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School Zone

13 Apr

The Palisades Park venue is closed, but the Fort Lee venue is still oppen.

IMG_0590

Rating: ★★★☆☆
1635 Lemoine Ave, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
413 Broad Ave, Palisades Park, NJ 07650
Website
(201) 944-4888
Price: $
Foursquare

School Zone is a fairly a new self-service diner in New Jersey with two locations, one in Palisades Park and the other in Fort Lee. They serve Korean style cafeteria food, which is nothing like the cafeteria food in the States. You can order dishes like ramen, spicy rice cake, pork cutlet, fried rice, curry rice, and rolls. There’s a good variety to choose from, the portions are fair and soup is always free. They attracts a lot of youngsters, but don’t be fooled in thinking this place is only for kids, it’s for everyone. Their food is decent, their prices are acceptable and you have the option to can eat-in or takeout. They also have a self-service frozen yogurt counter that’s similar to 16 Handles, only with a lot less favors. I recommend their mango frozen yogurt, it’s my favorite of the bunch. I’ve been to both of their locations and I prefer their Palisades Park branch because there are more seats and it’s often less crowded. Overall, I think School Zone is a good place for a quick no-frills Korean meal.

School Zone
Front Counter

School Zone
Free soup (fish cake is an addition $1.50)

School Zone
Spicy rice cake with sauce $7.95

School Zone
Spicy rice cake with cheese $8.75

School ZoneSchool Zone
Small spicy rice cake with sauce $4.95

School ZoneSchool Zone
Ramen with seafood $7.00

School Zone
Pork cutlet $8.75

School Zone
Hamburger w/ Fried Rice $9.50

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Bibimbap $8.75

School Zone
Dragon Roll $6.75

School Zone
Mommy’s Gim Bob $5.45

School Zone
Sundae (blood sausages) $8.75

School Zone
Corn Dog $1.75

School Zone
Frozen Yogurt Station

School Zone
Toppings Table

2 Bros Pizza

13 Apr

2 Bros Pizza

Rating: ★★★☆☆
601 6th Avenue (btwn 17 & 18th St), New York, NY 10010
(212) 206-8656
Price: $
Nearest Transit:
18th St-7th Ave (1)
14th St-6th Ave (F, V, L, 1, 2, 3)
23 St (F, M)
28 St (N, R)
23 St (1, 2)
Twitter // Facebook // Foursquare

2 Bros Pizza is a dirt cheap New York City Pizzeria. They have three branches, two in the City (St. Marks, 17 & 6th Ave) and one in New Jersey (Woodcliff Lake). I’ve only been to their 6th Ave branch and it’s always filled with customers. Their $1 a slice and $2.75 two slices and a soda combo is incredibly cheap. The quality isn’t bad either, slices are made fresh and served sizzling hot. It’s not the best, but definitely one of the better slices I’ve had in the City. They also have a host of other offerings like fried chicken, french fries, and soup that are also recession friendly ($1-2.5), but I don’t recommend trying anything other than their pizza. The chicken looks really dry and the soups are less frequently sold and are usually sitting out for long periods of time.

2 Bros Pizza

Flurt

2 Apr

This venue is closed.

Flurt

Rating: ★★★☆☆
110 Broad Ave Ste #4, Palisades Park, NJ 07650
Price: $

Flurt is a froyo joint that serves Pinkberry style yogurt. They have three locations: one in New Jersey (Palisades Park) and two in New York (Battery Park and Gramercy). I’ve only been to their NJ branch and it’s always empty, maybe because it looks very uninviting and much like a Pinkberry Knockoff. In terms of tastes, their yogurt is very similar to Pinkberry, but they offer a lot less toppings and are limited to only one flavor (original). I don’t prefer Flurt over Pinkberry, but I do tend to come here often because it’s a little cheaper and a lot more convenient for me. In addition, they also serve gelato, korean snacks, bubble tea, and coffee.

Flurt

AA Plaza

2 Apr

AA Plaza

Rating: ★★★☆☆
40-66 Main St, Flushing, NY 11369
Price: $
Nearest Transit:
Flushing – Main St (7, 7X)
Foursquare

AA Plaza is the place to go for dirt cheap Chinese street food. It’s not the healthiest or the cleanest of foods around, but they do offer a good value. For $1.50 or less you can get a stick of fish balls, scallion pancake, dumpling soup (4), an order of fried turnip cake (lo baak gou), chicken wings/drumsticks, rice noodles, or fried noodles. A great option for a quick eat that won’t leave a dent in your wallet.

