Harvest Home: Great Food for a Great Cause

By Daniel Lee Hue

Last week I had the pleasure of attending, Harvest Home’s 4th annual Savor the Season-Uptown! at Museum of the City of New York. Described as a “walking tour” of some of the best restaurants above 96th Street, guests sampled the signature dishes, beverages and desserts of some of uptown’s most outstanding chefs, for one night!

Harvest Home is a New York based non-profit which aims to provide low-income communities with access to farm fresh local produce and the education to achieve healthier lifestyles. They operate markets in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Mt,Vernon, with farmer’s markets open six days a week during the farmer’s market season.

As a dine-around tasting this year’s Savor the Season –Uptown! Severed to fund Harvest Home’s healthy eating and lifestyle programs as well as their work providing farm-fresh food to farmer’s markets networks. Guests were given the chance to taste the various foods from the best restaurants Uptown has to offer. Each of the participating partners prepared dishes that affably combined mouthwatering and wholesome. From the Seasoned Vegans ‘Crawfish in Basil Sauce’ to Make My Cakes ‘Apple Bread Pudding.’

Harvest Home
Great Food, Great Cause.

The Featured highlight of the evening came from the chef of the evening, Chef Frank Maldonado. Chef Maldonado is currently the executive chef at Sazon and SoFritas. With a nutritious twist on a classic Latin favorite of pernil with rice and beans, Chef offered pulled pork atop a bed of quinoa and pigeon peas as a healthier alternative.

IMG_7730The Savor the Season had two honorees this year: Retired NFL Safety and New York Jets Commentator, Erick Coleman (in the picture at the top with Chef Frank Maldonado) and former Director of Community Relations for the Mount Sinai Medical Center, Barbara Brenner. Both gave speeches in the setting sun reflecting on their involvement with Savor the Season-Uptown! and their excitement for the future of the organization.

I luckily got the opportunity to speak with the CEO of Harvest Home, Maritza Owens. When asked what she was most excited about Owens, with a beaming smile explained “I am most excited about the fact that the event is in the spring. It sets the tone for he rest of the year.”

For more information about Harvest Home and how to get involved, visit their website at http://www.harvesthomefm.org .

Healthy Food From a Street Vendor? Absolutely!

healthy food

By Trevin Hiebert

Lunch time in New York rolls around like clockwork, but you’re looking to get (or stay) fit. There are an overwhelming number of choices, meaning the best—and best for you—can be hard to find. Maybe street food has long been your obvious go-to for lunch, but you’re worried that it might not be the healthiest option, or you’ve grown tired of the same old sandwiches day after day and want to try something at the new food trucks down the block. With New York’s plethora of street food options, finding healthy food with low calorie options is not only possible, but can be very delicious. Here are some tips to consider while searching for your perfect lunch or dinner:

  1. Avoid fried foods

Fried foods are high in fats and oils, and often carbs as well. This leads to them being some of the most calorie dense options available, often up to double the caloric content of similar grilled or baked options. Consider roasted or grilled options instead such as shawarma or pulled pork, and if offered a side, avoid fries or potato chips when possible.

  1. Consider vegan or vegetarian options

Vegan and vegetarian options often offer delicious, lower calorie substitutions to standard, meaty options. While some options, such as chickpea burgers or falafel, can be similar in calorie content, they offer substantially less saturated fat, while staying high in protein and fiber, helping you to stay fuller longer. Other options, like salads and roasted vegetables, offer tons of nutrition without adding tons of calories, and are a great quick healthy food alternative. Veggie-2

  1. Skip the extras

Many vendors offer extra add-ons to your meals: extra toppings, sauces, sides, or meal options. These are all typically things to avoid. Creamy sauces like ranch, tzatziki, or tartar can add up to 50-150 calories to a dish, and the extra slices of bacon on your sandwich can add up to 200 calories themselves. These options also cost extra, so you’ll be doing your wallet a favor at the same time. Desserts and sweets are also unnecessary additions, and typically chock full of carbohydrates and calories.

  1. Choose water over other drinks

It’s not only about choosing healthy food when strolling the streets. Sodas, lemonades, and other drinks are very often served at street carts and food trucks alike, but are far from the healthiest options. Beverages like these are all loaded with sugars, which add calories and limit hydration. Water is calorie-free, and, if you carry your own refillable bottle, cost-free as well. Answering thirst with water instead of sugary drinks helps keep you full between meals, while not adding calorie bloat.

  1. Moderation is critical

Street food in NYC often has serving sizes as big as the city it’s served in. Watching portion sizes and maintaining moderation while eating is crucial to eating healthy. Avoid sugary or calorie dense snacks, which only pump more calories into your system, without filling you up. Also consider dividing your meal into smaller portions, to be enjoyed at later times. Half a sandwich now and half later helps prevent over-eating and allows for a much more controlled appetite.

healthy food
Watch your portions…
  1. Prioritize proteins over carbs

Choose proteins over carbs whenever possible. Carbohydrates tend to be less satisfying and don’t keep us full as long as proteins do. Properly timing your carbs, by eating them last, can also help reduce low blood sugar, which helps with weight loss. Start you meal with your protein, saving your carbs for the end, in order to fill yourself up faster without eating too many calories. Also, whenever possible, choose lower carbohydrate options, such as lettuce wraps over bread sandwich buns, or mixed vegetables instead of rice or noodles. These options allow you equal hunger satisfaction while keeping out the empty calories of higher carb options.

Eating healthy can be delicious and easy, if you keep these tips in mind. You’re in New York, so you obviously have options for when and where you choose to eat, but remember these tips the next time you choose street food. Good habits will help to consistently shed extra pounds, or to keep them off.

About the Author: Trevin spent several years in New York before returning to the Pacific Northwest. He loves running, staying healthy, and spending time with his family.

Top 100 Classical & Heritage Restaurants List

Heritage Restaurants
Gargouillou de Legumes. Photo by Yelkrokoyade

Opinionated About Dining (OAD) has reveald its inaugural “Top 100 Classical & Heritage Restaurants” list with Michel Bras in Toya, Japan, claiming the #1 spot. The highly acclaimed list celebrates exemplary restaurants across the globe that are operated by chefs who have consistently served the same style of cuisine for the past twenty-five years.

Twelve countries are represented, but France dominates as the world’s top culinary powerhouse with 33 heritage restaurants occupying the list, followed by Italy boasting 15, and Germany with 10.

Located on the northernmost of Japan’s four major islands, Michel Bras looks over Lake Toya, one of the most scenic locations Japan has to offer. With Executive Chef Simone Cantafio at the helm, OAD reviewers hail the restaurant as, “a must-visit for those who want an exceptional dining experience in an equally exceptional location.” At number two, Troisgros, is as much of a culinary shrine as a fine-dining destination, and has impressively maintained its incredible reputation since the Troigros family opened the restaurant in 1957.

Heritage Restaurants
Michel Bras TOYA Restaurant in Japan

Hailing from Monte Carlo, Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV lands at the number three spot, followed by Régis et Jacques Marcon in St. Bonnet-les-Froids, France, and Michel Guérard’s Les Prés d’Eugénie in Eugénie les Bains, France at numbers four and five. Other countries that are represented in the Top 10 include dal Pescatore Canneto in Sull’Oglio, Italy at six, Baiersbronn Germany’s Schwarzwälder at seven, Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York City restaurant at number nine and Joël Robuchon Au Dôme in Macau, China rounds out the top ten.

OAD creator, Steve Plotnicki said, “OAD was founded in part because I felt that other dining guides did their clientele a disservice by not differentiating between traditional heritage restaurants and those trying to innovate. The OAD Top 100 Classic & Heritage list is a way to honor the chefs and restaurants whose cuisine has remained stylistically consistent for the past two and a half decades, while maintaining a long term commitment to excellence.”

To view the full list of CLASSICAL & HERITAGE RESTAURANTS, please click HERE.

