2014

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!

Fun Foodie Exclusive Event!!

True story: I once had a guy suggest Dave and Buster's as a date idea, he said it was: "A great place for foodies.." So, with that kind of energy out there, plus a great suggestion from my friend's boyfriend, I decided to put together a tour for dudes to help them step up their dating game. In a city as great as New York, I hope that we can all come up with better date ideas than Dave & Buster's...sorry guys, but especially a first date?? Where are we? New Jersey?

So here's my idea, and because I love you I'm offering a 25% discount to my readers, with code: LLCDWVblog

Ladies Love Cool Dates, West Village Tour

A Food and Libation Tour that'll Spice up your Love Life!

Take it from a couple of worldly and sophisticated NY gals, we judge your choice of date activity ALMOST as much as we do your behavior on said date. So, who better to show you some impressive date options throughout the West Village than two bachelorettes who literally make a living off of showing people the best hidden spots in this great city?

Women and men alike appreciate an evening that is planned, thoughtful, and clearly not a last-minute scramble. And this tour is designed to give the men* of New York City some great ideas for date night. Whether you're looking to get that second date, spice up a long-time romance, or possibly seal the deal (whatever that may be), we can guarantee you a night that will have your date gushing to her friends about all the points you earned for your creativity.

Not only have we crafted a tour to help guide you through perhaps the most charming and romantic neighborhood, but we've prepared a fun activity for you to enjoy before you even plan that date! Your tour guides will bring you to 6-8 different food and drink stops that will include at least one tasting at each, so that you can experience firsthand what they have to offer. Along with your eating and drinking, you'll learn fun facts about the neighborhood, the stops themselves and likely a thing or two about the actual edibles, which you're more than welcome to show off to your mate.

We've also partnered with the restaurants, sweet shops, and bars along the route, as well as other venues, such as comedy clubs & theaters to offer discounts on special events and classes for even more date-night fun!

Trust these single ladies to add some va-va- to your voom!”

Date: Saturday, September 27th, 2014 4:30-7:30pm

Tickets

Also, stay tuned in October for Williamsburg version!

Ch-ch-ch-CHANGES!!!! Good things come to those who WORK for it!

While we talk about changes I figure I'd show off my new hair cut! :)

Just a quick announcement that I'm making some changes to the business so that life is easier and smoother and prettier for all!

1st of all, I've been slowly moving my content over to a new site at Squarespace, cuz they're awesome and they make beautiful templates that can easily be customized! YAY! I also know some really awesome people who work there, which has made the transition easier for me. I hope to be up and running VERY soon, but definitely will happen by the end of the month. And NO WORRIES...I will be holding on to my domain name, so you don't have to learn a new web address or anything silly like that!

2nd big change is that the main way to buy my tickets is getting way easier! I'm moving from the Zerve system (you'll still be able to purchase tickets through their site if you'd like, BUT it's not going to be the main method) to a company called FareHarbor, which will make it so that you can access everything directly through my new and improved website!! Meaning you don't have to become a ZERVE member--everything works directly between the two of us! And while I'll get your information in case I need to contact you before or after the tour, I'll NEVER put you on a list you don't want to be on--nor will I share your information with any other company!

I'm so excited for both of these improvements for Fun Foodie NYC, and wait--there's more!! Lastly, I'm putting together some specialty tour events in the upcoming months that will be targeting specific clientele AND will only happen on a limited basis! I expect these things to fill up fast, however, so if you're interested in getting the scoop before everyone else then you better get on my newsletter list!

I can't wait to show off the improved Fun Foodie!

