Sticky Fingers S’mores Fries
"The French fry should be the global symbol of peace. Have them anyway you want." — Paul Abrahamian, co-owner of Sticky's Fingers Joint in NYC.
If you want to try something a little more daring than your usual salted fries dipped in ketchup, Sticky Fingers suggests their S’mores Fries!
For the Chocolate Sauce
- 4 Cups sugar
- 2 Cups unsweetened Valrhona cocoa powder
- 1 itty bitty pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ Cup water
- 1 ¼ heavy cream
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
For the S'more Fries
- Hand-cut homemade French fries (or fries of your choosing)
- Mini marshmallows
- Chocolate sauce
- Marshmallow sauce
- Crumbled graham crackers
- Parsley, for garnish
Fried Chicken at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square
I discovered Sticky’s Finger Joint in 2012 on the Food Network when they participated to the show 3 Days to open with Chef Bobby Flay. I still remember that the main discussion was how to make their menu appealing, having chicken fingers on the menu not being enough and encouraging them to showcase their sauces. It makes sense: you can get chicken fingers that are as good in lots of places, MacDonald’s included, but Schnipper’s being better, but what could make a difference and entice you to go there? So they listened, developed their sauces and have now 7 locations, the last one being on 41st between 6th and Broadway that I recently visited. I admit that I was surprised that they opened a location there as there is not that much foot traffic and they have a bigger location in Hell’s K that is not that far from there. But they did and the entire time I was there, on a Wednesday, I did not see that many customers.
Dining room at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square
Dining room at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square
So I got some fried chicken, opting for the poppers rather than the fingers and choosing two sauces: the buffalo that is fairly popular with chicken and was quite hot to the point that I regretted they did not give some blue cheese sauce with it, as well as their take on the General Sticky Tso that was fortunately less hot and nicely sweet. The chicken was good: crispy on the outside and cooked all the way through, still moist inside.
Chicken poppers at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square
Chicken poppers at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square
Sauces at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square: buffalo and General Tso
Chicken poppers at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square
Other creative items are their fries. I tried their S’mores fries last time I wrote a post on Sticky’s Finger Joint, that is an interesting dish especially if you like mixing sweet and savory, so I went for the Truffle Parm fries that were good, although I still wonder what truffle they are talking about as it did not smell or taste it. Of course, I was sure that in this kind of place they would put truffle oil rather than the coveted mushroom, but still, the name was enticing and ended up with some fries with some Parmesan drizzled on top. Good fries though: crispy and cooked all the way through.
Truffle parm fries at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square
S’mores fries at Sticky's Finger Joint in Times Square
So it was alright. Sticky’s Finger Joint would not be my go to destination for fried chicken. I admit that in any case, unless served with a waffle, I prefer Korean fried chicken or chicken wings. Still, it is interesting to try.
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!
It’s About the Sauce at Sticky’s Finger Joint
Now at Sticky’s Finger Joint it is really all about the sauces and toppings! For your chicken you can either get it tossed in one of their signature sauces or get a few for dipping. I like getting the chicken doused in either their maple balsamic buffalo or the Nashville hot sauce and getting the baby buttermilk ranch topped with blue cheese crumbles for dipping. Some other awesome sauces for dipping are their wasabi sauce, mac sauce (essentially the best cheese sauce ever), Thai sweet chili and the French onion crema.
Loading Up Fries in a Whole New International Way
Maybe it started with the Canadian poutine, or the English gravy on chips, but whatever started the trend, you know loaded fries are here to stay! Here's how popular loaded fries are: In 0.56 seconds, an image search on Google produced 9.8 million images of loaded fries.
With 60% of consumers interested in loaded fries, as well as the new interest in global fusion foods, finding new ways to serve these profit-laden, craveable treats has to be on your to-do list. 1
Is there any food that says fun more than fries?
