Staten Island NY Eats: The Hop Shoppe


The Hop Shoppe is a Stapleton gastropub where Staten Islanders get their taste of beers, custom and classic cocktails and a flavor packed menu.  They also deliver and cater.


Staten Island local, Nataki Hewling recently grubbed on their eats and called spot to our attention. She said:


The Hop shoppe was the restaurant for our school fundraiser this weekend ironically. So a percentage of what I spent goes to our school. Yayy! The food is good there. Go check it out. They had a great option for my very allergic Jordan that was delicious, steak tacos. My fav thing on their menu is the general Tsos cauliflower. The kids like the place and the food. I never go there really unless it’s after hours for a drink and maybe appetizer.

Address372 Van Duzer St, Staten Island, NY 10304

Phone(718) 448-3400



New York: Review of Un Dex Trois


When asked recently about restaurant suggestion for New York.  This restaurant fondly came to mind.  This review take some strong recollection but this restaurant made a favorable lasting impression.  You can never account for how much a restaurant will change of the course of time.  My first and only trip thus far was 10 years ago.  Un dex trois has been featured in movies.  At the time my beau and I simply stumbled upon because it was close to Broadway, after catching the play Chicago.

 un deux

It primarily boasts of  French cuisine but a modest amount American and Italian dishes are they please tourists. We dined on duck confit and escargo and we love it all. It is an elegant and convenient choice for theatre and dinner night. Cafe Un Deux Trois has been located in the heart of Times Square since 1977.   They offer brunch, breakfast, lunch and dinnner.  Sometime you can find a great pre-fix dinner menu like we did.

Downtown Brooklyn: Review of Sofia’s Cart

Sofia at cart

Sofia at her cart.

Boy do I hate to copy Food Network with this line but “The best sandwich I ever had…”came on a unsuspecting day when I went to meet the owners ofBrooklyn Cupcakes. We decided to meet at a Starbucks on the corner of Court St in downtown Cart_smallerBrooklyn.  I was walking across the street when a street vendor caught my attention.  I simply asked to take a photo and happened to mention that I was restaurant critic.  The owner Sofia, a petite Greek woman began to make gyro for me and also a chicken rice dish.  I noticed the menu is price friendly.  Most items average about $5 bucks or less.

As the food was being prepared, I  chatted with her son, a culinary student who hopes to take the business to new heights one day.  Because Sofia does not speak much English, her son shared her story of how she got into the business that she has been doing for over 20 years.  For sixteen years Sofia, has been a staple sighting on the corner.  Trying to put food on the table for her kids is how she began feeding probably thousands of New Yorkers over the years. Like Paula Deen’s story her sons would help their mother with the business.


The best sandwich I ever had is the Sofia’s gyro comprised of tender marinated lamb meat over flowing on pita bread.  Ecstasy explodes in your mouth.

New York Vendy Awards 2012

Chinese Mirch with Indian flavors. Dumplings with sesame noodles. Photo by

MCCN’s Nataki Hewling and Simone Baptiste got the opportunity to cover the New York Vendy Awards 2012.  I got the opportunity back in 2010.  It’s a great event held on New York’s Governor’s Island.  If you don’t live in New York but want to a real taste of what one of the world’s culinary capitol’s has to offer then schedule going to this event.  In 2010 the lines were very long and Baptist reports, “The  lines are long but the food is great at the Vendy Awards.

Photo by
Simone Baptiste via cell

Attend this with friends,  we suggest having each one hold a space in line.  By close  the day’s end one of staffer’s posted via facebook mobile, “I…Can’t…Eat..Another…Thing. Wait is that a snowball stand? Just one more thing and I am done.”  Click here to find out who won the Vendy Cup.

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New York Vendy Awards

The battle to be named the City’s top sidewalk chef is on. Competing for hungry New Yorkers every day, these road warriors work long hours in cramped conditions; many are immigrants passionately re-creating specialties from home.

Click Here For Listing of Vendy Winners

See Video From this Year’s New York Vendy’s with a few Philadelphia guest trucks.

An Access Pass into New York High Society

Want an access pass to New York High Society?  Recently New York’s Time Out Magazine released an article sharing the smartestest affordable way to make it happen is with the admission of a pricey drink.  – Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor

The Time Warner Center might be little more than a glorified shopping mall, but even jaded New Yorkers can’t deny that the location, overlooking Columbus Circle, provides some stellar views. One prime spot to enjoy them is from the comfort of a leather chair at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s (Time Warner Center, 80 Columbus Circle, at 60th Street, 1-212 805 8800) Lobby Lounge, perched 35 floors above the southwest corner of Central Park. Naturally, the drinks aren’t cheap (signature cocktails are $17 apiece), but the Fifth Avenue and Central Park South skylines, glittering through walls of windows, make spending those extra bucks worthwhile. READ MORE

View Atop A60 at the Thompson Hotels - New York

The New York Food Scene from Fine Dining to Street Food

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network

Once, I watched a documentary revealing the perception of  many people from all over the world in regards to the United States.  The conclusion is there is New York and then there is the rest of the United States. No place is quite like the fashion, food and cultural capital.    Those

photo by

Yankees,  the smell of pretzels on the streets of Manhattan, bagels, pizza, the Appollo and course that accent help to make New York one of the stand out places in the world.

Street Food and Pizza Shops:

As a New Yorker who happens to live in Los Angeles, I fondly recollect some of the food of New York especially the street food and pizza shops.  The zeppola, jamaican beef pattie and thin crust pizza are classic New York to be found in Italian Pizza shops.  Shisk ka bobs, and hot roasted nuts add flavorful scent to brisk New York air.

Fine Dining:

Moreover, New York is known for having the best restaurants in the world such as Tavern on the Green, Union Square Cafe, The Russian Tea Room, The Rainbow Room and more.

Tavern on the Green

Best Neighborhoods for dining:

*The East Village and Williamsburg in Brooklyn are considered among the best neighborhoods to dine.

Article by Crystal A. Johnson

Restaurants open in Harlem for Thanksgiving

Whether you can’t cook or don’t want to cook if you are looking for a place to eat in Harlem on Thanksgiving.  The following restaurants will be open.


300 West 114th Street


Will have a three course prefix Menu for $45



Amy Ruth’s

113 West 116th Street


On the Menu: Prefix Meal for Thanksgiving, in additon to the regular authentic southern cuisine menu items



Billie’s Black

271 West 119th Street


On the Menu: Upscale Gourmet Soul food



Red Rooster

Prefix Menu for $55


For more info about Harlem visit uptown flavor at:

(Now Closed) Where to get your New York City Thanksgiving pies and cakes

(Black Hound Bakery)

Now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it’s time to think about where you can get those wow-your-family- and- friends pies and cakes. A recent trip to the East Village yielded some tasty choices.

For pies, your best bet is still the Clinton St. Baking Company and Restaurant on 4 Clinton Street, just off Houston Street. The shop has been around since 2001, but there is still a line out at the door on weekends; not too many people can resist chef/owner Neil Kleinberg’s flaky biscuit and fluffy pancakes. His pies are just as wonderful, very flaky crusts with all natural fillings that are never mushy or too sweet. It’s American baking at its finest and Thanksgiving is all about celebrating the American spirit. This Thanksgiving, they’re offering 3 pies: Apple crumb ($24), pumpkin butterscotch ($24) and maple bourbon pecan ($26). You must get your orders in by noon on Nov 24, and pick up the next day at their restaurant. You can call them at 646-602-6263. Be a sweetheart, give them a few days head start.

If you’re invited to a Thanksgiving dinner party, you might want to bring your host a glorious looking cake to brighten up their holiday table. The Black Hound bakery at 170 2nd Ave has some of the most beautiful cakes in town. They’re well designed and colorful and don’t taste like a chemical factory, They’re made of all natural buttercream (not too sweet!) and Belgium chocolate. Many of the cakes bases are light and airy but still have that rich buttery flavor. Okay, so they look a little French, but so what?

Read More at:

Article written by Mary Yeung- NY Bakery Examiner

Japanese Cuisine: Nobu Restaurants- Located World-wide


(Robert DeNiro at the Opening of the new Cape Town restaurant)

Robert De Niro and Meir Teper are part owners of Nobu, a wonderful Japanese celebrity owned restaurant. Nobu Matsuhia is the main owner and chef who is very famous in his own right. Nobu has several great locations throughout the city with Tribecca location being the flagship.

Nobu has 24 restaurants in 20 different cities around the World.  The most recent opening were Nobu Cape Town and Nobu Moscow in the spring of 2009. A new location is underway in Mexico City. 

Nobu-5610549So what does the internationally reknown Chef  Nobu have on the menu?

Cold dishes such as Monkfish Pate with caviar are available for lunch.  If you are craving a hot meal then Chilean Sea Bass with black bean sauce is an option.

Visit : to find out if there is a location in your part of the world.