Winter

Girls Gone Good…

In Spirits, Anyway

Girls Gone Good…<br><br>In Spirits, Anyway

A food and drink event that celebrates food and drink a lot more than the women in the business, but there was some good discussion around the subject, and plenty of booze to make you forget the pain of it all!

Phamily and Phood in Philadelphia!

Phamily and Phood in Philadelphia!

All grown up in the foodie fun city of Philadelphia! From a mouse to a deer...

Peanuts for Milk

Peanuts for Milk

Cows are welcome, peanut allergies are not! A night with some alternative nut milk to add some flavor and texture to your life.

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?

Happy Happy From the Fullest Foodie!

Happy Happy From the Fullest Foodie!

Feasting and Festive! It's been a month of great tours for this Fun NYC Foodie! If you missed it this year, I hope to see you in the next! 

HOLIDAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

HOLIDAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

Get your holiday grubbing on with Fun Foodie NYC for next to nothing! Happy Thanksgiving and Shopping or whatever you enjoy!

Limited Time Special Winter Tour

Limited Time Special Winter Tour

Limited Time Special Winter Tour! Bonus Food, Same Price!

Broken, but not...er...Broken?

Broken, but not...er...Broken?

Broken bones make it harder for me to run a walking food tour business, but not impossible! WINTER BE GONE!

Italian Gets Local in Astoria, Queens

 Homemade Marmalades (Top-Bottom:&nbsp;Onion, Hot Pepper, Eggplant)&nbsp;with&nbsp;Imported Cheeses at Ornella Trattoria Italiana.

Homemade Marmalades (Top-Bottom: Onion, Hot Pepper, Eggplant) with Imported Cheeses at Ornella Trattoria Italiana.

On a cold and snowy day in February, I managed to drag one of my oldest friends out of the comfort of her warm home to join me for a special feast all the way out in Astoria, Queens (we're both in Upper Manhattan). Neither of us could have anticipated what was in store of us on the other side of the East River.

One part of my job--the one that everyone's always trying to get in on--includes trying as many restaurants in this great city as I possibly can, whether it's to feature them on one of my tours, or just to keep in my pocket for the very frequent question that I'm asked: "So where should I have dinner when I'm here?" Because of this I'm usually not one to turn down an offer for a meal at a place I've never been before. But I could tell that something would be different about this experience. I had received an email from Alysia Stern. who put together a gathering of food-lovers at a restaurant called Ornella Trattoria, that she felt was just too good to keep to herself. And so I chose to rearrange my weekend, and skip out on brunch with my sister on her birthday so that I could go "work"--don't worry I met up with her later to make up for it. Also, Alysia called me a "food blogger" which I found oddly flattering so I figured I just HAD to be there!

We arrived at the restaurant just before 2pm, which was our invited time and were greeted with smiles from fellow foodies, and our host/owner of the restaurant, Giuseppe. Luckily, the restaurant is just around the corner from the subway, so getting there was not at all difficult; even in such wintry weather! As welcome exchanges were shared, the very prominent Giuseppe kindly handed me a copy of Mimi Shraton's book: 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die, which includes, not 1, but 2 of Ornella's unique dishes that display the owners creativity & respect for his ingredients.

Of course, eager to share his passion with the group, he sat us as quickly as possible and offered some vino for the table, then explained for us the food already on the table. We had a lovely cheese plate with imported Italian and Spanish cheeses (pictured above), but as good as the cheese was it was merely a vessel for the real star on that plate which was the homemade marmalades that accompanied them. The onion marmalade was both sweet & smoky, which to me is just as it should be. While the hot pepper delivered on its promise of heat but it complimented the hard cheeses very well. The eggplant marmalade was definitely a first for me, and while I didn't love it on its own--perhaps due to texture, I did enjoy it very much with the spicy cheese that was on offer. 

