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Willie Degel Complains About Trump Tower Squeeze, Thanksgiving Guest Tips From Pete Wells, and More Intel

Babu Ji opens a San Francisco spinoff, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[The counter at the Butcher’s Daughter]
[Daniel Krieger]

— Like several other restaurateurs in the area, Willie Degel, the owner of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse on 56th Street, says that the security checkpoints and road closures around Trump Tower are hurting his business. Degel tells the Post: "It has been a complete nightmare. Pedestrian foot traffic is down tremendously. Everybody in the area is suffering....This is some of the most expensive real estate in the world. We’re supposed to get tourists from Fifth Avenue. But it’s a different story — we got the White House on the block." He claims that business has dropped by 20 percent since the election. In other Trump Tower news, the beefed up security for the Trump family costs the city around $1 million per day.

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells has a lot of good advice on how to be the ideal Thanksgiving guest, including this pearl of wisdom: "[R]emember that your highest priority is to make sure you are invited back so that you can enjoy the delicious sensation of not hosting again next Thanksgiving. Here, a small bribe is helpful. A bottle that is too good for the mob can be pressed discreetly into the host’s hands as you murmur, ‘This is for tomorrow.’"

On Saturday, dozens of Guy Fieri fans dressed up like the Spiky One and hit up a bunch of bars and restaurants in Midtown for the first annual FieriCon. Jordan G. Teicher describes the scene at The Keg Room for Extra Crispy: "At that point, the young men had been joined by some ‘Girl Fieris,’ mostly wearing American flag visors with spiky blond hair insets. More beers had been consumed by then, and in tighter quarters, the enthusiasm reached a fever pitch as the guys gathered for a photo chanting ‘I’m Guy Fieri! I’m Guy Fieri!’"

Anthony Bourdain had dinner with Mu Ramen’s Joshua Smookler at Geo Si Gi in Flushing this week:

Having dinner with some friends.

A photo posted by Harlan Estate (@harlanestate) on

The Porchetta space on East Seventh Street is now for rent. Sara Jenkins and Matt Lindemulder closed their excellent roast pork sandwich restaurant a few weeks ago, with plans to reopen Porchetta at a new location at some point in the near future.

East Village Indian hit Babu Ji now has a spinoff in San Francisco. The new 74-seat restaurant in the Mission District is serving many of the hits from the NYC menu, plus some new dishes and a $62 tasting option. Rajat Parr put together the wine list, and the space has a grab-your-own beer fridge, just like in the East Village. Babu Ji SF is adorned with "metal flower garlands and details curated by SF artist Jenni Witt," according to Eater SF, plus "an ink, watercolor, and digital installation by Melbourne’s Rebeccah Power." Take a look at the new space here.

Danny Bowien’s ever-evolving Orchard Street restaurant Mission Cantina has been serving a riff on In-N-Out’s Animal Style fries lately:

Regram @dannybowienchinese Animal style in NYC #steakfries #salsaespecial #mustardgrilledonions

A photo posted by Mission Cantina (@missioncantinanyc) on

Bushwick watering hole Lone Wolf closed earlier this month. The owners are still leasing the space, but the bar has ceased operations for the moment.

— And finally, here’s a look at how the team from The Dutch makes the restaurant's terrific fried chicken: