Summerbeat – Edible Queens Throws a Great Party With Beer, Meat, and Ice Cream

by Meg Cotner on July 15, 2013

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Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending Summerbeat: Eat Meat Drink Beer, a delicious celebration of Edible Queens’s relaunch. The publication went though some editorial and ownership changes in the past year, as well as a site relaunch (which looks great). All the staff did a tremendous job with organizing this seriously delicious event and I thought I’d bring you some of the sights from the evening.

I arrived around 5:45 p.m., and the crowds were light but increased over time, but not to the point where things were unbearably crowded (as can be the case at some NYC food events). That’s one of the things I loved about this event—there was a lot of breathing space and it was easy to move around from vendor to vendor.

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It was easy to chat with the vendors. The first person I saw was Brian Donaldson, owner of Native Coffee Roasters. He was there with his excellent cold brew coffee, and I loved seeing his smiling face at the start of the evening. More on his coffee later.

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This is the Big Alice Brewing table. They are a new nano brewery in LIC and make very small batches at a time.

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I really enjoyed their Sour Cherry Sour Ale. It had a nice tang to it and I loved the cherry aspect. They use dried sour cherries in the mix.

The folks at the Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, a micro-brewery based in Maspeth, Queens, were also having a great time. I tried their Hazelnut Brown Ale, which was light and delicious.

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The first meaty dish I had was this very interesting and delicious roast duck sandwich from LIC Market. It had a foie gras butter on it and a cherry spread. I loved the soft, buttery bun, too. It was fun to chat and connect with Chef Alex Schindler, too, who was there on site.

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When I stopped by an empty table with a flurry of preparation activity around it, I had to ask what was up. The young woman told me that Peking duck was on the way from Canton Gourmet. Well, I love Peking duck and was looking forward to trying it.

When it was ready about a half hour after that, I went to check it out and was pretty happy with what I tasted—a nice balance of duck, cucumbers, and hoisin sauce. And yes, I do love the hoisin sauce (I used to eat it often when I would order Chinese American steamed vegetable dumplings from the takeout joint up the street from my last apartment). It also made me miss my beloved duck buns in Flushing. Must get back soon.

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After that, I wandered over to the table in the corner, and lo and behold it was Ovelia! I love their food at their restaurant (sesame crusted feta cubes, be still my heart!), and was really happy to see them at this event. Owner Peter Giannakis and crew were serving spit-roasted lamb and at the first bite, I was in love! The beautiful lamb flavor was there, combined with lemon and some kind of herb (my guess would be oregano), and the texture was wonderful—very easy to eat. This was my favorite meat of the evening.

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I also had the chance to try some of Alchemy Texas Barbecue‘s meat. They are a newish barbecue joint in Jackson Heights, located in the back of Legend’s Bar. While a bit fatty for my taste, I enjoyed the flavor of this meat, and the barbecue sauce was delicious, too.

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I was sorry to not get any of Tyson Ho‘s North Carolina style barbecued hog meat, but I got to taste his work a few weeks back at the second session of the inaugural day of Hog Days of Summer in LIC. Here’s what I ate then, which was similar (sans slaw).

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I couldn’t leave without a glass of Native Coffee Roasters’ cold brew coffee, which was strong and delicious. Plus it was gorgeous. Just look at that!

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By the time I had to leave, there was quite a crowd enjoying the food and drink. I left with a cup of ice cream from Malu—a scoop of Shiraz Rocky Road, and a scoop of Bourbon Maple Bacon. I ate it too fast to take a photo because it was irresistible. But here is the scene I saw as I left.

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Actually, I didn’t leave right after that—I found my friends Tom and Lisa hanging out just past the entrance! It was fun to catch up for a bit and chase the sunset that was happening before our eyes. It was really beautiful (I saw a number of shots of this sunset on Instagram) and I’m glad I stuck around to photograph it.

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One thing I didn’t mention yet is that the event took place in Sunnyside Gardens Park, a private park located in the historic district of Sunnyside Gardens, so it was a real treat to be in this park just on its own. On my way out of the park, the fireflies kicked it into gear and put on a real show. It was beautiful. And very summery.

Many thanks to Edible Queens and the vendors who were there, who fed us and quenched our thirsts. It was a wonderful time!

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