Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Today at my work-study office, we had a Halloween potluck.  Yum yum, free food!!
I brought hummus and pita chips, and in all, there was pizza, leek pie, pumpkin baked ziti, salad, salmon pinwheels, empanadas, nacho dip, brownies, cupcakes, rum cake, crudités, and a whole lot of other stuff.  Oh my gosh, I love parties.  Everything was really good...but I have to give props to:

Justin's seven layer dip. I'm normally not a fan of bean products, but this dip was so so so so good.  It contained mashed beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, onions, olives, and cheese.  It was really smooth and creamy and the perfect pairing to my pita chips.  It was so good that I was just eating it with a fork.  A little on the salty side, but it was just the thing to hit the spot.  Mmm.
Kate's cupcakes.  I laid eyes on these little beauties and had to have two. These chocolate cupcakes were topped with a dollop of caramel cream cheese and a candy corn, and studded with a chewy Rolo candy.  It was …

Pho Bang

I used to dislike eating pho.  No offense to my Vietnamese homies, but for some reason, I didn't really see the point of soup noodles (basically, no offense to my Asian homies overall).  I had it once at a place near my work and I didn't even finish it and vowed never to have pho again.
Boy was I stupid!  My friends lately have been making plans left and right to go have pho, including Pho32 in Koreatown, Pho32 in St. Mark's Place, and Pho Bang in Chinatown.  I've fallen back in love with pho!
Since I've eaten at Pho Bang more times, I'll dedicate this post to it (but a shout out to both Pho32 locations).  I've had their chicken pho and beef brisket pho, though, inexplicably, the beef brisket pho is the cheapest one on the menu and chicken pho costs more.  Why!?
So, recently, after a late night in lab, I was starving and hankering for...anything, really.  We settled for Pho Bang after our first choice was closed at 8pm (cue images of me being irate and obs…

Day 295

It has been 295 days since my last sip of coffee.
These past 295 days have definitely tested my endurance.
I am a college student - working through my thesis year - without coffee. What was i thinking?!
Here's what I was thinking: a cup of coffee costs upwards of $2 a day, more if I go to Starbucks or the many lovely coffee places around New York City. When I was in London, I survived - and thrived - from drinking mostly tea. I had boxes of Twinings tea (Earl Grey, Lady Grey, and Chai) on my desk and organic chemistry studying weekends were spent downing multiple chai lattes in one sitting. The only time I had coffee during my semester abroad, in fact, was on spring break when we jetsetted around Europe (Italian coffee is obviously famous and delicious, but possibly the best cup of coffee I've ever had was at a cafe at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens) and a few Starbucks runs during finals week. Plus, a bag of tea is 10¢. Hello, that is a 95% savings.
For 2011, I ma…


Euz-what-di?  Euzkadi!  It's a small Spanish/Basque tapas restaurant in the East Village and we had a Groupon coupon for it.  $25 for $50 worth of food = score!
It turns out that the $50 cushion was necessary, though. The dishes here are fairly expensive, and the portions sounded (and turned out to be) very small.  Each dish was, on average, $10, and the waiter recommended that for two people, four to six dishes would suffice.  Funny how for "Asian tapas" (dim sum), you can probably feed like 10 people with $50.
The restaurant was darkly lit and decorated really strangely, with cave drawings all over the ceiling and walls.  Otherwise, I wouldn't have found the ambiance very pleasant, but for some reason, it matched the style of Spanish tapas.
The bread bowl that was served was accompanied by an olive tapanade, which was surprisingly delicious. The bread was nice and chewy, and the tapanade - though very salty - was legitimately olive-tasting and really good if sprea…

Spot Dessert Bar

They say there's always room for dessert...
We tried out a dessert place on St. Mark's Place called Spot Dessert Bar tonight, thanks to a swell Living Social deal and a glowing recommendation from Serious Eats: New York. Their menu was pretty extensive, covering savory and sweet food.  I was also really impressed that their menu's photos reflected what the real food looked like, and not just stock images.  Everything looked and sounded incredible.  Our Living Social deal covered $20 worth of goodies, and with macarons on the menu, we obviously knew we had to try those.  Dessert was the Yuzu Eskimo and five macarons.

The Yuzu Eskimo was a beautiful, artfully arranged plate with fanned out slices of ice cream on top of a bed of crushed Oreo cookies.  On the side was a raspberry foam and a strawberry.  It looked almost too pretty to eat!  I imagine really fancy restaurants serve dessert on par with Spot Dessert Bar's, at least on plating design.  The yuzu, a Japanese citru…

Currywurst Bros

Begin the onslaught of wiener jokes.
I had first heard about currywurst after watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, when he went to Berlin.  He was meeting with some ex-CIA operative and chatting about the Cold War over...currywurst.  Curry in German food?  (side note: happy continuing-of-curry-week)
Apparently, a very popular food from Berlin is sausage + ketchup + curry powder.  It sounds so crazy it just might work.
And it does.  We got a combo of beef and pork wurst along with Maharadja and Anapura curry powders, and a side of fries.  It was kind of strange to walk into the restaurant - which opened this summer and looks very cute with sausages shaped like smiley faces and hearts for eyes - and not hear sizzling or smell smokey stuff cooking on a grill or flattop.  There was this one lone heating element with a few wursts sitting on it awkwardly and quietly.  I had a few doubts.  On the plus side, no lingering smoke-food-smell.  On the minus side...would t…

Shahnawaz Palace - Edison, NJ

Happy Curry Week!  Twitter says it's National Curry Week, but I'm not really sure what nation they're talking about.  I'm just going to assume it applies to the U.S.
To segue into our curry-themed post, I love and hate all-you-can-eat buffets.  Love: you can eat as much as you want, and usually a huge variety of food that you can't order at a regular sit-down restaurant.  Hate: I usually forget to wear my fat pants.
I particularly love Indian buffets. My life before going to London must have been pretty bland because I didn't eat Indian food then.  In London, we happened across this Indian restaurant, Humaira Tandoori, with £5.95 Saturday buffet dinners.  I really enjoyed the nights when a big group of our friends would fill the middle table of their cramped dining room and compete to see how many plates we can each put away and waiting eagerly for the servers to refill the naan.  Since then, my taste buds have embraced a much wider variety of cuisines.  Thank …


"Have you ever been to Panya Bakery?" a friend inquired recently.  "They have a bacon-flavored macaron."
She said the two magic words.  Bacon and macaron.  I was repulsed and Alex's face lit up.
So today, I needed a quick bite in between my hectic schedule and decided Panya was a good spot to hit up.  For bacon macarons, or whatnot.
Like a normal person, I bought some sushi.  Like a fanatical foodie, Alex got macarons: raspberry-rose, chocolate-passionfruit, and white chocolate-bacon.  Complete with bacon bits, apparently.  While I ate my abnormally-sized California roll (aside: I will usually never pay for a California roll because I'm a little bit of a sushi snob, but the rice-to-filling ratio was so high and I needed to get my money's worth for a long evening of calling babies; don't ask), Alex thoughtfully chewed over some of Panya's macarons.

Number one, the raspberry rose.  He bit into it and made a face.  This was highly unusual.  Norma…

Mac Bar

You know when sometimes you simply crave macaroni & cheese?  I get those a lot.  Last week, we had a quick dinner at MacBar, which is an offshoot of Delicatessen down on Spring Street and Lafayette.  MacBar is kind of a hole in the wall with really yellow, bulbous furnishings: just like macaroni & cheese!  How d'you like that.
The menu looks and sounds really cool and yummy and intriguing.  "Mac quack"?  Macaroni & cheese with duck confit.  "Mac lobsta'"?  Macaroni & cheese with lobster and cognac.  I know what I'm getting next time...

This time, we had "Mac 'shroom" and "Cheeseburger Mac".  The medium-sized "Cheeseburger Mac" came in a tupperware-looking container shaped like an elbow macaroni (super-cute; I'm stealing one next time) and my small-sized "Mac 'shroom" came in an unadorned metal take-out container.
The "Mac 'shroom" was topped with curlicues of shredded raw…