Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category.

Diabetes and Weight Loss

Type 2 diabetes isn’t necessarily for life, with a new clinical trial providing some of the clearest evidence yet that the condition can be reversed, even in patients who have carried the disease for several years.

A clinical trial involving almost 300 people in the UK found an intensive weight management program put type 2 diabetes into remission for 86 percent of patients who lost 15 kilograms (33 lbs) or more.

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[Roy Taylor from Newcastle University] and fellow researchers studied 298 adults aged 20-65 years who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the previous six years to take part in the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT).

Participants were randomly assigned to either an intensive weight management program or to regular diabetic care administered by their GP, acting as a control group.

For the 149 individuals placed in the weight management program, participants had to restrict themselves to a low calorie formula diet consisting of things like health shakes and soups, limiting them to consuming 825-853 calories per day for a period of three to five months.

After this, food was reintroduced to their diet slowly over two to eight weeks, and participants were given support to maintain their weight loss, including cognitive behavioural therapy and help with how to increase their level of physical activity.

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Almost 90 percent of those who lost 15 kilograms (33 lbs) or more, successfully reversed their type 2 diabetes. More than half (57 percent) of those dropping 10 to 15 kilograms (22 to 33 lbs) achieved remission also.

For those who lost less weight – between 5 to 10 kilograms (11 to 22 lbs) – the reversal still worked for more than a third (34 percent) of participants.

This Extreme Diet Reversed Type 2 Diabetes in Up to 86% of Patients

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Mockery of Yelp #ScrewYelp

For a few weeks now, Botto Bistro is actively trying to become the worst-reviewed restaurant on Yelp as a way to stick it to the venerated review site—so much so that they’re offering 25 percent off for anyone who does so.

In recent years, Yelp has been publicly accused of extortion—asking for money from businesses that are automatically listed on the site in exchange for preferred placement on the site. There are also accusations of abruptly vanishing positive reviews and suddenly appearing negative reviews. Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco dismissed two cases alleging that such behavior by Yelp is illegal.

Why this tiny Italian restaurant gives a discount for bad Yelp reviews, by Cyrus Farivar

Many Yelp reviews are worthless anyway. Many Yelp restaurant reviews are written by people who wouldn’t know the difference between a good chow fun and a lousy chow fun, or the difference between a soup dumpling and a regular dumpling. Or between a cannoli and a canape. Etc.

#ScrewYelp

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John Brown Smokehouse

John Brown Smokehouse, web site, 25-08 37th Avenue (Crescent Street), Long Island City, Queens, NY, 718-361-0085 [NY Mag | NY Daily News | PigTrip | Yelp]

Millbrook Village - New Jersey
Creative Commons License photo credit: Dougtone

Set in the middle of nowhere, these are the best burnt ends I’ve had, including Kansas City, and the best lamb sausage I’ve had, ever. The pastrami is the other winner. Quite possibly this is the best barbecue on the entire East Coast and it is one of the better barbecue experiences in the country. Here is one review.

They let me sample about five other dishes, and while they were very tasty they did not compare to the absolute winners cited above.

Me: “I know this is a stupid question, but how come the food here is so good?”

The Pitmaster: “That’s how we make it.”

By Tyler Cowen, originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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Chinese Restaurants

Restaurants have a very long history in China. At a time when fine food in western Europe was confined to a handful of great monasteries, the Song Dynasty capital, Kaifeng, supported hundreds of commercial food businesses and a rich gourmet culture….

Ju Xiang Yuan Restaurant - 641 Somerset st. W, Ottawa
Creative Commons License photo credit: C John Thompson

Some of the city’s restaurants were so renowned that the emperor himself ordered out for their specialties; they could also cater the most elaborate banquets, in their own halls or at the homes of the wealthy. Kaifeng’s many eateries also included teahouses where men could sip tea, gossip, and order snacks or full meals, as well as wineshops, which were more popular at night….

China’s vibrant restaurant culture continued unabated through the end of the Qing Dynasty. The English clergyman John Henry Gray [in China: A History of the Laws, Manners, and Customs of the People, (London: Macmillan, 1878), Volume II, Chapter 19, page 64], one of the few Europeans with a serious interest in Chinese food, summed up the typical nineteenth-century urban eatery thus:

The restaurants are generally very large establishments, consisting of a public dining-room and several private rooms. Unlike most other buildings, they consist of two or three stories. The kitchen alone occupies the ground floor; the public hall, which is the resort of persons in the humbler walks of life, is on the first floor, and the more select apartments are on the second and third floors. These are, of course, resorted to by the wealthier citizens, but they are open to persons in all classes of society, and it is not unusual to see in them persons of limited means. At the entrance-door there is a table or counter at which the proprietor sits, and where each customer on leaving pays for his repast. The public room is immediately at the head of the first staircase, and is resorted to by all who require a cheap meal. It is furnished, like a cafe, with tables and chairs, a private room having only one table and a few chairs in it.

… All guests, rich and poor, entered the restaurant through the ground-floor kitchen, where they could judge for themselves the skill of the chefs, the quality of the roasted ducks, chickens, and pigs hanging from the ceiling…and the facility’s cleanliness. When the Chinese immigrated to the United States, they carried this style of restaurant intact to their new homeland.

Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States,” by Andrew Coe (Oxford University Press 2009), pages 94-96, ISBN 0195331079.

