Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Food Adventure Very Close to Home

Yesterday I had the pleasure of dining at the One-Ass Kitchen in the home of Tamara Reynolds--Astorian food extraordinaire and blogger. My friend Crystal told me about Tamara's blog and her clever idea of hosting Sunday Night Dinner--a local supper club she organized with her business partner Zora. Dinner is open to others, but you first must pass a non-intrusive screening process. Once you're "in" (it feels so good to be accepted), you bring with you a bottle of wine and some moolah--$35 per person to be exact. Not a bad deal for something so unique and different!

Dan came with me--of course--to enjoy what Tamara and Zora called the Super Tuesday Cafe. Politically charged and boisterous, the evening presented a slew of food from all parts of the country, in honor of all the running--and even some drop-out/has-been--candidates.

Here are the highlights from last night's super supper:
  • Kucinich's Crudite - Deliciously fresh veggies--the carrots and string beans had a wonderfully-loud snap! The dip was interesting and I've never had anything like it--anchovies, garlic and fragrant olive oil made up its components. It was a tad on the oily side but once I scraped the bottom of the dish, the smoky anchovies surfaced and aggregated nicely on my veggie of choice.

  • McCain's Nachos - Good ol' Southwestern food is always fun to munch on--especially when you're patiently waiting for the main course. These nachos certainly hit the hungry spot--and the tortilla chips were homemade, individually fried by cook Zora. I've never seen this done in a home kitchen but I have to say it looked easy and the end result was amazing--and not greasy! But my ultimate favorite part of the nachos was their chunky guacamole topping--it was hearty and there was plenty of it.

  • Obama's Chili - Another rich dish to warm the bones, this one's inspired by Obama who apparently loves to cook a good hearty stew. It was nice and beefy with plenty of beans and really chunky tomatoes. I loved it but Dan isn't a huge fan of the tomato so he probably could've done without it. Also, the toppings that came with this--sour cream, scallions chopped on a perfect slant, and cheddar cheese--were fantastic.

  • Edward's Spoonbread - I've never had this before (it's apparently a Southern thing) but I sure will have it again soon! It's a soft cornbread-grits combination that is oh so comforting. It was especially a yummy side dish to Obama's chili and Dan and I took turns going back for seconds and thirds--it was that good.

  • Huckabee's Garden of Eden Fruit Salad - Veery interesting combination of apples and various citrus and tropical fruit. It was also sprinkled with plenty of coconut--or at least what I thought was coconut. The fruit was incredibly juicy and generously sliced, which I love. I have to give our hostess credit for getting wonderful fresh fruit, which is sometimes hard to come by in the winter.

  • Hillary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies - An oldie but always a goodie, the chocolate chip cookie never loses its flair. This was another fave of ours and Dan had to basically glue himself to the sofa to refrain from seconds. The cookies were slightly bigger than bite-size, their batter was chunky and also nice and chewy. I could've eaten a dozen but had to save room for the pecan pie.

  • Bill Clinton's Pecan Pie with Lard Crust - Lard crust? You must be thinking, "yuck!" But no...this was the best part--so buttery and flaky, mmm mmm. The filling was chunky and had a strong rum essence which I first didn't love but it grew on me as I continued to basically lick my plate clean. What can I say? I'm a sucker for good pie!

So as you see, our dinner was a gorge-fest in the truest sense of the word. It was fun to put ourselves out there and experience great home cooking and meet new--and passionate--foodies. And all this happened right here in Astoria--the 'hood that we love so much.

Contact Tamara if you'd like to experience it for yourself.


  1. Thanks for coming, and glad you liked it!

    Don't worry--that was indeed coconut. The slightly disturbing brown spots were just from the outside peel of the coconut. Think of it as more authentic or something...

  2. Hi Zora,

    I loved it all! Just wasn't certain if it was coconut. It was really yummy.

  3. Those nachos look awesome!! great review sounds like such a cool thing to do!



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