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This Week in Food: Shake Shack Run, A Square Meal, and Beer Trolley 3.0

Becoming a Food Entrepreneur
Brooklyn FoodWorks (630 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn)
Tuesday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Terry Frishman of culinary consultancy firm Culinest is leading a class on ways to help create your own food start up. The class will cover everything from legal requirements to production and sales. Reservations are $40; secure a spot here.

Run and Drink
Shake Shack (1 Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn)
Tuesday, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Shake Shack’s DUMBO location is offering free community runs on the second Tuesday of every month, with runners of all ages invited to grab a free drink at that Shake Shack location afterwards.

A Square Meal in 1930’s America
NYU Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health (411 Lafayette St., 5th Fl.)
Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Examine the cuisine of the Great Depression and sample recipes from the era at this talk and tasting from the Culinary Historians of New York. Reservations are $40 for general admission; rsvp here.

The Food Funny
QED (27-16 23rd Avenue, Queens)
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Comedy and cooking mix at this live show which features select chefs performing stand up comedy while comedians try their hands at making a few dishes. Tickets are $7 and can be reserved here.

Beer Trolley 3.0
Gun Hill Tavern (780 E 133rd Street, Bronx)
Thursday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Beer industry veterans Chris Cuzme and Kelly Taylor are touring four Bronx based breweries in a trolley and inviting guests to hop aboard. The tour includes drinks on the trolley, a bottle share, and two half pours of beer or a pint at each brewery; food is available for cash purchase at select stops.  Tickets are $40 and include drinks; rsvp here.

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This Week in Food: Drake Party, Chinese Cuisine Today, Chick’n Shack Pop-Up

Drake-Themed Opening Party
Raw Material (121 Orchard Street)
Monday

Raw Material (formally Black Tree) is reopening with a Drake-themed menu in honor of chef Sandy Dee Hall’s favorite rapper. In addition to Drake tunes playing throughout the party, there will also be dishes inspired by the rapper’s lyrics including Alfredo chicken broth mazeman, a double quarter-pound burger, and burrata with wasabi roe. Complimentary glasses of Ruffino Prosecco and samples of Prosecco-infused ice cream will top off the celebration. Make your reservation through Resy.

Book Talk: Andrew Tarlow and Dinner at the Long Table

God’s Love We Deliver (166 6th Avenue, 5th Floor)
Tuesday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Slow Food NYC is hosting restaurateur Andrew Tarlow for a discussion about his Brooklyn-based restaurants and their commitment to local and sustainable products. Tarlow will also be on hand to discuss his first cookbook, Dinner at the Long Table. Admission is free but attendees must register in advance here.

Chinese Cuisine Today: Fuchsia Dunlop, Ed Schoenfeld, & Jonathan Wu

Asian American Writers’ Workshop (110-112 West 27th Street, 6th floor)
Wednesday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fuchsia Dunlop is celebrating the release of her new cookbook Land of Fish and Rice  with a panel of special guests including RedFarm’s Ed Schoenfeld. The book explores the cuisine of China’s Jiangnan region. Reservations are free but a donation of $5 is suggested. Reserve your spot here.

Son of a Gun Chick’n Shack Pop-Up

Madison Square Park Shake (23rd and Madison)
Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Los Angeles’s Animal and Son of a Gun are teaming up with Shake Shack to bring a special sandwich to the original Madison Square Park location. The “Son of a Gun Chick’n Shack” sandwich — crispy chicken breast with spicy pickle slaw and aioli — will be available only on Friday.

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This Week in Food: Free Burgers, Le Savoir, ‘Chef Story’ Live

Free Shake Shack Burgers
All Shake Shack Locations
Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Huzzah! Shake Shack has opened its 100th location, and all its New York City locations are offering a free, single ShackBurger to the first 100 guests of the day. The offer is valid from 10:30 a.m. until noon, but we have a feeling it pays to be an early bird.

Half-Priced Wine Night
BKW by Brooklyn Winery (747 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn)
Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Order two dishes (each $10 or more), and you’ll be able to toast your meal with select bottles of Brooklyn Winery’s goods, which are half price on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m.

Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera Anniversary Dinner

Dos Caminos (Park Avenue) (373 Park Avenue South)
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Chef Ivy Stark will host a three-course dinner (along with tequila pairings) inspired by  Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s anniversary. Feast on oyster soup, avocado tostaditas, braised beef short ribs, and — of course — wedding cake. Dinner is $95 per person (not including tax or gratuity). Reserve your spot by contacting Dos Caminos’s Park Avenue location.

