WHAT TO EAT Loaded Dawg
Spring into Healthy Eating in 2015

As the ice finally begins to melt and the faint memory of sunshine starts to come back to us, it’s time to think about spring cleaning. By spring cleaning, we don’t mean packing up your bulky sweaters and planning for a garage sale, although there’s nothing wrong with getting organized. We’re talking about a spring body cleanse and beginning to think of all the different ways you can improve the way you live through healthy eating for spring 2015.

One of the best parts about living in New York City is the abundance of natural and organic options that have been popping up on every corner. From pop up food carts to gourmet restaurants to wellness centers and organic delivery services, NYC offers healthy options for everyone. You just have to know where to look.

WHAT TO EAT Traditional Eggs Benedict (Agave)
The Best Brunch/Delivery Spots for Your National Deskfast Day Feast

As any New Yorker will tell you, brunch is a big deal. Whether the hybrid meal's appeal lies in the justification of sleeping-in and cocktails before 2:00 or the upscale connotation that comes with the word, does it really matter? Because today, March 19th, you'll have another excuse to indulge in luxury grub for National Deskfast Day. This nationally recognized, culturally treasured, time-honored institution of a holiday may have its protesters - is it a fake holiday made up to justify our gluttony, who cares?

Most simply, National Deskfast Day suggests that you celebrate the occasion having the most important meal of the day delivered to the comfort of your own desk. We have to admit, eggs benedict and a bloody mary behind your computer monitor sounds like a great way to combat trivial Thursdays. Yet another perk of being a city-dweller is that there is never a shortage on delicious brunch or even on those that deliver these to-die-for delicacies. Now we have to look deep inside ourselves and ask: "who will be catering my Deskfast Day?"

Eighth Annual Village Voice Choice Eats

The Metropolitan Pavilion hosted the Eighth Annual Village Voice Choice Eats on March 13th for a Siesta-inducing fiesta of drinks, eats, and sweets from 68 handpicked local restaurants. The All-Star roster included savory favorites from Bobwhite, Casa Mono, John Brown Smokehouse, Kickshaw, Veselka and more. Booze was flowing freely from Crabbie’s, Sixpoint, Catskill Distilling, and over a dozen others, while our sweet-tooth was quenched by Carlo’s Bakery, Butter Lane, Doughnut Plant, and our favorite of the night, Ample Hills Creamery.

Artichoke Pizza Opens New Location in Astoria, Brings Joy to All

Oh Artichoke Pizza, that delicious, goodies-and-yum-laden slice of heaven. Lucky for you, Astorians, now there's no need to trek to one of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza's four other locations – three standalones all in Manhattan and a smaller space in La Guardia airport – to get your fill: the one-of-a-kind pizzeria just opened its latest outpost literally across the street from the Astoria-Ditmars stop on the N/Q .

The new spot, located at 22-56 31st St, takes over the space from the historical Frankie’s Pizza, a staple Astoria's pizza landscape. But we’re sure even neighborhood die-hards won’t complain about the now-close-at-hand availability of Artichoke’s signature slice.

Late Night Eats

Whoever said nothing good happens past midnight has never dined at these late night eateries. Whether your cravings includes pizza, shwarma, tacos or dumplings this list of our ten favorite stops in the wee hours will vanquish your hunger (and hopefully curb the unwanted effects of the extended happy hour you just left).

Mamouns (119 MacDougal St and 22 St. Marks Place)

Open until 5am

As the oldest falafel restaurant in NYC, Mamoun’s has all the street cred it needs to claim our hearts as the best falafel in NYC. Whether you are looking for Lamb Shwarma ($6-11.50), Chicken Kebab ($6-11.50) or Falafel ($3.50 - 6) hot out of the fryer, Mamouns is the best stop for Middle-Eastern cuisine after midnight.

Local and Sustainable Meets Fast and Casual at EXKi NYC

EXKi, the international dining sensation, has just recently opened its second restaurant on 28th st and Madison ave. The Belgian franchise was born in 2001, and has 78 locations around the world. All EXKi restaurants are dedicated to using local products whenever possible and their new Madison Avenue location features a large colorful map that shows the location of each farm that they source food from. The company spent weeks driving around upstate New York and the Pennsylvania countryside in search of farmers whose products met their flavor standards, and also adhered to responsible farming practices. With such rigorous standards, it's no surprise that the company is Green Restaurant Certified, which means that they partake in a number of sustainable business practices such as composting, using recycled materials for their napkins, pamphlets and utensils, and donating their remaining food to the City Harvest food program.

Never Drink On an Empty Stomach Again: 5 Phenomenal Happy Hours for Food and Drink

The Cellar at Beechers Cheese (900 Broadway)

The Cellar’s happy hour runs daily from 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm. To go along with your $5 dollar infused cocktail (bartenders choice), is a dangerously affordable plate of their “World’s Best” Mac and Cheese. Sensuous and silky, this dish is a mouthwatering balance of Beecher's Flagship sharp aged cheddar, and their creamy whole milk "Jack" cheese. For $8 dollars, this *borderline* aphoridisaic is quite the turn on.

Chill with Chili on National Chili Day

“Sweat pants, hair tied, chilling with no make up on that's when".. you eat chili. For National Chili Day embrace the one pot lifestyle and throw in your favorite meats/vegetables/beans/broth and spices to create the chili of your dreams that will last a lifetime (in the freezer in Ziploc bags). If you're thinking “but I don't deserve to eat chili it's past the Super Bowl" please don't stress yourself.

Since our favorite little furry guy, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow it looks like we have a few more weeks of winter ahead of us and a warm bowl of chili is perfect for these negative degree-days. Below we have a ridiculously addicting recipe that combines all of your favorites-- coffee, beer and brown sugar-- with some healthy additions too. But if you prefer not to cook, make the trek to these NYC spots to find that perfect bowl o' chili.

NYC Beer Week: Beers for (Ten) Days

In the infamous words of Dave Chappelle-cum-Samuel L. Jackson: beer, it'll get you drunk. That's right, starting today, Friday, 20th, through March 1st, New York City Beer Week will be celebrating everything craft beer with tastings, festivals, meal pairings and generally every kind of event that will quench your need for (fine) brew.

Think a 5 course feast, with each course paired with a craft beer from one of the five boroughs (Five Borough Beer Tasting & Dinner), a dialogue on beer culture accompanied by… beers, Rare Beer Night featuring 10 taps, and for those ambitious sud fiends, there’s even a NYC Beer Trail you can check out and check off your list.

For a complete list of events, visit the NYC Brewers Guild website.

NYC Restaurant Week Picks

New Yorkers your favorite time of the year is back. Although some of you might be lamenting the fact that this glorious three-week-long event fell two days too late (#Valentine’sDay), NYC Restaurant Week is finally here and you need to celebrate. Twice a year, summer and winter, NYC Restaurant week graciously falls upon us mere mortals and allows us to feast like a Queen, or King, at the city's fine dining spots for a price that won’t break the bank.

This year, from February 16th through March 6th, enjoy over 300 restaurants around the NYC area, each offering three courses for lunch ($25) and for dinner ($38). If you need help deciding where to glut yourself during this culinary boon, we have some ideas below to get you started. Check out the complete, awe/drool-eliciting list and make your NYC Restaurant Week reservations here.

Chapter One’s Five Borough Beer Tasting & Dinner

Fellow urbanites: ready your schedule and belly for a dinner-plus-beer event of epic proportions. West Village’s Chapter One American Tavern will be hosting a Five Borough Beer Tasting & Dinner on Monday, February 23, from 6-9:30 p.m., celebrating New York City Beer Week.

Prepare your palates for a delectable five-course pairing menu, spotlighting regionally made beers from NYC’s five boroughs. New General Manager Katie O’Donnell (of Esca, where she pursued the role of chef de cuisine) and Executive Chef Warren Baird (also of Esca) have worked together to create an incredible menu that will seduce every palate.