Business with a Purpose: The Importance of Seasonality

When I started this company, I was going off of my gut. Trusting myself, my interest in food, the restaurant scene in NYC and how much I enjoyed sharing different parts of this great city with others. When I got into this business I was working for another company, and all I knew was that basic thing--the joy. I knew pretty quickly that I would be venturing off on my own, however, just based on the wish to create the full experience from scratch. Of course, as soon as I was faced with the reality of starting my own company I had to truly consider how I was going to set mine apart from all of the other great food tour companies out there. I ran a few private tours on my own, but the first tour that I would be ready to offer to the public was my idea for a holiday tour that would take advantage of the Columbus Circle holiday market and feature some of that great NYC holiday magic that happens in midtown. The only thing about starting with such a tour is that I had to figure out what I would do very quickly after. So, the idea came to me to create a tour company that changes its tour offerings with the seasons. It felt like a perfect idea as I remembered how odd I felt offering hot chocolate in the summer. I considered myself a "moody foodie" and I figured changing my tours to be good business as it reflected a thing that I was interested in. I couldn't have possibly realized what it would truly mean for me and my lifestyle. I knew that my moodiness wasn't unique. I knew that most people felt the same about the food they ate. But, living in New York City, where we have everything available to us all year round, it didn't seem important at first. And then for Christmas I received a book, called Foodist, that reminded me of what that moodiness is really all about. Now, I'm not going to review this book here. All I'll say is that it made clear to me that if I'm running a tour company inspired by the seasons we experience in New York, that I should probably do the same in my own kitchen.

We've come a long way since our early days on this planet and then in this country. We've made a lot of changes to the way we do things. And this is not a cry from me to get back to the Paleo days...FAR from it! I'm a foodie still, and I couldn't go without cheese--unless maybe it killed me. But I knew that I was more dependent on processed food than I'd like to admit, and that, as a city dweller, I probably didn't need to ingest any more chemicals than those I encountered regularly on the subway. When you start digging into the science of it all you realize how much crap we consume every day and how unnecessary that is. And the further I read, the more I realized that I'm running a business promoting a lifestyle* that I don't completely adhere to myself, and I should probably change that. As much as I love me some guacamole, I probably shouldn't be picking up avocados in the dead of winter too frequently--or any time of year really, if I live on the East Coast.

The book spoke a lot about shopping at farmer's markets, but I could only think of one or two, which I knew operated on the weekends and weren't necessarily convenient to where I live. But there was a website provided by the book to help me find all of the options available to me, and it turns out New York City actually offers several farmer's markets, throughout the city every day--some only in the warmer months, but plenty year-round. Another option, I had looked into years ago, was that of a farm share or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, which brings farm fresh fruits and veggies into areas that aren't able to access them as easily.  One of those CSA programs, I found delivered to a church just blocks from my apartment, so I signed up, but wouldn't be getting my first delivery until March and I wanted to get a jump on eating locally, so I started a new routine, of trekking out on Fridays to the 97th Street greenmarket, which is right around the corner from a Whole Foods that would give me anything I wasn't able to find at the market.

I felt like such a cliche as I started to enjoy the heck out of my seasonally appropriate food! Not only, was it exciting to learn to cook and play with these new items, but it all tasted so good! And as the seasons continued to change, so did the produce. Fresh berries and peaches and tomatoes and corn! I couldn't believe I had been cheating myself of good produce for so long! And then it became clear that this was more than appropriate for a business owner who thinks that one shouldn't have to deal only with midtown madness during the summer heat, but should chill out in the lovely Carroll Gardens with some light and tasty fare to appease our bodies demands.

I continued to read further, I finally opened the copy of Omnivore's Dilemna, that'd been taking up space on one of my book shelves and began to devour it, which I realized is not what you're supposed to do, so I read it instead. All of the changes I started making were just supported by this text. And now I see it as a personal and professional mission to try to help others realize the importance of keeping with the seasons. I'm not saying that I can't ever eat guacamole and corn syrup-based sodas again--that would be crazy! I'm just saying that we all need to be more cognizant of the things we consume and that the best way that I know how to right some of the wrongs that have been facing our farming industry is to use my dollars by shopping local.

So, I urge you to do the same--shop small and buy local, as often as you can. I don't go to huge chain restaurants that you can find on your own, anywhere in the world, so what should I shop at a big supermarket? If you'd like to try a tour to show you some places that do the same, I'd be happy to! And if you'd like to reach out to find out how best to start your own seasonal eating in NYC--also, feel free to reach out! Eating appropriately is not only important for your own health, but it's also important for our environment and our local economies.

Stay tuned in the months ahead for some changes to come, as well as some fun and exciting partnerships that highlight this philosophy. Don't forget--people are people too, not just corporations.

