Have I got a treat for you! My NYU “Food Writing” class is here with info about fun food things to do in New York City. They’re each sharing a few links to some of the delicious moments they’ve had while working on stories for our class.
These students spend a lot of time doing pretty intensive weekly assignments. But the subject matter makes all the reporting, writing and reading more palatable. So in this post, each student has written up a little tidbit for you below. They have also included their Twitter info because I want to help them build their own audiences — please feel free to follow them.
Okay! Here we go…
Chris Wytenus (@chriswytenus on Twitter): Tequila is a trendy liquor right now and these Manhattan tequila bars are great places to learn how to sip and savor fine tequilas. They serve pure 100 percent agave tequilas and expertly crafted, innovative cocktails. La Biblioteca de Tequila (622 3rd Ave.) is literally a tequila library. Biblioteca stocks 400 different types of tequilas sourced from mostly small haciendas in Mexico. If you’re intimidated by the selection, the resident tequila librarian Courtenay can help you choose a bottle based on your flavor palette. Los Feliz (109 Ludlow St.) is another tequila bar that attracts a young, hip crowd, which isn’t surprising considering its Lower East Side location. In addition to its 150 different tequilas, there’s a full sit-down dinner menu. This place is very happening on the weekend. Then there’s Teqa (443 Third Ave.). In addition to tequila, it recently started introduced an extensive taco menu (with fillings like jalapeno teriyaki chicken and BBQ pork). Check out the cool décor here — there’s a chandelier made out of tequila bottles hanging over the entrance.
Courteney Rae Palis (@courteneygoy on Twitter): Look carefully when you’re buying your honey! The unobservant consumer can easily be tricked by “honey-flavored syrup” masquerading as pure honey, especially when both are sold in the same honey-bear shaped bottle. To ensure you’re buying the pure honey you’re looking for, read the labels on bottles and containers. There should only be one ingredient listed: “Pure honey!” You can find the real thing at farmers markets and places like Whole Foods. For a list of suppliers, you can also check out The Honey Locater.
Danielle Desmond (@dand3s on Twitter): The 85-year-old Feast of San Gennero is starting to attract upscale vendors. New York City’s biggest street fair, which is hosted in Manhattan’s Little Italy, has always served up Italian favorites like rolls with sautéed sausages and peppers and cream-filled cannoli. But in recent years, the sweet smell of fried zeppole dough has been joined by gyro, tacos and even pickles. And this past September’s San Gennero had more upscale vendors and fusion fare, including Torrisi Italian Specialties (248 Mulberry St.) and its Chinese “nachos” (crispy won-tons); the pop-up shop Byggyz (pronounced “Biggie’s”) with its sandwich of short-ribs braised in pomegranate juice and molasses; and Frito pie from L’Artusi (228 W. 10th St.).
Ellen Frankman (@ellenfrankman on Twitter): New Yorkers are hitting city parks to forage their own free food, straight from the earth. Despite backlash from park conservancies, foragers see their gathering as a sustainable and healthy way to diversify their diet and eat locally. Upscale restaurants are catching on to the foraging frenzy as well: Restauranteur Daniel Boulud has hired an in-house forager, Tama Matsouka, at his Upper East Side restaurant Daniel; “Wildman” Steve Brill offers bimonthly tours through Central Park while Leda Meredith runs shares recipes and info about her own tours in Brooklyn on her blog.
Hana Song (@hanaasong on Twitter): Get hot chocolate on a stick at Popbar (5 Carmine St.) or a cup of Mexican hot cocolate from the street vendor La Newyorkina (various locations throughout the city)!
Jamie Lee (@shopnchop on Twitter): Korean food trucks are gaining popularity and success, while customers are acquiring a liking for Korean food. Here are three to check out: KorillaBBQ, Bob & Jo and Kimchi Taco.
Kayla Harrington (@harringtonk1 on Twitter): Want a drink to go with the season? East Village bars are serving up seasonal cocktails for $15 or less. Try a Hot Chocolate car bomb at The Redhead (349 E. 13th St.). Or drop by The Belgian Room (125 St. Marks Pl.) for a Garden Gnome made of gin, vodka and orange with a Midori glass rinse. There’s also bacon-infused vodka and maple syrup at Please Don’t Tell (113 St. Marks Pl., inside of Crif Dogs hot dog shop).
Lauren Frankfort (@laurenfrankfort on Twitter): Erin Smith’s New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group gave me hope when all I could see were dry rice cakes of despair in my future. I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. This autoimmune disorder is triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, malt — aka everything delicious. I became panic stricken. Bagels are in my blood. Lucky Charms are breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert to me. Did you know that even soy sauce has gluten in it? Soy sauce. Then I found Smith’s group. Its 1,345 members share scrumptious food without fear during happy hours, lectures, and restaurant specials that all help educate and spread awareness. Eeven if you aren’t gluten-free, you most likely know someone who is; 1 percent of Americans have celiac while an even larger number are intolerant and sensitive.
Nancy Ryerson (@nancyjean19 Twitter) : Care about animals and the earth but just can’t give up meat? You might be a good candidate for the “flexitarian” lifestyle. Flexible vegetarians eat meat rarely but don’t give it up entirely. The term “flexitarian” was named the most important word of the year in 2003 by the American Dialect Association. And now in New York, more people can stick to their values while eating burgers by shopping at places that raise meat ethically and locally, like the city’s Greenmarkets. Some committed vegetarians think the whole “movement” is just an excuse to chow down on chicken (sometimes). Either way, the best thing to do is to eat as sustainably as you can. Here is an interesting pro-flex article and The Vegetarian Resource Group has helpful information.
Nicole Torres (@nicole90t on Twitter): After Hurricane Irene, New Yorkers who bought farm produce from Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs rallied around their devastated farmers. Even though each of these members of who were devastated by Hurricane Irene. CSA members organized fundraisers and collected donations. In October, the Essex Street Market CSA held a fundraising dinner for Angel Family Farm in Goshen, N.Y.
Wendy Wong (@ohlookfood on Twitter): Grilled cheese has been an American comfort food since the Great Depression. Back then, it was simply buttered white bread and melted American cheese. Now New York City’s food truck craze has inspired four businesses to hit the pavement with their own takes on the original. Gorilla Cheese, Morris Truck, Milk Truck and Food Freaks Grilled Cheese all debuted within the last year. Their creations, ranging from modernized classics to creations like gruyère with short rib and blackberry jam, are luring grilled cheese lovers out of their homes and onto the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan.