“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” - George Bernard Shaw

 

I recently met a friend for dinner in Chinatown. We had two drinks, two entrees, and appetizer, all for $24 including tax and tip. Talk about cheap!

I was told that this was like Hong Kong diner food, and that it was meant to be cheap, fast, and easy to make. We started with fried fish balls, which were fine. Nothing extraordinary, but reminded me of good ol’ home cooking. We continued with “Red sausage” and runny eggs, which again, could have been made at home, but was fine. We ended with baked spaghetti with tomato meat sauce, which neither of us had tried before. The meat crust on top with a slight… Chinese? hint in the sauce definitely distinguished itself from Italian spaghetti. My friend thought his half coffee, half tea drink was too heavy on the coffee, but I immensely enjoyed my taro milk tea that was just the right kind of sweet, albeit a bit heavy on the ice.

I would recommend this place if you want a cheap, fast, decent, and hearty meal. Definitely worth returning to if only for the fun Hong Kong diner atmosphere as well.  

Cha Chan Tang
45 Mott Street (between Pell Street and Bayard Street)
New York, NY 10013

Cafe Ele is a small coffee shop located in the lobby of a hotel in K-Town, near Penn Station. Three of us split the Bingsoo, an enormous shaved ice dessert that did not disappoint. With shaved ice and coconut milk on the bottom, the dessert was topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream, crushed corn flakes, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, mochi (!!!!!), pineapple, bananas, and red bean. There may have been more. In any case, this was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Sweet, but not overly sweet. Healthy (sort of). And huge. If you go, definitely bring a friend. 
Cafe Ele43 West 32nd StreetNew York, NY 10001 (between Broadway and 5th Avenue)

Cafe Ele is a small coffee shop located in the lobby of a hotel in K-Town, near Penn Station. Three of us split the Bingsoo, an enormous shaved ice dessert that did not disappoint. With shaved ice and coconut milk on the bottom, the dessert was topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream, crushed corn flakes, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, mochi (!!!!!), pineapple, bananas, and red bean. There may have been more. In any case, this was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Sweet, but not overly sweet. Healthy (sort of). And huge. If you go, definitely bring a friend. 

Cafe Ele
43 West 32nd Street
New York, NY 10001 
(between Broadway and 5th Avenue)

Christmas in New York means Christmas market shopping in Union Square followed by a walk to Chelsea to try out one of three Chipotle test kitchens, featuring Nate Appleman. Appleman, a young chef who has won the culinary world equivalent of Best New Artist at the Grammy’s, is now heading the Chipotle in Chelsea.

I ordered a barbacoa burrito bowl with guacamole. The mild salsa at this location was not pico de gallo, but it was actually a red salsa with a slight kick. The corn, which is sweet in Appleman’s version, in the corn salsa was not roasted, but possibly boiled. The barbacoa was juicier than usual, and made the burrito bowl a bit soggy. That being said, it was quite delicious. Chipotle always makes me too full, but at least my taste buds are happy on the way. Appleman’s changes are definitely worth the trek to the location in Chelsea, no matter where your closest Chipotle is. 

Angel liked that the meat in his carnitas burrito was crispy. He also enjoyed the fresher cilantro taste in my burrito bowl. 

Chipotle
149 8th Ave
New York, NY 10011 

As I am usually in a rush when heading to the Manhattan Chinatown (to catch a bus), I need a place to grab a quick bite. Pho Grand, one of the closest restaurants to the bus stop, offers reliably decent Vietnamese food, though never amazing. My lunch consisted of this pair of goi cuon (summer roll) and a cup of che ba mau/rainbow ice. Not the best I’ve ever had, but not bad. Definitely suffices when a goi cuon craving hits.
11/29/10 
Pho Grand277C Grand StNew York, NY 10002http://phograndny.com 

As I am usually in a rush when heading to the Manhattan Chinatown (to catch a bus), I need a place to grab a quick bite. Pho Grand, one of the closest restaurants to the bus stop, offers reliably decent Vietnamese food, though never amazing. My lunch consisted of this pair of goi cuon (summer roll) and a cup of che ba mau/rainbow ice. Not the best I’ve ever had, but not bad. Definitely suffices when a goi cuon craving hits.

11/29/10 

Pho Grand
277C Grand St
New York, NY 10002
http://phograndny.com