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Empanada Mama | New York City

thanks to our awesome friend, lauren, we were introduced to empanada mama!  (if you asked her what is your go-to place in manhattan, she would say this place).  at first i was skeptical since i didnt see how you can just eat empanadas for dinner… arent they just an appetizer?!

Empanada Mama New York
Empanada Mama New York

we ended up at the express version because we were already on the lower east side and wandering around hungry and tried from our walk.  we ordered:

  • spicy chicken – chunks of chicken breast slowly cooked in mama’s special picante sauce.  oh, its special alright.  bomb.
  • cheese and spinach – mozzarella with sauteed spinach
  • cheeseburger – round beef cooked in traditional latin spices with cheddar cheese.  oh yeah, we did.

all were delicious but the spicy hockey definitely stood out.  they give you two sauces to dip (one red and one green)…delicious!  in love with the green sauce (maybe a chimichurri sauce?).

Empanada Mama New YorkEmpanada Mama New YorkEmpanada Mama New York

each empanada is $3.00 each.  a little pricey considering you need a lot to get full…but still very very worth it.  i could eat 1,000!

  • service:  i’m going to go ahead and say that since this is express… you shouldn’t really expect the greatest service.  But i didn’t mind.  we were just in and out without much interaction.
  • atmosphere:  this place is small.  there are a few high chairs and a table or two.  dont expect to roll deep here.
  • overall: highly recommend this place!  loved the empanadas!  next time, i want to go to the full service one in midtown and try the bajillion other flavors!

189 E Houston St
New York, NY 10009
Neighborhoods: Lower East Side, Alphabet City

Empanada Mama Express on Urbanspoon

763 9th Ave
(between 51st St & 52nd St)
New York, NY 10019
Neighborhoods: Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District

Empanada Mama on Urbanspoon

some pictures from our walk!

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By |June 27th, 2013|Food, New York, Restaurants, Travel|3 Comments

Stout | Studio City, CA

i have heard that stout has an amazing burger.  i was pretty glad to find out that one popped up in studio city.

Stout | Studio CityStout | Studio CityStout | Studio City

the burger:  i got the shu burger.  beef patty, light bell sauce and a spicy chipotle sauce.  it was good but not great.  i still like umami better. ugh I know.  i’m annoying.

bun was soft. temperature was good.  it was just missing that umph.

we also ordered the stout burger (i did not personally get the stout burger because i don’t like blue cheese).  kyle liked his burger more than my burger since it had more flavor.  regardless, he still thought it was just ok.  the stout burger comes with blue cheese, gruyere, bacon, caramelized onions, horseradish, and roasted tomatoes.

just a note:  like most new places now, there are no substitutions allowed (so that the original integrity of the burger is not compromised… we get it).  they do allow you to take things out but not add items in (if you want this option, you should go to the counter).

Stout Studio City

i got two of the side sauces to go with our side of fries and onion rings:  chipotle and lemon basil aioli.  50 cents extra.  i hate when sauces are extra but i really love sauces so i swallowed the extra cost of a dollar.

Stout | Studio City

all burgers are $10 and do not come with fries.  pretty average compared to other burgers in the “gourmet burgers” category.

  • parking:  valet only unless you luck out and get a metered spot.  sucks.
  • service:  helpful, friendly and fast.
  • atmosphere:  this place is pretty small.  few tables “indoors” along with seats at the bar.  a few tables outside.  it was nice sitting outside the day we went but (i) i can see how it gets a little hot and (ii) you cant see the tv (in case you are going there to see a game).
  • overall:  would i come back?  i’m on the fence about this one.  this burger was good but not great but we still enjoyed ourselves…plus i can’t eat umami every day.  i do see a deterrent being the limited parking situation.  it’s at a bend on ventura blvd and street parking isn’t the easiest.

Stout
11262 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

Stout on Urbanspoon

By |June 22nd, 2013|Food, Restaurants|6 Comments

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York City

this was our second time at carnegie deli. kyle specifically wanted to go here because he loved the hot pastrami the first time around (and also liked it more than katz’ deli).

