Mother’s Day Out With Three Special Brunches

New York, NY —

Because let’s face it–you owe her. Everything. Why not start this Sunday morning off right by dining in style with my top picks for elegant brunches that range from the relatively affordable to a little splurge.

359 Columbus Ave
(between 76th St & 77th St)
Price Range: $11-30

If you’re looking for a brunching gem in the Upper West Side, Isabella’s by the Natural History Museum is offering a special menu dedicated to the lovely ladies. Pair a glass of rose with an appetizer of grilled jumbo shrimp or strawberry salad. For the main course choose between pan-roasted sea bass or chicken “milanese,” and top it all off with a decadent chocolate raspberry velvet tart. Besides being in a beautiful atmosphere, this is one of the more affordable brunch/lunch options in the city this coming Sunday.

100 W Houston St
(between Laguardia Pl & Thompson)
Price Range: $11-30

Make sure you get a reservation but even if your wait is over an hour long, it really might be worth it. Seeing as you can get a free cocktail with your order–how could you go wrong? Your delectable meal begins right away with their free bread and creamy strawberry butter. The definite classic standards here are the vanilla french toast and the Benedict Johnny, an amazing egg dish that is sweet yet incredibly savory with their tender corn fritters, excellent maple sausage patties and poached eggs covered in roasted tomato hollandaise.

2 Lexington Ave
(between 22nd St & N Gramercy Park)
Price Range: $31-60

For a beautiful and fine dining experience, Mom will be floored with the Maialino experience. With exotic and whimsical twists on classic egg dishes like the frittata bianca, coppa romana and trippa they also offer an array of beautifully baked goods that range from chocolate croissants to toffee glazed brioche. If you do a dinner instead, you can indulge in their $55 pasta tasting menu only offered on Sunday nights.




Diana Tsuchida

Happy Mother’s Day All!


Cinco de Mayo, The Affordable Way

Photo Credit: Lauren Chattman

New York, NY —

The commemoration of the Battle of Puebla this year could not be more fortuitous: it lands on a Saturday, which needs no further explanation in the world of liquors and good times to be had. Whatever your celebratory craving, make sure it’s wholly Mexican and consists of many strong margaritas and Coronas without breaking the bank.

Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl, May 4th & 5th

Perhaps teetering on the debauchery of a college spring break, an NYC Cinco de Mayo pub crawl extravaganza is being hosted by the producers of the largest pub crawls in the country. For $10 you can get an all access pass to each bar (but you still have to buy the booze.) But for anything between $2-5 dollars you can get you cheap Dos Equis, tequila and margaritas. Optional sombreros and pub crawl shirts are available for purchase.

Photo Credit: Closet Cooking

Cinco de Mayo Festival 116th St, May 6th

El Barrio on 116th is hosting a Mexican food fair for those craving a bit of the Southwestern flavor so far away and often missed from NYC. It’s a free event and by supporting local businesses in Spanish Harlem you can feel fantastic about chowing down a ten pound burrito stuffed with crispy shredded pork.

Mex Fest at South Street Seaport, May 5th

Here several famous NYC food trucks show off their culinary adaptations by infusing their menus with a Mexican twist. For only $8 you can get a voucher good for any sort of beer or margarita on site to pair with your favorite street eats like Luke’s Lobster, Kimchi Tacos, the Treats Truck, Gorilla Cheese and Wafels and Dinges.

Photo Credit: BHG

Flushing Meadows Cinco de Mayo celebration, May 13th

This huge annual event is providing a more flexible date (or extending the revelry) to May 13th, where the Battle of Puebla and Mother’s Day will be commemorated together at Flushing Meadows in Queens. It’s a welcome change of scene outside Manhattan and a truly family-friendly event.

Diana Tsuchida                                                                                                                        U.F.P Contributor

Sakuras in Springtime


Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden was the ideal spot for the spring Japanese festival or Sakura Matsuri. The beautiful cherry blossoms are in full bloom and no event marks the occasion better than the two days of festivities that celebrate Japanese dance, music, food and cultural rituals. It was quite overwhelming trying to bounce from activity to activity in the Gardens, but if you can immerse yourself in a few interests and watch some key performances, it’s a wonderful exposure to a plethora of Japanese culture. Even if you weren’t able to make it out to Brooklyn for the event, you can still admire the sakura blossoms overflowing from the trees all around the city.

If you’re ever craving the infectious beats of (literal) drum and bass, the Taiko drummers of Soh Daiko were an incredible display of athleticism, musical talent and entertainment as their team of talented drummers awed audiences and brought the house down. Following up the drumming feat was a haunting display of traditional Japanese forms of dance called Nihon Buyo and Ryukyu Buyo–both from mainland Japan and the island of Okinawa. The dances embody and symbolize the history of Japan that can still find its forms in kabuki theater and other various performance settings. Truly a special art that requires dedication, intense practice and understanding of the historical practices that came before, these dances are special treats that highlight the unique gifts from Japan.

For those who excel in their arts and crafts and wish to get some hands on experience, there were several booths dedicated to Ikebana (flower arranging), creating intricate hair ornaments and watching woodblock printing demonstrations. If you brought (or will bring next year) the little ones, this is an extremely family-friendly event with plenty of activities for kids like making an origami samurai helmet, a matchbox haiku workshop and even a magician.

An event to be experienced at least once in the city, make sure to stop and smell the flowers to mark this burgeoning spring.

Diana Tsuchida                                                                                                                           U.F.P Contributor

Choice Streets- NYC Finest Food Trucks Feature

Hello Readers;

Check out my feature, “Choice Streets- NYC’s Finest Food Trucks” on Mobile Food News!

New York, NY

Village Voice hosted their first year of Choice Streets, a food truck version of Choice Eats at the Intrepid Museum on Pier 86 last Tuesday. This event highlighted some of NYC’s finest gourmet trucks from savory to sweet……”

To read more, check out the link……


Isaiah Kelsey

GQ & Gillette Host ProJect Style at Blind Barber

This gallery contains 9 photos.

GQ & Gillette hosted “ProJect Style”  last Wednesday at Blind Barbershop [339 E. 10 Street at Avenue B] which was more than just your typical haircut. From the outside it looks like your typical barbershop with 3-4 barber chairs, magazines, and a seating area, well Blind Barber took it to the next level. As I […]

Bierkraft Oyster Festival

Courtesy of

Brooklyn, NY

The Bierkraft Oyster Shucks and Cask Festival this past Saturday took place in Brooklyn, partially to celebrate the deliciousness of fresh oysters, but also to mark the opening of Bierkraft’s backyard patio, which was not hard to enjoy in the beautiful spring weather. Nothing quite complements warm weather like fresh, raw oysters and cold beer.

Two men sat and continuously shucked oysters from both the east and west. A dozen was $20, half a dozen $12. There’s nothing quite like watching someone make your food right in front of you. Part of the joy of the experience was standing in the sun and watching them shuck the oysters while being surrounded by the smell of saltwater in the air.

It added to the laid-back environment in the charming (but packed) patio, where dozens of people were enjoying their food and beer. The place was bustling with a relaxed crowd. Unfortunately, the several picnic tables weren’t enough seating and many had to take to the indoor room to eat, which didn’t have as upbeat an atmosphere.

The eastern oysters had a strong, briny flavor. They truly made you feel as though you were eating straight from the ocean, which was a powerful taste that went well with a squeeze lemon and spicy cocktail sauce to balance it out. The western oysters were more soft and fleshy which allowed me to devour easily and also had a less robust flavor. These tasted best with the mignonette sauce, which tasted strongly of onions, but worked well with the flavor of the western oysters. Overall, the oysters were refreshing and light, the festival a perfect companion to the springy Saturday afternoon.

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Gabriela Garcia                                                                                                                                 U.F.P Contributor

Unwined and Escape: A weekend in drink, food and farms

Brooklyn, NY

The 2nd annual Local Food and Travel Expo competed for food-enthusiasts on a busy afternoon yesterday in Brooklyn, where Smorgusburg and Dekalb Market were also in full swing.  Still in its youth, this event definitely has potential to grow, promote and expand this niche of interests to a broader audience.  With travel gurus on the main entrance the vault floor was reserved for a “Made in Brooklyn” food marketplace of the Skylight One Hanson building. Those with a palette for great weekend getaways in the countryside should not miss this event next year.

The travel convention was a haven for wanderlusting (or simply hard working) city dwellers who love a good wine and farm tour.  All within reasonable distance of the city, these charming getaway destinations are about two to three hours away and help promote “staycations” close to home that depend on independent agri-businesses to supply the food, drinks and entertainment.  The vendors all touted their local styles of tours and homemade confections that come directly from their farms or locally-sourced businesses. More than half of the upstairs vendors offered wine tours all across the state along the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes. For an incredibly friendly experience with fantastic wine to boot, check out the Americana Vineyards in Interlaken; the oldest and first real wine tour in the country. With a variety of wines sold, they specialize in Rieslings and sweeter Ports that pair indulgently with their hand-crafted fudge. For a taste of country orchards and fruit-based vino, visit the Brookview Station Winery in Castleton, which is open year round for tours, special events and private tastings.

For a list of complete vendors as well as the more familiar food offerings and shops from Brooklyn, check out the website here.

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Diana Tsuchida                                                                                                                                 U.F.P Contributor