Top 5 Ice Cream Spots You Won’t Want To Miss

By Anna Lesser

The mid July heat we all know and love is beginning to settle in. Trying to find a snack to cool you down can be difficult in the Big Apple.  To help, we created a list of the top 5 ice cream places in NYC for you to check out.

1) Luca & Bosco

This is one place you do not want to miss out on. All-natural ingredients and organic flavor makes for a killer taste you won’t forget. Located in Essex Street Market, their famous Drunk & Salty Caramel scoop is one that will cool you down in a heartbeat, but will leave you wanting more.

Drunk & Salty Caramel Photo Credit: Catherine Oddenino

2) Coolhaus

If you’re looking for a more unique flavor ice cream, we have the place for you. Coolhaus has all types of food that strive to push the boundaries of traditional dessert.  Their hand-dipped ice cream bars are a delicious and easy snack to have on the go in this July heat.

Tahitian Vanilla Bean ice cream dipped in Salted Milk Chocolate and rolled in crushed pretzels Photo Credit: Coolhaus

3) Melt

If you’re anything like me and can never decide between ice cream or cookies for dessert, I am about to make your life a lot easier. Melt has the best Ice cream sandwiches New York has to offer. One of the top flavors, the Morticia, combines crackly chocolate cookies with malted chocolate rum ice cream and is one sandwich everyone is talking about.  

Ice Cream Sandwich Photo Credit: Melt Bakery

4) Emack and Bolios 

Emack and Bolios is one tasty treat that will leave your taste buds craving more. Their list of over 100 flavors is always kept fresh and they are constantly adding new ones.  One recent add- Space Cake is a delicious mix of cake batter ice cream with short bread cookie pieces and chunks of fudgy chocolate cake. Stop by and see which wonderful creation becomes your favorite!

Emack & Bolio’s Famous Cone Photo Credit: Emack & Bolio’s

5) Big Gay Ice Cream 

Last, but certainly not least is old favorite, Big Gay Ice Cream. Their funky names and fun flavors makes for a fun ice cream experience. “With a playful attitude, Big Gay Ice Cream spins a new take on old-school soft-serve by creating fun and unique ice creams, toppings, and frozen treats that appeal to a diverse mix of clientele.”

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Yellow Cake Soft-Serve Photo Credit: Big Gay Ice Cream

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a socially conscious online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com  

7 Meals Fit for a President

By Rosie O’Regan

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I did some internet research (i.e. Google) on our POTUSes and what they liked to eat. To no surprise, the results showed that our heads of state had very patriotic palates. These dishes range from All-American classics to twists on your old favorites–they’re delicious on their own, but they would sure look good served up on a White House platter!

George Washington, Cherries

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich from Coolhaus

Our #1 guy, Mr. Washington himself, went down in history books for his honesty by admitting to his father that he had chopped down a cherry tree–“I cannot tell a lie”. Whether or not that’s the whole story, I’m willing to bet that he felled that tree for the delicious cherries that were just out of his reach. Poor George could have satisfied his cherry fix for a lot less trouble by heading over to Coolhaus and snagging one of their cherry cheesecake ice cream sandwiches.

Cheery Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich from Coolhaus

John F. Kennedy, New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder from Le Mirage Cafe

What’s cookin’ good lookin’? Massachusetts born and bred, JFK had a weakness for a steaming bowl of New England Clam Chowder. The president deserves the best of the best, and you just cannot beat Le Mirage Cafe’s New England Clam Chowder.

New England Clam Chowder from Le Mirage Cafe

Richard Nixon, Meatloaf

Open-Faced Meatloaf Sandwich from The Squeeze

Nixon was a fan of the true American classic–meatloaf. Every night was probably meatloaf night when he was in the White House. However, it is possible to get bored of even the most delicious standby so I’d tell the president to run over to The Squeeze and try their open-faced meatloaf sandwich on a raw bread with veggies, lacto-fermented pickles, caramelized onions and BBQ sauce. Mmgood.

Open-faced Meatloaf Sandwich from The Squeeze

Ronald Reagan, Mac ‘n Cheese

Mac & Cheese from The Milk Truck

Good ol’ mac ‘n cheese was at the top of Ronald Reagan’s list. Leading the free world is a big job, so it’s nice to unwind with a classic comfort food. The Milk Truck’s Mac & Cheese will help you refuel and get back to the Oval Office in no time!

