I found tons of photos I had yet to upload from my point-and-shoot, thanks the arrival of my DSLR. Additionally, I had been kinda lazy on the reviews too.

So without further ado, let’s take a journey through Queens and Manhattan, from the end of May to mid-June.

WARNING: This is an extremely image heavy post (more so than usual).

May 22, 2010

C. and I wanted some lunch in Flushing, so we headed to the newly opened Tong Hai Tung, with the original Chinese bakery across the street. This shop has a neat upstairs dining section with waiter service.

Glancing at the menu, I saw an entry for “Bolo bun.”

“Could this be?!” I wondered, craving for the HK treat. It was!

The bun wasn’t as hot and the butter wasn’t as cold, but the pineapple bun it was! Now I know where to get my fix.

Tong Hai Tung - Pineapple Bun with Butter

I couldn't resist taking a few bites first...

Of course, I also ordered their chicken curry with rice. The best Chinese chicken curry in all of Flushing, I swear…

Tong Hai Tung - Chicken Curry with Rice

Chicken + Potatoes + Curry == Cannot Go Wrong

May 23, 2010

Another weekend in Queens, another place we stop by for brunch. This time, it was the Blue Bay Diner, a spot that scratches our diner itch.

One of the best steals here is an appetizer – the fried salmon sticks. Tender and oh-so-juicy, this plate is a steal for 10 bucks.

Blue Bay Diner - Fried Salmon Sticks

Fried Fishy Goodness

I can’t resist my usual breakfast plate either. Two eggs over easy, with homefries and turkey bacon. The homefries were passable, but the turkey bacon shined. It actually tasted like bacon!

Blue Bay Diner - Two Eggs w/ Homefries and Turkey Bacon

Although, it doesn't quite look like bacon...

A. had the Spanish omelette I think. Well, it looked alright…

Blue Bay Diner - Spanish Omelette with Homefries

Potatoes! Eggs! Stuff!

C. got unlucky with the Challah French Toast. There wasn’t much egg on it, leading to some pan seared bread.

Blue Bay Diner - Challah French Toast

Grilled Bread... awesome (not).

After a tiring day of shopping, I voted on some quick and dirty halal food. I’d been craving it for a couple of months now.

Consider the itch scratched.

Halal - Lamb over Rice

Lamb over Rice

Halal - Chicken over Rice

Chicken over Rice

June 5, 2010

J. and I wanted some Indian food, and after looking at Yelp! for a bit, we decide to wing it and walk down 2nd Ave. near St. Marks.

We were lured in – hook, line, and sinker – by the promise of a full course meal at The Heart of India for $9.99.

Oh man, this was a great find! You get the choice of a samosa/pakora, soup or salad, an entrée from a predefined list, dessert, and tea or coffee. I cannot describe how great the service was here, and the food was superb!

I had a meat samosa, mulligatawny soup, chicken curry, mango-coconut rice pudding, and Indian tea. It was all so good, that I forgot to take pictures. Never fear! I will be definitely returning.

Afterwards, we decided to grab some froyo at my favorite froyo place, 16 Handles, for a trek down to SoHo. You can choose any mix of flavors that you want, and then add whatever toppings you like. No more wishing that the guy put more of whatever in your cup!

My favorite is their mango froyo with a lot of mochi. Mmm…

16 Handles - Mango Froyo with Mochi

Mango and Mochi!

June 6, 2010

Once again, J. and I, partners in crime, on the prowl for new good eats. We stumbled upon The Chicken Shack while walking through Astoria.

Skeptically, with my tummy rumbling, we went in.

They had Boylans Ginger Ale! Yay!

Chicken Shack - Boylans Ginger Ale

Old School, Real Sugar

J. and I decide to split a 1/4 Chicken & 1/4 Rib meal, just to try. We made the right choice – compare the size of the plate to J’s body and to the fork. There is a loooooot of food.

Chicken Shack - 1/4 Chicken & 1/4 Ribs Meal with Rice and Beans

MONSTER!

We didn’t finish.

Later that night, I headed to Magna Ristorante, located inside Flushing’s Marco hotel, with family for dinner.

We started off with a favorite, fried calamari. The calamari was tender, but the bland batter needed some work. The marinara sauce was spot on though – sweet, not tart.

Magna Ristorante - Fried Calamari

Fried Rings of Yummy in my Tummy

I had the meat tortellini in an alfredo sauce with prosciutto and peas. While the tortellini was good, I could tell that they didn’t make it themselves.

Magna Ristorante - Meat Tortellini in Alfredo Sauce with Prosciutto and Peas

So. Much. Pasta.

C. had some great veal topped with fruit (mango, apple, and/or pineapple perhaps?) in a whiskey sauce. Whoo! there was a lot of whiskey.

Magna Ristorante - Veal in Whiskey Sauce

Veal in Whiskey Sauce

The potatoes to the side were a HUGE let down though. I took a bite, and it was practically soggy/raw. Ew.

A. had homemade pasta with pesto and shrimp. This plate had the potential to be great. The pasta itself had some pesto incorporated, but the pasta was cut too long (leading to ungainly eating) and the dish was too “dry.” A couple drips of olive oil could have definitely helped. The shrimp was crisp and succulent though,

Magna Ristorante - Pesto Pasta with Pesto and Shrimp

Pesto Pasta with Pesto and Shrimp

T. had the cheese ravioli. Nothing wrong here – again, the marinara sauce was spot on.

Magna Ristorante - Cheese Ravioli

Cheese Ravioli

For dessert, we opted for two plates. First off was the tiramasu.

Magna Ristorante - Tiramasu

Tiramasu... cake?

HUGE letdown. There was loads of cake, and barely any cheese. It wasn’t smooth. Overall, meh.

The truffle ice cream more that made up for the tiramasu, at least with presentation. With vanilla and chocolate ice cream and a maraschino cherry in the center, coated with a thin chocolate crust, this was a great plate to share with the table.

Magna Ristorante - Truffle Ice Cream

Truffle Ice Cream

Sorry, no actual truffles. 🙁

June 11, 2010

Walking, yet again, around the East Village, I decided to redeem one of my many, many coupons for some cupcakes at Butter Lane.

The people that work here are great – they’re friendly and make everyone feel at ease. Spooked by all the options they listed on their menu, the guy behind the counter took in my wide eyes and asked “Variety?”

“Yes,” I said, “Surprise me.”

Butter Lane - My Variety

My six-pack. Isn't it gorgeous? 8)

I think I ended up with cream cheese, American vanilla,  coconut, apple spice or peanut butter (I couldn’t tell?), espresso, and cherry.

The first night, I split the espresso cupcake with C.

Butter Lane - Espresso Cupcake

Real beans.

We both agreed – the frosting was superb (although the it could have been a bit smoother if it leaned more towards French cream), but the batter needed work. The cake itself was a bit crumbly.

If that cake was moist… heaven.

Out of the four I tasted (apparently my mom and sister stole two), the apple spice/peanut butter was my favorite.

June 12, 2010

The entire family ate at the Jade Asian Restaurant in Flushing for both dim sum and dinner banquet during an all day wedding.

During the banquet, I managed to take a couple of photos of some of the dishes.

Jade Asian - Scallops with Fungi over Spinach

Scallops with Fungi and Spinach

Jade Asian - Abalone over Bok Choy

Abalone with Bok Choy

Jade Asian - Lobster

Lobster

Jade Asian rarely fails us – it’s a very popular place to get great dim sum and decent service.

June 14, 2010

I was hungry and wanted to eat on the cheap. So, I headed to midtown east and brought my Groupon to Johnny Rockets.

Starting off with a ubiquitous fountain soda… but was kind of flat.

Johnny Rockets - Coke

Personalized Cups!

The waiter drew me an awesome happy face in ketchup for my dipping bowl.

Johnny Rockets - Ketchup Smile

Cheese!

I had a Bacon Cheddar Single. The fries were fresh, but the burger was a disappointment. It was really greasy, and the hamburger patty itself was pretty tasteless.

Johnny Rockets - Bacon Cheddar Single

Bacon Cheddar Single with Fries

I rather spend those heavy calories elsewhere, like Shake Shack.

Stay tuned for mega update #2. 🙂

ADDRESSES

Tong Hai Tung Bakery
4112 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 358-8878

Blue Bay Diner
5850 Francis Lewis Boulevard
Oakland Gardens, NY 11364
(718) 225-6333

The Heart of India
79 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 598-0746

16 Handles
153 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-4414

The Chicken Shack
35-02 30th Avenue
New York, NY 11103
(718) 721-3035

Magna Ristorante
13707 Northern Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 445-3352

Butter Lane
123 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-2880

Jade Asian Restaurant
136-28 39th Avenue
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 762-8821

Johnny Rockets
930 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 813-0003

 

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