About Traveling Foodie a.k.a DrFoodie

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I am a clinical veterinarian in New England.  I absolutely love to travel and experience new cultures, mainly through cuisine. My reviews cover a multitude of different food & cocktail related events from food trucks to philanthropic food-related events and festivals. I like to think of myself as: Veterinarian by day Foodie by night! This blog was launched October 2011. I'm a huge advocate of the nose-to-tail movement and an avid enthusiast of prohibition era and craft cocktails! Sit back and enjoy...I hope this blog encourages you to try something new like book a ticket, pack a bag, and eat to your heart's desire in a new place! How I'd describe myself in a few words/phrases: Food+Travel Blogger, Freelance Food Writer (Past regular contributor on The Bay State Banner newspaper's blog Turn It Up Boston dot com), Jersey Girl (born and raised), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc Woman, Veterinarian, Surgery Lover,Travel Addict, Devoted Gourmand, Proud 2 time Tuskegee University Graduate, Social Butterfly, Girly Dress Hoarder, Stiletto Addict, Classic Cocktail Enthusiast "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO ― Bill McKenna

Monday, May 11, 2015

Comedor: A Blend of Chilean and American Food in Newton Center, MA

Comedor has several different atmospheric moods throughout the space.  Upon walking in, the food/chef bar overlooking the open, bustling kitchen is just as attractive as the bar on the far, left of the restaurant and the tables against the far right wall underneath large, colorful, attractive pieces of wall art- El Tiburon by The Couto Brothers, known for their socially aware collaborative pieces.

The space is warm, fresh, and welcoming.  We sat at the chef's bar and received the greatest service from both 
Steve and Erick.

After starting with an Old Tom's Negroni, we ordered a sweet and savory grilled cheese-the Sanguchito con Queso-fontina and cheddar with creamy, honey manjar and red pepper relish. 
Sanguchito con Queso

Our other two vegetarian dishes were excellent.

The Roasted Artichoke and Mushrooms were served with with crisp, charred kale on a blanket of roasted garlic emulsion with lemon.

The flavors complimented each other, boasting earthy notes, but the textural diversity was the highlight for me.

Roasted Artichoke and Mushroom

Another textural highlight of the meal was the  
Niños Envueltos-tender, roasted zucchini, black quinoa, bright, diced red peppers, cilantro, and meaty slices Portabello mushroom.

Niños Envueltos

Niños Envueltos
 One flat note dish was the Oysters a la Parmesana with chorizo and spring greens.  
I simply expected more of a flavor impact from the chorizo which fell short of my anticipation.

 We were quickly taken back on an upswing with the amazingly rich and creative 

Pig's ears Nachos-crispy-coated tender, carilaginous pig's ears topped with paprika, salsa, cotija cheese, and crema on a bed of lettuce!

Pig's Ears Nachos
Pig's Ears Nachos- a close up

Our last dish was a perfectly cooked, tender, medium-temperature Lamb T-bone with avocado, crisped navy beans, sumac, and grilled shallots.

For dessert we sampled Comedor's housemade Mandarin-Olive Oil Ice cream accompanying the Crema Catalanas- custard with EVOO caramel, whipped cream and toasted hazelnut. 

There's also a decent whisk(e)y list!

The menu has since changed since this fabulous first meal at Comedor's. 

 I am excited to head back in to try more!

Beaujolais Nouveau at Café De La Nouvelle Mairie, Paris, France, November 2014

Back in November of 2014-during my birthday week in Paris, Franc- I had the pleasure of experiencing one on the annual November festivities celebrating the red wine produced from Gamay (Gamay noir à Jus blanc) grapes in the Beaujolais region of France with American expat and Italian friends.

Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated on the third Thursday in November.

Parisians take to the street walking from one wine bar to the next sipping (and guzzling) the young wine which according to Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) regulations must be sold in the same year in which it was harvested.   The grapes also must be harvested by hand after which they undergo carbonic fermentation and are bottled just 6-8 weeks after harvested.
These wines do not improve in the bottle, even after years of being held.  They can also be used in cooking.

There's no finesse or pomp and circumstance in its handling and production, but the jubilee surrounding its celebration more than makes up for the lack of refinement. 

We spent the night amongst locals dancing and singing along with the live band playing jazzy, New Orleans-style music.

The awesome band had the people moving.  I found Parisians to be more fun when tipsy!
 We enjoyed a few bites and plenty of wine...

The sausage and lentils were delicious.  Large rounds of sausage sat upon tender lentils and carrots.

Sausage and lentils

Two rich dishes made their way to our table as well- the Terrine de Lapin (rabbit terrine) and the Paté en Croute (foie gras and mushroom pie)

Rabbit Terrine
Foie gras and Mushroom Paté
The Daube de Boeuf  "Aubrac", Petits Légumes (Beef stew with potatoes and carrots) was a perfectly simple, warming dish for the misty November evening.

And the party was definitely not confined to the restaurant.  People's personal vehicles served as bistro tables!

Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 was a once in a lifetime experience and probably the most fun I had in Paris.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dumpling Galaxy, 2-35 Main Street Flushing Queens, NY 11355 Second Stop on the #GreedyGirlsUnite Foodie Tour #NYC

Dumpling Galaxy was the second stop on our second quarterly #GreedyGirlsUnite Foodie Tour #NYC. 

We were extremely excited about all of the possibilities being that they offer an enormous number of varieties.  See a few of the most interesting varieties listed below (we sampled the ones with an asterisk):

Signature Dumplings:

Shrimp, Scallop & Crab Meat
Duck Meat with Mushroom
Chicken in Broccoli
Pork with Shrimp, Egg, & Chives
Cod Fish with Fish Roe
Pork & Chives *
Beef with Carrots
Lamb with Green Squash*
Tofu with Crab Roe
Lamb & Cilantro*
Preserved Egg and Pine Nuts

Seafood Dumplings:

Shrimp & Green Squash
Fish Meat
Shrimp, Egg, & Asparagus
Squid Meat
Dried Octopu & Chives
Shrimp & Chinese Yam
Shrimp & Corn*
Shrimp & Cucumber
Fish with Lotus Root

The dumplings are fried in a batter connecting the six while creating an amazing crunch on the edges and crisp little bits to pluck from the plate.
Unfortunately, the flavor profiles of the majority of the six or so varieties we sampled, left much to be desired.  I found them bland and uninspired with flat, square seasoning.

Pork Dumplings:

Pork with Scallion*
Pork with Pumpkin
Pork with Bok Choy
Pork with Dill
Pork with Potherbs
Pork and String Bean

There are also a variety of beef, lamb, and veggie varieties.

The best part of the meal was sans dumplings.
We had enjoyed a tender, unctuous, large tilapia fish head in chili sauce. It was colorful, full of flavor from peppery to sweet, to rich.  A beautiful dish in every aspect:

Tilapia head with chili sauce BEFORE

Tilapia head with chili sauce AFTER
Another stunning dish was the Lobster with chili sauce.  A whole disarticulated lobster fried and slathered in chili sauce imparted tender, sweet meat and a shell worthy of savoring.

This being our second stop, #GreedyGirlsUnite Foodie Tour of Queens was saved by the real dishes at Dumpling Galaxy!

Another Great Meal at Union Republic, Jersey City, NJ

Once again, Chef Ryan and family at Union Republic showed us a great time while providing eats that transcend the norm.

On our last visit, the bar at the far end of the restaurant was being built behind a tarp.  It was a pleasant surprise to see it up and thriving.  Adding another layer of character along with the cafe/upscale bodega style space in the front and the internet cafe feel of the central space, the bar can easily pass as a mid-day imbiber's cove and a nightcap zone.

Photo Credit: Union Republic Facebook Page

We decided, once again, to order the salad du jour and different ramen bowls.

Butternut Squash Salad: Roasted Squash, Pomegranite Seeds, Avocado, and Mixed Greens, tossed in Ginger Vinaigrette

Carolyn order the Bacon & Eggs Mazeman-a brothless breakfast ramen featuring toothsome noodles bathed in rich miso butter, topped with a poached egg, lardon, scallion, and pea greens.

Bacon & Eggs Mazeman

Because we loved the crisped, sliced pig's ears that comes on the Nose to Tail Ramen on our first visit
 (read all about it, here), we simply had to have them as a 'side dish'/snack.

Pig's Ears
Nose to Tail Ramen with crisp pig's ear slices, pork belly, and seared heart.
A bowl of ramen has been notoriously difficult for me to finish.  Even when I show up with an empty belly, I struggle to consume all of its goodness to the last drop.  I'm proud to say that I finally reached that milestone at Union Republic on our second visit, so it was a total photo opp.  
Thanks to Ahsan Anwar for your photog genius!

Yep, I used a straw...don't judge me!

I love my home state of NJ and UR is like a favorite cousin!  Thanks for another great meal!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Succulent Sundays (Tres Gatos): A Weekly Celebration of My Favorite Personal Food Photography

One Autumn evening in JP at Tres Gatos...

Chickpea Fritters over Dill Yogurt, Fresh Cucumber, Cilantro, and Halved Chickpeas

Boquerones-Spanish White Anchovies, Grilled Toast, Paprika

Chorizo, Cheese, Apple Butter

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Toro NYC: Part II Winter 2015 #GreedyGirlsUnite NYC Food Tour

It should be noted that because I love the original Toro (Boston) so much, my girlfriends and I have officially made Toro NYC the last stop for all of our quarterly NYC food tours going forward.

Our March 2015 #GreedyGirlsUnite NYC Food Tour covered Queens this time around, but we still made our way to Toro NYC before heading back to our respective cities.  Check out our first massive meal here back in September 2014, here.

This time around we ordered a few staple favorites like the Asado de Huesos-roasted bone marrow with radish citrus salad and beef cheek marmalade, Mollejas- grilled veal sweetbreads, Maiz Asado con Aioli y Queso Cotija-roasted corn on the cob with aioli and cotija cheese, Potatoes Bravas with aioli and romesco sauce, Tartare in a sardine can, and our signature sparkling Spanish rosé-Joseph Foraster Rosé, Trepat Penedes, Spain.