 Italian Style Lox Plate with Burrata

Italian Style Lox Plate with Burrata

The first course that was brought out to us was, as Giuseppe explained, his take on a New York tradition of a smoked salmon plate. He told us how it reminded him of a dish he would have in Italy. Rather than a bagel and a schmear, he added a freshly made, creamy burrata cheese topped with a basil leaf, with the traditional  fixings of capers and red onion over some radicchio leaves for us to put together how we saw fit. As a native New Yorker, I had to try it with some bread to satisfy the lack of bagel, however I enjoyed it even better on it's own. The salmon provided had a perfectly refined fishiness that the bread complicated when combined with the cheese.

As we ate, the passionate Giuseppe regaled us with his philosophies on food, cooking, art and history. And for someone who works as a food tour guide, you can imagine the kind of heaven I was in. One of the many profound statements he made was in regards to his thoughts on celebrity chefdom and his respect for the ingredients that he puts on the plate that often come from his farm upstate. "I don't believe in chefs, nature is the chef." He proclaims in his thick Italian accent. He's not just trying to bring you traditional Italian cuisine, but more importantly the traditional Italian way of life. The kind of life that allows him to share his childhood traditions with his own children. You don't need to go to the store for sausage when you can grab a link from a line in your own kitchen. He'd rather play with the local and seasonal ingredients to give you an experience you didn't even know you were missing out on, than serve you another Chicken Parm, BUT he is a true hospitality professional, so if that is what you would like he will accommodate your wishes. But if you ask me that's just a mistake to ask.

 Duck Meatballs

Duck Meatballs

Offered family style, was the next dish to come out of the kitchen: Duck Meatballs. With meatballs having recently been such a trendy food recently I thought I was over yet another offering of a new kind. Birds in general are often a dangerous way to go for meatballs as they can so easily dry out, however with duck they've managed to make the extra fat work in this case, because these meatballs were divine. And as with everything else so far--they were matched with just the perfect sauce which was just the perfect amount of sweet to compliment the saltiness from the meat as well as the cheese stuffed inside these decadent balls of joy. Obviously at this point I figured I should quickly down the white wine I was still drinking (although it did work with this dish which was nearly as rich as I was expecting), so that I could move it over to the red, as a meat course was surely on its way.

 Clockwise from Top Right: Pizzocherri, Imbustata, Pasta di Castagna

Clockwise from Top Right: Pizzocherri, Imbustata, Pasta di Castagna

But, like the old Pink Floyd song, we couldn't have our meat before we ate our pasta--or something like that. Finally we were presented with our first taste of the food that we must consume before we die, Giuseppe's Pizzocherri, which is a most unique buckwheat pasta paired with cabbage and diced potatoes, things usually reserved for the harsher winters in northern climates--so suited perfectly for this winter that's beating us down in NYC in 2015! My first bite into this dish was unsure, but I found that I just kept wanting more and more. I never would have thought to combine these ingredients into one plate, but it has all of the elements that you're looking for in the colder weather: heartiness, nutiness, and a hint of creamy perfection from not only the texture of the potatoes but also from the sage butter that's used to sauce the pasta. 

The next pasta on the plate was Imbustata, which may not be in a book by Mimi Sheraton, but it's listed by Bradley Hawks as one of their 100 Favorite Dishes at The Village Voice. And I could easily see why. The envelope of pasta will remind you of a lasagna, but it's so much more. Rather than a red meat addition, this bite includes some earthier elements like roasted chickens and mushrooms. The array of textures that are offered to your mouth will have you wishing there were more. And luckily for me, there was.

The pasta di castagna may not have been specifically mentioned in the official foodie bucket list book, but the star ingredient of this pasta: the chestnut, is. On the menu at Ornella, its listed with the vegetarian items and served with arugula, cherry tomatoes, garlic and oil. But, if you ask him nicely, I recommend you have it as I did; bathed in a creamy and unctuous pesto that for my palate was not too heavy and combined with such a special ingredient as the chestnut pasta worked magic on my tongue. As I'd consumed so much already I was very grateful to have such defined flavors to keep me excited for even more!

