Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Bone Marrow Piece on Wild Table

The food writer community in New York City is massive, I'm constantly meeting more and more people all the time. Attending the IACP Regional Conference back in February introduced me to a lot of food writers, like Andrea Strong, and another that I haven't yet introduced you to: Warren Bobrow.

Warren told a compelling story. Sick of the grind working for the man, he quit his job to become a food writer. And did he ever! Warren is now a successful writer for Wild River Review, contributing to the Wild Table portion of the site. A few weeks ago, Warren asked me to write an article on an ingredient and a chef that cooks said ingredient beautifully. After getting over the initial excitement at the opportunity, I decided to write about Bone Marrow. What an ingredient it is!

To read my piece, which also features my photography, please visit Wild Table > Bone Marrow.

I'll share my photos here with you as well, I think they came out pretty great!
Roasted Bone Marrow at Minetta Tavern (you've already seen this one):
Onion & Bone Marrow Soup at The Breslin:
And Again:
Roasted Bone Marrow at Beauty & Essex:
Thanks a million to Warren Bobrow for the opportunity. I've been lucky enough to meet some incredible people in this industry and I'm always in such awe of their kindness and talent.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Monday, March 28, 2011

Adventures in Cooking: A Taste of New Orleans

Since Patrick and I both love food, you can only imagine that our DVR is full of foodie shows. From Top Chef to Chopped to Unique Eats to No Reservations to Man vs. Food, we love it all! This past weekend we were watching a particularly great episode of Bourdain's No Reservations where he visited a post-Katrina New Orleans in 2007 to learn about how the storm impacted the restaurant industry. While he was sitting eating a Po' Boy (a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana), I said "Mmmmm Shrimp Po' Boy!" I didn't realize I was planting a "what to have for dinner" seed in Patrick's head.

Patrick's aunt lives in New Orleans (Hi Aunt Kath!), and I was lucky enough to accompany him there twice last year. The city is incredible, the culture is rich and the food is some of the best I've ever had! Here's a picture of us in Jackson Square from our first trip to New Orleans together:
I grew very fond of Po' Boys while we were there (And Crawfish Monica. And King Cake. And Muffalettas. And Drive-Thru Daiquiris. And Beignets.) and last night I was really craving some good fried shrimp smothered in cole slaw on crunchy bread. Yum!

That was when inspiration hit. Yesterday, Patrick suggested we make homemade Shrimp Po' Boys for dinner. He's not only handsome folks, he's smart too! I was pumped.

We hit our favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's, because they have great frozen seafood. We ended up hitting the jackpot when we found their Reduced Fat Battered Shrimp.
The nutrition facts showed that when eaten in a moderate portion, they were hardly that bad at all. Then we picked up some broccoli slaw and a big loaf of focaccia and returned home with our treasures.

This is where I'd usually take all the credit for something, but since I spent most of the day yesterday writing, Patrick made dinner for us. He defrosted the shrimp in the oven as instructed, whipped up the slaw (just mayo for me; mayo, Old Bay & pineapple chunks for him) and toasted the bread in the oven. The result? Sheer perfection. The bread was crunchy (he drizzled olive oil on it), the shrimp were absolutely delicious, not at all soggy as I worried they might become and the slaw was a refreshing addition. Patrick also put ketchup on his because he loves lots of different ingredients in everything. Check it out:

This was (or at least, seemed) so easy to make! And it completely satisfied our craving. A little taste of New Orleans, right in our apartment in New York City.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Let the good times roll!

Have you ever seen food on TV and instantly started craving it? Did you then attempt to make it? Did it satisfy your craving?

