Monday, June 22, 2009

NYC Food Film Festival - Good Flicks and Great Eats

This past Friday, I had the great fun of attending the Closing Night and Awards Ceremony of the 3rd Annual NYC Food Film Festival. The films were screened in three venues--the Astor Center in Manhattan, The new Water Taxi Beach in South Street Seaport and the original Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City.

Friday's awards ceremony and screenings were held at the Water Taxi Beach in LIC and Dan and I were so glad to finally check it out.

Really staying true to its name, there's no shortage of a "beach" and that means everything that comes with it like tons of sand. We didn't mind the rustic surroundings and once we took a look at the beautiful skyline, we knew why so many people cram in here on a Friday or Saturday night. There were plenty of picnic tables to grab a seat and enjoy the food films, Harry's famous noshes and drinks.

In addition to the Harry's menu, which includes his famous hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork and other grilled specialties, there were free nibbles to taste, courtesy of the festival. These included:

Okra Shrimp Gumbo - Based on a James Beard Recipe and prepared by Chef Harry Hawk and Sous Chef Katherine Dunn. Unfortunately, this went way too fast and I didn't get to taste it at all--it sounded good though.

Swedish Meatballs - Inspired by the film, In the Kitchen with Marcus Samuelsson. We found out that these were in fact IKEA meatballs, which are as Swedish as you can get. They were soft, yummy and flavored with strawberry preserves. I couldn't get enough so I helped myself to two servings.

Peeps - In honor of Friday's feature film, The Power of the Peep, thousands and thousands of marshmallow peeps were handed out for everyone to enjoy. I took a couple of boxes home and plan to share them with friends.

Buttermilk Ice Cream - From the Cruze Family Farm in Knoxville, TN which was showcased in the film, Buttermilk: It Can Help. Again, I didn't get a taste, which was a bummer.

Other grub that we had included Harry's classic eats:

The Burger - While I didn't try this at all because I was waiting in line for my pulled pork, Dan said that it was good but that it didn't quite live up to its "Best Burger of the Boroughs" title. I did however taste the fries and thought they were fantastic--crunchy, well done and seasoned to perfection.

Pulled Pork - Although a messy sight (see above picture), it tasted absolutely spectacular--marinated in a smoky, pungent barbecue sauce. I loved the tenderness of the meat, which was incredibly juicy and succulent. The bun, holding this goodness together was sturdy and slightly sweet.

Grilled Corn on the Cob - I had to wait about 20 minutes for this baby but it was well worth it. Once I bit into its sweet delicious kernels, it was heaven. Glazed with sweet butter, it presented a wonderful combination of savory and sweet. I'd order this again in a heartbeat, despite the possible wait.

The Films:
In addition to enjoying the goodies, we watched the following food films, of which Mr. Okra was my favorite. Everyone agreed, as Mr. Okra won the Audience Choice Award.

Come Have an Omelette With Me
Save the Honey Bees
Mr. Okra
In the Kitchen with Marcus Samuelsson
Power of the Peep

Hope that you got to catch some of these flicks--you can see several of them online. Check out my links.

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