Flashback Friday – ATL Wings – Franklin Square

Over the past few weeks I’ve been craving chicken wings. According to the National Chicken Council, fried chicken wings originated in the South a long time ago. However, chicken wings became part of the food menu in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y. The popularity of chicken wings grew in the 80s and 90s to the point where it is now considered a staple for get togethers and game day gatherings, but more importantly it’s cost effective.

We recently heard of a chicken wings spot in the Franklin Square neighborhood in Long Island called ATL Wings. ATL stands for “All The Luv” wings. According to their website the wings chain started in 2012. The menu had a variety of sauces and rubs for the wings. I spoke and met with the manager Kisha who was so kind to provide us with her recommendations. We had a variety of flavors to try ranging from not spicy to spicy with fries and honey biscuits on the side.

Here’s our food journey at ATL Wings:

We began our wings consumption journey with the mild garlic parmesan chicken wings. These wings had a lot of garlic and parmesan flavor and the taste was well balanced. I’d ordered them again.

Garlic Parmesan Dry Rub Wings

Next, we proceeded to the lemon pepper wings, which were considered popular among customers. I can see why! It’s the balance of the crispy wings with tartness of the lemon with a pinch of pepper that pop when I bite into it.

Lemon Pepper Dry Rub Wings

Then we moved on to the BBQ Wings starting with the sweet teriyaki wings. The wings were good and sweet, but it was not as exciting as the previous dry rub wings consumed.

Teriyaki BBQ Wings

Next we moved on to the spicy BBQ wings, which were the Honey Habenero wings. These wings were really good. The sauce was well balanced between the sweetness of the honey and the spiciness of the habenero pepper.

Honey Habenero BBQ Wings

Finally, we hit a crescendo with the Extreme Honey Habenero wings. These wings were good but spicy. The initial bite had the same well balanced taste and texture between the sweetness of the honey and the spiciness of the habenero pepper. After consuming three wings the spiciness dominated over taste, which was a turn off.

Extreme Honey Habenero BBQ Wings

To counterbalance the overpowering heat consumed from the extreme habenero wings, we ate the french fries. Although the fries could have been crisper, it helped a lot as the well balanced taste of oil and potato helped with reducing the heat from the wings.

Side of French Fries

Finally we hit dessert with the honey biscuit that hit the spot and almost eliminated the heat from the extreme honey habenero wings. This biscuit was definitely made with love – cinnamon, powdered sugar and honey.

Honey Biscuits

The food experience at ATL Wings was overall awesome and the staff was very accommodating. Their food was definitely made with love.

Our favorites were the garlic parmesan, honey habenero and the honey biscuit.

I would definitely return and take advantage of their Tuesday special – 75 cents wings.

Thank you ATL Wings for great food and service.

Throwback Thursday – Eat Up Drink Up Japan

Last weekend we have had the privilege to be invited by Japion to attend ChopsticksNY “Eat Up Drink Up Japan”.  

We attended the Dinner Session. Upon arrival, we were given a card containing circles each representing each of the six regions.  What I loved about this setup is that every attendee would have the opportunity to taste every dish as long as they present the card to the server at each station to be stamped. Once the card is stamped, a sample of each of the three dishes are served with a sake pairing of your choice or even try more sake. 

The event setup was well thought out where the attendee could feel that they are going on a food and drink journey through Japan.  

Our food journey began with dishes from Northeastern Japan – Hokkaido & Tohoku. This region is known for their seafood. Food samples paired with Gasaryu Kisaragi sake included: 

Salmon Teman-zushi – Favorite

Dashi Dofu (tofu) – vegetarian

Beef Tongue Roast

The second region we visited is the populated multicultural region of Kanto.  Food samples paired with Tsukinoi Taiyori Ginjo sake included: 

Peanut Miso atop Cucumber – vegetarian and favorite

Utsumomiya Gyoza (pan fried dumpling)

Deep fried monkfish 

We then traveled to Central Japan to experience the food and sake from the Chubu/Tokai region.  We decided to pair our food samples with Kubota Junmai Daiginjo sake. 

Sasa-Zushi (Favorite) – Rice is amazing

Nagoya Tebasaki (fried chicken wings)


Simmered Daikon with Yuzu Miso Sauce (vegetarian)

Finishing halfway through the food and sake journey, we moved on to the region called Kinki is considered the ancient capital of Japan. This region’s food also caters to the noble class. We paired our food samples with our favorite sake of the night: Umeoyado Yuzo Shu

Okonomiyaki (savory pancake) – favorite

Tekone – zushi (love the rice)

Nasu Dengaki – eggplant (vegetarian)

Next we head towards the warmer region of Chugoku and Shikoku. We paired our food samples with Suigei Junmai Ginjo Koiko No. 54 sake. 