Fries appeal to the kid in all of us, with their crunchy, finger-food nature. Varying cuts, sizes and shapes make them an excellent foil for yes, the ubiquitous ketchup, but almost any other kind of topping.
There's no daypart that can't use loaded fries, especially with an international flare.
- Breakfast: Eggs benedict fries. Quiche Lorraine fries.
- Lunch: Carne asada fries. Reuben fries.
- Dinner: Curried fries. Poutine with barbecued beef.
And that's the deal here: What other dishes can you create out of fries that will make your patrons want to come back again, and bring their friends to share in the fun?
Restaurants are bringing international flavors to fries
Around the US, chefs are bringing more than just bacon and cheese to the fry scene. In Chicago, Au Cheval has a sumptuous fries dish that combines crispy fries with mornay sauce, garlic aioli and a fried farm egg.
Check out more international fries at restaurants around the US:
- In Atlanta, Illegal Food is serving Japanese Okonomiyaki fries, featuring a sauce by the same name and bonito flakes.
- Palak paneer fries, why not? In Portland, the Potato Champion serves fries in this Indian spinach and cheese dish.
- Saucy Porka in Chicago serves curried sweet potato fries, spicy and sweet.
- Mapo tofu chili cheese fries at King Noodle in Brooklyn, NY, takes a spin on a traditional Chinese tofu dish.
- In Houston, check out the Coreanos Korean-Mexican fusion food truck for play-on-words kim cheese fries.
- And in New York, New York, of course, there are the s'mores fries at Sticky's. The Finger Joint. Yes, you got that right… s'mores! An American classic.
The sky is the limit
And over-used phrase, perhaps, but in this case, it's true! Fries can be the basis for any kind of dish you can conceive, especially using the array of global flavors trending in the US today.
Simplot's executive chefs have been busy, creating on-trend recipes you can put on your menu easily:
- Stir-Fried Fries, teriyaki-style, featuring flank steak, Simplot's Roasted Red Peppers and Skin On Shoestring fries make a main dish loaded with flavor and style.
- Papas Locas Tomatillo Loaded Fries, with extra-crunch MegaCrunch fries, tomatillo sauce, chicharrones, Simplot's Flame-Roasted Corn and Jalapeño blend, topped with our Western Guacamole for a "crazy potato" appetizer.
- Papas Locas Corn Loaded Fries, also with extra-crunch MegaCrunch fries, but with crema, chamoy sauce, Simplot's Flame-Roasted Corn and Jalapeño blend and our Western Guacamole for an appetizer or vegetarian main dish.
- Japanese Fries, with Simply Gold ® Straight Cut Fries, a quick sugar water spritz, and topped with sesame seeds and Furikake for a simple, but on-trend dish.
International fries offer a way to get in on so many trends international, global fusion as well as loaded fries. Simplot makes it easy with fry styles, shapes, cuts and sizes that will inspire!
Gourmet chicken fingers? This new N.J. spot says cluck yes
Sticky's Finger Joint opened its second N.J. location in Bridgewater in September.
Are you a chicken finger connoisseur? Do you have deep-seated opinions about tenders versus nuggets? Is honey mustard an elite dipping sauce or a condiment for commoners?
Sticky’s Finger Joint, a new-to-N.J. chain that opened its second location in Bridgewater in September, takes all this very seriously. The idea was to bring the all-natural, farm-raised, antibiotic-and-hormone-free chicken game to the humble finger — and to offer, oh, dozens of sauces in which to dunk them.
Sticky’s started in 2012 in Greenwich Village and now has 10 locations. (They’re mostly in N.Y.C. the first N.J. location opened in Paramus in May and another in Union will open soon.)
“Entering the suburban market is a great learning opportunity for our brand, and we hope to bring lots of joy to all the passionate chicken finger fans in the area,” says Sticky’s CEO Jon Sherman, a Jersey native.
Sticky’s also makes a hefty promise that theirs is "the best damn chicken finger you have ever tasted.”