 Clockwise from Top Left: Short Ribs, Gnochhi &amp; Stuffed Pork Chops

Clockwise from Top Left: Short Ribs, Gnochhi & Stuffed Pork Chops

Now, I wish that my pictures were doing the food justice, but just as Giuseppe is not shackled by the desire to make the plates look like a masterpiece to forgo flavor and quality, I am much better at giving you the flavors I tasted through my words, and if I take too much time to worry about the precision of my photos, then I will not taste the food at the correct temperatures as intended by the restaurant. So, with a full glass of red wine in my glass I dug in to the final savory dish before me.

With great pleasure I found the short ribs to be perfectly tender and falling off of the bone for me to sop up with the beautiful Madeira sauce that was the perfect balance of sweet and acidic for the meat. The lovely gnocchi that comes with the dish was a great pairing for the sauce of the beef, and the heartiness of the pork. And while I don't think I would make the trek out for the gnocchi alone, it was a great buttery texture with just the right amount of bite for my liking.

Possibly because I had just eaten so much food at this point (I cleaned all my plates up until this point), but the pork chop was my least favorite dish we'd consumed that day. It's a very rich dish, stuffed with mushrooms, prosciutto and cheese, so I think for such a grand tasting that it was a bit off-putting just based on that alone. But I also think that it did suffer the fate that most cooked-prosciutto plates do, which is  an unappealing dryness that is not very forgiving, especially for a smaller portion. However, the flavors were still there and as pronounced as ever, which is quite a skill given the ingredients.

 Sanguinaccio: Chocolate Pudding with Pig's Blood

Sanguinaccio: Chocolate Pudding with Pig's Blood

For a list of food that you should eat before death, it doesn't get much bloodier than this. The 2nd and last item listed by Sheraton as a must-have in her book, is called Sanguinaccio, which of course for all you Latin-heads out there comes from blood. Yes, blood. There are many cultures that use blood in their cooking, including my father's own, the British who like to call their blood sausages black pudding, which can be a deceitful name if you're a child. And from my mother's side, the Argentinians enjoy a similar sausage which they refer to as morcilla--commonly found on a parillada plate--but that's for another restaurant, another time. Because this sweet dessert provides a very different take on an ingredient that adds an interesting textural component that you will not find in your typical chocolate pudding snack. Not only are you treated to a richer texture, but the flavors of the chocolate and citrus that are added to the mix are more enhanced than you could imagine. And the simple toasted pastry dough brought me back to my childhood when baking pies with my mother and she'd bake the leftover crusts and top them with sugar. This, more than anything I had all day was the most transformative plate of food. And the perfect way to end such a meal. Especially as it was served with a coffee dessert better than your average affogato.

 Coffee Sorbet with Natural Snow

Coffee Sorbet with Natural Snow

At the end of any meal a nice bit of espresso is always a welcome treat, and especially to top this one off, after eating so much! But this is not just any espresso. Nor is it the familiar Italian coffee/ice cream combo. This is a special treat made with coffee and real snow from upstate New York (promised by our guide Giuseppe that he would not serve us dirty city snow!). The coffee was beautiful and even more so was the treat of eating snow again--as I did as a kid in upstate New York or nearby Connecticut the few times that we did brave the white for an escape from Urbania! The perfect complement to a fantastic meal that left my guest in a coma, but certainly rid of the hangover she had started this party with!

The event was such an experience that it wasn't even just about the food. It was an afternoon where a bunch of like-minded people came together OVER food, which is why so many of us enter this crazy business. Not JUST for our love of the tastes, the sights, the smells and the sounds that the food itself brings to us, but also for the love of connecting with others who are sharing the experience with you. It was certainly and honor and a pleasure to be dining at Giuseppe's table, and I highly recommend you do the same some day. But is was also a great joy to be in the company of the many talented foodies I was surrounded by. So a special thanks again to Alysia Stern, and a shout out to the great company I kept for hopefully not one singular afternoon: Richard-Rumith F. Mumith of Local Finds Queens Food Tours, Angel Rodriguez of NYCTalking.com, Rebecca Berman of Under the Blue Suburban Sky, Joe DiStefano of Chopsticks and Marrow, Jeff Orlick of Jeffrey Tastes, Sinclair Jones & Olivia Rahim of Social Lifestyle Magazine, and lastly my friend and dining companion Ms Kay Barte!

