Archive for January, 2018

Eva’s Kitchen—Restaurant Review

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Last Friday, I visited Eva’s Kitchen on W 8th St. for a bite to eat. They kindly invited me for a meal and a chat, and I was delighted to accept. Upon arrival, enthusiastic and welcoming Alex came around the counter and took my order, chitchatting with me about the menu while I deliberated over the options. Salads, wraps/burritos, “power plates,” smoothies—choices galore! A whole section dedicated to vegetarian options too! It is clear just looking at the menu and its featured ingredients that this is a restaurant dedicated to serving and pleasing a wide array of health-conscious, hungry individuals. Brown rice, egg whites, sweet potatoes—whole grains and lean sources of protein…What could be better?

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Alex told me that his particular favorite is The Mighty Jeff Ross: grilled chicken and brown rice topped with chili beans, low fat mozzarella, and guacamole—apparently one of their best-sellers (and, by the description, I can understand why—simplistic, hearty, and delicious).

I took his input into consideration and went with the South American Burrito (which is pretty similar to The Mighty Jeff Ross with some tweaks here and there)—a whole wheat wrap stuffed with homemade guacamole, romaine, cucumber, tomato, brown rice, grilled chicken, and chili beans. I grinned satisfactorily at my choice as I placed my order and made my way over to a table to (hungrily and eagerly) wait in anticipation.

Eva’s is clearly a hotspot in Greenwich Village. The restaurant’s aura is relaxed and casual in the best way—that is, the opposite of too many NYC cafés that are so trendily hoity-toity that just walking in the doors can induce a crushing self-conscious feeling. Eva’s, on the other hand, is wonderfully warm and inviting.

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Perhaps this is due to the history and authenticity residing within its walls. This February, Eva’s is celebrating its 40th year anniversary—that is, this landmark joint “serving delicious and nutritious food” (with a Mediterranean flair, it seems) has been around since the Spring of 1978. That’s over twice my age…Pretty cool!

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As I waited, Steve (the store manager) wandered over and began chatting with me. I was struck by his kindness and spirited pride in all that is Eva’s. His kindness was contagious as we sat and talked. He told me about his personal favorite on the menu—The Eggs & Tomato: a whole wheat wrap with 5 egg whites, tomato, and cheddar cheese. I’ll have to try it next time.

He explained that the motto of Eva’s Kitchen is: “Eat good, feel good.” Their trademark is healthy food that tastes good and makes you feel good. He even mentioned that they cook with no preservatives. I was thrilled to hear that—it’s hard to find places in the city nowadays that actually care about quality of ingredients and how their food makes their customers feel upon leaving.

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My burrito came very quickly; I was very impressed by the quick service. Steve left me to enjoy my meal—although without first talking up and bringing me their house-made hot sauce (which, he mentioned, is somehow free of salt altogether!). I’m a spicy food lover, so I was very excited to try it—and very pleased with its tangy, flavorful, and subtly smoky flavor. And, of course, it did bring the heat.

The burrito itself was to die for. I wouldn’t typically think to put cucumbers in a burrito, but what a wonderful addition—it adds a pleasant crunch and acts as a nice spice-tamer. When I first saw the size of the burrito, the following thought-process occurred: “There’s no way I’ll be able to eat all that it one sitting. That’s okay though—it’ll make for a great lunch tomorrow.”

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To my surprise, I ate the entire thing—I left absolutely no trace…What can I say, it was really delicious. The chicken was juicy; the guac was flavorful (without being overly salty or, on the other hand, bland); the rice was tender; the veggies were fresh and crisp; and, overall, it left me feeling full, satisfied, and with a smile on my face. I didn’t feel bogged down and greasy like I typically do after eating a burrito. Like Steve told me: “Eat good, feel good!”

Overall, I had a blast visiting Eva’s. Particularly notable was their very fast service; lively and personable staff; extensive menu with something for everyone and anyone (no matter what preferences or dietary restrictions one might have); the constant ebb and flow of colorful customers (it clearly is a hotspot!); and the warm aura altogether.

I left with a full belly, a smiling face, and a piece of carrot cake to-go (thanks again, Steve!). Wholesome seems like a very fitting word to describe both Eva’s ambiance and tasty (yet still healthy!) food. The authenticity defining the years of memories made within, the food served, the friendly staff, and the hungry visitors (be them regulars or newcomers) seems to be what makes Eva’s uniquely…Eva’s. And due to such authenticity, Eva’s undoubtedly stands out as an NYC gem. I cannot wait for my next visit. As an NYU student with this place right around the corner from campus…Watch out Eva’s, I think I just found my new favorite lunch spot!

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*If you’re an NYU Student, make sure to stop by Eva’s and get 10% off The Lazy Hustler (“The #1 Falafel Burrito in NYC”) when you show your student ID!

**More information (and coupons) can be found at: http://www.campusclipper.com/new/coupons.php?REG_COD=1

By Libby King

 


Libby is an NYU student, a Campus Clipper foodie, and a passionate writer and graphic designer. She writes her own blog, libalittle.com, where she strives to share insight, encourage creativity, and stimulate curiosity.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Broadway Discounts Are a Millennial Student’s Best Friend Series Part 2: TKTS Booth at Times Square

Monday, January 29th, 2018

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If you have the will to lug yourself out of bed and put on some pants, consider hunting for Broadway deals in the outdoor glittering lights of Times Square. Convince yourself to snap your laptop shut.

In Part 1, I discussed purchasing tickets over TDF online as an introvert. Although I prefer the indoor joys of ordering discount tickets on TDF online, online does not have everything available. I have my eyes peeled for affordable deals on Come From Away and Dear Evan Hansen, but I rarely see them online. If you’re not a fan of paying the TDF membership fee, take a trip to the TKTS booths for same-day discounts.

For simplicity sake, this blog will focus on the main Times Square booth. There are also three other booths at the South Street Seaport, Lincoln Center, and Downtown Brooklyn. But Times Square booth yields the most variety of features.

Pass the costumed Marvel heroes and Disney icons beckoning tourists for photos, the Times Square TKTS booth is located underneath the Glowing Ruby-Red Stairs at 47th Street. It’s easily accessible through the red-1 train line on the 50th street stop.

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Photo provided by the Theatre Development Fund

Compared to TDF membership purchases, where seating arrangement is a wild card once you pick up your ticket at the box office, TKTS allows you to gauge your seating arrangement at the booth.

Set a free day to go bargain hunting, preferably on a Friday or weekends. In case you don’t find the bargain you want, set up a backup plan, like eating out or seeing a movie or just walking around Times Square.

Set a budget: How much are you willing to spend? Is there a show that’s difficult to access that you’re willing to pay a 20% discount for? (Sorry, no Hamilton but Phantom of the Opera can pop up) Personally, I would aim for 50% deals. But some deals are only 20-30%. I remember getting a $100 offer for the high-demand Once On This Island revival and turning it down.

The Times Square booth hours. 

For Evening Performances:

Monday – Saturday: 3:00pm – 8:00pm

(Tuesday starts at 2:00pm)

Sunday: 3:00pm – 7:00pm

 

For Matinee Performances:

Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm

Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm

 

Downloading the free TKTS app allows you to track shows available at the booth. I wish I could purchase discounts from the app, but that’s not how it works. It will alert you of the show availability, but if you see something you want, it’s up to you to physically purchase it at the booth. So run!

 

The TKTS app

The TKTS app

 

Come early.

Come an hour early because you can expect the line to be already occupied with New Yorkers or tourists with their eyes peeled for discounts.

But if there’s nothing to pique your interests…

Come later.

While I prefer going early to catch the expansive deals, Thoughtco offers this hack: Arrive in line closer to the show time when unsold house seats are released. Lines are said to be shorter and surprises may pop up. So if you came early and find nothing remarkable, take a walk around Times Square and then return perhaps about 30 minutes before the standard show time of 8:00 pm (2:00/3:00 pm on matinee). If you get a desired deal, make a dash to the appropriate theatre that’s playing your show (so have your Google Map ready to ascertain theatre address).

The Times Square booth also has this perk: The TKTS 7-Day Fast Pass. Within 7 days of your TKTS purchase, show your ticket stub, and stroll right up to Window #1, thereby skipping the lines.

For non-musical play viewers: Window #12 is the “Play Only” window. Plays are sold at all windows, but you can go directly to that window for a much shorter wait if you’re not into musicals. (I’ll personally recommend the long-running Play That Goes Wrong.)

To summarize:

Pros: Getting sun, shot at options that aren’t available online, the sense of community being around theatre-goers, getting a FastPass with a ticket stub.

Cons: Long lines, freezing in cold winters, boiling in the hot sun, the anxiety of not getting your desired deal, deals in constant flux.

One last caution: Avoid the scalpers wandering at the line, who will tempt you with fake bargains.

Happy bargain hunting in the sun or snow, preferably the former.

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Sources:


Carol is a queer Vietnamese-Houstonian Earthling surviving under the fickle weather of New York. When she’s not seeing a Broadway production, she’s buried in her nonfiction MFA homework like Hermione Granger and her Hogwarts studies. When not angsting over her first poetry manuscript or a pilot screenplay about space samurais, Carol is cooking her own Chinese food instead of buying take-outs and dreaming of winning Hamilton lotto tickets. She chronicles the quirks of New York living and writing, runs writing and scripting services, and lends her voice to Birth Movies DeathThe Mary SueFilm School Rejectsand The Script Lab. She’s also lurking in the shadows waiting for you to follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Broadway Discounts Are a Millennial Student’s Best Friend Series Part 1: Theatre Development Fund

Friday, January 19th, 2018

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Broadway doesn’t come cheap. If I were a millionaire, my first impulse would be to snag every full-price Broadway ticket.

