Lots of developments in the food service industry today including responses to the economic crisis and new restaurants opening in the DC area. Let’s get to it!

Sales for vices like alcohol, chocolate and cigarettes are up despite financial concerns around the nation. These items, along with low cost consumer packaged goods, are typically considered recession proof. You know what else is recession proof? Porn. Seems like the smartest move to make here is a significant investment in chocolate Reddi-Wip stock. Awww yeah.

The folks at Starbucks corporate are apparently a bunch of divas who are difficult to work with. Maybe they should switch to green tea. They’ll have nothing to fear from McDonald’s coffee competition however. The recent Wall Street events have set back the mega-chain’s plans to revamp with high end coffee. Apparently franchisees are no longer able to secure the loans necessary to take part.

Another good reason to buy locally… the melamine problem in China’s milk continues to exacerbate, sickening 54,000 babies in China, causing the death of four and prompting countries such as France and South Korea to ban not only dairy products but cookies from China as well. Kraft and Mars are exploring claims that M&Ms and oreos have also showed contamination.

DC restaurant openings, $1 million for the right Halloween treater, DC Food Network auditions and a tribute to Paul Newman after the jump!

In more optimistic news for Kraft, the company has begun advertising Kool-Aid on the radio for the first time in 11 years, part of a trend among low cost packaged goods to up their promotions while Americans are feeling price sensitive.

Speaking of which, did you know you can get coupons for local DC restaurants from the Post’s website?

Are you psyched for Halloween? Hostess cucpake is. They want you to give out cupcakes for Halloween and if they catch you in the act, you may just get $1 million.

Fess up. You’ve always been curious what the kids of High School Musical would taste like in kid cereal form.

Are you thinking about a vegetable garden? DC’s climate helps produce leafy greens deep into autumn. See more here (and learn what time it was in Greece!). 

Miller Light figures now is as good a time as any to debut a new aluminum pint

New DC restaurant alert! 1905 and Art and Soul opened.

Napa 1015 on H St. is offering German tapas. We’re not totally sure what that is but Mike is way psyched at the possibility of currywurst.

No Baby Ruth bail out here. Pressure continues to mount to regulate junk food advertising to children.

Want to be a Food Network star? Here’s your big chance. The Food Network will host a casting call in DC on Friday, October 3. Let us know if you audition!

Finally, Zagat tips us off to a film festival at EatBar in honor of Paul Newman this Sunday.  They’ll be screening five Newman classics and serving up complimentary Newman’s Own popcorn.