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Endless Summer in Atlantic City

A few weeks ago, the wonderful Andrea Strong sent Patrick & me to Atlantic City for the Summer Can't Come Soon Enough Press Weekend hosted by the lovely Geoffrey and Margaret Zakarian of The Lambs Club. We had an absolute blast, stayed at The Water Club, enjoyed many-course dinners at Wolfgang Puck's & Izakaya, danced the night away at mur.mur & MIXX nightclubs and relaxed by the indoor pools. I want to thank Andrea for the amazing weekend, and I want to share the article with you that I wrote for The Strong Buzz.
(Margaret Zakarian, me & Geoffrey Zakarian)

Endless Summer at The Water Club and The Borgata in Atlantic City

We’re all chomping a the bit for summer – this winter has been long, cold, and merciless. While we’re almost there, if you really can’t wait, just a few hours south of New York City you’ll find a place where it’s summer all year long: Atlantic City, NJ. Now, it may sound ludicrous, but it’s true. AC’s Water Club at The Borgata is not only a fantastic weekend getaway, it offers just the right amenities for those who are ready to bid adieu to the winter blues: waterfalls, spas, serious food, high-end shopping, and for those who like to gamble, lots of that, too.

Located in the Marina District just off the boardwalk Steve Buscemi recently made famous, the Water Club has a hip, urban vibe that brings a Gotham style to the beach. From the beautiful guest rooms and suites (rates begin at $139/night during the week) to the spectacular two-story spa, Immersion, The Water Club transports you to a place where luxury and comfort help melt your stress away. Once you’re inside the Water Club, it’s easy to imagine that you’ve entered an endless summer.

Indoor pools are surrounded by lush greenery framed with vibrant sunshine pouring in through the windows. A visit to Immersion offers ultimate pampering and relaxation where you can lounge around yet another pool and take in a view of the ocean from the 32nd floor. A quick indoor walk to the Borgata will find you at Spa Tocarre where you can sport a fluffy white robe as you relax around their three hot tubs and soothing waterfalls. Winter? See ya!

Aside from a wealth of Zen water experiences, the dining makes the Water Club a destination in and of itself. Acclaimed Manhattan Chef Geoffrey Zakarian of The Lambs Club oversees the menus for the in-room dining, the event space, poolside and Immersion. Some of my favorite in-room options include the Rachel Reuben Sandwich with pastrami, corned beef, coleslaw and Thousand Island dressing ($15) and the Philly Cheese Steak with arugula and oregano vinaigrette ($17) – not your typical dry-burger-and-cold-fries room service fare.

Zakarian is in good company at The Water Club—he is joined by Bobby Flay’s Bobby Flay Steak, Michael Mina’s Seablue and Stephan Kalt’s Fornelletto Cucina Italiana. In addition to these eateries, The Water Club is home to both Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille and Michael Schulson’s Izakaya.

Wolfgang Puck American Grille features refined American cuisine in an open space overlooking the sprawling casino. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, the Smoked Salmon Pizza with red onion, dill cream, chives and caviar ($24) impresses with bold flavor while less adventurous eaters will revel in the savory pasta offerings ($19-$25.)

(Patrick & me at Wolfgang Pucks)

Izakaya serves Japanese pub fare in a trendy setting where a DJ pumps out the soundtrack for the meal as diners are delighted by the eclectic dishes. The real standouts on the menu are the King Crab Tacos with wasabi, tomato & avocado ($17), the Beef Short Ribs with BBQ sauce & kim-che ($12) and the Dancing Eel Roll with tuna, cucumber & spicy eel sauce ($21). Wash down your dinner with Izakaya’s inventive sake-drenched cocktails and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal.

(Incredible sushi at Izakaya)

Of course you might also try your luck at the roulette tables in the casino and spend some of your winnings in the many luxury boutiques. Dance the night away at either mur.mur or MIXX nightclubs where the cocktails flow and the music doesn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. You can take in a comedy show at The Music Box or catch the Kings of Leon at the 2,400-seat Event Center. If you’re looking for a more relaxed bar setting, B-Bar and Gypsy Bar both offer cold drinks in an intimate setting. There’s something for everyone and the quality of the offerings is as impressive as the variety.

Getting to Atlantic City from Manhattan by both car and train couldn’t be easier. If you’re driving down, leave early enough in the day to avoid traffic and you’ll arrive in Atlantic City in 2 hours flat. If you prefer to take the train, a service called ACES (Atlantic City Express Service) provides direct train service between Penn Station and Atlantic City's Rail Terminal. The trip takes about 2½ hours and trains run Friday through Sunday. Fares start at $29.

