Moe’s Southwest Grill Hosts An Honestly Awesome Night!

Foodstock Bus Detail
Bus Detail from Foodstock, Original Art for Moe’s Southwest Grill (All Photos By Gail )

Do you like Mexican food? I sure do. As a transplanted native of southern California, I was already spoiled for life when it comes to excellent Mexican food by the time I got to NYC 27 years ago. But the bar for (what passes for) Mexican food in NYC has definitely been raised, a lot, in recent years, and now it’s pretty easy to find reliable sources for the fresh taste of California-style Mexican food all over the city. One of my favorite spots to pick up a burrito that gets me all nostalgic for L.A. is the fast casual chain called Moe’s Southwest Grill. Maybe you have Moe’s in your town, so you already know what I am talking about.

Moes Logo Shadow

Last week, Moe’s threw a rad party, called An Honestly Awesome Night, over at the Hudson Mercantile Building, and a bunch of us press peeps were invited out to eat and drink until we were all fat and logey with delicious Moe’s food and assorted intoxicating beverages. Also, there was music, and some fun art. It was a good time. Let me tell you about it, and show you some pictures of what you missed on what really was an honestly awesome night!.

Crowd Shot

Moe’s was founded in Atlanta back in 2000, and I’m not sure if it is widely known that the name Moe’s is actually an acronym for “Musicians, Outlaws and Entertainers” — so clever! Sixteen years later, there are over 650 Moe’s restaurant scattered across the country,  with the restaurant recently named Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant Brand of the Year by the 2016 Harris Poll!  One of the main qualities Moe’s  is known for is their literally millions of possible food combinations that can be created with all of their fresh and delicious ingredients. You can have it ‘your way’ and not be shy about asking for what you want when you go to Moe’s!

Joey Bag of Donuts

Say hello to Moe’s mascot, Joey Bag of Donuts, the Human Burrito, and check out his awesome dance moves!  Did you know that  all the music you will hear while dining at a Moe’s restaurant is by bands with musicians who have passed on to the Great Gig in the Sky?  This is a great idea for creating an excellent playlist, since all of the best music happened in the 80s and earlier (my opinion).  You can hear music by living musicians anytime, but at Moe’s you get a real pop-culture history lesson!  How much fun would it be to  play “Guess the Dead Rock Star”  with your teenager (who thinks he knows everything) every time a song comes on? Answer: so fun! You would win every time, because kids today don’t know anything about good music.

Homewrecker Burrito Station

One of the most popular items at Moe’s is the Legendary Homewrecker Burrito, and the party had a burrito station exclusively dedicated to making this delicious food item!

Homewrecker Burrito Singage

Burrito Holder

All freshly-made Homewrecker Burritos were wrapped and stuffed into these little round holes, so party-goers could just grab and go! What a great idea! Moe’s should change its name to Moo’s because we were all grazing like cows.

Homewrecker Burrito
Homewrecker Burrito: Interior Detail

Salsa Tails Wall

This is the Salsa-tails Wall of Great Refreshment. The Lime Green and Orange Colored Cocktails were a  tasty homage to the Salsas  served at Moe’s but they did not taste like a spicy tomato, they tasted sweet and potent.

Salsa Tails

The green one was especially intoxicating, and had a subtle flavor of cucumber.

Burrito Bowl Station

Everyone loves a Burrito Bowl, am I right? They had Burrito Bowl station where you could customize your dish to suit your taste.

Spinart Quesadilla Station

The food began to take a more artistic bent with the Quesadilla Spinart Station, which is exactly what it sounds like. Take a look below.

Spinart Quesadilla In Action

Spinart Quesadilla Finished

Artsy! The finished product was not only beautiful, but also delicious.

Spinart Quesadilla

Smashin Nachos Demo

Another chef invited us to watch him do a Smashin’ Nachos Demo. This demo drew a large crowd of people armed with their smart phones.

Smashin Nachos

We were then invited to eat the Nachos right off of the board on which they had been smashed. It tasted much better than it looks!

Bacon Blues
Bacon Blues

There was also an Art Exhibit for the unveiling of Moe’s Rockscapes: six musically-themed masterpieces, each one of which salutes a different memorable music moments. The Rockscapes were created with help of artist and photographer Carl Warner, who is famous for his realistic food scapes. and everything within each tableau is made from real food items! Click on any of the images in this post to enlarge them, so that you can see all the detail that went in to creating each photo.

