New York City

6 4339

Recently, I took a trip to New York City with my family and we were able to drop by some great eats, particularly in Chinatown.

SONY DSC

Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant

Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant, located on two floors, has been established since 1989 and is a traditional banquet style Chinese restaurant (you could picture a wedding being held here often with the dragon and phoenix in the background).

In 1996, Food & Wine Magazine named Golden Unicorn as one of the Five Best Restaurants in NYC, among Daniel, Spartina, Moustache, and Gramercy Tavern. Golden Unicorn was the only Chinese restaurant to receive such honor. Golden Unicorn is also a member of La Chaine des Rotisseurs, and internationally recognized as one of the world’s best Cantonese restaurants.

The dim sum here, compared to other places in Chinatown that we’ve tried, seemed to be fresher and made with more care to the quality of ingredients with a certain Cantonese flair. I felt like I was transported to Hong Kong while eating here. The ha gow shrimp dumpling and siu mai pork dumplings were particularly good.

Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant – Dim Sum
18 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 941-0911
Price Range: $$$
http://www.golden-unicorn.com/

Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant - Dim Sum
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant – Dim Sum

SONY DSC

Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant - spare ribs
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant – spare ribs
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant - Chicken Feet
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant – Chicken Feet
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant - Dim Sum
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant – Dim Sum
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant - Dim Sum
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant – Dim Sum
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant - Siu Mai
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant – Siu Mai dumpling
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant - Egg tart
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant – Egg tart

Golden Unicorn on Urbanspoon

Joe’s Shanghai

Joe’s Shanghai is a perennial favorite among New York’s soup dumpling lovers, the place where soup dumplings were probably first made popular. They are available in “pork” and “crab and pork” varieties here and are pretty affordable (around $8.95 for a steamed tray of 8) .

A line out the door is almost always present – meaning you are almost always feel like being rushed while eating here. Service, as in most Chinese restaurants, is not a strong point that is for sure.

I thought the soup dumplings this visit were not as fresh tasting as before and probably would rather go to Nan Xiang Shanghai in Flushing for my soup dumpling fix next time I am in the city. The regular Chinese menu that we tried while here was also rather, unfortunately, forgettable.

Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown, NYC
Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown, NYC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Soup Dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai

Joe's Shanghai - Soup Dumplings
Joe’s Shanghai – Soup Dumplings
Joe's Shanghai - Soup Dumplings
Joe’s Shanghai – Soup Dumplings
Joe's Shanghai - Stir fried clams in black bean sauce
Joe’s Shanghai – Stir fried clams in black bean sauce

 

 

Joe's Shanghai on Urbanspoon

Baohaus New York
Baohaus New York

Baohaus – NYC

Opened by Eddie Huang, outspoken chef, foodie world bad boy, blogger, and upcoming sit com star, alongside brother Evan Huang, Baohaus is a tiny hole in the wall serving up Taiwanese Street Food featuring a variety of Gua Bao (stuffed steamed buns), bao fries, and boiled peanuts. The Huang brother’s parents live in the Orlando area and Eddie went to Rollins while his brothers went to UCF.

From their website – ” They didn’t do it just to sell baos, but instead create a mouth piece for the social, cultural, and political issues they cared about. ”

Eddie made his first appearance on national television on the Food Network show “Ultimate Recipe Showdown”, which eventually led to the opening of Baohaus. He has since starred in his own show for a brief while on the Cooking Channel called Cheap Bites, published an autobiography titled Fresh Off the Boat, and currently stars on the Vice.com show, similarly called Fresh Off the Boat.

On my visit, I ordered the original Chairman Bao, a white steamed bun stuffed with braised Berkshire Pork Belly and topped with crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar – and it was very tasty. The pork belly had a nice crunch to it and the flavors and textures went together well. I could see it being great hangover after a night downtown food.

The original location of Baohaus was on the Lower East Side but today it sits in East Village.

Baohaus
Baohaus
Baohaus - pork bun
Baohaus – pork bun

SONY DSC

Baohaus on Urbanspoon

SONY DSC

Malaysia Beef Jerky, Inc.

One of my favorite things about Hong Kong is the seemingly abundant supply of beef jerky stalls (notably Singapore’s Bee Cheng Hiang) that sold these tasty little sweet and savory beef jerky pieces on the street.

I was surprised to find Malaysia Beef Jerky, slightly hidden in NYC’s Chinatown, and selling some wonderfully delicious beef jerky that brought me back to the streets of Hong Kong. The varieties come in spicy, pork, chicken, and beef all with sweet, charcoal smoked flavors. It’s like meat candy.

They even sell the stuff online by the pound for delivery straight to your door I recently found out.

Malaysian Beef Jerky in Chinatown - popular street food, sweet, in Hong Kong
Malaysian Beef Jerky in Chinatown – popular street food, sweet, in Hong Kong
Malaysian Beef Jerky in Chinatown
Malaysian Beef Jerky in Chinatown

SONY DSC

Malaysia Beef Jerky on Urbanspoon

Tasty Dumpling
Tasty Dumpling

Tasty Dumpling

For some reason New Yorkers just love hole in the walls, and this place is no exception. People of New York on the internets love this place and give it glowing reviews. Maybe it’s because you get 5 dumplings for $1.25, plump, greasy, hot dumplings filled with pork filling. Honestly, I don’t know what the big appeal is besides the price point. Overall, good dumplings but I wouldn’t go out of my way for them again as I did not see anything too special about them. They were good just a bit over rated. Prosperity Dumpling nearby is a little bit better, and 5 for $1.00…

Tasty Dumplings
Tasty Dumplings

Tasty Dumpling on Urbanspoon

 

Nyonya – Malaysian in New York

One of the best Malaysian spots in New York, Nyonya showcases the rich intercultural fusion of cooking in Malaysia from Malay, Indian, and Chinese influences in their dishes.  Ingredients are authentic and house made from the curry pastes, ginger flower, kaffir leaves, galanga, tamarind, and more.

Roti Canai
Start off with some tasty Roti Canai and curry sauce

SONY DSC

Fried Rice, rather standard

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Hokkien Char Mee- thick udon like noodles in dark soy sauce stir fried with beef, chicken, rather ok…but somehow I couldn’t help but think this was a “Malaysian Chinese” dish in the way chop suey is a “American Chinese” dish if you know what I mean…

Nyonya on Urbanspoon

SONY DSC

Until next time New York!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Photobucket

Beneath a bridge in Queens in a mall plaza sits Grimaldi’s pizza, home of one of the more delectable pizzas in New York. Famed for its coal fired brick oven style pizza, the Grimaldi pizza has that slightly burnt yet intriguing taste in the crust. A little history from Grimaldi’s…

In the world of pizza, Grimaldi’s is an institution. Grimaldi’s history of coal-fired brick oven pizza cooking can be traced to the first pizzeria in America back in 1905. Coal-fired brick oven cooking gives pizza a unique smokey flavor and a crisp crust that is just not possible with gas, convection, or wood ovens.

Photobucket

The pizza was pretty good

Grimaldi's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

1 1540

Pommes Frites in East Village, Manhattan, New York City

Photobucket
Photobucket

This past January I spent a frosty winter afternoon in New York with some of my bros, walking the city and exploring the sights, sounds, and most importantly, the tastes of the Big Apple.

Photobucket

Pommes Frites is a specialty shop serving authentic Belgian fries, or as the Belgians call them, “pommes frites.”, in the heart of East Village. Its a tiny shop with only a few seats so this place is a mostly “to-go” spot for those hankering for some Belgian fries, and is definitely a “street food” type place.


Photobucket

Photobucket

The atmosphere reminds me of a small wooden shack, taken over by larger fryers. Here,the potatoes are fried twice. The first time they are cooked through and the second time provides a golden color giving the fries a crispy texture. The special thing about these fries are the sauces that come with them, from curry sauce, or a peanut satay sauce, or even mango chutney.

The fries all in all are fine, not necessarily the best in the world, but I can imagine how delightful they would taste after a late night on the town.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Mike models for the fries

Photobucket

Photobucket

Mango chutney sauce makes it much better

Pommes Frites on Urbanspoon

I love street meat.
Photobucket

It was a blistery night in January. The wind howled, testing our Florida skin against the New York icy cold winter. A few of my brothers and I were out and about in the city this evening, and were headed back to the Flushing Sheraton for some much needed rest. Outside on the corner, protected from the winter wind by blue tarps on all sides, stood a stall of street meats perfuming the air with its freshly grilled lamb, chicken, and beef kebabs over coal.

Inside the cart, a elderly couple worked the place: the husband at the grill, twirling the meats by their bamboo sticks, and the wife at the front end collecting the orders and cash.

Photobucket

Overall, it was a pretty good deal. About a dollar for a stick of meat, fatty and juicy, freshly cooked and spiced with cumin. A lovely way to warm our tummies after a long cold night.

Photobucket

Photobucket


Photobucket

White Bear Dumplings – Flushing Queens NYC

On a recent trip to New York, I dropped by this small hole in the wall (New Yorkers love hole in the walls by the way), for some yummy dumplings.

White Bear sits in the heart of downtown Flushing right off of the Main Street sidestreets. Inside the interior is very much like Prosperity Dumpling, in which there is basically just a counter and two tables. The atmosphere is not what you would call their selling point, but rather its all in the dumplings.

ITs a quick to go place for some cheap eats on a cold winter day. They have a heaping of freshly steamed dumplings and doused in spicy soy sauces, fried onions and scallions.

behold the white bear dumplings.

Check it out if you’re ever in Flushing, I know I will again 😀

White Bear on Urbanspoon

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory – New York City


The first time I saw the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory a few years ago, I was, at first, quick to
dismiss the place from the exterior as another tourist attraction in the bustling, crowded
Chinatown of New York City. Little did I know that this little ice cream factory actually
serves up quite a few very unique and distinctly Chinese flavors for ice cream!


You can immediately recognize the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory from their trademark
banner flag, a fat dragon reminiscent of Bowser from Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers 😀


They have many unique flavors here: from mango to durian to lychee and longan as well as all the
traditional ice cream flavors. yumm

On this visit, I chose to get the Almond cookie flavored ice cream. Almond cookies were
always a favorite of mine from childhood, whose aroma always reminded me of my
grandma’s cookie jar.

The almond cookie ice cream tasted just like almond cookies! in ice cream form of course.
I’d definitely go back to visit again next time I’m in Manhattan.

The Almond Cookie Ice Cream

Nearby is a statue of Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher (Chow yun fat recently made a epic bio pic of the great master)



they even have a blog on blogspot!
http://www.chinatownicecreamfactory.blogspot.com/

swedish tv interview

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Urbanspoon

5 1610
53rd and 6th Halal Cart or

“its best if we get wasted first….”

On the way to St Marks Place, my brother Joseph aka Icebox from the St John’s University in nearby Queens, tells me, “where we’re going tonight, its best if we get wasted first and then head out to the joint. After a night of drinking, the chicken on rice is amazing.”

I am cautious of foods that only taste good when you’re under the influence, probably resulting in the numbing effect of at least one of your senses, but I take his advice to heart and we head out to St Marks Place to check out the local digs.

After arriving in St Marks, we walked around for a bit, taking in the musky night air of Manhattan, noticing the yuppie passerbys crawling out of the Japanese ramen and yakitori shops still open this late at night.

We headed to the Continental bar.

We actually had walked by this place earlier in the day and noticed the sign above the doorway of the Continental bar: “$10 for 5 shots of anything! (Yes, We’re Serious!)

The Continental, situated in East Village near St Marks Place, services local NYU and other area collegiates who are out for cheap drinks and a night out on the town. Inside, the Continental is the same as every other seedy bar out there, dark and dimly lit, smelling of old wood finely aged with years of spilt drinks on its decks. The perfect place to begin a night in the city.

After a round of shots of Southern comfort, jack daniel’s, and straight up grey goose, satisfied and thoroughly flushed, we head out to take on more of the city.


5 Shots for $10

Continental on Urbanspoon

The Cube or “Let’s take it for a spin”

Our next victim was found not too far away at the Cube, also known as the Alamo, the outdoor sculpture by Bernard Rosenthal, located in Astor Place.

This heaping giant block of metal is a popular meeting place for people in the East Village and earlier in the day, brother Ronny Chow, one of the greatest and most revered brothers ever alive, told me that it is a tradition to put travelers and tourists on top of the cube and spin them around for good luck. Sadly at that time there were too many people around the cube to try during the day.

This late at night however, the cube was ripe for some shenanigans. We decide to try our hand at spinning the cube around, a feat for the machismo in us all, challenging the 1.25 ton cube with our might. Thankfully, it is on a pivot and spins relatively easy. woo hoo!

After a couple spins, we had to head to the restroom but thankfully my brother Jackson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was able to get to 53rd and 6th street first and save us a spot in line.

A poster for Julie and Julia

The Line at the 53rd and 6th Halal Cart

Located in Midtown and identified by the large rock landmark, the 53rd and 6th street Halal Cart is a veritable New York City institution. For the city that never sleeps, what better food is there than street food that stays open from 7:30PM – 4AM?

The Famous 53rd and 6th Halal cart is notorious far and wide for their chicken and rice, having won first place in the 1st annual street meat palooza competition at Midtownlunch.com and also featured in a New York Times article on the advent of the meat vendors in the city.

It is renown as one of the best hangover foods around, and we can see that a line has formed up the block to get a taste of the yellow rice topped with lettuce, hot succulent chicken, and topped of course with the banging and mysterious “white sauce”. There is a extra spicy hot sauce available as well, but you have to be cautious as it is pretty spicy…

“We are Different”

This intersection at 53rd and 6th is also notorious for its rivalry of street meat carts, as a imposter! cart has set up across the street replete with their yellow shirts and even circular metal pan containers. But you know which one to go to because the “real” one has the extra longer line, and also, they have these cool yellow bags that say “Halal cart: We are Different”

I LOLed.

After getting our chicken on rice, chicken and lamb on rice combos, we stood in the plaza nearby and consumed our long awaited meals.

Wow, it really was, as they say in New York, “mad” good, yo. I am happy to have tried the 53rd and 6th halal cart and tasted its delicious chicken on rice. The white sauce makes the dish so tasty, as if all the elements of the universe came together and conspired to make an ultimate dish made with chicken, rice, and all the goodies in between.

Tasty to the last bite.

Tasty Chomps rating!!
4.5 out of 5 Tasty CHOMPS!!!!

53rd and 6th Halal Cart on Urbanspoon

On my latest trip to New York, I was privileged to try a few of the delicious bakeries in the Flushing area….

Koryodang Bakery – Flushing Queens New York City

Photobucket

This is my first time in a Korean bakery, at Koryodang Bakery in Flushing off of 39th Avenue on Union Street just a few blocks away from the Main Street Metro station. I thought it was pretty classy inside and their baked goodies looked marvelous, but I also recognized a few buns that are popular in Chinese bakeries. Coincidence? Methinksnot. The decor is very classy, maybe too classy for a bakery.

