Friday, February 18, 2011

Event: Metromix Hot Plates 2011

I recently went to an event called the Metromix Hot Plates. I've heard of it before but never had the chance to go. However, this year, my calendar was free. And it's only $15. Yay!

The list of participants were interesting to me. I've been meaning to try a bunch of them. What better way to find out what they were about than at a event like this?

First up, LowCountry. Although their sign said they were serving bourbon liver mousse, they also had deviled eggs.
The eggs are pretty good. Nicely flavored and texturally appealing. Too often I find deviled eggs to be overcooked and/or too thick. This was nice and creamy. The liver mousse crostini was very good as well. It didn't have a lot of iron flavor but just enough to detect that it was made from liver. The red onion on top was nice and fresh to cut through the fattiness of the liver. This was the first thing I tried that night and ended up being one of my favorites.
Next up: BaoHaus. Chef Eddie Huang was there to present too. I didn't get a chance to talk to him because he looked busy.
They were serving chicken and red sausage. The chicken was cooked in a very familiar way like my mom used to make. It's heavy on soy sauce, ginger, and rock sugar. Cooked and braised until the chicken is tender and absorbs all the flavor. The only difference is that I thought my mom's recipe was better (I'm still trying to perfect it) and she added eggs which is one of my favorite. BauHaus' version wasn't bad. I'm just lucky to have grown up in a home where I ate this pretty often.
The people at Choza Taqueria was really nice. They actually took the time to explain what they were serving.
Here is their carnitas taco and elote (corn) with cotija cheese. The taco was nice but not crazy good. I enjoyed it but didn't amaze me. The corn was pretty good though. My piece was juicy and sweet. The cheese added a nice saltiness to balance it out. The blistered kernels was a nice touch.
Bomboloni came with lots of doughnuts to give. They had so many flavors that it was kind of daunting.
Just look at that spread!
I picked the espresso doughtnut which was cream filled and light.
The cream was nice and coffee flavored. I enjoyed it very much. I can definitely see myself buying one of these doughnuts in the future.
My friend picked the raspberry which was cutely decorated with heart shaped sprinkles.
And here's the inside shot of her doughnut. She enjoyed hers as well.
To take a break from eating, we tried some of the tequila  being showcase that day. El Tesoro was the company. They were offering sampling shots that should be sipped (ahem!) to taste the quality. Or you could order a mixed drink of tequila, lemon-lime soda, and fresh limes. I had both. The tequila straight up was just okay. It wasn't as smooth as I thought it would be.
The mixed drink was really refreshing though. I enjoyed it. They weren't cheap with their pours either. You could taste the tequila in this. I like!
After a couple of minutes after enjoying our drinks, we wandered over to the other side of the building which was really crowded by this time. We made our way to Anfora which offered lamb ragu sliders. They said it would be the best lamb slider I would have.
Well was it? I have to admit that it was pretty good. The meat to bread ratio was good and the tangy cheese added a layer of richness that was really pleasant. I really enjoyed this as well. I would go back and order this.
The Brindle Room was offering Frito Pie. I was quite excited about this. I've been hearing more and more about Frito Pie recently and finally wanted to try it.
Serving it in a cone was really helpful. Unfortunately, it was too salty. The saltiness of the Fritos along with the cheese and chili was too much. It needed something to cut it. Maybe some lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, etc. It reminded me of nachos but using Fritos instead.
The Sunburnt Calf was offering lamb slider as well. Another lamb dish? What are the odds?
This slider wasn't as good as the one from Anfora. I thought the meat was a little dry and they bread was stale. Whatever white sauce that was, I needed more of it. Also, I ended up throwing most of the bread out. It wasn't appetizing at all.
Hecho En Dumbo was next and I was really glad that they offered ceviche. It was one of the few light dishes of the night.
In their ceviche shooter, which they recommended taking as a full shot, there was a tortilla, scallops, and octopus. It was light but could have been lighter. I think that if I ordered this dish at the actual restaurant, it would be really good. As a mass produced item, it was just mediocre. However, I liked that they thought outside of the box at this event.
Next up, Wall & Water. You could definitely smell what they were offering because of the blue cheese.
Many people avoided this because it had blue cheese. But I'm a fan of stinky cheese. I gladly tried it myself. It was okay. All I tasted was cheese and radicchio. It needed more apricots to sweeten it even more. I'm definitely a fan of blue cheese and honey combo. I probably wouldn't get this.
Hill Country Chicken was there and I was a little apprehensive. Fried chicken that is pre-made is usually a fail. The crust becomes soggy and the meat dried out. But they showcased, so I tried it.
They were offering their Texas handrolls which were essentially a fried chicken finger sandwich with a tortilla.
And I was right. The chicken was dry. I think it was chicken breast which is an even more dry piece of meat to use. Sigh, bad fried chicken is pretty bad. Give me dark meat please!
Brats is a relatively new operation. Their specialty? Brats, hot dogs, weiners, etc.
These little puppies were good. The bread not so much. The mustard was tangy but didn't taste of sriracha to me. I would take the dog any time. They need some work with the bread though.
To end the night, we saved one dessert until the end even though we had passed it already. We wanted something sweet at the end. Bisous Ciao was presenting their macarons. I've only heard good things about them. However, I'd like to say right now that I'm not a fan of macarons. I've never had one that changed my life. I've had plenty good ones but it's never something I would seek out and buy on my own.
I like how they displayed all the flavors they had that day. It certainly helps me on decided which one I wanted.
I picked the sour cherry. The flavor was pretty good and the texture quite nice. The crust gave away just slightly to the chewiness and the cream center brought everything together. I thought that it was a well made macaron. Did it change my life? No. But I can admit that it was one of the better macarons that I've had. I would recommend it.
My friend picked the vanilla and the rose. She really enjoyed the vanilla. She didn't know what to think about the rose. She never had rose flavored foods before so this was a new experience for her. She definitely thought that macaron had a lot of rose flavor. So if you like rosewater, then you'll definitely enjoy this flavored macaron.
Overall, the Metromix event was really enjoyable. However, it got really crowded very quickly. And there was not a lot of space to sit and enjoy oneself. In fact, there was no space to put your drink down while you ate. I wish they laid out more tables and chairs for lingering.

Metromix Hot Plates


  1. I probably shouldn't snark further - but yeah, so busy that in your pic you can see him texting... or angrily Tweeting dirty words...

    Also, just a small note: cotija cheese, not cojita. Someone corrected me on this because cojita means prostitute or something apparently and no one wants prostitute cheese on their corn. Unless they're Charlie Sheen.

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