Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Coffee Crawl RSVP Form

Correction: Coffee Crawl is on SATURDAY

That is totally my bad, folks. And should be taken as evidence as to how little bandwidth I have any more for the Crawl... :-/ Life has been CRAAAAAZY. So! Coffee crawl SATURDAY, April 14 at 1 p.m., location TBA

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Coffee and some administrative changes

Halfway through writing this post, I realized it is April Fool's Day, and given that I am announcing major changes to the format and administration of the Crawl, I don't want to give anyone the impression that this is a joke. After the April 2012 crawl, I am not going to be running the event any longer. However, I am currently working with a friend who has expressed interest in taking the event over, so if all goes well in April there should still be many more crawls to come (so be nice to her!) ;)


Greetings, friends in food. I've missed you! Things have been busy in Amandaland in recent weeks, hence the abrupt pause in crawls. Sorry about the lack of warning on that one, but I have been busily interviewing for and starting a new job as of late, and that's been taking most of my focus.

I am, however, pleased to announce the April event with some major changes. By popular demand, we are crawling for coffee in April. Enjoyable hot or cold, we're thinking that however the weather decides to behave on April 15, it will be all good!

We did learn a major lesson from the Hot Chocolate crawl, though. When crawling on a particularly popular theme, we really, truly cannot manage too large a group without RSVPs. The Chocolate Crawl saw such a large turnout that I couldn't get an accurate head count (which we try to get when we can). Folks were arriving steadily throughout a half hour period straddling the meetup time, and I found myself sending forth foodies in several waves. This was terribly exciting for me personally as someone who's put a lot of effort into this event and who derives much satisfaction in seeing so many folks happily discover new foods and new friends.

But it really didn't work well. I got complaints from a location about the large group that wasn't leaving at their request so they could close, and the crowds at several of the locations were really not safe. At the first location I was at, my internal monologue was something along the lines of "crap, this would be so not good if the fire warden showed up." Consequently, I'm going to be instituting a couple of rules:

1. RSVP only - About a week before the event, I'm going to post a form right here on the blog for you to submit an email address and number of attendees. The evening before the event, I will send an email with the meeting location to the first 60 respondents. This counts +1s, so if the first 60 all RSVP with a +1, only the first 30 email addresses will be sent the location.

2. Punctuality is mandatory - If the posted meeting time is 1 p.m., please plan on arriving at noon-forty-five. Generally, I understand that merde happens from time to time, and in the past I always try to stick around for folks who are waiting on their crawl companions to meet them at a starting point. But this impedes my ability to be a good hostess to other crawlers and speak to any hosting establishments who have a question, concern or complaint with our event. Plus I spent half an hour after the scheduled meeting time in January setting Hot Chocolate crawl teams up. Half an hour. On one of the only properly cold days this winter. So if you do not arrive on time, I will not be onsite any longer to shepherd you on to the route.

3. Common courtesy to staff of hosting establishments - When crawlers do things like refuse to leave after they've been repeatedly asked to do so, it places me in a position which makes it tough to visit that hosting location again on future crawls. Be considerate of staff or you will be asked to leave the event.

With that in mind, I truly look forward to hosting my final crawl with the event. I hope to enjoy future crawls under new management, but for now, this is the last one I will be running.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Details on the Chocolate

We've confirmed our locations for January's Crawl! Please meet us this weekend, on Sunday, January 15 at 3 p.m. Look for folks at the NE corner of Prince and MacDougal Streets. I'll be there with maps, can't wait to see everyone!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hot Chocolate: inappropriate given it's 60F out?

Well, we're going to do it anyway! I received no less than 3 requests for hot chocolate during the macaron crawl, so here it is. The afternoon of Sunday, January 15th we'll crawl through SoHo to seek out the city's best cocoa. This is a crawl I've been doing a bit of personal market research on, so I can assure you it would be worth braving cold weather for, if, miraculously, Mother Nature remembers that it's January and should be freezing.

We are currently firming up details, so check back later this week for the meeting place and time. Or use the handy widget on the right sidebar of the blog to subscribe to the blog via email; each time I make a new post, it will go straight to your inbox.

Now I am off to enjoy some of this insanely gorgeous, if unseasonable, weather.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Macarons on November 30

...NOT the macaroon crawl!* Rather than the small, firm coconut things, we are seeking out the finest light, nutty, crispy yet moist cookie that can be had this side of the Atlantic.** Though they also come in such amazing flavors as lavender, Earl Grey, and classic chocolate.

To allow maximum macaron enjoyment, I'd like to announce a meeting time that is a little earlier than usual. Some of our selected hosting establishments tend to close on the earlier side, so I'd like to get rolling earlier to give us all time to see them all. (One proprietor has kindly offered to stay open a little later for us! I will let you know, please be sure to thank him, and -as always- tip well.)

After many popular sweet events, such as the chocolate truffle and brownie crawls, I hope to see many of you fine folks yet again.

The Deets:

We're meeting up at 6 on the SW corner of Washington Square Park the evening of Wednesday, November 30. I promise we have some lovely locations scouted, and I would like to again stress that one of our proprietors has offered to stay open later to accommodate us. Please be kind, polite and tip well!

*Though if you're curious about the differences between macarons and macaroons and why it matters, this is a fascinating read: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2011/11/macarons_macaroons_and_macaroni_the_curious_history.html

**Well, ALMOST the finest since Laduree's lines are too long for the crawl. But they fly their macarons in straight from Paris so I don't quite think they count as "this side of the Atlantic."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Slices at 7

We're meeting at the SW corner of Stuyvesant Sq. at 7 pm. See you then!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back in action: The October Slice Crawl!

