Foodie Alert: Smorgasburg Food Festival

Hellooooo my fellow foodies,

I have some good news! Smorgasburg is BACK!! It starts this weekend (4/5 and 4/6) and will be taking place every weekend in the spring, summer, and fall. On Saturdays, the food festival will be held in Williamsburg at East River State Park (where Kent Avenue meets N. 7th Street).  On Sundays, Smorgasburg will be held at Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 5).  It is open from 11am to 6pm, rain or shine.

There’s plenty of food and desserts to choose from at Smorgasburg, including vegan food. For more information, visit http://www.smorgasburg.com/ .

A review will follow to show you all the mouth-watering goodness I had yesterday. Happy eating for this weekend, my foody friends! :)

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Foodie Alert: Wine Riot 2014 Spring

Okay, okay…so this foodie alert isn’t about food, but who doesn’t love to pair their food with some good wine sometimes?

If you’re up for an extensive wine tasting of 250 wines from all over the world or want to learn some Wine 101 basics, then Wine Riot is worth going. It’ll be held in NYC from (Friday to Saturday) 4/4 to 4/5. They even have a free mobile app for you to remember and note the different wines you try. Plus, there’s music and a photobooth where you can print free photos from your Instagram account.

Wine Riot will be held in the following cities in the upcoming weeks:

NYC (4/4 to 4/5)
Boston (4/18 to 4/19)
Chicago (5/2 to 5/3)
L.A. (5/9 to 5/10)

For more information about the event and tickets, visit https://secondglass.com/event-categories/wineriot/

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Foodie Alert: Village Voice Choice Eats Tasting Event

Choices, choices, choices…so many choices.

If your stomach is as greedy as mine, you might want to check out the Village Voice Choice Eats Tasting Event, which is featuring over 6o restaurants that have previously been selected as a Choice Eats restaurant by the Village Voice. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 25th at Pier 36 from 7pm to 10pm.

VIP tickets are already sold out at the event, but general admission tickets are still available for $60 online (and $70 at-the-door based on availability). A complimentary souvenir tasting glass is included with the price of admission. Guests will get to try unlimited samples of tastings from participating restaurants.

As alcohol will be served at the event, all guests will have to be age 21 or over.

For more information and details, visit http://choiceeats.villagevoice.com/2014/index.php .

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Foodie Alert: Coffee and Tea Festival

If coffee or tea is your “cup of tea”, then check out the Coffee and Tea Festival this weekend (3/22-3/24) at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan. For more information, visit the Coffee and Tea Festival website at http://www.coffeeandteafestival.com/nyc/index.html .

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Pete Zazz’s Pizza

Pete Zazz serves pizza with some pizzazz. It’s a tiny pizza shop that turns a regular slice into a creative galore of toppings.

My friend and I stumbled upon this little pizza shop when we were adrift in Crown Heights because, much to our surprise, most of the restaurants in the neighborhood were closed before 5pm, including our original restaurant destination. Pete Zazz was one of the few eateries open.

Pete Zazz Storefront

When we entered, we were warmly greeted by the staff who asked us if we’ve ever been there before and gave us a rundown of the menu. The menu includes pizza and non-pizza items; the pizza includes the regular cheese slice named the “Brooklyn” and specialty pizzas with your not-so-typical topping combinations like the “Split Pea” (which is topped with curried English pea, feta, and kimchi gremolata). He recommended that we try their most popular “Baked Potato” pizza (with baked potato, creme fraiche, white cheddar, and applewood smoked bacon toppings). You can also add other toppings to the specialty pizzas or substitute items but I wanted to try the pizza in their original flavors so we ordered a half-and-half pie of Baked Potato and Brooklyn.

Pete Zazz (3)

Since Pete Zazz doesn’t have an indoor seating area, customers can dine in the Glass Shop cafe connected through a door in the back of the shop. While I waited for my food, I wandered around the pizza shop and chatted with the staff, who invited me to make a drawing for their “art wall” and elucidated the significance of the photographs on the wall. Perhaps I’ll tell you if you’d like to know ;) .

In the summer, the shop opens its outside patio for seating and outdoor movie showings. In the patio is also a herb garden, where the store grows and picks some of the herbs that are used in the pizza. According to one of the staff, the shop opens up the herb garden as a community garden where people from the neighborhood can plant and grow their own food there for a small donation.

Pete Zazz Inside Store View

Maggie, the dough making machine

Maggie, the dough making machine

Pete Zazz Art Wall

Art Wall

My pizza in the making! :)

My pizza in the making! :)

After much anticipation, we were served our pizza. The “Brooklyn” was interesting in that the sauce used marjoram, instead of the usual oregano. The marinara sauce was a little too salty and the tomato flavor was weak. In the “Baked Potato”, the bland potatoes were enhanced by the creme fraiche, bacon, and dried garlic, but it still felt like something was lacking. As for the pizza crust, it was sprinkled with sea salt on the rims, which helped with the flavor but also made me thirsty. The crust was a bit too thin and crunchy for my liking because I prefer crusts that have the right thickness, with a crisp outer layer and a chewiness on the inside.

Baked Potato and Brooklyn pizza (half and half pie)

Baked Potato and Brooklyn pizza (half and half pie)

Pete Zazz (10)

Pete Zazz (8)

Overall, the pizza is not the best that I’ve had but if you’re looking for something different, Pete Zazz is your place. The service is warm and friendly. And it’s the kind of shop that feels like a true neighborhood store, where people actually try to get to know you. I’d go back in the summer to see the outdoor patio and hang out with friends over a slice of pizza.

Pete Zazz
766 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 230-ZAAZ (9229)

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Foodie Alert: Chocolate World Expo

Chocolates, chocolates, and more chocolates!

That’s what you’ll see and taste at the Chocolate World Expo held on Sunday, March 2, 2014 from 10am to 7pm in Garden City, NY. The expo will include many chocolate and wine vendors from the local New York area. Special features include demos by Celebrity Chef Barret Beyer (from Hell’s Kitchen Season 11) and Chef Larry Rosenberg (author and contributor to Martha Stewart’s Wedding Book).

For more information about Chocolate World Expo and tickets, visit http://www.chocolateworldexpo.com/index.html .

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Foodie Alert: Japanese Restaurant Week in NYC

Sushi? Curry? Ramen?

Well, if you’re craving any of the above, I have good news for you.

It’s Japanese Restaurant Week in New York City from February 17th to March 16th. Technically, it’s a month, so for all the busy New Yorkers out there, you have more time to try out the special dishes created by the participating restaurants to celebrate this year’s Japan Week theme of honoring the centennial of Tokyo Station. Japanese Restaurant Week will also coincide with the 2014 Japan Week three-day event occurring March 6th to March 8th at Grand Central Terminal, where Japanese culture and tourism will be promoted and where some of the Japanese restaurants will be selling the special dishes created for Japan Week.

For more information about Japanese Restaurant week, visit http://japanweek.us/restaurantweek/rw_year/2014/ .

For Japan Week, visit http://japanweek.us/ .

What restaurant is on your list to visit?

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