Katsuo Tataki – favorite

Tai-meshi (love the rice once again)

Shoyu Mame (vegetarian)

Finally the sixth and final region is Kyushu located in southern Japan. The food presented is more common in most Japanese restaurants here.  We paired our food with the sake Yatsushika Tokubetsu Junmai

Roasted Wagyu Beef (favorite)

Pork Kaku-ni

Gane – vegetarian

After our six region meal, we visited the VIP section and tasted the “higher end” sake, which is unfiltered sake from the Daiginjo Counter.  The sake was served by sake sommelier Toshiyuki Koizumi of Wasan Brooklyn.  

The sake was definitely more refined and strong so the night end with consumption of three different degrees of matcha from Ippodo Tea Company and mochi ice cream. 

Throwback Thursday – Da Nico Ristorante – Little Italy 

One of the popular festivities celebrated in New York is the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy.  This festival last 10 days, this year the festival started from 9/14 thru 9/24.  The festival is held along Mulberry Street.  The street is so packed to the point of claustrophobia and it can be worse than rush hour.  

There were a variety of food items such as sausage and peppers, pastries, pina coladas, seafood, fried oreos etc. to purchase but they are overpriced. Personally I’ve avoided eating food from the vendors.  Therefore I prefer eating at one of my favorite spots:

Da Nico Ristorante (164 Mulbeery Street) is a local favorite in Little Italy and it has a garden. But with the humidity and hot weather we decided to stay indoors. 

We went on a Friday night and we walked in and were seated immediately.  I’ve eaten here several times for lunch and was neber disappointed.  The place as I recalled was known for their meat dishes.  Portions of each dish were perfect where there were no leftovers. Service was overall great and very accommodating given the busy atmosphere. I definitely want to return here for lunch and eat at the garden.

Here are the dishes that were ordered: 

Appetizer: Mozzarella In Carrozza $13. This dish is coated in different kinds of flour and breading. The texture was light not greasy. The sauce was so good. Unfortunately, was hoping for more slices. 

Entrees: Both entrees came with sides of vegetables and a rice ball.  Vegetables were good, the rice ball, not so much.  A side of penne alla vodka was also ordered, however, there were better versions. 

The star main entrees overall were amazing, the taste and texture remained the same after 13 years. 

Pollo Cardinale – chicken breast, prosciutto, roasted red peppers and mozzarella $24

Veal Marsala – veal scallopine with sauteed mushrooms in Marsala wine $25


Dessert: Zeppoles – COMPLEMENTARY

Da Nico provided complementary zeppoles. I was so full from my entree, nonetheless, they were well made not too greasy and love the dusting balance. 


Stay tuned tomorrow for another food adventure in Little Italy.  

Throwback Thursday – Blenheim

Happy Thursday so as promised and better late than never I will be posting my dining experience from NYC restaurant week.  Although it was painful to see the $4 price hike on a prix fixe meal, I want to get my money’s worth eating a restaurant with a reputation e.g. Zagat rated, Michelin starred.  In my previous post categorizing where I would eat while getting my money’s worth plus collecting bonus OpenTable points.

Well guess what, I did not include a farm to table Michelin rated restaurant called Blenheim.  The reason why this restaurant was not on my list of restaurants to eat during restaurant week was that their menu was not yet posted on their website or NYC.go’s site.  Anyways, the ambiance and West Village location, the restaurant was cozy, local and low key.

Unfortunately I missed the happy hour special, which ends at 6pm but very excited to indulge in their summer cocktail that contains a hashtag called “#WildWestVillage.  This cocktail consists of watermelon, tequila, honey and berry.  At at splurge of this $16 cocktail, one drink was definitely enough but more importantly it was very refreshing.

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Two of my girlfriends joined me in this restaurant week experience.  The restaurant week menu and the regular menu were given with instructions.  If we wanted to order from the restaurant week menu, the whole table had to participate, which we all did.  Now in hindsight, service treatment was biased because we felt that we were not treated as regular customers.  For example, bread was served to us but in a smaller plate compared with the rest of the customers.  My friend actually called it out where our server heard it and the host had to “clean up the mess”.  Anyways, back to the food, the food served during restaurant week was in small portions compared to their a la carte menu.  However the quality of food did not disappoint.  For appetizers, I ordered the poached egg served with beans and asparagus.  My friend ordered the chilled soup and my order friend got the salad.  I had a tasting of all three dishes and they were all good, but my favorite of the three was the poached egg with asparagus and bean.  The presentation was natural and pretty, but more importantly the flavors were perfectly balanced.

One of the major reasons why I wanted to eat here was their english pea agnolotti and was so glad it was part of their restaurant week menu.  In addition to the agnolotti my two other friends ordered the roast chicken and fish dishes.  Portion wise, the agnolotti and chicken entrees had one of the smallest, the best entree buy was the fish.  I loved the agnolotti entree and enjoyed tasting the freshness of the roast chicken and fish entrees.

Blenheim’s restaurant week menu dessert did not have many options so we went with the waitress’s suggestion of the honey semifreddo and the suggestion was spot on.   The portion size of this dish was also good.  The semifreddo and the fresh wholeness of the berries with honey was a great end to the meal. 20160728_202921

I would actually return to the restaurant just to have another order of the agnolotti regardless of the mediocre service.  But it would be interesting to actually see whether I would be served differently if I ordered from the regular menu than from the restaurant week menu.  Time will only tell…

Traditional Tuesday – Pan Fried Noodles

In the past week or two, I have had this craving of pan fried noodles with some type of gravy sauce.  When I was child I was considered a picky eater.  My father who is a chef would bring home a variety of dishes and even cook some too.  I was told I had expensive food tastes as my two favorites were sharkfin soup and pan fried noodles with beef.

Even though my food palate has evolved over time and I eat everything now, I will always have a love for an order of family style pan fried noodle dish with either beef or seafood during my family outings at a Chinese restaurant.

I went grocery shopping last week and came across a packet of “Hong Kong Style Pan Fried Noodles”.  Immediately, I had a huge craving for this dish so I purchased a packet and searched online for the best recipes to replicate the dish in most healthy way possible with the ingredients I have at home.  As a result, this recipe is adapted from two recipes that I found made the best pan fried noodles.

During the creation of this dish, my phone decided to not cooperate with me so unfortunately I do not have my usual photo of my ingredient layout.  In addition, there is no exact calorie count.

Please note that leftover cooked vegetables (carrots and cabbage) were used in stir fry portion of this dish.  This dish serves 2 people.

Chicken & Marinade adapted from RecipeTinEats:

2 Boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced (120 calories/serving)

1 teaspoon of reduced sodium soy sauce (3 calories)

1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 tsp flour or cornstarch

white pepper

  1. Slice chicken breasts into thin slices
  2. Add all ingredients and combine
  3. Let it sit in room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

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Pan Fried Noodles adapted from Serious Eats 

1/2 lb. of Hong Kong style pan fried noodles (300 calories/serving).

2 tablespoons of Canola oil (120 calories/serving)

1/4 cup of water

  1. Add 1 tbsp. of canola oil to the wok
  2. Separate noodles by hand and add them to the oil in medium high heat.
  3. Pat noodles to make it into a pancake for about 1 minute
  4. Add water to create steam so the noodles would not burn.
  5. Swirl the pan so the noodles on the periphery could get crispy.
  6. Slide the noodles unto a big plate, obtain another big plate and invert the noodles to transfer.
  7. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. of canola to the wok.
  8. Return the uncooked side noodles to the pan and repeat steps 3-5.
  9. Slide the noodles unto the big plate.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry adapted from RecipeTinEats

Sauce

3 tbsp. of flour or cornstarch

3 tbsp. of water

3/4 of chicken bouillon dissolved in 3/4 cup of water

1 tbsp. oyster sauce

2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce (20 calories)

1 tsp. sugar

  1.  Combine above ingredients to create this stir fry sauce.

Stir fry

1 tablespoon minced garlic (15 calories)

1 tablespoon olive oil (120 calories)

2 shallots, chopped

leftover cooked cabbage and carrots.

  1. Heat olive oil and add garlic.
  2. Add marinated chicken and stir fry until golden brown
  3. Add shallots and cooked vegetables
  4. Add stir fry sauce and let it simmer for about 1 minute.
  5. Place stir fry and sauce over the noodles.

Unfortunately I do not have the finished product as my phone died and I was hungry.  The dish was less starchy and salty compared to what I have eaten at Chinese restaurants.  The texture of the dish was pretty close.  The dish was cheaper to make than ordering it at the restaurant.   Creating this dish was an experience in itself and the techniques used to cook at home versus at a restaurant is different due to space and availability.  I definitely want to make this again using different ingredients so stay tuned!

 

Social Saturday – Queens Taste 2016

Happy weekend! It has been over a week since I last posted and it was a very overwhelming week.  Today, I am introducing a temporary weekly post called Social Saturday where I will be posting an experience attending an event that focuses on restaurants and various types of food.  I will begin this post with my first event I have had the privilege to cover, Queens Taste 2016.

On Thursday May, 3 2016, the New York Hall of Science hosted the annual Queens Taste 2016.  The event showcased about 50-60 restaurants, products and small businesses.  It was ideal for the Queens foodie.  The event overall highlighted classic dishes such as hamburgers and root beer floats while celebrating the diverse cuisines from Italian to Caribbean Chinese.  Proceeds from the event will support the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC).  QEDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to “attract, create, and maintain jobs in the borough through business services, neighborhood development, the Entrepreneur Space (our food-and-business incubator), and marketing attractions through the Queens Tourism Council and the It’s in Queens and Discover Queens brands”.

After a conversation with the organizers of the event, they were wondering as to how I will be able to incorporate these sample tastings and promote them as being healthy.  So, after sampling some of the food provided I decided to highlight and organize the dish I sampled according to the following:

  1. National Strawberry Month
  2. Gluten Free
  3. Classic and Comforting Desserts
  4. National Hamburger Month
  5. Catering Classics
  6. Diverse Dishes
  7. Bar Snack, non-alcoholic shake & an Asian fusion classic

Scenes from the Event

National Strawberry Month – Strawberry Sweets

Gluten Free Desserts

Classic and Comforting Desserts

Catering Classics

Diverse Dishes

Bar Snacks, Non-alcoholic drink, Asian Fusion twist on a classic

Traditional Tuesday – Chicken Thighs Adobo

I know it’s officially no longer Tuesday, but I want to keep my word on posting a dish involving ingredients from the Sunday Game Plan.  One of the dishes from the Sunday Game Plan is Chicken Thigh Adobo.

Adobo is a popular dish in the Philippines.  Adobo in English means “vinegar braised”.   The main marinade of the traditional Filipino adobo dish is soy sauce and vinegar.  This dish can be made using any type of meat or even vegetables.  Personally the best adobo dish to make is pork belly, but for now, we will use chicken thighs.  Chicken thighs is a great piece of meat to cook with because it has all the flavors and juices in it.  Plus, it’s definitely healthier than pork belly.

Making this dish brings memories from my grandmother and mother who tried to pass on this family recipe.

Chicken Thighs Adobo – Serves 5

5 pieces of chicken thighs = 239 calories/piece of chicken thigh

5 tablespoons of Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce = 10 calories/tbsp.

5 tablespoons of Datu Puti Native Vinegar (any vinegar will work) = 0 calories

3 garlic cloves, sliced = 13 calories

3 bay leaves = 6 calories

1 teaspoon of ground black pepper = 4 calories

1 teaspoon of brown sugar = 17 calories

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Ingredients for marinade

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Chicken Thighs

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Combine all marinade ingredients

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Pour marinade on the chicken thighs and let it sit on room temperature for approximately 90 minutes.

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Turn the chicken thighs over and let it sit for another 90 minutes.

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After 90 minutes, turn on the heat on medium/high and let the mixture boil.  After boiling, add as much water to your preference (personally I love the marinade so I add approximately 4-6 cups of water so the mixture won’t be too concentrated).  Turn the heat on low, cover the pan and let it simmer for 30 minutes, turning once halfway.  After 30 minutes, open the pan and let it cook for another 20 minutes on low heat until the liquid is reduced.

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Transfer the chicken thighs on a plate.

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Pour the marinade over it.  This appears really greasy, but it’s the chicken fat with the marinade ingredients.  No oil was added during the entire recipe.  Serve with rice.

Current pantry: Soy sauce, native vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, ground black pepper and brown sugar.

Chicken Thighs: On sale at Stop & Shop for $0.88/lb. but it comes in 4-5 lb. packages.

Calories/serving: 289 calories. 

 

 

 

 

First Sunday Game Plan

It’s been a long weekend but very excited to post Tablespoons and Teaspoons’ first Sunday Game Plan for the week.   After reviewing various circulars, a budget of $30 was set aside to do some grocery shopping for this week’s meal plan.  This meal plan works well with anyone who wants to lose weight and take up “clean” eating.  Below is the handwritten version of the game plan which lists recipes that will be prepared and made.20160110_231941-1

Utilizing the ingredients purchased on a $30 budget, at least 12 healthy cost effective recipes can be created for the week with the high probability of leftovers.  In terms of current pantry items the biggest investments were the olive oil, rice, cooking spray and soy sauce, everything else in the pantry was purchased under $3 per item.  Current pantry items are separate from the $30 budget grocery shopping.

Can’t wait to put these ingredients into great use and make quick, budget friendly and healthy dishes.  Stay tuned!!