My First NYC Restaurant Week Experience

I wanted to save this post for my food blog, but I decided to give you all the first look and review of my first NYC restaurant week experience at Brasserie Seoul.

I was born and raised in New York City and as a foodie in my family. However, I never took advantage nor experienced NYC Restaurant Week. This summer I decided with my boyfriend to take advantage of it. The restaurant I initially chose was Delmonico’s, but later changed my mind to Brasserie Seoul which is a new, hip, and trendy restaurant with Korean and French flavors and techniques. The restaurant is tucked away inside the new Holiday Inn in Downtown Brooklyn. I visited the hotel and restaurant twice during my summer classes. My class and I met the General Manager who said next time we return we would receive 10% off our bill as we are City Tech students.

I chose August 12th which was a Friday and also a celebration of completing my Bachelor’s degree. My boyfriend and I were seated in the center of the restaurant and had a good view of the kitchen. The servers seemed a little bit nervous and slightly inattentive. We asked for a sparkling water, but unfortunately the rim around my glass cup had a fuzz around it. The General Manager was behind me and asked if everything was okay, but I showed him my glass and he apologized and replaced it with a new and clean glass.

appetizerBrasserie

My boyfriend ordered the Crispy Salmon (salmon sashimi , crispy sushi rice, and chipotle aioli). This was definitely a unique and interesting take on a sashimi, but with a crispy sushi rice instead. It had a little kick of spice to it, but it was tolerable. I ordered the Wild Mushroom & Asparagus (wild mushrooms, asparagus, truffle soy sauce). I really liked this appetizer because I am naturally a mushroom fan. Although the dish was plated beautifully, I felt the plate was too large for the small portion that was given.

entreesbrasserie

For entrees, my boyfriend had the Duck Confit (endive, shallot, thyme orange sauce) which was recommended by a friend of ours. The duck tasted delicious and cooked just perfectly where the meat was soft, smooth, and moist. I got the Waygu Rib Eye Steak ( waygu rib eye with grilled vegetables) *$5.00* additional for my order and I also asked for medium rare, but not too rare. While eating my steak, I noticed parts of it was rare., but I didn’t say anything. The steak also tasted very bland. I wished they provided a sauce or rub on it. The vegetables were grilled to perfection, but again slightly bland.

dessert brasserie

I must admit that the best part of the experience was the desserts. My boyfriend ordered the Strawberry Pie (puff pastry, gelato, and housemade strawberry jam). The strawberry pie was puff pastry and strawberry heaven! It was crispy, flaky, and buttery. So good and so cute!  I ordered the Banana Split (devil’s food cake, caramelized banana, vanilla ice cream) as I saw a lot of photos on Yelp and kept dreaming about it. When it arrived to our table, the general manager kindly explained the different elements that made up this gorgeous dessert. Everything and all of the flavors really came together and tasted amazing! The devil’s food cake was absolutely to die for.

Our dinner cost less than I thought as the general manager gave us a City Tech discount. That was very kind of him and the hostess at Brasserie Seoul is so kind and friendly. Our experience could have been slightly better if maybe our entrees had a little extra flavor and juices to it. This isn’t your typical Korean restaurant, but this is definitely a gem and great addition to Downtown Brooklyn. I am looking forward to our next NYC Restaurant Week experience.

Have you ever been to NYC Restaurant Week?

Restaurant Review: Heights Cafe

It’s not every day or normally that I eat in Downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights for dinner, but last month/semester my team and I decided on visiting Heights Cafe for our marketing project. One of our team members is actually a server at Heights Cafe so it worked out perfectly. I came with my boyfriend on a Saturday at 5PM  as dinner just started.

a cafe on the corner

Heights Cafe is located in the heart of Brooklyn Heights and is in a beautiful location because it’s just a short walk from the Brooklyn Promenade. The restaurant/cafe has a warm and bright atmosphere. The walls of the restaurant are decorated with paintings from local artists.

Our friend greeted us with a warm and friendly smile and asked what would we like, gave us recommendations, and etc. We started off with drinks:

a pink drink in a martini glass and a glass of beer

My boyfriend ordered the Angry Orchard and I had a Watermelon Martini. The watermelon martini had a nice and refreshing watermelon taste to it. It reminded me of a Jolly Rancher candy, but in this case infused with alcohol. It was super strong, so I didn’t quite finish it.

a bread basket with butter

Bread Basket

spinach dip with corn chips

Warm Spinach Dip with Corn Tortilla Chips

For appetizer, we had the the Warm Spinach Dip with Corn Tortilla Chips. We typically order fried calamari as an appetizer, but this time I wanted to try something different. The tip was a delight, not too cheesy and you get spinach in every bite. The chips were crunchy and fresh.

a dish of ravioli with asparagus and tomatoes

Wild Mushroom Ravioli

My boyfriend ordered the Wild Mushroom Ravioli from the dinner specials menu for the day we went. It was $20.95, so definitely a little more expensive then ravioli we’ve had in other restaurants. The wild mushroom ravioli had olive oil garlic sauce, sauteed shrimp, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes.
The dish is definitely colorful and vibrant. The ravioli was delicious and super filling and I would have preferred more sauce.
macaroni and cheese

Lobster Mac & Cheese

I had the Lobster Mac & Cheese. The lobster mac & cheese was bathed in brandy lobster cream, Parmesan, Gruyere, and cheddar cheese. I liked it for the most part, tasted more like cheese than lobster-like.I actually had trouble finishing the lobster mac and cheese because there was so much cheese and cream that I got full instantly. The cheese was just a little overwhelming.

Although our dinner was a little more expensive compared to most dinners we have had. Overall, I really liked the service and the attentiveness from the other servers before our friend arrived to our table. I also liked the atmosphere because most of the customers are locals, tourists, and/or family.
I think if I am in the area and in search of warm and delicious comfort food than yes and maybe if for a birthday dinner and etc. If a friend or someone asks me for a good Brooklyn Heights restaurant recommendation, Heights Cafe would definitely be on my top three recommendations.

Victory, The Victorious

a young man in a red hooded sweatshirtThis weekend I spoke with the underground musical artist, Victory. A awesome jaw dropping lyricist, with an interesting hobby. Check it out:

a man wearing large black headphones, in front of an image of the word "Victory"

How did you get your name? Actually the way I got my name is because my rap name use to be Flawless Victory but I just shorten it to Victory

How’d you describe you musical style? / What sets u apart from the artist out there? I would describe my musical style as fun and energetic and what sets me apart is that I won’t rap about what typical rappers rap about because I’m not a trap type of rapper so it forces me to be creative

I  a lot of your music can be comical and jaw dropping… Do you think most lyrical artist sell out from their original genre and fall to mainstream artist? I don’t think most lyrical artist sell out to maintain stream but I do think that they try to go with the times because you don’t have to change what you want to say you just have to update how you say it and most artist don’t realize that

 

What else do you do? I also make clothes and I edit videos also

a man on a tv screen

I love your designs and I watched the amazing growth… How did You get into fashion / what sparked your interest? I originally got the idea by making a shirt to promote myself as a artist and people liked the design and started requesting it then that’s when we really started getting into the clothing aspect

a man in sunglasses and a T-shirt

Is there anything you’ll like for the listeners to know? I would like my listeners to know that I’m working there’s a lot of good music coming with some great visuals so stay tuned

seven young men and women of colorthe back of a man wearing a black sweatshirt that says "Just Us II" in white letters

I wish him good luck on all endeavers.

Good and Affordable Eats in Downtown Brooklyn

Finding good quality and affordable food in Downtown Brooklyn for a student can be mission impossible sometimes and as a student I must admit there’s not much in Downtown Brooklyn that’s within our budget, but while attending City Tech for the last few years, working in Downtown Brooklyn for over 3 years, and researching on Yelp I have come to realize there are certainly good food for an affordable price from anywhere between $5 – $15.00 and here are five places I would like to share with you where you can get a good quality meal for a good price:

food dishes

Brooklyn Fare

Besides Trader Joe’s (located in Cobble Hill), there’s another supermarket/organic market where you can build your own meat entree or vegetable entree or pick up a sandwich. This market is known as Brooklyn Fare and it’s about a 10-12 minute walk from school. Their meat entrees are usually $9.99 and for vegetable entrees are $8.99 (prices may have changed). It’s a great place to visit and they have a lot of great products you may not find at Trader Joe’s.

a smoothie and some green vegetables

Cafe Metro

Cafe Metro is by far one of my favorite places to go to for lunch because it’s my to-go place for salads! Panera, Au Bon Pain, Hale & Hearty, and many other restaurants and fast food casual places have salads and provides a customer with the option to build their own salad, but I find that it’s a lot more expensive at these places. I spend just a little bit under $10 for my salad, but I can add a lot of different toppings and special toppings without an extra charge unlike other restaurants. If you love salads as much as I do, than you will love Cafe Metro. Lines can get crazy between 11:30AM-1PM, so I usually pre-order my salad to avoid the crazy lines.

sandwiches and smoothies

Hanco’s

When I first discovered there was a Vietnamese spot that opened up in Downtown Brooklyn, I was very excited about this! Vietnamese food is almost no where to be found in our area. If you love Vietnamese food, check out Hanco’s as they have an array of items such as banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) , pho, rice vermicelli, bubble teas, coffee, rice dishes, and various appetizers. It’s a little more expensive than what you can find in South Brooklyn and Chinatown, but you won’t be spending $15+ on a sandwich or a bowl of noodles for sure.

a warp sandwich and a sign that says "Court Order: get served!"

Court Order

Last December, I stopped by Court Order for lunch because I remembered my boyfriend said they had pretty good wraps and soups and all made from scratch, but what he didn’t tell me was that Court Order actually gives student discount (must present school ID) which is 10% off, but you must spend $5.00 or more. I actually found out during my first visit and took advantage of that student discount. How many restaurants/food places do you know that gives you a student discount? The food is pretty good here and mostly under $10, now that’s a good deal!

dumplings

Golden Fried Dumpling

Golden Fried Dumpling has been in Downtown Brooklyn for 3+ years now and it still remains as the most cheapest, affordable, and tasty dumplings on this side of Brooklyn. The price range for their dumplings range from $1.00 – $5.00. Now I mean seriously, where are you going to find hand-made dumplings for that cheap in Downtown Brooklyn? Any way, besides dumplings there are other menu items that are just as inexpensive like: sesame pancake sandwiches, rice & noodle dishes, buns, soups, and etc. I wouldn’t recommend eating here as they have very limited space and seating area in this establishment, but it is worth checking out.

Hopefully I have inspired you and woke you up to a few places that have cheap and affordable eats that can fit within your budget as a student. If you would like to read more about different restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn that I’ve tried you click here or if you want to hear more about affordable restaurants, click over here.

Are there any restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn you feel are affordable and has good quality?

Soup Dumplings make their mark in Downtown Brooklyn

the Yaso Tangbao food shop

Image Credit: Downtown Brooklyn

After going to school and working in Downtown Brooklyn for over three years, it’s hard to find good, authentic, and tasty Asian foods (in my opinion).  Approximately a month ago,  Yaso Tangbao made their print in Downtown Brooklyn located on a relatively quiet, but very commercial block between Fulton and Willoughby Street. Yaso Tangbao is a counter-serve, fast-casual dumpling restaurant.

I waited about a week after it opened to finally try it because I wanted to hear feedback from my colleagues and on Yelp first. I went on a Friday afternoon with my boyfriend for lunch and it was quite crowded! There are a few communal tables along with benches for you to sit and eat, as well as smaller tables ideal for two people, and counters with seats. The service is pretty quick and the staff here are very friendly and nice too.

dumplings

The main star of the restaurant are the soup dumplings or xiao long bao. Yaso Tangbao offers two types of xiao long bao – one with pork ($8.50) and one with a mixed blue crab and pork filling ($11.00). My boyfriend and I tried the pork xiao long bao and truth be told, I wasn’t expecting them to be as good as they. The soup dumplings were freshly-made, each one squirting out a rich and savory broth and a chunky pork filling. It was absolutely delicious and goes well with the soy and vinegar sauce.

a noodle dish

 

We also tried the chicken curry pan-fried noodles, but it wasn’t really what we expected. The noodles were on par and crunchy! The sauce and chicken on the other hand wasn’t on par. There wasn’t much taste to it and the sauce was watered down. I don’t think we would order this again.

