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Hand-Cut, Artisanal Ice is Now a Thing People Pay Money For

Ice, as many people can attest, is usually made by pouring a bunch of tap water into a plastic thingamajig. Sure, you can make a case for using purified or filtered water, especially if you are planning to cool down some drinks. However, one company is betting people are willing to go a lot further than that. Introducing homemade, artisanal ice.

Favourite Ice, in addition to preferring the King’s English, was founded by a bartender at the W Hotel when he discovered that subpar ice was ruining expensive cocktails. Thus, a brand new industry was born. The company will hand-cut cubes of frozen water and deliver them to bars and restaurants. The company explains their ice is better than your ice because of, uh, air bubbles or something. Also, their cubes are big, which means they’ll stay intact for even the slowest drinker in your entourage.

So far the company is doing well and many high-end eateries have been taking them up on their offer of high-end ice cubes. Good on them.

Fruit-Flavored Hot Dogs Are Now a Real Thing

When was the last time you ate a hot dog? Did you think, while chomping down on said meat product, that it could use a little bit of lemon or strawberry? Of course you didn’t! That’d be crazy. However, that’s just what one manufacturer has begun adding to their dogs in Japan.

These fruit-flavored hot dogs are not gummies or candy or anything of the sort. They are actual processed pork links mixed with strawberry, lemon and other flavors. Reporters who have braved these dogs have said they have a “slightly milky” taste in addition to an overpowering sweetness. Yikes.

If you find yourself in the Saitama City region of Japan, you can pick up a pack of these precious pork links for only $1.77. Of course, you’ll also have to pay for your own dry cleaning if you can’t keep them down. There’s always that.

New York City Gets a Pop-up French Fry Museum

Being as how you are reading this blog, you are probably the type of person that follows regional and national food trends pretty closely. You know the best burger or pizza slice to try in cities you’ve never visited before. You drink coffee out of a mug that says ‘bacon’ on it. You believe that classic edibles belong in their very own museum. To that last point, you are finally getting your wish. New York City has a temporary French fry museum.

The exhibit shows off more than 100 classic NYC frites from all over the five boroughs, locked away behind glass cylinders as if they were priceless works of art (they are.) The exhibit outlines the history of fries, as well as the history behind all of the various condiments that makes dipping so much fun. The brains behind all of this historical vegetable oil are a design firm called Guild and a niche condiment maker called Sir Kensington’s.

Unfortunately, this scholastic salute to fried spuds will only be open to the public for two days, this weekend. You had better book your plane ticket now, unless you already live in New York City in which all bets are off.

This NBA Stadium Offers Up a Massive 8-Pound Burger

If you follow basketball, you no doubt know that the Charlotte Hornets are already off to yet another disappointing season. OK, that might be jumping the gun a bit, but 2013 — their final season as the Bobcats — didn’t exactly inspire confidence. In any event, who cares how they actually play? Their concession stand has some amazing food, including this mouth watering 8-pound behemoth of a burger.

Hugo’s Boss Burger, named after the team’s mascot, features 14 beef patties, cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, cheese sauce and bacon. Don’t worry. There’s some healthy roughage in the form of lettuce, tomato, pickles and mushrooms. Also, the burger gets cut up into pie-like slices, in case you are tempted to share this beast with ten of your closest friends.

This meaty monstrosity was just unveiled for the 2014-2015 season. It’ll set you back around $75.

Burger King Japan Lets You Gorge on Unlimited Whoppers For $11

You know, back in the old days, America used to be the undisputed world champ of all-you-can-eat meals. This country was practically raised on massive piles of mashed potatoes and subpar ice cream sundaes. Well, it looks like the good ole US of A is slipping in yet another arena. Burger King Japan has started offering up all-you-can-eat Whoppers. Sigh.

The deal will set you back a reasonable $11, which nets you all the beefy goodness you can possibly manage to squeeze down your maw, with a few caveats. First of all, you have to eat two Whoppers, a medium fry and a medium soda in order to qualify to keep eating. Then, you only have a half hour to consume all of that beef. Finally, this offer is only for your standard Whopper and none of those fancy-pants new versions. Still, if you just got rescued from a deserted island and you are starving, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

If you are planning on booking a trip to Japan to take advantage of this deal, it only lasts until November 13th.

