It’s 10:50am and I just ordered a latte at one of two East Village locations of The Bean. I know what you’re going to ask -- didn’t you stop drinking coffee months ago? (thanks for remembering), don’t you have a job to be at right now? (whoa, thank you for the compliment, yes I am employed!), and is The Bean even good? (maybe?!).
The reason, dear friends, that I am at this Bean right now is because of my two best friends, Lorelei and Rory Gilmore. And they have truly duped me.
Remember Surge Soda as a Kid? It's probably the drink your parents never wanted you to have
Here’s a little backstory: on November 25th, Gilmore Girls is returning with a four-episode limited run on Netflix. To promote Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which is sure to win at least three People’s Choice Awards, Netflix sponsored a one-day pop-up of the show’s notorious Luke’s Diner at about 200 coffee shops and cafes across the country from 7am to noon (13 in NYC alone). This is nothing new -- Warner Bros. brought a Friends pop-up to SoHo in 2014 to celebrate the show’s 20 year anniversary (I had a casual coffee with Gunther on a replica of the couch, but I also do that most days) and last year, Hulu hosted a pop-up version of Jerry Seinfeld's apartment to promote Seinfeld's arrival on the streaming service.
In Gilmore Girls -- which you should know once won an Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Series -- Luke’s Diner is run by Luke Danes, a curmudgeonly-but-sensitive-at-heart Park Slope Dad-looking man who supplies fast-talking mother-and-daughter duo Lorelei and Rory Gilmore with way too much coffee and a little fodder for some pretty decent jokes about men who are ostensibly curmudgeonly but sensitive at heart. He also romanced Lorelai, but we really don’t have time to get into that right now.
Here’s what Netflix promised at the pop-ups, per Eater:
-Free 12oz coffees (while supplies last!) -”Luke’s Diner” hats and aprons for staff -A "fun surprise under their custom Gilmore Girls coffee sleeve"
And here is where I tell you I should have known better. It was really all my fault all along, wasn’t it? My caffeine-addicted friends never promised me that we’d sit around a table and gab about how instant mashed potatoes are actually a lot of work, so how can they even claim they’re “instant"? The show’s promotional website, townofstarshollow.org promised me nothing more than “free coffee at 7am," an hour of the day at which I have never been awake. Lauren Graham, who to be completely frank with you, I only started following on Twitter this morning, never even texted, DMed, or Tweeted at me to tell me that she’d be there.
Here’s what I found at the Second Ave location of The Bean:
-A small yellow sign outside that said “Luke’s” (overshadowed by the very large THE BEAN sign above it. Disgusting.) -A cardboard cut-out of Luke that was taller than me (most things are) holding a sign that listed off all the thing not allowed in Luke's: “texting while ordering, man buns, taking pictures of food, headphones.” -A sign that said "no cellphones." -Staff in flannel shirts (not as good as Luke’s), “Luke’s” hats that said “Netflix” on the back (nice!), and Luke’s aprons (no merch for sale) -No free coffee (but lots of small lattes for $4!) -No coffee cups with witty Lorelai Gilmore quotes about life and coffee on them (as Instagram tells me was the “surprise”) -Coffee sleeves that said “Luke’s” (I took 10. Please arrest me.) -Four people who have watched Gilmore Girls before
According to Instagram, this was pretty much the scene at all the pop-ups (just with more free coffee and cups with quotes). Does that make me any less distraught that there wasn't even coffee that seemingly resembled the kind Luke made (which I imagine is years-old Folgers with lots of Adderall in it) or any of his classic cheeseburgers? No. No it doesn't. But will I watch those four episodes the day they go on Netflix while clutching onto all my stolen coffee sleeves? You bet! Great job, Netflix, you’ve done it again.
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Lucy Meilus is Thrillist's New York Editor and did not drink that $4 latte. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, especially if your name is Lauren Graham.
Do a quick a scan of a grocery store in 2018 and you’ll notice something peculiar: Nearly every good carbohydrate also has an alternative made from cauliflower. This phenomenon ranges from bags of cauliflower “fried rice” speckled with diced carrots and peas to “gnocchi“ constructed from compressed bits of the cruciferous vegetable. But the food that takes up the most shelf space are cauliflower-crusted pizzas -- yes, pizzas with a base made typically from a mix of shredded cauliflower, cheese, egg, and seasonings. Everyone from Whole Foods to Trader Joe’s carries a cauliflower pie, as either a plain crust or a full-blown pizza loaded with cheese, tomato sauce, pepperoni and the like.
The cauliflower crusts aren’t just filling grocery shelves either -- recently, they've found a home on restaurant menus. West coast-based pizza chain California Pizza Kitchen added the vegetable crust to its menu earlier this year. In New York City, you can find the crusts topped with vegetables like caramelized onions and fresh tomatoes, and Los Angeles is home to a pizza delivery company called Skinny B*itch that will send cauliflower pies straight to your door.
While it might seem like it, Big Cauliflower did not invent this dish. It appears that humanity first had the idea to substitute crusts made from flour, water, and yeast, with crusts made from shredded cauliflower as early as 2009. The blogger behind Your Lighter Side claims to have invented the recipe that May, after deciding to swap out rice flour for riced cauliflower in a gluten-free pizza crust recipe she found in an old cookbook. The idea eventually set Pinterest ablaze with bloggers from around the internet sharing their own versions of the vegetable crust.
Your Everyday Survival Guide to the Lower East Side
When you move to a new neighborhood (or even if you’re just passing through), it can feel like your whole routine is turned on its head. That’s even more true in a city like New York, where the sheer number of options is bound to give even the most decisive person choice paralysis. But fear not, because we’ve broken down nearly everything you could need when you come to the Lower East Side -- from where to get your pants hemmed to where to find a $3 dinner (and trust us, that’s going to come in handy).
Food & Drink
You Can Get a Free Frosty & Fries from Wendy's Right Now
Dipping French fries in a Frosty at Wendy's isn't just a weird thing people do instead of using a perfectly good spoon, it's actually a powerful flavor pairing that's legit backed by science. And while we can't find a scientific study that says the popular combo will taste even better if you don't have to pay for it, we're just going to go out on a limb and say that it will. Well, starting on Tuesday, you can find out for yourself, with a new deal for free fries and a Frosty from Wendy's.
That's right: you can get a Frosty and an order of fries for free, and better yet, delivered right to your door. The deal comes from the popular delivery app Postmates, which offers food, drinks, and even grocery delivery services in 385 cities and markets across the United States. To take advantage of the sweet and savory offer, all you have to do is use the Postmates app or desktop site to find your nearest Wendy's location, and you'll be able to select both a Frosty and an order of fries for zero dollars. Perhaps the only difficult thing about it is choosing between a vanilla Frosty or a chocolate Frosty. Good luck with that.