AA Plaza

AA Plaza

AA Plaza

Cube 63

2 Apr

Cube 63

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
563 Clinton St (btwn Rivington St & Stanton St), New York, NY 10002
Website
(212) 228-6751
Price: $$
Hours:
Mon-Thu 11:30 am – 11 pm
Fri-Sat 12 pm – 11:30 pm
Sun 2 pm – 12 am
Nearest Transit:
Essex St (J, M, Z)
Delancey St (F)
2 Av (F)
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Cube 63 is a extremely small restaurant that serves Asian inspires entrees and fresh sushi. Their entrees and sushi are not all that appealing, but their rolls are quite good. What make Cube 63 extremely popular is that they offer BYOB without corkage free, it’s hard to find a quality japanese restaurant that allow BYOB in the city. They have two locations, one in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn (not BYOB). I had dinner at their Manhattan branch and the experience was not the best. Their food was satisfactory, but the way they run their business was not. Their restaurant is small to begin with, but they insist on cram more people than they can properly seat, which made dinner very uncomfortable. I came with a party of four and we were laterality sitting on top of each other. I don’t recommend eating at Cube 63 in the city unless you like to be limited to the amount of body moment you can make during dinner. In addition, I don’t think dinner at Cube 63 is worth it if they don’t allow BYOB, so their Brooklyn branch of out of the question. If you go against my recommendation and decide to dine at Cube 63, reservation and confirmation of reservation on day of dinning is a must.

Cube 63
Soft Shell Crab Appetizer ($13)

Cube 63

Cube 63

Bread Papa’s Fresh’n Natural Cream Puffs

2 Apr

The Carmine St venue is closed.

Bread Papa’s Fresh’n Natural Cream Puffs

Rating: ★★★★☆
5 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
Website
(212) 255-4675
Price: $
Nearest Transit:
W 4th Street (A, B, C, D, E, F, V)
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Bread Papa is home to the worlds best cream puff. It originated in Osaka, Japan and has expanded to China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, Canada, UK, and the US. I’ve visited multiple locations in New York, New Jersey, and Hong Kong and the quality of their products are very consistent. Their crunchy puff pastry are filled with fresh, all natural custard and then combined with whipped cream. The puffs and custard are both light, airy, and not at all sweet. They come in a number of flavors, my favorite are the original vanilla, green tea, and pumpkin. The cost is very reasonable at $1.50-3 ($10-25 hkd) a puff depending on the flavor. In addition to their cream puffs, they also serve fresh mochi ice cream, cakes, and even mont-blanc. Bread Papas is strictly takeout only, they don’t have proper seating in their stores (at least the locations in NYC, NJ, and HK don’t).

Bread Papa’s Fresh’n Natural Cream Puffs

Bread Papa’s Fresh’n Natural Cream Puffs

Bread Papa’s Fresh’n Natural Cream Puffs

Cafe Sabarsky

1 Apr

Cafe Sabarsky

Rating: ★★★☆☆
1048 5th Ave (Inside Neue Gallerie), New York, NY 10028
Website
(212) 288-0665
Price: $$$
Hours:
Mon, Wed 9 am – 6 pm
Thu-Sun 9 am – 9 pm
Nearest Transit:
86th St (4, 5, 6)
Facebook // Foursquare

Cafe Sabarsky is located inside the “Neue Gallery” which has a strong collection of German and Austrian art including works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Paul Klee. The cafe is decorated in period objects, which presents a very traditional and classic Austrian ambiance. Kurt Gutenbrunner, head chief and co-owner of the Neue Galerie New York brings the Fin de Siecle Viennese culture to NYC with authentic Viennese specialties and traditional pastries with a wide selection of Austrian and German wines, beers, coffees, and teas. In the evenings (6-9pm) every Thursday night from October through May, Cafe Sabarsky holds live cabaret performances devoted primarily to German and Austrian music of the 1890’s to 1930’s. The live cabaret is preceded by a three course prix-fixe dinner ($110 includes performance & dinner).

I came to Cafe Sabarsky with a party of five for mid-afternoon tea and had to wait over 25 minutes. This places draws a crowd and they don’t take reservations, so waiting is almost unavoidable. They do offer a slimed downed version of the cafe with a more modern “grab and go” environment downstairs that does not require as long as a wait, but the menu is limited and the setting is no different than your average NYC cafe. If possible, I would recommend wait for the real deal. Definitely a great place to unwind and have a cup of tea or coffee. Their food is only satisfactory and often take a long time to prepare, but their desserts is a must try. Come for breakfast, brunch, tea, or dinner; you get what you pay for and most are not disappointed.

Cafe Sabarsky
Avocado mit Krabbensalat und Tomaten – Avocado salad with crabmeat and tomatoes ($18)

Cafe Sabarsky
Palatschinken mit Räucherforelle & Oberskren – Crêpes with Smoked Trout & Horseradish Crème Fraîche ($18)

Cafe Sabarsky
Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut & Röstkartoffeln – Roasted Sausage with Riesling Sauerkraut & Roasted Potatoes ($14)

Cafe Sabarsky

Kaleidoscope

30 Mar

This venue is closed.

Kaleidoscope

Rating: ★★★☆☆
212 E 10th St (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave), New York, NY 10184
Website
(212) 420-8822
Price: $$
Nearest Transit:
Astor Place (6)
8th St-Broadway (R, W)
1st Ave-14th St (L)

Kaleidoscope is an pan-asian fusion restaurant that serves a host of items ranging from noodles, to rice, pasta, sandwiches, salads and even seafood. I tried their lobster ravioli ($13), ginger chicken ($11), and steamed codfish ($15). All three were good, but not amazing. Their prices are very reasonable and they’re BYOB on Sundays and Mondays with no corkage fee. The restaurant is nicely decorated, cozy, and great for large groups.

Kaleidoscope

Calle Ocho

30 Mar

Calle Ocho

Rating: ★★★★☆
446 Columbus Ave (btwn 81st & 82nd St), New York, NY 10024
Website
(212) 873-5025
Price: $$
Hours:
Mon-Thu 6 pm – 10:30 pm
Fri 6 pm – 11:30 pm
Sat 12 pm – 3 pm / 5 pm – 11:30 pm
Sun: 12 pp 3:30 pm / 5 pm – 10 pm
Nearest Transit:
81st Street (B, C)
79th Street (1)
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Calle Ocho is a great place for brunch. They have an airy dining room with lively ambience that can accommodate large groups. They serve a convergence of old Cuban and contemporary American food that is sure to please all taste bud. My personal favorite is their Pollo Ranchero, which includes a crispy corn tortilla with refried black beans, chicken escabeche, and ranchero sauce ($11). Their free bread box is also very amazing, it’s stuffed with freshly baked chocolate chip bread, cheese bread, danishes, and muffins. But the best part about having brunch at Calle Ocho is their free a all-you-can-drink sangria bar. There are eight barrels to try, each packed with real fruit not that not frozen stuff. I recommend the lychee sangria, it’s my favorite of the bunch.

Calle Ocho

Calle Ocho

Calle Ocho

Calle Ocho

Calle Ocho

Swich

29 Mar

This venue is closed.

Swich

Rating: ★★★☆☆
104 8th Ave (btwn 15th St & 16th St), New York, NY 10011
(212) 488-4800
Price: $$
Hours:
24/7
Nearest Transit:
14th St-8th Ave (A, C, E, L)
14th St-7th Ave (1, 2, 3, F, V, L)

Switch serves very unique and creative press sandwiches using freshly baked bread. They are crispy and tasty, but a bit pricy ($6-9) and the portions are quite small. You can make it a combo with your choice of international famous potato chips or a bag of regional famous sweet potato chips and a fountain soda for an extra $2.50. I love their buffalo hot pants and veggie goodness, but I have to admit the sandwiches are a bit oily and not the healthiest of foods. In addition to sandwiches, they also serve salads, which they call deconstructed and a host of sides, soups, and desserts. During lunch they are extremely busy and tend to run out of certain items, so get there early. Loyalty cards are also available that gets you a free sandwich with every ten purchases, this is awesome for people that live/work around Chelsea or people who make frequent trips to this area.