Taste of the Nation 2011

Part of me wants to tell you to get on twitter because it’s a gold mine for contests and freebies, but the other part wants to keep all these twitter goodies for myself. In any case, I was a pretty lucky lady (thanks @TOTN_NYC !) and ended up winning 2 tickets to this year’s New York City Taste of the Nation Event. I attended last year as a paying guest, so going for free this time was extra sweet!

I invited the manfriend to be my date and our plan of attack was to take advantage of as much yummy food and drink as possible.

I started off with a mojito made with Puerto Rican rum and Greek inspired baked veal.

Rhode Island style Lobster slider with homemade salt and vinegar potato chips. Yummm.

House-cured bacon atop a ramp and potato salad from Buttermilk Channel.

The manfriend was a good sport and posed for a photo 🙂

A lot of restaurants incorporated seasonal ingredients into their offerings – strawberries, rhubarb, ramps, asparagus, etc.

One of the most innovative things that I tried was a fried chicken taco – Hill Country fried chicken wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla alongside coleslaw and spicy peanuts.

My favorite dish of the evening was from Rouge Tomato – warm chickpea falafal with apricot chutney and cucumber raita.

Rhubarb compote with cookie crumble and fresh whipped cream – I’ve never cooked with rhubarb at home, but this dish made me want to try!

Even though it was super hectic at the venue, all of the restaurant reps did an awesome job preparing beautiful bites. I forget what exactly was on this toast, but it I loved how colorful it was!

I’m not going to be getting a dinner reservation at Gramercy Tavern anytime soon, but I did get a bite of their blackout chocolate cake. Yummm.

I was really excited to sample the cornflake-battered cauliflower atop arugula with a horseradish cream sauce from Dirt Candy. I love what the chef does with veggies and my next goal is to eat a whole meal at this restaurant!

One of my final bites of the evening was spicy chicken on a buttermilk biscuit from Pies ‘n Thighs.

I probably only snapped photos of half of what I tried (the manfriend and I shared a lot of things) – there were just so many options! Luckily, I left the event feeling pretty full, but not overly stuffed.  I love tasting events, but it can sometimes be hard to sample everything without feeling ill. My usual approach is to share as much as possible and only take a bite or two of each thing. And when I have an indulgent evening coming up, I try to eat super healthy for breakfast and lunch (lots of fruits and veggies!) and squeeze in a gym visit. I’m all for enjoying myself, but it’s all about balance (as cliche as that sounds…)

After Saturday’s half-marathon, I took the following day off from running and then got back on the wagon. Here’s how the week has shaped up so far:

Monday – 4 miles + core work

Tuesday – 1 mile warm-up run, 45 minute spinning class

Wednesday – 7 miles with Kelly and Maria + core work

I am just starting to figure out my summer and fall racing schedule, so stay tuned for an update! The good news – I’m finally feeling excited about running again. Woo-hoo. The bad news – Summer can be a TOUGH time to run PRs. Helloooo heat and humidity.

What’s your approach to summer running? Do you just try to maintain fitness in between vacations and BBQs? Or do you have a busy racing schedule?


  • Jealz. But look, Megan, if you ate every bite of every plate and got obese, I’d still love you. Rocking the sports watch with the dress look, by the way!

  • Alma

    You should run the Harlem 5K in August, a club points race in our neighborhood!

  • man oh man. this all looks delicious. love the glam shots of you and the man-friend, too. lookin’ snazzy. 

  • All the food looks amazing! And you look so pretty. 🙂 Can’t wait to read about your race plans!

  • Anonymous

    haha thanks Emilia! I was looking at that photo of myself again this morning
    and was like…whoa undereye circles. Your comment makes me feel better 🙂

  • yummyyyyyyyyy.

    i pretty much try to just maintain fitness, although there are some “fun races” that i do. i end up racing them but they’re holiday themed

  • What a fun event! I went to the TOTN here in Boston and had an absolute blast too.

  • since it’s so hot here in Texas during the summer, I usually do a lot more workout dvds, and save my runs for weekends when I can go in the cool of the morning…orrrr I hijack the pool at my parent’s house for a nice relaxing swim! score!!

  • Cute dress! That event looks like so much fun — what could be better than sampling all that wonderful food?
    I hope this summer I can gear up for marathon training and run some races for fun!

  • mmm, mojitos. I already can’t wait for our Cuban-inspired evening…

    For the most part, I heart summer running! I’ll be training for NYC like last year and kind of can’t wait. I hope it involves many more runs with you guys (followed by froyo, perhaps?) 🙂 

  • I do a lot more cross-training in summer months in the form of spinning, taking a real bike into the real outdoors, and Crossfit!

    That food festival looks AMAZING. I am so envious you got to go!

  • I want that blackout cake!

    Ive only been running for 2 summers, one of which I was in Italy. Last year I tried to run a lot more just to get more miles under my belt. I don’t mind the heat too much, except maybe some of those 100+ days! This summer, I guess I’m getting ready for NYC! eek

  • Katie

    Um, wow. Everything looks so good! I think that falafel would also have been my favorite… I hope I can go one year!

  • Oooo I’ve always wanted to go to one of those Taste of the Nation events. Looks like you scored some serious grub! Your boy’s a cutie, BTW.

  • Sarah

    I like that you’re wearing a sports watch with a dress!
    I work at a sleepaway camp in the summer, so my main goal is to find time to run and to gain 500 pounds from all the fried food. Luckily the camp is up in the Berkshires so that every run is a really good hill workout!

  • Look how dapper the manfriend is! I have a fall race on the calendar, so I’m trying to just keep up a base mileage right now so I’ll be ready to crack into those long runs later this summer.

  • I love tasting events like these!! All the food looks beautifully put together. (Esp that lobstah roll!)
    My approach to summer running is to schedule one race a month to have something to work towards, but not too intense. I definitely indulge at BBQs, just as long as they’re not the day before the race. Happy memorial day weekend!

  • Anonymous

    This blog is really very nice and these all recipe is great and fantastic.  I am so excited for eating these all recipe. Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe.
    Fitted kitchen