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 !

 

 

Celebrate National Veggie Burger Day at Amy’s Drive Thru

National Veggie Burger Day

Hey guys and gals, reaching out to let you know that in celebration of National Veggie Burger Day on Monday, June 5th, Amy’s Kitchen, the organic food pioneer behind the meat-free holiday, will be ‘popping up’ in NYC to celebrate!

For the first time, Amy’s is bringing the one-of-a-kind Amy’s Drive Thru experience beyond the west coast, and will be dishing up free veggie burgers, fries and lemonade to hungry New Yorkers all day on Monday.

National Veggie Burger Day
Amy’s is bringing the one-of-a-kind Amy’s Drive Thru experience beyond the west coast

What does Amy’s Kitchen offer? Well, among others you can find their ‘All American Veggie Burger’, a firm and hearty burger made of organic bulgur wheat and vegetables, or their organic hearty rustic Italian vegetable soup, packed with organic chickpeas mushrooms, brown rice and traditional herbs.

Here are the key details:

  • When: Monday, 6/5, 11am – 8pm
  • Where: Astor Place – Cooper Square & East 8th St.
  • What: Amy’s invites New Yorkers to stop by their pop-up drive thru and celebrate with a delicious veggie burger (and of course, fries and lemonade too!) – did we mention it’s free?

 

 

 

 

10 Great Books for At Home Chefs

at home chef

Whether you are a beginner or a master, want to delve into the traditions or the norms, or want some culture added into your everyday cooking, 10 Recipe Books for Cooking Meals That Are Simply Delish and will definitely excite and satisfy you.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

This recipe book is perfect for anyone wanting to prepare an Italian meal in their household. This book was credited with first introducing Italian cuisine to the United States, making it the best book to replicate Italian foods in your home.

The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater

If you have a true passion for food, you should pick up a copy of this recipe book. Not only does it provide recipes the author himself has cooked, it follows one whole year of his cooking. This day-to-day account of tasty and creative cooking will give you endless possibilities for endless occasions.

at home chef
Italian Cooking…

French Provincial Cooking

If you’re looking to culture yourself in foods from around the world, this French cookbook is the one for you. It is easy to read, straight-forward, and provides a thorough list of the top French foods to try at home.

The Great Dishes of the World

For those of you who want to impress, grab The Great Dishes of the World. It presents an easy and idealistic way to cook the most delicious and innovative foods from all different parts of the world. With this, you can surprise those guests who are the hardest to impress.

English Food

The author of this book, Jane Grigson, used to be just like all the stay-at-home chefs out there. She published this recipe book in all her creativity, providing English foods she had made herself familiar with over the years. For the beginner cook, this book is an essential.

Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home

For a cookbook specifically providing recipes for desserts, be sure to pick up this one from Nigella Lawson. It contains every sweet treat you can think of from cakes to other baked goods. It is a simple account of everything sweet to eat.

Tandoor: The Great Indian Barbecue

Again, for those of you who want to be cultured at home, Tandoor: The Great Indian Barbecue is more than a necessity. It contains several Indian recipes that most Americans may not have even tasted previously. It showcases these recipes in the simplest way for every starting chef to be able to cook.

Thai Street Food

This book about Thai food ranges from each end of the food spectrum to the other. If you want to try some Thai street food, this book is for you. But if you want to create some elegant Thai royalty food, this book is also for you. Not only will you be cooking throughout the Thai culture, you will be experiencing every type of food Thai offers.

Thai Street food
Thai Street Food

The Cake Bible

Not only is this a book for those bakers out there, it is also for those of us who like to experiment. Rose Levy Beranbaum gives the world unique recipes like “how to make a low sugar cake” and other creative ways to make simple and difficult dishes.

Mastering the art of French Cooking

Anyone who has attempted to cook anything French might have noticed how excitingly complex French cuisine can be. The ever-famous Julia Child takes this challenge and makes it easy for even beginner chefs. With this recipe book, French cuisine has never been easier and more delicious.

 

 

Babbo Review: Was the Homemade Pasta the reason we came back?

Babbo
Babbo Restaurant. Courtesy of Babbo Restaurant

Last Friday arrived without any damn notice. I was packed with so much annoying work during the whole week. It was definitely among my 5 worst weeks of the decade. And I just couldn’t believe it was Friday again. So I treated myself for dinner.

