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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Suger Freak - Louisiane cooking in Astoria

Discovered this newly opened restaurant when we hung out with our friends who live in Astoria,
and you know how much I love my southern cuisine.

So we came out to Astoria on Saturday evening to check out Sugar Freak
The restaurant had a lovely space and charming decor.
(Forgot to the memory card for the camera, so the cellphone photo would have to do.)

Gumbo soup- chicken and Andouille sausage stew over rice.
I love gumbo soup.  It reminded me of Chinese Congee with more intense flavor.

Broiled Shrimp with okra rice
The shrimp was unbelievably delicious, but portion was small.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with collard green
Fried chicken was such a safe bet.  It was good, but not great.  
I would get something more exciting next time. 

Mud Pie - mix of banana, pineapple, and raspberry pie.
It balanced sweet and sour flavors, creamy and crusty textures.

The restaurant only opens for dinners from Thursday to Sudan.
The price is very reasonable, and the atmosphere is relaxed and homey.
Another great addition to Astoria expending dinning scene.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Xi'an Famous Foods (西安名吃) - various locations

The weather was horrible last Sunday.  It was windy and raining non-stop.
H & I stayed home in our pajamas until late afternoon when I got a bit antsy and wanted to go out for some fresh air.

Xi'an Famous Foods came to mind since I saw this eatery appeared on two TV shows on Travel Channel.
It is a regional Chinese food specialize in hand pulled noodles.

After I did some Google search, I was glad to find that the chain eatery had a few locations,
and the closest one to us was in Flushing.

The eatery was a hole in the wall kind of place in the basement of a food court that made me feel like I was in China. Actually all the food stalls in the food court served some intriguing regional Chinese food and looks as authentic as they can be. It was quite an exciting discovery.

Tiger vegetable salad - cilantro, scallions, and red pepper with vinegar.
The salad was a good change of flavor to our palates with the other heavy and spicy dishes we ordered.

Chang-an spicy tofu
It looked much spicier than it tasted.  The tofu had a Greek yogurt kind of creamy texture. 

Lamb pao-mo soup -  mild lamb soup with chunks of hard bread.
It is really strange to say, but the soup was both heavy and light.

Spicy and tingly beef hand ripped noodle 
Both H & I loved spicy food and can handle a lot of heat, so we LOVED this dish. 
We loved the texture of the hand ripped noodles and the slow cooked beef was so tender.

Xi'an Famous Foods is not for everyone.
If you are not an adventurous eater, this is not the place for you.

Every dish in this eatery has abundant flavor that if you are craving for something exciting,
you will definitely be satisfied walking out of the place.

The place is also recession proof. Four dishes and two drinks only set us back 20 bucks.

If you do come, remember to try some of the unique home made drinks.
They will taste so good paring with all the spicy food that you eat.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Villa Pacri - Italian restaurant in Meatpacking District

I could go months without Italian food and then all of a sudden, all I wanted was pasta.
The last time I had Italian was at Vesta in May, and I have been craving for Italian lately.
For my birthday this past weekend, another couple joined us for dinner at this beautiful Italian restaurant, Villa Pacri, in Meatpacking District.

My girlfriend's first reaction was, "It reminded me of your apartment.",
which made me happy because I loved the restaurant's decor.

La Burrata: Puglia Region Burrata, Organic Cherry, Tomato, Basil
It's an imported Italian cheese with cream. The burrata was OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious!

II Prosciutto di San Danielle: San Danielle Prociutto 24 months
Prociutto is my favorite kind of cured meat. 

I Ravioli: Sardinia Sheeps Milk Ricotta, Ravioli, Black Truffle
Once again, the ricotta cheese was AMAZING.
I barely could taste the black truffle, and the portion was really small.

Today's Special: Steak
The steak was juicy and flavorful. 

Today's Special: Grilled whole fish, Branzino
I was debating between Branzino and seabass.  I had to say this was might be my least favorite dish today.  It was not bad, but it was nothing exciting either.

I Bomboloni: Warm Ricotta Bomboloni, Hot Chocolate Bicerin
The best way to describe the dessert was fried donuts with different dipping sauce.And yes, they were good.

It was a rare beautiful summer night with gentle breeze and zero humidity.
We took a stroll and went up to the top floor of Standard hotel for a drink.

The bar was ultra-groovy with 80's vibe and amazing view overlooking the Hudson river.

It is the kind of bar that you want to take the out-of-town guests to,
and wow them with what New York City has to offer.

It was a lovely evening and great way to end a night!