Well then. Feeling peckish, I gave them a try.
Sticky's menu includes chicken fingers, poppers, sandwiches, salads, wraps, sides -- and more than two dozen dipping sauces. (Courtesy Sticky's Finger Joint)
The menu: Choose between crunchy fingers, poppers, grilled fingers or, gulp, veggie fingers. Then decide if you want them plain, dressed up, in a wrap, on a bun or over a salad — and with or without fries. Prices range from $6.10 for a small order of two tenders (or eight poppers) no fries, one sauce included up to $13.13 for a large order with four tenders (or 16 poppers) plus fries and three sauces included.
The dressed-up “Signature Creations” (add $1.88 to the base cost) span the gamut, including Buffalo Balsamic Blue (Buffalo balsamic maple, crumbled blue cheese, shredded carrots), Vampire Killer (garlic aioli, grated parmesan, garlic chips, pink peppercorn flakes) and, brace yourself, Salted Caramel Pretzel (caramel, pretzel salt, fried pretzel bits).
There are bun and wrap creations, too, like the Bacon Mac Sandwich ($9.19), two tenders on a potato bun with “Mac” sauce (it’s cheddar cheese and diced jalapeno), chopped bacon, caramelized onions and pickles.
Inside Sticky's Finger Joint in Bridgewater. (Courtesy Sticky's Finger Joint)
The vibe: Fast-casual in a fun, colorful space. Sticky’s finds local graffiti artists to paint murals on store walls. When I visited a month after the opening, Sticky’s was about half as full as the busy Chipotle next door.
I loved: I ordered a few plain tenders and they were just fine, thick and generous portions of juicy white meat, sprinkled with salt and parsley. Were they “the best damn damn chicken finger I ever tasted"? Don’t think so. I appreciated that they seemed almost healthy with so much white meat and minimal breading, but I found myself wanting more crunch.
The Salted Caramel Pretzel chicken poppers from Sticky's Finger Joint. (Jessica Remo | NJ Advance Media)
The real showstoppers? Those dressed-up options, with the crunchier poppers, please. I really liked both the Buffalo Balsamic Blue, with chunks of real blue cheese, crunchy carrots and the yummy not-too-spicy sauce. Also, I’m afraid to admit it, but the caramel salted pretzel poppers where a last-minute whim and, well, delicious. The flavor reminded me of chicken and waffles and the pretzels bits added salt and crunch. Also, nice, sturdy fries, for which to soak up all the residue sauce.
I sampled all of the sauces and loved several of them — the Mac (cheese sauce can never be wrong), the super spicy Vindaloo, the smokey Sticky’s white barbecue sauce, the Tzatziki’icky and Buffalo Balsamic are highly recommended. Oh, and dip the fries in the S’mores sauce. You’re welcome. (You can also order S’more fries off the menu.)
Sauce overload. (Jessica Remo | NJ Advance Media)
I hated: That they charge .70 for each little cup of extra sauce. I love condiments. Don’t do me like this. .25 would be reasonable.
Service: Fast and friendly. The poor cashier who had to deal with me ordering all the sauces only charged me for 10 of them and then went the extra mile and tediously labeled each with a Sharpie after I asked how to tell which was which.
Inside Sticky's Finger Joint in Bridgewater during their grand opening. (Courtesy Sticky's Finger Joint)
The Rise of the Urban S’more: New York’s Twist on an American Classic
The s’more, the archetypal, all-American emblem of childhood, is currently in the midst of a renaissance. In recent months, this unsophisticated campfire classic has bid goodbye to its roots and begun to firmly establish itself as a staple on dessert menus across the city. In short, to use a phrase coined by chocolate connoisseur Max Brenner, this is the summer of the Urban S’more.