My grandlil Thierry of the University of South Florida thoroughly enjoyed it though, especially his fruit danish.


Photobucket
A look inside Koryodang Bakery, a franchise from South Korea

Photobucket

Photobucket
Danishes! one of my favorites of types of pastries of all time!

Photobucket
Thierry enjoys his danish from Koryodang Bakery

Koryodang on Urbanspoon

————
Tai Pan Bakery – Flushing, Queens, New York City

Photobucket

A little bit north of the Downtown Flushing Main Street metro station is a favorite bakery of mine: Tai Pan Bakery. When stepping inside, your senses are immediately overwhelmed and intoxicated by the sweet aroma and flavors of the pastries and cakes. I love it.

Sweet, sweet glorious buns…

I order a few buns from Tai Pan Bakery with Eric including the pork filling bun, a coconut cream bun, and an egg custard tart as well as some soy milk to wash it all down with. They also have a unique almond egg custard that is colored white and has a sliver of almond in the middle. The perfect breakfast for me. The prices are relatively cheap, with most of the items ranging around $1.00 more or less.


Photobucket
A look inside Tai Pan Bakery

Photobucket
Tai Pan’s home made delicious sweet soy milk

Photobucket
Flushing Tai Pan Bakery’s Almond egg custard

Photobucket
Another one bites the dust at Tai Pan Bakery

Photobucket
Tai Pan Bakery’s Creamy coconut bun

Photobucket
Tai Pan Bakery’s Traditional Egg custard

Photobucket
Tai Pan Bakery’s Pateso?

Photobucket
Indeed it is!

4.5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!

Tai Pan Bakery on Urbanspoon

Spicy and Tasty
Szechuan Cuisine
Flushing, Queens, New York

Photobucket

I first heard about Spicy and Tasty from one of my brothers, Victor Yin. It was lunch time during our conference and a few of the places in the area were already full with customers. Luckily Spicy and Tasty was open and could take in our party of 18 (we split into three tables of 6).

Spicy and Tasty is renown for their Szechuan style of food, noted for its spicy and tasty textures and flavors through the liberal use of Szechuan peppercorns, garlic, and chili. The Szechuan peppercorns have a slight lemony taste and create a tingly numb feeling in the mouth unlike traditional black pepper. I am actually not a fan of this taste usually, however with the dishes we ordered here, the balance of spice and taste was perfect.

First we ordered some chinese vegetables such as the chinese spinach with beef and another chinese greens dish. Both were quite tasty, but our favorite was the Sam Ding Gai / San be ji or Three cup Chicken, a traditional Taiwanese dish, cooked in a earthen clay pot with thai basil and peppers and marinated with a cup of rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil (the three cups). It is said a restaurant that can not cook this dish well, would not be a good restaurant at all. The dish was indeed very good and reminded me of my grandma’s home cooked chicken dishes that she once made for me as a child.


Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Sambeiji, Three Cups Chicken!

After lunch, we went back to the conference where we enjoyed some dumplings and I also noticed this cool jacket worn by Ernie Luk from the University of Florida.


Photobucket

Dumplings from Flushing Mall

Photobucket


dumplings at the conference yes

Photobucket
Berserk

It was made by One Greek Store, a dependable, reliable, quality store that makes jackets, apparel, and gifts all for a very great price. The website has been recently renovated as well with more features, check it out at http://www.onegreekstore.com/ Shout out to my Big Dennis Ngin and brothers Tony Tran and Nick Leung for working hard on One Greek Store.

Photobucket

Spicy & Tasty
(718) 359-1601
Flushing
39-07 Prince St
Queens, NY 11354

Spicy & Tasty on Urbanspoon

Photobucket

After lunch, we decided to take a walk around Flushing to walk off our soup dumpling breakfast and headed east on 39th Avenue past Main Street. Here is where we encountered the Xinjiang meat cart, the merchant of magical meats based out of the Xinjiang region of China.

Xinjiang, north of bordering Tibet, is the province where the recent Uyghur unrest occurred where ethnic strife between the minority Uyghurs and the majority Han Chinese sparked days of rioting. Thankfully the only rioting that will be going on here in Flushing is the riot my tummy will make for some skewered meat. The great thing about these skewers is that its only $1.00 for lamb or chicken or beef grilled on a stick peppered with spices and dusted with cumin. Ah yes, meat on a stick – a perennial favorite street food.

The man behind the stall is quite friendly and jovial, dishing out his meat with agility and speed to the consumers waiting nearby. He asks us, “Spicy?” which we reply, “yes” of course.

I enjoyed the lamb and chicken skewers as they were fresh off the grill, juicy, fatty, and packed a spicy punch. Definitely eat these with something to drink to cool off the spicy-ness.

Note that these stalls do not open for business till around 10AM or so, and before 10AM, there are donut/breakfast carts set up around Flushing instead.


Photobucket
The happy meat man from Xinjiang

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Lamb shish kabob, peppered with cumin and spices

Photobucket
Lamb shish kabob, peppered with cumin and spices

Photobucket
Chicken Shish Kabob

Photobucket
Chicken Shish kabob

Xinjiang BBQ Cart on Urbanspoon

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao – Flushing, Queens NYC
Photobucket
The line outside Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, or Nan Shiang Xiao Long Bao as it is sometimes spelled, is renown for its Xiao Long Bao or Little Dragon Buns aka the notorious soup dumplings. As I write this to you this day, my mouth is already salivating from the thought of the steaming soup filled dumplings, bundles of tasty rapture.

My first encounter with soup dumplings was at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown in Manhattan NYC and it was there that my obsession for these steamed juicy buns of pork or pork and crab began. Just looking at the pictures of my last trip to Joe’s Shanghai would trigger a almost Pavlovian response to salivate and imagine tasting the soup dumplings again. Soup inside your dumpling, not dumplings inside your soup. Whoa.

It was around 11 am and my brothers and I were hungry. There was about a 15 minute wait to get into Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao located diagonally across from the Flushing Sheraton on Prince Street. We were lucky to get in under a relatively short amount of time because when I looked outside, there was an even longer line forming to get into the tiny restaurant store which held probably no more than 30 diners at a time.

When we got to our table we immediately began our order for 2 crab and pork soup dumplings and 1 pork soup dumplings. I could see from my seat the Chinese ladies by the steamers making the buns and cooking them to a near perfect freshness.

I ordered a tofu pudding dish (tofu fa) drizzled with honey syrup, a great start for breakfast. The tofu was light and sweet as I slurped it up with my spoon.

We also ordered a round of sweet soy milk, regular pork dumplings, and these scallion pancakes rolled with beef. They were all great but the stars of the show were the soup dumplings.

The soup dumplings were the first to arrive, still steaming in their steam bamboo dishes on a bed of cabbage. We pick the dumplings up, taking care not to burst the skin. Novices / N00bs at eating soup dumplings would put them in their mouth right away to bite them; only to wince in pain as they release the hot steaming soup inside and burn their tongues.

The way that I eat them is by placing them onto my soup spoon first, puncturing the skin with my chopstick, releasing the soup onto the spoon, and allowing you to blow on the dumpling to cool before devouring the dumpling morsels. I don’t know who invented these things but they are one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life. Thank you soup dumpling maker, where ever you are.

The atmosphere of Nan Xiang is strictly no frills, almost Chinese-speaking only. We actually had some troubles with our first waitress because she couldn’t understand our order a few times, which was a bit exasperating. Luckily there were other waitresses who could help us out. Whew.

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao
38-12 Prince Street, Flushing NY 11354 (map)
718-321-3838


Photobucket
Tofu pudding, sweet and tender loving

Photobucket
My lil brother Johnny Nguyen from the University of South Florida, enjoying his soy milk

Photobucket
A tower of soup dumplings to enjoy

Photobucket
The yellow center top means its a crab and pork soup dumpling

Photobucket
juicy soup dumplings ready to eat

Photobucket
Pork Soup Dumplings

Photobucket
Scallion pancakes with beef

Photobucket
Scallion pancakes with beef

Photobucket
pork dumplings

Photobucket
nom nom nom

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumpling House on Urbanspoon

Photobucket

Corner 28 located just north of the LIRR Railroad track on Main Street has a special for 2 pieces of roast “peking” style duck for $1.00. When we first arrived, the lady there told us the sifu (master) of the peking duck roast has yet to arrive so come back later after 10AM. So we walked around and came back and there she was slicing the duck with the skills of a shaolin kung fu master, what deft knife skills. I wouldn’t want to get into a street fight with this old lady.

Photobucket
They are fans of Michael Jackson here in Flushing Queens!

The duck came wrapped in a tortilla like bread roll that was soft and fresh. Topped with some chinese barbeque sauce, the crispy duck bread rolls were delicious, and for $1.00 it was a really good deal!


Photobucket
The front of the Corner 28 restaurant

Photobucket
The deal: 2 pieces of duck for $1.00! the duck leg with bone for $2.50 yum

Photobucket
Assorted goodies for ducks!

Photobucket
The master at her chopping board with the roast duck

Photobucket
chop chop chop…

Photobucket
a few of our new friends, pledging to keep flushing clean!!

Photobucket
sure buddy!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Duck duck duck


overall it was a good, tasty street food chomp! i would definitely recommend it as a quick snack on the run!

Corner 28 on Urbanspoon
——————————-
I saw this poster of the new Blood! Last Vampire Hunter movie adapted from the Japanese anime hanging on a few stall windows, starring Jun Ji-hyun from My Sassy Girl.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The Flushing Mall is a two story indoor “mall”, which sadly to say is going the way most underperforming malls in America are: down under. Many of the stores here are closed and the ones that are open sell random dollar store stuff or are just plain random. The mall itself is kind of decrepit and probably has seen better days. Nevertheless there is one section of the mall that continues to see business: the Food Court.

The Food Court of the Flushing Mall is a long area where there are food vendors dishing out various Chinese specialties. At this time in the morning – a little bit before 10 am – there were still a few stores not open yet. We try our luck with the Shaved Ice lady and ask her if we can have a special combo icee. After a few tries at translation, I hand her the money with about 10 cents in pennies. She pushes the pennies back to me, “No, I don’t want, no one wants this!” A little bit annoyed, I look around for a dime for this ridiculous cashier lady. -_-

When we got the shaved ice, it came in a huge bowl topped with mung beans, red beans, condensed milk, syrup and more goodie sweets and jellies. Overall I enjoyed the shaved ice but wish there were more fruits!


Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

A few doors down is a stall with another Chinese lady who was more cordial and friendly. We ordered a pretty large dumpling for about 80 cents. I paid her with a bill.

It was overall a great steamed pork bun and juicy to the bite. I wish I had more!


Photobucket

Photobucket
The lady with the nice buns!

Photobucket
What a nice bun!

Photobucket
The pork filling inside the bun! Delicious and juicy!

Overall. Buns were fun, shaved ice was not the best experience due to the long argument with the cashier lady.

Photobucket

Eric and I walk another block on our journey through Flushing, Queens. I’ve been here before, year after year, but never knowing what places were good and so in our own fear of disappointment, we would always try the same things again and again. This time would be different. This time, we had it all planned out.

Downtown Flushing is a bustling crossroads of sorts, even in the early morning time, buses, cars, people all out and about moving from here to there, to markets and to breakfast, to work. The experience takes your breath away for a moment before you too have to move through the crowds and find your next destination.

Ours was the AA Plaza beneath the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) tracks on Main Street. This takeout stall is a long glass case with their grills right along the glass window showcasing their foods. Greasy, nasty, cheap, delicious food: the definition and embodiment of street food.

They sell turnip pudding cakes, oiled-up scallion cakes, steamed pork buns (4 for $1.25), fried chicken wings, lo mein noodles, and more to go. We decide to get some of the curry fish balls (1$). It is all dirt cheap and tasty to boot.

The curry fish balls are plump and tender, spongy and dripping in its sauce, tasting a bit spicy yet also fresh. I always love any meat served on a stick.

Photobucket
The AA Plaza beneath the LIRR in Flushing, New York

Photobucket
The window stalls at AA Plaza

Photobucket
Lo Mein noodles ready to eat!

Photobucket
Curry Fish Balls waiting to be bought and eaten, marinating in the curry sauce

Photobucket
Precious plump balls of fish

Photobucket
Delicious!

Beware of having to go flushing after wards tho…

Rating
4 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!!

AA Plaza on Urbanspoon

Flushing Adventure – New York City

Photobucket

The conference began early Saturday morning in Flushing, Queens borough of New York City. Since I am an alumni and didn’t need to go to some of the workshops, I decided to take a gastronomical tour of eats in downtown Flushing near the metro station. I mostly used a guide from chowhound.com as well as this map from the New York Times of Eats in Flushing and the NYTimes article “Finding Beijing in Flushing”

My brother, Eric Ho, and I rode the Q65 from Jamaica Hills to Flushing which took about 20 minutes and stopped right off of Main Street. The first place we went to was the “Golden Mall” which contained in its basement a smorgasbord of Chinese street food style vendors.

First, we stopped by Xian Foods, a small stall in the center of the Golden Mall basement. Xian Foods was actually featured in the NY times article and even visited by Anthony Bourdain before. The city of Xi’an, located in Central China and one of the oldest cities of China, was home to the imperial tomb of the first emperor of China Qin Shi Huang and his famed terra cotta warriors.

Eric and I decide to split a spicy lamb burger ($2.50). The lady at the counter takes out a piece of frozen lamb meat from the freezer pre-prepared and sets it onto the sizzling pan on the stove in the back of the stall. I was hoping it would be fresh rather than frozen but you can’t expect much when ordering from a basement stall. There were also a few other stalls there in the basement of the Golden Mall, but I did not know what to get as the signage was all in Chinese and I also didn’t want to have to go “flushing” after wards (if you get what I mean).

The lamb burger was wedged between two slices of bread roll, and had a spicy gamey taste to it made with cumin and pepper. Ah, the perfect way to start a morning in Flushing. Overall I would give this lamb burger a 4 out of 5 tasty chomps….


Photobucket
“The Golden Mall” – not really golden nor a mall

Photobucket
What does it say? Who knows? I just want to eat!

Photobucket
Xian Foods stall, in case you are ever in the Golden Mall basement

Photobucket
A photo gallery of Xian Food’s offerings, with english subtitles thank god

Photobucket
yummy frozen lamb

Photobucket
the Lamb burger is complete!

Photobucket

Photobucket
Xian Famous Foods on Urbanspoon


Next Stop:

The Sun Mary Bakery is located right off of Main Street on 41st st. We get a few bakery items such as egg custard, pineapple bun, and the taro ball. I liked the egg custard the best because of its flaky, pastry crust, something that many egg custard places neglect to perfect. Overall, this is a 4 out of 5 tasty chomps!!


Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Taro Ball

Photobucket
Pineapple bun!

Photobucket
Delicious Egg Custard!

Sun Mary Bakery on Urbanspoon

2 1211

Dessert Truck
East Village, Manhattan
St Marks Place and 3rd Avenue
Sunday July 20th 2009 – 10:10PM
twitter.com/desserttruck

It is a late night. We decide to head our to St Marks Place to go foodie hopping. Joining me on this trip are brothers from the St Johns University, University of South Florida, and University of Florida. We pack into two cars and head out from Flushing to the City.

Photobucket

When we got to East Village and parked, Lo and behold in front of me parked is the mythical Dessert Truck, the stuff of twitter legends and rumors of postings popularized in Orlando on the blog thedailycity.com. I was happy to try it out and quickly crossed the street with about 10 of us following behind with another group of about 4 on the way.

According to their site,

DessertTruck is a mobile food concept based in the heart of New York City. We bring
desserts from the world of fine-dining into the realm of everyday enjoyment. At our
mobile food truck, there’s no BS, no pretension. Just really good desserts.

I approached the Dessert Truck and noticed that they were sold out of their offerings besides their New York cheesecake and the Molten Dark Chocolate Cake. I decide to pick the dark chocolate cake ($6) and it came out quickly in a paper cup, topped with vanilla ice cream, hazel nuts, sea salt and with a olive oil and chocolatey center.

Photobucket
Molten Dark Chocolate Cake

Photobucket
Molten Dark Chocolate Cake

I let Romel, a brother from the University of South Florida, have a taste and he asks me immediately, “what just happened in my mouth?”

The chocolate melted warm, the ice creamy cool of the vanilla, the hazel nut crunch, all come together to dance on our tastebuds in the warm New York summer night.

“It’s good isn’t it?” I replied.

He nodded in agreement.

Follow them on twitter!
twitter.com/desserttruck

A taxi drove by, and the guy looked like Andrew haha

Photobucket

but it wasn’t as Andrew drives a antique BMW, running on vegetable oil!

Photobucket

we continue our way to ippudo but it is closed again ! we just missed it

Photobucket

We continue our path towards Continental bar, where you can find $10 for 5 shots of anything. ANYTHING.

Dessert Truck on Urbanspoon

1 2433
After Gray’s Papaya, we hop on the subway to head north towards Midtown where we will meet up with a few alumni for a summer dinner at the all you can eat sushi buffet at Ichi Umi (formerly Todai) in Koreatown. It is around 5 pm at this point on Friday July 18 2009. Five hours of eating and we won’t stop, can’t stop. Although Andrew is in a food comatose state, we are still truckin!
Photobucket
Woorijip, Korean all purpose quickie food store.

Along the way we stop by a couple places including Woorijip, a fast food convenience store for Korean food. I stepped inside to check it out and was delighted to find what was within.

Woorijip is basically formated as a open grocery store where you can by pre-made Korean staples. Including:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
A glorious display case of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.

Photobucket
People scuttling about and wondering what they’d like to get?

Cheap, fast, all you can stuff down Korean bibimbap, kimchi, bulgogi, korean goodies everywhere! No wonder Woorijip was the winner in Midtownlunch.com‘s Best Cheap Korean.

A few doors down was a dumpling place that had been on several books and lists, however I found it to be disappointing!..gah.

Mandoo Bar
Photobucket

Located in Koreatown, Manhattan on West 32nd Street, Mandoo Bar is almost a strictly dumpling place. At the window, elderly ladies dutifully fold pork fillings into the dumpling skin and get them ready to steam right at the counter.

Photobucket
These ladies showcase their goods: Mandoo or Korean dumplings.

Photobucket
The dumplings are color coded: these are seafood dumplings.

Photobucket

Photobucket

The flavors range from kimchi to pork to vegetables. I was disappointed to find that I couldn’t get a small mix of all three to go, and so had to settle with just the pork dumplings.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Yellow pickled radish from Mandoo Bar

The pork dumplings, compared to Prosperity Dumpling‘s were abysmal. The skin was too thick for my liking and the pork meat was a bit bland. To top it off the dumplings cost about $6.00 for 5. I could have had better dumplings for a fifth of that cost in Chinatown…

The last time we were in Koreatown, we ate at BCD Tofu House which had ten times more amazing mandoo (dumplings).

Maybe I am spoiled by all the dumplings I have had the good fortune to try during my years. But its not that hard to do it well and if half your name is about the meat/veggie filled dumplings, it better be damn good.

Sad to say it but Mandoo bar was not to par.

Woorijip on Urbanspoon

Mandoo Bar on Urbanspoon

1 1857

Photobucket

This is a funny sign outside a restaurant on our way through East Village. CHOMP.

Photobucket

Veselka, recommended by fellow blogger Watch Me Eat, specializes in Ukrainian cuisine and is the spot for late night snacking by East Village bar patrons. The prerogies were recommended here but we were still recuperating from the past 4 hours of eating, so I must place this on the to-go-list for my next trip to New York.

Looking around East Village, I appreciate and cherish the sheer diversity and complexity of all the stores, shops, restaurants, and people living and working here together in one small area no larger than a square mile. I wish one day Orlando could become like this, full of quirky shops and tasty treats all in walking distance of each other. Maybe one day…

Photobucket

Baoguette, a nouveau Vietnamese food place


Photobucket
Baoguette, inside

Photobucket
Crepe Cart in NYC!

Photobucket
Beard Papa’s – pastry puffs – found its way to NYC as well!

I continued my thoughts as we trodded down to St Marks Place, the late night bar hopping area of choice for New York University and surrounding college students, and met up with brother Ronny. He just got off of work and had been trying to catch up with us on our food expedition, but missed us by a few seconds each time.

After a quick pit stop at a cafe, we drudged onward to our next destination:

Gray’s Papaya
West Village, Manhattan NYC

Photobucket

Gray’s Papaya, opening as a spin off of Papaya King in 1973, sits on a corner in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

Photobucket

The festive displays inside Gray’s Papaya

Photobucket

Gray’s Papaya and their Hot dogs: ready to eat!

Gray’s Papaya is a simple concept: great hotdogs with great fruit drinks. The drinks, in addition to the papaya namesake, also include orange, grape, piña colada, coconut champagne (non-alcoholic), and banana daiquiri (non-alcoholic).

Photobucket

The wall of fruit drinks at Gray’s Papaya

Photobucket

Gray’s Papaya – Hot Dog with sauerkraut and ketchup

Photobucket

Gray’s Papaya – Hot Dog with sauerkraut and ketchup

Photobucket
Gray’s Papaya – Papaya drink

I choose the hot dog with sauerkraut and ketchup ($1.50) and a papaya drink to go along with it (Thanks Ronny!). Individually, the hot dog is a bit salty and the papaya drink is a bit too sweet, but together they make a marvelously good combination of sweet and salty. The combo is cheap coming in under $4.00 and there is even a recession special where you can save a dollar on two hotdogs and a drink.

Gray’s Papaya
402 6th Ave, New York – (212) 260-3532

Tasty Chomps rating!!!
4 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!!

Gray's Papaya - Downtown on Urbanspoon

0 1625

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery
East Village, Manhattan NYC
Friday July 18 2009
4:06 PM

Photobucket

When we arrived, our friend told us that he was surprised because usually there is a line out the door at Artichoke, even at 2 am at night there is a line. We took the clue and decided to get in line, and shortly thereafter a small crowd grew behind us. The pizza must be damn good here.

Photobucket
Interesting Light fixture inside

The storefront is small and minimal, with pizza ovens taking up most of the space in the cramped store and pizza pies on display in the front in a glass case. The ceilings are a deep, dark red ceramic tile from the old world, giving the place a feeling of being from another time.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We order the signature artichoke and spinach pizza ($4) and the pizza maker swiftly places it in the oven and under 2 minutes the pizza is ready for us. This is a first time with artichoke on a pizza for me. My brother Andrew is wimping out and could only take a bite of pizza, after our long journey I guess I could understand. A man can only humanly take so much. good thing i have a super human appetite. chomp.

Photobucket

Photobucket

The cheeses are creamy on the pizza and thick sauce that they use with some parmesan as well as mozarella. The artichoke is a hearty tasting veggie topping and went excellent on top of the pizza along with the spinach. The crust is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, a tasty buttery, garlicky, flavorful bite. My one complaint may be that the pizza crust is a little bit too hard and too thick, if it was a little bit thinner it would be perfect.

Easily one of the best pizzas I have ever had and so much better than the rest.

Tasty Chomps rating!!!!
4.6 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS!!!!!

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery
Neighborhood: East Village
328 E 14th Street
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-2004
http://www.artichokepizza.com/

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery on Urbanspoon

2 2388
Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar
East Village, Manhattan NYC

Photobucket

Heading north towards 13th Street on 2nd Avenue, our merry band of merry foodies head towards another dessert place after Veneiro’s pastry shop: the Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar (which we later found out is attached to the Momofuku Ssam bar restaurant).

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Inside, there are a few bar tables set up in the center of the room and display cases with pies and goodies framing the sides. On one of the walls is a photo of a man, who we found out is a pastry chef and a performance artist, fighting a mechanical fire breathing dragon machine. Nice.

Photobucket

Also, our good friend and a kind of mystical guide on our gastronomical journey reappeared here at Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar: Mr Sriracha sauce. He’s all over this place, no doubt a dose for their famed pork buns ($9).

Photobucket

Photobucket
Lemon Verbana soft serve ice cream

Photobucket

There are also soft serve ice cream here but not your typical flavors like vanilla, but rather, home made rosemary, apricot, lemon verbana (a tart, smooth soft-serve), and blackberry. They give out one free sample for each guest and of course, since they insist, we must oblige. 😀

Photobucket
Crack Pie: it’s addicting.

There are various original pies at Momofuku Bakery and Milk bar such as the candy bar pie, made with chocolate crust, caramel, peanut butter nougat, and pretzels. We order the crack pie ($5), described as a toasted oat crust with gooey butter filling

The pastry pie is savory and buttery rich, deep in the sweet-o-meter yet not overly sweet. Its like your taste buds were jolted with a high intensity dose of brown sugary pastry goodness.

Photobucket
Milk to wash it all down!

We also found that attached by a hallway to Momofuku Bakery and milk bar is the momofuku ssam bar, but they were closed at that time around 3:30pm because they had to get ready to re-open again for dinner at 5PM.

Photobucket
Momofuku Ssam Bar

Photobucket

Photobucket

We walked out and I took this shot of the concrete jungle of New York City, a juxtaposition of abandoned lot overgrown with greens against the backdrop of concrete East Village apartment buildings. Here, life grows.

Photobucket

Photobucket

We walked down further and turned a corner to stumble upon Ippudo, the Japanese Ramen Shop that was on my list but it too was closed for the afternoon to reopen again later for dinner. =

Tasty Chomps rating!!!!
4 out 5 TASTY CHOMPS !!!!

Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar
207 Second Avenue, New York NY 10003
(on 13th Street; map)
212-254-3500

Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

1 2200

Veniero’s Pasticcceria & Caffe

Veneiro’s Pastry Shop – Desserts – New York City
East Village, Manhattan, NYC
Friday July 18 2009
2:55PM

We left Katz Deli full and satisfied and began to walk back to 1st Avenue, turning north towards East Village. There we would meet one of Andrew’s old friends from Stuyvesant High School who recently graduated from Fordham University and lived in the area.

Photobucket

Photobucket
Bras strewn across Coyote Ugly’s doorway, lost or left here?

We walked and passed by Coyote Ugly on the way, the original Coyote Ugly, the one the movie was based on, filled with its tales of drunken late night mischief. We passed by and wondered what went on there at night (Andrew himself had been with a friend or two before and reminsced about an awkward moment there).

Photobucket

We met up with Andrew’s friend and quickly saw Veneiro’s Pastry Shop nearby and we couldn’t pass up the prospect of savoring a dessert after 6 meals already. Sweet surrender.

Photobucket
Veneiro’s Display case of pastry goodies

Photobucket

Veneiro’s Pastry Shop, a relic of Italian cafe’s past, founded in 1894 over 115 years ago here in East Village, would become our 7th food item on our hitlist today. It was approximately 2:55pm and 3 hours into our food binging New York experiment.

Inside, the dimly lit pastry shop showcased its pastry goodies from homemade cannoli to cheesecakes to pignoli cookies, tiramisus, specialty cakes and carrot cakes, this place is dessert paradise.

The girl behind the counter was courteous and kind, giving us suggestions and various tips on what to get. I was cautious but my friends must have been under a spell.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We had a delicious cannoli topped with green colored pistachios, a perfect creamy cheesecake topped with strawberries, and a heavenly raspberry mousse tart /cake. All were scrumptious and savory morsels of Italian pastries.

Tasty Chomps rating!!!!
4.5 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS!!!!

Veniero’s Pastry Shop
www.venierospastry.com
342 E 11th St
New York, NY 10003-7417
(212) 674-7070

Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffe' on Urbanspoon

0 2190

New York Foodie Adventure
Part 6 of ….

Katz’s Delicatessen
Lower East Side
Manhattan, New York City
205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002-1098
(212) 254-2246
www.katzdeli.com

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

1888

Friday July 18 2009
2:01 PM

When I asked what was the one thing that I should eat when I came to New York, the almost unequivocable answer to quintessential New York food was the “best pastrami sandwich ever”, the pastrami sandwich at Katz Deli on the Lower East Side.

Many delicatessens have come and gone, but Katz Deli is one of the only left standing after more than a hundred years of existence and still has that old-world feel in its dining halls. This Jewish kosher deli, started in 1888, grew famous for its salami during World War II and its slogan “senda salami to your boy in the army.”

Photobucket
Chaos at Katz Deli

Photobucket
Lunch time clusterf***

Stepping inside Katz Deli is overwhelming at first: noisy crowds of people are lined up throughout the fluorescent-lit cafeteria-like room along the long deli counter, waiting to order, the boys behind the counter shouting about in the typical street-wise New York fashion. A chaotic world of deli mayhem and delights.

Passing through a turnstile, we receive a ticket at the entrance, which we are reminded not to lose as they were used for marking our orders on and would cost us $50.00 if we lose them. The staff obsessed about these tickets. The tickets are turned in at the register when you leave and used to calculate your bill.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Noticing the mayhem at the deli counter service, we decided to sit down by the wall where there was waiter service. I know its not the authentic way to eat at Katz, where you go up to the cutter (meat man) at the counter and place a dollar and tell him what you want and he trims it right there for you, but I really didn’t feel like waiting in that long line today. Service here however, is not the fine dining type but rather the curt, somewhat gritty “what do you want?” type attitude of the city. That was fine as we simply ordered our pastrami sandwich ($14.95) and it was quickly delivered to our table along with a side of pickles.

