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Philly to NYC Food Trucks Travel to NJ Winery


Sitting on over 250 acres of pristine farmland near the Jersey Shore, Laurita Winery offers grand vistas, great vintages, and good times. Last month, Laurita Winery held an increasingly popular summer event on August 23 and 24called Food Trucks and Fire Pits, which was the perfect event to wind down the much-loved summer season.

More than 20 of the best food trucks from Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York lined up at the Laurita Winery to serve their specialties. The different food choices were as colorful as the trucks themselves, with offerings like elk burgers, chocolate-covered bacon, pierogi, and more.

Live music, wine tastings, and free vineyard tours were provided by the winery, and drinking games like corn hole were in full swing. If this sounds like your kind of party you are in luck, because the winery is holding their food truck event one last time before the weather turns too cool on October 4 and 5. Bring a beach chair or blanket and an empty stomach.

KAMI Truck

Don’t let its size fool you. This pint-sized truck serves up some seriously tasty Korean-American Fusion. KAMI stands for Korean American Menus Inspired, so items like Korean tacos and Korean cheese steaks are made with bulgogi beef and spicy kimchi to give that Korean flair.

It’s amazing how a dish as simple as chicken on a stick with a sauce can be so good, but that’s exactly what you get from KAMI when you order their chicken skewer. Think chicken kebab with a sweet and spicy BBQ-sriracha sauce.

Hibachi Heaven

This truck keeps it simple and delicious with four hibachi meal choices: beef, chicken, shrimp, or tofu served with fried rice and veggies. Sounds like pretty standard hibachi fair, but the real magic is found in the choice of sauces: Ginger-soy, wasabi mayo, or sriracha. Habichi Heaven was definitely the truck with the best value dishes.

Bacon on Wheels

You get exactly what you’re expecting with this truck: bacon, bacon, and more bacon. Whether it’s fried bacon on a stick or curry corn with crispy bacon, the modus operandi here is salty, smoky, porky goodness. If you’ve ever wondered how to make bacon into a dessert, Bacon on Wheels has an answer for you: just dip it in chocolate, sprinkle it with powdered sugar and sea salt, and then dunk it in maple syrup. Repeat the last step after each bite until bacon is gone.

Pompier Catering and Cuisine

It’s a commonly accepted fact that fire fighters are, inexplicably, some of the best cooks. The guys at the Pompier truck, which is French for fire fighter, do not disappoint. When they’re not putting out fires, these guys serve refined Polish dishes like pierogi and flatbreads.

These pierogi were probably the best dish all day from any of the food trucks: Filet mignon marinated for three days and cooked slowly until it falls apart on top of handmade potato and cheese pierogi with fried onions, avocado salsa, sour cream and chipotle aioli. The best thing about the dish is being able to taste each ingredient as part of the greater, savory whole.

The Whirly Pig

They call themselves “artisanal porkmongers,” but to limit this truck to such a specific description would do injustice to the things they offer that are not pig-centric. That isn’t to say their pork offerings aren’t sublime; their sandwich “The Swine,” which includes a huge cut of crispy pork belly topped with Napa cabbage, pickled onions, and a sherry molasses glaze, is the sort of thing legends are made of. However, The Whirly Pig also makes a mean pair of duck sliders, with a duck confit that braises for 18 hours is duck fat. Yes, 18 hours!

The Cow and the Curd

This truck only serves one thing, but they do it so well they’ve won several awards, the highest honor being named Philadelphia’s Best Food Truck in 2013. They make battered fried cheese curds, which sounds a little mysterious at first, until you realize they’re essentially fancy mozzarella sticks and dive right in. Alright, so they’re not really like mozzarella sticks, but they do bear a few similarities. Both are fried to golden-brown perfection, both are hot and melty and stretch into gooey strings when you bite into them, and both are enhanced by various dipping sauces.

Five Sisters Food Co.

Upscale ingredients and expert execution come together in the form of creative and refined dishes inside the Five Sisters truck. Poutine duck fries, barbeque pulled-pork fries, sirloin burgers topped with crabmeat and sriracha tartar sauce; all are dishes that expertly straddle the divide between standard greasy food truck fare and haute cuisine. Not all the dishes were so lofty, however. Five sisters also touted their take on a couple of “fat sandwiches,” which are essentially every kind of fried and/or grilled short-order food you can imagine (think cheese steak and chicken fingers) put together on a sandwich roll, and made popular by the grease trucks at Rutgers University and Nelly’s in Long Branch, N.J.

Waffle de Lys

Dessert is best saved for last. The line for Waffle de Lys was long all day, and for good reason: homemade sweet Belgian waffles topped with everything from Reese’s peanut butter to passion fruit coulis. All the toppings sound amazing, but since they ran out of Reese’s peanut butter a compromise involving vanilla ice cream and salted caramel was made. It was an effective compromise to say the least.

Connor Wessels is a special contributor to The Daily Meal.

All photography by Connor Wessels.


NJ Food Trucks: The 20 best menu items from around the state

Among the dishes that impressed Peter Genovese was the half chicken with hot sauce from Rodgers Real BBQ food truck in Avenel.

(Peter Genovese/The Star-Ledger)

The best dishes, sandwiches and the like from my whirlwind food truck tour?

It was not easy picking just 20 my original list was much longer. But tough choices were made, and these were the menu items that stood out. They are not ranked in any order they're all delicious!

Thanksgiving sandoo from Cinnamon Snail, a vegetarian food truck in Red Bank.

El Lechon de Negron
• Chicken chimichurri with beans: I remember eating this while sitting on a sidewalk in downtown Newark, then following it with the Taco Truck's pork torta (below) and thinking: I am in food truck heaven. Big chunks of chicken with beans, all subtly seasoned, make El Lechon de Negron's dish a winner.

The Taco Truck
• Pork torta: I've enjoyed pretty much everything I've ever tried at the Taco Truck. The carnitas michoacan or pork torta is terrific, with slow braised sweet pork enlivened with cilantro, white onions and pickled jalapenos. They'll ask if you want guacamole. Tell them no this sandwich is just fine on its own, thank you.

Kiss & Cake Cup
• Chocolate cupcake: The best chocolate cupcake I've had in years. Lavonia Jackson makes cupcakes to order on her truck, adding frosting to cake. Her chocolate cupcake marries rich chocolate to moist cake. Sweet. And when I was there, three cupcakes went for just $5. Double sweet.

Rodgers Real BBQ
• Half chicken with hot sauce: Todd Rodgers' truck is easy enough to find — it's right across the road from East Jersey (formerly Rahway) State Prison in Woodbridge. His half chicken is terrifically tender, and the hot sauce livens but does not overpower the dish. Ignore the surroundings - there is the matter of the prison - and chow down.

The Green Radish
• Black bean burger: What is James Rafferty, former chef at renowned restaurants in New York City and Europe, doing running a food truck in Montclair? That's a whole 'nother story. His black bean burger, with avocado puree, mashed onions and chipotle mayo on a toasted whole wheat bun, is a big fat messy delight.

Amanda Bananas
• Banana cream pie: Youɽ think a truck with "bananas'' in its name would do the fruit/herb right, but AB's banana cream pie is the stuff sweet dreams are made of, a cool pillowy pleasure on a plate. I got carried away just thinking about it.

Bacon on Wheels
• Soft shell crab taco: This was one of the two or three best dishes in our Jersey Food Truck Wars competitions at Monmouth Park the past two years. A perfectly-cooked
soft shell nestled in a taco make for a memorable marriage of seafood and south-of-the-border.

The waffle with raspberry coulis from Waffle de Lys in Hoboken.

Waffle de Lys
• Waffle with raspberry coulis: Wafles & Dinges is better known, but Waffle de Lys, a husband-and-wife team working from an elaborate cart, is better. There are all sorts of sweet and savory combinations available, but their waffle with Belgian chocolate and raspberry coulis makes for a decadent, delicious dessert.

Outslider
• Black Forest burger: Think all food truck burgers are the same? Visit the Outslider, and you'll change your mind. Their Black Forest burger was one of the hits at the Jersey Shore Food Truck Wars. They're best known for their sliders, which come in 15 varieties, including the Cowboy, the Pig, and El Macho.

Taquería Auténtica
• Carnitas torta: I've been a fan of Mike Natiello's restaurant (in Bloomfield) and food truck (formerly Newark, now Montclair) from the get-go. His torta is top-notch. Tender, juicy, hefty, and a salsa verde you'll want to do a meringue with. Just try it, will you?