In the Broadway musical adaptation of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the showstopper “Great Big Stuff” hurls out this laughter-inducing quip: “I can finally afford to see a Broadway show!”

When I was living in Houston, Texas, I dreamed of faraway land of fantasies and wonder of Hamilton and the Comet of 1812. But they’re too pricey to fly from city just to catch a show. Because current productions aren’t available on DVD or Netflix, they aren’t easy to access.

Now having moved to New York City, I confronted plenty of tricks and trades of bargains. It’s not perfect: There are shows too far out of the reach (Curse you, sold out and overpriced Hamilton tickets!) but a student status and familiarity of deals can assuage your thrifty habits.

In 2014, LA Weekly cited that an average Broadway ticket costs a daunting $100, but truth is, ticket prices are often in flux. That does not account for high-demand productions like Hamilton, Hello Dolly, or Once Upon an Island. As a graduate student, I don’t have my wallet full enough to buy $100 tickets on a whim.

First, ask yourself how much you are willing to spend per month on tickets.

My personal goal: 2-3 shows a month. I aim for about $50 or below for each ticket. I’ll have money left for groceries.

Theatre Development Fund Membership

If you’re a student or recent graduate, you are eligible for membership with the Theatre Development Fund (the TDF).

Prices for Broadway productions are often fixed. As of my 2017-2018 membership, I encountered these prices:

For musicals: $51

For plays: $45-46

Yearly membership fee is $35, which is a fair trade off to access $51 tickets, about 50% of the average ticket price.

(Psssss, I Googled the promo code MetroNY on Retail Me Not, which knocked my first-year membership fee down to $29. If this code had expired by the time you read this, Google around to hunt for an additional code.)

I give fair warning: TDF seat selection is a wild card. Before a purchase, it will warn you whether seating is in mezzanine or balcony, but you will not be informed of the exact seating arrangement once you order your ticket. I can credit it for not shoving me at the far rear or the balcony. Once in a while, I got sweet deal of center orchestra seating for School of Rock or center mezzanine for the Cats revival for a grander scope.

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My scope of the mezzanine view of the Cats revival, courtesy of TDF.

Every so often, I was planted at the far side of mezzanine, but a decently close to the front. At one point for Anastasia, TDF put me on the front-row orchestra. Sounds wonderful but there was this catch: It was the orchestra-left side farthest from the center, an angled neck-straining viewing experience.

I find that TDF discount has more variety of Broadway productions than other sites that offers discounts for $51. Average traditional student discounts of $51 often regulates you to the third-floor balcony seating, which I find to be far enough to deem “riiiiiiip-off.” But TDF’s $51 musical tickets have situated me in orchestra or the second-floor mezzanine and never placed me on the 3rd floor balcony. If you are chancing on a balcony seat, the purchase will warn you beforehand. Long-running and high-demand shows like Phantom of the Opera or Hello Dolly will appear, but don’t expect Wicked, The Lion King, or Hamilton to magically pop up one day (I’m keeping my eyes peeled for those).

Ordering through TDF online is ideal for a shut-in introvert like me. I don’t have to rush to a physical location or wait in line for the suspense of obtaining bargains. I never expect the TDF price to radically hike up. Few times, they have sales for tomorrow’s performances. It’s also great for long-term planning. Depending on the available line-up of show dates, TDF allows me to plan ahead with show-dates. I got my Spongebob Squarepants ticket a few weeks before I saw that nautical delight.

Be prepare to email a photo of your student ID or enrollment form as proof of eligibility at POE@tdf.org within 10 days of starting membership.

Up next: TKTS Booths and other discount methods

Sources:

– https://www.tdf.org/

By Caroline Cao


Carol is a queer Vietnamese-Houstonian Earthling surviving under the fickle weather of New York. When she’s not seeing a Broadway production, she’s buried in her nonfiction MFA homework like Hermione Granger and her Hogwarts studies. When not angsting over her first poetry manuscript or a pilot screenplay about space samurais, Carol is cooking her own Chinese food instead of buying take-outs and dreaming of winning Hamilton lotto tickets. She chronicles the quirks of New York living and writing, runs writing and scripting services, and lends her voice to Birth Movies Death, The Mary SueFilm School Rejectsand The Script Lab. She’s also lurking in the shadows waiting for you to follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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