clean and had a decent selection of baked goods and sandwiches, but never attracted much of a clientele. Whereas other nearby bodegas, like 5th Ave Market on Berkeley, for example, sell as many items as can possibly be packed into the space, Fresh Bite stocked a relatively small number of healthy and gourmet items, and I imagine it was awfully tough to sell enough Boar's Head sandwiches and steam table hot foods to make rent.

With no shortage of corner delis in the immediate area, we can officially say that adding another one into the mix wasn't a good idea.


Apartment Buildings, Pedestrian "Piazza" with Shops and Restaurants in the Works for Fifth Avenue Key Food Site

The Key Food on Fifth Avenue and Sterling place is a city anomaly: A top of the line, full-scale, 36,000 square-foot supermarket, complete with a huge parking lot, right in the middle of a thriving neighborhood. It's a valuable and affordable resource not just for Park Slopers but for all Brooklynites, but it appears as if it was simply too good to last: plans are in place to tear the structure down and replace it with shops and apartment buildings, and Wednesday night the community was able to have its say during a public meeting with developer Avery Hall Investments.

The current plans to replace the Key Food (which was constructed in the mid-1980s after an extensive campaign for a full supermarket in the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood) involve two residential buildings: a six-story tall building to the north and a five-story building to the south, with a pedestrian-only Butler Street being re-built between them. Along this pedestrian walkway will be shops and restaurants, and it will open up into a large piazza.

Incongruity with the neighborhood aside, the fact that initial plans only call for a food market about one-fifth the size of the existing one was one of the major issues discussed last night, according to Curbed. While "the developer assured residents that he was willing to consider more [square feet]," according to the site, the odds are very high that whatever replaces Key Food will be much gloser to a small grocery store than the increasingly suburban-style supermarket that's there today.

While there's still a ways to go before the plan is put into motion, it might happen sooner rather than later: It was revealed Wednesday night that the developer has already entered into contract with the supermarket, which owns the property, and construction can begin as soon as next year.