Novecento Holiday Party

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Hey, world.  It’s been crazy busy and Vic and I don’t get to see each other often since we’re both working and separated physically!  Therefore, regardless of how insanely late this is, we wanted to share our experience at Novecento.  An Argentinian restaurant/bar.  Pinky is interning and the company had a office holiday dinner party there.  Here were the menus for that night! {Apologies for the blurry photos, it was super dark!}

Continue reading “Novecento Holiday Party”

O Sole Mio

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2194 Nesconset Hwy
Stony Brook, NY 11790

We already reviewed the garlic knots for this place in a previous entry, however we definitely wanted to come back to try their actual PASTA! What other great opportunity would we take rather than when we visit our alma mater again? And this time, we had some extra taste buds from our friend, Mary.

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On this bustling Saturday night, the place was crowded in the front because of the take-out/pizza parlor near the entrance.  On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for some nice lighting and fancy sit-down dining you can go ahead and speak with the hostess.

That’s what we did!  We received some complimentary garlic knots,slices of bread, and bruschetta upon seating, as well as a plate of some good olive oil to dip.

There were many many choices of pasta, so we took a bit of time to decide.  Here is the menu for your review.  Our first choice was the appetizer Fried Ravioli.  Our server was nice enough to be patient with us and gave us some space to decide.

Mary ordered the Pasta Siciliana and Vic/I got the Alla Vodka.

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Fried Ravioli
Filled with ricotta cheese, lightly breaded and fried to perfection. Served with a side of tomato sauce for dipping. $8.99
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Pasta Siciliana
Served with pan fried eggplant in a filetto di pomodoro sauce with Rigatoni $12.50
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Alla Vodka
Pink cream and vodka sauce with a touch of meat with Linguine $13.50

Pinky says 4/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg

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I definitely recommend this place to who ever loves pasta (like I do).  Oftentimes I have these huge pasta cravings and now I wish that I went to O Sole Mio more while I was studying at Stony.  Actually, perhaps not because I would say that this place is not that cheap, but the portions are huge.  I would probably be more broke than I am now!  Great atmosphere and service for a good special occasion meal though.  The pasta that I had was really heavy.  This is not for the weak!  With everything, less is always more because I felt really disgusting near the end and felt like I was drinking heavy cream.   I could barely finish it, even though the waiter split the meal into half for Victor and me. BUT I WILL STILL HAVE IT AGAIN! Mm fat.

I tried some of Mary’s pasta and I loved the taste too.  The eggplant went really well with the sauce, despite the fact that I am not a big fan of eggplant.  The ravioli was just alright though.  I’m not sure what else they could have done to it to make it more special, but perhaps it was just because of the regular marinara sauce it was served with.  It was pretty pricey for only a couple of pieces.  The garlic knots in the beginning of the meal were again delicious, just like the last time we had them!

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

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Although this isn’t my first time here, it’s my first time in the restaurant portion of this Italian Restaurant/ Pizza Take-Out.  I actually wish I have gone here more too. The food here is just always so good. I just assumed this was mediocre,  since it was always advertised around the college we were at. Everything about this place is just wonderful. The pizzas here are like the (good) pizzas in New York City with the thin crust and perfect amount of cheese.

If you’re coming here to sit and dine, its a completely different atmosphere compared to the pizza take-out section. It actually feels like you’re in a fancy restaurant. The waiters are wonderful and are always stopping by to see if everything alright (which it was!)

The garlic knots,  slices of bread, and bruschetta were quite delectable.

The fried ravioli was okay, I guess. I don’t know what to really expect. I’ve always heard people rave about fried raviolis, but it didn’t stand out to me.  Maybe I’m just not the biggest fan of ricotta cheese.  Pinky and I ordered the Alla Vodka and the waiter was kind enough to split our plate into two dishes! I actually really enjoyed this dish and I think I could have finished one whole plate by myself 😛 The sauce was sweet, but it was really heavy and thick for a sauce. The added cheese gave it a more creamy texture. Everything just seemed right about this pasta. Nothing was overcooked and it just went well together. I’d get it again if I came here! I tried Mary’s pasta too! The taste wasn’t quite memorable, but I’m not the biggest fan of eggplant either.

