Sunday, June 21, 2009

Panini Lunch Special at Masso and the Zagat.com Premium Membership Giveaway Winners

Masso Restaurant & Lounge
47-25 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, NY
(718) 482-8151 | Map

As I was looking through my digital photos the other day, I realized that I completely forgot to write about my birthday lunch at Masso with my friends Elizabeth and Meg! With all of the birthday craziness and the jam-packed schedule of month-long birthday celebrations, I'm honestly not surprised that I skipped over a restaurant review. I'm trying to be better about writing timely posts, but what can I say? I live in the city that never sleeps, so that means I never sleep either...

Elizabeth and Meg are friends of mine from graduate school and they were sweet enough to make the trip to Queens to have an on-my-actual-birthday lunch with me. I chose Masso because I have been walking by it for months but have never dined there. My birthday seemed like the perfect reason to try a new-to-me restaurant with fabulous friends. When we arrived, we asked to be seated on the sidewalk to take advantage of the sunshine -- it's hard to imagine the sun ever shined before with all of this rain that's falling! We all decided to have the Panini Lunch Special, which includes a panini of your choice and a side salad for $6.95. (If you would rather swap the salad for fries, you can do so for $1 extra... which I did.)

Complimentary Potato Chips at Masso in Long Island City, NY | Taste As You Go
Complimentary Potato Chips at Masso in Long Island City, NY

As we waited for our food to arrive and caught up on each other's lives, we snacked on some complimentary potato chips that were presented to us in a cute little crock lined with paper towels. The chips were crispy and perfectly seasoned and went amazingly well with the wine we all ordered. (I know I probably shouldn't have ordered a drink in the middle of the day on a Monday, but it was my birthday, so I decided to bend the rules.) Thankfully, the wait was not long and our sandwiches arrived looking delicious!

Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Pesto Sauce with French Fries at Masso in Long Island City, NY | Taste As You Go
Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Pesto Sauce with French Fries at Masso in Long Island City, NY

Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Pesto Sauce with French Fries at Masso in Long Island City, NY | Taste As You Go
Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Pesto Sauce with French Fries at Masso in Long Island City, NY

I ordered the Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Pesto Sauce with a side of French fries. Look at that generously sized sandwich! Everything was fresh and the pesto sauce was delicious and added that special something to the panini. And the fries were seasoned with herbs de provence rather than simply seasoned with salt. Nice touch! Since I had more than enough fries to last me through lunch, I graciously shared with Elizabeth and Meg.

Grilled Vegetable Panini with Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Masso in Long Island City, NY | Taste As You Go
Grilled Vegetable Panini with Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Masso in Long Island City, NY

Elizabeth ordered the Prosciutto di Parma Panini with Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Pesto, which she opened up for me so I could take a picture of the components of the sandwich. Another winner! Meg opted for the Grilled Vegetable Panini with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It was nice to see that the restaurant didn't skimp on the grilled vegetables, especially considering that the sandwich was part of the lunch special. (I know we've all been to restaurants that offer a lunch special, but the only thing that's "special" is the price.) And, just as they were generous with the portion of French fries on my plate, Elizabeth and Meg were able to enjoy sizeable helpings of salad with their panini. Actually, the portions were so generous, that I was able to take home half of my panini for dinner! Can't be that.

Masso's on Urbanspoon

Now that I've caught up a little bit with the belated restaurant reviews, I can reveal the winner of the Zagat.com Premium Membership Giveaway! The winner (chosen with the help of Random.org) is....

#3 - Hugging the Coast, who said that his "favorite summertime food has to be Southern pulled pork barbecue or (if we're talking about the sweet stuff) Italian water ices."

But, wait! I've been put into the position of picking a surprise bonus winner! So, the second winner of the Zagat.com Premium Membership Giveaway is...

#1 - lakedavid, who emphatically declared "BURGERS" as his favorite summer food.

Congratulations to both winners! Check your email for a message from me with details about your prizes!

Stay tuned... I'll be announcing another giveaway very, very soon!

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