Le Savoir

Skylight Clarkson Square (550 Washington Street)
Wednesday through August 22

Stella Artois’s Le Savoir is headed to New York for a week of interactive dining experiences thanks to “culinary wizards” Bompas and Parr. The event includes includes theatrical entertainment inside a “forgotten garden” that promises to awaken the senses. Dinner is $145 per person. Reserve your spot here.

Chef’s Story Live
International Culinary Center (462 Broadway)
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Sit in on a live taping of Heritage Radio Network’s Chef’s Story podcast featuring chef Ignacio Mattos. The interview will cover Mattos’s notable restaurant openings including Estela and Cafe Altro Paradiso. The conversation will also touch upon the chef’s life growing up in Uruguay. Make a free reservation here.

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This Weekend’s Five Best Food and Drink Events in NYC – 3/20/2015

Don’t let the snow get you down. Spring is finally here, at least from an official calendar perspective. Here are five ways to celebrate.

Late Night Secret Fried Chicken, Corner Social, 321 Lenox Avenue, Friday and Saturday, midnight

You can’t go to bed on an empty stomach, so head here for a midnight snack. Debuting this Saturday (very early) morning, guests can enjoy an off-the-menu whole fried chicken for $30. Chickens will be dispensed to the fryer on a first-come, first-served basis, and there are only twelve birds available each night.

The Coffee and Tea Festival, Brooklyn Expo Center, 79 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.

Whether you fancy afternoon tea or a morning cup of joe, this two-day festival shines a spotlight on both caffeinated beverages with lectures, tastings, and plenty of liquids. Local participants include Cafe Grumpy and David’s Tea. General admission tickets start at $25 and can be secured through the festival website.

The Lockhart Link Burger, Shake Shack, 600 Third Avenue, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.

Sample a burger you’ll probably never have again (unless you visit Austin) when you check out Shake Shack’s new Lockhart Link Burger. Available only at the Midtown East location, Danny Meyer’s latest creation features jalapeño and cheese-stuffed sausage, a Texas Hill Country specialty, atop a classic Shack cheeseburger. The specialty menu item is available in New York until March 25.

Celebrate Martha Stewart’s new cookbook Clean Slate!, Macy’s, 151 West 34th Street, Sunday, noon

Martha Stewart will sign copies of her latest book, which focuses on detoxing and healthy eating habits, and lays out how to stock our refrigerators and cupboards with the right stuff. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are required to complete a free reservation in advance.

Presentation Party Night, Livestream Public, 195 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn, Sunday, 7 p.m.

Want to hear about the secrets of intuitive eating? How about the history of Greenpoint’s fragrant waterway known as Newtown Creek? This event features presentations on these topics plus more, and free beer from Brooklyn Brewery will help relax the crowd (and perhaps encourage audience participation). Food will not be provided, but guests are welcome to bring their own — or order pizza — and share with others.

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This Week’s Five Best Food Events in NYC – 6/9/2014

Bummed about California Chrome missing the Triple Crown? Or maybe the Rangers are giving you night sweats? If your weekend didn’t turn out as planned, here are a few food events that should get you back into your groove.

Decade of Shack, Shake Shack, 23 Street and Madison Avenue, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.

Celebrating a decade of really long lines and amazingly addicting food, the Madison Square Park location of Shake Shack is offering celebrity-chef created shackburgers all week long. Each day, the Shack will feature a limited number of a different chef’s creation; look for work from David Chang, April Bloomfield, Andrew Zimmern, Daniel Boulud, and Daniel Humm. On June 12 — the stand’s actual birthday — the team will be giving out “pay what you’d like” Shack-ago dogs, and there will be live music all day long. Dominique Ansel will also be contributing a birthday cake, which will be available while slices last. There is a two burger per person limit, and all sandwiches are available on a first come, first serve basis — so expect lines.

Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Black Progressive Era Food Reformers and the Case Study of the Tuskegee Institute, NYU Food Studies, 411 Lafayette Street, Monday, 6:30 p.m.

Jennifer Jensen Wallach, author of How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture , will lead a discussion on African-American food practices in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The talk will specifically cover the work of Booker T. Washington, who viewed food habits as a possible avenue for breaking down racial barriers. Tickets start at $10.

Crab & Beer Feast, Ngam, Tuesday, 99 Third Avenue, 6 p.m.

