After a day of extremely temperamental weather, Wednesday evening boasted clear blue skies and a slowly sinking sun. It was perfect weather for the first ever Picnic Popup on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
For those of you who are not aware of what this means exactly, it is simply and ingeniously, a project kicked off by the combined minds and talents of Chef Ali Fong from BonMe Food Truck and Chef Phillip Tang from East by Northeast restaurant in Cambridge.
From 6 to 9, you could purchase a Picnic dinner to enjoy outside on the beautiful Greenway by the Rings Fountain. I went to enjoy the event and enjoy it I did, in fact, I could not think of a better way to take advantage of a wonderful evening of food and friends - the Greenway even provided blankets to lay out on the grass:)
Even though this was the first try, it was a success from all levels. Turnout was great and even better was the way the team managed the crowds. As you waited for your picnic bag, you were given a cold, cucumber gazpacho to enjoy, courtesy of Chef Phillip Tang's imaginative approach to a soup shooter.
In little time at all you were handed a brown paper bag the contents of which you were soon to enjoy:)
The vegetable side for the evening was another of Chef Tang's ideas; a chilled sweet corn served with a creamy condiment that had a slightly garlicky taste, fresh field greens were served on the side of the side:) It reminded me of Mexican Street corn, with cojita cheese, but with a few interesting twists!
The piece de resistance was of course BonMe's claim to fame - their traditional Vietnamese Bahn Mi, only this evening it was filled with Chef Tang's delicious pork confit and secret sauce. The combination of the sweet and succulent meat with the crunchy BonMe pickled vegetables all came together to celebrate a true fushion of both chefs' strengths.
As I sat enjoying my picnic, a little friend alighted beside me...seems that I was not the only one enjoying the weather and food on the Greenway:)
For dessert, BonMe brought back one of their original Blondie brownie recipes, only this time they added black sesame for a surprise crunch and depth of flavor. It was moist and light - a perfect way to end the meal.
During a break in the crowds, I was able to chat with both chefs as well as Chef Ali's husband and co-owner of BonMe, Patrick. They were all three of them flushed and exhilarated from the evening's success and although they were happy to speak with me and answer my questions, I could tell they were ithcing to get back to the thick of what they love best - sharing food and quality ingredients with eager guests.
The best piece of information I got out of the evening? This was a first in a series of upcoming picnic popups, so fear not, if you missed out on this one, stay tuned for the next installment, same food truck, different restaurant!