Thanks to all and I look forward to the next dining adventure!

Funnily Combining Comedy and Food! The Food Funny

Almost three years ago I started taking comedy writing classes--the same time I started working for City Food Tours, and then preparing to be a tour guide myself! Since then I've been struggling to find a way to combine my two passions--food and comedy. Then a few months ago I realized that a lot of the chefs I know are rather funny and a lot of the funny people I know are really into food and thus the idea was created! Make the food people be funny and the funny people make food! :) So, I found the perfect venue on the Upper West Side, which happens to be managed by my sister, and spoke with the owner and started booking the talent. Well--now I have a show to put on! 

Of course, it's rather appropriate that the first show of the New Year features two food pros who are known for a healthier relationship with the edibles. Christy Harrison is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with her own podcast about the psychology of food, which I'll touch on more tomorrow, and she'll be battling with her improv chops against Nicholas Feitel, who'll be recognized by Bethenny Frankel fans as her former chunky food blogger who lost over 60 pounds with a little help from his friends!

Our funny ladies, however, are more known for their comedy stylings on the prestige Upright Citizens Brigade stages. But the daring broads will be taking on a mystery box cooking challenge with 5 junk food ingredients that I'm already nervous about tasting! Johnna Scrabis, who's a very funny improviser on the UCB Harold team, Side-Piece, has not even bothered to tell me how much (or how little?) skill she has in the kitchen. And her counterpart, Sarah Wharton, who was on the 1st all-female house improv team at UCB, Detroit, promises she's an "avid home cook", but if she lives alone, that's not saying much.

All of this is going down on Mondays at 9pm, starting on January 5th at the legendary West End Lounge. Located on the Upper West Side, we're sandwiched between one hell of a line up for anyone into the arts, and of course, F&B! Before The Food Funny, you can check out Bound for Broadway, where you'll catch tomorrow's big superstars. Then, after the show, you can get drunk at the hand of my sister who's on bar starting at 10pm. And if you're in the service industry yourself, you can stick around for Service Industry Night, which gets you 50% off drinks after midnight! Which is when Midnight Movie Massacre begins as well!

You should definitely come out for the show that's only a $5 cover (I gotta pay for that food somehow) and a $15 food/drink minimum. You're not gonna get a better deal like this on the UWS, I guarantee it! :)

The Funnest Foodiest Time of Year!

I know that Thanksgiving is considered to be the holy holiday of food. It is a day in which we, Americans, are to sit down with our family and friends and whatever others you've invited to the table and break bread or just consume broken bread in the form of stuffing. There aren't traditionally any gift exchanges going on, but of course the last few years has seen the consumer madness known as Black Friday turn into a whole week-long event that includes our beloved Turkey Day. But I'm not going to rant about that--enough people in the world do, and it's got little to do with the food part of things. Instead I just wanted to say that I'm thankful for this whole season.

Sure, it's a cray time of year--especially for someone who works in the hospitality business. This is the craziest time! But it's also, often the most fun time! Especially in New York City! Thanksgiving was the beginning (or if you're young enough to appreciate a party night, I suppose Thanksgiving Eve was the start for you--but I was busy battling a chest cold to be drinking all night). We have the parade  here, which of course most New Yorkers enjoy just like the rest of the country--from the comfort of their own homes. And then the many drinking establishments that are open to comfort you after you day of family dealings.

And then you hit December, and tonight we start the many festivities that will take us through the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/New Year's season!

Tonight, I'll be trying my best to head down to the Upper West Side for the 15th annual Winter's Eve event! There's always so much to see and do, and I suggest getting there early as the crowds to come and the food will run out! You know if I'm there, there's tasty food on hand, but there's also tons of music, and plenty of festive fun!

