Blogger Love and Review: Peace Food Cafe (New York City)

Last week on Tuesday night I met up with one of my favorite bloggers… Dori! She took us to a great vegan place on the upper west side called Peace Food Cafe. It’s completely vegan and they also have a lot of raw options.

Unfortunately neither of us had working cameras so I don’t have a picture of us together… but I did manage to take (crappy) pictures of the food with Bobby’s Droid. Bobby and I split 2 dishes – the kabocha sandwich ($9) and the mushroom duxelle pizza ($9.95). Dori got the kabocha sandwich too.

08 kabocha sandwich

Did you really think I wouldn’t get the kabocha sandwich? It’s actually listed as roasted japanese pumpkin sandwich on the menu. It came with some kind of pickled veggie and sprouts. It was really good, but the bread was a little bit dense for my tastes. I loved the caramelized onions and mashed squash in the sandwich. The vegan cheese and walnuts didn’t sit too well in my stomach either.

09 pizza

The pizza was amazing. The mushrooms were so good – they almost tasted meaty. I wasn’t really a fan of the roasted veggies on top but Bobby happily ate them up for me.

We couldn’t skip dessert – we got a HUGE piece of chocolate peanut butter swirl cake and devoured it.

10 dessert

This was so rich but so delicious.

And now I have to be honest… while the meal was delicious, it was not very filling. Bobby stopped at Grey’s Papaya for a hot dog on the way home and I stopped at Whole Foods for some cornbread. And this is probably why all of my pants are too tight (well, not just this one time, but in general I have been eating a lot more than I usually do). Might be time to reign it in.

More blogger love – Bekah sent me a holiday care package! These almonds and granola are wonderful. She’s a talented girl.

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Thanks, Bekah!

Today’s question gets us into the holiday spirit… What is your favorite holiday gift (either to give or receive)? When I was little I loved big gifts, but now I actually like things that are homemade and thoughtful. I’m pretty easy to please. A fresh batch of Christmas cookies or a knitted scarf both sound perfect to me.

Review: Joe’s Shanghai In Chinatown (New York)

My coworkers think this post should be called The Salad Girl Exposed”.

Disclaimer: all photos in this post are from Yelp.

Today’s lunch (Saturday) was at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown. Bobby and I met up with my 2 coworkers, their significant others, and a few other friends (11 of us total) for a huge meal. Joe’s is pretty famous; it has a great reputation and I was really psyched to try it. It did not disappoint. Joe’s is a pretty standard Chinese restaurant (not Dim Sum) and it’s very cheap (but rather expensive for Chinatown).

We let G do the ordering for the table and he did a great job. We started off with Joe’s soup dumplings. There are 8 in one order ($6.65 for crab/pork; $4.65 for pork) and I’m pretty sure that G got 12 orders of them (6×8 of crab/pork; 6×8 of pork). There were only 4 dumplings left by the end of the meal and Bobby and I got to take them home.

These were amazing. Apparently soup dumplings are something of an art form in China, and Joe is a celebrity. The dumpling contains a savory broth and meat in the middle. You bite a small piece of the wonton-ish dumpling part off, slurp out the soup broth, and then eat the dumpling. They are served atop steamed napa cabbage, which I happily ate as well.

We also got a soup – I think it was the Hong Kong Style Hot & Sour Soup ($6.35). It came with shrimp, some meat (chicken or pork?), mushrooms, tofu, egg, and maybe more. The broth was your standard hot and sour broth.

This was really delicious as well. Lots of variety in the flavors and ingredients, very fresh and hot – it was perfect for a miserable weather day like today. (For those of you not in this area – today it was raining/snowing all day and absolutely freezing. I am so glad to be inside my overheated apartment right now.)

Those were just the appetizers. We also got 2 orders of shrimp fried rice ($8.95)… (it was okay; I’m not really a rice person).

A bunch of scallion pancakes ($2.35 each) (freaking amazing – I could not get enough)…

A tofu dish called Bean Curd Home Style ($8.95), which was pretty good for being tofu. I liked the veggies best. I couldn’t find a picture.

Another (unpictured) dish was the String Beans Szechuan Style (With Pork) ($8.95). These were sauteed string beans with little pieces of pork – kind of like chorizo. They were pretty good, but very salty.

We also got Clams In Black Bean Sauce ($13.35), which were really good as well. I love clams!

And for dessert we got a fried red bean pancake that I can’t find on the menu. It looked pretty much like this… (picture source).

I had like 5 pieces of it. I think red bean is my most favorite dessert thing ever.

After lunch we walked over to a boba tea shop called Ten Ren but on the way we stopped to get Chinese dried fruits and candies. More on that later. Bobby got a Hot Taro Milk ($3.00) drink with jelly in it and shared it with me. Today was a perfect day for a hot drink. It is so cold outside.

The milk was purple!

I’m sitting on my couch now eating some grapes from Chinatown ($1.80 per pound for sketchy grapes totally beats Whole Foods’ $3.99 per pound organic grapes).

Question of the day is… what’s your favorite Chinese food dish?

Mee’s Noodles For Me!

I haven’t really been able to cook since I moved to New York. The only things that my kitchen has been used for are grits/oatmeal and grilled sandwiches (thanks, George!).

Last night Bobby and I got take out Chinese from Mee’s Noodles. He had actually gone there for lunch yesterday, and had some leftover beef lo mein. We also got chicken and broccoli over rice and “mee fun” noodles with chicken. The “mee fun” noodles were actually just rice noodles (vermicelli).

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The beef lo mein – awesome. I love lo mein. The chicken and broccoli over rice – pretty good. I wish there had been a little more sauce. The “mee fun” – not that good. But that is only because I don’t like this kind of rice noodle. The chicken (marinated in soy sauce) was really tender though.

This place was (relatively) healthy compared to a lot of Chinese places that I’ve been to. There wasn’t much oil; I’d even call the “mee fun” dish a “diet” dish because it was steamed chicken and very little sauce over plain noodles… it even came with steamed spinach (which was not very good). I didn’t like the mee fun because it was boring.

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Mee’s Noodles is on 2nd Ave and 49th Street and they have free delivery (not sure how far they’ll go). Definitely check it out if you’re in the area – it’s cheap and yummy. The beef lo mein was around $6 (lunch special), the chicken and broccoli was $6, and the mee fun was $5.50 (I think). Bobby also got an egg roll for $1 but I tried it and it wasn’t nearly as good as the egg rolls from Edo Sushi in Pennington. Apparently you can get a small lo mein for about $4.50, but we didn’t see that on the menu until afterwards.

I also had the last of our leftover turkey with this meal (we still have a little bit of tofurkey left). And then I had a million pounds of some Tasti D-Lite.

What’s your guilty pleasure or secret? Mine is… I would be perfectly happy eating Chinese takeout every night, and I don’t actually like cooking all that much. I cannot believe I just typed that.

P.S. I’m meeting up with a blogger tonight! Guess who?

P.P.S. I’d love to do a big New York blogger meetup now that I’m settled in. Who’s interested? Who else can we invite? Where should we go?