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New York tips: Tulsi, Jones Wood Foundry, Golden Mall

(From Tyler Cowen)

1. Tulsi, web site, 211 E. 46th, between 1st and 2nd, New York, NY, 212-888-0820. The most authentic Indian food I’ve had in the U.S., ever, get the vegetables. Not a cheap mom and pop, but by Manhattan standards this is reasonably priced for its quality. [Google | NYT| MY Mag | Yelp | Village Voice]

Jones Wood Foundry, web site, 401 East 76th Street, New York, NY, 212-249-2700. An excellent gastropub. [NYT | MenuPages | NY Mag | Yelp | Village Voice | Yelp]

2. Incendies joins Of Gods and Men and Even the Rain as one of my favorite films of the year. It is French-Canadian, set in Lebanon, and involves a journey of family discovery; I read it as an explicitly Christian movie.

3. Flushing, Queens, Golden Shopping Mall, 41-28 Main Street, Flushing, NY, go eat the Chinese food in the basement food court. For visitors, convenient from LaGuardia airport by taxi. [Serious NY Eats | Chowhound | Village Voice]

If you live in New York, or visit frequently, this is my best blog post ever.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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“Crony Capitalism” and Food Trucks

Crony capitalism is a pejorative term describing an allegedly capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between businesspeople and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.

Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.

Crony Capitalism” – Wikipedia

Rich Taco Trucking
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mike Saechang

Government regulation is often a tool for incumbent businesses to prevent competition from new businesses, contrary to the conventional wisdom that Big Government provides a check on Big Business.

Today’s example: DC restaurants using regulation to kill DC food trucks:

Big Business and Big Government vs Food Trucks,” Timothy Carney, Washington Examiner, September 23, 2010

Fuleen Seafood Restaurant

Recently I shepherded a group of 7 amigos to the Fuleen Seafood Restaurant … Classic Cantonese cuisine with nice service and a very good value. Another great place to bring a group of hungry amigos for a delicious Cantonese dinner in Chinatown. The dishes I ordered … perriwinkles in black-bean sauce, flour-coated fried oysters, prawns with walnuts, garlic-scented sauteed chicken, garlic sauteed pea-shoots, fermented bean-curd sauteed water spinach, chow-mein with prawns. Fresh cut Florida oranges for desert. The total bill was $125.00. We were allowed to bring our own red wine … come soon for a very frugal Manhattan-Yankee dinner in Chinatown …
Fuleen Seafood Restaurant, 11 Division Street, New York, 212-941-6888 [MenuPages | NYT | NY Mag | Yelp | Citysearch]

Best deal for hard economic times

After casting my vote at Hunter College with a minimal wait … the TV media was very sensational about long lines … I went to Chinatown and ate at my local hawker stall on south-east corner of Canal & Mott Streets …. three deep-fried vegetable spring rolls for $1.00 and fried vegetable chow-mein for $1.25 … I walked to the Hong Kong supermarket on Hester Street and bought a can of cool coconut juice for $0.89 … the best deal for this hard economic times … cheaper then the cost of the tip at a 4-star fancy up-town restaurant …
Hong Kong Supermarket, 157 Hester Street., New York [Yelp]

Jose Fish Market

Last Spring, disembarking at La Guardia airport, I decided to ride the Q33 bus to Jackson Heights before transferring to the subway to Manhattan. I walked around the area to find an interesting place to eat and decided on Jose Fish Market from the looks. This is a Korean-Peruvian fish eatery, I surveyed the offerings and they looked very fresh and well-prepared. So I ordered the fried whiting fish, scallops and shrimps combination with french fries for $5.00. The order came with two wedges of fresh lime. I noticed that every order came with two wedges of fresh lime. This is a very good sign because it is not normal in NY to get two wedges of fresh lime. I sat at the community table and enjoyed my fries, fish, scallops and shrimps. The next best thing was the flat-screen TV showing the Andrea Bocelli concert. I was very impressed with the total package. A very clean place and music to enjoy the meal.
I have been back twice, traveling to Jackson Heights just to eat at Jose Fish Market, wow!
The last time, besides the fried fish platter, I ordered the fish soup and I think that it is very good. Next time, I must order the whole fish and rice for $6.00 and they have a dozen freshly shucked oysters for $10.00. I am going to bring a bottle of Spanish cava and have a good time … I saw a customer purchase a ripe avocado from the fruit store, next door, and enjoyed the sliced avocado with his fish and fries … I am going to do the same, next time …
Definitely worth the detour (as they would say in the Michelin guide) … every time, the fried fish was very fresh and crunchy, not salty … a large flow of customers keep the products fresh off the frying oil … the last time, I ordered the rice instead of the French fries and they are good with onions and squash in the broth, 50 cents extra charge … and the pint of fish soup ($2.50) is very delicious with the two wedges of lime … I hesitated to write after the first visit but I am convinced that it is the best fried fish eatery in New York
From Manhattan, the E or the F subway line will get you there express and catch the Q32 for a free ride back to the City …
Jose Fish Market, 81-04 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, Queens, NY, 718-478-0232‎ … on the take-out menu “the chef wakes up at 3 am daily to buy the fresh fish…”
This is an AGINY Good Value!
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The Hamburger

How did a sandwich once reviled as something unsanitary and purchased outside factories and at carnivals come so far? The answer can be found in this little book, The Hamburger: A History. “What do Americans think of when they think of the hamburger?” asks the author, Josh Ozersky. “Is it a sizzling disc of goodness, served in a roadside restaurant dense with local lore, or the grim end product of a secret, sinister empire of tormented animals and unspeakable slaughtering practices? Is it cooking or commodity? An icon of freedom or the quintessence of conformity?”

Burger Triumphant. Or, requiem for the hot dog.” By Victorino Matus, The Weekly Standard, September 29, 2008

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