Tomorrow, I'll be back in the Lincoln Square area as it is the first day of the Columbus Circle Holiday Market! And as I take my Festive Food & Holiday Fun tour there, I've gotta scout out the best food that the market has to offer!

Course, Wednesday starts the madness of the holiday party season and so I'll be going back and forth between Holiday Tours and Holiday Parties. The Fall tours are now over, except for one this weekend--so if you're interested on checking out the last Fall Tour of 2014, book today there are only 8 slots left! Of course, if you're more into the holiday spirit then you can come along on the holiday tour anytime after tomorrow! 

I hope to see you soon!

Happy Big Game Winter Woohoo!

It's that time of year again! The Superbowliest time of year that is!! nfl super bowl

Ok...to be honest, I don't really care about football. GASP! I know, but it's the Superbowl! I know. Look, without getting into the history of how that just wasn't a thing we paid much attention to in my home, we'll just go ahead and say that it wasn't really until College that I started joining in on parties for the event even. And obviously, as a lover of beer and food and loud activities with drunk friends, I quickly caught on to the celebration atmosphere of the thing.

But, this year, it's different. Because this year, we're superbowling in the city! Well...sort of. Granted, the game is taking place physically in New Jersey, but we like to lay claim to anything that's spitting distance--sorry Jersey! But if you've been anywhere near Times Square, then you've seen that we've been struck by the pigskin bug. Romantic-sounding right? Hello have you seen the toboggan run?

Of course that still doesn't mean I have a clue as to who is actually playing in the Super Bowl, or what their colors are, or whatever else one should know at this point. All I know is I've got a lot of work. Not so much of the guiding sort, but more of the catering stuff. As I build my company up I'm still earning some income as a cater-waiter for Great Performances. And they're all over these pre-game events, which is great for me AND exhausting.

After this weekend things do slow down a bit, so I've decided to keep the spirit of The Big Game alive and well in my promotional efforts.  So if you're around town due to this event or for the Chinese New Year, which is also this weekend and will be celebrated in the biggest Chinatown in the west, or for any other reason at all you might want to check out my offer on NYC GO! You'll get 20% off on all tours THROUGH February!

That's all for now...I've gotta get ready for my next gig!

Lunar New Year Parade

Certified Spring!

IMG_0309  Originally I was going to just re-post this list from Eater NY, which only arrived in my mailbox a couple weeks ago: 50 Reasons to Love New York Dining in the Wintertime Yes, it would have been with irony, since today's the first day of spring according to the calendar. But instead I had the type of day that one wants to share with people, so now that Fun Foodie NYC Tours is officially registered with the City of New York, you can read about the whole experience as recapped on the Subway ride to my next adventure and eventually home.

It's not even noon and it's already been an interesting day. And exciting day to say the least. Just over three months ago I built my website and started my own company; Fun Foodie NYC Tours. However, as a Sole Proprietor, there's little ceremony involved for a tour company that requires little but your own brain. Now that I'm moving forward, I realized it was time to make it official. Official so I don't have  any hiccups with insurance, if I want to open up a bank account or credit card, or perhaps I'll one day grow large enough that I'll want to become incorporated. Either way, after a successful Indiegogo campaign, I decided I needed that stupid expensive paperwork that made it true, that I was in fact operating a business called Fun Foodie NYC Tours.

60 Centre Street

Using the additional funds raised from earlier-mentioned campaign, I got my paperwork together (one of which I needed in the end of course), and hopped on the train down to 60 Centre Street. The Supreme Court Building--you know it, 60 centre svubecause it's always the one they use in Law & Order, and every other courthouse exterior shot, because it's so old and grand that it screams to be filmed, it says: "Important things happen here! Take notice!" I thought I had been inside before, but when I was inside it didn't look familiar at all. It's quite a spectacle inside. Not just because of the security (I'm a jaded NYer...I expect nothing less), but mostly because it's such a representative of our crazy mixed up government. So great in scope that it's somewhat intimidating, yet at the core, it's comprised merely of everyday citizens surrounded by old books. And, that last part is actually pretty literal. Not to mention the disconnect from what you're told one day and what you actually have to do the next.

