The Sofi Awards were held at the Fancy Food Show last night at the Javits center in a ceremony hosted by Ming Tsai noted chef (and first celebrity chef crush of yours truly). And I'm excited that some of Blondie and my favorites from the show were among the big winners...
The "Baked Goods, Baking Ingredient or Cereal" Sofi went to Mari's New YorkCaramel Sea Salt Brownie. Represent NYC! Mari makes a mean brownie and the Caramel Sea Salt ones are especially delicious.
The "Cheese or Dairy Product" Sofi was awarded to Cypress Grove's Chevre Truffle Tremor. This cheese is simply blissful. Melt in your mouth truffle perfection. Every cheese from Cypress Grove is delicious, but Truffle Tremor is "do you think they'll notice I've been standing here eating their cheese for half an hour" delicious.
1,997 entries across all 33 categories. 128 Silver Finalists and 550 buyers casting ballots. Click for a full list of 2009 Sofi Gold Winners and Silver Finalists. Congratulations to all winners and finalists!
Last year, Blondie and I missed out on the UnFancy Food Show and there was no way we were going to let that happen again. But we did want to check out the Fancy Food Show as well and since both of us have full time gigs, we can't hit FF during the week. Could we do both Fancy and UnFancy in a single Sunday?! Where there is a will there is a way...
Here are some of our highlights from each.
Our friends at Peanut Butter & Company are going to be launching new peanut butter baking mixes towards the end of the summer. The Peanut Butter Brownies were fudgy and delicious.
This week Van Leeuwen is going to be launching Earl Grey Tea flavored ice cream from their trucks--they now have 3! Made with organic & fair trade tea from Rishi. Can't wait to try it. To keep apprised their whereabouts follow them on twitter.
Probably one of the most refreshing things we had all day was the Raspberry Green Tea sweetened with Agave from the Green Pirate Juice Truck. Perfect for the hot and humid summer weather.
Here's a pic of their awesome bio-diesel run truck from earlier last weekend in Park Slope. If I had any room left I would have tried out one of their amazing sounding smoothies...
With empty wallets and full tummies Blondie and I ended our day as ever good summer day should end...ice cream cone and iced tea in hand walking home with a friend.
During the past few weeks, I've been pondering my blueberry love, which is closing in upon obsession. Besides the regular blueberries in my cereal-Wyman's wild frozen if fresh aren't available-there have lately been many blueberry muffins, a blueberry cake, and blueberry Italian ice. This love seems to have grown out of like sometime during last summer, and I'm not going to fight it. Fortunately, Doughnut Plant and Coworker Friend Dos share this love of mine.
Early Tuesday morning, while waiting patiently for my morning coffee, a new doughnut was spotted at Joe. Thoughts that ran through my head: "What is this? It's purple. Could it be? What does that sign say? YES, HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LORD! I don't know if I can hold out for Brownie. I may have to eat this sooner. Coworker Friend Dos likes blueberries and eating. We are going to share this. This means I should spill the beans about the blog. I don't care, it's a blueberry doughnut. Oh, it's my turn."
Like almost all Doughnut Plant flavors, the blueberry taste is very subtle to almost nonexistent, but I do love the blueberry purple color inside and out. Dos had just finished eating a greasy breakfast, and didn't taste any blueberry at all. At $3, I would be hesitant to buy it again; I'd rather get the other latest flavor making the rounds, banana pecan. Nor would I say this is a must over the Krispy KremeBlueberry Cake.
Doughnut Plant 379 Grand Street, between Suffolk and Clinton (212) 505-3700 Tuesday through Sunday: 6:30am until 6:30pm www.doughnutplant.com
This doughnut was found at: Joe the Art of Coffee Graybar Passage, Grand Central Station Lexington Avenue between 44th and 43rd Street www.joetheartofcoffee.comjump
Like last year, Rock Center Market is due to start up at the end of July and will run Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through August 28th. This summer instead of Wednesdays, Katchkie will have a presence in the market on Fridays. So for those of you who have shortened summer hours on Fridays, be sure to stop by to pick up some ingredients for the weekend or lunch on your way home.