So if you’re in the area, come check this place out for their pizzas, pastas, and everything else!

20131206_183220Thanks to Mary for chilling with us! And for letting us borrow your phone for these pictures…haha

El Nuevo Portal

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Greetings, everyone! Apologies for not posting for a long while!  So far, October has been a fully packed month. Stay tuned for an update about our month…meanwhile, enjoy this post about El Nuevo Portal!

217 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Menu here

It’s not always that Victor and I explore around Brooklyn, but we wanted to check this small friendly restaurant called El Nuevo Portal.  It was one of our stops while we were visiting some local thrift shops and small boutiques.

El Nuevo serves some authentic looking Latin food at an affordable price and served with smiles!  You can see the interior design of this place, on Google Maps (Strange first experience for Victor and I).  Nothing spectacular to speak about the design since this should be for a quick casual lunch and less fancy dinner option.

Once you enter, you can simply take a seat if you see an open table.  You do not have to order at the front, unless of course, you are ordering for take-out.  They are pretty laid-back about everything here!   Restroom was near the back, right next to the old jukebox of old music..The place was not sparkly clean, but decent enough!

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Breaded Beef Steak Sandwich $4.00
Rice with Chicken $8.00
Rice with Chicken $8.00

 

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

DSCN6306This restaurant is located in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and it’s a little over a mile walk from the Brooklyn Bridge.

We don’t always go out to the most beautiful and lavishly decorated restaurants, but that’s okay. As long as the food is good, I’m all set! So, on our latest adventure, we stopped El Nueva Portal (which translates to “The New Portal”). It was definitely a portal of food to my stomach.

Upon coming here, it may seem rather hectic, dependent on what time it is. We arrived just as lunch hour was coming to an end. We could still see people coming in and out, as we were seated and waiting for our food.

The menu has a large variety of food, ranging from sandwiches to tapas, rices dishes to stews. You should expect to have trouble selecting something when you come here.

I ordered Breaded Steak Sandwich and Pinky ordered Rice with Chicken, along with a complimentary basket of warm and crispy bread.  The breaded steak sandwich wasn’t dry at all and was very juicy. This sandwich is composed of a breaded piece of steak with lettuce and tomatoes sandwiched between crispy thin hero bread. For $4 dollars, it’s a tasty snack you grab on the go.

Pinky and I almost always get some sort of chicken and rice dish at any Spanish/ Latin American we go to. Different from the previous Latin restaurants we’ve been to, the chicken is actually mixed within the rice, whereas the previous restaurants put a piece of chicken on top. Regardless of how the chicken implemented into the dish, it still tasted excellent at El Neuvo Portal. They were very generous with their portions and this dish can easily feed two hungry people. The rice was very rich and buttery and there was actually a lot of chicken.

This place can get very busy at times, but it’s worth coming if you’re on a budget and if you’re hungry, even if it isn’t the nicest looking place.

Pinky says 4/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg

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This restaurant was delicious!  First off, I would have to say that the staff were very hard-working.  Although there were more customers than the staff could seem to handle during the lunch rush, they still pulled it off with a smile.  Kudos to you, El Nuevo.  Because of that, there were not enough free tables that were clean, but our waitress apologized before we even had any thought of complaining.

I looked at the place and I wasn’t expecting fancy decor, but expected family-oriented atmosphere and completely received that vibe.  The portions were huge and hot off the fire.

The bread that the waitress gave us was fresh out of the oven it seemed, with lots of butter flavor.  More importantly, it was not soggy, but crisp to the bite.  Yummy!

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My Rice with Chicken arrived and was completely overwhelmed by the mountain I had on my plate.  My first thought, “Oh I cannot finish this”, and it was a true statement… The chicken was tender and I loved the onions.  I realized that it was listed on the menu as “Rice with Chicken” insinuating that there was definitely going to be more rice than chicken.  However, I was still not disappointed!  Hot and FRESH.