The Urban S’more is an unconventional take on an old classic. Consider the S’mores Roti on the menu of the newly opened Williamsburg-based Pasar Malam, or the S’mores Pie on offer at Beauty and Essex. You can buy a S’mores Milkshake at Sugar and Plumm, or sip on a S’mores cocktail created by the confectioners Sugar Factory. Some of New York’s most exciting and dynamic chefs have fondly embraced this childhood treat, and have re-invigorated it. Its revival is testament to the culinary landscape of New York, with its constant desire to innovate, to experiment, and to have fun with what we eat.
S’mores Fries at Sticky Fingers Joint
(Photo: Issy Thompson)
For Paul Abrahamian, founder of Sticky Fingers Joint, fun is the fundamental contributing factor in this summers demand for S’mores. Lounging in his gourmet fast-food chicken shop with his cap askew, Abrahamian spoke of the rising cultural phenomenon that he is catering for: adult-olescence. He produced a reel of Instagrammed photos on his phone, showing hordes of crazed young professionals viciously jostling each other in their bid to get their hands on his S’mores fries.
The fries, which are golden and crispy and topped with layers of melted chocolate and marshmallows, are worryingly addictive. Apparently there is a pregnant woman who has developed an intense craving for them, and erratically stops by the shop at all hours. “You just can’t go wrong with marshmallows,” Abrahamian explained wisely. “The S’mores fries are so popular because they put a creative spin on an old classic.”
Emily Hyland, the founder of the eponymously named new pizzeria in Clinton Hill, agreed that the increasing popularity of the Urban S’more reflects a growing celebration of childish fun. “Brooklyn is just a huge, post-college campus,” she reflected. “This is a demographic that has shared memories.” In response, her husband created the S’mores Calzone. Delectably sweet and delightfully messy, it encourages an inclusive, hands-on approach to dessert eating.
S’mores Calzone in the Pizza Oven at Emily (Photo: Katie Hughes)
On first sight, the calzone appeared light, airy and suspiciously innocent. Once sliced, however, it started to ooze melted chocolate and wisps of stringy marshmallow, collapsing into a delicious mess. “Pizza gets a lot of criticism,” Ms. Hyland observed. “But the great thing about American comfort foods is that they are a lot of fun. They can be however you want them to be. That is why the S’mores Calzone is our most popular dessert.”
For others, however, the growing appetite for the S’more is more complex. Its appeal does not lie merely in a comforting reversion to childhood. Instead, the power of the S’more emanates from its ability to connect people. It is suggestive of a shared sense of intimacy, of excess and delightfully furtive indulgence. Vannesa Shanks, the owner of St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club, hopes that the sophisticated version of the S’more on her menu will transport diners beyond the pure, halcyon days of their youth and provide them with an experience that is lavish and opulent.
Ms. Shanks attitude is in fitting with the atmosphere of the restaurant–located in the spot of an old, illegal gambling den and boasts a patio that is heavily covered by vines that, years ago, were illegally smuggled over from Italy.
Her version of the dessert, created by chef Mike Brooks, is therefore a rich, seductive take on the S’more. Formed from a thick, syrupy salted caramel mousse, it is topped with homemade graham crackers and an artfully charred, melting marshmallow. “It’s popular,” explained Ms. Shanks, “because it points to something more.”
Orange Blossom S’more at St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club
(Photo: Katie Hughes)
Ms. Shanks belief in the bonding power of the S’more is reiterated over at Catch in Meatpacking, where the S’mores Pizza is their bestselling dessert. Thiago Silva, the celebrated pastry chef, added S’mores to the menu because, for him, although emblematic of a shared past, they help to create memories too.
Mr. Silva wants to serve food that helps people to build friendships with one another and, upon seeing his pizza, it is not hard to see how it would strengthen any budding relationship. Thin and crispy, the base is slathered with rum ganache and coco-chocolate sauce, which is then smothered with layers of milk and bittersweet chocolate, graham cracker and homemade marshmallows. It is, of course, accompanied by a burnt marshmallow ice cream. For Mr. Silva, it is reassuring to know that he is forging relationships between S’more sharers. “Who knows what memories you are generating?” he asked. “It is all about building and sharing.”
