Does the New Crown Heights Starbucks Threaten Small Neighborhood Businesses?

The Pulp and the Bean and its new neighbor, Starbucks.
The coffee tension brewing in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, started after Starbucks opened a new location right beside a four-year-old coffee shop, the Pulp and the Bean. Owner Tony Fisher is not necessarily scared of the competition. But he believes Starbucks will usher in even more commercial chains, causing the rent prices in the already expensive neighborhood to continue to soar. While Fisher appears visibly unfazed by Starbucks' presence, the anti-big-business slogans occasionally scrawled on chalkboards in front of his stores betray his fears about working next door to a corporate Goliath.

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Chefs v. Yelpers: The Saga Continues

Have chefs finally had it with Yelpers? In Sacramento, the chef/owner of Formoli's Bistro wiled out on Facebook about a negative Yelp review of his restaurant:

"To Chriuh C. from the wonderful site yelp! please pay attention, every review you post involves dinner with mommy and daddy. Apparently, this is the only time you get to dine out, otherwise, you are at Old Spaghetti Factory and leave your palate there. Your parents should be ashamed you you were ever born and they have to take you out to dinner!!!!!!!"

From "Yelp revenge? A chef vents on Facebook," on The Sacramento Bee's Appetizers blog on April 9, 2012.

For more dining news, head to Fork in the Road, or follow us @ForkintheRoadVV, or me, Alexia Nader, @lexi1602. 

Battle of the Black Label Burger

Categories: Kerfuffles

Minetta Tavern's Black Label burger is not the only one in town anymore.

Pat LaFrieda, the meat purveyor of choice for top gourmet burger places like the Spotted Pig and Minetta Tavern, has challenged Wendy's over its use of the name "Black Label Burger" to describe one of its premium patties.

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Case Study: Celebrity Sandwich Dedications

Two celebrity sandwiches: one a success, one a horrible failure

Dedicating a sandwich on your menu to a celebrity is usually a good idea, as long as you don't go about it like a complete idiot. The name of the dish will be instantly memorable, and who doesn't want to eat a sandwich that reminds you of Woody Allen or Salma Hayek? But, as we found out over the weekend, the celebrity sandwich PR stunt is clearly something that should be left to the pros at Carnegie Deli.

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Gwyneth Paltrow's Ghostwriter Quarrel

Categories: Kerfuffles

Since Julia Moskin's article about cookbook ghostwriters came out last week in the Times, "ghostwriter" has become a dirty word in the celebrity cooking world. First, Rachael Ray told Eater that she has never employed a ghostwriter for any of her projects. She said that Wes Martin, the chef credited in the article with some of Ray's recipe development, was a "valued colleague" and a friend who has done various food styling and photography for her. Now, Gwyneth Paltrow has jumped aboard the denial train, posting over the weekend on her Twitter feed that the Times article needs fact-checking. "No ghost writer on my cookbook, I wrote every word myself," she tweeted.

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Morrell Caterers in Trouble over Coconut Shrimp and Other Kosher Law Violations

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‚ÄčAt a press conference yesterday, Michael Savitsky, the chef at Morrell Caterers, one of Long Island's largest catering companies, accused his boss Scott Morrell, the owner of the catering company, of seriously violating kosher food laws, according to The New York Times

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Greenwich Village McDonald's Beating Updates; Ronald Responds

The placid scene last night at the McDonald's on West 3rd Street, where the beating occurred.

The McDonald's just off Sixth Avenue in the Greenwich Village tenderloin was quiet last night, with patrons routinely entering and buying their Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets seemingly oblivious of the horrific violence that had occurred shortly before, when cashier Rayon McIntosh beat two customers who had jumped over the counter with a metal rod. According to an official statement recently put up on the McDonald's corporate website, entitled simply "Response to New York Assault":

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Greenwich Village McDonald's Employee Beats Two Unruly Customers With a Metal Rod

Yesterday morning in the early hours a McDonald's employee assaulted a pair of female customers with a metal rod. One was taken to the hospital with a fractured skull and broken arm, while the other sustained only minor cuts and bruises. Another patron of the world's largest fast-food chain managed to catch the melee on a cell-phone video posted on YouTube. Warning: This is not for the faint of heart.

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Alan Harding Sued for a Big Wad of Cash by His Estranged Wife

Categories: Kerfuffles, Marx

Alan Harding Cooks
Alan Harding and a paper plate
It's been a lively few days for restaurant world lawsuits and garden-variety sordid allegations.

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Central Park Boathouse Workers Walk Out

Yet another embattled Central Park restaurant
Dean Poll, whose inability to come to an agreement with restaurant workers at Tavern on the Green eventually led to its closure, is still butting heads with workers. According to Crain's, a couple dozen staffers at the Central Park Boathouse gathered to protest alleged labor violations outside the restaurant Tuesday, many walking off their shifts to participate.

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