HOW-TO
Celebrate National Picnic Day!

The weather is finally warming up after one of the longest winters we've seen in years, and just in time for National Picnic Day! On Wednesday, April 23rd, people all across the country are encouraged to venture into nature and enjoy a meal with friends, family, or any combination of the two. Depending on who you’re with, you might need to bring unique supplies on your spring outing, and that’s why Joonbug.com is here to provide you with a survival guide for the perfect picnic — fitting for every occasion!

Family, friends, and loved ones - First of all, it is perfectly fine to go out and picnic by yourself; however, this kind of venture is always more fun with company! Gather up your close friends, significant other, and even your pets for some outdoor fun! We can all use a mini-vacation, even if it is just spreading out on the grass and enjoying each other’s company. Kids always have fun playing outside, and when you finally join in, you’ll let out your own inner-child, as well.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Weekend Pick: Hester Street Fair

You know what the hardest part is about these longer and increasingly warmer Spring days? Finding things to do outside so you can actually enjoy yourself. Not to worry though, because we've got three words to solve all of your weekend plan problems: Hester Street Fair. Starting this Saturday and Sunday, the Hester Street Fair kicks off its fifth year as THE weekly outdoor bazaar of the Lower East Side.

SWEET TOOTH
It's National Jelly Bean Day!

Today is National Jelly Bean Day. So with a national mandate to reflect on their many-flavored goodness, here's our rundown of all the best jelly beans around. This way, when you next have to make your jelly bean flavor Sophie's Choice, try one of these, and leave the licorice in the bag.

1. Very Cherry

The top-selling flavor in America, Very Cherry is perfectly fruity and just a little bit sour. A classic!

2. Chili Mango

Jelly Belly fanatics have long combined halves of two flavors to create a delicious mix. That's what Chili Mango sounds like, except they already did the work for you, and the result is delicious.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
The Culinary Clash of 2014

On one of the first few gorgeous days of the spring season, we had the pleasure of being offered a place at the table to judge a country wide, competitive search for the most innovative and committed of today’s culinary students hailing from the Culinary Institute of America. Part cooking competition and part scholarship fundraiser, the Culinary Clash invited students to submit a three-course menu with corresponding recipes for the opportunity to cook with Chef Todd English. Finalists Brad Lancaster and Nathan Buckley were the selected students contending for top recognition in the InterContinental New York Times Square Culinary Clash.

DAILY BITES
Bea Launches an Exquisite New Brunch Menu

This weekend we had the pleasure of checking out the new brunch menu at Bea, the brainchild of Sotir Zonea. This delightful bar and restaurant is adjacent to the theater district and is thus a perfect option if you're looking for a bite to eat before or after a show. Warmly greeted by the big smiles of several staff members as we walked in, the environment was instantly inviting, with lots of natural greenery and flowers as well. There's also a lovely adjacent sky lit courtyard with a 37-year-old tree and flowing fountain. Adding to the delightful environment, there are a couple of old black and white movies playing on the walls.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Brazilia Café Opens in the Village

With the opening of Brazilia Café , grab-and-go dining just got classy.

Brazilia Café aims to be a unique beast, a combination café, juice bar, and to-go food spot where everything is made impeccably with seasonal ingredients and top-notch java.

The coffee is sure to be impressive, as Brazilia actually owns and controls their own coffee plantation, and their gelato is also promising as man in charge of their gelato menu used to run an Ice Cream University and will be rotating the gelato menu daily.

DAILY BITES
The Ainsworth Park's New Menu Continues to Impress

The idea of an upscale, food and cocktail-oriented sports bar seems like a contradiction of terms, yet the Ainsworth Park makes it feel obvious. With an eclectic mix of top 40, dance, and retro music piping through the room, flatscreens lining the wall behind the bar, and a menu of elevated pub food, the Ainsworth feels like nowhere else: the stylish gastropub cross-pollinated with the after-work hangout bar. The careful balancing act is also applied to the décor, which has made overtures to sophistication in its chandeliers dotting the room, hipster trendiness with its exposed brick walls, and sports bar cheesiness with decorative pillars lined with fake grass.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
General Assembly Begins Lunch Service

General Assembly, the Flatiron restaurant that recently took the place of Hurricane Club, quickly earned some buzz over its inventive cocktails with jalapeno ice cubes and its wide selection of crudité and dip. Well, they're finally expanding their upscale-hearty French-American dining into your lunch hour.

The expanded menu will include a juice selection just as inventive as their cocktails, including a Jalapeno Limeade and a Tom Palmer with black tea and lemon foam. And for those trying to squeeze in some high-end dining on their lunch hour, take a look at the Assembly Lunch, a three-course selection for $32, which includes a crudité and dip or salad, an entrée, and an ice cream or éclair to go.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
NYC's Best Easter Eats


Toqueville, the Union Square restaurant that focuses on greenmarket fresh ingredients, has a three-course prix-fixe brunch for $68. The menu has a wide variety of dishes in modern preparations with superb ingredients, and it includes such diverse options as grits, sashimi and guinea hen.

1 E 15th St., New York, NY

BEHIND THE PLATE
Coming Soon: Oprah's Chai Tea

"You get a chai! And you get a chai! Everybody gets a chai!"

Oprah Winfrey has officially announced the creation of her own signature chai blend, Oprah Chai Tea, which is set to be released in the USA and Canada on April 29th. After working with experts at Starbucks and Teavana, Oprah was able to create a beverage which features the flavors of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves, all blended together with black and rooibos (red) loose-leaf teas. Once the blend is released for sale at Starbucks and Teavana locations across the USA and Canada, a portion of the profits will be donated to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. This charity assists in creating educational opportunities for kids and teenagers throughout the world, providing just another reason to indulge in this brand new product.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Zeppelin Hall's Annual Sausage Fest



Are YOU a sausage enthusiast? Does your sausage enthusiasm sometimes shock your friends and family?


Then we have the perfect place for you! From Thursday, April 10th to Sunday, April 20th, Zeppelin Hall is holding their Annual Sausage Fest! The event is a great place for you to bring those friends and fill them up with sausage! Stop snickering.