 

Copycat of NYC’s Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Shows up in China

Via mgrayflickr

It’s no secret that China is filled with savvy entrepreneurs who make money by copying popular stores in every way possible. There are fake Apple stores, fake Ikea stores and even fake Disney stores. Now, according to some eagle-eyed foodies currently in Shanghai, there is a fake Grimaldi’s pizzeria.

To the uninitiated, Grimaldi’s is one of NYC’s more revered pizza parlors. Since Patsy Grimaldi opened up his first pizzeria in 1933, it has become something of a small national chain, with official branches all over the place. Now there is an absolutely unofficial knockoff in Shanghai, China. The menu is the same and, according to a recently filed lawsuit, some of the chefs have even been poached from the original location in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

However, according to those that have tried it, the food is not cut from the same cheesecloth. “Sad” is a word that seems to be thrown around a lot when discussing it, as a matter of fact. This just goes to show, you can’t go home again if that home is across the world and not actually your home at all but a shameless knockoff. Oh well.

Meanwhile, here’s how to make your own knockoff NY-style pizza at home.

NYC Finally Gets An All-Eclair Bakery

The humble, cream-filled eclair is one of the most delicious treats available at your garden-variety bakery. However, what if the eclair got too big for its britches and decided to expel all of the other baked goods? Then you’d get Les Jardins de la Duchesse, New York City’s all-eclair bakery.

NYC’s Lower East Side will play home to all manner of cream-filled delicacy once this bad boy opens, from your classic Valrhona chocolate-topped standard to more unusual eclairs. The bakery will even feature savory items, including curry chicken eclairs and salmon and cream cheese eclairs. 

In case you were wondering if the beverage selection contained only eclair smoothies, the bakery will offer a full range of coffee drinks and even hot white chocolate.

Bonus: Homemade Eclairs Recipe

London Restaurant Serves Only Canned Fish

Canned fish. Sometimes it’s a necessity. That tuna fish isn’t to become a tuna fish sandwich by itself, in other words. There are, however, some downright gourmet canned fish products that are miles away from the bespectacled Charlie the Tuna. One London restaurant is betting that foodies will pay premium prices for premium canned fish product.

The appropriately named Tincan doesn’t even have a chef and very little by way of staff. Most of the dishes consist of canned fish with a variety of bread, greens and other simple sides. The restaurant only stocks the best of the best in its namesake, importing products from all over the world. Reviews have been positive, proving once again that fresh food is totally overrated (kidding.)

Unfortunately for can lovers, the restaurant is only a pop-up. It’ll be gone in six months. However, if it remains popular the owners say they might consider something long term.

Toronto Gets a Library For Kitchen Appliances

There are a lot of amazing kitchen gadgets out there. If you tried to write them all down, you’d get a hand cramp somewhere around sous vide cooker or silly-shaped pancake mold. This is great for cooking enthusiasts. Variety is the spice of life, after all. This is not so great for people with smaller than average kitchens. Where do you put all of that stuff? That’s where this new library of kitchen appliances comes in.

Opened in Toronto, the Kitchen Library works just like a regular library. You take stuff out and return it by a certain date. Instead of books, however, this library stocks only kitchen gadgets. All told, it features over 100 different appliances, from expensive juicers to more niche items like chocolate fountains. Fifty bucks gets you unlimited access to all of these goodies for a full year, so long as you return them, clean as a whistle, by the specified time.

The idea has proven to be extremely successful, with the creator soon moving the library to a bigger location and beginning to offer monthly memberships.

 

America Finally Gets a Full-Time Cat Cafe

The rest of the world has been sipping on their lattes and petting on their felines for a couple of years now. Meanwhile, the closest America has gotten is a pop-up or two. That seems highly unfair, given the country’s unabashed love affair with cats. Well, it looks like that long national nightmare is over. California just opened their very own cat cafe.

Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, California will get you filled up with caffeine and with noted parasite toxoplasma gondii. All of the cats roaming around are adoptable if you are looking to work some kind of ‘rent to own’ deal. In addition to feisty kitties, they serve a variety of coffee drinks and snacks. You know, the usual coffee shop fare.

They recommend booking a reservation for their cat zone ahead of time at the price of ten dollars for an hour of unlimited mews and hisses.

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