Vegetarians Beware. Yummy Thai Food.

I mentioned yesterday that my very cool boss bought us lunch, but I neglected to tell you what we ordered! We ended up ordering delivery from Spice over on 8th Avenue. Spice is a very yummy Thai restaurant. I have been to the location at Union Square and I really liked it.

I ordered the Hawaiian Ginger and Pineapple Stir-fry (with onions, carrots, and mushrooms) and I ordered it with beef. Would I have preferred this to be organic beef? Of course. Did that fact that it wasn’t (I assume) stop me? Absolutely not. It was yummy and exactly what I was craving.

I also ordered the spring rolls (fried). I had one of them and gave the other to Bobby. They came with a very good sweet sauce. I have no idea what was in it.

Last night I used the leftover beef to make a stirfry with some veggies.

I have been using frozen veggies because they make cooking prep so so so much faster. I don’t have that much time to cook, and time will deter me from cooking (I’ve been doing takeout a lot). I cooked these in some butter and spices. Yum!

Are there any tricks you do to make cooking easier? Chopping veggies in advance? Making big batches and eating leftovers?

P.S. I had another acupuncture appointment today and I will definitely update about that soon. I need to sleep now!

East Japanese Restaurant Review & Contemplation

I had my first acupuncture treatment this morning. So far I am very impressed with Nicholas Steadman, but I’ll probably write a more thorough review after I’ve gotten it again (I signed up for another session on Thursday night). I think I am very lucky to have found this.

Here is some food! Bobby and I have been to this Japanese place called East 3 times now. We have definitely learned what to get. The menus have pictures for every dish:

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I like to get tea (complimentary) with my meals.

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The first time we went I got this grilled broccoli. Kind of a ripoff ($2.50 I think), but very good.

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Bobby got this burdock noodle soup with tempura and fish cake things. He said it was delicious and finished it… I got to taste the broth though. Pretty yummy.

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The first night he also got this salmon roll ($10?). I’m not that much of a sushi person, but I tried it and I thought it was alright.

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I had to get a salad, and this one rocked. It was only $6 and it was huge.

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And I got this grilled salmon (miso glazed, $9) and horseradish with some sort of roe. I actually chopped most of this up and put it in the salad – so awesome. If this were cheaper I would get it again (it was a fairly small portion).

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The next time we went with my mom (she had been up to help me paint). I got the salad again ($6). It is gigantic and probably the best deal I’ve seen in New York.

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My mom got a bento box which came with a small salad and miso soup.

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That night I got the chicken teriyaki ($5 something?). Ahh, this was delicious. It came with a piece of broccoli and a piece of carrot.

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This was the rest of my mom’s bento box – seaweed salads, rice, salmon teriyaki, tempura, and a roll. I helped her 🙂

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Bobby got a soup again that night. I don’t remember which one. Or maybe this was the burdock one and the other one was something else. Anyway, this was delicious as well.

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And that same salmon roll (I want to say it’s called salmon lover’s).

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We went again last night for Salmon Thursday! Lots of salmon dishes were super-reduced, so Bobby and I went all out for salmon. Happy couple:

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I got the salad yet again. Bobby got that salmon roll yet again.

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Then… I got something called “salmon neck” for just $4. This plate is twice the size of a normal dinner plate. So huge!! It wasn’t all meat though (bones, eyes – you know – the usual).

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It came with some horseradish stuff. Bobby also got a natto roll (fermented soybeans – I do NOT like this).

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And another ridiculously cheap salmon roll (normally $14 or something, but on Salmon Thursday I think it’s $8).

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Wow, what a lot of delicious Japanese food. I would highly recommend East. They have a few other locations as well. Bobby was the mayor briefly at this one, but he was ousted just last night.

What are your weekend plans? I am going to IKEA!

Review: Savor Saigon (Fairless Hills, PA)

In the heart of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, is a mecca that Bobby and have trekked to twice. It’s Savor Saigon, and it is the best Vietnamese food that I have found on the east coast.

You all know that I have an obsession with Vietnamese food – papaya and/or lotus root salads in particular. Here are some of my past papaya and lotus enjoyments:

This time my sister and I decided to split two (vegetarian) dishes so that we could sample more things. We also got some appetizers for the entire table…

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First up: fresh vegetarian summer rolls (served cold). These are fried tofu, vermicelli noodles, mint, lettuce, and carrot wrapped in rice paper. They come with a peanutty dipping sauce. We each had half of a roll. They were good…

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But not as good as the fried spring rolls! These were not vegetarian – they had pork and other random things inside. I dipped them in the standard Vietnamese dipping sauce (fish sauce, sugar,water, vinegar I think). They were awesome. My vegan sister passed on them.

Julia and I split a lotus root salad with fried tofu (vegetarian/vegan). It had lotus root, carrots, and fried tofu. Very yummy.

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We also split the very yummy Vietnamese Pad Thai (vegetarian):

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This had noodles, tofu, egg, broccoli, mushrooms, and other veggies I am forgetting. It was a little bit different from regular pad thai – less peanutty, but still very good. It was topped with peanuts though!

My picks of the night – the lotus root salad and the fried spring rolls.

What’s your favorite cuisine? Mine is most definitely Vietnamese! I’m looking for a good (cheap) place in New York now… ideas/tips? I can’t find anything as good as the California Vietnamese places.

Review: The Long Room & Christmas In New York

I’m blogging two nights in a row… what am I, unemployed again? (I’m not; still loving the new job and keeping busy.)

First, I must say – I loved all of your comments on yesterday’s post (about chilling out re: exercise). Guess what – no exercise today either (does 4 blocks of walking count?). But it’s all good. I don’t need much to be happy.

This weekend was jam-packed with fun. On Saturday night my best friend from high school (she lives in NJ) came up to visit me and Bobby. She brought her boyfriend as well. Bobby and I took them to walk down 5th Avenue, which is gorgeous this time of year. We stopped at the Rockefeller center to see the tree…

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Oddly enough, I have a really similar picture of the two of us in the same pose (with a Christmas tree behind us) in Princeton from 2005 (I think). We love Christmas.

After we saw the beautiful Christmas tree at Rockefeller, we got stuck in people-traffic because everyone was watching this light show (the snowflakes light up and dance to holiday music).

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Eventually we made it to 44th and 6th Ave to go to Virgil’s Barbecue… but actually Christine doesn’t like BBQ (whoops!). Luckily there was a nice restaurant next door called The Long Room, which is so new that it doesn’t even have a website yet (!). It’s a nice Irish pub/bar and it’s reasonably inexpensive (for New York).

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The menu looked great. I ordered the “Cast Iron Roasted Chicken” – with cauliflower mash and haricots verts (18.95). Bobby, Christine, and Devin all ordered beers (Guinness – it’s an Irish restaurant) and I got a diet coke.

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My meal was amazing. The “cauliflower mash” is mashed potatoes with some cauliflower mushed in; the green beans (haricots verts) were wonderfully seasoned and oiled; and the chicken was amazingly tender. I finished just about all of it (Bobby stole a few bites). Bobby (and Christine) ordered the Fish and Chips ($14.95 I think)…

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Really good. He poured vinegar all over the “chips” (fries) so I didn’t like them, but the fish was great. Devin got a Buffalo chicken pizza (13.95 maybe?) and I think his was probably the best dish (no picture).

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I would definitely go back here. I want that pizza! We had a really awesome time. Christine and I get along; Bobby and Devin get along – they are another perfect double date couple.

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Can’t wait to see them again – probably for New Year’s, if not earlier.

Do you like to go on double dates? Bobby and I have been doing lots of couples outings recently (like Josie’s West with Kate and Simon) and I am absolutely loving it.

Review: Menchanko Tei (Ramen)

Let’s talk ramen. What is it? Basically – noodles and broth. It’s traditionally a Japanese dish, but it did originate in China. The broth is usually a meat or fish stock, and it will have soy or miso (or both) in it. Popular toppings – pork, shrimp, fish balls, fish cakes, scallions, cabbage, spinach, dried seaweed, fish flakes (forget what these are called), and even corn (yum). It’s kind of an art form in Japan; every town has their own special dish, and there is always competition for who can make the best ramen.

Back at Cornell I watched a movie called Tampopo about Japanese food. It’s a “noodle western” (a play on Speaghetti Western). Until I watched this movie I didn’t realize the cultural importance of ramen in Japan. It was a good film, so put it on your list!

A few weeks ago Bobby sent me this picture in the middle of the day:

He had gone to Menchanko Tei, a ramen place in Manhattan. I think he went to the one on East 45th Street between Lex and 3rd Aves.

He got the signature Menchanko bowl ($9) – their original noodle recipe, individually cooked in a cast iron bowl (see picture). It starts with traditional thick ramen noodles and a rich soy broth, then it’s topped with chicken, shrimp, fish balls, tofu, ricecakes, and vegetables.

He says: “Really good. They make their own noodles there. The broth was salty and savory (in a good way) and it was perfectly hot. Ramen is best hot. And this was awesome. I’m pretty sure they did not use MSG, but don’t quote me on that.” (Whoops!)

Wish I could have joined you, sweetie! I was hard at work, and I don’t remember what I had for lunch that day (it was December 1st, a Tuesday).

Luckily, we are getting ramen a week from tomorrow (Sunday the 20th) before Bobby heads down to Miami (I’m joining him a few days later for Christmas with his family). We’re going with our friends (we went to Josie’s West with them). I have never really been a ramen person, but I’m hoping that my tastes have changed. Bobby is always raving about ramen and I want to rave about it too.

Do you like ramen? Do you like noodles? I’m not much of a soup person, but this week I have been going crazy for these macrobiotic vegan noodle dishes. They’re awesome.

P.S. Happy Hanukkah to those of you who celebrate it! Enjoy 🙂