The culinary adventures of a non-foodie foodie yearning to learn more. There are recipes, commentaries and tidbits that our aspiring domestic goddess has come across in her journey.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Cuppa and a Scone - Irish Style

When you think of the Greek Fair, do you immediately want a hot dog? Not usually. When you are at NYC's San Gennaro Festival, do you desire Zeppolis and Sausage and Peppers? Yes!

Last weekend was the Great Irish Faire of New York at Coney Island. This means two things to me...Coney Island - Nathan's Hot Dogs and Irish Faire - Guinness!

Nathan's was not a problem and definitely a great choice (I actually had a corn dog, but I'm a sucker for their sweet meaty taste on a stick!). The wait was about 1/2 hour, as expected, and as always, it was worth it. I think it might actually be sacrilegious to not go to Nathan's if you are in Coney Island.

The surprise came from the Irish Faire...the GREAT Irish Faire...the GREAT (no Guinness or other Irish Stout) Faire. There was Harps and Hard Cider, but it's not Guinness. What did I get? A cup of tea and bit of Irish Soda Bread. Can I tell you...It was all amazing! I have tea every day, but this was tea, with a soda bread scone made lovingly by the fine AOH (Ancient Order of Hibernians) surrounded by the Celtic tunes emanating from the stage made it the perfect Cuppa and the "Irish" experience I was looking for.

What is my point? I think that there is something to the concept that Italian food tastes better in Italy. Food is a function of so many of our senses. When setting up a restaurant, there is a lot of planning that goes into the design and layout. One of the most important parts of that is atmosphere. What do you want the feel of your restaurant to be? Where to you want people to imagine they are? Do you want people to remember they are in a strip mall surrounded by a dollar store and a bagel shop, or do you want people to think they are in the ivy covered terrace of a bistro on the French Riviera? The reason for this is the simple fact that the chef is the same, the ingredients are the same but still, food served in the atmosphere of it's origin creates a whole experience making the food, in a sense, taste better!

In trying to make everyday a little journey into culinary exploration, I think that the weekend helped me to truly understand this concept. Coney Island is the place for a Hot Dog and an Irish Faire has the best Cup of Tea and Soda Bread I've tasted.


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