Photobucket

Photobucket

In addition to old photographs throughout the 120 year history of Katz and celebrities who have visited the deli, there is a sign dangling above the seat where you can sit where Meg Ryan infamously demonstrated her “acting” skills in the film “When Harry Met Sally.” Still today, thousands of tourists to New York City drop by every week to Katz Deli to “have what she’s having.”

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

In addition to their pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, Katz is also known for having some of the best hot dogs in the city, including the knoblewurst, having won several awards from New York magazines for the grilled, cheap delights. Each week, Katz’s serves 5,000 pounds of corned beef, 2,000 pounds of salami and 12,000 hot dogs in addition to chopped liver and tongue servings.

Photobucket
Pastrami Sandwich at Katz Deli – divine.

Photobucket

Photobucket

A mountainous heaping of juicy brined briskets of black pepper coated pastrami, hand sliced, gently smoked with a smear of mustard and placed between two slices of rye bread . The sandwich was luscious and generous: I understand why it is ranked among the best in the world. Stick with this and that’s all that you’ll need at Katz.

I was also happy to mark Katz off as the 2nd place I have visited on Anthony Bourdain’s List of “13 places to eat before you die.”

Tasty Chomps rating!!!!
4.5 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS

Katz's Deli on Urbanspoon

The scene in When Harry Met Sally at Katz Deli on youtube:



3 2733

New York Foodie Adventure Part 5 of …

Russ and Daughters
Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City
Friday July 18th 2009
1:26pm

Photobucket

I had first heard of Russ and Daughters from a recent episode on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations “Disappearing Manhattan” on the Travel Channel. I knew I had to check it out when I hit New York City this last weekend after seeing and reading about their bagel, cream cheese, and lox. Little did I know the epiphanies and delights that were really in store at this “appetizing store”, one of the best things I have eaten in my life.

Photobucket
Dried Fruits at Russ and Daughters

Russ and Daughters is a New York City institution (it’s even featured as a part of New York’s cultural heritage by the Smithsonian Institution and in the national registry of historic places). It has been on the block in the Lower East Side for almost a hundred years (1914) beginning from its humble beginnings out of a push cart and has since then began to faithfully and dutifully serve and specialize in excellent caviar, smoked and cured fish, dried fruit, and other items. Their storefront is situated just a few doors away from Katz’ Delicatessen on the south side of Houston Street. The feeling of pure peace and tranquility when we entered the store offered a stark contrast to the loud carnival atmosphere of Katz Deli later on.

Photobucket
Assorted Cheese Display at Russ and Daughters

Stepping into the Russ and Daughters store is like stepping back decades into an old-world class establishment. The walls feature their caviar in tin cans, dried fruits in glass jars, and their glass deli cases display vast varieties of smoked and cured salmon, fish, and cream cheeses.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Assorted Bagels at Russ and Daughters
Photobucket
Photobucket
Wasabi infused Flying Fish Roe? Got to try that next time.
Photobucket

The men working behind the counter are dressed in white lab coats, like surgeons meticulously and skillfully slicing and examining the highest quality of smoked fish cuts.

We picked up a number (it can get busy at times here in the small storefront) and luckily didn’t have to wait too long for our turn. My brother Andrew and I were relatively new at this ordering lox and bagel thing and so we asked the gentleman at the counter what he would recommend: the scallion cream cheese, everything bagel, and the nova lox. The total came to about $9.45.

When we stepped outside to enjoy our bagel on the bench overlooking the park, we noticed that the door had a recently laminated Anthony Bourdain article on the “13 Places to Eat at in the world before you die” from Men’s Health magazine. Russ and Daughters was featured at number 8 and I was glad to have enjoyed this place at least once in my life before I died.

Photobucket

The everything bagel is a soft bagel with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion, etc and is good, maybe not the best but still a good bagel. The scallion cream cheese was rich and creamy, tasty. The traditional gaspe nova lox is a rich, oily, slightly salted yet smooth tasting, smoked salmon that just melted in our mouths. Together the bagel, cream cheese, and nova lox were completely divine and absolutely delicious.

The rich yet mild taste lingered on my tongue, tantalizing my senses and enlightening my tastebuds to the point of a taste-nirvana. Mind-blowing.

The face of Manhattan may have changed over the last hundred years or so but the traditions and commitment of Russ and Daughters remains strong still today. We sit on the bench outside a little longer, savoring the flavors that we had just experienced in our mouths and watching the New York City streetscape pass by and enjoying life.

Next time, I will also try their herring fillets in cream sauce as I have heard that those are a specialty here at Russ and Daughters as well.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Russ and Daughters: Nova Lox and scallion cream cheese and everything bagel
Photobucket
Russ and Daughters: Nova Lox and scallion cream cheese and everything bagel
Photobucket
Russ and Daughters: Nova Lox and scallion cream cheese and everything bagel

Tasty Chomps RATING!!!!!
5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!!!

Next up: Katz’ Delicatessan (just a few doors down!).

Russ & Daughters on Urbanspoon

0 2010

New York City Foodie Adventure Day 2 Part 4 of …. –

Tuck Shop near Houston St in East Village

Photobucket

After our experience with the first pizzeria in America at Lombardi’s, we were noticeably slower in our pace as we continued our way up Mott Street to Houston St (pronounced How-ston). I think the dumplings, banh mi, and the coal-oven pizza were starting to take its toll on us, but we continued our gastronomical expedition and reached Tuck Shop, a small hole-in-the-wall dive near the NW corner Houston St and 1st Ave in Manhattan’s East Village.

Photobucket

Inside, the Tuck Shop looks like a perfect place to go for a late-night snack after a night of heavy drinking: darkly lit and cluttered, a single glass display case of the delicious Australian meat pies along the wall. The owner at the shop is Australian who appears as though he may had just waken up, still sleepy no doubt from a busy debaucherous night before.

Photobucket

After looking over the menu of beef pies, curry chicken pies, sausage rolls and more, we decide on the lamb and veg meat pie ($5).

Photobucket
Not Mrs Lovett’s Meat Pies: But The Lamb and Veg Meat Pie at Tuck Shop

Photobucket
Lamb and Veg Pie: Up Close and Personal

The homemade puffy, buttery pastry is filled with creamy lamb meat chunks, potatoes, and other good veggies. I thought the crust was excellent as well as the creamy texture of the fillings. However I did notice a bit of a lack of flavor but what’s this?…….

Photobucket
Our trusty friend Mr Sriracha has made a appearance again, this time at Tuck Shop, returning to our aide with his good friend Mr Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce.

A dose of both of these bad boys helped the meat pies out alot and the result was just delicious.

The Tuck Shop was also featured in New York Magazine’s Best of Cheap Eats 2006.

Tuck Shop
68 E 1st St, New York, NY? – (212) 979-5200?
http://www.tuckshopnyc.com/home.php

Tasty Chomps Rating!!!
3 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS!!!

As soon as we finished our tasty meat pie morsels, we were off and onward toward our next destination: Russ and Daughter’s for their famous and divine nova lox and bagel.

Tuck Shop on Urbanspoon

1 1887
Lombardi’s Pizza in New York City’s Little Italy

Photobucket

Luckily after finishing up our banh mi from Banh Mi Saigon, we didn’t have too far to go as our next destination was only a few blocks away past the fruit vendors and gucci prada bags of Chinatown and into Little Italy for Lombardi’s, the “first” official pizzeria to open in America.

Lombardi’s Pizza in New York City is widely known and recognized for popularizing pizza the way we know it today. Recently, the New York Magazine did a time line special of the pizza through time in 104 years of Pizza in New York in their Cheap Eats of 2009 issue.