It was my first time at Babbo, an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village, known for its homemade pasta. Babbo is also known for its Pasta tasting menu, which basically allows a small group to try a selected set of pastas. But I came alone, so I had to pick a dish…

Ever since I heard of Babbo, people have bombarded me with sooooo many “you gotta try that!”, “You can’t leave without trying this!”. I never really listen or remember any of these tips.

So I picked the Gnocchi with braised oxtail.

I Don’t remember the last time I had Gnocchi, probably 5 or 6 years ago, but as soon as my mouth got hold of Babbo’s Gnocchi, my entire week turned upside down. The Gnocchi was so light and yummy, and the oxtail was so damn tender and full of heavenly flavors. It was also a super generous portion, which allowed me to lavish on each and every bite. I almost thought I was in heaven, until I ordered the dessert….

However, before I go into that unheard of Coconut white Chocolate cheesecake, a few words about the nice staff at Babbo. Every waiter I encountered was super courteous and extremely polished. They smile in a professional way, and answer every question with lots of confidence. It seems as if they help produce that top-notch feeling you get in these top-notch restaurants.

Babbo
Babbo’s Coconut white Chocolate cheesecake. Courtesy of Babbo Restaurant

So back to my dessert: a heavenly chocolate cheesecake made with mascarpone instead of cream cheese. It was spectacular, and it alone was worth my journey to Babbo. It was also the damn reason I came back to Babbo the following day. Hell, I deserved it…

You Shall Not Pass (Unless You Prepare These Pancakes)

Pancakes

Are you a Harry Potter, Gandalf and magic lover? If you nodded your head yes, then you should definitely read through. Now a follow-up question, are you up to your neck in home works and papers that are due tomorrow? No worries, there is a magical word that will help you through it all, and it is: pancakes.

Pancakes to Help You Focus Better

Well, if you are having an exam in a week and you’ve spent the semester watching TV shows and movies online, then I have one thing to say to you: I hear ya! It wasn’t that long ago when I had the same problem, and I found an easy fix: a website filled with pancake recipes to anyone’s taste, including mine.

Now, you might ask yourselves how on earth will pancakes help me focus better and pass my exams. Well, if prepared with the right ingredients, pancake recipes will not only be handy when you are hungry, but they might actually help your studying process.

The Ultimate Exam Friendly Pancake Ingredients

pancakeWithout any further ado, here’s what your pancake recipe should consist of if you want to be focused on your books. (leave J. K. Rowling aside, at least for now J).

Whole Grains

Prepare yourselves a batch of pancakes with whole grains. Eating them will help you sustain mental focus better than eating refined carbohydrates for breakfast.

Blueberries

Fold them whole into the batter, top the pancakes with them, or pulse them in a food processor and make a bluish batter, either way, a breakfast filled with blueberries is surely going to help you focus during the exam. Blueberries contain high levels of gallic acid, they are the world’s biggest antioxidants, and they also contain vitamin C and vitamin K. So, I’d say: go for them!

Walnuts

Besides making every pancake bite a crunchy pleasure, walnuts will also improve your cognitive health. Being high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals means that eating these brain-like nuts will improve your mental alertness.

The Ultimate Exam Friendly Pancake Recipe

Here is the actual pancake recipe that helped me go through my final year of studies. Incredibly yummy and filled with good for you ingredients, these whole wheat blueberry pancakes are just what you need.

Ingredients:

1 cup of whole wheat flour

1 egg

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of fresh blueberries

Walnuts for topping

Directions:

In a bowl whisk the egg and proceed to add the flour, sugar, baking powder, milk, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk vigorously until everything is blended. Butter the frying pan with a tablespoon of butter. Using a ladle, pour the batter into the pan and proceed to drop about 5 blueberries onto each pancake. Cook for 2 minutes per side minutes. Top the pancake stack with walnuts, either as they are or toasted.

Go ahead and prepare yourselves a scrumptious pancake stack, it will surely work its magic, especially if you have the ingredients in bold at hand. Good luck!

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FOOD CARTS

Last time I went to Biryani Cart in mid-December, there was a new cart next to it with a Biryani Cart/Juicy Wings sign that had an interesting assortment of wings with 4 types of sauces, as well as cheese steak, peppercorn cheese steak and deep fried shish kebab (?!).  The owner, Meru, told me they were going to be...