Ngam is running a $40 special of two jumbo Maryland crabs every Tuesday night. The crabs are steamed with Thai herbs and served with spicy dipping sauces, and Singha beer pairings are also part of the experience. Supplement your seafood with dishes from the regular menu, which will also be on offer. Seatings, which take place at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., must be made in advance by contacting the restaurant.

Beard on Books: Luke Barr, James Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, Wednesday, 12 p.m.

Luke Barr, a descendant of famed food writer M.F.K. Fisher and editor at Travel + Leisure, will lead attendees on a historical journey through his great-aunt’s diaries. His book, Provence 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and The Reinvention of American Taste, captures the historical meeting between James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones, delving into how these encounters helped shape American cuisine in future decades. A suggested donation of $20 is encouraged, and the event includes refreshments provided by Sarabeth’s.

Hop Plant Sale and Peak Organic Tap Takeover, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, 285 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, Thursday, 7 p.m.

If you’re a fan of home brewing, take your creations to the next level by picking up a hops plant or two. Guests will learn about Thousands Win, an organization that specializes in rooftop gardens growing hops in urban areas, while sipping Peak Organic Brewing Company beers. For more information on rooftop hops, read about Thousands Win’s innovative enterprise.

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How Long Is the Shake Shack Line? Ask Placemeter

When Shake Shack opened in Madison Square Park nearly a decade ago, lines followed almost immediately, and they have yet to let up. Sure, there’s the Shack Cam, a video camera feed that provides you a real time view of the line, but that’s about as useful as a sign telling you a subway is coming without telling you when. And from that experience, Alex Winter and fellow partner Florent Peyre drew inspiration for real time data app Placemeter, which helps consumers pinpoint how long their wait will be.

After Winter waited for a cheeseburger one day, he decided to apply his years of experience in computer vision technology to better manage all of our time. His background is what you might expect from a person trying to tackle the question of real time data management: He holds a PhD in image recognition as well as several patents to his name. Where restaurateurs look to service issues for an answer, Winter is more familiar with looking at satellite imagery. He enlisted help from Peyre, whose experience in new business development at local offer start-up Gilt City makes him a natural for seeking out growth opportunities for the company.

The data for Placemeter comes from public video streams and computer vision technology: The company is already working with New York’s Department of Transportation to analyze traffic patterns, while various users who live near high volume places like Trader Joe’s are using old smartphones set up in windows to help to capture real time statistics. “The only way to really have an exhaustive view of how many people are inside a location…is to use computer vision,” says Peyre. “By looking at places from the outside, I can tell you how many people are inside.”

As technology improves and devices capture more data, applications of Placemeter range from detecting the wait at your local Starbucks to determining when a parking spot becomes available. “If Google were to ingest our data, they could tell you that the beach you’re looking at to go next Saturday is super crowded after 11 a.m., so you might want to leave earlier to find a parking spot,” says Peyre. “If Yelp were to ingest our data, they could tell you — and they could potentially push an alert to you — about how busy the Meatball Shop is.”

Placemeter is currently working on gathering that data, and if you have an old phone and want to help, the company will sent instructions on where to get the app and other materials so you can capture what’s happening outside your window.

So how does this relate to dining out? You’ll be able to gauge how much you want that cheeseburger: “The simple fact of knowing makes the whole experience better,” says Peyre. “It always feels like the waiting time is longer than it really is. We think that that data when placed in the hands of the consumer will just make the experience better. When you have a better experience, you tend to spend more.”


 

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Burger Bash 2013 Ends in a People’s Choice Tie; Le Rivage Wins Over Judges

They came. They ate. But they couldn’t quite make up their minds. In a first, Burger & Barrel’s bash burger tied Guy Fieri’s bacon mac n’ cheese burger in the people’s choice award category, confirmed after three separate counts, according to host Rachael Ray. While the Food Network star’s popularity and ability to excite a crowd undoubtedly made him a favorite, every New York City restaurant came to play with something unique.

Competition was fierce. Commerce opted for a homemade roll to highlight chef Harold Moore’s traditional burger, and if there had been a best bun contest, this team could have taken the title (though they did run out of burgers before the night was over). Newcomer Distilled–which won our Best Wings prize in Best of NYC 2013–spiced things up with poblano relish and a side of spicy garlic dill pickles. Shake Shack handed out entire cheeseburgers while others offered sliders, stepping up the size strategy to win over the crowd. Of all offerings, most unique might have been Ilili’s shawarma burger with Lebaense jalapenos on a cardamom sesame bun. And Spice Market’s spicy Thai short rib burger was a heavy favorite among the carnivores in attendance. Additional top finishers included Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen and West Caldwell, New Jersey’s Pudster’s.

