Monthly Archives: June 2012

Minca and Kambi, sister restaurants that look the same but taste different.

In the great You Es of Eh, we often think of Japanese food as merely sushi and and edamame and forget about a super duper important, tasty part of it: ramen.  Big bowls of chewy noodles in hearty pork or chicken bone broths topped with slices of tender and flavorful barbecue pork, ramen is definitely one of my favorite foods (along with pizza and cookies).  My most favorite ramen place is Totto Ramen in Midtown West but I have yet to write a legitimate blog post about it because I am waiting until I get a new camera (SOON!) so I can do the place some justice (my photos now are horrible so don’t judge by the link)!  For now… I present to you two other ramen places.  One not so good and one pretty good. Minca Ramen Factory*
536 E 5th St
(between Avenue A & Avenue B)*
New York, NY 10009
Kambi Ramen House*
351 E 14th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Continue reading Minca and Kambi, sister restaurants that look the same but taste different.

Motorino’s Pizza

Motorino
349 E 12th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

 

I’m always on the search for the best pizza in town because it is on my list of favorite foods and New York just has so many “best pizza in town” kinds of places.  Bread and tomatoes are some of my most favorite things in the world so you can imagine why pizza would be on that list.  Having tried to make pizza many times myself, I know how little they cost to make and how easy it is once you have the right pizza dough recipe (ingredients and timing, both very important!).  But between the thickness and consistency of the crust, the  the sauce, and the ingredients, the world of pizza is actually pretty damn large.  Like people, they come in all shapes and sizes and can vary greatly based on where they come from.

After a long day of volleyball and boardgames, we ordered in so we could… continue playing boardgames.  Motorino is the last East Village “best” that I had not tried so we ordered from there.  Pictured above is the Brussels Sprouts ($16) pizza with fior di latte (aka. mozzarella made from cow milk, and not buffalo), garlic, pecorino, and smoked pancetta.  Brussels sprouts tasted FRESH, not the frozen kind out of a bag.  Smoked pancetta was super tasty and crisp along the edges.  Cheese was very mediocre and lacked a little flavor.  Their crust is pretty thin and becomes very soggy pretty quickly (it might be better to order in at the restaurant for their pizza).  The edge of the crust was sort of puffy but lacked the chewiness of Luzzo’s crust.  BUT, this pizza was much, much better than L’asso EV’s brussels sprouts pizza.

Continue reading Motorino’s Pizza

Num Pang

Num Pang
21 E 12th St
(between 5th Ave & University Pl)
New York, NY 10003

 

That thing up there looks like a banh mi, tastes kind of like a banh mi, but isn’t a banh mi.  Banh Mis are Vietnamese sandwiches that I often get because they taste so damn good and are so damn cheap (see Banh Mi Saigon).  Num Pang is a Cambodian sandwich shop that sells Cambodian sandwiches (duh), which include all the traditional banh mi ingredients such as cucumbers, pickled carrots, cilantro, and baguette.  Cambodia and Vietnam are neighbors so it makes sense that there would be similar foods but what exactly is the difference?  Both Num Pang and Banh Mi mean “bread” in their respective languages.  I googled “Cambodian sandwich” and “Banh Mi vs. Cambodian Sandwich” and “Num Pang” and all the possible combinations in between and could not find anything to help me clearly draw the line between the two types of sandwiches.  Other than the fact that Num Pang sandwiches ($8.00) are on average priced double what banh mis ($4.00) are normally priced at, I can’t seem to figure it out.  Anyone able to help me differentiate?

Ah, whatever.  Onto the food!  Pictured here is the Five-Spice Glazed Pork Belly sandwich.   It is one of their “seasonal” specials so I suggest you go and grab one soon before they rotate to something else!  If you like pork, especially tasty fatty pork, I can’t imagine you would feel anything else other than pure love for this sandwich.  The pork belly was tender, juicy, and almost a little crispy on the edges from the glaze.  Like all great pork dishes, it tasted slightly sweet.  This flavor was heightened from the sweet and slightly tart slice of Asian pear that came with the sandwich.  Yes, the sandwich is overall a bit small as the bread only measures about half a foot.  Though you end up getting about half a foot of pork belly, making the bread to substance ratio 1:1.  The bread is also from Parisi Bakery, meaning it was super high quality.  It made that amazing crunch sound that good bread makes after each bite. Continue reading Num Pang