culinary history

In the history of the hot dog and its Coney Island connection, Feltman’s preceded Nathan’s, and in a surprise turn of events, modern-day entrepreneurs have revived the brand after 63 years of dormancy, brought back a restaurant location to Surf Avenue (not sure if it is on or just near the original location), and have recreated a type of hot dog similar to what was served by Feltman’s back in the day.

From The Coney Island Blog:

…Feltman’s of Coney Island officially returns to it’s original location after 63 years by giving away 150 free hot dogs!  150 represents the years since German immigrant Charles Feltman invented the hot dog at Coney Island, NY.

A press conference will be taking place outside Luna Park at 11:45am. At 12pm the first 150 people on line will receive one free original hot dog courtesy of Feltman’s of Coney Island. By Memorial Day the Surf Ave location will be adorned with new signage inside and out. The new Surf Ave. location will be operating during the same hours as Luna Park. Valerio Ferrari President of C.A.I. and Luna Park says” we are thrilled to bring a part of Coney Island history to Luna Park as it’s the perfect fit.”

In 1867 Charles Feltman invented the hot dog at Coney Island. By the 1870’s Feltman’s Oceanside Pavilion was the largest restaurant in the world! In 1915 Nathan Handwerker was a bun slicer at Feltman’s Restaurant before opening his own hot dog spot down the block selling a tasty but smaller knockoff of Feltman’s original at half the price. Now you have the opportunity to enjoy the mother of all hot dogs! The original! Feltman’s of Coney Island hot dogs are all natural with an “Old World” German spice blend and no nitrates added in lamb casing. They have an incredible snap!




Hot Dog inventor Charles Feltman

Feltman’s has a location at 80 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. Feltman’s hot dogs are sold in Brooklyn at Brenman’s Meat Market and the Beach Deli both on Gerritsen Ave. In Queens at Deirdre Maeve’s Market in Breezy Point. Feltman’s hot dogs may be shipped across the country via the online store FeltmansofConeyIsland.com.


@NY Post

Just last week Feltman’s hot dogs were added to the menu at Mc Sorley’s Old Ale House in Manhattan. The first time the historic tavern has altered the menu in over 50 years! Mikey’s Burgers on Ludlow St. on the Lower East Side also carries the iconic franks.

Feltman’s biggest fan is most likely eating Champ Kobayashi who can occasionally be found at Feltman’s Kitchen (East Village) at 80 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village scarfing down a Feltman’s original or an Al Capone Hot Dog named after the famous mobster who would frequently fill his belly at Feltman’s. Kobayashi said eating Feltman’s hot dogs is “as good as eating steak!”

So come celebrate Feltman’s long awaited return with a free hot dog as well as the 90th anniversary of the Cyclone Rollercoaster on Memorial Day.

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from City Reliquary:

Heroes of the Knish: Making a Living and Making a Life

Photo Credit: Barbara Pfeffer

Photo Credit: Barbara Pfeffer

The City Reliquary presents:
Heroes of the Knish: Making a Living and Making a Life
Sunday, Feb. 12 – May 7
Opening reception: Sunday, February 12 @ 2 PM
(Curator’s talk and Knish Trivia @ 3PM)
$10/$8 Reliquary members

Heroes of the Knish: Making a Living and Making a Life tells the story of courageous women and men who churned out potato pies and paved lives for themselves and their families. The exhibit is curated by Laura Silver, award-winning author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food (Brandeis, 2014).

At the opening reception on Sunday, February 12, Silver, known as the world’s leading expert on the knish, will deliver an illustrated talk on the sultry side of the potato pie. Aphrodisiac, inspiration for off-color jokes and fount of feminism, the knish has been a hot commodity in New York City for over a decade.

Attendees can cut their teeth on knish trivia while noshing on round and square versions of this classic street food from Knishery NYC and Gabila’s Knishes! Tickets on sale now! Admission includes one knish and pickles. Beverages available by suggested donation.

From the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Brooklyn seaside, the knish has become a standby on sidewalk carts and at ethnic eateries in the five boroughs and beyond. Since its arrival on these shores with Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the early 20th century, the knish — whose origins can be traced to rural Poland of the 1600s — has wedged itself into the hearts, guts and psyches of New Yorkers of all stripes.

The exhibit introduces legendary and lesser-known knish kings and queens who have made their mark on New York City over the last century. It showcases a never-before-assembled collection of artifacts, archival materials, and stories from knish purveyors  past and present. Items on display include a stock certificate from Mrs. Stahl’s Knishes of Brighton Beach, the knish correspondence of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; a song about Ruby the Knishman, who sold potato pies to schoolkids in Canarsie; and chronicles of the Knish Crisis of 2013, when, following a factory fire, Gabila’s was forced to stop production of square, Coney Island-style knishes for nearly six months.

About the Curator:
Laura Silver is a third-generation New Yorker and the award-winning author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food (Brandeis, 2014). Her research on the humble hunk of dough spanned seven years, three continents and all five boroughs of her hometown. Silver’s work on the knish has been featured on NPR, WNYC,  in major outlets in Canada, Germany and Poland, and on Al-Jazeera America. The New York Times called her book “whimsical, mouthwatering and edifying.”

About The City Reliquary Museum:
The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization preserves the everyday artifacts that connect visitors to the past and present of New York City. It was originally established as an apartment window display in 2002 at the corner of Grand and Havemeyer Streets and relocated to 370 Metropolitan Avenue in 2006.

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In conjunction with the Culinary Historians of New York

From the earliest days of American history, food has played an important political function, especially in election years. Food can draw people together and create a sense of national identity, as it did in the years following the American Revolution. Food can also reflect deep political divisions, as the torrid battles between political parties in the 1800s demonstrate. Moreover, the symbolically significant nature of food allowed for the political participation of people otherwise excluded from public culture–namely, women.  Just days before the presidential election, Montana State University Assistant Professor of History, Emily J. Arendt, will explore how food, from Federal Cakes to Jackson Jumbles, contributed to Early American political and women’s history. Includes a sampling of food from the era. Reservations required by calling the Museum at 212-838-6878.

$40 Adults, $25 Members, $22 Senior Members, $10 Students with ID


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October 11 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm

| $8

Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn

Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2598666

Absinthe is a wonderful distilled spirit whose history is shrouded in fantasy and myth. Tonight, join author Kellfire Bray as he hosts an evening inspired by his a personal exploration of absinthe, the legendary drink and muse of poets and artists, for Zelda Magazine. Mr. Bray will host an edifying salon devoted to what makes absinthe a unique and mysterious spirit, followed by a tasting of the formerly banned liquor.

When not sipping a glass of absinthe, Kellfire Desmond Bray splits his time between creating motion graphics, searching for the illusive vintage 48L suit, and trying to be a better gentleman.

Zelda Magazine is the publication of early 20th century culture, style, arts, film, music, and more, from the era of the historical Jazz Age to vintage lifestyle today. Published twice annually, Zelda features interviews, tutorials, and features on subjects from the time period and highlights the people and events who are keeping Jazz Age scene alive.

Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is canceled.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Central Library, Brooklyn Collection

Starting in the mid-1800s, immigrants brought their knowledge of pasta and pasta making to Brooklyn, making it the epicenter for macaroni’s widespread use in the U.S.A.  Leonard DeFrancisci discusses the people, companies, and technology that turned a simple recipe into a worldwide industry.

Age Group: Adults

There will be a wine and cheese reception, beginning at 6:30.  The program will begin promptly at 7:00


Central Library

10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Fully accessible
Get directions from Google.

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Wednesday, September 28, 6:30 p.m.
Illustrated Lecture: Edith Wharton and the Food and Dining of Old New York
Descended from the city’s oldest Dutch and English families, Edith Wharton had intimate knowledge of the fading social customs of the early 19th century, Old New York, which she skillfully captured in numerous novels, stories, and her unforgettable characters. Her narrative details, of fashion, décor, etiquette – and food – are telling of the period and, more importantly, the social world of her characters. Using examples from Wharton’s fiction and non-fiction, combined with details of culinary history, food historian and professionally trained chef Carl Raymond will present a unique portrait of food and dining in 1840s to 1860s New York told through the lens of one of America’s greatest writers. Reception follows the lecture.
$25, Members $15. Click here for tickets.

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Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Screams for Ice Cream!

Event Description

Ice cream is having a “Brooklyn moment.” Join some of the borough’s top ice cream makers for a look at the history, mechanics, and future of ice cream cones, sundaes, and sandwiches in Brooklyn. Moderated by historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman, and featuring Ample Hills and Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. Tastings included!

Presented in partnership with Brooklyn Brainery.

Brooklyn Screams for Ice Cream!
Thu, Jul 28, 7 pm
$12 General Admission / $8 for BHS and G-W Members

BHS Members: to reserve tickets at the member price, click on “Get Tickets” and enter your Member ID on the following page after clicking on “Enter Promotional Code.” 

REFUND POLICY Brooklyn Historical Society requires 24 hours notice before the date of the event to refund a ticket. No refunds are provided after that point. No refunds are provided on the day of the event and all subsequent days. 

Brooklyn Historical Society – 128 Pierrepont St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 – View Map
Things to do in Brooklyn, NY Seminar Food & Drink


Brooklyn Historical Society

Organizer of Brooklyn Screams for Ice Cream!

Founded in 1863, Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) functions as a library, museum, and urban education center dedicated to the people of Brooklyn, providing opportunities for civic dialogue and thoughtful engagement. Each year, 70,000 students and teachers use our innovative programs and resources to learn about American History and scholars conduct important academic research in our Library and Archives. Through partnerships with government and community groups, BHS reaches communities throughout New York City, serving as a hub for information and ideas about Brooklyn and its complex history.

Housed in a magnificent Landmark Building in Brooklyn Heights, designed by George Post in 1878, BHS maintains an important collection of historical manuscripts, books, photographs, maps, paintings, objects, and ephemera dating back to the 17th century. BHS is a long-standing yet modern institution in both outlook and action. We are Brooklyn’s preeminent history center, responsible for preserving and presenting Brooklyn’s history; our collection continues to grow through the acquisition of contemporary and historical works of art, photographs, documents, books, and oral histories.

Phone: 718.222.4111





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Thursday, July 28, 6:00-7:30pm

Location: The BraineryFrom the debauched slums of Victorian London to dry martinis and fancy cocktail parties, gin has had a remarkable journey, a story that reflects the ever changing moods and sensibilities of society at large.Like many other spirits, it began life in the alchemist’s workshop as a medicinal cure-all, a link it would retain as a mainstay of European Battlefields and colonial outposts.Gin has had many moments in the sun, but it has had it critics: mothers’ ruin was seen by the puritanical as the scourge of the working classes, and this imagery has informed much of our opinions on its history. But, every time it was proscribed or looked like vanishing it bounced back, re-invented. No time is that more true than today, with a raft of new distilleries popping up – including here in New York.

Join me as I take you on the most incredible voyage across the globe and through every facet of life as we explore the history of Ginand prepare to be surprised! 


Cancellation policy




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It’s hard to believe, but before the 1980s there was no real barbecue in New York City. Sure, we had places that served chicken and ribs cooked in gas rotisseries slathered with sweet, tomato-based sauces. Sometimes called “oven barbecue,” it was only a beat or two better than something you cooked in your kitchen at home. But though the surface of the product could be crisp and the flesh flavorful, this treatment lacked the smoky savor associated with “real” barbecue. The majority of those gas-fired places are now gone, but half-century-old Royal Rib House in Bed-Stuy is one of the venerable old-timers that still practices this style, and does it well.

The 1980s saw the advent of several new barbecue restaurants that actually slow-cooked their product over hardwood or charcoal for hours on end, imbuing the meat with an intense smokiness. Located in a Soho frame house, Tennessee Mountain specialized in ribs; Brothers Barbecue, a honky-tonk way west on Houston Street, offered multiple meats and barbecue styles; the Upper East Side’s Brother Jimmy’s focused on North Carolina ‘cue; and best of all was Smokey’s, run by two University of Texas alums at 24th and 9th in Chelsea. At Smokey’s you could get great Texas-style pork ribs, though, disappointingly, the beef brisket was only available chopped rather than sliced.

But the real breakthrough came in 1992, when Mod British hairdresser Robert Pearson moved a barbecue that he’d founded in Connecticut down to Long Island City. Soon, the first stop into Queens on the 7 train was disgorging rabid barbecue fans to his place, successively called Stick to Your Ribs, Pearson’s Texas Barbecue, and, when he left the business to his pitmaster and it moved to Jackson Heights, Ranger Texas Barbecue. It persisted there until 2009 — quite a run! Like Brothers Barbecue, Pearson’s menu was eclectic, doing pulled pork barbecue with a vinegary sauce for those who favored the Carolina style, as well as the sliced brisket and beef ribs characteristic of Texas pits. There was no doubt, though, that Texas barbecue was his favorite.

Pearson also believed that a barbecue should reflect its terroir, so he made a few modest improvements of his own, cementing his place in barbecue history. Instead of importing North Texas hot links, Kreuz Market beef sausage, or Georgia sage sausage, he got kielbasy from a Greenpoint butcher. Instead of using hamburger buns or sliced white bread for sandwiches, he deployed tapered rolls from a Portuguese baker in Newark. And these tweaks, plus his fanatic use of hardwood to cook the meat “low and slow,” made Stick to Your Ribs the best barbecue the city had yet seen. He eventually spun off a larger branch on the east side of Manhattan, but it soon burned down.

Once Pearson gained a toehold and showed New Yorkers how great barbecue could be, others followed suit. Danny Meyer was early on the bandwagon with his Blue Smoke (2001), pairing his restaurant with a jazz club and showcasing pork ribs in such Midwestern styles as St.

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