Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

5/22/15

Buy a Cookie from Your Favorite Broadway Star

Disclosure: I LOVE Schmakary's. I've tried at least half of their cookie flavors and merely walking into their shop and inhaling the aromas of fresh-baked cookies makes me smile. I also love their strong ties to the local Broadway community.

Schmackary's Logo

So it only makes sense that if they were going to do a fundraiser, it would be for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS--a wonderful organization that practically all of the Broadway productions get behind twice a year to raise money for people afflicted with the terrible disease.

Join them for the third annual BROADWAY BAKES 2015, and come watch your favorite Broadway stars play cookie peddlers just for you! From May 25-29, 2015, from 3-7pm, over 20 of the biggest names on Broadway (Audra McDonald came last year!) will join together to work behind the counter at Schmackary’s selling delicious cookies.

Half the proceeds from cookies sales and 100-percent of the tips generated while the Broadway stars are working at Schmackary’s will go directly to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Over the last 2 years, this event has helped raise more than $25,000 for the organization.

Here are some photos from last year:

Schmakary's Broadway Bakes 2014


Schmakary's Broadway Bakes 2014



Schmackary's on Urbanspoon

5/5/15

AWESOME ALERT: Win 2 Very Important Eater Tickets to Harlem Eatup!

Head's up food lovers! I just got an alert for a ticket giveaway for Harlem Eatup

Win Tickets for Harlem Eat Up

This event takes place over May 14-17 and will include chefs like Marcus Samuelsson of The Red Rooster in Harlem as well as Jonathan Barbuto and Ken Oringer. The giveaway is for 2 VIE (Very Important Eater) tickets (valued at $175 each) and includes the following:

  • One(1) ticket to The Experience at The Stroll on Sat, May 16, 12pm (access to the tasting tents for unlimited sampling, culinary demonstrations, and food carts, PLUS Meet & Greet photo moments with visiting celebrity chefs and TV personalities)
  • One (1) EATS package for Sunday Afternoon In Harlem on Sun, May 17, 12pm (includes ten (10) tickets for food and non-alcoholic beverages only)
Enter here! (Note: this giveaway is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Awesome in New York)

What You Missed at Thrillist's 2015 Taco Knockout

Remember when I told you about an epic taco event taking place this past weekend? Well, it was flipping fantastic and indeed epic.

Thrillist Taco Knockout pinataThrillist Taco Knockout event


Thrillist's 2015 Taco Knockout drew more than 600 people to the Hudson Hotel's Tequila Park Taqueria on Saturday May 2. There were pinatas and sombreros and tons to eat with 10 different tacos from NYC restaurants all competing for the acclaimed Taco Knockout belt. 

The 2014 Taco Knockout belt
Armed with empty stomaches, my pals and I had a mission to try all 10 in the 4 hours we were allotted and we felt the mission was more than doable. We were given our cocktail tickets and a fancy blue chip in which to vote for our favorite.


First things first...Milagro cocktails! I tried the "Freshest Margarita" while my friends sipped on the "Paloma Milagrosa."

Milagro cocktails at the Thrillist Taco Knockout event

Margarita at the Thrillist Taco Knockout event

Then we got right down to it. Here's the listing of tacos in the order we tried them and our thoughts on their merits:

Chef Alfonso Ruiz & Chef Tom Casatelli’s Sunset Pork with chipotle pineapple pork, pickled jalapeno corn tortilla, picked red onion & chipotle crema: This creation from Ho'Brah was a fairly standard taco, but delicious nonetheless. The meat was cooked nicely but the flavor combination was nothing special.

Sunset Pork Taco from Ho'Brah
Sunset Pork Taco from Ho'Brah
Chef Robert Cho’s Cho Nut Taco with smoked brisket, bacon, smoked kimchi, bourbon chipotle sauce, cheddar cheese, fried ramen crumble on a buttered fried tortilla with powdered sugar: This was a real flavor explosion from the chefs at Kimchi Smoke. They combined traditional Korean flavors with downhome-style BBQ deliciousness. The powdered sugar and fried ramen crumbles were unexpected yet welcome.

Cho Nut Taco from Kimchi Smoke
Cho Nut Taco from Kimchi Smoke
Tequila Park Taqueria Executive Chef Geoff Rudaw’s Chicken Vindaloo Taco with mango chutney, raita & crispy mee krob noodles: This was my favorite hands down and the one I voted for. I love it when flavor combinations from different ends of the world meet and this taco epitomized that concept. The only thing we wanted was a bit more heat.

Chicken Vindaloo Taco from Tequila Park Taqueria
Chicken Vindaloo Taco from Tequila Park Taqueria
Executive Chef Jesús Nuñez’s Taco y Olé with beef oxtail, fried egg cream, piquillo pepper, crispy jamon Serrano, herbs and pickled veggies: This taco, from Socarrat Paella Bar was another flavor fusion. We also appreciated how colorful it was, and I was a big fan of how the sauces mixed well in each individual bite.

Taco y Olé
Taco y Olé from Socarrat Paella Bar
Chefs & Owners Eduard Fraundeer & Wolfgang Ben’s Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco with ramp remoulade, radish and Austrian pumpkinseed salsa: "I love ramps," my friend exclaimed as she took a bite into this taco. The chefs from Edi & The Wolf really threw a curve ball with this taco, both because it was the first hard shell we had tasted and also because...schnitzel!?! It was much enjoyed, especially because of the ramps.

Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco from Edi & The Wolf
Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco from Edi & The Wolf
Chef Thomas Kelly’s Smoky Carnitas Tacos with manchego, crispy tortilla strips, corn salsa & creamy chipotle: Food truck cum storefront Mexicue went all-out comfort food with their taco. All together I thought it tasted reminiscent of a cheeseburger, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. My only complaint about this taco was how much liquid spilled out whenever I tried to take a bite. Definitely not something to eat on a first date.

Smoky Carnitas Tacos from Mexicue
Smoky Carnitas Taco from Mexicue
Chef Barry Frish​’s Buffalo Chicken Taquitos with family secret buffalo sauce and bleu cheese/ranch dip: When we first saw these creations from Taquitoria, a conversation was instantly sparked on the glories of Costco taquitos my friends and I apparently both devoured in middle school (those were the days). These babies were served with a combination sauce that had a bit of a big kick. The glory of the dipping sauce was though that you could control how much you wanted. Thanks for the walk down memory lane Taquitoria!

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from Taquitoria
Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from Taquitoria
Executive Chef Adrian Ramirez’s Mahi Mahi BLT Taco with grilled mahi mahi, chipotle-piloncillo bacon, shredded lettuce, lime pico de gallo, agave cilantro aioli: Frankly, I'm surprised we didn't see more fish tacos. This version from La Esquina was perfect for me and almost earned my vote although my friends thought it was a bit too spicy. The thing that most impressed me about this taco was that the chefs were making the tortillas right in front of us. Talk about fresh!

Mahi Mahi BLT Taco from La Equina
Mahi Mahi BLT Taco from La Equina
Executive Chef Sasha Shor’s House-Cured Smoked Pork Belly Taco with poblano lime ranch and hot pink pickled onions: Talk about flavor! This taco from Tres Carnes was the ultimate in mega-rich taco with homemade pork belly that melted in your mouth. I also got a kick out of the hot pink onions.

House-Cured Pork Belly Taco from Tres Carnes
House-Cured Pork Belly Taco from Tres Carnes
Executive Chef Brian Tsao’s Beef Bulgogi Tacos with wonton skins, Asian pear, kimchi slaw, toasted sesame & scallion: Last but not least, this taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya wins the award for most likely not a taco, but it was still good anyway. The crispy wonton shell gave it an interesting flair and the beef was flavorful.

Beef Bulgogi Taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya
Beef Bulgogi Taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya
Other scrumptious food items available throughout the event were super-creamy guacamole from Rosa Mexicano and all sorts of churros (some with bacon bits and dulce de leche and there was even a chocolate fountain!).
Guacamole from Rosa Mexicano
Guacamole from Rosa Mexicano
Churros
Churros!
There was also fantastic entertainment by DJ Dirty Digits, percussionist Jimmy Lopez and flash mob performances by the Northeast’s finest mariachi band, Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino and folkloric dance group Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York. 

Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino
Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino
Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York
Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York
Where can I get one of those dresses?

As the event wrapped up and everyone yearned for their stretch pants, Mexicue was awarded the 2015 Thrillist Taco Knockout belt for their Smoky Carnitas Taco.


Chef Barry Frish from Mexicue wins the Taco Knockout
Chef Barry Frish from Mexicue wins the Taco Knockout
And lastly, here are some snaps of my and my friends with our taco-eating hats on...literally :)

Friends at Thrillist's Taco Knockout

Friends at Thrillist's Taco Knockout

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Celebrate responsibly, please!

4/30/15

Get Your Tickets for Thrillist's Taco Knockout this Saturday--Unlimited Tacos, Cervezas and Churros!

Still looking for ways to fill your Cinco de Mayo weekend? I know a place where you can stuff your face with tacos, cocktails and cervezas in addition to help select the next belt-winning taco chef.

Thrillist Taco Knockout Logo

Thrillist is hosting their annual Taco Knockout this Saturday May 2 from 2-5 pm at Tequila Park Taqueria at the Hudson Hotel (356 W 58th Street @ Columbus). There are 2 ticket options: general ($65) which comes with unlimited tacos, cervezas, and churros as well as 1 custom cocktail and especial ($80) which adds on early entry (1pm) as well as one additional custom cocktail. Pretty much no matter how you shake it, it's an amazing deal.

Last year's event looked like a fine fiesta--and featured taco flavors like sriracha lamb and duck chorizo--so I can't wait to see what they cook up this year. I'll be there with my taco hat on so come say hi if you decide to spend your afternoon feasting al fresco with Thrillist!

4/24/15

SPONSORED POST: FREE Cone Day at Carvel on 4/30

Raise your hand if you ever had a Carvel Ice Cream birthday cake growing up! All those who just raised their hands are going to be excited about the news in this post...

Nutella ice cream in a waffle cone at Carvel

Carvel wants to start your Spring off right with FREE CONE DAY nationwide on Thursday April 30! Pop into any store near you for a free soft serve Jr. cup or cone.

Also, they are celebrating the grand opening of their new Financial District store at 9 Broadway by kicking of 8 days of delicious deals STARTING TOMORROW! Mark your calendars peeps:

  • Saturday, April 25: Buy one shake, get one for 80 cents
  • Sunday, April 26: Buy one sheet cake, get an OREO® Lil’ Rounders® 6-Pack for 80 cents
  • Monday, April 27: Buy one sprinkle cup multi-pack, get one half off
  • Tuesday, April 28: Buy one small cup/cone, get a kid’s cup or cone free
  • Wednesday, April 29:  Buy one classic soft ice cream sundae get one free
  • Thursday, April 30: Free Jr. Cup or Cone (soft serve only)
  • Friday, May 1: Buy one Sundae Dasher™,  get one half off
  • Saturday, May 2: Grand Opening, Free Jr. Cup or Cone (soft serve only) and buy one Flying Saucer® multi-pack, get one half off

The Carvel storefront at 9 Broadway
The storefront at 9 Broadway

Last weekend after the MS Walk, my boyfriend and I headed downtown to check out the new location for ourselves. It is decorated in the style of the new Carvel shoppe design, which the brand unveiled last year to commemorate its 80th anniversary. Updates include new dipping cabinets and a topping bar, digital menu boards, and an inviting atmosphere with wood-finished floors, vibrant colors and new brand imagery, including a revamped logo.

Carvel shoppe interior at 9 Broadway

Topping bar at Carvel Ice Cream 9 Broadway

I wanted to try the new Nutella soft serve, but unfortunately the machine was taking a vacation day. So instead the friendly cashier recommended the Nutella hard ice cream, and since I was going for it, I opted for the waffle cone. Oh yeah. My boyfriend ordered the Oreo Sundae. We walked a lot that day...

Me with my giant Nutella ice cream waffle cone at Carvel
Me with my giant Nutella ice cream waffle cone

Oreo Sundae at Carvel
Oreo Sundae

The best part of the new shoppe is it's location right off of Bowling Green--a perfect place to enjoy your tasty (and FREE) treats.

Nutella cone in Bowling Green
Nutella cone in Bowling Green

The store is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, please call (212) 785-5688, visit www.carvel.com, follow them on Twitter @CarvelIceCream, or like Carvel on Facebook.

Full disclosure: This post was sponsored by Carvel and our ice cream treats were comp'd but all opinions are my own.

4/22/15

There Ain't No Party Like a Valrhona Party

When you come home from a party to a text from your friend that says "I have chocolate all over my hand!!!", you know it was a successful night.

Valrhona logo

Monday night (when all amazing parties happen don't you know?), said friend and I ventured out to DUMBO for the grand opening celebration of L'Ecole Valrhona--the renowned chocolate company's first Brooklyn and US outpost for pastry and chocolate chefs alike to network and learn new techniques. Alongside their professional pastry classes and think tank, this location will also offer consumer-facing workshops where amateur gourmets can master their favorite pastries in half-day, hands-on workshops comprised of no more than 12 students.

Valrhona party in Brooklyn

When we arrived at the 26 Bridge Street event space, we were welcomed with Champagne and a buffet of...yes...chocolate. 

chocolate and candy buffet

There were bon bons and caramels and fudge and truffles and ginger praline marshmallows and hazelnut eggs, and I thought, well screw dinner!


But we didn't have to forgo a savory dinner you see because there were all sorts of delicious non dessert stuffs passed around on never-ending trays by super friendly waiters. Given the fact that I only have 2 hands and the food came in waves as big and fast as those at Pipeline in Hawaii, my photos of these wonderful morsels are limited, but included: marinara chicken sliders, BBQ chicken cubes with coleslaw, citrus hamachi crudo (our fave!), seared steak on a potato with truffle, tuna tartare, beet and goat cheese tartlettes, and short rib lettuce cups.

marinara chicken slidersBBQ chicken cubes


As we were intermittently snarfing dinner and dessert (more to come on that), the founding pastry chefs of L'Ecole Valrhona Brooklyn--Sarah Kosikowski and Derek Poirier--took the stage to say their thank yous among many other legendary pastry chefs.

Valrhona chefs at party


We then made the rounds and saw some "live art"... 

Valrhona party live art

Valrhona party live art

and took an obligatory photo in the Sharingbox photobooth...

sharingbox photo booth from Valrhona party

But then the rest of the dessert came out. There was an American side with things like key lime pie, brownies, and cupcakes and a French pastry side offering desserts with much fancier and unpronounceable (by me) names. See below for gluttonous photos:

French pastry chocolate mint

French pastry floating island

French pastry

caramel brownies at Valrhona party

American pastry


Chocolate French pastry

American pastry

Key lime pie at Valrhona party

chocolate cupcakes at Valrhona party

dulcey choux at Valrhona party

chocolate tart at Valrhona party

Just when we thought the night was winding down (and you thought this post was over, didn't you?), we turned to hear the beat of several very loud drums coming from outside. Soon the whole party was dancing to the rhythm of a 6-person reggae band, complete with several drums, a tambourine-like instrument, and a saxophone. They even started a conga line, and of course we joined in. Because why wouldn't you join a conga line on a Monday night?

reggae band at Valrhona party

reggae band at Valrhona party

As we left, we were handed L'Ecole Valrhona branded gift bags with all sorts of goodies inside: a cast iron pan, a chocolate cookbook, and of course, an assortment of chocolate bon bons.

Gift bag from Valrhona party

chocolate bon bons from Valrhona party

So circling back, I too had chocolate on my hand when I got home (...and my forearm and my phone). Considering I also popped a few pre-wrapped caramels into my purse on the way home, I'm likely to be finding remnants of this night and party throughout my life in the coming weeks. Would I trade it for a thing? Nope.

Check out L'Ecole Valrhona here and get your chocolate conga line on!