Posts Tagged ‘onFood’

Slane in NYC

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Restaurant review of Slane Public House by Emily Ho, NYU

102 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012-1203
(212) 505-0079

The Brief Bite

– Great chatty atmosphere

– Wallet friendly drink specials – $5 Cosmos, Sangria, Margaritas, and $4 beers

– Free wifi during the day!

– $6.00 Lunch – last I heard, Slane is planning on sneaking in an authentic Irish dish somewhere in the Student Special menu.

I hear it even before I step in the door: the steady rhythmic beat of the music, people calling out to one another, and the sound of drinks clinking as the bartender, Annie, shakes up another two mojitos. It’s a Tuesday night at Slane on MacDougal, next to the Creperie.

If the name Slane is sounding slightly familiar, you might be thinking of the castle it was named after: Slane Castle in Ireland, now a concert hall hosting acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2. The cool, slightly quaint Irish aesthetic seemed very much on bar owner Glenda’s mind when she designed the interior: dusted brick walls with niches for candles and green Irish lettering on the walls, and dim pendant lamplights along the bar. The space is cleverly designed to accommodate big groups in the front (they often host birthday parties), football fanatics (there are 5 flat screens, each tuned to a different sport), and a smaller intimate booth in the back (elevated by a step, these few tables offer some privacy if that’s what you’re looking for). Stepping in reminded me of my own trip to Ireland a few years back, and my visit to its oldest pub, the Brazenhead. So just coming in, I knew this wasn’t just an ordinary pub.

Sitting at the bar, what caught my eye was their large selection of beers, most notably of them the Irish classics Guinness and Carlsburg, and Sam Adam’s Octoberfest, which had just come into season. Big points to Slane for having a seasonal beer selection, but even more so was the quick and friendly service from Annie, the bartender and only waitress. Even though the bar was filling up fast, she was quick to take my order.

The comfort food menu leaned slightly towards European cuisine, ranging from Fish N Chips ($14) to meat and vegetable pies. After much deliberation, my friend and I settled on an appetizer of garlic breaded mushrooms ($8), a chicken & mushroom pie for her ($10), and a classic shepherd’s pie ($13) for me.

So – the seemingly rudimentary appetizer. Who knew a simple dish of sautéed mushrooms ensconced in bread crumbs, with an underlay of butter and garlic could be so plain delicious? The button mushrooms were just juicy and crispy enough to pop the tastebuds – a hard combination to pull off. Combined with a light side of arugula salad, this dish makes a great vegetarian option. Definitely the high point of the meal, my guest and I devoured the plate in minutes. We didn’t have to wait too long for the entrees to arrive. My shepherd’s pie was a hearty casserole of beef chunks and vegetables, baked with a topping of mashed potatoes. The real winner at the table though, was the meat pie: topped with only a thin crust, the soupy mixture underneath had a nice touch of wine – a sherry like Harvey Bristol, perhaps. Whatever the secret concoction, the flavor soaked into the chicken & mushroom combination, elevating the dish from standard fare to true comfort food (with a slight twist of sophistication to boot).

The music was still playing when we finished, but the birthday party had left, making room for the nightly 3 hour music set, Mondays through Thursday. Each night features a different group, playing anything from jazz to a more eclectic alternative pop. Slane is pretty receptive to local bands in the area, and even features student bands from NYU. It’s definitely a good atmosphere whether you’re catching up with the old gang, or whether you want to mingle with new people (I caught a guy’s eye a few times). So, is Slane a tiny slice of Ireland or just a cool joint for hanging out, either before or after hitting up the nightclubs? You decide – Slane is right on MacDougal, close to Bleecker.

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Shake Shack

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Restaurant Review of Shake Shack – 86th St

By Laura Brown, NYU Grad Student

Address: 154 East 86th Street between Third and Lexington

Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00AM – 11:00PM

Cuisine: American

Price: $

Alcohol: Yes

Outdoor Dining: Yes

Attire: Shorts and Flip-Flop approved.

Best For: A bite for lunch, quick evening meal, or late night crave.

Danny Meyer has bestowed to NoLIta, the Upper West Side, Miami, and even the Left Bank of France, American burger perfection. It seems only natural that another branch of Shake Shack should nestle into Upper East Side Manhattan on East 86th between Third and Lexington.

