How Can Seniors Improve Their Diets at NYC’s Food Outlets?

NYC’s Food

There are over 1.4 million seniors over 60 in New York and it’s predicted that by 2030, that number will rise to over 1.8 million. But as the number of our seniors is growing, so is the number of those getting poorer. In fact, the rate of seniors in poverty has risen to nearly 1 in 5. And this poverty has led to a huge number of older American’s having poor diets.

The average American regularly consumes more than the recommended number of calories. They also eat well below the recommended portions of fruit, vegetables, dairy and whole-grains. But healthy eating habits for seniors are vital. They can help us to improve mental sharpness, energy and a stronger resistance to illness. Eating well is about consuming fresh, tasty food and wholesome ingredients and it is still possible to eat like this when money is tight.

Boost Your Appetite and Enjoy Some Delicious New York Food

Many people lose their appetite as they get older. But you do still need to get enough calories and nutrients to be healthy. Not getting enough can lead to malnutrition and health problems. But with so much delicious and affordable food on the doorstep, New York seniors are spoilt for choice. From BBQ, sushi and noodles to pizza or a burger, there’s no excuse not to eat well. But before you head out to find something delicious to eat, what should you choose and avoid being one of the 1 in 4 senior Americans with bad diets?

Opt for Foods Rich in Nutrients and Fiber

The number of calories you need as you get older will drop, especially if you aren’t as active. But your nutritional needs may stay the same or even increase. Nutrient-rich foods are a good way of getting the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fats you require. Choose foods that are low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruit and vegetables, lean protein and beans and lentils for nutrient-dense foods. Fiber-rich ingredients should be included in every meal. Soluble fiber is helpful to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans and lentils and oats are all good sources of fiber.

A healthy diet is not just about food. You also need to think about what you drink, especially as you get older.

Keep Hydrated

The average American drinks between one and two cans of soda each day. But these are empty calories, so swap these drinks for water. It’s important to regularly drink fluids to stay hydrated. Aim to drink around eight glasses of water a day. You can also get water from other drinks like tea and juice, or by eating water-rich fruits and vegetables and soup.

Let NYC Food Inspire You to Eat Well

With the great array of food available in New York, the city’s seniors don’t have to go far to find something mouthwatering to eat. Whether you want to stick to what you know or try something new, you are not going to be short of street food inspiration. 

Protein Powder Pancake Recipes That Will Get You All Pumped Up

Protein Powder Pancake

Are you physically active? You don’t have to be a professional athlete or a bodybuilder, just a regular mom, trying to do a few push-ups while doing her everyday busy routine with the kids around the house. In that case, you need extra protein. How would you like your protein to be packed in pancakes? Counting calories, you say? No worries, there is a wide range of low-calorie, low-fat and protein-packed pancake recipes just for you.

Why Add Protein Supplements to Pancakes?

People who exercise on a regular basis need higher quantities of protein to support muscle growth, as well as to relax the joints and muscles after training. But protein does more than that. It boosts your energy levels and metabolism, making it easier for you to lose weight!

The reason physically active people opt for protein supplements is their convenience, lower cost, and to avoid the unwanted intake of carbohydrates and fats. Also, when it comes to desserts, the richest natural sources (meat and fish) are not an option.

Protein supplements are sold in many forms: shakes, bars, bites, oats, gels… but the best option for pancakes is the protein powder. These powders are sugar-free and very often they contain flavoring added for palatability. Such flavorings may include cinnamon, chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, mint, orange, strawberry, blueberry, banana, pina colada, coffee…Now this fact alone opens a world of pancake possibilities.

Milk-Based Protein Powder Pancakes

Whey is the most commonly used protein powder. It is very rich in essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids, which help muscle recovery. Whey protein is usually taken within 30 minutes before and after a training session.

Idea: Prepare the batter with 3 egg whites (natural protein source), ½ cup uncooked oatmeal, ½ mashed banana, 2 tsp baking powder, and a scoop of chocolate-flavored whey protein powder (molten chocolate flavor).

Protein Powder PancakeCasein is also known as milk protein and contains glutamine. It is ideal for between meals and before going to bed to feed muscles and fuel recovery.

Idea: Mix one scoop of chocolate peanut butter-flavored casein powder, 3 egg whites, ¼ cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon almond butter, and a tablespoon of pure maple syrup to sweeten the pancakes.

Vegan Protein Powder Pancakes

Hemp protein is obtained from hemp seeds, known for their numerous health benefits. This is a very easily digestible protein, rich in essential fatty acids. Because it is a plant-based supplement, hemp protein is perfect for vegans.

Idea: Combine ¼ cup rolled oats, 1/8 mocha-flavored hemp powder, ¼ cup flaked coconut, ¼ cup coconut milk, and ½ tsp baking soda.

Soy protein powder, extracted from soybeans, is another great vegan option, ideal for fast muscle development.

Idea: Mix a scoop of soy protein powder (try the cookies and cream flavoring) with 1/3 cup oats, one tablespoon of unsweetened almond milk, 4 egg whites, and add ¼ cup of fresh blueberries.

Rice protein powder is highly digestible and allergen free (in case it is made from whole grain). Since this protein is low in the amino acid called lysine, it is often combined with pea protein powder.

Idea: Combine two scoops of vanilla-flavored pea/rice powder with 2 tbsp. raw coconut flour, and 1 cup egg whites and ½ cup of coconut milk.

Make sure you serve your protein pancakes with sugar-free, 100% natural toppings, such as:

  • calorie-free chocolate or pancake syrups
  • pure maple syrup
  • organic peanut butter
  • raw chopped nuts
  • unsweetened coconut flakes
  • organic sugar-free fruit spreads

Now out your headphones on, put on some music and start your workout session!

YUMMY ALERT: The 2nd Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival in NYC

What better time to drink hot cocoa than during the winter? For the second year in a row, the Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival is happening in New York City. Now through Feb. 5, restaurants, bakeries, and chocolatiers around the city will be participating in the festival, promoting artisanal and premium hot chocolate, all while raising money for a good cause.

Hot Chocolate Festival
Hot Chocolate by Mah Ze Dahr Bakery

11 participating establishments and 29 locations will be celebrating the festival, each with a unique, delicious take on hot cocoa and decadent desserts. New York City pastry kitchens include: Laduree, Lafayette NYC, Epicerie Boulud, Almondine, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, The St. Regis, FIKA, Baked, and Sugar and Plumm.

Hot Chocolate Festival
Hot Chocolate by Epicerie Boulud

“The Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival is an exciting opportunity for chefs around New York City to work with the great chocolates created by Valrhona in a different way while contributing to the great cause of The Clean Water Project,” said Chef Tyler Atwell, Executive Pastry Chef of Lafayette New York.

During this sweet festival, each pastry chef will be serving exclusive Valrhona hot chocolate creations at each of their NYC locations.  At the end of the festival all ticket sales from the kickoff event and the cumulative proceeds generated from hot cocoas sold ($.50 per hot chocolate) will be donated to the Valrhona Clean Water Project. This project is raising money to improve the living conditions and public health of the cocoa-producing community of Los Ranchos, Peru.

Hot Chocolate Festival
It will be a delicious festival…

“Valrhona is known for offering different chocolates, each with a specific, balanced, and complex taste,” Said Marine Leman, Senior Communications Manager at Valrhona. “As a consequence, the chef chooses the chocolate he will use depending on the end result he wants to achieve and the other ingredients that are in the recipe.”

 

Click here for more information.

At what temperature should you brew coffee?

coffee

If you are one of those people who loves a good cup of coffee in the morning you probably want to make sure it tastes as good as possible. We are going to start off by saying that you have plenty of options for making coffee. All of these options are slightly different but when it comes to the temperature required to produce a good cup of coffee there are certain rules which apply.

We are going to take a look at what temperature you should try to achieve if you are making yourself a cup of coffee. We are also going to examine how you can make sure that this temperature level is attained.

At what temperature should you brew coffee and why is this so important?

We are going to start off by making a simple statement. The optimum temperature for producing great coffee is between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C); the closer you can get to 205 F (96 C) the better. So now you know, but you may be thinking why this is the case?

coffee
Make your coffee at the optimum temperature

Let’s start by explaining that during the brewing process extraction takes place. This is when the flavour is drawn from the coffee grounds. If the temperature of the water is too low extraction does not work as it should and the flavour of the coffee is adversely affected. The resulting cup of coffee is weak and potentially sour tasting. If the temperature of the water is too high the grounds can burn and the coffee produced is usually bitter to taste. So how can you make sure that the temperature of the water is just right?

Getting the water temperature right

Given that most of us boil water to make coffee it can be difficult to obtain the right temperature of water needed to get the best flavour from the coffee. There are some temperature control kettles available but if you do not have one what other methods can you use?

If you are really enthusiastic about your coffee, and you have the time to spare measuring, you may want to invest in a thermometer. If you make use of a thermometer you can make sure that the water temperature is at the right level to use. If this seems a little too involved for you then you do have another option. All you have to do is leave the water to cool for a little while once it has boiled; even thirty seconds can make all the difference. Of course, this is not an exact way of getting the water temperature right but it’s quick and you still stand a very good chance of producing a decent cup of coffee in the end.

Hopefully, you can see how much the temperature of the water contributes to the flavour of the coffee you produce. It’s worth making even just a little effort to improve the taste as much as possible.

5 Best Dishes Made on a Kamado Grill

Kamado Grill

If you have your olfactory senses leading you to the best of cuisine, the Kamado grill surely hasn’t escaped your taste buds. Well, Japan has known this kind of grill for at least 3,000 years now, but during the last century we all started to appreciate it. With the Kamado being metamorphosed into a ceramic grill/oven/smoker, a whole new panorama of grilled dishes has opened up to us.

The Kamado-style grill was first invented during World War II, and it took its form from the “mushikamado”, the Japanese cooking stove fuelled by charcoal/wood. Today, it is much more efficient and sophisticated. Apart from the great charcoal cooking savor it gives, it is very handy, fuel-efficient and easy to use and because it has no flare-ups like traditional barbecues.

Kamado GrillAll you literally have to do is buy one and keep it in your backyard, add the fuel and you’re good to cook some mouth-watering, savory dishes. So, here are 5 dishes we chose that are best cooked on the Kamado grill.

  • Barbecue Smoked Venison Roast

This one is as delicious as it sounds. The loveliest part about this kind of grilling is the moist feel and texture that the bacon gets from it.

What gives this recipe its salivating aroma is garlic. The best trick to get the taste and aroma of garlic is to slice the garlic pegs and insert them into the fine incisions that you make on the meat and the suet as well. And, the seasoning of salt and pepper is done all over the meat. Then comes egg yolk coating in like so many other grill dishes, and then laying the bacon on top. Why bacon on top? Because the fat that comes from the suet is the secret that keeps the venison moist and warm. Sounds succulent! Doesn’t it?

  • The Thanksgiving Trukey with a Twist

The fact that Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays that Americans follow with a oodles of excitement, is the reason that people may not experiment much with the Thanksgiving turkey, but believe me if you may, using a Kamado grill might change your holidays. Well, if you are using Kamado grill, you surely will need a thermometer, unlike in the oven, which is pre-heated for the kind of cooking you want. The trick lies in the gentleness of the hand in applying the barbecue rub between the skin and the breast. And then rubbing the same on the exterior too is what will give yout that crispy Thanksgiving turkey you want. You can use a drip tray underneath the turkey with vegetables and white wine to make it taste even better.

  • Tandoori Chicken

Well this is one recipe that rules the hearts of the chicken lovers. What the Indian tandoori does for India, is exactly what these best Kamado grills can do for the rest of us. Because it is ceramic, it very well mimics the Indian clay oven.

It is a pretty high temperature that Tandoori chicken takes to get the kind of crispy feel it needs, so don’t be afraid to see some pieces that look burnt. The secret is that if you have it marinated well, it will stay moist and still crisp.

Kamado Grill
Tandoori Chicken made on Kamado Grill
  • Barbecue Lamb Provencale

If you have the taste for some wine to go with some French cooking, this best Kamado grill will win your heart. The rub that goes on it typically Provençale (from the Provence region, South France). The cooking is not direct and so, it tastes better than any other kind of grilled lamb meat.

The process couldn’t be any simpler – rubbing the Provençale herb seasoning on the lamb leg and slow roasting it. But, the magic simply lies in the rub that brings out the flavor in each slice which is further enhanced by slow roasting in Kamado grill.

Kamado Grill
Barbecue Lamb Provencale
  • Smokey Steak

Who doesn’t love a steak? Well, the lovers of the grill sure do. And, a steak tastes even better when grilled on a Kamado grill. Why? Because this kind of grill offers the advantage of cooking with the lid on, which means you can grill thicker pieces of steak better, and more tender, and still get the perfect smoky favor with high temperature cooking. Unlike other grills, this one won’t leave it raw in the middle. In fact, the best kind of grill is beef steak.

Kamado grill
Kamado Steak anyone?

So, ready to create your own Kamado grill delicacies?

Thalia Review: The Aroma Was Delicious!

Thalia

 

A Fresh Review by Kate E. O’Hara

There’s no better way to ring in the New Year than skating at Rockefeller Center, followed by burger and fries at Thalia? Well, you might be thinking of a few better ways to ring in 2017 but if you happen to be in the area for skating, shopping, or taking in the sights, Thalia’s a great place to warm up and grab a bite.

Earlier this month with family in town, I braved the crowds before the iconic Christmas tree was dismantled, and did some skating at The Rink When our session was complete, we were hungry (to be honest, I was very tired, very achy, and hungry). The crowds kept us from dining at Rock Center Café, and the $80.00 (yes, eighty dollar) prix fixe lunch during the period that the Christmas tree is lit and displayed, kept us from The Sea Grill. So instead, down the block we walked.

At 828 8th Avenue and 50th is Thalia. Thalia’s claim is “New American Cuisine – Locally Sourced – Globally Inspired.” We decided on a table in the lounge that adjoined the dining room. The atmosphere was welcoming and festive, filled with the buzz of patron chatter, under high ceilings, and colorful décor. The lounge was cozy, with small brightly colored upholstered chairs. Although festive and bright, the chairs were definitely small. I couldn’t imagine anyone over the height of 5’ 8 or 5’ 9 sitting in them comfortably. I barely reach 5’ 3 and my knees were closer to my chin than I normally like while sitting.

Arriving at 2:00 pm we were just in time to enjoy the two course prix fixe lunch for $19.50 (can you say NYC bargain?). The first course choices were lobster bisque and caesar salad. The bisque was creamy with a slight tang which was offset by whole kernel sweet corn. It was the perfect starter on a cold winter afternoon. The caesar salad, billed as “classic,” included a sprinkling of chili flakes. The chili flakes were different and added an appetizing uniqueness, as did the grana-padano cheese, which cheese experts say is more subtle and less nutty and salty than Parmigiano. Topped with crunchy croutons, the salad was flavorful and enjoyable despite it being over-dressed. Unfortunately any lag in eating time left you with soggy romaine leaves.

Thalia
Lots of choices…at Thalia. Picture by Kate E. O’Hara

The second course choices consisted of the Thalia Burger, Blackened Yellowfin Tuna Carpaccio Salad, or Spaghetti with San Marzano Tomato Sauce.

We opted for the burgers, which hit the spot. They were made of juicy sirloin topped with bacon, gruyere cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onions, flanked with pickles and fries. It was classic comfort food.

Despite the tasty meal, the service was awful. In fact, it was almost as if we were bothering our waitress with our simple requests for more ice water, another glass of wine, or ketchup for our fries. She was non-attentive and when at our table, barely uttered a word. However, the two hostesses were very friendly and helpful.

All in all, for the value, the food was good and complimented the pleasant atmosphere.

And, it wasn’t until we left the restaurant and rounded the corner that we discovered an added surprise: Thalia’s Kitchen. It is a small store-front, takeout-kitchen connected to the main restaurant. It serves soups and chili, salads, sandwiches, sushi rolls, and baked goods. The aroma was delicious! The aroma alone is enough to have you add stopping by Thalia to your New Year’s resolution list—oh, and don’t forget to add ice skating too.

Glass of Wine a Day? The Benefits of Drinking Wine

There’s always been a discussion about the risks and possible benefits that wine has on our health. So what is actually true and what is not?

The truth is, drinking moderate (meaning one or two glasses a day) does, indeed offer some benefits, such as preventing heart diseases, reducing the risk of diabetes, increased longevity and so on. However, those healthy benefits are primarily for men aged over 40 and post-menopausal women. There’s not much evidence that drinking wine could improve the health of younger people as well, since they are already less at risk of heart diseases so begin with.

However, before you go and pour your wine down the sink, relax. It’s no lie that wine, especially red wine, does indeed contain several antioxidants, such as quercetin and resveratrol, which play a part in helping prevent heart disease and cancer. There’s also a component in wine which increases your bone mineral density, aka BMD. The higher your BMD, the stronger your bones become.

Vera over at Kitchen Gadgets Wars has put together this infographic giving us EIGHT healthy benefits of drinking wine, like we needed it right?
But, if you’re feeling guilty sometimes, about drinking that glass of wine then carry on reading…

wine

 

Wine Guide: Great Valentine’s Day Wines from $15 – $35 bottle

wine

A sparkling Post by Wes Narron

You can learn a lot about your friends by what they order at McDonald’s. Do they always get Chicken McNuggets or do they try the new items, say the Holiday Mint McFlurry? The people I turn to for wine advice? They never order the Chicken McNuggets. They always order some new wild-ass flavor combination. In short, they will taste and eat anything, because they want to experience first-hand as many flavors as possible…to learn what they like and what they hate. What does this have to do with a list of the best Valentine’s Day wines from $15-$35? You won’t find many Chicken McNugget wines here. 

Wine shops, even the little cute stores with hand-written tasting notes, are filled with hard-to-decipher jargon about tannins and finish and palate. There’s a ton of wine out there, a lot of it seemingly esoteric and obscure. You’ll be well-served by learning to trust your own taste buds. Find a shop that does wine tastings, at least once a week. And try EVERYTHING, even stuff you don’t think you’ll like. There’s no substitute for your own personal experience. 

I tasted a lot of junk in order to decide what I loved. I didn’t look at critics’ ratings (though they’re often right!). I did use my many years of experience running wine shops, wine tastings and wine tours, and watching what people enjoyed, listening to what they requested. This is a list of wines you should be able to find just about everywhere; or at least order from a source like wine.com. No obscure, esoteric collector’s items here. Just, yummy, well-respected mainstream brands. Sorry, Kerri’s Biodynamic Estate-Grown Hand-Picked Sulfate-Free Less-than-100-cases-produced Wine Hut. Here’s a list of “Royale with Cheese” wines, wines I love, backed up by lots of happy wine drinkers.

wine
Photo by City Wine Tours

Sparkling:

$15: Gruet Brut $14.99, from Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sounds French, oui?. Nope, Gilbert Gruet was a European expatriate who had his mind blown at the wonderful grapes he tasted in the American SouthWest. So, he brought his champagne making skills to New Mexico. Try this with sushi. My girlfriend says sushi is the world’s sexiest food. She claims eating sushi is adventurous, delicious, and makes her feel healthy, alive, and passionate. Champagne is the ideal wine for sushi. Crisp, sharp bubbles that clean your palette and make any meal feel like a festive occasion. Vibrant and fresh, with creamy citrus, vanilla and spiced almond flavors.

$20: La Marca Prosecco 1.5 L: $21.99, from Veneto, Italy

Prosecco comes from the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Made from the Glera, or Prosecco grape. You’ll find your local wine shops are overflowing with different brands of cheap Prosecco. Which one to get? The La Marca Extra Dry. The 1.5 liter bottle is a big bottle of love!  A fresh sparkling wine with a vibrant bouquet of apple, white peach, and honeysuckle.

$25: Roederer Estate Brut $21.99, from  Mendocino, California

Lots of the fine French Champagne houses bought vineyards in Napa/Sonoma California and make “California Champagne” using the same method and grapes as back in the motherland. Only they can’t call it Champagne and they can’t sell it for as much, because it comes from California. The Roederer Estate makes the famed Cristal Champagne (“Cristal, Maybachs, diamonds on your timepiece…”) in France. This is their California version, a tremendous bargain for the rich and aromatic sparkler. You can buy 9 or 10 bottles of this, or one bottle of Cristal!  Floral apple, cinnamon and anise aromas; crisp yet supple lemon tart, cherry and spicy hazelnut flavors.

White:

$15: Alsace Willm Reserve Pinot Gris $14.99, from Alsace, France

For everyday drinking: grab white wines from Alsace. They sell for $10-20. The restaurant chain Legal Sea Foods has been trying to get folks to drink Alsatian wines for years, because they pair so well with seafood! Pleasant flavors of honey-tinged fruit, primarily peach, apricot, and a little pear. Perfect medium-bodied fruity wine to match with shellfish or lighter cuts of fish.

$20: Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina $17.99 from Campania, Italy

Falanghina is an ancient grape variety, around when Emperor Nero was letting his kingdom burn…and toasting with a glass of Falanghina. You don’t have to be a wine geek or experienced sommelier to enjoy this. It’s a pure darling of aromatic pleasure, with aromas of flowers and tropical fruits.

$30: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc $27.99, from Marlborough, New Zealand

Folks don’t seem the like big, buttery Chardonnay as much anymore, They want Sauvignon Blanc, from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, which tends toward grassy, grapefruit flavors. The Cloudy Bay is one of the world’s most appreciated wines, the quintessential balance of acidity and fresh fruit.

Red:

$15: Masi Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese $16.99, from  Veneto, Italy

Valpolicella Ripasso from Italy is the “poor man’s Amarone.” You get the same flavors as the big boy wine, just not as smooth or intense. They sell for $15-20. This is the best wine value in the world. If you don’t remember anything else in this blog, remember this one word: ripasso. Generous, ripe aromas of plum and cherry jam, with hints of spice. Bold and rich flavors of bitter cherries and berry fruits stand out on the palate, with good acidity, balance and velvety tannins.

$20: Chateau Miraval Rose $20.99, from Provence, France

Anytime you find yourself uncertain what wine to pair with a particular food, pick a dry rose’, especially one from Provence, France. The Chateau Miraval comes from the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt winery, and was the only rose’ to land on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list a couple years ago. We want to hate it, right? Dang, this stuff is delicious! Peach and mango aromas that give way to a stony, racy edged core of white cherry and strawberry flavors.Yes, the Pitt/Jolie marriage is kaput. Brad, showing incredible savvy, only wants the Chateau Miraval in the divorce settlement.

$35: Faustino I Gran Reserva $34.99, from Rioja, Spain

Red wines from Rioja, Spain all feature the Tempranillo grape, native to Spain; lighter bodied, with a  red cherry flavor and a touch of fennel. The palate is soft; with sweet tannins. Tempranillo has a remarkable similarity to the Chianti wines from Tuscany, without the barnyard character of some Chianti. The trick with the Rioja reds is to understand the aging designations and to appreciate how they affect the price:

Tinto or Rioja: aged 6 months to 1 year: low or no oak aging: $9-$12

Crianza: aged 2 years: 1 year  in oak, 1 year in bottle: $12-$19

Reserva: aged 3 years: 2 years in oak, 1 year in bottle: $20-$30

Gran Reserva: aged 5 years: 2 years  in oak, 3 years  in bottle: $30 +

Faustino is a Gran Reserva from Rioja: aged 5 years: 2 years  in oak, 3 years  in bottle: $30 +. Red berries, cinnamon, clove and oak.

Need a slightly “better” present for Valentine’s Day this year? Think about a City Wine Tours Gift Card or Booking a Tour for your loved one! We can send you a physical gift card to join one of our wine tours. Or, if you’re very tardy in your gift buying, you can get an immediate digital gift certificate. 

These can be redeemed for any of our Soho or West Village tours. $75 per.

Hope to see you soon!

cheers,

Wes

wine
Wes Narron. Photo by City Wine Tours

About the Author: Wes Narron is the Chief Wine Ambassador of City Wine Tours and thinks learning about wine should be as much fun as drinking it. City Wine Tours hosts weekend wine tasting tours in several NYC and Boston neighborhoods, plans corporate and private events, and encourages learned debauchery.  855-455-8747.  www.citywinetours.com

Anthony Bourdain Is Sticking Up for Street Vendors

Anthony Bourdain, the renowned chef, author, TV host and street food enthusiast has recorded a short video statement supporting the campaign to create more permits for New York City street vendors. In the video, Bourdain calls for more permits because “there is nothing more vital to a city and a city’s health then good street food and more of it.”

For many generations New Yorkers have used street vending as a flexible means for self-employment. From the classic hot dog and pretzel carts to the now popular Falafel carts, street food vendors have become a symbol of NYC. Unfortunately, a 30-year-old cap on city vendor permits has created an exploitative and expensive black market in vending permits and has forced many to work illegally, risking arrest and confiscation of their pushcarts and even the possibility of deportation.

The Street Vendor Project has been working to lift the permit cap and has sponsored the #LiftTheCaps campaign to get vendors out from the shadows and bring thousands of good jobs to the city. Below is a link to a video, and a statement from The Street Vendor Project. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in highlighting, we can put you in contact with advocates and vendors at SVP.

“It’s time that New York stops ignoring its vibrant and growing street food industry. For too long, food vendors have been exploited and stifled by an arbitrary and outdated permit cap. We applaud the internationally renowned chef and street food enthusiast, Anthony Bourdain for joining us in our call to lift the permit cap and allow for more permits that would legitimize thousands of vendors and create great new jobs,” Sean Basinski, Director of the Street Vendor Project at The Urban Justice Center.

Uma Temakeria: The Sushirrito Innovator at Gotham Market West

Gotham Market West

A Fresh Review by Chelsea Davis

Uma Temakeria is one of the newer eateries to set up shop at Gotham Market WestFood mashups have been — and continue to be — popping up all over the New York City culinary scene, with one of the most popular being the “sushirrito”.

At Uma Temakeria, guests can choose from a variety of temaki hand rolls, sushi burritos, or chirashi bowls. Temaki options include the samui shrimp with snow peas and a green miso curry; the tsumi tuna with green apple and wasabi ginger; and the isara salmon with a ginger miso and seaweed salad.

If you reach Gotham Market West more on the hungry side, go for Uma Temakeria’s sushi burrito. Enjoy two handfuls of sushi goodness with choices such as the uma-ritto which features salmon, tuna, tobanjan mayo, vegetables, and tempura crunch; or the tofu-ritto with marinated tofu, seaweed salad, seasonal pickle, and ginger miso.

Moreover, chef’s bowls feature all the refreshing flavors of the rolls, minus the nori wrap. Try the poke-rashi which is a mix of ponzu marinated tuna, apple, carrot, cucumber, scallion, and sesame seeds over rice. Another house specialty is the sakana chirashi with a medley of vegetables, avocado lime, tobanjan mayo, and sesame seeds over rice.

Seasonal offerings still available feature the buttery meat of Luke Lobster’s. Luke’s lobster meets the sushi burrito in this collaboration which comes wrapped with rice, kale, red pepper, lemon-wasabi aioli, sesame seeds, and potato crunch. Zesty spice from the aioli pairs perfectly with the crunch and sweetness from the red pepper. Fresh and flavorful, this is a must try.

If you’re not feeling any of the menu items, get creative and make your own sushi combinations — from beginning to end. You choose the sauces like the zesty citrus or avocado lime; the fish/ seafood such as crab, Atlantic salmon, or yellowfin tuna; the vegetables ranging from carrot and daikon pickle to snap peas; and add-ins to make your ideal meal.

Next time you find yourself nearby the Gotham Market West, stop by Uma Temakeria, take a seat at the sushi bar, and treat yourself to a refreshing combo of fish, vegetables, and rice.

Find a Restaurant Near You

restaurant near you

Finding a great restaurant near you is always a good thing to do, specially when you have the right tool to search with. The reality is, that today – finding the top restaurants nearby has never been easier. You will have variety of options to consider but the key is doing your research and seeing what other people are saying about the restaurant. In this article, we will be going over some of the top tools that you can do in order to find the top restaurant near you.

Google technique

The best way to find a restaurant near you is by taking a look at Google. By looking at Google Reviews, you can probably tell whether or not a restaurant is of value or not. The good thing about checking out Google is if you have an android phone, it’s as simple as Googling for a restaurant near you. The virtuous thing about google is that you will be able to get a real swift gaze of the top restaurants near you directly in the search result and the matching ratings given by previous customers.

Trip Advisor

When you are traveling in a foreign country or a city that you might be unfamiliar with, you are going to head on over to Trip Advisor to get some brilliant ratings and reviews from fellow travelers and locals. Trip Advisor is an exceptional website that is pretty much used world-wide to recognize the top restaurants and places to go when traveling. In addition, trip advisor has a medium with associates that permits you to get personalized information, tips, and advice from other fellow travelers. Trip advisor has an excellent mobile application that you can use to find a restaurant near you. A lot of people might shoulder this is an appraisal website only used by travelers while it is meant to help travelers find their way around a brand new city.

Yelp routine

Yelp is one of the primary tools that will likely show up on your search result and is easy to check. Yelp is a review website that allows people to find exceptional restaurants near you. Yelp has many reviews so there is an extraordinary probability that if a restaurant is good, it must have been reviewed by someone. This helps you save a good amount of time and narrow down your list to the best restaurants as rated by people. Yelp is a great resource for anyone because it is extremely easy to use and appropriate. The superlative part about yelp is that they have an excellent mobile application which means that you have no problem checking out reviews on the go.

Search for restaurant and try it

One of the first things that you should do when finding a top restaurant near you is complete a simple search. That way, you are able to exactly gauge which restaurant you should be looking at. Once you have properly identified the top rated restaurant in your instant area, you can research each separate restaurant and look at their social media. By undertaking this, you should be able to came up with a list of top restaurants near you. Of course, the best way to find out if a restaurant is a good place to eat is just go and try it yourself. Since people have different tastes, reviews may not be that helpful. One person might love the restaurant while someone else hates it. Just do that little tasting visit, as it might help you find the best restaurant near you…

10 Healthy Christmas Dinner Ideas

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner isn’t the time when most people think about eating healthy. After all, it’s almost impossible to resist when you have Christmas candy everywhere, are baking delicious sugar cookies in the shape of reindeer and may even have a plump, juicy turkey waiting in the freezer.

But Christmas doesn’t have to be the season for overindulgence and unhealthy food if you don’t want it to be. In fact, it can be the season for eating better. The trick is to replace the unhealthy foods with better ones. Let’s start with dessert.

Pumpkin Pie: Everyone loves pie at Christmas dinner and you don’t have to get rid of it to be healthier this year. Just swap out your pumpkin pie for cherry. A typical slice of cherry pie is ¼ of the calories of a pumpkin pie and it has less sugar. In fact, if you want you can go with a sugar-free cherry pie that will be even better. If you absolutely love pumpkin pie, and can’t resist it, just limit it to one slice.

Stuffing: Stuffing can get really heavy with calories and unhealthy levels of salt and carbohydrates. Instead of going with stuffing, try something different like wild rice. With the right herbs and spices, you can make it just as delicious as stuffing, and you’ll be eating much healthier food.

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy: This is one of the most delicious Christmas foods that everyone looks forward to, but a scoop of potatoes with gravy can run you into more than 500 calories, not to mention sodium. First, limit your use of butter and mix the mashed potatoes with a veggie like squash for a healthier meal.

Cornbread: Lots of people enjoy cornbread during the holidays, and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. The problem comes when you slather 200 calories of butter onto an already 200 calories piece of cornbread. Try replacing the butter with yogurt and don’t use unhealthy ingredients like bacon fat or whole milk when making them.

Cranberry Sauce: The truth is, this Christmas dinner treat doesn’t really have that many calories. The problem is the sugar. There is a lot of sugar in canned cranberry sauce and it really makes sense to make your own. Even if you add fruit, it will probably still be healthier than store bought.

Homemade Mac & Cheese: This is a Christmas staple for some families but unfortunately, it is one of the most calorie heavy foods out there. In fact, depending upon the ingredients and the amount, this food can reach more than 1000 calories with a serving that you would be surprised how small it is.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are one of the great treats enjoyed at Christmas but the problem is, most people do one of two things with them – cover with them lots and lots of butter, or bake them into an unhealthy casserole with butter and cream. That’s about 500 calories per serving. Instead, consider green bean casserole; lower calories, lower sodium and lower fat.

Christmas Turkey: Some people don’t eat meat but for those who do, ham is a much better choice than turkey. Not only is ham cheaper than turkey to buy (especially when you buy a whole one) but it contains less fat, less sodium and almost 1/3 fewer calories.

Salads: For many families, Christmas dinner is a time for salads. But don’t think that means healthy green salads with dressing – it actually means super calorie packed food like potato salad and macaroni salad, both of which are jam-packed with calories. Instead, try some green salad and Italian dressing. You might be surprised how good it tastes and how many calories it is going to save you.

Christmas Cookies: Finally, the last item on our list is Christmas cookies. Yes, they are high in calories but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy them or feel the need to swap them out for something else! It’s Christmas dinner! If you have followed all of the recommendations here then you safely enjoy some Christmas cookies without going over your recommended calories, sodium or carbs. Even if that’s not the case, you can still enjoy a few Christmas cookies – after all, it is Christmas!

America’s First Burger Museum Opens in Miami

burger museum

There’s a new exciting Museum opening up in Miami! The Burger Museum by Burger Beast is America’s only Museum devoted to Burgers and Comfort Food. Isn’t that cool?

The 1500 square foot Burger Museum (http://BurgerBeastMuseum.com) will be opening its doors to the public on Friday December 2nd at Noon. It is conveniently located in the heart of Miami, Florida at Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Avenue) and is just a few minutes drive from the Miami International Airport and South Beach.

What can you expect to find here? Well, there are over 2000 pieces of historical artifacts, collectibles and ephemera from Burger and Comfort Food restaurants around the United States.

Playing in the mini Burger Museum Theater sponsored by Pincho Factory is the film Hamburger America with a new introduction by its director, award-winning filmmaker George Motz.

Also, a selection of old school candies and glass bottled sodas will be also available for sale in the lobby for those of you looking to relive simpler times.

burger museumThe Museum by Burger Beast will be open Thursday – Sunday from 12PM-8PM. Admission is $10 for Adults and $5 for Children. Parking is free.

The Burger Museum is a passion project for Burger Beast (Food Blogger, Event Producer and now Museum Curator) who has been amassing this collection for the last 7 years. He is still actively collecting and receiving donations of artifacts for the Burger Museum.

These Pancake Recipes Will be Trending in 2017

Pancake Recipes

Boy, do I have great news for you: 2017 is the year when eating chocolate for breakfast will be a must!

Meaning, if you don’t do that, you’ll be considered outdated. Everybody is going to post photos of their chocolatey breakfast on Instagram. You’d better prepare yours too. I know what my breakfast is going to include – pancakes.

Why pancakes? First, I am not much of a cook and yet I love eating good stuff, especially sweet treats. Pancake recipes are easy and simple to prepare. They also allow experimenting with different ingredients, helping you turn them into a healthy or completely decadent delight without spoiling their deliciousness. I learned this from my cooking app MyGreatRecipes and their amazing American pancake recipes.

That is why I chose pancakes to experiment with some of the food predictions for 2017. I simply must know if there is any good new feature I can include into my favorite breakfast. And it seems like breakfast is going to become very interesting this year.

Eating Pancakes for Breakfast is Hot

Pancake RecipesSweets and desserts are expected to be an increasing trend in the year to come. Especially those involving dark chocolate. Chocolate is gaining popularity due to its beneficial properties. “Recent studies linking dark chocolate consumption to positive health benefits may encourage more consumers to indulge in the a.m.” Dark chocolate is proven to be a powerful antioxidant, regulates blood pressure, cholesterol, heart function, cognitive functions and memory, etc. Which means, chocolate is good for you!

People in 2017 will start re-thinking their meals. The Sterling-Rice Group considers that these factors will lead to eating more sweet things for breakfast. Would you like some chocolate pancakes?

If you are following food trends for real, then you must know how important it is to eat smart. And how important it is not to become overweight and get sick. Indulging yourself in chocolate can still be ok, but pancakes can be improved by making some simple changes into the batter, such as:

  • Replace regular flour with whole wheat, oatmeal, coconut flour, almond flour or soy flour;
  • Replace regular refined sugar with honey, pure maple syrup, molasses, agave syrup or stevia.

You can add a cup of dark chocolate chips into your pancake batter and then cover with a chocolate glaze made by melting some more chocolate chips mixed with coconut oil.

Protein and Omega-3 Pancakes

Pancake Recipes
Protein and Omega-3 Pancakes

In 2017 there will be a continued interest in alternative forms of protein. Pancake recipes already contain a good source of protein-eggs.

Choose natural protein-infused ingredients like:

  • yogurt (it will add extra fluffiness to your pancakes);
  • nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts…);
  • soy (soy flour and soy milk are great healthy alternatives for banana loaf);
  • beans and pulses (peanuts or chickpea flour);
  • meats (use turkey and chicken as healthier alternatives in savory pancake recipes)

or add protein powder to the batter. I like the flavored variations for sweet delights, especially banana and vanilla.

When it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, adding a tablespoon or two of flaxseed meal to the batter will do the trick.

Pancakes Promoting Health

Pancake Recipes
Pancakes Promoting Health

“Sterling-Rice also predicts a move to eating for health, using food as medicine. Turmeric became popular in 2016 because of its health benefits and savory flavor, and the group anticipates even more ingredients like it coming into the spotlight.”

Turmeric, the main spice in curry, is the most powerful plant on the planet at fighting and preventing diseases, from depression to cancer. Turmeric is very close to ginger (they belong to the same plant family), but you need to go easy on it because of its specific taste.

Following logic, turmeric should pair well with autumn-y pancake recipes like those involving pumpkin, carrot or apple, as well as with other spices (cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg) and vanilla. Try adding ½ teaspoon to the batter for starters and see how it works for you.

Happy eating!

Not Your Regular Banana Bread Recipe

Banana Bread
Reese’s Banana Bread

Since I have been a part of the cooking world for quite a while now, and part of the foodies’ world even longer, I decided it was high time I gave my breakfast a little twist.

My favorite breakfast dish? BANANA BREAD! (see the caps lock letters? That’s how much I love banana bread).

But I just needed something a bit out of the ordinary to take my breakfast from the most important meal of my day to the most delicious one!

The solution? A frantic search through the web and through thousands of delicious recipes, until I’ve found the perfect banana bread recipes that are slightly different than the regular one.

Savory Banana Bread

Banana Bread
Banana Bread Loaf

My immediate reaction after hearing the words savory and banana bread in one title was WHAT?

That can’t work well together, but the Savory Banana Bread recipe I found definitely changed my mind.

I found this recipe here.

This bread has the moist texture a banana one should have, only with two tablespoons of salt, and melted butter it tastes a bit like your French toast would. Add some cheese on top and you will get the perfect savory breakfast. (I like to eat it like I would a pancake, with some fried bacon on the side, and some maple syrup as well)

Sweet Zucchini Banana Bread

Banana bread itself is sweet, but since I was looking for a recipe with a twist, I went for the Chocolate Chip Banana Zucchini Bread.

Preparing a zucchini dessert for breakfast wasn’t really something I was thrilled about, but I figured: there’s nothing chocolate chips can’t make better. And boy was I right!

As I said, I am not that big of a zucchini fan, but strangely enough, it works great in this recipe. Combined with the banana and the chocolate chips I could eat this zucchini loaf every day all day long.

Bring it on J

Reese’s Banana Bread

Banana Bread
Reese’s Banana Bread

The peanut butter treats we all love are here to improve the banana bread as we know it. The Reese’s Explosion Banana Bread is just that, an explosion or peanut butter and chocolate flavor.

Well, I guess you can make up for the immense use of candy by replacing the regular flour with whole wheat one, and use brown sugar, or better still, ditch the sugar entirely!

I did exactly this, and the result was nothing short of AWESOME!

Give this recipe a try and brace yourselves for a fight for the last bite scene in your house, especially if you have kids. Kids adore this recipe. I mean wat’s there not to like? A breakfast that includes Reese’s is sure to become a family’s favorite!

Now, if you are tired of your regular breakfast, or one of these recipes caught your eye, don’t hesitate and get your aprons ready.

Because let’s face it, cereal and toast are yummy, but nothing can beat a warm, moist delicious sweet or savory banana loaf.

Customized Cakes – An English Story Winning in an Indian Setting

Customized Cakes

The recipe for the first ever cakes may have come from the Vikings, but it sure is a thing that has found its way through the taste buds into the hearts of all nations and peoples. So, today whether it’s Paris or Athens, London or Mumbai, or Delhi or Pune, cakes are a staple at every every birthday, every wedding, every anniversary; a mandatory dessert. But what is great about cakes, like any other recipe is that it gets assimilated into the culture of any hosting nations and gets transformed into a shape and flavour that makes it even more special. This is exactly what has happened to it in India as well; the land of smells and colours has totally adopted this sweet surprise and here is what cakes are all about in India.

The Metallic Bling

The nation that loves gold also likes its cakes very well in metallic colours, gold and bronze in particular. The point is that these go very well at weddings because gold is the most prominent colour by far when it comes to Indian wedding ceremonies. However, it is not restricted to weddings, people find it different and better than cakes in regular whites, pinks and chocolates. 

The Colour Theme

Yes, this time it is colours galore. All the brightest shades, even neons are in , and so are water colour pastries. A matching shade to go with the flavour of the cake or with the décor of the party, is a thing that is much in vogue right now. In cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Pune cakes of these sorts are actually selling like hot cakes. No pun intended.

Customised Cakes
The Colour Theme

The “Shaadi” Cake

“Shaadi”, the Hindi word for wedding, is  indeed a big fat affair, and nowadays, weddings are incomplete without a cake. So just like al the henna on the bride’s hands and all the silks and silk sequins that are quite a motif at any Indian wedding, cakes are special too. So, these “shaadi” cakes look like silk and brocade with all the intricate henna-like designs on them.

The Lacy Delicacy

Lace is something that looks as good on cakes as on women. The pristine white lace on snowy white cakes is just what makes them even more desirable. But well, this is the work of only and experience craftsman, so do not consider them any less than masterpieces. These are an absolute fit for Christian  weddings, but well, you can never be sure if these end up looking even better than the bride’s wedding dress.

Customized Cakes
Lacey Delicacy and the “Shaadi” Cake

The Illustration Series

Fancy an illustrated story on the cake for you little one? Like your couple photograph to be illustrated on the cake top? Very much possible and very much in trend. Yes, you can get anything illustrated on the cake that you want, in the colours that you like, in the size that you like. In short, illustrated cakes are just the thing you can exercise your imagination to its fullest.

Customized Cakes The most interesting thing is that cakes have gained a new definition with the passage of time, and a nation to which the concept of cakes only came with colonisation, loves the very delicacy so much. Moreover, in the past one decade, in cities like Delhi, Chennai, Chandigarh and Pune have become a total craze. Even small towns love it, and it is a sure staple for any birthday party. The bakeries are now considered places where the art of baking meet visual aesthetics. For sure, cakes are making a new story in this entirely alein setting.