Mac & Cheese from The Milk Truck

George W. Bush, Brisket

Big Bad Brisket from Mike N’ Willie’s

Proving that he’s a southern man through and through, George W. Bush’s number one dish is brisket. Whenever he was feeling homesick sitting in that big white house in DC, he undoubtedly asked for a meal that reminded him of the South. Mr. President, I promise that Mike N’ Willie’s Big Bad Brisket will transport your taste buds straight to Texas.

Big Bad Brisket from Mike N’ Willie’s

Barack Obama, Broccoli

Fresh Mixed Vegetables Vegetarian Platter from 99% Vegetarian 

Not sure if this is a ploy to get Sasha and Malia to eat their vegetables, but Obama claims that broccoli is his favorite food. Well, Mr. President, let me let you in on a little secret–broccoli goes great with other vegetables. Expand your palate with 99%Vegetarian’s Vegetarian Platter which is chock full of fresh mixed vegetables. Pair your favorite, broccoli, with cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms and eggplant, topped with a lemon carrot ginger sauce made from pureed carrots. I got your back, Barack.

Fresh Mixed Vegetables from 99% Vegetarian

If you have dreams of sitting in the Oval Office, this Presidents’ Day treat yourself to a meal fit for the leader of the free world. Who knows, one day it might be you making requests from the White House kitchen!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

6 Resolutions You Should NOT Make in 2014

By Rosie O’Regan

New Year’s is right around the corner, and for many 2014 represents the chance to leave behind the trials and tribulations of 2013 and focus on becoming a brand new you. For those of you resolving to quit smoking, lose weight and spend more time with friends and family—I salute you!

Turning over a new leaf, starting a new chapter, having a fresh start—great. However there are some resolutions that you absolutely must avoid, because you will just be setting yourself up for failure.

Help yourself, your friends, and your family avoid uttering the following phrases:

“In 2014, I’m going to ______”

1. “Stop eating chocolate.” 

I wish you luck with this one but first you have to stop by The Cupcake Stop and try any of their chocolaty-goodness cupcakes. From Chocolate Caramel Pretzel to S’mores to Nutella Crunch, this place is heaven for any chocoholic.

Cupcakes from the Cupcake Stop…impossible to eat just one!

2. “Drink less”

Juice cleanses, kale smoothies, vitamin-infused water, oh my! When the latest liquid diet craze starts to overwhelm you, pop into Ryan Maguire’s for a good old-fashioned standby.

A nice cold beer from Ryan Maguire’s

3. “Eat less junk food and desserts”

Do I want to eat healthier? Yes. Can I ever say no to Coolhaus’s architecturally delicious ice cream sandwiches? No. The eternal struggle continues.

Endless cookie sandwiches from Coolhaus

4. “Go vegan or vegetarian”

Every now and then I consider being a vegetarian, but then I pass by Phil’s Steaks and find myself unable to pass up their mouthwatering Whiz Steak.

Whiz Steak from Phil's Steaks
Whiz Steak from Phil’s Steaks

5. “Cut down on caffeine”

Nuchas is known for their empanadas, but they also sell a variety of breakfast items—and what kind of breakfast is complete without a steaming cup of joe? Their delicious coffee and espresso is supplied by La Colombe Coffee Roasters.

La Colombe coffee from Nuchas
La Colombe coffee from Nuchas

6. “Cook more and eat out less”

Dying to try that homemade pizza recipe? Knock yourself out but first take a look at how Valducci’s Original Pizza does it…

Classic slice from Valducci's
Classic slice from Valducci’s

Having said that, allow me to dial back the cynicism and say that yes—you will defy all expectations and get through 2014 without breaking a single resolution. We believe in you, we do! Just promise that you’ll indulge yourself in a last supper with some of the foods above before embarking on your journey to self-improvement.

So, if you’re feeling on the fence about your New Year’s resolutions visit us at www.foodtoeat.com and we’ll help you break them! Check out our site to see if any of these delicious treats are near you.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Architecture Meets Ice Cream

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By: Gabby Zilkha
Edited by: Diana Truong

Coolhaus… I get it! It’s because the ice cream sandwich looks like a house and it’s cold! Right you are…well sort of…kind of…maybe 1/3 right. The name is in fact a triple Entendre! So while an ice cream sandwich is essentially a cool house, its meaning also stems from some super cool Architecture history.