And while the people may not have been able to decide on one true champ, the judges had no problem: They elected Le Rivage’s french onion soup burger, a last-minute entrant. Paul Denamiel’s burger was served on an English muffin, and it featured stewed onions, bechamel, and emmental cheese.

Hit the next page for photos of what went down off the West Side Highway this past Friday.

Josh Capon's team looked to defend Burger & Barrel's championship. They did...sort of.
Josh Capon’s team looked to defend Burger & Barrel’s championship. They did…sort of.
Burger and Barrel's Bash Burger, which tied for first place in the people's choice award
Burger and Barrel’s Bash Burger, which tied for first place in the people’s choice award
If there was an award for best portion size, Shake Shack would be #1.
If there was an award for best portion size, Shake Shack would be #1.
Cast Iron featured wisco cheese whiz and Nueske bacon on their burger
Cast Iron featured wisco cheese whiz and Nueske bacon on their burger
The Wisco Bacon Burger
The Wisco Bacon Burger
New entrant Distilled opted for poblano relish and crispy fried onions on their beef burger
New entrant Distilled opted for poblano relish and crispy fried onions on their beef burger
The crowd ponders which burger to check out next
The crowd ponders which burger to check out next
People play ping pong in an effort to burn off burger calories
People play ping pong in an effort to burn off burger calories
Commerce featured a homemade roll for their traditional burger
Commerce featured a homemade roll for their traditional burger
Pudster's Original: an angus burger inside a grilled cheese
Pudster’s Original: an angus burger inside a grilled cheese
Above, Pat LaFrieda and company dish out the awards for the evening's best burgers
Above, Pat LaFrieda and company dish out the awards for the evening’s best burgers
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Istanbul Prepares for First Shake Shack

On the heels of Bloomberg Businessweek’s outing of America’s young burger billionairess, Eater reports that Shake Shack will open in Istanbul later this year. The New York-based chain from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality group currently operates burger joints across North America and the Middle East. The Spring 2013 project will be the company’s first restaurant in Turkey.

News of further Shack expansion should come as no surprise to fans of the chain. In addition to the overwhelming number of restaurants that have sprouted up in the past few years, an iPhone App that can predict the length of a prospective diner’s line-waiting time also exists.

The company has announced plans to open a location in London as well.

 

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The Danny Meyer Documentary Airs Tonight on PBS

In 1998, Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group embarked on restaurant mission impossible. He opened two restaurants at once — Eleven Madison Park and Tabla — and a documentary film crew hung out with him the whole time.

Flash forward 14 years, and the finished documentary by Roger Sherman will air tonight on PBS at 10:30. “I was pretty convinced I’d made the absolute worst mistake of my entire professional life,” the then-dark-haired Meyer said in the opening line of the trailer.

The Restaurateur follows Meyer at the beginning of his career, and when asked if he could see opening two restaurants at the same time again he answers, “Can’t say I’ve seen the upside just yet.”

Now if only there were a documentary about Shake Shack’s caloric value.

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Did You Vote? Grab Deals From Starbucks, Shake Shack, and More

Hey there, American citizen. Did you vote yet?

If you’ve already hit your polling station, you can now take advantage of a number of food deals created to congratulate you on exercising your right. And being rewarded with special deals for doing something that’s already a privilege sounds like a pretty American practice to us.

Starbucks is doling out free INDIVISIBLE bracelets today. They’ll match nicely with their just released holiday cups.

Fill out a “Pledge to Vote” card at any Shake Shack location and receive a free custard cup or cone. The burger chain teamed up with the Rock the Vote campaign for the deal.

Neely’s Barbecue Parlour is serving “Barack’s Bowl of Chili” and “Mitt’s Mini Meatloaf,” both $5.95 until 9 p.m. tonight. While away the time until the big announcement with a “Bipartisan Margarita,” for $5.

Pinkberry fans who post Twitter pictures of their frozen yogurt with the hashtag #pinkthevote will be eligible to win a small free dessert with a topping. Follow their results via Twitter.

Ben & Jerry’s, who have never made any secret of political views, are serving an Americone Dream ice cream sundaes — vanilla ice cream specked with fudge waffle cones and caramel — from now until the end of the year.