Happy October!

It’s finally October (Pinky’s favorite month) – the air is cool and crisp, but there are times where we still crave ice cream and fatty dairy treats.

We visited Davey’s Icecream shop in Williamsburg this past week and was pleasantly surprised.  The small shop offered great flavored options, such as strong coffee, black sesame, speculoos chocolate chip, and roasted pistachio — only to name a few.

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Rox+Reny’s Wedding 8/29/2015

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new pinky tradition – #pinkyselfies with #weddingcakes

What a beautiful day it was to have an even more beautiful wedding.  Our friends from Stony Brook InterVarsity finally decided to say their “I do”‘s yesterday at Greentree Country Club.

We loved that it was such a Christ-centered wedding day and we pray that that strong foundation with Christ be forever with them in their marriage and beyond.  It was refreshing to see some of our old college friends and reconnect, even if only for the short day we had together.  Pinky will even have the great privilege to see them often since we attend the same church together! Congratulations, you two!

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Pota-topia: Pinky’s Dream Come True

DSCN7031378 6th Avenue
New York, NY

What has this world come to!?!? A restaurant that only serves potatoes as a main course?!?! You heard it right, this place only serves potatoes… in all shapes and sizes, with whatever toppings you desire. Pota-topia initially started as kiosk in Menlo Park Mall in Edison, New Jersey. After much success and popularity, the owner decided to open one up in Manhattan, New York. Definitely, a great decision because it’s hugely popular in the city too. Did I also mention that Pinky absolutely LOVES POTATOES? You can also visit their website at here!

Fun fact: Victor gave Pinky a raw potato for her 20th birthday with a candle on top…and she bit it for a perfect photo op.

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COMATOSER
Skin Chips, House Salt and Pepper, Cheddar Cheese, Asiago Cheese, Pepperjack Cheese, Green Onions, Red Onion, Garlic, Cilantro, Jalapeño, Broccoli, Bacon, Melted Cheddar, Roasted Pepper and Ranch $7.75

CURLY SUE Curly Cut, House Salt and Pepper, Pepperjack Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Jalapeño, Garlic, Green Onion, Chipotle Ketchup and Garlic Aioli $6.50
CURLY SUE
Curly Cut, House Salt and Pepper, Pepperjack Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Jalapeño, Garlic, Green Onion, Chipotle Ketchup and Garlic Aioli $6.50

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

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Quite an interesting place in my opinion. New York City never ceases to amaze me in its wide variety of wacky and  unique restaurants. This dainty little place can be found near West Village in Manhattan. This restaurant can be hidden amidst all the other stores around it, but once you see it’s signature potato logo, you know you’re heading towards the right place.

The design of Potatopia reminds a lot like the Wafels and Dinges Cafe, even though they are different in their own  ways. They use very warm colors like yellow, gray, and white, as well using wooden decor and seats. Sort of a like urban eco-design I would say. The vibe and environment is also quite similar to Wafels and Dinges. The staff are all pretty young folk, but they are also very friendly and just seem genuinely happy.

This place like a fast food take out joint, so don’t expect it to be a quiet sit-down kind of place. If it was a busy hour, I think it would be hard to find a seat.  Upon arriving through its glass doors, there is a table against the window to your left and a long wooden table towards the middle with a couple of seats. To right of the entrance are the paper menus you can grab if you don’t want to wait on line yet.

DSCN7038If you forgot a menu and already walked in, you can always looks at the large TV menus above the cashiers and potato chefs.  The TV menus are bright and vivid with one of them showing tweets from fans!

Well, I guess I should start talking about the real stuff: the food.

On their menu, they have signature dishes and the possibility of creating your very own dish.Pinky and I decided to try the signatures, The Comatoser and Curly Sue.

The Curly Sue is made up of Curly Cut fries with House Salt and Pepper, Pepperjack Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Jalapeño, Garlic, Green Onion, Chipotle Ketchup and Garlic Aioli. Sounds like a mouthful, eh? Out of the two dishes we got, I actually really enjoyed this one more. I’m a big fan of curly fries and I just felt that all the ingredients went together wonderfully well. A big part of this were the interesting sauces. You don’t see Chipotle Ketchup or Garlic Aioli on fries normally, it made it so savory. The fries were absolutely crunchy and the scallions were a nice addition. I do feel that it was a little bit too much scallion, but that’s okay. Overall, I really enjoyed this signature dish and you should try it out too!

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Comatoser skin chip

The Comatoser is composed of Skin Chips with  House Salt and Pepper, Cheddar Cheese, Asiago Cheese, Pepperjack Cheese, Green Onions, Red Onion, Garlic, Cilantro, Jalapeño, Broccoli, Bacon, Melted Cheddar, Roasted Pepper and Ranch. A little pricier than the Curly Sue, but it also contains more stuff too! As you know, I’m a big fan of quality, not quantity. To me, the flavors just didn’t really stand out to me.  I’m not saying it’s awful or anything, I just liked the Curly Sue much more. It’s pretty much the suped-up version of a Wendy’s Broccoli, Bacon, and Cheese potato.

Overall, this place is pretty good, so check this place out. It’s not too relatively expensive with dishes ranging from $7-$10. If you’re daring and want to make your own special potato, go ahead, you potato connoisseur. If you don’t like potatoes at all, maybe this place will change your mind.

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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How can someone go wrong with a restaurant that serves so many different kinds of potatoes?!  I loved the COMATOSER better than the CURLY SUE.  I would have to disagree with Vic on his comment that it tastes like a glorified baked potato.  I felt that that texture of the skin chips was so unique and awesome.  The inside of the “chip” tasted like a mashed potato and the outside tasted like a potato oven-roasted chip.  I really want to learn how to achieve that texture with my potatoes at home!  (If someone knows the secret…please share!!!!!)  I loved the delicious veggies, scallion, red onion, broccoli.  Oh my, the sauce was even more delicious — I literally wanted to lick the whole bowl.  The bacon was so savory too.  THE CHEESE. THE CHEESE. Dang those cheese combos caressed my taste buds in a velvety dance!

The Curly Sue I felt that you can just have this texture in regular fries, but I did loved the combination of flavors — the chipotle ketchup seriously how can you go wrong?  I don’t think I ever had fries with scallions.  Level up from regular fast food fries!  However, I just wish there was more of it…and to it.  I could easily make this one — now that they listed all the ingredients!

Okay, Pinky of course you’re giving such a high score for a potato restaurant, but why the half point off? Honestly, the prices were pretty steep.  I get it that it’s in Manhattan but this was more like a snack than dinner.  Don’t assume you’ll be full after this “meal”!  It’s a horrible habit to develop, but if it was cheaper I would come every single day. (I’m a poor recent graduate!!) And get fat, of course.  There is so much cheese in the signature meals!!!!  These sig meals would be cheaper than the “build your own potato” meals.

Counter/ Register
Counter/ Register

Souvlaki GR …and Pinky’s Worst Nightmare

DSCN6164116 Stanton St
(between Ludlow St & Essex St)

Menu and Prices

This nicely decorated place was very intriguing to me (Pinky) — I was won over by their whole Greek-inspired decor, at first sight.  On the side once you enter, they have the latest magazines hung on a wire, as well as some snacks from Greece (I am assuming).

DSCN6166OKAY, an important note: BEWARE when you sit down at a small circular table.  Victor almost destroyed the restaurant because the tables are so badly designed.  The legs of the table STICK out, so when you put your own legs under the table, you will most likely hit it and therefore attempt to turn the table (and glassware) on its side…Seriously, be careful — it happened three other times to other people and that all during our visit.

So what is a gyro anyway? How do you even pronounce it? “EURO” should be a close enough pronunciation guide.  As we all know how Wikipedia is entirely legit, here is how they define it:

gyro (/ˈjɪəroʊ/yeer-oh,/ˈʒɪəroʊ/zheer-oh;[1]Greek: γύρος, [ˈʝiros], lit. ‘turn’) is a Greek dish of meat roasted on a vertical spit. It is commonly served in a sandwich with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce, wrapped in pita or sandwich bread.

I also learned from Wikipedia and Souvlaki GR that sometimes they add fries to your gyro…strange!

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Souvlakia Kalamaki Paketo– Your choice of six Chicken or Pork skewers with Tzatziki & Pita … $14 (Individual skewers … $2.75 each)

Victor says 2.5/5 Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail2 fish

DSCN6176Save your money and go else where.

Souvlaki GR isn’t that good and you can definitely find better Greek food around. This place can be a tourist trap with the bright lights and nicely painted walls, but don’t fall for it! It’s quite expensive for the portion you get and it just tastes… okay.

By first impressions, this place looks sorta nice. They got these dangling lightbulbs in front their restaurant. We also saw their food truck across the street. The decor inside was nicely painted. It had a very Mediterranean feel with the white and blue colors with fake doors and windows. There’s also one table that’s elevated from everyone else. Honestly, I think that’s just silly because the stairs take up space to get to that one table. The restaurant itself is not very spacious either as noted from my close call of destroying the tableware.

SGR Pita Souvlaki -- (Tomato, red onions, fries & Tyrokafteri-spicy feta dip) pictured with pork $6.50
SGR Pita Souvlaki — (Tomato, red onions, fries & Tyrokafteri-spicy feta dip) pictured with pork $6.50

Time to talk food. First off, it’s expensive for something that’s not very spectacular. We ordered a chicken and pork skewer. The chicken tasted a bit raw. It wasn’t seasoned very well and it just didn’t appeal to me. The pork one tasted a little better and had more seasoning. It also came with a cup of tzatziki sauce with slices of pita bread. Majority of the time, I found myself spreading the tzatziki sauce to make it taste better.

The SGR Pita Souvlaki I ordered was basically a pork skewer gyro. It’s the same amount of meat as the skewer wrapped with two french fries, tomatoes, red onions, Tyrokafteri (spicy feta dip) in a pita.  It’s such a small portion and I feel like you can get more for your buck at other places. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by other Greek restaurants, but this place didn’t live up to it’s hype.

Probably won’t be coming here any time in the near future.

Bifteki Pita Traditional Greek Burger -- Tomato, red onion, feta & tzatziki ... 6
Bifteki Pita — Traditional Greek Burger — Tomato, red onion, feta & tzatziki … 6

Pinky says 2/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg

DSCN6177Okay here goes..scroll back up to that picture above for a minute.

Carefully inspect the picture..and come back after.

Alright…


There is a piece of hair nicely tucked into the warm pita bread near the top-left side of it.  Delicious, right? No, that was not listed on the menu as an ingredient.  I was so appalled by the little new friend peering at me.  Thank you Jesus, that I did not bite it on that side, but bit the right side.  I did not even notice it at first, while I was taking the picture.  By the way, we apologize for the blurry dark pictures — bad lighting in there.

However, what…kind…of… hair, do you ask? Beard hair.  Not even head hair, which I don’t think I would mind as much?  I’m not sure, what do you all think? What’s worse: Beard or head hair in your food?

I have to say that the manager was alright with my complaint and gave me a new gyro, but they probably did spit in my food. Hahaha.  I should have actually cancelled the order because it wasn’t even worth the $6. I thought it would taste completely amazing, but it was just normal gyro that I can get from a food cart, and possibly those food cart ones would be bigger and more filling.   The only special thing was that it had massive amounts of feta cheese.  BLEGH, which only made it extremely salty.  I only asked for it to be re-made because we were already so hungry.  While eating it, I kept imagining that I had a hairball stuck in my throat.  I’m not even sure why we waited longer compared to the other people around us, despite the fact that we sat down first.

DSCN6168On the topic of seating, I was sitting right next to an ACTIVE doorway, with the employees coming in and out.  During the whole night I was scared to move an inch because it can result in total chaos.  I could not move my arms or I can hit a waiter holding food and could not move my legs or I can flip the table and all of its contents over.  For me, I get stressed easily in social situations, so you can already tell I was not having a grand ol’ time.  Being that I watched the documentary film, Objectified, there is seriously no reason for a chair to be uncomfortable…and there should definitely be no reason why a table should be unstable.  I understand those tables are cute, but if I am eating a legit meal and not having a tea or coffee break, I would like to have my table to hold more than three small plates.  It was pretty hilarious to knock the table over then see others do the same though.

DSCN6170And being the silly girl that I am, I was not aware that there can be fries put inside a gyro.  When it said “fries” on the menu, I thought it would be on the side, and being the big potato girl I am, I was so excited.  Then I fell into deep depression, as I only saw two fries sticking out of it.  The more entertaining fact was that since both of Vic’s and my gyro were plated on one plate, I thought both of them were one order.

The skewers were also nothing special — I can’t believe they were $2.25 each. I can grill them myself, thank you very much — there was no real flavor to it.

I miss Akropolis

MORE SHOTS

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Wafels and Dinges Cafe: Living up to the hype?

