Tag Archives: Food Review

Smorgasburg: A Little Bit of This & That

When I first heard about Smorgasburg, I couldn’t help but think of Fat Templeton from Charlotte’s Web. It might sound odd (and troubling) that a rat from one of my favorite childhood novels was what I thought of when I heard about a food festival, but I have a reason! At the fair where Wilbur and Charlotte are, Templeton realizes that once the fair is closed for the night there is trash everywhere. He refers to the trash-filled fair grounds as a rat’s smorgasbord.

So after hearing about it from pretty much everyone, I finally made the trip to Williamsburg on Saturday to check it out. It was a beautiful day and when I arrived at around 3pm there were plenty of people getting their eat on. I had asked a few friends for suggestions, but decided to take a lap around to (try to) see all the vendors before making any decisions. I only had so much stomach real estate and I wanted to make every bite worth it! They have pretty much everything you can think of: Thai street food, Vietnamese, burgers, lobster rolls, tacos, mac ‘n cheese, ice cream, ice pops, doughnuts, fried chicken and waffles, BBQ… the list goes on and on.

My first stop was at the Chickpea + Olive stand, where they were slinging beet burgers and sliders. I wanted one of everything, but eventually settled on their Calexico; a beet slider topped with jalapeño, pickled red onion, avocado, tomato, daiya cheddar cheese, and a chipotle aioli. The beet burger (made with beets, lentils, brown rice, and mushrooms) had a nice char to it and the toppings were awesome. The pickled red onions and chipotle aioli were plentiful and really made the slider next level. It was absolutely delicious and I was so sad when it was gone… but since it wasn’t a full-sized burger (which they do have), it was the perfect size for my quest to try a bunch of different things. I also got an iced coconut black tea which was equally delicious and refreshing.

Next up was a stop at Oaxaca Taqueria for a taco. I mean, you didn’t really think I’d go somewhere that had tacos and not have one, right?! I settled on the Papas y Rajas, which included roasted potato and poblano peppers, pickled red onions, salsa roja, avocado salsa, cojita, and cilantro. The tacos were listed as $4 for one, $7 for two, etc.,  but I decided to just get one since I wanted to be able to try other things. The taco was literally two bites, but it was two delicious bites. It was super fresh and vibrant thanks to the salsas, and it really was a great bite sized snack. If you aren’t planning to try a bunch of different things, I would definitely suggest ordering a few – one just isn’t enough. This was my second dish of the day with pickled onions, and again they were a great addition to the taco. I guess I need to start adding pickled onions to more things!

After the taco, it was time for frites! My love affair with frites hit an all time high when I was in Brussels, Belgium in January, so I was thrilled to see Home Frite there. While waiting in line, I weighed my menu options and eventually decided on the “Dutch” (I mean, might as well go all in), which included curry ketchup, garlic aioli, and chopped onions. It was super messy to eat, but absolutely worth it. The fries were piping hot and crispy, and the curry ketchup and garlic aioli added a nice creamy element. While I was bummed this particular version of their frites didn’t come in a paper cone, the fact that they were delicious helped make up for that.

frites

To end my tour of deliciousness, I made a stop at Kelvin’s for a slush to wash it all down. I don’t think I’ve had a slush drink in quite some time, but growing up I was a huge 7-11 Slurpee fan (how could I not be?!). So I was thrilled to see a grown-up version of a childhood favorite. The line was long and while we were waiting they had to give the machines a few minutes to re-freeze, but it was worth the wait. They had either Arnold Palmer or Ginger slushes with a few different flavor add-ins (white peach, pear, guava, etc.). I decided to go with the Arnold Palmer with the white peach add-in, and it was amazingly refreshing.

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By the time I left, I was happily satiated and wishing I could get my Smorgasburg on every weekend. I mean, what a fantastic idea! It provides people who don’t necessarily have the funds (yet) to have a storefront or food truck to showcase their delicious treats, and also those that have found success and have storefronts to reach another audience in a laid-back and fun environment. Plus, it provides people like me who love to eat and to try new things the opportunity to do that in one space, and without breaking the bank. Everyone wins if you ask me!

Tell me…
Have you been to Smorgasburg? What were your favorites?
If you don’t live in the NYC area, have you been to any similar food events?

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Filed under Food Blogging, Food Review, Restaurant

Goodie Goodie Gum Drop

I don’t know how it started, but it seems like monthly shipment clubs are all the rage these days. “Of the month” clubs have been around forever, but they’ve really taken off recently and seem to include anything you can think of; food, drinks, workout clothes, health and beauty products, accessories… they have it all! I personally love the idea of getting a fun little box of treats each month, and stalk my mailman when I think a new package is on it’s way.

Since there are so many companies offering monthly subscriptions, I had a difficult time deciding what to try. I’ve mentioned before I’m in the Picky Bars club, but I also signed up for Goodies Company’s monthly box subscription. And I also bought my mom a Love With Food subscription for her birthday in February! There were a few things that really caught my eye when it came to Goodies Company. Obviously the biggest selling point is the price – $7! While the general price for most subscriptions I’ve seen is $15, there are plenty in the $30+ range as well. At first when I saw the price I assumed you must get “fun sized” versions of everything, and no more than two or three things each month. Because it was only $7, though, I decided to give it a try anyway.

This past month's box - breakfast themed!

This past month’s box – breakfast themed!

