Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rock the Vote!

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Blondie has been offline for the past few days (thanks for nothing, Time Warner). We promise we'll be back up and running with our Vendy's recap asap, complete with plenty of delicious photos. In the meantime, we could use some help...

Voting is open for Project Food Blog challenge two! We need your votes to advance to the next round! If like our blog, please take a moment to cast your vote by clicking here.

If you're not already registered on foodbuzz, it will prompt you to create an account. The registration process is super easy, you just enter your email address and create a user name and password. I think you may actually even be able to join via Facebook (by clicking the Facebook connect) Foodbuzz is a terrific community of foodies--every time we go on we see dozens of drool worthy recipes.

Thanks for your help!
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Project Food Blog, Challenge #2: Daeji Bulgogi!

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Thanks so much to everyone who voted for us! We made it to Round Two of Foodbuzz's Project Food Blog. For this challenge we were tasked with taking on an “ethnic classic that is outside your comfort zone or are not as familiar with.” We’d like to say that we poured hours over cookbooks to decide what to make, but our classic dish came to us pretty quickly. We both love pork (hello, magical beast!) and Brownie loves her some Korean food, but she always has it out at a restaurant. Clearly this was a call to action to bring some Daeji Bulgogi home…

Daeji Bulgogi is a traditional Korean barbecue dish consisting of very thin slices of spicy marinated pork. It’s typically served wrapped in lettuce often with hot peppers and miso paste and/or gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste). It’s Brownie’s favorite dish to order at Korean barbecue joints. The trouble with Korean barbecue joints is they don’t come cheap and well…we are cheap. Daeji Bulgogi alone can run you around $22 per order and when you can get satisfying Korean stews like Kimchi Jiigae (spicy kimchi and pork stew) or Sundubu Ijigae (spicy seafood and tofu stew) for $10, it’s hard to justify ordering barbecue except on the rarest of special occasions. If we could crack homemade Daeji Bulgogi that would be a huge boon to our culinary skill set.

Brownie first announced our plan to make Daeji Bulgogi to one of the new ladies at work. “You’re making Daeji Bulgogi?! That‘s so awesome. I always ask my mom to make me it for me. It‘s sooooo good. Don‘t forget to add kiwis to the marinade. That’s what my mom does and it makes the meat super tender.” Point taken.

After a few frantic calls to Brownie’s friend Vero. “Ahhhh! I’m standing in a aisle full of lettuce. Which one do you use for the wraps?” Two minutes later “Ahhhhhhh! What is the pepper paste called again? The one for the Bibimbap? Ok, got it.”

Daeji Bulgogi is typically a barbecued dish. When you get it out at a Korean restaurant, it‘s typically prepared in front of you on a gas grill, if you‘re lucky some places do charcoal, but in our experience the charcoal places do charcoal exclusively for beef Bulgogi because the fattiness of the pork can really stoke the charcoal flames, which makes for perhaps less than safe dining in close quarters.

We considered firing up the baby bbq in the back alley of Brownie’s apartment building, but with the threat of rain, that didn’t seem prudent and besides, if we were going to learn to make Bulgogi, it would be great to figure out a recipe that we could have all year round, not just during outdoor bbq season to come up with a recipe we cruised the interwebs, probed the minds of several Korean friends and Brownie’s sister-in-law, a fearless home chef. Here’s what we came up with:

Daeji Bulgogi
Serves 4

3lb boneless pork country ribs
1/4 cup soy sauce
15 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tahini paste
2 tablespoons gochujang
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 kiwis, peeled
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

To Serve:
Quickles (Korean Quick Pickles, see recipe below)
Dipping Sauce (see recipe below)
1 large head red leaf lettuce
Miso paste, to taste
Gochujang, to taste

Put pork in freezer for around an hour to make the meat easier to slice. While meat is in the freezer, in a food processor puree: soy sauce, garlic, tahini, gochujang, onion and kiwi.

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Once meat has entered a semi frozen state, slice it into thin pieces. Sprinkle with sugar, then pound with a mallet until super thin.

