Smorgasburg Saturday

 

Williamsburg, NY

No name is more appropriate for a huge parking lot full of gourmet food and drinks than Smorgasburg in Williamsburg. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby, I hope you are aware of the backyard treasure you possess. What could be better than a weekend spent sampling feel-good food while supporting independent chefs and local businesses?

Saturday brought some gusty wind but plenty of sunshine to this diverse collection of food, desserts and specialty vendors who all modestly hustle to sell their gourmet jams, mustards, taffy and even beer-making kits. As I walked through the buoyant crowd I was completely overwhelmed with decisions between lobster rolls, fried mozzarella and handmade s’mores–none of which was made easier with an empty stomach. But before I succumbed to dessert sampling I decided to stop by Saucy By Nature’s stall to check out their falafel offerings and ultimately landed on the Cilantro Lime with roasted hot pepper and fontina cheese.

 

At $4 for a bite size (one falafel and a piece of pita bread) it’s not a bad bargain. They’ll also give you a free “bite” if you buy two of their sauces. The falafel was cooked perfectly with a great crisp on the outside while the fontina added the right amount of richness to balance out the zesty lime sauce. If you’re seeking a heartier meal upgrade to the whole size and sip on their refreshing lemonade that can be sweetened with organic agave nectar. To top it off, they are seriously the friendliest workers who want you to be a happy eater.

While I tried some and restrained myself even more, I did scope out several of the dessert booths, but one took the cake–in the form of raw chocolate. Brooklyn-based Fine & Raw had little pieces of heaven on sample plates; namely, their chocolate truffles (pictured below).

Dense, moist, and rich with high quality cocoa flavor. If you have a sweet tooth that calls the shots you must at the very least visit their website and tantalize your eyes.

Smorgasburg is open from 11-6, every Saturday, rain or shine! To get excited about next weekend or more info on Smorgasburg visit their site: http://www.brooklynflea.com/smorgasburg/

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Diana Tsuchida                                                                                                                                   U.F.P Contributor

 

 

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Foodie News: Trendy Cupcake ATMs

Photo Courtesy Of Lalate News

Photo Courtesy Of Lalate News

I must say I’ve seen cupcake trucks [Cupcake Stop], large gourmet cupcakes [Crumbs Bake Shop], and even bite-sized cupcakes [Baked by Melissa] but have yet to see this. Candace came up with the idea while pregnant and like most women they have these late night cravings, which for her was cupcakes. They were unavailable to her dissatisfaction but like all entrepreneurs what is not available must be created.

Candace Nelson, best known as a judge from Food Network‘s “Cupcake Wars” and also the founder of Sprinkles has activated their very first 24-Hour Cupcake ATM in their Beverly Hills location. The ATM dispenses fresh cupcakes around the clock for $4.00 [ $3.50 + .50 ATM Fee]. Flavors include Vanilla, Red Velvet, and Milk Chocolate to name a few. The ATM is stocked with an amazing 600 cupcakes that is constantly rotated throughout the day.

As per the Huff Post, “We stopped by to test out the cupcake ATM and found the process as easy as getting a soda from the vending machine or money from an ATM.” Check out the process of getting a cupcake from Sprinkles below.

 

New Yorkers not to worry, these Cupcake ATMs are set it hit New York very soon in Midtown, Downtown, and the Upper West Side. Their New York location is 780 Lexington Ave. [Between 60th & 61st St] if you would like to grab a cupcake now. I’ll keep you posted once they’ve arrived and activated!

Thanks For You Reading!

– Isaiah [@Urban_Foodie14]

The World Of Chocolate

SECAUCUS, NJ

The Chocolate World Expo, hosted by Marvin Baum took place at the Meadowlands Expo Center this past Sunday, March 5th.  I believe this event was targeted for chocoholics as well as families with small children. The expo had more than 30 vendors such as Whole Foods Market, Dove Chocolate, and Edible Arrangements to name a few.

As I walked into the expo, I smelled divine aromas of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and seen tables of chocolate fountains where you could dip almost anything under. As I approached the fountain, I picked up a soft marshmallow to dip into the creamy, rich milk chocolate fountain. It left my marshmallow dripping and then together it was a gooey yet satisfying treat to start.

