What better way to spend your Sunday than spicin’ it up at Kimchipalooza 6? While this might sound like the latest edition of a concept-heavy music festival or B-movie, the truth is much tastier. It’s a kimchi festival happening for the 6th year in a row, celebrating jars full of the uber-healthy, probiotic, sometimes buried-underground, stinking-rotten cabbage native to Korean cuisine but that in the last several years has grown in popularity, transcending borders and spreading joy and a spicier, more complex approach to the blander sauerkraut more familiar to American tongues. They’re offering BBQ kimchi creations, live music, DJs, dranks, even a make-your-own kimchi station, and— brace yourself —a “super spicy” kimchi eating contest.
chew the extreme
Yesterday a dozen restaurants along Grand Street in East Williamsburg kicked off their second-annual Grand Street Restaurant Week, the area’s very own location-specific version of the mammoth that is New York Restaurant Week, complete with prix-fixe lunch and dinner specials. Depending on your view, you might interpret the event as either an odd/scary fit for the neighborhood or a harbinger of good things to come.
It bears reminding that, usually in order to participate in Restaurant Week, you first need to feel financially able (or reckless enough) to drop $30 to $40 on a single meal. Regular NY Restaurant Week, also happening right now through August 19, offers $29 lunches and $42 dinners, and understands multiple courses as inherent to both meals. So it seems that, more than likely, people patronizing Grand Street Restaurant Week would fall squarely into the “gentrifier” category, the type of folk who want to prance around in luxury-dorm/playground buildings that are masquerading as apartments or pre-fab “artist communities” but are actually closer to cruise ships (the first-class decks, obviously).
These days, small-time food operations– specialty mayonnaise stores, gourmet dog treat bakeries– especially those on-the-pulse in trendy neighborhoods, seem to come and go quickly as say, nipple photos disappear from Instagram. Restaurants concepts grow tired, indie ventures can’t afford their rent, local faves raise their prices after media feeding frenzies blow up their latest dessert… the list goes on. Sometimes it can seem like there’s no hope for the lil shops selling classics anymore. But, there is hope for pizza. There is always hope for pizza.
At this point, everyone has tried the ramen burger, tried to try it, or tried to make it– if they weren’t already over it before the hype began. Next, please! The crew at Osaka Grub, a Japanese street-food stall that opened yesterday at Essex Street Market, may have have found a way to replace the burger-sized hole in your heart (and stomach). Enter: the okonomiyaki slider.
After attending a bug banquet in the East Village, we were determined to preach the gospel of insect eating. So we stopped by Toloache in the South Village to get some grasshoppers, put them on toothpicks, and offered them to total strangers. Watch the video to see who jumped at the opportunity and who bugged out.
There’s an old saying: when a dog bites a man, that is not news. But when a man bites a ramen burger, that is news.
Not that this is surprising at all: lots-o-people lined up for Ramen Burger’s second week at Smorgasburg. In fact, Eater spotted folks hunkered down in an empty lot around 8 a.m., three hours before the batch of 360 burgers even went up for sale. People, please – it’s not like this is free fried chicken.
After a series of delays and under-the-radar soft openings (um hello, where was B+B’s invite?), Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is finally hatching today, which is a relief because we are running out of chicken puns.
Earlier today, an employee told us the restaurant would be hosting a free tasting around noon, and then closing and re-opening for another free tasting around 6 p.m. Word has gotten out: as we post this, there are 25 people in a line that stretches out the door. Some of them are getting disgruntled (one of them said the line hadn’t moved in 15 minutes) but if you’re in need of a free lunch, you might want to stop yolking around and get over there.
While gluttons for punishment — and just plain gluttons — lined up for ramen burgers in Williamsburg on Saturday, another foodie fiasco was playing out on the Lower East Side. East Village Filipino restaurants Jeepney and Maharlika hosted their second annual balut eating contest at the Hester Street Fair.