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The Crumb for July 14th, 2017

Lori Bailey / July 14th 2017

Dropped from a classic, all-American burger, because this week we just can't get enough of 'em.

Happy Friday! Make yourself another cup of coffee (though these miiight be NSFW) and settle into this past week’s food news.

 

You’re going to have to be more specific

…Because “American” food isn’t just about cheeseburgers anymore. Restaurants are finding more distinctive identities in regional ingredients and cuisines: think smoked Pacific Northwest salmon salads, Maine lobster rolls, fried Wisconsin cheese curds, and Native American bison ribs. Taking a regional approach gives restaurants opportunities to connect with guests and tell compelling stories through their food. And, in a hyper-competitive market, a good story could make all the difference.

 

“I’m a big deal in China”

That’s a line Shake Shack hopes to drop at parties in 2027. Sensing that the U.S. is reaching burger saturation, the growing chain has its sights set on the Chinese market. Potential landing spots include Hong Kong and Macau, with plans for 14 locations over the next decade. Although the Chinese should be receptive to Shake Shack’s premium quality and accessible prices, it won’t all be smooth sailing; an uptick in anti-Western sentiment may pose some challenges. Out of the fry basket, into the fire.

 

Juice responsibly

We’ve seen the health crazes come and go, but there seems no end to the fad diets, amateur blog wisdom, and suspicious marketing aimed at promoting a single product or lifestyle as some sort of “cure-all.” Some companies, though, are leading a good-food revolution driven by transparency and balance. The bone broth makers at Springbone Kitchen, rather than ride the trend wave, root their claims in research and centuries of historical evidence. Meanwhile, Real Good Juice Co. balances the juice hype with a healthy dose of nutritional science... and tongue-in-cheek humor. These honest-goodness businesses advocate enjoying their products as part of a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. So go ahead, sip and munch your way to health—just, you know, be reasonable about it.

 

What’s it take to be one of the best new restaurants in New York?

A lot, if you’re going to impress some of the most sophisticated palates in the nation. This list of some of 2017’s best and brightest reads like a greatest-hits of everything that’s cool right now: spunky, authentic-ish Mexican; spicy Szechuan; wellness-minded, plant-based bites; modern Middle Eastern; seasonal, refined farm-to-table. Hungry yet? Us, too.


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