If one word could depict this art-nouveau locale, it would be desire. The long, curving line seems as much a fixture as the iconic stainless steel and lime striped interior. Half of the waiting is done outside, peering longingly through finger printed glass, the rest inside, the air sensually flavored with cooking beef.

However, for the beef-intolerant, the offerings of chicken hot-dogs and portabella cheeseburgers are also well worth the wait. The L.A. sized burgers come wrapped in waxy sheaths, sporting unnaturally colored condiments: neon green pickles and unnervingly rosy-red tomato slices.

There is a separate register line entirely dedicated to a quick hit of frozen delight. The flavors range from the familiar vanilla and chocolate to the experimental green tea, basil and mango. Though without a bar, the Shack offers a wide selection of beers and half-bottles of red and white wine.

The metallic table and benches as well as the outdoor seating reflect Shake Shack’s original concept: a modernization of the traditional American picnic. Shake Shack puts a fresh face on fast food and brings an American classic to new zenith of cool.

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Gourmet Diner Delights

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Restaurant Review of Stand4

By Angela M, Baruch College

With its wide windows, Stand4 (24 East 12th Street) is filled with a fresh and bright ambiance. There are tall tables and stools near the windows for a quick bite to eat, more comfortable seating at the back, and a fully stocked bar between.

Perfectly crispy and without that unpleasant oil drip, my first dish was sweet potato fries. An ideal food to munch on while waiting for the rest of your meal to arrive, the fries were served with a mustard and mayo dip, much like most of the appetizers on Stand’s menu.

Tempura battered bread and pickles came next. Stand’s B&B pickles are a twist on the classic New York side crunch. If you’re in the mood to channel Snooki’s least harmful obsession, this appetizer will prove to be both tasty and legal.

My next dish, chicken bites with BBQ sauce, was coated with a batter that didn’t overwhelm the taste buds nor overpower the flavor of the tender white meat enclosed within. A complete and total win. Although this is just a minor detail, I appreciated that the BBQ sauce and mayo/mustard dip were placed separately, rather than being slathered on the chicken. It kept the dish clean and ensured the lightness of each mouthwatering bite.

When Michael Symon, the famous Iron Chef, restaurateur and author raved about Stand’s toasted marshmallow gelato shake on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” the establishment’s then most popular burger moved to second place.

The shake was rich, thicker than your average ice cream shake and sweet with white fluffs of unearthly goodness.

As previously mentioned Stand was once most famous for their gourmet cheeseburgers. Topped with your choice of melted American, Mozzarella, or Swiss or cheddar cheese with a  mini-bowl of extra cheese on the side, the burger was tasty, yes, most memorable was the cheese and extra cheese.

As deliciously creamy as the gelato shake was, it left my mouth begging for refreshment. Normally, I would have just gulped a glass of water, but since I was at Stand, I could not pass up the opportunity to try their homemade ginger ale. Prepared on the premises, the puree is a house blend and, unlike every other ginger ale I’ve ever drank before, actually tastes like ginger! I could not have asked for a better refreshment to complete my meal. I would gladly — and most likely will — come back to Stand to do it all over again.

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Cheap Eats Vegan

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

written by Christina Roylance

Think being a vegetarian means expensive specialty restaurants, and lots of drama when you go out to dinner with friends? Do you feel that you’ll have to be the most finicky customer of all time and waiters will hate you? This could not be further from the truth.  Living in NYC is getting easier and more enjoyable every day to be a vegetarian or vegan.  There’s tons of options, and you don’t need to drag everyone to your all-veg restaurants; there are simple ways to get cheap awesome vegetarian food by being knowledgeable about good places and keeping a few things in mind.
NYC is a mecca of different cultures and backgrounds. Ethnic foods abound in the city, and there’s often cheap, local places for whatever foreign flavor you want–Indian, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, whatever.  Many of these cuisines are sensitive to vegetarians, and can easily be requested vegan, as long as you know what to ask for.

Middle Eastern food is a great resource for vegetarians.  Falafels are cheap, vegetarian fast food sandwiches: deep fried tahini balls with hummus and veggies!  It’s a great, simple, yet filling option.  Aldiwan Lebanese restaurant is located on A if you want a sit-down Middle Eastern dinner.  It also has a great selection of vegetarian appetizers, as well as a tasty vegetarian Mousaka entrée that’s big enough for two.

At lunchtime, there’s always Indian food all-you-can-eat buffets for cheap.  Indian Taj on Bleeker has a $10 deal that’s even cheaper with a Campus Clipper Coupon.  Indian food is hearty and flavorful, and you can just ask the servers which dishes do not have any meat or cheese.  These buffets are usually huge, so there’s bound to be a selection of vegetarian things to eat.

Thai food is a personal favorite of mine.  Entrées tend to be large so you can cut the cost by splitting dishes.  There are always a great deal of vegetarian options, but just ask if there are any eggs in the dish and it’s easy enough for you to be accommodated.  Boyd Thai on Thompson has great vegetarian options, and vegan treats and desserts available as well!

Mexican cuisine is great because if that’s what you’re craving, you can either get fast and cheap take-out style places or sit down to dinner.  Vegetarian and vegan burritos are easy since you often custom order them.  With rice, beans, veggies, and guacamole, (and cheese and sour cream if you’re not a vegan) a vegetarian burrito is filling and quick.  Try grabbing one from Burritoville, and use your Campus Clipper Coupon to save $1.

Surprisingly, lots of sushi restaurants can accommodate vegetarians as well, with veggie filled sushi rolls. It is important to make sure the restaurant doesn’t use fish sauces or oils in the preparation though if you’re a strict vegetarian.  Sushi Yawa on 8th street has tons of vegetable rolls (cucumber, avocado, sweet potato, spinach, and more!), and a bunch of vegetarian appetizers as well.  Plus, everyone I know loves sushi, so non-veg friends will be happy to accompany you.

Italian food is everyone’s favorite–who doesn’t love pasta?  It just takes a few easy questions when ordering your pasta dish to know if it’s vegetarian or vegan.  Just ask if there’s meat in the sauce, request no parmesan, and ask for your food cooked with olive oil instead of butter.  Most dishes are prepared that way already, but if you just check it should be easy to make any changes.  Grotta Azzurra in Little Italy has an affordable $10 prix fixe for lunch, as well as a Thursday night ladies night, with free appetizers and half-off on drinks!

So just because you’re vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean eating out has to be boring or expensive!  You can still eat your favorite things; just be a little conscientious and ask the right questions.  You don’t have to miss out on any great deals or fun nights out just because you have different dietary needs.  So remember to use Campus Clipper coupons to get the best deals, and be sure to experiment and have fun.

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VegEats! A Rationale

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

The poster for the wonderful documentary by Robert Kenner - a must-see!

VegEats is a Campus Clipper column where we discuss the benefits of vegan/vegetarian-friendly eating in New York City and find ways for students to eat healthy and be environmentally friendly with their food while still saving money.

I want to share with you why I went veg. I am not trying to tell you to make the same choice. But most students who move to New York City encounter a much larger number of vegetarians and vegans than they have before, and I want to offer an idea of why someone might have chosen this diet/lifestyle. And for those of you who might be considering going veg, I hope to give you some things to consider and some advice. I went veg because I researched and educated myself about how eating animals and animal byproducts affected my health, the health of the planet, and the life of the animals. What I learned upset me and made me not want to use my money to support a system that has so many negative consequences. (If you would like to educate yourself, there are a abundance of resources online. I would personally recommend the site goveg.com, as well as other resources like Robert Kenner’s excellent 2008 documentary Food, Inc.)

But I think the reason I was successful in going veg and have felt so good about the decision is I didn’t make any changes too quickly and allowed myself to work at my own timeline. There’s a term in psychology, cognitive dissonance, which means the uncomfortable feeling you get by trying to maintain two contradictory ideas simultaneously. I was brought up, like many others, believing it’s okay to eat animals. But as I learned more about the consequences of this action, I increasingly found reasons why it wasn’t. Over time, months and months, my discomfort grew so that when I ate meat or cheese or eggs, I didn’t feel good about it. The food didn’t seem satisfying anymore.

Even once I decided to actually change my diet, I did it in baby steps: I gave up red meat, then waited a few months, then gave up turkey, then waited; and when I began to consider veganism, I went on “practice runs” every few months for over a year, adopting a complete vegan diet for longer and longer periods of time. During both of these process’, I was careful to note what cravings I had and what foods assuaged them. For example, when I went vegetarian, I kept a jar of crunchy peanut butter within reach at all times – I even had one under my bed with a spoon! Whenever I was feeling sluggish or craving a cheeseburger, I ate a big scoop of crunchy PB. Almost immediately I trained my body to crave peanuts when it needed protein instead of meat; it’s amazing how quickly and easily the body will adapt to changes we make as long as we are attentive to it and make sure it gets what it needs.

I paid attention to how hungry or not hungry I felt, my energy levels, how well I was sleeping, my mood, everything. Diet is probably one of the easiest ways to change your whole life, for better or worse; making huge sudden changes and expecting your body to immediately adjust is a recipe for disaster. By the time I was fully vegetarian and fully vegan, I no longer had any craving for those foods – I knew what my body could use to replace them, and I liked being able to eat food that was not only delicious but good for me, animals, and the planet.

If you are interested in going vegetarian or vegan, that’s great – I’ll have more advice about that in future posts. But even if you’re not, college is an important time for your diet. For many of us, this is the first time we’re deciding what’s for dinner, and that’s actually a really important decision. The quality and quantity of food you put into your body affects you physically and in a multitude of other ways – underestimating the importance of a healthy diet is a huge mistake too many students make. Please research your food – where does it come from, how is it prepared, what nutrients, fats, and calories does it contain, and how will these properties affect you. Knowledge is power, so do what you came to college to do: learn.

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VegEats! An Introduction

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Veggies: delicious, nutritious, and cheap!

Hi everyone! My name is Jon, and I’m going to be offering some guidance into the wonderful world of vegan/vegetarian-friendly eating in New York City. For those who aren’t sure, a vegetarian is a person who restricts consumption of meat and animal byproducts. There are several types of vegetarians: pesco-vegetarians, who include fish in their diets; pollo-vegetarians, who include poultry; ovo-vegetarians, who include eggs; and lacto-vegetarians, who include dairy products. These prefixes can be combined. For example, when I officially started identifying myself as a vegetarian three years ago, I was a ovo-lacto-vegetarian.

About two months ago, I began identifying myself as a vegan, which is a strict vegetarian (absolutely no meat or animal byproducts) who extends this philosophy beyond diet into other parts of life. This means vegans don’t use products made from materials like leather, silk, or wool, because these materials rely on animals and animal captivity to be made. Vegans also only use man-made sponges and avoid substances like gelatin, an ingredient in most marshmallows and derived from collagen found in animal bones, or beeswax, commonly used to make candles and produced over a long period of time by bees as an essential part of their home. This lifestyle may sound a little extreme to those who have not encountered veganism before, but when adopted mindfully for the right reasons, it can be a wonderful positive change for many people.

So you may be saying to yourself, well, now I know what they don’t eat; what DO they eat? I eat primarily fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, as well as artificial animal-free products such as tofu. When eating out, I often go for Indian, Chinese, Israeli, Thai, or Mexican, as these cuisines offer lots of delicious vegan options, or I go to one of the multitude of vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants in New York City. Many people when hearing about this diet have concerns about health, primarily about protein and iron deficiency. Vegetarianism and veganism are actually very healthy as long as the practitioner eats a variety of foods, pays attention to intake of nutrients, fats, and calories, and stays active, (which is true of any lifestyle.) In fact, studies have shown that limiting meat and animal byproducts can significantly lower your chances of major health problems, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, obesity, diabetes, even Alzheimer’s! The average American eats nearly double the amount of protein they need per day, and veg-eaters have numerous alternative to meat and animal byproducts to find protein, iron, and all other essential nutrients.

I’m so excited to help you find ways to eat healthy on a student’s budget. New York can be expensive, but there are lots of tricks to up your nutrients, help the environment, and keep your wallet (and belly) full. To get you started, Campus Clipper has wonderful coupons for great veg-friendly restaurants like Atlas Café, Indian Taj, Monster Sushi, Tahini, Wild Ginger, and many more! Check them out on the coupons page! Happy Eating!

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In the City that Always Eats

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

For a city that never sleeps, New York City is where you can find food at every corner. Whether you find food at a street vendor, a sidewalk cafe, an upscale restaurant, or the latest popular burger joint, you will inevitably be faced with daily decisions of which of the thousands of restaurants you will travel to for something delicious, something budget friendly, or something to give you endurance for a long night of studying. As a student in the big apple, these choices may seem overwhelming, and tempt you into turning the $1 pizza store across from your dorm into your go-to place for all meals. In today’s technology age, there are so many great resources for finding great deals and budget conscious ways to keep you from being a starving college student, that you can surely have a diverse culinary experience while in New York.

Before resorting to the internet to start frantically searching for great lunch deals and hot date spots, use your eyes to spot places you may want to dine. You will quickly learn that living in New York City means you can always “window shop” for clothes, food, jewelry, and anything else you may need. As you use your feet to get around, instead of a car, you have the opportunity to gaze into the restaurants you have heard so much about already, and get a real-life sense of what your dining experience may be like. And, walk around with a pen and a notepad. Some of the best restaurant and food deals are not advertised on their websites – they are advertised on chalkboards right outside of the restaurant! Take note, and add it to the to-do list.

Soon, I will share more specific details on how to dine out on the town in this fabulous city that always eats. But for now, I encourage you to be aware of your surroundings, and take note when you see a slice of pizza that is extra cheesy, a quaint neighborhood cafe, or a bustling hot spot. There are 365 days a year, and 4 years of college. Just think of all the great eating you can do!

-Kerry H

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Di Fara

Monday, May 10th, 2010

It’s the first blog post and introductions are in order. My name is Sabina, and I’m an upcoming sophomore at NYU. I’ll be writing this summer about some of the restaurants New York has to offer, as well as some of the interesting events students can afford to attend in the city. I hope to cover a little of everything—from museums to taco stands, baklava to free concerts, community gardens to pierogis. I am always open to suggestions, so feel free to send some in via email or respond to anything I post. I’m starting off with one of the best-known culinary spots in New York—the famous Di Fara Pizza of Brooklyn.
This past Sunday I finally gathered the right group of people and enough motivation to head out to the famous pizzeria, claimed by many to be the home of the best slices the East Coast has to offer. It’s a 40-minute schlep on the Q to Avenue J from my nearby 14th Street Union Square stop, but after such hype I decided to brave the unusually cold Sunday weather and make the trek. Luckily I went with some friends who had been before, and therefore insisted we leave by 11. We arrived at 11:45 and were the third party in line.
Without the people waiting outside, the small pizzeria would fail to stand out against the low-key corner of Midwood, a neighborhood spotted with Jewish bakeries and a few bagel stops. Once inside, however, the characteristics that distinguish the small restaurant became apparent. For one, lines can start forming 1-2 hours before opening. The counter-space was crowded with no semblance of a line, and there were not nearly enough chairs or tables to accommodate the eager customers. Although the lack of comfort can infuriate some restaurant enthusiasts, I’ve always been drawn to a small establishment willing to retain its old atmosphere. As a friend noted, the cheap napkins indicated where priorities lied.
Only one man, Domenico DeMarco, handles the pizzas, which are made of ingredients shipped exclusively from Italy and Israel. While his son was on hand to take orders, Domenico was the only one drizzling on the olive oil or pulling the bubbling dough from the oven to check if it was done. Other special touches included the three types of cheeses hand-grated directly onto the hot crust, and the basil leaves clipped straight off the stems. We bought two pies (it is far more expensive to order by the slice) and waited about 20 minutes for them after ordering.
I’m not a huge pizza enthusiast, but Di Fara’s slices were certainly the best I’ve had in New York. After we brought the hot pies to the table, no one spoke as they made their way through their three slices. The biggest pizza connoisseur of us all had four.
Part of the fun of making your way down to Di Fara’s is to watch Domenico handle his ingredients. If you’re not down for waiting, or want to be sure you’ll get a table, the ride on the Q might not be worth it. Many worry the small restaurant has turned into a tourist-trap (there were a couple of overbearing camera wielders), but if you can’t stand the customers, take a pizza to go and find a nice spot outside. The fresh ingredients alone are worth it.

-Sabina A

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