Poconos Labor Day 2015 Part 2!

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All in all, we had an awesome time in the Poconos. We also visited the Casino Theatre Entertainment Center and had a grand ol’ time. Believe it or not, this place been around since the 1920’s. You can get a cheap dinner and movie for about $11 (that’s still cheaper than a movie at regular price in NYC). The dinner isn’t anything fancy, hamburgers or hotdogs galore along with a drink!  The food is given at the start of the movie on a tray that you can connect to your drink holder (genius!).

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“dinner” & a movie

It definitely has an old time feel to it. Believe or not, we were the youngest ones in the theater that day because it was SENIORS MONDAY ;). We went to go watch Ricki and the Flash, and surprisingly, it was pretty good. The other two films were Minions and Straight Outta Compton, but those films started already.

Pinky really liked the theater as well.  It had a charm to it and the decor brought you back to much simpler times. It even had that chicken laying egg game… Pinky remembers that being much of her childhood.  They also have awesome Hershey’s ice cream,  arcades, and a mini golf course (that was only $4 to play!!!) to kill time if you’re waiting for a movie to start.  Mini gofl is NO JOKE!  We weren’t keeping score, so that we can all stay friends.

Continue reading “Poconos Labor Day 2015 Part 2!”

AND…we’re back. *Special* 1st year Anniversary

Apologies for being so MIA ! University is really difficult to finish! BUT, we have made it! I (Pinky) will be graduating with a Health Science BS degree, while Victor will be graduating with a dual-major of Marine Vertebrate Biology and Coastal Environmental Studies! {PSST. let us know if you can find us jobs haha}

We have a special post for you guys today since it was Victor and I’s first year anniversary! The first year of many years to come :] ! We celebrated bright and early morning and had some…garlic knots ! YES!

O SOLE MIO 
2194 Nesconset Hwy
Stony Brook, NY 11790

Being that it was only $3.00 for half a dozen, it was a quick and easy bite before our matinee movie!

Pinky says:

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Although I have not eaten anything else at O SOLE MIO, I would (for now) judge them only by garlic knots and I would actually give them a pretty decent score of 4/5.  They were full of flavor and fluffy inside! Despite the oily goodness, you really got the garlic and cheese flavor out of them.  And it was very obvious it was freshly made! Stepping inside a bit, I got to observe their really pretty interior, being that it is half pizzeria and half legit restaurant! Their service seemed adequate, but I would need to have stayed there for a bit to be the real judge of that!

Will come back for pizza one day!

Victor says:

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The name of the restaurant translates to “Oh My Sun,” which is actually quite relevant I think. This pizzeria/ restaurant is absolutely delightful in my personal opinion and is well lit from the sunlight! I have only had the pizzeria portion of this establishment and it tastes like good ole’ New York City pizza, but in Long Island!  Had a cheese pie here a couple of weeks ago and it pretty good. It’s hard to judge pizza since I’ve had so many from different places, but I guess if it has the right amount of cheese, fresh tomato sauce, and a good bread base, it’s gotta be good, right?

Well, the reason why I keep coming back is their awesome garlic knots.  Sometimes they have cheese in them and it just tastes fantastic. Even without the cheese, it still tastes good! It can be a little hard to chew and bit oily, but it just has this garlic-ly taste that just draws you back for another bite.

I would love to check out their restaurant though. Do not have much time to do that since we will be leaving the area soon.

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garlic knots O SOLE MIO $3.00 for half dozen (6)

Movie Review: written by Pinky

Our matinee movie was MUD (2013),  it received a shocking 98% on Rotten Tomatoes…Have any of you seen it? Victor and I are on a streak of watching good well-filmed movies for now! Started with Side Effects,  then came Place Beyond the Pines, and now this! For those of you who frequently watch movies free online, please make sure you don’t do that for MUD.  The film is created with magnificent film quality and the beauty of nature especially heightens it even more.  The story all started with a boat in a tree and two curious boys.  Some aspects of the movie got me thinking about love and how some people fight so hard to find it…or even to keep it close.  What would you do for the one you love? I adore films that make you THINK about the simplicity, yet simultaneously complexity of life. MUD was definitely one of those films. Highly recommended! (And I don’t even really like Matthew McConaughey…)

Onto our main anniversary meal,

Kitchen A Bistro
404 N Country Rd
St. James, NY 11780
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Our red wine for the night: Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2005 $20.00 (Not from Kitchen A Bistro)

 Highlights ! 

  • Free corkage fee — Bring any bottle of your own drink, for free!
  • Menu changes daily 
  • Does not accept credit card, cash only
  • Reservations needed {somewhat small dining area}
  • Offers Prix Fixe meals: 3 Course Prixe Fixe (Vic and I ordered the 1. small pasta 2. entree 3. dessert) for $40 ; 4 Course Prixe Fixe for $50
  • Complimentary bread and glass of water upon seating!