Here are the first 20 of the TOP 100:

  1. Michel Bras – Toya, Japan
  2. Troisgros – Roanne, France
  3. Alain Ducasse – Louis XV – Monte Carlo, Monaco
  4. Régis et Jacques Marcon – St Bonnet-Le-Froid, France
  5. Michel Guérard – Eugénie les Bains, France
  6. Dal Pescatore – Canneto Sull’Oglio, Italy
  7. Schwarzwaldstube – Baiersbronn, Germany
  8. Per Se – New York, NY
  9. L’Ambroisie – Paris, France
  10. Robuchon Au Dôme – Macau, China
  11. French Laundry – Yountville, California
  12. Waldhotel Sonora – Dreis, Germany
  13. Château Restaurant Joël Robuchon – Tokyo, Japan
  14. L’Osier – Tokyo, Japan
  15. Relais Bernard Loiseau – Saulieu, France
  16. Cuisnine(s) Michel Troisgros – Tokyo, France
  17. Søllerød Kro – Holte, Denmark
  18. Le Duc – Paris, France
  19. Le Bernardin – New York, NY
  20. Pierre Gagnaire – Tokyo, Japan

About Opinionated About Dining

The OAD algorithm generates a ranking system that classifies restaurants based on the reviews of the membership community. Each member influences the results based on the number of restaurants he/she has visited and the current ranking of those restaurants. At the end of each rating year, restaurants are ranked using a combination of data including: the type of reviews they attract (from positive to negative); the level of reviewer who visited (the percentage of experienced and inexperienced reviewers), and whether the number of reviewers who visited that year is trending upward, downward, or holding steady. By using this method, OAD eliminates a dilution of results experienced in other voting systems that are based on surveys, while at the same time offering everyone an opportunity to participate. The resulting list reflects the combined expertise of a community that is dedicated to the dining experience, versus the collective view of the average diner, or the subjective rating by a restaurant critic.

About Steve Plotnicki

Plotnicki’s passion for food has long been an intrinsic part of his life, if not always his career. A native New Yorker, he was a successful guitarist and songwriter before co-founding Profile Records in 1981. In 2003, he launched a discussion forum, which morphed into his “Opinionated About Dining” blog, a project that established him as one of the most prolific early food bloggers. Initially conceived as a way to share information about his dining experiences with other enthusiasts, “Opinionated About Dining” continued to evolve and attract readers. In 2007, Plotnicki developed a formal survey for readers and fellow diners and published a 56-page booklet in 2008 featuring the 100 best restaurants in North America and Europe. Since then, Plotnicki has further refined the survey process authored and published Opinionated About U.S. Restaurants in 2011, and continually publishes the rankings of the top heritage restaurants around the world.

Is This The First Smoked Tequila On The Planet?

Tequila
Smoked Tequila

Inspired by 17th-century production techniques and using 100% blue agave, an extraordinary and complex aroma and taste is created by using Mexican mesquite wood during the artisanal process. All this, straight from the hands of eleventh-generation tequila producer and founder of Maestro Dobel, Juan Domingo Beckmann, Humito® is the worlds first smoked silver tequila.

tequila
Nick Fouquet

Named after the Spanish word for smoky, Humito is the latest addition to Dobels exceptional line, and joins one of the fastest growing ultra-premium tequila brands in the United States. With a bright clear color that hints of silver, the unique spirit is designed to be savored slowly. Different in flavor and production process to mezcal, this first ever smoked silver tequila is soft on the nose and smooth on the palate.

Humito’s taste profile features forward notes of encino and sweet Mexican mesquite wood, top notes of honey and maple, and fruity floral undertones.

To commemorate the launch of this tequila, Maestro Dobel Humito will be partnering with French-born hat designer and fashion icon, Nick Fouquet. Both creators and visionaries in their respective industries, Fouquet treats each hat like a piece of art, the same way Beckmann treats each bottle. Relishing the artistic process of creation, and using smoke and fire to create his one-of-a-kind hats, Fouquet does not believe in rushing but emphasizes the enjoyment of the creative process.

tequila
Humito

Just as one would wear one of Nicks custom hats with confidence, Humito also commands a presence. Each limited and numbered bottle is a timeless testament to Dobels standard of artistry and craft. Creatively packaged in a vintage apothecary style, the heavily embossed glass complete with stopper is inspired by the laboratory sample bottles used by old-fashioned tequileros.

For more information on Maestro Dobel Humito, please visit www.maestrodobel.com or track #neverdisappear.

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About Nick Fouquet: Nick Fouquet reinvents tradition. As a modern hat maker who uses methods from the past, Fouquet tailors each unique piece. To most people, hat making might seem outdated, but it sparked in him something new, bringing joy, adding meaning to his life. Refusing to follow the safe path in life, Fouquet forged his own destiny instead. His fans admire his fire and contagious passion. A gentleman with a rebel heart, Fouquet dignifies his craft and makes his own rules. Fouquet embodies a force from the past with a contemporary twist. He believes in what he does and honors the humble craft of creating one of a kind hats. Fouquets values reflect Dobels, as Fouquet treats each hat like a piece of art. The design process is not to be rushed, but enjoyed, just like Humito. Designing custom hats for Madonna, Pharrell Williams, Bob Dylan, Sia, Gigi Hadid and Justin Bieber, Fouquet’s fashionable designs are no stranger to the red carpet.

Is This New York’s Largest Soup Kitchen?

The Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen will host its 4th annual sustainable food benefit, From Farm to Tray, on May 19, 2016. Located in the Chelsea neighborhood, Holy Apostles is the largest emergency feeding program in New York state, serving nearly 1,000 meals every weekday. This event will raise much needed funds to support the individuals and families during the very busy summer season.

The event will find some of New York’s top chefs and restaurants, such as Ralpheal Abrahante of Thalassa, Laurence Edelman of Left Bank, Gotham Burger Social Club, Stumptown, Darren Berman of Zio Ristorante, Craig Reid of Westin Times Square, Michael Armstrong and Yvan Lemoine of Bodega Negra, Arthur Lee of Ristorante Morini and Epicurean Events serving up local and sustainable bites, using food generously donated by Whole Foods Market.

Instagram sensation Gotham Burger Social Club will be hosting the VIP reception and introducing the All American Burger by Black Tap. This night’s food philosophy mirrors that of the soup kitchen’s daily service which focuses on food that is not only delicious, but nutritionally sound as well.

“We always strive for the best tasting food possible, but we also want to focus on nutritional content, sharing new and different foods with our guests, and maximizing our use of locally grown and seasonal food,” says Director, Michael Ottley. Holy Apostles only uses New York produce, whole grain rice and pasta, and in-season fruits and vegetables.

Since its inception in 2013, the From Farm to Tray benefit and it’s has raised over $600,000 in cash and in-kind support and introduced over 60 new partnerships to the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. These gains have made a considerable impact in the effort to support New York’s growing homeless and hungry populations.

To find out more visit http://www.farmtotray.org

Event Details

From Farm to Tray: is a walk-around tasting event for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen on Thursday, May 19 that will feature a selection of locally-grown tasting menus and sustainable beverages. There will also be a silent auction during the gala.

Event Specifics:

  • Church of the Holy Apostles, 296 Ninth Avenue (at 28th Street), New York, NY 10001
  • 6-7 p.m VIP Reception. 7-9 p.m General Admission Cocktail Reception
  • Tickets start at $150. To purchase visit www.farmtotray.org or call (212) 924-0167

 Honoring: Ian Frazier, Award-winning author & The New Yorker staff writer

 VIP Reception Hosts:
Gotham Burger Social Club presents Burgers by Black Tap

Featured Chefs: Michael Armstrong & Yvan Lemoine, Bodega Negra at Dream Downtown; Ginger Pierce & Preston Madason, Jams; Laurence Edelman, Left Bank; Arthur Lee, Ristorante Morini of Altamarea Group; Ralpheal Abrahante, Thalassa; Craig Reid, The Westin New York at Times Square; Darren Berman & Roberto Manfe, Zio Ristorante; Catering by Epicurean Events; Food Truck by Google.

