Summer

Food Tours for Everybody!

Food Tours for Everybody!

Take a bite out of this gritty city--trust me, it tastes better than it sounds! New Tours have been posted through the year--join me, won't you?

My Williamsburg Weekend:
Millenials and Foodies

My Williamsburg Weekend: <br> Millenials and Foodies

Taste Talks hosted Foodies and Brooklynites for the weekend, and your Fun Foodie was there to receive it in all of its glory...and some of its dirt.

Summer Means Never Having to Wear a Jacket...
Unless you're riding the subway.

Summer Means Never Having to Wear a Jacket...<br>Unless you're riding the subway.

2 Months Left of Summer Eating Fun in NYC! Come get some good good grubbin'!

Back to Sch--TOURING!! New Tours Posted!

Back to Sch--TOURING!! New Tours Posted!

New tours have gone, and more are to come! Get your tickets for all that's out there today! East Harlem to Carroll Gardens and much, much more!

Groundhog's Got Me Thinking of Spring!

Groundhog's Got Me Thinking of Spring!

Exciting things for a Fun Foodie in 2016

Be-Sneak Peek into Greenwich Village's new Bespoke Kitchen

Be-Sneak Peek into Greenwich Village's new Bespoke Kitchen

A review of local newcomer, Bespoke Kitchen, creating custom plates in the West Village.

Hey, I'm Walkin' Here! I'm walkin'!

Well I just wanted to post a quick update as I'm finally fit enough to be able to run my tours again beginning in August! I look forward to having you and yours on a tour soon, if you haven't been already! Recovering from this injury has been a long journey, and it's not over yet! BUT I think, after spending a couple of hours at The Met a week ago, that I should be able to manage one of my tours. Many thanks to the guides who've helped me through this process: Susan, Riley, John & Jocelyn! And to everyone else who's helped get me back on my feet, literally! I definitely don't wish this experience on anyone, except for my enemies--you know who you are! ;) 

 Bourbon and Cheeseballs Birthday Dinner of Winners! :) I promise not to serve you these addictive balls of toxins on your tour, unless you specifically request them!&nbsp;&nbsp;

Bourbon and Cheeseballs Birthday Dinner of Winners! :) I promise not to serve you these addictive balls of toxins on your tour, unless you specifically request them!  

I'd also like to let you all know that the Fall tours have been posted as well, so you may book your Hell's Kitchen adventure now! I've already received requests about December tours, but I'll probably post those within the next month or so--as soon as the dates for this years holiday market are posted.

Hope to see you all soon!

Guest Post: The End of an Internship

  Greasy goodness from Kutsher's #restaurantweek

I remember when I first found this internship. I had just finished a 2-3 week research project,  and after enjoying my new found freedom for a few days I decided I was ready for another experience.  I was looking for an internship that would take me through the rest of the summer. I looked on Intern Match and typed in "history internship," as that is my major at Cornell and it seemed to be the most direct search for me. One of the hits I got was the internship at Fun Foodie NYC, which popped up as "interest in NYC history" was one of the sought out qualities of a potential intern. 'Wow," I thought, "so much cooler than a museum internship." It has always been a fantasy of mine to be a travel agent or a concierge to experience new places and try great food--and with this internship I got a glimpse into the industry.

It definitely delivered. Over the course of the internship, I learned a lot about the business. It was not all about food, although Adrienne was generous enough to treat me to multiple delicious food tours and restaurant week lunches. I learned about marketing the business, managing reservations for tours, sat in on a meeting to change booking platforms, documented the business's growth, updated social media, and helped to plan and research for new tours. I also learned more about technology and find myself much more able to navigate various social platforms now. Managing your own business is certainly hard work, and I have so much respect for Adrienne as she navigates this process of building up her company. There is more that goes into making a profitable business than simply being great at what you do--which as you can see from her reviews--Adrienne is.

#foodtruckfridays

I have also learned so much about New York City itself, only now beginning to really tap into the wealth of restaurants, history, and events that New York City has and holds. This internship broke me out of my shell--this New Jersey girl is now much more comfortable in the Big City. And that's a life skill.

And let's not beat around the bush. Let me just give you an example of the kind of perks that this internship offered--yesterday Adrienne and I went to Kristabelli in Korea Town for some awesome Korean BBQ. I had some great sweet potato noodles with jew's ear  (which after my initial confusion I learned was a wood ear mushroom,) marinated wagyu short ribs, wagyu rib eye, korean ice cream and a brown sugar pancake. It was deeelicious and a fitting goodbye to a really unique internship. I will miss Adrienne and the work I have done with her but I am very excited for her as she continues this company and for her future interns--awesome boss, awesome internship.

--Rachel Kaplowitz

 

Mini knish with veal bacon!

Rachel was such a great intern and I was so happy to have her this summer! There's always so much to do as a one-woman operation and her help was so very needed and appreciated! Whatever she chooses to do I know she'll be great at...and hopefully when she runs of to Italy for an exchange program in the spring, she'll find a way to smuggle me along with her! My only regret is that we didn't get more pics of our last meal together that was just so good we couldn't stop ourselves long enough to properly document the experience.

Guest/Intern Post: Restaurant Week Summer 2014

Summer means it's time for another intern! Rachel's been working with me for about a month now and I'm so happy to have found her! Of course I wanted to be sure we start restaurant week right, and while I  may not be able to pay my interns I want to make sure their learning and they eat well! Rachel's been a great addition so far, and I wanted her to add her flavor to the website. I guess they're doing something right at Cornell! IMG_1936 So my experience with the Summer 2014 Restaurant Week began with a disarming, high-pitched squeal from Adrienne. After shooting her a quizzical look, she explained that she had just gotten an email that reservations could officially start being made. No further questions. There is no doubt about her love for food; I can surely tell you that. And I’m right there with her.

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a foodie too. When I was at the age that children are supposed to be eating a couple peas and carrots for dinner, I was eating a whole Mexican platter—and dipping my binky into the salsa. Now I’ve outgrown the binky, but not the salsa.

Personally, going out to eat is one of my favorite things to do. I think knowing good food is like knowing good wine—they both convey a certain sense of sophistication and education. (Aside from the fact that it’s also delicious.) That’s why I love NYC Restaurant Week—they make very sophisticated restaurants a little more affordable so that more of us can experience all the good eats of this city. And I think that’s great. Restaurant Week meals also feel more festive—like eating is a great big event, like a show on Broadway or a trip to one of NYC’s fabulous museums. So on Tuesday Adrienne and I enjoyed a delightful lunch at Bar Boulud to celebrate this wonderful event. And what kind of an obsessive foodie would I be if I didn’t tell you all about it?

IMG_1934

For an appetizer I ordered the chilled creamy corn soup with mackerel escabeche and popcorn on top. This was a very satisfying soup, with a strong corn flavor and a thick and smooth consistency. The herbs on top may have come through more if they were turned into infused oil, and the popcorn didn’t fully deliver on the crunchy texture change they were going for, but I quite enjoyed it. An excellent pairing with this soup was the Snapdragon drink I ordered—a mixture of pomegranate juice, lemon, ginger syrup, and sparkling water. So bright and so delicious—the perfect amount of zing, especially in contrast with the creamy soup.

IMG_1937

Next was the grilled chicken with salad and mustard dressing. The grilled chicken had great grill marks and flavor, and was the perfect thickness. However, it did need the mustard dressing to become “restaurant week worthy.” Fun fact: this dish was changed from the online restaurant week menu, which advertised a different kind of chicken (can’t fool me, I do my food research!)

Finally, the dessert of blueberry thyme marmalade, mascarpone mousse and peach sorbet. I think that this was the standout of the meal. All of the elements tasted incredibly fresh, and worked very well together. The tartness of the peach sorbet with the sweet, macerated blueberries and a smooth creamy mousse. There were also tuile cookie crumbs in the dessert to add some texture. Awesome.

Blueberry Marmalade

Is your mouth watering yet? Check out Bar Boulud! Whatever you do, make sure to go to at least one restaurant for Summer Restaurant Week! It’s the event of the season!

--Rachel Kaplowitz, Cornell University, History & Italian Studies

Restaurant Week menus are available at over 300 restos throughout NYC and it's longer than a month! 3-course prix fixe lunch is $25 plus tax, beverages and gratuities, and dinners are the same deal, but for $38/person. Please feel free to contact me for my thoughts and suggestions...for example I think you're better off just going to Bar Boulud for lunch, but Boulud Sud was a GREAT restaurant week deal in the winter.

Fun Footie NYC!

Wow. The World Cup, guys, THE WORLD CUP! It's still not over, just cuz the US was eliminated. Of course, I was upset with that news as well, but we must be realistic--while we've improved dramatically in the last year, we're still not finalist material. But Hooray for Tim Howard the 'Real American Hero' of the whole tourney as far as I'm concerned! I understand that it may come as a bit of a surprise to you to learn that I'm a fan of the futbol. Cuz, I don't really talk about it, but it's true. I've never been in a family where sports was a real big deal. Acting, singing, laughing--yes, but sports...not so much. My Dad was always more into car races...in the British way more than the Southern US way. And while he would sometimes pay attention to or endure other sports, it was never a thing in our home. Cuz my mom couldn't ever really be bothered. Growing up I tried a bunch of different sports...my height would mean the basketball coach consistently asking if I was sure I wasn't interested in playing for the team in middle school. And I had plenty of friends who were into baseball and American football, etc. But none of it ever seemed very interesting to me except for soccer. Perhaps, cuz it seemed so simple to me? And I was able to actually dribble the ball a little? Regardless, ours was still not the home where you'd follow a team around and go to various games to support them, so I never even knew that was a thing I was even lacking.

And then I started to travel more. It slowly became clear to me that I was not alone in my interest in this sport. Everyone else around the globe was super into it. I remembered hearing stories, growing up about Brazilians and Argentinians who were killed or injured because of the mad obsession in those countries over this thing we call a game. That's still an insane thing to me. But then when I was in Madrid for a study abroad program in 2001. I was watching the TV with my host family and they had the game on. Real Madrid defeated a German team and the news coverage was crazy. People were partying in the streets. Soon after I started to pay more attention to these futbol clubs. The more I traveled the more I got into it. In 2005 I spent 7 months in Argentina, in Buenos Aires to be more precise. I had found a city very similar to NYC in so many ways and they even had their own rival teams like our Yankees & Mets, but for them, of course it was two soccer teams. River Plate and Boca Juniors. People would always ask who I rooted for, but I didn't have a preference, I just loved the game, the culture, and I finally started to appreciate the players (I even bagged my own hot footballer one night). The area I was living in was much more filled with Boca supporters, but a couple of my good friends were die-hard River fans. I kept wanting to go to games, but was urged not to for my safety as a single white woman. So we just listened in on the radio (the preferred method of capturing the game if not live at the stadium).

My interest in the sport in general continued to grow and finally blew up 8 years ago at the famous world cup that made many an American fan. It was the cup that would give me much material to use against my future French boyfriend; when Zinedine Zidane would head butt his Italian competitor for talking trash about his mother...or something like that. Soon after that tournament, the talk of the New York Red Bulls began. It was to be our super-star soccer team, which we hadn't had since the 80's with the New York Cosmos (that has since been rebooted as well).

In 2010, the New York Red Bulls (who were just actually a rebranding of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars) began playing in their fancy new stadium built in Harrison, NJ. They had even acquired a French captain, who's not so bad on the eyes...Thierry Henry. 2010, was the next popular world cup games and I happened to be working an office gig in New Jersey at the time, which allowed for me to start checking out the local games at the nearby-ish stadium AND to keep track of the international matches while also getting my work done-ish. I was starting to get the footie fever. My father would start joining in on a fandome that he could appreciate--being a Brit and all.

