WIAW on Lindsay’s Personal Food Tour

Hey ya’ll! It is my favorite day of the week, What I Ate Wednesday, thanks to the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons (seriously go check all the posts out, you won’t regret it). I have had something very special planned for this day. Since my brother’s last day in town was Tuesday, I had planned on taking him and his friend on a personal food tour designed by me. I originally had wanted to take them on a Free Tours by Foot in the Lower East side since there are so many great foodie options, but instead on Sunday we went to brunch. I promised that I would make an epic, delicious food tour that would leave us dragging around. On top of having great food, the weather was perfection. It was so hot that I wish I hadn’t been wearing tights. Now lets get to my tour!

l

First stop on the tour was Golden Steamer, which is located in Chinatown on Mott St. This local favorite, which was about a 4 and a half star on yelp, so you know it was going to be legit. The main focus of the store is steamed buns, which as you know are my favorite things in the world. They have many other options to pick from too. Classic dim sum items such as chung fung and steamed shrimp dumplings. You can either get steamed buns fresh or you can buy packages that you bring home to steam later. These contain 4 buns of whatever flavor of your choice. The best part about this place is that it is so freaking cheap.

IMG_3309

We started off splitting a pork bun, which was amazeballs. The pork inside was so tender and sweet from the BBQ sauce. This was probably my favorite bun that we tried. It was so soft. I definitely want to back for more of these because it was like a little cloud from the sky. Not to mention that it was like 1$. Thank god this is so far away because I would live off of these if I could.

IMG_3310

The second bun that we split was a red bean bun. It sort of tasted like frito bean dip inside a steamed bun. That was really interesting. I actually really enjoyed it. I tend to not like red bean paste things because sometimes it can get real funky, but this was surprisingly great. Still not as great as my pork bun, but it definitely was tasty.

IMG_3311

Oh the great egg custard bun. You are so hard to find always, but when I find you it is the tastiest thing I have ever had. While it is no pork bun, it is a good second. The creaminess of the egg custard goes along perfectly with the soft texture of the steamed bun. I wish I would have gotten some more of these for all of us to snack on during our walk or at least my huge trek later back to campus. Anyways so far we were 1/1 on going to a delicious, cheap, and foodie approved place. The shop is really small, which is why we had to eat all the buns standing outside. No shame.

prosperity

After our steamed buns, we headed over to Eldridge st in order to hit up the iconic Prosperity Dumpling over in Chinatown. This place is known for their super cheap dumplings with deals like 5 fried dumplings for 1$ (however this has now changed and it is 4 for 1$, but still such a good deal). They have other items on the menu like scallion pancakes, noodle soups, and other appetizers. However most people come here for the dumplings. The shop is incredibly small. There is barely any room to sit down. We were lucky enough to beat the lunch crowd, so we got to sit down and enjoy our dumplings.

IMG_3313

We ended up getting an order of the fried pork and chive dumplings to split. These were delicious. The outside was crispy in some spots and soft in others. It wasn’t too greasy. The dumplings were so hot, so they were really freshly cooked for us. The inside was delicious. The pork was mixed well with the chive. You could top the dumplings with three sauces, so we chose the no label dark sauce. My brother ended up shooting half of it across the table, but it eventually got onto the dumplings. It was like a sweet soy sauce for dumplings.

IMG_3314

We decided that we should be somewhat healthy and get steamed dumplings too. These were cabbage and pork dumplings. They were 10 for 2.75$, so still such a good deal. We had to wait a little bit longer for these since steaming takes longer than frying dumplings. These were so good. I was glad that we ended up getting a second order of dumplings. They were soft and packed with tons of flavor. It sort of reminded me of soup dumplings because when you bit inside the dumpling there was the juice from steaming the pork dumpling. We topped it again with the sweet sauce, which this time my brother didn’t spill. Winning. Off to the next place.

images

Before we went to our next stop, we had to pit stop at the Bank of America because my smart little brother forgot to get any cash. This is the one problem with living in the city. There are too many cash only places in the city, so you always have to be prepared with having cash on you. Onwards to Cheeky’s Sandwiches, which is located in the Lowest East Side. This was New Orleans style place with tons of sandwiches.

IMG_3320

I ended up going with the Chicken sandwich, which pretty much looks like a little version of Whataburger’s famous Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. However this one had fried chicken, buttermilk biscuit, cole slaw, and gravy. This was so good. The biscuit was tender, which went well with the crispy crunchiness of the chicken. The coleslaw was a nice mix to place on top because it wasn’t gross like normal coleslaw. We ended up splitting all the sandwiches by passing them around and having a few bites at a time of each sandwich.

IMG_3319

My brother’s friend ended up getting the beef sandwich, which was my favorite by far. It was braised short rib, horseradish sauce, arugala, cherry tomatoes, and served on challah bread. CHALLAH. This is seriously a Jew’s favorite menu item. It was perfection. I love anything served on challah, but when you combine brisket and horseradish sauce on top of it. OMG NOM NOM NOM. I definitely am going to go back here just to get this sandwich. It is totally worth the trek.

IMG_3318

My brother went with a classic choice of the oyster po’boy. He may have not been born in New Orleans like my older brother and I, but he knows good seafood when he sees it. These oysters were crunchy and delicious. It was a very simple sandwich in order to keep the main focus on the oysters, so it was topped with lettuce, tomato, and a spicy sauce. I really liked it, but the sauce was a little too much for me. He loved it though. He gobbled it down and kept trying to grab it from us when it was our turn to eat it. We had ginger brew with the meal too. My brother had a passion fruit one while his friend and I had pomegranate. They were really delicious with a nice kick of ginger. Afterwards we had to walk a while to let our stomachs rest.

a_560x375

Next up on the tour was Prince St Pizza, which was located in Noho. It was your pretty basic mom and pop pizza shop that has had a ton of celebrities roll through this joint. I know this because the wall is decorated with famous people and the pizza shop workers. It was a really quick get your pizza and go kind of place. Luckily there were a few tables inside, so we could sit down and enjoy our pizza.

IMG_3321

We ended up just getting two slices of margherita pizza to split between the three of us. I mean just look at those slices. The shop is known for their homemade mozzarella, so we obviously went with something that used it as the star. The cheese was melted so great, so when you took a bite into the pizza it just pulled and became stringy from your mouth to the pizza. I was in a food coma at this point. It was a struggle to get the pizza in my body. Afterwards we trekked back to the Lower East Side, so I could take the kiddos to Yonah Schimmels Knish Shop. I ended up just getting some Knish’s to go for my date from the other night, but the kids ended up getting a cheese knish with apple. It looked really good. I’m not sure how they ended up cramming it all into their stomachs, but props to them.

Have an awesome Wednesday! I have to go to my lab soon, which will be pretty easy today since we are just doing stretching exercises and flexibility.

Have you ever been on a food tour?
Would you ever give your own tour? Where would you go?

Advertisements

The Greatest Foodie Adventure

Hey ya’ll! Happy Friday. I have been crazy busy today. This morning I had an interview at the New York City Food Bank for an internship of a lifetime. I really hope I get the opportunity to intern there! It would be amazing. Then I had plans with a friend to go on a free walking tour through Chinatown from a company called Free Tours by Foot. That was probably the greatest foodie adventure I’ve been on since I’ve moved here. It was a food tour, so it was based around the food in Chinatown. We went to a ton of delicious places while learning about the culture of Chinatown and how Chinatown was developed. Lets get to the yummy part, which was the food.

photo 1(2)

The first stop was a dumpling shop. At the beginning, I just wanted to eat anything because I hadn’t eaten all day because I had been back and forth from my apartment to places. I was excited though we were getting dumplings because who doesn’t love a good fried dumpling. I sort of laughed that the name of the place was Fried Dumpling. It probably said something else in Chinese, but our tour guide had no idea. It smelled so delicious outside. I wanted her to hurry up and explain, so we could get inside and get our nom on.

photo 3(1)

Get in my belly. The tour guide went on to explain the the pork and chive were the most popular, so I decided why not go ahead and get that. My friend and I ended up splitting a thing of ten dumplings. They were delicious. There was a nice juice inside, the pork was really tender, and the chive wasn’t overwhelming. The dough of the dumpling was perfectly fried and crispy in all the right places. The best part of this place was that 5 dumplings only cost a 1$. Apparently this is a huge thing in Chinatown. I definitely know where I will be heading from now on. I’ll pretty much become a dumpling with prices like these. This was the perfect way to the start the tour. As we enjoyed our dumplings, our tour guide, Meredith, from Free Tours by Foot, went on to explain a little bit about herself and the company.

photo 4(1)

The next stop on the tour was Xi’an Famous Foods. The funny thing was that I had actually creeped on this place before in one of my many yelp searches for legitimate Chinese food in New York. So when Free Tours by Foot said we were going here, I got a little foodie excited. This store has many locations in the city, which include East Village, Midtown West, and Chinatown. Of course since we were on the Chinatown tour, we obviously were going to the Chinatown shop, but it was nice to learn that there are bunch of shops around the city and much closer to where I live then Chinatown (bc this is so far away from my apartment – oh wait, so is everything that is anything, first world struggles).

photo 5(1)

My friend and I ended up splitting the Lamb Burger. Lamb at a Chinese shop? Yes, I was a bit weirded out too. The tour guide from Free Tours by Foot said that this was a really popular item and a good snack to go since we were on a walking tour. However I definitely want to go back because she said that they were known for their noodles and soup, which are two things that are not easy to do while walking. This was delicious. The bun was steamed on the outside and the lamb inside was soft and broke apart in your mouth. It was really spicy, which I enjoyed. One lady said she was sweating, which I laughed at because it was 40 degrees outside and it wasn’t THAT spicy. There were onions and peppers packed along with the meat, which was nice. Overall it was definitely a win. You go Free Tours by Foot, you go!

photo 1(1)

Next stop was ice cream. I know what you are thinking, who eats ice cream in Chinatown and when it is cold outside? It wasn’t that cold actually. Plus my mouth was a little spicy and hot from the lamb burger, so it was nice to cool it off with some ice cream. This place was really interesting. They had a ton of odd Asian flavored ice cream like lychee, sesame, something I can’t even pronounce, almond cookie (apparently this is some Asian treat), and others. It was hard to pick because they all looked so good.

photo 2(1)

I ended up getting the almond cookie one since it was a traditional Chinese treat that was mashed inside of ice cream. It was really good. The almond flavor wasn’t too overwhelming and I liked the nice surprises of crunch from the smashed cookie inside the ice cream. It was definitely a sweet treat to have. I want to go find those almond cookies and try them by themselves. My friend got this special Chinese one that had butter in it along with an American flavor of cherry vanilla. Of course the tour guide laughed at him for getting an American flavor, but he redeemed himself by getting the butter one too. I was getting full at this point, so definitely my advice on food tours is to always split things!

photo 3

The next stop was Mei Lai Wah, which was sort of a bakery, but kind of a dim sum shop, which also had random things like rice and noodles. I was so pumped to go here. When Free Tours by Foot had said that we were going to be getting BBQ pork buns on the tour, I was like OMG OMG OMG YESSSSSSSSSSSS. BBQ pork buns are pretty much my thing. I have to always have them at dim sum. My family knows too that this is like my ultimate dish. Anyways food.

photo 4

This is nirvana. Not even joking. My friend ended up getting the baked BBQ pork bun, which is a sweet version of this classic dish. It is topped with a honey egg glaze. He enjoyed it so much that he went back inside to buy some steamed BBQ pork buns to try. I don’t lie about BBQ pork buns people! The greatest thing about this shop was that the buns were only .80 cents. Ummm yes. And they were huge. I will definitely be coming back here all the time. I got two BBQ steamed buns to go because I knew I would want to enjoy them later. I wouldn’t have minded trying the shrimp dumplings or the rice noodles too, but I didn’t have time to get those or eat them on the walk.

photo 5

Free Tours by Foot is great because you get to learn historical information while nomming on delicious treats. Our tour guide decided to let our stomachs digest some of the food for a bit, so she took us to a Buddhist temple, which was really interesting. It was really beautiful inside with all the ornate statues. I was happy to sit down. We had been walking for a bit and my legs were getting a little tired. Problems of an old person. Struggle bus. There was an quirky old woman there offering grapes to her relatives that had passed on. We learned that the Buddhist offer food at the alter in order to feed them in heaven. I thought that was pretty cool. Hopefully someone manages it, so that the food doesn’t spoil.

photo 1

This was our last stop on the tour. I was sad, but at the same time I was looking forward to taking a rest because I was so exhausted. This was a sweet bakery unlike the more savory one we went to in order to get the BBQ pork buns. Apparently I was the only person on the tour, besides the guide, that knew anything about classic Asian dishes. My parents raised me right giving me lots of dim sum and other Asian food.

photo 2

Once again I had to get the treats to go, and I even got one for the roomie. I know how she loves her egg custard tarts, so I was like yep definitely getting two, so we can enjoy them together when we sit on the couch and vegetate tonight. We are cool like that. I also ended up getting a coconut bun too. I was a bit interested in how it would be, so I can’t wait to see if there is cream or not inside. I love that surprise, unless it is really gross.

Anyways I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed the food tour. Free Tours by Foot will definitely be having my business again. I can’t wait to go on more foodie adventures to places like the Lower East Side or Greenwich. The best idea behind the tour is that you pay what you want for the tour. Some people can either pay nothing while others will tip the guide huge. I think it depends on your experience on the tour, how much you paid for food, and how much money you have in general. Poor college students, like myself, can tip 10$, which I think was fair because I spent a lot of money on food. I definitely recommend this Chinatown tour though!

What is your favorite Chinese dish?
Have you ever been on a food tour?

WIAW: Goodbye To Austin

Hey yall! It is that awesome time of the week, What I Ate Wednesday. This awesome day is hosted by the lovely Jenn, who thought of the great idea of sharing drool worthy pictures of what everyone eats every single week. Ummm yes! Best idea ever. This week I am going to do a more sentimental post. I am going to do a goodbye to Austin post in regards to food. For the few weeks before I moved to NYC, I had to stop at all my favorite Austin local foodie places. I didn’t make it to every single place, but that is what vacation is for. I also didn’t take photos at some places and some foodie adventures were epic fails like the time I tried to go to SnoBeach at 8 pm (apparently it is closed at that hour, but who knew). So lets get this foodie party started.

photo(11)

Of course I had to get the holy trinity of hamburgers before I moved away from my meaty state of Texas. Hopdoddy was a must on the list of goodbye Austin foodie places. I ended up getting the turkey burger, which is definitely one of the best turkey burgers I’ve had apart from my own. It is such a juicy burger for being a turkey burger. That is what I love because it is so hard to find a good one that isn’t dry. The cheese that pairs with this burger is perfect. It comes with a light sauce and some vegetables too. Definitely one of my favorite burgers on the menu. If you ever go, it is called the Continental Club! Get it (or every other burger because they are all freaking amazing).

photo(10)

You can’t go to Hopdoddys without getting some fries and green chile queso. At least my mom, my brother, and I can’t go without getting these delicious treats. This green chile queso has the perfect amount of heat with cheesy goodness. Yes when I talk about cheese I tend to make up descriptive words, but I think you get the picture. Fries in queso is probably one of the best combinations that there is. The crispness of the fries goes perfect with the smooth texture of the queso. Then you have the potato to calm down the spice from the green chiles. It is always a win when you order the queso (probably true anywhere in Texas).

photo(4)

Cupcakes are my friend. Ya’ll know that. I bet ya’ll are surprised that I didn’t go to Capital City for my goodbye Austin post, but oh wait I did. I just don’t have a photo of it because I brought a oatmeal cream pie with me on the roadtrip to NYC. I did manage to snap a picture when I went to Hey Cupcake in Austin. This is such a staple for Austin. Almost everyone can recognize the huge pink cupcake sitting a top of any Hey Cupcake store or trailer. I ended up getting the Michael Jackson, which is chocolate cake topped with cream cheese frosting, and the Double Dose, which is chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Oh man. These cupcakes are HUGE. And packed with delicious flavor. The cupcake flavors are so simple, but they are good. The cake is moist, the icing is not too sweet, and there is no lack of icing. It is amazing. That is why people always come back because the product is perfection.

photo(6)

There was definitely a goodbye stop at Chinatown for some dim sum smang session. This was actually my graduation brunch, which we waited until August to have. I know, so weird. It was worth the wait though. I love the BBQ pork buns more than life. They are steamed to perfection. The BBQ is sweet and chopped up in fine pieces, so that you don’t get a bunch caught in your teeth. This was a fantastic meal. My brother kept wanting to eat more and stuffing me to the breaking point. Seriously. At one point he wanted to order like 5 desserts. Ummmm I love sweets, but not that much. He only got 3 desserts instead haha. I am looking forward to experiencing the greatness of NYC dim sum.

photo(7)

Ya’ll better not be surprised that there is a snowcone in this picture. I may have not made it to Sno Beach, but I did make it to Casey’s New Orleans snowcones. I ended up getting a blackberry snowcone with condensed milk on top of it. It was pretty delicious. The blackberry syrup actually tasted like fresh blackberries, which is pretty impressive for a sugary syrup. I like this place because the syrups are very quality. You know that you will always get a top of the line when you go here.

photo(5)

Lobster rolls in Texas! Such an odd goodbye. Since I’m going to a city with more access to lobster and lobster rolls. Dock and Roll is such an amazing place in Austin though. I had to say goodbye. Who thinks of putting bacon fried chicken on top of a lobster roll? Only these guys. If every place had creative lobster rolls I would be the happiest girl on Earth. This lobster roll definitely made my day. It was really hot outside, so that may have been the only downside. The lobster was extremely fresh and there were huge chunks of it in the roll.

photo(2)

For my goodbye lunch with my grandparents, they took me to one of my favorite restaurants. The Roaring Fork. This place is so good. I ended up getting this green chile pork carnitas. Oh my god. It was so spicy. I thought I was going to die. It was delicious though. Totally worth sweating in a restaurant for (okay – I didn’t actually sweat, but it was pretty hot). Luckily they had the air conditioner on hard core. The crunch of the corn tortilla was perfect with the soft texture of the pork. The pork was amazing. It just fell apart in your mouth. It was topped with loads and loads of cheese too, so you know it had to be good.

photo(3)

SUSHI SUSHI SUSHI! Couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to one of my favorite sushi places in Austin: Tomo. Seriously perfection on a plate. Japanese lasagna, ex-girlfriend, double D, say my name. Ummm yes those are the names of the rolls and that makes me happy. Where can you go to have delicious sushi with hilarious names? Only in Austin. We like to keep things weird, real weird. Maybe Workaholics should move to Austin since they are always wanting to get weird. Ha. Such a lame joke. Yeah I’m pretty lame, but I eat good food.

photo(1)

Austin is like the mecca of taco heaven. There are so many great options of places to eat tacos at, but one of my favorites is Torchy’s Tacos. There is one literally down the street from my house, which is AMAZING. There are trailers sporadically throughout the city and actual storefronts like the one in my neighborhood. I have the Baja Shrimp Taco and the special taco of the month, which was fried chicken on top of a waffle on top of a fried egg with bacon on the top and drizzled with maple syrup. UMMM YESSSS. Maybe the greatest thing that I have ever eaten. You need to go here at least once a month to see the different taco of the month because they can get pretty crazy and are always delicious. The best part is you can always order your taco on corn or tortilla. I think some tacos go great with corn like the fish tacos, but the ones with fried chicken need to be on flour. Who cares if it is super unhealthy? It is tasty.

Well that is all folks! I hope everyone had a happy WIAW and technically it is Thursday, but that is because I had to deal with TWC for about 2 hours yesterday, so I couldn’t finish my post before class then when I got out of class I had a friend come over. Woo. It was a crazy Wednesday, but I survived.

If you were to move, where would you say goodbye to in your city?What is your favorite meal where you live?

The Art of Asian Brunch

Hey ya’ll! We are almost half way through the week, hurrah! I thought for today I would talk about another type of place that you can go out to eat at when you adopt Your Healing Diet. As we can tell from my sushi post, I love Asian food. Not only is it tasty, but is it also very healthy for you if you know how to manage your way through a menu. No wonder most Asians are very thin! One of my favorite Asian meals is Chinese Dim Sum. In my mind, I like to think of it as an Asian brunch. Brunch and Asian food: two of my favorite things. My favorite place to go in Austin is Chinatown, so one Saturday my brother, dad, and I decided to treat ourselves.

I love the decor and atmosphere of Chinatown because it is not kitschy. Instead it has a modern and sleek style with a few classic Chinese symbols around the restaurant. Anyways, dim sum does not start until 11 and I recommend making reservations because this place gets extremely crowded real quick. The way Dim Sum works is that the waiters come around with carts filled with delicious food, you pick what you want of the cart, and the waiter will mark it on your sheet. The prices are based on the size of the dish, so there is small, medium, large, extra large, and specialty.

We started out the meal with many dishes, but one of my favorite is the shrimp toasts. While this item does not exactly fit the Your Healing Diet, I believe that you cannot completely restrict yourself especially when you are first switching to a mainly plant based diet. I personally love seafood, so I will never be able to give that up. Anyways, the shrimp toast was perfect crisp and not soggy like it is at other dim sum locations.

The pot stickers at Chinatown are seriously amazing. They pan fry them right in front of you in a dumpling cart. It feels like you are eating legitimate food from the streets of Beijing, but you are really just sitting in a comfy chair in a restaurant. The outsides of the dumplings are perfect mix of crispiness from being pan-fried and the softness from the dumpling wrapper, and the vegetables inside are a nice blend that provides a good crunch when you bite into the dumplings. The dumpling cart is one of my brother’s favorite things at Dim Sum.

One of my dad’s favorite dishes is the salt and pepper shrimp. It is lightly battered and gives a nice spicy taste when you bite into it. The batter provides a crunch as you bite it, but then the warm juices of the shrimp burst into your mouth when you start chewing on it. I’m not going to lie, but this is definitely one of their best dishes. Not to mention that all of their shrimp dishes are extremely delicious. You can eat battered items like this in moderation. We split this between three people, so each person got about two shrimps. That will definitely not put any significant dent in your caloric budget or your healthy lifestyle.

We enjoyed tons of goodies at Dim Sum, and I left a happy camper. The best part was that I wasn’t extremely full because what we ate was very low calorie and pretty healthy for you. I recommend that everyone goes out to get some Dim Sum immediately, and if you are going to Healthy Living Summit and I happen to be there then let me take you to get some since I used to live in Boston for a while! I know my good eats there.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my review of Chinatown in Austin. If you are ever in the neighborhood you should go. It is in north Austin, but totally worth the trip (although I live close by, so it isn’t a problem for me).

Before I go I have to share the most perfect dish ever: Avocado stuffed with crab and shrimp. Hello perfection, I do love you. It is creamy and warm. The flavors of the dish explode in your mouth and come together in a great combination.

Have you ever had Dim Sum before?
What is your favorite Dim Sum dish?