Kevin's Salad Station
• Greek salad: The owner will ask if you want to try this or that in your salad, and then serve it in a cup, with a bamboo fork that looks like a tongue depressor. Kevin Stanton does things a bit different, but his Greek salad is superior to the one at your local diner. And healthier.

Amazing Taste
• Jerk chicken: The first thing you'll notice about Joshua Muhammad's jerk chicken is that it's spicier than the Caribbean norm. Add some of his yams and mac and cheese, and you'll approach food truck nirvana. His turkey lasagna, when available, is highly recommended.

Cinnamon Snail
• Thanksgiving sandoo: What's a sandoo? I have no idea, but it's great, and good for you, too. Take a grilled baguette, load it with porcini mushroom-simmered seitan, rosemary parsnip bread pudding, orange cranberry relish, marinated kale and roasted garlic aioli and you have a dish that smells, and tastes, like Thanksgiving. Only better.

Dark Side of the Moo
• Alligator sausage: This is the most popular sandwich at Tyrone Green's food truck, and for good reason: It's a wedge of smoked alligator sausage — does not taste like chicken — on a tasty bun, with a spry piquante. You can also get yak, camel and antelope burgers, but you might want to start with the alligator.

Pizza Vita
• Margherita pizza: With all the food trucks around, I'm surprised more don't do pizza. Put an oven on a truck or trailer, wait for the crowds to form. Pizza Vita, with a restaurant in Summit, turns out a first-rate margherita in minutes.

Incrediballs
• Italian meatball sandwich: Soft, supple meatballs a drizzle of ricotta on top tasty sauce, and roll from Balthazar's. The guys at Incrediballs should patent the thing or something. Makes that meatball sandwich at your local Italian restaurant look pretty lame.

The Italian meatball sandwich, from the Incrediballs food truck in Jersey City.

Carmella
• Pressed grilled cheese with pork: Daryl Swetz named his food truck after his Sicilian grandmother, and we're guessing sheɽ be proud of his pork grilled cheese. Or is it grilled cheese with pork? it's a hefty sandwich, with a fistful of meat, and definitely grandma-worthy.

Cambodian Cuisine Torsu
• #15 with chicken: The menu taped to Jerry Ley's truck takes some navigating the similarly-named items might confuse you. Make it easy on yourself and order the number 15 (L15 on the online menu) — choice of sauteed meat (go with the chicken), with sweet basil, onion, snow peas, bell pepper, cabbage, lemongrass and some serious spice and heat.

Surf and Turf
• Triple-layer grilled cheese with lobster and kale: They do excellent steak sandwiches and lobster rolls, but my favorite item here is the grilled cheese, oozing creamy, melty goodness. Kale is everywhere these days, and it pairs nicely with the lobster.

Milk Sugar Love
• Chocolate peppermint ice cream: This was the best thing I ate all last year I dipped into the container before driving home in a blizzard. Rich, smooth, cool, creamy, with the chocolate and peppermint in perfect balance. I can't wait for Emma Taylor to open her store in Jersey City in May.


Philly to NYC Food Trucks Travel to NJ Winery - Recipes

Posted on May 26 by DCWadmin dlast

Looking to rent a food truck for your wedding day? Here’s our list of some of the best food trucks in New Jersey, ranging from tacos and pizza, to cupcakes and sweet and savory waffles! Whether you’re looking to serve your guests dinner or if you just want some delicious late-night snacks, here are some of our favorite choices.

AMERICAN FOOD TRUCKS:

• Fork in the Road, Check website for location.

• Grain & Cane. Check website for location. Artisan burgers, oysters, pizza, cocktails and more.

• The Tasty Trolley, Monmouth and Ocean County. Boardwalk-style food.

• WTF Food Truck, Trenton. Varied menus to fit your venue.

ASIAN FOOD TRUCKS

• My Four Suns, check website for location. Korean fusion.

• Tojo’s Kitchen, check website for location. Japanese food.


BARBECUE FOOD TRUCKS

BREAKFAST FOOD & COFFEE TRUCKS

BURGER TRUCKS

CARIBBEAN FOOD TRUCKS

CUBAN FOOD TRUCKS

• Latin Bites, Old Bridge. Puerto Rican and Cuban food.

DESSERT TRUCKS

• Boardwalk Freddy, Pitman. Fried Oreos, Zeppoles, and funnel cake.

• The Brownie Bar, Bergen County. Gourmet brownies.

• Carnivale Donut Bar Truck, Hoboken. Over-the-top milkshakes, stuffed mini donuts and more

• Cha–Yen, Mount Holly. Asian-inspire desserts.

• House of Cupcakes, Central Jersey. Cupcakes.

• Maddalenas, Ringeos. Cheesecake and other desserts.

• Waffle de Lys, Hoboken. Sweet or savory Belgian waffles.

EMPANADA TRUCKS

HALAL FOOD TRUCKS

Gigi Halal Food , Jersey City . Halal food.

HOT DOG TRUCKS

ICE CREAM TRUCKS

• Amanda Bananas, Hoboken. Whipped banana alternative to ice cream.

• Freezy Freeze, Red Bank. Liquid nitrogen ice cream.

• Lexylicious, Toms River. Custom ice-cream sandwiches.

• MilkSugarLove, Jersey City. Organic handmade ice cream.

ITALIAN FOOD TRUCKS

• Incrediballs, Jersey City. Italian and Scandinavian meatballs.

INDIAN FOOD TRUCKS

JUICE TRUCKS

Fresh Squeezed Juice, Jersey City. Juice truck.

• Soul Bowls, Scotch Plains. Juices, bowls and health foods.

LATIN FOOD TRUCKS

• Cocina Cecilia, check website for locations. Peruvian food.

• The Lomo Truck, check website for locations. Peruvian food.

MEDITERRANEAN FOOD TRUCKS

• Falafull, check website for location.

MEXICAN FOOD TRUCKS

PIZZA TRUCKS

• Pie Oh My, check website for location.

• Pizza Wagon, check website for location.

PUERTO RICAN FOOD TRUCKS

SANDWICH TRUCKS

1 Potato Two, Tukerton, Sandwich alternative called a “Spudwich”

• CheezeN, Red Bank. Gourmet grilled cheese.

• Fed by Ed, Shrewsbury. Gourmet sandwiches.

• Grilly Cheese, Chesilhurst. Grilled-cheese sandwiches.

• No Pão, Newark. Gourmet sandwiches.

SEAFOOD FOOD TRUCKS

• Surf and Turf Truck, Philly and NJ. Lobster rolls, breakfast and more.

SOUL FOOD TRUCKS

• French Quarter, Jersey City. Cajun/New Orleans-style food.

SPECIALTY FOOD TRUCKS

Beast of the Street, Marlton. Seasonal farm-fresh cuisine.

Dag’s Dippers, Lacey Township. Different types of food served on a skewer.

Eat My Balls, Bergen County. Rice balls.

• Jeremiah’s Custom Cuisine, Berlin. Switches between tacos, cheesesteaks, burgers, and Asian/Mexican cuisine.

• Jersey Rollz, Mine Hill Township. Gourmet egg rolls and BBQ.

• Li Ping Corn Company, check website for location. Corn food truck.

• Little Bite of Paradise, check website for location. Diversified cuisine from Cuban to sliders.

• Local 215, Philly. Locally sourced ingredients.

• Michele’s Bistro, Budd Lake. Mix of eclectic + American food.

• Shore Good Eats, Neptune City. Gourmet and dessert egg rolls.

• Sunny Rae’s Kitchen, Check website for updates. Professional chef creating a wide range of good foods.

• The Cow and the Curd, Philly. Wisconsin beer battered fried cheese curds.

THAI FOOD TRUCKS

UPSCALE FOOD TRUCKS

VEGAN FOOD TRUCKS

• Falafull Food Truck, Hoboken. Vegan Middle Eastern eats.

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The Laurita Winestock Food Truck Festival!

Woodstock, a word that still conjures up thoughts of love, peace, and of course, music. It was 34 bands over 3 days at a small farm outside of Woodstock New York in August of 1969 and the music world was never the same again.

Join us for our own Laurita Winestock Festival August 17 & 18, as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. Think of it as Woodstock with a wine twist. Winestock will offer wine tastings, live music, free vineyard wagon rides, yard games, food trucks galore, country line dancing, a fabulous fireworks display Saturday evening and much more!

And because Laurita is so groovy, we our celebrating with 1969 ticket pricing… buy one ticket, bring a friend for FREE. *This ALSO applies to Preferred Members and Season Pass holders!

Tie Dye/Hippie Attire Encouraged. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets.

Costume Contest on Saturday!

Dress like it’s 1969 and you may win a weekend at the Inn at Laurita!

Put on your bellbottoms, get into your psychedelic vibe, and channel your inner flower child! On Saturday, August 17 at 6 pm, Laurita will be holding a contest for the best dressed ‘hippie.’ The winner will receive two nights at the Inn at Laurita for two*—a $500 value and 2nd place winner, one night—a $250 value!

Young and old, dress like it’s 1969 again, and have some fun!

*Contestants must be at least 21 to enter. Rooms may be booked on any available date EXCEPT Saturday on Festival Weekends or ANY DAY of a holiday weekend. ALL rooms are subject to availability. Please call the Innkeeper for more details. 609-752-0303

Saturday, August 17 11-9:30 & Sunday, August 18 11-8!

Saturday tickets are $10 ONLINE, $12 at the door!

Sunday tickets are $8 ONLINE, $10 at the door!

Everyone 20 and under is FREE – children are welcome!

ALL CURRENT AND FORMER MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE INVITED TO COME FOR 25% OFF OUR REGULAR ADMISSION PRICES **WITH ID**!! $7.50 ONLINE FOR SATURDAY! $6 ONLINE FOR SUNDAY! CHOOSE THE “MILITARY TICKET” OPTION!!

**Your festival tickets are RISK FREE! If for whatever reason we are forced to cancel the event, your tickets are good for ANY future food truck festival!**

Discounted tickets and group ticket packs are available ONLINE ONLY, and will END at midnight on Friday, August 16! Discount tickets will NOT be available at the gate!

ATTENTION MULTI-PACKET TICKET HOLDERS:

Your party does not need to arrive together! Just give the name of the TICKET PURCHASER at the gate! We have a list! Group Discount Ticket Packs will NOT be available at the gate!

Please Note: Outside food or beverages are not permitted. Pets are not permitted at Laurita Winery. You can CLICK HERE for answers to frequently asked questions!

Use #LauritaFoodTrucks and #LauritaWinery on all of your social networks and take lots of pictures!!

Admission includes:

  • Free Parking!
  • Free Scenic Shuttle Service to and from the parking area to the Vineyard Festival Grounds!
  • Free Souvenir Laurita Wine Glass!
  • Free Kids playgrounds!
  • Free Firewood to use in our 40 fire pits
  • Fireworks – Saturday night only!
  • Access to some of the best Gourmet Food Trucks – Food pricing set by the individual food trucks!
  • Access to over 6 Wine Bars (inside and out) and 2 Tasting Tent Areas (available during non-peak hours of the festival)!
  • Access to some of the most scenic views in New Jersey!

FESTIVAL VIP AREA

Have a home base to head to for the duration of the festival! Host a business retreat, class reunion, family get together… and always know where to find your group!

Festival VIP Area ticket includes:

  • One (1) 10×10 pavilion
  • Two (2) picnic tables
  • One (1) dedicated fire pit
  • PLEASE NOTE!! Your VIP Area includes admission for up toa maximum of 25 people. (Your group may be smaller)

*The VIP Area is $750. Please CALL OR EMAIL us to reserve and purchase your VIP Area! 609.752.0200 or [email protected]

The Blue Sky Lounge at Laurita!

For more information on and pictures of The Blue Sky Lounge at Laurita, and for larger parties, please click the image above.

Your Experience Ticket includes:

  • A Boutique Tented Experience Overlooking The Vineyards!
  • All day & night reserved space for you and your party!
  • Custom-style lounge seating with a mix of cozy sofas, sectionals, bar tables, cocktail tables, armchairs, and fresh cut floral arrangements!
  • Complimentary Charcuterie for each party, served table-side with cured meat, cheeses, olives, artisan bread, and olive oil!
  • Additional light snacks, complimentary bottled water, soft drinks, and espresso!
  • Complimentary wine tasting of our newly released Riesling, followed by a Q&A, at 2pm & 6:30pm!
  • Live acoustic entertainment each day between 2-6pm!
  • Separate private fire pit area with Adirondack-style seating!
  • Premium fireworks viewing area!
  • Corn hole, giant jenga, giant connect four, and other gaming!
  • Laurita giveaways throughout the day!

For all inquiries including reserving space for larger parties at The Blue Sky Lounge, please contact Ed at [email protected] or call 201-753-0613.

The Trucks!

  • RED Pizza
  • Shore Good Eats n’ Treats
  • Coffee Bouteaque

The Music!

Saturday, August 17

  • 11am-2pm Roundabout 360 Band
  • 2:30pm-5:30pm Pennington Station Band
  • 6pm-9:00pm The Lifters

Sunday, August 18

  • 11am-1pm The Wag
  • 1:30-4:30pm 1969 Woodstock Celebration Band
  • 5pm-8pm Tone Rangers

Get the Shirt…

Get your Laurita Winery WOODSTOCK Souvenir Shirt!

$20 for the T-shirt, $25 for the long-sleeved hoodie! *Supplies are limited!

Or MAKE a Shirt!

We’ll have the supplies for 200 DIY tie-dye shirts Saturday AND Sunday!

Just bring a white or solid-color t-shirt with you, and MAKE your own souvenir!

The Vendors!

Country Line Dancing!

Country Line Dancing and Lessons with BTK Entertainment, Billy and Lisa! Saturday 1-9 and Sunday 12-7!

Face and Arm Painting!

Macaroni Anne Cheez will be in The Grove by the playground!

Fireworks!

Saturday night ONLY! (*Fireworks and fire pits are always at the discretion of the Fire Marshall)

3 Hearts 4 Paws Animal Rescue!

Meet adorable adoptables! Usually until 5-6pm, weather permitting!


Whole Roasted Sicilian Style Branzino

35 minutes, 2 servings per fish

For the Branzino:

1 – 1.5 lb. whole branzino (per 2 persons)*

½ small shallot, thinly sliced

parchment lined baking sheet

For salt crust:

For serving:

2 tbsp. balsamic reduction**

1 tbsp. + drizzle high quality extra virgin olive oil (about 1 tsp.)

2 tbsp. freshly chopped mint leaves

juice from ½ lemon, divided

freshly cracked black pepper

½ tsp. plus more for seasoning

pinch of Himalayan pink salt

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

½ lb. asparagus spears, ends trimmed

2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

*At most seafood markets and specialty grocers, you can request that they gut the fish for you. Just make sure that they leave the tail and head alone! The fish must remain whole to lock in moisture!

**To make balsamic reduction, place ¼ c. balsamic vinegar on stovetop over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium, swirling every minute or so, continue to simmer for 4-5 more minutes until balsamic has reduced by about half (this will yield 2 tbsp.). Immediately transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside. This can be done up to 2 days ahead if desired. Store in an airtight container if making ahead.

Arrange oven racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

If your fish has not already been gutted: make an incision from the belly side beginning just below the head and continuing to the tail end. Remove all guts and organs. Rinse inside and outside of the fish clean.

Once your fish has been gutted, season the inside of cleaned branzino with salt. Arrange slices of lemon, sprigs of mint, and thin slices of shallots inside each fish. Secure by wrapping fish with kitchen twine. (This step can be completed up to 2 hours ahead if wrapped and refrigerated.)

On a separate rimmed baking sheet, place trimmed asparagus, 1 tbsp. olive oil, ½ tsp. kosher salt, minced garlic cloves, and the small sliced shallot. Toss to coat asparagus. Set aside.

To make the paste for the salt crust, use a fork to combine about 1 lb. of salt with enough egg white to form a paste in a bowl. For me, this was 2 large egg whites. Spread a thin layer of the salt paste on the parchment paper lining the prepared baking sheet. You only need to cover the surface area where the fish will lay. This should use about 1/2 of the salt paste. Then place fish on top of salt paste layer and arrange remaining salt paste over the top of the fish in a thin layer. You want to cover the entire surface area of fish because the paste forms the crust that locks in both flavor and moisture.

Transfer both baking sheets to the oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Roast fish on top rack and asparagus on bottom rack. After 20 minutes, remove fish from oven! Give asparagus a turn and roast 5 minutes longer.

Allow fish to rest for 4-5 minutes before removing the salt crust. Use your hands and dull knife to peel away the salt crust. It should come off very easily and often in large sections. Discard salt crust.

Remove asparagus form the oven.

Remove the twine and try to remove as many additional bits of the salt crust as possible from the fish. Work carefully so that the fish doesn’t completely fall apart.

Transfer branzino onto the baking sheet with the asparagus. Working with one side at a time, make an incision down the spine of the fish and near the fish’s tail, so that the skin can easily be peeled and rolled away from the meat. Roll the skin away until you reach the fin/gill region. The fish’s skin worked hard to lock in the fish’s moisture and flavor in the oven. The combination of the steamed flesh and the skin’s contact with the salt paste will make it very easily peel off of the fish’s tender flaky tasty flesh. Carefully flip the fish over and repeat this step on the other side.

