Sunday, October 26, 2014

Food in Flushing

FINALLY! Another blog post. To be honest, life has been busy beyond my understanding lately. I am being stretched, pushed and grown more than I ever have. The blog has taken a bit of a backseat, but I will not give it up. 

This Friday I joined some friends for a food tour of Flushing, Queens. Trusting my foodie friends the Ng's, I accepted the challenge.

After a quick ride out on the 7 train, we were deposited into the Asian epicenter of New York. Kevin's first stop on the tour was a food truck. It was referred to as a taste to wet our appetite before the main courses. Out of meat, we opted for, what I referred to as, Spicy Squid on a Stick.

Not a lover of "street meat", I decided to trust Mrs. Ng that the food would not make me sick.

It was enough food for an entire meal, so I only had a few bits, but it was surprisingly delicious.

Next we ventured to Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao. After a bit of a wait we enjoyed the holy grail of Soup Dumplings.

Traditional or modern, I couldn't decide.

First came a lovely Cucumber Salad drenched in garlic. 

 Next came Jelly Fish. It was mixed with some cabbage. Not my favorite texture.

Finally, the Soup Dumplings. We enjoyed a mixture of pork and crab. The way to eat a Soup Dumpling is to gently place the dumpling on the soup spoon and poke a hole with a chopstick at the top. Sip out the broth and then enjoy!

Our next stop was just down the street at Fu Run. Every restaurant is within a four square block of the subway stop. Here we enjoyed a variety of proteins. 
More tea.

More beer.

More veggies.

This is a fish dish. Very very spicy packed with bean sprouts, scallions and bok choy. 

This is pork. Very little meat, but very tasty.

And here we have the Lamb dish. It was covered in a thick layer of spices. 

Overall it was an incredible tour of Flushing. I don't know that I would ever venture out by myslef, but it is a fun option for a night out with friends. I spent a total of $23 all night. I returned home full and satisfied. If you love Asian cuisine, I highly recommend taking a trip on the 7 train out to Flushing for an excellent and affordable meal.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pampano, James Beard Style.

I would consider myself a foodie. 

When one's hobbies include at least two of the three - eating out, trying new restaurants and cooking - you qualify for foodie status in my book.

Joining the James Beard Foundation as a Greens member was one of the best decisions I have made this year. I first wrote about my experience at the James Beard House when my friends Jess and Anthony invited me along to a dinner. Since, I have joined and attended a couple different events. 

This past week they had a Greens only dinner at the contemporary Mexican restaurant Pampano. I invited a few friends along who I know love a good meal and are fellow foodies. 

Cocktail hour featured a choice of fresh Herradura Tequila Margaritas and Stella Artois, Leffe Blond or Hoegaarden beer. Guacamole, chips and a spicy smoked trout dip were placed throughout the room for our enjoyment.

Chef Lucero Martinez whipped up a 5 course meal that tantalized all taste buds. First up was two part; a Ceviche de Mero - Halibut with Mango, Mint, Red Onions and Cilantro, and then Sopa de Calabacitas - Light Tomato Broth with Zucchini and Epazote Crema.

So was so simple and fresh. The Sopa was a bit difficult to eat, but I managed to figure it out.

Each course was paired with an Epica wine. First was the San Pedro Epica Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

The next course was the Mejillones al Tequila - Tequila-Flamed Mussels with Tomatoes, Serrano Chiles and Cilantro. This was paired with the San Pedro Epica Chardonnay 2012.

Next came the red wine, San Pedro Epica Red Blend 2011.

Third course, Pescado Tikin Xic - Banana Leaf-Wrapped Grilled Grouper with Achiote Sauce and Habanero-Orange Pico de Gallo. The flavors were lovely but unfortunately my grouper was a bit overcooked.

Onto my favorite. Pato al Mole - Pan-Seared Duck with Mole Poblao and Farro-Radish Salade. They paired this dish with the San Pedro Epica Malbec 2013. This course was melt in your mouth delicious.

We can not forget dessert. Flan de Piloncillo - Mexican Brown Sugar Custard with Guava Sauce. I do not usually love flan but the guava sauce was a surprisingly good compliment. I ate it all.

Needless to say it was another very successful dinner with the James Beard Foundation. At each dinner I have had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. It's incredible how we become bonded by our love of food and fine palette for great wine.

Cheers and Bon Appetit!