Events — 20 October 2011 & Edible Manhattan Present ‘Edible Escape’

Blog: Escapemaker & Edible Manhattan Tasting

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As a New Yorker we have the world at our fingertips, all encased within Manhattan island and its boroughs. We at have long championed the idea of eating local and turning to local purveyors not only for the freshest produce and meats but to also support the economy of our state. The great people at Edible Manhattan are similarly supportive of this cause. And with the help of great local sponsors like we were able to attend last nights fantastic “Edible Escape” event at the Angel Orensanz Center.

This was our first visit to the Angel Orensanz Center, a brilliant venue that we had no idea existed on Norfolk Street. The vendors who lined the walls at the “Escape,” event showed how the space can rival any of the more well known venues in Manhattan. The ornate, gothic church feel of the room, was perfect for this October evening.

The two floors of the event were packed to the gills with tremendous local New York state fare. Our first stop was a local wine merchant, which should be no surprise to anymore. The friendly women who represented Dr. Frank’s & Finger Lakes Wine County poured a fine selection of whites (after all it is Riesling country) and reds. We were partial to the 2010 Dry Riesling, and their 2009 Cabernet Franc. Both of their representatives were quite friendly, providing us with bits of wine knowledge while we sampled.

Since one cannot live on wine alone, we ventured glass in hand to each of the restaurant and food vendor tables with baited breath. Perennial LocalBozo favorite El Parador Cafe in Murray Hill, set up shop on the first floor, and instantly garnered the largest line at the event. This may have been caused by the excellent duo of Spanish inspired dishes they were serving. Guests could sample “shrimp ceviche” and “mushroom quesadillas” respectively.The tangy shrimp played well against the savory quesadilla.

After exhausting all the great food and drink on the first level, we made our way to the second floor, albeit slowly. First off, the view from up there was beautiful. I can’t say it enough how cool this venue is. The stand out dishes came from Asisadog who were serving “The Sidney.” This highly original creation was a 100% all beef hot dog topped with Thai mango relish and crushed peanuts. The sweet relish was a perfect topper for the salty beef dog. Txikito, kept it very local by serving a traditional squid dish, with the squid coming directly out of the waters of Montauk, Long Island. Finally, Mercadito captured our hearts (and our stomachs) with a delicious shredded pork (carnitas) taco, served on a tiny, but fresh tortilla.

It may have been rainy out on Norfolk Street, but inside the Angel Orensanz Center it was a different story. New Yorkers of all walks of life were laughing, eating, and drinking. And at the same time, we were able to take away the knowledge that eating, and buying local is not only socially responsible but it’s also a lot of fun.

- Jay Rubin

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