Previous photos:
Roasted bone marrow w/ beef cheek marmalade

Tuna tartare
Veal Sweetbreads

We also enjoyed a most of the newer items.  None of us were remotely a fan of the chicken and potato empanadas.  I personally found the filling to be flat and over minced, though abundant.  They lacked flavor and character.

The Carabineros-massive scarlet shrimp where drop-dead-amazing-served aside a charred, halved lemon, the ritual of pulling off the juicy heads and relishing the rich, savory liquor triggered more orders.  I couldn't get enough!

We enjoyed an order of Ostras en Escabeche-briny, plump, creamy Island Creek oysters served with a green strawberry, mustard seeds, chives, and verjus.

Before moving on to dessert, we introduced Sylvia to her very first bone luge with Sherry and the bone marrow bone...

Chocolate Cremeaux (Dark Chocolate Cremeaux with Olive Oil Ice Cream and Coffee Crumble), Crisp Cinnamon-Sugar Churros with Orange-Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Semifreddo with Olive Oil Cake, Blood Oranges, and Pistachios
Another fantastic evening at Toro NYC.
You can read my Toro Boston reviews here and here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Grandma's Dim Sum, 40-24 College Point Blvd, Flushing Queens, NYC- Quarterly #GreedyGirlsUnite Food Tour- March 2015

My girlfriends since childhood and I started a new tradition outside of visiting one another in our respective cities/states during down time and holidays. We are meeting quarterly in a city or part of a city to sample the amazing food! This time we invited one my veterinary colleagues/mentors/friends.


Our last meet-up was back in early autumn where we focused on lower Manhattan.  We started with the oldest dim sum purveyor in all of NYC, Nom Wah Dim Sum Parlor and ended with ToroNYC with fun stops along the way!  

We decided to make starting with dim sum our opening ceremony of sorts-no matter the neighborhood so we chose Grandma's Dim Sum in Flushing Queens, NY.  

This time we hired the driver we used at the end of our last tour as our personal driver for the day.  Five of us fit comfortably in this SUV and he was extremely professional, even mapping out the most sensible route plan for our list of restaurants.  
Big shout out to Samuel Moore, Uber/Personal driver and new friend to us all.

Located in a shopping mall, you're thrown into the mix of fast paced, almost exclusively Asian shoppers-groups of friends (young and old) and families, pushing baby carriages.  It's high energy.
For nostalgia's sake, I was tempted to grab a slice in the Chuck-e-Cheese located at the bottom of the escalator.  The shimmering costume jewelry and the traditional bakery were also great distractions as we made our way to and from Grandma's. 

We walk in and immediately, our cell phones lose service.  There's a slight, silent panic that ripples through the group until we turn around and face the wifi password on display near the hostess stand.  All is right in the world again.

We seated after only a few minutes by jovial staff.  We all observe the dishes at nearby tables and marvel over what we might order.  After being served a pot of tea, we briefly discuss the "Emperor's Pour" tradition and begin to dissect the dim sum and regular lunch menu.

Because Dumpling Galaxy was next on our list, we chose to not fill up on too much dumpling or shumai dishes.  We did succumb to shumai from the cart along with chicken feet.
I was pleasantly surprised that the chicken feet were more savory versus sweet.  I've had plenty where the cloying confectionery character was too much to bear.

Chicken feet and shumai

Sylvia sampling her very first chicken foot!

Most of my girlfriends aren't shy about trying 'exotic' foods, but I seemed to be the only one willing to order the spicy jellyfish in a group of women who are pretty adventurous eaters.  
It was served chilled and topped with white sesame seeds.  The texture was reminiscent of a seaweed salad-great comparison, Sylvia!  The spice was not at all overbearing and there was piquant notes on the mid-palate.  Each crisp bite resonated between the ears and the outer texture of each tentacle was not at as all off-putting as one might imagine.  It was simple, refreshing starter, but way too large a portion to finish.

We all agreed that a big bowl of bone broth soup was definitely in order, so we decided to share the braised beef noodle bowl.  

Unfortunately, we were all underwhelm.  The beef was certainly tender and the fatty bits superb, but the broth presented no real character, so I asked how long do the cook their bone broth and turns out it's a measly 20 minutes.  Certainly not enough to impart any real flavor from bone that's worth talking about.
I also could appreciate the toothsome, springy noodles.

The bowl of congee with abalone and frog, which both Sylvia and I were looking forward to was even more disappointing.
Lacking much flavor, it was unbelievable that the abalone and frog imparted little to the dish.
Even the delicacies alone fell flat.

The fried chicken with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppers and chili was an overall success with the group.  
Full of flavor and spice, the chicken was also supple and succulent!

The salt and pepper shrimp were simply fried shrimp, but a good batch.

The Dongpo Pork- Chinese pork belly cooked in brown sauce over sauteed bamboo shoots was major!  It's the definition of fat=flavor!

Dongpo Pork
Overall, I'd say that our experience at Grandma's Dim Sum was good.  The people were friendly (I vaguely remember one of the servers putting her number into my phone :0) and the food mostly great!  
I'd definitely check back in next time I'm in Queens.