After spending a weekend at The Borgata and The Water Club, it was tough to walk back outside into the chilly winter air. While we have seen a few breaks in cold temperatures lately, the experience in Atlantic City made me anxious for the days when I can sip a watermelon-infused cocktail while soaking up the warm summer sun. More than ever, I now feel like summer just can’t come soon enough!

We met some great people during the trip, including Kristian & Yale:
(Patrick, Kristian & Yale)

and Ahmed & Katrina:
(Ahmed, me & Katrina)

We had such a blast meeting and hanging out with all of them.

Thanks for reading! And be sure to check out all my writing on The Strong Buzz.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Phenomenal Meal at The John Dory Oyster Bar

It's true, I go out to eat a lot. And while I've found (and written about) some amazing food, no meal has ever affected me quite the way my dinner at April Bloomfield's John Dory Oyster Bar did this past Thursday night. Ms. Bloomfield has already wowed NYC with her incredible West Village joint The Spotted Pig, (oh that burger!) so I knew I was in for a real treat at the John Dory.
Patrick and I have both been working really hard lately, so I sent him a note late in the afternoon on Thursday to see if he'd want to meet me after work for dinner to reward ourselves for it. I wanted to suggest the John Dory because we've been meaning to go ever since we moved a block away from the Ace Hotel, but I left the decision up to him. When he wrote me back with, "John Dory?" I couldn't have been more excited (both for the meal and because I'm constantly reminded that I am dating the perfect guy.)

We met at 6:30pm on the corner of 29th & Broadway and I have to say, I was pretty surprised that the restaurant was already completely packed. I knew this place was really hot, but that busy so early? I was definitely taken aback. I gave our name to the hostess who said it would be about 45 minutes and we went to the bar to order some drinks and wait. Since I'm completely obsessed with any cocktail involving vodka and cucumbers, I ordered the Cucumber Rickey and asked the bartender to use vodka instead of gin. Patrick got a Blue Point beer and we waited. And waited. And waited. Luckily, I had my wonderful boyfriend and my refreshing cocktail to keep me company.
When an hour passed, we checked on our table and the hostess told us it would be another half hour. Seriously? Ugh. We went back to the bar to wait and when I checked in 15 minutes later, she said our seats were ready and we were shown to two stools by the window. That was when the real fun began.

I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and we ordered a few things to share. A dozen West Coast Oysters to start, recommended by our waiter because I told him I don't like briny oysters. When he described them as "cucumber-y," I was sold. In addition to the oysters we ordered the Oyster & Bay Scallop Pan Roast, the Chorizo Stuffed Squid and the Parker House Rolls. Little did we know just how amazing our order was.
The raw oysters were very good. We got 3 different varieties, and they were all very tasty. All 12 were gone in no time at all and we waited for the rest of our food to come out. Everything else arrived together and just the sheer aroma alone was enough to knock me off my seat in the best way possible. And then, I took my first bite.

The oyster pan roast was easily one of the most incredible flavors I have ever experienced in my entire life. Rich and smooth, the liquid that contained the oysters and scallops invaded every fluffy morsel of the roll when it was dipped into it. The bite of the pan roast soup with the roll absolutely blew me away and made me realize why I love food so much. It warmed me from the inside and brought a huge smile to my face. Patrick agreed with me, and we patted ourselves on the back for our stellar order. I have to say, the sea urchin on toast that sat atop the amazing bowl of awesomeness was the only part I didn't enjoy. I've had sea urchin before, and I'm not a huge fan, but it just didn't belong anywhere near my precious pan roast. It is way too salty and fishy-tasting for me, so I didn't take another bite of it.
I have been eating some pretty adventurous stuff lately, namely a whole lot of bone marrow, and the Stuffed Squid in theory was right up there in exotic cuisine. But this dish wasn't weird at all, it was incredible! The chorizo in the dish was smoky and packed with flavor, the squid was the perfect texture and the rice was cooked just right. When all the elements were eaten together, it was truly the perfect bite.
When we had finished every last bit of our meal, I felt both satisfied and excited. The food was rich so even though it wasn't a ton of food, I really was full. And I have to say that excitement was an emotion I felt because this was some seriously amazing food. Eating is something everyone has to do to stay alive, but why should that mean we can't enjoy it while we do it? For me, food is so much more than just something I "have to do." It's something that I enjoy doing so much that I look forward to each and every single thing I eat. Call me crazy, but when I find food like my dinner at the John Dory, I think you're crazy if you don't love it too.

