Annoying California Chef Gets Death Threats From Foie Gras Protesters

Ron Levi.Photo: CBS San Francisco

Ron Levi, whom this ultra-serious CBS news report bills as "one of the best doughnut chefs around," created the gimmicky line of sweets sold at Psycho Donuts in California. He's now also been threatened with physical violence and more for announcing plans to serve foie gras today. Levi says he was just looking to do something nice for National Doughnut Day, which is not a real thing but is nonetheless celebrated by most everyone who makes a living selling doughnuts. Psycho Donuts has more than 30 kinds to begin with, but somehow he settled instead on making "Foie Bombs," foie gras–mousse-filled bombolone topped with crispy sage and a honey-fig-balsamic gastrique. Foie gras is illegal in California, of course, which is why the proprietor has to give it away at no charge and also the reason why he had to stash his foie in a "secret location" when the threats came in. What's the point of all this? Grab your gavage tube, and let's find out.

He's not giving into intimidation. »


A Grub Street Announcement

It’s with regret that Grub Street announces the closure of our local blogs outside of New York, in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Boston. We thank Hadley Tomicki, Michael Gebert, Jay Barmann, Collin Keefe, and Kara Baskin for the excellent work they’ve done over the last few years. Later this evening, those blogs will redirect to

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Seattle Butcher Claims Pigs Fed With Marijuana Make the Very Best Prosciutto

Way to harsh everyone's mellow.Photo: ccho's flickr; morguefile

A butcher operating out of Pike Place Market in Seattle has been feeding pigs all of those "useless" stems, root bulbs, and "over sized" marijuana leaves produced as by-product at the local medical dispensary. The special feed, William von Schneidau tells NPR, leads to the production of "redder and more savory" meat. Of course it does! The BB Ranch owner has also been busy slipping mickeys to his livestock in the form of the local vodka distillery's spent grains. When all is said and done in the abattoir, "Pot Pig" holds blowout dinners for $120 a head with stoner pig on the menu. There are also "gourmet cupcakes" for dessert.

"I just get out there, and cut them up." »

Philly Pub ‘N Grub Revamped and Rebranded as Lox Stock & Barrel

Lox Stock & Barrel

Though it outlived its two predecessors Tiedhouse and NoVi on the ground floor of the Cityview condo building, Philly Pub ‘n Grub failed to make a meaningful connection with its neighbors in Fairmount and Franklin Town in the two-and-a-half years of its existence. So owner Jeff Katz, a third generation restaurateur who literally grew up in his family’s delicatessen, recently went back to the drawing board to re-conceptualize his neighborhood sports bar. Drawing on what he knows best, he relaunched as Lox Stock & Barrel, and has been operating the deli-diner-neighborhood-bar concept under the radar for several weeks.

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NASA Funding 3-D Printed Pizza Made From Bugs

Nothing can top astronaut ice cream.

It won't be long before we can travel into space for $200,000 and solve global hunger by printing healthy pizza made with grass and insects. NASA has given mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor a $125,000 grant to create a prototype for a food synthesizer that uses his 3-D printing technology. Say what? The idea is that people can buy cartridges of sugars, carbohydrates, and protein in powder form, which could last 30 years, and then use 3-D printing to synthesize nutritious meals one layer at a time.

Pizza's a priority. »

‘Skinny’ Cocktails Are Taking Over the World

Invading summer menus everywhere.

The "skinny"-branded beverage craze is a scary subculture of booze. The drinks account for only 1 percent of total cocktail sales, but researchers are finding that sales growth is doubling each quarter. When a restaurant deems a cocktail "skinny" or "slender," customers who are dieting say yes to drinking, order additional rounds, and spend more on food. Bethenny Frankel started the madness with her brand of low-calorie (and usually lower alcohol content) Skinnygirl margaritas, which she's expanded into a line of wines, and now chains like TGI Fridays, Chili's, and the Cheesecake Factory are using diet-friendly phrases on their menus. Free idea for a dating website: Pair all of the Brogurt fans with the Skinnygirl-loving drinkers, and spare the rest of us. [Earlier, Earlier, AdAge]

PHS' Pop-Up Garden Now Open on Broad Street

Broad Street's Pop-Up GardenPhoto: Collin Keefe

Good News: That Pop-Up Garden we told you that the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society was working on with Avram Hornik’s 4 Corners Management, University of the Arts, and Groundswell Design Group in the vacant lot across form the Kimmel Center on Broad Street is up and running as of yesterday. As in years past, the space will be open to the public on weekdays beginning at 11 a.m. Inside they can stroll the grounds, and enjoy the Eden-esque lush greenery, trees and flowers that have been planted. But if you’re looking for a frosty beer and a taste of George Sabatino’s picinic-y fare, you’ll have to wait another week. The food and drink concessions won’t begin until Wednesday, May 29.

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Sean Brock’s Husk Nashville Opens Thursday

Taking names, starting today.

The immensely popular Southern chef and heirloom-bean revivalist Sean Brock announced that the Nashville outpost of his Charleston restaurant Husk will open for its first dinner service on Thursday evening. The restaurant, which was announced last October, will begin taking reservations today. Also, pokeweed fritters with Benton's ham and lard butter are on the menu. [Husk Nashville, Earlier, Related]


Introducing Vulcan Ale, the Greatest Star Trek Beer on the Market


A trio of intrepid Canadian Star Trek fans became friends over some cold brews and intergalactic scuttlebutt during last year's festive Spock Days celebration in the Canadian Prairie. One thing led to another, and soon they'd decided it was high time for a Vulcan-themed beer. After some negotiations with copyright holder CBS/Paramount and a deal with DeLancey Direct, the first batches of Vulcan Ale are now reaching fans in British Columbia and Alberta for the first time, with wider distribution set for next year. It's an Irish red ale, if that doesn't seem too illogical: “We chose one we thought held the spirit of the show,” says Dr. Richard Weger, a Vulcan Ale co-founder (and a veterinarian). “We were all happy with it.” And if malt really isn't your thing, the Star hears there's a Star Trek wine in the works as well. [The Star, Vulcan Ale/Facebook via Eataku]

Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery Hires Former Dock Street Brewer; Iron Hill Receives Tanks at Its Forthcoming Location in New Jersey

The future site of Barren Hill Tavern and Brewery

Erin Wallace, who owns Old Eagle Tavern in Manayunk, and Devil’s Den in South Philly, is making some progress in bringing forever-shuttered General Lafayette Inn back to life as Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery. She’s finally made settlement on the historic property, and according a rep for the project, intends to have it open for business this summer. She’s hired Scott Morrison, the talented brewer who racked up numerous accolades, including seven Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medals and top honors at the World Beer Cup, while on staff at Dock Street Brewery and McKenzie Brewpubs. At Barren Hill, he will be in charge of developing a line of house-brewed beers that will pour from six of the tavern’s 30 taps. His brews will also be featured on the draft lists at Wallace’s other bars.

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