Let's explore the end of that, shall we? So, on the helpful nyc.gov website there are all these tools for small businesses...including a survey or two you can take that will compile a checklist of forms and steps you may want or need to complete in order to get set up. The #1 item on my list is the Doing Business As, or Certificate of an Assumed Name paperwork. This is what led me to the messy Supreme Court site, where the offices of the county clerk are held. Of course, on this screen I'm told that the office is room 161. After I go through security, I have to check my camera, that I even forgot I had on me...damn it, now I just remembered I had it walking around Brooklyn and didn't even use it! What a waste! But getting back to the civic district...I ask the nice armed guard where to go for room 161 and he points me in the direction, where I find out that it's not the right place and I'm to go to the basement for room 109B. Sounds ominous...and it kind of was. When I got out of the elevator, I thought it would only be more appropriate if I the lights were flickering as they were already dimmer than just one floor above. I walk passed some other gated room and find the proper hallway to my left. I enter a room that greets you with copiers and very old, dust-covered books that probably hold the business certificates for City Hall itself! At first I'm excited by the romanticism in the history of the place, but then I meet my (less-than-happy) civil servant who will guide be through the rest of this process, and I'm brought back to reality, with our monotonous, I'm sure, exchange.

This is what the interior of the building looks like...supposedly, it was a lot more grimm when I was there.

Eager New Business Owner (Me): I'm here to register my business. Civil Servant: Located in Manhattan? Me: Yes. CS: Do you have the form filled out? Me: Um...(begin pulling out my paperwork) CS: Is is a corporation? Me: No, sole proprietor. I have something, uh (find what I'm talking about) CS: No, that's not it. (hands me a pc of scrap paper) Write down the name of your business here (as I do so her hands me another pc of paper) and go up to the first floor coffee shop where you can buy this form, then bring it back here without filling it out. Me: OK, thanks.

More of what it felt like inside 60 Centre Street...especially down, in the basement, where the records are kept.

Of course, I think to myself, this is all apart of the game. While there was mention online about a coffee shop on the 1st floor, I didn't see it when I came in so I figured it wasn't real. But when I got back up to 1, I simply asked my old friend in the Kevlar where I could find such a place and he pointed me to the direction of the tucked away shop,, and assured me I would not have to go through all those scanners again....although that could possibly be illegal and if you think too much about it, rather worrisome. But seeing as how I wouldn't be spending too much time there, nor did I have any evil plans, I figured what the hell. Inside the shop the legal forms are advertised, but not displayed. I tell the grayed gentleman which one I need and take note of the signs that snarkily ask you to please pay the cashier for your goods before leaving "let's pretend I'm in business to make money" or something like that. Once I have my form I head back to the elevator rotunda for my lift to the ground floor records room, and my own personal civil servant (too far?) is there to paper pusherguide me through the complex process of filling out my company name, given name, and address for both. And as he goes to get the paper notarized by a colleague and make copies, I take a moment to absorb my surroundings. I realize that I'm standing in what is the prototype office for caged up government employees. I watch the man who's dressed in jeans and some sort of print-screened shirt as he goes through the motions of pushing my papers through the system so that I may continue to live my life the way I choose to live it, with freedom, flexibility, and joy. I'm obviously drawn into the world of "I wonder". I remember that one of my fellow interns at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater works as a Court Marshall, and I wonder what it is that this guy does on his free time--maybe he's an artist? In a band? Fellow comic of sorts? Either way, this is not his happiness. And I see the pictures around the room of co-workers that pretend to enjoy one another to pass the days by, and as I'm moved to the cashiers cage to pay $120 for a couple pieces of paper, I notice the family photos she has to serve as reminders of the life beyond these walls. Now, I know that I'm making a lot of assumptions here. I know that there are plenty of people out there that don't care about the same things I do...but that's why most of those people tend to live in the suburbs. Seeing these things in, what I believe to be, the greatest city in the world, is like stepping into an alternate universe. Now, this is not my first time being confronted by government employees or government in general, but given the circumstances and location everything was just that much more heightened. Making my gratitude truly sincere when I was handed my receipt and told "Good luck" by a professional money-taker/well-wisher.  The words were appropriate for so many reasons, but most importantly as the whole experience reminded me of just how lucky I am.

