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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Sushi Time!

Hey ya’ll! I survived my first day of full class. I have class from 3-9 pretty much with small breaks in between each class. By the end of the day, I had a headache. I think it was because I didn’t eat enough, but my last class of the day is sort of boring. It is a research methods class, which I find that I don’t need since I can read research, I’ve worked in a research lab, and I wrote a review paper to be published. Hmmmm. Can I just not take it pretty please? I’ll suck it up and survive though. The professor is at least this hilarious older guy who lived in Austin for 8 years, so hook em! On to the fooood. This weekend, Carrianne and I went to have dinner with a friend of ours from BU over in Brooklyn where he lives. Let me tell you something about Brooklyn. It has delicious food, but OMG it is so far away on the train from where we live. Not to mention the fact that the L just sits at 8th ave FOREVER! Lets distract my anger towards the train by thinking about my favorite food: SUSHI!

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We ended up going to this really cute place in Williamsburg called 1 or 8. At first we couldn’t figure out where it was because the sign on the door was incredibly tiny. We weren’t sure if it was the place or not until I eventually saw it say 1 or 8 on the wall. When we walked in the hostess asked if we had a reservation, which we said no to and then she went away for a few minutes. At first we were a bit like what? Since there was not many people there at the time we went. However she came back with menus and took us into this really cute room with branches all along the wall. It definitely had an awesome atmosphere.

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The menus were the cutest things. Each menu was on a clipboard. The main menu had about 4-5 pages. The drink menu came on a super tiny and adorable clipboard. It was just a super fun place to be. It was definitely a hip spot because there were huge groups of people. I was excited as I flipped through the menu looking at all the possibilities. I did think it was super hilarious that they had fish and chips or croquettes on the menu. It was like a Japanese fusion type of restaurant.

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So pretty much all of my photos are going to be dark because the restaurant decided to have some romantic lighting by candlelight only. Therefore I think only about one of my photos turned out perfect.  We started out with some edamame because all three of us were starving. We were popping these things into our mouths like crazy. We went through this bowl pretty fast, but by the time we were done our food was there. Our friend Jason ended up getting Miso soup with his meal. He let me have a bite and it was delicious. The tofu in it was made fresh at the restaurant.

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My dark plate of sushi. Oh how I love thee. You were so delicious and tasty. The roll in the front was called a salmon mozzarella roll. It had salmon, mozzarella, semi-dried tomato, and yuzu tobiko. It came along with a basil dipping sauce. Wow this roll was delicious. At first I was skeptical because Carrianne said she had a bad experience with a cheese roll, but I thought why not go for it anyways? It was a good decision. It tasted a bit like bacon rolled in mozzarella cheese. In my mind it was Italian style sushi. My other roll was yellowtail mango. I love mango, so that is really the only reason I decided to get this roll. The roll obviously had yellowtail and mango, but it contained jalapenos too. It came along with a cilantro sauce, which was to die for. The roll was fruity and fresh. The quality of the fish was high, which made the place so appealing. I always hate when the fish isn’t up to par.

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Here is Carrianne’s dark plate of sushi. She ended up getting a salmon skin roll and a few pieces of nigiri. She enjoyed all of her sushi and said the fish was so delicious.

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Why did Jason’s plate of sushi come out in a normal color? I will never understand this. He ended up getting one of the sushi plates. It came with around 7 pieces of different types of nigiri and one sushi roll. His sushi roll was huge. It was stuffed with tuna, squash, and a wide assortment of other vegetables. He really seemed to like it. I don’t understand how people fit those huge pieces into their mouths and eat it like a normal person. I swear I look so uncivilized when I’m eating large pieces of sushi.

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I saw this when we were walking to 1 or 8 and thought it was cute. I think I only like it because it says Jewish, but it was also neat that they had a bunch of street art around the city. Ya’ll know how much I love street art. Anyways 1 or 8 is definitely a good place to go for sushi. It is worth the trek out to Brooklyn if you don’t already live there. The prices are extremely decent. Averages from 10-13$ for a fancy/crazy roll while simple rolls are 4.50-6.50.

Sushi Adventure

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone so long. First I lost my camera, then I lost my camera charger, and now I have a new camera, which I bought myself for Hanukkah. I’m glad to be back though. I’ve been on tons of food adventures that I’ve been wanting to share with you. First up is my trip to Roll On Sushi Diner in Austin. It is definitely one of my favorite sushi places in Austin. The diner makes delicious rolls that are creative.

DSC02696This roll was called the Fruity Vegan. It was topped in a mango salsa which was to die for. The roll was super fresh, and filled with tons of fruit and vegetables. I like switching it up sometimes, and eating vegetarian rolls instead of meat.

DSC02697This was the sticky ball. Oh my god this was so amazing. It was a fried ball of rice that is covered in aoili and other various sauces. It was rolled in spices on the outside. It was a gooey ball of various Asian flavors. It is also only 3$ at Happy Hour, so if you live in Austin this is one of the best happy hours I have seen. They have tons of rolls for super cheap, SAKE BOMBS, and other delicious goodies for half the price.

DSC02698This was the Lo-Burn roll. It had shrimp tempura, unagi, and jalapenos tempura fried in the inside of the roll. The outside was also fried in tempura batter, and it was topped with spicy aioli, unagi sauce, and scallions. This definitely was probably my favorite roll of the night. It wasn’t too spicy since the jalapenos were fried in tempura, so it calmed down the heat a bit. The combination of the two sauces was pure perfection. It gave this sweet yet spicy flavor to the crunch of the tempura fried roll.

DSC02699This was the Machete Roll. It had a spicy salmon krab cake, jalapenos, avocado, chili confit garlic, it was tempura fried, and topped with chipotle aoili, guacamole, and pico de gallo. To be honest, I was not really a fan of this roll. I think Roll On was smart creating a Mexican style roll, but I still think they need to work on the flavors. It was just alright, and trust me that took a lot to admit because Roll On Sushi is one of my favorite places to eat in Austin for sushi (that I can afford because otherwise I’d be down for Uchi or Uchiko).

DSC02700The dynamite. Pretty much just looking at it you are already in heaven. This is my brother’s favorite roll at Roll On. I agree that it is amazing, but I can’t pick a favorite. It is an egg cream cheese topping that is seriously mind blowing or like dynamite.

DSC02701This is definitely one of my top five rolls at Roll On. It is the Respect My Asparaguh roll (don’t you just love the names – they are pretty cute and creative). The roll has sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, goat cheese, and it is topped with some candied walnuts and balsamic dressing.

DSC02703We have recently discovered that Roll On does these things called bowls. They are based on a sushi roll in the menu, but are the components broken up into larger pieces and placed in a bowl. We got the California bowl, which had soft shell crab, cucumbers, avocado, and rice with this sweet sauce. It was delicious. Next time I’m there for lunch or something, I will definitely get a bowl for my meal.

DSC02702This was the Dream Roll, which definitely lives up to its name. It was extremely delicious and the flavors were like a good dream in my mouth. It has shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, cream cheese, and cucumber layered with krab, yellowtail, salmon, and avocado. The roll was topped with spicy aoili, unagi sauce, scallions, and roll on crunch. AMAZING. I swear that anything with crunch on it is great in the sushi world. This is a must get on your trip to roll on.

I love roll on because the rolls are fresh, fun, and creative. Recently, they have created a Roll On Members Club, which is free to sign up for. Every time you dine there or order take out, the money spent will be added up as points on your cards. So each time you reach a certain amount of points, you receive rewards. So far just for signing up I get 5$ off my next meal there, which is pretty much a roll or appetizer. I’m stoked. I may even go this weekend!