Monday, October 28, 2013

The Food Film Festival Brings on the Almighty Ramen Burger

Tonight, I attended one of my favorite foodie events in NYC, which is the 7th Annual Food Film Festival.  Attending the event now for five straight years, I always look forward to the enticing food films they showcase, as well as to the novelty of tasting the foods featured in each film.

Dan and I attended the official wrap party event tonight, which featured the world premiere of the film Biting into the Ramen Burger - a short documentary about the food phenomenon that is the ramen burger.  For those of you who've been following the mania around this culinary fad, you'll know how hard it's to come by, as hungry (or just curious) New Yorkers wait for hours just to sink their teeth into this thing.  It's been compared to the Cronut phenomenon, and the film touches upon this in a cheeky, endearing way.  Here's the trailer for all you ramen fans.

The Verdict - I liked that our path to the almighty ramen burger was a pretty civilized one, as the awesome Food Film Fest organizers got everyone to cash in their Ramen Burger tickets, which were called up in 20 person increments. Sure this resulted in a lot of anticipation and chatter, but it also avoided the chaos that often ensues at Smorgasburg, where this burger is regularly sold.

And now for the taste? Well...I'm happy to say that the hype was totally worth it.  Not only did I get to meet 
Keizo Shimamoto, the mastermind behind the Ramen Burger phenomenon, I got to sink my teeth into it.

Don't let its conservative size fool you, as this is one hearty burger that will definitely tide you over for the night.  The ramen buns are of course the most interesting part, as they're a little well done on the outside and really soft and spongy on the inside.  While the film talks about how crunchy the outside is, we unfortunately didn't get this at the festival, but I presume it's a lot crispier when you get it on a regular day at Smorgasburg.  The burger patty itself was juicy and flavorful and glazed in a secret soy sauce that Keizo came up with himself.  I like that you get a little bit of greenery and earthiness from the fresh arugula and the scallions, creating an overall well rounded bite.

Other Goodies:
In addition to the burger goodness, we also got to indulge in other tasties you see above such as fresh oysters from Open Oyster, shaved ice from Woolys, ice cream pops from La Newyorkina as well as the most bodacious black & white cookies from Leske's Bakery.  Sure there were a lot of sweet bites, but the following two reigned supreme:

La Newyorkina - Loving the concept behind this company, which was started by Fany Gerson, it brings Mexican style frozen treats to New York palates.  I've seen these guys (or ladies rather) selling their colorful "paletas" at the Highline, which has often piqued my interest.  Happy to see them at the Food Film Festival, we got a bite of their horchata paleta that was also glazed in some silky milk chocolate.  Savoring its comforting flavors, which weren't too sweet, I can see it being the perfect antidote on a really hot day.

Leske's Bakery - Spying the large and beautifully glazed black and white cookies, Dan and I decided to share one.  Immediately falling in love with its texture, they were really soft and crumbly on the outside.  Their almost pudding-like glaze created the most indulgent bite, which was nice to enjoy after the chill of the above mentioned paleta.

I'd like to thank the Food Film Festival for another smashing showcase of culinary creativity.  As usual, it's opened my eyes to the amazing food artisans who are creating little bits of magic in this fantastic city (and beyond).  I hope you get to check out the films featured in this year's festival.

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