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Place the pork in a gallon sized zipper close bag and pour over the marinade. Let as much air out of the bag as possible and seal it. Turn and knead the bag to distribute the marinade. Place bag in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Heat vegetable oil in cast iron pan. When pan is hot, cook pork in batches for a couple of minutes per side until cooked. When pork is done, remove from heat and set aside on a platter for serving.

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Serve family style with lettuce leaves and dipping sauce. Have guest make their own lettuce wraps adding miso and Gochujang paste and pickles to taste.

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Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon tahini
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

In a small bowl combine soy sauce, vinegar and tahini.Top with sesame seeds and scallions.

Quickles (aka quick Korean style pickles)
2 Kirby cucumbers, very thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon gochujang
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¾ cup white vinegar (or enough to cover)

Layer Kirby cucumbers in a wide and shallow dish. Add garlic, gochujang, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Add white vinegar to completely cover. Stir to mix ingredients and then refrigerate until serving.

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When all was said and done this recipe proved to be easier than we imagined. It’s all about having the right ingredients and the time to prep the marinade. This would be a terrific dish for a crowd either as a picnic or even in Bulgogi taco form for watching the big game. It’s great to think that Korean barbecue can be so accessible.

A warning to prospective barbecuers--if you are making this in your home kitchen, choose your pan wisely. With all the sugar in the meat tenderizer, this dish has serious potential as a pan killer. If you have a self cleaning oven, I suggest tossing the pan in on the self cleaning setting and putting your feet up. If you don’t have a self cleaning oven, well…hopefully you have some grateful dinner guests who are willing to put in a little elbow grease…

Thanks for sharing our first Bulgogi experience. Voting for Challenge #2 of Project Food Buzz begins on September 27 at 9am EST and ends September 30th at 9pm EST. If you have the time to throw a vote our way, that would be most excellent!
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last Day to Vote for Us!!!

Adding the basil
For the past few days, we've been getting out the word about our submission in Project Food Blog, and today's the last day to Rock the Vote! The contest itself involved 10 rounds of eating and blogging, ending with one winner (or in our case two) winning $10,000! In case you aren't convinced to give us your vote, we want to give you five reasons why. #1) Our favorite meals together usually involve regular ole DiFara Pizza (Brownie is even holding Blondie's DiFara T-shirt hostage!)

Robicellis Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster Cupcakes
2) We love cupcakes, all cupcakes. Some may be better than others, but we will try any cupcake you give us. Because cupcakes are awesome.

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich
3) We also love doughnuts and ice cream.

Strawberries!
4) But that doesn't mean we don't love our fruits & veggies! Few things are as wonderful and promising as spring's first strawberries, unless you're allergic to strawberries.

PB Jamwiches for Lovers
5) And at the end of the day, we bake cute little things for our friends and family to enjoy, and then tell you how to bake the same for your loved ones.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us. If you told us on B&B or Twitter, we got your back! Good luck to everyone!!!
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pie Bakeoff for a Cause in Greenpoint!

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We heart pie. We heart pie a lot. And we also heart bakeoffs. So naturally we're excited for tomorrow's bakeoff in Greenpoint at a to benefit Greenpoint Open Studios at Diamond Bar...

Here's the dealio...
Pies of all kinds are welcome. People’s choice will determine Grand Prize winner who will get to attend a dinner hosted by Brooklyn’s infamous underground supper club, Brooklyn Edible Social Club. The competition is free to enter (shoot an email to joann(at)greenpointopenstudios.org to sign up your pie) or $10 to eat pie which also buys you a raffle ticket with prizes from local businesses like:

- Fabulous Colombian Dinner for Two provided by Cafecito Bogota

- 10 Free Coffee Cards provided by Champion Coffee

- $50 Gift Certificate provided by Paulie Gee’s

And MORE. If that's not enough, there will also be a silent art auction by participating GOS artists.

The party starts at 7pm, bring your appetite! According to GOS here are some of the pies you can look forward to. Hungry?

- Jenny Ma of Jenny Cakes: Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie: Puree pumpkin infused with fresh cream cheese and fall spices

- Anita Sharp of Electric Blue Baking: Mexican Vegan Mincemeat Pie

- Glenn Robinson of Bags for the People: Pickled Veggie Smoked Meat Rooftop Hipster Pie covered in Mast Brothers Chocolate

- Jullia Kim of Banchan Terroir: Kimchi Spanakopita!

- Lauren Utvich of Dixie Spanish: Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie

- Mushroom Sauerkraut: Vermont Death Pie

- Kelly Bogan, Josh & Mike Greenfield of Brothers Green: Pear Pomegranate Pie

- Laurel Randolph: Peanut Butter and Concord Grape Mousse Pie

- Ellen Trimarco: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape Pie

- Michelle R if A Pie for a Pie: Chocolate Opium Pie

- Daniel Delaney of Vendr TV: Shepard’s Pie

- Katherine Lee: Humble Pie

- Kelly P. Van Valkenburg: Margarita Pie

- Victoria Bott of Sweetie Pies Brooklyn: Sweet Balsamic Custard Pie

- Grace Kopek: Apple Pie

- James & Doug: Phyllis Knows Apple Pie

- Brooks Jones of Pizza Commander: The Pizza Commander

- Shannon McGarvey: Buttermilk Pie

- Erin Madigan: Butternut Squash Ginger Nut Pie

- Michael Stewart: Peter Pan Pudding Pie

- Zoe Kanan & Meredith Truax: Root Beer Pie

- WorkSong: Kansas Crawfish Pie

- Talisa Chang and Veronica Chan of World to Table: Banana Jackfruit Coconut Cream Pie

Maybe if we can get our acts together we'll bake something too...

Diamond Bar
43 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, NY
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We Need Your Vote!

Delicious Loukoumades
This past weekend we entered FoodBuzz's very first Project Food Blog challenge. And now we need your vote to move on to the next round...

There are 652 contestants. 400 will advance to the next round. And we need your votes to make it there. If you love us (and we hope you do), please cast a vote our way HERE. Voting continues until end of day September 23rd. The winners will be announced on September 24th. Good luck to all contestants and thanks for considering us for your vote.

The above photo is from our Greek eating adventure in Astoria. Doughnuts are welcome on this blog in all forms especially when they are drenched in honey syrup like these loukoumades.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

So Much to Eat!

Rickshaw Dumpling
Yeah, yeah, it's Monday morning already, but you guys know that I start thinking about the next weekend on Sunday night! I can't help it, I'm a planner. And these next three weekends are going to be FILLED with food between the Vendys, the New York Culinary Experience, Epicurious Entertains NYC, and the New York City Wine & Food Festival, it's up to you to pick your poison.

The Awards
Ah, the Vendys, our favorite day of the entire year. I've been the past two years and am excited to make this Saturday my third. The jury's still out on where I will be stationed to volunteer (I'm hoping for check-in, hint, hint), but just being there helping out, getting to know the vendors, and of course, enjoying the food is enough for me. An introduction to all the finalists can be found here. General admission tickets sold out a while ago, but if you and your friends have the cash, you can get Gold or Platinum Sponsorship tickets-4 or 8 tickets, respectively. You can also try Craigslist, where demand has definitely been higher than supply.

Eclair Class at the French Culinary Institute
Then next weekend is the incredible 2010 New York Culinary Experience. This is not for the weak, or the broke. For two days, some of the city's, or for that fact the country's, best chefs will be giving hands-on, private cooking demonstrations and workshops to those who can afford the $1,595 ticket price. Just look at the names on this page to see why you'd have to shell out the dinero for this dream. Oh, and it's be at the French Culinary Institute, my dream school. Tickets are still available.

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While that's going on, we also have Epicurious Entertains NYC again, including another Ultimate NYC Lunch Break! They also get kid-friendly on that Saturday with a three-hour foodie playtime. I wish they'd had these when I was growing up! For the evening, they have three fantastic dinners to attend, each done by a famous chef, or you could go to their Sunday Football BBQ Feast. Last year's event was near the top of our list, so if I were you, I'd buy tickets.