To celebrate with us at From Farm to Tray, purchase tickets here.

About Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is the largest soup kitchen in New York and has been a symbol of hope and compassion in the Chelsea section of Manhattan since 1982. Every weekday between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., nutritious, sustainable meals are provided to more than 1,000 hungry New Yorkers who dine in the beautiful sanctuary of the landmark Holy Apostles Church.

The mission of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is to provide more than just a hot meal and over the last number of years it has extended its services to include a daily team of social workers who help connect guests with benefits and services and find a new way of life beyond the soup kitchen line. For more infomation about the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen visit their website, Facebook and Twitter. Follow the conversation at #farmtotray

Tips for NYC Entrepreneurs: Food Vendor Permit or License?

Looking to start your own Food cart or truck in the city? Don’t know if you need a Food Vendor Permit or License?

Well, first off – all food carts and trucks in the City must be licensed.

You must get a license, which is basically a photo ID badge, in order to run a food business, no matter if year-round or seasonally. The license is called a Mobile Food Vendor Personal License.

However, that’s not it. You should also have a decal permit for any food cart or truck where food is sold. This food vendor permit is called a ‘Mobile Food Vending Unit Permit’. Both the license and permit are required to operate a food vending cart or truck in NYC.

The Waiting List: As much as you want to start your food empire here and now – it doesn’t work that fast. The number of MFV (Mobile Food Vending) permits which are issued for use on public space is naturally limited by law. For this purpose – there are waiting lists for various categories or permits.

New permits are available only to vendors who were placed on the Food Cart Waiting List and notified by the Department of Health to apply for the Food Cart permit. When and if you are indeed notified, you must file an application in person at the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Licensing Center. After that—you need to contact the Department of Health to schedule an inspection appointment and have a permit sticker affixed to your food cart or truck.

How much does it cost? The fee is $200 for a processing food unit and $75 for a non-processing food unit. There is a special no-fee for Veterans, who do not have to pay the fee.

Can I bring my food cart to any street fair or event? Unfortunately No. The permit doesn’t authorize food vending at special events or street fairs. For such events – you will need a Temporary Food Service Establishment permit.

For how long is the food vendor permit good for? The permit expires two years from the previous expiration date.

Can I renew my MFV permit? Yes indeed. MFV permits require renewal, and the renewal forms are sent to permit holders to their last known address of record.

You can also call 311 to apply for or renew your permit.

Do Not Miss This: Brunch Food Event on The Intrepid!

Food Event
Is this cool or super-cool? The Village Voice will be hosting its inaugural Brunch Eats breakfast-for-dinner food event (the sister event to the annual sell out event Choice Eats) on Wednesday, May 11th from 8PM – 11PM aboard the top of The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Flight Deck. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10AM on Wednesday, March 30th.

The Voice has released the first round of 8 participants, including The Black Ant, Butter & Scotch, Calle Dao, Le Fond, Nha Minh, Osteria Cotta, Streets BK, Underwest Donuts and many more to be announced!

Brunch Eats will feature 20+ of New York City’s top restaurants and bakeries lauded in the Village Voice, with their best breakfast bites, mouth-watering brunch dishes plus themed cocktails including bloody marys, mimosas, bellinis, coffee and more whileenjoying music under the stars.

Guests will sample and sip from all attending vendors aboard the top of The Intrepid’s Flight Deck, amongst propeller planes that were used during World War II.  VIP guests will be treated to a unique experience in the VIP Space Shuttle Pavilion, which houses the Enterprise space shuttle. VIP ticket holders will enjoy additional sips and snacks underneath the Shuttle with a self-guided tour through the Pavilion.

Brunch Eats is accepting volunteer applications until April 27th to assist the Voice team on-site at the event. All volunteers will receive a free general admission ticket to the Village Voice Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival. For more information and to apply, visit here: http://microapp.villagevoice.com/brunch-eats/2016/volunteer.php.

Sponsors for Brunch Eats include: Califia Farms, Whole Foods Market, Vita Coco, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Frames NYC, John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Polar Beverages, and Green Mountain Energy.

EVENT DETAILS:

The Village Voice’s First Annual Brunch Eats Breakfast-For-Dinner Food Event

DATE: Wednesday, May 11th 2016

VENUE: The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Flight Deck

    12th Ave & W. 46th St. | Manhattan, NY 10036

TICKETS: On Sale: http://bit.ly/BrunchEatsTix

General Admission Ticket – $60 | VIP Ticket – $85

TIME: 8PM – 11PM

For the latest on “Brunch Eats” please visit: www.bruncheats.com 

About Village Voice Events: The Village Voice has independently produced and created such celebrated events as the Choice Eats, Obie Awards, 4Knots Music Festival, Choice Streets, Holiday Spirits, Brooklyn Pour, as well as the most anticipated issues and guides of the year including the annual Pazz and Jop music poll, Best of NYC, and its Spring, Summer, and Fall Preview guides. The Voice is New York’s most influential must-read alternative newspaper in print and online. For more information on the Voice or its events, please visit us online at www.villagevoice.com.

Best Steakhouse in NYC? Uncle Jack’s Celebrates 20 Years

Best Steakhouse in NYC

By Loren Noel

Are you also always on that never-ending search for the best Steakhouse in NYC? Well, there are very few meals that compare to a steak dinner. There are even fewer dinners that compare to a steak dinner at New York’s iconic Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse. With elegant décor, a classic speakeasy vibe, and a luxurious atmosphere that would make anyone feel like a million bucks, this restaurant definitely makes it to the top list of the ‘Best Steakhouse in NYC”. It will certainly leave you happy and full. Owner and Chef personality Willie Degel was inspired to build the ultimate steak experience by his grandfather, who owned what was at the time, one of the most popular and esteemed New York steakhouses in the 1920’s.

2016 marks Uncle Jack’s 20th year in business and to celebrate, this opulent steakhouse is rolling out special menu items in its multiple New York City locations, and surprising diners with unexpected twists on favorite dishes. Last week was my first experience at the restaurant and it certainly won’t be my last. My guest and I opted for the 5 course tasting menu, which was accompanied by incredible wine pairings, and friendly service.

Our first course at the best steakhouse in NYC came out with a selection of warm, fresh breads, such as cinnamon raisin buns and pretzel rolls. We were served a beautifully presented and refreshing Buffalini Mozzarella Tomato Salad with fresh greens, basil, and a nice balsamic reduction. Next came the steakhouse’s twist on the original Oysters Rockefeller: Oysters Jackafeller, which had the half shells stuffed with a fresh spinach layer, filled with a cheesy, well seasoned topping, and baked until golden. I’ve never had either version of this appetizer; however, it’s safe to say that this is one of the most decedent ways to enjoy this sea treat.

Best Steakhouse in NYC
Buffalini Mozzarella Tomato Salad

To continue our dive into Uncle Jack’s seafood offerings, we were served thick Maryland Style Crab Cakes, that were no joke. Unlike the usual bread-crumb filled hockey pucks that often are falsely advertised as 100% “crab,” these large disks were thick and full of the luscious, buttery meat, and served atop a rich bisque-like sauce.

Best Steakhouse in NYC
Crab Cake…Yummy

Next came the heartier dishes, which are naturally part of why Uncle Jack’s is always on the list of the best steakhouse in NYC. Our attentive waiter brought out the French Lamb Chop “Lollipops.” As one of my favorite cuts of meat, these flavorful chops didn’t disappoint, and I ate every bit off the bone. The lollipops had a delicious, crunchy, panko crumb coating, and came bathed in a savory sauce. I’m not going to lie—by this point of the meal I was already semi-full. However, once the grand finale of Porterhouse steak for two was brought to our table, I knew I had to make room.

Best Steakhouse in NYC
French Lamb Chop Lollipops

The 44-ounce behemoth came sizzling hot and featured both the filet and the NY Strip cut. Befitting its rank on the list of ‘Best Steakhouse in NYC”, Uncle Jack’s only serves the best quality, hand picked, USDA dry-aged prime steaks and meats, which are then aged to perfection in house. Steaks are cooked in 1800-degree infrared broilers that give the meat a nice char, all while searing in the natural juices of the meat.