Have you ever eaten something that was so good it changed your life? I thought my steak at Peter Luger last December was the best thing I'd ever eaten, but my dinner last night topped even that. John Dory, I will be back VERY soon for more.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Here Comes Tappo!

My office is on 24th street between 5th & 6th Avenues. One day as I was walking into the office, I noticed that the storefront next door was no longer boarded up, and this lovely window was revealed:
Could it be true!? Could the amazing thin-crust pizza chain that brought us Posto, Vezzo, Spunto and Gruppo be opening a 5th spot RIGHT NEXT to my office?

Yes! It is true! Read about it here.

This is wonderful news for my food-loving self and terrible news for my goal to fit into a hot Maid of Honor dress for my best friend's wedding in October.

Oh well, viva la pizza!

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Monday, March 21, 2011

My First Bone Marrow at Minetta Tavern

As I round out my 3rd year living in NYC, there are a few restaurants that have moved from my "Must Try" list to my "Seriously, Why Haven't I Gone There Yet?!" list. Per Se. Le Bernardin. Minetta Tavern. After last night, I can finally move the latter to the "Been There, Done That" list, and oh what an experience it was!
I'm working on an article on Bone Marrow (the kind you eat, not the kind in human bones) and when I polled my Twitter followers on where to get the best in the city, several people swore by Minetta Tavern's version. After a lazy Sunday afternoon, I rounded up my usual restaurant-going gear (my camera and my boyfriend) and hopped on the 1 train down to Christopher Street around 5pm. When I called Minetta earlier that day, they informed me that absolutely no reservations were available for that night, but if we showed up at 5 when the doors opened, we'd likely snag a few seats at the bar. Challenge accepted!

We walked in the door around 5:15 and the front bar was already pretty crowded. The hostess assured us that many of the patrons around the bar were just waiting to be shown to their reserved tables at 5:30, so we caught the bartender's attention and told him we needed 2 seats at the bar. They have a system in place where the bartenders control who sits at the bar to eat based on first come, first serve. No sketchy hovering for us, we would get the first 2 seats that opened. Brilliant!

As soon as the clock struck 5:30 (can we talk about how absurd it is that we were having dinner at 5:30 by the way? Early birds? US!?) 2 people got up and we had our seats. This is where the real adventure began. Regardless of the fact that the menu looked amazing, we had tunnel vision for the Bone Marrow and the Black Label Burger. We decided to skip the $15 cocktails to save some cash, and we anxiously awaited the arrival of the food.

I have to mention that there were 3 bartenders manning the bar, and they were all SO incredibly nice and helpful. We observed as they poured some mean-looking cocktails and waited on everyone in the bar. They were friendly, bubbly and all had huge smiles on their faces. I really appreciated this, and it made for a fantastic vibe.

As the plate of bones approached us, I began to have second thoughts. Could I do this? I mean, I'm an adventurous eater, but was I really about to eat the goo straight out of the bone?! My stomach did a few flip flops as the plate was placed in front of us. There was no turning back now.
I'm shocked at how much the sheer idea of the dish bothered me, but it did. Regardless, I scooped it out, put it on the toast, covered it with the accompanying garnish of roasted onions, closed my eyes and in she went. Okay... it was a little salty... and a little gooey... but it was pretty good.. okay, it was REALLY good... and before I knew it, we had cleaned out all 3 bones! Reflecting back on the dish, I have to say that I enjoyed it even though the concept and the consistency made me a little queasy. Since I am planning to try 2-3 more bone marrow dishes at other restaurants, I hope it gets easier with each experience.