Of course, after continuing not to make it into the finals and then leaving my job in NJ, the commute out to the Red Bull Arena and more importantly the long journey back (the stadium was brand new, but the train station was never re-fitted for the crowds), just seemed less and less worth it. So, instead I'd pay minimal attention to the international games, and wait for the years to pass until it would be time for the Brazilian world cup, which was sure to be very exciting...even if I hadn't met my savings goals to take that trip to South America for the live games myself.

Now, we're half-way through the tournament with just 8 games left in the cup. And that group stage sucked in a lot of newbie fans with the amazing number of goals scored! USA has shifted gears in the last year by hiring a German coach who's made a point in hiring German-American players to complete a team that was able to make it to the round of 16 even! And although we didn't make it past Belgium, we put up one hell of a fight, and I think we probably did a better job of it than the Argentinians will be able to (which I hate to say, as I was really hoping for a win for them this year). And with the amount of Americans and especially NYers getting into the games this year, this city will surely be capitalizing on it all by introducing a new NYC team next year, headed by Spain's famous player David Villa, NY Football Club.

Of course with those last few games left you may still be in search of some spots to watch it, and I wouldn't be a very good tour guide, if I didn't give you some suggestions as to where you might do that.

Well, if you're in midtown in the search for a place to watch a big screen and drink cheap beer then look no further than the Heineken pop-up at The Refinery Hotel. Don't be fooled by the $5 admission charge as it'll get you your first beer--also there are a couple other good ones on offer aside from just Heineken.

If you're a little north in midtown and you'd like a place that has plenty of room, ok food and a pretty good beer selection, you could give Hooter's a shot! I watched England get destroyed there, and I must admit it was not a bad time. The bathrooms are not so great though--just keep that in mind.

There's at least one more Brazilian match left against Columbia tomorrow--and while there are a few great Brazilian spots around, I suggest the large and spacious and VERY festive Sushisamba for any of the games! Just get there early if you are going to watch the host team play as the spot will be a hot bed of world cuppy activity.

On the Upper West Side you can pop in to the always popular sports bar, Blondies, for some of their classic wings to accompany your beer and ball watching--hard to know who the supported team will be, but last time I was there it was filled with French fans.

At some point this weekend I'll be at the newly opened Spiegel in the East Village, with food that as a little hint of the Middle East and a very chill vibe to go with, I think it'll be the perfect atmosphere to watch a game before reporting in for work.

If you find yourself uptown at all--on the West side--you should definitely check out Bettolona,  which is playing every game and serving up their great service with some traditional and delicious Italian fare. If you're into fresh simple flavors, you might inquire about the mozzarella with tomato, and prosciutto (off-menu). Tell Sandro that Adrienne sent you!

I know there are many more wonderful spots to catch the games, but these are some of my favorites this year--so far. For the finals? Oh, I may find myself on Governor's Island with a raucous Aussie and some other local hooligans. But where ever you find yourself--remember to drink up and tip your tender!

Foodie Weekend #11: It's Beertember Ya'll

I know I've been quiet since Labor Day, but aside from the business of putting together the upcoming season's tours, I lost a friend and have been dealing with that for the last couple of weeks, but this is not the post for that. My buddy was an Upper West Sider, and by all accounts he was a foodie and a food professional, so he deserves his own tribute. Stay tuned for more on Gabe in the coming weeks. But until then we've got a weekend to cover! And with the change of seasons in the air, there's plenty to do in this great city! Annual Italian Festival for San Gennaro.

Thursday:

I would have mentioned this last week, if I'd posted anything, but since I didn't I didn't want to leave off a favorite of mine every September, the annual excuse to go to touristy Little Italy, is The Feast of San Gennaro. Get out your cash and head to Mulberry for food, fun and one of the silliest freak shows around! The Feast ends this weekend so don't miss out!

Burgers & Whiskey go together like peanut butter and jelly, and when that whiskey is bourbon, well that's just what dreams are made of. And tonight you can get them both thanks to the New York Distilling Company, Go Burger and Thrillist! Because tonight is the Bourbon n Burgers Party to benefit The Little Warriors, which is a nonprofit organization that provides outdoor fun to children of our fallen Navy SEALS. And if you use the code "thrillist" at checkout, you'll get 50% off those tix!

Photoville Brooklyn brings together a few of my favorite things: Photography, Food, and Beer! All just a train ride away, or less if you're a neighbor to this pop-up. Starting this Thursday and going through the following Sunday, you can participate in this fun pop-up in a bunch of different ways! Head on over to the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park to simply vieweat and interact, or you can check out the schedule for daytime workshops and talks or evening screenings & events.

Beer. For. Days.

Friday:

If you've read my blog before, you know I like me some BEER! And this Friday we're getting another Beer week here in NYC, from Get Real Presents! To start things off, we have NY Beer Day, which is looking to be the largest tap takeover in the WORLD! From 5pm-4am NY Brews will be on offer at Bars and Restaurants throughout the city for a minor $4 a pop! Tickets are only $5 to participate so why miss it? But don't stop there! There's also the Lamb Jam Masters on Monday and Oystoberfest which will be next weekend--I said is was a weeklong event! Check out all of the events and keep in mind that a lot of these proceeds will be going to the NY Mayor's Fund for Sandy Relief and the Food Bank of NY.

Saturday:

Frustrated to be back at work? Well let it all out with a Hammer...by checking out this year's Hammer & Claws Blue Crab Festival with three seatings over Saturday and Sunday. Your ticket to this authentic Maryland Blue Crab Feast gets you unlimited crab and Abita beer at The Tunnel in Chelsea! Get ready to whack some crab!

Recently people around the world were participating in these color runs, but for me that's kind of boring--mostly cuz I don't run and there's no food. But this run my get me to gear up (if I weren't working out of town I'd totally be there!) and take the city by speeded foot! Why? Well it's the 4th annual NYC PIzza Run! You heard correct--the PIZZA RUN! I mean, it's our staple food, so it deserves the respect of a run, right?! Signing up for the run will get you 3 slices of pizza, a t-shirt, after party, and other cool things, but I had you at pizza! Plus, these guys are donating some of the proceeds to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (ironic? hypocritical? yeah, suppose so, but it's still a good cause and good pizza). and you can register for your spot today!

Beer here too! I know, I already mentioned that other Beer Week thing, but if you're looking for some island fun that's outside of Manhattan, then you'll wanna head over to Randall's. The first New York Beer Fest will be starting at noon, and ending at 4pm, so don't dawdle! Of course, there will be BEER, food and music at the Fest, and tickets are available with or without the ferry ride.

If Beer's not your thing, but shellfish is, then you can try out a more historic celebration at the Stone Street Oyster Festival in lower Manhattan. Cuz, well it's also Oyster Week in New York, which once was the #1 place to get those bivalves. There are a variety of events for you to chose from, but given the history of Stone Street's Oyster Shucking past, it seems the most relevant for me to mention on my site!

"Selfish Shellfish"

Fall for some means pumpkins, and for others...Oktoberfest! I like both. But this weekend you can kick off your German Beer-loving celebrations in Brooklyn at the Radegast Hall & Biergarten. They've technically started their holiday drinking this past Tuesday, but the big event that you want to get your bum to is the Pig Roast this weekend! There will be traditional live music, a mug holding competition, the aforementioned roasting of swine and of course, some keg tapping! Admission is free, just pay as you go!

You like Lobstah? How about electronic music? And Brooklyn? GREAT! Then I've got the perfect thing for your Saturday: it's the 1st ever Lobstah Palooza, taking place at The Well in Brooklyn. Not only does your ticket get you entry to this music fest, but you'll also be getting some fresh-as-heck Maine Lobster served up with some super-tasty sides. And that music I mentioned? Provided for your enjoyment from Chemicals of Creation. And of course, being at The Well...there will be BOOZE!

Looking for more of that Latin flavor in your cuisine? Then look no further than Queens, for the annual Viva La Comida! Festival. Jackson Heights is going to be on full display with food and local boutique vendors from the streets of this ethnically rich neighborhood! You have over 30 places to peruse and the majority of them do have food, so come hungry! There's no tickets to buy, just make your way to 82nd Street & Roosevelt between 4-10pm, and get your comida on!

The Tangled Vine specializes in wine and food together. And I'm not just saying that from an outsider's perspective, I know a few people who do and have worked for this great UWS spot. They've told me of their studious efforts to keep up with the evolving wine list. Well, this month they're offering weekly wine tastings to highlight the various wine regions around the world. September is France, and this weekend is all about the Rhone Valley (one of my faves!) The tasting is from 5-7pm and you can book your spot by calling: (646) 863.3896 or emailing: reservations@tangledvinebar.com

Sunday:

Photo Credit: Remember Forever

One of the many great companies that I've had the pleasure to work with is Remember Forever Photography. They offer a variety of courses in the art of capturing life's moments on...memory cards? Clearly I'm out of touch, cuz I wanted to say film. Anyway, this weekend they're delving into the world of FOOD! And because they love their foodies, they're extending a discount your way! If you're interested in signing up for this 3-hour course at Agozar, you can use the code YUMMYPHOTOS when you book online or over the phone: (646) 736-3231 for $10 off. Did I mention you'll get to eat the food you shoot after? Oh, yeah, you do! Spaces are limited so book ASAP!

That's a lot right? But wait...there's more! If you haven't given yourself the time to wander around the streets of Brooklyn's Northside (Williamsburg, Greenpoint), then you can hit it all up this Sunday at the Taste of the Northside event over at the East River State Park. You know enough about these Brooklyn hotspots to know there's gonna be food...REAL GOOD FOOD! Plus, proceeds from your tickets will go to the construction of the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center. Now go get your block party on!

Foodie Weekend #9: BBQ End of Days

Get your final summer kicks in as we enjoy the last of August before LABOR DAY WEEKEND :( Still haven't been to a clambake or a crab boil or a lobster fest like me?! Well let's get this done together!!! Thursday:

O Live Brooklyn wants you to learn about olive oil, so tonight they're offering a 101 class on the subject for a mere $20! You will also walk away with your own bottle of the stuff included in the price. Check out their website for RSVP info.

Do you have a dark side? Well if so you should head to Greenwood Cemetery tonight as it's the last night of Drinks to Die For. The Beer Garden at Brooklyn Historical Society has been taking their brews to the landmarked graveyard to drink amongst the dead this summer and tonight's your final shot to join in on the spooky fun! Drink tickets are only $5, the event itself is free and when else can you drink alongside Boss Tweed, Basquiat, and Louis Comfort Tiffany?!

Today it's her birthday! Dorothy Parker, that is. And the Dorothy Parker Society is celebrating the 120 years of her at the New York Distilling Company. And if you get there from 6-8pm you'll find yourself a specially priced martini for $1.20! The rest of the evening will offer continued happy hour discounts, readings and raffles for your lush self!

Friday:

Before you head out of town for your last summer getaway try a tour of some food trucks by ditching work a little early! Food Truck Fridays will continue, but will your summer Fridays do the same?

Saturday:

The Arrogant Swine is bringing you authentic North Carolina Whole Hog BBQ in Greenpoint! These guys held similar events in the past and wanted to make sure you got your fill of pig before the summer's gone! There's also going to be live music, craft beer from Founders Brewery and a portion of the proceeds are going to good! There are noon and evening sessions as well as VIP tickets for both here!

Get your Margarita on! The first NYC Margarita March has arrived, with tickets still available for purchase! You'll get up to 8 margs at various venues as well as some food nibbles to keep your belly filled. All venues are in Lower Manhattan and you can pick up your pass at The Parkside Lounge between 12-2pm.

If you find yourself in Chelsea this afternoon, why not head west and check out the Blues BBQ taking place at Hudson River Park? The free event will be starting at 2pm, presenting a number of great musicians and some tasty food for your purchase from some of my favorite BBQ joints, like Dinosaur and Delaney!

