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Group of 40 Anti-Vax Protestors Descend on a Cheesecake Factory in Queens

Plus, a list of essential New York City dishes that gets it right — and more intel

The Cheesecake Factory logo gleams on a neon red sign on the face of a building.
A location of the Cheesecake Factory in Queens.
John Nacion/Getty Images

A group of roughly 40 protesters descended on a Cheesecake Factory in Queens this week to protest the city’s ongoing vaccine mandate at restaurants and other public indoor facilities. The individuals, who appear to be connected to online group New York Freedom Rally, staged a demonstration at a Cheesecake Factory in the Queens Center Mall on Tuesday evening, refusing to leave the restaurant or provide proof of vaccination, according to the New York Post.

Six people were arrested and charged with criminal trespass in connection with the protest, the Post reports. It’s unclear why the group chose to protest at Cheesecake Factory, an international chain with more than 300 locations in the United States. An Instagram post advertising the demonstration features Mayor Bill de Blasio’s head photoshopped on a slice of cheesecake. The picture appears above the words: “What do we want? Cheesecake! And we want it now.”

A list of essential New York dishes that gets it right

Lists hoping to capture must-try dishes in New York often focus on burgers, bagels, and dollar slices — but what about the birria tacos, braised duck necks, and vegan sloppy joes that stole our attention this year? This week the New York Times magazine is out with with a roundup of the city’s 25 essential dishes, where “almost none of the classics commonly associated with New York are represented.” The list is compiled by Times writer Ligaya Mishan and chefs Kia Damon, Melissa Weller, Andrés Tonatiuh Galindo Maria (Nene’s Deli Taqueria), Chintan Pandya (Adda, Dhamaka), and Missy Robbins (Lilia, Misi).

Restaurants aren’t included in NYC’s gas ban, sort of

New York’s City Council voted on Wednesday to ban gas heaters, stoves and water boilers in all newly constructed buildings under seven stories, as of December 2023, and taller units, by 2027. The ban allows for exceptions in commercial kitchens, including those in restaurants, according to the mayor’s office, though the businesses won’t be able to use gas in other areas, like their dining rooms.

This 17,000-person waitlist for $20 granola is a metaphor for something

Grub Street profiles granola upstart Tom’s Perfect 10 this week, and since there’s a number in its name, here’s a few more: At one point, the online company had roughly 17,000 people waiting for its 10-ounce bags of granola, priced at $20 each. As Grub Street notes, it helps that the company is run by Instagram influencer Tom Bannister and that his wife, Eva Chen, is the head of fashion at Instagram with close to two million followers.

Gothamist checks out the new Sonic Drive-In in Queens

“Turns out, I should have done almost literally anything else with my day,” Gothamist’s Scott Lynch writes in a rare negative review.