Bauhaus is a design movement of the 1930’s that connects art and design, which is essentially what Coolhaus has done with their ice cream sandwiches. It is also named for the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas who challenged architectural concepts. The ice cream gurus make the point to connect architecture into Coolhaus encompassing all of their passions.

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If you ever go onto a Coolhaus truck you will see the homage to architecture and great architects. They have flavors named after famous architects all over New York City, for instance they have a flavor for the guy who designed the highline (left)! They love to get a conversation going about the ice cream and architecture.

CoolHaus3

Natasha (left) actually got her masters in architecture and she loved the idea of incorporating food into design. She saw food as a medium that promoted comfort and one that created strong happy memories. Natasha wanted to make architecture more mainstream and keep awareness for the beauty of it going.

Sophia

The outreach is working too! Natasha told me a funny story about a time when she was on the streets of New York in the Coolhaus Truck. There was a huge line for the ice cream sandwiches when all of a sudden Sofia Vergara (right) and a large crowd of her friends wearing fancy Versace dresses come up to the truck. Sofia stood in front of the truck and just started reading the flavors and the people the flavors were named after. As she reads them in her nice heavy accent, Sophia, her friends, and everyone in line is laughing at the way she’s pronouncing the flavors. Between Sophia Vergara and the long line, that was some of the best advertising ever for the truck.

Coolhaus done something revolutionary with a simple ice cream sandwich. So swing by next time you are in the city. They have their locations posted on their website for the week. Who knows maybe you will end up running into Sofia Vegara and if not I guess it will be okay getting a chicken and waffle ice cream sandwich anyway while having a nice conversation about architecture.

Tempted to order? We thought so- http://bit.ly/14CRVzW

IceCream

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

2012 Vendy Awards, Recap & Winners

This Saturday the Street Vendor Project held the eighth annual Vendy Awards at Governor’s Island, featuring two dozen vendors from New York City nominated in several different categories by their biggest fans. Fortunately it was a beautiful day out, and about 1,500 people gathered at the event to feast and vote for their favorites.

Every year that I go to the Vendy’s I make a silent pact with myself to try something from every vendor. This pledge is much easier said than done, and I think I sampled about eight vendors before I sprawled on the grass in the middle of a debilitating food coma. But I’m pleased to say I tried food from several of the big winners, including Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food, a food truck from Brooklyn that took the top honors this year, winning the coveted Vendy Cup.

I started at Baby Got Back Ribs, a vendor nominated for the new Best in Market category and serving out of the Smorgasburg flea market in Brooklyn. These guys made two kinds of excellent ribs, a sweet and tangy flavor and a 21-seasoned dry rub variety. They served the ribs alongside a refreshing cole slaw and a hunk of corn bread. The meat was so tender that it just fell off the bone, and these ribs were an excellent way to kick off the day. They even served their own iced coffee with the meal, and kept us entertained with some light trivia.

I stopped by another Best in Market contender called Mayhem & Stout that operates out of DeKalb Market in Brooklyn. Mayhem & Stout specializes in pork sandwiches, and I tried their braised short rib and brisket, which was probably one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. The short rib was ridiculously tender, and was paired with Blueberry Sriracha and Pickled Vidalia Onions, combining to provide an out of this world flavor.

I passed by some of my favorite food trucks, but I was on a quest to eat from the ones I had never seen before. Okadaman’s Japanese pancakes are some of my favorites, and Uncle Gussy’s and Phil’s Steaks are regulars in Midtown, Manhattan that usually end up in my weekly lunch schedule. At last I found the sought after Lumpia Shack, serving Filipino inspired spring rolls. I tried their Peking duck roll and a mushroom and truffle roll. There’s a reason Lumpia won the best in Market category, these rolls were packed with flavor. The duck roll was rich, savory and fried to a perfect crisp and complemented by a tangy sauce on top. When it comes to truffles I don’t think there’s a way to wrong, and this roll was by far the best vegetarian dish I ate all day.

