Bronx Food & Wine Festival

This past week the first Bronx Food and Wine Festival took place at the Mall at Bay Plaza. This had my name written all over it!

Let’s start with the highlights:

Beforehand, I was a little worried that I would leave starving; that vendors would give you a tiny sample and send you on your way. I’m happy to report that that was not the case and I left as full as I would have leaving a restaurant for dinner. And the wine booths didn’t skimp on their samples either. It was wonderful to see so many different vendors including one of my faves the Bronx Beer Hall as well as Flaco Coquito, Bistro SK, Euro Products, Frozen Peaks, Havana Cafe, among so many others I know I’m leaving out. Everything I sampled was delicious. Plus the swag bag contained samples, coupons, and a dorky nifty little wine glass holder for lushes  people who were holding lots of things, such as myself.

As it was the first of its kind, there’s always room for improvement…

On the one hand there were a lot of people, which was great! But it did get a bit crowded and you had to kind of shuffle around  to find a free space. Another thing that would have been helpful was chairs and tables! With all of that food and a full wine glass, it would’ve been nice to have a place to sit and enjoy it. Lastly, something that was confusing was the way it was marketed alongside the Bronx Fashion Week event, which led me (and others) to believe that the two events were connected, particularly since they were only two floors away from each other. It was still easy enough to view the fashion show…well…until you were shooed away (nicely) by the mall’s security guards. Something that could have been cleared up in the wording or advertising of the event.

Overall, though, I had a great time and can’t wait until next year!

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Make Everyday Small Business Saturday at these Bronx Businesses

Since I participated in #BlackoutFriday, I thought about how not spending any money at these mega corporations was great and all, but was really just a short-term solution.

Today being Small Business Saturday, I thought about how much more impact it’d have to simply shop local and support small businesses. To maximize this impact, we need to make a conscious decision to do this. While the opening of the Bay Plaza Mall is great and all, we must remember that small businesses are what give character to our neighborhoods (in addition of course to jobs and being an integral part of our economy) and make them communities.

So, check out this list I compiled of some Bronx small businesses you can support year round:

Bella Bath and Body Boutique –  Organic hair and body products, delicious smelling candles, and oils for your home. Check out the post I wrote on them a while back !

Brew Coffeehouse – Their chai lattes and s’more cookies are to die for! Plus, they carry soy milk which is awesome for the lactose intolerant folks out there like myself.

Whoopies Miniature Desserts – I sampled some of their desserts during Bronx Fashion Week. Delicious and cute!

Conti’s Pastry Shoppe – Serving up handmade pastries and desserts since 1921!

Bronx Baking Co. – You guys, they have bacon pretzels! Among other varieties, of course.

Bronx Beer Hall – Beer. Karaoke.Trivia nights. Awesome food. Awesome crowd. It’s in a food market for christ’s sake! It doesn’t get much better than this.

Gun Hill Brewery – The Bronx’s first brewery in decades. They also host yoga classes

Wonder Lee – Creative and stylish bow ties made from  materials like Legos and comics.

What businesses would you add to this list? Comment below with the links and I’ll add them!

Happy Birthday to Me (and the blog)!

Last week, I celebrated my 24th birthday with friends and family keeping everything pretty low key with dinner at Thirty3  Sixty3 Steakhouse, karaoke at Bronx Beer Hall, and a barbecue in Pelham Bay Park. I celebrate both my birthday and the anniversary of the blog, since both are in May!

I was glad to finally have a chance to check out Thirty3 Sixty3. First of all, I love steak. It’s probably one of the main things preventing me from becoming a vegetarian. I ordered the churrasco steak, which was flavorful and cooked exactly the way I requested (medium-well!) The servers brought me a cheesecake and sang Happy Birthday, which I appreciated. And, Jimmy Vacca even stopped by. (Not to see me. We don’t know each other. But he was there.)

If you follow me on Twitter, (if you don’t, go do so now. I’ll wait…..) you’ll know how much I love the Bronx Beer Hall, but last Saturday was my first time doing karaoke there. They have “Scotty Doesn’t Know,” which is pretty much all the proof you need to know how awesome it is. (No one has Scotty Doesn’t Know! Not even Karaoke Killed the Cat!)

Check out some photos below, including  in which my hair mimics that of an 8 year old boy’s. :/

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