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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

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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

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

Go Go Curry

20 Apr

Go Go Curry

Rating: ★★★★☆
273 W 38th St (btwn 7th Ave & 8th Ave), New York, NY 10018
Website
(212) 730-5555
Price: $
Hours:
Mon-Sun 11 am – 10 pm
Nearest Transit:
Times Sq – 42 St (7, 7X)
Times Sq – 42 St (1, 2, 3, N, Q, R)
42 St – Port Authority Bus Terminal (A, C, E)
Twitter // Facebook // Foursquare

Go Go Curry is a hole in the wall curry house that offers one of the best deals on quality curry and katsu in the city. Their name is inspired by Yankee slugger, Hideki Matsui. His jersey number 55 can be pronounced ‘go go’ in Japanese. The owner’s obsession with the slugger can be seen in the form of wall to wall memorabilia throughout the store, but that obsession translates into value for the customer because everyday night Hideki Matsui hits a home run, the following day customers are awarded with one free topping of their choice.

The menu is simple, it’s all curry with your choice of katsu (pork), chicken katsu, shrimp or sausage. There are four sizes to choose from: walk ($7), medium ($7.5), large ($8.5), and extra large ($9.5). Additional toppings like fukujinzuke, cheese, and natto range from $1-2. You can also opt to get their Grand Slam Platter with two katus, two sausages, a shrimp and a boiled egg with rice for only $12.50. If your feeling really hungry, try their 5.5 pound World Champion Platter that contains a katsu, chicken katsu, four sausages, two shrimps and a boiled egg with rice ($25). I often order their medium katsu if I’m eating alone or the Grand Slam Platter to share.

Overall, Go Go Curry is a great spot for a quick comforting lunch or dinner and I highly recommend this place if your a fan Japanese curry like me. Remember to bring CASH because this place does not accept plastic.

Go Go Curry
Their Grand Slam Plate – Perfect for 2 to share or one really hungry individual – $12.50

Go Go Curry
Single Shrimp Curry – $7.50

Go Go Curry
Single Chicken Curry – $7.50

Go Go Curry
Single Katsu Curry – $7.50

Go Go Curry
Single Sausage Curry – $7.50

Go Go Curry
An ad for their World Champion Plate – weighs 5.5 pounds – $25

Santouka Ramen

16 Apr

Santouka Ramen

Rating: ★★★★☆
595 River Road (Inside Mitsuwa Market Place), Edgewater, NJ 07020
Website
(201) 941-1004
Price: $
Hours:
Mon-Sat 11 am – 8:30 pm
Sun 11 am – 8 pm
Foursquare

Santoka is well known for its ramen shops in Japan, where they have dozens of locations. Outside of Japan they have only seven, six in the States (one in New Jersey) and the remainder in Hong Kong (Causeway Bay). They’re famous for their delicious ramen noodles in a full-flavor soup. When it comes to ramen, the soup is just as important as the noodles and Santoka has them both. Their noodles are fresh and their soup is amazingly good. They have three serving sizes (small, regular and large) and four soup bases (salt, miso, spicy miso and soy sauces) to choose from. My favorite is the shio (salt) and if your like me who likes an egg with my ramen, I recommend getting the set. For additional $2 you get an egg and your choice of side rice. You can find Santoka in the food court section of the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, NJ. Be prepared to wait on line, this place has a huge following and gets really busy on the weekends. In like-Japanese fashion, Santoka only accepts cash so don’t bank on using the plastic here. Overall, Santoka is great place for ramen, probably the best in New Jersey, but Ippudo is still the best I’ve ever had in the US.

Santouka Ramen
Realistic replicas of items on their menu

Santouka Ramen
Their menu as of April 16, 2009

Santouka Ramen
Shio and Shoyu Ramen set

Lunch at Santouka Ramen 22Feb2012c
Shio Ramen set

Santouka RamenSantouka Ramen
Hiyashi Chuka (seasonal – only offered during the summer)

Santouka Ramen
Sticky rice (special – not offered regularly)

Santouka Ramen
Natto rice

Paris Sandwich Bakery Cafe

15 Apr

Paris Sandwich Bakery Cafe

Rating: ★★★☆☆
113 Mott St (btwn Canal St & Hester St), New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-7221
Price: $
Nearest Transit:
Canal Street (M, Z, N, Q, R, W, 6)
Grand Street (B, D)
Foursquare

Paris Sandwich Bakery Cafe has a good variety of Banh Mi (Vietnamese) sandwiches. Their baguettes are made fresh on the premises and their sandwiches are served toast hot in a timely manner. I usually order the Paris Special Baguette (Banh Mi Dac Biet – $4) or the Shredded Chicken Baguette (Banh Mi Nem Nuong – $4). In addition to their sandwiches, they also serve a host of Vietnamese appetizers, entrees, drinks, desserts, and snacks. I’ve tried their shrimp ($4) and spring rolls ($2.50), which are decent and I’m a fan of their green tea waffle ($1), but I absolutely hate their mango paradise dessert. It taste like sugar water with a few small pieces of mango and lychee. Even worse, I purchased it after coming across a very misleading advertisement (see pic below). Needless to say, I don’t recommend the mango paradise, but overall Paris Sandwich is a great place for a Banh Mi baguette or a green tea waffle and nothing else.

Paris Sandwich Bakery Cafe
Green Tea Waffle – $1

Paris Sandwich Bakery Cafe
Mango Paradise – comparison of the advertised and actual product

Pommes Frites

15 Apr

Pommes Frites

Rating: ★★★★☆
123 2nd Ave (btwn 7th St & St Marks Pl), New York, NY 10003
pommesfrites123@hotmail.com
Website
(212) 674-1234
Price: $
Hours:
Sun-Thur 11:30 am – 1 am
Fri-Sat 11:30 am – 3:30 am
Nearest Transit:
Astor Place (6)
8th St-Broadway (R, W)
Twitter // Foursquare

Pommes Frites serves the best authentic Belgian fries in town. Their fries are freshly cut and fried twice to golden perfection. They come in three cone sizes: regular ($4.50), large ($6.25), and double ($7.75). There are 25 creative dipping sauces to choose from, $1 each or three for $2.50. My favorite are the Wasabi Mayo, Roast Garlic Mayo and War Sauce (frite sauce, peanut satay & raw onions). Ketchup, yellow mustard, Tabasco, malt vinegar, frite (traditional European mayo), and especial (frite, ketchup & raw onions) sauce are always free. In addition to fries in a cone, they also serve poutine, which is layers of fries toped with Canadian cured, cheddar cheese and chicken gravy ($5 for small and $6 for large). They only take cash and lanes get pretty long, but it’s worth the wait.

Pommes Frites

Pommes Frites
Regular cone (half eaten) with Sweet Chili and Wasabi Mayo sauce

Pommes Frites

Pommes Frites

Pommes Frites
Stacks of potatoes in the back waiting to be cut, fried, and eaten