This week’s offbeat food stories include tales of restaurants that took a hit and came up swinging. One eatery is suing online directory Dex Media because of a derogatory listing, while a New York City coffee shop plans to go nowhere, despite the fact that Starbucks is taking over its digs.
- Salt is salt. Or is it? Serious Eats writer Max Falkowitz took up the question of whether fancy sea salt from different parts of the world adds something different to a dish. The result of his taste test: Some kinds of salt bring extra flavor, while others are indistinguishable from the box of Morton Salt on the table.
- The owner of New York coffee shop The Bean found out it would be leaving to make room for a Starbucks only when someone showed up with a tape measure ready to renovate. The shop, which was on a month-to-month lease, quickly found another space — 100 yards away, The New York Times reported.
- Bar 3 Bar-B-Q owner Hunter Lacey’s lawsuit against Dex Media moved from state to federal court this month, The Associated Press reported. The Montana restaurateur sued the directory publisher after listings in its “Animal Carcass Removal” category made “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” and business took a dive. Dex said the listing was an error; Lacey said an employee of the company did it deliberately after he declined to buy an ad.
- Also along legal lines: A burglar who broke into Mr. Beef & Pizza in Mount Prospect, Ill., stuck around long enough to make himself a meal … and get caught on tape … and arrested, the Daily Herald reported.
- Lapham’s Quarterly published a food-trivia list that sheds light on some age-old questions, including what writer William Makepeace Thackeray thought after eating his first oyster, how Julia Child felt about cilantro and what’s required for cheese to earn the name Roquefort.
Did any quirky food tales catch your eye this week? Share them in the comments.