It’s been a while. I’m sorry :(
Today, I bring you “the Benedicts” from a neighborhood favorite diner. My cousin and I decided to get brunch on a rainy day. We both got the egg Benedicts because this place is known for this dish and we’ve been craving for a hearty-cheap meal. The “Florentine” Benedict contains spinach and feta cheese on an English muffin, it’s my favorite so far (keep in mind; I’ve only tried 2 of 6 Benedicts). I wasn’t a huge fan of the “Crabcakes” because they used imitation crab meat. But what do you expect when you’re paying $8.95 for seafood in central Jersey? I won’t complain. However, the eggs were poached to perfection. One thing I just realized is that they forgot to put the Hollandaise sauce on top of the eggs…it was still good though! Of course, I didn’t forget to add some Tabasco sauce on everything (love that stuff). And yes, I recommend that you get the “Disco fries” instead of the home fries on the side. You’ll pay $1.50 extra but it’s worth it and you’ll will satisfy your cheesy cravings. Just walk it out later.
Place: The Park Ave Diner (NJ)
Item(s): The Florentine and Crabcake Benedict (with Disco fries)
Final Thoughts: The food and service was good but BYOW (bring your own water). Trust me.
Thanks Jenny and Helen for coming out into the city to join me on my food adventure! :)
Our first stop was “Bauhaus” which was recommended by Steph, one of my favorite foodies! The seating was tight and pretty dark inside. Good thing we came in when it was empty because I can’t imagine being in that small dark space during rush hour. I loved the concept of having the option to choose from one of these little fun pork buns. I debated on whether to get taro fries or not. And to this day, I regret not getting them. The pork buns were alright. I’m not sure what the hype is about. I still prefer the pork buns at Ippundo. They’re more expensive but in my opinion, it’s worth it.
On our way to Taim, we saw a bunch of people crowd around a beautiful townhouse. They were full of excitement as they swapped cameras and took turns to take a picture in front of the stairway. Guess what? We ended up stumbling upon Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from Sex and the City. No wonder! Back to Taim. Of course, I chose the places with limited amount of seating. If you have a big group, these locations are not an ideal option for a nice dine-in experience. One thing I loved about Taim is that when you cut into the falafels, they’re so vibrant! Unfortunately, I was so full from the pork buns and couldn’t enjoy it as much as I could have. I still can’t substitute falafels over meat.
Item:The chairman bao and the birdhaus bao
Final Thoughts: I’ll come back for those taro fries and try the other buns!
Item: Mixed falafel platter
Rating: 3 1/2
Final Thoughts: It’s clean, fresh, and light. If you’re a big falafel person, give it a try!
Summer is coming to an end and I can confidently say that I crossed off a few things off my bucket list while working in the city. One of them was to go to restaurant week during the summer. My friends and I went to the famous Ai Fiori for lunch and Aureole for dinner. Sadly, Ai Fiori was a disappointment. I don’t want to admit this but I think restaurants use restaurant week as a way to get rid of all their surplus ingredients. Restaurant week should be an opportunity where people can come and sample the actual menu at a discounted price. The 3-course menu should make you want to come and eat at this location again while paying the regular price. There should be some excitement and anticipation for the real thing. However, Ai Fiori did not live up to my expectations and the hype. For the first course, I ordered to country terrine aka the “fancy meatloaf.” The food wasn’t memorable at all. As for Aureole, I enjoyed everything but the dessert which was the vanilla panna cotta with summer berries. It had a strange after taste. The roasted hake with soba noodles was very interesting and delicious, the fish was crisp on the outside and tender.
The truth is…restaurant week is either a hit or miss. I think it’s time to save up and order the real menu! But that won’t stop me from going to restaurant week in the future :)
What’s the most important thing to consider when taking pictures of food? Lighting. Although the food wasn’t as satisfying, the pictures came out great! I liked how everything was so vibrant. Apparently, the meatpacking district is full of fancy restaurants and stores. I definitely want to explore this area a bit more.
On a Saturday, my friend and I decided to check out the “Spice Market.” As soon as we walked in, I felt like I was in a different world. We were seated in a bright area with white leather chairs and open windows.
They brought over complementary chips that melt in your mouth. The consistency was a bit sandy? I can’t explain it haha. However, I liked the salsa/dip. We ordered shrimp pad thai and a grilled salmon salad. The salad was very unique because they used carrot-ginger dressing topped with oranges and sesame. It was very light and refreshing. The pad thai wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. Not bad.
Place: Spice Market (Meat packing district, NY)
Item: Shrimp pad thai and grilled salmon salad
Final thoughts: If you’re not sitting near the windows/white chairs, it’s REALLY dark inside. Just an FYI.
"Why haven’t you updated your blog?!" I never thought I would say this but…my first full-time job is taking over my life. Which isn’t a bad thing! I’m still around food all the time (thank God) and I’m working with such talented people. I just wish there were more hours in the day. There’s so much to do!
