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Shake Shack’s Secret Menu and Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Eating and Reading

Every week, we’ll let you know what the Washingtonian food staff is reading in the blogosphere and off the bookshelves.

What secrets lie behind Shake Shack’s official menu? Photograph by Scott Suchman

Sophie Gilbert, assistant editor:

• This is interesting reading from Alton Brown: a polite—but firm—letter to his fans on things he will do (pose for pictures, sign autographs) and steadfastly refuses to (talk to fans while in the restroom, sign living things).: My Fanifesto.

• This week’s chillier weather has me super stoked for fall, so here, in preparation, is a photo slideshow of ridiculously oversized vegetables (including, of course, gourds).: Giant Vegetables—in Pictures.

• More on Sam Sifton stepping down as the New York Times’ restaurant critic. What, exactly, does it mean to be a professional restaurant critic in this day and age?: How the New York Times Can Reform Restaurant Criticism.

Anna Spiegel, assistant food and wine editor:

• The New York Times takes a look at the future of food-focused television programming, and it isn’t necessarily based in the kitchen: Throwing Out the Recipe for Daytime TV.

A Q&A on hunting, killing, and consuming your spirit animal: Eating Your Spirit Animal: An FAQ.

• Despite this year’s pumpkin shortage, it’s that time again for pumpkin-flavored treats. Gawker asks the serious question: Are Pumpkin Spice Lattes Destroying Our Nation’s Manhood?.

• And it’s always good to look back on this from McSweeney’s: An Open Letter to Pumpkin-Flavored Seasonal Treats.

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor:

• One of the best, most vibrant meals I’ve had this year was at Philly restaurant Zahav. Joan Nathan explores its sad origins.: After a Killing, Michael Solomonov Turns to Israeli food.

Shake Shack channels In-N-Out, but I’m sticking with my beloved Shackburger (with pickles).: Shake Shack’s Secret Menu, Revealed!

• Cute overload alert! Although nothing tops this for a kiddy halloween costume, this comes close.: 15 Food Themed Halloween Costumes.

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