S’mores Pizza at Catch (Photo: Katie Hughes)
To fully understand the summer S’more obsession however, it is necessary to trace it back to the original site of its rebirth: the Dominique Ansel Bakery, home of the cronut, the DKA and the frozen S’more. Mr. Ansel came up with his S’more during the heatwave of last summer, and it has since become so coveted that queues form outside his Spring Street bakery before the store even opens at 8 am. “People will eat ice cream at eight in the morning,” Mr. Ansel laughed. Based on the consistency of the Turkish ice cream Dondurma, the ice cream is wrapped in delicate chocolate feulletine and then enveloped in marshmallow. With typical French finesse, it is served on a wooden skewer that is smoked in-house.
Not surprisingly, it is Mr. Ansel who best articulated the enduring appeal of the S’more, and explained its appearance in some of the best kitchens in the city.
“Why the S’more?” he mused. “Because it does not just have to be a graham cracker. I’m not from America but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it. I am adding to an American classic. I chose it because there is so much you can do with food.”
Frozen S’mores at the Dominique Ansel Bakery
(Photo: Dominique Ansel Bakery)
7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Graham Crackers
With marshmallow-roasting season now in full swing, we figured it was as good a time as any to contemplate the spongy s’mores most structurally important bedfellow: the Graham cracker. After all, you probably haven’t given this crunchy snack much thought beyond picking up a box for your next woodland adventure, or giving them to hungry kids between meals. But, there’s a lot more going on with this story. Like, can you even describe the flavor of a Graham? Thought so. In case it’s been a while since you’ve cracked into a box, let us refresh your memory. Each rectangular piece proves slightly sweet while being wholesome, and you can eat them plain, slathered with peanut butter or crumbled up as a crust for a tasty pie. No matter what you do with the food, here are seven things to make your next run in with Graham crackers more interesting.
1. Graham was, in fact, a real person: You may have noticed the name Graham is always capitalized when referring to the cracker. That’s because, unlike other snack foods, this one is actually named after a real person: the evangelical minister who created the recipe in 1829. His name was Sylvester Graham, and he was well before his time when it came to diets and healthy eating. For one, he was a vegetarian, a strange concept at the time, and promoted foods one should eat to maintain physical, spiritual and mental health. He even had followers called the Grahamites, and they adhered to his special lifestyle that promoted eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and high fiber foods. They also eschewed animal products and alcohol. Yup, he was the original straight-edge guy, and obviously charismatic enough that people still follow his teachings and have kept Graham crackers around in mainstream culture for more than a century.
2. The original Graham crackers were kind of gross: Far from the slightly sweet and satisfying Graham cracker you buy today, authentic article was actually rather bland, dry and unappealing. Made from unrefined flour, this biscuit-like substance lacked the flavor and finesse of its contemporary descendant. But, then again, it did fit in with the teachings of its health-nut creator.
3. Commercially made Graham crackers date back to the 1900s: Before Honey Maid dominated the Graham cracker market, this snack was made by bakeries all over the United States. In 1898, many of these independent operations joined together to form the National Biscuit Company, aka Nabisco. It was through this merger that, by 1925, the Graham cracker we know and love today was created and sold under the name Sugar Honey Grahams. The name was changed to the currently recognized moniker Honey Maid in 1976. Over the decades, Nabisco has tweaked the recipe a bit, adding a cinnamon variety in 1986, low-fat crackers in 1995 and doubling the amount of whole grains in each serving in 2006. Still, it has remained a recognized food for generations, and we doubt that will change in the years to come.
