Tag Archives: Exploring the Restaurant Show

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Day One Hundred and Sixty-Two: “I Love New York” from the 1970’s, 80’s and Today! March 30th, 2020

I was just watching ’60 Minutes’ tonight and it has never been scarier to be in New York City. The hospitals are being over-whelmed by patients that are low on supplies and the medical staffs are tired, burnt out and still stepping up to the plate to help get people better. The streets are empty with people as the last of the tourists left two weeks ago and the crowded streets of Manhattan that only in December were packed with so many people that you could not walk seems like a distant memory.

NY Restaurant Show II


What should have been a great night for everyone. Michigan State WON 80-69!

As you have read from my last two blog entries, I was in Manhattan from March 7th until March 10th walking the International Restaurant Show, watching the Michigan State-Ohio State Basketball game at Blondies Bar on the Upper West Side for who would be the Big Ten Champion (MSU won Go Green Go White) that Sunday night, at the Anthology Film Archives watching Sandra Bullock in “The Net” for a series the movie theater had on 1990’s Internet films on Monday night and then my last night in the City on Tuesday, March 10th for the Gerhard Richter Exhibition at the Met Breuer for a Private Members Night. All this while everything was going on around us.

Met Breuer

The Met Breuer at 945 Madison Avenue


Anthology Film archives

The Anthology Film Archives at 32 Second Avenue


The night I went to the Anthology Film Archives, I stopped in Chinatown first to go to Wonton Noodle Garden on Mott Street (see review on TripAdvisor) for dinner. What shocked me was how empty the place was that evening. This is a restaurant that is packed all the time and it is open until 2:00am. The only people who were there were myself and two tables of NYU students.

Wonton Noodle Garden II

Wonton Noodle Garden at 56 Mott Street


When I asked the waiter where everyone was, he threw up his shoulders and said “Everything going on in the world”. I knew it did not look good that night as the rest of Chinatown was empty. The East Village was hopping with college students and the neighborhood around me was busy but you could feel the mood shifting.

Wonton Noodle Garden

Wonton Noodle Garden’s Cantonese Wonton Soup with Egg Noodles and Roast Pork can cure all ills.

‘The Net’ Trailer

Sandra Bullock can cheer anyone up!

I felt this at the Restaurant Show where you could walk down the aisles of the show and never bump into anyone. The Tuesday afternoon that I went in to see the show one last time by 3:30pm most people had packed up and gone. The show did not close until 4:30pm. They were ready to go by early that morning. So, my last five days in Manhattan I felt the mood changing as people were not sure what to do.

That last night at the Met Breuer as I walked the crowded floors of the museum enjoying the Gerard Richter Show before the opening to the public, I could hear in the corner’s members saying “I am really surprised they did not cancel this.” and “Could you believe this crowd with what’s going on?” It was like all of us knew this was the last night of “ballyhoo”.

Gerhard Ritcher artist

Artist Gerhard Richter in front of his works


All over the world people are banding together to contribute what they can and keep the human spirit alive by volunteering where they can and helping one another out. I know that between my work at the College and the Fire Department everyone has me running around and my spirit of volunteerism is never lacking.

So, to all my readers especially the ones who are displaced New Yorkers remember that New York City has seen it darker days in the past and has risen to overcome them. There is a real spirit in the City that is not replicated anywhere else in the world and we saw that in the 1970’s, 80’s 90’s and on 9/11 to current days.

That was until 1977 when we rediscovered that spirit and said “I LOVE New York!”

To cheer everyone up, I pulled the old campaign from YouTube from the dark days of the 1970’s and 80’s to show how the human spirit can overcome anything if we pull together. So, this special entry of “MywalkinManhattan” is dedicated to all of you who will never let that spirit die both here and where you live now. We will get through this!

I love New York III

After all “WE LOVE NEW YORK!”

The song that started it all:

The original campaign videos:

New York City after 9/11:

The Original Campaign videos from the 1980’s 1-5:

How the “I LOVE NEW YORK” campaign came about:

This excellent documentary was done by a New York High School student in 2006.

Songs that represent the true spirit of New York City:

Native New Yorker by Odyssey:

The Great Liza Minnelli singing the best version of “New York New York”

We will get through this everyone and God Speed!

The NY Restaurant Show

Day Seventy: Walking the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York City March 5th & 6th, 2017

I spent two days at the Javis Center for the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York on both March 5th and 6th. Like most of the Hospitality shows that I go to in the city, it attracts people from all over the tri-state area.

I have been coming to this show for years and back in the early 2000’s the show was about double of what it is now. It has grown again in the last two years as they have let the food vendors back in the show. It is still only on the lower level, and you can walk the show in about four hours and that is being really detailed with your conversations with all the vendors.

Before that, for about ten years they kicked out most of the food merchants and the complexity of the show changed as why would come to the show and you are stuck just looking at furniture, menu and computer programming all through the show. There is so much more life to the show with food.

I spent my first day at the show walking the many aisles trying to see what new and innovative items were coming on the market for the industry. The most amount of development is in technology. The industry is stream-rolling ahead with computerizing the whole system from ordering to purchasing to receiving.  More than a few firms have developed a procedure to streamline the system from when you place the order to how all the ingredients get purchased based on that order.

There were two companies that really impressed me amongst all the tech companies that I talked to that day, ChefTech and Touchbistro. Both are changing the way we do business by making it easier for us to integrate out business. Both make ordering both food and all the ingredients to cook and prepare that food much easier.

ChefTech has been the leader cost pricing menu items and integrating it with the purchasing to make it easier when ordering food items for a restaurant. Now the company is taking it one step further and adding it to the ordering of menu items and has streamlined the system to make it easier.

Chef Tech



Touchbistro was the most interesting of the systems and took it one step further. Their Restaurant POS does it all. It handles cash management, bill splitting, take-out and delivery management, customer floor plan layout, seamless staff scheduling, accounting made easy, multiple payment processors, real-time cloud reporting and theft prevention settings. When you use the iPad, you can order your meal and the system will tell you what in it, how it is prepared and the calorie count and then will to track sales. Then on top of that, will set up a purchase order to reorder the item ingredients.

Touch Bistro


Both companies offer around the clock service which is nice because when the system goes down (and it always does just when you are getting busy on a weekend night), they are there for you. It is interesting to see the future of our industry is here now.

The show finally made a smart decision for the last two years and brought back the food vendors which are always popular with show goers.  They featured a “New Vendors” section with new products that are coming on the market, a special “New York State” food vendor section, Wines & Spirits and the annual pastry competition sponsored by Paris Bakery.

Some of the standouts that I found this year were from all over the country. Kontos Foods Inc. from Paterson, New Jersey showcased their Homemade Loukoumades, a pre-baked, fully cooked and warm to serve Pastry Puffs, a small round doughnut hole food product that could be translated into several cuisines just by changing the sauce or topping. By doing this you can sell them as Loukoumathes (Greek), Beignets (French), Zeppole’s (Italian), Malassada (Hawaiian & Portuguese) as many other ways. This were delightfully crisp, and the toppings were delicious. A simple and easy dessert made better by the excellent quality of the product.

Kontos Foods


Kings Hawaiian showcased their delicious rolls and buns. I have been eating these for years but they had been tough to find on the East Coast. Now expanding with new bakeries in Torrance, CA and Oakwood, GA, the operation is expanding all over the USA.

King Hawaiian II

King Hawaiian rolls are delicious

Their sweet rolls and buns are wonderful. Soft and fluffy with a touch of sweetness, they accent many types of salads and sandwich meats giving them an extra complexity. The afternoon I tried them, they had a delicious chicken salad that complemented  the flavor of the bun nicely.