Best Steakhouse in NYC
The Porterhouse Steak

Not only was our juicy, satisfyingly tasty Porterhouse tender and flavorful, but it was served with the restaurant’s natural au jus. Though the steak was unbelievable on its own, this hunk of meat was served with the ideal sides including: asparagus, mashed potatoes, and separate plates of both sautéed mushrooms and spinach.

The meal came with an excellent selection of wines which ranged from whites to reds, many of which came from the wine mecca of Napa Valley, California. One of my favorites was the white Caymus Conundrum, a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Canelli, and Viognier.

Last but certainly not least came an indulgent selection of desserts which offered fresh strawberries and a sprinkle of powered sugar; a decadent melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mousse; a buttery, soft cookie-crusted pecan pie slice; and a big helping of tiramisu, an intoxicating mix of ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese set in layers of cinnamon, cream and cocoa powder.

If the fabulousness of this meal is any indicator, Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse will be around for decades to come, and surely remain on the prestigious list of ‘Best Steakhouse in NYC’.

Uncle Jack’s is open for Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner, and offers a gluten-free menu for those with dietary restrictions. Locations of this steakhouse are Bayside, Westside, and Midtown. For hours and reservations, click here.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Coffee Shop

Opening a coffee shop
Opening a Coffee Shop?

Owning a business is one of the hardest jobs a person can have. Without the right amount of planning and execution, it will be nearly impossible to get ahead. There are a variety of coffee shops out there and being successful will take more than just some custom printed coffee sleeves. In order to compete in this market, you will need to do your homework to figure out what needs to be done. If you fail to do your homework, then you run the risk of not being able to keep the shop open. Below are some of the mistakes that you need to avoid when trying to run a successful coffee shop.

It Starts With Fair Pricing

The main thing that you need to get right in order to compete in this market is great prices. The last thing that any customer wants is to pay too much for coffee that they can get at a competitor for cheaper. Taking the time to do some market research is the best way to find out if you are priced competitively. Doing this type of research will make it much easier to figure out what needs to be done to lower your prices.

Lack of Advertising

opening a coffee shop
It will take more than this…

If you fail to advertise your coffee shop, you will not be able to attract the customers you need to keep the doors open. Finding the right methods of advertising for your coffee shop will take some trial and error. Using the power of social media is the best way to get the word out about your shop. You need to make sure that you post often and engage your audience. Without the right amount of energy invested into this type of marketing, you will find it very hard to get ahead.

Finding the Right Suppliers

Working off of a budget is a very important part of being a successful small business owner. Finding the right suppliers is essential in regards to staying on budget. You have to do your homework to find out who can supply you with the cups and sleeves you need at the absolute best price. Calling around and getting some quotes from each of the suppliers. Be sure you are specific about what you need so that the supplier can get you accurate quotes with ease. The research you do will help you to get the right supplier chosen.

Making a plan on how to approach your new business ownership is vital in long term success. Speaking with more experienced business owners is important when trying to have success in this line of work.

3 Benefits of Partaking in Restaurant Delivery

restaurant delivery
Want some delicious Greek food delivered to your living room? Photo by Geoff Peters

For most people, having to deal with a great amount of stress is a normal part of life. Even though some people become allocated to dealing with stress in their life, it can still be very harmful to their health. In order to reduce the amount of stress in a person’s life, they will need to find a way to unwind. One of the best ways to unwind is by ordering in a meal with a loved one. Usually, you will have a number of different restaurants in an area which offer delivery service, which will require you to do some research. Whether getting a pizza or Greek food, a restaurant delivery service can be extremely helpful in making our lives easier. Here are a few of the benefits which come with food delivery.

Simple is Great

The first benefit you can take advantage of when using restaurant delivery is the simplicity it offers. Getting up and getting dressed to go to a restaurant can just add to the stress a person has in their life. By being able to sit back and order what you want without having to worry about traveling or getting dressed up can be a great way to have a meal without a care in the world.

Photo-by-CEphoto,-Uwe-Aranas-CC-BY-SA-3
These mopeds can help you. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC BY SA 3

Sample a Variety of Food

Another benefit you will be able to take advantage of when ordering your food to be delivered is the variety you can sample. As previously stated, there are a number of different restaurants in a given area which will offer delivery. This means you can order something new every night and sample the finest cuisine your city has to offer. Make sure you do some research in order to find out the type of restaurants you have at your disposal. The time you put into this process will be well worth it in the end.

restaurant delivery
Want some delicious Greek food delivered to your living room?

Convenient and Cheap

When choosing to have the food you want delivered, you will be able to take advantage of the convenience and cost savings it can provide. By not having to get up and drive to a restaurant, you will be able to save gas money. By taking your time and reading the reviews of the restaurants in your area, you will be able to find the best fit for the tastes you have. Make sure you call each one to make sure they are doing their deliveries and how long it will take you to get your food.

Doing a big of research is the best way to figure out which of the restaurants in your area offer this type of service.

Is This The Holiest Food Photography On The Planet?

food photography
Photo by Abir Sultan, Israel

Tired of Food Photography posts? I know, they’ve been flooding the net in recent years, making everyone pretty much tired of them. However, this unique exhibition of wonderful food shots, called “FOOD PROCESSOR”, is being held in the most sacred place on the planet.

Food Photography
Photo by Noa Macabi, Israel

We know it for it’s Startup Nation, its powerful military and never-ending wars, and of course for it’s holy places, sacred to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Surprisingly or not, Israel is also quite known for being a culinary paradise. Be it in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv or a small town far up in the north – you’ll always find a great restaurant wherever you go.

Even in this busy high-tech nation, it seems like food overtakes the daily routine. Israelis, like others, enjoy to eat, touch, taste, smell, cook and enjoy. On the other side, they are also becoming health-conscious, they are starting to think of poverty, corruption, recycling, being a vegan, and more.

Food Photography
Photo by Amar Yunes, Israel

Food has definitely made a long way of change in Israeli society in recent years. From the days when Food was just a functional tool to provide Israelis with energy, they are also experiencing an era where Chefs are becoming TV stars, and customers are accessible to extremely attractive food products and kitchen experiences that have never been accessible before.

The current Israeli Food Photography Exhibition is emphasizing the place of food in communications, as a tool for transmitting various messages, be it cultural, art or historical. Its goal is to depict that epic arena of the food world, which incorporates beauty, joy and passion, combined with the endless problems that it creates, such as the connection between cooking and arrogance, and the never-ending chase after innovation and ostentatiousness.

food Photography
Photo by Enrique Rotenberg

The Food Photography Exhibition is held for its 3rd time, after one that was held in 2007 and one in 2013. Among the artists that will showcase their food photos this year are Alex Libeck, Pessy Girsh, Taly Amitay Tabib, Abir Sultan, Dana Friedland, Nava Ozen, Nelly Horwittz, Ofir Ayeb, Ohad Zoygenberg, Rama Yazma, Rotem Liberzon, Tal Sivan, Ran Hilel, Danny Lerner and more.

The Food Photography exhibition will be held in the ART Gallery in the Sharona Park in Tel-Aviv, in a beautiful Templar building – the perfect ideal space for an art exhibition.

So if you’re anywhere close, on your holy land tour or a business trip to Israel’s High-Tech scene – the Food Photography exhibition will be held between April 15 to April 30. Entrance is only $4.

Is This The Best BBQ Restaurant In The Country?

BBQ Restaurant
Moe's Original BBQ-Bama style pulled pork-sandwich

It has been named one of the Top 10 Rib Joints in the U.S. by Relish and Top 10 BBQ Restaurants in America by USA Today and The Daily Meal. Moe’s Original Bar B Que was founded in 2001 by Ben Gilbert, Mike Fernandez and Jeff Kennedy. The foundation of this BBQ Restaurant company is the food, and its unbreakable bond of true friendship.