*The tours I run are seasonally-inspired, however, the stops on the tours aren't necessarily all using farm fresh organic ingredients from local farms, but I have done a couple of tours like that for private clients and would be happy to do so again in other areas of the city.

Break the Habit NYers! Try Something NEW!

When someone first finds out what it is that I do for a living, I get a variety of responses, but there are a few that seem to repeat rather regularly. Most people first respond with many follow-up questions, and I can see their mouths begin to water as I describe to them further what it is that a food tour entails, and what exactly I'm responsible for in running such a business. Eventually, people tend to wind up in the same place though and say something like: "What an awesome job! Do you have a website or something? I'd love to do that with my friends/family/random travelers I like to pick up when they come into town!" Which is, of course, when I reach for my business card to hand over, and politely say something in return like: "Yeah, I love it! It's also fun for locals too! You get to discover neighborhoods you never knew before!" Then, of course, depending on how well I know them, the conversations will end, or continue, or morph or whatever. Lately, however, I've noticed a new response from those who are or just consider themselves to be New Yorkers. Both natives and transplants have had the same naivete--especially those potential interns I was interviewing back in June! I've gotten variations on the following a lot more than I'd like this past summer:  "Oh, awesome! I pretty much do food tours on my own all the time!" Which I guess people think is a flattering cute thing to say to someone who's just mentioned they literally run a business doing that thing, but it's not. It's somewhat insulting, but I know that it comes from a good place, so more importantly, it's inaccurate.

Sometimes my appetite takes all the lady out of me!

So. I wanted to dispel this popular myth for the rest of you. First, no you don't. You DO NOT do food tours on your own. Now, obviously, you and I BOTH know that you don't mean to say you do what I do, because I'm pretty sure you don't do all the research required to give information about every restaurant you stop into, or facts about the neighborhood, it's history and possibly the relevancy to the dish that you're currently consuming. I know that you probably can't recite the history of pizza and bagels in NYC like I can, and even if you do know where the last standing knishery is, you probably don't know where the knish was invented, what it came from and who Yonah Schimmel's even was. And if you love a good lobster roll, like moi, then you've definitely been to one of Luke's outputs, but do you even know what brought Luke to NYC in the first place? I mean have you ever been to the scene of Al Capone's Wedding or any of Alec Baldwin's? I have! Many times! And I point them out to the lucky people who join in on my tours!

OK, I'm sorry I got off on a tangent there, and we already covered how that's probably NOT the part of the tour you were thinking of. You're clearly thinking about the food. You were thinking about that time that you and your friends went to two or three different places in one night and ate so much! Or, about that time that you challenged yourself to try a new taco every week for a month! Maybe even when you went to that event and there were like 100 different restaurants there and you tried like half of them in just 2 hours! OK...that last one is very admirable, which I say cuz I've done it before. But none of this is what I do.

I guess Ill eat organic food for you!

In 2-3 hours, I take a group of people as small as two and as large as 16 to 6-8 different places, covering 1-2 miles of city streets and eating/drinking something at every one of those stops. As we walk I point of various historic sites, give background on the neighborhood itself, AND try to give you information on every stop we walk into. I carefully source every stop so that my guests are provided with the best food, ambiance and service. I also make sure that each bite we eat is in balance with the last. So, even if you request a taco tour, I'll make sure that each one we have is different from the last! And when I do my research, it usually takes me a full day or two to try a minimum of 10 different places so that I know that I'm bringing only the best to my guests--how often have you done that?!

I guess what I'm saying is that there are plenty of reasons to do a food tour. It's definitely a great activity to do when you have visitors in town, but I know for a fact that it's just as fun to do with a a friend who's from here--or even just on your own! I'm pretty good company I think--I mean, I've gotten another request from a repeat client, so I think that speaks for itself. You can even ask some of my friends who have been on a tour or two--if they're not sick of me and this city already, then I can assure you that you'll have an experience like none other! Get on out there NYC! Do something different! Why should you let the tourists have all the fun? Because you will learn something new and you haven't done this on your own!

$$$ New Tour Idea: LOBSTER ROLLS!!!

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

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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! 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?

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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.

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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!

Happy Big Game Winter Woohoo!

nfl super bowl

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

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