Rounding out the Best in Market vendors, I was drawn to Pestle & Mortar by their elaborate lobster shell display around their ceviche. For anyone who has never had ceviche, it’s a popular seafood dish from South America made from raw seafood marinated in citrus juice and spiced with a variety of seasonings. Pestle & Mortar’s ceviche was made from shrimp and lobster, marinated in citrus and served with fresh chunks of mango in a small cup with a crisp dipping chip. The ceviche was so good I actually came back for several more helpings; one man in front of me even took a pint home at the end. The ceviche was fresh and perfect for the weather. All of the Best in Market nominees I ate from were outstanding, and the Vendy Awards made a great decision in opening this category.

Among the other vendors I had a chance to eat from was Xin Jiang Prosperity Kebabs, a food cart from Chinatown nominated for the Vendy Cup. The lamb kebab was another winner, succulent and perfectly seasoned; a perfect match with Brooklyn Brewery’s India Pale Ale. People’s Choice winners Cinnamon Snail served huge portions of vegan sliders and a mushroom dish, as well as their signature donuts and a vegan Twinkie. Fun Buns served a delicious Asian pork bun that made me wonder why I hadn’t eaten at this cart yet. Finally I had my last full meal from Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food, three tacos and a selection of four different salsas. The salsas are really what made Piaztlan stand out, the red tomatillo salsa had a perfect kick to it, and the green tomatillo avocado salsa was rich and savory. As someone else at the Vendy’s commented, each salsa made Piaztlan’s tacos taste different, so customers could make the perfect taco to suit their tastes.

Too full to try most of the desserts, I sampled Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich’s new Bushmills flavored ice cream they created. The candied bacon variety was really addicting; I didn’t think it tasted like bacon or whiskey, which was fine with me. The edible wrappers they provide always give an added incentive to eat their ice cream. Monsieur Singh Lassi was the only other dessert I managed to try; they created Indian style Lassi ice pops. Their mango ice pop was creamy and delicious; even though it was so cold it stuck to my tongue when I got it.

Although I couldn’t possibly eat from every vendor I wanted to, a big shout out goes to the winners of the awards, and a thank you as well for providing such amazing food and standing up for every vendor’s rights as well. I will definitely be back next year, with a whole new set of eating goals.

Winner, Vendy Cup: Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food

Winner, People Choice: Cinnamon Snail

Winner, Most Heroic Vendor: Sammy Kassem

Winner, Best Rookie Vendor: Phil’s Steaks

Winner, Best Dessert: Melt Bakery

Winner, Best in Market: Lumpia Shack

Countdown to the 2012 Vendy Awards

The New York City Vendy Awards will be held tomorrow, September 15th at Governor’s Island. The Vendy Awards are an annual tasting and award ceremony for some of New York City’s best food trucks and carts. The event is sponsored by our friends at the Street Vendor Project and works to shed light on new and upcoming vendors, and raise awareness for the rights of small business owners.

This year the Vendy nominees will fall into several categories from last year, and one new one. The new category is called “Best in Market”, which acts to represent street vendors that sell their goods at street fairs and outdoor markets. This new breed of vendor tends to use locally sourced ingredients and classic techniques, and was heavily supported by the voting public during nominations this year.

Last year the Vendy’s created a new category called “Most Heroic Vendor” to support those that stood up for their community. This year the Most Heroic Vendor is Sammy Kasem, a halal food vendor in Bay Ridge Brooklyn who faced opposition from several brick-and-mortar restaurants. These restaurant owners tried kicking him out of his spot, nailing park benches down to keep his cart out, and threatened and harassed him. Instead of giving up Sammy has continued to fight for his right to make a living in this community.

In the other five categories a wide variety of known and more obscure trucks have been nominated. In the Best Dessert category, Coolhaus Ice Cream sandwiches and Andy’s Italian Ices have been nominated, both members of the New York City Food Truck Association, and well known throughout New York City. Coolhaus originates from California, and is homage to architectural design by using cookies and plenty of flavors of ice cream. Andy’s has the same idea with over 45 flavors of water and crème ices, as well as an espresso bar.

For Best Rookie Vendor our friends at Okadaman and Phil’s Steak’s were nominated, as well as Chinese Mirch, Morocho Peruvian Cuisine, and Cambodian Cusine Torsu. Okadaman is a Japanese food truck serving Osaka-style street food like their iconic Japanese pancake. Phil’s Steaks serves traditional Philly cheese steaks, and is always a huge hit at events.

