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The Week in International Intrigue: Artisanal, Upscale, Oversaturated

I’ve only lived in Jackson Heights two months and I’m already getting uppity and unrealistic. (Well, not like posters on community message boards who seem to think the neighborhood demographics would support a Whole Foods and love Chipotle, the chain whose fanaticism I’ve never quite understood, while deriding Panera as declassé.)

A photo posted by Krista Garcia (@goodiesfirst) on

No, we don’t have a lot of  nice things. It’s ok. I’m down with the Pecoshitas (whose name’s meaning is lost on me but appears to be a riff on Pecositas, a legit bakery in Medellín) that’s about to open even if there’s not exactly a shortage of Colombian bakeries already.

But couldn’t we also have a Devotion Botica del Cafe, the artisanal Colombian coffee chain that just opened in Williamsburg?

I don’t suppose Colombians are the target market for its first US location. Maybe they should be?

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100 Montaditos, the Spanish mini sandwich chain, also has notions about aiming higher to broaden its NYC appeal. The nearly new Lower East Side location has already shuttered and has vowed to come back with an “upscale concept,” whatever that entails.

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I don’t have the wherewithal at the moment, but I’d like to pinpoint when stunt food at foreign chains reached peak blogginess. Even two years ago, it felt peripheral and five years ago it was unheard of. Using myself as a lens, simply because that’s what I know best, in 2008 I blogged about McDonald’s doing Olympics-themed items after seeing it in The Wall Street Journal. and Serious Eats/A Hamburger Today picked it up and that was the end. Today, every food blog, even those not focused on fast food or burgers, would have some rebloggy take and it would be in my Twitter feed for days.

This is all to say that this week Burger King Japan’s fondue burger was the subject of coverage overload and even mainstream news outlets like USA Today are producing videos about it.

Burger King Korea already had a fondue burger as far back as August, by the way. And that’s the last thing I’ll say about the subject.

Oh, and that Dunkin’ Donuts India, which has been doing better with its beefless burgers than donuts, introduced a new sandwich this week, the Naughty Lucy, which is also pretty oozy, fondue-y and odd. Specifically, the “patty gushes out warm, loving cheese.” It’s a grotesque global trend.

Er, and Pizza Hut Australia did something with Doritos that did not involve gushing

Ok, for real let’s never speak of international stunt food again.



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