After meeting at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ben, Mike and Jeff instantly became friends. They had a mutual interest in all things Southern: BBQ, blues, college football, and whisky. In 1988, Mike hooked up with Moses Day in Tuscaloosa and began learning to fire roast meats. The boys were lucky to learn from Moses and his distinct style makes up Moe’s original flavor of BBQ.

BBQ Restaurant
Founders Ben Gilbert, Mike Fernandez and Jeff Kennedy

Loving the mountains, these entrepreneurs eventually all landed in Vail, CO., and refined the cooking skills they had learned over the years. By using fruit wood to smoke the meats fresh daily and accompanying it with two sauces, they thought they had something special.

They wanted to start their own concept and so they rummaged through a landlord’s junkyard in search of some sort of BBQ pit. What they found was 500 gallon diesel barrel and a single-wide mobile 40 foot horse trailer, and the start of a successful career. Using scraps of corrugated tin, wood siding from the junkyard, and some imagination – they cut the barrel in half, welded it onto the trailer, and started cooking swine. $600-$700 was the start up cost at that point.

BBQ Restaurant
Best BBQ in town?

The three friends created a roadside BBQ stand set on a dirt lot on the side of the road in Vail. They sold out 100 consecutive days and by then knew – they had something special.

Unlike other BBQ pits, Moe’s Original BBQ restaurant doesn’t stop there as Southern style side dishes and desserts are prepared daily from recipes passed down for generations.

BBQ restaurant
BBQ Menu

In over a decade Moe’s Original Bar B Que has grown from a junkyard pit to over 40 successful BBQ restaurants in twelve states with minimal debt.

Consistently providing top notch cuisine has ultimately been an accomplishment for this brand. From the roadside shack to the 10,000 square foot BBQ Restaurant, bowling and music venue, the company likes to go with the flow. While not offering a cookie cutter atmosphere, each restaurant has the feel of Moe’s Original, but the character and personality of its local owner and community. Moe’s Original Bar B Que’s team is a family filled with like-minded individuals with common interests and goals driven to succeed through hard work in a team mandated environment.

BBQ Restaurant
Moe’s BBQ

We will continue to master the logistics of consistent BBQ and Southern fare, but our concept goes well beyond the food. We strive to make a comfortable environment for every customer who walks through our doors,” said founding partner Jeff Kennedy. “We have created a culture that brings people together for great food and good times. While our philosophy begins with the owners, it is shared by the employees and spreads contagiously throughout each and every restaurant.”

For additional information about Moe’s Original Bar B Que, visit www.moesoriginalbbq.com.

Has Drexler’s Launched The Ultimate Brunch Menu?

drexlers
By Loren Noel

Already known as one of the hottest NYC cocktail establishments in the East Village, Drexler’s is proud announce its brand new weekend brunch menu, officially launching March 26th! For those who are looking to start- or end- a weekend right, the popular watering-hole is introducing a daytime specific cocktail menu that includes a traditional Bloody Mary, a Classic Mimosa and a special “Beermosa,” which is concocted with a pilsner brewed just for Drexler’s from the Brooklyn based, Kelso Brewery.

Brunch Menu
Drexler’s

Drexler's-Zombie-Photographer-Jenny-Adams-6

Brunch Menu
A Trendy Drinkery

Its lineup of beverages showcase four creative cocktails that include: The Bloody Caesar, Paloma, Bramble and the Americano. Moreover, Drexler’s is excited to introduce a fifth cocktail—The Mediterranean Bloody Mary— to the menu. To celebrate both the launch and new cocktail additions, this casual-yet-trendy drinkery threw a lively Louisiana-style brunch event and invited some food enthusiasts to test out the latest innovations—myself included.

Drexler’s Brunch Menu

Pumping energy throughout Drexler’s was the jazzy, funky and NOLA influenced trio, The Hot Hand Band, staring Kevin Moehringer (trombone), Ray Cetta (bass), & Kevin Raczka (drums.) As the live music blared, the brunch menu items began popping up. We were served two delicious assortments of savory breakfast goodies on Drexler’s signature sharable butcher blocks. The spreads featured fresh and toasty Black Seed Bagels, cream cheese, tomatoes, onions, capers and sprigs of dill, all along side two delicious types of Catsmo salmon. 

Brunch Menu
Toasty Black Seed Bagels

The pastrami smoked salmon was expertly cured with a mix of Catsmo’s exceptional blend of spices and was extremely rich in flavor. Meanwhile, the traditional smoked salmon was likewise delectable; it was buttery in texture, smoky and melted in your mouth. Both types of lox were super fresh.

Brunch Menu
Exceptional blend of spices


Everyone knows that no true NYC brunch menu is complete without some snazzy cocktails and Drexler’s drinks certainly shined in this department. Take a look at your new favorite boozy brunch libations:

Bloody Caesar: George Green Chile Vodka, Clamato, Horseradish, Worcestershire, Tobasco and a Stalk of refreshing Celery. If you’re a fan of big, bold horseradish flavor and like a kick to your drinks, this one is for you. Tangy, zesty and strong, the celery stalk is a welcome refresher to tame the spice and balance the flavors of the brunch menu.

Mediterranean Mary: Reyka Vodka, Tomato, Olive Tapenade, Basil, Oregano, Citrus and Hot Pepper. This inventive spin on the traditional bloody mary is unlike any other, thanks to its complex mix of flavors. Garnished with a lovely skewer of coppa calabrese, mozzarella and a ripe cherry tomato, this drink both looked creative and possessed a distinctive taste. The combo of tapenade, herbs and tomato reminded me of a spicy- and spiked- pasta sauce. In the best way possible. Fellow tasting guest and good friend Nikki M. really enjoyed this “interesting drink” describing it as a, “savory, olive infused, fiery cocktail that shouldn’t be missed.”

Paloma: Tromba Blanco Tequilla, Lime, Jaritos Grapefruit Soda and Smoked Sea Salt topped with a lime slice. This pretty pale green drink is perfect for those who love refreshing, slighty tart and fruity cocktails. Being a tequila drinker myself, I really liked the combination of the carbonated grapefruit soda and the smoky flavors and how they accentuated the tequila itself.

Bramble: Beefeater Gin, Plymouth Sloe Gin and topped with a Blackberry. Gin drinkers will enjoy this invigorating and vivacious drink and will particularly like the hints of fruit in each sip.

Americano: Campari, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth and Club Soda. Although I didn’t get the chance to taste this one, both types of liquor can be considered aperitifs. The vermouth is more on the sweet and rich side, while the Campari has fruity, herbal notes along with a biter-sweet taste.

Advice: Come for the brunch menu bites and stay for the cocktails and energetic NOLA music guaranteed to make for a fantastic dinning experience!

Drexler’s: www.drexlers.nyc

Location: 9 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
Hours: Mon-Fri 4pm-2am; Sat & Sun (brunch) starts at 12pm

Is This The Yummiest Food Tasting Event in New York City?

Food Tasting
Choice Eats. Photo by Farooq Alihassan
By Daniel Lee Hue

It was a packed food tasting event filled with New York’s delicacies. I was able to get in a bit early and chat one on one with several of the restaurants and chefs that participated. Stella Artois took center stage as the nights event sponsor with a bar serving guest unlimited brews!

Food Tasting
Choice Eats. Photo by Farooq Alihassan

All this happened this past Friday, March 11th, as I had the pleasure of attending the 9th Annual Village Voice Choice Eats tasting event at the Metropolitan Pavilion from 6pm-10pm.

The event highlights some of the best eats New York City has to offer with over 65 different restaurants hand picked from all five boroughs. A sold out food tasting event, guests had the option between three ticket levels: General Admission ($70), Early Entry ($85) and VIP tickets ($99).

Food Tasting
Choice Eats. Photo by Farooq Alihassan

Now let’s talk food tasting! So with over 65 vendors split between two floors the options were endless, however I’ve narrowed highlights of the night down to my top 6 favorite picks.

