September 2013 Favorites

It’s the end of September 2013 already folks, and you know what that means!  We have highlighted some of our favorite things of the month!  Can’t believe it’s October tomorrow!!! 324

  • Queens County Farm Museum

73-50 Little Neck Pkwy
Floral Park, NY 11004

Victor actually found this hidden gem on Yelp because he is the animal lover that he is.  I’ve lived in Queens my whole life and I did not know this place existed!  This place is free admission and has so many farm animals you can watch or play with!  There are lots of dirt roads so make sure you wear the right shoes for the area.  The place also has a gift shop selling from organic produce, house plants, to bottles of wine.  The museum is definitely a beautiful place to relax and enjoy true nature with plenty of fields and crops.  You can also go on a hay ride!!! (though you would need to pay a fee)

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  • Havemeyer Park

S 4th St, Brooklyn
New York 11249

First time Vic and I visited this place was when we watched the film, Chicago!  At first we were thinking, “oh…what the heck???”  I personally thought that it would be a bigger area, but it had such a charming personality, being that it was a tiny size!  It is located right next to a dirt biking arena (which was strange, I’ve never seen one in person before).

It was thanks to NiteHawk that we found such an awesome new space to chill at.  They joined with Havemeyer, Brooklyn Brewery, Monster, East River Ferry, and OddFellows Icecream!  It was definitely NOT the overcrowded and over-hyped Bryant Park-esque atmosphere.  It is composed of luscious grass area, farm crops cared by North Brooklyn Farms, and gravel area.  I can’t believe that it used to be land with a huge old factory.  You will have to visit soon because I heard they might destroy it again to put another factory, perhaps next year?  Rumors…

But still, be sure to keep updated with their upcoming events, by visiting and liking their Facebook page here.  North Brooklyn Farms also has Sunday FARM dinners!! Here is more information about North Brooklyn Farms.

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  • You’re Next

Not knowing what we were walking into, Victor and I were expecting a horrible cliche horror flick because of its already cliche title.  We definitely had no high expectations for this film because I did not even watch the trailer.  However, we were so wrong — teaching us not to judge something by its lack of title creativity!!  This film was extremely well-thought out and one of the most unique horror films made in a long time.  Not only was it clever, but it kept us at the edge of our seats.  Only negative thing was the acting.  It’s not a particularly “jumpy” horror film, but more on the psychological thriller side, with the occasional grotesque scenes for your viewing pleasure.  You know a film is good, when you are still talking about it and how it reflects society today.  With Halloween coming up, make sure you watch this, you won’t regret it!

See you in October with more favorites!

Kimganae Korean Restaurant – Korean Sushi!?!?

DSCN58893912 Union Street
Flushing, NY 11354

Menu and Prices

In Flushing, you will find a variety of Asian restaurants – Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, and maybe even Japanese. We went to check out Kim Ga Nae Korean Restaurant located in Downtown to get some Kimbap.

Now what exactly is Kimbap/ Gimbap? In a sense… it’s sushi but with different distinctive elements. It’s made with steamed white rice (bap) and various other ingredients, rolled in seaweed (kim/gim). Here’s something interesting I learned from wikipedia about kimbap:

Gimbap is derived from Japanese futomaki (Makizushi) during the Japanese rule (1910-1945). but now has certain distinctive elements not found in Japanese-style makizushi. Whereas the essence of Japanese sushi is vinegared rice, gimbap does not use rice vinegar but rather sesame oil.

Little note: It may be difficult to find parking around here 😛 and it is a cash only restaurant!

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57. Don Katsu Roll rice, seaweed, salt, sesame oil, pork cutlet, carrot, egg, sweet radish, spinach, gourd strip, teriyaki sauce $5.00

Pinky says 4.5/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg2 coffee

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I will have to start off that I am completely biased for this place because I’ve been here numerous times.  The food is always fresh and always comes really quickly.  The kimbap is so cheap and the wait staff are incredibly nice.  They always let my party and I stay more than the normal duration… Usually I don’t stay on purpose, but there was no pressure to quickly eat and leave.  It always feels like I’m visiting someone’s house when I visit here.

When I catch up with friends and want to only spend the minimal for a quick lunch, I just come here! They even let you refill for the complementary miso soup and kimchi!

