Bocaito Paella

It’s true.

I went to Queens to check out the Barrio Brunch at Bocaito. Lucky for me, every time I go to Queens for a meal, it’s worth the trip.

The day started off slow for the cafe, a treat I was thankful for. I was able to enjoy the company of good friends before the crowd came strolling in. However, the crowd did start to pour in, and I honestly couldn’t blame them.

DJ 1st Class was spinning, old and new school hits, in such a way that had the entire place in a good mood.

Bocaito Menu

It certainly helped that they were serving pitchers of beverages named after a few greats we all know.

Sadly, the brunch and dining menu only seemed to be offered during a special event like this one. However, don’t fret, Bocaito hosts it often enough to put on your schedule.

Bocaito Dominican Breakfast

As my friend, Kim, indulged in her Dominican Breakfast, I decided on the Paella.

The portion size of the Paella was perfect for my appetite at the time (I was already pretty full from the punch). There was enough shrimp and chorizo in the Paella, despite my concern that there wouldn’t.

The highlight of the brunch wasn’t the food at all. It was the vibe of the atomosphere.

Bocaito Paella

I occasionally fear restaurants that jump on the brunch party band wagon. Fear of them serving up a great time and mediocre food. This was definitely not the case for Bocaito. They clearly knew what they are doing in the brunch department. So I was able to check them off my internal brunch restaurant fear list.

I am looking forward to the summer events that Bocaito will be hosting. I think the backyard  that looks perfect for larger group outings has something to do with that.

Please be sure to keep Bocaito on your radar!

Kim at Bocaito

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Brisket King NYC Meat

Sometimes when it rains, you just have to follow your nose to Sanders Studio for Brisket King NYC and prepare yourself mentally for a night of more tasting plates than you can count. As I closed up my umbrella and put together my camera, my senses were awakened by the delightful aroma circulating the venue. Chefs were already looking busy and the lines for both libations and food were starting to get muddled.

Brisket King NYC Blue Smoke

I quickly began to start the night with the likes of Dinosaur BBQ and Blue Smoke. Amongst some of the other features of the evening, these two competitors stood out for me the most. Blue Smoke had a hearty, deep flavored cut that wasn’t shy by far and it won them first place in the smoked category. No surprise there with the robust flavors they were dishing out.

Brisket King NYC Meat

Then Dinosaur BBQ’s was topping their dishes with a sauce that alone was enough to go back for seconds. It was the perfect BBQ sauce and it made their slider softer and richer all in one bite. Brisket King NYC is heaven for meat lovers and the competitiveness amongst the chefs, makes the night even more interesting.

Brisket King NYC Dinosaur BBQs

Libations were everywhere but Bombay Gin really stole the show. They handed me one of the best cocktails I had all night but Brisket King NYC had a wide range of brews and liquor vendor to choose from. Best idea all night because you’re going to need to wash down all the meats you indulge in.

Brisket King NYC Bombay Gin

In the end, The Wandering Que took home the title and when I visited their table, they were working hard to be sure of it. The event also last long enough to pick a personal favorite of your own and make new friends while you’re there. With butcher demos going on, who could avoid conversation?

Brisket King NYC The Wandering Que

Brisket King NYC Butcher Demo

All in all, putting Brisket King NYC on your list of food events to attend next year, will be a great idea.

Brisket King NYC Chef Salad

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The Federal Miami Quesadillas
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The Federal Miami has been on my To Eat List for a few years now.  So I had very high expectations when I was finally able to make the trip.

I had previously interacted with the restaurant on social media which made me even more excited that I was staying close enough to check out their brunch.

After being seated outside, we were greeted by one of the most amazing servers I have ever had the pleasure to encounter, Everette.

The Federal Miami enchiladas

Honestly, based on the customer service that Everette showed us alone, is enough to go back to The Federal Miami a few more times. He was just that good.

Our bottomless Mimosas were truly bottomless. Sifting through the menu was seamless. Everyone seemed to know what they wanted, but it did help that everything on the menu sounded like it was going to be delicious.

The Federal Miami Quesadillas

Although we could have used another serving of Enchiladas, this and the Quesadillas were perfect dishes to share. The Smoked Brisket and Eggs, however, was the table favorite as it was pure comfort food in a bowl.

The Federal Miami Brunch

Of course, I ordered an item that didn’t allow for sharing. Plus, it was quite messy at that. However, I just couldn’t resist having a breakfast sandwich. Thanks to Everette, who backed up my choice when I was in a decision dilemma.