1. Awadh

My first stop of the night happened to be one of my favorites! Serving a classic Indian slow-cooked chicken curry with rice, Chef/Owner Gaurav Anand was glad to offer second helpings, and talk a bit about his restaurant located by 98th street and Broadway.

Offering Entrees between $14-$16, dinners can have a choice between three different styles Tariwala (spicy), Saah (spinach) and Biryani.

Food Tasting
Choice Eats. Photo by Farooq Alihassan

2. The Meatball Shop

Stop two was The Meatball Shop. Their 3rd year at Village Food they offered up something a bit unconventional, serving a Lamb Shawarma meatball alongside Tahini Yogurt Sauce and Red Cabbage Slaw. While not a typical meatball it was delightfully untraditional!

3. Boomwich

Another favorite of the night was Boomwich. Serving up their take on a reuben sandwich worker Meredith says Chef /Owner Peter is “In it to win it having been at Choice Eats for now 5 years. A menu favorite the Reubenese was recently named “Best Sandwich” by Brooklyn Magazine.

Food Tasting
Choice Eats. Photo by Farooq Alihassan

4. Sweet Generation

Switching gears to a sweeter note I stopped by Sweet Generation for a well needed sugar fix. Baking all natural creative creations since 2012 Sweet Generation works with organizations that help children in poverty by offering internships in the kitchen. A must try was their Fig & Thyme Mini Cupcakes!

5. Queens Comfort

Next we move to Queen’s Comfort offering classic comfort foods with a twist. Their 3rd year at Village Food serving up maple roast brussel sprouts, and double smoked bacon with mac’n cheese. Open for 5 Years, their most popular menu item is their Captain Crunch chicken fingers.

Food Tasting
Choice Eats. Photo by Farooq Alihassan

6. Kuma Inn

A Lower East side eatery offering avant-garde Pan-Asian small-plates since 2003. This year the restaurant came with it’s A game serving their Kuma Nachos with spicy pork and beans. Known for their spicy flavors you can find the chef’s hot sauce “The Bronze Hotsauce” at Whole Foods.

_______________________________________

Wow! what a delightful, memorable event! I’ll definitely be back next year!

The Ultimate Pizza Poll: What Are The Top 10 Toppings?

ultimate pizza
Pizza Pie Chart

ThinkGeek.com asked its thousands of fans about their most favorite Pizza toppings. What are the main results? The top 10 toppings are mainly meaty, but there are a few surprises in the Pizza Pie chart…Take a look!

Ultimate Pizza
Pizza Pie Chart by ThinkGeek.com

About ThinkGeek.com: This awesome website is obsessed with creating and sharing unique and authentic product experience that stimulates fans’ imaginations and fuel their geek core.

Fever Dream Mango: Best Beer in Town?

Fever Dream Mango

By Chelsea Davis
Instagram: @cheycheyfromthebay / Twitter: @cheyday514

I’ve never been an avid beer drinker; on the other hand, I do appreciate creativity, style and good taste. If you’re anything like me, experiencing the world of craft beer might be the perfect opportunity to fall in love with a different kind of beer– one that is light years away from your average Budweiser or Keystone variety.

At Flying Dog’s 25th Anniversary celebration, hosted by Harvey Agency’s PR team at The Hidden Bar in the Eventi Hotel, Happy Hour Guy’s Jimmy Ludwig aptly stated that craft beer is “creativity in action.” In other words, each beer brand is one of a kind and each bottle is a reflection of the passion and artistry of its maker. Craft beers utilize a variety of ingredients and flavors generally not associated with traditional beer; therefore, these beverages are great for pairing with food to enhance the whole dining experience.

Fever Dream Mango
The Hidden Bar. Hal Horowitz Photography
Fever dream mango
PR with a Beer: Flying Dog’s PR Manager, Erin Weston. Hal Horowitz Photography

At the celebration, award winning brewmaster, Matt Brophy, premiered Flying Dog’s much sought after Fever Dream Mango Habanero IPA, which was originally released in 2014 for a limited time only. In addition, there were 4 other unique flavors to taste: Oaked Chipotle Ale, Lucky SOB Irish Red, Bloodline Orange Aleand the Doggie Style Pale Ale. With each refreshing beer, came trays of bite-sized, delicious pairings that really went well with the beverages.

Fever dream mango
Hal Horowitz Photography

Fever Dream Mango Habanero with the Penang Curry Poached Lobster

Super innovative, this beer combines the sweetness from the mango with a kick of spicy habanero pepper to create a uniquely refreshing beer. If you’re a fan of Sriracha, tropical fruity flavors and appreciate a finish that brings a little heat, this one’s for you. Recommended to try with cuisines like Thai, the bold curry spices of the poached lobster toast pairing complemented the beer excellently!

Oaked Chipotle Ale with the Charred Skirt Steak

The first in Flying Dog’s Heat Series, this ale is super peppery. It tastes like a chipotle hot sauce blended with a beer. Smoky, fiery and bold, it’s clear why this ale is best paired with barbeque and grilled meats. Though I’m not a huge fan of the chipotle spices, I did enjoy the tender skirt steak skewers. The flavorful meat definitely went well with the chili flavors of the beer.

Fever Dream Mango
Hal Horowitz Photography

Lucky SOB Irish Red with the Kobe Beef Hot Dog in Puff Pastry

I really liked this one! The beer was smooth, malty and certainly on the sweeter side. Fun fact– this brew is made with real four leaf clovers! The kobe beef hot dog pairing was absolutely tasty and the creaminess from the beer did a good job of balancing out the satisfying saltiness from the meat.

Bloodline Orange Ale with Cauliflower Fritti

The flavors of this ale were very pronounced: orangey, grapefruity and both sweet and bitter. More on the bitter side. The cauliflower fritti was a nicely seasoned, crunchy fritter that really highlighted how good this underrated veggie can be. The fritters mellowed out the bitterness of the beer which was fabulous.

Doggie Style Pale Ale with Meyer Lemon and Maple Cronut

This beer is quite a famous one! It’s the only beer Flying Dog has consecutively brewed for 25 years and it has won numerous accolades including #1 American Pale Ale in the country by the the NY Times. This was a pretty subtly flavored beer and was very easy to drink. The fragrant, citrusy notes of the beer was pleasant and I absolutely adored the also citrusy mini cronut desserts.

Fever Dream Mango
Hal Horowitz Photography

Advice: If you’re a beer noob like me, don’t give up on the brewed beverage just yet! Craft beer provides for an infinite amount of new flavors waiting to be discovered– whether it be fruity, smoky, bold or not. Time to forget the college frat beers of the past and get adventurous with the variety of tastes craft beer can offer!

 

Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Deploys Eco-Friendly Mobile Kitchens

Nathan's Famous
Nathan's Famous going Eco-Friendly

New York, NY. Nathan’s Famous (Nathan’s), the internationally acclaimed hotdog franchise with humble Coney Island, Brooklyn roots, has announced plans with MOVE Systems, an innovator in the mobile food industry, to deploy Nathan’s food in eco-friendly mobile kitchens throughout New York City.

 “2016 marks Nathan’s 100th year in business, and we are thrilled to begin it with MOVE Systems. Our alliance takes the same classic Coney Island food that the world has grown to love for the last 100 years and makes it available in the latest urban food technology,” said Scott Harvey, Executive Vice President of Nathan’s Famous. MOVE’s state-of-the-art mobile vending unit, the MRV100, includes a restaurant-grade kitchen with refrigeration and a sustainable power system that utilizes solar panels, clean energy, and plug-in hybrid technology.

MOVE began a pilot program in the spring of 2015 to deploy hundreds of MRV100s throughout New York City, a plan praised by New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Truly groundbreaking in nature, each MRV100 is provided to food vendors to enable the creation of hundreds of new environmentally-friendly small businesses. The option for vendors to work with Nathan’s enables them to be part of a world class, iconic brand and provide an excellent menu.

