This past Saturday, March 23rd, I attended the Coffee and Tea Festival in NYC with Tanya and Steph (study abroad friends) and Sofia (Steph’s vegan co-worker). We all met at Penn Station and walked to the venue. Tanya now lives in Connecticut, so she arrived at Grand Central and met us at Penn. While we waited, the most AMAZING thing happened… I SAW BETHENNY FRANKEL. She is my role model and as I’ve told you from my previous post, Naturally Thin, I am absolutely OBSESSED with her. I didn’t ask to take a picture with her because I feared being diappointed by rejection, BUT taking a picture of her and Bryn (her daughter) was enough to make this the start of a BEST DAY EVER!
When we got to the festival, we waited outside for about 10 minutes (thankfully, the line was moving quickly). Prior to entering the event, we received a bag filled with coupons, samples such as a KIND bar, a raw revolution bar (my favorite since the vegetarian food festival) and coupons from sponsors.
Our first stop was SO DELICIOUS, which had great chocolate coconut milk samples and almond milk, as well as unsweetened coconut milk and vanilla almond milk (which we used to flavor some of our coffee). We proceeded to HONEST TEA, where we sampled many refreshing teas and Café Mami (Puerto Rican coffee who was making individual espresso shots on the spot for everyone).
We also visted some other really cool vendors that were selling things like tea infused lip balm (which of course I bought), chia seed peanut butter, chocolate and salted caramel honey, pressed tea, tea infused cocktails, homemade granola, wine+ tea cocktails, tea-infused ice cream and so much more.
It was like a field day with COFFEE and TEA! I was definitely wired and ready to brunch. So we left and walked to Sotto 13, a really cool brunch place Steph found. It was an all you can drink for 1.5 hours and it included either 2 individual tapas and 1 side or a wood-fired pizza for $25!!! Can we say heaven??
I went with the 2 tapas + a side option, so I ordered french toast, a frittata del giorno and rosemary potatoes and as my brunch cocktail… SANGRIA (of course)!!
Steph, Tanya and Sofia went with the wood-fired pizza. Steph and Sofia ordered the Spinach and Artichoke pizza (since Sofia is vegan she ordered no cheese and it was still phenominal) and Tanya ordered Spicy Fennel Sausage and Caramelized Onion Pizza.
Fabio was our FABULOUS waiter and we couldn’t ask for anyone better. He honestly provided us with 7 rounds of brunch cocktails and before we could even ask for another one, he already had one on its way. Since Tanya’s birthday was the day before, I thought it would be nice to sing “happy birthday.” I informed Fabio and when she least expected it, he brought out a piece of DELICIOUS Tiramisu (which we devoured).
Believe it or not, after this boozey brunch, we decided to go to a bar for happy hour. Being that I live in New York, Steph lives in New Jersey and Tanya lives in Connecticut, we don’t see each other as often as we’d like. We went to Off the Wagon for some beer and beer pong and gladly encountered a group of London boys (we love foreigners and accents, especially since we all studied abroad in Australia together)! Our last stop on this lovely NYC day, was Artichoke Pizza, conveniently located next door. I have always heard how this is a MUST-GO-TO pizza place in the city so we gave it a shot. After trying the famous artichoke pizza, the crab meat pizza and the margherita sicilian, WE WERE HAPPY AND SATISFIED! I would definitely recommend trying it and if you are with a friend, I would chose a couple different slices and split it (it gets to be too much after a few bites- I was happily content with going halfsies on these slices).
After our last meal, we took a taxi back to Penn Station and Grand Central and went our separate ways. WHAT A GREAT DAY!!!!