Latest from Starbucks Not for the Faint of Heart; Free Lunch

Image: Weibo/Starbucks Reserve Shanghai Roastery

And you thought Starbucks couldn’t get any weirder than its Oleato line of coffees, topped off with a shot of extra-virgin olive oil. In time for the Chinese New Year, which just ended, the company has taken the coffee cum fat formula to the next plateau. The New York Post explains:

Wake up and smell the bacon.

Starbucks fans look forward to their iconic seasonal menus, typically full of sweet new drink options to coincide with the time of year. But this year, the coffee chain introduced a savory drink offering with an untraditional flavor to celebrate the Lunar New Year: a braised pork-flavored latte.

The article goes on to note that pork plays an important role in the celebration of the New Year. Fittingly, the name of the limited-edition beverage in English is “Lucky Savory Latte.”

The drink is made by adding braised pork sauce to a conventional latte, then drizzling on more sauce and crowning the production — for good measure — with a sliver of cooked pork breast.

You may be disheartened (or relieved) to learn that the promotion will not be coming to a Starbucks near you.

Free Lunch

It’s not actually free, but lunch at the new “modern Cantonese” restaurant YAO is greatly discounted from its à la carte dinner menu, which can easily run into the hundreds of dollars.

The $18 lunchtime special entitles the diner to a choice of one main course and one cocktail. Sample offerings include fried pork chop with salt and pepper, noodles with beef ribs, eggplant and chicken with garlic sauce, bacon and eel fried rice, and kung pao prawns. Cocktail choices include an Ume Collins — made with Umeboshi Liqueur, vodka, clarified house-citrus blend, and sparkling water — and the whimsically named Modern Man (hattan): rye, Irish whiskey, house vermouth blend #2, and bitters.

The Lunch special is available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

YAO, 213 Pearl Street (at Maiden Lane), 917-265-8119.

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