…because my trusty Sony Vaio completely crashed without the slightly bit of warning. Leaving me utterly computerless. And incredibly sad. But Shann has come to the rescue, graciously letting me borrow her Mac while she’s in school today. Right now I’m blogging from the 2nd floor of the Bowery Whole Foods. They have free wifi, woohoo! :)
So I’ve finally settled in quite nicely into a fifth floor walkup on the Lower East Side. I’ve got a big window in a tiny room overlooking a few darn good restaurants offered in this impressive city. Eventually, I hope to try all the restaurants along our street, but for now the count is: two down, many more to go.
Just a few dozen steps away my apartment is Teany’s – a tea/sandwich/vegan dessert hotspot owned by Moby. I first came here for afternoon tea when I was a freshman at NYU. I enjoyed it, but for some reason never found the time to return. I never did return to NYU either, hehe ;) The other morning Shann and I stopped by Teany’s for breakfast. We had just moved our entire lives from Hotel 31 to our new apartment, and were exhausted and hungry. So why not try a new neighborhood restaurant?
Here’s my yogurt with granola, strawberries, blueberries, and honey. It looks so healthy, doesn’t it?! We all could have easily assembled this in our kitchen, but given that the fridge is currently empty (save for a Brita filter), and that I’ve eaten every single meal our for the last two weeks, why not order something healthy? Girls cannot live on pudding and fries alone! It was a paltry portion for $6, but it was good and simple, plain yogurt, granola (suspiciously tasting of crushed up Nature Valley bars), a few dots of blueberries and slices of strawberries, and a whirl of honey.
Shann went with the Teany Bagel, a toasted bagel with tomatoes, cheese, and VEGAN bacon. Hehe. No worries. We’re not vegan, vegetarian, or anywhere close. But I do have a penchant for fake meat. Especially the Chinese kind of fake meat: mock duck, chicken, etc. Sometimes I think I enjoy mock meat more than real meat. To each his own, I suppose!
After breakfast, we took the train up to Penn station where we then caught the bus that would take us directly to…IKEA! Super cool! I’ve only been to Ikea once in my life, and that was a few years back at the West Covina location, so I was beyond exited to see what a New Jersey location was like! Bwahahaa. Well you know what it looks like? It looks exactly the same as the West Covina location. But you already knew that. There were 2 purposes in making this trip:
I’ll spare you the details of the first purpose. Except for one fact. Ikea is supposed to be a bargain. And it is. The products are cheap, yet reliable. But where they really get you is with the DELIVERY FEE!! My bed came out to around $250. But the cost to ship it to Manhattan is $114!!! That’s nearly half the price of the bed! But get this. There’s more. If you don’t have a freight elevator, they charge an addition $15 per each flight of stairs after the 3rd floor. Bah. I should just build my own bed. Heehee. I apologize for the rant. But it might prove to be necessary information if you buy from Ikea in the future!
Yes, I know this picture is turned to the side. And that is not on purpose. I’ve been a PC user since the day I was born, and now I’m borrowing Shann’s Mac. I am completely Mac illiterate. Forgive me. I have no clue how to turn this picture right side up. I hope to figure it out by tomorrow.
We zoomed through the furniture section and paused for a lunch break. Shann and I each had an order of the mac and cheese, and let me tell you off the bat, the mac and cheese is sort of gross. It’s not really mac and cheese, but more like, macaroni swimming in a bowl of cheese soup. Scary. But we ate it all anyways. Maybe it’s cause I’m Chinese. Maybe it’s cause I can’t bear to see food go to waste. I think it’s a bit of both!
Though the real highlight of lunch was the meatball plate! 10 meatballs smothered in gravy, a side of lingonberry jam and fries to complete the meal. Super-intensely-crispy fries. It was like fried to the point where the whole fry was just FRIED with no POTATO left. Does that make sense? Maybe you have to try it to understand. Meatballs: reliable as always. It’s not the meaty type of meatball, there are clearly plenty of fillers to bind everything together, but it’s all good in the end. I loooove the gravy, whatever it’s made of. Poured over the meatballs, served as dipping sauce with the fries, more is always welcomed.
By the time we returned home to the city, it was well past dark. We had nearly missed the last bus leaving from Ikea, but luckily they sent out another bus for all the ‘late people’ (though it really wasn’t our fault the furniture delivery line was so long)!
That’s dinner at Moon House on the right and dessert at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on the left!
Dinner that evening was at Moon House on Bayard Street. I was super close to going to BoKy cause I love that place to bits and pieces…but I decided to go somewhere else because, it wouldn’t be interesting to read about my 10 millionth visit to BoKy in the past week.
Because it was such a hot night, I wanted something cooold. And so…tadah! Cold noodles with fried bean curd. Oooh man. The fried bean curd was seriously the bestest part of all. They were super saucy (lots of oyster sauce involved), crunchy, and cold at the same time – everything I wanted at the moment. Mixed with the chilled noodles, bean sprouts, and a creamy peanut based sauce, the first dozen bites were good…until Shann pointed out that the peanut sauce tasted a lot like peanut butter mixed with mayo. I really like mayo and peanut butter. But eating them mixed together over noodles kind of creeped me out.
This is Shann’s garlic eggplant with rice. The nice thing about this place is that instead of dumping the eggplant over the rice, they put it neatly on the side. Thoughtful, no? And! And what? And…they also used sliced garlic instead of minced garlic! Believe me, it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to these Rice + ‘X’ dishes. The whole Rice + ‘X’ concept is common among the majority of Chinese brown sauce restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown. It’s simple. This type of dish never runs over $5 (usually ranges from $3.50 – $4.50), and it comes with rice and ‘X’, where ‘X’ is anything from Beef with Broccoli, Mapo Tofu, Black Bean Chicken, Double Cooked Pork, and even the beloved Kung Pao Chicken. On restaurant menus you’ll find it in the “Over Rice” section.
For dessert we walked next door to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, which was doing brisk business. I’ve never seen this place without a line. It’s mindblowing. Not the ice cream. The line.
But the ice cream is decent stuff. It’s their ‘unusual’ flavors that keep people intrigued and customers returning. True to their name, they specialize in Asian ice cream flavors: wasabi, taro, mango…I’m still disappointed they’ve yet to introduce a durian flavor.
Sigh. Another picture I don’t know how to turn around. I am sooo computer-stupid!
I went with a scoop of black sesame, and a scoop of the almond cookie. The almond cookie is hands down my favorite flavor in the place. A milky almond based ice cream with crushed almond cookies blended in. It’s like eating a chilled almond cookie that you don’t need to chew! The black sesame that night was unusually icy, as I encountered a noticeable quantity of ice shards in the scoop.
The following night I went to Sugar Sweet Sunshine which is just a street away from my new home. How convenient! I’ve blogged about this place a few times in the past, but forgive me, I’m in loooove with their banana pudding. I’ve had the banana pudding at all the comparable bakeries in the city (Magnolia’s, Billy’s Bakery, Buttercup), but SSS does it best. Though tonight, I wanted to try something different. But I still wanted a pudding. Cause I loooove pudding. Of any kind! In addition to the banana pudding, they also had a Chocolate Bombe Pudding and Strawberry-Lemon Trifle Pudding.
That’s the Strawberry-Lemon Trifle on top…sorry, not very photogenic, eh?
It was hard to decide between Chocolate and Strawberry-Lemon…so I had both! The girl behind the counter was nice enough to give me half-half (and was even so considerate to ask my which flavor I wanted on the top and bottom…small gestures like that are remembered!) The Strawberry-Lemon consisted of chunks of lemon cake with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. It was rather light…like what you would imagine summery food to be.
…And the Chocolate Bombe is on the bottom half…if it looks too gross, you can just skip the picture and read down :)
The chocolate on the other hand, was sickeningly sweet. It was almost scary. Chocolate cake, chocolate whipped cream and chocolate syrup. The syrup really took it overboard and gave me a sugar high (where I get really happy and can’t stop talking about food) and a sugar headache (when I suddenly crave something salty and deep fried), all at once. It’s a terrible combo. I’m going to stick with the banana pudding…until they bring back the Pumpkin Trifle in a few weeks. Now that I really love!
I looooove pudding so much, that just last night, I was over at Rice to Riches with Shann! Bread pudding, banana pudding, sticky toffee pudding, and even rice pudding. As long as it ends with the word ‘pudding’, I’m bound to like it!
Whether you believe this or not is completely up to you…
We had the epic sized bowl with half chocolate-hazelnut (Shann’s pick) and mascarpone with cherries (my pick). The bowl is cool. It comes with a cover. And two spoons which, due to their design, can only be used to eat rice pudding. It’s like what the Jetsons would have if they used Tupperware. The two flavors matched really well together, a rich chocolatey pudding with a subtle hazelnut flavor, and a creamy sour cherry puckered mascarpone. Combining the two made for what Shann deemed, “chocolate cheesecake.” Now why didn’t I think of that?
Sadly enough, I still like Kozy Shack rice pudding a lot better than Rice to Riches. Here, the rice pudding consists of more pudding than rice, like bits of fat rice suspended in pudding (similar to Ikea’s bits of macaroni suspended in cheese sauce). I prefer an even rice to pudding ratio, which is found in Kozy Shack’s products.
Well I’ll end this post here and save the rest for the next post, which I’ll finish in an hour or so. Don’t want to dry out your eyes with all my gibberish! It’s just that it’s so hard to blog without your own laptop! I was going to go to the Apple store today to get myself a Mac (no more Sony computers for me! ☹), but then I realized the Company is going to give me a new one when I start work…so maybe I’ll blog off that, heehee.
90 Rivington St.
New York, NY 10002
1000 IKEA Drive
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Moon House Restaurant
67 Bayard St.
NY, NY 10013
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
65 Bayard St.
NY, NY 10013
Sugar Sweet Sunshine
126 Rivington St.
NY, NY 10012
Rice to Riches
37 Spring St.
NY, NY 10012