Sunday Photo – Recent Instagram Highlights

In general my Instagram feed is quite different from what I put on here or on Flick’r. I only post iPhone or iPad photos on Instagram, which have a very different feel from most of the photos that I take with my Canon 5D Mark III. The other major difference is that my Instagram feed tends to be much more personal than what I post here. By personal, I mean it involves a lot of what I create and prepare as well as a fair amount of what is happening around me that isn’t necessarily pertinent to this blog. Every once in a while the lines blur. Here are three recent Instagram photos where that is the case.

This photo was taken at Restaurant Nazar in North Babylon, N.Y. This Turkish restaurant deserved much more than just my iPhone, but while going out with a group from y son’s soccer team visiting the area for a tournament, I was distracted and actually forgot to bring the larger camera. The chefs behind the normally fast food counter of this VERY informal restaurant within a Turkish specialty grocery store, put together a truly special and delicious meal for us centered around two pies. Both had a sesame flatbread crust. One was filled with various incarnations of roasted lamb with rice, peppers and vegetables, while the other replaced the lamb with the same iterations of chicken. Both were delicious as were the various cold meze served as appetizers. The final bill turned out to be incredibly inexpensive, making this  a fabulous value. Thanks to Michael Talalaev for the great recommendation!

Xaio Long Bao or Shanghai style soup dumplings have become a family favorite and Flushing, Queens has become what is undoubtedly the center of Asian cooking at least in the eastern United States if not in North America (I know that there are areas around Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto that could certainly stake their own claims for this). On our way back from the Long Island soccer tournament I put a tweet out for suggestions for a special place to lunch. Lee Kowarski responded quickly claiming that Nan Xiang‘s “soup dumplings are the best in the USA.” Well, that certainly caught our attention, so we programmed the address into the GPS, found a parking spot and hit the busy restaurant at just the right time. We had a number of excellent dishes and the crab and pork soup dumplings were indeed stellar. The best in the US? I can’t say for sure, but it would be difficult to find better. Thanks, Lee, for a great recommendation!

I love raw oysters. I love the way they embody so many elements of the sea with their minerality, their smell and even their slightly chewy, somewhat slimy texture. I prefer to eat them raw with nothing but a little fresh lemon juice for a balancing jolt of acidity. When I saw this giant at the Pura Vida stand at my local Glens Falls (NY) Farmers Market, I had to buy it as well as a few of its buddies. It was a lot of work to pry it open and it was quite tricky to eat the behemoth from eastern Long Island without making a total fool of myself, but the pleasure of taking it in, chewing and swallowing this major maritime morsel was totally satisfying.


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