Thwarted Cronut® Cravings, Smiley-Face Tip Trick and the Dirt on Dirt


Delayed Gratification for Cronut® Cravers: After being shuttered by the New York Department of Health on Friday for a "severe mouse infestation" — apparently one little critter was recently videotaped darting across the bakery floor as workers went about their business — Dominique Ansel Bakery, home of the Cronut®, did not open its doors on Monday, disappointing hungry hybrid pastry fans. But after the staff "worked tirelessly" to reconstruct, re-cement and re-fortify, the bakery passed its DOE inspection late Monday and was given the go-ahead to reopen on Tuesday morning. As a nod to its triumph in the face of adversity, the bakery is serving a special Rocky Cronut®, which Eater describes as "a black passion fruit caramelia chocolate Cronut® with a gold star on top." In a Facebook post, the bakery team said it had listened to the movie theme song all weekend as it did its work. [ Gothamist/ Eater]

What Turns Us Into Big Tippers: In response to an apparent increase in restaurants with no-tipping policies, the New Republic looked at the ways in which, according to various studies, patrons' generosity when tipping has little to do with the service they receive. For instance, people tend to tip more when the server touches them or crouches next to their table, when the server is blond, and when a female server wears a hair ornament, wears red or draws a smiley face on their checks. Interestingly, while waitresses who drew smiley faces got bigger tips — :) — male servers who did the same got smaller ones. :( [ New Republic]

Tavern Set for Takeoff: New York's famous Tavern on the Green is set to reopen on April 24. Chef Katy Sparks says the 700-seat Central Park eatery's menu will include none of the buttoned-up favorites from the landmark restaurant's previous incarnation and will feature "accessible food — the kind you want to eat regularly, as well as special-occasion stuff" at "pretty normal, good-quality New York restaurant prices." Check out the opening night dinner menu here. [ Grub Street]

Urban Gardeners, Take Heed: Love to grow veggies in your backyard? You are not alone. The National Gardening Association reports that food gardening in the United States has risen 17 percent in the last five years and is now at its highest level in more than a decade. Thirty-five percent of U.S. households now grow food at home or in a community garden, with the rate of gardening among millennials (ages 18 to 34) up 63 percent since 2008. That's great news, of course, but a study conducted by The Johns Hopkins University found that urban gardeners' awareness of and concern about soil contamination was dangerously lacking. "It is critical to protect the viability of urban community gardens," the study concluded, "while also ensuring a safe gardening environment." So enjoy, but be careful, you dig? [ NPR's The Salt]

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