Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hot Mini Cakes

I love it when I find out that my mini-cake dude is there at his corner when I'm around the area. I grew up with his mini-cakes and they're just $1. Actually, he's the only one in Chinatown that still sells 20 pieces for $1. But it was never really quantity, it's always quality over quantity.

A small cart on the street is all you need for some scrumptious mini-cakes. He's been there for over 10 years because I remember getting this every Saturday when I had weekend school.

They are so fluffy, soft, and moist. I tried all the other carts in Chinatown and none can beat his. The others would be too hard, dry, or even tasteless. It's a great snack to munch on when you don't have munch of an appetite on a hot sunny day!

Hot Mini Cakes
SE Corner of Grand St & Bowery
New York, NY 10002

Pommes Frites

Pomme Frites is just the way to have it when you're feeling a little adventures with your normally everyday food. Who knew that fries can be this good. Wandering off in the East Village after a simple meal, J wanted some fries. We've passed this little hole in the wall a couple of times but each time after a fulfilling satisfying meal. This time, we made sure we had a meal that only half fulled our stomach.

Looks quite fancy for a Belgian fries kind-of-place. Actually, I like how it gives off a European feeling.

The evening was hot with just a breeze here and there. I was mighty happy to see two chairs outside with a table, which means it's gonna be munchtime! There are seats in the back of the store but it was way too hot inside. I barely walk 10 feet into the store because there was literally no air circulation at all.

Big chunks of fries which were said to be double fried, and I believed that since I saw a batch that was fried but still had a light yellow crust to it. Hot and fresh, I wonder how people held the cone since it literally burned right through it.

Look at how nice the fries look. Personally, I do like McDonald's and Popeye's fries more because there's more flavor and crispy texture to it. I mean, I do enjoy these fries also, the best part is actually in the sauce/dip.

Endless selection for you to choose from, they have insanely exotic flavors. They have the regular dippings for free while the unique flavors are $1 each.

Top: Parmesan Peppercorn - extremely heavy parmesan scent and flavor. If you love parmesan then this is definitely for you.
Lower Left: Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo - the best out of all 3. A light mango flavor mixed with yogurt and it's fruity sweet. Goes extra well with the fries. I would totally recommend this to anyone!
Lower Right: Rosemary Garlic Mayo - quite garlic-y and a hint of rosemary but it wasn't anything too special.

And the feast begins!

Like our arrangement? We actually had a hard time finishing since we were greedy and gotten the large after a dinner meal. Total fail!
All-in-all, it's a great snack and if you love fries you should really check out this place. I would go back just for the sauce. Not to mention they have over 20 sauces to choose from.

Pommes Frites
123 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-1234 

Friday, May 27, 2011

123 Burger Shot Beer

Prior to heading over to a club, my two friends and I went to 123 Burger Shot Beer for a pre-game plus not to mention we need food in our system. We came here around 7:00pm and it was already a full house on a Saturday night. The decor of the place reminded me of Hooters, the shorts and tight tank top with the orange background. Nonetheless, the service was on point. Our waitresses were very nice and comes to us periodically to ask if we need anything else.

Red - One Night Stand
Teal - Naughty Barbie
The cocktail drinks were on the so-so side. They actually taste more like cough syrup than anything else. If I knew they were in martini glasses I would've passed because I really dislike drinking out of those.

Oh, I forgot to mention what was so great about this place.
$1 burger
$2 shot
$3 beer
Can't get any better than that.

Although the burgers might seem small, even smaller than White Castle's burger, but the quality was good. And for a buck, it's pretty much a steal in Manhattan New York.

Sweet Potato Fries
Ribs & Honey Garlic Wings
I was surprised at how tasty these were. The only thing I didn't like was how the ribs was covered in endless BBQ sauce, a bit too much! But the meat did fall off the bone which so won me over. The wings were fantastic also, nice and crunchy with tender moist meat.

I really like this place a lot for group hangouts or even pre-game because the food holds up to its expectations (at least for me). Now, maybe next time I ought to try the beers or drinks that are off of their menu.

123 Burger Shot Beer
738 10th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(212) 315-0123 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekday Lunch: Vanessa's Dumpling House

I must have a fetish with going to Vanessa's while it rains out. It's not a heavy downpour but it's still rain. I felt for light and cheap lunch today so I actually took the bus and got myself some dumplings.

It's a small place. Once you enter, walk straight to the back and slowly work your way up to the door. You put in your order, pay, and the cashier gives you a receipt which you will move a couple of steps up and wait for your number to be called. The wait can be anywhere from 2-10 minutes, depending on if the place is packed or not. I guess it's a win-win for me since I go on rainy days, usually less people on these messy weathers.

What's so great about this place? The cheap dumplings, actually a lot of their food on the menu are cheap but you simply can't pass up on $1 for 4 pieces of dumplings. They're not your average size either, bigger than the usual dumplings you get at restaurant and they are so good and juicy.

Top Left - Chive and Pork Dumpling
Top Right - Hot and Sour Soup
Bottom - Sesame Pancake with Beef
They have other options other than chives and pork, and if you don't like pan-fried they also have it in soup. The possibility are quite endless and I still can't get over the fact that it's so inexpensive.

The pancake sandwich was huge. It's like a size of a face, though more on the triangular side. You can have it plain, pork, beef, duck, etc. and there are cilantro and pickled carrots to accompany the meat. This alone can fill you up if you're a small eater and it was just $2.

I always see myself coming back for their Hot and Sour Soup and it's not like the other foods aren't good there. I've literally gotten hooked onto this soup, for $1.25 you can get a nice medley of vegetable in a hot and sour broth. This entire meal can feed two people and it only cost me $6.25, jealous?

It's a hole in wall kind of place, on a block where no one really knows. It's either by word of mouth or if you're a crazy food person then you would be able to find this on the internet. There are quite a number of cheap eats in NYC, you just need to know where to look.

Vanessa's Dumpling House
118 Eldridge St 
New York, NY 10002
(212) 625-8008

Monday, May 16, 2011

Street Eats: International Food Festival 2011

I apologize for not posting this up sooner for those that wanted to attend the festival.

This past weekend, the only weekend of the year that the International Food Festival was held. I missed it all the other years so I was super excited to go to this years. The festival stretches from 42nd street to 57th street, a wide span of 15 blocks worth of food and activities (more on the food side).

I'm warning you all, this is going to be one heavy post of photos so bare with me!

J and I decided to work our way downtown, therefore we started our journey from 57th street. Quite convenient since I need to get a book from Borders and Columbus Circle was just 2 blocks away! Anyways, starting from atop was a lot better since there weren't much people. In a right person's mind, they would start down south and work their way up but my mind isn't always right. I was hungry for food so we scrounge around quick to find something to munch on.

We love empanadas but this was so different from the last time we had it. Shouldn't have gotten chicken because beef was so much better. It was oily, but oily goodness.

Crazy turkey drums. I'm quite PO-ed that I didn't get this. We wanted to purchase it from this vendor but he said he's out of gas/coal so his turkeys ain't cooking. I pushed it off til later to get it as we walk further down but by the time we got down there, I was full so that was a total fail. I assure you, next IFF I will definitely get the drum first even if it fills me up!

Red light, green light, one two three?
J and I absolutely love the green lemonade. It's so rare to find vendors with the green one because they usually just sell the yellow and pink one. The green one is actually lime, so the taste is quite different. To me, it's not quite as tart.

I saw this stand and was completely in awe. I love fried food and I love seafood. They even had raw oysters that they shuck on site for you. Whole lobsters for $8 and even soft shell crabs, I was in total bliss heaven.

Somewhere down the road we got a Kobe Beef Slider, a little bland but I love the thickness of the burger. They need to have salt and pepper at the stands rather than ketchup and mustard.

Yay to free popcorn! They let you try some, so just pour a hand full in your hands and chow down. It was extra soft, light, and crispy at the same time. Love me some fresh caramel popcorn.

Random pig just chillin' out and waiting to be taken apart and devour by human carnivores.

I don't know why but I was totally surprised that Red Hook was here. After having Luke's Lobster, I do want to try the other well-known lobster shacks out there, Red Hook being one of them. And what's better than having Red Hook come to us rather than us going to them. We got the Maine style instead of the Connecticut because what's the big deal with mayo? I do prefer Connecticut style since it's a lot more cleaner with only butter. Kudos to them for giving us so much lobster meat.

Kyotofu, so cute. We always end up getting something from them even though we know how it taste and all. They usually never really come up with anything "new" so that's the only downside. I mean we don't crazy love their sweets but it's good to munch on them once in a while. Plus, it was only $2.

Alright, here I go regretting that I didn't get something again. We got the Gator sausage but what I really wanted was the crawfish boil for only $12! I'm still sulking over it. But it's ok, the sausage was pretty good. Loaded with spices you would expect from a Cajun place and that mustard totally worked well with it.

So, that concludes my adventure through 9th Ave. And, no that is not J and me dead center.
I'm quite shocked at how little people there are this year at the festival, maybe people didn't know about it? Overall, the weather was good. I don't like hot sunny days where there are tons of people pushing around to get food. If you missed this year's IFF, there is always next year so look out for that.

International Food Festival
42-57 Street
9 Avenue

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Street Eats: Hester Street Fair

The Hester Street Fair just opened this past weekend. J and I went on the day of opening which was probably a mistake since there were a lot of people and the weather was literally hot. I was quite excited knowing that the fair will have food and was also curious as to what kind of vendors will be there.

The entrance was quite tight as were the walkways within the fair. Surprisingly small for a fair because within minutes you were just stuck in place and can't move a muscle. There were endless vendors, maybe over 30? Anything from food to clothes, and there was a live band playing for your muse.

First stop, Mighty Balls. No idea what the hype was about but the line was reaching all the way out the gate. Where there is a line, there is good food. Basically, you choose your meat (beef/pork/veggie), then on goes the sauce, and then either slider, hero, or just the balls.

I had just the pork balls with "not just your average brown sauce" along with cheese (extra $1). It was mediocre, maybe it was because they had to cook this quick or just reheat it but it was just average. The sauce on the other hand was quite nice, I would have liked it better if my mozzarella cheese had melted.

J opted for a slider with beef meatball along with the saucey Jamaican and onion sauce, plus he thew on blue cheese. I liked the slider a lot more and the onions gave the entire slider a bit of texture. The sauce was on the spicy side, just to let ya'll know.

J wasn't really happy with his little slider so he scrounged around to find more food. There were tacos, crepes, lobster rolls, but we wanted to try the Beef Po'Boy at Cheeky Sandwiches. I'm so glad we got this because it was so good. The bread was lightly toasted with marinated beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. This was worth the $5 plus there was no line (I wonder why).

So, before we left we remember to stop by this vendor.

The Shaved Ice Shop. Again, $5 for all that. You can choose up to 3 toppings and have your choice of ice cream, topped off with sweetened condensed milk and you're in heaven. It was perfect for the day since it was getting quite hot.

The fair will be there until summer is over so don't worry about it not being there. It also opens from 10am-6pm so you can grab breakfast, lunch, brunch, and early dinner!

Hester Street Fair
Hester St & Essex St
New York, NY 10002