On October 25, we're out and about looking for some of the best pizza slices in Manhattan! This was a tough one to research since the locations which are generally agreed to be NYC's best are not exactly within crawling distance of one another. (Seriously, Grimaldi's at one end of Brooklyn and Spumoni Gardens on the other? Yikes.) Another obstacle we encountered in mapping a route was trying to find locations which wouldn't have such long lines that your experience would be limited to too few locations.

Consequently, this month's crawl will have a location list that's a little shorter than you're used to seeing. As slices tend to be pretty filling, I daresay we'll still have a bit of a challenge ahead of us even with a shorter route. We're looking at a route in the vicinity of Gramercy, so check back the week of the crawl for the meetup point!

Alternatively, we now have a nifty subscription feature on the blog, so you can add your email address and get notified as soon as info hits the blog!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to your regularly scheduled programming in October

Greetings, friends. Please allow me to apologize for being incommunicado. I recently returned from a certain large party in the desert which you may or may not have heard of, and am excited to get back in the swing of my most favorite, more intimate event.

I am sorry to say, however, that owing to work obligations, Tiffany, my dear culinary cohort has stepped down. We'll definitely miss her awesome ideas, energy and good help in researching themes and locations. In order to get my ducks in a row, I'm afraid we'll be taking a brief hiatus in the month of September and will be back in action the last week of October. I need to confirm some scheduling details before I can release a firm date, so please bear with me!

Looking forward to seeing you all next month.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Details on Ice Cream TOMORROW

Thanks for your patience, all. We will be meeting at 7 tomorrow at the NE corner of Carroll Park, which is at the intersection of Smith and President Streets.

And a note to our friends who don't do dairy, we DO have Italian Ice locations on the crawl as well! We'd love to see you all!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Second Annual July Ice Cream Crawl!

Friends and fellow foodies! I am happy to share that we are again crawling for ice cream this month! We had so much fun last year that we felt it would be an excellent annual tradition to establish. So we hope you can crawl with us on Thursday, July 28th.

We're ironing out details yet, but it looks like we'll be crawling in Brooklyn again. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Holy Guacamole, we crawl on Thursday

Sorry for the late notice, boys and girls. Between FIGMENT for some of us and lots of stuff at the day job for others, the early weeks of June when we usually put this together got kind of eaten up.

But! On June 30, the crawl will go on in search of Guacamole! I've heard a couple of folks express an interest in guac over time, and I must agree with them. Guacamole is a fantastic crawl treat. A popular party snack, guacamole is a delightfully straightforward puree of fresh avocado, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and lime, yet it allows much room for experimentation and offers the potential for variety. We hope you can make it to the East Village this Thursday to try some!

Meet the Northeast corner of Tompkins Square Park at 7 pm on Thursday, June 30.
(East 10th Street and Avenue B, Manhattan)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 25: Crawling pour les crêpes!

Greetings, lovers of mobile munchies. I'm happy to share the theme for May's Food Crawl...crêpes!

On Wednesday, May 25, we go in search of one of the more versatile street foods we've yet attempted. Crêpe, meaning "tissue" in French, is a simple, thin pancake made of flour, egg and milk that is used to wrap up virtually any filling for easy eating on the hoof. Nutella is among the more ubiquitous and popular crêpe toppings, however they can also be enjoyed with more savory fillings as well. Any film buffs who may be following us will perhaps also recall the adorable scene in Amelie when she imagines vinyl LPs being made on a crêpe griddle. Happily, crêpes are also to enjoy in vegetarian forms if that's how you roll.

Meet at 7 p.m. at the northeast corner of Sara D. Roosevelt Park (Intersection of Forsyth and E. Houston). We will again be using more than one crawl route, and route maps will be distributed to teams before we set out. And as always...fast food take patience. Be nice and give good tips to the kind folks who are being asked to make a ton of food in short order.

Correction: minutes after posting this, I realized that I gave the meeting point as Chrystie and Forsyth, which of course does not exist. At least in this timestream...

I also said it was a Thursday crawl, which is incorrect. May 25 is a Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hot Wings will be on the UES

Hope you're stoked for some spicy goodness, because we are crawling this Thursday rain or shine. Hot wings fans should assemble at the southeast corner of 77th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. We're meeting at 7, but you can always follow @nycfoodcrawl to see where we're at.

Also, I got a humorous comment on my post announcing this month's theme in Google Buzz. Since those comments don't post to Blogger, I would like to share with the class. For context, my friend hails from western New York in the vicinity of Buffalo:

There are those of us who would shake our heads in sadness at the thought of the line "Hot wings, also known as Buffalo wings..."

Buffalo wings come from Western New York. If they are not in or from Buffalo, they are merely hot wings or, perhaps at their best, "Buffalo-style wings." Certainly, nothing found in the Five Boroughs is a Buffalo Wing, unless the establishment owner is prepared to furnish proof of multiple decades worked in a county like Erie or Cattaraugus.

The Anchor Bar claims to have invented them, but as you point out, that claim is contested.

Indeed! Hence the "Hot Wing Crawl." ;) Sadly, Mr. Curator will not be able to crawl with us, but for those who enjoy lighthearted beer and wing snobs, check out his blog: The Pour Curator

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The April Hot Wing Crawl: April 28!

We here at the Crawl are excited to announce our April event: The April Hot Wing Crawl!

Hot wings, also known as Buffalo wings, are one of the more distinctly American food themes we've taken on since we started schlepping for food in 2009. Although it's uncertain who the maker of the first hot wings was, we can confidently say that they did actually originate in Buffalo. Small and snackable, the hot wing is traditionally a bar munchie. Hot wings can be enjoyed with varying levels of spiciness, and are generally served with ranch salad dressing, which balances out the heat of the wings.

