As an amateur chef and someone who simply gets bored easily, I’m an adventurous eater. You’ll always find me ordering the most avant-garde option on the menu. Why would I order something that I can whip up myself, with ingredients readily available at the local Food Emporium? I say you only live once, try it all.
So when I was invited to the OpenTable-sponsored, Taste Talks in Williamsburg, I was delighted that everything on the menu of the Sunday barbecue proved to be out of the box. OpenTable really is too good to me and armed with my pass as a Food Enthusiast for the entire weekend. Rightly so, I fully indulged in a weekend of food in my self-proclaimed BK getaway.
Set against the East River right off of Wythe Ave, home of the wildly popular Smorgasbord, Taste Talks ended in the All Star BBQ event. With high-profile chefs, from some of the hippest spots in NYC, the ALL Star BBQ proved to be the highlight of my weekend with innovative food brimming with foodies and chefs all around. In perfect BK style, the vibe was not stuffy by any means despite the high profile food. Rather the atmosphere evoked more of a trendy block party. Intrigued by the menu? Look no further:
- Mission Chinese Special – Danny Bowien, Jamie Bissonnette, and Inaki Aizpitarte
- Pighead Salad – David Santos and Jonathan Wu
- Grilled Blue Whale Oyster – Matt Rudofker
- Grilled Duck Hearts – Ivan Orkin
- Smoked Char Sui Long Island Eel – Will Horowitz
- Charged Lamb Tongue and Deep-fried Anchovy – Nate Smith and Lee Tiernan
- Veggie Burgers – Brooks Headley
- Grilled Chicken Kebab – Max Sussman and Eli Sussman
- Porchetta “Kra Prow” Tigelle – Action Bronson and Michael White
- Boar Collar Meat – Andy Ricker
- Barbecue Duck – Rob Newton and Oliver Strand
- Texas Hot Gut Sausage – Daniel Delaney
- Grilled Cinnamon Babka – Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman
Calm down betches. Hearts, tongues and whatever the hell gut sausage is… may sound unappetizing. But I can assure you everything I tried (and I tried it all) was flavorable and on point. As I’ve mentioned, relating to all aspects of my life, I get bored extremely easily so food that can excite goes far in my book.
So the winners in my opinion? I have to give it up to the Grilled Duck Hearts. They were juicy and well seasoned, so reminiscent of anticuchos from Peru; cuter though since they were smaller and trop mignonne. Next I’d have to say the Grilled Blue Whale Oysters scored top marks. While there was the option for traditional oysters, shucked right in front you, the grilled blue whale oysters by Matt Rudofker took the oyster throw-down. The idea of grilling oysters was new to me, only accentuated with an innovative garnish that included rehydrated golden raisins and fresh breadcrumbs.
Lastly I think the Pighead Salad took it to another level. As foodies may know, Pighead is actually becoming quite the commodity on menus across the country. And let’s be real, everything slow cooked on a pig is bound to be good. This offering also showcased the international flare present at the event with many of the dishes evoking the preparations of other cultures (i.e. Eel, Arepas, etc.). Everything else on the menu was equally as interesting and I left completely over-satiated.
I must say that BK seems to be a bastion for out-of-the-box food, giving me added munition to run away to BK and find my hipster boyfriend. Though we’ve already gone through this and this Manhattanite is not meant to be in BK; le sigh. But I digress. On account of food, life is too short, order the steak Tartare, try the pickled beef tongue, pick the boudin noire. You may never want to order it again, but at least you can say you tried it.
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