Airport Eating.

Chicken tenders and Panda Express in the airport con only mean one thing: it’s the west coast event season and I am in the thick of it! Currently enjoying my strawberry oatmeal and bacon from the comfort of my desk because it’s an off week, I’m scrolling through my camera roll with a smile because I’ve been sitting on some pretty good content. If i didn’t pass out on every flight, that would be the ideal time to write—but I do, so I can’t.

I’ll get it all posted somehow.
*I am the queen of Snapchat filters when I’m on the road.

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Pearl’s for the Culture.

Pearl’s for the Culture.

When Chéo said we’d be spending Labor Day in Brooklyn this year, I automatically thought back to last year and how we ended up at j’eatjet. I pretty much spent the morning calling restaurants to find out if they were open—but not this time! I did my research, found quite a few restaurants that would be open, but we still ended up at Pearl’s in Williamsburg, for the culture.

Each visit to Pearl’s, I try something new—last time was the tamarind wings. As much as I would’ve loved to have an order, we went with the sweet plantains, served with a tamarind chili sauce. I’d never had a crunchy plantain until then: it seemed to have had a light flour-coating that added a much-needed texture once paired with the sauce. It was a pleasant surprise and definitely a dish I’ll be trying at home, as soon as I figure out how to make tamarind sauce.img_8023

I had a few tastes of his Trini rum punch; that was definitely a hit! I got my usual bake and shrimp, Chéo ordered a bake and jerk chicken with a side of avocado, and of course the macaroni pie.

It was a short drive to OddFellows to get ice cream for dessert. Their ice cream is so creamy and smooth, I had to put Chéo on. Instead, he ordered a milkshake. ::rolls eyes::

 

Brunch and candids: our NYC Labor Day tradition. The traffic we hit was horrible, but we were surrounded by the sounds of the Caribbean, and that was home to us.

 

 

 

 

Taco Cleanse Crawl

On Sunday, my darlingest Nia of @EatWithNia curated a Taco Cleanse Crawl- to make it healthy, we walked off the last taco on the way to the next!

The route:
First was La Lupe: Carne Asada Taco on a corn tortilla with onion, cilantro, radishes, avocado salsa and lime.


Then Amaranto
. I had a steak taco with caramelized onions, fresh cheese, watercress, chile de arbol sauce,
Oh, and mushrooms- surprise! I picked every one out, including the one I started chewing on. ::cringe:: Krystal got a roasted chicken taco with avocado and chipotle-guajillo sauce. We were still a little hungry, so Christina ordered a crab toastada with fennel, avocado and chipotle mayo.

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Followed by Los Hermanos. I got another steak taco, but my fascination by the process overpowered my interest in eating the actual taco.

Then Taco Santana. Christina bought a horchata, a beverage made of ground almonds, rice, barley, tigernuts, or melon seeds. She gave s little talk on it, too.

Finally we ended at Cholulita. We were pretty much tacoed out at this point, but still had a little room for something more. I got a bistec torta with my favorite tamarind flavored Jarritos.

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There were two contest: one was to take a selfie at every location eating a taco and the other was to take a selfie eating a taco you wouldn’t normally eat.*

Though I’ve heard of crawls, I’d never done one. With Christina and her friend Krystal in tow, this was so much fun! I can’t wait for Nia’s next event: it’s all about chicken!

 

*I brought Nia a prosecco doughnut from my trip to The Doughnut Project. I walked in and handed it to her; she announced I automatically won the contest. I didn’t win.

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A Toast: Prosecco Doughnuts

I’m always getting tagged on food posts on Facebook, so when I got the tag for the prosecco doughnut video, I was intrigued.

The Doughnut Project teamed up with Ruffino for National Prosecco Day—August 13th—to make these glamorous prosecco-glazed doughnuts. I was tagged on Friday, and I was at the shop Saturday morning. They make their batch, and when they sell out, that’s it- so I made sure I got mine!

They’re selling them until the end of August, so act fast!

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The Doughnut Project
10 Morton Street
New York, NY

 

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Christina & I keeping ourselves entertained in NYC Saturday-morning traffic.

Eating for Work: Yardbird Southern Table

Our CEO came from the UK to the last event in Miami for the season. Whenever Mark is around, I know we’ll be eating good! This time, our staff dinner was at Yardbird Southern Table, with a stick to your ribs menu I didn’t mind at all. You know how I do, fried chicken and mac & cheese all day baby!

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The drinks keep flowing when we’re all together, so we got started at the bar and looked over the menu. Amanda got excited for biscuits, which naturally brought about the cookie vs. biscuit explanation as Simona, a Swiss colleague, was also in Miami.

All I wanted from menu was fried chicken—lots and lots of fried chicken. Of course, I wanted mac & cheese and fries, too, but I knew that fried chicken was a must! A waiter walked past with it and my mouth watered: thatwas the green light.

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Mark likes to order a bunch of different appetizers and entrees so everyone can dig in and eat whatever they want. We got black angus burnt ends with blue cheese fondue, tater tots and pickled chilies, iceberg wedge and herb garden caesar salads, St. Louis style pork ribs, and of course, their Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles. A lobster that’s not even on the menu hit the table; no questions asked, just gimme! Their fried chicken was super juicy and perfectly seasoned, I had to box what was left for a late-night snack in my hotel room. By the end of the night, I’m convinced the ten of us polished off maybe five orders of mac & cheese—he just kept ordering them!

Chéo and I are planning a trip to Miami—he already knows I’ll be making the reservation as we land. The dulce de leche strawberry waffle on their brunch menu sounds divine.

Yardbird Southern Table
1600 Lenox Avenue
Miami Beach, FL

 

#avaeats All White Party + Potluck

#avaeats All White Party + Potluck

img_7055I. Am. Floating.

Saturday night was the night! The #avaeats all white party and potluck was an absolute success! Naturally, there were a few hiccups—but all the little things I worried about were nonexistent. We had a great turnout and variety of dishes from West Indian to Italian, and the never-failing tray of chicken wings from the Chinese spot. I can’t thank everyone enough!

I ordered an infused unicorn cake from @sugarhighbakes and they delivered! I offer them the opportunity to set up at the party and they gladly took it. I was a little nervous about them coming, I’ll admit, but they had a successful night and enjoy themselves, and I couldn’t ask for anything else. I know for a fact they’ll be getting some new business after this—mission accomplished!img_7059

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I enjoy making pretty desserts, so I held that down on the contribution list. I made vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream and a white chocolate brush stroke, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate bark, and brownies in a brand new silicone mold that almost made me shit myself—I’ll tell that story another time. Angelena reminded me the day before that she is a pescatarian, so I had to run out to grab some shrimp and decided to make shrimp kebabs two ways: lemon and garlic and jerk, using the jerk seasoning my god-sister brought me from Barbados.

The contributing menu consisted of so many bottles of liquor, homemade rum punch for adult capri suns, lo mein, rasta pasta, quinoa with kale, potato and green bean salad, macaroni pie, a gluten-free vegan interpretation of doubles, chicken wings, homemade pickled red onions and hot sauce, flan, a bunch of cookies, marble cheesecake with Oreo and graham cracker crust, and the plethora of sugary shit I mentioned earlier. 

Speaking of chicken wings, let me big up the contributor, Jeff, real quick for taking the initiative so whip out his handy-dandy camera and start snapping away! When I’m hosting, I have severe tunnel vision to make sure all of my guests are taken care of and I often forget to document the good times, so Jeff’s presence was clutch.

I made photo props and bought buttons and pool floaties to give away. There were contests for the best Instagram photo and caption using #avaeats: these were the winners. FullSizeRenderimg_7101img_7103

Chéo drove up for my first event. I was entirely too happy he was here. He seen me host so he knows how I maneuver, so having him here was a huge help! He made sure everyone had drinks and food and got them everything they needed, and like always, he was the captain of the cleanup crew. He looked at me with hearts in his eyes the whole time; he was so proud of me when he saw how everything came together. He won’t stop telling me; this man of mine is always making me blush. I love that his friends came and supported me too. These guys are always a fun bunch.

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I had such an amazing time. I’m exhausted, but I’m still on a party high. I put a lot of time, energy and money into concepts when I come out with them, so when I hear amazing reviews about anything I do I’m always grateful and always humble. I can’t wait to do this again!

I stole a few Instagram/Facebook posts because I’m screenshot mami: I like to see what I do through other people’s eyes.

Prohibition Bakery.

After Angelena and I pigged out at Pearl’s, Christina met us nearby to continue our food-filled Saturday. Christina has proven time and time again to be a rider- I have no idea how she found Prohibition Bakery, but I’m glad she did! If you want a real boozy (min) (cup)cake, this is the place!

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There were only a handful of flavors left when we got there: Pretzels & Beer, Old Fashioned, Dark & Stormy, Sangria, and Negroni. My favorites were Pretzels & Beer, made with Six Point Sweet Action Ale, Nutella, pretzel and white truffle, and the Old Fashioned, made with whiskey, bitters, orange, and a whiskey soaked cherry—but tasted everything like the typical black cake with icing served at every Trini wedding. We also tried Paloma rum drops with tequila and grapefruit for free!

I’m convinced the three of us walked out at the end of the night strangely tipsy off some cake! The alcohol doesn’t bake out, as one might think, because they add the liquor after they’re baked. These mini cupcakes are crazy boozy so you just might get carded, but each contains less than 5% alcohol by volume, in compliance with NY State Law.

Prohibition Bakery was founded in 2011 by a bartender and a chef, Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem. Unfortunately, their Clinton Street location closed down a few weeks ago after five years due to typical NYC rent hikes—a whopping 40% increase. They’ve since relocated and only offers delivery and catering services for now. Hopefully they’ll get another brick-and-mortar soon.

img_6890They even have a cookbook, so you can get boozy from the comfort of your own home!