Monday, August 19, 2013

Dessert from Waffles & Dinges in NYC

Post yakitori we decided to get dessert at Waffles & Dinges.  I've always wanted to go to one but this time it was fate, because we got the last daily special - waffle with chocolate bacon brittle and fresh whipped cream.  AMAZING COMBO.  They also have speculoos on the regular so I def have to try that in the future.

Dinner at Yakitori Taisho in NYC

Dan and I went to Yakitori Taisho for both of our first-all-Yakitori experiences.  The menu is pretty diverse and each skewer is pretty cheap, probably $2 on average.  However, they are extremely small, so even though we ordered 5 each plus shared one, had rice, and an appetizer, we weren't really full.  I think if we had ordered a few more things it would've been more filling, but the bonus is that we got dessert from Waffles & Dinges.  See next post.

Tako Yaki appetizer - basically octopus inside a doughy batter ball.  Tasty but not as deep fried tasting as Fat Buddha.  Also the fish flakes on top were kinda ick

Various skewers.  From L to R: chicken skin, beef, squid legs, bacon-wrapped scallop, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and beef meatballs.  We also had pork belly skewers and a skewer of garlic not pictured.  My fav was the bacon-wrapped scallop.  The chicken skin was a close second.

Indian dinner from Trader Joe's

I can't even characterize this meal as semi-homemade because I don't think microwaving and defrosting in the oven counts haha.  However, I was generally pretty pleased with my Indian meal despite the fact that cooking took less than five minutes.  I got some microwavable (or oven heated, but would've taken three times as long) Channa Masala and some garlic naan.  I think TJ's has some pretty decent Indian sauces in their frozen and boxed products.  The garlic naan was tasty and got nice and crisp, but wasn't nearly as garlicky as I like.  However, considering how cheap the meal was, I really can't complain.
Channa Masala and Garlic Naan

Dinner at Sakura in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I went to Sakura for one of our last JC meals.  Though it take quite awhile for the food to come out I thought it was all pretty good.  Dan thought he got sick afterwards, but who knows what it was lol.

Grove Roll (shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy tuna and crunch)  and Crazy Tuna Roll (spicy tuna and crunch inside, pepper tuna on top) plus pieces of salmon and tuna

Dragon Roll (eel. cucumber and avocado) and Spicy Yellowtail Roll

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lunch at New Thanh Hoai in Jersey City, NJ

Brought the rents for Vietnamese.  While there was some confusion with the ordering, I think we all agreed it was as good if not better than the prior ownership.  I'm so excited that they have banh mi.  It's not the best I've ever had but nice to know I don't have to go into NYC if I'm craving a Vietnamese sandwich.  I was disappointed with the toppings to bread ratio.  Def not enough meat in there, but overall the flavor was there and the bread was nice and crunchy.

Banh Mi Thi Nuong - grilled sliced pork sandwich.  Pretty tasty but as you can see not so full.  I think the bread is longer than most other places which is why the toppings seems less robust

Sauteed mixed vegetable with oyster sauce and bean curd

Sauteed shrimp with broccoli.  Wonder who ordered this ahem Mom

Lunch at Keste in NYC

Some recent awesome foodie finds, including Keste in NYC.  As of now it's the best pizza I've ever had.  Tops Razza by a smidge.  Razza overall has better other dishes, plus amazing drinks and the environment is cooler.  And it's a hop skip and a jump from my current home.  But the pizza at Keste was like no other I've ever had.  The crust was perfectly thin but also enough doughiness.  Cheese was obvi freshly home-made and my toppings were no joke.  Ahhh if only this place were closer!  But then I would be 200 pounds so I guess it's okay.

Diavola - tomato sauce, homemade mozzarella, hot soppressata, basil, extra virgin olive oil.  Wasn't very spicy but everything tasted wonderful together

The Keste - tomato sauce, imported buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto di parma, arugula, gran cru, extra virgin olive oil.  Def the ideal HP pizza combo.  The prosciutto was soo thick and the two cheeses and arugula just made it the perfect pairing.  New knowledge of the day - gran cru is a type of cheese like parmigiano reggiano.  You're welcome

Dinner at White Star Bar in Jersey City, NJ

Finally went to White Star Bar with Laura, and I must announce immediately that she was 200% right and they have the best burger in JC.  Damnit for only going a month before I am no longer a JC resident!  I read that they only use Pat La Freida meat which explains why the burger itself is so tender.  Also had some awesome  chips with guac and chipotle ancho salsa.  The salsa was the better of the dips.  Nice mild spice but thick and not not too watery.   The star of the show had to be Dan's fried chicken sandwich.  It was likely the best fried chicken sandwich I've ever had.  And I loveee me some chicken haha.  Just perfectly fried and high quality chicken.  Plus the slaw and sauce added a nice kick.  Will definitely have to come back, esp. for brunch.

My White Star burger with blue cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato.  Plus some awesome crispy gourmet McD-esque fries. My burger was so juicy and tender.  Only neg was that the blue cheese was a little too blue ha.  I prefer my blue cheese more creamy and less funky

Breaded fried chicken sandwich with serrano slaw and chipotle aioli. 

Laura's grouper sandwich and fries.

Dinner at New Thanh Hoai in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I were pretty upset when our favorite Vietnamese place in Jersey City shut down and moved towards Hamilton Park.  We read on Yelp that there was only street parking and the prices were up but service down.  Imagine my surprise one night after several nights of craving pho when we realized that they had a giant parking lot probably double the size of the old place.  The service had changed - it was 10x better!  People took our orders right away, gave us large glasses of water and REFILLED IT without request, and brought the food quickly.  The prices might have gone up but no more than $1/dish, and the menu was more expansive.  The waiters changed for sure; they're all Asian now.  They're not super friendly but they are efficient.  The food tasted as good as I remembered and they had new stuff as I mentioned, including lemongrass squid, which we tried.  I was excited that it was grilled but it didn't taste like Filipino squid.  Still, a nice change from just deep frying.  Excited that they are back better than before!

Lemongrass grilled squid - tasty but a little overcooked

my usual pho with grilled pork chops.  How I missed this!

Breakfast at Jollibee in Jersey City, NJ

Finally made it to Jollibee for breakfast and the kids finally got to meet the famous Bee.  I have to say that for being a chain, the breakfast was pretty damn good.  Infinitely better than Max's and better than non-chain Filipino places I've gone to before.  Obvi not as good as home cooking but pretty good attempt and very inexpensive.  If only it weren't located so far than I think I would go much more often.  Also side note, it's hilarious going for b-fast and seeing sooooo many Filipinos.

Tapsilog - beef tapa, tomato, fried egg, and garlic fried rice.  How awesome they had a giant rice cooker FILLED with garlic fried rice

Tocilog - garlic fried rice, fried egg, tomato and tocino

Lunch at Joe's Crab Shack in Clifton, NJ

The fam went to Joe's Crab Shack since none of the NC-ers had ever been there before.  It was a beautiful day and it was perfect weather to sit outside.  Everyone enjoyed their food and I think everything was generally decently priced considering all the seafood we got.  Def several steps up above Red Lobster in that department.  If only they had the cheddar bay biscuits too haha

Lobster Pot Pie - creamy lobster bisque, carrots, peas, new potatoes, onions and lobster tail meat covered with a flaky puff pastry and topped with a whole lobster claw.  Amanda got this and it was AMAZING

Simply steamed Queen Crab Steampot - Carlo's selection.  Also included corn and many potatoes

Fisherman's platter - Both kids got this.  Full of fried goodies - fried fish, mozzarella sticks, shrimps, and fries

My crab cake sandwich on brioche with lettuce, tomato, fries and sriracha remoulade sauce.  Yummy