passion
[pash-uh n]
noun

1. a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

2. strong amorous feeling or desire; an intense emotion.

Food. Food is our passion and it shows in everything we do here at Food Before Love – the services we provide, the information we share, the food related experiences we create, and the relationships we foster.

It’s been 5 years since Food Before Love was created and as I reflect back on our beginnings and on all the awesome moments and things we’ve accomplished, I want to give a huge shout out to you all. Thank you for making us great, we truly appreciate you!

We have the PASSION…and now we need your SUPPORT – more than ever.

“Support people who are creative in public.” ~Someone Smart

So, I’ve been wearing many hats and handling all the daily tasks needed to run this business and you know what – it’s a lot for one person.

Through the years we’ve partnered with some amazing interns, writers and foodies and we couldn’t be more grateful for that opportunity. Our current team of Food Before Love Insiders are the bomb and have been instrumental in getting our name out there. But, it’s still not enough and we’re pushing the envelope for more.

“To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.”  ~Anita Roddick

We are ready for this change, but there are some financial restraints to consider. Stay tuned because coming up within the next few weeks, we will be filling you in on our Fall crowdfunding campaign launch.

Here’s what our short check list looks like:

– Revamping our site to make it more functional

– Bringing aboard an ‘in the know’ Social Media Manager

– Growing our sponsorship and partner base for major projects like the food festival

We can’t wait until this team is in place, so Food Before Love can provide even more to the food community. The team we build must maintain Food Before Love’s creativity and ability to stay on top of all the latest food trends and happenings. Don’t you agree?

Next steps? Well – do you have the skill set to move Food Before Love forward? Contact us then!

Spread the word about our crowdfunding campaign coming soon and our exciting endeavors to your network of those that share the same mind set and passion that we do. You can also follow us on @FoodBeforeLove. Tell what you love about us and what you would like to see more of!

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” ~Maya Angelou

We need individuals that support our vision and can work independently to achieve it. For direct crowdfunding specific updates and donation information, sign up here.

Seriously though, are you in?

I’m looking forward to seeing you alongside us on this campaign and I’ll be in touch!

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Lori Lane And Pizza NYC

I fell in love with &Pizza the very first time I took a weekend trip to D.C. a few years back, so much that I went back 3 times that same weekend. Ever since, whenever I am visiting D.C. or Philly, I make it my business to stop by one of their shops and get some pizza. I’ve been praying to the food gods that they would bring a shop to New York, and they finally answered my prayers when they announced they would be opening a shop in NYC this summer. This has been my favorite pizza shop for 3 years running, so of course, I was delighted when they invited us to their pre-opening party at their new NoMad location to try out some delicious pizzas and cocktails.

Feta Pizza And Pizza

At &Pizza, you can choose from some of their delicious already crafted pie options, or opt to create your own pizza masterpiece. At the event, we feasted on some of their pre-crafted options. If you opt to create your own, you start with choosing your dough, which includes gluten-free options and my favorite, Ancient grains. Then you pick a sauce which includes everything from classic tomato, to basil pesto, mushroom truffle and a spicy tomato. Next you can choose between Shredded cheese, fresh mozzarella, or vegan cheese. Once that’s done, you move on to toppings, and they have so many! Broccoli, pineapple, mushroom, spinach, spicy chickpeas, jalapeños, the list goes on. Then you top it off with a protein of your choice with classics like pepperoni, Italian sausage and chicken, but also shrimp, scrambled eggs, and a vegan beef crumble. Then they pop it into a conveyor belt like oven and you wait for it to come out hot and delicious from the other end. Before boxing it up, they allow you to add a few finishing touches like parmesan cheese, fresh basil, olives, and even hot sauce!

Robin Thomas And Pizza NYC

And Pizza Spread

At the event, they showered us with tastes of some of their NoMad pizza creations such as the OG, which had classic tomato sauce with mozzarella, tomato, and basil. The Farmer’s daughter had spicy tomato sauce and was topped with spinach, mozzarella, Italian sausage, egg, parmesan and red pepper chili oil. My favorite was the Maverick which was stacked with pepperoni, salami, and Italian sausage, and had their delicious pesto sauce drizzled on top.

Lori Lane And Pizza NYC

But what really stole the show for us was the dessert pizza called Lori Lane. It had sweet ricotta, strawberries, powdered sugar and a berry drizzle on top. I’ve never had a dessert pizza before but WOW, this one was amazing. So good that we found ourselves watching for when they would bring out a fresh one. While nibbling on bites, they also had wine and beer to sip on a DJ spinning tunes, and some awesome &Pizza merchandise to grab. One cool handout was a personalized pizza pie box, by an artist who would design it with whatever you wanted.