Pinky says: 5/5

1. Potato Gnocchi Tomato Confit

DSCN2765Despite the fact that I have never had Gnocchi before — (HOW CAN IT BE RIGHT? since I love potatoes so much)  I sadly would have liked this dish more if it had a bit more salt or seasoning.  I had to eat each piece with a piece of tomato, just so there was a burst of flavor to it.  Perhaps that is how you correctly eat it, I wouldn’t know since this is the first time I’ve had it! But, it was quite an experience!The texture of it was to die for though, it was so soft that I melted.  I wanted to drink the leftover sauce/soup with a spoon, but they didn’t provide one and I didn’t want to ask…and risk looking weird… haha.

2. Duck Leg Confit with Quinoa, Golden Beets, Plums

DSCN2777Perhaps the best duck I’ve ever had…and I don’t even particularly like duck.  The meat actually DOES fall off the bone and I just wish it had more skin so I can devour more.  The sauce was a magnificent pool of plum sauce that was sweet and sour.  The golden beets strangely tasted like sweet corn. I don’t usually eat beets so the fact that the chef transformed the beets to taste something closer to home for me, was amazing.  Victor and I were literally sitting at the table debating on what familiar food it tasted like.  This was the staple food of the restaurant, everyone wants a piece of this duck.  Highly highly recommended…even if you don’t like duck!  This was the main attraction and the reason why this place got 5/5!

3. Opera Cake (Sponge cake w/ layers of coffee syrup, buttercream, chocolate ganache and chocolate glaze — with a special scoop of your choice of vanilla or chocolate gelato)

DSCN2785I don’t really favor sponge cake and I wasn’t aware that it was going to be sponge, I actually asked the server what an opera cake was…and I thought it was just regular creamy cake.  I wasn’t disappointed though because of the gelato…Even thought I would have liked more gelato to make up for the dryness of the cake!Perhaps, I should have gone with the choice of caramel cream on the dessert menu…BUT nevertheless a decent dessert dish with surprises of chocolate bursts in each bite.  Our server was so friendly that he was teasing me in that I couldn’t make up my mind of vanilla or chocolate gelato…seriously though? I wanted BOTH!!!

Overall, it was a delightful experience with so many friendly servers.  The diners were all looking at us though, perhaps we were eating out of our league lol…fresh out of undergraduate and dining at an expensive place like this? hehe.  Although, the restaurant’s music selection didn’t really scream “fancy” –more like “this is my 90’s playlist and I am still living in this decade, leave me be” atmosphere!

Victor Says: 4.75/5

1. Gargnelli with Wild Boar Ragu

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The Gargnelli with Wild Boar Ragu was quite delectable. The boar had a very gamey taste, but seasoned amazingly well. It was tender, juicy, and infused with flavor. I cannot even pronounce the name of the pasta they used, but it was soft, but went well with the ragu. Everything just seemed to flow in this dish. I would highly recommend this if it is offered on a day you come.

2. Braised Short Ribs of Beef, spaetzle, Spring VegetablesDSCN2780

This dish was good, but not amazing. I was certainly surprised by how much food they gave though because I was expecting a small entrée. The braised short ribs of beef was actually incredibly tender. You wouldn’t even need a knife for this (unless you were cutting some of it to give to someone). However, there is more emphasis on quality, rather than quantity. I felt that it was not that flavorful and bit a bland. (I was able to cop a taste of that duck Pinky had and it was just OUT OF THIS WORLD. I don’t even like duck too! The crispy skin was amazing and the plum sauce just complimented it so well.)

The spaetzle and spring vegetables portion of the dish was delectable though. I had no idea what spaetzle was when I ordered it, but it looks like a doughy cheeto. It had a very soft texture and it was a bit sweet surprisingly. The vegetable medley was cooked nicely. It wasn’t too overdone and it certainly wasn’t from the freezer. It had a combination of carrots, fava beans, lima beans, peas, and garbanzo beans. All of it went well together. The meat was just plopped on top of the pasta. I felt a disconnect between the meat and the veggies/ pasta, but overall, it still tasted good. I would definitely pick the duck over this entrée though.

3. Frozen Chocolate Souffle DSCN2786

The whole time as I was eating my chocolate soufflé, I thought the outer layer was marshmallow. Pinky said it was torched whipped cream. I don’t even know to who to believe anymore. I could have asked the waiter, but I didn’t. The soufflé was creamy and soft. It had to be eaten right away or it would have all melted. The strange thing was that soufflé is supposed to be like a cake like thing, but at this restaurant, it was more like ice cream. Nonetheless, it was simply amazing. It was a pyramid of creamy goodness.

Overall, this restaurant is amazing. From the outside, it just looks an old Victorian home. Inside, it still looks like a Victorian home, but just fancier. It’s expensive for the normal college student, but it’s really not that much for the quality and quantity of food.  All in all, I would come back again if had the time and money. I felt like I was a judge on Food Network. I approve.

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At the end of the night we got to visit the place where Victor actually asked me out at haha.  Don’t judge my (Pinky) clothes..it was a cold night and I was wearing a spring dress….hehe

I love Victor J Yin. Thank you for such a great memorable night.  Thanks for dinner more importantly lol!

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S’Mac

345 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village

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pretty small area to dine
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note this restaurant, although they serve the food to you at your table — you have to clean up yourself!

Not to confuse this place with the MAC BAR (which Pinky did) this place was on a lot of television shows and has gotten a lot of publicity.

Sometimes, it works for the place and sometimes it doesn’t…for this place i would say, it hasn’t worked out too well.  With more publicity, comes higher expectations and harsher judgments.

The plates are pretty pricey {for college kids like us} considering it’s just pasta and cheese and very little of anything else. However, since we weren’t planning on coming back anytime sooner we decided to try the $16 platter that had a little bit of everything.

That place has really no room to do anything.  We were practically sitting on top of each other.  Once you go in there’s already so many tables in front of you.  For a saturday night, this place was bustling!!! Many young adults.  Some were on dates or just casual chilling.  Probably not a good place to stay if you are planning to chat for a while though…Or for any reunion.  You will definitely receive many death glares for your seats!!!  Once you order, you get a number to put on the table you are seated.  When your order is done, no need to get up..they bring it to you! But that’s all the service you’re going to get!  They do NOT clean up after you.  Do not be a party that gets yelled at for not cleaning up after yourselves!  The people working there aren’t particularly friendly but perhaps, it’s all because of how chaotic it is over there.  No one can blame them.

ImageVictor says: 3/5

After I saw this place on the Travel Channel, I had a sudden urge to eat some mac n’ cheese. I mean, if a place is on television, it must be good, right? In the case of S’Mac, it was just alright. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t horrendous. I’ve made my fair share of mac n’ cheese throughout the years, but I have never thought about deviating from the norm. That’s what S’Mac does.

This place is awfully small and awfully cramped at times. Not my liking. The colors of this little restaurant are bright and “fun,” but the attitudes and the atmosphere certainly isn’t (only unless you were one of the few lucky ones that obtained a seat)

We ordered the sampler because I didn’t want to only try one type of mac n’ cheese. It was a hefty $16, but I guess that’s the price of trying multiple things in one sitting. If you are interested in getting the sampler, then expect to wait some time because you can only order the sampler if you are eating in the restaurant.

The sampler consists of a variety of flavors ranging from Cheeseburger to Cajun. Each type has unique blend of ingredients. Some are good, others are bad, and the rest may be in just okay. My favorites were the 4 Cheese, Cheesburger, Napoletana, and the Cajun. 4 Cheese and Cheeseburger are pretty self-explanatory, but they just tasted exceptionally well when mixed into mac n’ cheese. Napoletana was very herby, but it tasted delightful. It had a consistent flow of cheese with roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and basil. The Cajun consisted of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, andouille sausage, green peppers, onions, and some celery and garlic. I personally liked it, but I can’t say the same for Pinky.

The other types were okay. I wouldn’t recommend the All-American unless you are big fan of Kraft cheese. It tasted a bit bitter. Parisienne was interesting, but didn’t exactly captivate me. There were figs in and mushrooms in it. It was sweet from the figs and cheesy at the same time, which was a rather strange combination.

All in all, this restaurant is alright. It certainly isn’t something to go crazy for, but its definitely worth a shot. If you are an avid mac n’ cheese enthusiast, go ahead and try your luck here. This could be what your heart desires. Other than that, I don’t think I will be coming here a second time.

Image Pinky says: 3.5/5

I would go to this place once but probably not again.  The place is too cramped to really enjoy the atmosphere.  If I was really depressed and really need of that comfort food, I would make it myself lol. I wouldn’t come out all the way to the city to have some of it.  If you’re like me, I wouldn’t even go outside for ANYTHING if i was actually sad.  My favorites were the Cheeseburger and the Napoletana! The Cheeseburger was extra cheesy and tasted just like what it was called! …how would i describe this? burger pasta?! The Napoletana was very interesting, the basil really overwhelmed the cheese and I never had tomato with my mac and cheese. That was quite a delight! My least favorite was All American, probably because I don’t really like American cheese.  For the Perisienne, the rosemary flavor was a bit too strong for me so it wasn’t one of my favorites either. I had a lot of trouble using the plastic forks for these mini pasta dishes.  If they’re baked in, they should at least offer us metal spoons to scrape off the cheesy goodness.  The sampler is like a special off to the side above the menu.  Keep a look out! I’m glad we didn’t order just one flavor dish.  I would have wanted to try more flavors and probably would have bought more than one dish LOL. that would have been horrible because these are really really really filling.

gooey goodness!
gooey goodness!

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and it's gone!
and it’s gone! not really.. haha