Positively Puerto Rican Cuisine.

Journalist, Peter Greenberg, discusses how celebrity chefs are transforming traditional Puerto Rican dishes into innovative, high end dishes! http://www.petergreenberg.com/2012/03/05/celebrity-chefs-the-new-puerto-rican-cusine/

The “sun sentinel” sits down and chats with, Tony Torres, a Puerto rican/Cuban executive chef based in Florida. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-03-08/features/fl-food-chef-030812-20120308_1_tony-torres-chef-uncle

Fox news Latino shares delicious Puerto Rican recipes. From sancocho to plantain soup. http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/02/18/traditional-puerto-rican-recipes-to-warm-up-your-winter/

Lohud.com reviews the popular hot spot, Sofrito, in White Plains, NY! http://www.lohud.com/article/20120304/LIFESTYLE01/303040039/Restaurants-we-love-Sofrito-White-Plains

The lifestyle section of Washington Post explores the culinary boom of Latina chefs in the industry. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/new-face-in-cooking-latina-chefs-make-it-big-in-food-industry-especially-on-television/2012/02/25/gIQA3fFAaR_story.html

A Taste of Thailand on Staten Island

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Forest Thai located in the bustling section of Westerleigh, Staten Island.

On the busy Forest Avenue strip stands a quaint Thai restaurant nestled between a Walgreens and a bar frequented by college students. It’s so tiny that you might drive past it. The exterior is bland with a sign in green that reads “Forest Thai.” The interior décor is also simple, with small tables and posters of Thailand‘s scenery. The ambience at Forest Thai reminds me of restaurants in Park Slope – adorable, dim, and cozy. Server, Ann Namwong says the specials change weekly.

For appetizers, I opted for the fried oysters. The dish we brought included six and was presented on an adorable platter. The fried oysters were accompanied by a homemade Thai spicy, sweet sauce. The oysters were hot to the touch but after they cooled downed a bit I popped one into my mouth and was in heaven. They were slightly crispy and the sauce was a great contrast to the spiciness.

For my entrée I had grilled red snapper filet which came in a jade green plate shaped like a fish. It was covered in mixed vegetables and came with a small bowl of sticky white rice. Brown rice is available for an additional 50 cents. The fish was boneless, soft to cut through with a fork, and had a tinge of spiciness to it. The portions were a good size. My brother had the yellow chicken curry for his meal and he devoured it in minutes.

“It was like an explosion of different flavors in my mouth,” he said. “It was fresh and the texture was creamy.” We ordered an additional entrée, the chicken pad Thai, which we split. I loved the pad Thai at this place. I loved the peanut butter flavoring and the noodles were soft.

We were full from our entrees, but decided to order dessert. I ordered the pumpkin custard and green tea ice cream. My brother had the mango sweet coconut sticky rice. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin or green tea, but I’m willing to try new dishes and to my surprise I wasn’t disappointed. The pumpkin custard was sweet and the texture reminded me of Flan which is one of my favorite desserts. The green tea ice cream was light and wasn’t bland. My brother’s mango coconut rice was very satisfying to the palate. It brought fresh slices of mango on the side. It was a good mixture. Our stomachs were full and content. This restaurant is a great place for a date, an intimate dinner with friends, or if you’re a health nut looking for fresh, natural food. They also offer vegetarian dishes and imported beers from Thailand. On the weekdays they offer a variety of lunch specials for no more than $6.

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Welcome! Bienvenue! Benvenuto! Bienvenido! Willkommen! Bem Vindo!

When my family and I first moved to Staten Island back in the 80s, it was pretty desolate and there was absolutely no diversity despite being a few miles away from the biggest melting pot in the world, Manhattan. But as time went on, new ethnic groups moved in and their tiny communities began to sprout up all over Staten Island. Sri Lankans, Polish, Mexicans, and Liberians are just some of the ethnic groups that are prominent in the north shore. Their restaurants and small celebrations have taken precedence over the once predominately Caucasian neighborhoods. It hasn’t always been easy for them to assimilate into these communities because of racism. Back in the summer of 2010, there was a string of hate crimes against Mexicans in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island. It was so bad that the NYPD set up camp for weeks to keep an eye on those being targeted. Racial tension has died down since then. But despite these growing communities, racism is still apparent. So my goal is to combat racism and show those who are ignorant the beauty of the various cultures that are popping up all over Staten Island. I’m an adventurous eater who has tried everything from ancient Chinese food to Zimbabwean. It’s only the beginning for me! I’m the female version of Andrew Zimmern!  So if you’re interested in exploring the ethnic culinary scene of Staten Island than this is the site for you. I will post reviews, photos, and interviews with small business owners and other ethnic culinary enthusiasts. I guarantee to write about the most bonafide restaurants serving authentic food from their homeland. Not all of us can afford or have the time to travel, so my blog will provide you with a form of escapism. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to have a taste of real Indian or Turkish food when you can walk right around the corner and be transported to another country!