Alphabet City Beer Co has teamed up with Ventura Sails and Narraganset to bring you beer on the water with their fourth Sunset Cruise to set sail out of lower Manhattan's harbor. Tickets are still available and there will be food available along with the beer on the cruise...in case you're worried about getting stranded for too long without sustenance! And if you'd like to meet your fellow sailing buddies before hitting the open waters, there's a gathering at ABC Beer starting at 4pm.

Pairing food & music is pretty common, and this year's Afropunk Fest is no different. Get your groove on so you can burn some of the calories you'll spend by gorging on some of the great vendors you have to choose from at the event. I mean I even include some of these guys on my tours! The festival take place over Saturday and Sunday, and will also feature Art, Yoga, Shopping and some tricked out bikes on display for you to envy! Admission is free, but if you'd like to skip the lines and donate to the good people that make these things happen then you should take care of it ahead of time.

Sunday:

The Annual Brighton Jubilee Festival is going down on Sunday and is considered one of Brooklyn's Biggest Summer Events. The Russians represent their history and culture and their ties to old Brighton with this celebration that's been going on along Brighton's streets for over 35 years! The event is free and there will be a range of food vendors available for you to buy street eats from. If you've yet to explore Brighton Beach, I'd say this is a great time to do it!

Guest Blog: The End of an Internship by Paige McKenna

The Original Umami Burger. Definitely a bomb of flavor! So here I am on my last day as a Fun Foodie NYC intern, spending it quite appropriately. When I first researched and applied to this internship it promised fun and food, and well, I'm sitting here holding my stomach from being so extremely full after eating what was without a doubt the best burger I have ever eaten in my life. And no, that is not an exaggeration. I would eat another right now if you placed one in front of me. Umami Burger recently opened [its first NYC location] on Sixth Ave. and I quickly learned it is the heaven of burger joints. From the start, the menu overwhelmed me because I did not see one thing that I wouldn't like. So, I let the chef choose for me. I was served the Original Umami Burger along with fries and an orange Fanta to wash it down. My first bite pretty much sent me into a delicious trance, and every bite after that was mouthwatering satisfaction. This, however, was not even how my last day began. Before I was introduced to Umami, I met up with Adrienne who waited, like a trooper and a Cronut-crazed New Yorker, for three and a half hours to pick us up two Cronuts. So we sat and enjoyed a cocunut filled Cronut, as we killed time until Umami opened. While the pastry was a treat for my morning breakfast and definitely one of the best pastries I've had, I cannot say that I would wait in line for three hours at 6am. That burger on the other hand...that I would wait in line for.

The Coconut Cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Now that I've got your mouth watering and you are probably craving either a big juicy burger or a sweet treat, I'll reflect on what definitely has been a fun summer interning for Adrienne and Fun Foodie NYC Tours. Growing up in New Jersey and living right next to the train station, I have spent my life commuting into the city. I love it here. As a rising senior in college, it was time for me to start thinking about entering the big scary real world. Towards the end of May I was doing my usual research on fun things that were going on in the city and keeping up with any job opportunities. This is when I came across Fun Foodie NYC Tours. I read the description of the type of intern they were looking to hire: someone who was creative, hardworking, interested in New York and the foodie culture, and interested in marketing and hospitality. Being an English major at a small liberal arts school, I will be honest and tell you that I have no idea what I want to do after college. The internship for Fun Foodie NYC, however, immediately grabbed my attention. So i researched the company, emailed Adrienne, and shortly after met with her over coffee for a quick interview, and surprise! I got the job!

I was very excited to begin working and to help Adrienne lift her company off the ground and promote it to the New York area. I knew I made the right decision pursuing Fun Foodie NYC after my first day on the job: a complimentary food tour through the Upper West Side. I got the history of the area, as well as a milkshake, macaroons, Mexican food, a shrimp roll, and more. Yeah, you could say I was hooked. Over the next couple of months I worked with Adrienne two to three days a week whether it was promoting the tours on Facebook and Twitter, completing any intern busy work, or planning routes and researching different areas for future tours. As a Fun Foodie intern I gained skills in organization, research (and filtering the bad and the good of what I found), and after spending the majority of my time on a laptop and tablet I can confidently say that I do feel more technologically inclined. Along with these skills that will help me in school and in future jobs, I grew so much in the city of New York. I became more familiar with the different areas and neighborhoods. I have almost mastered the subway system (still kicking myself for the amount of money I've wasted all these years on being lazy and taking cabs). I've found a few new favorite restaurants that I can't wait to show off to my friends, and I basically have continued to love New York more and more everyday. If there is one thing this summer has helped me learn about myself, it is that I definitely will be living in New York City at one point in my life, and after interning for Fun Foodie NYC, I will continue to deliciously eat my way through the city as well.

Shrimp Roll from Luke's Lobster. The favorite stop on my first food tour on the UWS.

Not to get all sappy, but I am so thankful for this opportunity. I had a summer internship that was unique and fun, and I learned so much about this type of business, New York, and most importantly myself. Working with Adrienne has been a privilege, and I'm so excited for her future interns as I head back to school. She promised fun and food and that is what I got. Since you're reading this, and I am still on duty, I have to promote the tours just one more time. Take one!!! They are fun, informative, incredibly tasty, and the tour guide is beyond great. At the very least, treat yourself to a bite of heaven and go get yourself an Umami burger. Seriously. Best. Burger. Ever.

Paige McKenna is going into her senior year as an English Major/Writing Minor at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. She interned for Fun Foodie NYC Tours from June through Mid-August and was a great help with marketing the tours. Please use the contact form if you'd like to be in touch with Paige. We wish her the best of luck for her senior year and expect to hear great things from her where ever it is her path may lead her!

