Instagram Spotlight: @EatingNYC

Instagram Spotlight: @EatingNYC

I love perusing Instagram, living [and eating] vicariously through all of the colorful, flavorful looking posts. I came across a fellow native New Yorker, Alexa Mehraban, who has quite the passion for food. Since starting @EatingNYC in January 2014, this fabulous foodie has garnered a following of over 78,000 Instagram users! I reached out to her via email and she was kind enough to answer a few Q’s.


Where did the inspiration to start @EatingNYC come from?

AM: I was a food writer at the time, which really piqued my interest in the NYC dining scene. Naturally, I was trying a lot of new restaurants and sharing photos on Instagram, which led to the creation of my Instagram account and blog.

What do you attribute your large following to?

AM: A lot of things. Most importantly, I think I’ve created a following of users who trust and value my opinion. My followers visit @EatingNYC for a mix of everything: a first look at NYC’s hottest new restaurants, recommendations for their next dinner, and of course, delicious food porn. By creating a brand people love and can relate to, I’ve created a growing fan-base of food lovers from NYC all the way to Australia.

Are all of the posts your own?

AM: All of my posts are my own, unless it’s the occasional “regram” of another photo tagged with #EATINGNYC.

You post so many delicious looking foods, but do you have a favorite that stands out?

AM: That’s a tough one. Some of my favorite foods include sushi, hamburgers and pasta – I love a good pappardelle ragu.

Is there any food you absolutely don’t like or won’t try?

AM: Nope, I’ll eat just about anything!


While Alexa’s Instagram is definitely worth a visit, you should check out her blog too! She has a restaurant rating system for spots in NYC as well as a few in the Hamptons. The highest rating listed [9.8] is a tie between Carbone and, the bakery that put cronuts on the map, Dominique Ansel.

Many thanks to Alexa! Happy eating, y’all!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

Eating for the Insta

Eating for the Insta

Love it or hate it, Instagram has become a mecca for foodies across the globe. I often use it as a way to find new places to try by searching random hashtags like “nyceats” or “bestcookieever” and seeing what looks the most appetizing. It’s a great tool as well if you’re planning a trip and want to see where the locals eat! (I’ve currently been trolling the #SanFranciscoEats tag for an upcoming trip!)

One Instagram account I love is @HungryBetches. Based in NYC, Michele started this account about a year ago — now she has over 170 THOUSAND followers! I reached out to her via email and asked her a few questions about it!


Where did the inspiration to start this Instagram account come from? How long has it been up and running?
M: About a year! The inspiration probably just came from the fact that I am obsessed with food/ always have been & needed somewhere to channel my obsession.

 

You have a HUGE following (for good reason)! What do you attribute that to? 
M: GOOD PICTURES! I try really hard to take great photos. I hold myself to a certain standard and creative signature and try not to deviate away from that.

 

Are all of the posts your own? Do you take submissions?
M: All my own, I don’t take any submissions. 

 

You post SO so many delicious looking foods, but do you have a favorite that stands out? Maybe top five from your posts?

ANY froyo, Space Market Bagels, Any ice cream cookie sandwich, The Oreo PB Bagel and AVOCADO TOAST!

Is there any food you absolutely don’t like/won’t try?
M: No I will LITERALLY try anything. I hate coconut and anything coconut related… although I can bare it in some really amazing cookies (lol) but other than that… if it’s food it’s fair game. 

 

Thanks to Michele for taking the time to answer my questions! You can follow her @HungryBetches and @mmalyse.

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

 

Otto’s Tacos

Otto’s Tacos

When I hear the name “Otto,” I immediately think of this cool dude rather than tacos.

Woogidi woogidi woogidi!

But now, thanks to my taco-loving best friend Monica, I will associate the name with TACOS. 

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Monica’s favorite food is tacos.

A small place in the East Village (with another location in the West Village), Otto’s is a cool LA-style taco spot with a small yet satisfying (and cheap!) menu. Hellloooo $3.00 tacos! Not only affordable, but super flavorful too. Mon went with all chicken tacos while I chose two chicken and a mushroom. The mushroom taco had the exact same flavor as the chicken, so it’s a good option for vegetarians!

Yum. Yum. Yum. Otto’s also serves delicious masa fries with a spicy mayo dipping sauce; they reminded me of Fritos.

Feel like some dessert after your tacos? Try the hot churros! For $2.75 you get three good sized churros that are nice and crispy on the outside.

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Churros!

BREAKING NEWS: Apparently, there’s a SECRET ITEM you can order at Otto’s! It’s called The Gorgon, it’s deep-fried and it’s larger than the regular tacos. I plan on going back and getting one of these super duper soon.

Would I recommend this place? YAAAAAS.

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

“Happy” Hot Chocolate

“Happy” Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is one of my very favorite things. I’m the person who orders hot chocolate from coffee shops. Growing up on “half-swiss-miss” (my mom used to make this by using
half of one of those swiss miss packets…oh how I was robbed of the extra grams of sugary water), I’ve since discovered the joys of REAL hot chocolate. Like, straight up melted-chocolate-bar-hot-chocolate.

I’ve tried many a hot chocolate in the big apple…

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The City Bakery.

L.A. Burdick’s makes a delicious cup as does Jacques Torres. But I’ve heard really good things about The City Bakery and decided on the morning of the last day of February 2015 that it was THE DAY. I chose this day specifically as I knew it was the last day of the bakery’s yearly “hot chocolate festival.” A unique flavor of hot chocolate every day of the month…and today was the grab bag day! I love surprises so I was pumped.

Turns out the bakery chooses a rotation of flavors for the final day and I was there in time for the first flavor, “Happy” Hot Chocolate, which is vanilla bean and milk chocolate served with a REAL marshmallow!IMG_2906I can’t say I’ve ever actually had a marshmallow that didn’t taste like the bag it came out of — but alas, this one did not come out of a bag!

(Side note: All City Bakery employees wear shirts that say: “where human beings make marshmallows.” — as opposed to aliens, I’m assuming.)

As I was drinking this delicious nectar, I was unsure how to tackle this ‘real’ marshmallow. At first I attempted, like a five-year-old, to pick it up and eat it but it was too gooey to do so gracefully. Then I sat and stared at it for a bit. Eventually I asked for a spoon and devoured the marshmallow like a sweet after-cocoa dessert.

I only wish I had journeyed here sooner to try more of the interesting flavors like “Lemon Hot Chocolate” and “On A Peanut Butter Barge,” but perhaps it’s for the best as this one cup set me back $7.50 (marshmallow is extra)…t’was worth it though. Chocolate always is.

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie