Here at FT HQ, we’re used to chicken of the fried, roasted, baked, and, well, eaten variety. But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk up the alternatives, like David Ezra Stein’s “Interrupting Chicken”, an illustrated story-within-a-story book geared towards the sleepy little chicks in your life. Let’s hope this funny, not-so-cautionary tale about a young chicken named “Chicken” who can’t stop interrupting his bedtime story succeeds in easing your clutch into quick and uninterrupted slumber instead of, well, the opposite. If, on the other hand, you’re reading this to your brood in Bushwick after a drink and draw, all bets on sleep are off. You know as well as we do you’ll finish the story at Roberta’s.
It’s been five elections now since 7-Eleven started this brilliant campaign. This year dubbed “7 Election”, customers show their support for their favorite candidate by choosing the appropriate Speak Up Cup. It’s as simple as that. End of the day — they count the cups and gauge American’s sentiment. I’m not sure Hil and Trump pay much attention to the convenience store’s stats but I’ve always thought it was a smart way to see a non-partisan, anti-bloated government, data set. Plus, you wind up with a hot cup of coffee when done voting. From what we can figure out, this year, stats are being hosted on The Onion. Kinda weird they don’t have their own website but, hell, The Onion makes sense…I guess. Get out there America, it’s your birthright. Morning coffee that is. Voting is good too.
If you’re a proper NYer you know the part a “slice” plays in your daily borough to borough maze run. We’ve written about the necessity of this iconic mainstay extensively. Since we’re kids the price for this necessity has seen a 1000% increase. Enter the recent trend in $1 slice joints. Slice Out Hunger takes the price of old, the best pizza places in NY and a HUGE charity angle on creating their Annual Dollar Slice Night. Fifty of the best NYC pizza makers under one roof for one night of a pizza party unseen since the first Napolitano’s landed on Ellis Island. 100% of proceeds benefits New Yorkers in need. We’ll be there with a bib on. Hope to see you. Wednesday, October 5 from 6pm-8pm in Soho, NYC.
Don’t let the name fool you — the Phuket Vegetarian Festival may be the most hardcore festival we’ve ever heard of. While veggie-friendly eats do play a role in this firecracker-friendly affair on Thailand’s largest island, this nine-day religious festival is really known for its ceremonies that include acts of self-mutilation and face and body piercing with knives, stakes, and household items by entranced mediums — called mah song — who parade through the city in outfits of white. While these and other rituals like firewalking, bladed ladder climbing, and bathing in hot oil may make you cringe, they demonstrate a belief that the gods will heal any wounds and are part of a larger goal of purification that includes abstinence from sex, alcohol, and meat. But don’t worry — like any good festival, this one doesn’t forget the food, and je, special vegetarian dishes marked by red and yellow signs, is one festival tradition that’s easy to stomach. Although you may encounter a bleeding mah song or two as you chow down, that will be the only surprise — apparently je tastes just like the meat-based classics. October 1-9 in Phuket, Thailand.
I’m of the philosophy that if you’re not lucky enough to be currently eating cheese, you may as well as be thinking about the next cheese you’re going to eat — a little advance preparation never hurt anyone, right? And if you’re spending your time thinking about the next cheese you’re going to eat, then it better be something more exciting than your weekly ration of chèvre from the grocery store. (Although I do love you, weekly ration of goat cheese from the grocery store.) What better way to think about the next cheese you’re going to eat than with a handy and oh-so-pretty visual guide? Enter the Charted Cheese Wheel, this cheese-shaped cheese chart of the 65 best pressed curds of milk from around the world is for both the established and aspirational experts among us. Not seeing some of your faves? (I’m looking at you, époisses). The chart’s tiny drawings, color coding, and category breakdown will help you expand your aged milk horizons. I, for one, am going to shake up my weekly dairy run with some new varieties of goat cheese. I wonder if my grocery store carries pantysgawn? (Trust me, just click the link).
We’ve always admired Forever 21 for their super fast to market, on trend, dirt cheap clothing and accessories. This line of craveable Food Wrist Watches calls for a time out. We, of course, would opt for the center image so that it’s always pizza time o’clock in our dough filled, tomato sauce world. Although, donut time is also not a bad alarm to wake too. Enough of the time jokes. Go ahead and scarf these up online but it’s much more fun to go into a store and try them all on, trust us.
Speaking of marrying two life passions (see Wednesday’s post) today we bring that idea a little closer to home. This week Google announced Google Trips, it’s obviously named travel app. Here at FTHQ, we love nothing more than eating new delicious food with new interesting friends. So, this could come in handy. We’ve tried to go digital with our travel details but never found a place we can keep everything at our finger tips especially when not connected to the internet after landing in some rando city with crazy high roaming charges (thanks Lima). Up until now, we’ve cobbled together some Foursquare lists and Google MyMaps hoping we’d be able to access both our curated food notes and location info. There’s usually a fail at some point in the trip. Enter Google Trips App (iOS and Android, of course). The promise is “everything where you need it, no internet necessary”. If you look close you get a sneak peek of where we’re headed for our next gastro-adventure. We’re excited to give it a go. We’ll report back.
Good food is like gold to us. When we happened upon GoldieRox’s mash-up of these two coveted items we knew we had to share. Roxanne Rajcoomar, as she’s more formally know in the world of precious gems, made a move few people have the guts and self-awareness to call their life. After reaching the 1% in the precious jewels knowledge game, she jumped ship to feed her soul. That food just happened to be food. It’s no wonder the output from her world eating tour, getting back to her love of food, netted this Burger Locket Pendant and an equally awesome French Fry necklace. I think her old job and refound love make quite the happy meal. Judging by the package from the UK on my coffee table @MissusTasty feels the same.
An otherworldly drink is your future, at least if it comes from Tarot of Cocktails, a deck of 30 recipe cards that promise to add some spirit to your…spirits. Created thanks to funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign, the cards have an ethereal, tarot-inspired layout featuring cocktails with names like “The Violet Twilight,” “Seer of Dreams,” and “Blood and Smoke” to make you feel like you’re communing with another world (the alcohol may help, too). The cards are mortal-friendly and aren’t meant for official divination purposes BUT we like picking a random card and letting the concoction in question predict the night ahead. We’re willing to bet that the buzz from Queen of Bees portends a better evening than The Withering Vine. But really, what do we know? It’s all in the cards, and what we see in the cards are some darn good drinks, whatever destiny awaits you.
You may think that here at FTHQ, we’re partial to utensils of the four-pronged variety, but we generally appreciate any and all cutlery that helps us deliver food into our perpetually hungry mouths. And although we’ve been known to nearly jump up-and-down in excitement about all kinds of eating instruments — knives, salad tongs, corn-on-the-cob holders, you name it — it’s been a while since tableware has gotten us as excited as these 100% edible and biodegradable utensils from Bakeys. With funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign and an aim to provide a viable alternative to the billions of plastic utensils thrown into landfills every year, Bakeys Edible Cutlery has it covered when it comes to usability and sustainability. Turns out sorghum, an environmentally-friendly crop you may have never heard of, seems to be the magic ingredient. Not only does sorghum allow Bakeys to produce 100 edible spoons with the same energy required to make a single plastic one, it also prevents the utensils from degrading in liquids — a particularly important fact for the environmentally-conscious ice cream enthusiasts among us.
According to us, there are two plans of attack for the insane amount of java you will encounter at The New York Coffee Festival, an event as hyped up as its theme: 1. pace yourself, imbibe cautiously, and drink responsibly or 2. do nothing of the sort and guzzle as much of the unlimited joe as you can. We suggest option two, and with good reason. We’ve never seen an event lineup more worthy of our favorite bean than this annual NYC event. Also, in case you missed it (did you miss it?), we said unlimited coffee. With the best of the best baristas and vendors on site, they won’t be your average cups of joe, either. That extra buzz you get will be put to good use at the event’s packed roster of coffee demonstrations, coffee workshops (go ahead, try to make a better brew than that famous barista teaching you how to do it), coffee-inspired music and art, and, what we’re most excited about, Coffee Masters New York. This is where 16 baristas will go head-to-head in a caffeine-fueled competition with challenges including latte art, signature drink creation, and taste identification. In case you want to proactively ward off any post-festival shakes, there will be street food and martinis infused with, uh, coffee. We warned you that there’d be a lot of coffee, didn’t we? Good thing you’d already decided to go with that “guzzle unlimited joe” option. September 16-18 in NYC.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream made with the Soft Shell Ice Cream Ball, a product from YayLabs!. It combines two of our favorite summer pastimes, ice cream and ball games. Pleasing to both artisanal ice cream aficionados and more casual ice cream enthusiasts alike, the Soft Shell Ice Cream Ball embodies the highbrow/lowbrow dichotomy in a way that only a homemade ice cream maker that looks like your average, everyday kickball could. Fight the been-there-done-that end-of-summer slump by bringing it on all of your adventures and shaking, tossing, rolling it until you get the smooth and creamy ice cream you had previously been too intimidated to make on your own (and it only takes 20 to 30 minutes!). We urge you to proceed with caution, however — you don’t want anyone mistaking your next batch of strawberry-blueberry ice cream for their next dodgeball weapon.
Next Saturday replicate your favorite Dough Donut out of felt. OK, you can make other sweets besides Dough Donuts I’ve just been off the sugar for 2 months now and damn it’s calling me back. Brooklyn Craft Company just moved from the Pencil Factory to their very own storefront, also on Greenpoint Avenue. Besides crafting a beautiful little shop they launched a whole slew of new classes. The Needle Felted Desserts class is only one of many BUT certainly the one that got our attention. Our resident critic, @missustasty signed up tout suite. You should too. Saturday, September 17 from 3pm-6pm in Brooklyn.
If we say the words “East River State Park” and “food” in one sentence, any foodie worth his or her salt (heh) will immediately think of Smorgasburg, the outdoor food bonanza that has been drawing hordes of hungry food lovers to the Brooklyn waterfront since 2011. But for one Sunday this September, those words will take on new meaning — Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint is taking over Smorgasburg’s regular Saturday digs to show off the culinary chops of the area with a full roster of exclusively North Brooklyn eats. It’ll feature longtime faves like Meatball Shop, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, and Brooklyn Brewery along with some neighborhood newbies that you may not have heard of. But don’t worry, in case you have any doubts about local authenticity, of the 50+ vendors who will be showing their stuff, we’ve counted nine whose names include the word (you guessed it) “Brooklyn.” That’s some pretty legit stuff. September 18 at 1pm in Brooklyn.
We’re going to let the book jacket write this one for us because it’s succinctly so many things we live for. The Mad Feast is a richly illustrated culinary tour of the United States through fifty signature dishes, and a radical exploration of our gastronomic heritage. We’re kinda obsessed with dishes that define cities and states. Matthew Gavin Frank does just that and digs in the history of each to boot. If you follow the Drool List, you know we’re entering travel season. This one makes us want to dust off the luggable loo and mount up the truck for an epic cross country zig zag…again.
We can’t wait for the porking tasty (see what we did there?) good time we’re gonna have at Pig Island, NYC’s definitive pork fest, where the hogs come from small local farms, the chefs are top-notch. The eats are crazy, as in, crazy good and plain old crazy. Especially if you’re not in the habit of consuming obscure cuts of pork on the regs. Where else is it possible to eat locally sourced pig head tacos and crispy pig ear lettuce wraps in the same meal? But if that’s not exactly your jam, don’t worry, there will be lots of tamer fare to pig out on, too. Although we wouldn’t exactly call last year’s bacon banana bread with caramelized bacon “tame.” If you’re still not convinced, maybe the all-inclusive ticket with unlimited pork and free-flowing beer, wine, and cider will push your to snap up a ticket. So go ahead — go completely hog wild. Saturday, September 10th from 11:30am to 4pm in Brooklyn.