Welcome to Off-Menu, where we'll be rounding up all the food news and food-adjacent internet ephemera that delighted, fascinated, or infuriated us this morning.
- New York's Nello is maybe banning women from sitting alone at their bar? Earlier this week, a creative executive named Clementine Crawford wrote in Drugstore Culture about how she had tried to sit at the bar of the very expensive Upper East Side Italian joint, but was told all patrons had to eat at tables, at which point she "gave them [her] two cents of unsolicited advice." She claims to have seen a man eating at the bar, however, and writes that, "[a]fter further interrogation, it transpired that the owner had ordered a crackdown on hookers: the free-range escorts who roamed the Upper East Side, hunting prey in his establishment." Crawford is sort of obscuring the key details here—namely what exactly was said to her regarding this new policy—and when she confronts the manager he doesn't mention anything about sex workers, although they did have an "explosive argument." Nello didn't return either Page Six or the Daily Meal's request for comment, but to be safe, all solo women should go elsewhere for their $79 veal milanese.
- Perdue just recalled 68,244 pounds of their ready-to-eat gluten-free chicken nuggets because the company received several complaints from customers who found pieces of wood in their nuggets. Honestly, those people deserve a prize of some kind for correctly distinguishing wood from the rest of the nugget interior.
- The not-racist (that we know of) Philly cheesesteak institution Tony Lukes has plans to open seven locations in New York (one in each borough plus Long Island and Yonkers).
- Dr. Sarah Taber, who identifies herself on Twitter as a crop scientist and ex-farmworker, doesn't want anyone feeling too smug about eating "ugly" produce. The movement to cut down on food waste by encouraging consumers to get comfortable purchasing fruit and vegetables with cosmetic abnormalities is, in her words, "a big honkin wad of bullshit that self-promoting foodies get away with bc nobody knows better." Ugly produce, she explains, often isn't wasted—it's turned into sauces or salsa or juice or sold at less high-end grocery stores. That last point is similar to something that was raised in a New Food Economy op-ed in August, namely that "ugly" produce is what ends up in food banks to be distributed for free and that companies who have found a way to sell this less desirable product are in fact just exploiting a market inefficiency for their own gain. It's worth noting that one such company, Imperfect Produce, wrote a rebuttal to that accusation on their own blog.
There's always cocaine in the plastic green bananas with sequential numbers written on them in Sharpie.
Happy Friday, all.
Buy This Bouquet
Valentine's Day is just a bunch of corporate consumerist bullsh—how many peanut butter cups in Walmart's Reese's Extravaganza Bouquet? 36?? Hope you're reading this, husband.