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What I 8: Best eats on the East Coast by @hashtagfoodpic
Hailing from the small town of Hoboken, @hashtagfoodpic walks us through the streets of her quaint hometown and other parts of the East Coast in search for the best food this side of the globe. Click through to save her recommendations to your own list from her epic list here.
Krista, what’s the key to growing a great food account, and how do you take a good shot of your favourite food?
Be passionate about what you’re doing, be authentic, and don’t get caught up in the numbers. If you truly love what you do, people will see that, believe it and connect with it. When you’re more relaxed and following your heart, the numbers will come! I think a lot of the time people get frustrated that their page isn’t growing as quickly as they would like it to and letting those emotions get in the way can actually stunt page growth. Focus on the audience you do have and build those relationships. That’s what’s most important!
My biggest tip for taking a great food photo is *natural light*! Any time you can be near a window or outside, take advantage. Lighting really is everything when it comes to photography and having natural light helps a lot with bringing out the natural colors and textures of food.
What is your favourite food category? What do you look for when you’re looking for the best there is in that category?
Oh, wow! Always so tough to choose a favorite! Can I choose sandwiches? I know that’s not a cuisine, but I would say it’s definitely a food category. I love a good sandwich, and the more unique, the better. I’m the farthest from a picky eater, so I am always looking for a fun combination of condiments and other toppings. I love meat and I love veggies, so even the vegetarian and vegan options are exciting to me. On top of a good combo, I always love color. It’s always such a good feeling when you slice a sandwich in half to see beautiful, colorful layers ready for a good sandwich stack photo.
Sandwiches are a filling meal, can you name your top 5 go-to places for sandwiches?
This is so hard! I am taking Burgers and Chicken Sandwiches out of this to make it easier on myself.
Central Grocery Muffuletta: One of the best things I ate when I visited Nola. The saltiness, fluffiness, ratio of meat, cheese and olive salad — amazing. THE SESAME SEEDS. It was all perfect. A must-have when visiting. The store is the home of the original muffuletta and is so cool. It has stayed the same for three generations.
Fiore’s Roast Beef Special: “Roast beef and mutz, gravy on.” It’s so simple and delicious. Only available on Thursdays and Saturdays. They really douse your sandwich in gravy and you can even ask for a side of it to go for later. Some people love to add “hots and reds” (peppers) but I have kept it classic so far. The mutz is incredible. I could go on and on.
Katz’s Deli Reuben: I mean, you can’t go wrong with any sandwich from here. Yes, cliché, but it really is amazing. Even better when you’re sitting in the bustling restaurant. I’m obsessed with reuben sandwiches and the one from Katz’s is massive and delicious and reminds me of happy times.
The Local Market & Kitchen Fried Green BLT: The Local in LBI takes it up a notch on all of their sandwiches and I had to choose just one. I’ve always seen the Fried Green BLT on the menu and it’s always a contender when I order. The bacon and fried tomatoes are crispy, the bread is nice and soft and the chipotle ranch completes it all. One of my best friends has a house in LBI and introduced me to this spot and it will forever be a favorite.
Tosti Cafe Turmeric Tuna Sandwich: This is a sandwich I wanted to try but didn’t think I would fall so in love with it. I am not a big fan of sweets or fruit on sandwiches, but wow. This sandwich changed everything. It’s also beautiful! Turmeric tuna, apple, red onion, provolone, raspberry compote on a croissant. I will take my sandwich on a croissant any chance I get because the buttery melt-in-your-mouth factor is a game-changer.
What is something you’ve eaten that just blew you away because you did not expect it to be that good?
Bleu Cheese Ice Cream. My mom works in catering and one summer in college I was helping her with some jobs and we had one that was set on a farm where lots of people brought their own creations to share. It was a while ago, so I don’t remember every detail, but I think the event was mostly food writers and recipe developers. I remember seeing that ice cream thinking there was no possible way it could be good. I love bleu cheese, but would never think to put it in ice cream. The flavor had Bleu Cheese and candied Pecans. I remember the cheese taste being pretty subtle and the candied Pecans being a nice sweetness and crunch. To this day, I say that bleu cheese ice cream is in my top three favorite flavors and I haven’t had it since. It really stuck with me and got me really excited to answer this question!
A pandemic lockdown kicks in but there’s a new rule, you can visit one restaurant only for the next six months. Which one will you pick and why?
Antique Bar & Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. I live in Hoboken, and whenever out-of-towners ask me where they should go for dinner, this is where I tell them to go. Everything is cooked in an ancient coal oven with an open-kitchen concept. Dining there feels like home. My dad’s side of the family is huge and very Italian and on both sides of my family I am used to lots of noise and lots of love. Antique brings the chaos and the comfort. And of course, the incredible food. Being able to stop in here for six months would allow me to finally try everything on the menu and I would always have a good cocktail in hand. I’d also get my fix of carbs, meat, veggies, and sweets when I need them. Their menu covers it all. The dining experience is exciting, unique and comforting and I would encourage everyone to have a meal there if they can.
Which other foodies do you love to follow and why?
The following accounts are run by women I have met through Instagram who are also Hudson County locals. We have become friends “IRL” (in real life) too. They each have their own unique tastes and focus on food and/or lifestyle, but they all are authentic and love to support small/local businesses and try new foods.