Thanks to a tip from Grub Street, my boyfriend and I hurried to Grand Central on Friday afternoon to pig out on foods inspired by the new NBC show “America’s Next Great Restaurant” and have our picture taken with Bobby Flay so I could later deface it with inappropriate Sharpie drawings.
The pop-up automat was serving mac & cheese, marinated chickpeas, grilled cheese, fried chicken sliders, and Spanish meatballs to preview some of the ideas presented by the would-be restauranteurs on last night’s premiere episode:
Bobby wasn’t anywhere to be seen, but the meatball made up for it:
Did any of you catch the show? It was especially interesting to watch from NYC (and other major cities, I imagine), because so many of the “novel” ideas for a new “fast casual” restaurant were foods we’ve been feasting on for years here. Anyone writing about food in New York has been to Meatball Shop, and anyone breathing has eaten a healthy wrap.
But some of the ideas were truly new, and I’m especially excited that so many of them were geared toward healthier eating. Based purely on the first episode alone, my vote is for Sandra Digiovanni, who pitched a restaurant concept called Limbo, where diners can choose from two versions of the offered dishes: the total-indulgence version or the lighter one.