1890s: With the influx of Neapolitan immigrants comes pizza sold on the streets. Unlike those from the old country, these are super-size specimens baked in coal-fired (not wood-fired) ovens

1905: Gennaro Lombardi’s grocery store at 53 1/2 Spring St. becomes first licensed pizzeria in America. Eventually recruits pizzaioli Anthony “Totonno” Pero, John Sasso, and Pasquale “Patsy” Lancieri. Cost of pie: a nickel.

Though the current Lombardi’s is down the street from the original, there is still a continuum of sorts dating back to the original Lombardi’s. Over a hundred years of pizza history? I’ve got to check it out.

Photobucket

As we walked up on Mott Street approaching Spring Street, I noticed on the corner a huge mural of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa greeting us with a pizza pie and smiling, letting us know that we are “here at Lombardi’s”.

Photobucket
The reason why Mona Lisa smiles? Lombardi’s Pizza in her hands duh
Photobucket
There is a plaque: it must be true ?

There was a line of people waiting for the dining room area, but that was okay since we were on a mission and had to keep moving. We told the hostess that we wanted to get take out and she told us to head towards the back and make a right and then a left to order, right where the pizza oven was! What a surprise that our adventure led us into the Lombardi’s coal oven room, where pizza makers were hard at work putting their classic pizza creations together.

Photobucket
The Dining Room at Lombardi’s Pizza

Photobucket
Lombardi’s Coal Ovens for Pizza making

We were recommended by the man at the register to get the pepperoni as it is delicious here, and so we ordered a small personal pizza half pepperoni and half plain margarita (cheese and tomatoes) (about$18). It is important to note that they do not sell pizza by the slice here only by the pie made fresh to order.

We wait for our pizzas at the bar and enjoy a nice cold glass of Yeungling beer (it’s actually German American not Chinese) straight from the tap. The beer was cool and refreshing, as the sun had been steadily getting warmer outside and we needed a drink from the trek. Bad Idea, since it filled us up quite a bit and probably slowed us down a bit (but it was a good beer nevertheless).

Photobucket
Hello Mr Yeungling

Soon, the dining room’s waiting area filled up to the brim. I was glad that we were in the bar area and had placed our orders already to go. The pizza arrived and we downed our drinks before stepping outside to sit on another stoop to behold the famous pizza in our hands.

Photobucket
Pizza Box
The pizza came in six slices with a flat crust, slighty charred and smoky from the coal oven pizza. The pizza had fresh mozzarella, a red tomato sauce, fresh basil and on half the pizza were the little circular quarter pieces of pepperoni. It is important to note that the pizza, like all the pizza made here in New York is said to have a distinct light tasty goodness because they use the New York City tap water.

Photobucket
Lombardi’s The First Pizza in America!!

The pizza I thought was good, not the worst ever by far but not the best I ever had. The cheese was fresh but tasted a bit bland and the tomato sauce was a bit watery causing the crust to moisten and soggify. The pepperoni pieces on the pizza however was excellent, crunchy and spiced to a savory crisp satisfying the tastebuds.

Overall, it was okay but definitely a bit too hyped up. It is a good pizza, and it may be the first pizza, but it wasn’t the greatest.

With a pizza box carton half full, we proceed onward to our next stop: The Tuck Shop, a Australian Meat Pie shop.

Tasty Chomps Rating!!!!
3.5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!

Lombardi's on Urbanspoon

0 1752

Friday July 18th 2009
12:01 pm

We leave Prosperity Dumpling and head north towards Banh Mi Saigon Bakery on Mott Street. We are conducting a drive-by eating of sorts.

Photobucket

You may have to do a double take when arriving at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery, because I did. I saw the sign awning above that showed its name but at first glance inside I thought it was a jewelry store!(?) Looking deeper into the store I find the Banh Mi Saigon stall all the way in the back, with a line of customers in waiting for their order of delicious sandwiches. Ah, the banh mi sandwich, quintessential street food of Vietnam, popular here in New York City as ever especially ever since the New York Times article on them and their recent “evolution”.

On the front door, there is a sticker stating that Banh Mi Saigon is on the list for comedian “Bill Murray’s Last Meal”. I know I am in for a treat at this point and there is no turning back.

Photobucket

The Jewelry Store / Banh Mi Sandwich Shop – a interesting symbiotic relationship similar to the idea of the mullet: “business in the front, and party in the back.”

While in line, we were advised by a gentleman that they are renown for their #1 Banh Mi Saigon with pork (it seems the number 1 is almost always a good choice). I take his advice and order it for me and brother Andrew. They ask you if you like it spicy and I often reply no and ask for it on the side. If you tell them that you will eat it tomorrow, they will put the picked veggies in a separate bag for you so it won’t soak the sandwich overnight. At only $3.75, this banh mi is a steal here in Manhattan and also a great value as the sandwich comes in about 10 inches long on a baguette.

Photobucket

Inside, the small store is filled with people waiting for their orders. I am guessing they take meticulous care of their sandwiches, like sushi chefs do, sort of?. While we wait, I notice the other items for sale here including gio cuon -Vietnamese spring rolls – and salads, che pudding desserts, as well as other small to go items.

Photobucket
This lady wonders, how long is it going to take for a banh mi here? sheesh…

After about 10 minutes in line, we finally receive our sandwich wrapped in wax paper inside a brown paper bag and cut in half. If you order this for yourself you can eat the first half and save the other half for a late afternoon snack if you’d like.

Photobucket
“How cute, jalapeno peppers in a little baggie”

We decided to go outside and sit out in front of the store on a stoop, watching people walk by as we enjoyed our sandwiches.

Photobucket
a group of school children on their way somewhere

Photobucket
The banh mi saigon sandwiches are beckoning us to eat them

Photobucket
A Di-section of Banh Mi

I immediately notice that the banh mi saigon has sweet reddish crumbled pieces of dried marinated pork (nem nuong) on the bottom layer, with hints of fish sauce, something that is not found in any of the banh mi shops in Orlando. Usually there is the banh mi dac biet in Orlando which is a special combo of all the cold cuts, but the banh mi saigon is served with cha lua and also this pork

Photobucket
Andrew is the hand model for our photo shoot today with this banh mi.

Andrew notes that he loves how fresh everything is and how distinct each of the tastes in the sandwich is. This is his first time eating banh mi, I think I just popped his banh mi cherry, and he likes it. Andrew notices also that the way they keep the pickled daikon and carrots from soaking through the sandwich is that they wrapped it inside of the cha lua pork meat cold cut to block the juices from seeping through.

This scintillating sandwich is one of the top five banh mi I have had in my life, beating all the banh mi in Orlando for sure and rivaling a few out west in Texas and California (as about close to Vietnam that you can get). The crisp outer layer and soft inner bread of the baguette, the fresh slivers of cucumber and pickled vegetables and meat cuts with a hint of fish sauce, all come together in perfect harmony. All is well in the universe.

Photobucket

Photobucket

It was well worth the wait. Alas, we can’t sit around for too long as we have miles to go before we let our stomachs sleep. Onward to Lombardi’s, the famous pizzeria!

Tasty Chomps Rating!!!!
4.5 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS!!!!!

Banh Mi Saigon Bakery on Urbanspoon

Chef's Spotlight

0 984
The restaurant that started as a craving Hunger Street Tacos was borne of a husband’s desire to make his wife happy. Luckily for all of...

Featured Articles

0 296
The ink is now dry and the lease has been signed. In an exclusive to TastyChomps.com, we have been notified that 8 N Summerlin...