Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2010 Vendy Award Winners!

The 2010 Vendy Awards were this weekend, and Little Scarlet was lucky enough to get in for free – as a volunteer, of course. People in-the-know think of the Vendys as one of New York’s great foodie events, where the best street vendors of the city converge on one location for an all day extravaganza of international foods and inventive desserts. But what a lot of people aren’t aware of is that the Vendy Awards are a fundraiser for New York’s nonprofit, Urban Justice Center – more specifically, proceeds benefit Urban Justice’s Street Vendor Project, which helps fight for the rights of over 10,000 food, flower, book, and merchandise vendors that have staked their claim on small pieces of New York’s sidewalks. It’s a great cause, and this year’s Vendy Awards raised over $100,000!

I was working the afternoon shift at the merchandise table (“T-shirt? Apron? Get your Vendys gear!”), so I had all morning to wander around this part of Governors Island, sampling everything. The official winners were picked by a panel of judges including Food Network stars, local restaurateurs, and Epicurious’s own Tanya Steel. Maybe one day we’ll be listed in that line-up! (hint hint…)

Anyway, click “Read More” for the winners – and some of Little Scarlet’s favorites of the day!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Poll of the Week - 9.27.2010

The Vendys happened this weekend, and it was the perfect day for it. Warm and sunny, everyone in high spirits, great music, and food – such amazing food from all the vendors! Our coverage will be going up in the next day or so, but to get everyone in the mood, here’s the “Poll of the Week”!

Street vendors are an integral part of any true city’s landscape, and New York’s vendors have really stepped up their game from the fleets of carts hawking dirty-water dogs and rock-hard pretzels to tourists. This week’s “Poll of the Week” asks which of the following foods would you be most excited to get from a street vendor?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Le Grand Fooding, Craft Beer Week, Vendys, and more!

Earlier this week, Little Scarlet told you about some of the events going on in the city this weekend. But it turns out there’s a lot more than previously reported! Check out this day-by-day breakdown for when to be where.

Friday, September 24
So there isn’t really too much happening exclusively on Friday, but this Friday marks the beginning of two very exciting food events: Le Grand Fooding and NY Craft Beer Week!

Le Grand Fooding

Oh yes, San Francisco’s best come to New York in an epic, gastronomic throw-down! It’s Alice Waters’ organic, locally grown, idealist school of thought vs. the foul-mouthed, rock 'n' roll hedonism of Nate Appleman and David Chang. Hmm, which one sounds like more fun? Okay, so maybe we’re a little biased, but hey! this is a New York blog, right? Right. And don’t think the west coast has cornered the market on local food, we’ve got Dan Barber!

Either way, one thing’s for sure - no matter which coast you think is better, a ticket to Le Grand Fooding ($50, promises a night of food from some of the most celebrated chefs in the country, with drinks courtesy of Veuve Clicquot and Belvedere, and wines from the Rhône Valley. Plus, it’s for a good cause, with proceeds from all ticket sales going to benefit Action Against Hunger. Tickets can be bought for either Friday or Saturday night, and a small number of tickets will be held available for walk-ins.

NY Craft Beer Week

Over the last couple of years, people have come to appreciate beer with a passion (and hint of snobbery) that was previously reserved for wine and very fine scotch. If you’re a die-hard brewing enthusiast, you probably know what all of the fuss surrounding craft beers is about. But if you’re the sort to cling to your Pinot Grigo and wonder why people bother with beer in the first place, NY Craft Beer Week will change your life! From September 24-October 3, there’s an event scheduled for practically every hour of the day, with parties, cask ale festivals, and special paired dinner menus at restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Craftbar, and Blue Smoke.

Craft Beer Week Passport, with snacks from Jimmy’s No. 43 - just a sample of what to expect during Craft beer Week!
Beer-braised beef with arugula and horseradish-crème fraiche on brioche - now that’s a bar snack Little Scarlet could get used to!

To really maximize the festival, pick up a Passport for yourself ($10, or at any of the venues listed here). A Passport entitles you to $3 beers at all of the venues listed, from generic basement bars to beer bars even Garrett Oliver would frequent.

A lot of the venues are offering special year-round discounts and promotions, but why wait? Check out our coverage from last year, and then get out there this week and sample the best of what this great city has to offer!

Saturday, September 25

Stone Street Oyster Festival, and Oyster Frenzy
Saturday brings two oyster festivals to New York - one at Ulysses’ down on Stone Street, and one at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. Both are in beautiful, historic locations, and both will have great tastings and live music. But Grand Central’s Oyster Frenzy will have a shucking and eating competition - and Little Scarlet loves anything competitive!

Sunday, September 26

NYC Apple Day Festival

The name here says it all. Stop by Orchard Street, between Broome and Grand (11 am-5 pm), for apple muffins, apple cider, and bushels of the original forbidden fruit! And just for kicks, here are some bits of New York, apple-related trivia:

Apple Factoid #1: Back in the 1700s, this stretch of the Lower East Side was owned by an apple farmer named DeLancey, giving rise to Orchard Street and Delancey Street.

Apple Factoid #2: Ever wonder why Broadway curves at 10th Street? In 1815, city planners agreed to bend the road here so that it would preserve the apple orchards of Henry Brevoort and other farmers.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NYC Dumpling Festival, Sept 25

Life is full of tough choices – vanilla or chocolate, scrambled or over-easy, pumpernickel or rye… And this weekend, you’ll be faced with yet another tough choice: gyoza or mandoo?

Try dumplings from all over the world this Saturday at the NYC Dumpling Festival. From 12-5 in Sara D. Roosevelt Park (right across from the Bowery Whole Foods), get your fill of pierogi, gnocchi, bao, and more! Dumplings are sold in exchange for tickets, which are purchased from one central, ticket-selling location – tickets are $20, and each ticket is worth four dumpling servings from any booth.

And if you’re more of a sprinter-style eater than a marathon-paced grazer, enter the 7th Annual Dumpling Eating Contest! Can you beat last year’s record of 66 dumplings in 2 minutes?

Whether you enter the Eating Contest or just show up to enjoy the party, remember that these dumplings sell out fast, so make sure you get there early!

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Amsterdam Market is Back!

September 12 marked the return of the New Amsterdam Market and foodies all across New York rejoiced! This open-air market supports small business that promote local foods, and brings some of the old-fashioned peddler glamour to the cobblestone streets of the Fulton Fish Market and South Street Seaport.

Here’s a sampling of what to expect at the New Amsterdam Market, happening every Sunday, 11 am-4 pm, through December 19 (except for November 28).

Heirloom tomatoes

Peaches are still great, get 'em quick!

Is there really anything better than freshly baked bread? Well... maybe free samples!

So many different kinds of cheese at the Market!

All kinds of pasta doughs and shapes




New Amsterdam Market is full of apples - Macintosh, Gala, Cortland, there’s something for every taste!

Jersey corn and honeydew melon

Spicy habaneros!

Radishes, leeks, carrots - oh my!

Wonderful ice creams from The Bent Spoon, as usual! Recent samplings included chocolate-rosemary ice cream, nectarine sorbet, and beet-basil ice cream (pictured, above)

Spices and tea blends! Stock up on spices like cumin, lavender, ground coriander, and exotic tea blends like Hibiscus Blood Orange, White Tea Raspberry Grapefruit, and Marrakech Mint.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Poll of the Week - 9.20.2010

The New Amsterdam Market is back this fall (post to come soon, get excited!) and tucked in among the carrots, turnips, shallots, and apples are the season’s first pumpkins! There’s something so quintessentially autumnal about pumpkins, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Thanksgiving table or Halloween haunted house unadorned by an assortment of these golden-hued squashes.

Being surrounded by these bright orange orbs has made me what to pillage every farmers market and grocery store in Manhattan and make as many pumpkin dishes as possible. Pumpkin pie? Oh yes. Pumpkin soup with cider cream? How much more autumn could you cram in a bowl? Pumpkin enchiladas? Well, I’ve never made them before, but I’m feeling inspired!

If you’re more of a traditionalist, though, pumpkins are such a versatile vegetable that there’s really no shortage of great ideas. This week’s “Poll of the Week” wants to know what’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Celebrate Oktoberfest on the Hudson

With the great German beer gardens in Queens and the East Village, it’s easy to have an “Oktoberfest” celebration any time of year, but this weekend you can go to a real (& seasonally appropriate) Oktoberfest bash!

With summer’s balmy temperatures a not-too-distant memory, it’s amazing that we’re far enough into September to celebrate Oktoberfest, but here we are and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! (Long-time readers know how much I hate the heat...) To celebrate, New York’s first annual Oktoberfest on the Hudson is happening this Saturday, September 18 on Pier 81 from noon-4h30.

Celebrate Oktoberfest with German classics like giant pretzels and a variety of bratwurst, plus a German folk band - “with dancers”! - and all the lederhosen you can ogle. And if all that dancing and salty deliciousness makes you thirsty, help yourself to some of Germany’s excellent beers. Admission is $10 (food and drink not included), and a $15 admission ticket also includes a Hudson River cruise from 2-3.

New York’s First Annual Oktoberfest on the Hudson: September 18, noon-4h30 pm, Pier 81, W 41st Street & the Hudson River. $10 ($15, including cruise), buy tickets online here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't call it a comeback...

So far, September has not been the best month for Little Scarlet - I know I’ve been pretty MIA, but my computer broke down earlier this month, making it a tad difficult to keep up here. On top of that, it is taking forrrevverr for my new parts to arrive.  So, I’m sneaking in a few minutes here just before work starts to let everyone know that this flakiness is only temporary! I promise! My new laptop pieces will be arriving this week, but in the meantime...

September 22 is still a couple of days away, but it feels like fall’s finally here!


The New Amsterdam Market is back on a weekly basis again (yay!), temperatures are down in the 70s (thank goodness!), and for those of you who track the seasons by Starbucks’ specialty drinks, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back!

It’s an exciting time of year with a lot of great events on the horizon, and Little Scarlet’s going to be here to keep you all in the know!

For real.