“MOVE Systems was founded on the premise that we could serve as a platform for small business entrepreneurs to succeed, while also greening the environment. We are particularly excited to work with the well-loved brand of Nathan’s because it will enable us to accomplish these core objectives,” said James Meeks, President & CEO of MOVE Systems.

 “The MRV100 is an exciting platform for Nathan’s, one that supports Nathan’s Famous environmental mission, while allowing us a new avenue for delivering our food with uncompromised quality,” added Scott Harvey. According to an independent report from Energy Vision, each MRV100 reduces climate change gases by 60% and smog-causing NOx pollution by 95%, thereby taking the pollution equivalent of nearly 200 cars off the road.

 “Nathan’s is always seeking new points of distribution for our products. This new platform allows us to deliver our craveable menu in new locations,” said Steven Brush, Vice President of Development. As it enters its 100th year, Nathan’s plans to deepen its franchised portfolio in new and innovative ways in non-traditional markets. 


Nathan’s Famous currently distributes its products in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and nine foreign countries through its restaurant system, foodservice sales programs, and product licensing activities. Last year, over 500 million Nathan’s Famous hot dogs were sold. Nathan’s was ranked #22 on the Forbes 2014 list of the Best Small Companies in America and was listed as the Best Small Company in New York State in October 2013.

MOVE Systems, founded in New York City, builds and deploys environmental solutions for the urban street. The company is bringing the mobile food industry into the 21st century by developing safe, environmentally sound, and attractive vending vehicles. By employing a unique hybrid and renewable energy system, MOVE is able to rid city streets of polluting generators and, in the process, provide the most sophisticated technology for the next generation of food carts and trucks.

FINAL LINEUP FOR THE 9TH ANNUAL “CHOICE EATS” PRESENTED BY STELLA ARTOIS 

Choice eats
One of the best days of the year is arriving to town soon…THE  VILLAGE VOICE ANNOUNCES THE FINAL LINEUP OF PARTICIPANTS FOR THE NINTH ANNUAL “CHOICE EATS” PRESENTED BY STELLA ARTOIS.

**65 RESTAURANTS CONFIRMED**

**THE OFFICIAL MAP is AVAILABLE HERE**

**VIP & EARLY ENTRY TICKETS SOLD OUT**

LIMITED GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS AVAILABLE

New York, NY – The Village Voice has announced its final lineup of participants for the ninth annual Choice Eats, presented by Stella Artois, taking place on Friday, March 11th! The 15 new restaurants announced today include: Belle Reve, Butter Lane, Cabalito Pupuseria, Dough, ESH, The Gander, Grandaisy Bakery, Javelina Tex-Mex, Littleneck, Nha Minh, Pearl and Ash, Rosemary’s, Sheep Station, Sugar Couture, and Untamed Sandwiches.

These restaurants will join the previously announced 50 participants: Ample Hills Creamery, Awadh, Bara, The Black Ant, Black Tree, BOOMWICH, Breads Bakery, Broken Spoke Rotisserie, Brooklyn Bread Lab, Calle Dao, Doughnut Plant, Egg, El Quinto Pino, Emmy Squared, Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Flinders Lane, Fonda, Genuine Superette, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., The Handpulled Noodle, ilili Restaurant, Irvington Bar + Restaurant, Kailash Parbat, Kuma Inn, Le Fond, Loi Estiatorio, Luke’s Lobster, Luzzo’s La Pizza Napoletana, Mable’s Smokehouse, Maima’s Liberian Bistro,  The Meatball Shop, Mexico Lindo, No. 7 Veggie, Obica Mozzarella Bar, Ofrenda Cocina Mexicana, Osteria Cotta, Quality Eats, Queens Comfort, Raclette, Schaller Stube, Sigmund’s Pretzels, Socarrat Paella Bar, Spicy Bampa, StreetsBK, Sweet Generation,Swine, Thai Rock, Veselka Restaurant, Victory Garden, Xe May Sandwich Shop and more to be announced.

The event will feature an array of 50+ handpicked restaurants from all five New York City boroughs, and will take place from 6:00PM – 10:00PM at the Metropolitan Pavilion. 

This year’s Choice Eats will feature three tiers of ticket options – General Admission tickets ($70), Early Entry tickets ($85 – SOLD OUT!) and VIP tickets ($99 – SOLD OUT!). All guests will sample the best dishes from restaurants reviewed and heralded in the Voice along with complimentary craft beer pairings, wine and liquor beverages, while enjoying music all night from DJ Delphine Blue of Little Water Radio. The Early Entry ticket will allow guests to get a half hour head start on tasting and sipping. The VIP ticket will allow guests admission to the full event one hour early, with access to a private VIP Lounge that will feature a private bar, restrooms, snacks, and an exclusive VIP gift bag per person. For more details on this year’s three ticket options, visit: www.villagevoice.com/ChoiceEats.   

Resident food critics have scoured New York’s culinary landscape and combined their tastiest picks from their several years of unearthing the five boroughs’ best-kept secrets. Choice Eats attracts a very diverse group of New Yorkers who come to feast on cuisines from over 35 nations, including Vietnamese, Italian, Uzbekistani, Brazilian, Cambodian, Russian, Tunisian, Greek and Cajun/Creole among many others. Choice Eats stands out as a food event that highlights the hidden gems of New York City’s diverse culinary landscape.

2016 marks the Voice‘s 8th year working with the non-profit organization Slow Food NYC as the charitable partner of Choice Eats, whom a portion of proceeds will be shared with. 

Stella Artois is the presenting sponsor of Choice Eats. Additional sponsors include: Aruba Tourism Authority, Tequila Herradura, Union Beer Distributors, Whole Foods Market, IFC Film’s City of Gold, Asahi Beer, Califia Farms, Jarritos, Tsingtao, Wines of Germany, Nissan, Brockman’s Gin, Verizon Fios, Vita Coco, Four Roses Bourbon, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, John Macy Cheese Sticks, Frames NYC, Western Spirits, Blue Point Brewing Company, Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Downeast Cider House, Fentimans, Flying Dog Brewery, Kronenbourg Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, Porterhouse Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Sixpoint Brewery, Smuttynose Brewing Company, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Polar Beverages and Green Mountain Energy.

Special sponsorship activations include a Stella Artois 360 degree bar, Tequila Herradurra bar with a Souvenir Photo Booth, Tasting Scorecards presented by Asahi, Exit Gift Bags provided by the documentary City of Gold & much more. Plus, enter to win a trip to Aruba presented by the Aruba Tourism Authority, who will be handing out tasting trays.

Whole Foods Market is sweetly bringing global prosperity to Choice Eats with Madecasse Chocolate that is empowering the economy of Madagascar while providing microcredit loans through contributions to the Whole Planet Foundation. Whole Foods Market will be providing the event’s official Tasting Glasses. 

EVENT DETAILS:

The Village Voice’s 9th Annual Choice Eats Tasting Event

DATE: Friday, March 11th 2016

VENUE: Metropolitan Pavilion 125 W. 18th St, Manhattan, NY 

TICKETS: ON SALE: http://bit.ly/ChoiceEats16Tix

General Admission Ticket – $70 | Early Entry Preview Ticket (SOLD OUT) – $85 | VIP Ticket (SOLD OUT) – $99 

TIME: VIP Hour : 6:00PM – 7:00PM

Early Entry: 6:30PM – 7:00PM

General Admission: 7:00PM – 10:00PM

For the latest on “Choice Eats” please have a taste here:

www.villagevoice.com/choiceeats   

www.facebook.com/voicechoiceeats

www.twitter.com/ChoiceEats 

About Village Voice Events:  

The Village Voice has independently produced and created such celebrated events as Choice Eats, The Obie Awards, 4Knots Music Festival, Choice Streets, Holiday Spirits, Brooklyn Pour, as well as the most anticipated issues and guides of the year including the annual Pazz and Jop music poll, Best of NYC, and its Spring, Summer, and Fall Preview guides. The Voice is New York’s most influential must-read alternative newspaper in print and online. For more information on the Voice or its events, please visit us online at www.villagevoice.com.