Then the burger arrived. I have heard many say that the Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger is the best in the city (Rev, care to weigh in?) so we knew we had to try it. We decided to split the $26 hunk of beef on a bun and when it arrived my first thought was that it was TEENY tiny. Since we were splitting it, I'd say it was about 4 bites per half. Not nearly enough burger for the expensive price tag.
We ordered it Medium Rare and I'm happy to say our burger was practically mooing. I often find with rare beef that it can have a slightly metallic flavor but I'm happy to report that this burger had no such negative quality. The burger was delicious! Smothered in carmelized onions and served with the advice to avoid condiments, it was simple but tasty. Juice flowed from the meat with every bite, and I thoroughly enjoyed my portion. Again, it would have been nice if it was a little bigger, but I guess that's what we get for sharing a burger.

I plan to return to Minetta Tavern to try the rest of the menu, and maybe have a Black Label Burger all to myself!

Okay, let's hear it, what are your thoughts on Bone Marrow? Love it? Hate it? Repulsed by the thought of it (mom)? I'm planning to have the Bone Marrow at Beauty & Essex tomorrow night and at either Landmarc, Blue Ribbon or Prune later this week (suggestions welcome.)

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

PS- Check out this post on the Bone Marrow craze on MMMelody's blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strange Service, Yummy Food at Cafe Cluny

I recently went out to dinner with Jill at Cafe Cluny in the West Village, and the experience we had with the waitstaff was so odd that I felt compelled to write about it. To start, the hostess showed us to a table in the back corner of the restaurant that was arranged in such a way that there was part of a wall between us. After moving the table around a bit and rearranging our seating, we were able to sit more comfortably. I looked up and saw a giant bug on the ceiling and thought to myself that it was a strange piece of art for a restaurant.
When our waiter came over to the table we noticed that he had an incredibly thick British accent. While I love me a good British accent, his was so thick that we couldn't understand a single word that came out of his mouth! He read off the specials, managed to take our drink order and (I think? I hope?) asked us if we wanted some bread. We did. When he brought it back to the table, he took our appetizer order as he delivered our drinks. We decided to split the Crisp Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Fritters with Warm Lentil Salad & Smoked Paprika. I sipped on my crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc as we anxiously awaited whatever was coming next.

Our incomprehensible waiter returned to take our entree order, and the adventurous spirit in me lead me to ask him what he recommended. I have no idea what he said. I ordered the Grilled Eden Brook Trout with Winter Brussels Sprouts, Radish & Bacon Salad, Onion Rings & Whole Grain Mustard Aioli while Jill ordered the Grilled Tuna Burger with French Fries. Our appetizer arrived at the table and it looked so green and bright!
The lentils were the perfect firmness and the fritters were delightful. Crispy, flavorful and not a drop of grease to be found. The appetizer left me with high expectations of my entree, and Jill and I discussed whether we'd be able to understand a single thing our waiter said.

We never got to find out. A new waiter dropped off our entrees, thankfully he didn't have an accent but his high level of enthusiasm was a bit overwhelming. He was what I like to call a "close talker" and excitedly announced our dishes as he put them in front of us. The portion of my dish appeared small, but the smell was intoxicating.
The onion rings, like the fritters, weren't at all greasy. The fish was tender and succulent and the rest of the dish blended beautifully. I ate every bite and was very content when I was done.

"Excited Waiter" came back to the table to clear our dishes and ask us if we wanted dessert. He practically yelled, "WE HAVE A DELICIOUS SELECTION OF DESSERTS, CAN I BRING SOME COFFEE?!" as he stared at us wide-eyed and expectant. It was official, we were frightened. We ordered some Homemade Biscotti with Espresso and simultaneously asked for our check to limit the number of interactions we'd have with this guy. He returned with our check and our dessert, which was delicious, and we quickly finished and left.

While the food was excellent, we left the restaurant feeling slightly confused about the odd service we had received. I'm sure that isn't the norm at Cafe Cluny, but it certainly was strange. Have you ever had odd service at an otherwise good restaurant? I'd love to hear your stories.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Monday, March 14, 2011

Burgers at Wall Street Burger Shoppe

There are few things as satisfying as biting into a good, juicy burger. When two of my fellow food-loving buddies, Rev. Dave Ciancio (aka Burger Conquest) and Lea from Bizzy asked me to join them for a burger lunch at Wall Street Burger Shoppe down in FiDi, I couldn't resist! I met them on a dreary, rainy day, but as soon as I smelled the aroma of burgers the weather outside no longer mattered. I walked up the stairs and joined Rev & Lea at a high-top table as my stomach growled in anticipation.

I knew Lea, the Queen of Mac & Cheese was planning to order the Mac 'N Cheese burger (Char-grilled 8oz blend of Hereford beef, macaroni and four cheeses [Gruyere, American, Pecorino and Cheddar]), but given my lactose-intolerant stomach I had to stay away from it. Rev also wanted to try it, so I felt a bit of burger envy as I ordered my Becky Burger (Char-grilled 4oz Hereford beef burger with aged cheddar, sliced pickles, tomato and ketchup) with Avocado and a side of onion rings. I should have realized my burger was only 4 oz. while all the others were 8 oz, but I was so hungry I didn't notice. Rev ordered the Porterhouse Burger (Char-grilled 6oz blend of Porterhouse tail and chuck burger with lettuce, tomato and steak sauce) in addition to the Mac 'N Cheese burger for a taste test. Trust me, this guy knows his burgers.

We ordered a round of drinks (beers for me & Rev, Guinness Milkshake for Lea) and waited for our burgers to arrive. Lea and I both checked in on Foursquare because the special was a free side of fries or onion rings. When our order got to the table, I was immediately filled with envy because my burger was about 1/2 the size of the other 3 on the tray. The waiter put the food on the table and although my burger was tiny, it still looked solid.
This is when I realized that the waiter had never asked me how I wanted my burger cooked (I like red meat "bloody as hell") and I cut into the meat to disappointingly realize it was cooked well-done. My own fault for not specifying. I covered the burger in ketchup and went in for the kill. Flavorful, even though it wasn't cooked to my preference, it was still a good burger. But my eyes filled with longing as I watched Lea & Rev chow down on the Mac 'N Cheese burgers, they looked amazing. Lea was kind enough to offer me a bite, and it was GOOD. I cursed my stomach for its inability to handle butter and polished off my meal. While I wasn't thrilled with my order, Wall Street Burger Shoppe definitely cranks out some good burgers. Next time I'm ordering the Mac 'N Cheese burger and I'll handle the stomachache!

Make sure to check out Lea's review of her Mac 'N Cheese burger here (click the arrow over to #9) and Rev's here.

Also be sure to check out all the great food writing Lea & Rev have to offer, they're good foodie friends of mine and really know their stuff!

Lea on Twitter: @MacCheesy, @LvM and @BizzyLea
Lea on Facebook: MacCheesy
Rev on Twitter: @yeahman
Rev's blog: Burger Conquest
(photo compliments of Rev)

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Latest Writing for The Strong Buzz

I've been writing up a storm for The Strong Buzz, and it's been amazing. I'm learning so much about my writing, and it's so helpful to get feedback from a food writer who is as experienced as Andrea.

I wanted to make sure you all saw my most recent posts on The Strong Buzz:

Brisket Cookoff to Benefit New Amsterdam Market

Sustainable Seafood Dinner at Applewood to Benefit Blue Ocean Institute

Homage to Classic Rock Opening in the West Village

Tenpenny Opens at the Gotham Hotel

My photography is also featured on some of these pieces. This has been an incredible experience for me, and I can't thank Andrea enough for giving me the opportunity. And thanks to all of you for reading my writing, it means the world to me!

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Jimmy Fallon's New Ice Cream Flavor

If you have been following along at home, you all know that I am just not a dessert person. So when Andrea Strong of The Strong Buzz asked me to cover the press conference for the release of Jimmy Fallon's new ice cream flavor with Ben & Jerry's, I was excited at the opportunity but told myself I just wouldn't be eating the ice cream. When I found out that the flavor was more salty than sweet, I grabbed a spoon and dug right in! Here is the article I wrote for The Strong Buzz about the event (I took the photo too!):

Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack (Ben & Jerry's Newest Ice Cream Flavor!!)

"This is the best ice cream flavor I’ve ever had in my entire life!” exclaimed Jimmy Fallon as he unveiled his new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream offering, Late Night Snack. The new flavor was unveiled at a press conference in New York City to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of his comedy talk-show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the ice cream company’s co-founders better known as Ben & Jerry, were there with Fallon as Late Night Snack was revealed.

