Wednesday, May 15, 2013


What better way to raise money to support tourism in Queens County than having a fine food event.  On May 14th, the Queens Economic Development Corp held a feast of food with 40 vendors representing various cuisines of Queens.   Over 900 people shelled out $125 for a 3 hour array of savory and sweets tastes as well as lots of liquid refreshments, all held at that Caesars Club at Citi Field and raising approximately $40,000.  

This eleventh annual extravaganza included performances by a Big Apple Circus clown, an appearance by 1969 Miracle Met Ed Kranepool, a booth displaying work by local emerging artists curated by Jackson Heights-based Zoescope and a stand up routine by Steve Hofstetter of the Laughing Devil Comedy Club in Long Island City.

Needless to say…Citibank was a big sponsor but one who gave the most, and not just in money, was the lead sponsor, Fairway Market. Queens was hit in the Rockaway and Breezy Point areas with destruction from hurricane Sandy.  One specific area of Brooklyn, Red Hook, got its share as the Fairway Market got totally flooded out.   They were determined to reconstruct the huge supermarket and not take it out on the employees, who during the rebuilding were transported, if necessary, to another of the 11 venues around the tri-state area. 

As far as food goes, Fairway Market gave a presentation of their catering menu, which included their own brands.

A couple won a gift basket in one of many raffles. 

Just about every vendor had more than one item to sample.   The Dog and Duck offered duck burgers as one taste.   O Lavrador leant its flavor on Iberian cuisine.  La Adelita and de Mole gave us authentic Mexican fare (vs. Tex-Mex), while La Rioja showed us what you would eat if you dropped in at a restaurant in Spain. 

Leo’s Latticini Mama’s was there to give us a the Italian taste of not only the sandwiches offered at both their restaurant and Citi Field food stand, but the pasta and baked goodies that they make as well.  

Surprisingly, the fare was minus Asian delicacies…Thai, Chinese, Korean…even Filipino.   Only one Greek restaurant was represented by Christ’s Steak House.  

Some of the others were: Austin’s Steak and Ale House; Bourbon Street; The Irish Circle, a Rockaway venue that rebuilt; Rocoto Restaurant; La Fusta Restaurant; and Sac’s Place.  On the sweet side was: Cookie Fairy Sweets; Rudy’s Bakery and Café; and Little Bird Chocolates.

Four tasters chose winners. McClure Pickles took the appetizer spot while there was a tie for entrée with both Pine Restaurant’s Chicken Scarpareillo and spiced Burgers and Belgian Fries owned by F. Ottomanelli.   Dessert went to Take a Break and I’ll Bake (pies were later raffled off). 

Liquid refreshments of the alcohol ilk were available that included wines, vodka, and some of the hard stuff.  Native Coffee Roasters was one of the non-alcoholic option.  Me, I’m Milkaholic. Whatever reason people choose for a shot of booze….I need milk.   Luckily, I didn’t have to opt for coffee…extremely light.  Five Acre Farms had their brand called, “Local”.  I did remember seeing that at Fairway and wondered what it meant.  Fairway had some killer brownies that were OMG and Five Acre Farms was just steps away.  Need I say more? 

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall attended to give the event a thumbs up.

 Melinda Katz, who will be vying for Marshall's end of the term spot, was also present.

Photos by Merle Exit and Dominick Totino

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