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Chang's Wage Goals, Cuozzo's DOH Rant, Free Decaf Coffee, and More Intel

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The Mexico BLVD truck packs it in, plus more restaurant news and gossip from around NYC

[The dining room at The Clocktower.  Great choice for breakfast or lunch this week.]
[The dining room at The Clocktower. Great choice for breakfast or lunch this week.]
Daniel Krieger

— In light of the recent sushi glove controversy, Steve Cuozzo slams the Department of Health for the way it deals with restaurants: "Don’t blame Mayor de Blasio. The irrational imbalance in resources between the DOB and DOH dates back to Dutch times. The over-empowerment of the DOH’s restaurant crusade grew out of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s nanny-state agenda. It was also to raise easy dough — restaurants paid $26 million in fines for the last fiscal year."  In his rant, Cuozzo also recalls a Friday night dinner at Santina that was completely shut down by a DOH inspector (the restaurant received an "A" grade).

David Chang is obsessed with crumpets, pupusas, and French dip sandwiches right now. He also tells the Washingtonian about a current, non-food related goal:

I think for me the overriding principle is, we have the opportunity now where we can do better. Where we can pay our line cooks generally $25-$30 an hour, and not be limited by $15 an hour. And my sous chefs can all get paid $100,000 minimum. And my managers. And can we start paying our purveyors what they should be getting? This is the goal, at least—a discussion of how a restaurant company can evolve. I’m so conscious of what a self-important jerk I can sound like, but that, to me, is worth exploring.

— The team behind the Mexico BLVD taco truck decided to call it quits last week. In a note to fans, the owners explain that they retired the truck because of the "unsupportable system NYC has for street vendors with broken permitting, [and] contradicting parking laws, amongst many other things." The proprietors have a permanent restaurant in Astoria called Chela & Garnacha.

Jeremiah Moss paid one last visit to Market Diner over the weekend: "[I]nside the diner, crowds of people jammed themselves into the vestibule, waiting 20 and 30 minutes for a table. Some had come to say goodbye on this last weekend, but most just loved eating here."  The diner closed last night after five decades  in business.

The Swiss Water Coffee Lab pop-up at the corner of Houston and Lafayette streets is servings its all-decaf coffee for free from now through November 8. Robert Sietsema stopped by on Friday and filed a report: "Your choice of pour-over, espresso, and cold brew from a tap. And choice of Panama, Ethiopia, or 'Wink' blend on the pour over. The coffee? It tastes like coffee." The space also has a DJ and it will host a concert on Wednesday night. Here's a look at the scene:

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

Ronnie Sue's in the Essex Street Market is closed for renovations but it will reopen on Wednesday with a slightly different business model. Ronnie Sue Kave will continue to sell her sweets and cookies, but the stall will also offer hot chocolate and other artisan goods from local purveyors.

— The 16 Handles location on Bleecker Street is dunzo:

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

— East Fourth Street is getting a new fast casual Mexican restaurant called Tac N Roll.

Emmet's in Soho recently started serving "Chicago thin-crust" pizzas.  These pies are topped with a three-cheese blend, and they're cut into squares.

Caracas Arepa Bar now offers delivery.

Gramercy pub Plug Uglies moved across the street to the space at 256 Third Ave. The building that has housed the bar for over 20 years is slated to be demolished to make way for a new development.

— Untitled at The Whitney will be open on Tuesdays starting this week.

— And finally, here's a profile of Maima's, a Liberian restaurant in Jamaica, Queens that serves one of New York's spiciest dishes:


39 Grove Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (646) 370-3858

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