Where Padma Lakshmi eats in NYC
Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi takes a Vulture reporter on a very personal food tour around NYC, stopping in places like the Hindu Temple Society of North America’s canteen in Flushing for dosas and ending the day at Los Tacos No. 1 in Chelsea Market. She shares a lot about her past, including stories from her childhood like being bullied in school for being a tall girl with brown skin, and being flown back to India when she spoke up about being molested. The actual culinary tour was marked by “homey” food like dosas, chaat, and tacos in casual restaurants, far from the finer dining atmosphere of Top Chef. “Fine dining, for most of the professional food world, has revolved around a canon that’s been established by mostly dead French white men,” she says in the piece. “It’s restaurant food. It’s not home cooking.”
Critic finds “electrically flavored food” at the new Mission Chinese in Bushwick
New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield dug the hotly debated “ice pickles” at the new Mission Chinese in Bushwick. She says the dish — which is pieces of ice sprinkled with spices on top of kimchi — leaves a “satisfying caraway-and-chili-flavored slick on your tongue as they melt.” The drunken noodles, a new addition to the menu by celebrity chef Danny Bowien, come topped with pink peppercorns, cilantro, and radishes that look like “confetti,” nicely matching the venue’s party atmosphere, though the neon lights and music can be somewhat “jarring,” she writes.
Mozzarella stick vendor Big Mozz lands a spot in Chelsea Market
Cheese-obsessed Smorgasburg vendor Big Mozz has landed a permanent stall inside Chelsea Market. The menu there will focus on mozzarella and burrata made on the spot, as well as sandwiches and the beloved mozzarella sticks. Big Mozz is also partnering edible cookie dough company Dō for a collaboration. The new stall — which opened Thursday, January 3 — has a 30-foot bar where diners can watch the cheese-making process. Craft beer and wine will arrive in a few weeks.
Don Wagyu in FiDi adds dinner
FiDi lunch spot Don Wagyu, home to a $180 wagyu sandwich, begins dinner service on Monday. The dinner menu will center on its pricey katsu sandos, starting at $28, as well as dumplings, a katsu burger, a tempura mushroom bao, and a washugyu tartare sando (with the option of adding caviar). But Eater critic Ryan Sutton would probably advise you to skip it; in 2018 he stopped by to try the fancy sandwich shop’s $28 sando, which he found comparable to “high school cafeteria lunch meat.” Dinner will run Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Brooklyn-based Toby’s Estate opens its 6th location
Brooklyn-based Toby’s Estate has opened its sixth retail store, cafe, and roastery in Bushwick. It’s a 40-seat shop serving brunch as well as grab-and-go pastries, with a pour-over coffee menu with beans from Africa and Latin America. The cafe officially opens Tuesday, January 8, at 8 Wilson Ave., though it is now operating under limited hours with a limited menu.