Showing posts with label Noodles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Noodles. Show all posts

Monday, June 9, 2014

supper club date night

june is an action-packed month for us, with no more weekend time to ourselves.  a few months ago i planned a DAY date exploring williamsburg and we loved it.  although I wanted to plan another adventure date, this month just wasn't going to give us the chance.  last tuesday i saw sam a.m. cafe's supper club menu posted for thursday (see it on their instagram, twitter, or facebook), and the lightbulb turned on in my head... supper club it is!

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last week's menu included lamb ragu. two of hung's favorite foods in 1 dish: slow-roasted lamb and pasta, so i knew it would be a win.  what i didn't know was how good the REST of the meal was going to be! lamb ragu was just the fourth course of FIVE.  i thought that because there would be 5 courses, the portions would be itsy bitsy.  hung ate a sammich before we left the house, and i had a few bites too.  i could have been rolled out of the place that night i ate so much.  normally i feel zero guilt asking for a box to take food home, but for some reason (i.e. the food was so good) i couldn't leave anything left on the plate.  i even consulted hung to take up the last bites when he knew i looked miserable but still eating.  first world problems? absolutely. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

january date

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since the day union republic opened in our neighborhood 9 weeks ago, mr p had his mind set on going there for our january date.  i got a little worried when halfway through the month we had not picked a day to go.

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"hey babe, we should pick a day to go on our date."
"why not Friday?"
"ok sure!" 
....then we agreed to show a friend of a friend around town friday night.
"oops, ok we'll go saturday then."
"perfect!" 
...then we remembered our friend from ohio was visiting for the weekend. 
"shit. let's try to go the next sunday so we won't double-book."
"well, unless we go after he leaves on sunday, there aren't any sundays left in january." 
....hmmm...
"wanna go tonight?"
"let's do it!"

ok ok ok... so it didn't exactly go as planned, but that didn't stop us from having a good time last thursday! we were instantly happy the moment we walked in those big glass doors.  it was so cold outside i think if i had walked a step farther my ears would have frozen off! gosh it was so cold out there.  perfect for a warm bowl of soup, i say!

we weren't sure if union republic was a byob place, so we thought we would sneak in a bottle of wine in my bag. if it, indeed, was a byob, we were well-stocked.  we walked inside and i immediately went to use the ladies' room, and when i came back there were two wine glasses on the table ready to be filled! score....

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(greeted with an unexpected dose of baba ganoush and hummus)

while i really was in the mood for some good hearty, silky, brothy ramen, i knew that's what mr p was going to get, and there were so many other things to try on the menu for us BOTH to get ramen! we shared a "ramen burger" for an appetizer (i could have eaten 5 of them, as they were topped with my favorite pickled onions, but it was totally not was i had expected), and i ended up getting the ratatouille (the place practically encompasses all ethnic foods in one restaurant)

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though the veggies in the ratatouille were tasty, the flavor combination was so much better when i snagged a bite with some of the walnut pesto. i kept telling our waiter i NEED to make the walnut pesto at home! i could seriously put that stuff on just about anything!

mr p's ramen hit the spot too.  i think the noodles are the best i've had in the fancy, non-instant kind of ramen.  some people go for the perfect broth, some people go for the perfect noodles and goodies.  i go for good noodles and goodies, and this one certainly topped my tastebuds for the noodles and soft-boiled egg part.  why is that such a good thing for union republic? you can buy the noodles!! they come in a package, sort of like instant ramen, with sauce packets to make the broth, but the noodles are fresh! and for just $5 it would be worth it to at least try it one day!

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union republic wasn't just an eatery, though.  with a grocery section, a "bar" area where you can grab a seat and watch the cooks do their magic, a lounge area, and a byob policy, this place can truly be the ultimate hang-out spot.

...and hang out, we did! we still had half of our bottle of wine to go, and a set of interview questions to answer (remember yesterday's post??), so our waiter talked us into getting the banana bread chocolate bread pudding.  yes, that's right, chocolate bread pudding made out of pieces of banana bread (don't worry, our minds were blown too).  it's no secret i have an obsession with the lemon bars at thirty acres (see this post and this post for proof), and this dessert is giving those lemon bars a run for their money for my favorite sweet treat.  i'm usually not one for desserts, but this bread pudding might have to be a must-have every time we go.  i might even just order an appetizer and the bread pudding so i make sure to save room!  as of last thursday, the desserts weren't on the menu. so in case your waiter forgets to mention the bread pudding, you better ask!!!!

