Blogger Ladies I Dined With:
As you can see from the above shot, we're a handsome bunch - all ladies with very distinct backgrounds, experiences, tastes, but one thing united us, our love of food. The five of us had a great time exchanging fun stories about food, blogging practices and future events we're going to partake in. So without further ado, here's who joined this feast last night:
Meg - My food partner in crime and colleague from We Heart Astoria as well as founder and editor of Harmonious Belly blog.
Lindsay - This talented and spunky woman hails from Texas but has a palate of a total "ciudad" dweller. She's referred to very cordially in the blogosphere as The Lunch Belle.
Erin - A gluten-free chica, Erin has dedicated her life to spreading the word about keeping your dining experiences fun while remaining gluten free. Who says gluten has to = fun?! Erin is known as the Gluten-Free Globetrotter and also writes GlutenFreeFun.
Elena - Distinguished, poised with tons of interesting things to say, Elena (originally from Italy!) writes about pampering your palate on a blog called The Gotham Palate.
In honor of us getting together and sharing valuable tid-bits about blogging, we want to share the wealth with you too. Check out each blogging lady's review of this experience.
Erin's "Opa! Gluten-Free Feast at Ovelia"
Meg's "Loukaniko at Ovelia"
Elena's "Tasty, rib-sticking convivality in Astoria – Review of Ovelia Psistaria"
Lindsay's "Opa! A Blogger's Dinner at Ovelia"
Others to come soon...
What We Ate:
When I tell you that the food last night was plentiful, I'm not kidding. Our gracious hosts, Chris and Pete stuffed us to our heart's delight and were only too happy to talk us through the fun BBQ menu. It was so nice to see too that Erin's gluten-free dietary needs were completely met, and she received a special rack of ribs that were dressed with a gluten-free BBQ sauce Erin brought with her. Additionally to the meat, Erin received a plethora of other sans gluten options, which made her (and all of us) very happy. Thanks Ovelia!
Apps - During my favorite part of the meal, we were graced with a generous sampling of nearly the entire app menu. Two things really stood out to me that I want to touch upon here, which were the sesame encrusted feta cubes and the corn dog buttons. The former consisted of large sized pieces of good quality, tangy feta cheese that had a nice crunch on the outside from a black and white sesame seed coating. Each bite was hearty and interesting, the texture between the inside and the outside providing a nice juxtaposition.
The corn dog buttons were absolutely out of this world! Battered in a slightly sweet cornbread coating and stuffed with Ovelia's homemade sausage, they were obscenely addicting. I loved to savor each bite, which at first tasted like a dessert from the cornbread crust, but in a few seconds turned into a savory treat. These were extremely amazing and poppable.
Additionally to these apps, we also enjoyed Kafteri poppers, wich are feta/jalapeno croquettes, Buffalo fried calamari and grilled halloumi cheese with roasted red peppers and prosciutto. All were delicious and did a good job of filling our professional-eater belllies.
The Meat - We nearly had no more room left after the appetizers, but as we saw the beautiful meat arrive, we couldn't say no. The BBQ'd ribs rocked our world and I loved how the meat split apart effortlessly from the bone. Dressed with a flavorful BBQ sauce, each bite brought me back to the fondly regarded Ribfest I enjoyed just this past weekend.
Besides the ribs, we also tried two types of chicken including the buttermilk fried chicken with an impressively crunchy crust and also a grilled chicken option. I naturally went for the former, as I'm a sucker for good fried chicken. This one was moist on the inside with some kick to it from BBQ seasoning. If you have a penchant for fried chicken, I wouldn't skip this.
The Sides - Along with the meat, we also received several comfort-food sides such as mac 'n cheese, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and corn bread. Out of those, the last two stood out to me, especially the sweet potatoes that were slightly sweet (but not too sweet) and the burnt marshmallows, which added a dessert-like element. I loved pairing it with the spicy fried chicken, and anyone who knows me can vouch that I relish a nice sweet and savory combo.
As already hinted above, the service couldn't be better. We loved how much attention we received, and the kind way in which we were treated. I appreciated the initiative the waitstaff showed when we couldn't make a decision about leftovers, bringing us our own boxes and letting us take control. I loved that and so did my blogging friends.
Thanks again Ovelia for a fantastic dinner - we can't wait to come back and sample the rest of the menu. Our experienced bellies are ready!
*You can also find this blog post in We Heart Astoria's inaugural blog carnival."
3 Smoky Mmmms
Ovelia Psistaria - 34-01 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103
N/Q Train to 30th Avenue