King Hawaiian


Another delicious local product was by Sukhadia’s of South Plainfield, NJ. They featured their ready made Samosa’s, which is a small crispy Indian snack. They are deep fried or baked with pastry and a savory filling , such as spiced potatoes, green peas, lentils, ground lamb or beef or chicken. They have a triangular size. These little appetizers will translate to any dinner party and are well-spiced and perfectly cooked.

They also offer an interesting assortment of chutney’s, curries and Tandoori breads. For desserts and snacks, the company features Masala Nuts and Trail Mix and an assortment of Indian desserts. The family running the company could not have been nicer in explaining their product and sampling it to hungry show goers.



Brooklyn Patisserie in the New York State vendor section offered mouthwatering desserts and pastries. I was able to sample some of their croissant and sweet buns while fighting off the crowds. These buttery delights make all the awful gluten free items I had to eat all the more worth it. Their quality was excellent and they sell breads and rolls amongst their items offered.

Brooklyn Patisserie



Another delicious addition to the new products was Pasteleria Cidrines Inc. of Puerto Rico with their puff pastry delights, Cidrines. These small puff pastry products come with various fillings both sweet and savory fillings. Show goers were able to sample the Guava desserts and they were yummy. They were crisp on the outside with a sugary outside and a sweet fruity inside. They come in soy chicken and meat fillings and in Quesito, Guayaba and pineapple flavors. A nice way to end a meal.



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Another unusual product was Immuneschein, a handcrafted ginger elixir that is made in the Hudson River Valley. These unusual extracts can be mixed with various products such as hot, cold and sparkling soda for a refreshing drink and with Yogurt to add a zing to it. They can also be added to spirits and alcoholic beverages to add a complexity to the drink.




A local product that I enjoy sampling is Joe Teas & Chips  by Joe Tea out of Upper Montclair, New Jersey. These zippy teas and chips have a nice flavor to them with an assortment of flavors such as pink Passion fruit and Mango lemonade and the chips come in classic, barbecue, sour cream and sea salt and vinegar.

Joe's Tea

Their chips have a nice crisp to them.

Joe's Chips

Joe Tea


I was able to take a few classes while I was at the show. I took “Using Customer Engagement to double Customer visits” and “Develop the Right Hospitality Team”. I love the way new technology plays a role in all this advancement in the industry. I hate to say it but after almost twenty years in the Hospitality business a lot of the up and comers keep forgetting the true success of the business is to train people correctly, pay them fairly and treat them nice. That is the key to a happy staff. Treat them like ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen and it will go a long way. I really think everyone in my industry thinks its all about automation and gadgets but it is more about old-fashioned TLC and good treatment. That is the key to success.

The biggest thrill of the show was watching Danny Meyer, the CEO from Union Square Hospitality Group, getting the Torch Award, which is given to an individual or group whose achievements have enhanced and brought innovation to the restaurant and foodservice industry. I have been eating at the original Union Square Café for years and the food and service were always top-notch.

Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer

All of his restaurants are high quality with excellent laid back service and delicious food. There is always something on the menu to like. He was being honored by my old president of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), Ferdinand Metz (who taught me how to make the perfect soufflé when I was a student there).

It was interesting to hear how his career as a restaurateur started and how he had grown the business to the public offering of “Shake Shack”. He really  mesmerized the crowd with his career and the best part was that they gave the audience a free copy of his book “Setting the Table”, which I had wanted to add to my cookbook and industry collection.

Setting the Table

Overall it was a nice two days delving back into my industry to see the latest trends and to talk to the vendors and see their wares. The industry for all of its innovations still has to remember, watch costs, treat the customers and staff correctly and offer wonderful food at a fair price in nice surroundings and these are some of the keys of success in the Hospitality industry.

You will see more updates on the Show in the future.

Don’t miss my blog on walking the International Restaurant show over the years: Day One Hundred and Thirty-Three-Walking the International Restaurant Show: