Earlier this month, I told you about Starbucks Monday deals for members. To be a member, you must pay with a registered gift card or the Starbucks app. Using the Starbucks app is pretty easy – you can reload money on to your app in seconds.
Today is the last Monday of the month and this last deal is a pretty good one! From 2-5pm today, enjoy 50% off a Frappuccino from 2-5pm. Woohoo!
If you or you’re family or friends are looking into booking a room at one of many New York City hotels and then hoping to hop on a cruise to do even more exploring, you’re in luck. There are plenty of tips and tricks when it comes to securing affordable cruises. By planning ahead, you can save a lot while going on the vacation of your dreams.
1. Look for all-inclusive cruises, which means that along with your ticket, several things are included, like activities and meals.
2. Considering traveling during the off-season. This is when prices are their lowest. Typically, the off-season is during early autumn, because school is starting up again. Plus, this is hurricane season in the Caribbean, which means fewer people are booking cruises.
3. Get your tickets as far in advance as possible. Even luxury cabins have excellent deals with you reserve six months ahead of time.
4. If you’ve just decided that you want to go on a cruise as soon as possible, you can sometimes score amazing last-minute deals. You won’t necessarily get upgraded lodging, but you can get a super low price on any rooms that the ship is trying to fill in.
5. Simply ask the cruise line for a deal. Find out the lowest price online and then call the cruise line to ask if they’ll meet or beat that price. Many cruises are happy to give you the deal if it means they can close the sale themselves.
6. If you’ve gone on a cruise in the past, book the same cruise for your next vacation. Or, at least book with the same cruise line, assuming you were happy with the experience. Many cruise lines will offer deals to repeat travelers.
7. Talk to a travel agency. Yes, they still exist! People who have been in the business for a long time know all of the hidden ways to get the best deals possible. Plus, many travel agents have deals with the cruise lines and can offer you tickets at reduced prices.
8. Don’t focus solely on money. If a cruise line isn’t able to give you a discount, ask if they’ll throw in extra incentives instead.
Cruises are one of the most popular types of vacations for couples and families. When purchasing a ticket, always make sure you’re 100% clear on exactly what’s included with the cost. Then enjoy your home away from home!
Note: This is sponsored content. I sadly have never been on a cruise, but one day hope to use these tips to score a FANTASTIC deal!
I LOVE mac and cheese. If you do too, consider checking out this event this weekend – The Mac Daddy. Held this Sunday, March 29, swing by the Mac Daddy at Openhouse Gallery on Mulberry between Kenmare and Spring to sample different mac and cheese dishes from restaurants around the city. Tickets are $30, and you’ll be able to try mac and cheese from Almond, Duke’s, Eats on Lex, Atwood Kitchen & Bar Room, FAME by Alex Mitow and the Stand. In order to buy tickets, just note you’ll need to figure out which hour you want to attend the event – choose between 11am to 6pm, for an hour at a time.
Buy your tickets here! Oh – and did we mention you’ll also get two Goose Island beers?
Last Friday, I went to Village Voice’s Choice Eats event. Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, I was able to try samples from 60+ restaurants from around the city. Here were my top picks that I recommend you check out:
- Rubirosa: Located on Mulberry between Prince and Spring, this restaurant served a delicious osso buco tortelloni. According to Yelp, this restaurant has amazing pizza too.
Ample Hills, Salted Crack Caramel
- 2 Duck Goose: I had indented to eat a bite of this pineapple bun slider with pork char sui and sambal slaw, but once I tried the bun, I couldn’t stop eating. It was so sweet, yet paired perfectly with the savory pork. 2 Duck Goose is located in Gowanus and according to Yelp, has $10 bottomless brunch and through March, 2 for 1 starters on Monday.
- Doughnut Plant: With multiple locations around the city, you may have tried Doughnut Plant before. It wasn’t my first time, but something about their coconut cream gets me every single time.
- Sigmund’s Pretzels: Located in the East Village on Ave B between 2nd and 3rd, I sampled a pig in a pretzel – yes, a hot dog, in one of their pretzels. My god, it was glorious.
