Food Truck Mash-Up At Empire City Casino

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Where are all my fellow food truck fans?  On Sunday, September 10, come join me and fellow foodies at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway in Yonkers, New York.  The Journal News Media Group is pitting the best food trucks from New York against the best of New Jersey in a Food Truck Mash-Up.  Your vote will help determine who wins bragging rights!

The current food truck line-up includes Carnivale Donut Bar (“over the top”shakes, ice cream donut sandwiches and stuffed mini donuts), Dough Nation (pizza), Farmers and Chefs (Hudson Valley, farm fresh, local, in-season dishes), Frites of NY (different kinds of street fries), Glazed and Confused Donuts (mini donuts), HAPA Truck (Asian Fusion- tacos, burgers, sides), Kona Ice (shaved ice), Los Viajeros (tacos, burritos, quesadillas),  Meatoss Food Truck (Brazilian churrasco),  Bacon Me Crazy (“hand wrap, roll & sprinkle your favorite foods with mmmm…..bacon!”), Empanada Guy (empanadas and traditional Latin dishes), Callahan’s Hot Dogs (hot dogs, burgers, fries), Walter’s Hot Dogs (hot dogs and fries), Three Little Pigs BBQ (BBQ meat, sandwiches, chicken), The Souvlaki Truck (Greek), Stuf’d Truck (gourmet sandwiches and sweet bites), Luke’s Lobster (seafood), Waffle de Lys (Belgian and savory waffles), CheezeN (gourmet grilled cheese), The Guac Spot (avocado-inspired eats), Jimmy Dawn’s Cheesesteaks (cheesesteaks and fries), Angry Archie’s (seafood) and Aroy’d Thai Elephant (Thai food)!

(Carnivale Donut Bar’s “Over the Top” shakes – photo courtesy of T.H. Waldman)

I’ve perused the menus and the hardest decision you’ll have to make is which trucks to try!  These are not your average food trucks, with most of them having accumulated multiple awards in the food truck circuit. The trucks will be offering their regular event menus at the Mash-Up.  Prices for food items vary with each food truck.  After taking a quick look at some of the menus online, many of the burgers, sandwiches, tacos, “mains” etc. average $6-$12 per item.  The trucks take both credit cards and cash. If needed, ATMs are available inside the casino.  After you’ve eaten your fill, don’t forget to vote for your favorite truck! At the end of the event, a winner will be crowned.

(Callahan’s Hot Dogs – photo courtesy of T.H. Waldman)

Are you ready to get your tickets to the Food Truck Mash-Up?  Tickets are available on for pre-purchase.  Early admission tickets are available for $20 (online only).  This enables you to access the event at 12 PM and get $5 in Food Truck Mash-Up Cash.  Plus, there will be drink specials during these two hours.

General admission tickets can be purchased online for $5 or at the event for $8, with admission beginning at 2 PM. Kids under 5 are admitted free.  All pre-purchased admissions include $10 of free play at the casino.

Plenty of free parking is available at Empire City Casino.  The Casino also provides free shuttle service from the Mount Vernon West Metro-North train station. During the event, Rockland Nissan, sponsor of the Food Truck Mash-Up, will be giving away a 2 year lease on a new Nissan Sentra.

(photo courtesy of T.H. Waldman)

This is going to be a fun-filled family event! Daddy Pop and DJ Lax will be playing live music throughout the day and their will be carnival games and activities for the kids.  Bring a blanket or foldable chair so you can sit back, relax and enjoy a day of foodie family fun.

For tickets, directions, and additional info, check out the site.

March 2015 New York State Food Festivals

March 2015 FF

Here’s a list of this month’s food and beverage festivals going on around New York state.  Please check the listed websites for additional information.  Please note that this listing is for informational purposes only.  We are not affiliated with any of these festivals, nor have we attended any of them.

March 1 – Kids Food Festival (New York City)
10 AM – 4 PM, Bryant Park, New York, New York
Learn about food and healthy eating while participating in hands-on activities, sampling snacks and listening to a variety of live entertainment.
Price:  Admission is free; tickets to cooking classes are available for $25 a ticket
Check the official site here for additional information and to purchase cooking class tickets.

March 1, 2015 – Chocolate Expo (Nassau County, New York)
10 AM – 7 PM, Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, New York
Chocolate tastings and goods for sale, exhibits, performances, demonstrations and more.
Tickets:  $15 adults, $10 children ages 2-12 which also includes admission to the museum
They are hosting a food drive and are collecting non-perishable food items at the door.
Check out the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 7, 2015, CoffeeCon 2015 (New York City)
9 AM – 4 PM, Broad Street Ball Room, New York, New York
Consumer Coffee Festival with coffee tastings, labs, lectures and classes.
Tickets:  $35.00
Check out the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 7, 2015 – Craft New York Brewers Festival (Albany)
5 PM – 8 PM, VIP Admission:  4 PM,  Desmond Hotel, Albany, New York
40 New York Breweries from throughout New York state will feature over 90 “hard to find and award winning beers.”
Tickets:  VIP Admission:  $75,  VIP Day of event: $85  General Admission:  $40, Day of Event:  $50   Designated Driver Ticket:  $10

March 14 & 15, 2015 – NYC Vegetarian Food Festival (New York City)
11 AM- 6 PM, The Metropolitan Pavillion, New York, New York
Food samples, speakers, entertainment activities and more.
Tickets:  $30 for one day, $50 for both days pre-purchased, day of tickets are $40 each, special $5 tickets available from 4-5:30 PM each day for those who want to get a taste of the festival
Check out the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 21, 2015 – Spring Craft Beer Festival (Long Island)
Session 1:  12:30 -4:00 PM, Session 2:  5:30 – 9:00 PM,  Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
More than 50 craft brewers showcasing over 100 beers.
Tickets:  $45 + tax per session, online, $55 + tax day of event, $12 +tax designated driver ticket
Check the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 21-22,  2015  CWT presents “Plant Yourself in the Finger Lakes 2015”
12 PM – 5 PM, Canandaigua Wine Trail (various wineries), Ontario County, New York
Taste 3 different wines with 3 tapas pairings, at four different wineries.  Plus, receive a plant.
Tickets:  $20 per person, $35 per couple
Check the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 21 – 22, 2015 Bacon on the Lakein (Cayuga Lake Wine Trail Wineries)
10 AM – 5 PM, Starting Point:  King Ferry Winery
Begin at the starting point and then visit 16 other wineries to sample bacon infused dishes with a wine that compliments it.
Tickets:  Advance:  $30, Designated Driver:  $15
Check the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 21 – 22, 2015 – Coffee & Tea Festival (Brooklyn)
11:30 AM – 5:00 PM, VIP Admission:  10:00 – 11:30 AM, Brooklyn Expo Center, Brooklyn, New York
60+ exhibitors will offer over 100+ tastings
Tickets:  VIP admission $35+tax, includes early admission and gift bag, General Admission:  $25+ tax, 2 day pass:  $40+tax
Check the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 21-22, & 28-29, 2015 – Maple Weekend (throughout New York State)
Check the official site here for additional information and to find participating locations throughout New York State.

March 28, 2015 – Glens Falls Brewfest  (Glens Falls)
4 PM – 8 PM, The Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls, New York
Local brewers, regional craft beer makers, food samples and live music.
Tickets:  $40, with proceeds going to local charities.
Check the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 28, 2015 – NYC Craft Distillers Festival (New York City)
VIP Session 1:  Noon entry Session 1:  1 PM – 4 PM VIP Session 2:  6 PM Entry Session 2:  7 PM – 10 PM, The Bowery Hotel, New York, New York
Enjoy 20+ curated Craft Distillers offering samples of over 60 craft spirits while listening to live 1920’s style jazz
Tickets:  VIP Session 1:  $150 + fee  Session 1:  $95 + fee  VIP Session 2:  $165 + fee Session 2:  $100 + fee (SOLD OUT)
Check the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

March 29, 2015 – The I Love Chocolate Fest (Long Island)
10 AM – 6 PM, Academy Sports Complex, Farmingdale, New York
Chocolate, wine samples, meet the Easter Bunny, children’s activities.
Tickets online:  $10 for adults, $3 children (ages 3-12, kids under 3 are free) $5 student admission w/ID, $7 senior citizens 65+ (All tickets are $2 more when paying at the door)
Check the official site here for additional information and to purchase tickets.

January Food and Wine Festivals

January Food Festivals

Depending on where you live in New York state and what your food and beverage preferences are, the below festivals might be of interest to you.  Please make sure to check the links for the most up-to-date information.  This list is only for informational purposes -I have not been to any of these festivals and cannot attest to the quality.

Galette de Rois Celebration (New York City)

Date:  January 8, 2015
Location: FIAF, Le Skyroom, 22 East 60th Street, New York, NYC 10022
Price:  $25 FIAF members (French Institute Alliance Française)
$30  non-members
Time: 6:30 pm

Pinot Days New York City (New York City)

Date:  January 18, 2015
Location:  City Winery: 155 Varick Street, Lower Westside Manhattan
Price:  $75 Grand Festival
$125 VIP Tasting and Seminar
Time:  Public Tasting 1 – 4 pm

2nd Annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (New York City)

Date: January 24, 2015
Location: The Tunnel:  608 West 28th Street, NYC  10001
Price/Times:  Session 1 (Bacon Bash Tasting Session – Noon to 4 pm) $109 – sold out
Session 2 (The Whole Hog Pig Pickin’ Session – 5:30 – 9:30 pm) $99 – limited tickets available
Session 3 (The Grand Poobah Chicken N’ Biscuits Session – Noon – 9:30 pm) $199 – limited tickets available

4th Annual Niagara Wine & Beer Tasting (Niagara County)

Date:  January 24, 2015
Location:  Kenan Center Arena – 195 Beattie Avenue, Lockport, New York 14094
Price:  $25 pre-sale
$30 at the event
$50 VIP
Time:  5-9 pm

Hudson Valley Wingbowl 8 (Dutchess County)

Date:  January 24, 2015
Location:  Ramada Conference Center:  542 U.S. 9, Fishkill, New York 12524
Price:  $25 General Admission
$45 VIP
Kids 12 and under free
Time:  4:30 – 9:00 pm

Buffalo Winter Brewfest (Buffalo County)

Date:  January 31, 2015
Location: Connecticut Street Armory:  184 Connecticut Street, Buffalo, New York 14213
Price:  $35 in advance
$45 at the door
$10 designated driver ticket
$55 VIP tickets (must pre-purchase)
Time:  Session 1:  1-4 pm
Session 2:  7-10 pm
VIP Hour:  6-7 pm

Saratoga Chowderfest (Saratoga County)

Date:  Janaury 31, 2015
Location: Downtown Saratoga Springs at participating establishments (pick up a ballot at any participating restaurant, vote for your favorites, and return completed ballot at the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center or the Saratoga Springs City Center – winner will be announced at 6:30 pm at the city center)
Price:  $1 per cup of chowder
Time:  11 am – 4pm

If I have left any off this list,  please comment or share so I can update.  If you have attended any of these festivals please share your experience!