eat. shop. love. nyc.

Pho sandwich? Pho R.E.A.L.
January 14, 2011, 5:25 pm
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I heart pho. The northern Vietnamese noodle soup makes my heart go pitter patter and soothes my soul. I’d been hearing rumors of pho in sandwich form for some time. I knew this sandwich to be located at Sunny and Annie’s Deli on the corner of Ave. B and 6th St., and I’d passed the deli several times without so much as a second glance. The deli looked pretty standard, and I’m not much of a deli sandwich kind of gal so I had tucked this tidbit of knowledge away in my memory banks for a day when I might be in the mood for pho and a sandwich simultaneously.

Recently, that day came.

Admittedly, I was a little inebriated. I was starving, and we were on our way to No Malice Palace and I just had to eat something. Anything. And then we passed Sunny and Annie’s, and I knew it was meant to be.

The Pho R.E.A.L. ($6.99) is a roast beef sandwich stuffed with bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, avocado, tomato, red onion, hoisin, and sriracha sauce. It can be served hot or cold. I know, I know. Real pho doesn’t come with avocado and tomatoes, but let it go. It’s a damn good sandwich.

So good, in fact, that I could not stop thinking about it and had to have it again within the next three days. I found myself thinking about it so often that it became an unhealthy obsession. I needed to know: would it be as good sober as it was drunk?

It was.

Eat: Sunny and Annie’s (East Village) 94 Avenue B (at 6th), New York, NY 10009-6265. (212) 677-3131


Soft shell crab banh mi
June 9, 2010, 11:29 am
Filed under: Drink, Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I love soft shell crab. I would slap a baby (thanks, Kim) for some soft shell crab. My summertime go-to for SSC is Great NY Noodletown, but I’ve added a new SSC resto to my rotation after a chance encounter one lazy afternoon. I rarely get up to Gramercy to eat, but I had purchased a massage at Essential Spa on Groupon and found myself in the area. As my eating PIC and I began to amble downtown, we came across Bao Noodles, and we decided that we really wanted to have some noodles. We ordered our noodles, and then we saw this sign:

We decided we would get the $8.95 soft shell crab banh mi to share as our appetizer. It was the best decision we made all month.

Soft, chewy, crusty bread filled with deep fried soft shell crab, cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon radish, and a whole lot of cilantro served with fish sauce and hot sauce on the side. Heaven. Continue reading

Top Ten Charlottesville and UVA Eats
September 2, 2009, 8:27 am
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , ,

My beloved brother has recently taken up the UVA colors as a transfer student into the prestigious University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce. I couldn’t be prouder. As a UVA alum myself, I have fond memories of the Rotunda and the Lawn and the Ampitheatre, but also of the plentiful cheap eats around campus and downtown Charlottesville. This top ten list is for you, Dan!

  1. Bun Thit Nuong (901) and Shaking Beef (605) at Saigon Cafe. (Ok, so technically Top 11 Eats.) 1703 Allied Lane, Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 296-8661. 901: Vietnamese BBQ pork served over cold rice vermicelli noodles and salad with fish sauce. So delicious and so cheap at $5.50 a bowl. 605: Huge plate of tender marinated beef chunks and perfectly steamed broccoli. $7.25 for the dinner portion; take home what you don’t finish. The weekday lunch specials used to be $2.95 when I was in school there, but I’m not sure how they’d survive on that! Service will be slow, but worth it. Avoid the pho here. It’s better in NoVa.
  2. Soup Dumplings at Marco and Luca’s on the Downtown Mall. 110 2nd Street NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902. (434) 295-3855. 6 dumplings for $3. Moist, soupy, and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. If I’m wrong on the prices, you can blame inflation. It’s been a long time.
  3. Blackened Voodoo Burger with Cajun Cheese Fries at St. Maarten’s Cafe. Go on a Thursday night for discounted burger ($4.99 plus extra for fancy burger, $1.19 extra for Cajun Cheese Fries.) Finish off the meal with a Bananas Foster Pie. Be prepared to burst.
  4. Fried Chicken at Wayside Takeout. 2203 Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 977-5000. Great homestyle Southern fried chicken. Goodbye, life’s worries. Hello, clogged arteries.
  5. Archers at Arch’s Frozen Yogurt. 2214 Ivy Rd Suite 110 or (Corner) 104 14th St NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 979-2724. Pick your flavor combo. Call the Arch’s hotline for the flavors of the day. (434) 963-9363.
  6. Caribbean Jerk Wings at BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings). 1703 Allied Lane, Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 296-8661. Do they still do twenty cent wing night there? Looks like they’ve gotten more wing flavors since my time at UVA. Try them all!
  7. Lunch Buffet at Panda Garden. 380 Emmet Street N (near Lambeth), Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 979-7150. Unlimited hot & sour and egg drop soup. Eat your fill of greasy, hangover Chinese food here. Get ready for some MSG-induced food coma.
  8. Wild Turkey Sandwich at Littlejohn’s New York Delicatessen. 1427 W Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 977-0588. One day, you’ll be hungry at 3 am, and this is the only place you’ll be able to get decent grub. Open 24 hours! Also, $2 Sam Adams. (Other notable late-night eat: Pita Pit near Arch’s, not 24 hours but you get to fill your own pita pocket.) Apparently, Pita Pit is gone. =(
  9. Pokey Stix at Gumby’s Pizza. 104 14th Street NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 977-6539. Pokey Stix are Gumby’s version of breadsticks, but the ranch dipping sauce turns it into a magical snack. Gumby’s is also gone! Where do kids get their pizza from nowadays?
  10. Gus Burger at White Spot. 1407 University Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903. (434) 295-9899. Who knew a fried egg on a burger could be so goshdarn good? Also open late.

When you’ve tried everything from this list… turn to Yelp. I’ve got the link to C’ville restos here for you, just type in what you feel like eating or refine using type of cuisine. I’ve picked three that look promising, though I can’t vouch for them: Aqui es Mexico, Michie Tavern-Ca 1784 (near Monticello), and Ludwig’s Schnitzelhouse (Fontaine at JPA).

If you get homesick and groceries from Harris Teeter just aren’t doing it for you, you can check out the Asian grocery Yuan Ho (Chinese takeout and convenience store, 117 Maury Avenue, (434) 977-5868) or the World Market on Ivy if it’s still around.

I love you lots, brother dear. Study hard. Eat well. Make lasting memories. Wahoowa!

$25 gift certificates for $2 on
August 21, 2009, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , ,

Update: Now 80% off (instead of 70% off as per the post below.)

$2 — $25 NYC Restaurant Gift Certificates, 80% OFF* new

Last Update: 8/26/2009, 1:01 AM ET

1200+ Restaurants in New York

Through Aug. 31

By Kevin Kitchen
Travelzoo Staff just released a new sale on restaurant certificates that cuts an additional 80% OFF already reduced prices. For purchases made by Aug. 31, $25 certificates are just $2 nationwide.

The offer features certificates for 1200+ restaurants in New York, including popular spots throughout the city. Below are a small sample of restaurants included in this sale, but many other restaurants both locally and nationwide are available that fit every taste.

  • A. J. Maxwell’s Steakhouse
  • Ethos
  • Neo
  • Esca
  • Mars 2112
  • City Lobster & Steak
  • Salt
  • Bamboo 52

Other denominations are also available for some restaurants and certain restrictions apply like a minimum food purchase (usually $35 or more). These certificates are limited and can sell out quickly.

This offer expires August 31.

To purchase:

  1. Click here and enter a zip code or pick a state to find the local participating restaurants
  2. Select the gift certificate amount (if more than one choice is available), then add it to the cart
  3. Upon checking out, enter the discount code SAVE on the Shopping Cart page
  4. After completing the transaction print out the gift certificates to take to the restaurant Continue reading

Downtown Asian eats
July 24, 2009, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s been a while since my family got together: mom, dad, brother, me. They’re in town this weekend, and it’s going to be full of good, homey-feeling Asian food at equally good prices. Here’s the plan, ranging from Chinese (soft shell crab, hotpot, soup dumplings) to Vietnamese (banh mi, bun) to Japanese (izakaya) to Korean (and why I hate eating Korean food that is not cooked by my mother):

Great NY Noodle Town (28 Bowery at Bayard, Chinatown) – Soft shell crabs (my dad’s fave) are in season! *Thanking lucky stars* At $16 for two large, meaty, salt-baked soft shell crabs, you really can’t go wrong. The Cantonese noodles with beef are also good ($6.95), and I’m a huge fan of the Sauteed Pea Shoots ($9.95). It’s open late-night in case you’re ever craving shrimp wontons in noodle soup after a night out downtown ($5.95).

Grand Sichuan (125 Canal Street between Chrystie St & Forsyth St – Chinatown/LES) – Local hotpot joint for groups of 4 or more. We’ll be getting the half spicy, half mild broth with beef, Chinese cabbage, Udon noodles, enoki mushrooms, and fried tofu. Continue reading