Idyllic summer nights in Brooklyn leave little to be desired–unless you’re Q Tonic founder Jordan Silbert, that is. The gin and tonic lover discovered that the tonic water he was drinking four summer ago was chock full of artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup, and in the name of not standing up for something so undignified, he set out to create a crisper tonic. After pulling together quinine from South America, organic agave and lovingly designed floral-inspired glass bottles, Silbert’s concoction can now be found at Gramercy Tavern and the Four Seasons in New York and NOPA in San Francisco. “One of the things that excites me most about Q Tonic is that it enables you to actually taste the difference between and gin and tonic made with different gins–a gin and tonic made with Plymouth and Q Tonic tastes very different than a G&T with Hendricks and Q Tonic,” says the drink maker, who slaved over the recipe in his Brooklyn kitchen for more than a few seasons. “Unlike when you use mass produced tonic waters, you can actually taste the different botanicals that make different gins great in their different ways.”
The term “fast food” usually applies to the speed in which a frozen hunk of processed mystery ingredients mutates into a wondrously cheap and edible delight; not the rate at which a seemingly innocuous old shipping box transforms into a chic new restaurant. Alas, MuvBox might change the meaning of fast food forever, not only with it’s unique sort of sanctuary, but also with the gourmet fare being dished out on site. The space-saving solar-powered Montreal eatery created by Daniel Noiseux serves up high quality cuisine using the finest of local ingredients. Customers delight in savory seafood pizza, lobster rolls and the like. And when the day is done and it’s time to shut up shop, it all goes back in the box in a matter of minutes. If you want to witness this magnifique mealtime miracle head to Montreal’s Old Port and satisfy your inner fast foodie.
A pre-lunch visit to the online marketplace Foodzie is not for the faint of heart: the startup’s efforts to highlight the products of independent food producers includes images and details about cheeses, chocolates, and sauces that will make your mouth water. The artisan product provider earned recognition as one of BusinessWeek’s Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs earlier this year, and the results have been delicious.
While working for a private label market in North Carolina, Emily Olson, one of the three member Foodzie founder team (above in the middle), realized how hard it can be for small producers to get their products in front of retailers. The stories behind the foods and companies weren’t being well conveyed, and she set up shop with Rob LaFave and Nik Bauman to create a marketplace where producers could promote their products easily. “This lets them focus on chocolate or what they’re really good at,” said Olson, whose notable finds since starting the site have included truffle popcorn and almond butter crunch toffee. “We see ourselves as part of a bigger movement around more sustainable and high quality food. And even in a recession, we’ve found that people may not be going for big extravagances but are still buying small luxuries.” Sounds like it’s time for a gourmet pickle party pack.
Our pals at [Me] and Goji, the ones that let you “create and make your own healthy organic custom cereal an granola” are making the world a better place in the process. In celebration of Earth Day (today, folks), they have decided to go ahead and make a donation to American Forests for each Cereal Capsule ordered. So, if you order 1 mix, they plant 1 tree. 4 mixes, 4 trees. And of course, get your entire office to order and they’ll plant a forest (I’m going to try). It’s deliciously good"“ trust me, I made some Speareal with chocolate covered goji berries and it was absolutely great. Go, do it!
We have eaten at a lot of tasty, beautiful, hidden and wonderful restaurants. When I made my way to Reef in Houston, TX I instantly found all of those things. A very attractive restaurant, visually"“ I was relieved to not see any blue or stuffed fish carcases hung all over the walls. Instead the restaurant felt like a 60s soft art-deco in a very open room with large windows for a really nice downtown feel. The settings and amazing food are worth the trip alone, but the really interesting thing about Reef comes from chef Bryan Caswell (checkout his personal fish blog). Raised in Houston, but training and cooking in coastal areas all over the world, Caswell has returned to Houston and opened up his own restaurant highlighting some of the overlooked fish from the Gulf of Mexico. A large majority of the fish on the menu at Reef come from the local waters (we approve). Besides the obvious cut back on shipping, it’s supporting the local fishermen. For a city that is infamous for being the fattest city in America (and thus the world), Reef is a gem of a contrast for it’s flavors and sustainability. But seriously, don’t forget to try the deserts, wow.
Since I started up cycling again, I’ve been thinking about how to help my body recover not only after, but during the ride. I drink a ton of water when I am doing cardio, but lately it occurred to me that if I’m going to be drinking anyway, I may as well bring electrolytes into the mix. Enter nuun (pronounced noon), a startup by a professor and student duo from Darthmouth’s business school. Nuun comes in five different flavors (such as orange ginger, lemon-lime, and citrus fruit) and is packaged in convenient tubes that hold 12 tablets each. Each tablet, when mixed with 500ml (16 oz) of water, forms the perfect hydration tool. It’s effervescent and two minutes after dropping it in (no stirring or shaking required) the tablet is completely dissolved. I love that once it’s dissolved, it’s not fizzy (harder than it sounds); the last thing I need to drink during my workout is something carbonated.
You are going to have to manage your carb intake because nuun has none. It is strictly sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. It contains no sugar nor does it leave a powdery residue at the bottom of your bottle. If you give nuun a try, tell us what you think!
We all try to eat healthy, but what do you do when it’s mid-afternoon and you need a pickup, but you need to stay at work? Usually that means a vending machine snack. That was until we discovered Graze. It’s a simple concept: fresh fruits are delivered to your office every couple days. Their website allows you to choose the natural snack you’d like and how often. Then, whatever day you select, a little box arrives just in time. Unfortunately it’s U.K. only. Delivered boxes begin at Â£2.99, which usually is cheaper and easier than running down to corner shop, and Graze has a special promotion running for half off your first box.
When you’re watching over a city, it’s imperative that you’ve got enough caffeine to get you through the night. So, put down the decaf and pick up a 10 oz. can of “Veidt Enterprise’s Nite Owl Dark Roast” created by celebrity photographer Clay Enos’s charitable coffee company, The Organic Coffee Cartel. Inspired by the coffee Dan and Laurie drink aboard the Night Owl, this limited-edition java blend is guaranteed to have you staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m — which, would be an ideal time for you to thumb through Watchmen Portraits, a book of photographs from Enos, the official photographer on the Watchmen set.
In addition, any customer who purchases a collectible blend before February 26 will have a chance win two tickets to the Los Angeles premiere and after-party for Watchmen from the OCC.
You know what’s annoying about restaurants: waiters. They bring you the wrong orders, you can’t find them when you need them, and conversely they constantly check up when you don’t (no offense to any of our reader/waiters, we’re sure you’re terrific). New London restaurant Inamo is taking a technological approach turning everyone’s table into a computer. At Inamo, order food, change the color or design of the table, play battleship (which is amazing), check out what’s happening in the kitchen via webcam, request the waiter, pay the bill — everything can be done from your table that doubles as a computer screen. This isn’t Microsoft Surface, it’s a projection from above that doubles as lighting and visual effect.
The fact that our table was a computer was inspired, but by the time the food comes who cares right? Well the food was amazing, too. Get the black cod. As fun as it was to have a computer table, that was the highlight of the night. Hit the jump for a few pictures (via Johannes Kleske) of my visit there.