We love things in boxes. From shoes to toys to Apple products to stories, (That last one is a very obscure Magic Garden reference for our 70’s and 80’s born tribe.) our zeal redlines with every seal breaking, top flopping, layer sorting moment. It’s something about the first peek inside that makes our eyes widen and our knees knock like a school kid discovering an old milk crate of spray paint. Mix that with food and our vitals jump to a level we are some what slightly embarrassed to admit. Hence the rarely mentioned 2013 unboxing of a surprise bacon of the month delivery. When Luke’s Lobster announced their DIY lobster roll kits it took everything inside us to not drop to the food alter in the middle of 7th avenue and thank the seafood god (Crustaceous of course, right?) for the box bounty of sweet meat and firm, fresh buns that was now just a quick call or text away. We’ve been long time fans of Luke’s even collaborating on a stunted dinner series a few years back. Their expansion from NYC and Philly across the country and into Asia has been fantastic to watch. To think, that Maine fresh quality not only can make it across the world but to your kitchen table with the same perfection that you’d get in Kennebunkport is quite a herculean feat. Equipped with their secret recipe each box contains enough perfectly cooked knuckle and claw meat for 2 rolls, 2 fresh and non-soggy buns and a secret spice packet. We’re thinking summer party gift to augment the obligatory bottle of rose. Who doesn’t love the team that shows up with lobster rolls in tow. Crowdpleaser to say the least. Delicious food and a DIY craft. No one is better than you.
They had us at Murder Your Thirst. At first look Liquid Death Mountain Water seems like Johnny Rotten and Gwyneth Paltrow had an illegitimate tall boy. That still might be largely true but on second glance this is an anarchist’s letter to the perfectly pinkified, millennial, wellness, team member walking through Nomad sipping a CBD infused, Cha Cha Macha in their Sweaty Betty bottoms and color matched Lulu top post Pure Barre class on their way to a M N D F L session. We’re not hating, just maybe a little overtired of the strict, gentrified urban experience that’s all too polished around our office these days. People still work in factories. They still triple shift to feed their kids. They still fall off the wagon, smoke two packs of reds and show up for their 8am shift with their brain beating out of their skull. That is not to say that there’s not a middle ground to those two humans. It is to say, everyone needs to hydrate. That’s where Liquid Death Mountain Water levels the playing field with a beverage design that is as sensational as the people behind it. Every part of the experience has been carefully and perfectly thought through. You want to join the mailing list, no problem, just sign a contract to sell your soul. Not kidding. You want to know “About” why they created it? A word perfect description and philosophy explains everything including their intention to take their healthy water brand and help fund weird art, music, and entertainment that big corporate brands rarely will. They even made a righteous animated explainer video and then this fantastic PSA. As if all that was not enough for you to get on board the death hydration train and order up a case immediately, they even tweaked the “email sign up” toggle button in checkout to read; “I’d like to stay in the loop on news and special offers, just don’t bombard me with stupid bullsh*t”. There’s not much more for us to outline here except to hit their home page and click their FUCK YES buy button. Aces to the Liquid Death crew for this masterpiece.
As newish Queens residents, Bushwick is our Brooklyn backyard and they just kicked a ball over the fence that we need to bring back to those hipster kids. That ball looks like Taste of Bushwick, strutting into its 6th year, bringing such a strong line up that we just pasted the whole food linkage below. Archie’s Bar + Pizza, BKE Kombucha, Brooklyn Cider House, Brooklyn Crafted, Bushwick Food Cooperative, Bushwick Grind, City Bear BK, Dock Asian Eatery, Elisa’s Love Bites, Fine & Raw Chocolate, Glazed & Confused, Guadalupe Inn, GuS Soda, House Of Kava, House of Yes, Interboro Spirits & Ales, Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC), Le Garage, Pine Box Rock Shop, Precious Metal, Queen of Falafel, Sally Roots, The Sampler, Sazon Nuñez, Sea Wolf, Sey Coffee, Superlost Coffee, Syndicated, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tony’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, The V-Spot. That list fully covers every food base there is except maybe the Aperol Spritz itch (Mixed reviews. Thumbs down. Thumbs up.) but they have been banned in Bushwick since 2015 anyway. If that’s not enough for one day, the after party rolls on at Pine Box Rock Shop after nine. Slow your roll and hang with the cool kids until way past your Upper East Side bed time. June 10th from 5:30-9pm in Brooklyn at The Brooklyn Cider House.
There is nothing better than a city party when the city people have left the city limits. If that party is thrown by some of our favorite food authorities things get even better. Mix in a few chalices’ of Stella sponsored brews and hard to open, easy to eat bi-valves and the shindig is lit. To push this rundown into Epicville, it’s on an island. Internet sticker it with a fancy hashtag and you’ve got The Infatuation #MemorialStay Party. Share with your friends fast because they rented out all of Oyster Island and are bringing in some BBQ to go with the seafood. These spots will go fast, if they are not gone already. Pack up your Hershel and grab a Babe for the ferry ride, unless you are planning on showing up with legendary swagger on your private yacht charter. Ohh you baller you. Sunday, May 26th from 2-6pm on Governor’s Island.
This weekend The World’s Fare comes back to its Citifield home for year two. We loved it last year. It continues to be a heartthrob now with 100+ food vendors representing what we think is almost as many countries. For years we’ve toyed with the idea of a world tour without leaving the five NYC Boros and The World’s Fare brings that vision closer to reality each year. In addition to the culturally focused food, there’s a World Market Bazaar hawking wares from around the globe, international music and dance performances and an international craft brew pavilion boasting 60+ selections. Some of the big hits we’re looking forward to are Balkin Bites, Mangalista and, of course, The Arepa Lady. She’s been a Queens staples for over 2 decades now, or at least it feels that way. Our favorite part of all this is that it sits adjacent to the old world 19xx world’s fairgrounds. A mostly abandoned set of structures often seen from you LIE jitney ride out to Long Island or of Men in Black fame. On the contrary, those willing to explore will find much more than ruins. The Queens Museum has lots of awesome things to see. My favorite is the miniature Manhattan on display. I can stare at it for hours picking out my old apartment buildings and hangouts. We recommend, load up on some snacks and then take a walk over, by the time you get back to the Fare you’ll be hungry enough for your round two. May 18th + 19th from 12pm-9pm at Citi Field in Queens.
I love a good backyard party. The fact is, I have not been throwing nearly enough of them in the past few years ever since my Brooklyn deck turned into a Queens backyard. That is not to place blame as much as it is to publicly say I am bringing them back this summer. If you don’t get an invite or if you prefer the professional chef version of this American past time, I have great news but it’s unfortunately not directions to my house. The two Franks, yes those Frankie Spuntino legacy guys, have just announced their 3rd annual backyard chef series. For those of you who live under a rock (aka. Deep Queens or the Upper West Side) Frank and Frank did some remodeling last year. They closed Prime Meats, their German steak house, and converted it into Franks. Confusing I know. Their reinvented spot is split between a wine bar and a trattoria. They also expanded the Frankie’s Spuntino dining room which allows for a new and improved backyard scene. All this means that this years line up has some new space and some new ingredients, or accouterments, to play with. The guest chefs include some of my favs like Angie Rito from Don Angie’s and Greg Baxtrom of Olmsted. A few out-of-towners are in the mix like the talented Kristian Baumann from Copenhagen’s Restaurant 108. The best part of all this is the entire evening is communal. From the welcome drinks to the long dining table you’ll make new friends at, things will get intimate. The spots at the table will fill up fast so make sure you pick a chef and grab up some seats before your only option is a useless attempt at a remake in your friend backyard alley, a $6.99 Walmart mini- bricket bbq and a 6-pack of canned rose. May 15th thru September 25th in Brooklyn.
The NYC Hot Sauce Expo returns this weekend to heat up the borough once again with 50+ craft hot sauce makers. As always there is far more than the next hot sauce tasting to keep your burning tongue distracted. Aside from their marquee event, Guinness Book of Records Carolina Reaper Pepper Eating Contest, there will be more chihuahua’s under one roof than a Mexican cartoon kennel at the Chihuahua Beauty Pageant. Maybe the most off beat event at any food focused festival we’ve attended. We’re especially looking forward to finding out what the Volcanic Peppers Spicy Pizza of DOOM Challenge is and how we conquer it without killing ourselves. The event list deepens with everything from Hottest Ramen to Slaytanic Burrito contest to the prestigious Hot Sauce Hall of Fame inductions. We covered this back in 2016 and High River Sauces, the event sponsors, growth clearly has been massive, and inherently hot. With two full days of pepper craziness, prepare yourself. Fill your camelbak with some cold milk and pick up a jumbo loaf of Bimbo as you head to Greenpoint for the mouth burning mania. April 14th and 15th from 10am-6pm in Brooklyn.
Seems to us that Dessert Goals is much more than Instagram slang these days. Turns out they are real goals and Miraya Berke is helping the sweet tooth set achieve them this month with her 6th annual New York event. We’ve been in the past and suffice it to say there is no disappointment in the sweets dept. This year the line up is deeper than ever with showings by some of our personal favs Dough, Kouklet and Oddfellows. We love a good food festival but a special call out on this story to Miraya for being such an event enthusiast. She’s a self proclaimed event planner since 10. That passion led her to start Pop Productions, an event studio focused on experiences combining food, film or family. With events for Airbnb, Kiva and Northside Festivals under her belt she birthed two of her own events. The aforementioned Dessert Goals and the the quirkiest of film fests we’ve ever discovered, Rom-Com Fest. We love seeing people ride their passion into their day jobs. Props to Pop and Ms. Berke. Back to her weekend of sweets, we suggest you book an appointment with your dentist and find your way to Queens. March 23rd + 24th at 12pm in LIC, Queens
It’s safe to say coffee culture is a habit rivaling the crack epidemic of the 90’s. A harsh but not accidental comparison. We dubbed it “New Joe City”. Playing the finest supply and demand game, The Barisieur Brewing Alarm Clock wakes you up with a beep and an olfactory, pavlovian trigger known as warm caffeine. Disguised in a gorgeous and meticulously crafted wood exoskeleton, a series of modern electronics and intricate micro-plumbing converge to deliver a morning kickstart like none other. Originally a crowdfunding idea by designer Joshua Renouf, this alarm clock concept launched his design company Barisieur. In his words, the studio is a brand driven by design, experience and exceptional quality. Currently the coffee clock is the companies only product but we’d guess they have other lines in the works. A toothbrush that makes you a breakfast burrito OR a wind-proof umbrella that calls you an uber would be a nice next move. Just sayin’.
Every year the editors at Bon Appetit compile their top 10 restaurants in America. Then they hold a grand ol’ chef and food insider party celebrating their list. If rubbing elbows with the Foodie elite is your thing or you just like the idea of eating the best food in America, according to one of those aforementioned tastemakers, then the Bon Appétit Hot 10 Party is totally your scene. Snapping up a tier 1 ticket gets you unlimited food and drinks which is a great start BUT if you’re attending you might as well really go big. The VIP package gives you a special entrance (no queuing), early access to all the food, some mingling time with the chefs so you can drop that sous vide story you’ve been dying to use and a special Hot 10 alumni restaurant in addition to the 2018 team. That should hold you over with stories when commanding your next dinner party. If you just want to party and forget the food (which we’re not sure why you’d choose that) a quick $25 bucks gets you into the after party. October 17th at 6:30 in Brooklyn, NY.
It’s late. Your buddy accidentally ate some potent edibles. You peer into your bright, empty refrigerator with a gape that only says one thing. “Where’s the beef?” Normally at 2am you’re SOL until your Key Food opens at sunrise but, if you live close to what we consider the greatest vending machine invented since Sprinkles cupcake ATM, you’re in major, grill-it-now, satiate those gourmet munchies, luck. That’s right 24/7 of prime cut beef on demand all from a little, smart, butcher called Applestone Meat Company. The Meat Vending Machine interior spins displaying the various cuts like diamonds in the windows of 47th street. You don’t even need your wallet just your phone with an Apple and Android Pay integration. This means you can Instagram your purchase in real time bragging to whoever is still awake. Prices vary depending on the cut and the size just like non-robot meat purchasing. We’d recommend going big and pricey because if your standing in front of this machine in pajamas it’s a major meat mission and why skimp now? Apparently, this gets confusing so the guys over at Applestone made this helpful video. We’re so psyched about this we’ve contemplated the 111 mile drive just to experience this merry-go-round of meat first hand. Look for an update on this post once we finally make that move. For now, those closer have a real innovation on their hands. We just hope this spreads far and fast so the rest of the carnivore night owls can share in the on-demand fun.
If we stand for anything, it’s dinner. The more special the more better. When we discovered Mark Ladner, pasta making magician of Del Posto and Lupa fame, was celebrating his one year anniversary of his fast-casual Pasta Flyer with a supper series we we’re psyched to say the least. An already high-rotation, week day, post-workout, dinner for us because of the incredible value Mark and team bring to the literal table…Secret best meatballs in city, secret great wines by the glass…he’s crafted this dinner series with some of his best chef friends. From the likes of Mario Carbone to Maialino’s Nick Anderer to Barbara Lynch (who has the best oyster bar in Boston amongst her food dynasty) the menu creations are bound to be off the chain. We’re not sure what we’re most excited about. Two Italian’s in the same kitchen or a food storyteller augmenting the current Pasta Flyer menu. It looks like this was a Resy and Applestone collab too. Props to them as we recently were swooned by the 24/7 butcher. Tickets will undoubtedly go quick so make a move briskly. September 26th through November 7th in NYC.
