Archive for September, 2007|Monthly archive page

What’s In Your Fridge?

Fridge

If you’ve ever seen Cribs on MTV, the highlight of each celebrity house is the part where they open their fridge. It’s always dramatic, and always pretty interesting to see what they have. Turns out they’re regular people who eat food just like we do!

Anyway, apparently fridgewatching is like the new celebrity stalking.

Rachael Ray has a portion of her magazine dedicated to what’s in celebrity fridges. If you’re curious, here’s what David Ortiz keeps in his and here’s what Jimmy Kimmel has in his. Here are a bunch more in case you’re a celeb stalker.

Not into what the celebs keep in their fridge? Want to see what REAL people keep in theirs?

Head over to Fridgewatcher.com and take a peek. You can even submit a picture of your own fridge.

Fridgewatcher.com is a project where people open their fridges to others. Cause every fridge tells a story. We want to know yours. Send us a picture of your refridgerator.

Some are jam packed and some are pretty bare, but all are interesting. Especially the ones from the Netherlands. Check them all out and submit yours. Looks like the site is just starting out so there’s a good chance your fridge will end up being on there.

12 Pounds of Burritos

burrito

I think I’d be done after 2, but competitive eater “Eater X”, a day trader and aspiring pizza chef,  scarfed down 12lbs of them (10 3/4 burritos) in Portland, Maine over the weekend for the title of World Burrito Champ and the $3000 purse that comes along with it. According to CNN.com

Tim Janus, 30, of New York City, said he prepared by just eating candy for a day, which he said helped clear his system.

“I love Mexican food,” he said after his victory.

Just how much does Janus like mexican food? According to the Major League Eating site, Janus recently became the world record for tamales eaten. He managed to swallow 71 tamales in 12 minutes. Second place consumed 57, while third ate 27.

Each burrito was filled with rice, beans, pork, cheese and sauce, then wrapped in a tortilla.

Your favorite competitive eaters were on hand, including Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, who holds the record for lobster eating and came in 2nd with 10 burritos.

But notably missing was Eric Booker, not only the former burrito record holder, but probably the 2nd most famous competitive eater next to Kobayashi.

The burrito record holder, Eric “Badlands” Booker, has retired from competitive eating and wasn’t on hand to defend his title.

Photo from Flickr.

How Starbucks Saved My Life

Saved by Starbucks

Need a good read? Already finished reading Heat? Well pick this up and read it before Tom Hanks turns it into a movie.

Seriously.

How Starbucks Saved My Life tells the story of how Michael Gates Gill, a successful advertising exec. for the Ford Motor Company at J. Walter Thompson, was canned from his $160,000 per year job and hired by Starbucks. According to Reveries

JWT denies Michael’s version of events, but whatever happened, it led him to where he is today — earning $10.50 an hour at a Starbucks in Bronxville, New York. That unusual career move occurred some ten years after starting a business that ultimately failed, and about a week after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Michael was sitting in the Starbucks, unemployed and with no health insurance, dressed in an expensive suit and doing his best to look important. Oddly, the manager asked him if he wanted a job. The offer included health insurance, so he took it, and, Michael says, entered a world “where everything, even cleaning grubby tiles, is given a positive spin.” Sounds just like….advertising.

Gill was “surprised by how little revulsion I felt for a job I would have previously thought beneath me.”

He found comfort working “where people could be nicer and the work environment better than I had ever believed possible … What you are trying to do is help other people enjoy something,” he says. That “something,” he explains, is not a “multimillion dollar ad campaign. It’s just trying to serve a good cup of coffee.”

The book will be released on September 20th.

And according to Variety

Universal Pictures has made a six-figure acquisition of “How Starbucks Saved My Life” based on a 102-page proposal and attached Tom Hanks to star and Gus Van Sant to direct.

And according to Defamer

Universal picks up the rights to the forthcoming memoir How Starbucks Saved My Life, about an ad exec who loses his job and becomes a professional macchiato slinger, with the intention of having Tom Hanks don the green apron. Of course, the book’s author was in his 60s during the personal crisis, but fudging the age downward should make the whole story that much more poignant as the humbled, middle-aged Hanks struggles to master the frappuccino blender.

