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Taste Test York

This is the current model in York for pop ups. Ive only been to one, King Brats. I have had dreams about brats eversince. You have a menu to choose what toppings you want on your grilled brat. I chose mango siracha, covered in crisp jalepenos, finished off with fatty avocado. And to gild the lily further, fried tots are offered as well. fat kid status!!!

The past pops ups have included Game Day Kitchen, Steam-ramen& bao buns, and Indian Fusion. 

This Friday they will pop up once more a the Central Market in downtown York city, Pa. 

I can hardly wait!

...hungry

kat

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This is how our tiny town of York does pop-up. I love York city. 

Tonight, something amazing happened. 

Three of us were dining enthusiastically at the King Brat Pop-up, and based on my excitement of the brats, the couple next to us ordered a brat. Mind you, the beautiful realization I had was they already ate a completely different meal. 

I like to think that my sheer excitement over the brat is what persuaded this gentleman to order more food. I love knowing that...

pop!

kat

IMG_7191.PNG

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On 11/26/2016 at 9:34 PM, kitkatpaddywak said:

to add on to my last post

"Wood-Fired Pizza Next at York Tast Test" by Anthony J. Machcinski on ydr.com

Who doesn't like pizza?

Continuing the Taste Test- A Pop Up Restaurant Series presents Forno Bova. 

The concept of Forno Bova is primarily centered around wood fired pizzas. At this taste test , a 3 - course is priced at  $18. 

First  course is a salad composed of nutty field greens dressed with a vinagrette that was rather aggressively seasoned with raw garlic. I will add, I absolutely love garlic,but the amount added to the dressing was a bit much to my liking. The second course manage to change the direction, happily. A wood-fired ricotta blessed with a tangy, cranberry compote saved this meal . The texture of the ricotta is remincent of summer pudding. Soft, & dence with a nice smoke from the wood fire stove. The flavors of the second course led up to the great finale. I opted for the Pistacio. 

The Pistachio tasted like Christmas. A thin crust topped with fresh mozzarella, roasted pistachios , red onion, garlic oil,and dotted with pines of rosemary. I could have ordered a traditional Marguerite, but I always lean toward unusual choices. I was not disappointed. The composition of the Pistachio was a delicious surprise. 

In my opinion,at a great deal for less than $20, the Pop up has been a success. 

Until another Pop -up,

kat

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Im thinking perhaps I should rename this thread, King Brat. Its rather obvious I am a fan. Tonight, I once again will be indulging in their offerings. This time, the backdrop, a live art showcase. 

Stay tuned,

kat

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Taste Test : A Pop Up Reimagined

 I wrote  about these several pop ups a few months ago. Taste Test now has a brick & mortar in the Royal Square neighborhood of York city. They serve a delicious selection of goods ranging from muffins  to bagels sourced  from Brooklyn.  While you are indulging on those amazin' pastries, you can sip on an espresso-based beverage drawn from La Colombe coffee beans. Anyone who knows, knows La Colombe. 

The location will serve as a cafe offering free wifi, and home to future pop ups. There are two listed so far, with many more to follow. The kitchen" incubator" will provide a place to mentor,& facilitate successful food businesses. Students, and advisors from York College Department of Hospitality will serve as a bridge of both support& mentorship.  This could possibly launch a new model for urban revitalization. I will certainly be following their progress. Bravo to York City!

Hometown proud,

kat

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Pop ups are here to say, and frankly I love it. For two weekends in December 8-10, and 15-17 a  Thai born chef will be creating a spirited menu inspire by Cambodian cuisine imparted with French influence, and no doubt technique. I don't have details yet on the menu, but you know I am already there. I love the cultural diversity these pop ups present, especially in this  rural part of South Central Pa.  I can hardly wait. 

Active hands, full bellies- Cambodian proverb

kat

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On 11/16/2017 at 2:32 PM, kitkatpaddywak said:

 I don't have details yet on the menu, but you know I am already there. I love the cultural diversity these pop ups present, especially in this  rural part of South Central Pa.  I can hardly wait. 

Active hands, full bellies- Cambodian proverb

The menu for the Cambodian-French pop I will be attending tomorrow. I am incredibly excited to have this in York, Pa. 

