Last Sunday I woke up to the most surprising email from Zach at midtownlunch.com informing me that I won his contest and two tickets to the Citymeals-on-Wheels Benefit that was held this past Monday, June 8. (Here's ML's link to a really great interview with Ruth Reichl, Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine and the contest question that I had to answer). This was somewhat earth shattering news in my world, because one, "I NEVER win anything!", and two, this was to be possibly one of the best food events happening all summer long in NYC. I am incredibly happy to say that all my years of working in midtown and being forced to forage for exciting lunch options in this mecca of salad bars and chain restaurants has finally paid off.
I just wanted to write a little bit about this event, because besides being super fun and exciting it had a unique theme this year. The official theme of the benefit was "Street & Savory, A Global Street Food Festival", which amounted to 56 stations of various mini-bites of deliciousness where amazingly talented chefs prepared their take on typical street food. There were satays, gyros, tamales, bhel poori (see photo below), spring rolls, and crepes to name a few options.
There was also really good wine to be had. I tried two glasses, both from local Northeast vineyards, and they did not disappoint. The one I especially liked, enough that I may have to go buy some to keep at home, was a Gewürztraminer from the Herman Wiemer winery in the Finger Lakes region of NY.
There were so many interesting interpretations on how to dress up typical street eats, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed all of them. I think that it should be noted that even though the entire event was a wonderful experience, the best concept of the night in my opinion was Park Avenue Summer's 3-Minute Picnic, which was essentially a 3 course picnic done in miniature, complete with a picnic bench that you had exactly 3 minutes to sit at and enjoy the courses. And, since I saw that Serious Eats did a write-up of their top 10 list of dream street food offerings inspired by last night's menu, I'd like to add one more to the list. It really is a reasonable request, and I think it has the potential to be a huge hit. I would love it if the blueberry pie in a cup that was served at the 3-Minute Picnic station became a street staple...ice cream trucks are you listening??
It makes pie more portable, and it would be a welcome addition anywhere where ice cream is served. Can you imagine blueberry pie in a cup à la mode at the baseball game? I mean what's more American than blueberry pie and baseball (well, maybe apple pie, but it doesn't offer as nice an alliteration). Anyways, this is most likely a dream, but then again so was the whole night, so excuse me if my head is still in the clouds.