Filed under: Local Food Commentary | Tags: Alinea, datebook diner, Good Milkshake, Groupon, Gusto Pizza Co., Hal Jasa, Lincoln Cafe, Matt Steigerwald, tony danza, Zingaro
It’s time once again to get down to the real nitty gritty. Yes, it is Monday here in Our Fair Freezey Pop of a City (or Tuesday if you are tuning in even later than our already late post time), and that means one of many things: Locally Grown News is probably/maybe going to happen. And today, in honor of nothing remotely related to America’s Third Favorite Male Television Housekeeper, Tony Danza, the Royal We bring You, the Royal Tens, this week’s edition of local food news entitled
Locally Grown Monday News Extrava-Danza!
-Chef/Owner of Lincoln Cafe and Reigning Prince Of Pork (a title which will never expire now that Cochon555 has deemed the DMZ an unworthy host) Matt Steigerwald has taken cue from the latest creation of Grant Achatz, chef at Alinea in Chicago. Achatz’s next restaurant venture, aptly named Next, will not be taking reservations but will be selling tickets to dinner. Matt has decided to sell tickets to select special dinners held at Lincoln Cafe in the future. In Chef Steigerwald’s own words, “The reason for this is simply that even with a reservation for a special dinner we end up with cancellations at the last minute. This always leaves us to scramble with calls to numerous guests on the waitlist, sometimes filling the table but sometimes not. One empty table at a dinner with only ten tables is bad news. Especially when so many people wanted that table.” This seems more than fair in today’s economy. I just wonder if this will open up a whole new market…Dinner Scalping.
–Zingaro, the “Pop-up” restaurant operated by local chef Hal Jasa has Popped Up on the Datebook Diner’s radar, who gave the new-to-the-DMZ concept a favorable initial visit review type thing. She has some kind and well-founded words for Hal’s concept, cuisine, and location.
-Bestaurants and Worstaurants, an investigative venture of KCCI’s Patrick Bell, has arrived to inform the dining public of the greater DMZ of the health inspection status of local eateries. It is the public’s right to know if they are dining in a safe establishment and a great way to find out restaurant inspection results is to check out the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals interwebular site where you can search for a restaurant and read the results of their latest inspection. I also feel that the you, the public, should have a right to “enjoy” the Video Press without having your intelligence insulted by what could possibly be the Worst Title Of A Food Related Video Broadcast of 2011. It’s hard to tell at such an early point in the year if the stupid standing of B&W can hold on to take the honors, but whether it wins or not Bestaurants and Worstaurants has set the bar pretty darn high.
–Gusto Pizza opened one week ago to a flurry of business. Most businesses expect to be busy upon grand opening, but this opening was a little different. Gusto Pizza has used ONLY social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Four Square) to advertise and judging by the opening week and a soft opening which was ONLY announced by social media and resulted in almost 100 pizzas served in two and a half hours. Who is behind the raw and hilarious YouTube commercials and internet promotion? New restaurant social media marketing company Good Milkshake (@GoodMilkshake on Twitter and Good Milkshake, LLC on FB), run by local business person and handsome devil Phil James, is taking the reigns of local restaurant marketing and steering eateries and eaters towards each other manning the restaurants’ Twitter accounts and offering spur of the moment specials, information, and instant feedback to patrons. Restaurants, you could benefit greatly from the services of the Milkshake. If you have any question of the effectiveness of social media marketing, check out the winter success of Cafe Di Scala (business has been well beyond the norm, even through a brutally cold January and a still-flacid economy) and the Gusto opening…both fueled by Good Milkshake. Get Some.
-Groupon, the not-so-local local business discount advertising behemoth, has suffered a little bad press due to some seemingly callous commercials during the Stuper Bowl this past Sunday. I didn’t enjoy the commercials and found them a bit offensive (yes, even to ME), but what I enjoy less is a giant corporation that makes light of the suffering of humans or animals while “promoting local business.” Groupon, you aren’t local. Keep your mitts off my scene.
Well, tens, that was the last Danz for today. I hope you felt this week’s news was truly Boss.