“Anti-Tourist” Tours of NYC

Living in New York City, we’ve all seen the rows of brochures promoting countless tours — from food, to theater, to biking, the options can easily become a blur. Enter newcomer BQE Tours: The Brooklyn Queens Experience, which stands out from the pack by catering to a clientele of “anti-tourists.”

BQE Tours The Brooklyn Queens Experience

Looking for something different to do the next time your parents are in town? Offering not just tours, but experiences, BQE Tours was created for independent-minded travelers and locals alike who don’t want to follow the herd. The family-run operation’s intimate, small-group outings skip over Manhattan’s well-trodden tourism circuit to instead highlight cultural immersion in the dynamic neighborhoods found within Brooklyn and Queens.

With the launch of BQE Tours, tour-goers can now discover DUMBO and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, or Long Island City in Queens, with visits to local art studios and galleries, “makers” workshops and showrooms, mom-and-pop shops, and of course neighborhood food and drink vendors for tasty samplings (like craft beer from a local microbrewery, handcrafted chocolates, or fair trade coffee roasted on-site). Plus, expect unforgettable views of the Manhattan skyline, from these riverfront neighborhoods situated just across the East River.

Currently, the tour company offers four public tours (private tours are also available), which include:

If you go on a tour let me know how it is!

Christmas for Food Truck Lovers

I recently checked out the annual Village Voice Choice Streets Food Truck event, complete with nearly 20 of New York City’s favorite food trucks. This was my first time at this food event so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but my friend, Laura of 89th and Broke, loves this event because unlike many food events where you’re crammed together like sardines, this one is spread out across the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on Pier 86, leaving you with plenty of breathing room as you stuff your face.

After my virgin Choice Streets experience I’m pumped for next year. I discovered some new food trucks that I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on and stalking until they make their way down to my work neighborhood.

A couple takeaways from my first time:

  1. Get there on time. The lines get extremely long and in one case we found ourselves waiting for more than 30 minutes for Gorilla Cheese. I’m sorry, Gorilla. You’re good, but not 30+ minutes good for something I can make in my apartment.
  2. Make friends and share. Similar to many food events, it’s always best to team up with a group of friends and share dishes among each other. This ensures everyone gets to try a little bit of everything and you don’t leave with your pants bursting at the seams.
  3. Check out Snowday Food Truck. Maple grilled cheese. Do I need to say anything else? Snowday was the clear winner of the night for me. Not only is their truck serving up mapley-goodness, they’re doing it while helping and empowering formerly incarcerated youth.

Some photos from the night are below, starting with my favorite maple grilled cheese. Check out Snowday Food Truck, and next year check out Choice Streets. There’s no where else that you can sample nearly 20 food trucks all in one spot.

Last Chance! Grab Tickets to the Choice Streets Food Truck Event

Tickets are almost sold out! Grab your tickets to the 4th annual Choice Streets Food Truck event being held tomorrow at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Pier 86, which will also feature complimentary beer, wine, and liquor beverages and a tour aboard the Intrepid!

There is a deliciously awesome line up of some of New York City’s best food trucks awaiting you. The final food truck lineup includes: Andy’s Italian Ice, Big D’s Grub, Brooklyn Organic Coffee & Tea Truck, Carl’s Steaks, Domo Taco, Gorilla Cheese, King of Falafel and Shawarma, Korilla BBQ, Langos Truck, Mike ‘N Willie’s, Pizza Luca, Ponti Rossi, Snowday, Solber Pupusas, Sweet Chili, The Treats Truck, Valducci’s Pizza, The Vintage Ice Cream Guys, Yankee Doodle Dandy’s and more.

DATE: Tuesday May 5th, 2015 (Raindate: Friday May 8th, 2015)
VENUE: The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum | Pier 86 W. 46th St. and 12th Ave., Manhattan, NY
TICKETS: On sale – http://bit.ly/StreetsTix
General Admission Ticket – $55 | Early Entry Ticket – $65 | VIP Ticket – $85 
TIME: General Admission: 8:00PM – 11:00PM
Choice Streets Food Truck Event

Today! Free Cone Day at Carvel

What’s better than Nutella ice cream from Carvel? Free Nutella ice cream from Carvel!

Today, Carvel is celebrating Free Cone Day. From 3 to 8 p.m., Carvel is treating guests to a free junior cone filled with fresh vanilla, chocolate or the popular Nutella soft ice cream, which is only available until May 31.

Carvel will also raise funds for the American Red Cross by selling coupon books, and has already committed to donate a minimum of $20K for disaster relief efforts.

Find your nearest Carvel and grab your free cone today!