Photo from Flickr.

Baseball’s Best Bars

Cask N’ Flagon

With baseball season winding down, why not drown your sorrows over how bad your team is doing at one of baseballs 10 best bars?

Here’s a list compiled by ESPN’s Josh Pahigian as seen on ESPN Sports Travel.

1. Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant
42 Central Park South, New York
Web site | City Guide

The theme of the lavishly decorated walls at Mickey Mantle’s harks back to baseball’s golden era. More than 300 pieces of memorabilia are on display, including the original plaque that hung at Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park to honor “The Mick” from 1969 to 1996 (at which time a full-sized monument replaced it).

Visitors also will find uniforms worn by Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson, along with stadium chairs from the original Yankee Stadium, a life-size cutout of Babe Ruth autographed by more than 150 big leaguers and a circa-1961 replica of old Yankee Stadium that covers 49 square feet and features working light towers, scoreboard and 64,000 molded-pewter seats.

“Because we’re in New York we don’t just have sports personalities as guests, but also celebrities who are sports fans,” said Bart Alexander, director of special events at Mantle’s.

“Some recent visitors include Yankees GM Brian Cashman, Mickey’s old teammates Moose Skowron and Joe Pepitone, Don Mattingly, Bob Costas, Jerry Springer, Chris Matthews of “Hardball,” Harry Smith of CBS News and football guys Dan Marino, Mike Ditka and Jimmy Johnson.”

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2. Cask ‘n Flagon
62 Brookline Ave., Boston
Web site | City Guide

In the shadows of Fenway Park’s Green Monster, Red Sox fans find sausage vendors, ticket scalpers and usually a long line of thirsty patrons waiting to get inside “The Cask.” The famous hangout, which is just a long foul ball from home plate, often accommodates as many as 5,000 patrons on a busy game day.

It dates back to an original opening in 1969 as a live-music club, which would feature Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen and Boston’s own Aerosmith.

Over the years it morphed into a top-notch sports bar that now boasts an impressive array of Red Sox photos, including shots of Babe Ruth playing the tuba, Ted Williams being sworn into the Marine Corps, a baby-faced Roger Clemens looking every bit the wide-eyed rookie and a champagne-soaked Jim Lonborg celebrating with Carl Yastrzemski in the Boston clubhouse after the Sox clinched the 1967 pennant.

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3. Sluggers
3540 N. Clark St., Chicago
Web site | City Guide

As any fan who has visited Wrigleyville surely knows, an entire article could be written strictly about the top-10 sports bars in this special corner of the baseball universe – and there would still be plenty of worthy establishments left out.

Debates about the “best” sports bar in Wrigleyville often revolve around the Cubby Bear and Murphy’s Bleachers – time-honored haunts on Chicago’s North Side that deserve all the praise they receive.

For the sake of offering a differing opinion though, and because it’s the only joint in Wrigleyville that offers an indoor batting cage upstairs for patrons, the choice here is Sluggers, where fans can determine if they really do make more solid contact after they’ve had an Old Style or three.

In addition to the romper room upstairs, Sluggers has featured such celebrity bar tenders through the years as Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe, Goose Gossage and Minnie Minoso.

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4. Nemo’s
1386 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Web site | City Guide

Although the Tigers departed Tiger Stadium in 2000, relocating to Comerica Park, hard-core Tigers fans still return to their old stomping grounds on game day to visit Nemo’s bar and grill.

Maybe what lures fans is the framed front pages of old newspapers that hang on the tin walls to commemorate great moments in Tigers history, such as Kirk Gibson celebrating the 1984 World Series victory or Cecil Fielder rounding the bases after hitting his 50th homer in 1990. Or perhaps it’s the other terrific nostalgia. Or it could be its signature cheeseburgers.

How about the game-day transportation? A Motor City favorite for more than four decades, Nemo’s uses a fleet of converted school buses these days to shuttle patrons to and from games at Comerica. In fact, business owner Springstead is enjoying even greater success in the Comerica era than in the days of Tiger Stadium.

“We’ve got six buses now, and the crowds keep coming,” Springstead said. “The last three years have been the best we’ve ever had, and we’ve been here since 1965.”

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5. Lakefront Brewery
1872 N. Commercial St., Milwaukee
Web site | City Guide

What would a trip to Milwaukee be without paying a visit to one of the city’s breweries? And what would the Brewers be without their lovable, if drunken, mascot Bernie Brewer?

At Lakefront Brewery, baseball fans have the chance to both celebrate Milwaukee’s proud brewing tradition and honor this legendary hooligan with the handlebar mustache.

Lakefront, you see, is the place where Bernie Brewer’s original chalet and slide have resided since the Milwaukee nine departed County Stadium for Miller Park.

Lakefront president Russ Klisch purchased the old prop from the team shortly after the move and happily installed it along his extremely popular brewhouse tour. Visitors will observe that many members of the Brewers have autographed the old apparatus, perhaps none more famous than the team’s quartet of racing sausages.

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6. Ozzie’s Restaurant & Sports Bar
645 Westport Plaza, St. Louis
Web site | City Guide

The St. Louis hot spot named after the best defensive shortstop of all time offers more than 50 TVs, St. Louis-style toasted raviolis and walls decorated with Cardinals jerseys and photos. What more could a baseball fan want? (Don’t answer that, Cubs fans.)

One entire wall chronicles Ozzie Smith’s induction day at Cooperstown, while nearby a tall, glass trophy case shows off all 13 of his Gold Gloves.

As owner Ray Gallardo explained, Ozzie’s was the place to be for any Cardinals fans who didn’t have tickets to Busch Stadium on the night the Cards won their 10th world championship on Oct. 27, 2006.

“The day was originally supposed to be an off day,” Gallardo said, “but then (Game 4) was rained out on Wednesday and all of a sudden there was a game on Friday.”

Consequently, the Game 5 World Series clincher against the Tigers took place on a day Ozzie’s had slated months earlier for its 18th anniversary party. A throng of fans turned out to watch the game alongside such baseball luminaries as Willie McGee, Whitey Herzog, Reggie Jackson and Ozzie Smith himself. And when Adam Wainwright struck out Brandon Inge to give the Red Birds their first championship in 24 years, they all went wild.

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7. Chappell’s Restaurant & Sports Museum
323 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Mo.
Web site | City Guide

Less than a 20-minute drive north from Kauffman Stadium fans will find what is considered the most impressive collection of sports memorabilia housed in any bar or restaurant in the United States.

Since opening in 1986, Chappell’s Restaurant & Sports Museum has steadily expanded its collection to the point that it now includes more than 10,000 items.

The place is a labor of love for owner Jim Chappell, a longtime friend of former Kansas City and Oakland A’s owner Charlie O. Finley. Chappell delights in leading first-time visitors from wall to wall, while providing background information about his collection’s most interesting artifacts.

The top attraction at Chappell’s is thought to be the 1974 World Series trophy Finley’s rough-and-tumble Oakland A’s won against the Dodgers. There also are balls autographed by Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Dizzy Dean, as well as impressive collections of old jerseys, pennants and photographs.

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8. Sports Column
1930 Blake St., Denver
Web site | City Guide

Located in an old, brick warehouse just “96 steps” from Coors Field, the Sports Column is the finest of the many fine sports bars in Denver’s LoDo (Lower Downtown) district.

Since opening the day before the Rockies christened Coors Field in 1995, it has featured an expansive bar with plenty of TVs, walls laden with memorabilia and jerseys and a rooftop patio where patrons can fill their lungs with crisp, Rocky Mountain air while sipping pints of microbrew.

During the summer months, this is as lively a pre and postgame scene as fans will find anywhere in baseball. And the mouthwatering Rockie Burger — a sandwich that comes piled high with chicken tenders, ham, bacon, barbecue sauce and cheddar and Swiss cheese — is a true original.

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9. Bobby V’s Sports Gallery Cafe
4301 S. Bowen Road, Arlington, Texas
Web site | City Guide: Dallas

Although he now toils for the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League, where he’s considered the most successful foreigner ever to lead a Japanese team, Bobby Valentine’s presence is still felt in Arlington, where he skippered the Texas Rangers from 1985 -1992.

One of two Bobby V’s – the other is in Valentine’s hometown of Stamford, Conn. – this neighborhood grill is absolutely plastered with memorabilia, and not just on the walls but the bar and tables, too.

Each table, including those within the elevated boxing ring in the center of the restaurant, is topped with old baseball cards, ticket stubs and game programs beneath a film of lamination.

The atmosphere is warm and cozy, the TVs are plentiful and the food is quite good. The Tex-Mex Bobby Bajita fajita plate, chili in a bread bowl, ostrich burger and fried pickles are all house specials, as are the wraps – and with good reason.

In a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction baseballesque moment, in 1980, shortly after his playing career ended, Valentine opened his first restaurant in Stamford, Conn., and claims to have invented the now ubiquitous sandwich wrap that we find at lunch counters across the country.

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10. McCovey’s Restaurant
1444 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek, Calif.
Web site | City Guide: San Francisco | City Guide: Oakland

Just a half-hour drive across San Francisco Bay from AT&T Park, and an even shorter ride from Oakland’s McAfee Coliseum, baseball fans find a festive hardball haven that offers a wealth of memorabilia and a colossal, 44-ounce mound of ground Angus beef dubbed the 521 Burger.

The juicy behemoth honors the 521 home runs restaurant namesake and frequent visitor Willie McCovey hit during a 22-year career spent mostly with the Giants.

In addition to sporting a slew of TVs tuned to whatever games are taking place, the walls display autographed jerseys, bats and photographs. Top attractions include the National League home run champion trophy McCovey was awarded after belting 44 long balls for the Giants in 1963, a ball signed by Satchel Paige in 1934 and a photo of McCovey posing with Johnny Carson.

In addition to McCovey, who usually dines in the private “McCovey Room,” sports celebs including Tony La Russa, Joe Montana, Chris Mullen, Bob Uecker and Chris Webber have been known to stop by for a meal.

Photo from Flickr.

Bag Clips Be Gone!

I’m always searching for some kind of clip or rubber band to close a recently opened bag of chips, but no more.

From now on, thanks to Swissmiss via Happy Mundane, I’ll be doing this…

Putting a Face on Breakfast

Breakfast

This site has been getting a lot of blog attention lately, but I think it’s a perfect fit for this site.

Artist Jon Huck has a series of photos that has two pictures, one of a person and one of what they eat for breakfast.

It reminds me a little of those commercials that show a plate of food on one side of the screen and Aunt Sally in a dress that resembles that food.

I think Lifelounge says it best…

If for some reason I could only have one meal a day it would most definitely be a cooked breakfast. When it’s good, it’s by far my favourite meal of the day to both eat and cook. That’s one of the reasons why I immediately warmed to Californian photographer John Huck’s Breakfast project. For the project, Huck chronicled the eating habits of more than 100 of his friends by photographing both them and their food at the beginning of their days and collating them into a large collection of images. It’s actually really interesting and insightful to see how some people choose to start their day.

The Price of Comfort Food

 $1000 Eggs

There’s a current trend in many restaurants of taking an ultra cheap comfort food and gourmeting it up (not to mention upping the price as well.)

The Epi Blog points out the davidburke & donatella take on the peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

In this case, chef Eric Hara has taken the good ol’ peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich we all knew and loved as kids and turned it into Hudson Valley Foie Gras PB &J Tourchon with Macadamia-Nut Butter and Strawberry-Vanilla Jam over Toasted Brioche. The charge: $23.

USA Today also points out that mac & cheese is another one of these updated classics.

Macaroni and cheese with shaved white truffles sells for $55 at Waverly Inn, the New York hot spot partly owned by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.

And then there’s the $110 burger

The $110 hamburger offered by the Four Seasons (in Indonesia) is made of Kobe beef with foie gras, Portobello mushrooms and Korean pears – served with french fries, of course.

And finally the zillion dollar frittada

Diners at Norma’s in Le Parker Meridien hotel (in New York) can now order the “Zillion Dollar Frittada”, a Spanish omelette with lobster and 10oz (280g) of caviar.