Foodie Weekend #7: Short & Sweet

Well I have a very limited time to post these weekend foodie activities, so I'm hoping I can get it all done without a lot of my fancy wordiness, so I can make it to jobs one and then two today! Oh, what I week! Thursday:

Harpoon Brewery and The House of Brews on Restaurant Row are celebrating the brewers anniversary with a Totally Rad Retro Night--tonight only! Check out what's brewing and buy your tickets before it's too late!

Friday:

PaperMag's 2nd Annual Super(Duper) Market will be starting on Friday and open through the weekend with food offerings to get you through all the other shopping there!

Saturday:

It's time for the 3rd Annual Ice Cream Bonanza from Smorgasburg/Brooklyn Flea. You can check out the Creme de la Creme on Saturday AND Sunday at the East River State Park! Stop Screaming Already!

The Kickstarter Flim Fest 2013 is taking place in Brooklyn, and not only will it feature films that were created using the crowdfunding site, but food will be provided by vendors who also got a kickstart through their campaigns!

Sunday:

Summer means Crab! So get to this Maryland-Style Steamed Crab Feast at the Drink on Sunday end get your fill of Blue Crustacean goodness for a mere $35!

Have a good weekend! And eat well!

Foodie Weekend #6: Chilling Out, FINALLY

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of THOSE people--you know, the kind that gets all excited about Summer, freaks out when it's too hot and then cringes as soon as it starts cooling down at all...ok maybe I am a little. I mean I love the beach, when I can go, which I have yet to do this summer! Until THIS WEEKEND! YIPPEE! So, while I'm thrilled to give my AC a break for a few days and I was happy to do a tour today in much cooler climates than the 100 degrees of a week ago, I would be happier if the temps were a little higher given my final escape is now upon us. But I'm not freaking out about it, because either way I will be sitting on a beach, so screw you guys I'm leaving home! ;) BUT if you're not as lucky as I am, or stalking me out to Cape May, NJ...then perhaps you should look into some of the following activities and you can tell me all about it! Chillin in Cape May

Thursday:

Obviously I must mention RESTAURANT WEEK Summer 2013 Edition! Yes, the prices have gone up, but you knew that was going to happen--I mean the monthly metrocard is now $112 so clearly good 'ol restaurant week is gonna change too! Alas it's still much cheaper than what you're usually going to spend for a three-course meal at one of these establishments. So, here's the lowdown: the deals started Monday and continue through at least August 16th (some will continue into September). Lunch is $25 and dinner is $38. While drinks, tax and gratuities are not included, there are usually pretty good pairing options or deals to be had on house wines, etc. Each restaurant can make their own drink options as they'd like. Most restaurants are Monday through Friday only, but some offer weekend menus as well. My advice is always lunch over dinner if they have it, but I would also just see what they offer, as some places are much better deals than others. You can check out the 293 restaurants that are participating at NYC & Co's site. From there most of the menus and online bookings can be accessed and you can narrow your search results by cuisine, neighborhood, meals served, etc. Happy EATING! :) Also keep an eye out around town for unofficial restaurant week deals they're usually better than the official ones, just from places that aren't members of NYC & Co.

restwksummer2013

Several tastes and one vote! Check out the Taste of Chinatown experience today and tomorrow! Several competitors will be duking it out an hour at a time as you make your way through to help celebrate Time Out New York's Chinatown Issue. Tell them who you think does it best--will it be the newbies or the old school? Also--your ticket gets you a comp beer to wash down that Dim Sum!

Friday:

absolut lunch break

If you're a fan of food & Hip Hop, then you're probably a fan of Questlove's, cuz he clearly loves them both (and no that's not a dig at his frame). This Friday you can extend your lunch hour and head over to Marquee for a little midday dance party. While the parties happen every week, for the masses of working stiffs looking for a little break from reality, this week you can shake your hips to the music stylings of famed DJ Questlove. You can read about these funky lunchtime jams in the NYT, or you can experience it yourself! I'd say go for the latter--and take pics!

Saturday:

For a little free daytime fun you can make your way over to Williams-Sonoma at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. Tasting Table has brought back it's live demo of the great Sous Chef Series, where you can to watch the masters make the food that you'll then get to taste. In the past menu cards have been provided. And as we're in tomato season, you'll be indulging in some great Tomato tastes from Anup Joshi of Tertulia.

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Where's Brooklyn at? Well, from me it's South East, but I don't know where you are, so Google it. You're already there you say? Or you wanted to try my Carroll Gardens food tour this weekend but I'm going to NJ for their beaches? OH, I see...well you should definitely check out the Bushwick Block Party then! This year's party includes performances from some of your favorite hipster and non-hipster bands, contests, skate demos, raffles, a photobooth, and lots of FOOD! Roberta's will be slinging pizzas, Yuji Ramen will also be providing pizza--I kid, they'll have ramen for ya! Crif Dogs will be there, Red Hook Lobster, and MORE! See and eat for yourself! Did I mention that 10% of all pizza sales go to charity? I did now!

If I was to pick ONE event to go to this weekend it would probably be this next one...you know, if I were going to be here. The first ever New York State Food and Beer Expo is going to be at the East River State Park in good ol Brooklyn! In addition to the over 20 microbreweries there will be food...of course, it's in the title I know! There will be local vendors represented AND a cheeseburger cookoff! If you get the VIP pass you'll get some food samplings from some greats, including Mrs. Dorsey's Kitchen(a stop on my holiday tour)! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. So let the BIBA of Williamsburg show you a good time and don't forget to take some pics for me!

OK, so I would also want to check out Tequila Fest at Tequila Park. Obviously. Also, as it's in Manhattan I'd probably be more likely to make it. Your ticket gets you 5 tequila tastings and 3 tacos. Tacos and Tequila?! What more could you ask for in the summer. Oh, you want a discount too? Well then you should head over to Urbandaddy. Ask yourself why you haven't been a perks member up until now and sign up! You won't regret it, unless you don't like good deals. Then definitely don't do it. Then, if you're lucky there will still be some discounted tix for Tequila Fest for you.

