Spring & Summer Pretty Please!!!

A view from the top, of the Upper West Side. While the thermometer still isn't quite where we'd like it to be, I'd say we're getting there! And with the dawn of the more happy-making seasons it's time for some new tours!! Plan your days and make some of mine by joining me on my newest food tours!

First up is the Spring Tour!

I'm bringing you to the neighborhood that brought me up, the Upper West Side. Long dubbed a "culinary wasteland", it was always a place of family and beauty, even during the city's darker days. But the food finds have finally caught up to its culturally sophisticated inhabitants! With some of the most expensive addresses on the island, we could ponder for hours why it took so long for restauranteurs to realize the built-in customers they'd have if only they took to opening a location uptown. To our benefit though, whatever the reason is, it's peeled away as we welcome merchant upon merchant into this lovely, homey and historical neighborhood! So let's explore some of this new cuisine that's representative of nearly every continent! And while we taste what there is to offer, we'll also see some of that history I mentioned and if you don't know from your own experiences, let me enlighten you on what it was like to grow up in this town. This used to be my playground, but today it's yours as well!

Next I've got a Friday Tour that'll cover three seasons!

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When I worked in the corporate world it was still in hospitality, which basically meant that "Summer Fridays" were never something I was able to enjoy. :( Now that I run my own company, I'm responsible for my own schedule and I'm forcing myself to work for you and for the greater good of the foodie community! OK, so it's nice work if you can get it! Why don't you join me while you skip he rest of your Friday afternoon and we can enjoy some of the goods fresh of the various trucks and vans and carts that want to feed you in lower Manhattan? Our truckin' culture has evolved to produce some of the best food that you can find in the city...all available from the back (or center really) of someone's oversized vehicle! Food carts started out of necessity, but they've turned into mini-restaurants created out of passionate entrepreneurs with good taste and smart business sense! Forget that "TPS report" and join me for a more fun Friday activity! I'll tell you about that summer that I worked in the heat of my friend's own Feed Your Hole Truck...you know, while we feed our own...mouths!

Lastly, for now is the Summertime Tour!

Glorious Green in Carroll Gardens!

Shortly after St Patrick's Day I was challenged by a former schoolmate to try his corned beef...literally. I'd said it was gross on a friend's Facebook page and he said he could change my mind. When I discovered that he was one of the owners of Court Street Grocers, I decided to take the trip out to Brooklyn and try his house-cured meat (I know, it sounds a lot dirtier than it was)! "Would you like a Reuben?" he asked..."Yes, please!" And sure enough, it was THE best one I'd ever tried! To top it all off I finally had perspective on a neighborhood I knew of, but wasn't at all familiar with and as soon as I walked out of the subway I was inspired. I was originally considering a more midtown neighborhood for the summer tour, but then it hit me that Brooklyn would be a much cooler place to be--in all senses of the word! Not only is it a pretty and quiet neighborhood, perfect for a summer walking tour, but it's rich in immigrant history, culture and a variety of foodstuffs that range from your local corner store to some high-end dinner hot spots. So on this tour we'll explore it all...and just think--without Facebook, it would never have been possible!