Author Bio:

Neha Sharma is a renowned foodie and a master in the area of baking, and runs Pune Cakes. He has contributed to many food blogs and loves exploring new cuisines and food joints.

Celebrating “Riesling Month” at the Brooklyn Wine Exchange

Brooklyn Wine Exchange
A Tasty Wine Review by Kate E. O’Hara

What better way to kick off this autumn season then to celebrate Riesling wines from the Finger Lakes Region? Finger Lakes Region you ask? Yep, the Finger Lakes give Riesling from Germany and the French region of Alsace a run for their money, er um, wine.

I was able to learn about, and taste, these incredible Finger Lake wines at a recent event held at the Brooklyn Wine Exchange. The Brooklyn Wine Exchange is a terrific find for any wine enthusiast. Their shelves are stocked with small production wines from family-owned wineries. They also “boasts one of the largest local wine sections in the city, and an entire wall devoted to the ever-increasing selection of natural, organic and biodynamic wines.” Getting a feel for it? Well, it gets better. They also have a “Learning Center” which is a 50-seat space that houses free wine classes, chef demonstrations, and winemakers many times per month. The Learning Center was where my friend Joanne and I were introduced to New York’s Finger Lakes region; an area that is considered the United State’s premier cool climate wine region. So cool in fact, that they produce a Riesling Ice Wine from Seneca Lake. But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

Brooklyn Wine Exchange
A Glass of Wine anyone? Photo by Kate E. O’Hara

Joanne and I arrived a tad late to the tasting. And, as luck would have it, our two seats were in the waaaaay back of the room. In true latecomer style, we squeezed our way between the rows of tasters, and amidst our apologies, inevitably bumped a few along the way, before arriving at our stools, which we attempted to pull from the table without scraping the metal of the legs on the slick concrete floor. Mission accomplished—sort of. I fell short of a silent chair pull; I graced everyone with a quick sharp screech as they tasted their first wine of the first flight. But, any break in the ambiance was over in a flash, as we took a sip of our 2005 Methode Champenoise from Seneca Lake, Glenora Wine Cellars. It was a wonderful way to begin the evening; a Brut sparkling wine that was light with a delicate apple flavor. Next, we tried a dry Riesling and a Rkasiteli from the Dr. Konstantin Frank line of wines, Keuka Lake. For the dry Riesling, in was interesting to learn that it, “speaks of the dirt it’s in” noting the soil’s mineral shale that enhances the lemon, apple and floral notes. I don’t recall ever drinking a Rkatsiteli, or knowing of its origins, but I learned it is the “oldest wine grape known to man with origins in the Republic of Georgia.” It was complex with hints of fresh basil, lime, peach and of course, a smooth mineral undertone. The suggestion was a pairing with sushi or Thai food, and I’m looking forward to doing just that.

Brooklyn Wine Exchange
Tasting wine at the Brooklyn Wine Exchange. Photo by Kate E. O’Hara

Our second flight consisted of a Boundary Breaks Vineyard, Seneca Lake dry Riesling, and both a dry Riesling, and Riesling from Sheldrake Winery, Cayuga Lake.

The Boundary Breaks dry Riesling, with 92 points from Wine Enthusiast, was produced in 2014 which was an exceptional year. It was explained that year’s autumn was very warm and dry, which allowed the fruit to be kept out longer than typical. By doing so, it allowed the fruit to achieve a clean, ripe stage that is rarely seen. That all translated for me to a crisp wine with luscious flavors—perfect alone, or with a food pairing. The Sheldrake wines were equally pleasant. The dry Riesling had classic aromatics of lemon, orange, with the signature Riesling acidity. The Riesling, of medium sweetness, had aromatics of peach and tropical fruit with hints of lime and lemon. Both were smooth on the palate, paring well with either your appetizer or your dessert.

For our third and final flight, we left the world of Riesling for a Cabernet Franc from Villa Bellangelo, Seneca Lake. I love reds, so the subtleness of cherry, raspberry, blackberry, with soft tannins was just perfect—and although the suggestion was to pair with steak, chicken, or even white fish, I am more than happy to drink a bottle all on its own.

Our night ended by returning to the attributes of the Finger Lakes, the source of world-class cool climate wines, and the tasting of a Seneca Lake, Riesling Ice Wine from Boundary Breaks Vineyard. Ice wine is made by harvesting the fruit directly from the vine when the temperature is below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. At the low temperature, the moisture in the berry is frozen, and when the fruit is pressed only the concentrated heart of the Riesling fruit is extracted. For me the Riesling Ice Wine was of rich texture, and a clean finish –an ideal ending to an insightful, enjoyable evening.

The wines I tried throughout the evening may just inspire a road-trip to the Finger Lakes Region with their vineyards and glaciated lakes. But in the meantime, think Riesling at Brooklyn Wine Exchange. Go pick up a bottle or two. Or, better yet take a class or attend a tasting. You never know, you just might meet me and Joanne there—and we’ll be happy to join you.

For more details about the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance  – click here, and for more about the Brooklyn Wine Exchange, click here. 

Pasta On Demand by Chef Michael White via UberEATS Available Now in New York

UberEats

Normally I wouldn’t get excited over any food-delivery related news. But after having the privilege of tasting the very dishes that Ristorante Morini’s Chef Michael White now offers via UberEATS, I felt compelled to spread the news. Earlier this month, Altamarea Group and UberEATS announced their partnership to launch a new delivery-only menu available exclusively on the meal delivery service.

The “Pasta on Demand” menu features the restaurant’s world-renowned pasta at affordable prices. The menu showcases a selection of six handmade pastas, as well as salad and dessert options. Highlights include Creste, a squid ink pasta, shrimp and calamari ragù, breadcrumbs; Gnocchetti, with roasted butternut squash, kale pesto, and pine nuts; the incredible Agnolotti, a dish with piemontese veal ravioli and brown butter and sage; classic rigatoni; Gramigna, a dish with macaroni, ragù bolognese, and parmigiano-reggiano; and the tortelli, a ricotta ravioli with Pomodoro and basil.

Desserts include an indulgent Tiramisu, with espresso soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone mousse, and amaretti; and freshly made Bomboloni — cinnamon sugar doughnuts, apple butter, and a vanilla anglaise.

“We aimed to create a menu that captures some of Altamarea’s signature pastas,” said Chef Michael White according to a recently press release. “We curated dishes that can be delivered to users’ doorsteps in a timely manner, while still providing the same high-quality and consistency we offer in our restaurants.”

UberEATS
Feel like Pasta? Photo by Altamarea Group

Pasta on Demand by Chef Michael White will be available Sunday through Friday from 12-9:30pm and Saturday from 4-9:30pm and delivered solely through the UberEATS delivery platform. The pastas are handmade and perfectly al dente, while the sauces and flavors are rich and satisfying. I highly recommend taking a break from the world of Seamless and checking it out!

For more information on the new offerings, click here.

Discover Street Food in London Worth Travelling For

street food in london

Love NYC’s street food scene? Then you’ll love London’s!

With more and more street food markets popping up every day, London’s reputation for fine dining is diminishing, with Londoners and tourists alike hitting the…er, kerb, in search of the next best foodie trends.