A note on venues for our upcoming crawl: historically we have attempted to maintain affordability and family-friendliness on the crawls by avoiding alcoholic or other bar crawls. In response to crawler requests for a culminating point at the end in order to hang out and swap notes on all the evening's awesomeness, we've been picking a bar to hang out at following everyone's completion of the route.

The April Hot Wing Crawl is kind of breaking precedent in that it is, really, a bar crawl that's focused on the food. As such, we would respectfully ask all our foodie friends to pace themselves and to know their limits if they are indulging in the traditional accompanying beverage for hot wings. By avoiding overindulgence and maintaining a polite demeanor, other hosting venues will be happy to see us on future crawls!

Crawl meeting point to be announced shortly. Can't wait to see you there!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More savory crawling April 28

Hello food lovers! We're busily working on the April 2011 edition of the NYC Food Crawl! Details are still being confirmed, but we are certainly crawling for more savory stuff this time around. See you soon!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pierogi map

I'm going to make the March Pierogi Crawl map public on Google maps in advance so that you can use the map to follow the route easily on your phone. Enjoy!

View March Pierogi Crawl in a larger map

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pierogi this THURSDAY

Thanks for your patience, folks! You asked for it, and we are excited to present the March Pierogi Crawl this Thursday, March 31. Truly, this has been the most commonly requested food theme in my years on the crawl, and this one will be so worth a week's postponement due to illness, new jobs, and essentially the perfect storm of schedule suckiness from these quarters.

So look for me in blue at the north corner of McCarren Park, at the intersection of Bedford, Nassau and Lorimer. We are meeting at 6:30 pm, and I will be handing out maps and if necessary, team assignments.

A quick note on the hosting venues for this crawl. Usually we make a point of choosing food which is easily eaten on the fly, like dumplings. Pierogi is a bit tough to eat standing, so most of our venues will be more of a sit-down affair. Enjoy the slower pace of this route, and tip well. Even though we focus on affordable snacks here at the crawl, it still costs our hosts money when we occupy their tables.

So! Thursday, 6:30, McCarren Park. Be there or be square!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

rain + sick organizers = POSTPONED PIEROGI

I'm sorry to say, we are postponing the pierogi adventure for one week.

On March 31, we will explore the exciting pierogi offerings to be found in Greenpoint, not this coming Thursday the 24th. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but sadly your fearless foodie leaders have both fallen ill with a cold, and it's supposed to rain that day anyway. Ordinarily we would crawl rain or shine (and in fact have done so!), but that combined with icky maladies (and new jobs...congratulations, Tiffany!) make postponement a more necessary call.

We all hope to see you in Greenpoint on March 31st!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Crawl Takes it to the Boroughs

You asked, we listened! It's pierogi in March, boys and girls. And in order to bring you that most amazing appetizer, we're going to bring the Crawl to Brooklyn. Oh yeah.

We're also bringin' it back to our roots a bit; the original crawl was for dumplings in Chinatown. This is dumplings gone to Poland (or for the purposes of our ambulatory exploration...Greenpoint). Pierogi are a traditional dish throughout Eastern Europe, with variants in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. They come in meat and cheese varieties in addition to the basic potato filling, and are often served with sauerkraut as well. A hint - sour cream is also pretty awesome on either boiled or fried pierogi.

So whichever your preference, we want you to come share the Crawl's first out-of-Manhattan experience on March 24. Meeting point will be announced shortly.

Monday, February 21, 2011

February Truffle Crawl route map

Also, for those of you who lamented via Twitter that you couldn't make it: I present, the map!

View February Truffle Crawl in a larger map

Thanks for sharing the food love!

Friends, thanks for coming out last Saturday. We appreciate you adventurous folks willing to brave the cold and entrust us with your weekend afternoon! Hopefully, our efforts to bring you tasty treats (and within a close enough radius to keep any toes from getting too frozen) brought joy to your day.

After checking the results from last month's crawl, I'm pleased to announce that Vanessa's Dumplings was the favorite shumai stop of the evening, with Jing Fong Restaurant coming up in second. If you have any photos of either the January Shumai or the February Truffle crawls, we'd love to see them on the Flickr group pool.

Scorecard and official photos of the February Truffle Crawl are shortly forthcoming. Until then...eat good food and stay curious!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Announcing: The February Truffle Crawl!

We're pleased to announce a crawl for both lovers of sweets and lovers of environs north of 14th St. (We know, it's been all Village, all the time these past couple of months.) On February 19th, we'll be exploring the wonderful world of chocolate truffles!

Named after the mushrooms of the same name, original truffles were made of chocolate ganache and rolled in cocoa. As truffles developed, they came to be enrobed in chocolate, giving us a delightful profusion of varieties. Champagne truffles, a particular favorite around this time of year, feature ganache mixed with champagne for the filling. Liqueur truffles are also offer an interesting take on the classic sweet.

Meet us at 2 pm near the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink, northeast corner.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The January Shumai Crawl scorecard

Thanks again for crawling, lovers of food-based adventure! Some of you folks who've been crawling with us for a while may remember surveys following our monthly crawls. In fact, some of you have asked about them. (We totally listen to your comments on Facebook and other places, fear not!)

We are pleased to present the January Shumai Crawl scorecard! Now that I have some excellent assistance from the oh-so-excellent-Tiffany on Facebook related matters, I am happy to resume scorecard administration. Please let us know what you thought below!

Only the Bravest Crawl in January

Crawlers take over Jing Fong's Restaurant-
this first stop for many in the January Shumai Crawl

If you were not able to make it out last night for the January Shumai Crawl, please enjoy the best of dim sum on your own!
  • Sunshine 27 - 46 Bowery
  • Dim Sum Go Go - 5 East Broadway
  • Buddha Bodai - 5 Mott St   vegetarian
  • Jing Fong Restaurant - 20 Elizabeth St
  • Vanessa's Dumplings - 118 Eldridge St   vegetarian
Which was your favorite?  Let us know by filling out the scorecard!

