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Friday, May 30, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: Award of Excellence, New Tasting, Free WiFi on the High Line and Brooklyn News.


  • Another year, another award: Foods of NY Tours has again received a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor for 2014, where we are currently ranked #8 in activities on the travel site.  A HUGE Thanks to all of our staff and guide for making this possible! 
  • Central Village/SOHO tour gets a new tasting: After a long search last weekend Foods of NY Tours rolled out a brand new tasting (on weekends) at the most recent outpost for TOLOACHE TAQUERIA on Thompson street.  For our sit down portion of the tour Toloache will be serving a Bohemia-Braised Brisket Taco with Rice & Beans.  This "taco from the gods" is filled with Bohemia Beer braised brisket blanketed with a fresh tomatillo salsa and drizzled with horseradish crema, all nestled snugly in a warm corn tortilla.  This signature dish was created by head Chef Julian Medina, a Mexico City native and Iron Chef competitor.  Tour attendees will have the opportunity to pair their taco with a selection of various margaritas or sangrias.  Click on a link for the Taco recipe, if you want to make it at home.


  • The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Dining Adventures: With warm weather around the corner, the beach shacks and the outdoor markets are all reopening for the season. Here's a round up of six great places for weekend excursions and outdoor eating. Some are by the beach, some are in the city, and one can only be accessed by boat, but all of them have at least a few new things to offer.
  • Banksy Sums Up His NYC Residency In This Short Video: Banksy, with this little video narrated by his voice butler, or whoever that guy is who narrates his stuff, summarizes his NYC residency last October—which he calls "a city wide full contact game of hide and seek"—from his own self-effacing perspective. The video also reveals Vandal Squad officer Verez's digits (he left his calling card at many spots Banksy hit up), as well as the artist's ALLEGED age (38).
  • Passes Are No Longer Needed at 9/11 Memorial: The National September 11 Memorial is now truly open — unimpeded and permanently — to the public. Ticketing has ended. Reservations have ended. Waiting for hours in snakelike lines has ended. Beginning on Thursday afternoon, not long after President Obama left the museum, which he had helped dedicate, visitors were permitted simply to enter the eight-acre memorial plaza from Liberty Street or Vesey Street. Just like that.

  • City Health Department to slash fines to restaurants by $4.1M in new budget year: The city Health Department plans to slash fines doled out to restaurants by $4.1 million in the new budget year, officials told a City Council hearing Tuesday.  They projected collecting $30 million for health code violations in the year that starts July 1 - down from $34.1 million this year.  The decrease reflects, in part, a new approach by Mayor de Blasio toward regulating restaurants and other small businesses. During the mayoral race, de Blasio complained that the city was overzealous in fining those businesses to raise revenue.
  • Everything New Is Old Again: Artisanal gefilte fish. Slow-fermented bagels. Organic chopped liver. Sustainable schmaltz. These aren’t punch lines to a fresh crop of Jewish jokes. They are real foods that recently arrived on New York City’s food scene. And they are proof of a sudden and strong movement among young cooks, mostly Jewish-Americans, to embrace and redeem the foods of their forebears. That’s why, at this moment in 21st-century New York, the cutting edge of cuisine is the beet-heavy, cabbage-friendly, herring-loving diet of 19th-century Jews in Eastern Europe.
  • Strange Brews: The Genes of Craft Beer: After thousands of years of unwitting domestication, brewing yeasts — the microorganisms that ferment a brewer’s tepid slop of grain, water and hops into beer — are as diverse as the beer they make. And now two research teams, from White Labs and a Belgian genetics laboratory, are mapping out their sprawling genealogy, creating the first genetic family tree for brewing yeasts and the beers they make.
  • Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwich Wars Cause All-Out Egg White Shortage: The quest for high-protein and low-cholesterol breakfast has led to something of an ever-escalating albumin arms race, causing every major fast-food player from Subway to Dunkin' Donuts to Jack in the Box to 7-Eleven to add egg-white sandwiches to menu boards. The final straw seems to have been McDonald's, which last year put together some "freshly grilled egg whites" and "extra lean Canadian bacon" and christened the results "Egg White Delight," a sandwich that has now apparently scrambled raw ingredient supply systems so thoroughly that we're all facing an unprecedented shortage of egg whites.