Carvel Free Cone Day

Vote for NYC’s Best Grilled Cheese

Taste your way through some of New York City’s top grilled cheese sandwiches this weekend at the 5th annual Big Cheesy Grilled Cheese Challenge. This event brings six different restaurants from across New York City together to compete as hungry attendees vote for their favorite grilled cheese. The event is this weekend, April 18th and 19th, and costs $30 per person, which includes six grilled cheese tastings and two beers from Goose Island.

The Big Cheesy Grilled Cheese Event

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon! This year’s competitors are:

  • Twist ’n Smash’d – The Twisted Grilled Cheese has cheddar cheese, fried Chicken, chipotle mayonnaise and avocado spread
  • La Maison de Croque Monsieur – Smoked Mozzarella, Bresaola (dried meat), Béchamel sauce & truffle oil
  • Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen – GUAC AND BACON: Cheddar, avocado, diced onions, jalapeño, tomato and bacon
  • Depanneur Brooklyn – Hangover Grilled Cheese – cheddar, avo, sriracha, buttered sourdough, ***served with McClure’s Blood Mary Chips & Mexican Coke***
  • The Wheelhouse Brooklyn
  • Artisanal – Artisanal Grilled Cheese: Consisting of our special Five cheese blend, Toasted Country Bread with Artisanal Signature Sauce

Evolution Fresh and Dannon Bring Greek Yogurt to Starbucks

You’re running late to work and don’t have time to eat breakfast, the most important meal of the day, before sprinting out the door. While grabbing your morning coffee at, of course, Starbucks, new Fruit on the Bottom Greek Yogurt and Greek Yogurt Parfaits catch your eye. Success!

Evolution Fresh and Dannon Greek Yogurts

Evolution Fresh and Dannon have teamed up to bring healthy, fresh Greek yogurt products to Starbucks stores near you. The three products – Evolution Fresh Smoothies, Evolution Fresh Greek Yogurt Parfaits, Inspired by Dannon and Fruit on the Bottom Greek Yogurts – are made with simple ingredients that highlight the delicious taste of fruits and vegetables, as well as thick, creamy Greek yogurt.

Evolution Fresh Smoothies

I had the chance to check out these new yogurt products and damn, they were good! The yogurt was extremely thick and creamy, and best of all contained no fat. Fresh fruit ranging from blueberry to black cherry to pineapple passion fruit delivered some delicious flavors.

The smoothies were equally as good. Made from cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, they’re free from added sweeteners, preservatives, colors and flavors. The three different varieties (Sweet Greens, Strawberry, Mango Carrot) are very refreshing.

Evolution Fresh and Dannon Greek Yogurt Parfaits

I was most surprised by the prices. The Fruit on the Bottom Greek Yogurts retail at $1.69 – similar to what you’ll pay for good Greek yogurt at a grocery store. Even better, smoothies are $5.95. Move over boutique juice bars and your $11 juices. Evolution Fresh just won that game.

Evolution Fresh Greek Yogurt Parfaits, Inspired by Dannon will debut in 6,000 Starbucks stores nationwide in May. Additionally, the Fruit on the Bottom Greek Yogurts will begin to roll out in select locations in May, including Albertsons/Safeway and Kroger, and are expected to be on shelves nationwide in July.

For the quality these products deliver, they’re easy on your wallet, healthy for you and sure to help get you going in the mornings!

Want to Have More Sex? Eat More Grilled Cheese

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day! From our friends at Skout, a leading social platform for meeting new people, we decided to have some fun with the holiday. From a survey of its users, it turns out loving grilled cheese helps you out in more ways than one.

Did you know that people who love grilled cheese sandwiches have more sex, are more charitable, and more adventurous than those who don’t?

Grilled cheese sandwich lovers get more action in the bedroom!

  • 73% of people who love grilled cheese sandwiches have sex at least once a month vs. 68% of those who don’t care for the sandwich.
  • 32% of grilled cheese sandwich lovers have sex at least six times a month vs. 27% who pass on the melted goodness.

People who love grilled cheese sandwiches are more charitable.

  • 81% of people who love grilled cheese sandwiches say they have donated their time, money or food to those in need. Only 66% of people who dislike grilled cheese say they are as generous.

Grilled cheese sandwich lovers are more adventurous and more likely to travel.

  • While a grilled cheese sandwich may seem like a safe, all-American meal, 88% of grilled cheese fans say they are “fairly” or “very” adventurous. Only 75% of people who dislike grilled cheese sandwiches say the same.
  • 84% of grilled cheese sandwich fans love to travel, compared to 78% of people who dislike the sandwich.

Favorite grilled cheese sandwich ingredients? It’s a mix.

  • The most popular cheese is American (41%) followed by Cheddar (33%), Mozzarella (10%), Swiss (8%), Provolone (6%) and Brie (2%).
  • White bread is by far the most popular choice (51%) followed by wheat (29%), sourdough (13%), rye (4%) and a baguette (3%).

Skout National Grilled Cheese Day