440BFEC8-763A-43F3-867A-65AE4E27EFBE.jpeg

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On 12/6/2017 at 9:55 PM, kitkatpaddywak said:

The menu for the Cambodian-French pop I will be attending tomorrow. I am incredibly excited to have this in York, Pa. 

440BFEC8-763A-43F3-867A-65AE4E27EFBE.jpeg

I had high hopes of this Cambodian pop up, but was so disappointed. I arrived with with high hopes to be comforted with food native to Cambodia, and left sad. It started off promising, but waiting 90 minutes for 2 courses without an attempt of an apology,  left me aggravated. 

First course was a crepe similar to the Vietnamese Bánh Xèo, actually it was that exactly. A thin crepe composed of rice flour, coconut milk, tumeric & other spices filled with browned pork & bean sprouts garnished with limp mint.  It could have benefitted from krisper edges, but I may be a bit picky. Fourty five minutes later, the curry dish arrives served with cold jasmine rice. Ugh.  The cuts of beef were so uneven, I lost interest in wanting to finish the dish. The curry, needless to say was unremarkable. The entire meal was unremarkable. So disappointed. 

That is all I have to say about this meal. 

Ugh,

kat

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On 12/24/2017 at 9:15 PM, kitkatpaddywak said:

I had high hopes of this Cambodian pop up, but was so disappointed.

...

That is all I have to say about this meal. 

Ugh,

kat

There is a very real danger that otherwise-wonderful cooks will underperform in a strange kitchen (e.g., Roberto Donna).

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11 hours ago, DonRocks said:

There is a very real danger that otherwise-wonderful cooks will underperform in a strange kitchen (e.g., Roberto Donna).

I had a chance to speak to the support staff in the kitchen, and learned that the Chef had to edit his offerings to appeal to the masses. I had high hopes, but completely understand that at the end of the day, dishes need to sell. This little town of York perhaps isn’t quite ready for all of the adventurous dishes that hail from Cambodia.  I think Ill just need to make a trip to Philly for this type of cuisine.

They also admitted to completely losing my ticket in the shuffle during service. I am relatively patient to an extent, but what is a reasonable wait time for 2 courses in a fast-casual pop up? 

No worries though. I will be returning to a Taco pop- up tomorrow. One misstep won’t derail my draw to pop-ups all together. I just hope I won’t have to wait 45 minutes for tacos. 

Pop-up Queen,

kat

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Winter Pop-up is gonna be tasty, but I will be missing it to march in the District in support of women’s rights. The start -up is the brain child of a husband & wife team based here in Lancaster. They were part of a shark-tank like competition to bring their idea of meal prep service & socialentrepreneurship to reality. They didn’t win the final prize, but forged ahead with what they gained , and are building momentum. I wish them nothing but success, and hope any of you  who venture to Lancaster County, do so as well. 

More than just shoo fly pie, 

kat

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Syria- A Night of Sharing will be a pop up that I have a hunch will nourish more than my belly. Understanding the human condition through the stories of refugees will be extraordinary. Often times when I seek out these pop-ups, it is less about the food but more about the experience. I am certain the food will be no doubt delicious.

I look forward in reporting back about my evening “in” Syria.

Intrepid gourmet,

kat

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I’m on the move, folks. Its not often I have the opportunity to POP into places for lunch on account my day hustle prevents me from having any kind of fun, but today y'all, I'm going rogue.  I will be heading to Baltimore to try  Taiwanese buns at Ekiben. This is a brick and mortar, but for this month I think they are running various guest pop ins. Today happens to be a father- son team slinging buns. I know I should reword that last sentence, but I'm gonna leave it.  I will report back on what I feast on for hungry minds wanting to know. 

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Good Lort, Papa Chu can cook. I felt like I took a taste tour through Taiwan, Vietnam, as well as Korea without hopping on a flight clear across the hemisphere. Incredible. 

    I had the Zhong Zi. It was a pocket of mighty deliciousness. It was filled with a   sticky rice that was  glutinous like Thai sticky grains , but soft like Korean rice. I need to know what he used. Folded into the rice was fatty pork belly so lip smackin’ juicy that I may have licked my lips. Many layers of flavors were packed into this pocket. The presence of shiitake mushrooms added an additional layer of meatiness that I found rather pleasing. The most surprising component of this dish was the mixture of steamed peanuts. I love me some boiled peanuts. At first look I though they were beans, and I know peanuts are of the legume family,  but dang I never enjoyed beans like that. I scraped the pocket near dang clean. Picking up every kernel , not wanting the dish to come to an end. 

   I paired the Zhong Zi with cucumber salad. Oi-muchim is a cucumber dish traditionally served as banchan. This side dish of cucumbers is tossed in a mix of garlic, sesame, sesame oil, chili paste, & sugar. The crispness of the cucumbers along with the sweet & spicy flavor paired perfectly with the fatty pork & sticky rice.  

    To wash down my meal, I chose Vietnamese coffee. Oh mang, Was it good.  Cold brewed for 48 hours and sweetened with condensed milk. Had it not been a school night , I would have opted for a cold hoppy brew. At this pop up, Union Brewing was available for the choosing. Next time, pho sho. 

   So next time I know Papa Chu is cookin’ , consider me there. He should pop into Ekiben more often. This is the only downside of pop ups. When you really enjoy a dish, the likelihood of you having it again is close to nil. But perhaps, just maybe, Papa Chu will influence a few additions to the permanent menu. One can only hope. I could easily get used to eating this often. 

Papa knows best,

kat

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On 2/5/2017 at 12:53 PM, curiouskitkatt said:

Taste Test : A Pop Up Reimagined

 I wrote  about these several pop ups a few months ago. Taste Test now has a brick & mortar in the Royal Square neighborhood of York city. They serve a delicious selection of goods ranging from muffins  to bagels sourced  from Brooklyn.  While you are indulging on those amazin' pastries, you can sip on an espresso-based beverage drawn from La Colombe coffee beans. Anyone who knows, knows La Colombe. 

The location will serve as a cafe offering free wifi, and home to future pop ups. There are two listed so far, with many more to follow. The kitchen" incubator" will provide a place to mentor,& facilitate successful food businesses. Students, and advisors from York College Department of Hospitality will serve as a bridge of both support& mentorship.  This could possibly launch a new model for urban revitalization. I will certainly be following their progress. Bravo to York City!

Hometown proud,

kat

Its been a minute since I have reported on some of the revolving pop ups that have taken place at Taste Test. The most recent one being Paco’s Tacos, didn’t disappoint. The torta filled with beer battered soft shell was a home run. I had been to this pop up on its first run, & I admit I wasn’t entirely won over. The tacos were ok, but not memorable. So I really wasn’t entirely motivated to return when it popped up again, but if you are serving soft shells its pretty much a sure thing Ill be checking it out. 

I suppose I should make it a point to revisit   trying the tacos. Does one really need an excuse to go eat tacos? 

Redemption,

katt

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 I have been won over by Paco's Tacos. 

I recently sat down with the heart and soul of Pacos Tacos, a Taste Test audition that is one step closer to fulling their dream of owning their own restaurant. When I first started this thread, I wrote about Taste Test, a restaurant incubator that host pops up with  hopes to lead to brick and mortar. This spot is well on their way. After their "audtion" in the cafe, they were offered a chance to serve for a longer run. I took this opportunity to get to know a little more about the passion behind the success of Paco's Tacos.

There are two forces behind this successful taco pop up. Anisa Eden Diaczun and Brando Manue Jaimes- Diaz bring far more than passion to their baby, Paco's Tacos. Both locals of York, they both met at a technical school and got together and the rest as they say, was history. DIaz had worked at several noteworthy restaurants in the area, rewarding as it was, he was looking for much more.  He would occasionally prepare tacos, and ask Anisa what she though. He wanted to honor his Mexican heritage, and wanted to dig deeper and develop great tacos. So along came Taste Test, and they both took a chance and applied. This gave Diaz and Diaczun a perfect opportunity to test their idea of serving great tacos, as well other foods of Mexican Heritage. So this past January, they gave it a shot. 

In spite of it traditionally being a slow time for dining out, the pop up did well, and had several runs through out the city.  The menu includes starters like guacamole, and well as spiced mango with smokey chipotle grasshopper salt, and of course the tacos.  Recently I stopped in and had an array of tasty tacos.  I chose the drunk fish, the sweet n beet, and the mole chicken. All of these were vibrant in flavor , and seasoned perfectly. My favorite though had to be the sweet n beet. Lately I have been seeking out more veggie forward plates, and this happens to satisfy whatever meat cravings one would have. Roasted beets and the char on the sweet potatoes finished with pickled red onions, guacamole and radish micro greens  provide such an incredible depth of flavor, you really don't miss the meat. And to wash down the tacos, a margarita, naturally.

With all of the flavorful offerings, they  did face challenges. Guests were a bit hesitant on the price of the tacos at $5. Both Diaz and DIaczun assured guests that the tacos were worth every red cent. Nearly everything they serve is sourced locally, and scratch made. With that comes a slightly higher price tag than driving through Taco bell or choosing to dine at your big chain taco spots that bulk buy ingredients. Another challenge they face is the ability to reach out to guests outside the neighborhood.  York, much like other cities through out the area, face challenges to sustain a crowd on a consistent basis. The weekends the locals come out, but it seems that the majority of the diners live nearby and have heard of the spot through possibly social media or neighborhood chatter. So perhaps with the longer run of Paco's, they may reach out beyond the neighborhood. 

" So what is your goal with Paco's Taco," I asked. Diaz ultimately wants to create a triangle model, if you will, of Mexican dining. A model that provides, cheap street eats, as well as a fast casual dining spot, and an outlet for upscale fine Mexican dining. Three tiers of dining. The inhabitants of York have embraced Brando and Anisa so lovingly, success is with in their reach. They both want to feed the city that has in turn fed them with an opportunity to make their dreams a reality.  In this case I hope the dream becomes York's reality.

Satiated, 

katt

duo.jpg

pacos tacos.jpg

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Mamma Mia, Here I go again, My My how can I resist you!

                                                                              - abba

   I have a love for pop ups. There are two variations I have been following. One version of pop up I have enjoyed is one that is a product of a taste incubator. The other has been when a  well established Chef pops into a restaurants and cooks for the evening. Dinners at the James Beard House, if you will, are the ultimate pop up dinner, as  well those  farm dinners  developed by Outstanding in the  Field  that are both on my bucket list.

    The incubator series of pop up have been hit or miss. Taste Test in York, Pa has churned out some hits, one resulting in a permanent brick and mortar, and the other inspired the opening of a incubator space in Easton, Pa.  Some auditions at Taste Test had me  leaving me hungry for more, while others I wondered , while scratching my head , on whether they knew what they were getting themselves into. The established Chef driven pop ups I have enjoyed 100%.  But in fairness I should not be comparing the different pop ups side by side. The After Dark Series that is held at CHIKO is well oiled operation. Of course, Miracle on 7th curate by Drink Company, has become one the most anticipated pop-ups in the District with their highly elaborate bar design filled with props, and recreating the space every so months.  R House in Baltimore, MD serves as a bit of an incubator space for rotating cooks as well. Not yet sold on the offerings at R House, but I need to visit a few more times before I completely make up my mind. I was informed the places I chose were the least stellar of the bunch, so I am open to trying the other spots. One pop up that is currently on my radar are ones where a Chef from well outside the Mid Atlantic region pops in for a couple days, and takes over a restaurant. Chef Backyard Series is a perfect example of what I would like to see more of in this area. 

  With so much area to cover, I wish there was a guide of sorts for Pop-Ups.  A directory if you will of upcoming pop ups in the Mid Atlantic region. Is there any out there in DR land that has an affinity for this style of dining,  like myself? If so,  how do you  find them, and how often do you go? Is it just a matter of following the local dining scene to see where I pop up next?

 

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On 8/30/2018 at 12:55 PM, curiouskitkatt said:

Collette Fu: We are Tiger Dragon People is a pop up of a different medium, art. I am looking forward to this exhibit, and on Sept 6th   I will have the opportunity to  speak to both the artist and the curator of this exhibit.  It is being held 8/28 thru 12/7 at the Dana Gallery at Frankling & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. 

Art pop up

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