4. Grahams may help you fight sexual urges: While Sylvester Graham preached temperance and eating healthy, he also was firm believer in abstaining from sex and masturbation. The reverend believed carnal desires were inspired by the rich, fatty foods that Americans were consuming. So, his push to maintain a healthy, plant-based diet was in part to curb physical arousal. His poplar Graham crackers were part of this, and while there is no scientific evidence to back up the correlation between eating this food and a lack of romantic intimacy, Graham amassed thousands of followers who believed in it. And, truth be told, even today there isn’t anything too sexy about eating a Graham cracker.
5. Graham crackers have been used in s’mores for 87 years: Ever since s’mores were supposedly created by the Girl Scouts in 1927, the tasty treat has involved the famous Graham cracker, as well as a toasted marshmallow and hunk of chocolate. The first recorded recipe for this dish appeared in the publication Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts, though it didn’t gain mainstream popularity until the late 1960s and early 1970s.
6. You can use Graham crackers in savory dishes: Many people relegate the Graham cracker to key lime pie crust, crumbled as an ice cream topper, s’mores and s’more-like dishes. But, you can actually turn them into a savory treat, as well. “Graham crackers have all those nice maillard-y flavors, they are roasty, toasty and gently sweet,” says chef Justin Warner of Brooklyn’s Do or Dine, who suggests pulverizing and scattering them over foie gras. “You wouldn’t bat an eye if I told you to cook with stout beer. So, I’m pretty sure Graham crackers have some untapped potential, although the Reverend Graham would not approve.” At Sticky’s Finger Joint in New York City, the staff takes hot, salty french fries and tops them with Graham crackers, marshmallow and chocolate to make a savory-sweet side dish. You can also crush them up and use as a coating for pork chops or chicken, or simply slather some peanut butter on top and dish out as a healthy and hearty snack.
7. You can make them at home: Leave the box of commercial crackers on the shelf and try your hand at making them in your own kitchen. It’s not as hard as you think. At the Smith in New York City, pastry chef Thea Habjanic makes the crackers by beating a mixture of cream, butter, white sugar, brown sugar and honey until it’s creamy. Then, she adds flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, rolls the dough into thin sheets and bakes until golden brown. Once the mixture is cool, you can break the product into pieces for crackers, or mash it up to make a tasty Graham cracker crust. It’s basically like making pie dough, but with less butter and worry about making the product tough.
Scoop House, Boonton
This old-fashioned parlor may not make its own ice cream but that doesn't mean its ice cream isn't top-notch.
Scoop House sells premium ice cream by Gifford's, a company founded in Washington, D.C., in the 1930s and now based in Maine that is known for using natural ingredients.
Among Scoop's best sellers is Campfire S'Mores. With good reason. What's not to like about chips of chocolate sprinkled into graham ice cream oozing with marshmallows? $3.48 per scoop.
Go: 813 Main St., Boonton 973-263-0929, scoophouse813.com.
S'more fries from Sticky's Finger Joint. (Photo:
Courtesy of Sticky's Finger Joint)
S'mores, one of summer's favorite sweet treats, get a makeover at NYC restaurants
Summer's favorite campfire treat is more fun when you don't have to build the fire yourself — or be limited to tradition.
Creative takes on s'mores are being served around the city, from the scary-sounding S'mores Fries that debuted this week to the more tempting S'mores Sundae.
Some spots still serve the classic version — toasted marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers — without the hassle of taking a camping trip.
"It's such a nostalgic treat," says Sara Sohn, founder of Sweet & Sara, a line of vegan marshmallows. "They really make people feel like a kid again."
Here's s'more ways to enjoy the summer snack.
(Sticky's Finger Joint, 484 Third Ave., stickysfingerjoint.com)
Sticky's Finger Joint's brand new Murray Hill location — the original shop is in the West Village — is serving up a stoner's dream dish: S'mores Fries ($5.51). Paul Abrahamian, whose business card reads "Chicken Finger Mogul," initially thought the topping would work for their crazy chicken creations, which include a salted caramel and pretzel topped chicken finger. But then Abrahamian remembered that he dipped fries in Wendy's Frostees as a kid and loved the salty and sweet mix, and S'mores Fries were born. The basket of fries is topped with homemade chocolate sauce, a homemade marshmallow cream, along with whole marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers. The flavor-mashup is surprisingly tasty — and enough for several friends to share.
