Cupcake ATM, Artisanal Ice Cubes, Why Beer Belongs at Your Barbecue


Cupcake Lovers' Dream Come True: Sprinkles bakery, which has installed 24/7 cupcake dispensers in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Beverly Hills (celebs apparently love 'em), has now brought the sweetly convenient concept to the city that never sleeps (and consequently never stops craving baked goods). New York's first Cupcake ATM opened for business Tuesday on the Upper East Side, dispensing frosted treats to the hungry hordes for $4.25 a pop. On Tuesday night, David Letterman used the news as grist for his Top 10 list, sharing "things overheard in line for the Cupcake ATM." No. 7: "My PIN number is also my cholesterol level." Ba-dum-bum. [ Gothamist]

No Ordinary Ice Cube: There's a new trend in the cocktail biz: artisanal ice cubes. The Half Step cocktail bar in Austin regards the ice in its drinks as a work of art, hand-cutting every piece of ice it serves using special equipment and storing the "harvested" ice in a dedicated shed. The bar's founder, Chris Bostick, tells Zagat that a well-cut cube is the key to making "a three-ingredient cocktail memorable." Watch the Half Step's handcrafted ice take shape  here. [ Zagat]

Bring Extra Beer to Your Next Barbecue: As we wait (and wait) for backyard barbecue season to begin, we may at least not have to worry so much about the dangers of grilled meat. Studies have shown an association between eating grilled meats and higher rates of colorectal cancer, perhaps due to the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that form when meat is cooked at very high temperatures, but new research published by the American Chemical Society says the solution might be as simple as marinating your meat in beer before tossing it on the grill. Researchers found that, compared to unmarinated pork, pork marinated in black beer had less than half the level of eight major PAHs. [ ScienceDaily]

Grab Your Spoons: The Chicago White Sox are offering baseball fans the chance to pig out on a 3-pound, 12-scoop, $17 banana split sundae at the ballpark this season. Featuring four scoops each of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream; caramel, strawberry sauce and chocolate syrup; two bananas; and whipped cream and cherries (plural!), the humongous sundae comes in — wait for it — a full-size batting helmet, ESPN reports. But don't worry, that's not supposed to be a single serving. "I'm sure a couple fans are going to try to crush it alone," White Sox sales and marketing vice president Brooks Boyer told ESPN reporter Darren Rovell, "but we're hoping it's for a family." [ ESPN]

In Other Food News: The New York City Council is considering legislation that would require shoppers to pay 10 cents per bag — paper or plastic — at the grocery store in an environmental push to encourage the use of reusable bags. [ Associated Press] The FDA says 25 drug manufacturers have agreed to take steps to curb the use of antibiotics to promote growth in animals processed for meat in light of growing concern about antibiotic-resistant diseases in humans. [ AP] To promote its new waffle taco, Taco Bell has gathered (paid) endorsements from real guys named Ronald McDonald and included them in a new ad. No word yet on how the Hamburglar feels about the waffle taco. [ Taco Bell/YouTube]

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