Today’s Food Newsbits: Au Bon Pain Goes Cage-Free, Shake Shack Takes It To Miami, Bourdain Stops By Ann Arbor

Congrats to Au Bon Pain for initiating a cage-free egg policy for some of their dining locations. According to QSR, Massachusetts-based Au Bon Pain locations will now feature eggs produced by free-range hens. Following in the footsteps of other food service organizations like Burger King, Wendy’s, Quiznos, and Red Robin, Au Bon Pain worked with the Humane Society of the United States to develop a more cruelty-free food chain for their restaurants.

“By switching to cage-free eggs in its Massachusetts locations, Au Bon Pain has taken an important step away from cruel battery cages,” says Josh Balk, outreach director of the HSUS’ factory farming campaign. “It’s hard to imagine a more miserable existence for a bird than being crammed in a cage so small, she can’t even spread her wings.”

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group announced last week that they’re working on a Miami location for their popular Shake Shack restaurant. The Florida outpost of the burger shop, a favorite of fans and industry insiders alike, will be located in the heart of Miami Beach, with developers looking to a spring/summer opening.

“My colleagues and I are incredibly excited to introduce Shake Shack to Miami. We love the city’s dynamic culture and community – its strong sense of place – and we believe it is the ideal next home for Shake Shack.” said Danny Meyer, CEO of USHG.

The Miami location will be the first Shake Shake outside of Manhattan, where there are currently three Shack spots with a fourth anticipated for early 2010.

Our favorite culinary curmudgeon Anthony Bourdain stopped by my hometown of Ann Arbor over the weekend and sat down for a Q&A with local writer Jessica Webster. Though he stuck with his standard anti-Sandra Lee/McDonald’s rants, it’s always entertaining to read what he has to say about food and the celeb chef industry this week.

Bourdain even made his way through a local restaurant kitchen to thank chef and cookbook writer Max Sussman for a great meal.

~Jennifer Heigl

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