Underwest Donuts, a boutique donut shop which opened in December 2014 inside the 24-hour West Side Highway Car Wash, embodies in one swoop the evolving demographics and urban landscape of the far West Side in Hell’s Kitchen. New condos are springing up designed by the world’s starchitects, Hell’s Kitchen is expanding its reputation as a foodie destination by attracting high-end, local purveyors to places like Gotham West Market, and tourists are wandering over from the Intrepid, the cruise terminal and the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.
Yet, there’s nothing fancy about the entrance to Underwest Donuts, where the cars first get sudsed up just after the drivers drop them off. To pay for their car wash, drivers have to first walk a long hallway–on one side they can see their car getting washed through, first up on the other side is the counter for Underwest Donuts, named after the nickname of the West Side Highway when it was ran elevated above the car wash.
When was the last time you had a home cooked Togolese dinner inside a bodega after hours with a group of strangers and a DJ? Probably never. The “WOÉZÕ Comfort” meal is one of the offerings on Feastly, an online platform that aims to reintroduce the home cooked meal, connecting adventurous eaters with local cooks. The WOÉZÕ dinner (pronounced “way-zoh,” cooked by Peace Corps alum Mitch Bloom, takes place monthly in Bed-Stuy Fresh and Local, a grocery store run by neighborhood couple Dylan Ricards and Sheila Akbar. The produce gets pushed to the side and a long communal table is set up just in front of the door.
Photo by Andrew Hinderaker
A few times a year, New Yorkers may come across a dinner party inside a dumpster. While at first glance, it may seem like yet another “hipster” pop-up, the Salvage Supperclub is far from that. It’s a dinner series with a mission: to change the way people see food waste. Using expired and imperfect foods donated from local farms, restaurants and food co-ops, a gourmet multi-course meal is created by a chef and the proceeds are donated to food-related non-profits like City Harvest and Culinary Corps. The next dinner is tomorrow, but since it’s winter it won’t be on the street in a dumpster. Instead, the dinner is taking place at Ascent Contemporary Projects, a gallery in Tribeca. There will also be a panel discussion. Tickets for the event are here and there are just three left.
Ben Wellington from I Quant NY is at it again, with a map of the oldest place to drink in every New York City neighborhood. Because Wellington is using New York State’s Open Data on liquor licenses, the results vary from our popular list of 10 of the oldest surviving bars in NYC.
The story of the two men who first opened the Cafe’ Edison and the hotel in Times Square is the stuff Broadway plays are written about. Cafe’ Edison’s Harry Edelstein and the Edison Hotel’s original owner, Ulo Barad, met in Warsaw–both survivors of the Holocaust. The rental agreement between the two men for the cafe consisted of a handshake between two good friends. The cafe’ never had a real lease. Although the cafe’ and hotel are still in the hands of the same two families, that relationship came to an end this past weekend.
It’s been a while since our last Untapped Mailbag in which we answer questions from readers, submitted via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail. But we received quite a challenge from reader Hanna, who wanted to know which restaurant was featured in the season 1 finale of Broad City on Comedy Central. Nearly the entire episode, entitled “The Last Supper,” takes place in inside, where the main characters Abbi and Ilana head to the fictional “Octavia,” a fancy restaurant for Abbi’s birthday. Ilana gets a near fatal allergy to seafood and Abbi accidentally injects herself with the Epipen. We usually send these queries to our team at Untapped Cities and collectively try to hunt down answers.