Fire on the Roof of Nathan's Famous Coney Island

@NYCFireWire via @evgrieve
A fire has been reported prior to 11 a.m. this morning at 1310 Surf Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn, the home of Nathan's Famous, the frankfurter merchant. The building had been undergoing extensive repairs and renovation following Hurricane Sandy, and had not been yet opened for business. The fire was soon declared under control, and no damage estimates are yet available. Stay tuned to FiTR for further news.

Here's the original tweet from @NYCFireWire

Update: According to the NY Post, the fire started at 9:45 a.m. as a result of ongoing contruction. It was extinguished in 20 minutes.

[thanks to @evgrieve]

Pot-atopia, No! Pota-topia, Nearly Upon Us in Greenwich Village

Spuds on Sixth Avenue

Just as adjacent West 8th Street is filling up with restaurants instead of shoe stores, many of them quite pricey, Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village latitudes is becoming a cheap, franchise-eats haven. Ninety-nine Cent Pizza led the way, and soon there was a Chipotle just across the street, joining stalwart Gray's Papaya in the immediate vicinity. Now, a baked potato outfit called Potatopia has muscled its way onto the strip.

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FiTR's NYC Neighborhood Dining Guide

On the Upper East Side, where can you drink a digestif out of this crazy glass, which seems bent on demonstrating a scientific principle?

Four years ago Fork in the Road inaugurated the Our 10 Best guides, and we've never looked back. They've proved so popular that readers have asked for some sort of index to the series. Well, here it is: a reverse-chronological list of the neighborhood-based guides, most in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Click on each headline and be magically transported to the corresponding 10 Best list. Sometimes, you even get 11, or 13. Note that the most elderly of these guides is around three years old, so check to make sure a particular place is still open before you go. And look for future indexes to guides based on a single foodstuff or dining concept.

All photos by Robert Sietsema unless otherwise noted

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Grading the New Sushi Bar at Lobster Place in Chelsea Market

Lobster Place's uni (sea urchin) was breezy and briny, and got a grade of A-.

As part of the current evolution of Chelsea Market, old tenants are grabbing more space and revamping their premises to provide more opportunities for the sale of prepared food. In this connection, seafood distributor and retail fish store Lobster Place has added a new, narrow restaurant on the side with a separate entrance called Cull & Pistol, and placed several prepared seafood counters on its renovated and expanded retail floor. One such is a sushi bar, as distinguished from the sushi carryout mass-production facility directly behind it. Here the choice morsels are in a small glass refrigerator case, including perhaps seven or eight varieties of fish and crustaceans, to be made into sushi, sashimi, and ceviche, plus other miscellaneous tartares and tatakis. Here are some notes from FiTR's first meal there, in the company of Andrew the Sushi Fanatic, who took a somewhat dimmer view of the fish than we did. Together, we assigned grades to the things we ate.

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If You Play Your Cards Right, You Can Have a Great Meal at Full House

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Vegetarian Mock Duck - Made of tofu skin tightly rolled up with minced mushrooms inside, the recipe associated with Buddhist monks resembles sliced duck breast more than a little, right?

Full House is one of the new generation of Shanghai restaurants gradually materializing around town, places that not only do the standards of the cuisine, but also throw in some Hong Kong, Sichuan, Mandarin, Thai, and American cooking on top of that. The quality is high, especially on the iconic pork-crab soup dumplings. Here are six recommended dishes.

Read the entire Counter Culture review of Full House here.

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Food Can Be Used To Sell Almost Anything

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Christian Louboutin uses fish hooks and $2 cans of sardines to sell shoes that can run as high as $1,400 per pair. What does it mean?

We may be in the Age of Foodism's twilight, and one of the signs is the outmigration of food imagery into every other field, in many cases used for its positive appeal in order to sell emphatically non-edible products. If you can make your customer's mouth water, then the sale is apparently made, even if it's just shoes or hardware. Just ask yourself, would a supermarket put blouses in the window to advertise groceries? Here are some recent food-related shop windows FiTR has encountered, and thoroughly enjoyed.

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Is This NYC's Best Steak? And How To Cook It

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Moe Albanese's "porterhouse ribeye" at Albanese Meats & Poultry

Peddling up Elizabeth Street from Chinatown this weekend, FiTR spotted the fa├žade of an ancient butcher shop we'd passed many times before, but never patronized. Albanese Meats & Poultry is a throwback to the day way every downtown New York neighborhood had its own butcher shop. In the days before refrigeration, these places provided fresh meat and poultry that would be cooked for that day's supper. Now only a few remain, many selling prime meat to connoisseurs.

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The EV Finally Gets an SF Burrito Mojado

Taqueria Cancun's burrito mojado is a gigantic carne asado burrito drowning in sauces.

In San Francisco's Mission District, where the burrito as we know it was invented, the ultimate form is known as the burrito mojado ("wet burrito"). An overstuffed flour-tortilla burrito is smothered in all the sauces at hand, which may run to guacamole, red and green salsas, pico de gallo, and crema, rendering it richer and more assertively flavored, thereby flinging it deeper into gutbomb territory. This treatment also forces you to eat the thing with a knife and fork. Finally, the East Village has its own rendition, not quite so inundated as that found at Taqueria Cancun on Mission Street, but formidable nonetheless.

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Luscious Raspberry-Lemon Tarts at Bien Cuit

Who doesn't love a lemon-custard tart?

When the new Bien Cuit debuted on Christopher Street, the main difference between it and its parent was the prevalence of new pastries. While FiTR has found the croissant-type items a bit overbaked, so that they all come out too dark, the cookies and tarts are often quite magnificent.

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Six Miracles of East Village Ungentrification

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Miraculously, lunch counter B & H Dairy remains, from the era when its stretch of Second Avenue was known as the Yiddish Broadway.

As a tribute to E.V. Grieve, the East Village's chronicler of closure and demolition, we present this collection of foodie landmarks that have remarkably remained open, despite the neighborhood's influx of soaring glass towers. Take a moment to savor a bite in these six gems. They may soon be gone.

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