Faux Meat at Red Bamboo

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetThere are some times where we want to be healthy.  Healthy times are rare times, however of course there would be this really hip asian fusion soul food that is VEGAN / VEGETARIAN in our greatest city ever.  A small intimate dining area – Red Bamboo would be an ideal date spot.

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The Strangers Project

It was another regular workday and we wanted to check if there were any fun FREE things to do in the great NYC.  Since the summer is winding down, (sadly) there are fewer events happening, but lo and behold Pinky stumbled upon this Strangers Project reception opening yesterday evening.  The “gallery” event was a viewing of anonymous individuals’ hand-written stories collected by a team of people.

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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.

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October 2013 Favorites

ImageHey everyone! October was such a busy month for both of us.  We had a lot of adventures that did not always involve eating good food, but some days involved things greater than ourselves.

We had a month full of celebrations (for my two birthdays; my real birthday and my Baptism, hoo-hah! and thank you Vic for being a big part on both days — and also have you noticed so many people’s birthdays are in October?!) !

1) Run River North

It was also the month when the Price of Life ’13 was happening.  The issue of human trafficking has been an evolving social injustice within Victor’s and my hearts.  Being that we both are followers of Jesus and InterVarsity alumni, we wanted to explore more on how to put our efforts in ending human trafficking (labor slavery and sex slavery).

There are 27 million slaves in the world today.  To learn more about human trafficking, you can visit this infographic.

DSCN6447That night we also got the chance to see the art work of our friend Maria (which is…not an ordinary lamp — photo shown on side)– as well as listen to our new favorite band Run River North.

We even got so crazy about them that we went to their show the week after we saw them first.  Their music definitely has a unique tambre, as well as touches emotions of their listeners, whether it is to fire them up or paint a peaceful atmosphere around them.  Their harmonies gave me such goosebumps!!!  Take a listen.

It was such an awesome night! Human trafficking is REAL and it happens in our very own city.  Make sure you follow Price of Life events and together we can put an end to human trafficking.  Everyone has a life purpose and no one should be not allowed to live the life that God has created for them.  Shout-out to our friends Eric, Sam, and Christine for being there also!

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2) Film Biz Recycling

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540 President St
Basement
(between 3rd Ave & 4th Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11215

A place like none other. On one of the days we were thrift store shopping, we ran into this unique gem in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

You won’t find this place easily.. it’s sorta hidden on the side of a building next to a parking lot.  Don’t worry though, there will be signage to guide you along your way.  You’ll have to buzz in at the gate first though!

Unlike your conventional thrift store, this place rents out movie props for you to use. Anything you can imagine, these guys might have. You’ll find all sorts of wigs, gadgets, props, decorations, and devices to fulfill your inner Spielberg.

Aside from all the cool movie stuff you can rent, they also sell a bunch of furniture and a lot things you wouldn’t normally find. They have a lot of old electronics for sale that range from the 70’s through 90’s. I’m not sure if they even work at all, but it’s still pretty cool — use them to film your own movies!!!

The staff here are super friendly and would love to help in anyway they can. Be sure to stop by here!  They even just give out office supplies (for some reason) based on a “whatever you can pay” transaction method.

3) Center for Architecture: New York

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The Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
NY, NY 10012

This place was pretty awesome, even though it was small — Right now they are featuring a lot of beautiful buildings and scapes that are in Asian countries.  They also had a lot of explanations in the text descriptions of each “artwork” to discuss why these buildings were made like how they are.  They also feature time lapse videos of some of my favorite cities in Asia.  I can probably sit there all day to watch them repeat on and on.  Museum is completely free and ..surprisingly empty.  Although you might not spend much time here because of its size, I still think it’s a great feeling to appreciate these huge buildings people take so much time and spend so much money to create!  Amazing!

Funny side note: If you end up visiting this place — please make a stop at the Earth Room.  Please.  You’ll know what I mean hahahhaha..

141 Wooster St
(between Prince St & Houston St)
New York, NY 10012

Happy late Halloween.

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A Real Shanghai Mong (Dream)

DSCN533830 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001

This popular restaurant in the heart of NYC’s Korea Town features many Chinese and Korean fusion dishes.  That is why you might be confused with all the red in their decor, hey — are they Chinese or Korean? Doesn’t matter! Just enjoy the combination of delicious food from different cultures that come together in this place.

Might be pretty pricey for dinner, but you may be paying more for their fancier menus, service, and decor.  For lunch, this place is pretty affordable with a dollar off regular prices and with the same serving size (or might even be more?) than the dinner serving size of the dish.  Either way, you always leave full and satisfied! Here is the menu.

A Chinese/Korean fusion dish called, Jajangmyeon (자장면) is quite popular here.  It is a noodle dish that is covered in thick sauce made from black soybean paste.  Here they also add pork and veggies.  Okay, it might not sound or look appetizing, but…

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Mini Bites Fried Dumpling with Lemon Cream (10 piece $8.99)
Jja Jang Mmyun “자장면” $8.99 Noodles with pork and vegetables in black bean sauce
Jja Jang Mmyun “자장면” $8.99
Noodles with pork and vegetables in black bean sauce

Pinky says 5/516-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg

DSCN5345I might be a bit bias since I have been coming to this place countless times ever since I discovered it back in 2011 or so.  I still have not had Jajangmyeon better than how this place makes it though!! Someone please prove me wrong and show me the best one you’ve ever had, seriously.  When you order this, the waiter/waitress asks you if you need them to cut it because the noodles are too long.  Should say yes, if you don’t want a face filled with delicious black bean sauce afterwards…

Not sure if you all know the story, but in Korea they have something called “Singles Day” or “Black Day” (for the sauce) where they eat Jajangmyeon by themselves in a restaurant.  And of course if you’re eating it by yourself, there might be someone else in the restaurant eating by himself or herself too.  Then…what happens? Match-made in heaven lol.  I used to eat this a lot more..when I was single =P But lo and behold, I did not meet Victor over a romantic evening of Jajangmyeon…bummer.

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Anyway, there is really something different about their noodles here — thicker? So it catches more of the sauce as you slurp it? Perhaps…or maybe it’s their perfectly cooked pork bits that remind you of the crispy American bacon?  Not really sure, but I do know that this stuff is ADDICTING.  I would dream about this bowl of heaven, no joke.

Our friend ordered an appetizer (I haven’t tried an appetizer here in a long time), the lemon cream dumplings.  It was a pleasant experience to have a sweet dessert-like dumpling, but after a while it got soggy.  I don’t think I would order it again…Be sure to eat those as soon as the plate hits your table, our you’re just going to eat a big mushy sweet and salty blob.

Also, if you eat seafood (I sometimes eat it when I think it’s worth having a mild allergic reaction to) you should try the also delicious 1/2 seafood Jjamppong (a seafood spicy noodle stew) and 1/2 Jajangmyun dish.  Get two dishes for the price of one!

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

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Jajangmyun is good. I like it, but not as much as Pinky does.  This was my first time here.

This place does make the best Jajangmyun I tried so far, so you should check it out. I ordered the spicier version and it’s a dollar more than the normal one.  To me, it wasn’t that spicy, but it still has a little kick to it.  The chunks of meat are pretty big compared to other places I have been. I guess it’s pretty good.

However, I really really liked the appetizer. I have a knack for trying strange and unique things (except for seafood related things). Lemon Cream Dumpling? Now thats just genius. Like Pinky said… it’s a sorta like a dessert and it should savored right away. Its just that they served the food really fast the day we went and got our meal like 3 minutes after we got the dumplings.  It has a unique flavor and I really enjoyed it.  Very sweet and savory.

You should check this place out! The atmosphere is nice, but the modern day radio music sorta throws off the mood.  Expect spend anywhere from $10 -15 for a meal! I’d probably be coming again in the future…. because of Pinky. hahaha

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1/2 seafood Jjamppong (a seafood spicy noodle stew) and 1/2 Jajangmyun — Photo by Dave
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Chicken Noodle Soup $10.99 Noodle soup with chicken breast and vegetables in chicken broth –Photo by Dave

Our new friend, Vicki ordered the Chicken Noodle Soup and was shocked by the massive portion of it.  She did find a piece of hair in it though…the forever mystery of whose hair is it?

Dave ordered the 1/2 jjampong and 1/2 jajangmyun and said that the seafood part was spicy! He also thought it was pretty filling.

However, in the words of Dave:

Good friends > Good food

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Thanks for the treat, Dave!

Love,

Victor and Pinky

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