Restaurant manager Steven Pipes said it began as a lesser dish, but his chefs “decided to have some fun with it”.

“We thought we should really make something that would be a spectacular feast for a celebration,” he said.

The restaurant has a bell which will be rung whenever a customer orders the 3,000-calorie dish, topped with sevruga caviar.

And according to the Affluent Travelers

This massive offering of an omelet features a whole lobster, six eggs and 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar and it is all served on a bed of roasted potatoes. Much like this dish, Norma’s is known for its quality of ingredients and attention to detail. Fans of both succulent lobster and the finest of caviar will surely enjoy the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata.

Price? $1000. But they’ll gladly serve you the $100 version with less caviar.

HMS Bounty

Bounty

by Anthony Vargas

The HMS Bounty in Koreatown remains my favorite spot for pre-concert dinner and drinks, despite the fact that Wilshire Boulevard is no longer the music and entertainment mecca it once was.

Located off the lobby of the Gaylord Apartments, the HMS Bounty is a throwback to the days of red leather booths and very dim lighting. The theme is nautical and the crowd is a mix of old time white residents on one side of the bar, middle-aged Korean men on the other and hipsters who can’t afford apartments in Silver Lake seated at the booths munching on hamburgers or fish and chips.

The menu is simple: sandwiches, steaks, fish and salads. The bar is heavy-handed, so ordering a mixed drink is advisable over beer or wine. The galley has really surprised me on numerous occasions and the staff has always been accommodating.

The chicken noodle soup is a great starter, hearty and simple. The softness and texture of the chicken indicates that it has been slowly simmering. There is no instant soup to be found. The salads are rather disappointing, but I suppose that salads don’t hold too well with the ocean air.

The fish and chips were good and reliable, as is the surf and turf. For what you get, the prices are reasonable. Mr. Bligh’s Board, which is the sandwich listing, is a good way to go. Keep it simple, the ham sandwich is thickly sliced and served on a beautifully soft roll.

Our martinis arrived quickly and were cold. Suddenly, after a few sips and a couple of bites out of the minute steak, it became apparent why HMS Bounty is worth the drive. That very location, 70 years ago, was the epicenter of entertainment in Los Angeles. Across the street, 30-piece orchestras played at the Cocoanut Grove within the Ambassador Hotel. Just west, on the same block, was the original Brown Derby restaurant, serving its famous Cobb salads to the Rat Pack.

Wilshire Boulevard was once called the ‘Fifth Avenue of the West,’ although you really wouldn’t know it today. The HMS Bounty is one of the last reminders of a time where people drove to Wilshire for a night of music, dancing and drinking while Beverly Hills and Hollywood were mostly barren.

3357 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 385-7275

Close to: The Wiltern, The Stone, Little Temple, The Derby

Article courtesy of The Rockit News. Photo from Flickr.

Three Sheets

 Three Sheets

If you don’t happen to have an HDTV and Cable (sorry DirecTV fans), I highly suggest picking up this show on DVD.

Three Sheets has a loyal audience and is growing in popularity. It’s one of the most popular shows on MOJO HD, the all HD channel, and stars comedian Zane Lamprey as he tours the globe partaking in drinking traditions all over the world. Not only is it educational, but the show itself is a drinking game and by the end of the episode, Zane is quite drunk. When he wakes up in the morning he provides viewers with a local hang over cure.

In case you’re brand spanking new to the show, here’s some helpful info (thanks to IMDB) to make you feel at home.

  • Three Sheets is the first television show to be produced as a drinking game. When Zane drinks, you drink. First person to see the monkey makes someone else finish their drink. And when Zane talks about his friend, Steve McKenna, it’s a social (everyone drinks).
  • The drinking game was introduced in the Costa Rica episode.
  • Zane mentions his college buddy, Steve McKenna, in every episode.
  • The monkey, Pleepleus (plee-plee-us), seen in every episode, was a gift from Zane’s wife. She packed it in his suitcase on his first episode (Galway, Ireland). He puts it in every show to tell her he loves her.
  • Curtiss Marlowe, the Three Sheets cameraman, was a child actor, who appeared in Heathers, Silver Spoons and the TV movie The Shadow Box, directed by Paul Newman.
  • In the Czech Republic, Zane left Pleepleus (the monkey) in the beer bath. The Chodovar brewery FedExed it to Zane in Venice, where he opens the box during the show. That is why, in Croatia, the monkey only appears as a photo.
  • In Jamaica, the hangover cure was a ‘special tea’. The main ingredient of the tea was marijuana. After the segment, Zane was unable to shoot for the rest of the day. But he was reportedly very happy.

Still not convinced? Here’s some info direct from the MOJO site.

Can you say “I’m buying” in 12 languages? Embark on an international drinking tour with comedian Zane Lamprey, who takes you around the world to master local drinking customs. Zane drinks Brussels sprout-flavored beer in Belgium, a “Pint of Special” in Ireland and learns the hangover cures of Jamaica and Belize. It’s the ultimate pub crawl so get ready to lift your glasses and toast… Cheers! Slainte Mhath! Salud! Navdrovya!

  • According to French wine laws, it is forbidden to include the word “Champagne” in the title of sparkling wines, unless it is made in Champagne, France.
  • “Guaro” is a liquor or brandy made from sugar cane in Costa Rica. It is a shortened name for “aguardiente de cana”.
  • Three toasts are common in Belgium: Cheers, Sante (French) and Gezondheid (Dutch).
  • In Wales, the term “Pub” came from the Public Houses, where town folk would socialize and resolve disputes.
  • There are no restrictions on carrying alcohol in public in Jamaica.
  • As tequila ages it takes its color from the oak barrels in which it sits. The longer it ages, the darker the color.
  • The legal drinking age in Ireland is eighteen (18).
  • The national beer of Belize is Belikin. However, although there are 500,000 bottles manufactured every year, it is difficult to find outside of Belize. Only 24,000 bottles are exported a month and they are all exported to Los Angeles, CA.

Head over to the Three Sheets site to learn more and watch some clips of the show. You can also add Zane or Pleepleus as your friend on myspace.

I’m not sure if the DVD is available in stores, but you can order the show directly from their site at the MOJO HD shop. It’s a double disc set so you should be entertained for hours. It’ll cost ya $29.98.

Apple Hearts Starbucks

Apple & Starbucks

Apple is holding a press conference as we speak (er, type) to announce a handful of new iPods and features. The only one that really relates to this food is the new iTunes Wireless Music Store and their partnership with Starbucks.

That’s right…if you own an iPhone or run out and purchase one of the new wi-fi enabled iPhone-look-a-like iPods, you’ll be able to download music on the go and when you walk into a Starbucks, a list of the song playing throughout the store as well as the last 10 songs played will appear on your screen. If you see or hear something you like, you can download it.

Steve Jobs even brought Howard Schultz, the founder and chairman of Starbucks, on stage during this announcement. According to Mr. Schultz, “We open 7 stores every single day.” According to Mr. Jobs’ presentation, Starbucks features over 14,000 stores world wide, 50m customers per week, 18 visits per month per customer.”

Also, no longer will you have to pay for the WiFi feature at Starbucks if you’re on your iPhone/iPod. You’ll have free access to the new wireless music store. Exclusive with iTunes, no login required, completely free access ot the iTunes WiFi Music Store while at Starbucks.

Engadget says the rollout plan is this: 5800 WiFi-enabled stores nationwide. Starting October 2nd: New York and Seattle. 600 stores, followed up in November with 350 stores in SF…then LA and Chicago in ’08.

According to Apple…

Sip. Buy. Repeat. If you’re in a participating Starbucks, the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store on your iPhone or iPod touch has even more to offer. Tap the Starbucks button to find out which song is playing in the café, then buy it instantly. Browse Starbucks playlists to discover new music. Or connect to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store for free and access millions of songs while waiting for your mocha. It all debuts in more than 600 Starbucks locations in New York and Seattle on October 2, 2007. Click here for more info.Oh, and if you have yet to buy an iPhone, you’ll be happy to know Apple just dropped the price to $399.

Visit Apple for all your iPhone/iPod needs.

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