10.30.2014

National Quesadilla Day to be celebrated Nov. 5

By Lauren Halligan, lhalligan@digitalfirstmedia.com, @LaurenTheRecord on Twitter



TROY>> A new holiday is being created in Troy, and it’s all about a little cheesy thing called the quesadilla.


Troy business owner Dan Frament of Muddaddy Flats quesadillary on Third Street is spearheading an initiative to give the quesadilla a day of its own: National Quesadilla Day.


The Spanish-originated food translates in English to “little cheesy thing,” and is the basis of Frament’s business. He often boasts having “nacho average quesadillas.”


He wrote in a letter to fellow business owners: “A recent discussion led to the discovery, there is no National Quesadilla Day. With all the vast and various food days throughout the year, this one has escaped notoriety.”


Frament is adamant about his meal of choice. “Quesadillas have been used by many restaurants as a format for specials all around the city, which demonstrates its versatility,” he continued. “Forever being relegated to an appetizer menu or used as an occasional special, quesadillas are a bridesmaid in the food world. I believe it is time the bridesmaid became the bride.”


The quesadilla advocate is working with the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District (BID) to declare Nov. 5 as National Quesadilla Day. “It starts at the local level and with community support can be driven upward,” Frament explained. “Starting here in Troy, we can reach untold heights due to the tremendous talent that exists here.”


The specific date was chosen because it is half way through the year to Cinco De Mayo, May 5.


BID director Erin Pihlaja and Frament came up with the idea when brainstorming for a big way to celebrate Muddaddy Flats’ move to its new location. Formerly located on Fulton Street, the eatery moved to 49 Third St. in August. Just before National Quesadilla Day, at 11 a.m. on Nov. 3, the restaurant will have it’s ribbon cutting ceremony, or rather its tortilla cutting ceremony, for the new location. At this event, the BID will make an official declaration of National Quesadilla Day.


After researching to find there is no existing holiday, Frament began his campaigning. “Dan really just took off then, he contacted other restaurants to get them involved and started ‘lobbying’ elected officials for their support,” Pihlaja explained.  “He truly believes in the quesadilla.”


But it’s not all about his own business at Muddaddy Flats, Frament wants as many people as possible to enjoy quesadillas on Nov. 5. He asked his fellow restaurateurs to join him in creating National Quesadilla Day by breaking out creativity to present a special quesadilla for the day. “I’m looking to create an event that will showcase the vast talent that exists here in Troy with everyone using the same format,” he said. Troy eateries B-rads Bistro & Catering, Illium Cafe, Infinity Cafe, Charles F. Lucas Confectionery, Jose Malone's Mexican Irish Restaurant, The Daily Grind and O’Brien’s Public House are all on board to feature a special quesadilla menu item on Nov. 5.


As his dream of a national holiday focused on his favorite food comes closer to being a reality, Frament is ecstatic. “One day. One theme. Finally a bridesmaid gets to shine and we are the spotlights,” he said.
Creating an actual national holiday is not an easy process, but Frament is prepared to pursue it. “An actual declaration of National Quesadilla Day will take some time and a bit of work, but jumping off now will give some incentive,” he said.


A recent outreach to Congressman Paul Tonko has made yielded some progress, and other organizations are happy to help with marketing, like Naked Travel, an online travel site helping to spread the word out west. Frament’s daughter is helping in Rhode Island, too. “I'm reaching out in every direction I can think of as I think of it,” Frament said.   


The BID is offering its support and endorsement of the new holiday and will promote it, Pihlaja said. “And we will definitely all be eating quesadillas that day,” she added.


“We hope the idea catches on regionally and then nationally—why shouldn’t it?” Pihlaja asked. “The quesadilla deserves its chance to be the star.”


In preparation for the day, Muddaddy Flats is hosting a contest for the best quesadilla recipe and name. The winner’s recipe will be the daily special in the restaurant on National Quesadilla Day.


Contestants are encouraged to email submissions to muddaddyflats@gmail.com, or message Muddaddy Flats on Facebook.


For more information visit www.muddaddyflats.com or like the reastaurant’s Facebook page.


Lauren Halligan may be reached at 290-1443.

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