The Chef burger Korzo

The last best burger I had was at Korzo. Buried away in Brooklyn. I first learned of this decadence in our Facebook Group. Wanting to give it go, I went by with a friend to see why this was featured on the Chew. I’ve since been back for our monthly bite at nite series where we each indulged in a different burger and enjoyed a few appetizers as well. We made early reservations on both occasions which is really important because Korzo gets packed. The front of the restaurant has plenty of room to maintain the crowd but everyone is trying to get a seat at the tables in the back. Each table is adorned with condiments, including beets which I mistook for BBQ sauce. Luckily for me, we realized this before I poured it all over my fries or burger.

Korzo Chef Burger

We chose the pierogie’s, fried cheese platter and mussels to start and share. This was the perfect idea and helped us keep the bill under $50 for each guest, with drinks. On my initial visit, we also tried dessert which was overwhelmingly delicious. They served us a fried dough plate topped with whipped cream and fruits. Korzo is the place for any glutton.

The Chef burger Korzo

The burger I had both times with no regrets was the chef burger, cooked medium. The burger consist of a dry aged ground steak blend, with Monterey jack, smoked bacon, spicy Hungarian peppers and cognac spiked berry gastrique. The art of the burgers at Korzo is that they deep fry it a Hungarian dough. Instead of being met with a heavy burger bun, you’re biting into a soft, semi-sweet dough that holds all the juices inside. There’s just the right amount of room to squeeze your condiments in and the heat of the peppers stands out immediately. They make about 4 other burgers in this style but the chef burger is my favorite so far. I’ve had a chance to bite two others on the menu and they still don’t compare. If you’re looking for an amazing NYC Burger then Korzo needs to be the next place you go.

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Seafood Cauliflower Cuca Restaurant
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A few months ago, I visited Bali and one of the first restaurants we went to was Cuca Flavor. After some extensive research for our group trip, Cuca Flavor came up multiple times as one of the best in the town. I recently shared how to best prepare for Bali and things you should know before organizing some time there. There are many food options to choose from and it can be quite overwhelming to find the right one.

Initially, what I loved about Cuca Flavor was the atmosphere. The restaurant has plenty of open space, fabrics draped down from the high ceilings and simple, distinct touches that pull it all together. Their ingredients are sourced directly from Indonesia and cooked in an open kitchen. We had the pleasure of having the restaurant all to ourselves and got to peek into what the chef was preparing for the evening.

Travel Group Cuca flavor Restaurant

We decided on the chef’s tasting menu which includes tapas for the whole table. We even got to indulge in desert together. Before we grabbed bites to eat. I ordered a Tokyo mojito which came with a ice ball in the glass. The benefits of ice balls are that the ice melts a lot slower than a smaller cube would, releasing less water into your drink. It also looks really cool and put Cuca Flavor on the higher end for me as far as presentation goes.

Corn Cuca Restaurant

At least 10 or more plates were brought out to our table. Everything from meat and potatoes, to black squid risotto made it our tastebuds. The roasted pork buns ended up being the crowd favorite. Honey glazed bbq pork just had to happen for us again so we ordered another round. But amongst us were roasted baby roasted corn, bbq octopus and a honey baked pumpkin salad. The corn was soft and crunchy and had just the right amount of cheese on top.

Seafood Cauliflower Cuca Restaurant

The octopus however, was more refreshing laying over a bed of asian gazpacho. The cauliflower was sweet and the dish was fresh, easy to share amongst friends. The pumpkin salad was more unconventional, none of us having tried something quite like it before. The best part about the dish was that the green beans were really creamy and that softness against the crunch of the granola was a match made. The pumpkin has more depth to it so it really rounded out offering.

Chefs Table Cuca Restaurant

The experience is said to be on the higher end pricing wise for Bali but we all still felt it was a pretty affordable one. I would certainly return again and find time during the day to dine. The feature a garden and outside seating for guest who wish to visit then. If you’re planning a trip to Bali, visit Cuca Flavor before you depart.

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Kosher Food and Wine Expo Wine bottles

It’s been over a month since the Kosher Food & Wine Expo but I came across a few products that are still on my mind. In order for an item to be Kosher, it has to be prepared or simply satisfy the requirements of the Jewish Law. A lot of the products were only actually available at Kosher wine and spirit shops but there was such a variety that it would be impossible for it to be just limited to that.

Kosher Food and Wine Expo Wine bottles
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com
Kosher Food and Wine Expo Guest
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com

The event was hosted at Chelsea Piers and the check in process was extremely seamless and organized. We were greeted with custom wine glasses which wouldn’t be empty for long. Over 400 wine and spirits would be awaiting us so it’s safe to say the event producers, Royal wine, out did themselves. As we approach passover, the demand for Kosher Wines will be increasing and with products ranging from $6 a bottle to $250 – there was something at the Kosher Food and Wine Expo for everyone.

Kosher Food and Wine Expo Glasses
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com
Kosher Food and Wine Expo Chef
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com

The room was broken down into two parts. At least 60% of the room was filled with wine and spirits vendors and the other half was the gourmet fare. As much as there was a wide range of wines available, there were also many conversations going on amongst owners, sommeliers and distributors. From lychee flavored wine to spice whiskeys, each table offered something interesting and multiple variations as well.

Kosher Food and Wine Expo Chocolate Liqueur
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com
Kosher Food and Wine Expo Buzz Balls
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com

I recently tried a product called buzz balls which is a small packaged punch you can likely get at your local liquor store. What I learned at the Kosher Food and Wine expo was that this delicious product came in a ton of flavors and are perfect for events and hosting guest. The packaging makes it so the product floats so it’s perfect for pool parties and BBQ events which are hosted outdoors. As the industry is changing, the Kosher Food and Wine expo really gives a space for these business’s to showcase what’s next in our world.

Kosher Food and Wine Expo Food Table
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com
Kosher Food and Wine Expo Wandering Que
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com

There were also multiple food spreads and chefs live in action. Our friends Wandering Que who won last year’s Brisket King were also showing off multiple dishes. They had a meat based brittle that tasted like the sweetest candy.

Kosher Food and Wine Expo Meatball
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com
Kosher Food and Wine Expo Vendor
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com

The highlight of the expo was definitely Walders for me. Their mixologist made two of the best drinks I had all afternoon. Their mixers were so good that I ended up leaving the event after having them because I didn’t want to ruin the experience for myself. I look forward to being back next year.

Kosher Food and Wine Expo Mixologist
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com
Kosher Food and Wine Expo Walders
Photography Coverage Provided By: KOLIN MENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY | © kmendezPHOTOS – 2017 – www.kolinmendez.com

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7up Ingredients

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 7UP®. The opinions and text are all mine.  

*Must be 21 years of age or older to drink alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

The great thing about food and drinks, is that they can always bring you back to a time you want to remember. In particular, I wanted to be brought back to a summer luau. I knew partnering with 7UP would bring me only one sip away from the summer vibes I wanted to channel in my glass. I was also determined to create a cocktail that would be amazing all year round. Given its versatility, 7UP was what I needed to spruce up the drink I was getting ready to create.

It was a great opportunity to test out my idea before I hosted a few friends over the weekend. Lucky for me, I thought up something that can be served with or without the liqueur of your choice. It could also be created for parties of any size. Something that was for everyone, a Blueberry Smash. First order of business was to visit my local Stop & Shop for a 2 Liter of 7UP. You can, however, purchase it at Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle as well. In fact, there’s even a coupon in Savory Magazine. So make sure to check out Savory Magazine in the “New Flavors” edition until 3/30 to save $1.00 when you buy two 7UP 2-Liter bottles.

Brown Sugar

If the recipe is as perfect as I hoped it would be, I planned to make a punch for the group. So a 2 liter of 7UP was exactly what I needed, along with fresh blueberries, a lemon, and some dark brown sugar. The great thing about a Blueberry Smash is that you probably have most of the ingredients in your home already. It’s simple to make and even better to enjoy. There are no pre-made ingredients and it will easily wow your guest and their taste buds. I’m in the business of impressing guests.

Blueberries

The first thing you want to do is cover the bottom of your container with blueberries. The blueberries can be either frozen or fresh. I tried not to eat too many after washing them but it was hard not to, so don’t make the same mistake. You can decide to put one layer or two and you can base this on how much you want the flavors to come through.

Lemon 7up IngredientsNext, you’ll want to toss your brown sugar in and squeeze the juice of half a lemon in. It’s time to muddle the mixture. You can always use the back of a spoon if you don’t seem to have the right tools. You really just want to get the skins broken off the blueberries so don’t smash them up too much. You can muddle until the sugar melts, which won’t take too long.

Crushed Ice

Crush some ice and dump it into your container and then add the liqueur of your choice. I went with rum to pair my sweet with some smoke.

7up Ingredients

Lastly, pour the 7UP in and stir. The crisp 7UP flavors will bring the ingredients to life and make the drink something fun, and refreshing to taste.

Blueberry Smash

After all, there’s always #7Waysto7UP

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Chef Ingraham
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Do you love pork and are always looking for new pork recipes to do? You’re in luck because Celebrity Chef Richard Ingraham recently launched the Taste of Now through a partnership with the National Pork Board. Chef Ingraham has been Dwayne Wade’s personal chef for five years and is revolutionizing the food world. We gave him a ring to see what he was up to and what pork recipes he could share with us.

He not only gave us a recipe, but told us where we’d be able to find a few more and keep up with him. It was great to hear his perspective on the on-going lack of representation of hospitality professionals of color in media. Watch the video below to listen in on our conversation and how the Taste of Now will changing how you view pork.

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Zengo Thai Chicken Empanadas

It’s been a long time since I last visited Zengo but the memories are still pleasant. This particular occasion, was for the birthday of a dear friend who knows how to brunch in style. It not so easy to find brunches that are this fun in the city anymore, bottomless and with great food. Rare find for sure. Zengo also host private parties on their upper level and the free coat check is a relief. Who wants to get aioli sauce on their jacket?

Zengo Mimosas

The brunch options at Zengo are unlimited so you’re welcome to order everything, which indeed we did. They also have about 8 different brunch cocktails that you’re welcome to switch out as much as you’d like. I recommend you try them all until you find your favorite but note that the bottomless clock starts soon as you sit down. If anyone else is late to the party, they will regret it! There were a few crowd favorites amongst us, especially the Mexican chocolate waffle. Don’t leave without it if you like sweets.

Zengo Shrimp Ceviche

 

We started light with the shrimp ceviche but it was more of a cold salad than anything else. Because Zengo is a Latin and Asian fusion restaurant, the Thai citrus flavors were prominent. Fresh melon adorned the dish but it was really more of an appetizer and we were still left with plenty of room. The sushi rolls were more than enough for everyone and it was perfect that they provided vegetarian options for those who wanted.

Zengo Lobster Chipotle Grits

 

The lobster grits also didn’t have the usual consistency grits should have but it was great for bread dipping. The hints of lobster were surely hints but definitely present. The fried chicken was one of the heartiest thing we ordered and it was a juicy addition to some of the starches we ordered.

Zengo Plantains

Pouring cheese over plantains has been something I’ve been more willing to try since my visit to Bodega Negra. There’s just something about crema fresca or cotija over sweet plantains that gets me going. These are what brunch dreams are made of.

Zengo Thai Chicken Empanadas

Another Zengo favorite were the Thai chicken empanadas. They had just the right amount of spice to them and the sweetness of the mango salsa brought it all together. The empanadas were perfectly fried and stuffed with enough chicken to leave us all full. Because we all got to share plates and Zengo was so accommodating, I’d say it was a great place for a group or occasion.

By the way, if you’re looking for quality prescription glasses online at affordable prices because you want to brunch in style, check out Glasses USA. They have a huge selection of stylish in-house brands and you can find me at brunch, sporting mine. See what they’re offering here.

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