I then visited the Saratoga Peanut Butter Co. stand, where they offered specialty-flavored organic peanut butters. I first tried The Blizzard that was blended with white chocolate. The smooth, subtle flavors of white chocolate mellowed out the strong, toasty flavors of peanuts. I went “bananas” for Monkey Boy, which had raisins and banana essence blended in. I would recommend this as a healthy lunch bag snack paired with pretzels or Granny Smith apples.

As I continued the smell of freshly, baked Belgian waffles pulled my attention to Screme Gelato Bar. They were offering different chocolate gelato samples with the waffles a la mode. The Chocolate Whiskey Brownie [made with Johnnie Walker Black] was cool and creamy but a left warm sensation on my palate. The Chocolate Chili had a smooth delivery but also left a spicy, lingering finish.

Whole Foods Market did a cupcake decorating demo that excited many of the children watching. They also gave out small moist pieces of cake to satisfy their hunger.

I was very surprised to see vendors like Pickle Licisous and Gogo’s Garlic Dip (aka Samios Foods) at an event like this. Although I am fans of both and they individually tasted great, it just didn’t pair well with chocolate or with my stomach.

Towards the end of the chocolate expo, I saw Hell’s Kitchen Contestant, Robert Hesse at his own booth, who was booked as “entertainment”. As I approached the booth, I thought about asking him maybe two questions but instead without giving me any eye-contact or greeting, he began to give me his autograph and asked for my name very arrogantly. I refused his autograph, dropped it and continued on. He was very arrogant as he if he may have WON the show. It goes to show that his bad attitude was certainly bad for business. I guess Gordon Ramsey does have a good judge of character after all.

I decided to not let that bad episode ruin the whole show. The last vendor offered me a sample of Adult Chocolate Milk, which was very rich in flavor with a 40-Proof kick at the bottom of the glass. It provided a past childhood memory with a present “grown-up” reality.

Overall, this Chocolate World Expo can be described as tasting dark chocolate. The beginning was mildly sweet [Chocolate Fountains], rich in flavor [Screme Gelato Bar], and sometimes leaves a bitter lingering finish [HK Robert Hesse].

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“Cheers To Chocolate Beer”

 

Valentine’s Day may be over, but The Ginger Man celebrates chocolate all year long. This establishment hosted the “Chocolate Event” in honor of this past sweet weekend.

At this event they offered different chocolate pint specials with house-made truffles for an additional price. They also offered a tasteful flight of four-ounce pours and three truffles. With almost a variety of 10 different chocolate stouts, I decided to go for the flight. The bartender gave me an assortment of their most richest chocolate beer to their lightest. She presented me with White Birch Indulgence Ale, Sixpoint Brownstone, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, & Southern Tier Choklate. Below, I described the beers and truffles in detail.

 

White Birch Indulgence Ale

Very Malty, Dark Chocolate & Coffee flavor notes. Bitter finish

Sixpoint Brownstone, a Belgian Brown Ale

Toasted Almond & Milk Chocolate flavor notes. Little to no carbonation

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

Bittersweet Chocolate flavor notes. Full bodied. Smooth finish

Southern Tier Choklate

Sweet Dark Chocolate flavor notes. Heavy mouthfeel. Very carbonated.

 

Mocha Truffle w/ White Chocolate Drizzle

Dark chocolate top layer, gummy bottom layer [too much gelatin]. Cocoa powder dusted

White/Dark Cherry Truffle

White & dark chocolate combo with cherry center. Rolled in powdered sugar

Napoleon Truffle

Dark chocolate center sandwiched by two milk chocolate layers. White chocolate garnish

After tasting these four beers, the White Birch Indulgence Ale left a malty, bitter lingering taste on my palate, which I didn’t enjoy. The Southern Tier Choklate, my last flight I favored most. The sweet dark chocolate aroma drew me to the glass and the flavor was reminiscent of Hershey syrup in glass. If you are usually a light beer drinker like me and looking for a chocolate rush, I would recommend trying Southern Tier Choklate. Ironically, the White/Dark Cherry truffle which I favored most is also made with Southern Tier Choklate.

If you are looking for an array of craft beers, local brews, and seasonal favorites, The Ginger Man has it all! They offer a large variety of different bottled beers as well as 70 draught beers, all plugged into the back wall of their long mahogany wood bar. Their menu is very much beer-infused with favorites like the Guinness Stout Beer Stew. For more information, check out gingerman-ny.com

Cheers To The Ginger Man! Enjoy!