The I can’t believe Andrew Zimmern knows CCG! & Googa Mooga weekend

Andrew Zimmern @ Taste UWS 1

Dear Food Diary:
This past weekend was a food filled one. I bought tickets to Taste of the Upper West Side event on Friday only because my ALL TIME FOOD HERO Andrew Zimmern was gonna be there. Adam Richman from Man vs Food the host.

Andrew Zimmern @ Taste UWS 2
I didn’t waste anytime, went looking for him after a couple mediocre bites and drinks. I snapped the first chance and got the shot while letting him know: he’s the reason I got cable, no joke! (He thought that was a great story).

And then, just when I thought things couldn’t get any better our convo happened during his signing…Andrew Zimmern @ Taste UWS 3
(As I gushed like a high school girl meeting Justin Bieber)

Me: Could you please make it to ChubbyChineseGirl (CCG)?
Andrew Z: You are ChubbyChineseGirl!?
Me: Yes!!! (super excited at this point, he remembers?)
Andrew: Oh! We follow each other on Twitter!
Me: YES!!! I told him how I didn’t follow him back for a while to feel good and let it all sink in LOL (remember that day?)


I was so starstruck that I forgot to tell him, so Andrew if you happen to be reading this ” if you ever need someone for a Shanghai episode, remember me!” (actually anything, I will work for food!!! *wink*)

Andrew Zimmern @ Taste UWS 4
He was as down to earth as I imagined. He signed my poster “You’re not Chubby – but you’re Chinese” (my hero is giving me the green light to keep eating, wooohooo!!! Rest assure, if it looks good, I’ll def eat it)

Most people see him as the guy who eats all sorts of weird things and though that is somewhat true, to me he really shows us the world through food. He is open minded when offered anything, anywhere, out of respect and curiosity. I love how something that could be “bizarre” for one, could be an everyday eat for another. It’s all about perception and environment. He connects us all in a more tangible and human way and I love that about the show.

I’ve died and went to foodie heaven after this… thanks for being so cool Andrew!

taste of the Upper West Side 2012
The rest of the Taste the UWS event was a blur. The joints that showed up were aight, nothing really stood out. And if this is what the UWS taste like, I would take the train downtown. My favorite Recipe nor other UWS favorites participated, but Shake Shack was there to sorta save the night.




The Great Googa Mooga Festival (was anything but “great”)

the great Googa Mooga festival
Luckily we arrived early. Lines were very manageable and the 6 of us did a divide and conquer before the whole place became a zoo.

THE FIRST THING WE ATE:the great Googa Mooga festival_ M. Wells
Since there was no line yet, we ran to M.Wells. I really miss them and find myself curing my withdrawals through their random appearances like their Foie Gras Poutine at Smorgasburg and meat pies at P.S.1.the great Googa Mooga festival_ M. Wells 2
As we were ordering, the lady from the health department was inspecting, I was crossing my fingers and telling her to leave our foie gras alone in my head! In the end, she did.the great Googa Mooga festival_ M. Wells 4
the great Googa Mooga festival_ M. Wells 3
Horse Bologna & Foie Gras Grilled Cheese. Finally there it was… seriously not for the calorie conscious.
Rich and decadent foie gras, horse bologna (which isn’t too different from regular, I’ve had horse in Iceland and it just tastes like very lean meat) and cheese between to perfectly charred and buttery bread. One of the high point of the day… This was the best and most unique thing we ate at the event.

From there, it sorta went downhill (in an overpriced manner…)the great Googa Mooga festival 2

Top Left: Colicchio & Sons: Spit-Charred Pork Belly Tacos, at $6 each this was outrageously overpriced and not even hiding it. The tortilla was dry and hard. The pork was ok, but nothing to be raving about. Thumbs way down. At this profit margin, we will be sending Colicchio’s sons to college!

Top Right: Craft: Dirty Duck Dog was dry, I thought duck is fatty, but I guess they didn’t utilize that. The bun wasn’t toasted. The only saving grace were the nice lemon zest in the slaw (great idea).

Bottom Left: Tia Pole: Spring Onions with Romesco Sauce was decent. At $3 each onion, it wasn’t exactly a deal. It was charred on the outside and very tender and sweet inside. The romesco sauce was addicting, I think you could dip anything. A little bit spicy, garlicky and savory with that sweet pepper note.

Bottom Right: James: Fried Cheesecake Bombs were light and fluffy. They were $2 each!!! which has become a theme. But at least they were tasty. The chocolate ones were like a lava chocolate cake, but the ricotta lemon were a burst of bright citrus creamy goodness oozing out of the golden exterior. They were quite good just not sure if they were worth the dough.

the great Googa Mooga festival 3
By mid afternoon it all turned into a mad house. Lines, lines, lines. Waiting, waiting and more waiting in the sun. The Foie Gras Doughnuts were SOLD OUT around 3pm or so. I wanted to give my tummy a break before getting it and missed out, though I’ve heard some mix reviews.

SWEET FINALE at my favorite Wooly’s Icethe great Googa Mooga festival_Wooly's Ice
I wanted to save Wooly’s last (not the best idea, they had the longest lines in the dessert section). After waiting for 40minutes or so for icy (well worth it on such a hot day) Wooly’s was running out of toppings, but because their ice is flavored with condensed milk, it didn’t really matter. I got the Mammoth size with strawberry syrup and mochi. It hit the spot like no other and it brought my friend W back to Taiwan. Their snow ice is just sooo good! Milky sweetness that melted away.

Overall, the perfect weather sorta saved the day. They advertised a lot of celebrity chefs, but that was only for the suckers, I mean people who spent $250 per person. We got most of the food we wanted to try, but for those that came late, each line was more than an hour long! Insane! And worst when they started running out.

There was a line to get an I.D Check bracelet, a line to get drink tix and then to get drinks, so many steps for no reason. It wasn’t well organized and truthfully, because most of the participants are quite accessible by a subway ride, it really wasn’t that “special”.