Tag Archives: lunch

Madame Vo for Bun Bo Hue and Pho


Madame Vo
212 East 10th St (2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Quick post for a place that deserves a quick bite. Madame Vo is one of two new vietnamese restaurants to open in East Village this year (the other is Hanoi House). I promise to try Hanoi House soon to do a comparison, but first up we have my review of Madame Vo. Full disclosure, I actually got the two mixed up because my instafeed was blowing up with photos from both places. I wanted to go to the one that had the pho with a massive bone marrow in the bone – turns out that one is Hanoi House…

Nonetheless, I went to Madame Vo twice within two weeks.


The vietnamese coffee ($4) tastes like chilled, melted coffee ice cream. It was good, very tasty, but definitely more of a dessert than a beverage.


The summer rolls ($9) with shrimp, vermicelli, lettuce, chive, and basil are high quality. The rice paper skin was not overly soft or hard – perfectly chewy. Shrimp was cooked just right – tasted just lightly poached. It’s a bit pricey for what you get, but definitely higher quality than the usual summer roll.


LAW hates soup noodles (it’s odd) so he got the grilled pork chops ($16) which came with a side of crab cakes and rice. Given all the buzz around the pho, I was pretty certain my dish would win. Looking back, LAW may have won this one. That pork chop was so damn delicious. It had this scallion oil all over it. It was perfectly marinated and charred. Paired with a side of daikon + carrot pickles, it was tres tasty. Crab cake was kinda random. A weird pairing in my opinion. I would rather them get rid of it and lower the price of the dish. Continue reading

Poke Post #2: Wisefish

Wisefish Poke
Wisefish Poke
263 West 19th St (6th Ave)
New York, NY 10011

Alright food friends. Quick update here. I went to Wisefish recently with N.T., G.B., H.W., and LAW to do a little taste comparison against the glorious Sons of Thunder. Just by photo comparison, you can see the main difference between the two: Wisefish poke bowls have a lot more stuff. The ordering mechanism is different. At Sons of Thunder, you pick your fish (or octopus or tofu or whatever) and that’s it. It comes with greens, radishes, seaweed salad, etc.  You can also add toppings like krispies (yes do this), nori, avocado, etc. for an additional price. At Wisefish, you pick your fish and then get unlimited toppings from their toppings bar. It’s like the new-ish PinkBerry method where you pay a little more but get as many toppings (edamame, hijiki, radish, etc) as you want – or more precisely, as many as will fit in the bowl/you’re shameless enough to ask for. The price ends up being similar.

Because at Sons of Thunder I have to pick and pay for each additional topping, I find that I cherish/appreciate those toppings that much more. Also, a bigger point here, the quality of fish is just better at Sons of Thunder. The Wisefish tuna and salmon are cut into smaller cubes and are a bit…. softer (maybe marinated too much?) and stringy-er. Though, the fish quality isn’t a dealbreaker because it’s still decent and the number of toppings and sauces you can get sort of makes up for it. You should certainly go if you’re in the area. If the purpose of your meal is to have the best poke on the other hand, I would go to Sons of Thunder (I still have Pokeworks to try so I’ll let you know if my assessment changes). Continue reading

EONS: The Greek Chipotle

Eons
EONS
633 2nd Ave (34th St)
New York, NY 10016

Chipotle… meets the Greek Gods and makes Greek babies. And by babies I mean food. And by Chipotle makes Greek food I mean a restaurant called Eons copied Chipotle’s healthy/fastfood model and made a Greek version of it. And it was deeeeeliicioussss!

EonsEONS just opened up not too long ago in the land of the bros (Murray Hill). Like Chipotle, you choose a base (pita, rice, or salad), pick your protein (chicken, lamb, steak, pork, shrimp, salmon, or octopus – lots of options!), pick your sides (gigante beans, lentil salad, beet salad, etc.), add a spread (tzadziki, eggplant, hummus, garlic spread, etc.), then add as many salad-y things you want (cucumber, tomatoes, olives, etc.). Other than the seafood proteins, your meal will cost less than $10.

Eons
And your meal will look beautifully colorful like this. Here I ordered the brown rice base with slow roasted pork (very juicy and soft), EONS salad (which includes farro, cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, and parsley), beet salad, olives, and roasted baby eggplant spread. The meal was filling yet light, flavorful but not too salty. My body felt amazing after. All the ingredients are just very fresh and simple – something I’ve loved about Greek food but was never able to access it so easily and quickly as from EONS. Continue reading

Nishida Sho-Ten: FAMAZING gyoza and delicious, authentic ramen

Nishida Sho-Ten
Nishida Sho-Ten
302 E 49th St (between 1st and 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10017

I’m really tired of eating at fancy places (#firstworldproblems). I was about to blog about my recent trip to Bouley, then just got so bored writing about the smoked Alaskan salmon with Tasmanian mustard seed, creme fraiche, coconut sugar, and gluten free crouton (yes that is all in one dish, the amuse bouche actually – not even a real dish). I’ve come to accept that as much as I have an appreciation for places like Bouley and Jean Georges, I get most excited about eating, taking photos, and blogging about homey hole-in-the-wall places like this one!

Nishida Sho-Ten
I like eating where hip Asians eat too I guess.

Nishida Sho-Ten
So, Nishida Sho-Ten is a cute little ramen place in Midtown East. There are always diners eating there, but I’ve never had to wait in line for a seat before. Continue reading

Interesting AND Tasty: A Delicious Ladies Lunch at Jean Georges

Jean-Georges
Jean Georges
1 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023

HI GUYZ! It’s been awhile since I’ve done a real blog post. Going to try to get back at it now that the weather is nicer and I’m less inclined to stay home and cook (follow my instagram @whatshisees to see my daily cookeries!). Today’s blog post is from a recent Ladies Lunch I went to with the lovely K.C, B.J., and J.N. As I mentioned in my Betony post, going to fancy restaurants is fun for me in the same way going to a museum is… I admire art and creativity. I usually don’t go for a really satisfying, tasty meal (given that my favorite foods consist of dumplings, noodles, and pizza… you can see why). Luckily for me, Jean Georges ended up being both beautiful and very, very tasty.

Jean-Georges
If you’re a chronic bruncher or lunch-deal-hunter, you probably know that Jean Georges has one of the best lunch deals. Where else can you go to a Michelin star restaurant for a $48 meal? The $48 lunch deal is a 2-course meal. Any additional “courses” costs $24. We each had two courses and added an additional dessert course because, well, because! And looking back on my journey, it was well worth it. Anyway, let me begin to describe my culinary journey at this fancy pants place.

Bread: Decent. Just decent. The sesame bread was my favorite because it was light and very, very sesame-y (do you like my descriptors?) The bread definitely wasn’t as  good as at Betony. I’m going to Bouley next week where the free bread is supposed to be awesome. That’s the only reason I’ve been dying to go! #bread4lyfe

Jean-Georges
Our meal started with a little amuse bouche featuring a trio of different flavors and textures. Starting clockwise is a tiny bit of soup, a roasted portabello mushroom, and a swirl of smoked salmon. Every item was pretty unique and flavorful, but didn’t really go together. I feel like each was meant to stimulate a different taste profile on my tongue… to get all my taste buds wired and ready to go. Good job Mr. Amuse Bouche. It worked.

Jean-Georges
This… this… might be my favorite uni dish of all time. And I’ve had a lot of uni things. B.J. and I ordered it for our first course. It is a trio of Santa Barbara urchin (only the best) over a thick slab of butter, on top of toasted black bread. It’s topped with the most amazing flakes of sea salt and a tiny slice of jalepeno. Oh, and there’s yuzu somewhere in there. The ginormous slab of urchin was sweet and creamy, only to be made more creamy and delicious with the butter. The yuzu added a nice citrusy kick to the creaminess, and the jalepeno added a little bit of heat at the end of your bite. The toasted black bread was a nice addition to help soak in some of the flavors. Honestly, just so much YUM in my mouth. AND THERE WERE THREE OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!! Continue reading

Brushstroke: delicious and filling fancy pants lunch

Brushstroke
Brushstroke
30 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10013

What started out to be a painfully awkward lunch at Brushstroke became a surprisingly delicious one. LAW and I were invited by his parents’ friends for lunch at this fancy David Bouley restaurant. The restaurant is spacious and quiet (too quiet, though the bottle of wine fixed that). We each had the $55 lunch tasting menu, which came with an amuse bouche (above), an appetizer, entree, rice bowl, and dessert (lots of food!). The amuse bouche was very tasty and light. Each bite was extremely different: one with a yuzu gelee, another with a smokey salmon, and the third with a cauliflower puree and truffle. Delicious.

Brushstroke
There are  five different apps to choose from. I chose the Pacific Jumbo Oyster with uni, bay scallop, and meyer lemon foam (yes, that egg-looking thing is actually a light, airy lemony foam…). This is one of the most umami things I’ve ever had. One bite with fresh oyster, uni, AND scallop?! *faints* So good. Continue reading

The Bao: THE BEST SOUP DUMPLINGS HAVE ARRIVED IN MANHATTAN

The Bao
The Bao
St. Marks between 2nd and 3rd Ave
(no website yet!)

This might be the most excited I have been about a restaurant in a long time. The Bao is a new Chinese restaurant in East Village. It’s so new it doesn’t even have a website or Yelp review yet (someone please get on it!). I was lucky enough to be invited (okay, forced to go because I was already so full at this point) by N.T. because her aunt’s friend opened the place. And let me tell you guys, it has, HANDS DOWN, the BEST 小笼包 xiao long bao (aka. soup dumplings) I have had in the United States. Thanks, N.T. and Auntie Judy for bringing it into my life!

The Bao
The restaurant sits in the middle of the craziness on St. Marks, yet offers a peaceful, spacious space with pretty great modern design. We literally just had a huge barbecue meal and ice cream before this, so only came to show support for the restaurant. We said we’d just try one soup dumpling each and would be on our way. One led to two, three, four, five…

The Bao
The restaurant serves up a combination of Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan, and Guangdong dishes – all the owner Richard and his wife’s favorite foods. This here is a glass of sour plum juice, which tastes slightly medicinal but is super refreshing. I love that they have some of the lesser found things like this on the menu.

The Bao
TURNIP PUFF PASTRY (萝卜丝饼). I friggin LOVE this and have only ever had it in Beijing where I get it at every restaurant I go to that has it. I’ve never seen it on the menu over here and was so excited when I saw it at The Bao. Unlike the traditional kind that are a bit bigger, about 2 inches in diameter, these little guys are bite size. The filling is typically freshly shredded turnip, scallions, some ginger (I believe), and a little bit of Chinese smoked ham (fattier the better). Not sure exactly what The Bao uses, but the filling tastes very similar to what I get in Beijing, maybe even less greasy. Continue reading

Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House (longest name for the tiniest place)

Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House
Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House (right by Prospect Park)
212 Prospect Park W
Brooklyn, NY 11215

A good while ago, before my trip to Iceland with LAW, N.T., and G.B., we decided we needed to prep for the upcoming intense hiking by doing some local hiking in … Prospect Park. So maybe it wasn’t so intense, but we pretended it was by taking a bunch of well-planned, well-cropped photos. Before we started our rigorous day in the park, we stopped by Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House, which seemed to be a local favorite.

Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House We got off the F train and found this tiny restaurant.  Continue reading

Eataly: BEST Prime Rib Sandwich I’ve had!

Eataly: Prime Rib Sandwich
Eataly
200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010

You all know now that I love Eataly (especially after my trip to Italy). LAW and I were in the neighborhood and decided to grab a quick lunch. G.B. had told me numerous times that him and N.T. always split the Prime Rib sandwich from Eataly’s Rosticceria. This butcher counter sells a different meat per day of the week (for example, porchetta Thursdays and meatball Fridays). You can buy roasted meat and rotisserie chicken by the pound, or buy freshly made sandwiches and sides (they have roasted brussels sprouts!). Continue reading

Beef Brisket and Tendon Noodle Soup from Lam Zhou

Lam Zhou Handmade NoodleLam Zhou Handmade Noodles
144 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002

If you haven’t already, it’s about time you make the trek deep into Manhattan Chinatown away from the fake Coach bags and thousands of iPhone cases on Canal Street. Lam Zhou Handmade Noodles is a tiny noodle shop on the very South Eastern tip of Chinatown. It’s been around for ages and is consistently rated as one of the best Chinese noodle places in the city. I.K., D.C, F.L., and I skipped the usual eggs benny and came  here for brunch/lunch one weekend.

Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
Prices have stayed cheap and options fairly minimal.

Lam Zhou Handmade NoodleThe restaurant is small and a little dirty. Expect to sit facing a wall or at a table with other noodle-slurping diners. Lam Zhou is a restaurant in its most basic and practical form: serves food and provides utensils to eat.

Lam Zhou Handmade NoodleNotice that the chopsticks are from another restaurant. Seeing this made me miss home tremendously, because it reminded of how practical Chinese people are. Chopsticks are chopsticks!

Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
As the name of the restaurant suggests, Lam Zhou is a noodle shop. It specializes in beef noodle soup where you can choose the beef type (brisket, tendon, oxtail, some combination, etc.) and the noodles (handpulled or knife-cut). I chose a brisket-tendon combo with knife-cut noodles.  Continue reading