Padoca: Creative Bakery on the Upper East Side

Padoca BakeryTheir Success…“Padoca” is the Brazilian term of endearment for local bakeries.  Usually, these bakeries are fixtures of the community and run by familiar, friendly faces that know everyone in town.  Marina Halpern, who hails from Sao Paolo, owns New York’s Padoca Bakery, which opened at the end of June. The kitchen is in the hands of Rachel Binder, previously the pastry chef of Maialino, and from Israel originally.  TaraPaige Group worked with Marina and Rachel on conceptualizing, defining, and developing the business, and we couldn’t be more proud of what the duo is doing:

Pao de queijo—authentic Brazilian cheese bread puffs—are sold alongside sabich sandwiches—an UES favorite.  No cronuts here, but the bolo de coco is far superior—a traditional Brazilian cake with a hint of lemon and light and moist with coconut milk.  The drip and espresso are provided by Nobletree Coffee, which owns farms in Brazil and roasts in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  The made-in-house juices include pineapple-mint and an emerald bottle of kale, apple, and spinach, among others. It’s all good—seriously, all of it. The chicken empadinhas—think snack-size pot pie—haunts us. And with the cold weather coming around the corner, the bakery is starting to launch their soups. Thank goodness; having tasted those during recipe testing, we advise that you try them as soon as possible! The team has done a terrific job of balancing sweet and savory fare to provide something for everyone.

The space was previously a Wok n Roll Chinese restaurant, but you wouldn’t know it!  The bakery is now an inviting, comfortable setting with playful touches, much like the food. A beautiful set of windows overlook St. Catherine’s Park, and the walls and ceiling are clad with reclaimed wood. It’s hard not to feel at home in the space. The swing seat lights up children with excitement, and teapot pendant lamps add an accent of whimsy.  Whether just stopping in or looking to sip coffee with a friend, you’re going to be taken care of.

Take AwaysThe bakery-cafe segment in New York City is tough!  Between deli’s, bodegas, patisseries, and third-wave coffee shops, it takes more than muffins and iced coffee to survive.  That’s why it’s key to differentiate your brand by bringing something new to guests.  And that’s what Padoca Bakery has done.  Marina and Rachel have creatively integrated Brazilian, Israel, and American influences into a sweet, petite place at home on the UES with delicious treats and lunch fare priced affordably in a wonderful atmosphere.  We’re can’t wait to see Padoca grow into the community fixture it’s destined to be, and the type of place the Upper East Side so dearly needs.

Padoca Bakery: 359 E 68th St, New York, NY 10065

OddFellows turns into an Ice Cream Sandwich Shop

oddfellows-sandwich-shop03.w600.h400The OddFellows location on East 4th Street will transform into a sandwich shop this Friday. The menu will be entirely devoted to ice-cream sandwiches. Sam Mason’s menu will include items more appropriate for the colder seasons: ice cream and toppings stuffed into a brioche bun warmed on a panini press. There will also be customizable ice-cream sandwiches which offer a choice of flavor, topping crunch, and one of five cookies. OddFellows will continue to offer their unique favored flavors like corn-bread, vanilla bean, etc. and will offer cookies like spiced ginger, oatmeal and chocolate chip. However, while customers can customize their own ice-cream sandwich, there will be a signature creations menu including the Corn-bread Odd Pocket which is corn-bread ice cream, cornflake crunch, and blueberry compote inside a toasted brioche sandwich. Other signature sandwiches are S’mores, which has s’mores-marshmallow ice cream, marshmallow sauce, graham-cracker, and a chocolate cookie, The Classic, which is vanilla-bean ice cream, chocolate wafer, salted caramel and hazelnut, and the Chocolate Chunk, chocolate-chunk ice cream, coffee crispies, and hot fudge.

To read more, click here.

Burger King launches Halloween Whopper

28-whopper-black-bk.w529.h529Burger King unleashed the black Whopper, the first of American black-bun burgers. The chain is marketing it as the Halloween Whopper, as a limited edition Whopper. The black burger is otherwise an entirely normal Whopper with A.1. sauce slathered on top. With the release of the Halloween Whopper, mixed views and reactions towards the black bun is shared. Many show distaste to a black-bun, while others are raving about the festive buns. “A-1 Steak Sauce baked into the buns!!! Amazing!!!”

While this is America’s first black burger, Burger King Japan has already black bun burgers implemented into their menus. Burger King has also released that the U.K will also be getting black-bun burgers for the month of October. Burger King hopes to drive up their sales with the Halloween Whopper, on its creepy shock value. Fans of the black-buns can hope that with increased performance of the chain, because of the Halloween Whopper, the black-bun can be a permanent menu item all across America.

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The Pope’s Visit was a Financial Disaster for Restaurants

pope-francisPope Francis has visited the Stateside, and generated an influx of people to the states. While the city had built up that the Pope’s visit would potentially cause an economic boon, contrary to belief, the restaurant industry saw a decrease in customers. Restaurant owners were excited about the millions of hungry pilgrims that would be drawn to the city. In Philadelphia, organizers predicted Pope Francis’s stay would generate nearly half a billion dollars for the city.

In New York City, David Chang was among the first to express his disappointment as he tweets “Love the new pope but he’s a restaurant cooler on par with the super bowl and oscar’s.” While in Philadelphia, chefs around own started complaining Saturday about the lack of customers, and faulting the city’s overeager security apparatus. Stephen Starr, owner of about 20 Philly restaurants, said that things were “worse than Hurricane Sandy, the city scared all of our customers away… What should have been a feeling of family and community was turned into a police and military operation.” Moreover, Marc Vetri’s famous Vetri was celebrating their anniversary with special half-off prix fixe, but did not acquire as many customers with loads of reservations open. Verti, also, complained about the myriad gates and road closures that “hurt small and large business alike” and eventually closed. Some restaurants didn’t even bother to open on Sunday.

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Request for Proposals for Renovation, Operation and Maintenance

In accordance with Section 1-13 of the Concessions Rules of the City of New York, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, is issuing a request for proposals for the renovation, operations and maintenance of three snack bars and the operation of up to fifteen mobile food units at Orchard Beach, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx. Proposals must be submitted no later than Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 3 PM. There is a recommended meeting and site visit on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 11 AM.

More information on the RFP can be obtained on Thursday, September 17th through Thursday November 5 between the hours of 9 AM- 5 PM excluding weekends and holidays at the Revenue Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation located at 830 Fifth Ave, Room 407, New York, NY 10065.Or visit this site to download the RFP.

For more information contact Zoe Piccolo, Project Manager at (212) 360-3495 or at

Webinar: The ABC’s Of EMV

Tuesday, October 6 at 2 PM the New York State Restaurant Association will be hosting a webinar on How EMV security works, security at the POS, the liability shift, restaurant tip processing and who to contact for questions. Starting October 2015, credit card fraud liability shifts from the credit card company to the business itself. Businesses will now be liable to accept EMV security cards in order to protect their transactions and from fraud. While credit cards were always liable and took initiatives between business and customer fraud relations, a shift in liability will have all businesses in more alert. To learn more about the new business implementations that every owner needs to use, register for the webinar here.

McDonald’s First Organic Burger

24-mcdonalds-germany-organic-burger.w529.h529The worldwide shift in consumer spending to organic foods has influenced a lot of concepts at restaurants. The fast food industry was one major industry that was effected by this change in trend. McDonald’s, more notably, has suffered with many locations closing and with attracting customers. Their turnaround strategy included plans for becoming more organic and implementing new menu items, like the “Make Your Own Burgers.” Continuing their efforts, next week, McDonald’s Germany will be debuting the company’s first entirely antibiotic-free humanely raised burger.

The new burger launching next week is the McB. It will feature a patty sourced entirely from organic beef. There will be two versions and customers can vote for their favorite. The differences between the versions is Edam cheese versus Swiss-style Maasdam, Lollo Bionda lettuce versus arugula, and a sunflower-seed bun versus a darker roll. McDonald’s has released a YouTube video giving specific on their meat and where it comes from.

Germany is the first country to see a change to organic items in McDonald’s locations worldwide. Being that Germany is the second largest organic market int he world after America, it is definitely the place to start.

To read more, click here.

Starbucks Launches New Drink

d1w7SX2t-4912-3654As Autumn begins, and as Winter approaches, seasonal flavored lattes are back on the menus at Starbucks. Starbucks, today, introduced their first new autumn espresso beverage in four years- Toasted Graham Latte. The new beverage can be found in all United States and Canada locations.

R&D manager Yoke Wong, creator of the new drink, remarks that her inspiration was from an unusual place. “I thought about the back-to-school season and looked at the latest food and beverage trends, What i found to be quite popular in the U.S. is the taste of cereal milk, the delicious leftovers in your breakfast bow;” With this trend, Wong soaked graham crackers in milk to replicate the taste of cereal and learn about the milk’s texture. She also took inspiration from Fior di Latte, a flavor that many Italian gelato shops offer. “It’s like a smooth vanilla crème and is very popular.”

The Toasted Graham Latte, TGL, is an espresso beverage with steamed milk, flavors of graham and sweet cream and finished with sprinkling of cinnamon graham crumbles. This fall-inspired drink will be available through the end of October or until supplies last.

To read more, click here.

8 Food Festivals and Events this Fall

534656441_640This Autumn there is a variety of excellent food themed festivals and events to look forward to. Some have already been established and some are new- New York Magazine’s own annual tasting extravaganza, Puerto Rico Meets New York City.

Puerto Rico Meets New York City is a brand new culinary event that is similar to Baja Meets NYC. This new culinary event pairs chefs from New York like Eric Ripert and Camille Becerra with compatriots in Puerto Rico for a series of collaborative five and six course tasting menus. The most anticipated section of this event is the Lechon Asado Block Party in Roberta’s backyard. Prices for this event range from $75 to $200 and is on September 20th to October 4th.

NORTH Nordic Food Festival is a celebration of food from the Nordic regions. There is a children’s baking class and Denmark day with Noma co-founder Claus Meyer, a pop-up dinner with the Michelin-starred Stockholm Volt, a conversation about what’s next for New Nordic cuisines, and a closing dinner featuring Acme’s Mads Reflund, Luksus’s Daniel Burns, and Fredrik Berselius. This event will be from September 23rd to September 28th. The Denmark, Iceland, Finland and #TrySwedish days are free while other events cost between $45 and $179.

New York Taste Presented by Citi is New York Magazine’s annual eating and drinking gala. Star-studded chefs and bartenders including Upland’s Justin Smillie, Julie Reiner, L’Amico’s Laurent Tourondel will be present. Tickets cost $100 for general admission and $195 for VIP. Tickets give unlimited access to food and drinks. The event will be on November 10.

New York City Food & Wine Festival is on October 15th to October 18th. This event will be lined with food personalities, and events range from Tiki Cocktails 101 to hot-dog competitions and the annual Burger Bash. Many celebrities and famous chefs, bartenders and foodies will be attending.

CHEERS NY is a festival that gathers New York State’s top “boozy” beverage producers and food-makers. Located in Brooklyn Eats Marketplace, tickets are $50 and there is a separate food-oriented BK Eats event for $10.

This  year will be the ninth year in a row that NYC Food Film Festival will be returning. This event is focused around pairing food-focused films with appropriately themed dinners. Twenty-three films covering a variety of subjects will be shown at this year’s event. Ticket prices are $23 to $129, or $449 for VIP. NYC Food Film Festival also benefits nonprofits like Billion Oyster Project and the Good Food Project.

Slice Out Hunger will be returning again on October 7th. Last year the nonprofit organization raised $30,000 in 3 hours. This year, Scott Wiener and 50 of the city’s top pizzerias will collaborate together for this charity event. Slices of pizza will be sold for $1 and admission into the event is free. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of New York.

To read more, click here.

Styrofoam Ban is Overturned

styrofoam-300x225New York City has been making initiatives to ban polystyrene foam containers, also known as Styrofoam. Last April, the Restaurant Action Alliance and Dart Container Corporation filed lawsuit contesting the ban. And now, Manhattan Supreme Court justice Margaret Chan has overturned the measures to ban styrofoam. The Department of Sanitation commissioner’s move to eliminate the containers doesn’t have enough viable reasons for banning such a product. Moreover, Chan points out that there are plenty of evidence suggesting that styrofoam can be recycled. Implementing recycling methods for styrofoam can potentially save the city $400,000 annually.

A representative for City Hall, however, disagrees with Chan’s decisions with overturning measurements to ban styrofoam. “We are reviewing our options to keep the ban in effect.” The ban initially went into effect on July 1st, with penalties for noncompliance delayed until January 1st. Businesses that produce styrofoam, and those that use styrofoam will now be able to continue implementing the material until further interference from the city.

To read more, click here.