If you can’t wait until the end of July, Katchkie has plenty of early summer greens like organic lettuce, spinach, kale, turnips and garlic scapes among other goodies at the Port Authority on Thursdays from 8 am until 6 pm.
Prepared foods are made from seasonal ingredients and last week included spinach salad, homemade cream of broccoli soup, and grilled vegetable sandwiches.
Moroccan Mint tea is one of my favorite summery drinks so I decided to get a cup of Katchkie’s Basil-Spearmint Tea for $2. The mint and basil really worked nicely together with a touch of honey. Fresh and delicious.
By the time Katchkie gets to Rock Center tomatoes and other late summer veggies will be in season ensuring plenty of gazpacho and ratatouille. Can’t wait!
As a frequent patron of Bene's Pizza and Uncle Louie G's on Prospect Park Southwest, I've often wondered about the little Cheesesteak Factory storefront sandwiched, if you will, between the two. In all my visits for pizza and ice cream it's never been open. Until now...
The Prospect Park Southwest Cheesesteak Factory officially opened yesterday. Not surprisingly their bread and butter is cheesesteaks of both the beef and chicken variety. I was pleased to see broccoli rabe getting some love on their menu. Their Prospect Park Cheesesteak: grilled onions, broccoli rabe (or spinach) with provolone cheese sounds pretty excellent.
The menu also includes Italian sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers and waffle fries. Mmm...waffle fries. And fear not vegetarians, there's more for you than just fries and onion rings. Veggie options include the veggie sandwich (grilled eggplant, roasted peppers, broccoli rabe, or spinach), the veggie supreme (grilled green peppers, portabella mushrooms, onions, grilled eggplant and grilled zuchinni) and a veggie burger.
Lawman and I might just have to hit these guys up next time we decide to picnic in the park. Any early Cheesesteak Factory reports from the field?
Cheesesteak Factory 157 Prospect Park Southwest Brooklyn, NY 11218 (718) 851-7900 Monday through Thursday and Sunday 11:00am until 9:00pm Friday and Saturday 11:00am until midnight Click for an enlarged menu: part 1 and part 2. jump
Whenever I asked about dining in south Florida, I got either no real suggestions, or an expensive spot in Miami. But south Florida isn't just Miami, and I wasn't going anywhere near South Beach. My family is further up the coast, between Boynton Beach and Coral Springs. Luckily for me, the locals and snow birds expect good food and cool spots.
One of those spots is Dada in Delray Beach, a hip restaurant located in a converted 1920's home. Inside is a mixture of eclectic vintage furniture accompanied by unusual, modern paintings giving the place a cool vibe which allows it to be a great venue for artist's shows. While we ate, there was an art showing occurring, as well as a jam session happening on an outside stage.
Their drink menu is extensive with many different versions of mojitos and margaritas. I chose the strawberry mojito, it came with fresh muddled strawberries and was quite refreshing and delicious.
The menu is modern American with a few local influences. For an appetizer, we went with the grilled brie soaked in garlic honey butter. Everything in the world is made better by soaking in garlic honey butter. They could have been more generous with the fruit aspect to the platter, but I can overlook that for garlic honey butter.
On the entree side, my cuz got the crab cakes with sherry mustard and Sriacha. The cakes were perfectly cooked, tasted fresh, and well-spiced. This was definitely not canned crab.
I decided on the Chicken Del Rio-chicken over a black bean puree, topped with an avocado and melted provolone cheese. The chicken was moist, and though I wasn't so sure about what could be a sharper cheese, the flavors did come together pretty well.
Dessert ended up being a three-way sharing-a friend had shown up-of the chocolate fondue with pound cake, fresh fruit, and marshmallows. The chocolate was rich and dark, maybe 65-75% cocoa. The chocolate was a little too solid for my tastes; I felt it could have been warmer and more fluid.