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York CityCarnegie Delicatessen | New York CityCarnegie Delicatessen | New York CityCarnegie Delicatessen | New York City

food:  we ordered the hot pastrami sandwich with a bowl of matzo ball soup.  note that every thing here is huge… it’s ridiculous but fun at the same time.  it is way too much food… make sure you are sharing with someone or a group of peeps.  note that they charge you an extra $3.00 for sharing.

i am a fan of the matzo ball soup here.  it’s it delicious and soothing in a homey way.  i enjoy this more than the sandwich actually.

kyle likes the pastrami here.  it is piled high on rye. enough said.  oh, don’t forget the two types of pickles you get with your sandwich.  yum.

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York City

after eating this you really won’t want to eat the rest of the day.  this obviously was not an option for us… since we had a long eating day ahead of us.  chowed this down and headed up and downtown to walk it off…

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York City

  • service:  fast and organized.  there are a lot of people working here to make sure things move quickly.  
  • price:  expect to pay at least $18 for a sandwich… it’s big so you can’t really complain.
  • ambiance:  loud.  pictures of famous people on the walls.  yep, you either love it or you hate it.  
  • overall:  look, don’t expect the best meal of your life.  i wouldn’t even say i love pastrami but i do recognize this is a must do when you’re in the big apple.  it is lots of food but its the experience/history you want.

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York City

Carnegie Delicatessen
854 7th Ave
(between 54th St & 55th St)
New York, NY 10019
Neighborhood: Midtown West

Carnegie Deli on Urbanspoon

By |June 18th, 2013|Food, New York, Restaurants, Travel|3 Comments

Sundaes & Cones | New York City

Sundaes & Cones | New York City

this was our friend lauren’s favorite ice cream place in manhattan…and now it’s our favorite too!

we got a single scoop of the lychee and the thai tea ice cream.  best lychee ice cream we have ever had!! the thai tea was so a great, great choice! go us!

Sundaes & Cones | New YorkSundaes & Cones | New York CitySundaes & Cones | New York City

we enjoyed our ice cream while flipping through old magazines they had lying around.  note that this place is pretty spacious.  however, there are only a few seats at the window and a few outside.  cute part is that there were a lot of people just hanging around and enjoying an ice cream cone.  a nice pause from the hectic.

lychee ice cream, we will meet again.

95 E 10th St
(at 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village

Sundaes & Cones on Urbanspoon

By |June 13th, 2013|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Dessert, Food, New York, Travel|2 Comments

Tea & Dessert @ Cha-An | New York City

Cha-An New York City Cha-An | New York CityCha-An New York City

we came here because kyle’s cousin had it on her list (due to schedule conflicts she didn’t even end up going with us). this place is very cute. the tea house is located in east village (note that it is on the second floor). decor is traditional japanese. dim lighting with barely any natural night.

we came here for the tea ceremony. it was our fault that we didn’t look into it more. this ceremony is only available on sundays. we put our name and cellphone down (this is the second place in nyc that offered to call us when the table was ready! i love it! los angeles needs to step it up). it took us 25 minutes to get a table.

Cha-An New York CityCha-An New York City

they have a set of rules listed on the first page of their menu. the main one to know is that each person in the party has to order one item. we decided to get some tea and the dessert everyone raves about: black sesame creme brule.

the menu here is pretty extensive…a little overwhelming actually. if you love tea, you should come here… so many different kinds of tea. we are in no way tea experts so i don’t think we appreciated it as much as others.

the tea comes in individual small pots. additional hot water is complementary. i thought the hostess was going to describe the tea or recommend a pairing. she just politely poured our tea and barely talked. good thing there are pretty good descriptions of the teas.

black sesame creme brule… eh. to be honest it just tasted like peanut brittle. i think i was expecting more. a plus: it wasn’t too sweet. i give this 3/5 stars.

Cha-An New York City Cha-An | New York City

  • atmosphere: i give this 4.5/5 stars. very cute. loved just sitting in our small corner enjoying cups of tea…a perfect place to unwind.
  • service: things came out quick. no complaints.
  • overall: next time i come here, i want to try their food. good place quiet place to get away in the city.

ps. there is a high tech bidet in the women’s bathroom. this will distract you for a good 5 minutes.

Cha-An
230 E 9th St
2nd Fl
(between Stuyvesant St & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village

Cha-An on Urbanspoon

By |June 13th, 2013|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Dessert, Food, New York, Travel|0 Comments