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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?