While My Cheese Gently Weeps
While My Cheese Gently Weeps

The above scene is a tribute to The Beatles‘ final live performance, which took place in January of 1969 on the rooftop of the Apple Records offices in London.

Trenchtown Guac
Trenchtown Guac

This one celebrates the Jamaican Reggae scene.

In Bloom
In Bloom

Straight Outta Limeton
Straight Outta Limeton

Foodstock
Foodstock

The most ambitious Rockscape tribute is called Foodstock, which is, of course, meant to honor the first Woodstock concert in 1969, and the profound impact it had on both music and social culture. Foodstock is also the first of the foodscapes to receive the Augmented Realty treatment as part of Moe’s new  Rockin’ Rewards loyalty app. Augmented Realty will give fans an opportunity to interact with the art and bring Moe’s fresh ingredients to life through their smart phones. With AR you can leverage the feature to play the onion drums, see bees buzz and, literally, create sweet melodies with Moe’s endless, high-quality food combinations! Fun! The six new pieces of artwork that will be in all Moe’s locations by the end of the year!

Moes Social Media

I hope you enjoyed living through me as I took you on a food-coma/journey through Moe’s Honestly Awesome Night!

Moes Logo

Tanglewood By Shayne Dark at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Tanglewood Distance
All Photos By Gail

If you haven’t been to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden yet this summer, you really must go while the Lily Pool Terrace is still in bloom, which is through September. Also new to the Garden (since July) are three large-scale installations by Canadian artist Shayne Dark, who brings his work to Brooklyn Botanic as part of a yearlong sculpture exhibit.  The first one you’ll see, when you enter at 150 Eastern Parkway, is a group of bright blue-painted poles, which is called Tanglewood. The sculpture sits in the center of the Osborne Garden lawn, which allows viewers to approach it from a distance.

Tanglewood 1

In the excerpt below, from a conversation with Dark, the artist talks to Garden staff about the inspiration behind this work, how he chose his materials, and how he goes about installing such large, complex pieces in a public space.

Tanglewood (2014)

This work was inspired by Dark’s childhood growing up along the Ottawa River, in Ontario. “In the spring, logs coming down the river would get tangled up in the bend, and the men would come running out to break up these log jams. As a child, I was fascinated by this.”

The sculpture is constructed of cedar poles normally used as fence posts, painted a vivid blue. “For me, color is one of the easiest things to respond to and enjoy.” Dark used a matte theater paint that he discovered years ago while working with his brother on set designs in the Ed Sullivan Theater. “It’s also the same color used to create a blue screen effect. When you use it, there’s an optical illusion, a blurring effect, which is kind of surreal.”

Tanglewood 2

“Other pieces you might place so as to hide and reveal, but for this particular piece, it’s crucial that there be space around it so that your perspective changes as you come closer…so that it becomes monumental,” says Dark.  Each installation of Tanglewood is unique, and Dark added individual posts to the sculpture once it was placed on-site.

Installation in Progress

Tanglewood Detail
Tanglewood Detail

Tanglewood with Planter

Tanglewood will be on exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden through July, 2017.

Eye On Design: RCA Victor Special Model K Portable Electric Phonograph

Portable Electric Phonograph
All Photos By Gail

Designed by John Vassos for RCA (Radio Corporation of America) circa 1935 the Model K was relatively lightweight, being made out of aluminum, and the suitcase-style design featured its own speaker, a classy and reflective protective plate, and pockets inside the lid  to carry records.

Portable Electric Phonograph

Note the little design touches such as the tabs for the record slots, and the rounded cutouts (behind the metal plate) so you could easily get to the records themselves. The semi-domed, built-in speaker at the front of the case is a nice design touch.

Portable Electric Phonograph

Today, aluminum is taken for granted as a lightweight, inexpensive material that has many applications However, is was only in 1886 that an American, Charles Martin Halm discovered the process that made commercial production possible. Over the next forty years, aluminum evolved from a laboratory curiosity to an industrial staple

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

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Duran New York: Unique European Open Faced Sandwiches!

Large Array 2
All Photos By Tom Szebeni

In NYC, event catering is a big deal business. Those in the position to hire caterers — from administrative assistants  to event planners to television production crews — are always on the lookout for reliable, hassle-free sources of delicious foods that can appeal to a variety of dietary requirements (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free) while coming in at a reasonable price. Having personally accumulated about 25 years of experience working as an office manager and administrative assistant, I know this much  to be true: when it comes to event planning, no matter if it’s for 5, 50 or 500 people, the food is everything.

Large Array

Recently, I was invited to join my friend Anne from the LuxeLifeNYC blog for a private tasting at Duran Sandwiches New York, located on Madison Avenue and 27th Street. Duran is a family owned business, originating in Vienna, Austria, and dating back about 50 years! Now, you can get their fine sandwiches in the States! This is cause to celebrate!

Round Array Close up

Duran New York is owned and operated by the completely charming  and super friendly Tom Szebeni, a former line producer for European Reality TV who came to the states and missed the delicious, open-faced sandwiches he grew to love while living in his native Hungary. When Tom decided he was ready for a career change, his love of good food and talent for bespoke customer service led him to open Duran New York. Many of the sandwich recipes served at the Madison Avenue location are actually based on traditional Austrian and Hungarian recipes.

Roast Beef with Red Onion
Roast Beef with Sweet Red Onion

We had a lovely time sitting with Tom and being entertained by his engaging stories while sampling a variety Duran’s most poplar sandwiches.

Egg Salad Lobster Salad Sirloin
Image Above By Gail

Above is a photo I took of three of my favorites: Egg Salad, Lobster Salad (especially good with a squirt of fresh lemon juice), and thinly sliced Sirloin with Cranberry Marmalade and White Asparagus. Each one was excellent in its own way, and you can see and taste the quality!

Avocado Salad

We also tasted the Avocado Salad (above) and the Sundried Tomato Salad (below), made with both sundried and fresh tomatoes, pureed to a smooth and creamy consistency along with sweet imported dates – amazing and totally vegan-friendly!

Sundried Tomato Salad

Assortment of 9
I Got Yer Picnic Right Here

Sandwich toppings are served on the most complimentary bread variety, with a choice of White, Pumpernickel bread with sesame seeds, or Whole wheat with oat. All breads are baked exclusively by Tubito’s Brick Oven Bakery of Suffern, NY, and delivered fresh daily to the store.

Cucumber and Farmers Cheese
Cucumber and Farmers Cheese, Perfect for Tea Time

Party Catering Set Up
Duran Sandwiches Get The Party Started

The sandwiches are not only amazingly delicious, but — as you can see by these photos — each one looks like a work of art!

Camembert Cheese
Camembert Cheese

Not only should Admins and PAs be seriously considering Duran Sandwiches as a new option for corporate catering, but being able to choose from a seemingly endless variety of toppings also presents an ideal solution for passed hors d’oeuvres for home holiday entertaining — when you’d rather enjoy time with your guests than spend time in the kitchen.  They’re also terrific to take as a picnic to nearby Madison Square Park!

Duran Sandwiches is located at 62 Madison Avenue at 27th Street in NYC. Call 212-576-1000 (tell them The Worley Gig sent you!) or visit them online at Duran Sandwiches Dot Com!

Duran Smail to Go Box

Small Array

Cobra Mural By Woodz, Williamsburg

Cobra Mural
All Photos By Gail

We set out on a very satisfying Street Art Safari this past weekend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — a great neighborhood to in which to capture the Big Game, such as this really vibrant Cobra Mural by the artist known as Woodz. This mural is located on the south side of North 8th Street just east of Berry Street.

Cobra Mural from the West

Here is a photo of the full mural, taken from its west end. You can see that an Eagle is also involved.

Red Lotus Flower

A bright red Lotus Flower caps the mural and its easternmost tip.

Eagle on Mural

Here’s a better shot of the Eagle. Woodz is also a tattoo artist and owner of Magic Cobra Tattoo Society in Brooklyn. See more of his work at This Link!

Modern Art Monday: Dan Flavin, Untitled (to the “Innovator” of Wheeling Peachblow)

Untitled to the Innovator of Wheeling Peachblow
All Photos By Gail

Dan Flavin (1933 – 1996) began to use commercially available fluorescent light tubes in 1963. This work marries color and light, bringing them into three dimensions. In dialogue withe surrounding space, the vertical and horizontal tubes both illuminate and obscure the corner — a location not typically used for displaying art. Though the emitted light transcends its physical encasement and transforms the surrounding space, Flavin avoided characterizing his work as sublime and instead considered his light installation as “situations” or proposals. “One might not think of light as a matter of fact, but I do,” he stated. “And it is…as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find.”

Untitled to the Innovator of Wheeling Peachblow

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.