All in all, we enjoyed our experience at Yaso Tangbao. The xiao long bao are phenomenal and I would definitely return just to try them again. I highly recommend Yaso Tangbao if your in the area and don’t know what to do for lunch. This is definitely a spot/restaurant worth checking out.

What new restaurant/cafe have you tried lately?

The Hot Wings of Willoughby

The Most-Made-Dish-for-Events award goes to….. HOT WINGS

     ♫ [Wings] [wings], their good for the heart…The more you eat, the more…  ♪ 

… If not, at least, they will make you happy.

I eat hot wings at least once a week, regardless of the after affects. : ) Besides home cooking, I’ve tried the spicy poultry meat from various restaurants, groceries stores, and pop-up-shops. However, today we will analyze the different hot wing dishes that can be found in a small sector, Downtown Brooklyn on Willoughby Street and Jay Street, right down the block from our home at City Tech. (Disclaimer: I am not advertising for any one, just giving you my thoughts and a simple DIY recipe. I have also took all images featured in the post)

the outside of a wings restaurant

Buffalo Boss Organic Wings & Things usually has long lines of people waiting for their orders. This is its second location Downtown Brooklyn, originally it sat on Fulton Street and Flatbush Ext.  I tried it a few weeks ago for the first time at this new location on Willoughby and Jay St. The service wasn’t the best. They are known for their wings and they have a lot of sides, including sweat potato fries. I was allowed to choose from variety of sauce types. When I was also told I had to pay for dipping sauce, I was turned off and I didn’t buy the ranch. I decided to get rice, hot wings, and a drink, which totaled about $7.  The 5 spicy wings, served in a small black styrofoam, tasted okay. They were fried hard and dipped in hot sauce. I remembered a better tasting experience before.

the outside of a restaurant

Yummy Taco always come through with my craving for asian-mexican-american dishes. (laugh) They, also, usually have long lines and hit-or-miss service during lunch time. Thankfully I got there early. Their $6 wings (8) and fries really filled me. The wings were fried slightly hard with a hint of spice. wings with French friesIt may have been more then a hint, considering the nose drool.

the outside of a restaurant

Super Taco is another great asian-mexican-american spot. I frequent there as well when Yummy Taco lines are long. The wings there were about $6 and came with celery. The taste seemed strikingly familiar, it seemed they have shared the recipe with Yummy Taco. 😉

the outside of a restaurant

The Dining Room seemed to be a whole in the wall. I must have passed it several times before realizing it was there. It is a restaurant/bar. Inside is usually quite unless there is a group of friends that comes on their lunch break. You can sit at the bar or tables. I sat at the bar. I order wings, water, and fries, which totaled 9.80. The 8 wings was boiled, fried lightly and soaked in mild hot wing sauce, my choice of sauce type. It came with vegetables as well. The wings had so much meat on it and more juicy compared to the other places. wings and friesa cooked chicken wingMaybe thats the reason it costs more. It was like no experience I have ever had, I revisited two more times.

the outside of a restaurant

The 99¢ Fresh Hot Pizza’s hot wings is currently a mystery to me. But I thought I’d add them in since they, too, rests on Willoughby Street. If you know how the hot wings taste please share. After my Dining Room experience I was addicted. Don’t Judge me.   


TRY YOUR OWN:

Hosting and need a delicious homemade meal? Try making your own Hot wings.

Ingredients / Precursors:

  • Separated precooked chicken wings (can be boiled or fried)
  • D.I.Y Your OWN Sauce (optional ingredients you can use: dry pepper, hot sauce, honey, bbq sauce, ketchup)
  • Metal pan (aluminum) big enough to lay each flat while baking
  • Bowl for sauce
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place your pre-cooked wings in your metal pan
  3. Coat the sauce throughout the wings
  4. Bake for 10 minutes
  5. Flip the wings, coat the chicken and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Continue to flip and bake until the chicken reaches creates your desired crisp.
  7. Serve while hot with a side of ranch dressing. (…Or blue cheese I guess, I am being bias.)

NOTE: It’ll taste so good, you can serve them cold.