On the way out I shared the elevator with my CS man and a few other characters in the building as they politely laughed at one of their stale jokes that I'd say could be heard at any office...but it was about bullet-proof vests, so maybe not. I watched him go to the little coffee shop as I walked out the door and thought how much I wanted him to at least get a coffee outside so he could get some of that mood-lifting vitamin k. But then I figured for all I know he could actually hate the sun...so maybe he's happier to work in a dungeon of records. After documenting my accomplishment, I moved on to my next stop--Carroll Gardens, where I was fed and inspired and further sure that I had just spent a very important $120.

top_certified
I hope you've Enjoyed the reading as I now get ready to leave my apartment, that's apparently above a sound studio, to attend a networking event in Chelsea.
bottom_certified

Lecture of Love!

russ and d bagel Although, there are few foods more associated with New York City than the classic: bagel & lox, there are limited vendors in this city that provide the true authentic treat, especially the way that Russ & Daughters does. They're known, not only for the quality of their fish, but also for how expertly thin they're able to slice their smoked fish! And as a woman, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that in an age of '& Sons' he was the first to add his daughters to his legacy! So, if you're interested in learning some more about the great Russ & Daughters institution, check out this event from the Gotham Center. Thanks to Justin Ferate for the email info!

russ and d selection

"Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Elebash Recital Hall

When Joel Russ started peddling herring from a barrel shortly after his arrival in America from Poland, he could not have imagined that he was witnessing the birth of a gastronomic legend. Here is the story of this "Louvre of lox" from its humble beginnings through the Great Depression, the food rationing of World War II, the passing of the torch to the next generation just as the flight from the Lower East Side to the suburbs was beginning, the heartbreaking years of neighborhood blight, and the almost miraculous renaissance of an area from which hundreds of other family-owned stores had fled. Filled with delightful anecdotes about how a ferociously hardworking family turned a passion for selling perfectly smoked and pickled fish into an institution with a devoted international clientele, Mark Russ Federman's reminiscences combine a heartwarming and triumphant immigrant saga with a panoramic history of twentieth-century New York, a meditation on the creation and selling of gourmet food by a family that has mastered this art, and an enchanting behind-the-scenes look at four generations of people who are just a little but crazy on the subject of fish. To register for this event, click here ( http://gothamcenter.pmailus.com/pmailweb/ct?d=YrtCUwAWAAEAACJ0AAbGpQ ) ."

ruus & daughters

St. Five Points Patrick's Day

Well it's March people, finally the Spring is UPON us!!! 232323232fp____nu=72_8_24;_259_WSNRCG=33_7637546335nu0mrj

And to bring in March, we, in NYC like to celebrate the Irish in our city with a grand tradition for the holiday of St. Patrick's. We have the largest celebration of this holiday in the world with our annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, that has been going on since 1762. Now, because St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday this year, the parade will be held on Saturday, March 16th. The parade begins at 44th street and fifth, 11am and finishes at 86th and 5th around 5pm. This is the largest and longest parade that the city has, as everyone comes out to celebrate the Irish in them!

232323232fp_;4_nu=72_8_24;_259_WSNRCG=33_76354_;335nu0mrj

Because the city will be celebrating a day early, I wanted to offer an event to include feasting and drinking and a little walking and learning, on the actual HOLIDAY! So I would love for you to join me on Sunday, March 17th at 11:30am, for a 2-2 1/2 hour walking food and drink tour in the historic Lower East Side immigrant community. We'll be just north of the famous five points area, where we can touch on some of the history regarding the newly American Irish families that lived down there and the leaders that brought them up through corrupted ranks. We'll pop in and out of some appropriately themed pubs, taverns and saloons, for a little taste of Ireland.

