If you’re anything like us, you and your friends appreciate a good meal and drink every now and then. But what do you do when you want to try something different? We have a recommendation: Food Done It? in Patchogue.
Food Done It? is a venture by Elizabeth Poretsky and her fiancé Kevin Hindley of East Patchogue. It features one mystery with five suspects, six restaurants that highlight Patchogue’s ever-expanding dining scene, and a three-hour adventure, where all you need is a healthy appetite and at least one smartphone.
“It’s a great night out, and food is the center,” Poretsky says. “It’s better than dinner and a movie; it’s interactive, and I’m really proud of it. People so far have liked it.”
Parties meet at one restaurant in town, where they get information on the crime of a stolen ring, called The Cupcake Conundrum. The samplings of food are chosen by the chefs at all locations. As you eat and drink, you’ll watch a video of the crime, created in the style of an old Charlie Chaplin film.
“Our characters are stuck in 1918,” Poretsky says. “We basically send you to different places in town by way of a little, easy scavenger hunt. There are even escape room elements.”
There are six stops in total—two sweet shops, four sit-down restaurants—where clues are solved, suspects are introduced, and you get a key or code that will lead you to the next location, hence the need for a smartphone.
“There’s a lot of food, because each chef wants to showcase and highlight exactly what they can do,” Poretsky says.
While alcohol is not included in the ticket price, the participating restaurants have specials such as flights and a mystery margarita. “As you go, you can pick and choose the alcohol you want,” Poretsky says, nothing that one location even has its own little puzzle where you’re given a flight of three beers for around $5, and you’ll have to figure out what each brew is to get a prize. “You’re getting all these add-ons that are good deals,” she adds.
So, how did Food Done It? come to be? It took four to six months to develop the concept. Poretsky is a teacher by day, and admirer of Patchogue’s dining scene by night. “Every time we’d go out to dinner, I’d always wanted to try a little of each place,” she says. “There’s always that conversation of, ‘Where are we going to go tonight?’”
Poretsky herself is also a fan of food tours, having gone to many in Manhattan for birthdays, especially for the value and variety of food. She thought, “How can people go from place to place self-guided?” The answer was through puzzles and trivia.
“Basically, escape rooms and pub crawls just combined in my head, until I came up with a self-guided puzzle tour,” she says. “Everything is [easy]; you don’t want to mix food with frustration.”
Poretsky did some research, and was surprised that something like this has not been done anywhere. There was no one to copy, so she and Hindley had to start from scratch. “We had to pitch [Food Done It?] to restaurants and explain it,” she says. She mentioned how Patchogue is known for pub crawls, but those can take a toll on restaurants and bars due to the large numbers of people involved.
Food Done It? takes care of this by bringing patrons in when restaurants aren’t as busy—between noon and 4 p.m. most days—in parties of up to eight people. However, larger groups can be accommodated by directly contacting the company.
“People get to have a great experience and it’s not too crowded,” Poretsky says. “Then they can spend the rest of the night in the village.”
There are other themed tours in the works, and even thoughts of expanding outside of Long Island. You can book a tour now for any occasion every day, except Fridays, at $55 per person. For more information, visit www.fooddoneit.com.