Secret Summer 2017 Recap

The secret to a great summer party involves great weather, good company and free-flowing cocktails, which is why Secret Summer 2017 again killed it with their annual party at The Foundry in Long Island City on August 6. There was something about 2017 that made it stand out from the prior two years. The first year was new and exciting, like embarking on a new relationship, the second year was a time to test some different things and shake things up a little, and the third year felt like you were finally settled and were comfortable knowing what works. Things felt a little more genuine, and that carefree, authentic vibe made for some great party chemistry.Read More

Secret Summer 2017 Preview

Summer is almost halfway over, which means time’s running out on how to make the most out of these precious sunny weekends. Luckily there are still tickets left for Secret Summer 2017, the city’s best summer party, which is back for its third year at The Foundry in Long Island City, Queens on Sunday, August 6. There’s no better way to spend a #Sundayfunday than day drinking unlimited artisanal farm-to-bar cocktails underneath the stunning urban skyline, so click here to buy tickets today!Read More

Secret Summer 2016 Preview

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In less than two weeks’ time, Secret Summer NYC will be hosting its second annual farm-to-bar cocktail festival on August 14th from 4-10 pm at the Foundry in LIC, Queens. I covered last year’s event and was pleasantly charmed by how the industrial space had been transformed into a whimsical Shakespearean playground overflowing with the most delicious food and drink. I can honestly say it was the best summer party I’ve ever been to in NYC and would highly encourage you to buy tickets at this link before they sell out. Judging from the preview event I attended, I’m confident they can pull it off again. Artisanal cocktails crafted by Bespoke Solutions and featuring the stunning herbs of Farm.One, a hydroponic farm in Manhattan (my mouth nearly burned from trying their “toothache” herb!), will be like no drinks you’ve ever had. Plus this year will feature a good lineup of live entertainment–Coyote + Crow, Lucky Chops, Ida Blue, DJ Ryan Vandal, aerialists Roxie Valdez and Ellie Steingraeber, and the one I’m most looking forward to, the Secret Summer Street Ballet troupe! Van Leeuwen will be back with their ice cream truck, because nothing says summer like eating an ice cream cone outside. Take a sneak peek with the pictures below, get your boho chic on and buy a ticket today!Read More

A Day in LIC: PS1 and Casa Enrique

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One of the best parts about summer is being outside, and my favorite seasonal activity is attending Moma PS1’s Warm Up dance party. Warm Up is held every Saturday in the summer and features experimental music and DJs. Guests can drink and mingle in the outdoor courtyard, and the price of admission also includes access to the modern art exhibit inside. The party gets better towards the end of the day, where people start getting a little more buzzed and a little more into the music, and the courtyard turns into a huge dance floor.Read More

SriPraPhai Thai

I recently read somewhere that Lonely Planet designated Queens, NY as the top U.S. destination for 2015. I’m thinking the Queens Tourism Board aggressively pushed Lonely Planet for that title, because, let’s be honest, Queens is up-and-coming, but it’s not quite there yet. The borough does have a lot of good ethnic eats, though.

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sripraphai

One of the star attractions in Queens is the restaurant SriPraPhai, an authentic Thai restaurant located in Woodside, an ethnically diverse part of Queens that was home to Irish, German and Italian immigrants in the early 20th century, and now includes Central and South Americans and Asians among them. Back in the day, like in 2005, SriPraPhai was the place to go for Thai food. People would complain about how the Thai food in the city sucks, and then someone would tell them to take the train to SriPraPhai in Queens.

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outdoor patio

Now we have more options in the city–Zabb Elee, Lan Larb, and Uncle Boon’s, to name a few–and so I haven’t made it out to SriPraPhai in awhile. However, I found myself in Queens after an afternoon at MoMA PS1, one of my favorite summer activities, and I decided that there would never be a more convenient time to stop by.

I found that the restaurant had undergone a renovation of sorts since we last went maybe 4 or 5 years ago. It feels bigger and spiffier, and they opened up a large outdoor area to accommodate even more diners. This being a nice summer day, we of course opted for the outdoor tables, although the mosquito situation was a little annoying.

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green curry chicken
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chicken rice and coconut rice. get both.
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crispy chinese watercress salad with shrimp, squid, chicken and cashews

We always get the green curry here, and it was just as good as ever. The creamy curry sauce is rich and comforting, good enough to sip on its own, until the heat and lime kick in to bring you to your senses. We hadn’t ever tried the famous fried watercress salad before so we ordered that, although I wasn’t quite sure how to consume it. On the right you had crunchy deep-fried watercress covered in batter, and on the left you had large bits of shrimp, chicken and squid in a sweet marinade. Were you supposed to somehow get a little bit of everything in your spoon? But how would you even attempt that? Did you have to manually break down the watercress pieces and the shrimp to make that happen? Were you supposed to pour the marinade on the watercress to soften it up? Clearly I was overthinking it and eventually just ate both sides separately. I felt like i was just filling up on fried batter, but I did like the marinaded meats a lot.

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tom zap beef offal soup

Ruoxi was feeling adventurous and ordered the tom-zap soup, which translates to beef’s offal soup. I’m not a big beef guts offal person, so I took a few sips and left it at that. There were some regular beef pieces in there, which were tender and inoffensive, but there was no escaping the intense flavors of tripe. If you’ve ever had menudo, the flavors are similar to that. Never liked menudo the band or the dish.

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seasoned shrimp with garlic and pepper

We also ordered something a little off-menu, which was exciting. In the a la carte section, they list a seasoned pork with garlic and pepper, but we requested that they make this with shrimp instead. The shrimp, which were big and plump, were covered in a ton of salty garlic. I loved this dish, especially with a bowl of coconut rice, whose sweetness I found to be a perfect complement to the salted shrimp, but the garlic is very intense. If you’re one of those close-talkers, I would advise that you steer clear from this plate.

Pleasantly stuffed, we made our way to the 65th St stop and took the train back to Manhattan. The train ride felt a little long, but the good thing was by the time we came home, some of our dinner had been digested and we had room for dessert. We made our way to Morgenstern’s, which of course had a line out the door, and ordered two scoops of the raw milk and tonka bean. Our meal had plenty of salt, a lot of heat, and tasted a little sour, but the sweet was a little lacking, and now with this ice cream it was officially complete.


SriPraPhai
64-13 39th Ave (between 64th and 65th St)
Woodside, NY 11377
(718) 899-9599
Take the 7, R, F or E trains