Graffiti And Pizza NYC

While at the event, we also got the chance who to chat with &Pizza co-founder and CEO Michael Lastoria who shared that the idea for &Pizza came to him while living in Chelsea, and although he eventually took the idea to D.C. where it was born, he always knew it would come back to the Big Apple. So, it turns out that &Pizza has a little New York already inside of it!

Make sure you check out &Pizza NoMAd at 15 West 28th street, between Broadway and 5th avenue. You won’t regret it!

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GRACE JAMAICA JERK NEW YORK 2016-558

Delicious food hailing from the Caribbean, musical performances, cooking exhibitions and demos, giveaways, contests and more. Did we get your attention? The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is back for its 7th year and we want you there! It’s touted as being “New York’s Biggest Caribbean Food Festival” and rightfully so. This annual fête held at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York on Sunday, July 23rd from noon – 8pm, attracts a mix of over 20,000 foodies, reggae and soca music lovers and cultural enthusiasts from all over the city.

NYC Jerk Fest Logo

Imagine being surrounded by all your favorite Caribbean dishes cooked up in flavorful jerk spice, of course. This jerk themed festival gives you a chance to sample and indulge in it all with several food vendors present! Patrons will also be able to witness and cheer on their favorite chefs competing and showcasing their talents in the Jerk Cook-Off where one deserving chef will be declared the festival’s Jerk Champion.

GRACE JAMAICA JERK NEW YORK 2016-558

Plus, this year special guests such as Morgan Heritage, Alison Hinds, Konshens and Barrington Levy will be hitting the Main Stage with exciting, explosive performances that are sure to please and get you winding your waist!

Visit the Cultural Stage and connect with Caribbean heritage while enjoying dance performances, poetry, story telling and comedy.It really is a win, win situation so round up your crew of friends and family and spend the day enjoying the cool vibes and celebrating the Caribbean’s vibrant culture and distinctive cuisine.

GRACE JAMAICA JERK FEST 2015

Wait, did you get your tickets yet? If not, don’t worry, go to Jerk Festival NY  to purchase yours and check out the full itinerary of fun-filled festival events and happenings.

Don’t wait too long though, ’cause the countdown is on and Sunday is almost here!

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Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird Atlanta
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Located in West Midtown and usually known for their breakfast and brunch menu, West Egg hosts a monthly dinner pop-up called Oddbird, a “restaurant within a restaurant,” Oddbird takes place on the second Wednesday of the month. Oddbird is known for their chicken sandwiches and chicken biscuits, so I knew that it would be the perfect location for the first installment of Sandwiches Before Love.

When you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by one of their friendly staff at the counter and the three featured pies for the month. Once you reach the counter, you place your order, grab your silverware and choose a seat at any table.

Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird Atlanta

Oddbird’s menu features 4 different fried chicken biscuits, 4 different fried chicken sandwiches, both regular and Nashville-style hot fried chicken & waffles and The Oddbird – a seasonal fried chicken & waffle option that changes monthly. The menus also offers a featured salad called Eat Like a Bird and a variety of hot and cold side items.

The Oddbird and Chicken Biscuit Odd Bird

Everyone in the Sandwiches Before Love crew decided to order something different. Initially, I had my taste buds set on the Chicken Biscuit #2 with spicy honey and bread & butter pickles….BUT I just couldn’t pass up July’s Oddbird chicken & waffle — fried chicken served with a macaroni and cheese waffle, local heirloom tomato & corn salad and buttermilk vinaigrette. So I did what any dedicated food lover would — ordered both!

PB&J Chicken Sandwich Odd Bird Atlanta

My taste buds were not disappointed. The Chicken Biscuit #2 was spicy and delicious. The biscuit was moist and buttery, and the added crunch of the bread & butter pickles bought the entire sandwich together. The Oddbird chicken & waffle was AMAZING! The chicken was fried perfectly, the tomato & corn salad was refreshing and the mac & cheese was hidden inside of the waffle, so every bite was a surprise of cheesy deliciousness!

One of my favorite items on the menu to suggest for first-timers is the PB&J Chicken Sandwich. A piece of fried chicken on local TGM Bread served with pimento cheese, bacon and house-made tomato jam. The tomato jam is so good, that I’ve been known to ask for an additional side of it to take home with me!

S'mores Blondie Pie Odd Bird Atlanta

Don’t forget when you visit Oddbird, you MUST save room for one of pastry chef Carrie Hudson’s pies! July’s selection included a Raspberry Lemonade pie, Berry Mascarpone pie and a S’mores Blondie pie.

Though it wasn’t my first visit to Oddbird, it was the first visit for everyone else in the Sandwiches Before Love crew…but thanks to the great food and service, it surely won’t be their last! The lovely people at Oddbird are taking the month of August off, but they’ll be back on the second Wednesday in September – September 13th!

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Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Mullanes

Who knew that macaroni and cheese could be the topic for such a great debate? One that we would settle once and for all at Mullanes. For a group of people from a variety of backgrounds and palettes, there was a variety of preferences. At our first monthly #MacAndCheeseBeforeLove NYC Meetup, we gathered at Mullane’s in Fort Greene, Brooklyn to bond over their love of mac and cheese.

Mullanes
Photo by Alissa Nichole

From the beginning, we discovered who the purists were, those who preferred a classic and simple macaroni and cheese and have yet to venture out to any variations, and identified the more adventurous ones, who liked a variety of additions to their mac and cheese, from protein like chicken, shrimp and lobster to vegetables like tomatoes, spinach and jalapeno peppers. From the discussion, we realized just how many ways mac and cheese can be prepared and and which were among the group favorites, from cheese options to crunch and stovetop versus baked.

Calamari and Wings Mullanes
Photo by Alissa Nichole

After identifying that some of our favorites came from places including Max Brenner, Brooklyn Bazaar and Pret a Manger, we worked up enough of an appetite to order mac and cheese and beyond. To offer a variety that would satisfy everyone’s cravings, we went for a plain mac and cheese, one with chicken, one with shrimp and one with buffalo chicken and jalapenos for those who dared to try, and a few extra goodies: sesame ginger wings and calamari.

Sangria Mullanes
Photo by Alissa Nichole

It was a pleasant surprise that the purists braved to try the other options at Mullanes and enjoyed them. Although everyone didn’t love the buffalo chicken option, it was a hit amongst a select few. The wings were so nice we had to order them twice, and the calamari was a crowd pleaser as well. Sangria was a popular choice that didn’t disappoint, even for the woman who considers herself a sangria snob, so that’s saying a lot.

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Mullanes
Photo by Alissa Nichole

From travel to NYC neighborhoods, the conversation was rich and the connections were genuine. This casual gathering at Mullanes was a success, and we are looking forward to our next outing. We’d love you to join us. Come on over to our meetup to know when we we’ll be doing mac and cheese again and some of our other outings, like #cocktailsbeforelove, #burgersbeforelove and whatever else our hearts and bellies desire.

So we’d love to know!

  • How do you like your mac and cheese?
  • Where are your favorite places to indulge in delicious mac?

*Thank you Alissa Nichole for snapping such great shots.

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World Famous House of mac truck

To celebrate National Macaroni and Cheese Day, the Mac N Cheese Before Love crew headed over to Wynwood Yard, for the World Famous House of Mac Truck. Wynwood Yard is home to quite a few food trucks, which line the perimeter of the yard, with an open-air bar in the middle. There are picnic tables and smaller tables scattered about the yard for you to sit and enjoy your food while taking in the fresh air and cool vibes – the perfect atmosphere to enjoy macaroni and cheese. With that goal in mind, we entered Wynwood Yard and headed to the back, to find the World Famous House of Mac. There was no way we could miss it because it is a bright yellow truck that really stands out among all the trucks present.

HouseOfMacTruck
Photographed by Simone Bradshaw

The menu included some combinations of macaroni and cheese that I never would have imagined. We ordered the Pizza Mac and Cheese, Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, Philly Cheese Steak Mac and Cheese, Chicken Parmesan Mac and Cheese, and Seafood Mac and Cheese. The portions were huge – way too much to finish in one sitting for most, but there were some troopers in our crew that ate every cheesy bite! Each meal consisted of a bed of baked macaroni and cheese covered with your choice of topping (i.e. the pizza mac and cheese had marinara, mozzarella, and pepperoni on top of a bed of baked mac and cheese), with a cheesy crust baked on top of that! So much cheesy goodness. As a cheese lover, I was in heaven. I had the Buffalo Mac and Cheese, and the flavor was so authentic. It was just like eating buffalo chicken wings with ranch dressing and mac and cheese…simply delicious.

PizzaMac
Pizza Mac and Cheese with a refreshing Ginger Beer Photographed by Simone Bradshaw

The service at the World Famous House of Mac was friendly. Every dish was made to order, so it took longer than I would have liked to get my food. I am sure that my hunger may have intensified the seemingly long wait, but it was well worth the wait. My favorite presentation was of the Seafood Mac and Cheese – with two lobster tails and shrimp resting comfortably on top of a bed of baked mac and cheese.

SeafoodMac
Photographed by Simone Bradshaw

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals. The World Famous House of Mac has lived up to its reputation and did not disappoint. I will be back very soon…maybe I will see you there!

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