Restaurant News: More Dearly Departed, Hefty Theft, Fat Fighter?

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•    Stick a fork in 'em, they're done. Memphis BBQ & Blues, which took over the West Palm location of the late (and inexplicably lamented) Tom's Place, will smoke no more (not that they did that much or that well to begin with). Also gone belly up is Culinary Café in Delray, the Continental-esque eatery of local toque Dominick Laudia. Ditto NexStore Marketplace in Boca, a "gourmet" grab 'n' go eatery that got into a pissing match with food service giant Sysco and never really recovered. RIP.

•    From the "crime doesn't pay, dumbass" file. PBC sheriffs busted a 360-pound Lake Worth man for twice in one week robbing a pair of local restaurants within blocks of his own house. Lawrence Balduf (that would be size 6XL) was said to have confessed to the robberies of a Subway shop and El Churrasco Cafe, where he allegedly (yeah, right) stuck 'em up with his finger under a jacket making like he had a gat, all to feed his addiction to. . . Fatty pieces of cheap steak? Mounds of deep-fried plantains? Those vile-tasting meat- and cheese-like substances that made Jared Fogle into the world's most annoying slop-humping zeppelin? Nah, Roxycodone. Jeez. . .

•    It may seem like the mating of a snake and a hippopotamus but Sixty Minutes and Vanity Fair have teamed up to poll Americans on. . . well, just about any goddam thing. Their first effort revealed that 33 percent of us said the hardest thing to give up during our Great Recession is dining out. It was the highest percentage of any response, which I'm sure will make all the owners and employees of the restaurants that have gone down the shitter lately feel sooo much better. The lowest response, four percent, was "alcohol," presumably because the respondents were already high on Roxycodone. And five percent said installing scales in restaurants would help combat obesity; no word on whether they'd help combat restaurant robberies by obese addicts.

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