Archive for the ‘Cheap Eats’ Category

Why You Should Study Abroad: Leah Zarra, London, UK

Monday, October 27th, 2014

 

Leah Zarra posing in front of a sign for the famous Abbey Road.

Leah Zarra posing in front of a sign for the famous Abbey Road.

 

“I just loved being so independent and being totally immersed in another city,” says Leah Zarra, 22, a Texas native and Drew University graduate.

Zarra participated in a semester-long study abroad program to London through her New Jersey college back in the fall of 2012. “I couldn’t wait to experience another culture,” she says, “even though London isn’t the first to jump to mind when you think ‘foreign’.”

According to Zarra, the full semester trip to London cost the same amount as a regular, on-campus semester. The trip included: tuition, housing in a flat with other people from her college, and a 2-zone Oyster card—similar to a Metrocard, allowing Zarra unlimited access to the Tube (subway) within specified zones.

When it came to financial resources to help fund her trip, Zarra had it covered.

“I had an annual Dean’s award scholarship all through college, so this carried over to my semester abroad,” she explains.

Zarra was able to take classes such as London Literature, British Political Drama, Modern British History and a required colloquium course. She earned 16 credits studying abroad—more credits than she would have earned in one semester staying on campus in the States.

Zarra and her friends riding the Tube.

Zarra and her friends riding the Tube. (Zarra is second from the right.)

When it came to saving money while abroad, Zarra made sure to budget wisely.

“As college students, we all try to be frugal, so we kept our eyes out for free food and events,” she says referring to her study abroad group. “If you’re looking, they’re easy to find. One professor told us about a group of Hare Krishna monks that served free curry every day. Food is a big one to save on.”

When asked if she would recommend her study abroad program to someone else, Zarra responded with a resounding “yes!”

“I learned so much, and not just in the classroom,” she says. “We didn’t just read famous British authors; our professors took us on walking tours around the city to see where Great Expectations took place, [or] where Virginia Woolf walked every day. As cliché as it sounds, I truly found a piece of myself there.”

Sometimes students take out some loans to study abroad and Zarra believes it’s absolutely worth it.

“Go into it with a positive attitude, and appreciate everything you see,” she says. “Make an effort to appreciate the privileges you didn’t realize you had. You will never have another chance like this.”

The famous Big Ben and Westminster Abbey: one of the many pictures Zarra took on her trip.

The famous Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. One of the many photos Zarra took while on her trip.

 

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-Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram:slevitz

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Cultural Cuisine: Eating Your Way Around the World

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Writer and traveler Deborah Cater once said, “You have to taste culture to understand it”—and she wasn’t wrong. When you go to a foreign country and choose to eat only foods you are familiar with then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Traveling is all about trying new things—and food is one of the most important ones. In China, there are so many unique local dishes to try so you shouldn’t let fear of the unknown get in the way of experiencing the country like the locals do.

Sure we’ve all gone to our local Chinese takeout place and have ordered the pork Lo Mein or General Tso Chicken, but if you take the time to explore the country you’ll find non-Americanized Chinese food that’s definitely worth a try.

One of the most popular dishes to try if you find yourself in Beijing is the Peking Duck. This famous dish has been prepared since the imperial era and is served with steamed pancakes and eaten with scallion, cucumber and sweet bean sauce. Traditionally the meat is sliced thin by the cook right in front of you, which is definitely fun to watch. Two of the most notable restaurants are Quanjude and Bianyifang in Beijing, China.

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A chef prepares to carve a Peking Duck.

Peking Duck is traditionally served on a duck shaped plate.

Peking Duck is traditionally served on a duck shaped plate.

 

We all know that Italy is famous for their pasta; but did you know that the world’s oldest known noodles were actually discovered along the Yellow River in China? Dating back to roughly 4000 years BP, noodles have been a staple food in China—and watching hand pulled noodles being made is definitely something to go see if you visit. Hand pulled noodles, or Lamian, is made by stretching and folding the dough into strands. This unique method of making noodles originated in China and dates back to 1504. Lamian literally means pull or stretch, lā, (拉), noodle, miàn (麵) and watching a professional noodle chef pull noodles is a tourist attraction in itself!