Blurring the lines between comforting fast food and more luxury cuisine, street food markets are the place to be for budding foodies eager to test their palates. Travel firm Expedia’s new street food resource gives you the lowdown on the best places to grab street food in London, such as the bustling night market Dinerama in east London’s trendy Shoreditch. Known for its dynamic and ever-evolving foodie scene, which has birthed the likes of Mother Clucker & Yum Bun, here you can travel across the world in one bite – from the deep south, Louisiana, to Seoul in Korea!

Fancy a wander by the canal? Then head to Broadway Market! Possibly London’s quaintest street food spot, it’s host to a spectrum of stalls, including the meringue girls – known for their rainbow-themed desserts!

street food in london
Image by Jeff Easter

Providing not only the tastiest of treats in the south’s foodie scene, Model Market in Lewisham transforms into a destination not only for soul food but music too, with DJs spinning records late into the night.

Why not check out Anna Mae’s mac and cheese, famed for it’s authentic New York taste, or B.O.B’s lobster? And whilst there, pop along to Brockley’s award-winning market, serving up a mixture of hand baked bread, jams and Koookie bake cakes, or alternatively Brixton’s Pop for an eclectic take on the Caribbean.

Look no further than the Camden Market for street food on an epic scale. Camden is home to destination street food with its incredible mix of Asian, African, and Indian food stalls, boasting aromatic smells which will win over the most fussiest of eaters. Or want less hustle and bustle? Head to Exmouth Market with its boutique stalls and lunchtime treats. We recommend award-winning Spinach and Agushi for wholesome feel-good food!

street food in london
Image by George Rex

Known for its luxurious history, quaint boutiques, and rock and roll royalty, the west of London isn’t often seen as a street market destination; however, this just isn’t true. For a taste of the west, head down Portobello Road for its world-famous falafel and Turkish pastries. Or why not pop along on a Saturday and find some secret treasure in London’s longest-standing vintage fairs?

If vintage isn’t your bag, you could instead take a walk on the wild side at Partridges street food market in Sloane Square, where you can try out the local delicacies (Chelsea buns), or tuck into a slice of Crumbs and Doilies’ chocolate cake!

Among the busy hubbub of the city meanwhile is Leather Lane, nestled between the City district and Shoreditch, and just a moment’s walk from St Paul’s cathedral. Popular with lunchtime diners, this market provides a much-needed stop for grumbling tummies. Soho’s Berwick Market moreover is just a whistlestop away from London’s theatrical quarter, serving up fresh seasonal produce and Mexican morsels!

street food in london
Image by Berwick Street Market

However, the city’s most famed street food market has to be London’s Southbank, with its heady mix of ethical food. Transport yourself to India, Thailand, or Jamaica at the flick of a fork, and then walk off all that food with a brisk stroll down the Thames path.

Have we got your stomach rumbling yet? Why not head along and experience London’s ever-changing street food market scene, showcasing the foodies’ favorites!

Oso Restaurant Review: Are These The Tacos of Joy?

A delicious Review by Christina Maldonado

Nestled in the heart of Harlem, on Amsterdam Ave. is a little slice of Mexico City, wrapped in the effortlessly cool exterior that screams NYC (Watch the Video clip above!). Oso restaurant is the brain baby of Matthew Trebek and Nodar Mosiashvili, who wanted to bring not simply Mexican food, but authentic Mexican street food to the city. Breaking the stereotype of “traditional Mexican Food” ala Chipotle burritos, Oso has a traditional menu with a modern presentation.

Oso Restaurant
Authentic Mexican Street food..Photo by Christina Maldonado

The atmosphere is effortlessly cool, from the beautiful mural that dominated the dining room, to the original score by Coup de Khan that delivers a jazz funk and hip hop combination that graces the restaurants speakers. While effortless isn’t fitting for the way these decisions were made, Oso restaurant is definitely the place all hipster spots around the city would kill to be, a neighborhood hang out that sticks to its roots, a hotspot deserving of the title, with the food to back it up.

Oso owners ensured they were serving the best on their tables not only by having a kick ass Mexican chef, but by actually spending time in Mexico City, picking up cooking tricks, and getting exposed to the culture and architecture that influences the restaurant and make it such an original experience.

“The tamales are a staple”

The food is not only authentic, but so delicious I could guarantee it would make some abuelas that spent their lives in the kitchen eager to get their hands on the recipes. The tamales are a staple, and a must have. Filled with peppers and queso oaxaca, these tamales are made perfectly and serve as the perfect starter, to get your engines going for what’s yet to come. I had the pleasure of having it served with a cilantro and green pepper aioli that I would swim in if I could. But since I couldn’t, I just simply doused everything I ate in it. The flavors that mingle in your mouth for this dish establish an expectation that is exceeded as your dining adventure at Oso restaurant continues.

Oso Restaurant
Oso Owners Nodar Mosiashvili and Matthew Trebek with their head chef. Photo by Christina Maldonado

Before I got to indulge in the tacos, which were an event in themselves, another main component of Oso came into play. Their bar. Since it’s one of the focal points in the aesthetically pleasing room, the bar offers the triple threat you’d want with a delicious meal. Beauty, substance and mezcal. Their drinks pack the punch that their food deserves, while still being refined. Don’t be surprised if your pinky perks up when you’re sipping on the Coup de Khan.

But on to the more important things. Tacos.

It might be weird to call tacos attractive, but the carnitas and fish tacos at Oso deserve it. Just looking at the dishes, you can tell that the ingredients are fresh, but it’s when you take your first bite that you really get it. Basically Oso tacos are the tacos you get to treat yourself. The carnitas are succulent, and the soda pop marinade was surprising, but tasty. The fish tacos have a perfect pickle. These tasty meats are lovingly wrapped in freshly made tortillas. It would seem excessive to suggest that these tacos should be named bundles of joy instead, but it’s well warranted.

Oso Restaurant
Authentic Mexican Street food..Photo by Christina Maldonado

The Papas Rajas stole the show…

After tacos, and just when I was thinking things couldn’t get any better, the Pulpo was brought to the table and I was proven completely wrong. First of all, any place that can cook octopus well deserves praise, it was perfectly cooked and not at all the chewy mess that can be dangerously common with the eight legged entrée. But what stole the show for me was the papas rajas. How does one make a potato so well that it overshadows the main meat on a dish, I have no idea, but the combination of the two, and the surprising mandarin that made a striking appearance not only made a stunning plate, but a delicious meal. To call the Pulpo simply tasty would be an understatement, but the simple word captures the resonance of the dish completely.

While my self control and waist line was begging me to reconsider, I was lucky enough to have Oso dessert. The lightly undercooked churros literally have no words that do them justice. There have been about three drafts attempting to do so already. Just go get 12, and enjoy.

The review of Oso restaurant would not be complete without the praise of the chips and guac. While it might be painfully simple, to have a common starter that leaves quite the impression is not a simple feat Job well done Oso, because I was getting tired of avocados as a whole. And if a new level of chips and dip don’t do it for you, Oso is more than accommodating for the more wild at heart, with their beef tongue, and the fried crickets that could possibly make an appearance on their menu.

Oso gives traditional street food a stunning home in Harlem, from the establishment itself to the beautiful dishes it creates, and it was not only a pleasure to dine there, but I am nothing but excited to see what is to come of this place, because one dinner was enough to know that Oso is destined for nothing but greatness…. and five star yelp reviews.

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