Wednesday, September 23, 2015

San Gennaro Feast-ing

This year I had the pleasure of working a few days in the Coconut Stand at the San Gennaro Feast. Which means, for those five days that I was there, I ate really-really good! For those of you who don't know what the San Gennaro Feast is, it is an 11 day feast in Little Italy, NYC along Mulberry Street. The feast honors the Patron Saint of Naples. This was the 89th (yes 89th) annual feast, it has been held in the month of September since September 19, 1926 when the Italian immigrants in Little Italy lined the street of Mulberry to celebrate the day in 305 A.D. when Saint Gennaro was martyred. The feast as extended from one day to eleven and annually attracts over a million people each year.

During this time, the streets are lined with vendors, live entertainment, games, and people. My favorite part about all of this was the cornucopia of food that was there for my taking. I made it a point to try something different everyday. So enjoy....

Luckily for me I was right across from the Pip's Pit Stand, serving you the best sausage & peppers, braciole, grilled chicken, and Philly cheesesteaks i've ever had a feast. The food was fresh, delicious, and flowing. The first day that I was there, I obviously had a sweet sausage & pepper sandwich and unfortunately forgot to document the deliciousness in a picture because I was so hungry haha. The sausage was fresh and seasoned wonderfully. It was cooked perfectly and wasn't burned which is something I really hate and the breast was nice and fresh. I did happen to have a grilled chicken, cheese, onion & peppers sandwich too from Pip's Pit. The chicken was coated in yogurt so it was really tender and tasty, anything with cheese on it is delicious as well. I was never disappointed whenever I got anything to eat from there. The braciole was also stuffed with parmesan cheese and basil which I heard was to die for. I didn't get a chance to try it, but it's first on my list next time!
The delicious grilled chicken, cheese, pepper and onions sandwich is up above.

My second favorite food, under cheese is rice, so naturally I'm a sucker for rice balls. Arancini Bro's serves up some really great batches of balls, so I hit that spot one of the days that I was there too. They give you 3 balls for $6 or 6 balls for $10. I decided to get 3, the Al Burro (Prosciutto-Cotto, B├ęchamel, Mozzarella, Saffron), the Bianco Rosso Verde (Basil Pesto with Mozzarella & Cherry-Tomato), and the Spinach and Ricotta (pictured below). My favorite out of all three was the spinach and ricotta. They were all really delicious though. Arancini Bro's has a knack for creating a traditionally toasty riceball with decadent fillings that are always delicious and give your taste buds a punch. I'm never disappointed. You can usually find that all different feasts, right now I know for sure they are at Madison Square Eats. Check out their website for more info

There isn't only Italian style food at the feast, vendors from all backgrounds come and fill the streets for those 11 days. Something that I've been dying to try but never got the chance to before was an Arepa. It's a Mexican style dish that is basically cornbread filled with mozzarella cheese and then fried on a grill. Like a cornbread grilled cheese, and honestly who doesn't love both of those things? It was magical. Filled with cheese and tasty cornbread that melted in your mouth. I would eat one everyday if it wasn't so unhealthy. I'll definitely be making some homemade ones in the near future. 

One of the days I was there, I just wanted something that was going to be filling and familiar to me. I walked up and down a few blocks and I finally settled on a burger. Little did I know that it was from a burger truck that has won multiple awards. After I ate the Bacon cheese burger with caramelized onions from the Hard Times Sundaes truck, I understood why it had one so many awards. Cooked to perfection and seasoned so perfectly especially for a burger that is made on a truck. The truck is located on Avenue U in Brooklyn and has seasonal homemade frozen treats (hence the sundaes), as well as burgers, chili, hot dogs, and fries. They even have an online ordering option for the winter so you don't have to stand in the cold (real MVP's, am i right?). You may have heard about them on Fox 5 News or in magazines such as Esquire and EatUP New York! I can't wait to make my way over there to try some of their other hits. You can follow them on facebook and also on their website

While I working the stand, I've seen a lot of people walking around with sticks of swirled potatoes that looked like this: 
(My friend photobombin there in the back, hiiiiiii Diffles!).
So I was curious and had to try some myself, once I heard that they could season them all different ways I was fit to try it out. I settled on Garlic & Parmasean seasoned. They were sooooo yummy. Like fresh potato chips that were seasoned perfectly and weren't so crunchy. It didn't lose it's natural potato like consistency that you usually find with bagged chips and it was actually pretty filling. I can't wait to try some different flavors.

And what would be eating if there weren't any desserts?

Naturally I stuffed my face with typical feast foods that included zeppoles (Italian fried donuts), cannoli, and fried oreos. All which were delcicious, I even had a cookies & cream cannoli because I like to be different haha.

But what really took the cake of the feast for me were the stuffed donuts that I had from Carnivale Stuffed Donuts Truck who had a stand across from me at the feast. They take plain donuts, stuff them with all different types of fillings and them top with icing, sauces, and a bunch of other stuff. The donuts are warm, soft, and delicious. I bought a couple different types including oreo, s'mores, reeses' and traditional nutella. All of them were huge hits in the house, I should've gotten more on the last day to bring home but I unfortunately forgot to stop before I left. I'll definitely be tracking their truck down to get another taste. You can follow them on Facebook, they are usually located in the NY/NJ area. You will not be disappointed, that's for sure.