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
From what the organizers have said, The Pizzadelphia Pizza Festival is at least partially to put Philly pizza on the map. Now, as a New Yorker, you know Naples is the only city that even matters but that’s like saying France wins the world cup again. Update: that actually happened. Well maybe Philly is Croatia. Maybe they beat out Chicago in an upset and they are now in the finals. With slices from Pizzeria Vetri, Pizza Brain and the illusive Beddia, the line up is solid and the party is set to sauce mode. Some of Philly’s best DJ’s make it loud and the Vetri Community Partnership makes it good. If you are a pizza freak this weekend at the Navy Yard has your shirt stain waiting. Saturday, July 14th from 12 to 5:30pm in Philadelphia.
We’ve been talking a lot about tomatoes this month on the socials. The Killer Tomato Festival takes all that juicy, sweet talk and packs it up with an impressive chef line up and a musical act seemingly named for this convergence of nightshade lovers, G.Love and Special Sauce. By impressive we mean 33 local chefs and 4 visiting chefs all making tomato based dishes for you to taste. The food is backed by 20 mixologists from Atlanta’s best bars keeping this whole party well lubricated. The best part of the entire angry tomato theme is that in partnership with Georgia Organics, who’s mission is to connect organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families, they are helping locals eat better at home instead of just in restaurants. The king pin on the vine for all this is Chef Ford Fry who, besides his Atlanta restaurant dynasty tearing up top 10 lists for years, he has the distinction of Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurant of the Year. Not shabby on the kitchen chops we’d say. If you’re thirsty for some ‘matos and you’re local or visiting Atlanta, this might be your Sunday move. Sunday, July 15th from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M in Atlanta.
Meat Hook Sausage Company ran a Kickstarter about a year back but now the successful Brooklyn butcher has taken their star product beyond the shop and packaged it up in supermarkets near you. Near you if you live outside their Williamsburg epicenter but still in hipster distance. The real hook to these tubular treats is they cover the classics but run crazy with some more creative options. Much like the Ample Hills approach to sausage. You’ll find the classic Italian, Brats and even a hotdog on the straight side of the options. Then it breaks out with ridiculously exciting options. Try a Bacon Cheeseburger (exactly what you’d think it is) or
Big Trouble In Little Dumpling, everything a dumpling would have to be awesome just inside a casing instead of a raviolo. The list continues with Buffalo Chicken, Beet Roasted Onion Sausage (no it is not vegetarian), Chicken Tikka Masala Sausage, a Banh Mi and even the one that got them on the map in this game, a pork, pepperjack cheddar cheese, roasted jalapenos and Texas Pete hot sauce sausage named Long Dong Bud. If all this has made you’re non-NYC resident mouth water their is a solution to this, delivery just became available via Mercato. Considering the biggest grill day of the year is looming, we’d suggest an order is in…order.
We’ve loved the McKittrick Hotel since our first sneak peek before the fames Sleep No More ever performed once. The Punchdrunk team has now opened up The Attic and invited us to The Last Supper, a surreal time warp back to the 1960’s that boasts a hypnotic experience. Knowing this theater companies flair for the eerily awesome, there’s no doubt this night will be a head spinner you will remember for a solid decade. A few early reviews are available but leave a lot to the imagination. Our advice is not to click and be completely surprised by the journey that lies up in the attic. The dinner only runs until July 21st so you have to grab tickets as soon as you can. Don’t forget to wear your mid-century best or summon your inner Don Draper. Dressing the part always makes for more immersive fun. Now through August 4th in NYC.
The most impactful journey of my recent travels was meandering through Cuba in 2016 just as the country started opening up it’s doors to mass US travel. The Havana Film Festival New York’s closing film, Cuban Food Stories, touches a nerve and floods back many of those memories. The director, Asori Soto, calls it “a road-trip adventure all around the island to discover the most authentic flavors and stories behind the Cuban cuisine.” With access to remote parts of this culturally rich island nation, Asori goes beyond the cliches, Ropa Viejo and cigars to show us the kind of Cuba Cubans know. Beyond this film, there’s a whole incredible week of programming. In collaboration with Havana’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana Film Festival New York showcases Cuba, Latin American,Caribbean and Latino creators and their films in a light that makes for a multi-cultural experience for the Latino culture and more importantly, beyond. In other words, if you like film, this is for you. If you like food and film, closing night is on order. April 6th-17th in NYC. Cuban Food Stories is April 17th at 6:30PM in NYC
The World’s Fare is not only the best food pun for an event we’ve heard in a while. It’s a proper Queens food in Queens celebration of everything this glorious borough has to offer. Meaning the single most culture dense square footage in perhaps the world. With your ears and your tongue as your guide, the Fare will treat you to as many international bites and sips as you can muster while you listen to music from all corners of the globe. We’re talking Don Ceviche with a Modelo, D’Abruzzo and a Red Stripe or Rib-in-a-Cup and a New Belgium. If that’s not enough it’s going to be under a giant metal globe. Now you get the pun right? No Will Smith and giant alien bugs this time just tasty bites for 2 straight days. Snap up some tickets because this is bound to be the best trip around the world without leaving your backyard boro. April 28th-29th 12pm-9pm at Citi Field in Queens.
