Posted by: Orlick | January 25, 2010

Judy Ruminates… Edible Queens Winter Warm-Up Wrap-Up

Some people may wonder why I would schlep my tuckus all the way to god-forsaken Long Island City on a rainy afternoon. The answer is food. Free food. Lots of free food. Edible Queens magazine’s first food tasting event, to be exact. Winter Warm-Up was touted to be a treasure trove of samplings from restaurants all over Queens, and I was excited to be a part of it! Upon exiting the station, I beheld the goliath L Haus, a blocky and frankly, crazy-looking condo building. An interesting choice to hold a foodie event.

Model on the first floor

The tasting room held a good number of restaurateurs and independent vendors. Glancing through their wares, it dawned on me that the restaurants only represented LIC and Astoria. Hmmm…curious. Well…food is food, after all, wherever it comes from. And I was ready to eat.

The first station happened to be a dessert vendor called This Chick Bakes. Sue me. I had dessert first. A chocolate cupcake went straight into the gullet. Delicious!

Next came LIC Market, which provided me with a tapenade and blue cheese nibble. Two strong flavors that seemed to compete with each other without fully resolving the issue in my mouth.

More dessert followed as the Manducatis Rustica folks plied me with their rainbow cakes and cream puffs. Good. Good. And good.

Drinks at last! I gulped down two tiny cups of apple juice from Red Jacket Orchards. Interesting flavors that remind you that apples make good bedfellows with other fruit.

Testaccio provided some more nibbles in the form of oxtail spread on toast. I told my friend I wasn’t too keen on it and he quickly plopped the rest of it in his mouth. I was waffling!!!

The lady for Dolce Nonna, a pickled-veggie-in-a-jar vendor, looked somewhat bored, so I sampled her nibbles as I perused her display of jars. Not bad. Good winter food.

The most satisfying tasting came from the next station, Pestos with Panache by Lauren. Not only did they provide little-spoon samples of their pestos, they provided two pastas that showcased two different pestos. The pumpkin chipotle pesto was really amazing. Wait, do I have their card?! Yes, I have their card. Whew.

Loaded up with carbs, I was ready to tackle more sweets. Onto the Bareburgers station, where two guys made organic milkshakes on the spot. Tasty, but the organicness of it was lost on me and it was not what I’d really like to sample from a place called Bareburgers…

The last stop was the Queens County Farm. Free range eggs and sheep’s wool for sale. Hmmm…somewhere out there, a sweater wants a-knittin, but alas, I am no knitter.

Two hours in, they held a panel discussion about food in Queens, moderated by Joe Distefano, a food writer and newly-appointed blogger for the magazine. The folks on the panel were:

Lee Anne Wong, former contestant and current consultant for Top Chef
Josh Ozersky, food writer and founder of Ozersky.TV
Zora O’Neill, Co-author of Forking Fantastic! Put the Party back in Dinner Party
Dave Cook, food writer and “Eating in Translation” blogger

From Left: Joe DiStefano, Lee Anne Wong, Josh Ozersky

From left: Josh Ozersky, Zora O’Neill, Dave Cook, Leah McLaughlin

The conversation revolved around everyone’s favorite spots for different foods. Pizzas, burgers, carts. Astoria came up again and again, with *sigh* only a short mention of Jackson Heights for its carts, particularly the Arepa Lady and the Hispanic food vendors on Warren Street. (The panel’s favorites will be posted on The Q&A was wildly esoteric, with someone asking for the current source for a long-lost mustard and someone else talking about his experience planting heritage apple trees in Queens. Evidence that foodies are indeed weirdos. [And I am proud to count myself among them.]

I left the food tasting event thinking it was great that we just had a Queens-centric foodie event that *gasp* drew people from other boroughs for once and not the other way around, but I also felt like there really could have been more representation of restaurants from other parts of Queens. It was a great first effort though, and will probably get better over time if it becomes an annual thing.

A special thanks to Leah McLaughlin for coming up with this awesome event and more importantly, for creating Edible Queens, which I love so much I pay to subscribe when it’s free. — Judy Ruminates

Edible Queens
Pestos with Panache



  1. Lauren got her inspiration from eating raspberry cheesecake paired with basil sorbet. Dessert launched her innovative pesto line.

  2. This is Gisella Civale of Dolce Nonna. I would like to state that I was not “bored” as you wrote and I was simply attending to the gentleman who was standing in front of me. Our product line is far more than “pickled veggies” and are extremely versatile and very popular. Please take the time to read our website for further information.

  3. Very nice pictures!

  4. Excellent ‘rumination’ and brilliant photos of an event I wish so much I could have been at. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you for the great comments! Also, I ended up visiting the Dolce Nonna site. It still looks like they sell only pickled veggies to me.

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