Archive | April, 2009

Otafuku

29 Apr

Otafuku

Rating: ★★★★☆
236 E 9 St (btwn 2nd Ave & Stuyvesant St), New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-8503
Price: $
Hours:
Mon-Thu 1 pm – 10 pm
Fri-Sat 12 pm – 11 pm
Sun 12 pm – 10 pm
Nearest Transit:
Astor Place (6)
8th St-Broadway (R, W)
3rd Ave-14th St (L)
Facebook // Foursquare

Otafuku is usually crowded with people eating their takoyaki (hot wheat-flour balls with a piece of boiled octopus inside) outside of the shop because they don’t have proper seating and the customers can’t wait to eat their takoyaki (me included). There’s often a 5-20 minute wait for takoyaki because they sell so well, but you can call ahead with your order so you don’t have to wait. In addition to takoyaki, they also sell yakisoba (pan-fried noodles) and okonomiyaki (Japanese-style unsweetened pancake). Try one of their four combos, I often order combo B (6pcs takoyaki & 1pc okonomi) or C (6pcs takoyaki & 1/2 yakisoba). They don’t accept credit cards, remember to bring cash.

Otafuku

Otafuku
Combo C (6pcs takoyaki & 1/2 yakisoba) – $9

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Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

29 Apr

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

Rating: ★★★☆☆
620 8th Ave (btwn 40th St & 41st St), New York, NY 10018
info@schnippers.com
Website
(212) 921-2400
Price: $$
Hours:
Mon-Thu 11 am – 9 pm
Fri-Sat 11 am – 11 am
Sun 11 am – 8 am
Nearest Transit:
8th Ave-42nd St (A, C, E, 1, 2, 3, S, 7, N, Q, R, W)
42nd St-5th Ave-6th Ave (7, B, D, F, V)
Twitter // Facebook // Foursquare

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen is a fast food joint in a diner environment. Food is made to order and rather quickly for that matter. Their burgers are surprisingly good and the mac and joe is one of my favorites. They serve wine and beer to complement your meal as well has handcrafted milk shakes and unlimited refills of fountain drinks. Their sweet potato fries are popular amongst the crowd; I haven’t tried yet it, but I will on my next visit. There’s plenty of seating indoor and out (when weather permits) with a rest room intended only for customers (door code on the receipt). Schnippers is not the most healthiest of places to grab a bit nor is it a “must try”, but they do have decent food and it’s worth trying for individuals longing for a burger in the theater district. Be warned, Schnippers is a bit pricey and if you’re ordering a burger remember to state how you’d like it cooked, or else it will be served medium.

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen
Mac and Joe – $6.99

Schnipper’s Quality KitchenSchnipper’s Quality Kitchen
Sloppy Fries – $6.99

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen
Hamburger and Fries – $8.25 (5.50+2.75)

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen

The Big Red Tomato

29 Apr

The Big Red Tomato

Rating: ★★★★☆
1205 Anderson Ave, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Website
(201) 224-6500
Price: $$
Hours:
Mon-Thurs 11 am – 9:45pm
Fri 11 am – 10:45pm
Sat 4 pm – 10:45pm
Sun 3 pm – 9:45pm
Facebook // Foursquare

The Big Red Tomato (BRT) has the best Italian food I’ve ever had in New Jersey. There’s nothing fancy about BRT, they’re simply a casual family-style Italian restaurant that serves dam good food. Their pastas are always perfect, their pizzas are great for the kids and the free garlic knots are always a great starter. They have great friendly service, their prices are reasonable and on top of that they’re BYOB. It does however, get busy during dinner and there’s usually a wait, but it’s worth it. They don’t have a parking lot and street parking near the restaurant is limited, so you might have to circle for a bit. I really like their pastas and recommend everyone try the Linguni Mariano and the Spaghetti Capacha.

The Big Red Tomato

The Big Red Tomato
Every table gets a free bucket of bread and garlic knots

The Big Red Tomato
Linguini Mariano (chicken, broccoli, mushrooms and pimentos sauteed in a light cream sauce) – $11.95

The Big Red Tomato
Shrimp Special of Day – $18

The Big Red Tomato
Sauteed Broccoli Rebe – $5.25

The Big Red Tomato

The Big Red Tomato

Nam Son Vietnamese Restaurant

29 Apr

Nam Son Vietnamese Restaurant

Rating: ★★★★☆
245 Grand Street (btwn Bowery & Chrystie St), New York, NY 10002
(212) 966-6507
Price: $
Hours:
Mon – Sun 12 pm – 11 pm
Nearest Transit:
Grand Street (B, D)
Bowery (J, M)
Facebook // Foursquare

NAM SO’N is a great place to get authentic Vietnamese dishes. They’re second on my list (use to be first) of restaurants to visit for Vietnamese food, Pho Bang Restaurant is first. Nam Son’s food is very consistent and they come at a great value (huge portions at a low cost), but Pho Bang triumphs them because they’re tastier and slightly cheaper. I like Nam Son’s grilled pork chops, but their bun and pho are not bad either.

Nam Son Vietnamese Restaurant
Com Suon Bi (Grilled Pork Chop on White Rice) – $5.25

Nam Son Vietnamese Restaurant
Pho Ca Vien (Combination Rice Noodles Beef Soup w. Fish Balls) – $5.50

Dessert Truck

28 Apr

Dessert Truck

Rating: ★★★☆☆
3rd Ave & St. Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003
mail@desserttruck.com
Website
(215) 468-1546
Price: $
Nearest Transit:
Astor Place (6)
8th St-Broadway (R, W)
1st Ave-14th St (L)
Twitter // Facebook // Foursquare

Dessert Truck is not your average food truck, their desserts are gourmet and can rival any of the big boys in the industry. They specialize mostly in chocolate treats, but also serve a couple of non chocolate desserts as well. Their truck is usually parked on 55th St. and Lexington from 12pm to 3pm (Mon-Fri) and on St. Marks Place and 3rd Ave from 6pm to 12am (Mon-Sun). Their menu changes from time to time and they tend to run out of the popular items (Chocolate Pread Pudding & Molton Cake) way before the end of their shift. I love their Creme Brulee, Pretzel Barks and Chocolate Bread Pudding.

Dessert Truck
MILK Chocolate, Hazelnut & Pretzel Bark – $3

Sapporo

21 Apr

Sapporo

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
152 W 49th St (btwn Avenue Of The Americas & 7th Ave), New York, NY 10019
(212) 869-8972
Price: $
Nearest Transit:
49 St (N, Q, R)
50 St (1, 2)
47 – 50 Sts – Rockefeller Ctr (B, D, F, M)
Facebook // Foursquare

Sapporo is a “has been” in the ramen market, they’re no longer what they use to be. I came here last saturday hoping to have some decent ramen, but instead I was greeted with watery ill flavored broth, overcooked noodles that taste like cardboard and toppings that were bland. The waiter also forgot to put in my order of gyoza, but I’m glad she forgot. It saved me $5 on flavorless dumplings that I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed anyway, this coming from my friend who previously ate at Sapporo and had the dumplings. In addition to their tasteless ramen, they also enforce a 18.4% service charge on your bill regardless of party size. I can understand enforcing a service charge on large parties, but for a party of two where the waiter does not take my order properly they’re not deserving of a 18.4% tip regardless of the actual amount. Now I’m a fair tipper and I tend to leave a larger than average percentage, but this is just wrong. One can only image why Sapporo started enforcing a service charge, perhaps many left low or no tip because their food/service is so awful. Needless to say, I won’t be dining here again.

Sapporo

Sapporo
Menma Ramen – $7.50

Sapporo
Shio Ramen – $7.50

Baoguette Cafe

21 Apr

Baoguette Cafe

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
37 St. Mark’s Pl (btwn 2nd Ave & 1st Ave), New York, NY 10003
Website
(347) 892-2614
Price: $
Hours:
Mon-Thu, Sun 11 am – 12 am
Fri-Sat 11 am – 2 am
Nearest Transit:
Astor Place (6)
8th St-Broadway (R, W)
1st Ave-14th St (L)
Facebook // Foursquare

Baoguette Cafe is a small Vietnamese sandwich and noodle house that looks like your average modern Southeast Asian street cafe. Their store front is retractable and on nice days they leave the complete front wall open. The majority of their customers takeout but they do have seats, either at the bar or on communal tables. Customers also have the option to order online and either pickup or have it delivered. They don’t accept credit cards, CASH only.

In terms of food, their sandwiches are decent, but everything else is very disappointing. Their bread is moderately fresh and they’re generous with the ingredients, but you can get a better Vietnamese sandwich at Paris Bakery or Bahn Mi Saigon for a fraction of the cost. Their Noodles and Rice dishes are to be avoided at all cost. They over season their meats leaving it extremely salty and unbearable to eat. If you want some real Vietnamese noodles (Pho or B’UN) or rices dishes head over to Pho Bang on Mott Street where it’s more authentic and cost effective.

Baoguette Cafe
Baoguette (Classic Banh Mi) – $5

Baoguette Cafe
B’UN BO – $9

Yokohama St. Honore (横浜サンノーレ)

21 Apr

SANY0152

Rating: ★★★☆☆
595 River Road (in the Mitsuwa Marketplace), Edgewater, NJ 07020
Website
(201) 941-1941
Price: $
Foursquare

Yokohama St. Honore is a Japanese bakery that can be found next to Italian Tomato in the New Jersey Mitsuwa Marketplace. It specialize in Japanese style bread and pastries, but is best known for their Kyoto Bologne, a danish-style bread made by layering dough and baked in a loaf pan. You have to be quick to snag one, they usually sell out in a matter of minutes. There’s also a good variety of Japanese buns and sandwiches to choose from, I like their curry croquette bun ($1.6) and raisin ball ($1.5).

Overall, St. Honore is a great place to grab fresh Japanese bread or pastries. Do remember to bring cash, they don’t accept credit cards.

Yokohama St. Honore

Yokohama St. Honore

Yokohama St. Honore

Yokohama St. Honore
Kyoto Bologne – $7

Yokohama St. Honore
Toasted Kyoto Bologne

Yokohama St. Honore
Curry Croquette Bun – $1.60

Yokohama St. Honore
Cheese Cake

Yokohama St. Honore
Tofu Donut

Yokohama St. Honore
Black Sesame Pudding

Yokohama St. Honore
Mochi Donut

Yokohama St. Honore
Melonpan

Yokohama St. Honore
Fruit Tart

Oyakodon (親子丼)

20 Apr

Oyakodon (親子丼)

Oyakodon is Japanese rice bowl dish, in which chicken, egg, yellow onion, and other ingredients are all simmered together in a sauce and then served on top of a large bowl of rice.

Needed Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice (I used brown rice)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 pound of chicken thighs (can be substituted with chicken breast)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of shirodasji shoyu (no colored soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 jumbo egg or 2 smaller eggs
  • 3 stems of mitsuba (can be substituted with or in addition to other ingredients, such yellow onion)
  • 1/6 teaspoon of salt

Serving Size: 1

18 Minutes (4 Minutes Prep)

Directions:

  1. Prepare 1 cups of rice in the rice cooker / pot (wash and provide adequate water – 1 2/3 cup suggested) and leave it to cook
  2. Slice the chicken into small pieces and season it with a 1/6 teaspoon of salt
  3. Oyakodon (親子丼)

  4. Slice the mitsuba so that they are about an inch long
  5. Beat one jumbo egg or two smaller eggs
  6. Prepare Sauce:
    – Pour 1/3 cup of water into a bowl
    – Add 1/2 teaspoon of shirodashi shoyu to the bowl
    – Add a 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and stir
  7. When rice is done, place rice in an oversized bowl and begin cooking the chicken by pour the sauce on a pan with moderate heat
  8. Add the sliced chicken to the pan and let it simmer until chicken is cooked
  9. Oyakodon (親子丼)

  10. Then add the sliced mitsuba and beaten eggs evenly over the pan
  11. Oyakodon (親子丼)

  12. Let it sit til the egg is almost cooked
  13. Then slide it over the rice in the oversized bowl
  14. Oyakodon (親子丼)

There you have a delicious bowl of Oyakodon for one. Enjoy!

Katsuhana

20 Apr

Katsuhana

Rating: ★★★☆☆
595 River Road (in the Mitsuwa Marketplace), Edgewater, NJ 07020
Website
(201) 941-9113
Price: $
Foursquare

Katsuhana is tucked in the food court section of the Mitsuwa Marketplace. They offer a good variety of katsu at decent prices. The majority of their sets come with miso soup, tofu, Japanese pickles, shredded cabbage, rice and fruits/ jello dessert. My usual at Katsuhana is their berkshire pork tender loin cutlet set, which goes for $7.50. Their portions are fair and it’s the closest to authentic katsu I’ve found in New Jersey. Remember to bring CASH, they don’t accept credit here.

Katsuhana
Realistic replicas of items on their menu

Katsuhana
Berkshire Pork Tender Loin Cutlet Set – $7.50

Katsuhana

Katsuhana

Katsuhana