A good rule of thumb when trying to sample as many items as possible at a one-day food festival? Take small bites and bring a hungry friend…or four.
At Eeeeeatscon, a food festival created by cult favorite restaurant-discovery site The Infatuation (which now has localized offshoots covering 10 cities from Denver to London), those bites ranged from truffle popcorn to boozy ice cream sundaes, offered up by chefs from around the country. While the Con has happened twice already in L.A., this was its first time popping up New York City.
After a full day of sampling, sipping (and very necessary) sharing, here are the five best things we indulged in.
Pizza Loves Emily x Shake Shack’s Emmy Shack
This love child of two beloved New York-born restaurants was the most hyped item on offer at the Forest Hills Stadium on Saturday. It also, as can be expected, had the longest line, snaking around the Queens venue. Lucky for those standing in it, the payoff was well worth it: a crispy-on-the-outside Shack-style burger topped with American cheese, a special “Emmy” sauce and caramelized onions. It was a mash-up of pizza and burger flavors, which, yes, sounds gross, but we promise, was transcendent.
The Riddler’s Lays “Frito Pie” with Caviar
San Francisco champagne bar The Riddler’s quirky, delicious and highly Instagrammable dining area was accessed via a secret entrance disguised as a porta-potty. While the chambong (that’s a champagne beer bong) was admittedly fun to sip from, its take on the lowly Frito pie (essentially nachos made with the corn chip) involved a magical high-low mix: a sliced open bag of Lays topped with fancy creme fraiche, caviar and fresh herbs.
Jon and Vinny’s Spicy Fusilli
Los Angeles may be better known for its green juice or breakfast burritos, but this pasta spot from L.A. can serve up a bowl worth its red sauce. Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s fusilli alla vodka with basil and parmesan with vodka sauce was on par with some of the best East Coast Italian eateries.
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Roberta’s Bee Sting Pizza
This dish is technically regularly available to New Yorkers at Roberta’s Brooklyn restaurant, but that doesn’t make it any less of a delight. The famous pizzeria’s chili, mozzarella, sopressata and honey-topped slice is a favorite for a reason.
Ramona’s Organic Lemon Wine Spritz
This is probably not how the makers of Ramona’s would prefer it be described, but it’s an important public service announcement to anyone who grew up on Mike’s Hard Lemonade. If everything about that bottled sugary booze was infinitely better, it would be Ramona’s Lemon Wine Spritz. It’s sweet, yes, but also refreshing, bubbly and most importantly, packaged in a travel-friendly can.