Overall, the food isn't mind-blowing and could be viewed as a little overpriced for South Florida, but it is very good quality and beat my expectations for South Florida dining. The ambiance, and the ability to eat, then hang out all night can completely make up for the price.
1) Much like Superman masquerades as your everyday joe, Clark Kent, the BGICT operates out of a standard issue Mister Softee truck. Keep track of their location on twitter and look with the Mister Softee with the BGICT sign on the side.
2) Unlike 99% of the Mister Softee trucks in the city they have the prices listed. Hooray! It's $3 for a soft serve cone or cup with standard toppings included. Add $1 if you want fancy toppings like dulce de leche, cayenne, sriracha, maple syrup, and Nilla wafers. It's $5 if you want a shake.
3) Doug Quint, the BGIC man is hilarious and awesome. He will totally make your day.
I got the vanilla soft serve in a cone with crushed Nilla wafers and dulce de leche. $4 and absolutely delicious. My love for Mister Softee vanilla soft serve is well documented and the BGICT's toppings line up takes soft serve to the next level.
Blondie went for the vanilla soft served stuffed ice cream sandwich slathered with Nutella. Also, $4 and let's face it, what isn't made better with a good slathering of Nutella?
I've heard that sea salt, and bacon might be offered as toppings--all I can say is, please, please bacon! And chocolate covered bacon! Oooh, or how about dark chocolate dip with dulce de leche and sea salt? Mmmmmm. Salted caramel and chocolate. I hope it's a very long summer...
As I let you know last week, Southwest Airlines has teamed up with 'wichcraft, and opened The Southwest Porch on the SW corner of Bryant Park. I was able to stop by for some lunch during their grand opening last Friday, while they were entertaining students from MS 8, the Jamaica, Queens school Southwest is partnered with for the Middle School Mentors initiative.
Friday with its warm sunshine ended up being the perfect lunch out day too; it actually felt like summer was coming. The menu isn't very extensive, only four sandwiches to chose from, and three snacks. The same goes for the drinks menu where it was good to see that they're using Six Point and Blue Point brews.
We ended up going nonalcoholic, airplane water for me, sodas for the others.
Debra and I went for the soft shell crab sandwich. It was fresh, a little crunchy, slightly greasy, and amazing. I was actually impressed by the quality of the bread, as well as the crab. At the price, I don't see myself getting it every Friday this summer, but I wouldn't say no if offered it.
Our friend got the southwestern pork sandwich, which was devoured. The avocado was fresh, the pork delicious. The mayo could be applied a little better, it sort of looks slapped on like an afterthought.
All three sandwiches are a little messy, so make sure your waiter brings you napkins. Also, they aren't charging tax making the tip a little harder to figure out-I'm of the double the tax school. Though we were surrounded by kids, the location is enjoyable. On the park side of the porch has public furniture, making a picnic lunch possible.
After hours, almost all the furniture is open for public use. I don't think everything will stay this clean for the entire summer, making this a must-do only for the next week or so. After the holiday, it could get a little dicey.
The Southwest Porch opens June 19th Bryant Park 40th St and 6th Ave corner (aka Street-Meat-Palooza Corner) Open 5pm to 9pm Monday to Thursday; noon to 4pm on Fridays until mid-September jump
I am not only a supporter of local breweries and distillers, I spread the love to the independent, artisanal spirits from around the world. There's enough drinking going on in my life to achieve this. With this in mind, I jumped at the chance to get an independent spirits education next week at the Indy Spirits Expo.
This year, the expo will take place at Touch on 52nd Street, and will showcase many small batch, and hard-to-find brands. I'm excited to try some from right around here including Tuthilltown Distillery, and LiV, as well as all the others that will be there. If you want to be in the know about the next hot drink in town, I highly suggest hitting this up. Tickets are still available, it's $50 regular admission, $75 VIP; they're available here.