Well, I’ve received two boxes so far, and am completely impressed. Most of the time I get a sample of something, I don’t wind up buying it for myself… not because I don’t like what I get, but because I’m either lazy about it, or question whether or not I really loved it enough to buy full sized packages of it. The Goodies Company box this past month changed all of that! I always try everything, but there was something in the box that immediately caught my attention and I had to have it as soon as possible. Enter Rip Van Wafle’s Amsterdam Caramel Waffle! Not only is the concept really cool (you place the waffle on the edge of your hot coffee so it steams the waffle), but it’s delicious. After I finished it with my morning coffee, I was on their website, placing an order for my own stash.

Amsterdam Waffle!

Amsterdam Waffle!

At first I wasn’t really keen on the idea of paying X amount of money per month just to get little sample sizes of things, but it’s grown on me. I love that most of the companies allow you to pick your subscription length, choosing from either one, three, six, or a continual month option. I have every intention of continuing my Goodies Company subscription, because I’ve really found some great products. And besides, who doesn’t like a surprise each month?!

So tell me…
Do you have any monthly box subscriptions? 
Any monthly box subscriptions I should check out? 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or paid post. I simply wrote about Goodies Co. because I really enjoy my subscription. All opinions are my own. 

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Filed under Food Blogging, Food Review

Culinary Chic

There’s nothing quite like a homemade lunch, but sometimes I’m just too lazy to prepare lunch in advance. Even though I like to take the easy way out more often than not, it’s important for me to have easily accessible lunches that aren’t too expensive. Sure, I would love to go out to eat every single day, but it just isn’t realistic for my wallet or my waistline. I tend to gravitate towards the frozen food section for the obvious reasons – cost and convenience. Unfortunately in most cases this means some type of sacrifice on taste. Recently Lean Cuisine launched a Culinary Collection line of frozen meals, so when DailyBuzz Food offered the opportunity for me to try them out, I immediately signed up.

One thing I appreciate is vegetarian options, which are harder to come by than you’d think; it seems as though the majority of frozen meals available have chicken in them. One thing that always blows my mind is soup – they have so many veggie friendly options (lentil, black bean, pasta and veggies), but so many of them aren’t actually vegetarian! Of course being only 6 months in I sometimes forget to check the label since I assume things that don’t include meat on the initial package mean it won’t include animal products on the ingredient’s list. Thankfully I’m getting better at it. So I was initially nervous that there wouldn’t be many options for me to choose from within the Culinary Collection, but I was pleasantly surprised! After much debate, I decided on their Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli entree, and couldn’t wait to dig in at lunch.

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It’s always a pat on the back when you’re heating something up in the work kitchen and someone makes a comment that it smells good… which is exactly what happened when I was heating up my lunch! You never want to be the person that stinks up the entire room (cough, fish re-heaters, cough). So with the smell already getting a thumbs up from me and my co-workers, it was time to eat. Verdict? YUM! As with all frozen meals, though, I found myself wanting more when I was done. Of course that’s a good thing because it means I enjoyed it, but it was just shy of being enough for this runner girl.

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While the picture doesn’t do it justice, this dish has a lot of flavor. It’s half-mooned ravioli filled with portabello and button mushrooms, romano and ricotta cheeses, in a creamy marsala wine sauce with spinach and red peppers. I definitely tasted all of those ingredients, which was impressive. It’s nutritional values are pretty solid, too, with 14g of protein 3g of fiber, and a total of 290 calories. Paired with some fruit, yogurt, or other healthy options makes for a well-rounded, quick, and easy lunch. I’m definitely looking forward to trying their other varieties!

Have you tried any of the Lean Cuisine “Culinary Chic” dinners?
What do you usually have for lunch?

Disclaimer: I have partnered with Lean Cuisine through DailyBuzz Food to help promote their new line of Chef’s Pick products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Lean Cuisine!

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Filed under Food Review, Vegetarian/Vegan

I Scream for Coffee

When MomCentral contacted me with the offer to sample Starbucks’ new ice cream flavors as part of a blog-tour, I jumped at the offer! I remember discovering Starbucks and their frappucinos in middle school, and became immediately obsessed. One day I had two mocha frappucinos, and I had so much energy into the wee-hours that I rearranged my room. My parents awoke to a newly designed room, and a very tired Danielle.

Needless to say, finding out that they had frappucino flavored ice cream, my fiancé and I immediately went for the mocha flavor. My mom’s favorite ice cream flavor is coffee, so I grew up enjoying it as well. While I was tempted to go for the plain ‘ole coffee, I couldn’t pull myself away from frappucino. Even though this weekend was full of rain and wind, I couldn’t help but make some sweet treats. With the fear of power going out at any moment, I tried to make everything I could on Saturday. Thankfully when I awoke on Sunday we still had power, so I was able to enjoy some ice cream.

After sampling some on it’s own, I had a genius (well, I think) idea – ice cream sandwiches! Using graham crackers, the ice cream, and chocolate chips, I assembled these beauties simply by taking about 2-3 tablespoons of ice cream and spreading it on one graham cracker, placing the other graham on top, and sprinkling some chocolate chips around the sides. Super simple, and delicious!

The ice cream really does taste like their drinks, and considering how big a fan I am of Starbucks speciality drinks, I definitely plan on getting some more of these delicious ice cream flavors and making more treats. Perhaps a milkshake version of the mocha coconut frappucino? Yum!

*Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Starbucks and received coupons and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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Filed under Coffee, Food Review