  • Ben’s Cream Cheese: A Favorite Wrapped in Mystery: When the gastronomes of America dream their farm-raised, barrel-aged, artisanal dreams, they aren’t usually envisioning a dingy strip mall a short drive west of the Tappan Zee Bridge.  But it is here, in Rockland County, that one of the tristate area’s culinary obsessions is conjured up behind a grate-covered storefront that’s identifiable only if you notice a modest little sign, taped to the front of a mailbox, that lets you know you’ve landed on “Ben’s Cheese Planet.”  This is the unlikely temple of the schmear. Many a New Yorker likes to greet the morning (or afternoon) with a bagel layered with a thick frosting of cream cheese, but for a certain kind of connoisseur, only Ben’s will do.  “I might go so far as to say it’s my favorite cheese,” said Rob Kaufelt, who sells it at his Murray’s Cheese shops around the city.
  • Make A Flaming Rum Omelette, "An Obscure Hidden Gem" From The 19th Century: Artist and writer Charles Green Shaw's "Bohemian Dinner" was recently republished at The Vault—part list and part poem, it quickly brings you through an evening in Greenwich Village in the 1920s, from the loose clothes and chemical wine, to the rum omelettes.
  • Stonewall Veteran, Drag King Icon Stormé DeLarverie Dies At 93: Stormé DeLarverie, a longtime member of the Stonewall Veteran’s Association and pioneer LGBT activist, died Saturday morning. DeLaverie was 93 years old.  The Bronx LGBTQ Center called DeLarverie the “Rosa Parks” of the gay rights movement in a statement Tuesday.
    • Historic LGBT Sites To Be Featured In U.S. National Park Service Initiative: The National Park Service is launching an initiative to make places and people of significance to the history of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual Americans part of the national narrative.  Jewell plans to announce the initiative on Friday at New York's Stonewall Inn, which was made a national historic landmark in 2000.
  • The Music Inn: Making Music in Greenwich Village Since 1958: Much has been written about the Greenwich Village of the 1960s and the changing face of Greenwich Village is forever in the news. But every now and then you can still come across a shop that seems frozen in time with an almost museum-like quality.  Hop on our magic carpet and take a ride to The Music Inn on West 4th Street.

  • High Line Launches Free Wi-Fi: You can finally get online at the High Line.  A popular section of the elevated park now has free Wi-Fi, letting the park's millions of visitors connect to the Internet while enjoying the summer sun.  AT&T launched the free wireless service on Tuesday between West 14th and West 16th streets, where park-goers sunbathe on deck chairs or enjoy food from vendors at the Chelsea Market overpass.
  • Hudson Eats, the All-Star Food Hall at Brookfield Place: Hudson Eats, the much anticipated food court featuring some top NYC fast casual food vendors, is set to open next Tuesday, June 3. Located in Brookfield Place, the AvroKO-designed space features approximately 600 communal seats and kiosks from Black Seed Bagel, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Chop't, Dig Inn, Dos Toros, Little Muenster, Mighty Quinn's Barbecue, Num Pang, Olives, Skinny Pizza, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Tartinery, and Umami Burger. 

  • This Chinatown button shop doubles as a modern art gallery: “It confuses most people. Some of them were upset because they don’t know that I’m Mr. Li’s daughter. They thought I’m just someone who’s here to push him out, just here to close down this mom-and-pop business. But when people find out it’s a gallery, they get really excited,” says Amy Li.

  • Jacques Torres's Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies: This delicious recipe for Jacques Torres's secret chocolate chip cookies is one of Martha's all-time favorites.
  • Old and new crowd mix it up in Greenpoint: As is the case in many other gentrifying areas in the city, old-line retailers are being replaced by a pricier and more modern generation, but in Greenpoint there are also signs that a fair bit of the old may yet coexist with the new.
  • Has The Meat Hook Reinvented the Sandwich?: Lately, the city's celebrity butchers have been fooling around with sandwiches and other meat-bearing prepared foods. It all started when Dickson Farmstand Meats in the Chelsea Market put one of those rolling hot dog contraptions in its window, and started concocting the chili con carne to go on top of it. New West Village butcher Hudson and Charles made sandwiches right out of the gate a few months ago, and now has a shifting roster that includes a meatball hero and a credible Cubano, possibly in response to the movie Chef. Now Williamsburg's Meat Hook, the mother of all celebrity butchers, has opened a free-standing sandwich shop a few blocks from the Lorimer stop on the L.


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