Food News

News about restaurants and food

Jimmy Donaldson, a YouTuber who used elaborate stunts and financial giveaways to build 50 million subscribers for his MrBeast channel, last month simultaneously launched 300 locations of a new restaurant brand called MrBeast Burgers that operate out of existing restaurant kitchens. Most appear to be based in locations of the chains Buca di Beppo, Bettucini’s and Bravo! Italian Kitchen. The backer in the venture is a company called Virtual Dining Concepts, which has more than a dozen such ghost-kitchen concepts and counting; its other celebrity partners including singer Mariah Carey (cookies), actor Mario Lopez (Mexican) and “Jersey Shore” star Pauly D (Italian subs).

There are presently two MrBeast Burgers in New York state, both in Buca di Beppo restaurants: at 44 Wolf Road in Colonie and Times Square in Manhattan.

Hours for pickup and delivery of MrBeast-Colonie are 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. The website, with a link to download the ordering app, is  The menu includes three variations on smashed-style burgers, two fried-chicken sandwiches, a grilled-cheese sandwich, fries, chocolate-chip cookies and, for beverages, canned soda and bottled water. Burgers and sandwiches are about $5 to $8.

Euro Deli owner dies

Wlodzimierz “Walter” Hudak, who for the past decade owned Euro Deli and Market in Latham, died suddenly on Dec. 28, according to his obituary. He was 70.

A native of Poland, Hudak arrived in the Capital Region from his home country in 1989 and found work at Cardish Machine Shop in Watervliet. He opened the deli in February 2011.

Reminiscences are on the store’s Facebook page. Euro Deli and Market, located at 231 Wade Road Ext., at the north end of the Target plaza, is scheduled to reopen Jan. 12. The funeral was Monday.

Restaurant openings, closures for 2020 tallied

The annual Table Hopping round-up of restaurants that opened and closed in the Capital Region during the past year found less churn than expected for such a tumultuous time in the hospitality industry: 74 openings and only 40 closings in 2020. The prior year there were 90 openings and 52 closures; the final total for 2018 was 104 openings and 64 closings.

Restaurants that announced temporary closures because of the coronavirus pandemic but said they intend to reopen are not included, nor are fast-food chains, unless it is the first location for the region.

To  view the list, visit and search for “restaurant openings.”

Chef Pietrocola returns with new restaurant

Veteran Capital Region chef Michael Pietrocola, whose experience dates back more than 30 years to the Executive Suite and Pietrocola’s in Schenectady and, more recently, Cornells in Little Italy (also Schenectady) and The Edison Club in Rexford, is back in a restaurant kitchen.

In mid-December, Pietrocola opened Pastina Bistro at 11 Colvin Ave. in Albany, previously home to the Caribbean restaurant Trinbago. Trinbago closed during the pandemic.

Pastina’s menu features a variety of familiar Italian preparations, priced from a modest $6 for a bowl of beans and greens and a $19 branzino baked in parchment up to the splurge of a $45 veal chop available grilled with cherry-pepper sauce or in Milanese or Parmigiana versions.

Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 518-275-0395; the website,

Compiled by Steve Barnes. Items to be submitted for publication should be emailed to Visit his blog,

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