NYC Chili Fest – Feeding Time at the Zoo

The NYC Chili Fest yesterday was a unmitigated disaster. The venue was way too small and tickets were sold out well before 4pm when the event kicked off.

It was 45 dollars CASH at the door (after after waiting an hour on line) which wasn’t very convenient (unless you’re Puff Daddy and carry wads of Benjamin’s with you at all times). Herds of people with empty bowls were pushing their way through to the front of the line like latter-day Oliver Twists. The scene became uglier as mobs of people struggled to get their moneys-worth seeking ladles of beef and beer like cattle feeding at the trough.

The best move was going ANYWHERE else in New York City yesterday. FOR SHAME CHILI FEST!! Negative Proof.

Upcoming Chili Festival- Chelsea Market

Sunday, January 30, 2011 4pm – 8pm| Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Avenue New York, NY

NYC Chili Festival

New York City’s largest chili festival is happening at the Chelsea Market this Sunday!  From the NYC Chili Festival website:

The ultimate celebration of chili, beer and all things spicy is taking over New York City’s culinary epicenter—Chelsea Market on January 30, 2011. Each ticket gives you access to a 500-foot concourse of chili, served by dozens of NYC’s best restaurants and cutting edge chefs, all competing for the Golden Chili Mug 2011 title. Brooklyn Brewery is matching 4 of their favorite chili-eating beers to accompany your adventurous mouths.

Dickson’s Farmstand Meats is supplying each chef with 100% dry-aged, locally-raised beef from Wrighteous Organics in Schoharie, NY, as the base for their chili, providing a level playing field for the competition. An exclusive panel of on-site celebrity judges vote on the 2011 Chili Champ of NYC. The 1st place team wins $2000 in addition to the illustrious 2011 Golden Chili Mug.

Apparently proceeds go to Food Systems NYC in support of their effort to build a just and vibrant, regional food and farm economy.

More Beans Amigo?

Go to for tickets and more info.

I Like My Vodka Served in an AK 47

Greenpoint’s liquor stores have shall we say… character.

This image courtesy Dan Redding was from Dunne’s Polemost in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This place is a temple to wacky-shaped bottles of booze. This bottle of “Poland” vodka is just one shining example. Literally take a shot from the bullet-shaped shot glass! I think the grenades are a pleasant touch as well…  This vodka just lends itself t sweet sweet drunken belligerence.  Proof!

Dunne’s Polemost is located at 698 Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn NY

McSorely’s Old Alehouse

McSorely’s Alehouse is an institution.  Drinking at this pub is something that you have to do if you are a real New Yorker.  First of all, it’s the the oldest bar in the city, established in 1854.  Secondly, you can’t beat the atmosphere, there’s  sawdust on the floor, no jukebox, no frills, and only two kinds of beers- the house light and dark.  There is also a sense of continuity with history unmatched by any other bar in the city.

From their website:

Established in 1854 – McSorley’s can boast of being New York City’s oldest continuously operated saloon. Everyone from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon have passed thru Mcsorley’s swinging doors. Woody Guthrie inspired the union movement from a table in the front – guitar in hand, while civil rights attorney’s Faith Seidenberg and Karen DeCrow had to take their case to the Supreme Court to gain access. Women were finally allowed access to McSorleyÕs in 1970! So belly up. Enter the sawdust strewn floors and history patched walls for a trip back through time. Share the McSorley’s experience with the spirits of 150 years!

Here are some images from the oldest bar in Manhattan:

Frothy cold ones.

Only the most basic of bar snacks are available.  A sleeve of saltines, raw onions and cheese.

Really really spicy mustard.

McSorely’s Old Alehouse is located at 15 East 7th Street, New York, NY.

Food Network Ratings Tumble

According to this article from the Huffington Post, the Food Network’s ratings have taken a 10% drop in 2010!  I think Anthony Bourdain is definitely behind this, and I completely agree with this article.

The travel channel is usually on my netflix queue, Anthony Bourdain, Zimmern, and the Man vs. Food guy are all way more outspoken, interesting, and entertaining then anything on Food Network.  And to be perfectly frank, just looking at Guy Fiore kinda pisses me off.

Maybe they should just bring Emeril back?  Bam!

Frogs on Orchard Street

Okay, so yesterday I found a guy loading about 30 crates of gigantic killer frogs down the cellar of Yankee New York Noodle Inc. on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side, who I imagine are frog wholesalers…  It was quite a scene,  these suckers were huge, loud, and lively. I’m guessing they were going to end up on someone’s table at either an upscale French restaurant or in Chinatown.  The sheer number meant that half the basement of the store had to be full of these amphibians!

What other secrets must lurk in the basements of Lower East Side tenement buildings I wonder?  Here is a snapshot I took:


Duane Reade Beer Bar?

I don’t necessarily want to plug this (Duane Reade is as insidious as Starbucks in NYC), but it is pretty sweet that you can pick up some pepto and a growler all in one stop now in Brooklyn.

At least at the Duane Reade on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg which now has a beer bar with take-out growlers.  Probably not a hot date spot, and I don’t expect it to have the same atmosphere as an ancient London pub, but a utilitarian place to get your buzz on doesn’t necessarily offend me.

Sometimes you just need a cold one.  Click here for the NY Times story.

Best Slice at Artichoke Pizza

I know I gave Artichoke Pizza Chelsea some grief in the past, but all is forgiven.  The new location in Chelsea has gotten better in terms of their service, and they finally do delivery and a have a working telephone number!  The service for lunch is fast, and they have very amicable people working behind the counter.

I must say though, after having the pizza here for a few months, the artichoke pizza has become a bit gross.  It’s all cream sauce and cheese, like artichoke dip poured on top of bread, kind of a mess.   Also the crab slice a little too much in the flavor department.  I find their simple margarita slice superior to them all, nice and saucy with the right cheese to tomato ration.