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Actually I'm glad to be out of town for the weekend, because I wouldn't know what to choose...I didn't even get to the Pig Roast. That's right. Those crazy kids at 3rd Ward are having a Pig Roast starting at 2pm. There will be music, dancing, fun activities like double dutch and, of course, FOOD & BOOZE! Get your pork on! Not only will there be your standard slow-roasted pork, but Coolhaus will be there with their amazing ice cream sandwiches! It is summer after all!

Sunday:

Another Brooklyn event, but this one will transport you to the Middle East. A Persian Food Tasting Menu will make you believe you've left NYC and gone overseas. Andy Baraghani will cook for you in his own home, and share with you his Persian roots and the exotic flavors he left behind. You'll get to bring your own beverages to pair with the food form Andy's past. What better way to enjoy your own friends or make new ones than in the comforts of someone else's home?!

persian paradise3

Brunch always. So, go on and get out there. Do it for me! So I can live vicariously through you and then, hopefully I'll have some new tour photos and updates for you next week. And then we can spend the weekend together! :) TTFN

Foodie Weekend #5: HEATwave

HOLY HOTNESS!!!!! Guys, it is sweltering out there! Hence the delay in this post...my brain is not functioning at normal speed. With that said I'm not listing Thursday Activities. As far as I'm concerned you should be staying inside tonight, but that's your call! Hopefully the heat will break tomorrow and you can run around the city eating your way through it as intended by nature. Friday:

Don't worry, a grill you wouldn't have to bring to Queens Farm!

Don't just eat your food, camp with it! This weekend, Queens Farm is having their annual summer BBQ & campout! Grab your sleeping bag and your hungry bellies, and get your tickets for this unique event that will include food, drinks, and dancing! There will be a DJ there into the late night hours for you partying types to dance of the calories from your campfires s'mores! Don't miss out on this opportunity--make sure you purchase those tickets before head out to Queens. And don't worry--coffee will be served in the morning to get you going for the rest of your weekend.

Saturday:

beerandjazz

Beer & Jazz! How's about that combo for a Saturday? The Annual Craft Beer & Summer Jazz Festival will be taking place at Webster Hall on Saturday with two admission times. Depending on your ticket class, there's food available as well. There are some retail vendors that will be providing goods and FOOD for purchase as well. Of course with a craft beer festival the most important part is the beer, and this one includes around 150 different beers for you to taste. You can buy your tickets and find out more information on their site.

Friends and not-so-much, all covered in TOMATO

The Spanish are coming! And they're bringing their strange tradition of tomato-tossing with them! You too can join in on the drunk tomato battling this weekend without having to renew your passport! La Tomatina is the proper Spanish name for this bizarre practice of throwing overly-ripe tomatos at your friends and strangers alike. The good people of Tomato Battle, who've been around the country with this, have finally brought the boozy, messy, musical fun to Brooklyn NYC! Get your tickets and you can head out by noon to start your drinking before the biggest food fight you'll ever take part in begins!

Sunday:

The Gardens that make Carroll unique!

Cool Down on Court Street in Carroll Gardens this weekend! With the temperatures back under 90 degrees, what better way to celebrate than with a late afternoon stroll through one of the most beautiful parts of Brooklyn. For a limited time only I'm offering a huge discount on the tour! 50% off if you book with code 72113Half at checkout!

After the tour, I'll send you over to Dassara for some Danish comfort food! Revolving Dansk is made up of a Danish couple that's taken up the task of creating an underground communities of Danes and those interested in the type of Danish Street Food that's been gaining popularity in Europe and now in the US as well. They've been pairing with local Brooklyn restos to bring you a taste of their homeland, and this Sunday you can find them on Smith Street.

Famed Dane Dog.

Fatty 'Cue is braving the heat and smoking out their resto with Smoked Out Sundays! $35 gets you all you can consume beer, pulled pork, and brisket. You'll also have live music and DJs at the Brooklyn location from 12-6pm.

 

Foodie Weekend #4: C'est La Vie!

Perhaps my attitude with this blog has been a little "lassez-faire" but alas, it was in anticipation of Bastille Day! And also there was our Independence day and the week before that I was busy with the Del Close Marathon....but that's neither here nor there. Here we are! Mid July! Let's get out, and celebrate our French allies! Or not. But go forth and eat AND drink my children! Classier than you think?

Saturday

Ma Peche, one of the Momofuku restaurants (a frequent vendor of mine), has a french name so this counts toward your Bastille celebrations! The restaurant hosts a monthly wine and cocktail class and this weekend's lesson should pique your interest! You can head to the midtown restaurant for a lesson in wine...boxed wine that is! Surprise yourself and your friends and learn the positives and negatives of boxed wine vs. bottled wine. Class is taught by noted wine writer Talia Baiocchi and will be from 5-6:30pm. Check out the eventbrite page for tickets and more information about this and the rest of the classes in the series.

FeteParadiso2

I don't know about you my I have some friends in Paris right now, but sadly I can't afford such luxuries! But, have no fear if you're like me, you can escape to a French paradise all our own without a boarding pass! Check out Fete Paradiso, kicking off this weekend in time for the Bastille festivities, on Governors Island. There are beautiful carnival rides, inspired by French artists. This is the first time the traveling French fair hits the US and you can celebrate with them this weekend or next or any of them from now through the end of September, but why not go when its most festive?! Of course, I wouldn't be mentioning it if it was all rides and no food! There's word of a beer garden, and also French restaurant, Le Gamin, will be providing more traditional eats from you croque madames to steak frites!

Sunday

Bastille in Brooklyn if you'd like! This year, Chez Oskar ("Le Funky French Bistro") is hosting a brunch in honor of France! If you'd rather hang in Fort Greene for France then this is the ticket! There will be a prix-fixe menu that will include champagne as well as several standard French activities...like a Robespierre photo booth, a Petanque (similar to bocce ball) tournament out back, and of course some can-can dancers! Festivities on Sunday will begin at 11am, so why not make a day of it?!

Better than a shoprite ad!

