Category Archives: Quick Bites

Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop

While stuck at work on a mundane day, my friend Christina decided to bring me over some sandwiches. Not just your average ham and cheese and be done with sandwich, but a couple of glorious ones from Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop in Lower East Side.The Spicy Rizzak, quite possibly their most famous sandwich, is comprised of Sliced Turkey, Crispy Bacon, Melted Cheddar, Tomato, Onion, and Hot Chipotle Mayo on a Sesame Semolina Hero. To be honest, it’s really really good, but I think it would be perfect with Chicken. Every little fluffy rabbit’s dream, the Cold Turkey Sandwich. Just eating this bad boy made me feel like I extended my life by a couple of months. The sandwich has Sliced Turkey over a spread of Avocado, Swiss Cheese, Alfalfa Sprouts, and Carrots on a 7-Grain Baguette. I felt like a rabbit eating the sandwich, and a bird picking the seeds off the bread. Joking aside, the sandwich is marvelous and I would definitely get it again (if I ever go on a diet and don’t order the Spicy Rizzak).

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Boston Market

I know, I know, what is a fast food joint doing on my website. Let’s just call it an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Ever since my favorite location (actually only location that I visited) in Rowland Heights was transformed into a Starbucks, like a bad breakup it took me years to get over the fact that it was gone. However, 10 years later, I find myself on the opposite end of the nation and developing a new found desire to confront my favorite Chicken Pot Pie. It’s eerie seeing one huh? It took me a little bit to get past the awkward re-introduction phase. Oh hi! long time no see! So how are you doing? I haven’t seen you in a while..but there was just one question I truly just wanted to ask. How are your Chicken Pot Pies doing? And my goodness, she gave me a tremendous answer. $5 for a Chicken Pot Pie and Cornbread!? Add $1 each for the sides!? Perhaps I’ve been in New York for too long, but I’m willing to drive hours out to this exact location in Pennsylvania for their cheap menu (I know there’s a location in the city, but it’s not the same ok?).What divine Creamed Spinach. Think of the best steakhouses you know and the creamed spinach that they serve for $10. Now double the awesomeness. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that grand, but one of the best I’ve ever had for a fraction of the price. Same goes for the creamy and cheesy Mac and Cheese.Move aside KFC and Popeyes, you definitely can’t compete with these Mashed Potatoes. Come on, they even have a gravy well, a freaking gravy well!What’s better than a chili bread bowl after a weekend of snowboarding? I found the answer. Boston Market Chicken Pot Pie! Just as delectable as ever, perhaps even better than before. The perfectly flaky crust, mixed with the warm thick chicken filling.. I’m sorry, but I just can’t write anymore, it’s torture on myself.

No score for Boston Market, because I want everyone who lost their favorite Rowland Heights location to a Starbucks, to add this on their bucket list and experience the sublimity for themselves.

Crif Dog

I never understood why hot dogs became synonymous with New York, never really had a good one here yet. Gray’s Papaya, Papaya Dog, whatever combination of the words Gray’s, Papaya and Dog have come up short. Actually, what I’m really craving is..

Anybody wanna take an impromptu trip to Chile with me just for hot dogs?

One day around St. Marks, I was craving a snack. What better than a simple hot dog. What better than the highly touted hot dogs at Crif Dog.

The entrance of both Crif Dog and the now highly public speakeasy, PDT (Please Don’t Tell). After you fight through the crowd of party people trying to fit into the small phone booth to reach their precious bar, you stumble into the diner-esque eating area of Crif Dog.My friend ordered the simple New Yorker with Mustard.Sorry for the bad picture, I was too excited to take a good one. Behold the Chihuahua, an all-beef Hot Dog wrapped in Bacon, topped with Avocados and Sour Cream. I was also craving Tater-Tots (which I totally should’ve topped with chili and cheese). Everything about this hot dog screams perfection. I love bacon wrapped hot dogs, I love avocado, I love sour cream, but I don’t love this hot dog. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just doesn’t come together and seems to be missing something. Oh how much I want to go to Chile.

Crif Dog Scores:
Food: 6.5/10 – Maybe it would taste better after a night of binge drinking next door.

Restaurant Environment: 4/10 – I loathe crowds of people, especially when most of them are there for something else.

Service: 8/10 -Maybe it was the start of her shift, but the employee was full of spunk and was genuinely charming.

Value: 4/10 – Novelty priced hot dogs, without that Novelty Hot Dog Taste.

Overall: 6/10

Quick Bites: Chat and Chew

I came here with a couple of friends to grab a quick lunch before work. My friend ordered the Miss Patty’s Chicken Sammy, I didn’t try it so I can’t really rate it. But looks good with all that bacon! That’s all the positive comments you’ll get today Chat and Chew!Supposedly one of Chat and Chew’s signature dishes, The Quintessential Macaroni and Cheese. However, the only thing that’s quintessential about the mac and cheese is its name. Maybe they should just rename it to just plain Kraft Mac and Cheese, because that’s essentially what it is, albeit jazzed up a bit with some better macaroni and a layer of bread crumbs. You can’t knock Chat and Chew about their portion sizes though, with them trying to become the leading contributor of American obesity and all. Honestly though, I’m a terrible eater and I love mac and cheese, but there has to be a limit somewhere before eating a plate the size of a baby full of mac and cheese. At $11, no thank you, I’m heading over east to S’Mac. Now onto the piece de resistance, my plate, the TV Dinner with hair. WHAT?! Yes, I said it. The TV Dinner with a side of hair. Upon first inspection, this plate is pretty damn awesome with so many delicious sides. However, looking closer you find a smaller edible order of their Kraft Mac and Cheese, a green bean casserole that was simply some string beans (which were barely sauteed for a minute) topped with what I’m guessing was Campbells’ cream of mushroom, mediocre mashed potatoes, and a chicken fried steak with some packaged gravy. Now the kicker was that for that extra intense flavor, the chicken fried steak is breaded with real human hair! Revolutionary! After finding a long strand of hair attached to my steak, I raised my hand for what seemed like hours only to be ignored. I felt like Peter Griffin (sorry for the shitty quality). After finally noticing me, the waitress quickly took my plate back after I informed her about the situation. I waited for roughly 10 minutes and got my new and improved meal. COOL! they topped the nasty green beans with some nasty fried onions! No way! they gave me an extra piece of their hair breaded chicken! My appetite is officially satiated. It’s really disheartening trying to eat something in fear of finding a little something extra. No Thanks.

I guess the moral to this story is, if you find your portion size to small and just want more food, find some hair.

Chat and Chew Scores:
Food: 2.5/10
Restaurant Environment: 2/10
Service: 2.5/10
Overall: 2/10

$5 Chinatown: Xi’An Famous Foods

Chinatown, NY – Appearances may be deceiving. It took me a while to learn this. When I first arrived in NY and the cab driver dropped me off from the airport at this rundown decrepit neighborhood, I immediately wanted to turn around and go home. However, after over a year and a half of living here (once you get past the weird fish smell and the ignorant Chinese derelicts that roam the streets) you find out that it’s not that bad of a place after all.

The first couple of months in this part of the city; I found myself heading to Subway everyday. Getting the same thing, day after day. Oven Roasted Chicken Breast on Wheat, please. It soon became redundant and tasteless, I had to start eating something else. But would I resort to eating the disgustingly unsanitary food that they offer around me? I had no choice.
I soon discovered, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, the food around me was marvelous. The $5 foot long was dead. Now, long live $5 Chinatown. Almost everything could be had for roughly $5 or less. It’s a miracle how some of these restaurant survive at such low prices. This new series will illustrate what I mean by $5 Chinatown.

Now instead of something that I eat all the time, I opted to start with a restaurant that I’ve never been to and to be honest, never even seen in my life until today. Xi’An Famous Foods. I have a brief recollection of seeing something on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, but never took it to heart. I decided to give this place a go after I read an interesting article on SeriousEats – NY.

What the heck? It was right across the street from me? (Shows how much I love my neighborhood). A tiny little hole in the wall restaurant (I use the term restaurant very loosely, it’s more like a stand). One thing that I do love about the restaurant, is that they have their whole entire menu in picture form. Which is a good thing for terrible Asian Americans like myself that are wary that they’re going to order something with goat testicles or frog gonads. I point to the picture, and I know what I’m getting (or at least I hope).

What’s funny is that they treat Anthony Bourdain as a demi-god at this restaurant. His picture is posted everywhere and there’s even the clip of No Reservations playing on a TV screen in the front window. Bypassing the Bourdain shrine, I place my order with the lady, and she asks me “For Stay or To Go?” I look around, and ask to myself “Are you serious? there’s not even a place for me to stand. How can it be for stay?” “To go” I tell the crazy woman.

The Pork Stewed Burger – this thing is beyond amazing! At only $2 it’s a New York outrage. The bun is toasted perfectly while still having a pillowy soft texture. However, the meat was a true gift from the porcine gods themselves. Ultra Tender, Ultra Juicy, Ultra Delicious. I felt like I had just robbed the stand, because there’s no way that something so well put together could only cost a mere $2. I’m still bedazzled. In fact, I’m going to post this on Slickdeals to inform the nation.

Before you guys get your panties in a bunch, let me talk about another offering at the stand. Buckwheat Cold Noodles. After having the Pork Stewed Burger, and desperately wanting more, I quickly remembered that I had ordered some noodles as well. I thought I was in for a treat, but boy was I let down. At $4.50, The Buckwheat Cold Noodles come with a heaping serving of bean sprouts, cilantro, and cucumber. They even package it with this hot oil sauce (that I had no idea what to do with). So being adventurous, (Actually, it was because of the poor packaging and the inability to just put in a little); I poured the whole thing into the noodles. BIG MISTAKE! They were not cold noodles anymore! The noodles had completely mutated into something hot and spicy, but what’s weird is that I never would have thought the words bland and spicy could be used together to describe a single dish. However, that’s exactly what the noodles were, boringly bland yet uncomfortably spicy. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself.

Next time, I’m just going to buy 3 Stewed Pork Burgers. To Go. Thanks.

Xi’An Famous Foods Scores:

Overall: 7/10