The process of preparing hand pulled noodles is so quick that it happens in a blur!

The process of preparing hand pulled noodles is so quick that it happens in a blur!

Whether you’re traveling to China, or any other country, make sure that if you have food allergies you are well prepared. The chefs know what ingredients they use to prepare their food with and a language barrier shouldn’t stop you from being safe. Having a restaurant card is a great way to stay safe, and still be able to enjoy many of the delicious unique foods available. The card clearly states in another language the types of food you are not allowed to eat and your servers and chefs can take it from there.

Gluten-Free restaurant card picture taken from www.chinahighlights.com/

Gluten-Free restaurant card picture taken from www.chinahighlights.com/

Also, take the time to find out if the water is safe to drink in your country of origin. Often times it’s just easier to choose to drink only bottled water for the duration of your stay. You know it’s clean and safe, and you definitely don’t want to get sick while studying abroad!

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-Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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Mexican Goods at Benny’s Burritos

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

On the corner of Avenue A and 6th Street is a lively gem of a Mexican restaurant named Benny’s Burritos. Don’t be alarmed though—they sell a lot more than just burritos here.

Walking in through the Avenue A entrance, I took note of the tables set up outside, where customers were able to enjoy their food amidst the warm rays of sunlight. Seats were aplenty, both outside and inside the restaurant, even though the place was bustling with business. I made my way inside the restaurant and was seated at a table near the 6th Street entrance, and I was given a menu full of choices.

Main dishes at Benny's

I decided on a burrito and chose a shredded beef filling. I asked my waitress for a bean recommendation since I’m not too familiar with burritos, and she kindly suggested black beans as her personal favorite, so I went with her recommendation. I also ordered an iced tea (though, as my waitress warned, it’s unsweetened, so make sure that’s what you want if you order it).

Burrito with sauces and iced tea

My food came rather quickly, even though there were many other customers in the restaurant, so I was pleasantly surprised. It smelled delicious.

Burrito with shredded beef

The inside of the burrito looked extremely appetizing, and I waited a bit for it to cool down before I took my first bite. The filling was delicious, as the mixture of black beans, shredded beef, and rice was a perfect combination (so I was glad to have heeded my waitress’ recommendation). Adding salsa or sour cream sauce (which comes with the burrito) made the taste pop out even more.

All in all, this very inexpensive burrito was enough to fill me up for the rest of the day. The employees were all very kind and helpful, and the atmosphere was lively—perfect for bringing your friends and family. So if you’re ever craving a burrito—or a taco, or enchiladas, or anything else on their large menu—grab a Campus Clipper coupon for an extra discount and make a visit to Benny’s Burritos!

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Nancy Ma, New York University ’15

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Rustic Food at Melani Pizzeria

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Summer’s already here, but it’s always in season to get some delicious pizza or pasta!

I personally love to eat pizza and pasta, and so I couldn’t be more excited to try some of the delicious-looking food at Melani. The pizzeria was easy enough to find, located at 170 Rivington St. just a few blocks away from Delancey Station. With the cooler air of early evening, the open space in the pizzeria was welcoming and relaxing. I found some people standing around a table outside, gobbling up their pizza; others sat inside with their friends, chatting while finishing up their own food. There’s enough room to sit indoors with a friend or two, so this is definitely a place you can visit with people. The doors were wide open, letting in the open summer air and last rays of sunlight.

Like most pizzerias, you order at the counter. Food can be eaten in at the pizzeria, or if you’re in a hurry, you can even take your food to go. (And they even offer delivery, if you’re at home and feeling like staying in!) I found a stack of menus at the counter, so I was able to scan through all my possible options.

Full Menu at Melani Pizzeria!