F+B robots are coming at us this week like Rosie when George Jetson gets home from work. On the heels of the Creator burger restaurant, Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas (No shock that a grain alcohol, cocktail making, robot lives in the city of sin) will mix a drink you ordered through your other robot, your phone. See what’s happening here? Robot to robot. Of the extensive Vegas curated menu our clear favorite was the Bionic Bomb. This 28oz frozen cocktail starts with some raw white refined sugar in the form of something they call Passion Berry to get you good and wired. Next they up the ante and sugar taste with none other than the grandmomma of flavored vodka, Stoli Razberi. You gotta respect that Z. Remembering this is Vegas the final robotic, precision pour is 4oz of Cruzan 151 Rum to float this fribble and your sobriety to all but a memory. Did we mention it comes in a Tipsy Robot Souvenir Cup? Yeah, that happens. We were curious what, or who really, was behind this autonomous bartender, so we did some digging. Turns out, the Italians. Seriously, The Makr Shakr, as the white label robot is called, was designed by Carlo Ratti Associati out of Torino, Italy, the birthplace of Vermouth for those who are down with the Negroni. Carlo Ratti Associati specializes in design and innovation, and now I guess robotics. Or, maybe, that’s the innovation part. I imagine the teams beta tests were Aperol Spritz’s and Negroni’s instead of the freebase drinks the Tipsy Robot is pouring in Nevada. Jokes aside, this team has created projects like Supermarket of the Future and Paris navigating Gym (a boat that runs on spin cycle bike power) which is to say, some awesome projects. When we realized they weren’t cucks we really started loving what they created regardless of its location or application. Considering all that, maybe one more Bionic Bomb is not a bad idea. That’s either innovation talking or the 151.
We love robots so much we all carry one in our pocket. Creator has invented the first burger making robot and it’s freaking awesome. Currently staged as more of a POP-UP in San Francisco than an actual full-fledged restaurant, patrons buy tickets to the restaurant waiting their turn to build their own burger OR rather, tell the robot what burger to build. A stunning store design with the visual “making” front and center (obviously) makes for a communal and interactive experience. The founder and CEO, Alex Vardakostas, says he employs the same amount of people as traditional restaurant the difference is that more staff can focus on the customers instead of cooking. The robot has that covered. As long as the team is friendly and engaged, unlike some NYC Duane Reade employees I’ve recently suffered through, this model is an amazing potential for bringing the human experience back into a app driven, delivery and pick up riddled existence. We always thought food should be fun and shared. Creator might just have invented the backlash to quick, autonomous, fast-casual, food service. August in San Francisco.
Knights of the Raj NYC is an immersive peek into the history of NYC curry cuisine. To understand why this is a fascinating visit to Brooklyn’s MOFAD that will feed your mind as well as your stomach, we need to back up to the origins of the Knights of the Raj and the curry uprise in Britain. The “Knights” started as an homage to those who are responsible for bringing curry to Britain in the first place, the Bangledeshis. aka, the East Pakistanis or British Indian Muslims, depending on what year you are focused on when discussing the topic. A short history of India seems necessary. The British Raj, as Britain was known, occupied India between 1858 and 1947 until “partition” emancipated India and Pakistan from British rule. The handy work of Brit Cyril Radcliffe drew new borders with the goal of dividing Pakistan and India so that the Muslim and Hindu populations were not disturbed. FAIL on Cyril’s part. Known as the Radcliffe line, this ridiculous re-bordering made a split country of Pakistan creating two wings, east and west, with India in the middle. This also caused 14 million Muslims and Hindus to flee across new borders when they discovered they were in the wrong country. This duo of Pakistans only lasted until 1971 when a revolution in East Pakistan due to civil disobedience led to the war of independence resulting in the new state of Bangladesh. Whew, ok…That brings us back to Banglideshis migrating from their newly formed country that was experiencing famine, poverty and military coups to Britain. Along with this they obviously brought their food and curry started to make its way into the British culture as an exotic dish. Fast forward to modern day and Britains national dish declared curry and rice, you can image the impact the Knights of the Raj have had in a short 50 years. With 30,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, The Knights stories start with the first Bangladeshis settling in Birmingham and spreading across Britain. Curated by artist Mohammad Ali The Knights of the Raj NYC is a continuation of the British story and Bangladeshis landing in New York. Included in the visit are Immersive Arts Experiences, Walk-In Diorama, Live Performances, and a Three-Course Sampler Menu of Bangladeshi Street Foods and British-Style Curries. July 20th – August 5th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm in Brooklyn, NY