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Chez Lucienne 308 Lenox Avenue, just north of 125th Street

Chez Lucienne 308 Lenox Avenue, just north of 125th Street

It’s that time of year. Music in the parksfilms under the stars and lots of bar and restaurant crawls. Summer Sizzles on Lenox Avenue in Harlem is back for a second year next Tuesday with the $5 cocktail and appetizer special and an impressive lineup of restaurants.  So if you haven’t been, here’s your chance to try a dozen of them – all at once. This is our illustrated guide to what to see on the Summer Sizzles crawl in Harlem!


Holey Donuts! is on the corner of Grove St and 7th Avenue South

We love our sweets here at Untapped Cities, particularly when it’s in a quirky location. You will remember how taken we were with that automated cupcake machine, or our roundup of the top 8 “indie” donut shops in NYC. Today this stopped us in our tracks.  Holey Donuts! are said to be great tasting without the fat, calories or guilt.

A regular donut can have as much as 15-35 grams of fat and have a calorie count north of 400.  But at Holey Donuts! they are talking more like 3-5 grams of fat due to a patented cooking process that avoids deep frying, and calories ranging from 170 to 280.  Up to now, they could only be purchased online and delivered by express mail.  But they are now venturing into the retail shop arena.


Maille_Mustard Mobile-Bastille Day-Dijon-NYC-Food Truck

140 years ago, France gave us the Statue of Liberty (although there’s debate on who the face is modeled after). And now, they are blessing New York City with yet another gift in time for Bastille Day Weekend: Mustard! (and no, it’s not Grey Poupon).

Luxury mustard makers Maille will be bringing a mustard bar to New York City in the form of a food truck from July 11th to 13th. Originally, La Maison Maille held the unique responsibility of supplying King Louis XV of France with his official stash of vinegar and mustard. Their NYC visit is part of a bi-coastal summer road trip where they will be serving up authentic dijon mustard in complimentary tastings of five different varieties. In addition to free samples, the MMM will also give New Yorkers a chance to compose their own palette of Dijon flavors. The truck that will be serving cornichons of Maille’s mustard, called the Maille Mustard Mobile (MMM), is even eco-friendly. (more…)

Joey Chestnut, Tim Janus, Matt StonieNathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest hits Coney Island this weekend. Photo via Huffington Post.

The 4th of July is around the corner, and with it comes the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island Pier. Broadcast on ESPN2, this world-famous gastronomical event brings thousands of bystanders every year. While it’s certainly New York City’s most famous eating contest, it is far from the strangest. Those with strong stomachs should have a taste of the more bizarre eating contests the city has to offer, from a tray of deep-fried calf brains to a deadly combo of tequila and habanero peppers.

1. New York City Cupcake Run – Astoria Park

New-York-City-Cupcake-Run-Untapped-CitiesPhoto via New York City Cupcake Run.

Held for the first time last year, the New York City Cupcake Run is a five-kilometer walk/run through Queens’ Astoria Park with a unique twist: participants must eat three cupcakes at checkpoints throughout the course. Proceeds for the seemingly oxymoronic event are donated to New York Cares.


Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens.

We’ve often thought that if you love food you should just move to Brooklyn—the way a lover of Thoroughbreds should move to Kentucky or a lover of surf to California. Brooklyn Eats, the annual food and beverage trade show hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, showed on June 27 just how sound that impulse would be by offering the borough’s full range of food possibilities, from serious farming to frivolous (but fabulous) ice cream and cupcakes.

Brooklyn Eats

“We are farmers that live in apartments. We see green fields where others see rooftops,” announces Gotham Greens’ website, baldly appealing to local patriotism—and so they should. Brooklyn’s rooftop farms and greenhouses are becoming one of the wonders of the urban world. Did anyone predict urban agriculture could be profitable before 2010, when the Brooklyn Grange opened its soil farm on the roof of a 43,000-square-foot building in Queens, and Gotham Greens built its commercial-scale greenhouse on the roof of a warehouse in North Brooklyn? Using hydroponic technology—nutrient-rich, reusable water instead of soil—Gotham Greens has since opened a greenhouse on the roof of the Whole Foods in Gowanus, and will soon operate a third in Jamaica, Queens.

“We concentrate on perishable crops,” says Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens, especially the lettuces that must be shipped long distances, from Latin America and California, and the herbs that are so treasured by today’s cooks. In place of long-distance transport, they simply carry the products down from the roof, converting “food miles to food footsteps,” says Gotham Greens co-founder Viraj Puri.



Little Senegal, or “Le Petit Senegal” to many of the Francophone locals, is home to African immigrants from Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Ghana,  Guinea, and more. It is centered around 116th Street and Lenox Avenue right in the middle of Harlem. Over the past 30 years, the population of immigrants from West African countries has slowly grown and expressed its influence in the area. (more…)