This Weekend: Big Apple BBQ

If you’re around Madison Square Park this weekend stop by the annual Big Apple BBQ, a two-day gathering of some of the country’s best pitmasters. On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. you can chow down on brisket from Texas, pulled pork from Alabama, ribs from Mississippi and more.

Words of advice – get to this event right when it opens and divide and conquer with friends. Lines form at the popular booths quickly.

Big Apple Barbecue Pulled Pork

Photo courtesy of Big Apple Barbecue

Free Iced Tea Today at Teavana

Today is National Iced Tea Day and to celebrate, participating Teavana stores are giving away free 16-ounce Pineapple Berry Blue iced tea, no purchase required (one free Pineapple Berry Blue iced tea per customer). There are a few stores in NYC – 9th and Broadway, Broadway and 81st, Madison and 84th, 63rd and 3rd, Queens Center Mall and Staten Island Mall.

To continue the iced tea celebration, customers can visit participating Teavana stores on June 11 – June 14 from 3-6 p.m. local time for 50% off an iced tea beverage.

National Iced Tea Day Teavana

Horror Fiction in the East Village: Lovecraft Bar

Lovecraft – 50 Avenue B, Manhattan, New York

A steampunk-themed interior intricately detailed with water fixtures, hanging lights, tentacles and plenty more gives this East Village bar a mysterious and spooky feeling right in line with its namesake, H.P. Lovecraft.

I recently was invited in to check out Lovecraft’s new dinner menu, which debuted this spring featuring innovative items created by award-winning celebrity chef, Chris Coleman. But before we dive into the food, let me gloat again about the interior – wow. If not for anything else, stop by Lovecraft just to explore the multi-roomed interior that takes you through the strange, dark fiction of H.P. Lovecraft.

Lovecraft Bar InteriorLovecraft Bar opened last year as a cocktail bar featuring live music on its stage downstairs. It now features a full brunch and dinner menu featuring items including crisp salads, tasty appetizers and mouth-watering entrees “from the sea” and “from the land.”

Maryland Crab Cake

Maryland crab cakes come out surrounded by beads of truffle aioli. There was virtually no breading in this crab cake, with it truly being a crab cake and consisting of copious amounts of perfectly seared lump crab.

Montauk Lobster Tacos

Montauk lobster tacos come out three to a plate. Once again, Chef Coleman doesn’t shy away from liberal amounts of seafood. These tacos were bursting with lots of delicious lobster meat. The lobster is mixed with mayo and a light cream sauce and it’s all topped with pico de gallo and an avocado puree. My only recommendation would be to go a little lighter on the sauce next time. The lobster had a lot of flavor and I didn’t want the sauce to overpower that too much.

Skirt Steak

Who can say no to steak? The presentation here displayed a skirt steak sliced and stacked on top of grilled asparagus and fingerling potatoes. The steak was cooked to order and deliciously marinated.

Fresh Water Walleye

Pistachio crusted walleye was served with gorgonzola and blue cheese-infused fingerling potatoes. The fish was fresh and had a very light and refreshing taste to it. The potatoes added some more heartiness to the dish and were absolutely delicious – who wouldn’t love potatoes covered in cheese?

The Verdict

The eldritch interior design, impeccable artwork, and weekly entertainment have attracted Lovecraft fans, local art enthusiasts and live-music fanatics from all over the city. Restaurant and bar-goers now have the fabulous opportunity to enjoy Chef Coleman’s culinary talents as well. The interior is simply spectacular and the food excels as well. Kudos to Lovecraft Bar. Check it out next time you’re in the East Village!

Happy National Doughnut Day! Where Can You Score Some Freebies?

It’s National Doughnut Day and that means you can score some free doughnuts. Here’s where to go:

  • Dunkin Donuts – free doughnut with purchase of a beverage
  • Entemann’s – enter via their Facebook page to win a year’s worth of free doughnuts
  • Krispy Kreme – stop by for a free doughnut
  • Doughnut Plant – if you live in New York City, you can get a free Carnival Sprinkles mini-cake doughnut with a regular purchase

National Doughnut Day

Treat House Falls Short

Treat House – 452 Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan, New York

I wanted to love Treat House. I really did.

Treat House

This gourmet bakery on the Upper West Side specializes in creating small, marshmallow, rice crispy treats in 12 original flavors as well as seasonal and custom options. Treat House offers some delicious-sounding and creative flavors such as bubble gum, caramel sea salt and birthday cake. What’s not to love, right?

Treat House

While these rice crispy treats are filled some innovative ingredients, I just couldn’t get past the fact that at the end of the day they are still just rice crispy treats. After taking a bite into a few of the more innovative options, the flavors I anticipated just weren’t there and instead I was faced with the reality that I was simply tasting the same rice crispy treat I can make in my kitchen.

Treat House

Treat House definitely gears itself toward the younger population, with a mock tree house in the back of the shop. And for kids I’m sure these rice crispy treats are a tasty dessert. However, for me, Treat House failed to live up to my expectations and next time I’ll be headed to the nearest chocolate shop instead.

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Brooklyn Passport Offers 2-for-1 Drink Deals All Summer Long

What’s your plan for the summer? If it involves going on a bar crawl to check out some of Brooklyn’s most popular bars, listen up. The Brooklyn Passport, a summer-long program giving you 2-for-1 drink specials throughout bars in Brooklyn, is now available.

Brooklyn Passport

The Brooklyn Passport is $20 and deals last through Labor Day. You can check out the full list of specials as each bar is offering a different drink that’s included in this deal. Redeem each special, and a bartender will imprint their bar’s passport page with an official Brooklyn Passport stamp. Just two trips to choice local bars will cover the price of the Passport. Meanwhile, you can hop (skip and jump, too) from bar to bar trying the latest creations from bars across the borough.

The 26 participating venues are below:

  • Black Bear Bar
  • Brooklyn Public house
  • Cafe Moto
  • Chez Oskar
  • Concord Hill
  • Enid’s
  • Fabbrica Restaurant & Bar
  • The General Greene
  • Grand Ferry Tavern
  • Hanson Dry
  • Hoja Santa
  • Jify’s
  • Lake Street Bar
  • Lola BKLYN
  • Luz Restaurant
  • Moonlight Mile
  • No Name Bar
  • No. 7
  • No. 7 North
  • Over the Eight
  • Passenger Bar
  • Pequena
  • The Richardson
  • Sip
  • St. Mazie
  • Troost

National Hamburger Day – $1 Burgers from GoodMeal

Looking for an inexpensive lunch today? In honor of National Hamburger Day, GoodMeal is offering a delicious and healthy burger for only $1 – today only!

The GoodMeal Signature Burger features 90% lean ground beef. Caramelized shallots with a splash of white wine vinegar give the burger a nice bite, which sharp cheddar, fat free yogurt and tomato balance out the richness.

Goodmeal Signature Burger

In case you’re not familiar with GoodMeal, they’re a new healthy ready-to-eat delivery service that just launched in NYC this past April. Think Munchery, Plated, HelloFresh, Blue Apron – but without the hassle of cooking. The dishes arrive to you quickly, fresh, with sustainable ingredients and are healthy. Currently they’re only available in certain zip codes but expanding quickly to cover all of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn by the end of 2015.

Take advantage of today’s deal and if you do, let me know how it is!