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(ahhh chocolate overload!  a chocolate overload that i'll eat again, and again, and again, and....)

now it's your time to venture a few blocks further from grove street down newark ave and experience union republic for yourself.  your tastebuds (and your wallet!) will thank you.

cheers.
jenn

p.s. high five to jersey city for snagging yet another great restaurant!! keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

italians do it right


warning: food porn

i left that house sunday night feeling like i ate an entire cow.  whatever our friend put in that meal made me turn into a total glutton.  however, i would expect no less from an italian serving spaghetti and meatballs. 

although i'll probably never get the exact recipe out of him for the meatballs or sauce, i can give you our favorite dill dressing (see this blog post), and tell you it was served on a salad with walnuts, grapes, tomatoes, and onions.  i'm convinced that dill and grapes were meant for each other (as crazy that THAT sounds). the garlic bread was toasted with garlicky herbed butter (butter with garlic, parsley, and salt) and topped with shredded mozzarella for the last few minutes of toasting in the oven.

i hope you're not eating a salad right now, because these photos will make you want to trash it and go eat some REAL food. (i say this as i eat just that, a salad... after THAT kind of weekend i'm due for it)

bon appetit!

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oh, that lil guy at the end?  that's an itty bitty hindu god carved in a itty bitty tusk.  that museum house is full of little treasures like this... that was the treasure of choice for that evening, haha.

cheers!
jenn

Monday, October 14, 2013

secret late night ramen

sometimes when it's 1:00am, it's hard to find quality food to eat before going home and crashing.

(sometimes it's not, sometimes that food truck you vowed never to eat at while sober spits out "five-star food" at 1:00am after a few drinks)

just because new york city is "the city that never sleeps", it doesn't mean that it's because the bars stay open til 4:00am and everyone that stays awake til sunrise is wasted.

it really... doesn't... sleep...  and friday night was one of those nights i truly remembered why it gets its nickname.

meet ushiwakamaru.  if you're yelping to find good ramen, you won't find this place.  that's because their yelp doesn't list this place under ramen, their website doesn't list ramen, you might only know that they have ramen because you read the reviews or maybe caught it in some timeout new york article.  it's sort of a secret, and its' only served from midnight-4:00am.  that's right, quality food that's ONLY served in the late night hours.  high five, friends!

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i got the tonkotsu ramen, and thought "omg, best ramen ever".  it was rich, almost buttery, and not overly salty (AND it was cheaper than ippudo).

THEN i tried mr p's shoyu ramen. that lucky duck ALWAYS orders the better dish. always. next time, because there WILL be a next time, i'm getting shoyu....

considering a late night gyro from a random cart on the street can be $8, $12 for a fantastic bowl of ramen is pretty awesome.

this went down after a naked and famous concert at terminal 5, which was opened by the colourist (this is their single from their newly released EP). if you haven't heard of the colourist, check them out now!

have a great Monday, my friends!
cheers.
jenn

Thursday, October 10, 2013

recheck your adult tastebuds.

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(if you follow me on instagram, you might have already seen this)

that, my friends, might be the best thing mr p has made this year. 
that, my friends, is tuna noodle casserole.

(jenn, are you crazy? i feared that stuff as a child and vowed never to eat it again)

if that's what you think, i think you need to recheck your adult tastebuds.  i know most of you who "hate" tuna noodle casserole, have memories of your parents making you sit at the table until you ate it, or maybe you dumped ketchup all over it to hide the taste, or drank a big gulp of milk with every bite to wash it down without actually tasting it... i, too, was once a victim of food fear from my childhood tastebuds ....until i actually tried these things i used to hate.  i didn't actually "hate" tuna noodle casserole (at least i don't think so? i actually liked all the hamburger helper and tuna helper we used to eat all the time) that's because the mushrooms were hidden with no slimy chunks.

i used to “hate” mushrooms, leafy greens, and all fish that didn’t come in perfectly frozen rectangles covered in breadcrumbs.  now i love mushrooms, put leafy greens in all things that i can (we’ve recently been going through a family-sized containers of arugula and kale from BJ’s each week), and i’ll eat almost any fish (i’ll even eat it raw!)
 
after i saw this article on thekitchn.com, mr p sent me the link for the “grown-up  tuna noodle casserole” and we both couldn’t wait to get home to make it.  i bought the ingredients we needed, and went for a run while mr p made the dish.
 
he followed the recipe exactly, with the following healthier exceptions:
 
- he tripled the amount of kale (why not? we might even add more next time)
- he used 2% milk instead of whole milk (because that's what we had)
- he used 4 cans of tuna instead of 2 (more extra lean protein!)
- he used non-fat, plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream (and added more for more tanginess!)

go ahead and try out this recipe on your adult tastebuds... they might actually surprise you!

cheers.
jenn

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ippudo, manhattan

when i heard my out-of-towner friends wanted to go to a ramen noodle place i was pretty excited (hey, i like ramen, i bet it's probably gonna be cheap too)....

that excitement lasted until... i heard that the bowls of soup were $15!! why on earth would i stand in line for 2 hours and spend at LEAST 50-times more for a bowl of soup i can make at home? (mr p and i snagged two 12-packs for $2 each at walmart)

"well," they said, "this is different ramen."

(whatever, we'll go, it's not like i don't like it.. i'll eat it)


i'm here to tell you that THAT bowl of ramen was worth EVERY PENNY!



this place (ippudo, near 4th ave and 9th st) seriously knows what they're doing.  why, you ask?

1. they make the broth from scratch.


2. they make the noodles from scratch.



3. they have a sign out front beneath their hours saying they will close early due to lack of customers OR because they ran out of broth. (i'm guessing this has happened in the past or something?!?)

4. they have over 4,000 REVIEWS ON YELP!

5. you could have a meal on JUST the pork buns (so good!!)


5. i might have been the only white customer in the place (that's a lie, there was a white family next to us, but you get the idea... there were a LOT of asians in there, so you KNOW it's good!)




6. they understand that it really sucks when there's an hour wait (or 2 hours, or 3 hours.. when we left they were telling people 2 hours minimum and it was a sunday at 4pm) and will take your phone number to text you that a table's ready.  as long as you get back within 5 minutes, it's yours. genius!

8. the bowls are deceivingly large.  mr p finished mine (after getting a second helping of noodles and finishing his first, of course :P  how does he stay so skinny!?)


8. service is amazing. food came out quickly, waters never went empty, check came quick, extra noodles came quick, and we still didn't feel like they were hovering over us.

ONLY bad thing:
strict policy that there is no take out, and no take home. so make sure you go there EXTRA hungry!

who wants to go back with us soon?
....a $15 bowl of ramen beats a $15 plate of spaghetti any day.. unless it's pasta at enoteca maria.  then it's a close battle.

cheers!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Phan-tastic Weekend

last weekend was...

just.

too.

short.

that's what we always say when we do our "mini"-roadtrips to cleveland to visit mr p's giant family.  it always sounds easy to just leave after work, drive 7.5 hours to cleveland, spend some time with the family, then drive back.  and don't worry... we DO IT... but that drive is just so awful.

driving there we are both excited and "try" to help each other stay awake (sorry babe... i never make it the last two hours), so it's not so bad.  it's on sunday, usually after an epic night of liberal libations, that we switch often, and do nothing but sleep in our non-driving time.

but... it's always worth it to see everyone's Phan-tastic faces.  especially when there's a big 30th birthday and mother's day to celebrate!

froyo!  with mr p's friends from KINDERGARTEN!

mr p, taking in the warm weather and sunshine

mr p's little sis had some bedazzled shoes
(the lights at lava lounge were perfect for sparkling up some sparkly shoes!)

...obviously everyone loved those bedazzled shoes :P

birthday boy got surprised by getting SWARMED with silly-string-armed grown men.

yum... cupcake: just ok.  
cream cheese frosting: literally "the icing on the cake"

some of the ladies of the night, with the bride-to-be on the right :D
congrats, alisa!

love you lovely ladies!

whoa!  mr p's "little" bro, and ANOTHER bride-to-be!!  congrats, mai!

but... despite the short weekend, we were still able to DEEP clean my car (poor thing needed it SO bad), do 3 loads of laundry, eat pho... TWICE, spend time with visitors from columbus, time with the siblings and the rents, too... all before driving back early afternoon on  sunday.

homemade pho... 

we eat a similar dish at nha trang around the corner from our house... but this is made with HOMEMADE rice noodles and HOMEMADE nuoc mam.

even after all the good food we ate this weekend, mr p couldn't resist...

crazy silly (but awesome) nephews

future engineer :D  my work clothes almost fit...

hello new jersey!  
we miss everyone already, but we're glad to be home!

one last big happy 30th birthday to the birthday boy
and happy mother's day to mr p's mama and my mama :D

now it's time for some of the Phan-tastic fam to come visit US!

cheers.

Monday, April 9, 2012

vietnamese summer rolls

Summer Rolls:
boiled shrimp (quartered)
boiled pork loin (julienned)
cucumber (julienned)
mint
cilantro
cooked rice vermicelli noodles
rice paper rounds
Peanut Sauce:
hoisin sauce (3 parts)
creamy peanut butter (1 part)
water (1/3 part, or more depending on the consistency you want)

Instructions (Summer Rolls):
put each ingredient in a bowl (rice papers in a pile) and set out a large bowl of room-temperature water, so that you have a "station" and a space to fill the rolls.
dip 1 rice paper in water.
shake off excess water.
fill 1 side of rice paper with remaining ingredients.
wrap up rice paper tightly like a burrito (roll up end near the goodies, fold in sides after 1 full wrap, then roll up the rest of the way).
try to do this quickly, as the rice paper will get really slippery and difficult to roll up after a few minutes! it's ok if the paper feels stiff and sort of dry while you are folding, it will eventually get to the right soft texture after it sits for a few minutes after you've made the roll. also, don't let the rolls touch each other, or they will stick together and you won't be able to get them back apart!!


Instructions (Peanut Sauce):
mix ingredients together :D





enjoy!  we surely did!  we took them over to our friends' house for an "international dinner".

christina's italian bruschetta

mr p's vietnamese summer rolls

nick's hungarian chicken paprikash

jo's indian potato cakes (don't remember the name!!  JO?? help here!)

jo's potato cakes dressed with plain yogurt, red onions, green chutney, and siracha!

the spread

we had such a great time!! LOVE nights like this :D

toodles.