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I usually have the spicy tuna roll, but since Victor doesn’t eat fish, this time I ordered the Don Katsu Roll.  If you haven’t had Katsu before, it’s kind of a fried pork chop!  It was pretty tasty and very filling.  So filling for only $5! The teriyaki sauce was a nice touch and the meat pieces weren’t overwhelmingly huge for the size of the roll.  The spicy tuna roll is even cheaper, being $4.50! I enjoy their freshness and fragrance of the sesame oil.

Other than the rolls, I’ve had the curry rice with pork cutlet (the curry donkatsu) and spicy bulgoki dupbap (beef with rice and vegetables) during my other visits.  They are all normally cooked fresh, but even better is that the portions are pretty HUGE! Good for your money.  There will never be a last time that I visit here!  (Unless I move away from NYC…hehe)

59. Spicy Beef Roll* rice, seaweed, salt, sesame oil, beef, carrot, egg, sweet radish, spinach, gourd strip, hot sauce $5.00
59. Spicy Beef Roll* rice, seaweed, salt, sesame oil, beef, carrot, egg, sweet radish, spinach, gourd strip, hot sauce $5.00

Victor says: 4/5Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail

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Kimbap is definitely  a first for me. When my mom use to make sushi at home, she would use to make a separate roll with dried shredded pork. I suppose, I guess that’s similar enough to kimbap.

Even though it’s an decent sized restaurant, you may have wait half an hour just to get seated. Another option is taking it to go. As noted before, it’s also difficult to find parking around here, so good luck!

So this is my first time I had real kimbap.. and it’s pretty good. For about $5, you can fill yourself on these rolls are densely packed. I ordered the spicy beef roll and it was quite delicious. You’d be surprise how full you can just eat from eating a single roll. It’s sorta sweet from the vegetables and also flavorful from the beef. I would definitely like to try out their rice dishes if I do come here again.

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The waiter we had was incredibly kind. We were actually waiting to meet up with some other people, but they weren’t able to find parking. The waiter didn’t ask us to get up and move or even rush us. He accommodated to us the whole time while we were eating.  If I do come again, I’d actually like to sit and try to enjoy my food as I eat. I was eating quickly because I felt bad taking two extra seats in the restaurant.

Overall, this is a nice place with a home-y feel to it.  Staff is great. Food is great. Check it out if you’re in Flushing and if you want something else than Korean BBQ, Sushi, or Dim Sum.

Caffeine Fix: Giving Up Taste for Presentation?

caffeine fix

149-40 41st Ave
Flushing, NY 11355

Menu and Prices

This dainty little cafe has been a craze in Pinky’s circle of friends…and even on our dear friend, Yelp.  However, does it really live up to the hype or are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

Victor and I — along with our previously featured friends, go in to discover for ourselves. We basically ordered different things to try out most of their menu.  They offer things from the various waffles, ice creams, honey toast, hot drinks, virgin mojito (Pinky was veeery skeptical of whether or not that would taste remotely good), and your assorted frappe flavors.

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Very Berry Belgian Waffle with 1 scoop ice cream. strawberries, blueberries, bananas, chocolate syrup or nutella $11.95

Victor says 3/5 Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail

DSCN5896When Pinky said we were going to Caffeine Fix… I assumed we going to some just going to some random coffee shop. Well.. it is some random coffee shop.. named Caffeine Fix 😛

I’m no coffee shop expert or whatever, but this place is pretty nice. The decor is very modern and the cashier was kind. Has a lot of “wooden” decor features, which I’ve been noticing a lot in restaurants and cafes lately.

So I ordered a virgin raspberry mojito. A pretty weird thing to order from a coffee shop, but I wasn’t looking to get my caffeine fix that day. The virgin raspberry mojito is very very sweet, but minty too. It will probably be too sweet for your average person, but I do have sweet tooth. It could have been nice with half the sweetness, but they also put a lot ice, which diluted it a lot later on.  It was about $4.50 for a medium sized drink.

Raspberry Mojito Sm $3.75 / Med $4.35 / XL $5.15 (Pictured Medium) Green Tea Latte Sm 3.95/ Med 4.55/ Lg 4.95 (Pictured Medium)
Raspberry Mojito Sm $3.75 / Med $4.35 / XL $5.15 (Pictured Medium)
Green Tea Latte Sm 3.95/ Med 4.55/ Lg 4.95 (Pictured Medium)

I also tried Pinky’s green tea latte. It was weird but okay. Their hot drinks are really… like REALLY hot when you first get it.  I burned the tip of my tongue taking a sip out of her drink. Pinky will go in more dept of what she thought of that drink. I couldn’t really taste it too much.

