Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teariffic Cafe - Where I found the most amazing drink ever

Teariffic Cafe
51 Mott Street New York, NY 10013

Last Friday was our friend Eric's birthday and after dinner we decided to sit down for bubble tea at Teariffic Cafe. It's been a while since Will and I have been here because we usually opt for Kung Fu Tea.

It was pretty packed when we arrived which isn't a surprise since it was a Friday night, but we did get a nice table in the corner for the five of us. Teariffic is probably one of the only tea shops I know that you can actually sit down and enjoy. The rest of the bubble tea shops aren't as spacious and have limited seating. The staff here are quick at what they do and attentive.

I like that Teariffic Cafe has an extensive list of bubble teas, smoothies, shakes, milk shakes, and exotic drinks to choose from and they also have savory items. In addition, they serve Eileen's cheesecake too.

I looked at the menu long and hard before I could decide what I wanted. I remember the last time Will and I came here I tried their Peanut Butter Milk Tea so I didn't want to try that again even though it was amazing!

Peanut Shake with Tapioca
OMG! There's so many words I can use to describe how excellent this shake was. First and foremost, it doesn't feel like a shake. It felt like the same consistency as my peanut butter milk tea from years ago.

Any way, I thought the peanut butter shake was mind-blowingly good! It was literally peanut butter heaven! It had a nice buttery taste to it, slightly sweetened, and truly just delicious! Tasted just like a Reese's Peanut butter cup. I forgot how much the drink cost, but it was around $3.00-$4.00.

Teariffic has wow'ed me again! I am inclined to try more of their drinks either for take-out or actually sit down and enjoy with friends. My best friend has just arrived in NYC a few hours ago and Saturday, we're meeting up and the girl wants bubble tea so looks like I will be back at Teariffic very soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Food Review: Waldorf Wrap

*This review is solely based on just this food and not Lassen & Hennigs*

So there's a shop/deli known as Lassen & Hennigs in Downtown Brooklyn that my company and I have ordered food from numerous amount of times and quite frankly the quality of the catered foods were a hit or miss. However, they also ready-to-go foods and drinks that you can just grab and go and they also make food fresh as well.

As you may know I have been on a semi-healthy kick so once in a while I would trek to the other side of Downtown Brooklyn just for a good lunch.

Waldorf Wrap

I've tried their Whole Wheat Waldorf wrap and it's phenomenal! This is possibly one of the best wraps I've had so far besides the Grilled Chicken Caesar wrap from One Way Deli. I have had a Waldorf salad before, but come on a Waldorf salad rolled together in a wrap is a whole different level!

There was chicken, walnuts, sliced apple, raisins, celery, and mayonnaise. I really like the fact that there were big slices/chunks of apple. The apple and walnuts adds a nice crunchiness to the wrap, but the apple adds a slight sweetness to the wrap. The celery adds a nice crunch too. It's really a light, simple, and super filling wrap. Oh yes, this wrap was under $7.00.

There are other wraps available at Lassen & Hennigs and food too. I am definitely going to try out their other wraps and hopefully some of them will be just as delicious as the Waldorf Wrap.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Belated Celebration at Sotto Voce

Sotto Voce
225 7th Avenue New York, NY 11215

Earlier this month I was very sick - caught a fever, viral infection, and developed tonsillitis (swelling on the tonsils) and couldn't celebrate my 3.5 year anniversary with Will, but promised to him we would celebrate it after I got better and we did so last week.

Since it was nice weather last week ,we decided to go to brunch after our morning workout at the gym. I found Sotto Voce, a mid-sized restaurant located on the corner of 7th Avenue and 4th street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The decor was simple and clean, gave a nice, cozy, and  local neighborhood feel to it.

We were greeted by a waiter and he took our beverage orders. For weekend brunch, there's unlimited mimosas, champagne, bloody Mary, homemade pound cake, hot coffee or hot tea.

We decided to start off our brunch with mimosas. I've had a bellini before, but not a mimosa. The mimosa was light, simple, and delightful to drink.

There was definitely a lot more orange juice than champagne. It went perfectly with our brunch!

Bread basket
Next, the waiter brought us our bread basket and inside the bread basket was two slices of bread and two slices of the homemade pound cake. I didn't try the pound cake, but according to Will - it was delicious and not too sweet.

Will ordered the Gallinella which was really a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise and side salad.  The sandwich looked amazing, but I didn't try it. Will said the sandwich was okay, not great and not bad, but he's definitely had better.

Eggs Saporite
It was a hard decision to make when deciding on what I wanted to eat because there were four dishes with poached eggs and the rich and lemony Hollandaise sauce. I decided to order the Eggs Saporite which consisted of poached eggs with ham and portobello mushrooms with Hollandaise sauce. I have an obsession for Eggs Benedict and poached eggs drenched with Hollandaise sauce. I think it's completely sexy and irresistibly delicious!

Runny yolk
I love my yolks runny most of the time. I think it's sexy. Yes I know I'm weird and the fact that I like runny yolks may be weird too. I like Sotto Voce's approach to the Eggs Saporite because you're not getting the classic English muffin like you would for Eggs Benedict. The portobello mushroom cooked and seasoned just right. It was very moist and soft. The homefries were cooked perfectly. It had a nice crunchiness to it.

I really enjoyed my dish. Everything about it just came together and it was vibrant and very delicious! I was very happy after the meal and thought ordering the Eggs Saporite was the right decision.

I must admit the pricing for brunch was a little steep - $17.95 for your entree, unlimited drinks, and homemade pound cake. Besides the price, Will and I did enjoy our relaxing and delicious brunch. I probably enjoyed it a lot more than he did since I fell in love with the Eggs Saporite.

I definitely would recommend you to come here at least once or twice to try out their brunch and it's a fun, easy-going, local restaurant that you won't be disappointed with.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lunch Spot: One Way Deli in Downtown Brooklyn

One Way Deli
26 Court Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Will told me about this little deli that's located on one of the busiest streets in Downtown Brooklyn. He's boasted about how delicious and filling the wraps are at One Way Deli. Since I've been on a bit of a healthy kick, I decided to try out a wrap at One Way Deli.

It's about an 8-10 minute walk from my office. It's not spacious nor fancy inside. The staff behind the counter are very friendly and quick at fixing your meal. The price for a wrap/sandwich is actually quite cheap for Downtown Brooklyn.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap
I ordered the grilled chicken Caesar wrap for under $8.00-$9.00, that's actually not bad. The wrap was humongous and I actually didn't quite finish the entire wrap. I got a whole wheat wrap and it consisted of Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, croutons,  and Parmesan cheese.

I've had a grilled chicken Caesar wrap from other restaurants/food places near my office, but none of them tasted as good as the one I've had from One Way Deli. It was nicely composed. The wrap was warm and delightfully delicious! Their wraps are made fresh and with love.

I'm really glad that Will introduced me to this little spot in Downtown Brooklyn because sometimes I am a little bored of salads and going to the usual lunch spots near my office. Sometimes I just need a little walk, break from the office and the computer and also want to eat semi-healthy, so wrap is a nice alternative.

Tip: This is a CASH only place.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bubble Tea at Red Bubble

Red Bubble
97 Chrystie Street New York, NY 10002

After Will and I had dinner at Big Wong, our friends brought us to a hidden bubble tea shop on Chrystie Street in Chinatown. I would never have noticed its existence because you see Red Bubble is tucked away underneath another shop so it's hard to see.

The day we went there wasn't much ventilation at the bubble tea shop, limited seats, and not much decor. The price is same as just about anywhere else. The service is regular - nothing extraordinary.

Rose Tea
I've never tried rose tea before so decided to give it a shot. It was definitely different compared to other bubble teas I've had so far. It had a light, floral-like taste to it. I didn't really enjoy it too much after a few sips because of it's floral-like taste and I should have gotten it with tapioca or some type of topping. It was also a little too sweet for me. I should have customized the sweetness.

Red Bubble is similar to Kung Fu Tea in that they allow you to customize how much sugar or ice is added to your drink. Sugar - extra sugar (120%), less sugar (70%), half sugar (50%), little sugar (30%), and no sugar (0%). For ice - more ice, less ice, and no ice.

I think the likelihood of us returning may be slim because we have our hearts set on a default bubble tea shop right now and that's Kung Fu Tea, but I am personally opened to trying new bubble tea shops too. In addition, Red Bubble's menu is pretty standard - nothing too extraordinary, just ordinary.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meaty Deliciousness at Big Wong

Big Wong
67 Mott Street New York, NY 10013

Will and I don't typically have dinner at small, old restaurants in Chinatown and we typically wouldn't eat this for dinner because it's more of a lunch than dinner.

I don't know what it was, but I had an intensive yearning for this and we ended up having it for dinner.  I didn't even bother to look at the menu when we arrived at Big Wong. I told Will what I wanted before I went to use the restroom and I returned 3-5 minutes later and there it was.

Three Precious Rice 
Yup, this was my dinner. I can't express to you how long and how much I've been craving for this simple yet harmonious dish.

The char-siu was moist, tender, and cooked to perfection. The duck seasoned just right and tender. I also had a fried egg and it was cooked exactly how I hoped it would be - over easy with a runny yolk hidden inside.

This dish satisfied me completely and I was happy and full afterwards. It was such a tasty dinner that I finished everything. This dish only cost me about $6.75 (not bad at all).

Roast Pork & Soy Sauce Chicken over Rice
Will ordered the roast pork and soy sauce chicken over rice. He loves white meat and asked for it. I'm not a fan of white meat. I'm more of a dark meat person. He enjoyed his dish very much too, but probably not as much as I did.

Our dinner was served quick and we ate quick too. We don't visit or eat at Big Wong a lot, but this is one of the ultimate spots I love to come to for a meaty delicious lunch or dinner. It' quick. It's delicious. It's inexpensive. What else can you ask for?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Food Event: Japanese Gourmet Fair at Mitsuwa

595 River Road Edgewater, NJ 07020

It was about two weeks ago when a few friends, Will, and I went to Mitsuwa for the Japanese Gourmet Fair. We arrived on an early Saturday morning so we can get seats, grab food, and line up for the special ramen. And... as always at these events we can get a little too crazy with the food.

Beef Tongue Ramen
The special ramen that was served was the beef tongue ramen. There were two types availalble - beef tongue ramen with all toppings and a beef tongue ramen with just scallions. Will and I ordered the one with all toppings of course. I really and truly enjoyed the beef tongue ramen because it's unlike any other ramen I've had before.

I have had grilled beef tongue before and the texture was different from the beef tongue in the ramen. This beef tongue was soft and melts in your mouth. It's texture is the same as cooked pork liver, but softer. The noodles were different too. It wasn't wavy or straight, but it was just flat. The broth was light and seasoned just right. This was probably by far one of the best ramen I've had.

Dry Beef Curry Rice
Will ordered a combo which came with a bowl of dry beef curry rice. Honestly, it wasn't anything special. It was really just curry flavored rice with ground beef. Next time, we won't go for this.

Assorted Skewered Fried Fish Cakes
So Will and I went a little crazy. Will lined up without telling me and picked up 6 fish cakes and I lined up later on and picked up 7 fish cakes. There was a wide assortment of fish cakes - edamame, octopus, squid, okonomiyaki, and a lot more. The fish cakes were nothing too special and we definitely had too much. Next time, I'll make sure Will and I have better communication when we pick up food at a food event.

Inari Sushi with Crab Meat special
We also had the Inari Sushi with crab meat special. There's two inari sushi stuffed with crab meat and sticky rice and on the side there's sticky rice with shredded crab meat, more crab meat, egg, and ginger. This was crab meat heaven! The crab meat was delicious and had a bit of sweetness to it.

Inari Sushi
These were at last year's Mitsuwa food events too! These are adorable and simply delicious! The inari has a bit of a sweetness to it as the crab meat does too.

Triple Soft Ice Cream
There was no specialty ice cream at the event this time. My friends, Will, and I always have extra room in our tummies for ice cream so we went to Ito En (inside Mitsuwa) and our friends recommended we get the triple soft ice cream. The three flavors were vanilla, black sesame, and green tea. The ice cream was amazing, but I'm not a huge fan of black sesame flavored desserts. The green tea was the best!

It was a fun and great event! We were all a little bummed that there was no takoyaki at this event. Hopefully the next event will have takoyaki. I can't wait for the next food event.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Local Dining: La Granja Peruana Restaurant

La Granja Peruana Restaurant
1928 Bath Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11214

While growing up and living in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn for 23 years, never have I taken notice that there was a Peruvian restaurant just about 10-12 blocks from where I live.

A friend of mine - Dan, who also happens to be a foodie too told me about La Granja Peruana Restaurant and how they have awesome roasted chicken. I checked the place on Yelp and vowed to give it a shot one day since it is a local restaurant and I've never had Peruvian food before.

A girl friend of mine  from junior high school and I made plans to have dinner here. We met at La Granja Peruana Restaurant on a Thursday night and it was quite empty inside the restaurant. It was a quiet dinner with light background music. As for the decor, it needs to be fixed and enhanced.

So we had the following -

Palta Rellena De Pollo
My friend Jenny ordered the Palta Rellena De Pollo (Half avocado stuffed with chicken and potato salad) as an appetizer. It wasn't plated in the neatest way, but that's okay.

The chicken and potato salad was light and tasted just fine, but could have used just tiny bit of salt. I thought it was a little silly that they put saltine crackers with the dish.

Yuca Frita O Sancochada
For a side/appetizer, I ordered the Yuca Frita O Sancochada (fried yuca). I've had fried yuca before and they are delicious! The yuca frita at La Granja were an enormous size, but I did enjoy it. It was piping hot, crispy, crunchy, and soft inside as it should be.

Combo - 1/4 Roasted Chicken & House Salad
Jenny ordered the combo with 1/4 roasted chicken and a house salad and this cost about $6.50. I honestly felt her dish was small, not sure how she could have gotten full on that but it looked great and the salad looked very vibrant.

Combo - 1/4 Roast Chicken with Yellow Rice & Beans
I ordered a combo too except mine has yellow rice and beans. The presentation and plating could use work, because it looks like they just dumped the sauce on the plate and that's it.

So I definitely didn't get dark meat, which isn't a huge issue, but I do prefer dark meat. My piece of chicken was a little overcooked/dry. The yellow rice and beans was scrumptious, seasoned just right!

So aside from what I've heard about this restaurant from my friends, I actually liked it for the most part because it's close, convenient, inexpensive, and very new and different to Bensonhurst. I do feel the service and decor could be improved. The food isn't excellent, but there was definitely some interesting flavors that popped out at me. I may be back soon because their choclo con queso (Peruvian corn on the cob served with fresh white cheese) sounds really tempting and delicious.