Fallon explained that he wanted to come up with a flavor that was in tune with what the folks at home would be snacking on while watching his show. Neither pretzels nor popcorn seemed like the answer. His preference? Chocolate-covered Kettle potato chips, which were transformed into clusters and folded into vanilla ice cream with salty caramel swirls in creating “Late Night Snack."

The idea to collaborate with Ben & Jerry's came about when Fallon and house band The Roots spoofed South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo by chanting about delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. A video of this skit, aptly titled Ladysmith Snack Mambazo can be seen here.

In addition to presenting Late Night Snack, the trio spoke about the importance of using Fair Trade products. Fair Trade supports fair wages, a safe work environment, sustainability for the land, animal husbandry and development for farming communities. Ben & Jerry’s pledged last month that their product line would be converted to Fair Trade certified by 2013.

In accordance with those ideals, the vanilla used in Late Night Snack’s ice cream and the cocoa used in the potato chip clusters are both Fair Trade-certified products. Cohen even sported a “Fair Trade” t-shirt under his jacket, flashing it to the crowd several times. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of the ice cream will go towards the Fair Trade Universities program to encourage the use of Fair Trade products on college campuses around the country. Cohen, Greenfield and Fallon were all incredibly excited at the opportunity to support the Fair Trade movement with their new ice cream flavor.

For video footage of the press conference and backstage interviews with the 3 men, check out this video provided by Bader TV News NYC: Late Night Snack Video

Thanks to Andrea Strong for the opportunity, and to Late Night Snack for showing me that even I, a lactose-intolerant dessert naysayer can enjoy ice cream! Have any of you tried Late Night Snack yet? What do you think?

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fun, Casual Comfort Food at Mooncake

I remember when I was a teenager, I used to babysit for the young daughter of our family friends in NYC. Before the parents would go out for the night they would hand me a stack of 100 menus and say "Order whatever you want for dinner." Since I grew up in Connecticut, this concept of food delivery was brand new to me. I was told that I could get a cheeseburger and fries brought right to the apartment, and it was like a whole new world was opened up to me.

Of course since then, the New York City delivery industry has been revolutionized by companies like SeamlessWeb, and now we have thousands of options at our fingertips. With almost every restaurant in Manhattan offering delivery, it's difficult to sort through the options to find the truly great places to order from. I order delivery more often than I'd like to admit, but because of this I consider myself somewhat of an expert. No restaurant has impressed me more than Mooncake Foods.

Dubbed as "Fun Casual Asian Comfort Food," Mooncake Foods has 3 locations in Manhattan-- Soho, Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea. Since I both live and work in Chelsea, I order from the West 30th & 8th Avenue location all the time. My absolute favorite thing on the menu is the Steak Kebab plate. Grilled red peppers & onions accompany flavorful chunks of steak over rice, all covered in a delicious peanut curry sauce. Yum! I also enjoy the Miso-Glazed Salmon and the Pulled Pork Sandwich with Curry Lime BBQ Sauce. Everything on their menu is the kind of food that warms your soul, both tasty and comforting.

If you're looking for some delicious delivery in NYC, check out Mooncake Foods, I promise you won't be disappointed.

What are you favorite delivery spots around NYC? Let me know, I'm always looking for new places.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Red Rooster Review on The Strong Buzz!

At the recent IACP Regional Conference in New York City, I had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Strong, Food Writer extraordinaire. She was on a Digital Writing panel at the conference, and when the panel was over, I went up to her and introduced myself. As an aspiring food writer myself, I knew this was one of the best people for me to talk to and learn from.

After the conference, we sent a few emails back and forth and I was honored when she took the time to read The Fabulous Foodie. When she asked me to review Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster for her website, The Strong Buzz, I was thrilled! Andrea is a very big name in food writing, and the opportunity to write for her is something I am incredibly exited about.
So, my wonderful readers, please click here to read my review of Red Rooster on The Strong Buzz. I'm very proud of it, and I hope you enjoy it. A special thank you to Andrea Strong for the opportunity, it means so much to me.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie