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4th of July Dinner At Sam Wong's

I don’t go to Long Island much because...well...because it’s Long Island. In fact the only time I go out is when my friend Sam Wong invites me out for one of his legendary cookouts or dinners. Those of you who have followed me since the 365 bars blog (and God bless each and every one of you!) may remember a spectacular dinner I had at Sam's that year. Well, get ready for another one, because last week, Sam (and his wife, Hilda and daughter, Fiona) invited myself and my friends John and Luna out for a 4th of July dinner. So break out the cherry bombs and let’s take a trip to Long Island.

We’ll be taking the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station. Not a lot of people out here today, maybe because of the holiday there won’t be a big crowd.

Looks like I was wrong about it not being crowded, but at least there’s no pesky escalator walkers here today!

Holy shitballs, look at the line to get a ticket. Luckily, I’m an hour early, as always. Time for a Kinks moment as I get back in the line.

As I’m hanging around waiting for the train, I spy a whole crew of escalator walkers, but I can’t blame them because the escalator’s broke. Which reminds me of a Mitch Hedberg insight: "I like an escalator, because an escalator can never break. It can only become stairs. You'll never see an 'Escalator Out of Order' sign, only 'Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.'"

And here’s my friends John and Luna on the train. As you can see, John’s not too thrilled to have his picture taken. At least he didn’t pull an Alec Baldwin on me!

Okay, through the magic of the internet you’re spared a 49 minute train ride to Long Island. And look over there, I think it’s the Wongmobile!

Yes, it is, and there’s our smiling host and chef for the evening, Sam Wong.

Here we are at Sam’s house, deep in the heart of suburbia.

I took a photo of Sam’s address marker on his house, I fuzzed out the number so nobody can stalk him, but I did want to point out that this is a Wong number! (Rimshot.)

And here’s Sam’s wife, Hilda. As you can see, she’s a little camera-shy.

But, as you can see, this camera shyness doesn’t run in the family. Sam and Hilda’s daughter, Fiona is more than happy to pose for the TWM camera.

Seeing this gave me a Christopher Moltisanti flashback.

Sam didn’t tell me he invited Lindsay Lohan to the dinner.

And speaking of Sam, it’s time for the chef to start cooking. Are you out there Food Network? Sam beats that goofy-ass Guy Fieri any old day of the week!

The prep work begins, I volunteered to be a sous chef, but Sam doesn’t trust me with sharp objects.

Can you say Veg-O-Matic? I knew that you could!

While Sam is getting everything ready for dinner, Fiona has challenged John to a chess match. Fiona’s five-years-old and knows how to play chess. At her age I was still struggling to figure out the dynamics of Tic-Tac-Toe.

Check this out, a plate of live lobsters!

Little do they know, they’re not long for this world. Sam’s put on his chef outfit, which means only one thing...

Time to start murdering lobsters for dinner!

And as Sam slays and prepares the lobsters, the chess match is up to a feverish pitch, it’s neck and neck.

It went right down to the finish, but Fiona won the match!

To the victor goes the popcorn.

Sam’s putting the final touches on the lobster salad, the lobster tails are in the oven, so it’s time to take this show outside.

And here’s the backyard, a little too bright out here, but very nice.

They have a shed off to the side. I’m going to be living here soon if I don’t find a job. 365 Days In A Shed...hmmm, that's got a nice ring to it!

The grill is lit and Sam is putting on giant filet mignon’s. I’m starvin’ like Marvin over here!

And just in the nick of time, the first course is served. Fresh lobster salad and steamed clams, a great way to start a meal!

Here’s the main course, stuffed lobster head, grilled lobster tail with parmesan cheese, a filet topped with Sam’s homemade steak sauce and fresh corn on the cob. A true feast and one of the best meals I’ve ever had! Great work by Sam!

And here everyone is digging in. If you look at my spot, you’ll see two cans of Budweiser. I don’t fuck around on the 4th of July!

After that spectacular dinner, Sam drove us back to the train station as the sun was setting on Long Island. Hey, I just thought of a name for Sam’s cooking show: “Wong Island.” Are you seeing this Food Network? I’m out of work and you could use a decent show, have your people call mine. Okay, I don’t have people, just send me an email, or Tweet me. At the very least, send me some leftovers from Paula Deen’s kitchen, I hear she’s on a diet now.

And once again, through the magic of the internet, you’re spared another Long Island train ride and here we are back in Manhattan.

On the way home the sky was lit up with 4th of July fireworks above the buildings.

Thanks to Sam, Hilda and Fiona for inviting us out and serving up a fabulous 4th of July Feast. If you need catering service for a small party or holiday gathering of up to 20 people, contact Sam. He’s willing to work within anyone’s budget to deliver a great meal or buffet so you can sit back and enjoy your party and your guests. Sam also does BBQ service on site and I can testify it’s the best BBQ I’ve ever had. If you’d like to contact Sam, simply email him here: Sam Wong Catering Services. Note: Please put, “Catering Service Needed” in the subject line.

Further Reading: 365 Bars, Wikitravel and ABC News.

Mexican kids are shootin,’
fireworks below,
Hey baby, it's the Fourth of July.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you! (Illustration by “Boris.”)

Bonus Photos by Shawn Chittle!
Last week, my friend and frequent TWM guest star, Shawn Chittle accompanied me out to Coney Island and took some fantastic photos. He sent them to me last week and here they are. Thanks Shawn, great work as always!

The front of my building, Chez Wombacher.

We had a couple beers before we took off on our journey, cheers!

I love this photo, looks like this kid can't handle the noise in the subway.

Here I am doing my blogging duties.

Almost there!

And here we are, Coney Island, baby!

Elmo and I share a moment, between you and I, Elmo needs to deodorize a bit.

Once again, not a big fan of the new Ruby's sign, but at least it's pretty much still the same inside.

There's board from the original boardwalk all over inside Ruby's, here's some of it over the bar.

And here's a cool shot of the wood that's been made into a table.

This go-kart raceway is new.

I get dizzy just looking at this shot.

This little fellow doesn't appear to be too thrilled to be held up by a policeman. Too funny!

Like Ruby's, Paul's Daughter escaped eviction and is still doing business on the boardwalk.

Great shot of the hamburger man at Paul's Daughter.

And here's the hamburger woman on the other side.

Care for a spot of tea?

And it's full circle and back to Ruby's for a nightcap.

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Reader Comments (31)

So Cool !
My Brother in Boston works on a Lobster Boat & when i visit him I get Fresh Lobster & sometimes Crab , since Crabs get stuck sometimes in Lobster Traps.
The City Fire Works Look Awesome, I remember many 4Th of July when I Lived in NYC !
Did you ever see the video of Elmo going Crazy In Central Park? Hope that wasn't the one !
Cheers & Beers

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

awesome post! looks like a great meal, can't wait for sam's wong island show on the food network lol! love the coney bonus photos too, the one with you and elmo is a classic!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

Looks like you had a great time on the 4th!

Wong Island...heh.

I love the pic of Elmo and the one of the cop arresting, er, holding the baby. Poor kid!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

@JHwang: It was a great 4th of July! And luckily, that was a friendly Elmo at Coney Island, he was a little smelly, but he was friendly at least! Cheers!

@Bobby D: I'm waiting for the Food Network's call right now! Glad you liked the Elmo shot by Shawn!

@Goggla: It was a nice holiday and a great meal! And I know how that kid feels!

July 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

That's the way to celebrate, close friends, they are YOUR family, no doubt about it. Glad you had a Happy 4th ;)

LOBSTER! I love lobster.

And it looks like the NYPD are taking the whole Stop and Frisk thing way too far. Poor kid.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason

An epic post, and what a great host. Sam Wong looks like he really enjoys entertaining and cooking. I love lobster but it seems I always overcook them. Funny clips to go with this, I really liked the Lindsay Lohan and the cocaine before and after,,,,and the Alec Baldwin, too funny. Baldwin is such a little whore, he's on every commercial lately and talk show, going nuts on airplanes and then he gets upset with the pap, poor baby, now go home to your new wife and blow your nose. Shawn's pictures were great, "Chez Wombacher" Inn. Finally one of my fav restaurants in San Francisco was Sam Wo, an institution, been there for a hundred years, soon to reopen (remodel), tell your friend Sam that he can buy the place and just add a N and a G, lol.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

http://youtu.be/qOMm86R_67w Bwahahahahahaaaaa!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: Thanks, it was a great time, I hope you had a happy 4th as well!

@Jason: If you love lobster, you'd have gone nuts over that feast! Love your observation and the police kid!

@Al: Thanks, glad you liked the post and links! I hear you about Alec Baldwin, in that link, it's been proven he told the photographer to back away, the guy backed away and then the Bloviator attacked him! And look, I found Sam Wo’s on the internet! Looks like a classic place!

@Jaws: Yikes! That's one wild and scary lobster link!

July 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

We lost Ernest Borgnine over the weekend, but we still have our 'Marty' on Mondays. Great post Daddio. What a meal! Hopefully you got 'Wonggie Bags' (IF there were any leftovers) to help tide you over for the rest of the week. I remember his earlier feasts, but this one is a masterpiece!
Great Coney Island photos from Shawn as well. Not being able to see your hands I hope you weren't 'Tickling his Elmo' in public. Good talking to you the other night, long overdue.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Great post ! ... I can almost taste that good looking food !

PS .... I hope that Elmo isn't the same guy who got arrested in Central Park 2 weeks ago ?

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@"Boris:" Thanks! No Wongie bags, we ate all of the food, too good not to! And no, I didn't tickle Elmo, he stunk too bad, it's hot in that suit! Great yakking with you as well, Daddio!

@GENE: Glad you liked the post, it was a great holiday dinner! If it was the same Elmo, he's back on his meds, because he wasn't cursing at anyone.

July 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I'd like to think John gave Fiona the same psycho stare as they were playing chess.
"Wong move little girl."