Speaking of work, we had a launch party for all the members working on the same account. I don’t know how to explain this moment but it was like putting a puzzle together. I email these people almost everyday and I finally had the opportunity to match the names with faces (ignore the white blobs, it’s there to protect the team’s/work privacy). But it was too humid and hot to mingle, it felt like a sauna. And the view was okay. I’ve seen more jaw dropping views in the city. My favorite…is on the 44th floor of Hearst tower at night. If you’re in the building, it’s a must.
Now for the food. To be honest, I was a little disappointed because a few days back I went to a Martha Stewart cocktail event = amazing hors d’oeuvres (I wish I could blog about this but we weren’t allowed to take pictures because she was launching her new line!). So, my standards were way too high from the start. If I had to pick one thing, it would be the wild mushroom truffle pizza. It was delicious!
Most importantly, thank you for all the support and love. I’ll try to be more consistent with my posts :) <3 Enjoy!
Thanks for buying me lunch SeEun! Good luck on your journey and I’ll keep you in my prayers! :)
What’s so special about Shake Shack? The hot dogs? No. The single burger? No. The fries? Absolutely not.
Shake Shack has a special place in my heart. The best thing to order here is the “Shack Stack,” which is the most expensive item on the menu but it’s totally worth it. The burger contains a patty, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and a little ball of happiness. In other words, a “shroom” is a crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheese. As soon as you bite into the crispy ball, the melted cheese oozes out.
Place: Shake Shack (Theater District, NYC)
Item: Shack Stack
Final Thoughts: The first couple bites are heavenly but this can become very rich, very quickly. So, for those who can’t handle rich or hearty foods, try it at your own risk.
Before my friend Kaila left for Korea we met up in the city for lunch. When it comes to food, she truly appreciates and enjoys the moment! This summer, my food buddy will have the awesome opportunity to eat all the delicious food in Korea - I’m so jealous. I would go to Korea just for the food. And did I mention that Korea has wifi in the subways? New York City, you have a long way to go.
Little did I know, Go Go Curry was only a block away from my work place. This place is famous for their deep fried katsu and curry. They also offer a HUGE dish called the “grand slam” but I chickened out and got the home run instead, which was a perfect size for one hungry soul. Plus, it’s a smaller version of the “grand slam” so you get a little bit of everything. Carbs, carbs, and more carbs.
Warning: The seating here is very small - come before 12:30 to avoid the hungry working people.
Place: Go Go Curry
Item: Home Run (Pork)
Rating: 3 3/4
Final Thoughts: Next time, I plan to get the “grand slam” and share it with a friend. It’s a better deal! :)
It was nice to end my week with some Korean BBQ and good old Chinese food. Looks familiar right? And yes, I must admit - I wasn’t so adventurous this time. One thing is certain. I value these experiences because I really do enjoy my time with the person/people I’m with! Good food leads to great conversations.
Today’s blog is a bit short but stay tuned for next week’s blog! It will be filled with some of my NYC “lunch time” adventures.
I never thought I would be back on campus this soon…but here I am 3 weeks after my graduation! It was great to have lunch with Karan and Rug as we caught up on each others lives with our sandwiches in hand. Plus, the weather was perfect to eat outside, which we immediately took advantage of.
My first Mamoun’s experience was a bit disappointing because the shawarma sandwich had such little meat in it. I never had the urge to go back afterwards. But we decided to try Mamoun’s (even though I was doubtful at the time). My second experience was so much better than the first! Everything was fresh and delicious. They packed a lot of shawarma - 50:50 ratio = perfect. And the side of hummus added a nice creamy flavor and texture. However, it wasn’t the best hummus I’ve ever had…not bad!
Place: Mamoun’s Falafel (New Brunswick, NJ)
Item: Shawarma sandwich with a side of hummus
Rating: 3 1/2
Final thoughts: Although my second experience was much better, I still don’t understand the hype about this place. Maybe…I need to go here a third time to fully understand why people rave about this place haha.
Work perks are awesome! On a rainy day, one of the reps sent us an email asking if we wanted pizza to cheer us up on a gloomy day. Who can turn down free pizza? By lunch, it was delivered to our office and we were amazed by the gourmet pizzas. Hands down, this was one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a very long time (Forgive me for using the word “pizza” for the 100th time - I love pizza). The fluffy and chewy consistency of the dough won me over. You can tell that this was made fresh from scratch. The portions are very small but this place believes in quality over quantity. Would I pay $20 for a pie? I’m not too crazy about the price tag but I wouldn’t mind going here once in a while.
There’s a Yelp deal going on right now, so snag a discount while you can! :) Enjoy!
Place: Forcella (East Village, NY)
Final Thoughts: I would pass on the prosciutto though…the thin strips were tough as rubber. The flavors for each one was so distinct and delicious!