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Inside the Ridiculous Sunday NYC Routine of Salt Bae

Plus, the UWS H Mart looks close to opening — and more intel

A man in dark sunglasses in a signature salt-sprinkling post stands over a cutting board with sliced steak.
Salt Bae in action
Photo by Jean Schwarzwalder

A look at Salt Bae’s Sunday routine

The Times takes a look at the regular Sundays of Nusret Gökçe aka Salt Bae, as he lives in New York for his new Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, Nusr-Et — and it’s just as ridiculous as one might imagine. The butcher, who apparently has 13 children somewhere, has been staying in the Plaza Hotel. He works out for at least an hour in the morning — “I love myself. I want to look stronger and be better,” he says — before going into the restaurant via a self-balancing board. Once there, he touches base with staff and prepares for a night of taking selfies and sprinkling salt on steaks tableside. “I view my job as an art because I make art out of meat and the move is like a final touch on this art. It came from within me,” he says. Nusr-Et didn’t get great early reviews from critics, though on a later visit, Pete Wells from the Times actually enjoyed the food.

Upper West Side H Mart is almost open

Korean grocery chain with a cult following H Mart will likely swing open the doors on its new Upper West Side location this week. The produce sections are already filled at 110th Street and Broadway, and staffers are telling passersby that it’s ready to go. The uber-popular specialty grocery store sells Korean and other Asian goodies that aren’t found in most local groceries. It’s also known for a robust prepared foods section, though it’s not clear what the food court situation is here yet.

Shake Shack’s expansion will go even more nuclear this year

Danny Meyer’s homegrown burger chain Shake Shack has been planting new locations like crazy all over the world for a while now, and looks like 2018 will have even more dramatic growth for the company. Somewhere between 32 and 35 new locations will open in the country this year, CEO Randy Garutti said this week. But they expect sales to be flat this year considering the 1.5 to 2 percent menu price hikes made in December.

A cybercafe is opening in East Village — and other coming attractions and closings

The longtime home of Trash and Vaudeville on St. Mark’s Place will soon be a cyber cafe called Wanyoo, a location of a Shanghai-based chain. Organic burger chain Bareburger is ditching its East Village location on Second Avenue and will instead open at 173 Orchard St. on the Lower East Side. After just about a year into business, Prince Street restaurant Miss Paradis has closed for renovations, though Bowery Boogie suspects it will never reopen. And the Harlem location of pizza chain Custom Fuel Pizza is down for the count as well.

A look at a Mexican restaurant in Elmhurst

One reason to visit Taqueria El Sinaloense in Elmhurst is the chilorio, a braised pork dish packed with chiles, Ligaya Mishan writes in this week’s Hungry City column in the Times. The texture of it in particular impresses her: “The tangled strands juicy and yielding and then holding back, with buried knots of crunch where the meat took hard to the pan, popping at intervals like a string of firecrackers.” The frijoles puercos and the tacos with dried beef and scrambled beef are also worth ordering. For a look at a different taco, check out these grasshopper ones: