5 Tips to Protect Your Restaurant from Embezzlement

Protect your restaurant

Most small businesses have minimal profit margins so when 5% of your revenue is loss to fraud; it represents a significant amount of money that could represent the end of your restaurant. We have to face the fact that despite our denial and high level of trust, when there is opportunity, pressure and rationalization, our employees will steal from us. To confirm that employees are taking advantage of you, when you have suspicions, is to look for patterns in sales, disappearance of products, and lighter cash flows. Some strategies might be less obvious such as having made payments for shipments that never arrive or using the company credit card to make personal purchases. Regardless of the type of fraud, you need to look out for yourself. If you can prove an employee is stealing from you, firing him or her is probably the quickest and cheapest way to get rid of the problem.

Although this is unfortunate, it should not be surprising as 75% of restaurant employees have confessed that they have previously helped themselves at least once to money or goods in their workplace. This represents billions of dollars in losses every year. Here are some of the ways your employees are stealing from your restaurant. The most inoffensive one is by using their cellphone while on the clock. Every time they check their screen, they interrupt their work and cost you money. Diminution in productivity results in financial losses in every business. You can reduce this loss by having a clear cell phone policy and scheduling regular breaks for your employees.

Another trick is for waiters to charge the customer the right amount for a drink or meal, but to key in a different item, usually at a lower cost, on the cash register. The employee pockets the difference and by the time you realize the subterfuge, it is too late. Sometimes, your employees take advantage of the availability of the food or drinks you offer, especially in small restaurants or where finger food is available such as in mezza restaurants. To protect yourself from such fraud, put locks on cupboards and have detailed inventories. You may want to feed your employees before their shift, a strategy that might pay off in the long run.

A long-lasting way to steal is the infamous dine and dash. Although it might legitimately happen on occasion, it is an easy way for a waiter to pocket some cash as it is illegal for you to deduct your loss from the waiter’s pay or tips in New York. The best protection against such fraud is to install video surveillance. If you cannot afford the real thing, place fake cameras and signs around the dining room so waiters and customers think they are being recorded. Another useful trick is to have a host at the front of the restaurant to intercept customers too eager to leave before settling their bill. Having only one official entrance through which people come in and leave is also helpful in this type of theft. Don’t despair and be vigilant, you have worked hard for your business, don’t let negligence take it away from you.

 

 

 

 

3 Benefits of Cooking With Clean Water

Cooking With Clean Water

Do you know what is in the water you drink and use for cooking? It comes straight from your tap and has been processed by your local water board; you must assume it is safe to drink.

If you are lucky enough to live in NYC then you may feel particularly confident; it is known for having the best tasting water in the country; despite the fact that much of the 1 billion gallons delivered every day comes from reservoirs as far away as 125 miles from the city.

Is NYC Water Safe To Drink

Unfortunately, while this water is safe to drink and may have one of the best tastes in the country, it is not completely devoid of additives and chemicals. In fact, TimeOut recently discovered that the water in NYC actually has several chemicals which have potential health risks to people living within the city.

All the toxins, such as bromodichloromethane, are within government guidelines; but this does not mean they do not have potential effects for your health.

The Solution

To give yourself peace of mind it is a good idea, no matter whether you live in NYC or elsewhere, to indulge in a high quality water filter system. The best ones are those which have a reverse osmosis water filter built into them.

The reverse osmosis filter works through 5 stages to ensure all minerals, particulates and even fine particles are removed; leaving you with clean and even better tasting water.

You will also notice 3 specific benefits when cooking with clean water:

1. Improved Taste

Any water which has chemicals in, particularly chlorine, will have an altered taste. This is something you may not notice as you have always drunk it this way. However, once you remove these chemicals and additives you will be aware of how much better it tastes.

This translates into your cooking. Each of the flavors in your food will be clearer and more noticeable when they are not tainted by the influence of these minerals in your water.

2. Clean Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables need to be washed before they are eaten; this is to remove any chemicals and other substances they may have picked up while in the soil. However, if you wash them with unfiltered water you may be adding just as many contaminants to them as you have removed; altering the flavor of your food again.

You can appreciate the pure taste of the fruit by washing it in filtered water.

3. Reduced Sodium

Finally, water from your tap is likely to be hard water; as many as 90% of the households in France have naturally occurring hard water. The consequence of this is that many homes already have water softeners fitted. These remove the calcium and magnesium from the water and replace it with soap.

Although this prevents damage to your appliances and makes it easier to get lather; sodium is another mineral which has to be monitored when being added to your body. Cooking with water that has not been filtered through 5 stage reverse osmosis may mean excessive exposure to salt; this will affect the taste of your cooking and can affect your long term health.

Summary

Whether you enjoy the best tasting water in the country or not, you will find that a water filter will provide you with clean water which tastes even better and offers several benefits when cooking. IT might be time to go shopping for a water filter!

Exploring The Enormous Benefits Of Healthy Meal Delivery

Healthy Meal Delivery

 

Do you happen to live a hectically busy lifestyle? You’re not the only one. Millions of Americans have a difficult time trying to make it from day to day, because their work is consuming. This makes it nearly impossible for these individuals to sit down with their loved ones and share a healthy meal together. The good news is that there are some ways to simplify your life. With the right meal delivery service, you’ll be able to eliminate a few complexities, save time and grow closer to your family. The perks associated with Sun Basket can be found below.

Totally Healthy With Maximum Convenience

As you probably already realize, getting access to healthy foods can be far more difficult than you could ever imagine. This is one of the major perks associated with Sun Basket. The company has gone above and beyond to ensure consumers can access healthy ingredients conveniently. The company provides access to healthy ingredients, which are organic and produced with no GMOs. Even better is the fact that all of these ingredients can be delivered directly to your door!

Environmentally Friendly

Another thing to remember is that getting packages in the mail is not always environmentally friendly. In many cases, the packages cannot be disposed of easily or in a green manner. This is another big advantage associated with Sun Basket. The company utilizes completely recyclable and compostable packaging. With this company, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of a meal delivery service, without having to worry about harming the environment! The hand-selected ingredients will arrive in an insulated box, so you can guarantee that they’ll be fresh and delicious.

Sustainable

Sustainability is more important than ever before. It looks as if Sun Basket understands this wholeheartedly. The company has gone to great lengths to team up with ranchers and fisherman that can be trusted. According to company execs, all its foods are responsibly sourced and Sun Basket puts significant emphasis on sustainability. They also claim that all their farming and production techniques are designed to protect the environment, the animals and the public at large. When you enjoy one of their delicious meals, you’ll be able to do so with a clear conscience. With that being said, you can get this special coupon code and place your order if you’d like.

Convenience

Many seniors and people with disabilities have difficulty accessing healthy foods. In the past, those vulnerable had to rely on other people to take them to the grocery store or purchase their groceries for them. While this is perfectly okay, they do not want to feel like a burden. With food delivery services, everyone can access healthy, fresh foods and have they’re delivered to their front door.

Cut Meal Preparation In Half

Busy families have very little time to invest into preparing homemade meals. With this said, it is not unusual for those people to stop at a fast food restaurant to feed their family. As you already know, fast foods are filled with unhealthy ingredients, which are linked to heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

With food delivery services, you will receive healthy, ready-made foods right at your doorstep. These foods only require about 30 minutes to prepare and heat up, so you and your family can eat healthy without delay.

We Got a Taste of the US Open: Was it Good as Federer?

US Open

 

2017 US OPEN Food Village is a celebration of all your Celebrity Chef Hero’s.

Queens is lovely this time of year. Tennis is in Flushing. Every Summer the world watches the best of the best in Tennis and those fortunate to experience this 2 week event will also have some of the best food offered by the best of the best chefs.

Walking into the “village” makes me imagine what it would feel like to be in Olympic village. The sights, sounds and smells.

It’s the taste of the US Open that has created a culinary experience combined with World class Tennis. Fans coming from all over the world. This is not to be missed

wine bar food
A culinary experience. Photo by Faith Rein

Jennifer Cox, vice president of culinary at Levy Restaurants, who works with the chefs on their U.S. Open menus, spoke about the event: “Our fans are here for an entire day and sometimes that’s three meals,” she added. “And you can actually eat three meals a day here and have something different”

Encouraging all to experience everything offered from the culinary All-Stars to all the top concessions offering Pat Freida’s meats.

2nd year for Korilla BBQ by Ed Song, one of my favorites the KBOP Bulgogi. Purple rice bowls served with carmelized kimchi, beansprouts fire roasted corn, garlic spinach. With a choice of marinated ribeye (YES!) braised ginger seasame chicken, slow roasted pork shoulder in gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) and organic tofu with choice of Korilla’s signature sauces.

The list continues with Marcus Sameulsson Mojito Restaurant & Bar – try the Short Rib “Ropa” Vieja – Carmelized pineapple, pickled red onion, crushed plantains, beer mole. The biggest hit at my tasting table. It was Sunday dinner at Grandma’s. If Grandma was a celebrity chef.

Josh Capon Lure – Lobster BLT Applewood smoked bacon, jersey tomato on a brioche roll with salt and vinegar chips oh and so much succulent lobster !! Did I say Lobster ?? Oh, yes I did! This man is quickly becoming one of my top 3 favorites.

Josh Capon
Yummy Lobster Lure. Photo by Faith Rein

David Chang – Fuku offer’s the Fuku Chicken Sandwich. This isn’t just an ordinary boring chicken sandy. David Chang doesn’t do boring. Habanero brined thigh, pickles and Fuku butter. Looks like a simple chicken sandwich on a bun…but punches you in the face then with a gentle slap and a wow…I can’t stop eating this.

David Burke -BLT Prime – personally I love David Burke ever since I had his cheesecake pops. He doesn’t disappoint. .A Must have…”Clothes line” Bacon. Black pepper maple bacon and yes served strips hanging on a clothes line.

BLT Prime
BLT Prime anyone? Photo by Faith Rein

He also is at Angry Taco. Fish Taco’s? Yes Please!

Ed Brown and Morimoto – Tuna Tarte on Asian Crisps. The perfect bite. Sushi by Morimoto…bow to the king. No one does it better.

Aces, Tony Mantuano – Wine Bar Food – offered the Ouzo Shrimp, shrimp with potatoes, Jalapenos and Greek Ouzo. This had to be amazing since I never got to try a bite. Passed plates never made it to me as the 100+ press grabbed them first.

Korilla BBQ return with 2 locations in the village and a new Poke stand. Poke Yachty. Poke is all the rage now. Choices of classic tuna, spicy tuna, salmon, crab and shrimp and tofu poke bowls.

Creperie by Le Chef Paul – NEW stand of sweet and savory crepe’s

Joju – popular to Queens this Vietnamese modern sandwich offerring : Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi – classic lemongrass chicken thighs. Loaded Banh Mi Fries – fries topped with house sauce, spicy mayo and green sauce, pickled daikon and carrots, and chopped cilantro and jalapenos with a runny egg.

Banh Mi Bacon Dog, Juicy hot dog loaded with Banh mi fixings and bacon.

Also available favorites: Dean & Deluca, Melt Shop, Neopolitan Express, Emirates Sports Café’, Heinken Red Star Patio Café’ & Bar, and more…

Signature Drink at the US Open – Grey Goose Honey Deuce. As of the 2016 tournament, nearly a million Honey Deuces had been sold since the cocktail’s inception.

What’s it made of?

1.25 oz Grey Goose vodka

3 oz Fresh squeezed lemonade

0.5 oz Chambord or premium raspberry liqueur

Crushed ice

Frozen honeydew melons for garnish

The best part? The frozen honeydew melon balls used as a garnish (I always like the vodka part too) Resembling tennis balls, they remind imbibers what the US Open is really about (not that the drinks and food at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center aren’t great on their own).

There is so much to see and do and eat and drink at this years US Open.

This is not just for Tennis fans. Not just for food lovers. This is one of those life events you need to check off your list.

Where and when?

New York’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from August 28–September 11 for the U.S. Open…

Festival Alert: The Brew Hop is Back

Brew Hop

Hey there! Remember last year when I said, “If you missed the Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival held at Randall’s Island Park on Sunday on September 18th (2016) get your running shoes and beer palate ready, and mark your calendar for next year.”
Well, the time has come! Are you ready? I’m most definitely ready for the beer, and even considering getting my out-of-shape self (okay, TMI) out there for the 5K run! How about you? Come on, go for it!

In addition to the great run, and the great beer (and even the great food!), a portion of the proceeds from the Second Annual Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival will benefit a great cause: The Oceanic Global which is an organization that taps into universal passions of art, music and emerging tech to educate individuals on issues impacting our oceans and provide them with solutions for driving positive change.

What better way to spend a Saturday in October? Looking forward to seeing you there! Cheers, Kate

The Brew Hop

 

Set To Take Place On Saturday, October 21st

On Randall’s Island

the brew hopFeaturing 13 Local Breweries, With More To Be Announced

**Early Bird Tickets Now Available While Supplies Last**

Check out The Brew Hop’s 2017 Promo, here: https://goo.gl/W4QX25

First Annual Brew Hop featured on ForbesTime Out,

 NewsdayNew York Daily NewsamNewYorkThrillist, and more!

The Brew Hop is excited to announce their second annual 5K + Craft Beer Festival, coming to Randall’s Island Park on Saturday, October 21st. Tickets are officially on-sale to the public today, with Early Bird tickets available while supplies last. The event will feature unlimited tastings from craft breweries around the Greater New York Area and beyond, such as: Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, Bronx Brewery, Interboro Spirits and Ales, Kings County Brewers Collective, Coney Island Brewing Company, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Brewery Ommegang, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Citizen Cider, SpikedSeltzer, SingleCut Beersmiths, Rockaway Brewing Co., and more to be announced.

On the heels of a successful first annual event in 2016, the event will once again give attendees the chance to combine their love for running and craft beer. The day starts off with a 5K race (Check In starts @ 10am | Race @ 12pm) followed by a festival until 4pm for attendees to indulge in the best beer and food New York City has to offer. The post-race festival will feature music, lawn games, brewery row, local food vendors such as Dom’s Mac Truck and Sweet Chili, and seating areas.

With excitement towards The Brew Hop, organizer of the event Joey Garofalo explains, “The Brew Hop aims to bridge the gap between two of America’s favorite pastimes: running and beer! Start off with a 5K race with waterfront views of the NYC skyline and once you cross the finish line, you’re in a craft beer festival featuring the best beer and food NYC has to offer. Running is always better when there’s beer at the finish line!”

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Oceanic Global, an organization that taps into universal passions of art, music and emerging tech to educate individuals on issues impacting our oceans and provide them with solutions for driving positive change. Beer festivals and race events typically produce a lot of waste. The Brew Hop has made a commitment to go 100% plastic free to support Oceanic Global’s mission of reducing single-use plastic consumption and oceanic pollution. For more information, please visit: http://oceanic.global/.

EVENT DETAILS: 

The Brew Hop – Second Annual 5K + Craft Beer Festival

DATE: Saturday, October 21st

TIME:  Check In Starts: 10:00 AM

Race Starts: 12:00 PM

Festival: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

VENUE: Randall’s Island Park, NYC

TICKET INFO: 5K + Beer Fest: Early Bird – $59.95, Advanced – $69.95, Same Day – $79.95

Beer Fest Only: Early Bird – $44.95, Advanced – $54.95, Same Day – $64.95

TICKETS: https://goo.gl/RgfYvF

For the latest on The Brew Hop please visit:

http://www.thebrewhop5k.com

http://www.facebook.com/thebrewhop5k

https://www.instagram.com/thebrewhop5k/

#TheBrewHop

 

 

Festival Alert: The New York Coffee Festival is Back!

New York Coffee

We can’t start the day without a cup, so we’re definitely going…

The New York Coffee Festival, the city’s flagship coffee event, is back on its third consecutive year! The festival will take place this October 13-15 in its new home at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 19th Street).

What’s in the works? The producers promise to further expand the festival this year with even more vendors, new lab sessions, latte art demonstrations, and more.

According to Allegra Group CEO, Jeffrey Young, “The New York Coffee Festival is back for its third year with more to offer than ever before. Visitors can expect awe-inspiring exhibits, fascinating workshops and talks and delicious street food – all while enjoying as much coffee as they could possibly want!

This year’s Coffee Festival will include over 100 innovative exhibitors, including: Bluestone Lane Coffee, Devoción, La Marzocco, Ally Coffee, Califia Farms, Flat Brew, Nobletree, and more. The three- day festival will also feature the Coffee Masters NYC barista championship, The Lab program featuring an exciting line-up of interactive demonstrations, educational workshops, talks and tastings, the Coffee Music Project, and the Coffee Art Project.

NYC coffee festival

New York Coffee Festival: Last Year…

In addition to offering hundreds of free samples from the highest quality specialty coffee and selected speciatly food brands, The New York Coffee Festival is also the official launch event of charitable Coffee Week NYCTM, which promotes the vibrancy of the coffee industry while also raising money for clean water and sanitation projects in coffee producing communities. 50% of all ticket sales will be donated to Project Waterfall with funds directly entrusted to NYC-based charity: water. Through these donations, Project Waterfall will be able to continue bringing clean water to coffee countries such as Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. For more information about charity: water and their recent projects, go to http://www.charitywater.org.

EVENT DETAILS:


WHAT: The New York Coffee Festival

WHEN: Fri., Oct. 13th – Sun, Oct. 15th 2017

Friday, October 13 | Trade Session (2pm – 7:30pm)
Saturday, October 14 | Morning Session (9:30am – 12:30pm) Saturday, October 14 | Afternoon Session (12:30pm – 3:30pm) Saturday, October 14 | Late Session (3:30pm – 6:30pm) Sunday, October 15 | Morning Session (9:30am – 1pm) Sunday, October 15 | Afternoon Session (1pm – 4:30pm)

WHERE: The Metropolitan Pavilion | 125 W. 18th St. | New York, NY 10011 TICKETS: www.newyorkcoffeefestival.com/tickets

For the latest on The New York City Coffee Festival, please visit:

Website: www.newyorkcoffeefestival.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/newyorkcoffeefestival

 

Podcast Alert: “It’s Saturday Night in New York City”

Saturday night in New york city

A new cool podcast is out there, “In The Service”, gutting the good, the bad, and the ugly in the Food and service Industry.

“Anyone who’s spent any time as a server, dishwasher, or chef will certainly recognize—perhaps with some fondness—the ordeals cheerfully and humorously recounted here.” -The AV Club

The podcast showcases the restaurant industry from the perspective of Kath Howells and Clair Matson, two rad chicks living and serving in New York City, who met working together at a restaurant, became friends and took their unique friendship to the next level by starting a podcast together.

“We met working at a restaurant downtown last year and became friends quickly. We would go out after our nights working together to dish about how our night went- ranging from the customers to our coworkers and the best and worst stories that we had. We have so many stories and know so many people who are currently or have previously worked in the industry that we wanted to start a show to share them. In The Service is a podcast for everyone – industry workers, non industry, food enthusiasts, drink lovers and for anyone who likes to laugh.”

Kath and Clair invite a special guest each week who is currently or has previously been in the industry so they can share their special experience. Guests are usually regular staff, industry professionals, entrepreneurs, comedians, and business owners. The show’s topics range from bad Yelp reviews, tipping culture, and sexism in the industry, to dating in the workplace and dealing with drunk diners. Guests range from sommeliers, industry professionals, entrepreneurs, comedians, and business owners.

Here’s a sample:

Episode 4: “Waitress Was Mean” – Our favorite Yelp reviews about ourselves and our co-servers feat. Jen Neal. Everyone thinks that they’re a restaurant critic and reviewer on Yelp and Open Table. Kath and Jan discuss how they think these public reviews have affected the restaurant industry and their jobs as servers. Yelp is also the reason that they’ll never use their real names during service. Here to chat is special guest, Jen Neal about her experience in the industry pre and post Yelp!

So if you like to eat, drink, or laugh, then “In The Service” is for you!

 

 

NYSF REVIEW: A Trip Back to Old New York With The Tuck Room

the tuck room

A new review by Tiara Budd

 

If you ever find yourself venturing down by the South Street Seaport, you should run (not walk) over to the beautifully decorated and chic restaurant The Tuck Room for the ultimate dining experience. Located inside the same building as the iPic theater, The Tuck Room is a place not to be missed. From the outstanding hospitality to the instant feeling of being taken back into old New York with a modern twist, this restaurant is a gem.

My experience at The Tuck Room started with a beautiful seat by the window with the view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Around me, diners laughed and caught up with friends while singing along to the popular hip-hop and rap music that the DJ in the back of the restaurant played. As I scoured the menu, I could see why The Tuck Room can be called a drinking and dining den. The cocktail list was extensive and would make even the pickiest drinker happy. I felt overwhelmed with the choices and finally ended up choosing the Big Apple Margarita. The drink was not only delicious but also Instagram-worthy, which is always a plus in my book. After a few hushed moments of indecisiveness, I began my amazing food experience with The Tuck Room.

The menu is not as lengthy as the cocktail list, but everything on it sounded and smelled absolutely amazing. As I glanced around the restaurant, there wasn’t a dish that didn’t look delectable and I found myself unsure of what exactly to order for me and my friend who was also in attendance. Finally… we made a decision. For starters, we settled on the signature crabcakes and reuben croquettes. The appetizers quickly arrived and I eagerly dug into my meal with anticipation and excitement.

Reuben croquettes
Reuben Croquettes. Photo by Tiara Budd

Reuben croquettes

The croquettes were bite sized and I could have easily ate ten of them if I had the chance to. The slight taste of pickle, which I’m generally not a fan of, actually complemented the pastrami and gave my tastebuds an interesting pop. The Thousand Island sauce that accompanies the croquettes pairs well with the cheese and is a nice addition to the dish. The breading completely covers the croquettes but aren’t dry or overbearing. In my opinion, this delectable appetizer reminded me of being able to eat a whole Reuben in one bite and I LOVED it.

Brioche crusted crabcakes

crusted crabcakes
Photo by Tiara Budd

Since this appetizer is one of the most popular dishes ordered at the restaurant, I couldn’t contain how excited I was to take a bite into the crabcakes. I’m a huge fan of seafood and often find that I’m disappointed in how most places make crabcakes with very little crab and too much breading. The Tuck Room knocked me out of the park with how flavorful and meaty my three crabcakes ended up being. The taste of crab hits your senses immediately and the bread is a sheer afterthought that I welcomed. These crabcakes were the opposite of my typical experience and were all crab, very little bread. However, the addition of the breading does give the crabcakes a more crisp element as the crab is actually sandwiched in between the brioche buns. After I chowed down on the crabcakes, I immediately told my server that these crabcakes were the best I ever had in the city…and I wasn’t lying.

Tuck Room Marrow Burger

the Tuck room
Tuck Room Marrow Burger. Photo by Tiara Budd

I have been dying to try a marrow burger for the longest time, so when I saw that The Tuck Room offered one, I almost squealed with delight. After downing my appetizers, I licked my lips and awaited my burger. This burger is huge and can be overwhelming to amateurs who aren’t use to a meal of this caliber – but not me. This dish was well-charred and had a slightly smoky taste to it that I genuinely enjoyed. The bacon that sits on top of the burger is caramelized with a kick of spice that not only surprises but also delights. As I wrapped up my entree, I found the taste making me reminiscent of family holidays and barbeques in the park. Well-flavored, perfectly seasoned, and undeniably good is the only way I can describe this burger.

Verdict

From the unbeatable customer service to the well-crafted cocktails and filling dishes, The Tuck Room is looking like my next regular hangout spot. While the dishes are a little pricey, you won’t walk away feeling disappointed or wishing you had spent the evening at your go-to burger spot. So switch up date night or grab your girls and head over to The Tuck Room and I promise… it’ll keep you coming back for more. See you there! 

About the Author:

Tiara Budd
Tiara Budd

Tiara Budd lives in New York and is determined to eat (and Instagram!) her way through the city. In her free time she loves exploring new neighborhoods, reading books from the library, and traveling all around the country.

Top 5 Tips For Visiting New York City For The First Time

Visiting New York City

Many people dream of visiting New York City for the first time, but are also very intimidated because of the huge crowds and towering buildings that exist in the vast metropolis.

That being said, you don’t have to let this deter you from the visiting the city you’ve always wanted to see.

If millions of other tourists visit New York each year, why can’t you?

The truth is that visiting New York and sightseeing all of its incredible destinations is perfectly manageable so long as you follow some practical tips.

Here are the top five tips for visiting New York City for the first time:

1. Just Wander Around 

You shouldn’t feel afraid to just wander around the city to see all that you want to see. New York is actually the safest big city in America. Walking around the city is also easy, as there are preciously few hills and most of the city is flat. The very act of walking around New York and seeing all the people and shops that exist will be an awesome experience on its own even if you don’t get to see any of its famous destinations.

2. Consider Taking A Bus Tour Or A Cruise 

If you’re still worried that you will get lost by walking around New York on your own, and if you want to sightsee its many iconic landmarks, then you should consider buying a ticket for a bus tour or cruise like those that are offered by Top View NYC.

3. Eat Dinner Early 

If you’re a tourist in New York City, you would be best served by eating dinner earlier rather than later. The reason why is because native New Yorkers tend to eat dinner anywhere from seven to ten o’clock at night, so by eating during that time you may not even get a table at a particular restaurant you wanted to eat at.

Visiting New York City
Not easy getting a table…

4. Don’t Drive Your Car 

It’s no secret that traffic in New York is awful, and parking is extremely limited and sometimes non-existent. You want your trip to New York to be delightful and memorable rather than frustrating, so you would be better served either exploring the city on foot or going on a bus tour. You’ll see more of the city that way so you don’t waste your time driving.

5. Always Dress For The Weather 

New York can be particularly cold during the fall and winter months, do dress for the weather. That means wearing a hat, warm boots, and a coat. It can rain often during the spring and summer too, so bringing an umbrella would be wise as well.

So be prepared, visiting New York City for the first time in your life is sure to be a magical experience for you. The tips in this article will help to enhance your overall experience so that it’s equally as memorable and exciting as it is safe.

Fashion or Function – Which is More Important For a Chef’s Uniform?

chef's uniform

Visit many of the best eateries in NYC and you are likely to be served by waiting staff who are better dressed than you. While outfits for dining out have become more casual in recent times, the same cannot be said for restaurant uniforms. The emphasis is on smart but fashionable, at establishments such as Carbone. The uniform is all part of the overall ambience.

Fashion does not stop at the kitchen doors. Chefs are also moving away from traditional whites, and wearing everything from black aprons to multi-colored pants. The thirst for fashion, as well as practicality is the reason why chef wear design business Tilit has become such a sought after brand since Jenny Goodman and Alex McCrery started their design journey, back in 2002. Even designer chef’s outfits need to be practical though. They still have to take in the basic design principles of traditional uniforms.

The basic design of the toque

The toque, or chef’s hat, was based on the design used for hats worn by priests of the Orthodox Church. The original color was gray. The color was changed to white in the 19th Century, based on the design ideas of Chef Marie-Antoine Carême, who also came up with the idea of the height of the hat representing the seniority of the chef.

Photo by Capt. Jason Smith, U.S. Air Force
Photo by Capt. Jason Smith, U.S. Air Force

Design features of a chef’s jacket

The traditional chef’s jackets, that most people are familiar with, are white. The color was chosen as stains show up more easily, and it’s easier to bleach a white jacket. These jackets are made from double thickness material, to help protect chefs when hot materials are spilt in the kitchen. The jackets are also reversible, so that stains can be hidden away until the jacket is washed.

Chefs also often wear aprons which are made of the same materials, and with the same considerations in mind. They are not designed to be waterproof, in the face of a large amount of water.

How a chef’s pants are designed

In the past, chef’s pants were often patterned with black and white checks. This traditional design has given way to different colored patterns over the years. However, the pants are still normally designed to be loose, so that air can circulate easily. This is a necessary design factor when the pants are being worn by chefs who are working in hot kitchens all day long.

Now that designers, such as the team at Tilit, are on the scene, chef uniforms are becoming more known for being fashionable. However, much of the basic functionality is still required. Anyone who is working as a chef needs a uniform that is practical to wear in the kitchen environment, for hours at a time. The best chef wear designs take this into account, and factor in fashion and comfort as well. These uniforms cover all the bases, and mean that a chef can be comfortable and protected, as well as looking good.

5 Smart Tips for Restaurants Looking to Participate in an Outdoor Event

outdoor event

Whether you’re a chef that’s stuck in the kitchen or a restaurant owner looking to drum up more business, why haven’t you embraced the great outdoors?

Going beyond the comfort of your kitchen to participate in a local outdoor event such as a charity BBQ or banquet may seem daunting, but consider some of the benefits of doing so including…

  • Testing the waters of a mobile food business, competing with the rise of food trucks
  • Capitalizing on the popularity of tailgates and outdoor fare by experimenting with new dishes
  • Showing local customers that you’re part of the community rather than just another restaurant in the crowd

That said, a successful outdoor event requires some special attention to detail as you’re often working with a limited kitchen. Keep the following five tips in the back of your mind whether you’re considering a local event or you’re only a few days away from your big outdoor gig.

Only Bring Your Best-Sellers

This may seem like a no-brainer, but in terms of what you’re serving up, don’t make the mistake of trying to bring too much. Ideally, you should only bring your best-selling items versus experimenting with new fare. Think of a local event as an opportunity to showcase your best products to hopefully lead people back to your brick-and-mortar restaurant down the road.

For example, a burger joint that sells a dozen styles of burgers should only bring three or four along for their outdoor event. The same rule applies to side-dishes: while it’s great to give people options, having fewer puts less work on you and encourages your patrons to make a choice sooner rather than later. In short, you can reap the benefits of having a smaller menu.

Bring Extra Help Along for the Ride

There’s nothing more annoying than being short-staffed, but it’s even worse when you’re stuck at an outdoor event. Think about it: long lines and slow turnaround times are a terrible first impression to leave on local foodies, right? As a rule of thumb, try not to do everything yourself and make it a point to at the very least have someone dedicated to the kitchen while someone else runs the register.

outdoor events
Bring extra help

Plan for the Weather

Simply put, you need to plan for the elements accordingly when it comes to your attire and protecting your food or gear. Whether you’re trying to beat the heat or stay out of the rain, keep a close eye on

the forecast and dress comfortably for the occasion.

Accept as Many Payments Options as Possible

If your restaurant only accepts cash, you’re inevitably leaving potential customers out in the cold. Investing in a payment processor such as Square is an absolute must; meanwhile, having to deal with cash less often means that you can turn around orders quickly.

Prepare as Much as You Can in Advance

Ideally, you should make a point to cook as much as you possibly can prior to your event so you don’t have to make everything fresh. For example, you can prepare condiments, topping and cuts of meat in advance and cook them to-order at the event rather than deal with needless prep. The time you spend in preparing could effectively make or break your event.

There’s a lot to keep in mind when participating in a local outdoor event, but it’s certainly not impossible to pull off for a first-timer. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to serve up some serious grub and make the most of your time outdoors.

NYSF Review: Regina’s Grocery Brings You back to old-style NYC Kitchen

Regina’s Grocery
Roman and Regina. Photo by Faith Rein
A new fresh Review by Faith Rein

 

While hoards of NYers flee the hot humid summer weekend to any shore. I was left to my city to discover new adventures and hidden finds.

Last Saturday I braved the heat and crowds of Canal Street to make my way to Regina’s Grocery on Orchard Street.

As I turned the corner on Orchard it was as if time turned back. The empty street and deafening quiet reminded me of old New York. Like in my Dad’s era a piece of the old neighborhood. You could picture kids playing stick ball in the street. I spot Regina’s Grocery written across the big picture window with the welcoming red framed door and picture window’s dressed in lace café curtains like my grandmother had in Brooklyn.

Regina’s Grocery Regina grew up in Bedsty and brought her home cooking to the Lower East side. The place itself is charming as you enter listening to Frankie Valli and a perfect mix of any other Italian artist you can think of from the 50’s and 60’s. Black and white tile floor and tin ceiling to match.

Roman the owner and son of Regina greeted me with a warm hello and handshake. While Regina stood behind the counter. Not your typical Nonna but a classic beauty with style and a bit of sass.

The relationships between a mother and son are always special. This one took it a step further to form a business of love and talent.
Regina’s recipes and Roman’s idea’s.

The menu is inspired from family member’s. They’re also pictured on the wall. Uncle Jimmy has tattoo’s..he’s a neighborhood kid. Hot and spicy which is how the inspiration came for his sandwich.

They brought out a pasta and pea salad (not on the menu) it was a nice start. A bit heavy on the pea’s but the sauce was perfect for a hot summer day. Regina makes it fresh every day. I was disappointed that the pasta is not made in house but as Roman explained fresh pasta is made to be served immediately. Right now Regina is focusing their summer menu of amazing sandwiches and side dishes. Hot items will be coming including Sunday Gravy, meatballs and a few other surprises.

I had to try The Uncle Jimmy.

Regina’s Grocery UNCLE JIMMY
Prosciutto, Fresh Mozz, Hot Sopressata, Smoked Ham, Arugula, Regina’s Hot Pepper Spread, EVOO, Balsamic & Roasted Reds on Striato Bread

I loved Uncle Jimmy. He said it was hot and spicy and that it was. Perhaps a bit too hot for some but the meat choices were very balanced and I adored Regina’s hot pepper spread. The bread was a good choice but perhaps it was the early afternoon situation where it sat for a while and got a little too crispy crusty. Somehow I did manage to get through it.

I can’t say enough about the Hot red pepper spread. It has the right balance of heat and spice and a bit of sweetness. I would spread this on everything.
More of that genuine home cooking Regina…please.

Sauces and spreads are available for purchase.

Regina’s Grocery As discovery’s go this was a good one.
The charm of Regina’s is worth stopping by.
The food is worth staying and the people are worth coming back for.

Regina’s Grocery
27 Orchard St. (Between Hester St. and Canal St.)
P. 347 680 4361 | Hours: 10AM-6PM
For more information please visit: www.reginasgrocery.com
Instagram @reginasgrocery | Facebook /Reginas-Grocery

What’s in Future for Food Trucks? Watch This Ultimate Infographic

future for food trucks

There are all sorts of food trends every year: paleo, low-carb, low-sugar, smoothies. Some of them have staying power—and some don’t. But one food trend that looks to be here for the long haul? Food trucks.

Food trucks have spread from isolated urban areas—think the hip enclave of Portland, Oregon—to communities both big and small. Some are specialty food trucks, doling out all sorts of varieties of grilled cheese or ice cream. Some might be themed by an ethnic type of food—Mexican or pizza to name just two popular versions. And while once you might only find a food truck or two in a downtown area, food trucks have spread to all sorts of developments and community types, from suburban to industrial.

So what’s the future for food trucks? Well, there’s a growing number of them that focus on niche environments, such as kid-friendly food or locally sourced. Learn more about this dynamic with this graphic.

Street food stepping up food trucks continue to drive interest

Infographic by: https://zerocater.com.

NYC’s Vendy Awards is returning to Governors Island !

Food trucks
Photo by Clay Williams

Known as the “Oscars of Street Food”, the Vendy Awards will return to Governors Island Saturday, September 16th from 12:30-5pm EDT. Tickets are already on sale now at http://www.vendyawards.org

The NYC Vendy Awards is definitely one of the most beloved food events of the year, giving attendees the opportunity to sample bites from the cream of the crop of NYC’s thousands of street food vendors – all in one spectacular venue, and without breaking the bank or busting a gut. Lots of famous food trucks got their first big boost at the Vendys, and this year will probably be no exception. Over 25 vendors are selected by public nomination, and the winners are chosen by attendees and a few celebrity judges.

Nominations for vendors are still being accepted but time is running out, so nominate your favorites online today at http://www.vendyawards.streetvendor.org/nominate/. A limited number of Early Bird tickets are available at $90 for General Admission and $140 for VIP. Once Early Bird tickets are sold out, General Admission tickets will be available for $100 and $150 for VIP. General admission for kids 8-12 is $60 and under 8 are free.

By the way, the Vendy Awards also raise crucial funds for the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center to help street vendors by providing legal representation and advocacy. With more than 1,800 active vendor members, The Street Vendor Project is working to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change. They publish reports and file lawsuits to raise public awareness about vendors and the enormous contribution they make to our city.

You can follow the Vendy Awards on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest announcements at @VendyAwards and use #vendys and #vendyawards.

 

Have fun!

Can You Guess How many Hot Dogs are eaten every single Minute in NYC? Check This out!

hot dogs in NYC

Ever wondered what happens every single minute in the most populous never-ever-sleeping city in America? Well, as New York’s No. 1 Street Food portal, we are always on the lookout for fresh info and tools that could benefit our readers. Last week we found this cool New York Minute Countdown tool, which counts and crunches down the numbers of just what happens in each given minute in our world’s most fast-paced insomniac city!

Produced and created by NetFlights, one of the UK’s top travel experts, this cool tool profiles everything from how many people visit Times Square every single minute (95!), how many Broadway tickets are sold every minute (25!), how many Taxi rides are made (400!), and also – how many Pizzas and Hot dogs are eaten every single minute! What’s your guess?

The results are quite surprising, but we’ll let you guys click the link above and check it out for yourselves. However, the numbers themselves weren’t enough for us. What peeked our curiosity even more was to try and figure out which Pizza and Hot Dog joints are selling the most during those precious NYC minutes?

Well, unfortunately it was impossible for us to get hold of this lucrative sales data, so we decided to provide you guys with our raw “expert” estimations. Here are our predictions as to the most popular selling Pizza and Hot Dog joints in New York city.

The 2 Most popular Pizzas in NYC

#1 is Lombardi’s Pizza

Lombardi's Pizza
Lombardi’s Pizza. Photo by Americasroof at English Wikipedia

Our first criterion was to use and check one of the worlds most popular crowd-sourced reviews app, YELP. We looked for the “Most Reviewed” Pizza place, and according to our latest check on the App – with over 5,000 reviews, Lombardi’s Pizza was at the top No. 1 Pizza in NYC. It has almost 1,000 more reviews than the No. 2 on the list. This is not rocket science of course, but it can probably translate how popular a place is, and how strong their sales are.

Opened in 1905, Lombardi’s is located at 32 Spring Street in Manhattan, and has been acknowledged by the Pizza Hall of Fame as the first pizzeria in the United States. This title by itself brings tons of curious tourists to Lombardi’s every year. But leaving all that fame and prestige aside, Lombardi’s is an old school Italian that delivers authentic NY pizzas. They always come out hot and fresh, with a thin crispy crust, with generous amounts of mozzarella cheese on top. Be wary, the lines might get long at times, but hey – it’s “America’s first Pizzeria!”.

#2 is Di Fara Pizza

Di Fara Pizza
Di Fara Pizza. Photo by Psychocadet

Our second criterion was to see what respected Chefs and Bloggers say. If lots of them talk about you (good stuff of course), then most probably you’re popular, and you’re probably selling a lot of pizzas.

For this purpose, we read lots and lots of online blubber, talked to lots of guys and gals, and mixed it all together with our own rich recipe of experience and grit. We ended up with one of the best pizzas in NYC. A unique institution that’s been delivering delicious pizzas for over 50 years.

Our favorite pizza at Di Fara is the classic, with nice peppers, sausage, freshly cut basil (phenomenal!), high quality olive oil, super yummy tomato sauce and fresh cheese. It always comes out perfectly cooked, thin and crunchy.

Di Fara Pizza is worth the wait and the price, and any UBER ride into Brooklyn.

The 2 Most Popular Hot Dogs in NYC

#1 is Katz’s Deli

Hot Dogs in NYC
Where the President ate his dogs…Photo by Beyond My Ken

With a whopping 7,577 YELP reviews! (as of June 29th , 2017) – this Kosher style restaurant is the most reviewed Hot Dog joint on YELP. With these powerful numbers, we bet they feed a lot of Hot Dog lovers every single day.

Located on New York’s Lower East Side, this century-old joint is where former President Bill Clinton was said to have eaten two of Katz’s delicious classic hot dogs. Katz’s was also the site of the famous fake orgasm scene of Meg Ryan in the romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally”, but they weren’t eating Hot Dogs.

Open since 1888 (!!!), Katz’s Deli has become a NYC institution, with legendary dishes. What’s our favorite? Same as President Clinton! We love those classic jumbo-size beef dogs, with that garlicky blend of spices, the nice char on the outside, the line of mustard and that tiny bit of sauerkraut or stewed onions. It’s Perfect.

#2 is Feltman’s

If 1888 sounds like far back in time, then think again.

In 1869, Charles Feltman came up with the idea of inserting a Frankfurter sausage inside a specially made long roll, which could be held conveniently and eaten on the street. It soon became a hit. It was the world’s first Hot Dog.

Located at Surf Ave., at W. 10th St., in Coney Island, even Al Capone, the notorious gangster who ruled the Chicago Mafia during the Prohibition era, used to walk over to Feltman’s to grab a few hot dogs when he was still just working as a bouncer at the nearby Harvard Inn.

So what’s our favorite dog at Feltman’s? The Al Capone of course!

It’s a unique hot dog made with Michael’s of Brooklyn vodka sauce and freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.

There aren’t a lot of better things to do, than eating a delicious hot dog at the world’s first, where the world’s most famous Gangster used to sit…

Best Beers to pair with your food – Before you bite in

best beers

Have you ever visited Goleta? You’ve probably never heard of the place…Well it’s quite a small and young city, only 15 years old, situated in southern Santa Barbara County, California. With a population of barely 56,000, Goleta is probably only known for being located near the University of California, the Santa Barbara campus.

I was visiting a friend down in Goleta, where I met this Beer genius, who probably knew every tiny little thing about any tiny little beer on the planet. He claimed he tasted over 1000 different beers, and knew exactly what was the best food to eat with each. He never studied at that nearby University of California, but he might have been the smartest guy in town, at long as beer was served.

He took me on a cool bar hopping tour where I experienced some unique tastes, visited average bars you’d normally see in NYC, but also some unconventional bars Goleta has to offer. This cool Beer genius taught me some basic rules on how to correlate my beer and my food, and how to make the most of my experience when I’m eating.

There are a lot of ways in which you can improve the taste, flavor and texture of a meal, but one of the most trustworthy is adding a great beverage in there. If you watch YouTube videos you’ve probably seen that the best foods are always paired with their twin-drinks. There are foods that combine great with beer to obtain a master experience that you won’t forget easily. If you Google “best drink for my street food”, beer will probably come up first. If you’re not much of a beer drinker or just don’t pay attention to the different types of beer when you drink, it’s ok. In this article, I’ll briefly share with you what I learned from the Beer genius of Goleta. I learned how it could pay off to explore some bars before I start digging into my pizza, burger or other type of food.

Sushi

If you’re looking for a beverage to help you wash down this tasty treat, you can definitely trust in beer. Of course, not all beers will do it justice so make sure you go for a nice malt beer that will help you get the most out of the fishy flavors. The combination can do wonders and those that love beer and sushi equally have given it the thumbs up.

Cheesy meals

When you think of a drink for your cheese, you are most likely thinking about wine. However, even if wine is a great match for cheese, so is beer. Not many know that beer and cheese make a wonderful couple. It’s because the beer carbonation just makes away with the cheesy fat and creates a smashing combination that goes a lot lighter on acidity. If you’re dealing with a strong cheese in your pizza or sandwich make sure to get a beer that can handle it like dark lager or ale.

Chicken and seafood

These foods demand a beverage that won’t just strong arm them. In other words, you need something that won’t overpower them such as a Belgian Saison. That or another light German beer can do wonders for your chicken or seafood meal.

Pasta

Pasta is in a similar situation but not quite the same boat. For pasta, you still want something that won’t overpower it but you can spring for something like a blond ale but also wheat ale. Both German and American ales work fine. So next time you feel like eating Italian, don’t be afraid to throw in a Belgian Blonde.

Fried foods

Belgian fries, American fries, it doesn’t matter. No matter whom you attribute the best fries to, it’s important to know that fries have a light flavor that can easily be overpowered. You need to make sure that your beverage won’t overshadow them but empower them. For that, your best bet is a light lager, German if possible. Oktoberfest beers are great with fries but so are Belgian beers like Stella Artois. These beers really bring out the flavor in these salty, delicious snacks

So there you have it. If you’re going out for a bite, don’t just eat on a dry stomach. Make sure to get a great beer that makes the meal even better. You’ll definitely thank yourself after you swallow that last bite and take the last sip of your beer as you plunge into absolute bliss

San Carlo: A Trip to Piedmont

San Carlo
San Carlo Battuta di Fassone. Photo by Elisabetta Riccio
A Review by Kate E. O’Hara

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Soho, there is an experience that transports you to Italy—Northern Italy that is, the Piedmont Region. San Carlo, Osteria Piemonte, 90 Thompson Street, has a location and a dining atmosphere that fully compliments their superb cuisine.

San Carlo
Photo by Elisabetta Riccio

The restaurant itself has an ambiance of warmth and welcome; art lined walls, glow of candles, sleek design of 40+ seats flanked by a small bar, rustic brick, and a magnificent mural of Turin’s Piazza San Carlo. Floor to ceiling glass panes line the front of the dining room, opening this time of year out into the cool summer evening. Adjacent on the sidewalk is a bench recently made for the comfort of those waiting for their table. The tree behind the bench is wrapped with lights adding a soft glow to the outdoor area. Directly across the street is the popular Vesuvio Playground. While dining you can hear the faint sound of laughter, and the blur of children swinging, all while a steady stream of pedestrians pass and a take a peek inside.

San Carlo
Photo by Elisabetta Riccio

And once inside, your trip to Piedmont begins.

This particular evening my friend Joanne accompanied me. Moreno Cerutti, San Carlo’s managing director, greeted us. His friendly, personable style adds to the ambiance of warmth and welcome. He proudly shares, “Piedmont is a rich land full of delicious products…we bring our culture to New York City.”

A phenomenal start

Joanne and I began our experience with some wine (would you expect anything less from us?). We opted for a medium bodied red, a Barbera d’Asti that is produced in the hilly areas of the provinces of Asti. It was the perfect start to accompany our first dish; Tonno di Coniglio which translates to “rabbit tuna” and is traditional to the Piedmont region. The rabbit was shredded, and then marinated in olive oil and served with pickled vegetables. The result was phenomenal; tender meat engulfed by the seasoned oil left a velvety finish on the palate.

San Carlo
Tonno di Coniglio. Photo by Elisabetta Riccio

Next, we had Battuta di Fassone, which was beef tartare but unlike any beef tartare I’ve had before. Fassone is a breed of Piedmontese cattle, with meat that is tender and lean. Preparation for this dish was chopping the beef by hand, speckling with salt and pepper, and topping with the richness of a quail egg. In a word, scrumptious.

San Carlo
San Carlo Battuta di Fassone. Photo by Elisabetta Riccio

From there we sampled Vitello Tonnato, thinly sliced veal, with creamy tuna sauce, capers and a touch of onion and microgreens. It arrived at the table in four artistically wrapped rose-like packages. The veal was chilled and the taste was accentuated by the subtleties of all the ingredients.

San Carlo
San Carlo Vitello Tonnato. Photo by Elisabetta Riccio

And then, we were introduced to a few of the main courses:

My favorite was Agnolotto Fatto In Casa Al Sugo Di Arrosto, a hand-made agnolotto pasta stuffed with roasted braised meat. Stuffed it was—with exceptional, vibrant flavors. The soft texture of the pasta combined with its contents, literally melted in your mouth. We had the pleasure of speaking with Executive Chef Riccardo Zebro about the dish. He explained the process of searing pork loin, beef and veal, roasting with red wine, vegetables and fresh herbs, and cooking for an entire day. The result was outstanding.

My second favorite (well okay, maybe it was a tie for first) was Brasato Con Polenta Taragna, braised beef cheek, with a buckwheat and corn flour polenta and sautéed spinach. The slight crust of the seared beef brought a new depth of experience when eaten with the thick creaminess of the polenta. Add spinach prepared with olive oil, salt and pepper and an explosion of clean flavors came through.

Throughout the meal, Hugo attentively brought us refills of water and bread, and our waiter Ruben, who was friendly and knowledgeable, suggested white wine for our next tasting. We took his advice and had a glass of Broglia, la Meirana Gavi di Gavi (from where other than the region of Piedmont), which paired beautiful with what we had next: branzino. The mild sweetness of the caramelized crust and flakiness of the delicate, savory fish was wonderful and even more so when accompanied by grilled seasonal vegetables and roasted potatoes.

San Carlo
Photo by Elisabetta Riccio

As our empty plates were taken away, we sat looking out into fading sunlight, sipped the last of our wine, and reminisced in awe about the array of delicacies we had and decided one thing was evident –there was no denying that Chef Zebro’s love of Italy and his passion for cooking shines through in every one of his culinary creations.

But before we left, we had to have dessert (of course we did). And coincidently, yet another one of my favorites was on the menu (are you seeing a pattern here?): the classic tiramisu. I had always thought the best tiramisu was one served on a plate, in a square slice. Well, I have been proven wrong. This tiramisu arrived in a concave glass, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and coco topping. The cool, smooth creaminess of the mascarpone, with a burst of coffee from the soaked savoyardi cookies was a perfect blending of ingredients. I further indulged by having not one, but two cappuccinos.

With plenty of summer evenings ahead, be certain to spend one of them at San Carlo Osteria Piemonte. Sit with your wine and look out into the evening. Try one of my many favorites. Indulge in dessert and two cappuccinos. Your evening will be magnifico!

5 Great Foods from Around the World (That You Can Find in New York)

Chana Masala

New York is one of the world’s most famous melting pots, and nowhere is this more evident than its cuisine. From spicy Latin dishes to sweet European delicacies, the food trucks of NYC are filled with all kinds of tastes, textures and aromas, and it’s up to you to decide which to have for lunch. If you need a little inspiration, here are just five international dishes that will make your eyes pop!

1. Okonomiyaki (Japan)

Derived from a word meaning “how you like” or “what you like,” okonomiyaki is a thick, savory pancake that can be made with everything but the kitchen sink. The most famous kind is served up sizzling hot and criss-crossed with mayonnaise, but you can also find okonomiyaki topped or mixed with things like octopus, squid, scallions, radishes, cabbage and seaweed flakes. Some regions in Japan even sell a variant called mori dakusan; it means “piled high” and refers to the sheer amount of ingredients that you can put on your pancake.

Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki

2. Makroudh (Morocco)

This sweet dessert is the perfect pick-me-up after a long day. It’s basically a pastry filled with nuts, dates and almond paste, but it has a one-of-a-kind flavor thanks to the wheat middlings that make up its dough. Typically fried but sometimes baked, it’s also common to see makroudh glazed and dripping with honey. It’s a mouth-watering snack that will go great with any kind of coffee, so don’t hesitate to combine it with your favorite homemade java.

Makroudh3. Chana Masala (Middle East)

A common dish in both India and Pakistan, chana masala is made with a special kind of chickpea that has a smaller body and stronger taste than traditional chickpeas. It also includes onion, garlic, ginger, chili pepper and a variety of spices like coriander and cumin. With its bold, dry flavor, it’s definitely not a dish for the faint of heart, but it’s a favorite among the thrill-seekers of the street food community. It’s also a popular vegetarian option for those who enjoy exotic tastes without exotic meats! (See the first picture above!)

 4. Bibimbap (Korea)

Bibimbap
Bibimbap

You’ve probably seen bibimbap around the international food carts of New York. With its distinctive yellow egg perched atop white rice and green vegetables, it’s a colorful dish that really stands out from the crowd. But did you know that bibimbap has a lot more to offer than just steamed veggies? Depending on its cook, bibimbap can be made with cucumbers, mushrooms, soybeans, zucchini or tofu. It can be spiced up with all kinds of steaming meats and chili pepper pastes. There are even bibimbap dishes made with raw fish if you’re really feeling adventurous!

5. Pupusa (El Salvador)

Pupusa
Pupusa

Not quite a burrito but more refined than a taco, the pupusa is a stuffed tortilla that contains meats and cheeses. It’s a popular food truck dish because it’s so easy to make, but don’t let its simplicity fool you! The ideal pupusa is a marriage of flavors that can range from hearty chicken and pork to spicy jalapeño and avocado. It’s also commonly served with a tart coleslaw made from relish and lime juice, so it’s not something that you can just pick up at the local Taco Bell. It’s an authentic Salvadorian dish that has a lot to offer, so the next time that you see it being advertised by a street vendor in New York, give it a try.

These are just a few unique dishes from around the world that can be found in New York. The world is your oyster, so take a bite!

Could Popbar Do For Popsicles What Cupcake Shops Did For Cupcakes?

Popbar

Just a decade ago, a cupcake became no longer “just” a cupcake. Once made by room moms or for bake sales at church functions, the cupcake was elevated from a glorified cake pod to something magnificent. Custom and high-end cupcakes were all the rage and people were buying and eating them with fervor.

So-called cupcake boutiques found their place on the streets of many local downtown centers and became incredibly popular. These cupcakes weren’t just about the frosting or the design; the uniqueness of the flavors, all blending in perfect balances, had chefs displaying some of the most amazing desserts that anyone had ever seen.

The fad became so popular that there was a television show created just so Americans could watch the intricacies of the process, the artistry that went into the cakes they were popping into their mouths, and watch how delicate bakers had to be to make the cupcakes that people enjoyed so much.

Years before that it was all about frozen yogurt and gelato ice cream. Once just something that came in a canister in the refrigerator, frozen yogurt began to mix with all sorts of toppings and ingredients and became a very profitable venture. In fact, to date frozen yogurt is among the products that have the highest mark-up of any food sold in a chain-restaurant fashion.

 So what is next on the foodie horizon?

Apparently the new craze for this year, customizable PopGelato, YogurtPops, and PopSorbetto are the new “it” thing. Brought to the American consumer courtesy of New York-based Popbar, the company is franchising out across the US. The newest location opening in very near future is in North Carolina.

Popbar touts the best frozen treat around. With handcrafted sorbetto, yogurt and gelato, they make all their pops in-house daily and have specialty pops for those who are a little more adventurous. Not just your average flavors or tastes, they serve things like passion fruit and green tea in their dessert creations. Also on the menu are everyone’s favorites: watermelon, and pumpkin products for the fall. Including those who have more traditional tastes, they also serve both chocolate and vanilla.

 What is so different about Popbar?

What sets Popbar apart from other frozen yogurt chains and establishments is that you can customize your flavors just the way you like them. Try them as-is, or mix and match to be your own mixologist. Not to be outdone by other chains, they also offer toppings from waffle cone to caramel corn and everything in-between. You can eat your treats there or take them to go. The quality is the same whether you are in the shop or you enjoy your treat while watching a movie on your couch at home.

Made with all fresh ingredients, Popbar prides itself on dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free products, and are all made vegan-dairy when dairy is used. Having Italian roots, Popbar takes the tradition of Gelato that has survived centuries and enhances it to meet today’s desire for something unique. With eleven stores already in operation, there seems to be no end to its nationwide growth. They have also branched out to international shores, with stores in Russia, Japan, and Canada.

Although they are a franchise, Popbar’s vision is to remain more like a small company and have a “mom-and-pop store” style that tastes more like home than anything commercially made. Their in-house-only production and authenticity are something that you simply can’t get from most mass-produced chains. Rated highly by those who know, like Zagat and the New York Times, there soon will be one in every town.

Every couple of years a new trend comes along in desserts and frozen treats that takes America by storm. Popbar appears to be the next in line to be a household name, and with reason. Catering to the unique tastes that a growing generation craves, they are keeping their operations to a small-time feel, with big-time hopes that they will be on every corner in America soon.

 

Live Your Dream and Become a Chef

become a chef

Do you have a passion for food and a culinary flair? Have you ever thought of a career as a chef? Can you imagine yourself in the kitchen, preparing the most exquisite cuisine? Fresh vegetables, seasoned meats, chicken and fish dishes passing through your hands as you create and inspire will the excitement of the atmosphere keeps you focused.

You can live your dream career and become a five-star chef, with a reputation of culinary genius. All it takes is the right training and guidance from experienced professionals, a bit of talent and of course – determination.

Becoming a career chef

Learning the skills to become a head chef take time and experience. As a new chef, you will be brought into the kitchen as a commis, the lowest rank. After some time you will gradually move up the chef ranks from commis to Chef de partie where your responsibilities will increase as you run your own section.

When you have mastered these skills, the next stop is sous chef, the right hand of the head chef. The final pinnacle of achievement in your career will be when you are appointed as a head chef of your own kitchen.

Business opportunities for chefs

A professional chef is highly regarded and has a career that is rich in experience. At this stage of your career you may feel that it’s time to start your own restaurant or open a luxury catering business of your own.

You will require all the skills of a chef and businessperson if you want your venture to succeed. You need partners and business education on running an effective business to ensure that you have the best chance of turning your business from a vision into a reality.

How to learn the skills of a chef

Learning the skills of a chef is no easy task. Preparing, cooking and serving while understanding how to run a kitchen effectively and efficiently requires years of experience and practice. Getting started on your career as a chef as soon as possible will allow you to achieve your dreams of becoming a head chef that much faster.

Fast track your career by studying a chef’s course in your spare time and learning how to handle, prepare and cook amazing dishes that taste fantastic. Build your reputation before you even set foot in a kitchen by applying for a chefs study course as soon as you can.

Learn cooking methods and recipes to a wide variety of meat, poultry and seafood dishes. Learn the basics of baking and sharpen your skills with the knife under the watchful eye of professionals that know what they are doing.

Start your new career

Another way to learn your chef skills is with Becomingachef. Here you can learn at your own pace and on your own time. Becomingachef has a 14-day online course, available to purchase and study on your mobile device of choice. If you’re determined and consistent, Becomingachef could turn you from an ignoramus in the kitchen to a culinary professor.

So go ahead and take a chance on your dreams !

 

 

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