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Thanks to the model standing right in front of the new Wafels and Dinges Cafe on the corner of Ave B & E 2nd St in Manhattan, NY

So you might or might not have heard the great Wafels and Dinges food truck has recently opened their new cafe on the corner of Ave B and E 2nd Street in the Lower East Side. For our thoughts about the food truck, you can visit this link here.

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The decor is flawless and totally in tune with their image and friendliness from their food truck stands.  As you reach for the door knob, you already feel like you’re in wafel paradise because you are really reaching for a spatula ! The wafel station is like an island in the middle of the cafe and there are menus on both sides that reminds you of the food truck menus.

However, the prices are a bit higher (by a dollar or two) because I’m assuming of the indoor service they are providing.  Also, I believe they offer a lot of various items such as the affogato and specialty shakes, that the food trucks do not offer.  The seats remind me of sitting in a kindergarten classroom since they are low and there are benches that have the same color theme of yellow and brown.

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You can also grab the daily newspaper on the side of the cafe and sit all day with the Wifi provided too.  The WiFi password is located on the chalkboard menu right in front of the cash register.  Near the back and the restroom area, there is also a fun little chalkboard area where you can draw little waffle characters or whatever you enjoy doodling for the other waffel lovers to view.

The cafe also features some shelves of books and even their own infamously delicious speculoo jars and maples syrup jars.  Be sure to explore around every corner of this place!

WMD brussels waffel with fixings - strawberries, banana, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and dulce de leche ($ 8.00)
WMD brussels waffel with fixings – strawberries, banana, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and dulce de leche ($ 8.00)
Bailey's chocolate shake $8.00
Bailey’s chocolate shake $8.00

Pinky says 3.75/5

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Okay let me explain this rating before you go all crazy on me! I guess I was expecting a lot more from them than they could have done…I ordered the WMD Brussels waffel for $8, but I was expecting the same freshness from the food truck…but that didn’t happen.

The waffel was a bit cold even though all the toppings were fresh and the plate was beautifully decorated.  I am assuming because the place was pretty empty, they don’t sell fast enough.  I did however love the staff as always for their friendliness and courtesy.  I ALSO loved their dang deliciousness mug of pleasure, called the Bailey’s chocolate shake. Oh baby, it was like pure heaven.  Great for the hot summer day and chocolate milk lovers because of its thickness and silkiness at the same time!

The area is a bit out of the way, being that it is quite a walk from other more popular places, but I salute your efforts towards opening this great new place! However, I think it just takes the excitement out of food stands, you know? The spontaneity. The unknown…of whether or not you’ll get a seat while enjoying your great waffel.  Good visit, but I don’t think the possibility of coming back is high…

Victor says 3.75 too!

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A nice little shop, but not located near the heart of New York. It’s in a rather strange location, but I guess it’s close to Wiliiamsburg at least. The decor in the place is quite nice. I like the colors and it’s just warm place to be. The staff is just amazingly friendly as well the manager/ boss. This manager/ boss guy just kept getting us straws and utensils, and kept asking us how the food was. We had no idea he was the manager/ boss because he wasn’t in uniform and he just looked like some in guy on his mac in a cafe.

Aside from the splendid service and decor, their food was good, but not as good as the food carts surprisingly. They have some things on their menu that are only available at their restaurant, so you should stop by here if you want to try something new!

I ordered a Bailey’s Chocolate shake, which was a bit expensive ($8) but it tasted awesome. Basically, its an chocolate ice cream shake with Bailey’s chocolate fudge on the sides topped with whipped cream and a basil leaf. It’s not very thick and you can drink it up with a straw. Very rich, creamy, and smooth! I can drink it all day!

The wafel… was not as good as the carts sadly. Pinky ordered a WMB waffel with strawberries, bananas, fudge, and powdered sugar. The wafel wasn’t warm and didn’t taste freshly made. They grabbed a wafel from their tray and we weren’t sure how long it has been out there. The bananas were mushy and warm. Aside from that, it was okay. I guess it’s different from the food carts, because they make the wafel in front you.

Overall, if you want to try something that’s not from the carts, I would check this place out. It is definitely out of the way though. A bit pricier too, by at least $1.

Here are some more photos of the decor and cafe overall:

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Wafels and Dinges Menu

Roller Jam USA

DSCN3595RollerJam USA
236 Richmond Valley Road, Tottenville
718-605-6600
www.rollerjamusa.com

This very interesting and unique venue is located at the most Southern tip of Staten Island, Tottenville.

Rink newly opened in July 2007 and renovating in early 2013. And unless we’ve lost track of things, RollerJam has been the only indoor, year-round roller rink in the city almost since it opened.

Reported to be a bit small and has a non-wood floor, but has plenty of leather couches for relaxing on when off your skates. It already seems to have become fairly popular and is drawing good crowds.

RollerJam USA has also an arcade near the right of the place and features free pizza on Fridays, as well as a full bar for the adults with their kids.  As quoted before, RollerJam is only one of very few roller rinks in NYC and draws many people even during late nights.  Rental of skates and admission is total $14.  Lockers cost extra.  BRING SOCKS! Once you enter turn to the left and give your street shoes to the staff member and he/she will ask you your shoe size and what kind of skates; rollerskates or rollerblades?  There is also an option to use wristguards or helmets.

Victor says: 2.5/5

I think it’s pretty cool that roller skate rinks like this still exist in the world, but the atmosphere can be crazy in here.

First off, it’s located Staten Island. Not to hate on Staten Island or anything, but the tolls here are just off the hooks (P.S. I come from Staten Island). I have seen the toll for the Verrazano Bridge go from $6 to like $15 in a less then a decade.

I guess enough ranting of that. When I went here, it just looked so sketchy. It’s literally a warehouse with the glowing words  “Roller Jam USA” on the side. The price can be little expensive too. If you don’t have your own skates, it’s about $15 with rentals. I think it’s $10 if you have your own.

The workers here aren’t very pleasant and don’t seem to enjoy their job. I was yelled at by one of the workers for stopping on the side of the rink… but that was only because I was waiting for someone.

The song selection isn’t the greatest, but I guess that’s what the kids are into nowadays. There was an alarming number of middle school kids there when we went, but that’s probably because it was a Friday night. As I noted before, it can get crazy on the rink. People are zipping and tripping left and right of you. Those who are obnoxious  push and shove their way through you. And…. the rink is also pretty small!

This place is definitely in need of some major improvements. But if you asked me, it could be a cool place to hangout if you come at a hour with not many people.

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Pinky says 2/5

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Please refuse me admission! – Pinky

I am biased.  I am not very much a person who craves adventure and having to be surprised to be brought here, wasn’t so…good for me.  The place is really decorated in a tacky manner and is almost like a time capsule into the 1970s. Even their legit roller skates looked like they were going to fall apart at any second.  There is a reason why these are all closing down lol.  Not being a SI native, I did not know that children stay out so late at roller rinks.  These kids were crazy and crowded the whole area! When I was a kid, I was not holding hands with boys and staying out until 11pm!

DSCN3603The staff there was not very professional either, mouthing off in front of the kids. Although I am supposed to be rating the place, I cannot help but be turned off by foul language from a staff member.  Don’t even get me started on the horrible DJ.  I cannot have a good time with horrible music.  Not going to come back here anytime soon.  One, I cannot skate, worse than ice skating…!!! Two, it’s like in the middle of no where…LOL. 

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Rain Room at MOMA

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We had the greatest pleasure of going to MOMA’S Rain Room.  If you have not heard of it, we urge you to visit and experience this yourself.  Although there is a 3-4 hour wait, this special exhibition is a room that showers artificial rain, but wherever you stand it does not rain on you!  Even when we went before the Museum’s opening hours, there was already approximately 50 people on the line. Get your ticket for general admission for MOMA then head straight out the opposite doors and turn left to stand on line! The Rain Room does not require extra money although after standing in line for so long, you will get really tired and not particularly want to walk around the entire museum. Note: FREE FOR CUNY AND SUNY college students! Don’t pay the $14 fee! Go to help desk and just show your student ID.

Pinky says 5/5

worth the wait! I thought on a Monday morning, no one would wake up before 10am, much less be standing on line already. Victor and I along with another couple were standing outside in the rain waiting for entrance to the rain room.  Ironic, I know! Advice for you, do not go when it’s a rainy day!  Each time 3-4 people are let in — HOWEVER there is still a line inside the room.. I was very wrong…Apparently there is a special hour dedicated for MOMA members only from 9:30am-10:30am, so basically the line doesn’t start moving until 10:30am..You also only get 10 minutes to be in the rain. Don’t be disrespectful and stay for like half an hour! Everyone outside is waiting! I was walking really quickly trying to test out the sensors, although they’re not that perfect it was funny to get splashed a bit.  Don’t wear black or dark clothing to this place or it won’t work well.  Also, no high heels ladies ! The heel might get stuck on the floor and damage the room.

Victor says 4/5

…Longer than waiting for a roller coaster at Six Flags! I’m not going to lie, that was a really long wait…. and in the rain. Can you believe we waited 3 hours IN THE RAIN to go to an indoor exhibit to see rain?!?!?! I couldn’t believe it too, hahaha. But I actually enjoyed it though. If you do plan on going, be prepared to wait. If you can wake up early, try to go there early. We got there before the MoMA even opened (opens at 10:30AM) and still had to wait about 3 hours until we got into the expo.

It’s a really cool exhibit if it wasn’t for that wait. In the center of this large exhibit is this square-ish area that constantly rains. These sensors can detect where the human body is on the grid and it will stop raining. However, you have to walk slowly through this exhibit or you will get wet. It’s almost like controlling nature, as if you had super powers or something. Too bad you can’t do that in real life. It’s interesting how you can use technology to create “art”.

Definitely check this place out if you have the time!

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Tina’s Cuban Cuisine

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23 W 56th St
(between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10019

Upon entering this place, it reminded us of Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine — they must be best friends!  It offers somewhat similar choices and has the infamous green sauce.  Also, it seems that it is also a popular lunch spot.  This time we had our special guests of Mary and Andrew (Andy) to join us on our PINCTOR ADVENTURE! YAY.  MENU HERE

Pinky says 3/5

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I am on the fence between a two and a three star rating for this one.  I ordered the pork with spanish potato salad and the sweet plantains.  I felt like the pork was really really dry in that it was so hard to chew and my dish was the only one out of four other dishes that were cold.  Perhaps, not many people order the roast pork — BUT still not a good reason to serve close to cold dishes.  The waitress was nice enough to be patient with my party as we took a while to choose what to eat.  Service was fast and had a lot of food on our table in what felt like seconds.

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Spanish Potato Salad $2.49
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Roast Pork Pernil $9.99 includes 2 sides (pictured with plantains)

Potato salad was interesting as it had a very strong lemon juice flavor…but other than that it tasted regular.
The plantains was really really sweet and reminded me of dessert and I’m the kind of person who doesn’t eat dessert before meals lol.  My taste buds were really confused! I DID order sweet plantains but I didn’t realize it would be that sugary…Tasted more like just regular bananas.
Compared to Sophie’s (yes, I have to mention this!) it was a bit disappointing.  The green sauce was not as good in that it was a lot more watery and less flavored. I didn’t use much of it because of that fact.  The place itself is very similar though.  Decor is simple though it was not as crowded as Sophie’s.

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I was a bit disappointed in that we invited Mary and Andy to this place first since we always have home-run restaurants that we go visit haha.  But, you win some you lose some.

Victor says 3/5

Rice with Chicken Arroz Con Pollo ($9.00) includes only one side since rice is already one side
Rice with Chicken Arroz Con Pollo ($9.00) includes only one side since rice is already one side

I may have set my standards a little high because I was comparing this establishment with Sophie’s (we reviewed this earlier in the year). It also looks very similar to Sophie’s too! However, I just don’t think the quality of food is the same.

First off, this place is relatively busy. It appears that they have a lot of the customers and such. It’s good place to grab a quick bite if you’re on the go, though.

The waitress was kind, but didn’t come back to us after we got our food. I ordered tamales and rice with chicken. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the tamales honestly. It’s a corn meal patty stuffed with ground pork garnished with onions. I didn’t find this appetizer very appealing (but that’s just me). It was moist and sorta tasted like corn bread. Didn’t really taste the pork though. It was however, very moist and soft.

The main entrée, the rice with chicken, was pretty average in my opinion. I decided to get the sweet plantains as my side. The chicken was juicy and moist. It looked seasoned, but I couldn’t really taste it. Just your average chicken. The rice was sorta clumpy. The quality of rice is sorta like from a bad Chinese food restaurant. I really loved the  sweet plantains though! Sadly, they gave such a small portion as a side.

What very positive thing about this restaurant is that it serves its food incredibly quick. It’s probably because that they have most of it ready from the take-out section, regardless, you get your food relatively quick. It’s possible that we may have also come on an “off day” and things weren’t exactly their best.

Mary & Andy says 3/5

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Mary ordered the Cuban Sandwich ($7.45 which includes Roast pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mayo and mustard) She also had part of a Cheese patty {cheese empanadas} ($1.65)

I guess I was expecting more “authenticness” but the mustard in my sandwich seemed like regular mustard.

Cheese patty ($1.65)
Cheese patty ($1.65)

It [Empanada] was okay.  I didn’t know that the cheese empanadas was just cheese.  I thought it was beef and cheese…I should have got meat in it. But Andy liked the crust.

Spicy Grilled Chicken includes two sides, pictured with sweet plantains and yellow rice ($9.99)
Spicy Grilled Chicken includes two sides, pictured with sweet plantains and yellow rice ($9.99)

Andy ordered the Spicy Grilled Chicken – Pollo Picante ($9.99 that includes 2 sides)

Chicken was dry.

Andy…a man of few words.

John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House

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2093 Smith Haven Plz
Lake Grove, NY 11755

Hey there everyone, it’s been a while! This is Pinky here writing about our Valentine’s day this year! I know that was a long time ago but hey, we are first students (sadly) then food bloggers LOL. Victor was very sweet to get me those beautiful flowers on this very special day.  Although we didn’t even really see each other because we have conflicting schedules, he came by after my class to drop off the presents!  Very very sweet.  But I know that you don’t want to hear these stories! (hehe)…I swear that this is a food post! We went to John Harvard’s Brewery and Ale House for a Valentine’s day dinner.  Once you enter in here, you feel like you’re in a old cowboy movie.  Looks a bit like an old saloon.  The good thing about this place was that they had happy hour from 10pm until closing! The bad thing? No one was leaving.  I’m not sure if this is a restaurant thing but customers really get annoyed when half of the restaurant is not being used to seat us.  I think we approximately waited for 40 minutes for a table.  Ridiculous! We were starving!  However, 40 minutes was probably nothing considering it was an “eat-out” kind of holiday.  Also sadly, we couldn’t get the special valentine’s day deal because it was happy hour!

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Online Menu HERE

DSCN0509 DSCN0510 waiting…and waiting…

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crystal ship brew $3.00 (happy hour)
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Quesadilla: Chicken, pico de gallo, cheddar & pepperjack cheeses served with sour cream, salsa and jalapenos. $7.29 original price — but 1/2 off happy hour..but doesn’t include addition of chicken (+$2)
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CHIPOTLE BBQ: bacon, cheddar cheese, red onion, house BBQ, chipotle aioli $11.99 (not half off for happy hour)
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GORGONZOLA* brandy-mushroom sauce, gorgonzola cheese, crispy shallots
$12.99 (not half off for happy hour)

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Victor says: 3/5

This place decent. It’s sorta like typical diner food. I guess the quality of food and service was not as good that day due to the nature of it being Valentine’s day. It took forever to be seated, but our food came out rather quick. The waiter was extremely attentive to us despite the large volume of people that night. I don’t really know anything about beer, but we got something called the “Crystal Ship”.  Not really sure what to make of it.

The chicken quesadilla was a bit a messy. Taking a bite into that thing and juices just started to squeeze out of the sides. It was good for an appetizer and can be filling if you eat it alone. They added corn to the quesadilla and I thought that gave it a nice a crunch. However, it is nothing to go crazy for.

I ordered a Gorgonzola and it wasn’t too shabby. I asked for medium rare, but it came out a little on the dry side. Nevertheless, it was still delectable. The gorgonzola cheese is rather thick like bleu cheese. It added a very creamy texture to the burger. The flavor of the cheese and burger went well together with the shallots.

I’m giving a shoutout to the fries because they were fried to crispy perfection. Each fry had a wonderful crunch to them and they did not disappoint.

I’m guessing this place is better known for its beer rather than its food. The food is good, but not great or amazing.

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Pinky says: 3/5

Not the best food I’ve ever had but a pretty okay place.  I was at first pretty reluctant to go here since I actually was looking at the Suffolk Public Health website and it had a lot of violations in the food/restaurant inspections.  But hey, this was the only place that was open after 10pm and I was really craving some good BURGERS.

I was a bit annoyed that we waited for so long but I guess it was expected.  We got our table about 11:15pm and they were saying kitchens close around 11:30p.  I just really wanted to sit! I didn’t find the waiting area until I turned the corner after the entrance! I guess they assume that we would head straight to the bar haha.  First impression, not good.

Crystal Ship wasn’t really a good brew for me.  I’m not that into very strong or bitter.  It could have been stronger but i’m not such a fan.  I was glad at least the appetizer, quesadilla was very hot in temperature so at least we knew the food was made fresh.  Not the greatest but it beats the old frozen ones you buy at a grocery store.  It wasn’t a skinny quesadilla either.

I ordered the Chipotle burger and boy..was it messy!  This burger was also hot off the grill.  I appreciated that!  There was way too much BBQ sauce..I’m glad it was at least tasty though!  I had a lot of fun licking it off my fingers haha!! However, it was soaking my burger bun.  If it was a regular bun instead of like a kaiser roll, I would have disliked it very much.  Smart alternative!  Fries were also hot to touch and were yummy and delicious.

I gave a 3 because, it was good but not so special!

Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine

DSCN982996 Chambers St
New York, NY 10013
Neighborhoods: Civic Center, TriBeCa

With the big red flag, this place is hard to miss.  The place is really casual and very friendly.  Although there are no fancy plating or fancy decor, the place is worth visiting and is a very popular lunch joint.  It was crowded with people shoving the cashiers with money in exchange for the delicious food.  If you’re in the area and looking for a quick bite to satisfy your taste buds as long as your wallet, this is the place to go.

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Baked Chicken with Yellow Rice and Plantains $9.00
Baked Chicken with Yellow Rice and Plantains $9.00
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Pernil with a Twist – Roast pork, mayo, onions, sweet plantains, and Sophie’s special green sauce $7.99

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Victor says: 4.75/5

The outside and inside of this restaurant isn’t appealing. The atmosphere within the restaurant is noisy and hectic. I’m going to warn you though… the food is EXTREMELY OILY.  So don’t come crying back to me when you find a pimple the next day.

But what really captures our interest in this restaurant is the AMAZING food here and it’s relatively CHEAP too. In less than 5 minutes of ordering, our food was already on our tables. It’s almost as fast as fast food, but better! The waitress may be hard to understand and may mix up your order, so make sure she doesn’t give you the wrong thing! But nevertheless, the ordering mistake turned out to be delicious. We originally wanted beans, but we were given plantains and I DO NOT REGRET IT  one bit at all.

We ordered a Baked Chicken Meal and a Pulled Pork Sandwich with a twist. Both very delicious dishes that were recommended by others. The baked chicken was juicy, tender, and mouth-watering, even though it oozed of oil. The skin of the chicken was sweet and seasoned very well. The rice was delicious too, but I suspect it was cooked in butter and oil because of how thick and smooth it was. It came with a side of plantains…. and they were probably the BEST plantains I’ve ever had so far. It’s like a mix of having the sweet taste of bananas with the texture of a potato.

The pulled pork sandwich was pretty darn good too! It had a very smokey flavor and it had plantains too!!! They had this green sauce too! Not sure whats in it, but I think it has cilantro. It’s sweet and tangy and adds a good kick to the sandwich. The pork was a bit dry, but it was definitely enjoyable.

Overall, I would definitely check this place out. Not the greatest place if you’re looking for a romantic atmosphere, but it has some delicious food!

DSCN9824 Pinky says: 5/5

SO GOOD. SO MUCH FOOD.  Vic and I came here after my work session at Euphoria Spa and tried the recommended dishes and was not disappointed at all.  Although the staff was a bit rushed because there were many customers, they seemed tired and over-worked but still served us on time.  It was great!  They were very fast and good workers.  All food had many flavors sunk into it.  We had the baked chicken with side of yellow rice and plantains.  The plantains, I was a bit afraid to try but they were delicious too!!  As you may know, I am more of a potato person and I was reminded often that the plantains tasted like potatoes!  But maybe even better!  We were actually going to get the beans but the waitress misunderstood me.  She gave us plantains with the yellow rice.  The rice was so oily but it was oily goodness.  I wish the baked chicken had a bit more meat in it though.

The pulled pork with a twist was very tasty  too.  The sandwich was oddly matched pretty well with the plantains too. THE GREEN SAUCE IS SO DARN ADDICTING.. YUMM-OH. I kept drowning it in everything….even writing about it now, my stomach is growling…GRR GRRR…

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