232323232fp63262_nu=72_8_24;_259_WSNRCG=33_75;6684335nu0mrj

This is a one-day only event and it won't happen again until next year! So why don't you nurse your hangover with a little more beer and join me for this fun and festive tour, that I promise will be a one-of-a-kind experience! Only 20 spots available, so book your tickets today!

Polish Beer

March 1 Means National Pig Day, but there's also this...

Happy Pig Day Y'all! Maple Bacon Cupcakes from One Cup Two Cupcakes

Several restaurants are celebrating in a variety of ways, but I would highly recommend One Cup Two Cupcakes, making the above Maple-Bacon yummies for the day! And, of course, Baconery. Even if they celebrate the swine EVERY day. Speaking of which, 'Swine is probably a great place to go to as well!

I know, I LOVE bacon. But the truth is, it's not very good for you! So, after you've come out of your sodium-coma, go ahead and make your way over to the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival. The festival takes place this weekend at the Metropolitan Pavilion. The space is open from 10am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday, March 2nd and 3rd. VIP Tickets are $30 a day and $50 for both days, and get you priority entrance with 5 raffle tickets. General admission is $5 and can be purchased at the door. Just a couple of their vendors include: PETA, Earth Balance, Harmony Cafe Kitchen, Chicago Vegan Foods, & Back to the Roots. Not to mention the lectures, performers and entertainers there to educate your mind and body! Did I mention there's stuff for your kids? There is!

vegan fest

So PIG out today and cleanse your soul tomorrow...that's what I would do anyway!

February Stinks! March into Spring With Some Stinky Cheeses!

With a kickoff event tomorrow at 404 Event Space, we will not only be celebrating all things beer in this city, but we'll also be stinking up the joint with all sorts of great cheesy delights! The Winter Stinky Cheese Festival starts March 1st!  Tickets run about $53 for the event tomorrow night, but you can pop into any of the Tour de France restaurants from March 1st-10th and indulge in their specialty tasting menus to take your love of all things cheesy to the nth degree! cheese_meat_mc

NYC Beer Week! What are you going to do?!

In case you're looking for some top activities to do this beer week, Thrillist has put together a great and fun little map to give you some ideas of what you should do! Check it out!If I were you, I'd check out that sweet deal at Luke's Lobster! And, as I'll be doing for the next 7 days until my campaign has run its course--PLEASE check out my Indiegogo campaign!

The Indiegogo Campaign

In order to promote any business one needs funds. Well that's one thing that I've been lacking for quite a while now...you know since I left the high-paying life of stability/misery in pursuit of my happiness. Thanks to the smart-smart people who came up with the idea of crowdsourcing, I've now been given an opportunity to put some money into my business without actually having to seek big-pocket investors who want to steal your soul and creative control in exchange for their dollars...of course if that's anyone out there and you're thinking you might like to invest in a food tour company...CALL ME! The campaign is now about 8 days away from it's deadline and I'm hoping to raise at least another $500, but hopefully I can get more. If I reach my goal I will use the funds for advertising and insurance costs. If I exceed those goals, I'll be able to provide some money to a local food charity or two that I care about. They say that the most successful campaigns have videos attached and I was FINALLY able to put one together. So here's my final push! I have a video on the site and everything. There are some GREAT perks attached to the campaign for contributors at every level.

Check out the campaign, the video and share with all of your friends, family, and even your enemies with deep pockets! OK maybe not your enemies, I might have to then give them a tour!

Thanks for checking out the site and I hope you have enjoyed what I've posted so far. Please feel free to let me know if there's something you have an idea for or are interested in guest blogging.

My upcoming goals are: finishing my vendors/friendly links page and, of course the LAUNCH PARTY which I have just over a month to prepare for! MORE details to come soon.