Monday, March 26, 2007

Tidbits, Treats, and Leftovers

iFARM Collective pulls the plug: That didn't take very long. Looks like things weren't well thought out regarding the summer timing for opening a collective fresh produce "store". (I'm still not sure how a stand is better than the farmers market if it will run concurrent with in the summer except that it might be open more often but with a limited selection.) Additionally, rumors are buzzing downtown about the disaster that is the City Market renovation. With delays, some vendors are having financial issues and may not be able to re-open.

India Garden Downtown Closes: Sadly, India Garden has lost their lease on their downtown Illinois street location and is now closed. (Indianapolis Monthly's The Dish says the space was leased out from under them by an incoming unnamed national chain willing to spend twice the money.) Suddenly 200 business people a day won't know where to have lunch. Gone will be the funky aromas that permeated the parking garage at Market Tower. On the other hand, I won't have to worry about arriving at a Columbia Club lunch smelling like I just came from an Indian banquet. They're hoping to reopen downtown in the new few months.

Wolfgang Puck: Media Whore: Quick alert the media. Wolfgang Puck has jumped on the organic PR bandwagon, this time by removing all animals and animal products raised in confined or crated environments. While he'll be replacing chickens, eggs, beef, and pork with sustainable varieties, he's removed crated veal and foie gras from his menu. My issue? The media frenzy over a bullshit decision and the appearance that yet another chef has given in to hounding by animal rights activists. Additionally, it's yet to be clarified but I suspect when it notes "at all his Wolfgang Puck restaurants", he means a select few of his high end outposts and not the mass number of fast causal eateries and Puck's catering and restaurant operations. (Maybe someone from Puck's here in town can clarify?)

I don't suspect it will make the media when his accountants tell him how much it's going to cost to move to non-commercial animal sourcing company-wide. Otherwise, it's always good press to cut your two highest food cost and probably least popular items -- veal and foie gras. What chef wouldn't love to make a PR win from a ban of his most expensive ingredients? More from Kate at Accidental Hedonist and the voice of reason, Bob del Grosso, guesting at Ruhlman's blog.

Are you a Flexitarian? Christine Barbour is. In her latest, lovely post, one of our favorite bloggers tells all about her vegetarian ways, how she *cheated*, and why she doesn't feel bad about it! Maybe we need to chip in and get her a set of these.

James Beard and IACP Nominees Announced: Nominees for awards from the James Beard Foundation and the IACP were announced last week. Notables? In the single subject category, Braise by Daniel Boulud was recognized. And in books on food, nominees included the wonderful Heat by Bill Buford, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and The United States of Arugula by David Kamp. For food writing awards, Lettie Teague, Eric Felton, and John T. Edge garnered nominations along with a host of other writers represented major newspapers and the main food and wine mags. And blogger Tyler Colman garnered a nomination for Dr. Vino's Wine Blog. Winners will be announced May 7.

The Mystery of the Waffle House Solved: And in case you ever wondered how your waitress at The Waffle House encodes and decodes the complicated ordering system (based on placing condiments on the plate), Slashfood has the grill cook's cheat sheet. Will that be pork chop or country ham? Well, it all depends on whether your mustard is face up or face down, ifyouknowwhatImean. No really. Mustard face down is country ham.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to be so stupid, but where can I send an email to the owners of this blog? I have heard of 2 new restaurants and want to let them know. Thanks.

braingirl said...

You can post your leads here or post your email and we'll get in touch with you. We don't do formal reviews not do we try to cover every new restaurant that opens in town but can share any info we've come across.

candygram4u said...

There is a new Vietnamese place opening this week at 10625 Pendleton Pike (PP and Sunnyside). It's called Sandra Rice & Noodles. Good addition to the NE side of town, I hope!

Not looking for a review, just wanted to let people know of new goodness.

I'm very sad to hear about India Garden. I hope they find another space soon. Please keep us posted!

christine (myplateoryours) said...

You are a hoot, braingirl, have I mentioned that lately?

SCUBAchef said...

What the hell happened with El Sol de Tala?! The East Washington St. location had been closed "for renovations" for several months, but then the downtown location just closed down a couple weeks ago seemingly overnight, with no sign of "thanks for your patronage" or "we've relocated" anywhere to be found. And the phone is not answered, with a full voicemail box. They were actually hitting their stride lately - with a Guacamole Cart (a la Adobo) and a mole dish that held its own against(surpassed IMO)Adobo as well. I've been saying for years that they could really use a high-end Mexican place downtown - like Chicago's Frontera/Topo and Chilpancingo (Sol de Mexico), maybe the always-hopping Adobo will expand into downtown. ?

braingirl said...

Surely we can do better than Adobo for an upscale Mexican place downtown. OTOH, I have no idea where El Sol went. Maybe the Dishers know.

Anonymous said...

I heard a rumor that the national chain that will be replacing India Garden is....Applebees. I'm getting sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Brian D. said...

India Garden downtown has closed??? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can tell I LOVED that place.