Champagne at SWEET
The round-up to this three events is one of the biggest of the year, the New York City Wine & Food Festival: four days of food, booze, demos, and parties. After last year's, I was worn out, but very happy I got to go. Brownie hopes that it'll be her third year of attending SWEET, the dessertest dessert event we've ever gone to. I'm hoping for Carts in the Parc. Some of the sessions have sold out, there are still a good amount of tickets available, and there's something for everyone!

2010 Vendy Awards
Saturday, September 25th, Noon-5pm
Governors Island
streetvendor.org/vendys

2010 New York Culinary Experience
Saturday and Sunday, October 2-3
French Culinary Institute
nymag.com/nyce

Epicurious Entertains NYC
September 29-October 3
www.epicurious.com/community/events/epicuriousentertainsnyc

New York City Wine & Food Festival
October 7-10
www.nycwineandfoodfestival.com/2010/#
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Project Food Blog, Challenge #1!

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Brownie: Testing…testing…um…hello?
Blondie: This is a food blog challenge, Brownie, we don’t have audio.
Brownie: Oh. Well…‘allo, blogospheare! We’re Blondie and Brownie. Perhaps you know us from our blog, Blondie & Brownie: Two Girls’ Adventures in Food or from our contributions to Midtown Lunch. Or maybe this is your first time meeting us, in which case, hi! We’re excited to participate in Foodbuzz’s very first Project Food Blog challenge.
Blondie: Since the first PFB challenge is to “create a post that defines you as a food blogger” we figured you should hear from both of us.
Brownie: Come to think of it, we never really did a “welcome to our blog” post in the two plus years we’ve been blogging. We just sort of jumped in and haven’t turned back. Remember our first post?
Blondie: The infamous chocolate chip cookie post…classic newbie blogger. We won't be linking to that, you'll have to find it. We’ve come a long way since then.

Brownie: Yes, like putting pies on sticks.

Apple Bourbon Gingerbread Men Pop Pies

Blondie: Made cupcakes that look like Lady Gaga. Mine sang around my office all afternoon, my coworkers were thrilled!

Lady Gaga Cupcakes

Brownie: And baked a seven-layer stars and stripes red velvet cake in the middle of the summer just for your birthday!

Stars and Stripes Cake

Blondie: We’ve taken our readers on vacation. I've been slowly eating my way through San Francisco with lots of stops at the famous Tartine Bakery.

Morning Bun

Brownie: While I had plantain pizza in Bogotá.

Plantain Pizza

Blondie: We seem to be on a mission of becoming regulars at some of the best markets in New York, like the new Hester Street Fair.

Hester Street Fair

Brownie: Or my new favorite, the Wednesday Dag Hammerskjold Greenmarket.

Dag Summer Market

Blondie: Where we've been meeting to discuss stalking food on wheels.

Grape Nuts Topped Ice Cream from Big Gay Ice Cream

Brownie: We heart cart!
Blondie: Yes, yes we do.

Brownie: We’re the kind of people who start planning dinner while eating lunch. And then plan the next day’s brunch over dinner. Food has strengthened our friendship.
Blondie: And tested it. Remember that time you entered us in the Chili Takedown?

Chili Takedown 2009

Brownie: Who knew making 200 chili cheese pockets would take so long?
Blondie: Yeah…I’m not going to say I told you so here.

Brownie: Basically, it all comes down to this: we love food.
Blondie: And we’re committed to seeking out life’s deliciousness wherever it may be found. Whether it’s a recipe we bring you from our own kitchens...
Brownie: Or on-site food reporting in the City and beyond.
Blondie: There’s nothing better than sharing food with friends.
Brownie: And we hope you’ll stop by and share a meal with us.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Love the Smell of Donuts in the Morning

Pies and thighs donuts
Fried chicken and pies are the only thing to get atPies-N-Thighs in Williamsburg. Their donuts are pretty darn delicious, too...

The first time we visited Pies-N-Thighs for brunch they were out of donuts. Out of donuts. Nooooooooo. Sad. Our second brunch attempt was more successful. And we were rewarded for our efforts with a luscious, sugar coated cake donut ($2). Lesson learned: The early bruncher gets the donut.