- Thai Rock: I intended to split a bite of this dumpling with my friend Dave from Barton’s Bites, but it was one of my favorite things I ate. I love thai food and loved the peanut flavor from this Rockaway Beach joint.
- Genuine: After eating so many heavy things throughout the night, the ahi tartare tostadas felt very refreshing. My only complaint? To get to this restaurant, I have to go all the way to 11th Avenue.
- Luke’s Lobster: Luke’s has multiple locations in the city. While every year they serve their shrimp roll and I much prefer their lobster roll, they don’t disappoint. Why? They have the most amazing buttered rolls.
- Queens Comfort: I love this Queens restaurant, located on 30th Avenue and Steinway. And I loved how happy their booth was when I mentioned I was a fellow Astorian – major neighborhood pride from those guys. Anyways, they served their steak au poivre mac and cheese, which had fontina, short ribs, cheddar and green peppercorns – the peppercorns gave such a kick to it.
- No. 7: When I saw these folks, I was so excited. I remembered years ago trying No. 7 and enjoying it, and it did not disappoint. The double decker broccoli tacos are amazing – my meat loving friend Dave looked scared of them, but he admitted they were actually pretty good. The tacos feature black bean hummus, feta cheese and fried shallots – and frankly, this restaurant is the reason I really want to return to Fort Greene.
- Ample Hills: My fiance calls me the ice cream monster. I LOVE ice cream. I could eat it at every meal – and my night was made when I told Ample Hills they have my favorite ice cream, and they told me I’m their favorite ice cream eater. I went first with a familiar favorite – the salted crack caramel. It has bits of these crack cookies in it and pretty much has converted me to a salted caramel addict. And then my friend Dave pushed me to try one more flavor – and I tried the snap mallow pop. It’s essentially a rice krispie treat in ice cream form. I died and went to heaven. Ample Hills is in Prospect Heights, Gowanus, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Gotham West Market…on 11th Ave.
If you are bummed you missed this, don’t worry – there’s a similar food event but with food trucks coming this May. Check out my preview post of Choice Streets here!
I’ve told you guys how much I’m obsessed with Classpass. If you are new here, for $99 a month, Classpass gives you UNLIMITED FITNESS CLASSES to boutique studios all around the city like RowHouse or Flywheel, classes that are normally $35 a pop. I’ve been doing Classpass since Memorial Day and I absolutely love it. Since I joined, they launched an app making it so much easier to book classes, have better search functionality so I can easily search for locations near me or gyms with showers, and they’ve added SO many studios.
The reason I’m telling you all about Classpass again is that if you are thinking of joining, now’s the time because they just sent around a $25 off deal. If you sign up through my referral link by 3/24, you’ll save $25 off your next month of Classpass (I’ll be getting $25 off my membership as well).
Here’s the fine print:
Friends must be new customers and must purchase using links in this email by 3/24/15. Each referred friend will receive $25, and referrer will receive $25 times the number of friends referred. Rewards to be paid as account credits against future ClassPass charges, and are not redeemable for cash value. Friends must purchase monthly ClassPass subscription (not 1-week trial) to be eligible. Cannot be combined with any other promotion. USA only.
Here are my tips on how you can make the most of your Classpass membership and here’s a link to some of my favorite classes (sadly, my favorite instructor Travis left EVF, so my new favorite class is cardio kickboxing with Antonio at Pace 4 Success).
If you are around this weekend and happen to find yourself on Orchard between Delancey and Rivington, swing by Wallplay Gallery to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Union Square Whole Foods on Sunday. From 12-4pm, you can learn about transparency in our food system, as well as enjoy a free brownie from Greyston Bakery.
Thanks to Ludmila for the tip! Screen shot below.
I haven’t even written my recap post from Choice Eats yet (coming soon!) but today at 10am, Village Voice will start a pre-sale for Choice Streets tickets, if you use the code STREETSEM. Ticket sales for the general public start March 25 at noon.
