One can always tell Easter is here by the endless rows of pastel colored marshmallow animals in stores like Duane Reade. The affectionately named candy I’m talking about called Peeps usually take over shelves for a few weeks- just long enough to give the kiddies toothaches and cavities.
Recently, the Bouchon Bakery in Manhattan has decided to play copy cat, but with a twist. The bakery has created Peep-inspired lollipops. It’s pretty much a Peep on a stick, but one side is made out of white chocolate. They definitely look cute, but I think the white chocolate is a bit much- a marshmallow covered entirely in sugar doesn’t really need chocolate (but hey, who am I to judge?) They’re available through Easter Sunday, but at $3.50 each, I’m sure only true fans of Peeps will venture out to score one of these.
Here in New York, one can find a hot dog stand on any given corner at almost any given time. However, in different parts of the country, your odds of finding a hot dog stand are slim to none- and we won’t even discuss the odds of finding a gyro stand. I’d love to see one of those in like Iowa or Oregon.
With the economy affecting so many all over the world, people are coming up with new and innovative ways to make money. In Bandera, Texas, the Guajardo family has definitely come up with a recession-proof way of paying the bills: selling hot dogs. The town, which has a population of around 957, has never seen a hot dog stand. Because of this, it only seems natural that out of boredom and sheer curiosity, the residents visit the one and only stand. And that is how the Guajardos manage to earn around $1,150 a week.
When the dessert tray comes around, don’t you ever feel like you want just one bite of everything you see? You’re not even hungry enough for an entire pastry—though you usually manage to eat every bite anyway. New Yorker Melissa Bushell left a boring career in advertising to devise a solution.
Introducing Baked by Melissa, a mini-cupcake shop in SoHo that looks more like a lemonade stand than a bakery. There are seven varieties of quarter-sized treats to choose from, including peanut butter cup, s’mores, cookies and cream and red velvet. The pick-up window at 529 Broadway (and Spring) sometimes draws a line wrapped around the corner. With a minimum purchase of three cupcakes, (for $3,) you’re forced to try at least three flavors.
The Time Out Eat Out Awards were handed out last night at Le Poisson Rouge. Although I can’t help but compare the ceremony to those pre-school intramural games of my youth - it seems that pretty much every recently opened restaurant in the city got an honor. But, admittedly, it’s kind of hard to exclude a place with categories akin to “Best new bakery at 207 Second Ave” (gratz Momofuku Milk Bar). In any event, the people have spoken, check out the list below.
Susur Lee – “Best chef without boundaries”
Ippudo NY – “Best justification for the ramen craze”
Bespoke Chocolates – “Best sweet revenge”
Cabrito – “Best new Mexican” (The Cabrito team also takes honors for best acceptance speech: “We’re both very drunk and have nothing to say”)
Convivio – “Most seductive use of carbs”
Motorino – “Best new artisan pie”
Sweet Revenge – “Best case against cupcake backlash”
Kyo Ya – “Best Japanese speakeasy”
Char No. 4 – “Best reason to declare your love for barbecue and bourbon”
Walter Foods – “Best nouveau chophouse”
West Branch – “Best crowd-pleaser”
Abraço – “Best cult coffee”
Sushi Azabu – “Best new sushi joint"
Eton – “Best new dumplings”
Sycamore – “Best bar for a gin blossom”
Simon Sips – “Best dining on a budget”
22-year-old Boston resident Andy Ghobrial has filed an article against his native town of Brookline that would require every food service business in the area to post calorie counts for all items on their menu. Honestly, I think it’s a fantastic idea. If passed, Brookline would be the first community in the nation with such a law, hopefully followed by countless more.
In a nation that holds the highest rate of obesity, the more health education the better. When asked about the impetus for his idea, Ghobrial stated “This new proposal is aimed at helping individuals see and learn the amounts of calories they consume when they go out. It is about education, so we as a society can help curb this obesity epidemic.” The best way to fight a problem is to spread preventative and enlightening knowledge…or twitter about it.
Chocoholics behold the miracle that is modern science. No longer must you confine your love for Godiva to sketchy back alleys, rock concerts and locked bathrooms. Harvard professor David Edwards and his students have created the world’s first chocolate inhaler. Nope, I’m not kidding. Drawing deep breath from the invention induces a burst of chocolate flavor (mint, raspberry, mango, and milk chocolate), sans any pesky additions, like calories or sustenance.
According to Mr. Edwards, “Over the centuries we've been eating smaller and smaller quantities at shorter and shorter intervals. It seemed to us that eating was tending toward breathing, so, with a mix of culinary art and aerosol science, we've helped move eating habits to their logical conclusion. We call it whiffing." And here I was thinking that the logical conclusion of eating was nourishment, my mistake.
Urgent message for all of our readers in Astoria: Clear your culinary calendar for Saturday, the 30th of May. We know it’s a little far in advance, but to celebrate their 50th anniversary, the longstanding pizzeria Rizzo’s is offering a special that’s worth mentioning now; Sicilian slices for fifty cents! That’s two Sicilian slices for a dollar. (Unfortunately, they are limiting it to two slices a customer, so don’t plan on camping out there all day).
In the month and a half or so proceeding that highly-anticipated day, there will be many other decent 50-cent specials, but none quite so enticing as the May 30th grand finale. For example, staring this Saturday, April 11 to April 24, you can get either four garlic knots or a small salad for fifty cents. Than, from Saturday May 9 to May 29 the restaurant will be serving up gelatis, Italian ices, and canolis for just 50 cents. It seems the underlying theme is that since they’ve been around for 50 years, the specials cost 50 cents.
Amy Bennett, the owner and operator of the Greene Grape wine store, knows how to put on for her city - or rather, for her state. And for this, her Brooklyn-based wine shop was awarded the coveted New York State Wine and Spirit Retailer of the Year.
Bennett is an ardent proponent of New York wines - and sells an overwhelming amount of them at her shop. Sometimes when you walk into a wine store in NYC you’ll literally find two, maybe three bottles of New York wine on the shelves, which is unfortunate because there should be more of an appreciation for wines from our home state. This isn’t the case at all at the Greene Grape (spelled Greene because of its location in the Fort Greene neighborhood) which offers its customers a membership in the “New York Cork Club.” Upon joining, members receive bottles of two different New York-made wines each month. According to the Brooklyn Paper, this month’s ‘New York Cork Club’ consisted of a merlot from Bedell Cellars on Long Island and a Riesling from Anthony Road in upstate New York.
Mary’s Fish Camp
Price Range: Cheap to Moderate
64 Charles St.
(at West 4th Street)
New York, NY
Bringing a new meaning to fresh fish, Mary’s Fish Camp is serving up seafood and its counterparts in the West Village. Known for their large helping of lobster roll, Mary’s is a small neighborhood restaurant catering to wandering locals. The quaint environment draws from the surrounding blocks with relaxing light blue walls and an inviting environment with seating at tables and the stainless steal counter.
Though the author of this blog doesn’t really care who wins tonight’s NCAA college basketball final, he feels it’s his duty to inform you, the reader, that Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio will be watching the game at Halfsteak (85 10th Avenue, New York NY 10011) Being a longtime Tar Heel fan, Colicchio has promised to give a free drink to anyone wearing the Carolina baby blue every time the Heels make a three-pointer.
For those who just want tasty, affordable food, the mouth-watering Half Steak with Fries ($14.50) really hits the spot. Just make sure you’re not accidentally wearing Michigan State colors when you order.