(Sugar Factory American Brasserie, 46 Gansevoort St., sugarfactory.com)
S'mores grow up at Sugar Factory American Brasserie, a restaurant in the Meatpacking District that specializes in all things candy. For the s'mores martini ($16), bartenders combine Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate vodka with Godiva Milk Chocolate liqueur, Licor 43 (a sweet liqueur from Spain), Monin Toasted Marshmallow Syrup and heavy whipping cream. It's rimmed with chocolate syrup and graham cracker crumbs, and garnished with giant marshmallows.
(Max Brenner, 841 Broadway, maxbrenner.com)
If you can't make it to a bonfire, Max Brenner, a chocolate-focused restaurant near Union Square, can help you get your s'mores fix in the city with Urban S'mores ($20.25). The dessert comes with a tiny tabletop grill so diners can toast the marshmallows to their specifications before smooshing on a graham cracker, and a bevy of toppings, including melted milk chocolate, bananas with toffee sauce, warm peanut butter and a tart raspberry sauce. "You look around the restaurant and can see people bonding over the s'mores," says Katzie Guy-Hamilton, the executive chef at Max Brenner. "And there's no tent required."
(Multiple Duane Reade locations, sweetandsara.com)
Sara Sohn has been a vegan for 23 years, and missed childhood comfort foods like Rice Krispies Treats and marshmallows in her hot chocolate. She set out to create the first vegan marshmallow (which traditionally contain gelatin, an animal product), and now her products, produced in a factory in Long Island City, are sold in Duane Reades across the city, as well as specialty shops around the globe. One of her most popular marshmallow treats is the premade s'more, which is similar to a moonpie. It's got a vegan graham cracker base, a thick layer of marshmallow and is coated in organic Belgian chocolate. It's nearly impossible to tell the treats are vegan. "I have customers who call me that are very emotional and say they haven't had a s'more in 30 years," says Sohn of vegan clientele.
(Francois Payard Bakery and FP Patisserie locations in Manhattan, payard.com)
Americana meets France in this s'mores-flavored macaron. Sweets master Francois Payard fills graham cracker-flavored shells with a marshmallow and chocolate ganache. They cost $6 for two, $29 for a box of 12, and are only available during the summer.
(Dairy Queen, 54 W. 14th St. in Manhattan and the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island, dairyqueen.com)
The opening of a Dairy Queen in Manhattan this summer has taken New York by storm. And New Yorkers now have two spots to pick up a S'mores Blizzard($3.99 for a small), a special for the summer. The blend of vanilla soft serve with marshmallow filled chocolate bars and Honey Maid graham crackers will be available throughout July.
(The Pavilion, 20 Union Square West, thepavilionnyc.com)
Dining at the Pavilion, the newly opened Union Square restaurant in an open-air space decked out with palm trees, feels like a quick jaunt to South Beach, Miami. To add to that summer feel, pastry chef Terri Dreisbach has created a s'mores sundae ($11), made of a base of cocoa brownies, topped with graham cracker gelato, a fresh strawberry sauce, a graham cracker and almond crumble, and a flambéed marshmallow cream sauce. It's then finished with crunchy chocolate pearls.
These Chicken Finger Latkas Are For A Good Cause
We're all about feel good deals and delicious food, and when you combine those two things together, well, happy holidays indeed. Thankfully, Sticky's Finger Joint gets us. The New York City-based restaurant, known for its inventive flavor combinations and tasty food experiments, is serving up delicious gourmet chicken finger latkas this holiday season — and it gets better. Now through December 24, 10 percent of all Latka Finger proceeds will be donated to MAZON, the national non-profit working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the U.S. and Israel. The great news? These community-based grassroots holiday giving campaigns can be found all over the country. Giving back has never tasted so good.
And yes, you heard me right. I said Latka Finger, as in, gourmet latka chicken finger. In fact, since its opening in 2011, Sticky's has been known to deviate from the fast-casual food norm, rolling out several Frankenfood-esque recipes that may even rival the cheeseburger-stuffed doughnut. First came the Wasabi Finger, then S'mores Fries, and now, just in time for Hanukkah, Sticky's signature Latka Finger — free-range chicken marinated in a mix of buttermilk, onion, and applesauce, then coated in a batter of grated onion, shredded potato, and matzo meal before being fried to golden brown perfection. And keeping in line with holiday tradition, each Latka Finger is accompanied by sour cream, homemade cinnamon apple sauce, and a bag of your very own Hanukkah Gelt.
I had the pleasure of sampling this hand-crafted masterpiece while chatting with Sticky's co-owner Paul Abrahamian at their flagship location in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, where Abrahamian and I talked all things food, family, and philanthropy:
So how'd you decide on donating 10 percent of your holiday latka sales to MAZON?
We didn't want to team up with a strictly Jewish non-profit, because it's like Groucho Marx said, "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me as a member." And I didn't want this to be polarizing in any way shape or form I just wanted this to be fun. It's not a matter of white, black, Jewish, gay, straight, short, tall. it doesn't matter. It's like, if you're hungry you need food, and I thought this was a really great non-profit to work with. The only Jewish aspect of this organization is that it's the Jewish response to hunger — it's non-denominational. This is who we are. We're going to keep finding causes and non-profits that we truly believe in, and we're going to keep running campaigns like this with our food specials.
And the latka chicken finger was the brainchild of your Grandmother, who is a Holocaust survivor, right?
I think her resilient nature was definitely passed down, along with this idea that I need to give back. I'm not religious, but I want to do it the right way. There's this famous Jewish quote, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, who am I?" She's been asking me to do a latka finger forever, and I was like alright Grandma, let's do this. And that made her really happy.
But Sticky's Finger Joint isn't the only restaurant giving back to those in need this holiday season. Zagat's Eat Well, Do Good list chronicles dozens of New York City restaurants that donate millions of pounds of excess food to more than 500 soup kitchens, food pantries, and other community food programs via City Harvest, New York City's food rescue organization dedicated to feeding the city's 1.4 million men, women, and children who face hunger each year. And the giving certainly doesn't end in New York City. Several North American chain restaurants (oh hai Canada) are finding creative ways to give back in December 2014. Check out a few of these savvy philanthropists:
Now through December 24, Pinkberry is running its "Care For Those Who Care For Others" program in participating regions throughout the U.S., where Pinkberry team members visit local community fire departments, hospitals, and other community organizations gifting Pinkberry "thank you for your service" gift cards.
2. Tim Horton's
Tim Horton's is paying good deeds forward through December 30 with its #WarmWishes holiday giving campaign. Each time social media activists share their good deeds with @TimHortons using the #WarmWishes hashtag, Timmy Ho will donate a toque (that's Canadian for "winter hat") to a child in need through the Tim Horton Children's Foundation.
On Tuesday, December 16, every Chipotle in Minnesota and select locations in Wisconsin will donate 50 percent of its proceeds to Toys for Tots Twin Cities. Just make sure you mention "Toys for Tots" upon ordering your burrito/bowl, or the donation won't go through!
According to the National Restaurant Association, 90 percent of restaurants nationwide are actively involved in giving back to their communities. With this in mind, perhaps this holiday season we should be asking ourselves, "Is there a Sticky's in my town that deserves such recognition?" Go ahead and nominate them for the Restaurant Neighbor Award. And with 90 percent of restaurants giving back to their communities, be sure to ask if a portion of your hard earned holiday dollars are being donated to a good cause with each chicken finger, burrito, froyo, coffee, or latka purchase.