NYC Food Truck Fest promises a crazy line up of belly treats despite the out like a lion this month persists on roaring. Hosted by the largest curated market in New York, The Grand Bazaar NYC, they know a thing or two about bringing together amazing vendors, the trucks are so good we have to drop the list right here. Big D’s Grub Truck, Cousins Maine Lobster , Cupcake Carnivale, DUB Pies, The Empanada Sonata, Gorilla Cheese NYC, The Guac Spot, HAPA Food Truck, Los Viajeros Food Truck, Mac Truck, Meatoss Truck, Neapolitan Express, Saravana Bhavan NY, Stuf’d truck and Toum Food Truck will be prepped and ready to deliver tasty to your tongue all day. While you digest between truck visits there are over 80+ non-food vendors you can shop. Think antique and vintage dealers, artists, designers, craft-makers. We’re sure you’ll find a few goodies to stock up on in the massive indoor/outdoor sprawl. The good doesn’t end there. We dug a little deeper into this event and discovered the mission behind The Grand Bazaar and it only made us want to explore and buy more. The market profits benefit the 4,000 children in the neighboring four schools. It provides these kids with enrichment programs, books, supplies, teaching assistants, sports and chess programs. And, we love chess especially when there are sandwiches involved. This makes it eating you can be proud of. Hell, we’ll take it a step further and call it eating that makes a difference. Make a difference this weekend and stuff yo face like the great, kid loving, citizen you are. Sunday, March 25 at 10AM – 5:30 PM in NYC
Today is the perfect day to talk Sunday Beer. Not just because it’s the first day of the week but because here in NYC the mercury will not stay above 30 degrees. Sunday isn’t just another straight forward lager craft beer brand. To us it represents a little of that Sunday summer sun we so badly wish we had a ray of right now. We know this for many reasons but our favorite is that the first option on their website nav is not beer, it’s vibes. The story of where they brew and why they put it in cans is as good as my intro to this delectable beverage. Getting your hand son this easy drinking beauty is still a little tough. Available around Brooklyn, we fancy one with our Big Matt at Emmy Squared. A few spots in Manhattan are carrying this day of rest in a can, our go to chicken hit, Fields Good Chicken soon to be added to the list. As they expand distribution we’re guessing this spring every corner bodega will soon have a palette. For now you’ll have to slurp one up at one of these spots.
We missed Christmas with this one but figured it’s not too late to give ourselves a new years gift. The GrowlerWerks uKeg fixes a whole bunch of problems for us with the new beerland mania. We’re those peeps who like to sip at our craft beers over a week or two not guzzle them in a race to beat the carbonation monster. This has resulted in us dabbling in far less bespoke beer than we have access to. Especially now that we are in the Queens epicenter of beer making this beautiful growler system discovery will really change the game for us. Although it comes in two finishes, the copper is by far the more elegant and pish-posh of the two elevating not only the taste but the “I am a serious, dope-AF, beer dude” persona. We like that. Plus, makes the wife love to pour from it as well. They have a real hard time not playing with copper and gold finished objects these days. We’re going to put this thing through the paces at Queens Brewery and Finback for the new year and report back. (On the IG) Happy New Beer squad.
The name Village Schmaltzy really says it all but incase you’re not hip to the tribe we’ll break it down. The Jewish Food Society has mashed up Forking Tasty Suppers with The Moth under the lens of excessively sentimental Jewish tales. They say it best, dubbed kibbitzing and eating. MC’d by Mitchell Davis and programmed with 5 stories paired with 5 dishes, the night will be anything but guiltless. To prep your ears and palette consider an Egyptian Sofrito and story from Nir Mesika of Timna Restaurant, Pastrami Egg Rolls from Ed Schoenfeld of Red Farm OR Kasha Varnishkes from Stacey Harwood-Lehman. I think it’s safe to say their chutzpah will make us all more of a mentsh then when we arrived. Monday, November 6 from 7pm – 9pm in NYC
Washing down a big bite of food with a comparable gulp of wine has long been a top pastime of the whole FT Crew. So much so that we’ve come to know the difference between a 2 Buck Chuck and a grape grown in Montalcino. Although they both have a place in our wine cellar (read closet), learning more never hurts. The Brooklyn Wine Fest does this learning thing in the non-snooty, approachable, fun kind of way. I guess you’d expect this from a Brooklyn born wine festival but the legacy of stodgy wine makers is still a hard ship to turn. The organizers have broken these stalwarts down and curated a producers list that will make everyone punchdrunk happy. In addition to the 50+ wineries repping their grape juice there’s some on point food to help coat that belly. Heavy hitters like the Mac Truck, Luke’s Lobster and the Brooklyn Oyster Party, just to name a few, will help you savor every wine wheel tagged sip. Time management alert, the day is broken up into two sessions. (12-4 and 5:30-9) Our advice is, BIG brunch, go early, pace yourself, no spitting and stay until the sun is gone. You’ll be fine. Enjoy yourself and stop by Dandelion Wines post fest to try your new knowledge out. Lily and team will be waiting to help. Saturday, October 28th from 12-9:30 in Brooklyn.
Bitten is a conference, an event series, a pop up video series and a food story blog. All things we LOVE. Their “big show” takes place in a few weeks in NYC. It’s line up boasts some up and coming names in the food game. The likes of fellow supper club runner, Brian Bordainick (Dinner Lab) will be in the house along with Kimberly Chou (Food Book Fair) and heavy hitters like Dana Cowin, best known for her two decades as Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine. Coupled with all this food talk is a conversation on how it touches everything from high fashion to pop culture to insects lives. Think intellectual foodies soapboxing and waxing poetic in the best way possible. Friday, October 27th 8:30 – 4:30
In it’s 11th year the Food Film Festival never disappoints us. It’s not just because we get to eat and watch at the same time but because the films are always stellar both in story and production value. The idea that food pairs with movies just warms our hearts in way that only an ex-Dinema Supperclub runner could love the Food Porn Party, sorta just like it sounds. October 19th-22nd in NYC.
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. 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 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.