We hope to see you all out for next month's delicacy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tomorrow we crawl for shumai

Good evening, lovers of food, walking, New York city and good company!

I'd like to remind everyone that we will be crawling tomorrow evening for shumai in Chinatown. The meeting point will be the Northeast Corner of Columbus Park, at the intersection of Mulberry and Bayard Streets. We'll be meeting at 6:30, and I can promise that the walk between locations will be short this month. ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crawling in January!

Good day, unpretentious foodies! I'm pleased to announce that this month we will be sampling shumai in Chinatown.

Shumai is a delightful Chinese appetizer that is traditionally served with Dim Sum meals. Dim Sum, or "small treasures," is a traditional Chinese tasting meal. It comes in both shrimp and pork varieties, and we happily will be offering a vegetarian option. (Also, don't forget that scallion pancakes are a delightful meat free snack that is easy to find in Chinatown!)

Our original crawl was the dumpling crawl, and in that spirit we happily present the January Shumai Crawl. On Monday, January 24th at 6:30 p.m., we'll be meeting at an as yet undisclosed location to set out on our sampling of small delectables. Check back here and follow us on Twitter @nycfoodcrawl to stay abreast of the meeting location and other details on the crawl.


I'd also like to make an update about crawl communication in general. We get a lot of comments about why the blog isn't as up to date as the Facebook page. Mainly the reason for that is we found that Facebook was where most people went to get the latest crawl information, and there are only so many hours of the day to work and organize these spectacular jaunts. I now have the assistance of the most excellent Tiffany in keeping after the Facebook page, and so I am aiming to keep the blog side of things more up-to-date than we've been in the past.

I would also encourage folks to follow @nycfoodcrawl for the most recent info on a crawl. The nice thing about Twitter is that you can ask quick questions and get quick answers, but you get to share with the class! It's also a lot easier for me to update that on the fly. ;)

Can't wait to see you all later this month!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tonight's crawl: Holiday Desserts!

Remember baking Christmas cookies as a kid? Or enjoying cake after your family's holiday dinners? Tonight we're poking around the West Village to explore the variety of holiday sweets it has to offer.

Meet up at the intersection of Greenwich and 7th Avenues at 6:30 to join the fun! If you don't have teammates in mind, that's okay - team assignments and route maps will be provided. Feel free to bring friends if you've already got a favorite food crawling posse.

See you soon, and happy holidays!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Photostream your food

Image by Gabi Porter

We've got a Flickr photo pool set up! Go add your photos from previous month's crawls here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thanks for all the cannoli!

...and thank you to all you crawlers who came out last month for the August Cannoli Crawl. In case you missed it, here are all the fabulous establishments who kindly hosted a bunch of foodies on foot:
  • Sambuca's—105 Mulberry St
  • Cha Cha's in Bocca—113 Mulberry St
  • La Bella Ferrara—110 Mulberry St
  • Café Palermo—148 Mulberry St
  • Ferrara—195 Grand St
  • Café Roma—385 Broome St
Which was your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!

However if you had event related feedback for the organizers, shoot an email over to nycfoodcrawl@gmail.com. We'd love to hear your stories, be they happy, sad, irked or just plain bored! We also want to know what you'd like to see for future crawls. If you have an idea for a future crawl theme, give us a shout!

Monday, August 23, 2010

August is Cannoli Month

Good evening crawlers, and welcome to your August edition of NYC Food Crawl!

Right now we're hard at work smoothing out some last minute details before we go a-crawling this Thursday. Based on the inquiries I've been getting in response to the crawl invite, I thought I would share a bit of how that works.

1. Lots of reading and surfing. We'll look around at the word on the street for what's good for, well, anything. As some of you may know, we've done samosas, brownies, tacos, hot chocolate, and of course the food that started it all...dumplings. But as always it needs to be small and easy to carry out.

2. Callin'! We always work to make sure folks know we're coming and roughly how many we'll be. This is the biggest reason why we've been pickier about the RSVPs as of late. One of the frustrations we occasionally hear about from crawlers is that hosting establishments are overwhelmed, and this is something we work very hard to avoid. It irks folks who are kindly letting us descend upon them to briefly sample their wares and it makes for unhappy crawlers. Both undesirable outcomes. Trick is, we don't have a very reliable metric for giving our kind hosts an estimate. RSVPs are one of the more efficient ways of doing this while staying accessible to everyone. (And you don't even need a Facebook account to RSVP: rsvpfoodcrawl@gmail.com)

3. Maps - a crawler's best friend. Another strategy for keeping things going smoothly for everyone involved is writing up different routes. If we stagger when our groups swing by, it lessens the wait time for crawlers and increases the patience of the folks kindly serving us our portable treats. And don't forget crawlers, be kind to the tip jar when there is one! It still takes time for these folks to give us snacks even though they are small ticket items. So please, stick to the route order.

And this, my friends, is why we don't release meet up points right away. A lot of thought and research goes into them, and if we're going to do something, it's worth doing as well as we can.

Can't wait to see you this Thursday! Happy fooding, fellow crawlers!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Welcome to a new season of Food Crawl!

And we are back in July by popular demand!

After a delightful taco crawl late last April, the Crawl was forced to take a short hiatus. Mara, our dear founder, has been road tripping across the US and is moving to Colorado this summer, so for some weeks the future of the Crawl has been uncertain.

However! Fear not, gentle gourmands! I’m pleased to say that I, Amanda, will be taking over as the new Director O’ Crawls, and I’m super excited to lead this month’s crawl on Thursday, July 22.

One of the most common themes we hear that people would like to do is ice cream. The wait for this particular portable delicacy is over! This Thursday we’ll be bumming around the Meatpacking District in search of the city’s best frozen sweets. Due to the popular demand of this theme, we’re trying something new: an e-mail RSVP for the crawl’s meet up point. We’re excited for you to join us, but so we can give our vendors a heads up, please let us know you’re coming at rsvpfoodcrawl@gmail.com.

Thank you my fine foodie friends! Stay cool ‘till this Thursday.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Gothamist: NYC Food Crawl Article

The Gothamist just posted an article about NYC Food Crawl! Check it out!

For information about future crawls, join our rapidly expanding Facebook Group.

If you want to get more involved with helping plan future NYC Food Crawls, email: nycfoodcrawl@gmail.com

Or, just show up at next week's Taco Crawl! Mmmm, tacos...

Thursday, April 29
Meet at the Cube at Astor Place (Astor Place at 4th Avenue)
7:00p; $free
No RSVP necessary

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NYC Food Crawl Presents: The April Taco Crawl


Some like it soft, some like it crunchy, and some like it hot (and spicy!).

At its most basic, a taco consists of a corn or flour tortilla folded around shredded meat and beans, and is often supplemented with garnishes such as salsa, cilantro, tomatoes, limes, sour cream, rice, cheese, hot sauce, onions and lettuce. From traditional Mexican tacos stuffed with chicken, fish, beef, or pork, to tacos sudados (literally "sweaty tacos") steamed in a basket, Indian tacos served on frybread, and skinny deep-fried taquitos, the art of the taco offers a broad palette of cheap, portable, and delicious options to enjoy.

Please join NYC Food Crawl for the April Taco Crawl on Thursday, April 29. We will meet at 7pm sharp by the Cube at Astor Place and spend two hours sampling different types of tacos across the Union Square/Gramercy area. Taco route, map, and team assignments will be provided at starting point, so don't be late! Go at your own pace, pay as you go. Come hungry, leave happy, and may the best taco win!

Meet at the Cube at Astor Place (Astor Place at 4th Avenue)
7:00p; $free
No RSVP necessary

Monday, April 5, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Rain may have dampened attendance at the March Brownie Crawl, but for the 80 or so people who showed up, it certainly didn't dampen our spirits.

[Courtesy: Logan Grendel]

So many brownies, so little time!

[Courtesy: Logan Grendel]

[Courtesy: Logan Grendel]

Of course, there weren't just brownies to sample along the crawl route...

[Courtesy: Logan Grendel]

And by the end of the route, when the sugar coma began to set in, some of us strayed even further from baked goods.

[Courtesy: Logan Grendel]

The March Brownie Crawl Details

NYC Food Crawl visited 6 locations during the March Brownie Crawl:

Visitation to locations on the crawl route was evenly split:

And now on to the voting results...

The winner of the March Brownie Crawl with 40% of the vote for best-tasting brownie and 53% of the vote for the best-value brownie is:

Fat Witch Bakery

The runner-up for best-tasting brownie with 23% of the vote is:

Three Tarts Bakery

Here is the detailed break-out among the 6 locations included on the crawl:

About the respondents:

80+ people attended the March Brownie Crawl; 40 people submitted responses (approximately half of attendees) after the crawl

The gender split of respondents skewed even more female than previous crawls: 82% of attendees were female.

A whopping 96% of respondents rated their satisfaction with their February Pork Bun Crawl experience a "4" or "5" on a scale of 1-5

68% of attendees visited 5 or 6 locations along the crawl route.

Crawl attendees like a lot of different kinds of brownies, the most popular descriptors being "fudgey," "chewy," and "soft & gooey":

There were more die-hard veteran crawlers in attendance on a rainy day: 38% of respondents had attended a previous NYC Food Crawl in the last six months.

More than 70% of respondents were members of the NYC Food Crawl Facebook Group. *To join, click here*

Specific Feedback from the March Brownie Crawl

"Another great crawl; had a very interesting group"

"Great setup, though I wish the last stop (Le Pain) would've had the big brownies when we got there). Tons of fun though."

"Had a great time - this is such a fun way to meet new people!"

"The Fat Witch caramel brownies were out of this world!! I also really enjoyed their raspberry brownie. Amy's Bakery I liked the least, they seemed store bought while the others had more of a homemade feel. Also, Billy's had fantastic cupcakes, especially the banana and carrot. However Grey Dog had the best looking guys working there! :)"

"I had a lot of fun, even though we got locked out of the [Chelsea] Market :( A nice way to spend an afternoon"

[Editor's Note: NYC Food Crawl apologizes for the early closing of Chelsea Market for the James Beard dinner. We tried to frontload all of the routes with the Chelsea Market locations, but unfortunately the Market closed even earlier than expected so some attendees were turned away.]

"Your advice in the beginning - very helpful and important. Pacing and sharing are the keys! Thanks much for all your hard work!"

"[Three Tarts Bakery] added extra Valrhona chocolate to their brownies!!!! very chocolatey... but not over sweet."

"The Grey Dog was an excellent spot - although the brownie wasnt my favorite i found a new brunch/lunch place with great fresh tea!"

"It was my first time. I had a great time and met cool people. I can't wait for the next one!!"

"The Grey Dog was a nice, calm place to sit and rest with plenty of tables. It is not possible to sit in Le Pain Quotidien unless you get table service."

"Excellent idea; we loved it!"

"I chose 'other' above for best tasting brownie because for some reason Billy's Bakery isn't in the pull down choices. they were the best of the four I tried!"

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coming Up: The March Brownie Crawl!

The March Brownie Crawl is coming up in less than 24 hours! Please join NYC Food Crawl on Sunday 3/28 at 3pm sharp for a delectable feast of chocolate proportions. We will meet at the northern corner of Jackson Square (Greenwich Ave. & 8th Ave), break into smaller teams, and set out on 4 different routes to sample some of the best brownies Chelsea has to offer. Hope you can make it!

No RSVP necessary, just show up at 3pm.
The crawl is free, but you should bring $5 to pool with your team
Bring friends or be prepared to make new ones
Crawl instructions and location route provided at starting location: Jackson Square (Greenwich Ave. & 8th Ave)

Don't forget to return here after the crawl to vote for your favorite locations. May the best brownie win!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Upcoming: The March Brownie Crawl

Named for its rich brown coloring, the classic brownie consists of just a few ingredients: butter, sugar, chocolate, eggs, and flour. Originally created around the turn of the 20th century, this purist chocolate dessert has given way to many decadent variations over the years, ranging in texture from fudgy, to cakelike, to chewy, and with an ever-growing list of added ingredients such as nuts, molasses, mint, peanut butter, cream cheese, and even chili peppers!

Please join NYC Food Crawl for the March Brownie Crawl on Sunday, March 28. We will meet at 3pm sharp at the north corner of Jackson Square (Greenwich Ave. & 8th Ave) and spend a couple hours sampling different types of brownies across Chelsea.

Brownie route, map, and team assignments will be provided at starting point, so please show up on time! Go at your own pace, pay as you go. Come hungry, leave happy, and may the best brownie win!

Check out our official Facebook invitation where you can RSVP and add your friends!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Announcing the March NYC Food Crawl Theme

Please save the date for the March Brownie Crawl!

This sweet event will be held on Sunday, March 28 at 3pm.

More info to come soon...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stay tuned for the March NYC Food Crawl

Get ready for a "sweet" beginning of spring! The March NYC Food Crawl date, theme and location will be announced in the next few days...

In the meantime, please enjoy some photos from Julie Qiu of Peek & Eat of our last crawl...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Chinatown presents unique challenges for NYC Food Crawl. While geographically it is desirable because of its density and its low price point, the language barrier made it difficult to inform proprietors in advance. Most hung up rudely before NYC Food Crawl could even begin explaining about the crawl, saying loudly "No English, no English."

For a record-breaking NYC Food Crawl attendance of more than 160 participants, this meant some of the smaller locations on the crawl had difficulty keeping up with demand and ran out of pork buns before the crawl had finished. Most of the negative feedback related to this crawl [see bottom of this post] had to do with overcrowding and with locations running out of pork buns.

It is very interesting to see how popular NYC Food Crawl has grown over the past 5 months. While part of me is thrilled to see so many people enjoying the effort that goes into preparing for the crawl each month, at the same time the steep increase in participants makes it harder and harder to pick locations and food themes that can handle crowds of 150+ people in a 2-hour period. Maybe there is such thing as being too popular?

At the end of the day, you can't please everyone. Some people want more locations, others want less. Some want places closer together, others farther apart. Some people want meat themes, others want vegetarian themes. All we can do is take the positive and negative feedback and try each month to make the crawls a little bit better for the larger constituency of crawlers.

NYC Food Crawl hopes most participants had a good time eating pork buns as well as exploring *other* delicacies or going rogue to locations off of the map. At the very least, I hope you enjoyed the opportunity to meet some new people and bond over shared food. Remember Rules #2 and #4 of NYC Food Crawl: "Fast Food Takes Patience" and "There's more to life than pork buns."

And now on to the voting results...

The winner of the February Pork Bun Crawl with 37% of the vote for best-tasting pork bun is:

Mei Li Wah Bakery

The default winners of the best tasting NON-pork bun with a tie of 16% each are:

Fay Da Bakery

Taipan Bakery

Interestingly, the actual winner of the NON-pork bun taste test with 24% of the vote is "Other," meaning there is plenty of competition across Chinatown for other buns and baked goods on a future crawl!

Other locations included in the crawl:

Lung Moon Bakery

Vegetarian Dim Sum House
[No picture available - they ran out of pork buns at beginning of crawl]
Golden Fung Wah Bakery

Here is the detailed break-out among the 6 locations included on the crawl:

Here is an example of one of the 4 routes respondents followed:

Different routes varied in popularity and attendance, but surprisingly more than 80% of respondents visited 5 or all 6 of the locations on the route! I think this can be attributed to convenience (proximity between all locations was 4 blocks total) and price (generally less than $1/bun)

About the respondents:

160+ people attended the February Pork Bun Crawl; 83 people submitted responses (approximately half of attendees) after the crawl

The gender split of respondents was 61% female and 31% male, nearly identical to last month's gender split.

40% of respondents live in Manhattan, with another 40% living in either Brooklyn or Queens. Queens had an especially strong showing this month!

83% of respondents rated their satisfaction with their February Pork Bun Crawl experience a "4" or "5" on a scale of 1-5; For the first time, we had a single respondent indicate a negative experience with a "1" response, likely due to overcrowding resulting in one of the locations running out of pork buns.

Only 11% of respondents had attended a previous NYC Food Crawl. The turnover between crawls is surprising, indicating most people attend due to the food theme rather than an interest in the concept of the monthly crawl.

Other sources than the NYC Food Crawl Facebook Group were popular this month. Only 55% of respondents are members of the FB group, while 31% heard of the crawl from other sources such as Tasting Table, The Skint, word of mouth/friends, and Twitter.

Requested foods for future crawls from respondents include: bacon, guacamole, arepas, spring rolls, egg rolls, cookies, frozen yogurt, tacos, bubble tea, fish 'n chips, pierogis, ice cream, fried chicken, sliders, burgers, matcha, empanadas, ramen, takoyaki, pie, gelato, pizza, truffles, french fries, donuts, crepes, hot wings, sausages, and more...

Positive & Negative Feedback from the February Pork Bun Crawl respondents:

"Was a lot of fun. Met some interesting people. Several of the places ran out of pork buns."

"Vegetarian Dim Sum House "pork" bun was basically inedible. Golden Fung Wong Bakery didn't have any left. And Tai Pan Bakery's was the best - on your list. But we stopped at Nam Wah on Doyers and their pork bun was really the tops - very homemade flavor, great onions inside with the pork - yum! The baked ones are best for eating on the run while the steamed ones work well with soppy dinners. And our group had an extra treat - a tour guide!"

"It wasn't any fun. I was really uncomfortable with the whole thing. People were crazy unaware of the businesses we were mobbing. Holding doors open in the cold, crowding in together instead of sending one scout. It was embarrassing. Saying "well, if anyone spoke english when I called" doesn't make it okay. There definitely needed to be advanced notice so shops weren't scrambling to figure out what on earth was up with all these people ordering the same (tiny) thing."

"Nothing bad at all. I had a blast. This is the best idea EVAR!!"

"This was an awesome idea with great people. Turned out to be a great way to meet people. Now I know where to go to get really good pork buns."
"The best baked bun was at Lung Moon Bakery. Thin, crispy, very different. The worst baked bun was at Fay Da Bakery. Very dry! The steamed bun at Mei Li Wah was the best, but Tai Pan Bakery was a close second."

"This wasn't your fault since you don't speak Chinese and couldn't call ahead properly (TOTALLY understandable), but there was a lot of disappointment when we got to some of the places and they ran out of pork buns (and were rather frustrated at us). But, we did try sponge cakes and moon cakes, etc. so it made up for it! (We know you warned us about that situation too!) This was a lot of fun, and I look forward to attending future ones, when the weather is warmer and we'll be visiting English speaking establishments (I do LOVE pork buns though, great pick)."

"The idea of grouping up and getting to know people worked fabulously. The food was good but the people were better. Thanks for arranging this. Genius!"

"this is a great idea and it's being executed so well! case and point: today my friend and i arrived a few minutes too late for the start of the crawl and missed the handout of the maps. BUT thankfully i was able to follow the route via twitter until later linking up with another group (who was nice enough to take us in). this is a really great way to bring chill people together over good food and just enjoy a sunday afternoon. keep up the good work, and i can't wait to bring all my friends to the next crawl!"

"Our team quickly realized that the pork bun joints were all slammed and we got tired of pork buns anyway, so we went rogue. Two of us knew that Sun Say Kai had good buns and we liked that better than Tai Pan. Then we went to Shanghai Cafe for soup dumplings. It was all great! Spatch, thanks for organizing!"

"Fun, nice to meet other people as well as visit old haunts. Three of places (Lung Moon, Vegetarian Dim Sum House, and Golden Fung Wong) told me that they had not been notified to expect crowds of people (I had these conversations in Chinese). In particular, Golden Fung Wong was especially upset, because they sold out of pork buns shortly after noon, and would have made more if they had known (so I didn't count them in my ratings). I am happy to speak with the places beforehand if you put out a call for Chinese speakers in the future."

"Too many people and not enough locations."

"Appreciate the upfront explanatories on the corner lamp-post. a lot of extra work on your part, but went a long way w/ us!"

"I enjoyed your intro at the beginning. It would've been nice to have a little more history as to why you selected those certain places or random facts about them. You should work with Foursquare and make a badge out of the crawls."

"I think these events need to be a little more organized. I felt that the locations weren't prepared for the number of people attending the crawl."

"I would definitely bring friends next time. You were well organized the the maps and dividing up the groups."

"Too bad some places were out, but we definitely found more than enough food! Mei Li Wah had amazing coconut rolls. New favorite place in Chinatown."

"The person in charge was great. She was funny, interesting, concise. Everyone was motivated with very little, if any, confusion."

"Great crawl! captains were a great idea. holding money and only sending one person inside was a much better system than clogging up each place and slowing everyone down. thanks so much!"

"Followed too limited of a path. There were likely better places farther away."

"My group went rogue and had a blast we ate some on and some off list."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Last Chance to Vote!

Hey everyone, today is your last chance to place your votes for the best pork bun in Chinatown. The scorecard below will close at 8pm EST and the winner will be announced later this week... thanks to the more than 160 participants who showed up for the February Pork Bun Crawl last Sunday!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

1,000 members and counting

The NYC Food Crawl Facebook group passed the 1,000-member mark this week, after only 4 months of existence. I wonder what percentage will show up for the February Pork Bun Crawl this Sunday?

Be one of the cool kids. Join our Facebook Group (if you haven't already): bit.ly/Hj6K8

The February Pork Bun Crawl
Sunday, 2/28
3pm sharp, no RSVP necessary
Meet at northeast corner of Columbus Park (Mulberry Street at Bayard Street, Manhattan)
Pork bun map and team assignments will be given out at the starting point
The crawl is FREE, pay as you go ($5 for each team member recommended)

Any questions? Shoot 'em over to nycfoodcrawl@gmail.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

Upcoming: The February Pork Bun Crawl

In honor of the Chinese New Year this month, we will head back to Chinatown and dive deep into pork bun territory for our fifth NYC Food Crawl. (Sorry vegetarian friends, but we’re overdue for a meat crawl)

Char siu bao, the Cantonese pork bun, is prepared in two distinct ways: steamed with a white & fluffy exterior or baked to a crispy golden brown. Both types typically include sweet-yet-savory barbecued pork in a reddish pink sauce, though other ingredients in the filling vary according to local custom. Originally created as a sacrificial offering “in the shape of a head” during more barbaric times in China’s long history, the plumply juicy char siu bao has since become the darling of dim sum and a staple of Chinese bakeries around the world.

Please join NYC Food Crawl for the February Pork Bun Crawl on Sunday, February 28 at 3:00pm. We will meet at the northeast corner of Columbus Park, at the intersection of Mulberry Street and Bayard St, and spend a couple hours sampling different types of pork buns across Chinatown.

Check out our official Facebook invitation and feel free to add your friends. Hope to see you there!

Revised Day & Time for February Food Crawl

CORRECTION: The February NYC Food Crawl will be held on Sunday afternoon, February 28 due to closing times for several of the locations that will be included. More details will be posted shortly!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Save the Date: February NYC Food Crawl

The February NYC Food Crawl will be held the evening of Tuesday, February 23rd. Mark your calendars!

Food theme and meeting point will be announced in the next week or so.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

And the Winner Is...

The winner of the January Falafel Crawl with 30% of the vote for best-tasting falafel and 36% of the vote for best value is:


The runner-up for best-tasting falafel with 25% of the vote is:

Murray's Falafel

The runner-up for best value with 23% of the vote is:

Maoz Vegetarian

Here is the detailed break-out among the 5 locations included on the crawl:

Different routes varied in popularity and attendance:

The most popular route for respondents was Route #2, starting with Pita Joe:

The least popular route for respondents was Route #3, starting with Tahini:

About the respondents:

Just over 120 people attended the January Falafel Crawl

53 people submitted responses and voted for their favorite falafel locations

The gender split of respondents was 62% female and 38% male

Nearly half of all respondents live in Manhattan, with 41% living in either Brooklyn or Queens

89% of respondents rated their January Falafel Crawl experience with a "4" or "5" on a scale of 1-5; 38% of respondents specifically left positive feedback about their falafel crawl experience and the organization of the crawl

In contrast to last month's Hot Chocolate Crawl, nearly half of respondents visited all 5 locations of the January Falafel Crawl route

Due to dividing teams across 4 different routes, nearly all locations on the route received similar numbers of visitors (except for Murray's Falafel due to it being "higher-priced" and "too far out of the way" compared to other locations):

NYC Food Crawl attendance is heavily based on social networking: 32% of respondents heard about the January Falafel Crawl from Facebook, 26% heard from a friend, and 15% heard from an email source such as Gothamist, the Skint, and Nonsense list.

57% of respondents are members of the NYC Food Crawl Facebook Group

19% of respondents attended a previous NYC Food Crawl

45% of respondents would like to see NYC Food Crawl expand to additional boroughs or neighborhoods, with a strong preference for "Brooklyn," "Queens," "Flushing," "Astoria," and "Williamsburg."

Requested foods for future crawls from respondents include: tacos, sausage, ramen, curry, Vietnamese sandwiches, ice cream, bubble tea, cheesecake, cupcakes, pizza, cheeseburgers/sliders, french fries, pancakes, crepes, waffles, pudding, pastrami, brownies, cookies, dim sum, kabobs, nachos, sushi, hot dogs, hummus, bagels, pastries, gyros, grilled cheese, mac 'n cheese, egg rolls, knishes, pork buns, hot wings, empanadas and more.

Specific feedback about the organization of the crawl:

"Great time! Well planned route, too, I thought. I'm definitely excited to see what other crawls there might be."

"Having one person in charge of making sure everyone's headed in the right direction while they're distracted by good conversation is very helpful."

"I had a great time. Came on my own, didn't know anyone in the group, but ended up with a fantastic falafel touring crew."

"This was a fantastic evening all around. A big part of enjoying food is sharing the experience with other people, and this crawl proved an excellent opportunity to explore various takes on a street food staple with both close friends and new team mates alike. I eagerly await next month's crawl!"

"This was so much fun! Thanks for putting this together!"

"We only attended the first stop on our route because we didn't realize how busy each stop was going to be... I do understand the purpose of a food crawl, but we felt that the discounts provided by each vendor did not make up for the time we would have spent waiting (i.e. wouldn't mind paying the extra 25 cents to go on a less crowded night)."

"This is a great idea and was very well planned/executed!"

"Let's get a Google Map with the locations"

Editor's Note: We don't release the locations in advance, but you can view the Google map post-crawl here:

View Falafel Crawl in a larger map

Specific feedback about the food/locations:

"We skipped Murray's cause it had the most expensive falafel. It was also the last place on the list and we were done walking and eating for the night."

"Maoz's falafel had a nice spicy and crunchy taste to it. Pita Joe was the most underwhelming cause their falafel wasn't spicy and was less crunchy."

"Tahini had the best pita bread, but Maoz had the best overall food experience due to salad bar."

"Falafel quality about equal at Maoz and Murray's though they tasted different. I had never even heard of Murray's before this! Thanks."

"It would be great if in all the participating restaurants, you could step up and order the "crawl special" and they would know what you were talking about. After all the people who had already come before us, many of the vendors still acted confused about what we wanted...????!!!!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Don't forget to vote!

More than 120 people attended the January Falafel Crawl on Wednesday! If you were one of them, please vote for your favorite falafel location. This is your opportunity to leave feedback about the crawl, the locations, and the quality of your experience. Polls close tomorrow night and results will be tallied and posted this weekend!

Also, if you have photos you'd like to share from the crawl, please upload them to our Facebook group. Not yet a member? Join the more than 850-member group now so you can stay in the know about upcoming crawls and food events!

[Photo courtesy M. Sorkin]