Monday, May 3, 2010

Food Revolution Petition

Remember how I told you about Jamie Oliver and how he attempting to change the school lunch food system in America? Well, if you've watched the Food Revolution, you know that he has done an amazing job in Huntington, West Virginia, but it can't stop there...and you can help too! After I posted about the show Food Revolution, someone recommended that I check this out. 

Jamie started a petition to improve school food & knowledge about healthy eating and he plans to send it to the White House. You can sign it here, it only takes 30 seconds. Over 500,000 people have already signed it. This could really make a difference in the way Americans eat and help them live healthier and longer lives.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Last Supper

A book that I've been dying to get my hands on is My Last Supper by Melanie Dunea. Melanie is a very well-known celebrity photographer and she put together this book of famous chefs revealing what their last meals on earth would be.The concept of this book is pretty incredible...if you had tried all of the most decadent food in the world, what would you want for your last meal? How would you decide?
One chef, Jose Andres, said:
he "would recreate a barbecue he once had in an old mill in Tazones, a village in Asturias (northern Spain). It consists of warm tortillas and potato omelets, piles of percebes (gooseneck barnacles), llámpares (snail-like mollusks), and centollos (gigantic spider crabs).”
The photography is amazing in this book. I love the picture below of Mario Batali.
It made me start to think....what would I want MY last supper to be? Would I even be able to decide? The one thing I do know is that it would be a feast, to say the very least. It would have to consist of a mix of my mother's cooking, some memorable meals I've had dining out, and of course a Magnolia cupcake to finish it all off. What would YOUR last supper be?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Outdoor Bar Crawl

It's finally starting to feel like summer! The sun is out, it's about to be Spring Weekend and I can finally go outside without worrying about a sweater. I just found out that I'll be living in Hell's Kitchen this summer and I'm really excited to spend some time exploring the city like I haven't been able to do enough of this year. Time Out magazine has a lot of great information to offer about things to do in NY and I found this week's issue to be a great introduction to what there is to do during the summer in the city. The issue features "Great Walks of NYC" and has 10 different themed walks, such as "$1 food walk" and "30 Rock walk". The walk that I want to try the most is the "Outdoor Bar Crawl Walk". Spending a Friday afternoon outside drinking with friends sounds like the perfect summer city day to me. And hey, you're gonna walk almost 2 miles so you don't have to feel as guilty about all the drinking & eating!

Here it is:

Start: 7 Rivington St between Bowery and Chrystie St
End: 215 Ave A between 13th and 14th Sts
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 1.9 miles

1 One key to a successful pub crawl is to let all parties involved booze at their own pace. At Loreley (7 Rivington St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-253-7077,, more than a dozen German beers come in a variety of sizes—from 0.2-liter ($3) whistle-wetters to sturdy liter steins ($14–$16)—so that everyone can ease into the afternoon comfortably. Grab a picnic table in the well-shaded biergarten and order a crisp, bubbly Reissdorf Kölsch ($3–$14).

2 Don’t be fooled by the generic pub facade of Stanton Public (17 Stanton St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-677-5555,—once you’re through the doors, you’ll find a mind-boggling beer selection (including 17 drafts) and a graffiti-covered backyard kitted out with mini picnic tables.

3 Now that you’re good and loose, trot up Orchard Street to The Sixth Ward (191 Orchard St between E Houston and Stanton Sts; 212-228-9888, The patio out back is no Central Park—it’s made of concrete and decorated with silhouettes of an Irish lad from New York’s gangland days. Still, it’s spacious and convivial, with a solarium boasting a pool table. A standard tap lineup is similarly utilitarian, but it does offer just what the doctor ordered: fortifying pints of vitamin G (Guinness) for $6.

4 By now you’ve added another member to your crew; his name is Drunkenness, and he’s threatening the integrity of the tour. Keep him in check with a snack at Tuck Shop (68 E 1St between First and Second Aves; 212-979-5200,, home to one of the world’s most perfect booze sponges: Australian meat pies that are filled with meat and veggies. Opt for the $5 “chook” version (chicken, ham, leeks).

5 Next up is beer-and-whiskey haven d.b.a. (41 First Ave between 2nd and 3rd Sts; 212-475-5097, Pick your poison from more than 250 beers (all $1 off from 1 to 7:30pm daily), including two cask varieties, and relax in the most gardenlike of gardens: Its hanging flowerpots, rustic stone wall, real trees and wooden furniture draw a mixed and unpretentious crowd.

6 Refreshed and inspired, resume your bender at Bavarian beer haunt Zum Schneider (107–109 Ave C at 7th St; 212-598-1098, The sidewalk tables are hotly contested real estate among day-drinkers, so circle like a hawk until you can swoop in on one. Inquire about the seasonal brews on tap, or play it safe with a summery Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier ($4–$12).

7 Keep it moving to The Sunburnt Cow (137 Ave C between 8th and 9th Sts; 212-529-0005, In addition to a patio with a glass roof and garden view, this Down Under party spot offers two hours of all-you-can-drink boozing for $20. The fruity, beach-themed cocktails ($7–$9) pack a punch, but Aussie brews like Coopers and Tooheys ($6 each) might be wiser choices for the long haul.

8 It’s likely still early in the evening, but you’re on pub-crawl time, meaning you’re going to want to crash soon. First, a nightcap: Pop into, where mixologist Greg Seder has created a cocktail menu divided into “classic” and “alchemist” drinks. With all the liquor sloshing around in your stomach, it’s probably best to err on the familiar side. Order a perfectly smooth old-fashioned ($9) and carry it to a cabana on the small but handsomely appointed back patio.

9 It would be a miracle if you weren’t feeling queasy at this point. Your antidote is the delicious, greasy Mexican food at Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery (215 Ave A between 13th and 14th Sts, 212-780-9204), a hole-in-the-wall bodega that dishes out some of the East Village’s best—and cheapest— tacos ($3 and under). Choose from meat options like chorizo, beef or whatever’s on offer that day. Trust us, it’ll taste good—and not just because you’re three sheets to the wind.

10 Anyone still standing? Something worth noting: That gaudy sign down the street marks the entrance to Superdive (200 Ave A between 12th and 13th Sts; 646-448-4854,, and the doors below it lead to a boisterous faux frat house, where a game of beer pong or flip cup is a lot easier to find than your better judgment. We’re just saying.…

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Local Spot: Umai Sushi

As you probably have gathered already, sushi is my ultimate vice. So of course I was keen to try out the new sushi bar on Arthur Ave., Umai Sushi. First of all, in the four years that I have attended Fordham, there has never been one sushi place in this neighborhood. Now there are two! The first one to open was Sake II on 187th St. near Camberling Ave. I have to say that I do love this place and their sushi is pretty decent, also their prices are great-bento boxes are $12.95! You can even make a delivery order online. (They take 10% off your first order!) The only problem with Sake II is it is incredibly small...There are only two tables in the whole restaurant. So if I wanted to make a delivery order, Sake II is the way to go. 

If you're looking for an evening out with friends or a date, Umai is definitely the way to go. It's a bit pricier than Sake II, but the quality is definitely worth it. Another great thing is that it's BYOB so you can grab a cheap bottle of wine from Mt. Carmel and share it with friends. The decor is quaint but almost forget for a second that you're not in Manhattan. 

I actually ended up going to dinner here TWICE this weekend; that's how good it was. Both nights they gave us a free vegetable spring roll as an appetizer...The staff is incredibly friendly and grateful to have you there. We ordered a few rolls; I would recommend the Y2K roll, and the Spicy 2 in 1 Roll, although everything I tried I loved. Also, both nights I went they even gave us a FREE dessert- Oreo Tempura which is exactly what it sounds like, Oreos fried in tempura batter. They were absolutely delicious. If you haven't been to this place yet....GO! 

A few people I talked to were questioning whether or not a sushi place in the Bronx could be decent, but give our neighborhood a little more credit! New places are opening up all the time and a lot of them are here to cater to Fordham students so take advantage of them. Although the Italian restaurants on Arthur are unbeatable, if you want a change of pace try Umai Sushi. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fresh & Local: Saturday Wine Tasting

If you're a Fordham student, I'm sure you're familiar with Mount Carmel Wine & Spirits on 187th St. BUT, did you know that they have a wine tasting every Saturday from 1-5 pm? I've said in the past that I've always had trouble choosing wine, which is why a wine tasting is pretty ideal for those of us who have trouble telling the difference between a Cabernet and a Merlot.

Today's wine tasting featured three Italian wines, all within the $20 range. I was actually looking for a wine to give my parents who are on a flight home from South Africa as we speak. Out of the three wines, I ended up choosing a red wine from Tuscany called "Argiano". It's a full-bodied Rosso Toscano that tastes kind of like a mix between a Cabernet and a Merlot, according to the knowledgeable sommelier who administered the wine tasting. It costs $21.99, which I think is a reasonable price. Wine tastings are a great way for the non-winos to figure out which types of wine they prefer and t0 experience a variety of different wines before buying one just based on the label...which I tend to do a lot!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fresh & Local Weekend: Oyster Bar

This weekend, I plan on staying in the Bronx and appreciating what my neighborhood has to offer. Because in less than a month (yikes!) I won't be living here anymore and I want to take advantage of it for as long as I can.

Today was a BEAUTIFUL day and my friend Steph and I went for a stroll down Arthur Ave. One of our favorite things to do in the spring is to go to Cosenza's Fish Market and share a dozen oysters at their clam & oyster bar. I know that oysters are an acquired taste, but I absolutely love them. They are so refreshing and delicious....eating an oyster is like tasting a little part of the ocean, which may sound weird but it's true! If you've had doubts about oysters in the past, you should really give them a second chance.

Cosenza's has a variety of different clams & oysters on the half shell to choose from. We went with the Delaware Bay oysters, $1 each, which is pretty inexpensive for oysters. The other popular ones are the Blue Point oysters, $1.50 each.

There are so many sauces to choose from to accompany your oysters. I would recommend the Shark Bite Garlic Pepper Sauce or Cosenza's homemade cocktail sauce. With a squeeze of lemon, of course.
Our Delaware Bay oysters...yum!
Soo delicious...
"Eat Fish, Live Longer" I like that!
All done!

*Cosenza's Fish Market is right next to Umberto's Restaurant on the corner of 186th and Arthur Ave.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A settle for The Fireplace

Yesterday was a sad day. My friends and I drove all the way to White Manna for a deliciously indulgent meal and it was CLOSED. We all teared up a little when we had just missed the last servings of sliders by only 10 minutes. When you're craving White Manna, nothing else will remotely compare or come close to satisfaction.
But, because my roommate Carly and I wanted to show our Massachusetts friends that Jersey CAN have little gems that make the state what it is, we took them to the next best thing we could think of: The Fireplace. Also a burger joint, The Fireplace is an old classic, the kind of place that has been a hidden gem for Jersey natives for decades. It sits along the truck-heavy highway of Route 17 and looks like it hasn't been redone since the early 50s. The Fireplace has a bizarre patriotic theme and the inside resembles an old log cabin. The walls are covered with Civil War memorabilia that seem like they have hung there since the war started.
The food is decent. The milkshakes are perfect. There are three different ordering stations: The Burger Station, the Chicken Station, and the Pizza Station. Weird, I know. But the Fireplace is one of those places that you visit for the atmosphere, the coziness of it all. Not necessarily for the food. It's a family place, where you went with your parents after a baseball game or with your class after a field trip. And sometimes these kinds of places are worth the mediocre food to have the childhood memories come flooding back.