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@csp: Ha ha ha! I saw no psycho stare-downs, but then I wasn't watching the whole time!

July 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty, Marty, Marty. I know things are tough all over, but I'm thinkin' it's gotten to the point where you are lookin' for any kind of a kind shoulder, and you REALLY don't care WHO you hurt.........I mean C'MON.......Elmo???......and just about the MOST raggedy-ass Elmo I've EVAH seen!


HOW can you sleep at night KNOWING what you have done.?

Gumby....c'mere kid....he didn't mean it......that freakin' red fleabag was just helpin' Marty out by lickin' some birdshit offa his head......Marty PROMISES he won't do it again (or at least post a pic of it).....Marty's a REALLY good kid.....and 'ya gotta admit he has given you PLENTY of space to shine in the past.....so cut him some slack.....and if you know ANYBODY that can help him out with some work......

........ooooh, ooohhh, Gumby, I got it! You can put him to work on your comeback flick.....
Gumynator VS Elmozilla.

Sorry Marty, been a long day......SOME of us have to work tomorrow (little dig).....it was the best I could come up with.......but HEY, Gumby versus Elmo sounds like it could be some BIG silly fun.
Sip Ahoy!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrBOP

@DrBOP: Gumby knew that it was just a photo-op, but I like the Gumby vs. Elmo idea, we'll see what happens in the future! Sip Ahoy!

July 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I dont think Sam Wong has it in him to be a Sam Wo.. he's too nice looking..damn I miss sam Wo's though.. got called blondie in there a few timnes so i upped the dumb blondeness.
Only tru SFers truly appreciate the rudeness that awaited at Sam Wo's
or cried..
then releazed the food tasted like poopoo and the health dept closed it HA!
Sam Wong needs his own super place..
his food would rock..
so glad we got another wong night on long island..

as for Marty.. I almost wanted to name middle kid Marty after one of my fave films.. I did shed a tear for mr Borgnine.

love the bonues shawn photos..so awesome..
miss ya Marty.. we'll catch up soon!

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Gidget: Cool that you've been to Sam Wo's as well. If it reopens we need to take a road trip there! And RIP, Ernest Borgnine, I've always enjoyed that Marty film too.

July 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Awww, that's how I look every time I'm held up by a policeman too! That's the DARNIT look! Anyhoo, your dinner looked WongTASTIC! I was especially intrigued by the stuffed lobster heads - what's in those things? And the steamed clams...oh, how I love steamed clams. It all looked great, and it seemed like you had a really nice time. But now I'm really hungry, and all I have to get me through the rest of the day is a Gatorade G2. And it doesn't even have any vodka in it!

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: It was a great dinner, Sam's a great chef! Now go get some vodka!

July 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Hi Marty, Shit I wish Moon could cook like Sam Wong. I would be at his house every holiday. What a great dinner budweiser and lobster. Great seeing you out and about . I'll give you a call sometime this week and try and track you down.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertehennessey

@Gidget: Yeah I hear you about Sam Wo, but that rude waiter, Edsel Ford's been dead for like 20 years. True the food was mediocre at best but any place that had 100 plus years under its belt was worth the trip. They let me go across the street to buy beer and bring it in, so I was happy. But wasn't it a funky place? walking in thru the kitchen? insane. I do hope they get their inspections in order, too many old places going under. Cool you actually have been there,,,small world.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@tehennessey: It was a great 4th of July dinner! Let's talk soon! I'm coming back to P-town soon!

@Al: Too cool both you and Gidget have been to Sam Wo's, you both need to come out here and we'll go to Sam Wong's, it's much friendlier!

July 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Boo Coors Light...Yay Budweiser! The Red, White and You. All anyone needs for a great 4th of July.

July 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

@rasndall: I agree, here's to the KING of beers, Budweiser! Cheers!

July 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Budweiser is hard to find in Toulouse & when you do find it , it's expensive ! Heineken is one of the cheapest .

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

@JHwang: That's funny about Budweiser and Heineken in Toulouse, it's the opposite here. Cheers and Budweiser beers!

July 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty, That Lobster looks amazing. I love me some good seafood.
I ran into a Blue Elmo getting of the subway at times square, I didn't get a whiff of him though.
I think little Fiona will probably grow up to be a Bond Girl, Brain's & beauty.
I still suck at chess. The freelance work just slowed down to a halt yesterday. Anything looming on your work horizon's?

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdanny the freelancer

@danny the freelancer: The whole meal was fantastic, Sam is a great chef! So far just a few slim leads on the job horizon, hopefully it'll pick up in the fall. I'm working on my Photoshop tutorials in the meantime. I'm just trying to enjoy the downtime and not sweat it too much for now.

July 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

The dinner looked amazing!!

What a wonderfl Chef Sam is and what a lovely house and family he has. It looked like a great way to spend the Fourth!


July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@Tiki Bar Susie: The dinner not only looked amazing, it was! Sam's a great chef, he should do it for a living, then maybe I could have his job.

July 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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