There’s definitely a wide range of food at Melani. From pizza options to pasta to hand made ravioli, all your desires can be met in a single place! The calzone here is made fresh to order, and there are also gluten-free options and salads available. You can couple your meal up with some garlic knots or rolls, and quench your thirst with a wide option of beverages.

I asked for several recommendations, and I was told that the lasagna pizza is a solid choice. As for pasta, penne or spaghetti bolognese was said to be delicious. Since I was feeling like a pasta kind of day, I chose the spaghetti and chicken with parmesan since it looked like an interesting combination.

I sat down while I waited, and the wait was rather short. All the workers were very kind and helpful, and let me know that my food was almost done. When I got my food, just the smell of the pasta made my stomach impatient.

Spaghetti and Chicken with Parmesan

A delicious, moist piece of chicken covered by parmesan cheese sits on a large portion of spaghetti. Its flavor mixes well with the spaghetti and sauce, and the parmesan enhances the whole meal. I first took a bite out of the chicken, and immediately, I was pleasantly surprised. It was flavor-filled and well-cooked, and although it looked somewhat crispy on the outside, the inside was tender and moist. Mixed with a bite of spaghetti, it was the perfect combination. I couldn’t help but finish the entire piece of chicken, but I could not possibly finish the large portion of spaghetti I was given. I brought it home for my parents to try instead.

With coupon discounts at The Campus Clipper, Melani Pizzeria is a great place to try as a student for a cheap price. As a pizza and pasta lover, I was intrigued by the mix of spaghetti and chicken rather than the classic spaghetti and meatballs, and I may even say that I enjoyed this combination more. Melani Pizzeria is a great place for inexpensive, large portions, so grab your friends and family and make a visit here!

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Nancy Ma, New York University ’15

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Authentic Chinese Food at Spicy House

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Although this recently opened restaurant is small and understated, the food is tasty and worth trying if you like Chinese food. No need to travel all the way down to Chinatown for your Chinese fix. Spicy House serves authentic Chinese cuisine and offers a varied menu with options that could please any palette. The interior, although sparsely decorated, is clean, and the white tablecloths add a nice touch. As is customary of Chinese restaurants, the menu offers many sharing dishes. Don’t be turned off by the restaurant name if you don’t eat spicy food, because they also offer a wide variety of non-spicy dishes.

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My friend and I were greeted at the door and led to our table. The waitress was very friendly and let us know about the specialties and what was best on the menu. We decided on spicy beef tendon as a cold appetizer. The flavor was comparable to similar dishes that I have tried in China, and if you like spicy food it is an excellent option on the menu. Next we had shrimp with mixed vegetables. The ingredients tasted fresh, the seasoning was not overdone or too oily (which could be a concern when eating out at some Chinese restaurants), and the presentation was on point. This dish also came with bowls of rice, of which you can choose between white and brown. Last we had sautéed green beans, which was also very enjoyable.



The food was up to my expectations and the service was attentive as well, so overall I had a positive dinner experience. If you are looking for an authentic Chinese food experience, Spicy House is an easy stop tucked away at a convenient location on Third Avenue near Union Square. Also the prices are pretty reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food, so if you are a college student like me or just looking to get a yummy dinner without breaking the bank, definitely give this place a try.


Kristen Toms, New York University ’16

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The Little Joys at Joy Burger

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

As a vegetarian, finding a good burger in New York City poses a few problems. While I live in a rather accepting city, not all restaurants accommodate. When my friends stop at a late night burger joint, I wind up getting fries and trying to remember why I became a vegetarian in the first place. When I do come across a place with a veggie burger on the menu, it’s usually pretty hit or miss. Sometimes falling apart and occasionally tasteless, most times I may as well stick with my usual order of fries.  I basically gave up on finding a great veggie burger, until I found Joy Burger.

Diner decor with a contemporary vibe!

 

Old fashioned looks with a fresh atmosphere!

Just a five minute walk from my college, Joy Burger is the perfect place for any burger lover, whether they eat meat or they don’t. It mixes a contemporary feel with a diner décor that doesn’t break the budget. With a discount to students and quality food that tastes a lot better than a meal at the dining hall, you really can’t lose. Plus there are options, unlike most burger places. You construct the burger you want, it’s not chosen for you. Now instead of getting a plain veggie patty while everyone else is getting every burger special available, I can have something special too!

Not only can you choose your own patty, toppings, and legendary sauces (pro tip: their garlic mayo is incredible) but you can grab a great side to go with your burger. At other diner-like restaurants, sides usually stop at fries or onion rings, if you’re lucky. At Joy Burger, you can fulfill all of your comfort food needs with homemade french fries,  sweet potato fries, mozzarella sticks, zucchini sticks, chicken fingers, salad, soup, chicken wings, and the fan-favorite giant onion rings—crispy rings of golden brown goodness!

Not a burger person? Just because “burger” is in the name doesn’t mean Joy Burger doesn’t have more to offer. They offer an assortment of salads, like the avocado salad with fresh avocado and roasted red peppers, and other sandwiches like the steak sandwich with sautéed onions. Or, for my fellow veg-heads, try the grilled Portobello sandwich!

A diverse menu and cute playing cards when you order your meal!

Plus, Joy Burger is always trying to improve, coming up with new specials, discounts, and events to help out their loyal customers. Bringing homemade chili to the menu, offering their special Day Break burger (a burger with a fried egg and bacon on top of your choice of patty), and, overall, meeting the needs of their customers. In other words: you ask for it, and they come through for you. For example, customers wanted chili cheese fries, and now a free side order of chili cheese fries is being offered as a way to introduce the new side. They don’t mess around with customer service. And for those 21+, they have a happy hour daily from 4 PM- 7 PM, with a buy one get one free deal. They even offer hard cider, with a gluten free cider option!

While I held off on the seasonal beer, I did get a refreshing glass of mint lemonade that went perfectly with my meal. I ordered a veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, and pickles, topped with some delicious garlic mayo. Onion rings came on the side! I was given a playing card, which they call when your food is ready. The use of playing cards only adds to the cute, quirky, uniqueness of Joy Burger. Within minutes my food was done and I was ready to chow down after an exhausting day at The New School.

A tasty cup of lemonade with mint!

Now, I am not exaggerating when I say this was the best veggie burger I’ve ever had. I know that sounds dramatic, but I am not kidding. The patty was thick and so tasty. All the ingredients were fresh and delicious, and for once I didn’t have crumbling bits of burger falling all over my plate. As for the onion rings, they really lived up to their reputation. Crunchy and gigantic, they were absolutely addicting. Try dipping them in one of their nine signature sauces and you’ll be all set for a perfect meal! With Joni Mitchell playing in the background, I never wanted to leave.

A veggie burger, onion rings, and a pickle!

 

A thick, tasty veggie burger!

Being a bit of a Brooklyn hermit, the second school gets out I tend to run to the train back to my borough, but now I have reason to stay a little longer in Manhattan. Not only is this place affordable, especially for a student, but the food is actually good. Plus Joy Burger has an app where you can earn points and rewards which basically equals free food. And who doesn’t want free comfort food? With finals right around the corner, taking a break for onion rings and a burger is the perfect getaway from staring at a computer screen for seven hours. Joy Burger really stays true to their name; it’s a happy, contemporary, burger joint that really provides for their customers. You know what they say, a burger a day keeps the doctor away…or something like that…well, they definitely should say it.

A lot of joy at Joy Burger!

 

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Daniela Bizzell, Eugene Lang College, The New School University.

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A Healthy Way of Living at Lifethyme

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

I grew up around nature, farms and gardens, farmers’ markets, and signs that read “local” or “all-natural.” When I moved to New York City, I assumed that part of my life would come to a halt; you can’t exactly fit a dairy farm in Manhattan.

And then I found Lifethyme. Three blocks away from my college, stocked with products hailing from my hometown of Ithaca, NY, and sensibly priced for the broke college student that I am, Life Thyme was a win-win…win.