City of Gold: A Revealing Film on the Food and Culture of L.A.

city of gold
Mission Chinese Food

By Chelsea Davis

Those of you familiar with Los Angeles, California know that its just as famous for sunshine and beaches as its known for sprawling diversity and a multiethnic population. However, unlike the glamorized Hollywood stereotype often portrayed in media, Sundance Film Festivals featured food documentary, City of Gold, takes us on a revealing journey through the heart and soul of what truly sets LA apart: a rich and intertwined global culture. In theaters March 11th, City of Gold is an intimate look at Pulitzer-Prize winning LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold as he navigates through LAs lesser known neighborhoods, on the hunt for the most authentic ethnic specialties.

City of Gold
After the Screening: Talking to Gold. Photo by Chelsea Davis

The culinary world needs more critics who highlight exceptional food that isnt necessarily “fancy”. Food that may never get the opportunity to be Michelin Starred or reviewed in the NY Times. Food that- not for lack of flavor or deliciousness- but rather lack of prestige and visibility, doesnt get the acclaim it deserves. Gold breaks this food critic archetype and instead exudes as much excitement over finding the best taco truck or strip-mall eatery as he would any upscale restaurant.

City of Gold does an insightful job of bringing the audience into the neighborhood gemskitchens and livelihoods. What remains clear throughout each narration is that these establishments dont compromise authenticity for popularity. They cater to their own ethnic communities- rather than the greater general public- while remaining true to their heritages.

Gold and Director Laura Gabbert expertly bring attention to the smaller establishments with owners and chefs of humble beginnings, many of which began with immigration. City of Gold is a surprisingly heartwarming documentary that showcases the success stories of family-run restaurants, mom and pop shops and the relentless passion that drives them.

Some of the fantastic restaurants featured include: Antojitos Carmen, Mariscos Jalisco, Jitlada, Earlez Dogs and Meals by Genet. While the audience, of course, gets a behind the scenes look at how the food is prepared and served, what really makes this film worth seeing is watching firsthand how Golds influence and reviews have changed the scope of their businesses and overall lives.

City of Gold
Jonathan Gold, Director Laura Gabbert and writer, Chelsea Davis

After having the opportunity to attend this special screening of ‘City of Gold’ at the Museum of Modern Art, the next day I had the unique chance to meet Gold and Gabbert in person at a luncheon at Mission Chinese Food to celebrate the release of City of Gold. Gold and Gabbert are both so very approachable, nice and genuine. Not to mention they each took the time to circulate the restaurant, eating and chatting with each table. Now on to the food!

City of Gold
Mission Chinese Food. Photo by Chelsea Davis

Mission Chinese Food

171 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002, Hours: 11AM–3PM, 5:30–11PM

The first thing that stood out at Mission Chinese Food was the super eclectic décor- which I loved. Think gold dragons with glowing red eyes, hanging chandeliers, gold and silver paper fan decorations and a pretty sweet glowing blue aquarium in the middle of the tables. Playing throughout the restaurant was Raeggaton-esk Sublime rock. The atmosphere is fun, chill and easy going. The perfect scene for City of Gold.

city of gold
Mission Chinese Food. Photo by Chelsea Davis

Danny Bowien, the founder of the Mission Chinese Food restaurants, opened his first location in San Francisco and after being welcomed with rave reviews, decided to bring his ambitious, experimental and self-taught style of Americanized Sichuan Cuisine to New York City in the Lower East Side. Though this NYC based Mission Chinese Food was shut down due to various violations, it was likewise heavily praised, and soon re-established at its current location.

On the Menu

Green Papaya and Banana Blossom Salad- smoked shredded chicken/ green tomatoes/ pickled tea leaves/ peanuts. Super light, refreshing and the perfect salad to cool your palate when your mouth inevitably becomes numb and tingly from the other spice infused dishes.

city of gold
the perfect salads to cool your palate. Photo by Chelsea Davis

Lettuce Cups- beef tartare/ miso cured salmon roe/ fried onions. This was one of my favorite dishes! It was spicy and super flavorful- unlike any tartare Ive ever tasted. The flank steak was topped with bright orange salmon roe and chiles and the plate was beautifully framed with shiso and lettuce leaves meant for wrapping the briny, satisfying, bites of the tartare.

Chewy Green Tea Noodles- ginger scallion/ hoisin/ green tea matcha. This was a lovely and unexpected combo that gave the noodles a gorgeous light green color. The chewy ramen noodles had a nice, fresh kick to it and were dusted with matcha power.

City of Gold
The unexpected combo. Photo by Chelsea Davis

Chongqing Chicken Wings- crispy beef tripe/ explosive chili/ xinjiang spices. These chicken wings have the most insane, fiery flavors. The word “spicy” doesn’t do them justice because these wings have a way more complex spice than, say, your everyday hot sauce. These crispy wings are coated in a spice blend of Sichuan peppercorns, fennel, cumin and coriander, and served with dried red chiles, cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds. The result? A numbing build up of searing heat that eventually overcomes your tongue and mouth- in the best way possible. True confession: I could only eat one!

City of Gold
Super Spicy wings. Photo by Chelsea Davis

Broccoli Beef Brisket- smoked oyster sauce, flax seeds. A fancy version of the Chinese menu standard: beef and broccoli. In this dish, crunchy broccoli rabe and juicy chunks of fatty brisket are covered in a smoky oyster sauce. As a huge fan of ribeye steak and ribs, I really enjoyed the meatiness of the brisket.

Umeboshi & Shiso Fried Rice. A flavorful fried rice that pairs up delightfully with all of our dishes!

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Flavorful fried rice. Photo by Chelsea Davis

Mapo Tofu- heritage pork, aged beef fat, doubanjiang. Super rich, oily- in a good way, meaty and once again, numbingly outrageous in flavor. The tofu was soft, the pork savory and the spices overwhelming. The dish was similar to an explosively hot, meaty bolognese sauce, Sichuan style.

City of gold
Outrageous in flavor. Photo by Chelsea Davis

Advice: Ive never had Sichuan food like this before, and while Im a fan, the spice is real. Mission Chinese is not for the faint-hearted and certainly not going to be fun for those who cant handle the heat. That being said, the dishes are inventive, bold and delicious- definitely worth trying at least once!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Coffee Shop

Opening a coffee shop
Opening a Coffee Shop?

Owning a business is one of the hardest jobs a person can have. Without the right amount of planning and execution, it will be nearly impossible to get ahead. There are a variety of coffee shops out there and being successful will take more than just some custom printed coffee sleeves. In order to compete in this market, you will need to do your homework to figure out what needs to be done. If you fail to do your homework, then you run the risk of not being able to keep the shop open. Below are some of the mistakes that you need to avoid when trying to run a successful coffee shop.

It Starts With Fair Pricing

The main thing that you need to get right in order to compete in this market is great prices. The last thing that any customer wants is to pay too much for coffee that they can get at a competitor for cheaper. Taking the time to do some market research is the best way to find out if you are priced competitively. Doing this type of research will make it much easier to figure out what needs to be done to lower your prices.

Lack of Advertising

If you fail to advertise your coffee shop, you will not be able to attract the customers you need to keep the doors open. Finding the right methods of advertising for your coffee shop will take some trial and error. Using the power of social media is the best way to get the word out about your shop. You need to make sure that you post often and engage your audience. Without the right amount of energy invested into this type of marketing, you will find it very hard to get ahead.

Finding the Right Suppliers

opening a coffee shop
It will take more than this…

Working off of a budget is a very important part of being a successful small business owner. Finding the right suppliers is essential in regards to staying on budget. You have to do your homework to find out who can supply you with the cups and sleeves you need at the absolute best price. Calling around and getting some quotes from each of the suppliers. Be sure you are specific about what you need so that the supplier can get you accurate quotes with ease. The research you do will help you to get the right supplier chosen.

Making a plan on how to approach your new business ownership is vital in long term success. Speaking with more experienced business owners is important when trying to have success in this line of work.

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