Post-Sandy support for my favorite city– #NYC!

It’s been almost three weeks now since Sandy hit and boy did she hit hard. New York City is still picking itself up week by week. There are tons of ways to help: buy a shirt, volunteer, donate, dine– especially downtown and more.

Here are a few ideas to help my favorite city:


Restaurants were hit the worst downtown & some are still suffering. If you are going to eat in the city, dine downtown & be sure to tip well! Many workers were out of work for a week if not more!


“Sticking Together Through Sandy” fundraising event this Monday, November 19 at Tavern29 (29th Street between Park & Madison) from 5PM- Midnight: $20 at the door, cash bar, beer/wine specials all night. All proceeds raised will go to the K.I.D.S. organization who will be matching every $1 with $10 worth of products.

Through Sunday, November 18th, all Scarpetta locations as well as D.O.C.G. Enoteca in Las Vegas will offer two multi-course tasting menus from which $20 each will go directly to City Harvest‘s goal to deliver food to people directly impacted by the storm.
A five-course pasta tasting of signatures such as Conant’s pumpkin casonsei and duck & foie gras ravioli will be available for $80 per person ($125 with wine pairing). A seasonal tasting will offer comforting, seasonal favorites such as scallops with celery root, spiced duck breast and warm pumpkin bread for $115 ($175 with wine pairing). Offerings will vary by location and seasonal availability.
Scarpetta, 355 West 14th Street, 212.691.0555 
Battery Place Market’s Chef Robert Sckalor along with the Battery Place team will be going to the Rockaway’s tomorrow, November 17 to with their food offering. Last weekend, he went to Midland Beach with the team to help feed those in need.
Check out these cute I Love New York stickers & shirts by Shirt & Destroy! All proceeds will be going to various charities helping those affected by Sandy 🙂
The week after Sandy, Shake Shack held the Rally Shake, which donated $2 of each shake sold to the American Red Cross, raising $11,111 total!
In total, the New York City Food Truck Association has served about 120,000 free meals since Super Storm Sandy hit and they are keep it going thanks to the  NYC Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City

Things will not be ‘normal’ here on the East Coast for awhile, so every little bit counts!

Happy donating!! 😀

Sara Monica, Founder

At the young age of 23, Sara is the founder and head editor of aka #SCBD. Sara is a Jersey Girl raised by the shore, currently residing in Northern New Jersey. When she is not working, she is finding something new to post and share with her readers whether it be a new food product, recipe, restaurant review or another interview. Read her full bio, here. Read the full story behind #SCBD, here.  When she is not writing for #SCBD she also contributes to Jersey Bites,Carter Int’l Concierge, & New Fork City. Follow her @SmChickBigDeals!

A #SCBD #UWS Find: The Fairway Market Cafe & Steakhouse

Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to dine at the Fairway Cafe & Steakhouse on the Upper West Side for a tasting. As you know, I am a huge supporter of Fairway because they carry just about everything for great prices & their products are fresh & top notch. Of course you know me, I had to take a peek at the dinner menu before I went & all the dishes sounded great and they turned out to be all that  and more.

I started off with some bread with olive oil and spice which tasted great! I was hungry after a long day of work. Before I continued looking at what to order they took my drink order and I opted for the Lemonade Fizz (basically a lemonade mimosa= lemonade with Prosecco) Next, the chef sent over some onion rings— they were some of the best onion rings I’ve had. They were thin & crisp and delicious. Since it was a tasting I felt it was only right that I try a soup, salad, & two entrees. I opted to try the Tuscan White Bean Soup which was great, it wasn’t too heavy on the sausage or escarole and the beans were cooked great. Next, came my favorite and why I’m determined to get Prosciutto next time I go to Fairway. It was the Prosciutto & Baby Arugula Salad. It was one of the best salad’s I’ve ever ate and really made arugula grow on me. It had the perfect amount of thinly sliced, Italian Prosciutto, black olives, cornichons, and tons of baby arugula with an aged balsamic vinaigrette, sea salt, & EEVOO. It was a salad heaven for me & that’s coming from a girl who loves caesar salads– but I’m also a sucker for a good balsamic!

The Prosciutto & Arugula Salad from Fairway Cafe & Steakhouse- UWS

Next, came the entrees– I love seafood & a good steak. Since it is a steakhouse I opted for the hangar steak with sweet potato fries and the jumbo lump crabcakes with a corn relish. The crab cakes were a great consistency and really light and the relish really balanced it well. The steak was also great– cooked up to par, a perfect medium. Of course I had to put some Peter Luger steak sauce on it, which I actually really liked. I normally don’t put steak sauce on my steak but this was an exception. I was really impressed with both entrees. Of course, since I am a small girl, I had some steak & sweet potato fries leftover but it tasted just as great the next day which is always a plus!

Jumbo lump crab cakes with corn relish & tartar sauce

My delicious hangar steak!

Some of the best sweet potato fries I’ve had!

I was fortunate to meet the Chef Mitchel London while I was there. As Chef de Cuisine for Fairway Market, London’s philosophy is simple- “Everything must be delicious.” Before joining Fairway, Mitchel was Mayor Ed Koch’s official chef at Gracie Mansion for seven years, and for more than 20 years, he and his wife Carmela have run their own takeout shops and a catering business called Mitchel London Foods. He also owns Mitchel London’s Burgers and Cupcakes, which he opened in Manhattan in 2006– which I want to check out. He has also been featured on many food demos on NBC. London’s role includes the creation of all prepared foods and baked goods in all four locations of the gourmet supermarket.  London began his career at Fairway in 1999, when he opened the popular Café and Steakhouse in the W. 74th Street store, which he still runs today.

Of course I couldn’t turn down a dessert suggestion from the chef so I ended my meal by tasting the Plum Cobbler which was Chef’s special that night & the crepes a la creme. Both were amazing but the cobbler really won me over. It was a great blend of fruit fruit filling, I ate it all! The crepes a la creme were great as well, I loved the sauce they were served with, it was an orange, vanilla flavor and light enough that it didn’t mess up the crepes. Every dish I ate was impressed by, it was not what you’d expect from a cute, cozy cafe on the 2nd floor of the Fairway.

London’s Plum Cobbler

Crepes a la creme

All in all the meal was a huge success. I was really happy with every dish I ate. It’s a perfect place for a date night with your boyfriend or girlfriend. They also had the Yankee game on when I was there so if they are a sports lover they won’t miss out. They also have  awesome prix-fixe options, which is great for a night out and plus there is groceries downstairs. Oh and how could I forget they have happy hour, everyday from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, $1 off beer and wine by the glass!

The staff was also friendly and helpful, ompliments to Chef London for preparing such a great meal– #SCBD will definitely be coming back!

Happy Eating! 😀

*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for my meal. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

#SCBD Quick & Easy Homemade Chicken Tenders

So tonight I made & ate homemade chicken tenders with a baked potato & sauteed string beans (not pictured) for dinner. The meal was great and if you’ve seen my tweets lately you know I’ve been trying to perfect my chicken tender recipe. And tonight, with the assistance of my roommate Leah, I figured it out. Here’s the recipe:

#SCBD Quick & Easy Chicken Tenders


  •  2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • about a cup of original breadcrumbs
  • about a teaspoon of garlic powder
  • about a teaspoon of onion powder
  • about a teaspoon of Goya Adobo seasoning (spicy or regular)
  • dash of salt & pepper
  • about 1 lb of thinly sliced raw, chicken breasts/chicken tenders (either works)


  1. First before anything take some EVOO (keep it on hand you may use more) and put it in a medium sized frying pan, make sure a light layer covers the whole pan then turn up the heat and let it warm up for about ten minutes on medium to medium/high heat so once you’ve prepared everything you’re ready to fry the chicken.
  2. Next,  get out your flour and put it in a small bowl. Next, prepare your breadcrumbs in a small bowl — make sure you add the garlic powder, onion powder, and Adobo into the breadcrumb bowl & mix it with any utensil quickly. Add dash of slat & pepper to the breadcrumbs for taste if you’d like.
  3. Crack two eggs in a separate bowl and whip them quickly for about a minute with a fork or spoon, add salt to taste.
  4. If you are using thin breasts cut them into halves or thirds depending on your preference. If you have pre-packaged, raw chicken tender pieces you can skip that since they already a perfect size. I got a great deal for a ton at Fairway for like $3 the other week and finished the rest tonight. I’m huge supporter of fresh rather than frozen, it’s much more cost effective, too!
  5. Now here’s the fun part–take your chicken and dip it in the egg so it covers the whole piece, then dip it into the flour, dip it back into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mix and onto the frying pan.
  6. I fry each piece for about 3-4 minutes so they are golden brown, feel free to add more EVVO accordingly especially if you’re making a big batch. Continue this until each piece of chicken is done. You may want to wash your hands in between batches if you make a lot like I did tonight, they get messy!
  7. Once all the tenders are fried–viola, you’ve now made homemade chicken tenders!
  8. Time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your homemade chicken tenders! 🙂

I now refuse to buy frozen or even get chicken tenders when I go out because they are so easy to make at home. If you have your ingredients ready it takes about 15 minutes tops & that’s including set-up. Plus, it’s a great meal for about $10-12 depending on which chicken you get. They are my go-to recipe when I have chicken on hand and I want to make something quick after work!

I’d love to what you think of the recipe once you’ve made it so feel free to leave comments!

Happy Eating! 🙂

Upcoming Fall & Fun Food Events: The #SCBD Edition

It’s official– food event season has begun and is going strong at least until November. I already had the pleasure of attending the Vendy Awards & Food Truck Rally. So in honor of the event season, check out this line-up of upcoming food events, starting with Bergenfest tomorrow night:

Bergen Health & Life Bergenfest 2012:

No one knows the best go-to destinations in Bergen County better than the people who live here. You voted for your favorites and now we are bringing them all together for the 5th annual Bergenfest Party & Expo. at a New and Bigger Venue–with Great Parking.

Where: Sheraton Mahwah, 5-9 PM
The 411:
VIP Ticket Admittance – Don’t miss a thing! Enjoy EARLY admission and the chance to win great prizes, and special gifts. 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. | $50 | $65 at the door
General Ticket Admittance – 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. | $35 | $50 at the door
*VIP tote bag will be given to the first 500 attendees!Order tickets here:
Bergen Health & Life, Sheraton Mahwah Hotel, The Fountain Spa, Devon Fine Jewelry, Atlas, & Montvale Health Associates.

NYC Wingfest 2012:

The 411: WingFest returns, with some new challengers to try and de-throne back to back champion, Dukes NYC’s title. Join us for all you can drink drafts, and all you can eat wings from the city’s best BBQ joints.

All you can eat wings from:

When: Saturday, September 29th

Time: Noon to 7 PM (divided into two sessions)

Session 1: Noon to 3 PM

Session 2: 4 PM to 7 PM

Where: Center 548- 548 West 22nd Street, NY, NY

Robert Irvine Live:

When: Friday, October 5th 2012

Time: 8-11 PM

Where: Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ

The 411: Robert Irvine Live 2012” is Irvine’s first theatrical tour and he’s not taking the show lightly. “This is not just me cooking on stage for two hours because that has been done before. I wanted to do something totally different that makes cooking a vehicle for being able to create a theatrical event,” says Irvine. If his premiere performances in Florida are any indication, Irvine has truly taken the idea of theatrics to heart. Those performances found him rappelling down balconies and being challenged to feed members of the audience with no knowledge of the ingredients while a timer counted down. Of course, these challenges are nothing new to Irvine, whose Food Network shows “Dinner: Impossible” and “Restaurant: Impossible” often find him challenged both physically and creatively with deadlines that often seem nothing short of insurmountable let alone impossible.

Look out for my pre-show interview with Chef Robert Irvine on Jersey Bites & post show coverage coming up soon!

Fairway Foodie Programs:


TIME: 4-5 PM (AGES 4-6), 5-6PM (AGES 7-11)
THE 411: Hannah Netter, Children’s Culinary Instructor at Fairway Woodland Park, has over a decade of experience working in childcare and currently manages and teaches children’s cookingclasses as partof a NYC-based company.  The Fairway “Foodie Friends Class” will inspire kids to be independent with their food choices and with small responsibilities like preparing their own simple meals. Each participant will take home a Fairway lunch box that they will have time to decorate during the class; a coupon for their guardians to come back and shop; the food they prepared during the class; a Fairway grocery pad and pen; and a fun recap of what they accomplished for the day. Tickets are $5 per class and parents are welcomed but not required to attend as each class will be supervised. For more information, call or inquire within the store or email Purchase tickets at the Woodland Park store or online at

6th Annual NYC Food  Film Festival: 

What: Where Guests Taste What They See on the Screen

When: October 17 – 21, 2012


The 411: Returning to New York City for its 6th consecutive year offering a unique series of events where food and film lovers return to taste what they see on the screen, the NYC Food Film Festival is the only festival in the world that serves the food that is seen in the films. Produced in association with the James Beard Foundation and benefiting the Food Bank For New York City, the 2012 NYC Food Film Festival runs from October 17 through October 21 in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The NYC Food Film Festival has grown from an intimate food-nerd date-night destination to one of New York City’s most beloved festivals, and the largest of its kind in the world. Last year, the Food Film Festival made its 2nd trip to Chicago, where it will return this year from November 15th – 17th for the Chicago Food Film Festival. The NYC Food Film Festival was created by George Motz, the documentary filmmaker behind the award-winning Hamburger America film, book, and mobile app, and host of Travel Channel’s Burger Land, along with Harry Hawk. Through documentaries, features and short films, the Festival presents the best, and the most memorable, of the world’s favorite and exotic foods on the big screen…and then serves them to the guests. The NYC Food Film Festival is co-produced by Grease Bomb LLC and Food Films America.


Hope to see some of you readers at these events! Let me know if you plan on coming! Look out for another event round up in the works closer to November. Comment me if you plan on coming out!

‘Til next time, happy Eating! 😀

5 Reasons #SCBD loves Fairway!

So last month, I moved again & this time I’m the furthest North I’ve ever resided in New Jersey. No complaints– I love it, especially since I am that much closer to NYC now. But that also meant adjusting where I get my groceries. The selection up here is awesome there is the typical Stop & Shop and Pathmark. But there is also a Trader Joe’s (I blogged about them in May) which I love and a new addition to my grocer selection is Fairway. Unlike Trader Joe’s which only sells their own products — which is great & works for them, Fairway sells name brand groceries for cheaper prices & they also have their own coffee, which is amazing! That’s only a few reasons why my new favorite place to grocery shop is Fairway Market, here’s a few more:

1.  Big variety of name brands for less: One time I came in and they 2/$5 jars of Nutella! They have great affordable deals on name brand food and beat Pathmark, etc out of the park! The prices are so reasonable and the selection is huge so you have tons of options!

2. In-store events: They have weekly in-store events and cooking demonstrations at their locations. I’m considering going to one near me soon.

3. Liquor Store: Some of their locations, including the one in Woodland Park, NJ have a liquor store department. I don’t know what could be better than that– you can kill two birds with one stone!

4. Fresh deli, produce & more: I love getting my fish from Fairway, it’s great priced and always fresh. They also have an excellent deli selection and a salad bar when you walk in.

5. Delicious coffee: Fairway has delicious coffee and you have the option of getting your own beans if you prefer to get your coffee that way. They also have it packaged and ready for you too! Yum!

Just an FYI — my two favorite places to get my groceries, which are #foodie accommodating are Trader Joe’s & Fairway Market!

Look out for more posts on the way– on upcoming food events & more!

’til then… happy eating! 😀