Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String …

These are a few of my favorite things!  Valentine’s surprise from my favorite person included some of my very favorite foods.  You’ll start to notice that I particularly love starch-wrapped things.  Dumplings, hot dogs, sandwichs, lobster rolls, all kinds of buns, burritos, tacos, burgers etc. – I love ’em all!

 

‘Twas a hodgepodge dinner of…

 

Baohaus: Birdhaus Bun
238 E 14th St
(between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
  

Baohaus is a tiny restaurant that boasts a lot of swag.  There are usually 3 people working, the bao-man (man who makes the actual bun), the stuffer, and the cashier.  They play a lot of old school hip hop music and have swagalicious bao-art up on the walls.  Check out my older post about the place for more info.  Of all the baos, this one is my fav.  Fried chicken with spicy seasoning, salt, cilantro, crushed peanuts, and taiwanese red sugar.  Taro fries on the right are also deeeeelicious, if you truly love taro that is.  If you’ve only had taro bubble tea, you don’t know what taro actually tastes like.  I suggest you get your butt over to Baohaus and check out these fries.  They are starchier than the average potato, maybe more like a yucca, and have a distinctly sweeter flavor.  The fries are served up with a side of “Haus sauce,” which is a garlicy peanuty sauce.

 

Luke’s Lobster
93 E 7th St
(between 1st Ave & Avenue A)
New York, NY 10009

Luke’s Lobster is a tiny shack in the East Village (also in many other locations) that serves up some fresh Maine lobster rolls with trendy sodas like Ginger Root and Sarsaparilla.  The owner was a savvy investment banker who left the industry to pursue his true passion: lobster.  His father provides all the lobster, already cooked, from the family seafood processing company in Maine.  He even gets his buns from a local bakery in Maine.  Everyone is all about being “local” these days and knowing your “farmer” or “baker” or lobster-catcher for that matter.  Luke’s Lobster clearly caught on.  Though I still prefer Pearl’s, Luke’s lobster roll is cheaper, faster, and really a different animal entirely.  At $15 a roll, you get a toasted and buttered bun sandwiched with big chunks of fresh sweet lobster, sprinkled with the *secret* ingredient, celery salt!  You wolf the entire sandwich down while taking sips of ginger root soda and leave.  Done and done.

Japadog
30 St Marks PL
(between Cooper Sq & Astor Pl)
Manhattan, NY 10003

Though not necessarily a favorite, I had been wanting to give this place a second chance and was able to because it is starch-wrapped and the restaurant is close to all my other favorites.  This is an Okonomi dog, a Kurobuta sausage (aka Berkshire, an early-maturing breed of piggy) topped with bonito flakes, sandwiched between a fluffy toasted bun.  This dog is definitely tastier than the Terimayo dog though you end up finishing it completely forgetting that it is from the hot dog family.  The asian-flavored sausage, asian condiments, and toasted bun (yes, asians eat toasted buns too) all work well together.  The only hot doggy thing about the whole combination is what it looks like.

99 Miles to Philly
94 3rd Ave
(between 12th St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Believe it or not, this is the first Philly Cheesesteak I have ever had.  The cheese was provolone instead of the traditional Cheese Whiz in our feeble attempt to be “healthy.”  I don’t really have much to compare this sandwich to but I thought it was very yummy.  I wish there were more onions to break up the steak and cheese a bit but loved the size of the sandwich.  It was kind of like a torpedo from Quizno’s, long and thin (twss), one bite and you have all the flavors.

Kung Fu Tea
241 E 10th St
(between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Kung Fu Tea is a chain bubble tea shop and probably my favorite in NYC thus far.  The tea actually tastes like tea and the sugar level is flexible.  You can have them only add 15%, 30%, 50%, or 75% of their normal sugar portion.  I always opt for the original bubble tea with 30% sugar.

 

Pinkberry
24 St. Marks Pl
(between 3rd Ave & Astor Pl)
New York, NY 10003

After dinner and midway through our movie, this frozen treat was brought out for me!!!  There is nothing better than a little frozen yogurt and fruit to cleanse your palate after a greasy dinner….

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