Posts Tagged ‘yum’

The Little Joys at Joy Burger

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

As a vegetarian, finding a good burger in New York City poses a few problems. While I live in a rather accepting city, not all restaurants accommodate. When my friends stop at a late night burger joint, I wind up getting fries and trying to remember why I became a vegetarian in the first place. When I do come across a place with a veggie burger on the menu, it’s usually pretty hit or miss. Sometimes falling apart and occasionally tasteless, most times I may as well stick with my usual order of fries.  I basically gave up on finding a great veggie burger, until I found Joy Burger.

Diner decor with a contemporary vibe!

 

Old fashioned looks with a fresh atmosphere!

Just a five minute walk from my college, Joy Burger is the perfect place for any burger lover, whether they eat meat or they don’t. It mixes a contemporary feel with a diner décor that doesn’t break the budget. With a discount to students and quality food that tastes a lot better than a meal at the dining hall, you really can’t lose. Plus there are options, unlike most burger places. You construct the burger you want, it’s not chosen for you. Now instead of getting a plain veggie patty while everyone else is getting every burger special available, I can have something special too!

Not only can you choose your own patty, toppings, and legendary sauces (pro tip: their garlic mayo is incredible) but you can grab a great side to go with your burger. At other diner-like restaurants, sides usually stop at fries or onion rings, if you’re lucky. At Joy Burger, you can fulfill all of your comfort food needs with homemade french fries,  sweet potato fries, mozzarella sticks, zucchini sticks, chicken fingers, salad, soup, chicken wings, and the fan-favorite giant onion rings—crispy rings of golden brown goodness!

Not a burger person? Just because “burger” is in the name doesn’t mean Joy Burger doesn’t have more to offer. They offer an assortment of salads, like the avocado salad with fresh avocado and roasted red peppers, and other sandwiches like the steak sandwich with sautéed onions. Or, for my fellow veg-heads, try the grilled Portobello sandwich!

A diverse menu and cute playing cards when you order your meal!

Plus, Joy Burger is always trying to improve, coming up with new specials, discounts, and events to help out their loyal customers. Bringing homemade chili to the menu, offering their special Day Break burger (a burger with a fried egg and bacon on top of your choice of patty), and, overall, meeting the needs of their customers. In other words: you ask for it, and they come through for you. For example, customers wanted chili cheese fries, and now a free side order of chili cheese fries is being offered as a way to introduce the new side. They don’t mess around with customer service. And for those 21+, they have a happy hour daily from 4 PM- 7 PM, with a buy one get one free deal. They even offer hard cider, with a gluten free cider option!

While I held off on the seasonal beer, I did get a refreshing glass of mint lemonade that went perfectly with my meal. I ordered a veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, and pickles, topped with some delicious garlic mayo. Onion rings came on the side! I was given a playing card, which they call when your food is ready. The use of playing cards only adds to the cute, quirky, uniqueness of Joy Burger. Within minutes my food was done and I was ready to chow down after an exhausting day at The New School.

A tasty cup of lemonade with mint!

Now, I am not exaggerating when I say this was the best veggie burger I’ve ever had. I know that sounds dramatic, but I am not kidding. The patty was thick and so tasty. All the ingredients were fresh and delicious, and for once I didn’t have crumbling bits of burger falling all over my plate. As for the onion rings, they really lived up to their reputation. Crunchy and gigantic, they were absolutely addicting. Try dipping them in one of their nine signature sauces and you’ll be all set for a perfect meal! With Joni Mitchell playing in the background, I never wanted to leave.

A veggie burger, onion rings, and a pickle!

 

A thick, tasty veggie burger!

Being a bit of a Brooklyn hermit, the second school gets out I tend to run to the train back to my borough, but now I have reason to stay a little longer in Manhattan. Not only is this place affordable, especially for a student, but the food is actually good. Plus Joy Burger has an app where you can earn points and rewards which basically equals free food. And who doesn’t want free comfort food? With finals right around the corner, taking a break for onion rings and a burger is the perfect getaway from staring at a computer screen for seven hours. Joy Burger really stays true to their name; it’s a happy, contemporary, burger joint that really provides for their customers. You know what they say, a burger a day keeps the doctor away…or something like that…well, they definitely should say it.

A lot of joy at Joy Burger!

 

———————————————————————————————————

Daniela Bizzell, Eugene Lang College, The New School University.

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

Share

A Ramen Haven at Umami Shoppu

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

The weather is getting noticeably colder as New York approaches the winter months. I’ve been seeing more scarves, more boots, and more unhappy faces as blasts of chilled air smack into unsuspecting passengers departing the subway. One thing comes to mind when I think of the treacherous months to come; a helper of sorts to relieve me of the brutal wind tunnel that is New York City: a hot, steamy bowl of soup.

Warm and delicious!

Because the majority of my time is spent behind the walls of The New School University, finding a great place to sit and eat a hearty bowl of goodness is even more appreciated when in close proximity to school. Lucky for me, there is the Japanese restaurant Umami Shoppu: two blocks away from my college, incredibly reasonably priced, and some of the best ramen, sushi, and tempura I’ve had in a while.

I was immediately met with smiling faces and an incredibly cozy atmosphere upon walking into the restaurant. Escaping the cold to enter Umami Shoppu was definitely the right decision. The tables were intimately placed, topped with light blue stone mugs, proper wooden chopsticks (not the splintered set you find in a red wrapper at your local Chinese takeout place), and an array of chili oils and soy sauce. The lighting was calming and the exposed brick gave the restaurant an indie feel while still possessing hints of Japanese culture. As an added bonus, a flat screen television was placed on the brick wall. Playing was a stream of music videos from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This may just be me, but I couldn’t get enough of the nostalgia felt when listening to some early Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child.

Awesome spot for a lovely lunch!

What cute mugs!

In simpler terms, Umami Shoppu has a unique quality not normally seen in more traditional Japanese restaurants. Opening the store with his father a mere four months ago, owner William Wu took his prior knowledge of Japanese cuisine, specifically from his past work at ramen shops, and created something fun and contemporary while still providing great food. Wu acknowledges and embraces the area that Umami Shoppu is now a part of. When asked his favorite aspect of owning the restaurant, he replied, “Meeting people, all kinds of different people. In fact the show Louis is filming here pretty soon. It’s all pretty cool. I get to meet a lot of college students and it reminds me of being young.” Wu matches this concept to create a youthful vibe that lingers throughout the shop.

Tyler is loving her ramen!

Now for the food! There were so many options, both from a Lunch menu, 11 AM to 4 PM, and a dinner menu. In order to get an well-rounded take of the food at Umami Shoppu, I asked the owner for a few of his personal favorites. He immediately responded with his first choice of ramen and sushi. He recommended the Spicy Butaniku Ramen, great for cold weather, double the pork of most ramen dishes, and a spicy flare to really warm you up. His sushi choice was something he had actually created himself. Named the Autumn of NY roll, this type of sushi had everything: spicy king crab, mango, avocado, all topped with salmon. Damn.

As a pesscatarian, the only “meat” I eat is fish; I had to pass on the pork. On the other hand, my companion joining me for lunch was intrigued. She got a rendition of the Butaniku, the Cha Siu Tonkotsu Ramen, the same idea with a little less spice. I myself got the Shrimp Tempura Shoyu Ramen, a soy based broth with a side of some of the best shrimp tempura I’ve ever eaten. We split a large plate of the Autumn roll to begin our feast. While listening to “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and basking in the warmth of the intimate Japanese shop, we happily waited for our meals.

Best shrimp tempura ever!

The sushi plate was brought out rather quickly. It was a large plate beautifully presented and designed with each piece of sushi placed in a patterned order. With chopsticks in hand, we dove in. Graced with a light spice, the flavor was pretty incredible. Everything was fresh from the crab to the avocado. Plus, there was so much of it—definitely a good choice to share. Just as quickly as it had appeared, the sushi platter was devoured and then came the ramen. Both my friend and I were a bit unfamiliar with ramen outside of the to-go cups that have a blend of freeze dried peas and uncooked noodles jammed inside. We were pleasantly surprised. The bowls were ginormous and absolutely filled with fresh, thick noodles, bathing in a steaming broth. The flavor, both for the pork and the shrimp, was tasty and not overpowering. As mentioned before, the tempura was probably the best I’ve ever had—crispy fresh shrimp, and the blend of batter and seafood was delicious. Halfway through our bowls we both admitted defeat. More full than we had ever anticipated, we pushed them away in satisfaction.

 

So much goodness!

Featured on Grubhub and Seamless, plus a 10% discount to students, you really can’t lose with Umami Shoppu. As a first time restaurant ramen customer I was very impressed and satisfied with my meal. Being so close to school, I’ll always know the perfect place to go for a warm bowl of Ramen and a cozy environment to take off my gloves and parka. Even better, Wu plans on catering more to vegetarians—now I really can’t say no. Umami Shoppu is the ultimate student hub for good, inexpensive Japanese food, plus we all need a little Destiny’s Child back in our lives.

 

———————————————————————————————————

Daniela Bizzell, Eugene Lang College, The New School University.

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

 

Share

Frozen Delight at Orange Leaf

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Tucked away in the heart of Gramercy Park, a brightly designed yogurt shop sits on the corner of 20th St and 3rd Ave. While the neighborhood is relatively quiet, one step inside Orange Leaf and one is met with an array of exuberant color and energetic, lively music, immediately creating a fun, spirited atmosphere to enjoy a sweet cup of yogurt.

When I walked into Orange Leaf on a warm Friday afternoon, I was met with a swirl of orange and pink tiles. Michael Jackson was playing in the background and a giant, flat-screen television was behind the counter showing pictures of happy customers and all of the different flavors Orange Leaf has to offer. Even better, I was greeted with smiles: all of the staff seemed genuinely happy. Cutting up fresh strawberries and offering tastes of various flavors of yogurt was done with enthusiasm. I’ve been to my fair share of frozen yogurt shops and have seen my fair share of emotionless faces who clearly hate their job; this was not the case with Orange Leaf. The many windows let in a ton of natural sunlight and brightened everything up a bit. I was comfortable, happy, and excited to try the product.

Like many frozen yogurt shops, there were sixteen different flavors to choose from. I chose to get a wide variety, in order to look at the shop through a thorough lens. A friend joined me on my froyo excursion, so between the two of us we were able to get six different flavors. One of the best aspects of Orange Leaf is the optional cup divider. I had never seen cup dividers before, but they are amazing! If you’re a frequent froyo consumer, you know the difficulty in choosing what flavors will blend together the best. You can’t get Coconut and Peanut Butter or Mango and Coffee without the yogurts blending together to make a multi-colored mess that tastes like a bunch of foods that were thrown into a blender. With the dividers, one has three separated sections, with no unnecessary combining of flavors. Just pop one in and you’re all set! Altogether we tried Watermelon, Pomegranate, Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter, Wedding Cake, and of course the classic Tart. All of the flavors tasted great and were incredibly accurate to their name! Topped with both regular and sour gummy worms, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, and fruit, I was very satisfied and was given a really great first impression.

Compared to other froyo places I’ve visited, Orange Leaf is intimate yet energetic and definitely a nice change in scenery from the 16 Handles or Pinkberry franchises I seem to see on every street corner. Whether it’s their Ounce Card, giving you a money-back point for every yogurt purchased, or the Ipad sitting in the store allowing customers to register for a rewards card or to begin following Orange Leaf on Twitter or Facebook, this yogurt shop seems to stand out. Convenience and quality are definitely priorities.

My first visit will definitely not be my last; I would highly recommend a visit to Orange Leaf. Wedding Cake flavored froyo—need I say more?

Mother and son duo!

 

Yum!

 

Friendly Staff!

———————————————————————————————————

Daniela Bizzell, Eugene Lang College, The New School University.

Campus Clipper Blogger

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblrand Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

Share