New York City Restaurant Week: My Heaven

Hey ya’ll! It’s Friday, Friday, I freaking love Friday. Fridays are seriously my only day off from school, which is very different in comparison to last semester when I only had class on Monday and Wednesday. I have epic plans for the weekend. I am going to Killington, VT with a bunch of my friends to learn how to ski, have fun in the hot tub, and just relax from the stress that is school. In the meantime though I have something really near and dear to my heart to share with ya’ll. New York City Restaurant Week is upon us and I obviously have to experience all the greatness that is available to me. When you offer 25$ and 38$ lunch/dinners that are a ton of freaking food, I’m so going to be all over it. This Thursday, my school friends and I, decided to have an after class date at Haru Sushi, who just happened to be participating in restaurant week. Success.

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One of my favorite things about restaurant week dinner is that you get a ton of options from each category. For the dinners, you usually get a appetizer, entree, and dessert. The best part of Haru sushi is that each category had many amazing choices while dessert just had two (not complaining though because both are really great).

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I ended up going for the rock shrimp tempura with spicy sauce for my appetizer. This was definitely a good choice. This portion was freaking huge. I love that they give you the actual sizes for restaurant week because it means that you are definitely getting your moneys worth. The tempura on the outside of the shrimp was perfect. It wasn’t too crispy or too soft. The sauce was awesome. A lot of people on yelp complained that it was super spicy, but ya’ll are seriously weak. This sauce is not spicy at all. It was more creamy and delicious. So far this was a win. I was looking forward to more of the food to come.

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My friend ended up going with the King Crab Dumplings, which looked really good too. She said they were delicious. They came in this cute little steamed dumpling basket that you usually see sitting on dim sum carts. If I go back to this place, I would definitely get an order of these bad boys. They were only 8.75$ regularly (while it is nothing like my Jade Garden 8 dumplings for 4.25$ this is still pretty great for crab dumplings at a sushi restaurant).

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Hail the sushi gods. This was a lot of sushi for an entree. My friend and I both picked the specialty sushi rolls for our entree choice. It came with two rolls that were each 8 pieces, so that was 16 pieces of sushi in total. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to finish this (I ended up having to take 7 pieces home with me in order to be able to enjoy dessert). The rolls that were included were the Gramercy Park Roll and the Kiss of Fire roll.

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This was the Gramercy Park Roll. It came with crunch spicy albacore tuna and jalapenos wrapped with tuna, yellowtail, and salmon. There was also a wide variety of toppings on top in form of fish eggs. This roll was the bomb. I loved that there were different types of fish on top. All of the raw fish was incredibly fresh. It blended together nicely and to be honest I couldn’t really taste the spiciness of the jalapenos inside the roll, so I think that they did a good job of making it more of a blended flavor than a spice of the dish. This roll is originally 18$, so I probably wouldn’t have gotten it in the restaurant if there wasn’t this special NYC restaurant week menu. It was definitely good though.

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Hello you little firecracker. Man this roll definitely had a kick to it. This was the kiss of fire, which was really living up to its name. It was salmon, albacore tuna, and wasabi tobiko wrapped around crunchy spicy tuna and more jalapenos. This thing was jacked with jalapenos and spiciness all over. The red sauce that was a dot on the top of each piece of sushi was spicy. It wasn’t too much that I was sweating and snot dripping down my nose, but it definitely packed a punch and I had to chug some water to keep up with it. I love spicy things, so this was definitely my favorite of the rolls. It was regularly 15.25, so I think that I might get it, but probably not since I’m my cheap graduate student self. Thank you NYC Restaurant week, I love you for having all of this food available to me.

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For dessert, my friend ended up going for the banana spring roll with chocolate dipping sauce. You can’t go wrong with chocolate on the side. This was actually pretty good. We each let each other have a piece of our desserts. This was rather simple. It was just a banana wrapped with a wonton wrapper then it was fried. However that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good because it definitely was delicious. I liked that it was a lighter option to have for dessert because at this point you are probably pretty stuffed from all the food you have eaten.

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Oh man. I could just stare at this beauty for a long time. I went with the tempura cheesecake. It was definitely a win on my part. It was served over this interesting alcoholic kind of sauce with strawberries and whipcream. The cheesecake was so soft inside. It just melted in your mouth as you bit into the piece. I loved that it was lightly fried because it kept the cheesecake in its prime condition. I could have probably managed to stuff a ton of these cheesecake bites into my mouth, but unfortunately they only gave me about 3. Overall you get your moneys worth at this place because my appetizer was 11, the sushi was 33.25, and the dessert was probably 6-8. Therefore you know you are getting a good deal since the dinner is just 38$ and all you have to do is pay tax and tip. Oh restaurant week, can’t you be forever?

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Well I’m off to the mountains! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend because I know I will be having a pretty great one and a hilarious one. Next up on my NYC Restaurant week adventures will be Morimoto (yeah ya’ll can be jealous now, I’m going on Monday for lunch – booooyah).

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Welcoming the New Whole Foods

Hey ya’ll! It’s hump day. To be completely honest, it always takes me a few hours of each day to realize what day of the week it is. Oh how I am going to miss break. Luckily I get to ease back into school next week with only one day of class and one day of work. Thank god or I might die from the exhausting schedule that I have. Now I have some big news. A new Whole Foods opened up in Austin today in the Domain. I have been waiting for this thing for two years. It is just like the one downtown with a few different twists. When I extended my trip home, I was so excited that I was going to be home for the opening ceremony.

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For those of you that don’t know, Austin is the headquarters for Whole Foods and it is where the company originated. I feel like that is one of our cities claims to fame. I’m proud of it too because I am all about my healthy living and nutrition agenda. Austinites love keeping Austin weird by supporting local businesses. Whole Foods is something that most Austinites can’t live without (on the list are Longhorn football, yoga, Torchy’s Tacos, etc). This is why this place was a freaking zoo. My brother and I had to park in a parking garage so far away because every spot was taken and the dirt lot was full. This was insane.

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One of the cool things that Whole Foods did was that if you were one of the first 500 people at the opening then you would get a free Austin bag with goodies. I’m Jewish. Obviously I woke up at 7 am just so I could get a bag filled with free things. It wasn’t that bad actually. I ended up being 447, barely made it! I was so glad I got it though because it was a really good deal. I love reusable shopping bags not only because I hate dealing with plastic bags, but also because they can be used for so many other things like carrying my laundry to the laundromat or returning items to clothing stores. The bag also came with a nice sized freezer bag. That can be used for chilled bottles of wine or icecream, but maybe both for Galentine’s day that is February 13th (for the reference PLEASE watch Parks and Rec)! While we were waiting in line, staff from Whole Foods came around giving out stress balls in the shape of fruits and vegetables. I got myself a carrot. These were super cute and I was like I could totally do something like this for my future dietitian practice!

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Hello to you dark chocolate peanut butter cup. I love you too. This was just one of the many delicious treats that was in the bag. I love Justin’s more than anything. Seriously one of the best companies for organic peanut butter treats. One of my favorite things of theirs is the 80 calorie squeeze packs. I discovered them at a Whole Foods in NYC and I died. Other things in the bag include Lucy’s Gluten Free Cookies, black bean chips, tons of different types of tea, a bottle of soul water, omegabar, chocolate chip cookies, and so much more. It was a nice thing to do for the loyal customers in my opinion. Plus I now have more shopping bags, so win win!

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One of the best parts about a grand opening is all of the samples. Once again, the free things. I swear it is just something in my genetics that calls to me when I see the word free. The samples at Whole Foods were on point today. This was a piece of salmon that was grilled outside and seasoned with some spicy cajun spices. Amen. There was also an amazing piece of flank steak outside on the grill. It was incredibly tender and juicy. Other sample highlights include ramen broth, lobster tail meat, a shucked oyster, and tons of fresh fruit. I felt like I was in foodie heaven.

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Oh yeah, you heard right. I said a ramen sample because guess what? Our new Whole Foods has a ramen bar. Now that is what I am talking about. I ended up sampling the pork ramen broth, which was simple yet delicious. I will definitely have to come back next time I’m in town when the heat dies down, so I can get a huge bowl of ramen. The line was ridiculous. I hate crowds also, so that was a huge problem for me. People were walking so slow in the store that it was impossible to move around. I had to bust out my New Yorker moves a couple of times in order to get around.

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Wait, you don’t have a restaurant in the middle of your Whole Foods? Well we do. There was the cutest open building in the middle of the new store. It was a draft and oyster house. Beer and oysters. I could particularly do without the beer since I don’t drink a lot, but I would definitely line up for the oysters. They are really good. We got free samples of the oysters, so I can definitely vouch for this place. Also the fact that the inside was extremely crowded vouches for it too. I would definitely love to be able to sit down next time and enjoy an entire plate of oysters instead of just a sample. The ambiance was really cute too because it reminded me of a country porch. A place to kick back with a beer and some oysters.

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Speaking of oysters, this Whole Foods actually has a serving station where you can just make yourself a box of oysters to go and shuck yourself. I don’t really like the idea of shucking oysters myself, but I like that they have this option available for the real seafood foodies out there. There were so many different types of oysters to choose from, which was also really nice to have access to. That way in case you don’t like a specific type of oyster, you aren’t stuck to just having that. The Whole Foods really went all out on the seafood part.

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When it comes to Whole Foods, you definitely can’t forget to mention the desserts. You can’t live without a huge cookie cart that has three levels of different types of cookies on all four sides. My brother dug into this station and got a ton of cookies. I ended up sampling a pistachio shortbread, which was to die for. All you could taste was the tasty pistachio flavor, which was great because I hate when things say they are some flavor and there is only a small hint of that flavor. This cookie was great.

So lets get to the things that I didn’t like about the Whole Foods. For one the dessert section was very tiny compared to the downtown one on South Lamar. Also since the dessert section is small, there is no chocolate fountain. That means no caramel apples, which my mom loves. I think that there is a smaller amount of actual products to buy in comparison to the other massive location too. However I definitely won’t complain because I’m very happy that there is a massive Whole Foods near my mom’s house now. It is very convenient to us. I will definitely come here every once and a while when I’m in town.

Have you ever been to the Whole Foods in Austin?
What is your favorite thing(s) to get at Whole Foods?

French Pastries Make Anything Better

Hey ya’ll! It is Monday. For the first time, I’m actually pretty excited that it is Monday. It is the last day of class for me and the best part is we are having speakers in some of my classes because they assumed that most people would go out of town, so class is optional (well except for my applied physiology class, but I have to turn in my review paper, so weeeee). I have a delicious treat for ya’ll this Monday. FRENCH PASTRIES. Seriously I think that French pastries make anything better. One of the best places in the city is Mille Feuille, which is located over near NYU. Man if only Columbia was over there. I would be probably 5000 lbs (haha jk because that would kill me). Anyways there is nothing like a delicious pastry and some hot chocolate on a cold day.

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It is a really small shop, but it is packed with delicious treats. I was so cold, but the inside of the bakery was so warm that I think I was almost sweating. I made Carrianne sit outside with me, so I didn’t die to death inside while I nommed on my treats. It is a really cute shop though. The interior is decorated nicely, there is some stools to sit on, and it smells amazing. One of the coolest things about this little bakery is that they offer cooking classes for french macarons and croissants. Let me tell you, this is definitely the place you want to learn how to make either from (they have amazing macarons!).

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Ummm look at these containers of french pastries. I think I died and went to heaven. I have actually been here before on a trip with my dad and little brother to New York. That is how I knew about this place beforehand since pastries isn’t the top thing I’m creeping on yelp for. It was really hard to choose what I wanted to get because I was torn between so many things. Look at those cronuts, they look so good. If we go back, I’m definitely going to be getting one of those because they had chocolate, raspberry, and almond. I would have gotten the chocolate or raspberry, but anyways on to what I ended up eating.

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Look at this beautiful piece of croissant. It is pink, my favorite color. I think that is probably one of the main reasons that I gravitated towards this treat. The pink on the outside was beautiful. It was a raspberry flavored sugar that was sprinkled all over the top of the croissant. It was beautiful, but it was definitely a mess. When I was done eating this, I had pink stains all over my mouth. It was a pretty cute look for me.

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Look at the flakiness of the croissant. When you bite into it, the crust just falls apart in your mouth. It was so buttery and delicious. It was definitely one of the best croissants I’ve had in a long time. Although nothing will ever compare to the chocolate croissants I have had in Europe (the funny thing is, the best chocolate croissant I had was in Germany). The sugar had soaked in a little bit in the pastry, so there was also a nice hint of raspberry in every bite.

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Look at the inside of this croissant. It was an almond raspberry croissant, so the inside was filled with raspberry jam and almond paste. OMG. HEAVEN. When the two were mixed together, it was a sweet bite. The raspberry jam was perfect. It was made from fresh raspberries, so it didn’t have that artificial taste to it. I really hate when pastries just use pre-made fillings because having everything made from scratch makes it so much better. The almond paste was not too overwhelming, which was good because that helped it go along with the raspberry jam. I gobbled this thing up. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that goes here. Just be prepared to get messy.

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This place has some of the best macarons of my life. These little things are packed with so much flavor, which is what makes a good macaron. I hate when they are cooked perfectly, but do not taste what the actual flavor is. These were coconut and pistachio. The pistachio is definitely a favorite. It tastes like freshly roasted pistachio nuts. If you closed your eyes, you would think that you are actually eating pistachios. The coconut was the same way. It tasted like fresh coconut bursting inside your mouth. Other macarons that I have had from this shop include salted caramel, passionfruit, lemon, chocolate, and raspberry. Every single one of those is delicious. The salted caramel and passionfruit are definitely at the top of the list though. This place even made Carrianne enjoy macarons, so you know that Mille Feuille is legit. Noms.

Have an awesome Monday! I know I am going to! No case of the Mondays over here.

What is your favorite kind of pastry?
Have you ever had a pastry from France?

A return to Oatmeals (the greatest breakfast spot)

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone all weekend, but I decided I needed a weekend of rest. Plus I’ve been working hardcore on my review paper, which I think is going to be pretty awesome! Carrianne and I had a really chill weekend. We fought with time warner cable online, we did some light shopping, and we returned to our favorite breakfast spot. Ya’ll know breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so when we were in the West Village I had to go back to Oatmeals. Oh how I love you Oatmeals. A shop dedicated to my favorite breakfast item: oatmeal.

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This was Carrianne’s bowl of heaven. She ended up getting the Canadian, which sounded really tasty. It had cinnamon roasted apples, sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, maple syrup, and sea salt. Seriously one of the best combinations ever. You can never go wrong when you get bacon. It adds that crunch along with a salty smoky flavor. The maple gives it a little sweetness to bring in the roasted apples. The cheese becomes melty when you mix it in with the hot creamy oatmeal. This was definitely a very inventive bowl of oatmeal. I would have never thought to put all of these things in together.

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Carrianne isn’t a big fan of cooked apples, but she said that in this dish it was perfect. The apples were soft, but provided a nice texture along with all of the other ingredients in the bowl. Her favorite part was definitely the maple syrup. She thought it provided a nice taste to the array of flavors going on in the dish. She liked the sweet, yet savory idea behind it. She is more of a savory taste person while I am a sweet, so this was a nice balance in her opinion. I definitely will be getting this one sometime soon because it looked amazing and she gave it two thumbs up.

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I ended up getting one of the Happy Endings, which means it was a sweet based oatmeal. This one was the S’mores. Ya’ll know I can’t resist s’mores. It had dark chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, graham crackers, and a chocolate syrup drizzle. Oh man this was a bowl of sweetness. I was in oatmeal heaven along with s’mores heaven. I think that is the best type of heaven to be in. The dark chocolate was so rich. When you swirled it into the oatmeal, it just became a creamy melted chocolate pond. The marshmallows were really cute. They reminded me of the ones that you find in a hot cocoa mix. They melted too in the oatmeal, which enhanced the creaminess of the oatmeal even more. I love the taste of marshmallows.

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I really thought the graham crackers were interesting. I was expecting the classic large square chunks of graham crackers or I thought they were going to be crumbled over the oatmeal. I actually enjoyed these. They were really cute and provided a small amount, not overwhelming, of graham crackers. Graham crackers are my least favorite part about s’mores, so I was glad that they were really subtle. The chocolate drizzle was a nice touch too. It wasn’t drenched, which I appreciate. Overall it was another amazing oatmeal experience. I’m so sad that I don’t live closer because I would probably go here at least twice a week for breakfast. I think my wallet is happy though that I live far far away.

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The best surprise was this oatmeal cookie. The guy working convinced Carrianne and I that we needed to try this. Not that we really needed much convincing because look at it. It is just calling out for you to take a bite out of it. At first I thought it might be a little hard, which I hate. I was wrong. The cookie was so soft. It was chewy and delicious. The icing was perfect on top too. It wasn’t too sweet and it wasn’t too thick. I could eat a ton of these things. Actually they are huge, so I probably could only eat one by itself. I would definitely recommend getting this if you ever go here! Such a good treat.

Have an awesome Monday! I’ll be tortured in class for hours upon hours. Yay for 6 hours of straight class.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: While Abroad

Hey ya’ll! It is that awesome time of the week again, What I Ate Wednesday, thanks to the lovely Jenn. Unfortunately I’m going to have to recap some of the past today because I don’t have time to write an elaborate post about what I have been eating lately. Plus I’ve been slacking on the picture taking front. I have been too busy studying for my advanced nutrition midterm and working on my lab skills, such as blood pressure. I’ll probably kick the butt of all of it, but I would rather be overprepared for everything. So I’m going to recap the rest of my Spain trip in this awesome post because I realized that I forgot to share the rest of the trip with ya’ll. Get ready for some delicious, appetizing Spanish food porn coming your way.

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When we were in Barcelona, we went to heaven. Also known as La Boqueria. It is this huge outdoor market. It was amazing. There was so much to see inside. There were also little restaurants spread throughout the place. I pretty much wanted to gobble up everything that was in sight. It was really hard to just choose a few things to snack on because we really wanted to sit down and get some tapas too.

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Isn’t this beautiful? I thought so. I really just wanted to rob the entire candy stand. I’m not gonna lie, but I totally kept taking free samples of everything when the Spanish woman working the shop wasn’t looking. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a candy is good or not, so I thought why not test taste. Since we were getting tapas in a little bit, my brother and I decided to each get a huge bag of candy to take home with us on our long journey. Well he ended up eating his all before we even left Spain, but I got to enjoy mine when I was back in America and on my long journey. This candy was the bomb. I really miss it actually. It was pretty cheap too.

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Since it was a pretty hot day, we ended up getting smoothie/juices. It was a mix between a smoothie and a juice. It was really delicious. I ended up getting the pineapple coconut one. You could taste the fresh pineapple chunks in it mixed with the creaminess of the coconut. My brother got a watermelon one. It was really good too. His was more juice like while mine had the consistency of a smoothie. These were all over the market too. Pretty cheap. At some places, you could get a small one for one euro. I like cheap things.

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After walking around the market a bit, we decided to sit down and get some tapas. We ended up getting calamari of course. This was actually some pretty good calamari. It was salty, but when sprinkled with the lemon juice it became a little more acidic. It was really good. I wish there would have been more to enjoy because you can’t go wrong with ordering anything that is fried. Especially squid. It is definitely always a win win (lies though because I was poisoned by horrible food at this place in Sevilla – trying not to think about it).

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Of course we were getting patatas bravas too. These were very hasbrown like, which was delicious. It is always a safe choice to go with patatas bravas. As long as they aren’t just drenched in sauce then you are good to go. I think we ordered a few other things, but apparently I blacked out at this point in the meal and stopped taking pictures. I think we were in a rush that day because we were taking the train back to Madrid. This feels like forever ago too, which is sad because it was only a few months ago. I definitely miss this trip. It was amazing.

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I know when I was recapping my Spain trip that I wrote about the greatest meal of my life, but I lied. This meal was definitely tied with it. We went on a day trip to Malaga, which was so beautiful. It was a nice coastal town where we could look out at the ocean. I wish we would have gone to the beach while we were there, but it was a long drive from where we were staying, so we couldn’t stay that long. Anyways this restaurant we went to while we were there was AMAZING. This is caramelized apples with foie gras. Ummm YES. It tasted as good as it looks. The crispy sweetness of the apples went well with the foie gras. My life belief is that you should always treat yourself to foie gras. You won’t regret it.

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These were definitely some of the best croquetas I had on my trip. Actually the dipping sauce was amazing. It was like a spicy mayonaisse. That is definitely want you want to be dipping fried cheese balls in. I think that these were just your basic jamon (ham) croquetas. They may have been simple, but definitely packed a ton of flavor. I think that all croquetas should come with a delicious sauce like this.

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These were some really interesting things. At first I thought I was at an Asian restaurant, but then I remembered that I was in Spain. I thought these were eggrolls, but I’m still not really sure what they are. Anyways they were the best things EVER. They had duck in them, which was tender and delicious. The sauce that went with it was sweet and tangy, which went nice with the crunch of the fried wrapper. I was sad that I couldn’t remember the name of these because I am always looking for them at tapas restaurants in the city.

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This was a tapas from the gods in heaven. It was toasted bread with mushrooms, shrimp, and a creamy ranch sauce. It was so good. I was sad that we had only gotten one order because we each only got to enjoy one piece of it. The shrimp was cooked and seasoned perfectly while the mushrooms had been sauteed in butter and oil providing a nice texture along with the crunch of the bread. The sauce was amazing. All creamy, fattening sauces are good anyways, so this was just like mmmmmmmmmmm.

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Well we couldn’t go anywhere without having an order of patatas bravas. Since this was one of the best meals of my life, these were obviously going to be one of the best patatas bravas on the trip. I loved how they used not only the spicy traditional sauce, but also drizzled some mayonaisse based sauce on top too. When the sauces blended together, it gave a creamy spicy combination to go along with the crunchiness of the fried potatoes. Man, how I miss these things. I seriously dream about these little bites of heaven all the time because it is so hard to find traditional and delicious patatas.

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Since we are totally fatties and it was our vacation, so we were treating ourselves, we had to get a dessert. It took a bit to pick because I wanted those eggroll things, but in dessert form. However they had ran out of that, so we settled for this cinnamon apple dessert. It was definitely a winning choice. It was amazing. It had caramel, cooked apples, cinnamon, vanilla icecream, and walnuts. I died. Literally. It was perfection. It was literally gone in about less than a minute. My brother and I of course had our typical spoon fight over the last few bites.

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Breakfast of champions right here. I’m not even sure what any of this is, but my dad stopped at a pastry shop and just picked a bunch of things for my brother to have. I got the doughnut looking thing. It was not your typical doughnut. It sort of reminded me of this cronut craze that is going on. It was more pastry like on the inside and then topped with a sugar glaze.

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Here was my breakfast of champions. I think this was called a bombello or bombom or something along the lines with the letters bom in it. It was like eating cake for breakfast. Actually it literally was. The inside was a sweet buttercream. The pastry was a cream puff that had been dipped in rich dark chocolate. It was good. The other thing was just a basic little pastry roll stuffed with sweet cream. Everyone was grabbing to get a bite of my big pastry. It was that good. I was in a sugar coma though after breakfast. Not a bad way to start the day.

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We stopped at this interesting little tapas place in Barcelona. You pretty much picked all the tapas you wanted from a bar and went back to your seat to enjoy them. You paid by the amount of toothpick and the size of the toothpick, so that was pretty interesting. It was a good place to go to get a little snack before we went on a long adventure for the day. Some of the stuff was really good while some of the other things were just all right. It was overall an experience.

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I obviously have to share some more sweets, specifically helado. I love ice cream. In Spain, it was actually pretty delicious. This was more of a gelato style kind of ice cream place. I ended up getting white chocolate with raspberry and chocolate chunks in it. It was really good. I think the owner said that it was one of the most popular flavors. After I had a few bites, I knew why. The tartness of the raspberries went along well with the rich flavor of the chocolate. It was so good. A nice treat for a warm day (although the weather was never really that hot while we were there, which was nice).

Well that is all I have for ya’ll today! I hope you guys have an awesome Wednesday. Now it is back to studying for my exams. I am ready to kick some butt though. I know I’m good when I have literally memorized every single thing and can repeat it without looking at any notes. I could practically teach the class.

Where is the best place you have traveled and eaten the best food?
What was the best meal of your life?

WIAW: Westsville in NYC

Hey ya’ll! It is that awesome time of the week again, What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by the lovely Jenn. This week I have something special. My best friend and I met up with another friend of ours from Texas who also goes to Teacher’s College at Columbia. What a small world? We were in a Jewish youth group, BBYO, as youth, so it was a nice catch up, since the other girl was a few years older than us. We ended up going to this super cute place over in Chelsea called Westville. Now let me get on to the food.

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This place is overflowing with cuteness. Look at the menu. It made me feel like I was at school because it was handwritten on lined paper. I thought it brought a lot of fun to the restaurant and gave it a warm, welcoming environment. This was just one menu too. They had a regular menu underneath it. There was so many food options that it was really hard to decide. This menu was so cute though that I obviously had to get the market sides.

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Here is my beautiful plate of market sides. I feel like a bunny rabbit when I look at this plate. It is full of vegetables and tofu. It is also a really colorful plate, which is super important in having a healthy and balanced diet. It keeps you wanting to eat the healthy food by having it bright and colorful. You need variety in your diet in order to stick with choosing healthy choices.

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For one of my sides I got the Asian Style Bok Choy. It was just your regular bok choy that had been sauteed in some oil and topped with peanuts and spicy sauce. It was delicious. I love the way sauteed bok choy tastes. It gets so tender, which is a nice alternative to having to really crunch and chew on something. The sauce was really nice too. It wasn’t overly spicy, which I needed since I’ve been eating so much bibimbap with spicy red paste. I have cleared my sinuses way too much this week. I feel like a new person. Anways, Bok Choy. It was simple, but sometimes you need that in your life.

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This was the soy glazed tofu. I actually like how they presented this part of the dish. I was expecting to have a ton of small chopped up pieces of tofu, but then I was surprised when I saw two long pieces of pan-seared tofu on the plate. It had a light glaze of the soy, which was good because you do not want that overly salty taste to tofu. It was really crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. This was definitely one of the better cooked tofu dishes I have had at a restaurant (obviously nothing can replace my sesame tofu in Austin, but this was really good). This was my protein on the plate to go along with all the fiber that I was consuming. You always need to balance it out.

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This was definitely the star of the plate. Roasted beets with walnuts. I think I was in heaven. I could have eaten an entire plate of this. I forgot how much I loved beets. They are so soft and tender. When you stick them in your mouth, they just melt on your tongue. The walnuts gave a nice crunch to it and added a salty flavor to the sweetness of the beets. I gobbled these up in an instant. You could have gotten them with goat cheese, but I insisted on the walnuts because of the Vitamin E that they contain and they are a healthy source of fat. I will definitely be ordering this market side when I go back to Westville. I could not stop raving about this when I got home and talked to Carrianne. I was like the beets, OMG, so good. Who says that? I know my childhood self would not have. I’m adult Lindsay now who loves all her vegetables (even though when I was little, I actually had a pretty great palate for vegetables).

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Brussel sprouts? Man ya’ll must think I have gone crazy going after all the weird vegetables for dinner. To be completely honest, I was trying to be super healthy anyways because I am currently on prednisone for my arthritis, so I am intense with not consuming any bad things. For those of you that don’t know, prednisone makes you gain weight because it increases your appetite. Luckily every time that I take prednisone, I have never gained weight, but actually lost weight. As long as I stick to my good habits, I know I’m good. Anyways, FOOOOOD. Brussel sprouts. So delicious. What? Lindsay is liking all these vegetables that are usually disgusting. Ummm what? They are so good. Yes, now I’m having conversations with myself because I’m cool like that. These brussel sprouts came with a honey dijon sauce that was to die for. They were perfectly roasted and the sauce soaked into the leaves. It was great. I was so full after my meal because of all the fiber. Definitely a win win! Also all of that food was only 15$. What a steal!

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Isa and our friend Rachel ended up splitting a plate of sides and a salad. They ordered the pesto mash potatoes, which may have been one of the best things I have ever had. Pesto and mash potatoes. What a genius combination. They were so silky and soft. The pesto was mixed perfectly in the mash. They let me have a bite and I was so thankful. They also ended up getting sesame snow peas, polenta, and squash with quinoa. I think they were sad because they didn’t order the french fries (as was I because when I saw a girl across from us with them I was insanely jealous). They enjoyed the mash potatoes and snow peas, but the other two dishes left a little confusion.

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Pardon me for having a super blurry picture. This is the salad that they ended up splitting. It had arugula, pair, shredded mozarella, and a lemon oil sauce. It looked so good. It was also huge. They were like woah, thank god we are splitting this. I definitely would get a salad too next time to split with someone. That was the best way to go about things. Splitting a salad and market sides, that way you got to taste a whole bunch of choices. I can’t wait to go back here another time. Definitely a really great spot to go on a date. It was cute and cozy inside. Our friend, Rachel, said that the drinks were really good too and that the vegetarian burger was to die for. I will obviously be hitting it up for all of the reasons above. It was a nice night.

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I hope ya’ll have a great Wednesday. Mine is pretty eventful. I am getting all my lab testing done in applied physiology lab. That means I have to perform blood pressure, heart rate, skinfold, medical history, physical assessment, and breathing tests on a subject and get graded on it. So far I have gotten a 100 on my two other tests, so I think I am pretty good to go. I’ll leave you with this little gem of a minion. When Isa and I were walking to Westville, we saw this cute little guy in the window of a cake shop. I wanted to go in so bad, but I just wrote down the name, so I could go back when I’m off prednisone and it is a Saturday! Have an awesome day!

What is your favorite vegetable?
Where is your favorite place to go on a date?