In the new Best in Market category, Baby Got Back Ribs from the Smorgasborg Flea Market in Brooklyn was nominated, as well as Lumpia Shack. Baby Got Back Ribs uses a 21-seasoning flavoring to make their signature ribs. Lumpia serves Filipino-inspired spring rolls in Brooklyn, and aims to bring Filipino cuisine to the whole world.

In the main category, the Vendy Cup, six vendors have been nominated with a huge variety of tastes. Our friends at the Cinnamon Snail serve vegan food from their ornate burgundy-colored food truck; their Makers Mark donuts last year were a huge hit and took home the Vendy Award. Long-time vendor Uncle Gussy has also been nominated, a signature Greek food truck that keeps cooking all in the family.

We’re thrilled for all the vendors nominated for Vendy Award’s this year, and this event should provide each vendor with publicity and raise awareness for the service they provide to New Yorkers. Check in Monday to see a full recap of the day’s events.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

I Scream. You Scream. We All Scream for Ice Cream!

July is National Ice Cream Month and we hope you have been celebrating accordingly so far. With the recurrent heat waves that New York has been experiencing, ice cream has served as the perfect treat to refresh yourself. Former President Ronald Reagan first recognized this month-long celebration in 1984 to celebrate the popularity of ice cream as a “fun and nutritious” food that is eaten by about 90% of Americans today.

This Sunday, July 15th, is National Ice Cream Day. Each year this holiday is celebrated on the third Sunday of July. Since the introduction of ice cream in America in the late 18th century, this frozen dessert has contributed to the growth of the national dairy industry, making the U.S. annual frozen dairy production about 1.6 billion gallons. Nowadays, we see an eclectic variety of flavors and styles of ice cream offered by manufacturers and retailers. Several chain stores as well as small businesses have opened their doors to satisfy the public’s demand for this American staple.

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The most popular flavor in America is vanilla, followed by chocolate, cookies ‘n’ cream, strawberry, and chocolate chip mint. My personal favorite of all time is Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s Limited Batch Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream. It’s only produced in the fall, so make sure you don’t miss your chance to buy a pint of it from the supermarket in October!

If you’re out and about on Sunday and looking for a way to celebrate, some of the ice cream trucks that will be roaming the city include Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Van Leeuwen, and, of course, Mister Softee. Check their twitters to see where they’ll be parked so you can visit them. I hope you all indulge and enjoy this day as much as I will!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

New Nissan Food Truck Legitimizes the Industry

Convertibles, hybrids, SUV’s, new concept cars… and food trucks? Nissan just unveiled the brand new Nissan NV van, sponsoring food trucks in Los Angeles with a fresh new design. The truck comes in three different models, and is the first commercial vehicle to be sold by Nissan in the United States. This news is monumental to food trucks, and some have already begun to use this new model.
The Grilled Cheese Truck and CoolHaus LA gave out samples in NV vans, showcasing the new design over the traditional aged look most food trucks have. Standard trucks tend to be large and bulky, many being refurbished postal trucks, and they often have difficulty fitting into small spaces. The new Nissan vans are smaller with a lower height, and more compact to ease parking difficulties in cities. Venues often limit the number of food trucks to be permitted, but this new Nissan van may change the limits on food trucks at many of these events, and allow them to reach previously inaccessible spaces.
Nissan food trucks also offer the advantage of better power and mileage than existing food truck models. The old trucks are often hard to find maintenance for, but Nissan dealers should be able to take care of all truck repairs. These trucks may also help to consolidate branding among several trucks with operations throughout the country. This consistency will help legitimize the branding of trucks such as Coolhaus, giving them some added legitimacy.

The three Nissan NV models were released this summer in the United States. Nissan’s director of product planning, Mark Perry, said “It’s a unique product for us. This is really all about innovation, to have a little fun, because there’s been really nothing for this industry.” Until now mobile vendors have had few options, all with older technology.
The NV comes with diverse features and available upgrades, and includes an outfitting service that will build and install up to 60 square feet of graphics on the vehicle, designed by the buyer. The model itself it sleek and futuristic looking in comparison to the older models, and proves that the food truck industry is here to stay.
The rise of the ‘gourmet’ food truck has helped these mobile vendors increase in popularity recently. According to the LA Times, Americans are expected to spend $630 million at mobile vendors this year, up from $608 million in 2010.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com