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The Crumb for August 18th, 2017

Lori Bailey / August 18th 2017

Today's Crumb dropped from behind a humongous mug of coffee.

 

Happy Friday! Polish up your eclipse-viewing glasses (or polish off an eclipse-themed cone) and settle into this past week’s food news.

 

Fresh, hot & fun

They went, they ate, and now they’ve spoken: Bon Appetit has released its annual list of the 10 hottest new restaurants in America. This time around, experience was a key criterion (read: food should be fun). Topping this year’s list is New Orleans’ Turkey and the Wolf, where off-the-wall sandwiches reign supreme; followed by minimalist fine dining with a personal touch at Chicago’s Elske; and traditional-meets-modern Chinese fare at Mister Jiu’s in San Francisco. The list hits plenty of urban foodie hot-spots (cough, Brooklyn, cough), and Chicago takes away 2017’s Restaurant City of the Year (to no one’s surprise). Worth noting, though, is the continued rise of New Orleans and Philadelphia as food destinations. Not to mention a couple of hidden gems in unexpected towns. Keep up the good eats, everyone.

 

Good to grow

While we’re on the topic of best-of-lists: feast your eyes on the top 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America, according to Inc. If you can use the handy toolbar on the left to toggle “Food and Beverage” only, you’ll find the industry’s booming businesses. This year’s cream of the crop is Halo Top Creamery, which has been churning up interest with a magically all-natural, low-calorie ice cream. After a pivotal re-brand in 2015, Halo Top has grown 21,000% over the past three years to land at #5 overall on the list. Also in the top 5 Food & Bev: a K-cup distributor, an organic convenience coffee that packs a serious caffeine punch, “premium handcrafted” meat jerkies born on a golf course, and freezer-aisle Brazilian cheese bread with a clean and gluten-free ingredients list. Just so you know where the money at.

 

Total eclipse of the carbs

Nerding out about space has never tasted so good. In these days leading up to the heavily-hyped “Great American Solar Eclipse,” some restaurants have been riding the wave of excitement with special limited-time offerings. Krispy Kreme will be celebrating on the 21st by dousing its original doughnuts in an all-new chocolate glaze, while certain Waffle House locations will be hosting viewing parties complete with WaHo swag and eclipse-themed blueberry waffles. But, should you need more resources for once-in-a-lifetime solar snacking, let these handy maps be your guide to the nearest chicken-and-waffles in the line of totality. You’re welcome.

 

These kits aren’t kidding around

It’s getting ‘round to dinner time, you’re coming home late from work (or school, or soccer practice) and you’re hungry. Sure, you could go out, but that could get expensive. Yet the alternative of making something from scratch seems daunting on an empty stomach. Enter the handy-dandy meal kit, the convenient pre-prepped solution for busy lifestyles of all sorts. But it’s not all Blue Apron and Chef’d, dedicated meal-kit services, that are pushing the movement. Quick-service chains such as Tijuana Flats, Chick-fil-A, and Wing Zone are seizing the opportunity to meet their customers in places other than the restaurant. Where and how to catch the on-the-go consumer is one of the hottest topics out there — and these companies are on it like a Scotch Bonnet.

 

Different land, same roots

Close your eyes and imagine what “farm to table” looks like. Dan Barber, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, perhaps? Instead, picture taro, mangoes and Indian eggplants… from a chef’s backyard in South Florida. One of the only regions of the contiguous United States with a tropical monsoon climate, farmers here can produce the tastes of faraway homes like Thailand, Cambodia, and the Caribbean. Chef Niven Patel, who traces his heritage back to Gujarat, India, uses the exotic ingredients from his garden at his restaurant, Ghee, in Miami. A little outside-the-box thinking, a little cross-cultural perspective — and some big potential to shift how we look at farm-to-table.


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