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.
More Experience Events
There’s been a lot of breakfast for dinner this year and it’s only March. Building on the success of Choice Eats, the Village Voice peeps bring us Brunch Eats. As you’d expect, breakfast is prepared one evening by 20+ top restaurants and bakeries. Your ticket gets you a taste of all of them as well as breakfast cocktails and music. Note on the cocktails, since breakfast IS at dinner time, the 2 mimosa rule is lifted allowing you to indulge as if it was dinner time. Wait…it is dinner. If it’s anything like Choice Eats this will sell out. Snap your tickets up quick. May 11th from 8pm-10pm @ the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in NYC.
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.
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.