 

Organic, local veggies! Yum!

Opened in 1995, Lifethyme has made it their mission to create a complete, natural market, equipped with a juice bar, bakery, supplement counter, body care section, kitchen, and grocery store that delivers. “We wanted it to be entirely complete. We were one of the first; there are other health stores, but none just like us,” says Jason, owner of Lifethyme. And he isn’t kidding, the store has everything. Walk a few blocks and get all natural groceries, toiletries, dinner, and dessert all in one trip. They even have all natural chocolate, a fan favorite!

So much deliciousness!

 

The local organic movement was a big motivation. Products like veggies and dairy come from farms upstate and are brought down to this quaint, natural shop in Manhattan’s West Village. No wonder I felt a wave of nostalgia as I walked inside, greeted by organic sweet potatoes, organic Ithaca milk, and that unmistakable scent of fresh food, poorly replicated by the more expensive Whole Foods. I was hooked and I hadn’t even been upstairs yet.

 

Gotta love organic veggies!

Being in between two major colleges, The New School and NYU, Jason understands how hard it is to maintain a healthy, organic lifestyle on a budget, so he has one philosophy: “a store needs to be affordable for everyone, meeting the wants and needs of all economic classes.” That’s why the store is always trying to improve both product and price-wise. Each month promotional fliers are distributed with new deals and discounts, the salad bar is 50% off after 9PM, and everyday prices stay at an affordable rate.

Great already made food!

 

I explored, in awe of the quantity and variety of products. Upon walking in, I was met with the freshest of fruits and vegetables (organic apples happen to be my favorite), then I made it to some dairy products from my home sweet home, then to the prepared foods, stocked with raw-vegan, vegan, vegetarian, and even omnivorous food. Next I stared longingly at the baked goods: chocolate vegan cakes that made me want to forget about dinner. Making the full circle, I saw the grocery section and realized that I would never have to go anywhere else, as they had it all: cereal, bread, pasta, canned soup, canned vegetables, you name it. I was even able to try free samples from Garden of Life, a company that promotes raw and natural energizers and vitamins. Upstairs they had even more! Soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, candles, incense, yoga mats, make-up AND a seating area where you could eat your prepared food and rest your feet. Like I said, I was hooked.

Free samples and friendly faces!

 

Nothing is better than an organic apple!

 

Even better, Lifethyme is always looking for ways to get more involved with the community, to do more, and to improve themselves. For all of you interested students out there, Lifethyme wants you to be involved. Whether it’s through events or collaborations, the shop wants to improve their student base by including our generation in their mission for healthier living. Sounds pretty awesome if you ask me. Lifethyme cares about health in every sense of the word and when it’s only a short walk away, it seems pretty worth it.

 

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Daniela Bizzell, Eugene Lang College, The New School University.

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An Indian Feast at Malai Marke

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

I had been craving some quality Indian cuisine when I discovered Malai Marke in the East Village. Lately, while scrolling through endless Seamless suggestions, the thought of ordering Indian crossed my mind. But, like a great New York slice, finding that perfect Indian place in a sea of mediocrity is hard to come by. Malai Marke was that golden spot—quality food, great atmosphere, affordable prices, and a lovely location, especially in this crisp fall season.

Lovely, tasteful decor!

Malai Marke is part of a group of restaurants that strive to provide quality and culture. Whether it’s Chola on 58th St, one of the best Indian buffets in the city, Dhaba in the Flatiron District, rife with traditional flavors and a chic atmosphere, and other various eateries, Malai Marke is a piece of a rather successful enterprise. How are these restaurants so successful? They focus on quality and giving the absolute best food they can possibly give. The managers of these restaurants, like Roshan, the manager of Malai Marke, are confident in what they are doing, both in terms of business and good cooking!

So many options on the affordable lunch menu!

Malai translates to cream, a slang term used in Northern India. This Northern Indian cuisine focuses more on creamier, smoother flavors and less on spice, differing from that of Southern India. One of the favorite dishes at Malai Marke is the Malai Chicken Tikka Masala, chicken cooked in a creamy tomato sauce, a different and unique take on the common chicken masala.

