Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

22 Jun

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Rating: ★★★★☆
65 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013
info@chinatownicecreamfactory.com
Website
(212) 608-4170
Price: $
Hours:
Mon-Sun 11 am – 10 pm or 11pm
Nearest Transit:
Canal Street (J, M, Z, N, Q, R, W, 6)
Grand Street (B, D)
Twitter // Facebook // Foursquare

This is the place to go for ice cream in Chinatown! You’ll always find a crowd here.

The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is an Asian inspired homemade ice cream parlor. It serves custom cakes and fresh ice cream in a variety of unique flavors. My favorite are egg-tart, zen butter, almond cookie, black sesame, and pistachio. They also have the common chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and some sorbet for the less adventurous folks. Experimental flavors are released are periodically.

For $3.75, you get a “one-scoop” cup or cone, which is really two scoops that can be split between two flavors. Larger portions are not too much more.

Don’t expect seats here, most just huddle outside and eat it in front of the shop. Be sure to have cash in hand, like most shops in Chinatown, they don’t accept credit cards.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
“One scoop” black sesame cup (but really two scoops) – $3.75

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

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New York Hot Dog & Coffee

10 Mar

This venue is closed.

New York Hot Dog & Coffee

Rating: ★★★☆☆
245 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
Website
(917) 388-3742
Price: $
Hours:
Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm
Fri-Sat, 11am-1am
Nearest Transit:
W 4th St (A, C, E, B, D, F, V)
Christopher St (1)
Christopher St (PATH)
Twitter // Facebook // Foursquare

Authentic Korean Ingredients, but a very pricy gimmick

New York Hot Dog & Coffee is a popular tube-steak chain in South Korea with over 170 branches. Their first venture outside of their home land is none other than New York City. Stationed in the West Village, New York Hot Dog & Coffee offers hotdogs with Korean toppings, Korean style burgers and tacos. I tried their signature bulgogi hotdog ($5.99) and bbq chicken wrapdog ($5.99). The bulgogi and bbq chicken tasted authentic, but the hotdog was very generic. The ingredients don’t mix and it tasted like two separate items. The bread was nice and fluffy, while the wrap was bit on the dry-side. The coffee was decent, nothing to brag about. In typical Korean-fashion, they also offer waffles and frozen yogurt. Overall, the food is decent, not great, and definitely overpriced.

They have some seating in the front and a pretty cozy lounge with a sunroof out back. In talking with the manager, Sandy Choi, she informed me that they also offer free in-store WiFi and urges customers to take advantage of that.

New York Hot Dog & Coffee

New York Hot Dog & Coffee

New York Hot Dog & Coffee
Bulgogi Hotdog + Kimchi Bulgogi Taco + Small Fries

New York Hot Dog & Coffee
Bulgogi Hotdog – $5.99

New York Hot Dog & Coffee
BBQ Chicken Wrapdog – $5.99

New York Hot Dog & Coffee
Belgian Waffles

New York Hot Dog & Coffee

Luke’s Lobster

20 Nov

Luke’s Lobster

Rating: ★★★★☆
93 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
luke@lukeslobster.com
Website
(212) 387-8487
Price: $$
Hours:
Mon-Thu, Sun 11 am – 10 pm
Fri-Sat 11 am – 11 pm
Nearest Transit:
1st Ave-14th St (L)
Astor Place (6)
2nd Ave-Houston St (F, V)
Twitter // Facebook // Foursquare

Luke’s Lobster offers the best value on lobsters, crab, and shrimp rolls in the city PERIOD

For a lobster roll in New York City, Luke offers the best value. Granted you’re not going to get sit down service like you do at Pearl Oyster or Ed’s Lobster, but their lobster is fresh, they serve them perfectly, and the price is definitely right. Their rolls are served in two sizes, small and large, but are really tiny and small. As of November 18, 2009, they go for $8 and $14 respectively. They also serve delicious crab ($5/$9) and shrimp ($4/$7) rolls too. For the best value, grab one of their combos. The $20 Taste of Maine combo includes a small lobster, crab, and shrimp roll, as well as a par of Empress claws and a package of Miss. Vickie’s chips and a bottle of Maine’s Root Drink or Poland Spring Water. The Noah’s Ark combo is double the Taste of Maine offering with a $2 savings at $38. Butter, mayo, and seasoning is optional, but they are light by default. If you like your rolls really buttery, do let them know when ordering. Like I said earlier the rolls are really small, but a roll and a half with a bag of chips should be enough to satisfy most hungry stomachs.

I love Luke’s because unlike most lobster rolls served in NYC, the lobster is not shredded or minced but are served in huge chunks/bits. Plus I’m not a huge fan of mayo, so the way Luke’s serves their rolls are ideal for me. I’ve never had a lobster roll in Maine, so I can only compare it to what I’ve had in NYC and I think Luke’s the best so far.

The restaurant is really tiny with limited bar-style seating (8 seats at most) and is not recommended for groups. If you’re a fan of lobster roll, this is not one to be missed.

Luke’s Lobster
Small Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp Roll and 2 Empress Claws – Part of Taste of Maine Combo – $20

Luke’s Lobster
Menu as of November 18, 2009 – View Larger Image

Luke’s Lobster
Miss. Vickie’s Chips and Maine’s Root Drink

Luke’s Lobster
Large Lobster Roll – $14

Luke’s Lobster
Large Crab Roll – $9

Luke’s Lobster

PalkagJung Restaurant

22 Oct

This venue is closed.

PalkagJung Restaurant

Rating: ★★★☆☆
268 Broad Ave., Palisades Park, NJ 07650
(201) 592-6400
Price: $$
Hours:
Mon-Sun 10:30 am – 10:30 pm
Foursquare

Fine traditional Korean food at a fair price. They have the best Korean ginseng chicken soup (samgyetang) in New Jersey

PalkagJung is a traditional Korean restaurant with a very diverse offering. They provide a generous amount of Korean side dishes (Banchan) and their services is attentive and friendly. They’re best known for their authentic Korean ginseng chicken soup (samgyetang), which is the best I’ve had in all of New Jersey. This soup is composed of a whole chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng, garlic cloves, daechus, and number of other herbs. It’s traditionally served in the summer for its supposed nutrients, but I’ve had it in the winter and it think it’s just as good, if not better.

In addition to their amazing chicken soup, I also recommend any of their hot bibimbap dishes on stone plates and tofu soups in stone pots. There ingredients are very fresh and any of those dishes wont disappoint. If you’re looking for Korean BBQ, they also have that here. It’s not great, but decent. There’s no permanent grill at the table, they bring out portables ones for you.

PalkagJung Restaurant
Korean Side Dishes (Banchan) – Free w/ Meal

PalkagJung Restaurant
Octopus Bibimbap – $13.99

PalkagJung Restaurant
Fried Chicken Appetizer – $9.99

PalkagJung Restaurant
Bulgogi Beef Patty Plater w/ Tofu Soup (not in picture) – $18.99

Glico Pretz – Cheddar

31 Aug

Glico Pretz – Cheddar
The cheddar flavored pretzel sticks by Glico is one of my more preferred Pretz. It contains 6% cheddar, which doesn’t seem like a lot compared to the cheesy aroma that fills your nostrils when opening a bag for the first time, but it’s enough to leave you satisfied. It also contains pepper and is mildly salty. If you prefer less salt, I recommend the direct Japanese import of the snack, as oppose to the one marketed for the west. It suppose to be less salty, but it cost a little more and comes in smaller portions. The cheddar flavored Pretz can found at local asian market for $1.50 – 3.00.

Ginger Milk Pudding (姜汁撞奶)

30 Aug

IMG_2566

Ginger Milk Pudding is a Hong Kong dessert that I’ve had since a child. It’s supposed to be healthy. The Chinese eat it to combat colds, hieshou (poor circulation), and cleanse the body. I eat it because it taste good. It can be found in asian grocery stores (the instant formula) or served at authentic Chinese (Hong Kong) restaurants. Today, I ‘ll show you how I made it from scratch.

gingermilkpudding02

Needed Ingredients:

  • 150ml of whole milk
  • 20g sugar
  • 1 knob of ginger

Serving Size: 1

10 Minutes (5 Minutes Prep)

Directions:

1. Make ginger juice by dicing a knob of ginger into tiny bits, squeezing out the juice, and strain it into a bowl.

gingermilkpudding03

2. Pour 150ml of whole milk and 20g of sugar into a bowl, stir, and then microwave it for 2 minutes or until its between 70 and 80° C.

3. Next, pour the hot milk with sugar into the bowl with the ginger juice and let it sit for 5 minutes.
DO NOT stir once it’s poured.

4. After 5 minutes, the ginger will coagulate the milk to form a soft pudding and you should have yourself an delicious pudding dessert. It can be served hot or cold. Enjoy!

Glico Pocky – Choco Banana

23 Aug

Glico Pocky – Choco Banana

The Choco Banana Pocky is a limited edition flavor, at least here in the States. Each biscuit stick is covered with banana flavor milk cream and swirls of chocolate. It has a very rich banana aroma that is a bit overwhelming. It’s very sweet, just like other Pocky flavors, but the mixture of banana cream and chocolate did not tickle my fancy and I did not enjoy this flavor as much as I do other Pocky flavors.

The Choco Banana flavored Pocky is a definite pass, but if you want to go against my recommendation and give it try, you can find it at local Japanese Supermarkets or for order online. They range from $2-6, depending on the size of the package.

Mt Fuji IMOCHI

23 Aug

Mt Fuji IMOCHI

Mt Fuji’s IMOCHI is one of the best mochi ice creams, they are also referred to as Jpanese ice cream bonbons. They can be found in Japanese/Asian grocery stores and in the dessert portion of some Japanese restaurant’s menus. In grocery stores, they come in a disposal ice bag and can be had in green tea, sesame, or in an assorted offering (2x green tea, sesame, strawberry, and vanilla) for $4.50-5.99USD. I like the assorted pack, it provides a good variety of favors, it’s especially good for newbies of this delicious treat. My favorite is the sesame, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the flavors. The mochi is soft, the ice cream is flavorful and when combined it provides a pleasurable texture and flavor in every bite. Be warned, these things are addictive, you can find yourself finishing an entire bag in a matter of minutes.

Wafels & Dinges

22 Jul

Wafels & Dinges

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Moving Target (See Schedule)
dinges@dedinges.com
Website
(646) 257-2592
Price: $
Hours:
Varies by day (See Schedule)
Twitter // Facebook // Foursquare

Wafels & Dinges has the decent Belgian waffle. Stick with the basics if you want wholesome Belgium Waffle, try the off-menu items if your feeling adventurous.

Wafels and Dinges (W&D) is a Belgian waffle purveyor that also has a line of packaged waffles sold in organic grocery stores such as Fairway, Food Emporium, and Garden of Eden. They operate out of a truck and can be found in various locations throughout Manhattan, depending on the time of day. See their truck schedule here or follow them on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date on their whereabouts.

W&D has some god dam good waffles. I like their liege waffle ($5), it’s nice and crisp on the outside and soft and chewy in the inside. They also have a good selection of dinges (toppings) to choose from; the first one is free, the second is +$1 and +$2 get you unlimited dinges or a WMD (Waffle of massive deliciousness).

In addition to traditional Belgian Waffles, they are also experimenting with nontraditional favors. These are items not on the menu and it’s a bit of a secret, but if you ask for it they will serve it. The two that I know of and have tried are their BBQ Pull Pork Waffle and Bacon & Syrup Waffle. Both are decent, but not spectacular. There may be other items on this off-menu that I am not aware of, please contact me if you know of others.

Overall, I would recommend sticking with their regular offerings for that good wholesome Belgium Waffle taste and trying their off-menu items if your feeling adventurous; either way you can’t go wrong at Wafels & Dinges.

Wafels & Dinges
BBQ Pull Pork Waffle – $8.00

Wafels & Dinges
business as usual

Wafels & Dinges
The Truck

El Pollo Loco

30 Jun

This venue is closed.

El Pollo Loco

Rating: ★★★☆☆
2100 88th St, North Bergen, NJ 07047
Website
(201) 868-0500
Price: $$
Twitter // Facebook

Chicken marinated and flame broiled to perfection, decent burritos and tacos, and always fresh salsas

El Pollo Loco, which translates to “The Crazy Chicken“ is mostly a west coast restaurant chain with new locations recently popping up on the east. They specializes in flame-grilling marinated chicken and is regarded as a healthier alternative to traditional fast food chains. They have over 300 restaurants across the country, I visited their newly open location in North Bergen, New Jersey.

I had their BBQ Slider sandwich ($1-1.50) and eight piece special ($6.99), which includes wings, thighs, and drumsticks. Their slider sandwiches are decent, cheap, and incredibly small; you can literally finish it in less than 2 bites. Their flame-grilled chicken is exceptionally good, the skin is crispy and the meat has good herbal flavoring. Their chicken is also not as greasy as your average chicken fast food chain (ie. KFC). You can purchase meals in 2, 3, 4, 8, 12 piece sets. All meals come with sides (there’s 8 to choose from) and a drink.

In addition to chicken, they also serve burritos, bowls, tacos, and a few specialties. I tried their Bean, Rice and Cheese Burrito (BRC) ($1.69) and there’s no comparison to Toco Bell and the like, they use solid pinto beans and real Spanish rice instead of that mushy refried junk you see in fast food chains. Their Toco al Carbon ($1), which is a chicken taco with diced cilantro and onions is also good, but is extremely small portioned. There fresh salsa bar is also a crowd favorite and it includes toppings such as avocado salsa and guacamole, which is free to all customers.

Overall, I recommend the majority of El Pollo Loco’s offerings, especially their flame-boiled chicken. They’re not the best I’ve had, but at their prices you’re definitely getting a value meal (good quality and descent portions at a fair price).

El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco
Salsa Bar

El Pollo Loco
8pc Chicken Meal (Legs & Thighs) – $6.99

El Pollo Loco
BBQ Slider – $0.99

El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco