The week in Cafe Society bloggery: Stupid lawsuits, shuttered restaurants, Biker Jim's new restaurant, Food & Wine Classic highlights, Chipotle bats 1,000 and Morton's Bob Wiltshire maligns molecular gastronomy
1. Holy hot dog! After more than a year of searching for a freestanding restaurant to augment his fleet of carts, Biker Jim, aka gourmet wiener hustler, finally signed a lease on a build-out space at 2145 Larimer Street. What's he most excited about? A damn deep-fryer -- his first.
2. While Jim squeals his motorcycle down Larimer Street, Chad Clevenger, who operates the Porker Cart across from Jim's hot dog cart at 17th and California, announced earlier this week that he was closing Mel's Bar and Grill, the south suburban restaurant that he inherited from Mel Master, this Saturday after service. "I'm definitely looking for investors, and I'd love to do a restaurant downtown where I can cook good food -- my food -- things like halibut cheeks and pork cheeks and whatever the hell else I feel like cooking," said Clevenger.
3. Meanwhile, Chipotle Mexican Grill, the homegrown big-ass burrito chain that launched its first store more than 15 years ago at 1644 East Evans, just expanded its ever-growing empire by unveiling its 1,000th restaurant in Flower Mound, Texas. There's a lot of musical fruit floating out there, folks.
4. Frivolous lawsuits, too, apparently, like the one all about the butt hole burger, in which the creative geniuses behind Jack in the Box produced an ad that poked fun at Carl's Jr. -- namely their source of "anus" beef. A judge, not surprisingly, gave credence to the people when he suggested that most of us aren't so stoopid that we'd miss the "g" in Angus -- as in Angus beef, y'all.
5. There wasn't much Angus in Aspen last weekend during the Food & Wine Classic, but there was a whole lot of pork, red-carpet chef celebrities, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, cheese, all-night parties and tight asses.
6. There was also a culinary lab's worth of molecular gastronomy going on at the Classic, a movement that Bob Wiltshire, executive chef of Morton's LoDo, likely wouldn't have approved of, given his distaste for foamers, which he discusses in this week's Chef and Tell interview.