I would go back for these (and the Fried Chicken and Biscuit Sandwich) anytime.

Pies-N-Thighs
166 S 4th St
Brooklyn NY 11211
(347) 529-6090
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let the Ice Cream Training Begin!

Sundaes
Of my favorite foods, the only ones that I might be able to eat some insanely ridiculous amount of are ice cream and chocolate. And maybe cake, I have fantasies of eating whole cakes. So when I heard about the Kitchen Sink Challenge out at San Francisco Creamery-eight scoops of ice cream, eight toppings, three bananas, whipped cream, almonds, and a cherry-I knew that this is one of those crazy challenges I might have a shot at doing! (My sundae is the one with the rainbow sprinkles, of course!)

Eddie's Sweet Shop
But you can't just go out to San Francisco and eat all that ice cream! No, there is training involved. Yes, I am now in the midst of training for some crazy ice cream times. My first mini-challenge was the Banana Royale from Eddie's Sweet Shop in Forest Hills. Three scoops of ice cream with sliced banana, whipped cream, sprinkles, dry nuts, and a cherry. Not what I'll be up against come November, but I've got to start somewhere. At Eddie's, I chose the Mint Chip, Coffee Chip, and Chocolate with Hot Fudge. Now I can see why it's a Queens institution: their homemade ice cream is fresh, creamy, just sweet enough, and absolutely delicious. And the hot fudge is too die for! I could drink a whole bowl of that alone.

Empty Bowls
So delicious was my sundae that I didn't mind finishing my bowl and drip plate, success! Lesson learned: having different flavors definitely matters in avoiding palate fatigue. And I could have eaten more! On to the next mini-challenge!

Eddie's Sweet Shop
105-29 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills, Queens
(718) 520-8514
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Checking out this year's Bon Appétit Café

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The Sunday food and fashion collided at Lincoln Center with the opening of the Bon Appétit Café pop up at Fashion Week. Sadly for many attending fashion week, delicious food is out of reach (you know the drill, a moment on the lips...), but the rest of us can rejoice, as this year's menu is quite possibly the tastiest yet...

Blondie and I were invited to sample the goods gratis at their press preview on Sunday afternoon. We tried a good portion of the menu and here are our recs for what to get and what to skip.

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Vegatarian Bill Telepan's Vegetarian Cubano ($8)

As Blondie said: "the words Vegetarian and Cubano should never go together". That aside, this is a tasty and filling grilled sandwich stuffed with plenty of greens, cheese and pickles. If you're vegetarian, this makes for a nice lunch, but if you're carnivorously inclined, you can take a pass on this in favor of their other options.

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Marc Murphy's Grilled Chicken and Feta Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette ($8)

This salad was one of my favorite things that I tried at the cafe. It was surprisingly filling, there was ample grilled chicken and the oregano vinaigrette was awesome. I would definitely get this again.

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Michael White's Open-Faced Olive-Oil-Poached Tuna ($10)

Lawman loved this Tuna sandwich. It is only the pricier end of the menu, but it's no standard issue cafeteria tuna salad sandwich. Lawman is, shall we say, even thriftier than I am and he though that this was worth the 10 bucks.

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Mario Batali's Caprese Salad ($8)

The Caprese Salad was loaded with heirloom tomatoes and is the perfect antidote to the end of summer blues. If you're just going to get one dish for lunch, I would suggest something a little more filling, but if you are sharing a few dishes, this is a nice one to have.

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Missy Robbins' Ricotta, Prosciutto di Parma, Roasted Fig and Arugula on Ciabatta ($10)

What's not to like about a fig and prosciutto sandwich? I'm not the biggest arugula fan, but it was great on this rustic sandwich.

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Cat Cora's Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

I love tomato soup and this is a very fresh tasting version. Nothing beats the pairing of grilled cheese and tomato soup and I applaud the use of grilled cheese croutons here. However with the wealth of options at the BA Cafe you can skip this one. It's tasty, but not $6.50 tasty. And the little grilled cheese croutons are really best enjoyed immediately before they get too soggy.