Do you like your independence days to be traditional? If so you should check out the oldest running Bastille Day festival put on by the authority that is FIAF (French Institute Alliance Francaise). Did I mention I've taken classes with them? They're great! This annual block party event offers live music, dancing, cheese tasting, and language lessons. Enjoy pastries from some of the best Franco-American chefs, including the CRONUT master: Dominique Ansel Bakery, Epicerie Boulud, and Francois Payard. Don't miss out on the Ricard cocktails and beer tastings. This is another excuse to party! All this is happening on Sunday from noon to 5 PM on E. 60th Street between Fifth and Lexington.

Foodie Weekend #3: Making Up for Lost Time!

OK, I know what you're thinking--this was supposed to be a weekly blog, but there's hasn't been a post since before Memorial Day Weekend! I know, and I'm sorry. I don't have great excuses...I mean it was my birthday just after that and then I was busy training interns and whatnot, but still, I slacked and I'm SORRY! Especially as there's been so much going on! But, here I am! Back to giving you the SCOOP of the city's foodie happenings. Speaking of SCOOP, there's a lot of ice cream fun going on...I know, it's cheesy, but still true.

I'm Screaming, can you hear me?!

Thursday:

First up, an ode to Game of Thrones, and a competition all powered by you! And foursquare. Basically you have until tomorrow to visit your favorite ice cream joint and when you check in on foursquare you're to hashtag--># the following, if it's your favorite ice cream joint: #gameofcones How do you know which one to go to? Well, like I said, it should be your favorite. Whether that's Big Gay Ice Cream, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, or Coolhaus you should go get some and show your love!

Iron Cone

Speaking of Coolhaus...and free ice cream...we are now! They're running a promotion from now through the 23rd in conjunction with Showtime before the upcoming season of Dexter. FREE Coolhaus y'all! Check out their twitter: @CoolhausNY or in LA: @CoolhausLA for more details on the where and when...I went today, cuz I love Coolhaus and FREE things :) and the sammie is delicious! Vanilla Ice Cream with a Cherry sauce and the cookies represent the light and dark sides of Dexter, which means you get Double Chocolate AND Snickerdoodle, which is great for a person like me, who can't make up my mind when it comes to those awesome cookies!

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Or you could check out a brand new Ice Cream shop, called Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. that opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and features some yums, like tequlia cream with pineapple!

Also for tonight is a CRAB BOIL! I know! Happening on the Upper West Side (yes, the West side IS the best side) at Ditch Plains tonight and then once a month the next couple of months. So check it out while you can!

Gotta love a good seafood boil!

Friday:

Well Friday brings us into summer as we have the longest day of the year! But, not to fret! The good people at Thrillist NY have compiled a list of activities for you to do on what they're calling the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE! Download the itinerary and get in on some good and sometimes free eats!

Make the longest day your best with Thrillist!

"Friday Night Bites" is what the New York Historical Society is calling this series of talks and tastes at its home on the Upper West Side, and this one is going to be good! Reps from The Morris Kitchen will be demonstrating some cocktail recipes with historic flare and homemade syrups! Best of all? It's FREE! Just check out the link for information on reservations, etc.

Saturday:

Brewin' it and brewin' it and brewin' it WOW

Satur-DAY Drinking in Brooklyn! Check out Downtown Brooklyn's Homebrewer's challenge starting before noon! You can get your tickets and find out all of the details, like the vendors and which charities they're raising money for (oh did I forget to mention your drinking bucks do good deeds?!) all at the Rally Downtown HomeBrewklyn site.

As everyone knows already, Brooklyn is the place to be. And this Saturday you can pretend you're in Brooklyn by heading to Southern Manhattan, as there are several top BK vendors showing up downtown for a great block party! Smorgasbar at the South Street Seaport is hosting The Almost Annual Big Ten Block Party which will include Sixpoint beers, Marble Hill Ice Cream and many more. Buy your tickets today!

Proud to be a New Yorker during the month of June! It is Pride month after all! And yes, I know that the pride wee refer to is "Gay Pride" (I use quotations as there are a lot more members of the community at large that are in that group of people celebrating pride) With our annual Pride parade happening next weekend, there have been several events throughout the month to celebrate equality amongst all sexual persuasions, identifications, and preferences. And to kick off the biggest, gayest week of them all is a grand old brunch this Saturday at the Mercedes Club in Hell's Kitchen. I mention Big and Gay, as the owners of the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop are going to be judging the synchronized-swimming competition. There will also be some very tasty food offerings from some heavy hitting LGBTQ chef superstars, including the great Elizabeth Falkner! And what brunch would be complete without booze? There will be plenty of Marys...bloody and otherwise as there will be queens as well. And best of all? Proceeds go to charity! Get your tix today!

BIG GAY BRUNCH!

Since we're on the topic of pride, it wouldn't be June without the annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, which almost didn't happen this year, due to lack of funds!  Can you believe it?!  I can't! Thankfully, due to crowdfunding, we're back on track with this fantastical event taking place on Sunday. And after the show of Mermaid love, you can grab your tickets to the Mermaid Riverboat Ball, which will include free beer and pizza from one of our vendors, Two Boots! The parade starts at 1pm and the ball at 6pm. And of course, if you'd rather keep your flippers on the land you can also attend the Drunken Mermaid Gala at the Gowanas Ballroom, also starting at 6pm.

Merm-everything!

Sunday:

Tastes like Summer!

Didn't get enough Beer or BBQ this weekend?! Well have no fear the Knights of Bruklyn, Home Brewer's Sentry, 3rd Annual Home Brew Competition is going down at The Bell House & Union Hall! The event starts at noon and your ticket includes some of that BBQ! Get in on this!

If you can't make it out to Coney Island, but you'd like to shop outdoors, then you can head to South Street Seaport Sunday and enjoy the opening of the New Amsterdam Market. Then keep coming back all summer long!

We've got a great forecast coming up so GET OUT THERE and enjoy your weekend! And of course, if you need more help, I can always take you on one of my tours! There's three, 3 to choose from!