Meet The Team / Bill Sertl
Ignorance is bliss, but it's not very good for your health. U.S. News Health reports that 76% of 1,000 American polled agreed with the statement "wine can be good for your heart." Hey, the good news is: That's true, but only if you consume two glasses per day if you're a man and one glass if you're a woman. Otherwise -- and here comes the really bad news -- excess drinking can lead to all kinds of problems like irregular heartbeat, obesity, cancer, high blood pressure and even heart failure.
Not only that, but Americans are also ill-informed about sodium, believing (56% of those surveyed) that ordinary table salt is the primary source in our diets. (61% believed, incorrectly, that sea salt had less sodium than regular salt.) All you have to do to understand that most of our sodium comes from processed foods-soups, snacks, condiments and canned foods like tomato sauce (why do you think they taste so good?) -- is to pick up a container of seemingly harmless cottage cheese and read the label. It will show that an eight-ounce serving contains about 720 milligrams of sodium, or half your daily recommended intake.
Americans are also famously bad at geography, but there's no word yet on whether young people are having trouble locating Napa and Salt Lake City on maps.
Filed under: Food News
Photo: Kramchang, Flickr
At last! There's no reason for all those ex-New Yorkers living in Southern California ever to return to the dreary winters and crowded subways on the East Coast. It was really only one thing they missed anyway (aside from cynicism): Papaya King hot dogs-juicy, plump, ever meaty, and never really about papaya anything. (Bah, humbug. You can take all the taco trucks and drive them into the Pacific.)
Eater reports that Papaya King is finally opening in L.A., in the heart of Hollywood, probably by June. Until then, PK will operate a truck (how L.A. is that!) to circulate throughout SoCal, making occasional appearances and distributing free hot dogs. It all sounds good, but will the new Left Coast branch of Papaya King be able to perfect the art of service, New York-style? "Have a nice day" just isn't the same as a barked-out "Next!"
Photo: Burger King
First, Godzilla devoured Tokyo. Now Tokyo is about to take on the Meat Monster. With everyone so health conscious these days, it's hard to believe that Burger King is introducing a new sandwich, (in Japan only) that flies in the face of sensible eating: The Meat Monster. The website Opposing Views says the "aptly named sandwich" consists of two hamburgers, a chicken breast, two slices of cheese, three pieces of bacon, and, of course, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion.
Total calories: 1,160. That's more than half the daily recommended amount for a 40-year-old woman of average height and weight. (A regular Whopper has 670 calories.) Japanese customers can also personalize their Monster, adding teriyaki sauce, an egg or even a fish patty.
No word yet if the Monster will be available in the States, but we assume, if it is, that we'll be allowed to get creative, too. Maybe we can toss on some Spaghetti-Os or Cheez-Whiz to add a real American touch.
Photo: Olive Garden
According to Nation's Restaurant News, Olive Garden, the Italian chain known more for huge portions than upscale decor, is in the process of testing some "enhancement" in some of the older outposts. The chain has more than 730 locations in the U.S, but they're starting the remodel with a handful of outposts in Texas.
The new look? The company is calling it "Via Tuscany." Can't picture it? Think of that picturesque farmhouse in every golden-hued Hollywood flick about Italy. Brick, Cypress trees, upgraded seating, new window treatments, decorative shelving lined with painted plates and pottery -- what your Italian grandmother would design if she had a money to throw around.
Want to see before and after shots?
Photo: snorpey, Flickr
Grab a seat in the open-air restaurant, unfold your napkin and take a leisurely look at the specials on the menu the waiter has just handed you. But be careful not to get sideswiped by the M7 bus as it zips down Broadway on its way through Times Square. No kidding, folks, New York's famous Crossroads of the World-the scene of so many ball-dropping New Year's Eve parties-might sport a 100-seat restaurant by summer, complete with waiter service.
According the New York Daily News, the idea comes from the Times Square Alliance, an association of local businesses, and the plan is to seek out interested parties, perhaps from restaurants in the immediate neighborhood. If the idea sounds extreme at first, consider that much of Times Square-at least three full blocks-is now mostly closed to cars, thanks to efforts, not always popular (especially with cab drivers), by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also pushing hard for more bike lanes in the city. By the time you're ready to dine, though, traffic won't be the major problem. But August heat and humidity might be, that is, if the plan gets off the ground by then. (Our advice? Don't hold your polluted breath.)
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