Before jumping into the heavier foods, my friend and I started with fried okra. Roshan laughed as he handed us a plate full of golden- brown strands, resembling fried onions. He claims that everyone is too scared to try the okra, so he simply sets it down on their table, offering a complementary appetizer to unsuspecting customers. Without revealing what this crispy, salty, perfect-for-sharing dish is, people are already asking for more, their okra fears a thing of the past.

Crispy, salty, and delicious!

When it came to the metaphorical “meat” of the dish, I was in awe. Determined to have us try a little taste of everything, Roshan brought us quite the selection. Upon ordering Saag Paneer—a spinach curry with paneer cheese—and Lamb Pasanda—lamb in a creamy, nut sauce—Roshan also brought us Fish Moilee, which consists of fish in a creamy coconut curry sauce, lemon rice, spicy chicken, garlic naan, mango lassi, and Gulan Jamu for dessert to finish up. Like I said, we were in awe. Not only did the quantity of the food astound us, but the quality helped us regain our faith in Indian food in the city. Everything was pretty incredible. The flavors weren’t too overwhelming and each bowl of goodness was cooked to perfection. I would personally recommend the fish in a coconut curry sauce; as a pesscatarian, I was in heaven. The mango lassi was the perfect addition to the meal. This mango yogurt blend was sweet and the texture was smooth. After so many different spices, the coolness of our sweet and creamy beverage was much appreciated.

So much food!

 

This lassi was sweet, creamy, and perfect for our meal!

Located on east 6TH Street, not only is Malai Marke near New School dorms, NYU buildings, and Cooper Union, it works well with a student budget—the lunch special is only $9! Malai Marke is promoting culture by providing unique foods and utilizing a huge menu to not only please those unfamiliar to Indian cuisine, but to educate them as well. And just for a heads up—the owner of Malai Marke is always thinking of new concepts for new restaurants, so stand by for some new, great restaurants to try!

Malai Marke is great for students! Whitney loves eating here!

After we attempted to finish our meals, we caved and opted for a to-go container as well. Nothing is more satisfying than a great Sunday lunch where you leave full and content. Everything at Malai Marke was amazing! Plus, I learned that it stays amazing, even if you have to eat it later that night in your living room out of a to-go container while watching Netflix. That doesn’t actually sound that bad. Did I mention that they deliver?

 

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Daniela Bizzell, Eugene Lang College, The New School University.

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A Ramen Haven at Umami Shoppu

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

The weather is getting noticeably colder as New York approaches the winter months. I’ve been seeing more scarves, more boots, and more unhappy faces as blasts of chilled air smack into unsuspecting passengers departing the subway. One thing comes to mind when I think of the treacherous months to come; a helper of sorts to relieve me of the brutal wind tunnel that is New York City: a hot, steamy bowl of soup.

Warm and delicious!

Because the majority of my time is spent behind the walls of The New School University, finding a great place to sit and eat a hearty bowl of goodness is even more appreciated when in close proximity to school. Lucky for me, there is the Japanese restaurant Umami Shoppu: two blocks away from my college, incredibly reasonably priced, and some of the best ramen, sushi, and tempura I’ve had in a while.

I was immediately met with smiling faces and an incredibly cozy atmosphere upon walking into the restaurant. Escaping the cold to enter Umami Shoppu was definitely the right decision. The tables were intimately placed, topped with light blue stone mugs, proper wooden chopsticks (not the splintered set you find in a red wrapper at your local Chinese takeout place), and an array of chili oils and soy sauce. The lighting was calming and the exposed brick gave the restaurant an indie feel while still possessing hints of Japanese culture. As an added bonus, a flat screen television was placed on the brick wall. Playing was a stream of music videos from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This may just be me, but I couldn’t get enough of the nostalgia felt when listening to some early Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child.

Awesome spot for a lovely lunch!

What cute mugs!

In simpler terms, Umami Shoppu has a unique quality not normally seen in more traditional Japanese restaurants. Opening the store with his father a mere four months ago, owner William Wu took his prior knowledge of Japanese cuisine, specifically from his past work at ramen shops, and created something fun and contemporary while still providing great food. Wu acknowledges and embraces the area that Umami Shoppu is now a part of. When asked his favorite aspect of owning the restaurant, he replied, “Meeting people, all kinds of different people. In fact the show Louis is filming here pretty soon. It’s all pretty cool. I get to meet a lot of college students and it reminds me of being young.” Wu matches this concept to create a youthful vibe that lingers throughout the shop.

Tyler is loving her ramen!

Now for the food! There were so many options, both from a Lunch menu, 11 AM to 4 PM, and a dinner menu. In order to get an well-rounded take of the food at Umami Shoppu, I asked the owner for a few of his personal favorites. He immediately responded with his first choice of ramen and sushi. He recommended the Spicy Butaniku Ramen, great for cold weather, double the pork of most ramen dishes, and a spicy flare to really warm you up. His sushi choice was something he had actually created himself. Named the Autumn of NY roll, this type of sushi had everything: spicy king crab, mango, avocado, all topped with salmon. Damn.

As a pesscatarian, the only “meat” I eat is fish; I had to pass on the pork. On the other hand, my companion joining me for lunch was intrigued. She got a rendition of the Butaniku, the Cha Siu Tonkotsu Ramen, the same idea with a little less spice. I myself got the Shrimp Tempura Shoyu Ramen, a soy based broth with a side of some of the best shrimp tempura I’ve ever eaten. We split a large plate of the Autumn roll to begin our feast. While listening to “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and basking in the warmth of the intimate Japanese shop, we happily waited for our meals.

Best shrimp tempura ever!

The sushi plate was brought out rather quickly. It was a large plate beautifully presented and designed with each piece of sushi placed in a patterned order. With chopsticks in hand, we dove in. Graced with a light spice, the flavor was pretty incredible. Everything was fresh from the crab to the avocado. Plus, there was so much of it—definitely a good choice to share. Just as quickly as it had appeared, the sushi platter was devoured and then came the ramen. Both my friend and I were a bit unfamiliar with ramen outside of the to-go cups that have a blend of freeze dried peas and uncooked noodles jammed inside. We were pleasantly surprised. The bowls were ginormous and absolutely filled with fresh, thick noodles, bathing in a steaming broth. The flavor, both for the pork and the shrimp, was tasty and not overpowering. As mentioned before, the tempura was probably the best I’ve ever had—crispy fresh shrimp, and the blend of batter and seafood was delicious. Halfway through our bowls we both admitted defeat. More full than we had ever anticipated, we pushed them away in satisfaction.

 

So much goodness!

Featured on Grubhub and Seamless, plus a 10% discount to students, you really can’t lose with Umami Shoppu. As a first time restaurant ramen customer I was very impressed and satisfied with my meal. Being so close to school, I’ll always know the perfect place to go for a warm bowl of Ramen and a cozy environment to take off my gloves and parka. Even better, Wu plans on catering more to vegetarians—now I really can’t say no. Umami Shoppu is the ultimate student hub for good, inexpensive Japanese food, plus we all need a little Destiny’s Child back in our lives.

 

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Daniela Bizzell, Eugene Lang College, The New School University.

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Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

 

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Something Sweet from Across the Pond: The London Candy Co.

Monday, October 14th, 2013

I had just gotten done with my 11 AM Fiction Lit class. My brain hurt, my eyes were starting to close on their own, and I hadn’t had my coffee yet. It was one of those mornings, and it felt like it would last all day. So, I decided to escape my collegiate walls at the New School and make the short walk to Bleecker Street. A visit to the London Candy Co. might provide just the turn around I needed for this caffeine-less, homework ridden day.

Barely ten minutes went by and I was standing at the front door of a new culture entirely. Spelled out in blue, neon wire was the word “LONDON,” and with a quick glance inside, no further explanation was needed. The store was so colorful! Decked out with bright reds and blues, everything seemed lit up and fun. The shop itself was filled—absolutely, floor to ceiling, filled—with everything and anything English. Don’t be deceived by the title of the store: while there was just about every piece of English candy I could ever imagine, The London Candy Co. is so much more than an ordinary candy shop.

Ready to enter an English candy paradise!

Wall to wall English treats!

Howie, the incredibly friendly manager, who walked me through the ins and outs of the Candy Co, likes to think of this hidden West Village gem more as a British convenience store. “What’s different is that no one else sells this much of a range, we have more stuff than shops you’ll find in England. There’s just so much to offer.” And he isn’t kidding. At a glance, I saw chocolate, gummies, chips (or as the English say, “crisps”) candy bars, mallomars, or the English equivalent, an assortment of English beverages, gift boxes of sweets, and English greeting cards as well as calendars and the like. In addition, this candy/convenience/ English awesomeness store carries Stumptown coffee—they even have cold brew, both a French Roast and a House Blend, on draft, something I’ve never even seen in my multiple years living in New York. As said before, this was at first glance, and I was impressed.

Give your someone sweet, something sweet!

If the actual products of the store weren’t enough, the staff on hand were extremely friendly, helpful, knew their customers, and knew their supply. It was nothing but smiles from the moment I walked in and why shouldn’t there be, we were surrounded by European chocolate! But Howie does prove a point as to why the staff are so lighthearted, “People get excited to come into the store. There’s always positive energy, you don’t get many frowns, always smiles. People are happy to be here and we share that as well, we provide that.”

Meet the gents at The London Candy Co!

And this is what helps to make The London Candy Co. unique. No one does exactly what they do with the attitude in which they do it. Plus, let’s be honest, there can never be too much chocolate. Howie gave me the low down on some of the best and most popular items in the store, including his personal favorites. First was the Cadbury Flake Bar, a chocolate bar with ribbons of deliciousness inside. Then I learned one of the most popular chocolate bars is the Cadbury Crunchie bar: chocolate on the outside, with a honeycomb and toffee center. Howie’s personal favorite happens to be the Galaxy Chocolate, creamier than Cadbury with a crunchy cookie inside. The shop also has a variety of “higher end” chocolate, for those with a more “advanced pallet,” such as Willie’s cacao. In fact, The London Candy Co is the only store in America to even sell Willie’s.

Like I said though, the store has much more than chocolate. Known for their Maynard’s wine gums, jelly babies, unique flavored crisps, such as T-Bone steak, full line of beverages, such as Irnbru—as Howie describes a drink that resembles liquid bubble gum—and so much more, one could spend hours in The London Candy Co and still find new items that tickle their fancy. Whether we Americans like it or not we’re all Anglophiles at heart, infatuated by the accent, the customs, and of course the divine chocolate. Indulging on our curiosity of English culture is definitely worth doing, especially if the indulgence is spent at the Candy Co.

I think the photo explains itself.

Upon leaving, Howie filled up a fresh cup of iced coffee, on draft, and handed me a palm size treat, wrapped in red foil. Only 50 cents at the Candy Co, Howie claims that this is one of the simplest, most amazing treats they have—a Tunnock’s Mallow. Basically, an American mallomar-turned-Brit. I thanked everyone for their hospitality and made my way back to school to prepare for my 2 o’clock class. Sitting in the New School Café, I unwrapped this chocolate treat and dove in. Even as a writing student, I find it difficult to put into words how heavenly this simple English sweet truly was. Coated in silky European chocolate and stuffed with fluffy marshmallow, I felt I could take on the day. Matched with some of the best coffee New York has to offer, my trip to The London Candy Co was not only a sweet escape to an English haven, but it was a much needed pick-me-up for the hectic day ahead of me.

Everyone NEEDS to try one of these--delish!

 

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Daniela Bizzell, Eugene Lang College, The New School University.

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!

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