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Each day they have a rotating menu of Agua Frescas. We tried their Mango Lime and Watermelon Mint Agua Frescas. Both were super refreshing. With fall around the corner, it was nice to still enjoy a summery drink. Agua Fresca usually goes for way more than $1.50, so I'd consider this a steal.

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This was my first time trying Sigmund's Pretzels (3 for $3) and I would consider walking back up to Lincoln Center just for these Gruyere laced soft pretzel bites.

In the dessert realm, it's hard to miss.

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BAKED's Cowboy Cookie with Oatmeal, Pretzels and Chocolate Chunks ($2) had a wonderful texture and flavor.

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BAKED's Pumpkin Whoopie Pie ($3) was super moist and nicely spiced.

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Christina Tosi's Chocolate Chip Cake Truffles ($3) are like a delicious hybrid of a cake and cookie dough rolled into a single ball of deliciousness.

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Michael Laiskonis' Bacon Brittle ($2) is sweet and salty with just a little kick. I'll never say no to peanut brittle, especially if it has bacon.

I hope I have a chance to get back to the cafe before it ends on Thursday.

Bon Appétit Café Schedule September 12-16
Breakfast / Monday - Thursday / 9am – 11am
Lunch / Sunday - Thursday / 11am – 3pm
Wine Bar / Monday - Thursday / 5pm – 9pm

Avery Fisher Hall
64th Street & Columbus Avenue
New York City
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Parked, the Vendys Pre-Game

Wah-Wah
For the past few years, Governors Island has been the place to be during the summer. It's relaxing, there are bike rentals, you need to take a ferry, the fast city life is left far behind until it's time to go home. And this year New York's foodies will descend upon the island with fervor in two Saturdays, the 25th. It's the Vendys. I don't think the Island's ready.

Lines
Labor Day Weekend was chock full of food events for those of us who didn't or couldn't leave the city; one such event was Parked 2010 on Governors Island. Silly me, I thought most people had left and didn't feel the need to rush to the ferry. Getting there at 1pm, I waited a hour for the ferry. Ferry fail. The whole time I tried to reassure myself that I was still going to get a good amount of food because surely the vendors will have a good amount of food, right?

Green Taste's Done
Partial fail. I did get food, but the food was running out fast. Green Taste was out. Robicelli's was out. Hermelinda Mexicana was out of food, but still had lemonade.

Calcutta Biryani
I'd been wanting to try the Desi Truck and they still had food, so off I went. I chose the Paneer Kati Roll and the Calcutta Biryani. I found the kati roll's filling to be deliciously spicy, but the doughy and cold parantha took away from the meal-Kati Roll Co. is still my number one. The Calcutta Biryani had nice chunks of meat, some seasoning and gets extra points for a lemon slice, but if this were StreetMeatPalooza, it would score in the average section. I had hoped to try the Goat Biryani, but they were out of it.

Hallo Berlin
For my second meal, I went for a Hallo Berlin miscellaneous platter. Greasy sausage, some spaetzle, a few pierogies, and chicken schnitzel-good East European comfort food. Everything was acceptable; the pierogies had good filling, the schnitzel was the lazy version (use the Italian herbs bread crumbs), but nothing was outstanding. I was going to ask about the MIA cart, but the line was long and the people were hungry.

Lines
By the time I finished my two meals, the lines had gotten worse. The line for The Cinnamon Snail Vegan Truck was even getting ridiculous. But was this a bad omen for the upcoming Vendys? In my opinion, no. Two main differences: The Vendys is ticketed to get in-they know approximately how many mouths will need to be fed. Secondly, the vendors make smaller samples of their menus. At the food truck events I've been to this year, the vendors keep making the mistake of serving their regular menu. If you make smaller portions at a cheaper price, people can try more things. We're coming to these events to sample a good amount of food at one time, and that should be taken into account.

Let's just hope that the Vendys also gets their own ferries, or I advise all to go early. Go for a Pre-Vendy bike ride or something.
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