Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Taste of LIC

Total yum took over this year's Taste of LIC, held at Gantry State Plaza Park in Queens. If you've never been, it's a great reason to get the hell outa Manhattan! Attendees got a real taste of all the neighborhood had to offer, and long-time LIC residents even found new faves.

Tasting events, for a vegetarian, are a crapshoot, in my book- you either find lots of options at a tasting, or you're stuck wondering why you bothered paying money for side dishes. (if you're lucky!) But I was familiar with a number of the restaurants in the neighborhood, and figured I'd take the chance and hope I found even more goodies that I could eat.

And did I ever- I'm surprised I was rolled out of the tent. Some veggie highlights:

- From Manducatis Rustica- savory spinach and goat cheese (or at least I think) quiches and their famous gelato varieties. One of my fave places!

- Masso- I've been here before and found the food rather bland and uninspiring, but I'll give 'em props here for serving up tomato-basil tart and crostini with chickpea puree and parmesan- not sure why these were tastier at the event than at the resto, but these sure were filling!

- Manetta's Ristorante- a creamy slice of veggie lasagna was the beginning of my end, and their fab berry panna cotta was that delicious end.

- Bantry Bay Publick House- I had no idea this Greenpoint Avenue place existed, and now I know they've got solid mac & cheese and sweet potato fries- bar food actually CAN be good!

-  Breadbox Cafe- Offerings were super basic- mini bagel sandwiches. I might've normally skipped over a mini bagel with scallion cream cheese and tomatoes at a tasting event, but after a bite of the chewy and fluffy bagel, I know where I'll be purchasing my bagels in the future!

- Tuk Tuk- Almost all of their offerings were vegetarian- kudos to Tuk Tuk! I noshed on wonderfully light and fresh summer vegetable rolls and Thai vegetable noodles.

- Tom Cat Bakery- this might be the most delicious brownie I've ever had. Ever. Seriously. Perfectly rich and fudgy and not particularly messy to eat either. Heaven! Tom Cat does not have a storefront, but they do deliver to LIC's own Food Cellar market (fantastic scones and ciabatta bread!) as well as Dean & Deluca and Fairway.

On a mildly amusing note, Sage General Store's offerings all contained bacon- even the brownies. I'll say it once and I'll say it again, I just don't understand the foodie bacon trend of putting bacon in everything. If I wanted extra fat in my brownie, I'd add a scoop of ice cream. Anywho, this lady working at the booth says that although the brownie has bacon, it's still vegetarian, because some "vegetarian" she knows eats bacon. "Actually ma'am, I'm pretty sure that your friend is not a real vegetarian. Have a nice day."

My previous post on vegans working for a vegan place comes to mind... anyone who thinks that some fatty, smoky pork is vegetarian is someone I probably don't want serving my food.

On another note, you know what's awesomely vegetarian? Sangria- come on, you get a serving of fruit in your booze! And though La Vuelta on 44th Drive didn't serve any veggie options at the tasting, they had some mighty tasty sangria, which I found out is only $3 during happy hour.

Tasting events are not only good for discovering new restos, but new places to drink- score!

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