Archive for the ‘Food & drink’ Category

Sat 17 Jan 2009 3:07 pm   //   Posted in: Food & drink

The password is “Mint Mojito”

The people in charge of America’s chewing gum supply should be put in charge of curing cancer – ’cause they’re doing a freakin’ amazing job with gum. For as long as I can remember, gum has been getting better. We’re in a golden age of gum.

I’m a fan of the super-strong Dentyne Ice gum that comes in the black package. But about a year ago, a guy I know from church introduced me to a new flavor of Wrigley’s Orbit gum called Mint Mojito. He spoke about it in such glowing terms I thought he must be joking. He wasn’t. It’s simply amazing gum. Since then, every time I notice someone chewing it, I say, “Hey, I chew that gum too.” And suddently we’ve bonded, as if we’re both instantly in on a little secret. Now you’re in on it, too. Try it.

Wed 17 Dec 2008 11:38 pm   //   Posted in: Food & drink, No right to be good

A cereal for our times

So brilliant! So stupid! Why did it take them this long to think it up?

Coming soon: Just Raisins!

Sun 19 Oct 2008 3:46 pm   //   Posted in: Brooklyn, Food & drink

Damn good pizza

The best place to order delivery pizza in Park Slope is Pizza Plus. Today I ordered two pies for the church youth group and accidentally gave the delivery guy $10 too much. He left, then came back to return the extra money. That kind of service that wins repeat business.

Thu 17 Jul 2008 7:32 am   //   Posted in: Food & drink, In the news

Why so serious?

I let my subscription to the New Yorker run out, so I missed getting a paper copy of this week’s Barack and Michelle Obama cover. No matter, I saw it anyway (just like everybody who watches cable TV or reads blogs) before the magazine was even released. Why are we still printing things on paper?

The cover led to a New York Times story about how it’s hard to write jokes about Barack Obama.

“Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” somehow made fun of a shameful military prison, so if there’s humor in that, I’m sure there’s humor in the Obama campaign somewhere. Especially if you’re not trying too hard. I’m sure Leno and Letterman are pulling it off. Ditto with JibJab.

I have to be honest, I never found JibJab vidoes especially funny, and they seem to play things awfully safe for satire. But it is what it is. The new one about the campaign is pretty cute, and the animation has been stepped up a notch. But can they make fun of Obama? Yeah. The Disneyesque Obama scene seems like it nails it: Obama as Uncle Walt in the Magic Kingdom.

Actually, wait, give me a minute to think about that concept to make sure there’s nothing racist about it.

Tue 24 Jun 2008 7:35 am   //   Posted in: Food & drink, New York is different

The sidewalk economy

I work in a big office building in the East Village, a few blocks below Union Square. On a nice day, it’s impossible to walk around the neighborhood without being accosted. There are two kinds of distractions:

  • People who want money.
  • People who want to give you something for free.

The people who ask for the most money are with the United Homeless Organization, a dubious outfit whose supporters set up tables with blue water bottles and say, “Even a penny will help!” Second place is Greenpeace, which dispatches young and enthusiastic volunteers to humiliate themselves by flagging people down on the sidewalk to sign them up for contributions. Third place is people with pets and cardboard signs… Some may or may not be homeless, some may or may not be associated with animal shelters.

Only slightly less annoying are the “street teams” that give away free samples. Energy drinks, energy bars and other miracles of food science are common freebies. Yesterday I was handed an entire bag of free samples and coupons by one of the city’s big drug store chains. It contained:

  • Advil.
  • A Soyjoy bar.
  • A tablet of guava leaf extract marketed as a hangover cure.
  • A 2-ounce plastic bottle containing an “energy shot” fortified with vitamins and caffeine (but merely 8 calories).

I can imagine the marketing brief: We’re trying to target influential, busy, exhausted young people with discretionary income. Recommended location: East Village. What are they, drug dealers?

Mon 23 Jun 2008 9:38 pm   //   Posted in: Food & drink, TV commericals


This Cadbury commercial won a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in France last week:

Fri 20 Jun 2008 7:37 pm   //   Posted in: Food & drink, Hard times

Even Rafiqi’s food cart is raising prices

Sign at Rafiqi's food cart on Broadway


Wed 18 Jun 2008 7:16 am   //   Posted in: Food & drink, Planet earth

Bottled water is probably killing us somehow

My brother’s fiancée Melanie recently shared a scary idea with me. The topic was bottled water. Some people, she noted, don’t finish all the water in a bottle. They put the cap back on and throw the bottle away with water still in it. I’m sure I’ve done this many times, especially at airports.

Big deal, right? Actually, consider what you’ve done. You’ve entombed precious water in a plastic time capsule that will sit in a landfill and won’t break down for hundreds of years. This water has been removed from the hydrogen cycle. One bottle might be just a drop in a pond. But multiply it by a billion and consider the impact this might have on our environment.

My first reaction was one of deep concern. I shall never again throw away a partially-full, sealed plastic bottle. I will empty the bottle or leave the cap off. It’s the right thing to do for the earth.

My second reaction was to snort at the idea that bottled water habits (already not an especially earth-friendly idea) might actually be upsetting the balance of the entire planet. Ha! Now I will chuckle with sadistic delight each time I toss out a half-full water bottle. Take THAT, hydrogen cycle!!

Mon 9 Jun 2008 9:28 am   //   Posted in: Food & drink, It's a trap!

Pay the same and get less

Here’s a link to the Wall Street Journal story about how bars and restaurants are ripping off beer drinkers: A Pint-Size Problem. As Nancy Keates reports:

“Beer prices at bars and restaurants have risen over the past few months, as prices of hops and barley have skyrocketed and retail business has slowed alongside the economy.

“Some restaurants have replaced 16-ounce pint glasses with 14 ouncers — a type of glassware one bartender called a ‘falsie.’

“And customers are complaining that bartenders are increasingly putting less than 16 ounces of beer in a pint glass, filling up the extra space with foam.”

To me, the most surprising part of this story is the outrage from beer fans the reporter quoted. Some people will actually send back a beer if they don’t think they got enough in the glass. I find the idea of getting ripped off to be, well, part of what a bar is all about. Why do we pack into some crowded dive to pay $5 for a bottle of Amstel Light, then tip even the most inattentive bartender 20 percent for uncapping it? I dunno. Because that’s the social order of things?

Wed 28 May 2008 6:49 am   //   Posted in: Brooklyn, Food & drink, Hard times

Sign of the times

Spotted yesterday at a deli in my neighborhood…

Some prices have been changed - Sorry!!