I lived in Southern California until I moved to NYC at age 27; and from ages 3 to 19 (1964 to 1980) I resided in the city of Orange. The main street in my neighborhood was Tustin Avenue, which was populated with countless fast food and casual restaurants including McDonalds, Taco Bell, Marie Callender’s, A&W (Root Beer) Drive Up, Arby’s, Jack In The Box, Winchell’s Donuts, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, IHOP, Baskin Robbins and others whose memories have been lost to time.
This amazing painting featuring a group of seven of the most well-known Fast Food Mascots at a funeral was spotted by me at an arts and crafts street fair in Chicago. They are clearly serving as pallbearers and you can see that the coffin says “Monsanto,” the notorious chemical company. But, what does it all mean? The painting is clearly mounted in an up-cycled window frame, and the rows of towering palm trees in the background indicates that the location is southern California. I neglected to note the artist’s name, so if anyone has a clue as to who painted this, and what it is all about, please leave that information in the comments! Thank you, Drive Through!
As we become increasingly health conscious when it comes to dining out, the concept of fast food that can be prepared on-demand from fresh ingredients has been popularized by chains like Chipotle, and Moe’s, among others. It’s no accident that these restaurants feature southwestern flavors, because — let’s face it — Mexican food is awesome, and the variety of preferred-ingredient combinations is almost endless. Who misses a Burger when you can do a Burrito Bowl dozens of different ways? What’s really fun and exciting for a foodie like me is to see the Chipotle model emulated to expand beyond Mexican into tasty Mediterranean and Latin cuisines. Recently, I was invited to visit Cocina Del Sur, a midtown fast-casual restaurant specializing in Latin dining that is both healthy and indulgent. Let’s check it out!
Last month, Anne and I went to this Beauty Event Thing, which we (wrongly) assumed was some kind of Cosmetics Product Tradeshow, but which turned out to be a convention center full of little girls standing in long lines to buy makeup. Plus, lots of Tweeting. It was basically ridiculous. Two grown women with real lives had absolutely no business being there except as a means to score free product to write about on our blogs, which was much easier said than done.
One of the booth displays was from a brand called Me Undies that sells expensive underpants, one style of which has pictures of junk food on them. Yes, I just typed that.
There is no denying that Junk Food Underpants have a great visual appeal, even if I believe that most younger ladies prefer a bikini style to a high-waisted brief. Nevertheless, they look quite well-made.
Me Undies, as you can see, was going full-on with their booth display, which included oversized inflatable donuts and papier-mâché pizza slices. Nicely done!
Visit Me Undies at This Link.
Read more about this provocative piece of street art at This Link.
The Katsu Burger from McDonalds in Japan contains a fried pork cutlet stuffed with cheese, topped with cabbage and sweet and sour sauce. It looks like it has mayonaise on it, too. I want to eat it.
UPDATE: Social Eatz Has Closed For Business as of March 2013
I’m a big fan of Top Chef since I got hip to the show in its second season. I am especially enjoying this season’s “All Stars” competition, featuring favorite Cheftestants from past seasons, and am excited for the finale beginning tonight, and then wrapping up in next Wednesday’s episode (Richard Blais for the win)! Although this has never been a point of contention for me, many fans I’ve talked to like to whine about how impossible it is to fully enjoy the Top Chef viewing experience when you can’t actually taste the food. To me this is like saying you can’t possibly enjoy watching a True Blood if you are not really a vampire, which is just silly. But I guess that is reason to be grateful that most, if not all, Top Chefs also operate their own restaurants. Angelo Sosa may not have quite made it to the finals of Top Chef All Stars, but he currently has the starring role as the Chef and owner of a cool new trendy-casual restaurant called Social Eatz, which opens for business on Thursday March 10th in a midtown east neighborhood of Manhattan.
Social Eatz hosted a Media night on Tuesday evening to stir up some advance buzz, and I was lucky enough to snag an invite as the Plus One of my writer friend Anne (who was also kind enough to take all of the pictures in this post). Anne and I had a blast at Social Eatz, which has a fun vibe, comfortable decor and food that is totally off the charts. If you’ve wondered why Angelo made it to the finals of his season (before losing to Kevin. Who? Exactly) and why it was likely a no brainer for the producers to invite him back for All Stars, wonder no longer. The guy can cook his ass off.
According to its mission statement: Social Eatz reinterprets favorite NYC foods “with flavors from across Asia, including Korea, China, Vietnam, and Japan, with Top Chef All Stars’ Angelo Sosa, a self-proclaimed Asian food fanatic, at the helm. Sosa has designed a menu featuring certified organic vegetables and certified sustainable humane meat and fish ranging in categories from Soup’z, Salad’z, App’z, Sandwich’z, Taco’z, Burger’z and Sweet’z.”
We sampled delicious fare from just about every category, as detailed below:
(All Photos By Anne Raso) Tomato Soup with Thai Chile and Curry Whipped Cream. Effing delicious.
Smoked Rib with Mesquite Tamarind Sauce. Best. Rib. Ever.
“Imperialist” Hot Dog: A grilled Chicken Apple Sausage topped with Pickled Onion & Green Pepper Relish on a Potato Bun with a Side of Sake Cheese Sauce. This was my favorite thing.
Charred Bibimbap Burger with Slow Cooked Egg and Pickled Carrot and Cucumber, Served with Fries. OMG.
Chocolate Brownie with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Toffee Sauce, served with chilled Rice Milk. Thank you chocolate toffee brownie for making me so very, very fat.
We also had some tasty and very potent cocktails. Don’t skip the alcohol on your trip to Social Eatz!
Prices range between $5 for the soup and $12 dollars for the burger, so you can see it is quite affordable and an excellent value for some good eats. Or should I say “Eatz”?
Me with Angelo – He is So Hot!
Social Eatz is Located at 232 East 53rd Street, Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in Manhattan (close to the 6 train). Phone 212-207-3339, Website: www.socialeatz.com. Dress Code is Casual. Reservations are recommended.