What is Choice Streets? Held on the Intrepid on Tuesday, May 5, guests will enjoy samplings from 20+ food trucks and free drinks from 8-11pm. Tickets are $55 and last year, you got passport so you can get a sample at each truck that you visit (pending availability). If you want to get in as a VIP and get an extra hour of eating plus a gift bag and an exclusive happy hour, tickets are $85. For $65, you can get an early entry ticket and get an extra 30 minutes of eating. Honestly, if you want to avoid the lines and make sure you don’t miss out on any food, I’d recommend going early or VIP. It’s nice to avoid the crowds and start eating.
While the food truck list has not been released yet, this is who attended last year:
- Carl’s Steaks
- Big D’s Grub Truck
- Comme Ci Comme Ca
- Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches
- DUB Pies
- Hibachi Heaven
- Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
- Korilla BBQ
- LoveMamak & Lucky Yim
- Luke’s Lobster
- Luzzo’s La Pizza Napoletana
- Mike N’ Willie’s
- Moo Shu Grill
- Shanghai Sogo
- Solber Pupusas
- Souvlaki GR
- Sweet Chili
- Taipan Fusion Express
- The Treats Truck
- Uncle Gussy’s
- Valducci’s Pizza
Here’s our list of favorites from last year’s event (and I still dream of Uncle Gussy’s – if only it was closer to my office!)!
If you live or work downtown, swing by Smashburger on Fulton and William for a free Classic Smash, thanks to this Smashburger Coupon. This deal is available from 11am – 7pm only at the William Street location. Coupon is included below and you must bring it with you – read the fine print! Thanks to Ludmila for the tip!
, a neighborhood bar at 519 Metropolitan Ave. (corner of Metro and Union) is now serving coffee! They are brewing Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee
and a have a full espresso bar as well, offering treats like a Flat White and Cold Brews. They are also serving some local Patisserie options – yum!
Open Monday thru Friday starting at 7AM, they have a special today through Wednesday March 18 – be one of the first 50 customers each day to come into the shop and get a free cup of drip coffee. If you do decide to stay a bit longer, enjoy the free wifi.
Today marks my favorite food event of the year – Choice Eats (and tickets are still available!)! With more than 68 restaurants offering samples tonight from 7-10pm at Metropolitan Pavilion (General admission hours), it’s easy to get stuffed – so we’re here to tell you how to survive a food event.
- Pair off: Try to do this event with a group of people and you’ll get lost and have disagreements on where to go next. Keep it simple and have just one partner in crime. With this partner in crime, you’ll want to split every sample with them.
- If you don’t like it, move on: Food events are a great way to get introduced to new dishes. But if you don’t like it or it isn’t worth finishing, just throw it up and don’t worry about wasting food. It’s the one day of the year where I know I shouldn’t clear my plate.
- Plan ahead: Know which restaurants are a must try so that you can prioritize correctly. Seafood typically goes first so head to Luke’s Lobster immediately.
- Arrive early: Even as someone who is always 10 minutes late, I recommend getting in line early, especially for general admission. And there will be a line because everyone get’s ID’d.
- Tackle the food first: At these events, there is free wine, beer and more. I usually skip this until the end just to make sure my belly gets filled with food, not drinks. Plus, then you won’t have to worry about spilling anything while you’re managing plates!
- Take time to enjoy it: At Choice Eats, I’m so busy stuffing my face with food that I often forget to enjoy my bite, as I’m so concerned where to next. Take a moment, breathe and enjoy what’s in your mouth before rushing over to that next table.
- Write down your favorites: Remember that the point of this event is to get introduced to new restaurants. While I sometimes will fall in love with a place that’s an hour away and won’t become a regular, I have made a point to revisit some of my favorites.
- Spring for a cab home: We know these tickets can be a lot, and for some of our readers, that’s what you’d normally spend on 4 meals or so. Go all out though and take that cab home. You’re full, you are in a food coma, and the last thing you want is to be that sick passenger on the train.