On a 1 – 1.5 lb. fish, the meat from one side of the fish is about one serving.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil, pinch of kosher salt and Himalayan pink salt, chopped mint leaves, lemon zest, and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve with roasted asparagus and crispy shallots. Garnish with slice of lemon and a few mint leaves.

Don’t forget to share your recipe photos on Instagram by tagging @girlsonfoodblog and @almostproperly. We love seeing what you make!


Philly to NYC Food Trucks Travel to NJ Winery - Recipes

Dining You Deserve

The all new Bari Wine Pub sets a new standard of service with their upscale menu and wine flights offered Thursday-Sunday. A casual spot where you can get together for fun, wine & food, in a beautiful vineyard setting. Our distinctive menu is beyond ordinary with a great selection of appetizers, lunch entrees and reservation only special dinner services.

Book A Wine Tasting

New Jersey’s favorite wine tasting experience is back and better than ever before. Enjoy a scheduled wine tasting with Madison, Al, or one of our highly trained wine tenders who will walk you through our wine portfolio and provide insights and tasting notes that will leave a lasting impression.

Calendar of Events

Learn more about the special events hosted at Valenzano Winery along with live entertainment, and special wine pairings at Bari Wine Pub.

Weddings at The Winery

Romance, intrigue, beauty and elegance – it’s all here at our winery. Whether celebrating inside our stately Winemaker’s Ballroom, enjoying a quaint but wonderful affair in the Wine House, or reveling in our newly renovated Vineyard Courtyard, we are at your service.

Where To Purchase

Valenzano wines are available online and in thousands of retail locations throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We proudly ship our amazing wines worldwide, come see how you can make our family part of yours.

Join Our Free Loyalty Rewards Program

Our wine categories

A new dimension of east-coast winemaking

Traditions

Classic wine styles crafted by the Valenzano family (Vegan, Non- GMO, Gluten Free Wines)

Shamong

Fruit-forward with luscious sweetness crafted from north American grape varieties (Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free Wines)

Harvest

Modern, fun, and flavorful fruit wines. (Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free Wines)

Destinations

For our Destinations series we sourced grapes from some of the best growing regions for specific wine. The result is a first class flight of wines perfect for any destination. (Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free Wines)

Specialties

Uniquely exclusive limited release wines. (Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free Wines)

Harmony Series

Limited release wines made from locally honey. Flavors and blends changing seasonally. Grab them while they last (Non-GMO, Gluten Free Wines)

Gluten Free

Non-GMO

Vegan Friendly

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements Valenzano Winery has discontinued tours and large group options (9+) until further notice.

We will be open for table service by reservation, wine tastings by reservation, Thursday Night Dinners by reservation, curbside purchase pickup and take-out purchases until the restrictions are lifted.

Legendary wine festivals and intriguing special events. Book your wine experience now.

A Wine For All Tastes

Valenzano Family Winery prides itself on our ability to create fine wines in a variety of styles and tastes. With over 28 wines available for sampling you probably won't be a fan of every style of wine we produce, but we are pretty certain you will find at least a few wines you absolutely love. The best part about visiting our winery is our amazing staff that will spend a few minutes determining your tastes and then they will help identify a list of wines for you to try.

Happenings at Valenzano

Visitors have always said, ‘Valenzano Winery knows how to throw a party’.We agree, that’s why we are always planning new events from our annual WineFest every September, to Yoga in the Vineyard, Paint Nights,Comedy Shows and Fine Dining Dinner parties. Our family and staff enjoys thinking up new ways to entertain our customers while drinking wine. Get more information about upcoming festivals and events.

What People Are Saying

Carmie Keebler VanHorn

Absolutely gorgeous winery in Shamong, NJ.

Catherine "Catphilly" J.

My boyfriend and I popped in last Wednesday early afternoon on our way to Atlantic City. I'm so glad that we did! We did a wine tasting and had a most enjoyable time with Robert. We also split a cheese tray for a snack. Both of us like the drier wines and Robert was very knowledgeable and guided us directly to the wines that we liked. We walked out with 3 bottles! We plan to return for a Thursday night dinner and can't wait!

Jacklin A.

ame here for a few hours on a beautiful Sunday and had an excellent experience. The facility itself is very pretty and modern. There's a large tasting room and lots of indoor and outdoor seating. They serve food as well. You can do a wine tasting for $10 (8 wines), but if you buy a bottle ($9-15), then the tasting is free, so absolutely buy a bottle. I love the wine variety here. If you like dry or sweet or fruity, there's really something for everyone. The bartender also gave us some fun pairings (dark chocolate with the port, peanut butter pretzels with the concord wine etc), which made for an awesome tasting. The shamong red, peach Pinot, and blackberry Syrah were my favorites (I prefer sweet wine). Definitely worth a little day trip!!

Helen B.

I have purchased Valenzano wines from several festivals in the past so I was familiar with their wines. My favorite was Plum's Up. When I had the opportunity to go on a tour/tasting with my daughter and friends, I was looking forward to it knowing I would enjoy the wines. I have been to a number of wine tastings, in Canada, North Carolina, and on cruise ships. Some were better than others, but no complaints, all were fun. Valenzano is THE best hands down! Dan's descriptive monologue was entertaining and moving. HIs descriptions of the food pairings was mouth watering. The food itself was delightful. And the wines, delectable. Our group purchased 3 bottles and a couple glasses after the tasting as well as several orders of food to snack on. We were supposed to get a gift bag with a bottle of wine and 2 glasses per couple, but each of us got a bag. Then, we all went home with several bottles that we purchased. We are planning at least 2 more trips, even thought it is an more than an hour's ride for us. Can't wait to go to the wine festival in September.

Mike D.

This place was awesome, great owners and we did a wine tasting that was incredible. The wine tasting was so well throughout from talking about the process from start to finish and the presentation was second to none. For each of the wine tasting the presentation was above expectations, providing foods to compliment the wine and enhance the flavors not just to taste but how the interaction between the wine and the snack changed the experience of the tasting. They have dry wines which compared to those expensive one this fits right in. Also if your a sweet wine kind of person this is the spot to hit. We must of tried like 10 different types of sweet wines all unique to themselves. One wine paired with a pretzel filled with peanut butter tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is a must try and don't let the drive scare you if your coming from afar.

Kristi M.

This is my favorite winery. They have the best wine, food, ambiance and staff. I love their tastings and dinners and wish we didn't have to move. I will definitely be ordering online. They have a wine for every taste bud, I'd encourage everyone to give them a try. This vineyard has always been great to the military as well. They have always donated wine to our holiday parties too. Thank you.


Unique Eats Restaurant List

The Cannibal
Part butcher shop, part restaurant, part beer shop, The Cannibal honors meats in a new, inventive way making sure that now part is left behind.
113 E. 29th St., New York, NY 10016
Website

Martin's Bar-B-Q
Whole hog BBQ steals the show at this Tenneesee classic in Nolensville.
7238 Nolensville Rd., Nolensville, TN 37135
Website

Palsaik
Pork belly comes in eight wildly deliciuos flavors at this Korean BBQ spot.
863 S Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005
Website

Cemitas Puebla
Despite the many options Cemitas Puebla, a Poblano restaurant in Chicago, the pork dishes are the way to go.
3619 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
Website

Episode 604: Ethinic Eats

Balaboosta
Balaboosta, or "perfect housewife" in yiddish, is a lovely mix of Meditternean and Israeli food in Soho.
214 Mulberry St., New York, NY 10012
Website

Riff's Fine Street Food
Get a taste of many differnet regions at Riff's Fine Street Food Truck in Nashville.
Nashville, TN
Website

Cook's Torta
Brave the lines at this Moneteray Park restaurant and be rewarded with massive tortas, a Latin style sandwich.
1944 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, CA 91754
Website

Pecking Order
Pecking Order is dishing up "Chicken Every Which Way" with a bright Phillipino flavors.
4416 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640
Website

Publican Quality Meats
What looks like a gourmet grocery store, is also one of the best lunch spots in town. Sit down, and enjoy everything from a charcuterie plate to a muffaleta.
825 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Website

Antique Taco
Market mexican fare meets american classics at Antique Taco in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago.
1360 North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
Website

Yusho
Japanese street foods get re-worked and re-imagined at Yusho in Avondale.
2853 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
Website

Trenchermen
At Trenchermen in Wicker Park, the Sheerin brothers have taken brunch to a new and decadent level.
2039 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
Website

Episode 606: Hot Lunch Spot

Perla
New Yorker's get transported to Italy when they walk into this hot spot for lunch. Classic flavors are morphed into pizzas, chips, and sandwiches.
24 Minetta Lane, New York, NY 10012
Website

Merchants Restaurant
This Nashville gem has been doling out deliciuos Southern classics for lunch since 1988.
401 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
Website

Baco Mercat
What started as a small snack for his kitchen staff, turned into a mega hit. Bacos or sandwiches are a runaway hit in downtown LA.
408 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
Website

Local Three Kitchen and Bar
Familiar flavors are put into new vehicles at Local Three Kitchen and Bar.
3290 Northside Parkway, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327
Website

Episode 607: Modern Italian

Superba Snack Bar
This Venice darling takes pride in it's imaginative house made pastas, small snacks and "cold cuts."
533 Rose Ave., Venice, CA 90291
Website


City House
Chef Tandy Wilson melds Southern with Italian to create a wonderful new cuisine at this Nashville staple.
1222 4th Ave. N, Nashville, TN 37208
Website

Parm
Mario Carbone and Rich Torissi celebrate Italian American Food at this Little Italy favorite.
248 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
Website

Alla Spina
Marc Vetri has done it again with this Italian gastropub.
1410 Mt. Vernon St., Philadelphia, PA 19130
Website

Episode 608: Innovators

Atera
At Atera, dinner is theater. The ktichen unfolds right in front of you and dishes are not always what they seem.
77 Worth St., New York, NY 10013
Website

Starry Kitchen
What started as a secret supper club in a Los Angeles apartment has turned into a full fledged restaurant in downtown LA.
943 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

East Side King
Located in a bar called, "Hole in the Wall," East Side King dishes up delicious, innovative bar food.
2538 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78705
Website

Citron & Rose
Citron and Rose is a European-style Jewish restaurant that is Glatt Kosher.
370 Montgomery Ave., Merion, PA 19066
Website

Episode 609: Small Bites

Amis
At this Roman-style trattoria in the heart of Philly, the best thing to do is order a bunch of dishes and share them family style.
412 South 13th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147
Website

My Ceviche
Miami Beach has a new star in the form a a take out window. Refreshing ceviches and ice cold stone crab claws to-go have stole the hearts of the locals.
235 Washington Ave., Miami, FL 33139
Website

Momo Sushi Shack
Japanese inspired dishes are served in small portions giving the diner the chance to sample to their hearts content.
43 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206
Website

Barley Swine
Chef Bryce Gilmore creates farm to table small plates at this Austin institution.
2024 South Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704
Website

Episode 610: Old School

Dinic's
Diners wait in a line that wraps around the stall Reading Terminal Market just to get the famous Italian sandwiches they serve up daily.
51 North 12th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Website

Quality Meats
Classic sides get revamped and steaks are taken over the top at this new NYC steakhouse.
825 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Website

La Camaronera
This family-run fish market and fish fry and been dishing up Cuban classics in Miami's Little Havana since 1976.
1952 West Flagler St., Miami, FL 33135
Website

Yardbird
Southern food and fried chicken have become a Miami sensation thanks to Yardbird in Miami Beach.
1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
Website

Episode 611: Reinvention

Easy Tiger Bake Shope & Beer Garden
Easy tiger melds a bakery, a beer garden, and a restaurant to make a delightfully unusual hot spot in Austin.
709 East 6th St., Austin, TX 78701
Website

Josh's Deli
This Jewish-style deli is changing the game in Surfside, FL.
9517 Harding Ave., Surfside, FL 33154
Website

Eating House
Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli pulls from his family background and upbringing to create exceptional brunch dishes in the Coral Gables neighborhood of Miami.
804 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33134
Website

Lucy's Fried Chicken
Lucy's Fried Chicken honors Chef James Holmes' grandmothers southern recipes and with touches of moderninity to the delight of the Austinites.
2218 College Ave., Austin, TX 78704
Website

Episode 612: New Asian

Pubbelly
Spanish tapas meet Asian cuisine to create a unique gastropub in Miami Beach.
1418 W. 20th St., Miami Beach, FL 33139
Website

Dassara
This Brooklyn ramen shop strays from the classics and offers a bright and fun new brunch to tantalize the tastebuds.
271 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY 11231
Website

Ramen Tatsu-ya
The line at Ramen Tatsu-ya starts forming well before they open and what you get is a mind blowing bowl of ramen that took over 60 hours to craft.
8557 Research Blvd., #126, Austin, TX 78758
Website

Sway
Austin is not known for it's Thai food and that is exactly what Sway aims to change. Traditional dishes get Texas touches to create a spicy good time.
1417 South 1st St., Austin, TX 78704
Website

Episode 613: Brooklyn Rising

Krescendo
A pastry chef tries her hand a wood fired pizza in this Brooklyn pizza shop.
364 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217
Website
(note: Chef Elizabeth Falkner is no longer associated with Krescendo.)

La Vara
This husband and wife team does it again to create their third tapas restaurant. This one is on the other side of the bridge in Brooklyn.
268 Clinton St., Brooklyn, NY 11201
Facebook

Pies'n'Thighs
Fried chicken and biscuits reign supreme at this Brooklyn hotspot.
166 South 4th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211
Website

Court Street Grocers
This quirky grocery store is the stuff dreams are made of and it is just icing on the cake that they are dishing out some of the best sandwiches in Brooklyn.
485 Court St., Brooklyn, NY 11231
Website

Episode 501: Eat Your Veggies
Natural Selection
3033 Northeast Alberta Street
Portland, OR 97211
503-288-5883
Facebook: Natural Selection

Gather
2200 Oxford Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
510- 809-0400
Facebook: Gather Restaurant
Twitter: @gatherberkeley

MB Post
1142 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310-545-5405
Facebook: MB Post
Twitter: @ChefDLeFevre

Vedge
1221 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-923-6117
Facebook: Vedge Restaurant
Twitter: @vedgerestaurant

Brave Horse Tavern
310 Terry Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
206-971-0717
Facebook: Brave Horse Tavern
Twitter: @thebravehorse

Do Or Dine
1108 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216
718-684-2290
Facebook: Do Or Dine
Twitter: @do_or_dine

The Pie Hole
714 Traction Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90013
213-537-0115
Facebook: The Pie Hole
Twitter: @thepieholela

Episode 503: Seafood
Oyster House
1516 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-567-7683
Facebook: Oyster House
Twitter: @phloysterhouse

Episode 504: Hot Spots
Beast
5425 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211
503-841-6968
Facebook: Beast

The Dutch

131 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012
212-677-6200
Facebook: The Dutch
Twitter: @thedutchnyc

Episode 505: Nostalgic Noshes
A-Frame
12565 Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
310-398-7700
Facebook: A-Frame

Pacific Pie Co.
1520 SE 7th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
503-381-6157
Facebook: Pacific Pie Co.
Twitter: @pacificpieco

Waterloo & City
12517 W Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90066
310-391-4222
Facebook: Waterloo & City
Twitter: @waterlooandcity

Episode 506: NYC Romantic Restaurants
Jewel Bako and Degustation
239 East 5th St
New York, NY 10003
212-979-1012

Public
210 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012
212-323-7011

Puddin' By Clio
102 St Marks Place
New York, NY 10009
212-477-3537
Facebook: Puddin' By Clio
Twitter: @puddinnyc

Butcher Bar
37-08 30th Ave
Astoria, NY 11103
718-606-8140
Facebook: Butcher Bar
Twitter: @butcherbar

Episode 507: Global
Maharlika
111 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003
646-392-7880
Facebook: Maharlika
Twitter: @maharlikanyc

Revel

403 N 36th Street
Seattle, WA 98103
206-547-2040
Facebook: Revel
Twitter: @revelseattle

Zahav
237 Saint James Place
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-625-8800
Facebook: Zahav
Twitter: @zahavrestaurant

Episode 508: Houston
El Real Tex Mex

1201 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006
713-524-1201
Facebook: El Real Tex Mex
Twitter: @elrealtexmex

Beaver's
2310 Decatur Street
Houston, TX 77007
713-864-2328
Facebook: Beaver's
Twitter: @beavershouston

Hubcap Grill
1111 Prairie Street
Houston, TX 77002
713-223-5885
Facebook: Hubcap Grill
Twitter: @hubcap_grill

Fluff Bake Bar
550 Heights Boulevard
Houston, TX 77007
713-880-8463
Facebook: Fluff Bake Bar
Twitter: @fluffbakebar

Episode 509: Mash UpsEpisode 509: Mash Ups
Pondicheri
2800 Kirby Dr, Suite B132
Houston, Texas 77098
713-522-2022
Facebook: Pondicheri
Twitter: @pondicheri


Picca
9575 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035
310-277-0133
Facebook: PiccaPeru
Twitter: @PiccaPeru

Mexicue
345 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10001
212-244-0002
Facebook: Mexicue
Twitter: @Mexicue

Bachi Burger
470 East Windmill Lane, Suite 100
Las Vegas, NV 89123
702-242-2244
Facebook: Bachi Burger
Twitter: @bachiburger

Episode 510: Hot & Spicy
Cafè China
13 E. 37th Street
New York, NY 10016
(212)213-2810
Facebook: Cafe China
Twitter: @cafechina_nyc

Episode 511: Off The Grid
Enoteca Maria
27 Hyatt Street
Staten Island, New York 10301
(718) 447-2777

Settebello
140 Green Valley Pkwy
Henderson, NV 89012
702-222-3556
Facebook: Settebello Pizza

Matsumoto's Shave Ice
66-087 Kamehameha Hwy.
Haleiwa, HI 96712
808-637-4827
Facebook: Matusomoto's Shave Ice

Episode 512: Vegas
Raku
5030 W.Spring Mountain Rd #2
Las Vegas, NV 89146
702-367-3511

First Food & Bar
The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino
3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-607-3478
Facebook: First Food and Bar
Twitter: @FirstFoodandBar

Holsteins
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-698-7940
Facebook: Holsteins
Twitter: @HolsteinsLV

Episode 513: Polynesian Paradise
Shrimp Shack
53-360 Kamehameha Hwy
Hauula, Hawaii 96717
808-256-5589

Saturday Farmers' Market
Kapiolani Community College
4303 Diamond Head Rd
Parking Lot C
Honolul, HI 96816

Grandma G's
Hawaii Federal Bureau Farmers' Markets
Twitter: @ono4grandmags

Episode 401: Queens
Mombar
25-22 Steinway St.,
Astoria, NY 11103
718-726-2356

Tortilleria Nixtamal
104-05 47th Avenue
Corona, NY 11368
718-699-2434
Facebook: Tortilleria Nixtamal
Twitter: @nixtamalmaster

The Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11103
718-777-0913
Facebook: The Queens Kickshaw
Twitter: @queenskickshaw

Sik Gaek
161-29 Crocheron Ave
Flushing, NY 11358
718-321-7770

Episode 402: Between the Buns
No. 7 Sub
1188 Broadway
New York, NY 10001
212-532-1680
Facebook: No. 7 Sub
Twitter: @no7sub

Episode 403: Mexican
Empellon Taqueria
230 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
212-367-0999

Oyamel
401 7th St NW
Washington D.C., 20004
202-628-1005

Centro Latin
950 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303-442-7771

Momocho
1835 Fulton Road
Cleveland, OH 44113
216-694-2122

Episode 404: Bar Food
Jones Wood Foundry
401 E 76th St
New York, NY 10021
212-249-2700

Churchkey
1337 14th Street NW
Washington D.C. 20005
202-567-2576

Lukshon
3239 Helms Avenue
Culver City, CA 90232
310-202-6808

Linger
2030 West 30th Avenue
Denver, CO 80211
303-993-3120

Episode 405: Eat & Sleep
Bedford Post Inn
954 Old Post Rd
Bedford, NY 10506
914-234-7800

The Whitebarn Inn
37 Beach Avenue
Kennebunkport, ME 04043
207-967-2321

Ruschmeyer's
161 Second House Road
Montauk, NY 11945
631-668-2877

Wasington Place Bistro Inn
2203 Cornell Road
Cleveland, OH 44106
216-791-6500

Episode 406: Maine Weekend
Two Fat Cat's Bakery
47 India St # D
Portland, ME 04101
207-347-5144

The Clam Shack
2 Western Avenue
Kennebunk, ME 04043
207-967-2560

Fore Street
288 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101
207-775-2717

Earth
354 Goose Rocks Road
Kennebunkport, ME 04046
207-967-6550

Episode 407: Wine Country Weekend
Mustards Grill
7399 St Helena Highway
Napa, CA 94558
707-944-2424

Mateo's Cocina Latina
214 Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707-433-1520

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
707-944-2487

Bottega
6525 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
707-945-1050

Episode 408: Local Legends
Greenhouse Tavern
2038 E 4th Street
Cleveland, OH 44115
216-443-0511

Arrows
41 Berwick Rd
Ogunquit, ME 03907
207-361-1100

Frances
3870 17th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
415-621-3870

Bo Brooks
2780 Lighthouse Point
Baltimore, MD 21224
410-558-0202

Episode 409: Dirt Cheap & Delicious
Smorgasburg
27 N. 6 St. (btw. Kent Ave. + East River)
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Toki Underground
1234 H Street, NE
Washignton D.C. 20002
202-388-3086

The Mighty Cone
1600 S. Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
512-383-9609

Episode 410: Food by Fire
Tertulia
359 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10012
646-559-9909

Mas (la grillade)
28 Seventh Ave South
New York, NY 10014
212-255-1795

Fire Food & Drink
13220 Shaker Square
Cleveland, OH 44120
216-921-3473

Camino
3917 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
510-547-5035

Episode 411: Portland Weekend
Tasty N Sons
3808 N Williams Ave.
Portland, OR 97227
503-621-1400

Nong's Khao Man Gai
1003 SW Alder St.
Portland, OR 97205
971-255-3480

The Dump Truck Food Cart
1071 SW Alder St.
Portland, OR 97205
503-877-3867

Le Piegon
738 E Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97214
503-546-8796

Whiskey Soda Lounge
3131 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97202
503-232-0102

Episode 412: Pasta
Spinasse
1531 14th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
206-251-7673

Flour + Water
2401 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94110
415-826-7000

Frasca Food & Wine
1738 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
303-442-6966

Maialino
2 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10010
212-777-2410

Episode 413: Philly
Amada
217-219 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
212-625-2450

Osteria
640 N Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-763-0920

Paesano's Philly Style
1017 S 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-440-0371

Federal Donuts
1632 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-665-1101

Episode 301: Seafood
Bowen’s Island
1870 Bowens Island Rd
Charleston, SC 29412
843-795-2757

Flex Mussels
174 East 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028
212-717-7772

Neptune Oyster
63 Salem Street
Boston, MA 02113
617-742-3474

Kitchenette
1353 Boulevard Rene Levesque E.
Montréal, QC H2L 2M1 Canada
514-527-1016

Episode 302: Asian
Lantern
423 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
919-969-8846

Myers & Chang
1145 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
617-542-5200

Robataya
231 East 9th Street
New York, NY 10003
212-979-9674

Urban Belly
3053 North California Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
773-583-0500

Episode 303: Delis
Joan’s on Third
8350 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323-655-2285

Neal’s Deli
100 East Main St.
Carrboro, NC 27510
919-967-2185

Torrisi Italian Specialties
250 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012
212-965-0955 11

Eleven City Diner
1112 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
312-212-1112

Episode 304: Pubs
Henry Public
329 Henry Street
New York, NY 11201
718-852-8630

Longman & Eagle
2657 N. Kedzie Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60647
773-276-7110

Citizen Public House
1310 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
617-450-9000

Joe Beef
2491 Notre Dame West
Montreal, QC H3J 1N6, Canada
514-935-6504

Episode 5: Bistros
Church and State
1850 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
213-405-1434

Landmarc
179 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
212-343-3883

La Fourchette
432 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
843-722-6261

Bistro du Midi
272 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
617-426-7878

Episode 6: Barbecue
The Pit
328 West Davie Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
919-890-4500

Franklin Barbecue
900 E 11th St.
Austin, Texas 78722
512-653-1187

Squeal Bar-B-Q
8400 Oak Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
504-302-7370

Fatty ‘Cue
91 South 6th Street
New York, NY 11211
718-599-3090

Episode 7: Pizza
Motorino
319 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718-599-8899

Jane
1744 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Montreal, QC H3J 1M3, Canada
514-759-6498

Great Lake
1477 W Balmoral Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
773-334-9270

Domenica
123 Baronne Street
New Orleans, La 70112
504-648-6020

Episode 8: Chicken
Hill Country
30 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10010
212-255-4544

Romados
115, Rue Rachel Est
Montreal, QC H2W 1C8 Canada
514-849-1803

Wright’s Farm Restaurant
84 Inman Road
Harrisville, RI 02830
401-769-2856

Crisp
2940 N Broadway St.
Chicago, IL 60657
773-697-7610

Episode 9: Neighborhood Gems
Olivia
2043 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704
512-804-2700

Garde Manger
408 Rue St.-François-Xavier
Montreal, QC H2Y 2S9 Canada
514-678-5044

Willie Mae’s Scotch House
2401 Saint Ann Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
504-822-9503

Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403-5864
843-937-0930

Episode 10: Cheap Eats
Caracas Arepa Bar

291 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718-218-6050

Big Star Tacos
1531 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
773-235-4039

Franks ‘N’ Dawgs
1863 North Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
312-281-5187

Num Pang
21 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003
212-255-3271

Episode 11: Fried Foods
La Banquise
994 Rue Rachel Est
Montreal, H2J 2J3, Canada
514-525-2415

Brit & Chips
433 Rue Mcgill
Montreal QC, H2Y 2H1 Canada
514-840-1001

Gourdough’s
1219 South Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704
512-607-6568

Arancini Bros.
940 Flushing Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206
718-418-6347

Episode 12: Lunch Spots
Valencia Luncheria
172 Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06851
203-846-8009

M. Wells
21-17 49th Avenue
Queens, NY 11101
718-425-6917

Parish Cafe
361 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116-3303
617-247-4777

Boucherie
8115 Jeannette Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
504-862-5514

Episode 13: Wine Bars
The Purple Pig
500 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
312-464-1744

Terroir
24 Harrison Street
New York, NY 10013
212-625-9463

Episode 201: Brunch
Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
212-925-3797

Slappy Cakes
4246 SE Belmont Street
Portland, OR 97215
503-477-4805

Blue Duck Tavern
4&M Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-419-6755

Maureen's Kitchen
108 Terry Road
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In 2013, on a windy stretch of 11th Avenue in Manhattan the Gotham Organization, an NYC developer, built a new residential high rise. Rather than installing a Duane Reade or Citibank as its first floor commercial tenant, it built something it thought might draw people westward: a 10,000-square-foot urban food bazaar, serving everything from tacos to pizza to ramen.

In modern metropolises, where rent is high and space is tight, mixed-use spaces can be community hubs as well as viable business operations. LA’s Grand Central Market, which opened in 1917, is one of the oldest still-thriving food halls New York City’s Chelsea Market erected its retail spaces, which also rent to full-service restaurant operators, in the late 1990s and San Francisco’s Ferry Building started renting food counter stalls to local purveyors in 2002. When Gotham West Market opened five years ago, it was following in the footsteps of these earlier markets, but added modern conveniences and targeted marketing that helped ignite a new trend.

According to a report by commercial real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield, there were about 70 food halls in the country by 2015. Within a year that number had grown to 86, and by the end of 2017, it had reached 118. At this rate, by 2020, the marketplace will have tripled in size in the span of just five years. “We are starting to see food halls at the heart of new suburban mixed-use developments, where the food hall component isn’t just at the center of the action, but it’s usually among the first things built,” says Garrick Brown, vice president of retail intelligence for Cushman Wakefield.

New York City, already home to 25 active permanent food halls, will welcome as many as 10 more either under construction or in development. Halls are under construction in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia, as well as in smaller cities like Austin, Plano, Omaha, and Portland, Maine.

That rapid growth mirrors the rise of the so-called gourmet food truck trend, which kicked off just after the recession in 2008 with chef Roy Choi’s Kogi taco truck. “When consumers have wearied of giant chains but still demand food that is novel, inexpensive and fast, food trucks are the new incubators of culinary innovation,” wrote Jonathan Gold in the Smithsonian in 2012. A decade after Kogi — with gas prices on the rise, mounting truck vendor regulations, competition, and fickle diners ready for the next thing — both consumers and operators seem to be shifting their attention to food halls.

Diners are drawn to them for many of the same reasons they helped food trucks proliferate in every American city: the convenience, variety, speed, and thrill of culinary browsing. Operators, plagued by high rents and soaring labor costs, are lured in by a hall’s perks relative to a standalone restaurant: lower startup costs, shared expenses, and a community of vendors that ensures steady traffic.

That consistent foot traffic is part of what sets food hall stalls apart. Some of the fun (or inconvenience) of dining at a food truck is finding it: Diners typically follow a truck’s social media feed to see where it will park next. But that also means food truck operators don’t always know how much business they will do, or what other trucks will park in the same location. Food halls eliminate some of that uncertainty. Additionally, food hall stalls aren’t subject to the elements, are grounded to power and plumbing, and don’t need to keep their tank full. Developers and fledgling restaurateurs are capitalizing on these positives, making food hall stalls the new food truck: an enclosed space with lower risks and lower costs than a traditional restaurant — and the potential for great returns.

Variety, affordability, and a competitive real estate market mean food halls are often a more attractive investment than a full-service restaurant or single-concept space. But operators still need some business know-how and cash to cover the start-up costs before they sign on the dotted line. Here’s how a standard food hall license works (compared to a restaurant lease), and why more operators are going the food hall route: While every project is different, what follows is a common framework.

Outside Pine Street Market, Portland, Oregon. Dina Avila/Eater PDX

What’s the difference between a license and a lease?

Most food hall contracts between the food stall operator and landlords are called licenses, not leases. Licenses are much shorter documents, about 15 pages long, and are far less complex than full-length leases, which can be over 60 pages (and require several attorneys to decipher). Standalone restaurant leases are generally for 10-year terms food hall licenses are much shorter, averaging one to three years, and most are structured as “at will” tenancies, giving both the tenant and the landlord a way out before the term’s end.

“Food hall licenses have shorter terms than restaurant leases because the landlord wants flexibility to rotate vendors in and out,” says Kevin Lillis, founding partner and CEO of Hospitality Alliance, who has consulted the development of a half dozen food halls, including Urbanspace, the Row Hotel, and Turnstyle. This can work in the tenant’s favor, too, in case business isn’t as bustling as initially expected. “A dark stall is like having a missing front tooth,” says Phil Colicchio, who runs Colicchio Consulting with Trip Schneck, a firm that advises owners and developers like Westfield on funding and operating food halls. “The key for a landlord is to be able to change tenants out quickly so that the whole project doesn’t suffer as a result.”

The license covers the basics like rent, length of the lease, termination provisions, dimensions of the stall, equipment included, other add ons such as shared storage space, scullery service, covenants such as operating hours and non-competes, and a list of fees such as Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges. Depending on the deal, this can be included as part of the rent or added on as a monthly fee.

The term “license,” in New York City especially, is also significant because it means that the agreements are not subject to litigation. This is not only appealing to landlords — operators like it because it’s low risk. “Having a license and not a lease, it’s a benefit for the tenant,” says Christian Pappanicholas of the Cannibal Beer & Butcher shop, a former Gotham West Market operator. “You want something you can get out of easily, and that won’t land you in landlord tenant court.”

How is rent calculated?

In general, city storefront rents are calculated on a dollar per square (psf) foot model, which is dependent on what the market will bear. This can mean, for example, $40 per square foot for a restaurant space in Columbus, Ohio, or $200 psf for one in NYC’s West Village.

Food hall stalls are not typically rented on a per square foot basis because the footprint is too small most are around 200 square feet. If they are rented psf, that rent is usually quite high. Regardless, food stall rents are relatively steep given the small space — around $2,000 per month in a city like Denver, and up to $8,000 per month in New York City for 200 to 300 square feet of space.

As a point of comparison, a prime West Village 2,000-square-foot New York City restaurant rents for around $30,000 per month, according to Colicchio. (For that number to make sense, the restaurant would need to do about $4 million in annual revenue, since rent should be roughly 8 percent of gross revenue.)

In addition to that base rent, food hall licenses often include “percentage rent,” meaning that a landlord is paid a percentage of sales. This is negotiated as either a percentage of sales per day, or as a percentage of sales (usually somewhere around 10 percent) above a certain total sales threshold.

Another perk unique to a food hall license is that some landlords will offer staggered rents that start off lower and increase in years two and three, assuming traffic will pick up.

The El Comado stall inside Gotham West Market, NYC Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Who pays for the stall’s buildout?

“Rents are much higher in a food hall if you look at it on a per square foot basis,” admits Steven Kamali, CEO of Hospitality House, a restaurant, hotel and hospitality services agency in the midst of developing six food halls across country. But he says the higher rents are offset by the upside of operating in a food hall. “You are given a turnkey operation, with much of the buildout done for you, and you have guaranteed high foot traffic, and aggregated social media.”

In a standalone restaurant, the operator pays for her own buildout, which can cost between $500,000 and several million dollars depending on the location and size of the project. Food halls require a much smaller initial investment for the buildout because the landlord provides the base level of what’s called FF&E — furniture, fixtures, and equipment. A vendor can customize it, which can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $75,000, depending on the design of each stall and the market’s common areas.

The logic behind this goes back to the nature of the food hall as a community. “An owner does not want a tenant who’s moving out to spend months tearing down a stall, and ripping out their hoods and stoves and refrigeration while people are trying to enjoy their lunch,” says Lillis. “The buildout is therefore done and owned by the landlord or developer.”

Some food halls, like Dekalb Market, located in Downtown Brooklyn’s bustling City Point retail and residential development, require each operator to build out a custom space so each stall has a different feel. This market also requires each stall to have a neon sign which can be costly — up to $10,000 for some operators with large spaces. Still, the price is lower than what it would cost for a full restaurant buildout.

Kamali also says the food hall setup saves operators the added aggravation of looking for a space for years on end. “Some people spend 12 to 24 months looking for a space, evaluating economics, running numbers, and trying to negotiate a deal. That process alone can cost $100,000 and sometimes the deals fall apart. With a food hall, you have a couple of pages to review, you negotiate rent and percentage rent, your insurance costs are scaled down, and it’s a lot more affordable and a lot easier to deal with.”

What’s more important: Good credit or a good concept?

Food hall leases are easier to come by without the best credit, says Schneck. “In the world of the food hall, there’s a saying: ‘Concept overrules credit’.”

Schneck explains that most landlords will do a comprehensive credit assessment of their potential tenants before executing a lease. “They will want to see balance sheets and income statements to understand the risk, and they will want someone or some entity to sign as an unconditional or absolute guarantor,” he says. But the food hall application process is much less about financial history and much more about the story. “For instance,” says Schneck, “the application for prospective food hall vendors at Legacy Food Hall in Plano, Texas asks, after your name and address, ‘What’s your BIG idea?’”

The importance of non-competes

Food halls may operate anywhere from a dozen to 50 stalls, and the job of curating them requires a good deal of time and thought. For a developer, the goal is to represent a variety of foods and price points for the target audience, while vendors want to ensure that no else will be peddling the same menu.

But what if a developer brings in a concept that’s eerily familiar to a current tenant? Take Chelsea Market’s latest addition, Miznon, an Israeli pita sandwich concept, very similar — and some could say, in direct competition with — Israeli pita and hummus concept Dizengoff, a pre-existing tenant. There’s no war, but the placement is curious.

Most developers and consultants say it’s in everyone’s best interest not to have a war in the food hall. But whether or not the developer will guarantee this in a writing is another story. “I’ve never given anyone a non-compete, but I’d never put a second burger shop in a food hall that already has one,” Lillis says. The exception, he says, is coffee and alcohol. “You need a couple of each, because people cannot be waiting on long lines for a beer or a coffee.”

Colicchio and Schneck, on the other hand, have negotiated non-competes and feel it’s a reasonable promise for a developer to make. “If I am a vendor and I am spending some money to come in, it is reasonable for me to want to be the only Mexican option,” Schneck says. “I can and should ask for that. And if the owner won’t put that on paper, don’t do it. A good curator knows it’s in her best interest to have a variety.”

Why management is key

Food hall veterans are in agreement that the best food halls are run by a hospitality management company, not the real estate developer. “It’s often the most overlooked aspect in the venue’s operations,” says Schneck. “A lot of times, a developer thinks they have the skill set to manage the food hall, when in fact it’s a big job that includes running health inspections, employing staff, managing receiving, as well as all the social media and marketing. This needs to be done by a seasoned restaurant manager or hospitality industry professional.”

Hiring a management company also usually means promotional costs — associated with public relations, events, or social media posting — are largely folded into the rent. But a food hall community offers something few standalone restaurants have: the power of many voices with smartphones. “With a food hall, you have social media that’s organized and executed collectively by a community of vendors, even though some will still do their own marketing,” says Lillis. The aggregate effect is a boon for most vendors whose social media is bolstered by the market’s collective voice.

That sense of structured community is part of what’s making food halls attractive investments for cities and developers. For operators, they might require a bit more paperwork and capital upfront, but offer many of the same benefits of running a business from a food truck — minus the major drawback of having to pay for gas.

Andrea Strong, founder of the pioneering food blog the Strong Buzz, has been writing about restaurants and food for the past 18 years.
Editor:Daniela Galarza


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Fine Dining.

People. You are in NYC. Home of some of the best chefs in all the world. Seriously. We’re talking Michelin Stars, James Beard winners, famous TV chef personalities, culinary pioneers….

It’s time to treat yourself. Don’t settle for whatever is closest to your hotel or that restaurant that has a $9.99 steak special. Mommy and Daddy are getting dressed up* and going out tonight!

*there actually really isn’t a dress code in most NYC restaurants. You’ll see people in suits. You’ll see people in jeans and a polo. That’s how we roll.

Note: most of these places require a reservation.

There are MANY, I repeat, MANY amazing restaurants in NYC. I’m going to list just a tiny few of them that I’ve had great meals at below…

Blue Hill – Chef Dan Barber is a culinary legend. He was one of the pioneers in the farm-to-table movement, and his Michelin-starred restaurant is a total worth it splurge. I love this place. If you want an unreal dining experience and have a car or want to hire a car service, try and get to Blue Hill at Stone Barns. This is Dan Barber’s restaurant on his farm in Hudson Valley. The meal is seriously like 4 to 5 hours, and was hands down one of the greatest dining experiences of my life. It’s an unmatched culinary adventure!

Barbuto – Chef Jonathan Waxman is a very well-known chef in his own right, and also was mentor to Chef Bobby Flay back in the day. His restaurant, located in the Meatpacking District, serves up one of the best roast chicken dishes you will ever taste. Seriously. And the pasta? Oh man… amazing. Make sure to ask for the Pasta Carbonara, even if it’s not on the menu. They can usually make it for you anyway, and it’s the best pasta carbonara you’ll ever have. Also be sure to order the potato side dish. They are the best potatoes you’ll ever have.

Gramercy Tavern – this Michelin-starred restaurant is a NYC icon in fine dining. I’ve been told that if you go during lunch, they have a secret off-the-menu burger that’s amazing. I need to try that burger! The tasting menu here is absolutely amazing. You’ll never be disappointed with a meal here.

Eleven Madison Park – one of only a few NYC restaurants to have a 3-Michelin Star rating, the tasting-only menu at Eleven Madison Park is a great way to celebrate something (or someone) special. The space, which is directly across the street from Madison Park, is absolutely stunning. And get ready for some top notch service.

Hearth – if you asked me what my current favorite restaurant is, I would probably say Hearth. I don’t know what it is about this place in the East Village, but I love it. Chef Marco Canora creates an atmosphere that feels like a cozy neighborhood restaurant, while serving up seasonal Italian food that continually rocks my socks. The price is also quite manageable ($86 will get you a complete tasting menu, although you can also order a la carte). UPDATE: Hearth is still a solid choice for a nice meal, but recently Chef Canora went through a major “healthy” lifestyle change and now his food reflects that new lifestyle. It’s simply just not as good. It’s still a fine meal, but it lost some of it’s special-ness.

Update: I’ve also had some seriously great meals at the following restaurants recently: Acme, ABC Kitchen, Contra, Dovetail, Uncle Boons

You a fan of celebrity chefs? You might want to try one of these restaurants from one of the many TV chef personalities that set up home in NYC. I’ve been to them all and love them all!

    – Iron Chef Bobby Flay’s two NYC restaurants. – This is Tom Colicchio’s (head judge on Top Chef) joint. – Iron Chef Marc Forgione or Del Posto or – was Mario Batali but he’s no longer associated with restaurants but still great or The National – Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian
  • Update: Osteria Morini (semi-casual) Ai Fiori (fancy) or Marea (really fancy) – Chef Michael White

Looking for a really cool atmosphere where people get dressed to impress and the food is pretty great as well? Check out Beauty + Essex, which is actually located behind a pawn shop. Run by Chef Chris Santos (a judge on Chopped), this Lower East Side restaurants features awesome cocktails and a great menu of small plates meant to share. Ladies, head down to the basement restrooms, where you will be greeted by free rose champagne.

Le Coucou is a fantastic choice for upscale French food. We firs experienced Chef Daniel Rose’s restaurant Spring in Paris back during our honeymoon, and we were thrilled when he opened Le Coucou in NYC!

Dirt Candy – a GREAT vegetarian restaurant, it made even this meat eater happy. The cocktails are inventive as well!

Here are some other places I have on my short list to try next: Le Bernandin, Prune, Red Rooster, Blanca


Watch the video: Food Truck Face Off - Match Up on Toronto Islands - Season 1 - Episode 13 (November 2021).