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Cuozzo's Veggie Burger Ranking, Uma Temakeria Expansion, and More Intel

A Spanish restaurant is coming to the corner that once housed the Mars Bar, plus more restaurant industry news and gossip.

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[The bar at Waverly Inn. It's a nice place to sip a cocktail, especially around this time of the year.]
[The bar at Waverly Inn. It's a nice place to sip a cocktail, especially around this time of the year.]
Daniel Krieger

Post critic Steve Cuozzo is not a fan of the recent veggie burger craze: "Substituting grains and vegetables for meat, and engulfing them in thick sauces, cheese and nuts, does not a virtuous burger make — nor even one that necessarily tastes good. What’s the point in leaving the beef out when the product bloats you every other way it can? Getting fat should at least be fun." Still, good sport that he is, The Cuozz ranks four of the city's most popular veggie burgers. His favorite of the bunch is the version offered at Organic Grill, but Cuozzo is not a fan of Superiority Burger.

— Chef Chris Jaeckle is expanding his fast-casual sushi restaurant Uma Temakeria to Gotham West Market. The new outpost is slated to open in the middle of next month with a menu that will include hand rolls, rice bowls, and "sushi burritos."

— The newest CB3 SLA licensing committee meeting agenda lists an alteration at 21 East First Street, AKA the old Mars Bar Space. Since May it has been a juice bar/wellness center called NaturEs, but EV Grieve notes that now the plan is to convert the space into a Spanish bistro. It looks like NatureEs is dunzo.

Voice critic Zachary Feldman is a big fan of the baked potatoes at Mekelburg's in Clinton Hill:  "They arrive split lengthwise, their fork-tender innards enhanced by your choice of two aggressively flavored accoutrements. One hides raclette at its core, molten beneath a hulking cube of pork belly whose pronounced smoke perfumes the plate."

A customer at Fraunces Tavern in the FiDi was robbed of nearly $3,000 worth of property earlier this week. He dropped a bag full of electronics and other valuable merchandise on the floor while dining, and a thief covertly made off with it while the customer was eating dinner.

McQuaids Public House and Vintner in Hell's Kitchen were both shuttered by the DOH last week because of evidence of mice. After making some upgrades, the restaurants are now back in action.

— Pour one out for the Wendy's in Rock Center:

— The owners of feminist bookstore/cafe Bluestockings are trying to raise money to replace the shop's awning, update its point of sale system, and make a few other necessary upgrades. So far, they have raised $37K of the $50K goal, with $29K coming from an IndieGogo campaign.

The proprietors of the Wayland faced some opposition from the neighbors at this week's CB3 meeting over their liquor license application at 129 Avenue C. But the board gave initial approval to the team with some stipulations regarding a bouncer and soundproofing. The new bar, dubbed The Drift, will be a casual tavern with a small menu of Latin-inspired fare. Co-owner Robert Ceraso tells Gothamist: "The neighborhood’s been wonderful to us, and we wanted to create a space to say thank you, give a space back to the neighborhood."

— And finally: Is the taco replacing the burger as America's favorite comfort food?

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