Empellon Al Pastor: Taking Tacos to the Next Level

By Danielle Bimston

Over at Empellon, they’re taking tacos to the next level.  Mixing traditional Mexican style with Lebanese immigrant flare, the chefs at Empellon Al Pastor are making pork “shepherd’s style”. Here lies the birth of an amazing Mexican fusion restaurant.

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Photo Credit: empellon.com

While so many chefs face immense pressure to find an innovative approach to cuisine, those at Empellon Al Pastor have found comfort and success in keeping things simple and authentic. Here’s how the magic happens in the kitchen:

  1. Pork meat is sliced thin
  2. The meat is dressed with a green salsa, followed by a red one
  3. Finally, a sliver of pineapple and a bit of onion is added
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Photo Credit: nydiningguide.com

See, how simple! Over at Empellon Al Pastor, this is how they operate; keeping it savory. But, it doesn’t stop with the meat. Their tortillas are created in-house as well! In a process called Nixtamalization, field corn is boiled and ground into aromatic masa for their tortillas (they’re gluten free!).  And, you never have to worry that your tortilla isn’t fresh because this cooking technique happens in the kitchen every single morning.

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Photo Credit: ny.eater.com

Who doesn’t want a taste of the freshest food around town? Bring Empellon Al Pastor to your office and try their Beef & Caramelized Onion Tacos, Red Chili Pork Tacos, or for vegetarians, Nopales (that’s cactus, how unique!). There’s nothing better than spicing things up with a fresh fusion of two distinct tastes.

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

Porchetta: A Taste of Italian Street Food in New York City

By Emily Collins

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Porchetta is a tiny East Village shop that does its namesake justice. Their goal was to perfect the art of making porchetta sandwiches, a traditional Italian street food that is hard to find in the city. What makes Porchetta so special, you ask? The answer is easy; the Porchetta sandwich is the kind of food that stuns because it’s simplicity marrying quality. They’ve got the recipe down to a science, perfected the tender sandwich and intend to keep it that way.

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Porchetta’s Signature Sandwich | Photo credit: Porchetta

The owners, Sara Jenkins and Matt Lindemulder, strive to create something unique, consistent and affordable for city-goers that are looking for a quick bite. The pork is cooked slowly and is just about everything you would want on a sandwich. The meat is juicy, crispy and soft. The bread is crunchy. In short, it’s roasted perfection.

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Crispy Potatoes with Burnt Edges | Photo credit: Porchetta

While the Porchetta sandwich is their specialty, their other dishes are not to be overlooked. The sides are just like something you’d find in an old Italian kitchen: authentic, homemade and fresh. The crispy potatoes with burnt ends are an excellent complement to the namesake sandwich.

Luckily for you, FoodtoEaters, Porchetta is geared towards take out and delivery. Their sandwiches can be delivered right to your door or pre-ordered online for pick up. Check out Porchetta’s entire menu here and the line at this small shop are known to be pretty lengthy, so order online and get the food delivered to your door. Looking to impress a date with your savvy take out skills? We think a candlelight dinner featuring Porchetta sandwiches will sweep anybody off their feet.

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

 

Get a Taste of East Village with Taste of Seventh, the Food Crawl You’ve Been Waiting For

By Debra Liu

Can you feel it? Can you taste it? The most delicious food crawl of the year is upon us. Taste of Seventh will run from 3/8 to 3/9 and will feature foods from East Village restaurants including Luke’s Lobster, Caracas Arepas, Porchetta, Butter Lane cupcakes, Oaxaca, Wechsler’s Currywurst, and Big Gay Ice Cream.

Tickets will start selling later today on Luke’s Lobster website and FoodtoEat will be offering a free ticket to one of our lucky customers tomorrow, 3/1. The free ticket to the event will be the kick-off prize for FoodtoEat’s Munch Madness promotion – simply place a food order on FoodtoEat and you’ll be entered to win! Each day-  for an entire month -FoodtoEat will be giving away prizes and discounts.

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Here’s a rundown of the scrumptious foods being offered:

Luke’s Lobster, will be serving a Maine-style, half lobster roll. Luke’s Lobster has been a staple of East Village since 2009 now with 10 restaurants, currently one truck and a Park Slope location on the way;

Luke's Lobster Roll
Luke’s Lobster Roll

Caracas Arepa Bar, straight from Venezuela with New York temperament, will be offering their vegetarian arepa, La Mamasita Arepa which is filled with grilled mushrooms, roasted corn, sweet plantains and the works;

La Mamacita Arepa | Photo: Thrillist
La Mamacita Arepa | Photo: Thrillist

Porchetta, one of Time Out New York’s Best 100, will be serving traditional Italian roast pork sandwich with aromatic, crispy skin;

Porchetta Sandwich | Photo: Donna Alberico for The New York Times
Porchetta Sandwich | Photo: Donna Alberico for The New York Times

Wechsler’s Currywurst, a New York City temple to German sausage, will be offering pork bratwurt with curry ketchup and fries;

Wechsler’s Currywurst & Fries
Wechsler’s Currywurst & Fries

Oaxaca, celebrating a Mexican city rich in food culture, will serve a mini burrito;

Oaxaca Burrito | Photo: Oaxaca
Oaxaca Burrito | Photo: Oaxaca

Butter Lane, teaching the world how to bake perfect cupcakes, will be offering one of their six favorite cupcakes;

Raspberry Cupcake |Photo: Butter Lane
Raspberry Cupcake |Photo: Butter Lane

Big Gay Ice Cream, the innovative team that made old-fashioned soft-serve ice cream unique with glamorous toppings, will be serving up the Apple Gobbler, a vanilla sundae with grahams, bourbon butterscotch, apple butter and whipped cream.

Apple Gobbler from Big Gay Ice Cream | Photo: Bionic Bites
Apple Gobbler from Big Gay Ice Cream | Photo: Bionic Bites

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to sample a bunch of New York City’s finest restaurants, all in one weekend, at a price that can’t be beat. And if you win a FREE ticket from FoodtoEat, it’ll be even more delicious.

Get excited, here’s the Munch Madness calendar:

FoodtoEat Munch Madness Calendar
FoodtoEat Munch Madness Calendar
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

My First Schnitzel (& Things)

Schnitzel & Things is one of New York’s most iconic food trucks, and has since expanded into a brick-and-mortar location in Midtown, Manhattan. Somehow I have eaten from dozens of food trucks and overlooked Schnitzel & Things. This truck made a big splash when it debuted in 2009, winning Rookie of the Year at the Vendy Awards in its first year of business, and becoming the first food truck in New York to serve authentic schnitzel. For those who don’t know what schnitzel is, it’s a fried cutlet of meat that is gently breaded, and Schnitzel & Things serves it in a sandwich or as a platter with a choice of delicious sides.

Veal Schnitzel is what the truck is best known for, but unfortunately they were out of it by the time I placed my order. I settled with the pork schnitzel platter and chose the Austrian potato salad and chickpea salad as my sides, and got to sample three sauces; pesto mayo, ginger scallion and garlic relish, and chipotle sour cream.

For $10 I was more than impressed with size of this meal. The pork cutlet was massive, and they loaded up my to-go box with plenty of potato salad and chickpea salad, even including two lemon wedges to pack on more flavor. The schnitzel was light and fried to perfection, and each sauce complemented the meat in a different way. The two mayo-based sauces were great at alleviating the dryness of the meat, but the ginger scallion and garlic relish stood out as the clear winner of the sauces. This light, tangy sauce brought out all the flavor in the schnitzel without overdoing it.

The Austrian potato salad was good as far as potato salads go, compared to the rest of my meal it didn’t stand out too much but was still a tasty side dish. The chickpea salad on the other hand was bursting with flavor, mixed in balsamic pesto vinaigrette. The two side dishes countered the fried texture of the meat, and never made me think twice about needing a beverage with this meal.

Schnitzel and Things blew me away with the tasty simplicity of its food. Instead of overdoing flavors and combining plenty of ingredients together, Schnitzel & Things made simple food taste great. The sauces weren’t overwhelming and the meat was barely flavored, but the subtle tastes were more than enough to make this a great meal. After eating from Schnitzel & things I even felt healthy, which is more than I can say for a lot of the heavier options out there. I would definitely go back for more, and I can’t wait to try the legendary veal schnitzel.

Bacon Economics: Global Shortage of Pork Products Expected in 2013

With the worst drought this summer since 1956, prices of corn-feed have soared to record highs. Many animal farmers are losing money, and pig farmers have begun to cull their herds, slaughtering cows to stay profitable and driving us towards an inevitable bacon shortage.

The shortage on pig-made products is quickly becoming global, and the United Kingdom’s National Pig Association said that a “world shortage of pork and bacon next years is now unavoidable.” The European Union pig herd is rapidly declining, affected by droughts in North America and Russia that have caused grain prices to skyrocket. The droughts got so bad in the United States that nearly half of all counties were considered disaster areas due to extreme dryness and heat.

While prices for pork products may be low now, by 2013 they will rebound and start to increase with the shortage. These rising costs will definitely be experienced in restaurants and grocery stores, as consumers could pay 3.5% more for pork products in 2013. This means many chain restaurants and brands could begin substituting pork products for other meats, or using pork substitutes like turkey bacon. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, which operates over 600 restaurants across 42 states will probably pay close to 5 to 6 percent more for its food commodities. The chain is responding by raising menus prices about 2% in 2013.

Bob Evans Farms Inc., an Ohio based restaurant chain has taken note of recent price drops in pork. CFO Paul DeSantis said he expects prices to remain low while large numbers of pigs are slaughtered, after which prices should increase very rapidly. With prices so low, now is the best time to buy bacon, ham and other pork products.

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

 

Texas College Eliminates Bacon from Cafeteria

Colleges across the country are struggling to compete with each other in several key areas, but not where you might think. Efforts to ‘go green’ have urged many colleges and universities to step up their sustainability programs, support their local communities, and even improve the health content of the food they serve.

Paul Quinn College in Texas just instituted a new policy banning pork from the school cafeterias. School president Michael J. Sorrell views pork as an unhealthy meat that can lead to a variety of health issues. Paul Quinn College is historically a black college, and Sorrell has been limiting the school’s dining options since he took office five years ago.

Among the other changes that have come to Paul Quinn College include eliminating the school’s football team program to turn the extra field in a garden producing vegetables and fruit, which are sold on campus and in local markets to the surrounding populace. Sorrell notified students at the college of his latest change in a news update on August 8th.

“We know there are many negative health consequences of consuming pork (eating pork can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, sodium retention and heart problem, not to mention weight gain and obesity). Therefore, as a part of our continued effort to improve the lives and health of our students, Paul Quinn College and its food service partner Perkins Management have collaborated to create a pork-free cafeteria. From this semester forward PQC will no longer serve dishes containing pork. That applause you hear in the background is the blood pressure of our students, faculty and staff.”

Sorrell backs up his decision by remarking on the specific risks associated with the students at Paul Quinn College. “The reality is that our student population comes from a demographic that struggles with the type of health concerns that you see in an under resourced community,” he said.

School official are dubious about a Paul Quinn’s no-pork policy catching on at other schools, while more campus cafeterias strive to expand dining options rather than diminish them. Paul Quinn’s rejection of pork products also raises questions as to the true nutritional value of pork, and whether or not the school will ban more meats in the future.

Sorrell remains unconcerned with his decision to take pork out of the school cafeterias. “The reality of it is, it’s not as big of a deal as people make it out to be. You can be ok without pork. I think they’ll survive.

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