Where to Go on Your Online First Date (By Site!)

The Shanty
Ideal for an OkCupid first date.
Online first dates are stressful enough -- will everyone know we've never met? What if his/her photos lied? -- but in this city you've got the added challenge of picking a perfect spot for a rendezvous from thousands of potential locations. So we present you with our handy guide, for which we've zoned in on the best options for that important first meeting, all based on which site you used to facilitate this (hopefully) excellent pairing. With these evening plans in your back pocket, it's only a matter of time before the lonely selfies, ironic but self-congratulatory profiles, and monthly member fees all go out the window.

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Bed-Stuy's Hattie Carthan Community Farmers' Market Opens for the Season (PHOTOS)

All photos by Hannah Palmer Egan
Brooklyn-grown garlic scapes at Hattie Carthan Community Farmers' Market
With summer blooming in full color around us, farmers' market season is in full swing. And while Union Square's famous Greenmarket proffers some of the freshest food around, crowd-wary shoppers don't have to join the swarming masses on 14th Street. Throughout the city, many community gardens host smaller, friendlier markets where you can stock your crisper with hand-picked produce grown right in your neighborhood. These markets are a great chance to get out, get to know your neighbors, and load up on veggies while supporting your community. Best of all, there's no need to board a subway. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, for instance, Hattie Carthan Community Garden holds weekend markets in two locations.

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New York's Best New Bagels and Cream Cheese

East River's seeded and sesame bagels

These bagels appear just once a week at the East River Bread booth in Smorgasburg, but they're worth the wait. The lovely, chewy seeded ones ($2) are covered in a salty glitter of sesame, poppy, caraway, and fennel seeds, and they're best loaded with as much of East River's plain cream cheese as they'll hold. (Made from a mix of milk and heavy cream from Battenkill Valley Creamery, the spread is creamy without the tacky texture of commercial cream cheese, and so delicious you can eat it with a spoon.)

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The EV Finally Gets an SF Burrito Mojado

Taqueria Cancun's burrito mojado is a gigantic carne asado burrito drowning in sauces.

In San Francisco's Mission District, where the burrito as we know it was invented, the ultimate form is known as the burrito mojado ("wet burrito"). An overstuffed flour-tortilla burrito is smothered in all the sauces at hand, which may run to guacamole, red and green salsas, pico de gallo, and crema, rendering it richer and more assertively flavored, thereby flinging it deeper into gutbomb territory. This treatment also forces you to eat the thing with a knife and fork. Finally, the East Village has its own rendition, not quite so inundated as that found at Taqueria Cancun on Mission Street, but formidable nonetheless.

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New York's Best Fries, Coming Your Way on Monday

Categories: Good Stuff

Jess Goodman
Cheese fries FTW?

There's nothing better than a perfect French fry. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and the best ones don't even need a burger or rotisserie chicken to make a meal.

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best, fries, lists

Six Miracles of East Village Ungentrification

Click on any image to enlarge
Miraculously, lunch counter B & H Dairy remains, from the era when its stretch of Second Avenue was known as the Yiddish Broadway.

As a tribute to E.V. Grieve, the East Village's chronicler of closure and demolition, we present this collection of foodie landmarks that have remarkably remained open, despite the neighborhood's influx of soaring glass towers. Take a moment to savor a bite in these six gems. They may soon be gone.

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Korean Naengmyun, Spectacularly Served in a Bowl Made of Ice

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Keeping your noodles cold and refreshing

The night before last I had the pleasure of dining with Matt Rodbard, one of the critics who participated in the new Korean Restaurant Guide: New York. This publication of the Korean Food Foundation, an arm of the Korean government, is available as a free paperback (find it at the Asia Society, and other locations), or as a free phone app. In preparing the volume, three critics made anonymous visits to 80 Korean restaurants in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, and then selected 40 for this pink, lavishly-illustrated volume. When Rodbard offered to take me on an adventure to a couple of restaurants in Queens to show me some stuff I'd never eaten before, I jumped at the chance.

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Malai Marke's New Snack Kitchen Now Serving Kati Rolls, Chaat, and More Indian Street Food

Categories: Good Stuff

Crisp and spicy pav bhaji at Malai Marke

I love making a quick lunch of hot masala chai and pav bhaji, one of India's finest junk foods. The bread rolls should be generously buttered and deeply browned, ideally served with a super-spicy curried mash that's full of flavor and devoid of nutritional value.

Shiva Natarajan's sparse and shiny Malai Marke already stands out on East 6th Street's stretch of Indian restaurants, with a glass-encased kitchen and a menu that dips into more esoteric regional dishes than its Northern neighbors. The crisp pav bhaji is lovely ($7 for 2), especially when squeezed with a bit of lemon, and the methi chicken is a good find as well, the fresh fenugreek leaves softened in garlic and green chiles. The kitchen works some of the brighter flavors from the coast, too, as in the Mangalorean dish of shrimp Ajadina.

I was delighted to see that Natarajan is now dedicating a new kitchen within Malai Marke to Indian snacks.

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Brewmaster O'Sheiss Uses Gowanus Canal Water in His Beer

A cool frothy glass of Sheiss Weiss Dunkel

Brooklyn breweries pumping out craft beers are now common enough, so it takes a new approach to cause a splash, and that is just what Sanford O'Sheiss, founder of fledgling Olde Gowanus Brewery, has done. This Stevens Institute graduate began his project (How else?) with a Kickstarter campaign early last year that eventually netted him $75,000. He plowed that money - quite literally - into a property on Brooklyn's Second Avenue, in the shadow of the F tracks on the lip of one of the Gowanus Canal's tentacle-like arms. Sheiss partly bulldozed, partly rehabbed the three- story brick structure dating from the 1880s that was there already. It had been a chemical factory for most of its life, then was converted to a day-care facility during the '90s. FiTR caught up with O'Sheiss in the brewery office, which is in the newer half of the building - a soaring, international-style atrium that's all glass and reflective surfaces.

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Find Serious Meatballs and Sunday Gravy on Atlantic Avenue

Categories: Good Stuff

Victoria Wasik
Spaghetti and meatballs at Red Gravy

Sunday gravy only sounds like one of those fast, unfussy, one-pot dishes. There's the stuffing of the braciole, the mixing and shaping of the meatballs, the browning of the sausages. There's the layering of the stock, amplified with bones and meat, simmered for hours. It's no wonder that many Italian-American families have abandoned the tradition of weekly meals around this rich, time-consuming sauce. It's a shame, too -- gravy is glorious.

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