The Washington Post

Lunch Room Chatter: Those depraved cupcakes!

The latest in food news, ideas and philosophy, just in time for your lunch break.

* “Flour + Water is extracting as much value out of OpenTable as anyone, but OpenTable, as with all network-effect businesses, will inevitably be the big winner. By aggregating the world’s restaurant goers — cataloguing their tastes and winning their loyalty through frequent-diner points — the service has changed the nature of the relationship between eateries and their best customers by inserting itself in the middle. Restaurants that go it alone, or use a rival such as Urbanspoon’s RezBook, have to overcome the powerful pull OpenTable has on diners.” (Fast Company)

* Exit, ramps. (NY Times)

* The Whole Foods in Rockville is full of beans. And vinegars. And bulk spices. And tested recipes. (Food52)

* Doctors may need breathalyzers next to their operating tables. (TIME)

* Canadian maple syrup: Fueled by the magic powers of Quebecol or just taking terroir too far? (GOOD)

* Extra frosting on cupcakes is a sure sign of American depravity. (Slate)

* “The Republic of Eataly, which resembles an autonomous state, is found in Manhattan, not quite a year old, and judging from the line to get in, much hotter than Dubai; in fact, super-chef Mario Batali’s temple to all things Italian is so popular, and replicable, that Dubai will probably have its own Eataly embassy in no time.” (Chicago Tribune)

* This isn’t ‘Nam, Smokey. There are rules to proper dumpster diving. (Chow)

* Screwy business: The $220 wine opener. (NY Times)

Tim Carman serves as the full-time writer for the Post's Food section and as the $20 Diner for the Weekend section, a double duty that requires he ingest more calories than a draft horse.


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