At first bite, I thought to myself, “Wow! I should have cut this!” It was a lot of sandwich, and yolk, and pork, and sauce oozing all over. I could go on. For the most part, the biscuit itself was tough enough to keep it together, but it was still soft enough for me to enjoy. Adding the runny yolk certainly added to the experience. The texture of the pork was not at all gamy, as I expected, and it was a hearty bite. One that I hope to have again soon.

The Federal Miami Bread Pudding Dessert

Since our entrees were so delicious, we decided to have some dessert. Although, I wasn’t too crazy about it, I do remember the Bread Pudding bowl being empty by the time we departed.

After eating we didn’t leave right away. The Federal Miami is a place where you will want to stick around for a while.

The Federal Miami Dessert

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NYC Seafood Luau

NYC, You asked and we listened!

Food before Love will be hosting the 1st Annual Seafood Luau, to satisfy the taste buds of every seafood lover. This special event will be held on May 22, 20016 from 3pm to 7pm.

Our bartenders will be mixing up a few Tiki Cocktails for the seafood extravaganza and we’re sure you’ll be doing the limbo in your sleep when the night is over. To give you a good reason to wear your dancing shoes, DJ 1st class will be there for your listening pleasure. Plus, The Empire State building can be seen from the venue for your viewing pleasure.

Just picture having all your seafood favorites while kicking it and having a good time. Any seafood you can think of will most likely be served and then some.

Keep in mind, early bird tickets will only be available for a limited amount of time, so get them while they’re hot. Tickets

Lets Get Lei’d

NYC Seafood Luau

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Row House Dessert

Row House recently opened in Harlem and I couldn’t be more pleased.

A while back, a friend of mine was raving about how good the food was and how I needed to check out Row House.  I am happy to report that I kept my promise. Not only did I go for the food, but I also heard that Row House has a downstairs lounge-like area, that I wanted to check out.

I ended up visiting for my best friends birthday and brunch was the meal of choice.

Friends at Row House

Knowing that this was a special occasion and due to the size of our group, I called ahead to speak to the staff. Let me just say, they surpassed my expectations throughout the entire experience. So much so, that I’m already looking forward to going back.

We even ran into Bevy Smith, who’s table joined in with us to sing our birthday wishes to the birthday girl.

Could this be Harlem’s new hot spot?

Row House Macaroni and Cheese

Somehow… someway… I convinced my bestie to share her Macaroni and Cheese. This almost never happens so I jumped at the chance to try this perfect looking dish. Row House made sure it was creamy and cheesy on the inside, giving you warm delicious goodness all around. The top layer of the macaroni and cheese was crisp, giving it the texture balance I was hoping for.

Row House French Toast

I decided to try the Stuffed French Toast, that looked nothing like I expected it would. The bread was almost cake like and the plate was busy with many other flavors. I dug my fork in and could smell the sweetness rise up. The overall dish was filling and could satisfy any sweet tooth looking for a fix.

Row House Dessert

The staff was kind enough to bring out Red Velvet Ice Cream Sandwiches for the birthday girl and our other friends in attendance.

I believe this was the highlight of everyone’s meal. The sandwiches were small bites of perfection for every one of us.

My only hope is that the dinner experience at Row House is just as enjoyable as I plan when I return.

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Empanada Mama Guacamole

If you haven’t been to Empanada Mama, you’ve truly been chilling under a rock.  What most people don’t know is that their downtown location was closed and relocated into a bigger location on Allen street. Recently, the west side location burned down and a lot of Empanada Mama regulars were heart broken.

Although, we’ll miss stumbling in after parties on our way home, I hope that many will begin to call the new location home. After all, the place is huge and still gives you the same great tasting food we all come to love.

Empanada Mama is open 24 hours a day and normally has Happy Hour until 4am. So how could you not have this spot on your radar at all times?

The new location has a main entrance and communal like seating area. Beyond the wall that divides them is your traditional seating area. There is also a bar. Something the other locations lacked. And when margarita happy hour is happening, you get one.

Empanada Mama Margarita

The real gem at the new place is that they now have a back room for private parties. Can you say next birthday at Empanada Mama?

I was hungry just thinking about it. So I grabbed some of their Guacamole and Chips before I dug into some of my favorites.

Empanada Mama Guacamole

The Guac comes in all levels of heat with an endless amount of chips that never gets too low.  Too hot for you? Well more than likely it is probably still Happy Hour, so go ahead and order #AnotherOne.

What sets Empanada Mama apart for making these bad boys at home, are the fillings. They have everything from Cheeseburger, to the Brazil, to Tuna Jalepeno. It can’t get more creative than that. And for a place that has something for everyone, they are in a position to win.

If you are not a fan of Empanadas, there is also full entree’s, desserts and more. However, if you want to take my advice, go with the Shredded Chicken!

Empanada Mama Basket

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