We ordered a very berry belgian waffle ($12) which can serve 2-4 people. The presentation of this dish is beautifully done and its like art. The waffle itself is just okay. I personally think Wafels and Dinges is still so much more better. The chocolate syrup on this very light, so you don’t get a whole lot of chocolate taste. You do however get a bunch of fruits: blueberries, strawberries, and banana slices! On top of everything, you get a big scoop of your choice of ice cream.

Overall… things are bit expensive here, but I suppose its aesthetically nice here. Not something to go out of my way for.

Pinky says 2.5/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg2 coffee

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I’m not even sure why this place has such a high rating on Yelp.
First of all, okay I give points for decor, but the seats weren’t even comfortable.  Mary and I were sitting on the bench seats because everyone else took the comfortable (?) sofa seats.  They obviously don’t want you sitting there long!

The prices are way too expensive based on the quality they serve. I get the whole logo cuteness, and presentation I give an A+, however the quality has to step up its game, BIG TIME.
My green tea latte tasted like edamame (soy bean) milk.  I have no idea why, but BLEGH. Even the green tea latte from Paris Baguette is a lot better.  Not to mention it took me forever to even get to the liquid part because there was 3+ inches of FOAM in my medium sized drink.  I mean I LOVE foam, but if it takes up more than the entire top of my cup, I’m already wanting my money back.

The waffles…you might call me crazy because you see all these beautifully crafted dessert places, but seriously I’d rather have an ugly looking dessert and have it taste AMAZING, than have a beautiful dessert tasting like nothing…I’ll admit the fruit is fresh and the ice cream okay.  It is NO waffels and dinges though, I’ve been spoiled, I guess. Later, we found a fruit fly in the waffle…not sure if it was there all along though! Juuusst saying…hahha.

I was very skeptical that the virgin mojito would taste good, but Victor being the daredevil he is.. lol ordered it.  The “virgin mojito” tasted like those sour patch kids candy except the flavors happen in reverse.  It is suuuper sweet then suuupper sour with the after-taste…blegh.

I was tricked by their cute marketing tactics and the pictures!!!! No.  Don’t make my mistake.

Mama Meena’s Family Restaurant

94-20 Jamaica Ave
Woodhaven, NY 11421
Neighborhood: Richmond Hill

Decor was very calming but yet simple!  Felt like I was walking into someone’s family dining room.  The place doesn’t have a public bathroom and I don’t even think they have a real heater.  When we came in, the waitress seated us and moved the portable heater near us to keep us warm!  They have real flowers on the table and a lot of butterfly themed decorations.

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pork-filled rolls! $6
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Sliced Beef marinated in lemon and soy sauce sautéed in onions $8
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Chicken broth with scallions, boiled eggs, shredded chicken and soft noodles $6

Menu

ImagePinky says: Chicken Mami was not that salty.  It was also very filling with the chicken and lots of noodles for very cheap price!  Not overwhelmingly filled with flavor but it was perfect for a cold winter day. I loveeee boiled eggs so that was my favorite.  Filipino spin on chicken noodle soup!
Bistek Tagalog (other than me having trouble pronouncing the name) This dish was pretty satisfying! The beef was very lean and tender..almost like it melted in your mouth.
Lumpia Shanghai were very delicious.  Each very crispy and fresh not soggy or overly oiled.  With a side of sweet and sour chili sauce. So glad it was not the regular spring roll 🙂

Final Verdict: Must try if you have never had Filipino food (I haven’t had it before this)! 4/5

Image Victor says: The Lumpia Shanghai was quite the delight. It was crispy and savory and the chili sauce complimented it very well.  Not too oily either, which is a definite plus! In a matter of minutes, it was all gone.

I ordered the Bistek Tagalog and it was rather interesting. It was had a very distinct and strong taste, almost similar to that of Malaysian Rendang beef. The meat was soft and tender, but it had a lot of flavor. Nonetheless, it was certainly delicious.

The Chicken Mami looked like your regular Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup with an egg on top when I first saw it. Although it is better than it’s canned counter-part, I can’t say that this dish necessarily captured my taste buds. It’s definitely filling for its cheap price, but not very flavorful. The chicken in this noodle soup was tender and soup component of this dish was not too salty.

Final Verdict: Go! I never had or even know what filipino food is, but this was a good start! 4/5