Entries in 4th of July (1)


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.