Delicious and Patriotic Foods to Eat on the Fourth of July

By Hannah Poss

The 4th of July is coming up so that means that it’s almost time to celebrate. This day commemorates our country’s birthday and so to honor this day, we patriots, celebrate all things American. What better way to celebrate than through devouring classic, old-fashioned, all-American food? Even better, salute this special day by exploring some of America’s newest twists to its beloved classics. While you can never say no to a nice, juicy, traditional cheeseburger or a big bowl of ooey gooey mac n cheese, try some of these revamped classics that are sure to spark some fireworks.

An All-American, Over-Flowing Burger from the Counter

Photo Credit: grubstreet.com

At The Counter, in Times Square, you can custom build your own classic American burger. Go down the line, step by step, to create a personalized burger to fit your taste. This chain has an incredible range of patty options, toppings and sauces to choose from so even a habitué of this joint will never grow bored.

The Famous, Fun and Tasty Twist on the Classic: The Ramen Burger

Ramen Burger

While you can get pretty creative and funky making your own burger at The Counter, if you haven’t tried the famous ramen burger from Ramen Co. yet, it’s a must-have, so make your way to one of their New York  locations or catch them at the popular Brooklyn food festival, Smorgasburg. This crowd-pleasing combination of a juicy beef patty, sandwiched by pan-fried “buns” made entirely from ramen noodles, still provides the eater with the feel of a traditional American burger patty, but puts a new, creative, Asian-inspired twist on a classic.

A Traditional (and Indulgent) American Dog

Papaya King

Another common American bite perfect for the 4th of July is a hot dog. Who doesn’t love a standard foot long on a doughy bun with just the right ketchup to mustard ratio? In New York, it is especially easy to come across a hot dog. Don’t get caught, however, investing in an average hot dog from the vendors scattered across Manhattan. Instead, make your way to one of Papaya King’s two locations and get yourself “the Original”.

An Authentic Polish Staple Puts a Twist on a Typical American Dish

Original Polish
Photo Credit: ny.eater.com

Even though a traditional hot dog is always a crowd pleaser, if you’re looking to explore your horizons and broaden your palette, try an authentic Polish kielbasa from the Old Traditional Polish food truck instead. The owners of this food truck are serving up pure Polish kielbasas and pierogis like your grandmother used to make them. So, if you find yourself tired of the well-worn American hot dog, track down the Old Traditional Polish food truck and celebrate July 4th with Poland’s version of the American classic.

Get Down and Dirty with  Katz’s Noteworthy Meaty Sandwiches

Katz's Deli

Another must-have food to celebrate America’s birthday is a legendary Katz’s deli sandwich. This institution has been in place in New York’s historical Lower East Side since 1888 and so their delectable pastrami, brisket and turkey sandwiches (to name just a few) have brought widespread attention to the Manhattan joint. While you may find yourself waiting on a seemingly never-ending line down the block, the wait is beyond worthwhile. There is no better place to get your hands dirty with a stacked pastrami sandwich on old-fashioned rye bread or a noteworthy Reuben sandwich overflowing with sauerkraut than at this famous, Jewish delicatessen.

Get Transported Down South with One of These Southern Inspired Sammies 

Cheeky's

While Katz’s is not a place to skip out on, if you’re seeking out a sandwich shop with a different flavor focus, try Cheeky Sandwiches in New York’s Soho. This place is also a perfect place to celebrate July 4th as it serves up big, hearty sandwiches that Americans love. While Katz’s creates traditional, authentic Jewish deli sandwiches, Cheeky Sandwiches puts a Southern twist on an average deli sandwich. With creations such as vegetable muffalatas and shrimp po-boys, their menu transports you directly to New Orleans. The fried chicken biscuit sandwich is also unmistakably inspired by the South. If you’re in the area, get a much needed dose of Southern hospitality by trying one of Cheeky’s bold sandwiches.

Some of New York’s Finest Cheesy Eats

Photo Credit: thisweekfordinner.com
Photo Credit: foodsmackdown.com

While you’re out and exploring these eateries that whip up American originals, make sure to also try S’MAC  to get your fill of the celebrated and beloved cheesy pasta. Also, make your way down a couple blocks to Bleecker Street Pizza to get the true Tuscan style pizza that has become some of New York’s finest. And it’s not even a question as to whether or not these are celebratory foods fitting for July 4th… because have you really ever met someone who doesn’t like mac n’ cheese and pizza? That’s what we thought!