I enjoyed the breaded beef steak!  It was a nice new texture to explore on sandwiches.  At the end of our meal, I took a portion of the rice and a small bite of the sandwich,home, so I could eat it the next day.  Even still, the flavor kept and was equally nice to my taste buds.

When Victor and I left, I was peering over to our neighbor’s meal at the next table.  Dang, he ordered some kind of stew.  It smelled so good and we could tell that he was a regular there.  Next time, we shall try that!

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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

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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.

Press 195: Are they REALLY “Sandwich Kings”?

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22 N Park Ave
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

This gorgeously decorated restaurant is a local favorite to Rockville Centre, NY.  They serve good selection of beers and has a full bar…as well as a wide variety of pressed sandwiches (hot or cold), fries, soups, burgers, knishes, and salads!

They even do free local delivery from Monday – Sunday 11:30am to 9:30pm.  If you’re in the area…you know to call 516-536-1950.

You cannot miss this place with the nicely designed sign “PRESS 195” and the floor to ceiling glass, where you can peer into the full-bar area.

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They also offer Lunch Specials from Monday -Friday 11am – 3pm for half a sandwich/salad AND Belgian fries/house salad/soup of the day FOR ONLY $10!!!

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#43: Crispy Panko breaded chicken cutlet, grilled pineapple, Canadian bacon, Monterey Jack and Press 195’s famous chipotle sauce $10.00

Victor says 4.25Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail3fish

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These sandwiches are delicious and savory.

Press 195 is an interesting, yet beautiful restaurant. It has warm colors and has a lot of windows for allow natural light. It’s aesthetically pleasing and this place is just nice to be in. The waitress we had was very nice, but she didn’t ask if we ever wanted refills or any napkins.

Now onto the food and drinks!

I ordered a root beer float. Pinky wanted an alcoholic drink, but sadly… it was happy hours… but not where we sat. The root beer float was okay. I’m pretty sure I could have made it myself. It was just 2 scoops of ice cream with Saranac Root Beer. Still… I really enjoy drinks from Saranac.

Repeating what I said earlier, the sandwiches are delicious and savory. I ordered a Hot Press sandwich #43. It contains Crispy Panko breaded chicken cutlet, grilled pineapple, Canadian bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, and Press 195’s famous chipotle sauce sandwiched in between 2 slices of crispy Ciabatta bread.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… it sounds like something you may have had before, BUT ITS NOT. Its pretty freaking good…. and savory. I ordered the 1/2 Hot press sandwich with belgian fries lunch combo fo $10. If I could change something that day about the dining options, I would have just bought a whole sandwich without fries. It’s not that the fries were bad… it’s just that sandwich was so good. Remember… it’s quality over quantity!

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Getting back to the sandwich… Sandwich #43 just melted in my mouth. The flavors complimented each other well. It was sweet and also a bit spicy. The chicken wasn’t too dry and you can taste the seasoning on it. I loved every bite of this sandwich. I think what makes this place so good is their delicious ciabatta bread. It is so crunchy and that it doesn’t seem like ciabatta bread. Its like an English toast muffin with that crisp. It’s unique and I would love to eat these sandwiches again in the near future.

Definitely go check it out! Not very expensive and it’s quite good too!

#38: Grilled sliced steak, avocado, sweet onion jam, fresh Mozzarella and creamy roasted pepper dressing (Originally $11.00 for full; however as shown 1/2 sandwich with Belgian fries $10.00)
#38: Grilled sliced steak, avocado, sweet onion jam, fresh Mozzarella and creamy roasted pepper dressing (Originally $11.00 for full; however as shown 1/2 sandwich with Belgian fries $10.00)

Pinky says 4.5 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

DSCN5576This place is so amazing.  I just wish it was a lot closer for me…Even though they have a second location in Bayside (I hate riding the bus) I can’t even head out there.  I was first impressed by their front door and all the mirrors and shiny decorated walls.  It has a lot of natural light and can be seen as very trendy and modern.

I was really excited to go to this place because of all the good ratings on Yelp.  Yes, they are indeed true! I want to come back here often, as they have soo many sandwiches to try.  I actually had one in mind, then the waitress came and asked me what I wanted.  I answered, but in actuality I later realized I forgot my first choice and ordered a random one, #38.

The steak was so tender!! I’ve never had onion jam — It was delightful, however I still would like more physical pieces of onion, not just them mushed together.  It still worked really well with the avocado though.  THE BREAD was the most fantastic thing on earth.  Cripsy, crunchy, and most important delicious.

I initially wanted the #29, Grilled marinated sliced steak, tomato, Provolone cheese, onions and homemade Chimichurri sauce.  That is definitely on my first choice, once I step into this place again.

AND CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE?! $10 lunch special with BELGIAN FRIES?! AND THAT MANY?! I almost fainted.  You loyal readers know I’m a sucker for fries.  They were hot to touch and fresh to taste.  There were some burnt ones on my plate though..I was a bit bummed out that they charge more for their Chipotle dipping sauce.  Good thing I got a taste from Victor’s sandwich.  Mwahah. Again, to die for.

Note: My half star off was because I was bummed that they don’t offer the same happy hour price for their alcoholic drinks if you sit in the dining area.  You have to be sitting at the bar if you want those prices.  BIG BUMMER.

Other than that, this place…..heavenly.

Extra shots.

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Stromboli craze and how Pinky wished she attended Rutgers University

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49 Easton Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This very unique pub is very popular among the students who attend Rutgers…and I clearly see why.  Upon arrival, you have very nice waitresses who put you first! She was kind enough to suggest a bigger table for our party of five, even when we had no complaints of a regular table!

By the entrance there is a huge decorative version of their “mascot” boli the kid…very humorous, I’m sure!  It was even more humorous when we saw the “Fish Bowls” which are 60 ounces of their specialty cocktails (Horny Hawaiian, Blue Bang, Island Escape, and Blue Flamingo).DSCN4577

What else makes this place special? Their strombolis… These are specialty hand-made “wraps” made out of pizza dough and have your favorite Italian meats, cheeses, sauces and vegetables as delicious fillings.  They also offer not only one or two types of stromboli, but have a whole menu of 30 different types! Can’t commit to having one type? They even offer you an option to make your own…so take some flavors from here and there!! As if you didn’t have enough options, you can also choose to have a baby-size (small 4.5 inches), regular (9 inches), and a huge (18 inches).  You can check their menu ahead of time here.

Their decor looked very college-esque.  Reminded me of a frat house! Here are some pictures of the interior.
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Here is Stuff Yer Face featured in Man Vs Food!

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my favorite boli of onions, peppers, mozz cheese, tomato sauce, (+5 more) pepperoni, steak, mushrooms, spinach, brie super size $12.15

Victor and friend..posing with strombolis
Victor and friend..posing with strombolis

Victor says: 4/5

Our quest for Stuff Yer Face began after I remembered about the eateries around New Brunswick on Man vs. Food. I originally wanted to try the Fat Sandwiches there, but stromboli’s just seemed like the more sensible choice on a rainy day.

Also, their mascot looks like a really freaky version of Quagmire from family guy, but still a fun little mascot I guess.

The interior isn’t the prettiest. Like Pinky said, it almost looks like a college frat house with all those posters. The tables look a little sticky and the windows look like they haven’t been washed in forever. Even though it doesn’t look very nice the room we were, the food was amazing and waitresses were really attentive to us.

Their bolis are typically around 7 dollars for the large (9 inches) or baby combo ( 4.5 inches with soup or salad) or 11 dollars for HUGE one (18 inches). Pinky and I ordered a huge boli and split it. You must have a large stomach if you want to finish the huge in one sitting… like Adam Richman from Man vs Food.

We ordered the My Favorite boli, which allows you to pick any 5 stuffings (meats, veggies, cheeses, and sauces) with tomato sauce, onions, and mozzarella cheese.  We ordered ours with pepperoni, steak, brie cheese, spinach, and mushrooms. Taking our first bite was simply amazing. I thought it was wonderful blend of ingredients, but it definitely could have been better with  the addition of a sauce. The tomato sauce alone was really watery and it was mouth burning hot when the juices gushed out of the boli. They are also generous with their ingredient portions. It’s pretty much a pizza burrito.  I would definitely like to come back here and try out their other bolis one day.

For you party animals and drinkers, you can give their fishbowls or drafts a try 😛

Check this place out! I give it two thumbs up!

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Pinky says 4/5

If I were to go attend a college…for their offered food, I would definitely go to Rutgers.  How incredibly lucky they are to have this place near them!   I loved the feel of the place and how chill everyone is.  Can there be a motto better than, “Get stuffed…” ?! The area around Rutgers seems to be such a beautiful one! Such a college town, it reminded me a bit of Boston..strange!!!

Myself, Vic, and some friends definitely had a good time over our fresh strombolis.  It brought me back to our college days!  Before this I’ve actually never eaten one, so I have been definitely missing out.  I really enjoyed having a crispy pizza dough wrap rather than the traditional soggy ones.  Although, I regret not ordering another sauce since the tomato sauce was more watery tomato juice than anything.  Other than that I couldn’t stop eating it!!!

As for the fishbowl, I thought it was an amazing idea — I had a bit too much fun with the extremely long straws.  I can’t imagine finishing the whole cup though.. 60 ounces of crazy! That’s why they limit one per person, I’m assuming.  We had the Horny Hawaiian and it tasted more like pineapple juice! Very fruity, but don’t underestimate rum!

Just found out that Mario Batali used to work here…dang!!! Read more about Mario Batali here.

pitcher of water comparison to Horny Hawaiian fish bowl ($14) 60 ounces!
pitcher of water comparison to Horny Hawaiian fish bowl ($14) 60 ounces!

Bayou Staten Island; GATOR WHAT?!

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1072 Bay St
Staten Island, NY 10305
Menu

Once you come into this dimly lit restaurant, there is what it seems a mysterious aura it gives off…It would remind you of any high class restaurant located in the heart of Manhattan, although this place is in (out of all places) Staten Island!

The decor consists of many masks that remind me of masquerades and numerous mardi gras beads hanging against a brick wall.  Also, there are full-size old classic style movie posters.

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Near the back, there is additional seating and to the side the restrooms are not labelled “men” and “women”, but labelled something else. See for yourself!  Outside the restrooms, there are awards hung on the wall..but not very much room to gaze at them.

Apparently, they serve dinner 3-course prixe fix meals, however Vic and I came during lunch time.  It serves as a quiet romantic atmosphere and the staff are quite nice.  Once seated, the host gives you the menu and a drinks menu.

{What about their specialty though??? Read on!}

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sweet potato fritters (daily lunch special $8) dinner price; $9
sweet potato fritters (daily lunch special $8) dinner price; $9
gator burger $12 includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)
gator burger — yes a GATOR BURGER {mixed with pork} — $12 includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)

DSCN3891DSCN3895Victor Says:3.75/5

This was a rather interesting find for me.  After living on Staten Island for so many years, I didn’t think there would be any exquisite restaurants besides your usual diners. From looks of the exterior, you probably would have no idea what it would look like inside. For me, it was like stepping into another world.

Walking in, you already begin to hear the jazzy and soul music. On the left, you have this giant mural of Louie Armstrong with a bunch or awards and plaques.. and on the right, you have the bar before you even step into the actual restaurant section.

After being seated, you see a lot of things you won’t see in your typical restaurants: Mardi gra beads everywhere , Masquerade masks along the walls and lights, old movie posters, an alligator gypsy, and much more! It does seem a bit understaffed though because our waitress was also the bartender.

For the appetizers, I ordered sweet potato fritters. It was recommended by several people after reading some reviews on Yelp, so I guess I had to try it out! Basically, it’s a sweet potato ball with pieces of sausage mixed into it that’s deep-fried with spicy mayo sauce on top. I guess it’s bit pricey for something that seems simple, but they made it pretty good in my own opinion. I was actually completely imagining something else when I ordered it. I was thinking of little fritos or something. The fritters have a nice crispy texture, but once you bite into it, you get to the core of the sweet potato ball. Its smooth and not too sweet. It’s quite delectable and the spicy mayo makes it so much better. I definitely think that they could have added more spicy mayo to it because it was just so good. The pieces of sausage gave the fritter the salty taste it needed.

So for the entree… I ordered a Gator Burger. Before everyone gives me crap like “oh isn’t that seafood” or “alligators are endangered” or whatever…. IT’S SEAFOOD AND IT’S NOT ENDANGERED. I also know that it lives in the water most of the time and blah blah blah. Yeah…. I was well aware of what was going to happen after eating this burger.

So…. enough that… The gator burger was rather interesting, the least to say. It’s pork and alligator meat that’s been mixed and seasoned into a patty. It was put on a large toasted English muffin with lettuce and tomatoes with curly fries as a side. The burger had a crispy outer layer, but the inside of the burger was extremely soft and tender. It was like nothing I ever tasted. It was very salty and herb-y however. I had to add a bunch of hot sauce so it wouldn’t be as salty. It just had unique taste because I never had pork or alligator for a burger before. The burger was okay, but it was difficult for me eat it. Like as if my own soul was like fighting with my body as if broke some royal decree. Each bite seemed harder than the next, so I sorta ate the burger as quick as I could after the mid-point. I guess if I wasn’t really thinking about it that much, I probably would have enjoyed it bit more.

I guess if you want to try something different, you can check out it this place. I would still recommend despite my weird experience with gator burger. The atmosphere is quiet and romantic and food is decent. It’s not extremely expensive either. Give this place a go if you’re into Southern food!

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French Quarter $8.95; Grilled chicken, Brie,onions and roasted peppers — includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)

Pinky Says 3.75/5

This place was definitely a fancy restaurant and I kept thinking that Manhattan would be a better place for this kind of food.  Despite the fact that there were forks and knives falling everywhere in this place (clumsy busboy) — they were nice to us and were professional.  Despite its classiness atmosphere, they were using these — brown paper towel table linings beneath our plates.  Strange….Sorta drops the classy level down for me. When Vic told me that this place offered GATOR burgers I was like WHAT. HOW and WHAT.

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The fritters came by first though, as our appetizer — they were very very mushy inside like sweet mashed potato while simultaneously being very crispy outside.  However, I didn’t really like the fact that it was $8 a plate haha. I believe I could just make that myself! I actually wanted more of that spicy mayo it’s served with.  They were laid upon some strangely colored lettuce…

Okay, I ordered the French Quarter because I thought it was going to be healthy.  I was really being dumb because how can anything with awesome to-die-for brie cheese EVER be healthy? It was probably the most unhealthiest sandwich ever! Haha.  There were two pieces of grilled chicken NOT one.  The pieces were cooked to perfection, being STILL moist and not of cardboard texture.  It was of course not a very lady-like meal since the whole thing was covered in grease and I couldn’t get a hold of it because of its ginormous size.  I would have enjoyed some lettuce or any other vegetables other than the red peppers though.  There were overwhelmingly big pieces of red peppers and very few onions !! — The thing I dislike the most is soggy buns and the bottom piece of bread was SOAKED. It was crazy filling though…only could eat half of it.

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I did like the sweet potato fries though.  They were not mushy, but crisp and hot to touch.

I tried also a bite of the gator burger…was not very satisfied — as I encrypted an image of a baby gator with all its scaly skin pulled apart. Oh, no…It was strangely very salty.  Don’t think I could have handled a whole patty of that.  It was mushy..and salty..beglhlegeh.

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.

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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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.

DSCN9821 Online Menu HERE.DSCN9822

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…

Akropolis Greek Restaurant

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Complimentary chickpeas!

127 Smithtown Blvd
Ste 16
Nesconset, NY 11767

Hands down, one of the best Greek restaurants in Long Island. I’ve been here twice, and they do not disappoint. It’s not a very popular place, but it definitely worth the visit. It is inexpensive and they offer coupons on their website: www.akropolisrestaurant.com.

Just by walking into the restaurant, you get this very homey atmosphere.  Everyone just looks like  they are having a good time eating. I guess that’s the main goal of most restaurants though. This restaurant is at the end of a mall strip, so keep your eyes open!

Athenian Mushrooms – Mushrooms cooked in white wine and stuffed with spinach, feta and melted mozzarella, served with pita. $6.95

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Our GYROS! $7.95 each!
Our GYROS! $7.95 each!

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Victor says: 4.5/5 Great!!

One of my favorite places to go! The portions here are huge and the food is not too expensive. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere feels like its someone’s home. Above all, the food tastes great!

As a complimentary dish, they offer a bowl of chickpeas garnished with white onions and a basket of pita bread. Everything was relatively fresh and it seemed as if the pita bread just came out of the oven. I would advise you not to eat too much of it if you are here with one other, since it is very filling. There are many more things to try as well!

An appetizer I really enjoy is the Athenian Mushrooms. I would have to say these are the best mushrooms I have had to date. the mushrooms are cooked in a white wine with spinach and cheese on the top. Just one mushroom is extremely filling. What really makes this dish stand out is truly the taste of the mushroom. Just by taking one bite of this mushroom, you can taste the sweet and rich juices of the mushroom and having been cooked in the wine. I would definitely recommend checking this out!

I had a  beef and lamb gyro with yogurt sauce, but I don’t regret getting it. I know I probably should have tried something different, but oh well. This was the biggest gyro I ever had. I was already so full when it came out too. But nevertheless, it was still wonderfully delicious. There were more slices of meat than lettuce, and the meat was so juicy and tender. The meat was savory and it was seasoned well. Even though it just sounds like your average gyro, everything about this gyro just seemed to right.

Coming back here a second time, I ordered a gyro again, and I was still pleased with it. Maybe next time I will try something different. If you’re around Long Island, I would highly recommend coming here!

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Pinky says: 4.5/5

Okay, so you might be saying to yourself.  Pinky, you are quite crazy! Throwing all these high ratings  everywhere! BUT NO. Trust us this place…is so amazing. The complimentary chickpeas and pita bread were delicious already.  The chickpeas were in this sort of olive oil mixture with lemon juice I believe…  I have never had that kind of taste before!
We shared the Athenian Mushrooms and I LOVE spinach.  The food was so fresh and hot…the cheese was so much but sooo good.  My mouth is watering already…FETA AND MOZZ? What can go wrong here? The dish was a bit salty and sour, it was quite an interesting flavor.  I believe they put some wine in it.  Although there are only four knobs of mushrooms, this dish was already quite satisfying and filling.  And this was only the appetizer!

I just ordered a regular gyro.  I believe this was the first time Vic told me how to pronounce it correctly lol (EURO?) I never really ordered this much before because…i’ll tell you a secret.. I was too embarrassed to make a mistake of mispronouncing it LOL.  I made Vic order it this time :P.  As you may know, the gyro has lamb beef with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.  THE THING WAS AS BIG AS MY FACE.  It was so filling that I had to bring it back home.  The first time we were here, I didn’t know that I could ask for extra yogurt sauce of no charge!  So if you’re taking the food home, make sure you ask! :]  You’ll be glad you did.  But hey, maybe you can finish the whole thing in one sitting :P…it’s delicious to finish it all either way!

IMAG1745IMAG1747 Some funny pics of how we were so surprised how much food they gave us! :]

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