Sunday, October 23, 2011

Foods of New York Tour Review and Giveaway

There's nothing that I love more than food and New York. When you combine those two, it's certainly a magical thing! I always love learning more about New York and areas that I am not as familiar with. Foods of New York provides a wonderful glimpse into NY history and architecture with a delicious sampling of popular neighborhood cuisine.



Since 1999, Foods of New York Tours has been giving food tasting and cultural walking tours through New York City's most delicious and historic neighborhoods. They provide a "non-touristy" experience so you feel like a native New Yorker! Each tour includes food tastings from the best specialty food shops, ethnic eateries, and one local restaurant, as well as an "off-the-beaten-path" glimpse of "life in New York City" -the history, culture, architecture, and entertainment offerings.

This tour would be perfect for a NYC tourist, a foodie, a history buff, or just anyone interested in learning more about a certain neighborhood in New York. The tour is available in the original Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Chelsea Market/Meatpacking District, Central Greenwich Village (and a little bit of Soho). I wanted to know more about Greenwich Village and that's the tour that I went on.

My tour guide was very knowledgeable, friendly, and was quick to answer any questions anyone might have along the way. We visited different places for tastings during our tour, and by the end I was so full it wasn't even funny! The sampling portions are very small but when you have so many of them, the food quickly starts to add up. I really enjoyed hearing historical facts or trivia of everyday buildings that I never stopped to think about before.

The tour consisted of going to:
•Murray's Cheese Shop - the best cheese shop in NYC!
•Faicco's Italian Specialties - Family owned and specializing in handmade Italian delicacies
•Milk & Cookies - An authentic 1950's style bakery
•Scali Caffe- A New York Italian Tavola Calda
•Joe's Pizza - A classic NY style pizzeria
•Centro Vinoteca - stylish Italian restaurant
•Palma Restaurant - Rustic Mediterranean
•Olivers and Co-Olive Oils and gourmet specialties from around the Mediterranean


Murray's Cheese Shop



This is one shop that I've been meaning to stop by forever but never have, for some reason. I was happy to have the chance to visit. As soon as you walked in, the fragrant smell of cheese hit you. It smelled wonderful. I loved browsing the various cheese, breads, and pastries for sale. We sampled cheese straws, 3 different types of cheeses, and big juicy olives. The cheese was extremely fresh, brimming with great flavor, and was just truly delicious. I didn't try the olives because I am not a fan of olives. The cheese straws had a great crunchy and flaky exterior, and had a perfectly light parmesan flavor. They were loved by everyone.

Faicco's Italian Specialities



This shop is a one stop shop for any lover of Italian delicacies, foods, and treats. I loved the large cases filled with Italian meats, antipasto, desserts, and more. It was truly any lover of Italian food's dream come true. We sampled an Italian delicacy (I can't remember the Italian name for it), but it was a deep fried rice ball with 3 different kinds of cheeses inside, and a sample of soppressata. The rice ball had a crispy exterior and a warm center filled with fluffy rice and a rich assortment of creamy cheeses. The cheeses blended together wonderfully and the flavor of them all was just perfect. It was certainly a rich and filling treat, but very delicious none the less. The soppressata had a great meaty, chewy texture that had a hint of spices on top. The meat was fresh and left me wanting more!

Milk & Cookies Bakery



This bakery is perfect for curbing anyone's sweet tooth. They have an assortment of brownies, whoopie pies, ice creams, and decadent cookies. We sampled a huge chocolate chip cookie that had such a wonderful, crunchy texture. Even though the outside of the cookie was crunchy, the inside was warm and chewy. It was unlike any other cookie I sampled before! The whole treat was filled with sweet and luscious chocolate chips. I gobbled mine right up! The only thing missing was a tall glass of cold milk to go with it. Milk & Cookies delivers so let them satisfy your late night sweet treat cravings!

Joe's Pizza

This pizzeria is a famous restaurant that has been serving slices to customers for well over 30 years now. Many celebrities have dined there over the years and it's a NY landmark to locals. The pizza had a great blend of savory cheese, rich tomato sauce, and crispy, crunchy crust. I absolutely loved it. It was the best piece of pizza I've had in a long time and I don't know how I've never been there before!

Palma Restaurant



This restaurant had a beautiful indoor garden area that was separated from the rest of the restaurant. I loved all of the pretty lights, flowers, and candles that were in the garden. Past the garden was a quaint little room that actually used to be the kitchen of the house of the owners! Now it's rented out for private events and parties. It did not feel like I was in NY, but in the English countryside! The big wooden table, wooden floors, and inviting kitchen gave the whole restaurant a very homey and warm feel. We had our sampling in the private room too. We sampled a small bowl of cauliflower with currants, pine nuts, seasoning, and caramelized onions. It was actually really delicious. The crunchy pine nuts and sweet currants brought out a whole new depth of flavor. The cauliflower was cooked perfectly and the seasoning rounded out the dish well. I really enjoyed it and was surprised at how good cauliflower can be.

Centro Vinoteca

I love this chandelier, it's gorgeous!

This restaurant/lounge was very cute. The modern decor was right up my alley and they serve lots of Italian and seafood dishes, which are my favorite. We had the opportunity to sample seasoned artichokes with a light shaving of parmesan cheese, stuffed porcini mushrooms, and a breaded zucchini ball with spices inside. The artichoke was cooked perfectly and had a light hint of butter on it. It was chewy but firm at the same time. I could taste the flavorful spices on it as well. The shaved cheese had a great parmesan flavor that I really enjoyed. The porcini mushroom was full of flavor and was extremely tender, it was stuffed with breading and various spices. All of the flavors really complimented each other well and had a great taste. I am not usually a fan of mushrooms, but I really enjoyed this. The zucchini ball was very unique as well. There was a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese on top. The outside was crispy from being fried, but the inside had soft zucchini mash. I loved the texture of the crispiness to the softness. The zucchini had a great natural flavor to it. There was a sweet sauce on top of the zucchini ball but I couldn't quite place what it was. It really rounded out the appetizer well.

Olivers & Co


I love this olive oil chandelier! How cool!

This store sells an assortment of fragrant and fantastic olive oils from all over the world. If you're looking for extra virgin olive oil from France, Germany, England, or even Spain this is your store. The store also sells skincare, cosmetics, and balsamics from all around the Mediterranean. We had the opportunity to sample two unique oils. The first olive oil was a normal based olive oil. It had no frills. The color was a rich yellow. It was very fresh and immediately soaked into the small piece of bread they served the oil on. It had a great fresh taste that I really loved. We were served another piece of bread with a honey truffle oil on it. It had the perfect amount of sweet to salty and I could have eaten the whole tray in minutes! It was fantastic and the store employee said he puts it on virtually anything he makes. The taste was addicting and left me wanting to buy a whole bottle of it!

Scali Caffe

This was the last restaurant we visited. I was so full by this time that I could barely eat anything else. The restaurant had lots of premade servings of Italian style chicken, lasagna, and various other Italian yummies. We were served a small slice of Italian cheesecake dusted with powdered sugar. The tour guide told us this cheesecake was made with ricotta cheese, not cream cheese like most Americans are used to in cheesecakes. It had a very different taste, but that was because I had never tried Italian cheesecake before. It had a custard flavor to it. The cheesecake was a lot thinner and less thick than regular cheesecake. It was a light alternative to a regular size piece of cheesecake. The powdered sugar added a hint of sweetness to the treat. The color of the cake was a warm yellow. The cake was cool and creamy. It was interesting to sample a food that I was not familiar with.

I really enjoyed this tour and I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it. In the future I would love to tour another neighborhood in NYC!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Foods of New York Tour for providing me with complimentary tour tickets. All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.

GIVEAWAY RULES:
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Winner will be chosen on November 6, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
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Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
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49 comments:

  1. Because I am intimidated by china town so I would love to go on that tour

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  2. i follow you on twitter @ltloabudget

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  3. I tweeted about it: http://twitter.com/#!/LTLoaBudget/status/128256912130183168

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  4. Id go to Central Greenwich Village !

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  5. Just moved to NYC a couple weeks ago and am a foodie enthusiast! Would love to go on the Original Greenwich Village tour. Gotta start with the staples. :)

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  6. tweeted about the giveaway on twitter.

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  7. liked foods of NY on facebook

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  8. I think I would most enjoy the Central Greenwich Village
    (and a bit of SoHo)
    Food and Culture Walking Tour!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I follow your blog with blogger/GFC
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I subscribe to your RSS Feed with google reader
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I follow you on Twitter, I'm @AmberGoo
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm a fan of yours on Facebook - my FB name is Amanda Moore
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I tweeted, I'm @AmberGoo:
    http://twitter.com/#!/AmberGoo/status/129384737344208897
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would most like to go on the Greenwich village food tour

    blackbearpie@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I follow you on twitter as blackbearpie

    blackbearpie@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/blackbearpie/status/129320913253568512

    blackbearpie@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like you on facebook as Michelle Levine

    blackbearpie@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I like foods of New York on facebook as Michelle Levine

    blackbearpie@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. chelsea market meatpacking district crystletellerday@yahoo.com

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  20. greenwich village! your photos and reviews looked amazing, definitely want to try some of that amazing looking pizza

    gmarie242@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I would do the greenwich village because it looked great in your pictures
    cmarquez482(At)ymail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. i liked you on fb.
    cmarquez482(at)ymail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. i liked food of ny on fb.
    cmarquez482(at)ymail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Faicco's Italian Specialties caught my eye, but I would love to visit Chinatown. Toss up.

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  25. It's a toss up between Faicco's Italian specialties and Chinatown. Both would be great.

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  26. I can't decide between the Central Greenwich Village and the Nolita/NoHo tours. I'd have to consult with my partner before deciding. How fun!

    mystik2005 at hotmail dot com

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  27. I follow your blog via GFC/Blogger

    mystik2005 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've subscribed to your blog via email

    mystik2005 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've subscribed to your RSS feed via Google Reader

    mystik2005 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I follow you via Twitter @TerraDeals

    mystik2005 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I like Sammi's blog on Facebook

    mystik2005 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like Foods of New York Tours on Facebook

    mystik2005 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. would have to eitehr be the chinatown or the NoHo tour!

    hazel
    hwilcox2008@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. follow by GFC

    hazel
    hwilcox2008@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. liked Foods of NY on FB

    hazel
    hwilcox2008@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I would like to try the central Greenwich Village tour. Thanks for the chance!

    mosaic317 at gmail dot com

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  37. I subscribe to you blog

    mosaic317 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I like you on facebook as Claire Lacy McKeon

    mosaic317 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. follow you on twitter and tweeted

    http://twitter.com/#!/Mosaic317/status/132845330696908800



    mosaic 317 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I like Foods of New York tours on facebook as Claire Lacy McKeon

    mosaic317 at gmail dot com

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  41. The Greenwich Village tour really does look amazing. My fingers are crossed!

    not.a.ship(at)gmail.com

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  42. I would love to go on the Milk & Cookies Tour..I'm sure I'll see Santa there too.

    lisabendzak(at)gmail(dot)com

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  43. I would like to go on the Chelsea Market/Meatpacking District tour. They all sound very interesting, though.

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  44. I would love to go on the Chinatown tour!
    I also followed you on twitter [smadler7], liked your facebook page, and liked the foods of new york tours page [samantha adler]. Thanks!
    smadler92[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Another great company to check out if you are looking to book a NY tour is Family In New York! They specialize in custom private New York tours. They also offer layover tours, wheelchair accessible tours, step guides, and day trips! Their customized tours are sure to be a highlight of your visit to New York City!

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