So when you’re looking for inspiration for the best ways to both celebrate the forthcoming July 4th, while keeping your stomach from growling, check out some of these local, all-American joints. Once you’ve covered the traditional American foods mentioned above, make sure to try the other American-inspired foods that take a fun and delicious twist on the more classic dishes.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat. We help build corporate culture by bringing the best local food to offices for team meals and special events. We believe in investing in your team. That’s why we’re committed to improving employee happiness through food – feed your team today with FoodtoEat! Check out the deliciousness here: FoodtoEat Catering

Not Your Average Hot Dog: Papaya King Truck Takes On NYC

By Anna Lesser

Behind the Food Truck is a FoodtoEat original series where we meet the amazing men and women behind our favorite mobile cuisines and share their inspiring stories. At FoodtoEat, we’re lucky to have the best food trucks NYC has to offer in our family. Here are their stories.

Photo Credit: Papaya King
The brand new Papaya King Truck | Photo credit: Papaya King

If you haven’t heard yet, Papaya King, the well-known NYC hot dog and fruity drinks restaurant now has its own food truck bringing hot dog loving to the streets.

Let’s rewind about 80 years ago. It’s 1932 and Gus Poulos, the founder, literally the “Papaya King” if you will, discovered papaya on a vacation to Miami. He shortly began importing the fruit to New York to make his own tropical drink. A great idea, but sadly no one came to try the drink so Gus decided to dress girls up in hula skirts and gave the drinks away for free – creative marketing for that time. New Yorkers quickly became hooked. He was inspired by his girlfriend to bring frankfurters to his juice stand on 86th and 3rd Avenue. And that was the birth of a NYC classic.

Wayne Rosenbaum, President and Jason Witkes, Marketing Manager

Along with their two locations on 86th and Marks Place, their bright yellow truck can be found roaming around midtown and sometimes at The Seaport.

Last week, we sat down with Wayne Rosenbaum and Jason Witkes of Papaya King to chat about their new food truck (and they fed us amazing hot dogs and fried oreos!). Wayne is really enjoying the food truck business so far. “I love it! It’s definitely different than the store, a lot more logistically challenging because of space, but we have the same methods as we do in the store. Everything is exactly the same, ” he said enthusiastically.

Wayne’s love for hot dogs sparked his creative imagination while experimenting with new recipes. His newest addition to the food truck, The Crunchy Munch, is one hot dog you definitely do not want to miss. Filled with jalapeños, sweetened pickles, sautéed onions, and crunchy potato sticks, your taste buds will be in hot dog heaven.

In New York, there are millions of places to grab a hot dog on the go, but none of them beats Papaya King, an establishment so intricately connected to the city and the heart of food entrepreneurs; a man who started with just a juice stand, ended up creating a delicious empire and now is returning to its roots and back to the streets with a food truck. Wayne says, “We have been an 82-year old brand, since 1932. So with that we are the first branded hot dog truck in history in New York.” You don’t hear that everyday from a hot dog restaurant!

Papaya King Hot Dog, Photo Credit: Papaya King
Papaya King’s Custom Hot Dogs – perfection | Photo credit: Papaya King

Wayne and Jason have their hot dog system down to a science. New York now has its options between St. Marks place, 86th street, or their new restaurant on wheels! At the end of the day, Papaya King is a fun restaurant and food truck where there is a flavorful mix of hot dogs and fruity drinks that will leave you wanting more.

We’re excited to welcome Papaya King to the FoodtoEat family, where they will be helping us feed hot dogs and fruity drinks to people all over the city. Contact us at catering@foodtoeat.com if you want Papaya King Food Truck to cater your next event!

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: http://www.foodtoeat.com

Step Up Your Snack Game For Superbowl Sunday

By Rosie O’Regan

It is a well known fact that Superbowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for football fans, but you might not be aware that it is an equally important occasion for snack aficionados. So ditch that shopping cart full of frozen pizzas, microwaveable nacho cheese, and stale stale tortilla chips! This year, you deserve to snack like an MVP. If you like what you see, click on the vendors to order FoodtoEat right now!

Buffalo Wings from Wing’n It

It’s not a Superbowl party without buffalo wings, and real fans won’t accept anything but the best. Wing’n It is all about making you happy–choose from grilled, baked, or fried wings and drizzle on any of their seven signature sauces. From Apricot Maple Whiskey to Jerk’n Wings, your taste buds will be begging for more.

Buffalo Wings from Wing’n It

The American from Jack’s Sliders & Sushi 

What better way to celebrate an all-American holiday than with The American Slider from Jack’s Sliders & Sushi. This classic has it all–beef burger with lettuce, tomato, and topped with American cheese. It’s the perfect food to be mid-bite in when your favorite team scores the winning touchdown!

Slider from Jack's Sliders & Sushi
Slider from Jack’s Sliders & Sushi

Mozzarella Sticks from Lasagna Ristorante

What could possibly be better than fried cheese? Lasagna Ristorante knows hows to please its fans–with delicious mozzarella sticks and marinara dipping sauce! These little bits of heaven will be a guaranteed touchdown at your Superbowl party.

Mozzarella Sticks from Lasagna Ristorante

Nachos from Sabor de Mexico

Nachos are a staple as a Superbowl snack–they’re easy to shovel into your mouth while you’re glued to the game! Sabor de Mexico does their nacho platter up with crispy tortilla chips topped with homemade cheese sauce, beans, ground beef, salsa, jalapeños and sour cream.

Nachos from Sabor de Mexico

Potato Skins from Lilly O’Briens

Potato skins are totally indulgent, and totally necessary for any Superbowl party! These classic skins are loaded up with cheddar cheese and bacon bits, courtesy of Lilly O’Briens.

Potato Skins from Lilly O’Briens

Pigs in a Blanket from Bounce Sports Bar

These childhood favorites are all grown-up and ready to be eaten by hungry football fans. Bounce Sports Bar serves their pigs in a blanket with spicy mustard, so be sure to add these bite-sized delights to your menu!

Pigs in a Blanket from Bounce Sports Bar

di Parma D.O.P. from Neapolitan Express

When it comes down to serious snackage, you just can’t beat pizza. Neapolitan Express’s di Parma D.O.P. pizza is topped with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di Bufala, basil, prosciutto di Parma, and extra virgin olive oil. These slices will be gone faster than you can say, “Score!”

di Parma D.O.P. from Neapolitan Express

Don’t set yourself up for a #foodfail! Let us take care of the snacks this year, while you focus on the game. Game on!

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

 

Clarke’s Standard: Your Friendly Neighborhood Burger Joint

clarkes logo

By Debra Liu

If you’re craving a juicy, flavorful, and affordable burger, head to Clarke’s Standard because the moment you step into this relatively new fast-casual restaurant, you’re immediately brought back to the old, nostalgic days of New York’s classic neighborhood butcher shops, where high quality, fresh meat was the object of affection.

“We wanted to do a fast-casual concept that would provide the guests with amazing food, great ingredients, and as local as possible. Again, not forgetting the old times of butcher style shops,” says Dafna Mizrahi, Manager of Clarke’s Standard’s Union Square Location.

The Standard Cheeseburger and Fries
The Standard Cheeseburger and Fries

Currently, there are five locations in Midtown, Midtown East, Financial District, Columbus Circle, and Union Square.

According to Dafna, it’s the freshly ground beef that makes Clarke’s Standard stand out from all the other burger places in NYC. The beef is 100% USDA-verified Natural Angus free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.

The most popular items on the menu include The Standard Cheeseburger, the original burger with American cheese, The Cadillac, which is a burger with smoked bacon and cheddar cheese, and the Brooklyn Au Poivre, a burger with cracked pepper sauce, cheese, Jimmy peppers and savory onions. They also have  a great house-made veggie burger!

Danfa’s favorite burger is The Cadillac but she says, “Honestly, all of our burgers…our meat is amazing so I would eat them without anything. I would always recommend the Green Chiles and Cheese burger or The Cadillac.”

NY Standard Dog with Fries
NY Standard Dog with Fries

In addition to burgers, Clarke’s also serves homemade hot dogs, little Clarke’s ice creams, and sandwiches. The Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is a big seller. “It’s kind of like wings on a sandwich but made with chicken breast,” Dafna describes. “The sweet potato fries are great; so that’s very unusual and unique to a fast food place,” she adds.

Clarke’s Standard mission is to bring back the feeling of a neighborhood restaurant serving delicious, high quality burgers. “Everyone loves it because it’s become a neighborhood joint. The staff is very friendly; they learn their [the customers’] names. We have a guy who comes every single day. He sits at the same table and orders the same food, so as soon as he walks in, we already have his order.”

So the next time you want to chow-down on a burger, go to Clarke’s Standard and get The Cadillac (or any of their other delicious items), and you’ll feel like you’re being transported back to a time where meat was real, natural and glorified and you’ll end up feeling gloriously satisfied.

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

 

Competitive Eating & Lost Potential

By: Parth Mukhi

Competitive eating is one of the most gruesome, nauseating events to witness. Yet Major League Eating (MLE) continues to makes millions of dollars, holding around 80 events every year. Unfortunately, the sports greatest rivalry of Joey Chestnut vs. Takeru Kobayashi has been stalled since 2010.

Between the two, Kobayashi & Chestnut currently hold 29 world records with the MLE. The latter of which owning 25, but this is due to the to the ongoing contract dispute between Kobayashi & the MLE. This dispute is the reason Kobayashi has not competed in an official eating contest since 2010, but his own competitions, either by himself or with subpar competitors. Meanwhile, Chestnut has been tearing up the ranks of competitive eating. He’s won the granddaddy of eating events, the Annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, a record seven straight times. Thus surpassing Kobayashi’s record of six straight.

The rivalry between Kobayashi (left) & Chestnut (right) was just growing into greatness

The main issues standing in the way of the contract between the two sides is that Kobayashi believes that, “the organization that produces the event cannot be the same agency that also owns the athletes.” Meaning, the MLE is the main body which contracts all their eaters, rather than the competitors having their own separate agents, like in most other sports. Kobayashi’s wish was for more freedom. He asked to be let go of the other three events he was set to compete in, and only enter the Nathan’s events. From what Kobayashi has said, the MLE countered with a $40,000 contract for the July 2010 & 2011 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, and stated that he could not compete in any other eating events for the year in the U.S. or Canada. His sponsorships were also limited to only MLE sanctioned companies.

For the sport, this dispute is a shame. The two top ranked eaters in the world, both in the prime of their careers. MLE President George Shea remains adamant that Kobayashi was offered $100,000 for 4 events, with $25,000 guaranteed whether he won or loss. While, Kobayashi feels like he’s fighting for the future of the sport and its competitors, Chestnut continues to dominate. Upon eating 68 hot dogs at Nathan’s in 2012, he declared, “I will not stop until I reach 70. This sport isn’t about eating. It’s about drive and dedication, and at the end of the day hot dog eating challenges both my body and my mind.” The following year he would break this record by eating 69 hot dogs. This was impressive, but it had already been done. Kobayashi ate 69, two years prior, at an off-site event, with independent judges there to establish the record.

Chestnut (left) has been making light of his competition due to Kobayashi’s (right) absence

Event by event, this sport is missing out on what should be it’s “Golden Era.” This should be the time period in which competitive eating rises among the ranks, starts to hold more and more televised events, begins to make more sponsorships, and attract new fans. The rivalry between Kobayashi & Chestnut could have the equal affect on competitive eating that Magic Johnson & Larry Bird had on the NBA. Potential being wasted due to this contract dispute is heartbreaking. Hopefully either Shea or Kobayashi will eventually come together, and put the sport above their beliefs, and realize the potential for greatness that is right in front of them.

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

Celebrating the Fourth with the “World Series” of Major League Eating

Tomorrow, while the rest of America celebrates Independence Day, thousands of people will watch the top competitive eaters from around the world binge until they can’t anymore. Major League Eating (MLE), the main organization that sponsors the “sport” of competitive eating, will be airing the 97th Annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN at 3pm. Several devoted fans will crowd Coney Island in Brooklyn to watch the event live.

Many people who watch the competition annually are still upset that Takeru Kobayashi, who championed this contest for six consecutive years from 2001 to 2006, will not be participating because he refused to sign a contract with MLE. Kobayashi lost grasp of his winning streak in 2007 when Joey Chestnut, a younger competitor, came out on top and continued as champion for the past five years straight. Kobayashi seemed to have lost his appetite for victory and stopped competing in Nathan’s altogether after his loss to Chestnut in 2009. Chestnut holds the official world record of chomping down 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

The men’s and women’s competitions are held separately each year. The women’s competition, in which Sonya Thomas will appear to defend her title, will take place live at 11:30 AM, and the men’s competition will follow at 12 noon. Competitors will be eating like there’s no tomorrow to win the 1st place cash prize of $10,000 and the famous “bejeweled” belt, which is mustard yellow for men and pink for women.

Image

Will MLE and Kobayashi come to an agreement by next year and satisfy the public’s hunger for a faceoff between him and Chestnut? We’ll have to wait and see, but for now Chestnut seems to be the top dog that everyone is rooting for to come home with the title for the sixth year in a row.

Watching the contest will be a great way for everyone to get into the spirit of Independence Day, which most of us celebrate by eating until we’re in a food coma. Or, at least I do. So enjoy the beautiful weather with your friends and family. Happy 4th of July!

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