Archive for the ‘Restaurant Reviews’ Category

From New York to….Paris

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Paris is known for a lot of things…the lights, the romance, those little Eiffel Towel trinkets, but nothing compares to the food. From the most delicately prepared escargot to the finely aged wine and cheese, the French know food…though that’s not to say New Yorkers don’t.

http://therealwinejulia.com/

http://therealwinejulia.com/

https://www.sandaya.fr/

https://www.sandaya.fr/

So, how does a perfect night of food in Paris compare to one in New York? Usually I just give you tips on how to tackle a variety of issues in New York and another city with the hopes that if you like New York for one reason, you’ll fall head over heals in that other city for the same reaosn. But since food is close to my heart, I’ve instead listed two “perfect” nights of food for you to fall in love with, one for the city of love and one for the city that never sleeps. I hope one day you’ll get to compare the two:

A Night in Paris

So you’ve found a way to Paris and experienced the romance of kissing at its center and walking alone the Seine and now you’re hungry. Do I have a night for you. The credit for most of this goes to NYU London’s Tony Skitt, but I’ve made a few modifications from personal experience. An aperitif is a dry alcoholic drink taken before dinner. A kir is a traditional French aperitif and some of the best can be found at Chez Georges (get there early, it opens at 6pm but it’s hard to get just kir when this place gets crowded) on the rue des Canettes in the Latin Quarter. Then for your main meal try Chez Fernand around the corner. Now that you’re stuffed, you have to get dessert. The Île de Saint-Louis behind Notre Dame (quite the sight at night) boasts to have the best ice cream in the world. For this you have two options: Berthillion ice cream, which claim to be the best, or my personal favorite, La Brasserie de l’Isle Saint-Louis. It’s not an ice cream place, but their chocolate ice cream is amazing nonetheless—and if Chez Fernand left you wanting, the escargot is pretty good too. From here you could do one of two things. One option is going to a jazz club called Caveau de la Huchette (on rue de la Huchette) which is the place for swing dancing in Paris and a way to dance off all those carbs (the place really starts picking up at 11pm). Another is to buy a nice bottle of Parisian wine and a a box of chocolate (or if you’re a broke college kid, like me, a cheap bottle of wine and the smallest box of Lindt chocolate you can find) and sit by the river across from the Eiffel Tower. There’s a small parking lot directly across from the tower along Port Debilly that has steps leading down to the river that provides the most stunning view.

Ice cream at La Brasserie de l'Isle Saint-Louis. Taken by Jainita Patel

Ice cream at La Brasserie de l’Isle Saint-Louis. Taken by Jainita Patel

La Brasserie de l'Isle Saint-Louis. Taken by Jainita Patel

La Brasserie de l’Isle Saint-Louis. Taken by Jainita Patel

View from across the river. Taken by Jainita Patel

View from across the river. Taken by Jainita Patel

 

A Night in New York

Paris is beautiful and expensive and charming, but nothing says food and fun like a night out in New York City. Not only does New York have the ability to provide a fun and stunning night, but the diversity in New York is also one of its biggest assets. In place of an aperitif to get the appetite stirring, I suggest getting your stomach grumbling by stopping at La Churreria in Nolita sometime in the late afternoon. This place has the best hot churros and chocolate I’ve ever had. It’s a small venue, but cheap and delicious. Now for the entrée. Where to even begin? Well, since we’re all trying to save, I would recommend Momofuku Noodle Bar or Superiority Burger if you’re starving. Both are cheap eats that will fill you up. If you’re saving for dessert, you can save with left overs and what college kid doesn’t love leftovers? Another option is also HandCraft Kitchen and Cocktails, which the Campus Clipper intern team recently visited and has some of the most unique dishes I’ve ever had. For dessert, a lot of places will claim that they’re the best, but me, a stranger on the internet, is telling you definitively that Veniero’s in the East Village is the best. It’s right next to Momofuku, so you might need to go for a walk before you come back here, but it has the best Italian pastries and gelato I’ve ever had. Even Eataly doesn’t come close (when it comes to dessert I mean). It’s open until 1am so you’ll have plenty of time. After (or maybe before) dessert, there are a few things you can do to digest. You can go dancing or drinking in some of the fun venues I’ve mentioned before, or you can take a pastry to go and sit in East River Park to see the lit up Empire State Building to the left and Brooklyn straight ahead.

 

Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails http://gitr.com/wp-content/

Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails
http://gitr.com/wp-content/

The best place in the world. http://media.yellowbot.com/

The best place in the world.
http://media.yellowbot.com/

There you have it. Two foodie adventures in two amazing cities. And who knows? If you like New York or Paris mainly because of its food, maybe one day you’ll get a chance to visit the other.

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By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. 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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Student Foodie: Visit Vapiano with a Group for Fresh Italian Offerings

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

If you are a New School or NYU student you may have already tasted Vapiano’s simple and tasty Italian offerings at a catered school event. If you’ve traveled around Europe, it’s also very likely that you walked into a Vapiano – the international chain has over 130 restaurants worldwide. Their New York outpost is a large, two-story restaurant on the corner of University and 13th street. The space is airy and open with red globe decorations hanging from tall ceilings and big windows. Don’t be put off by the large air-conditioning rig coming out of one of the windows when you walk in.

Vapiano’s Interior photo credit: http://bit.ly/2b1oNiR

Photo by Tamar Lapin

Photo by Tamar Lapin

What’s most unique about Vapiano is their card system. When guests walk in they are automatically asked if they’ve been to the Italian chain before – that’s because their ordering system may seem unusual at first but is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. You’re handed a Vapiano card, which is similar to a credit card but just for the restaurant. Every time you order, your card is scanned and when you are ready to leave, you hand the card in at the front desk and pay based on the card’s balance.

The idea is upscale cafeteria-style. You don’t order at a table, but rather walk to stations offering different options (pasta, antipasti, pizza, salad…) with a tray. At the pasta station, dishes are sautéed up before your eyes and you scan your card by tapping it against a machine after ordering. If you decide to go for a personalized pizza, you’ll be given a little buzzer which rings when your dish is ready. Pasta and pizza dough are made fresh, in house daily.

Vapiano's pasta bolognese and margharita pizza. Photo by Tamar Lapin.

Vapiano’s pasta bolognese and margharita pizza. Photo by Tamar Lapin.

Le Ludwige, the manager at the New York location says that this system is meant to encourage guests to roam the restaurant freely. “We wanted to give our guests the option to walk around,” he said.

Ludwige added that this system does slow down the ordering and paying process slightly but they are working on streamlining. As of now, lunchtime can be a little slow, as business-lunch people in the area want something they can sink their teeth into more quickly. But if you’re a student with a big break in between classes, Vapiano is perfect. You can also order online through Chow Now and come pick up your meal all ready to go.

This option is also great for families, and on a Friday afternoon, the restaurant is filled with European tourists and groups of young people. You and your friends can each go to a station and meet at one of the high lightwood beige tables with your steaming dishes.

For a touch of simplicity, try the pasta bolognese, a traditional Italian dish- made with Vapiano’s classic beef and pork tomato sauce, with sliced carrots as a delicious and surprising addition. The dish is well-seasoned and filling. All pasta dishes are served with two slices of homemade bread and each table is outfitted with little marble containers holding spicy olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The pizza is less of a highlight, the classic margarita I ordered was a little greasy but the European-style thin crust redeemed it slightly. All the dishes are priced reasonably at $10.00 to $13.00.

If you’re in the mood for a drink, Vapiano has an extensive wine selection showcased on tall mirrored shelves behind the bar. Glasses of wine are priced at $9.50 and the beer is $6.50.

Visit Vapiano to satisfy all of your fresh pasta cravings and bring your classmates for a tasty meal in a fun, low-key environment that is guaranteed to have you leave as friends.

by Tamar Lapin


 

For an extra student discount use this Campus Clipper coupon below:

coupon_NYUclipperWEB

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 NYC 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 ebooks, we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!
Check our website for more student savings on food and services and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.
 
Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
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Student Foodie: Semsom’s Fresh Middle Eastern Food Will Soon Become Your Favorite Summer Spot

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

With Halal carts on every corner and hundreds of Middle Eastern restaurants all over the city it didn’t seem like we needed another one but Semsom, located at 2 Astor place, serves up fresh twists on old favorites that will have you coming back again and again.

The fast-casual Middle Eastern eatery was opened by two creative sisters Christine and Carine about a year ago but is already an institution in the Middle East with locations in Lebanon, Oman, Ksa, Kuwait and an upcoming location in Dubai. Already, a successful businesswoman- Christine is responsible for bringing Dunkin Donuts to the Middle East and was named Best Businesswoman in the Middle East in 2011- Christine’s dream was to share her passion for Lebanese food with the world.

Sisters Carine and Christine at Semsom's grand opening. Photo courtesy of Semsom.

Sisters Carine and Christine at Semsom’s grand opening. Photo courtesy of Semsom.

Walking into Semsom Eatery will immediately transport you to a calm, cool Middle Eastern villa. The restaurant is clean and airy with turquoise accents and you almost expect a seaside breeze to hit you. It’s clear that the concept is to make you feel at ease and at home, with comfortable and ample seating and personalized touches. The wallpaper is a dynamic photo of a friend of the two sisters in their father’s old car. The restaurant sells scrumptious French treats by Michel et Augustin that Carine loved when she lived in France and the recipes of Semsom’s delicious offerings are based on family recipes that the sisters loved to devour as children. An upcoming location in the Financial District will even have the window shutters from Christine and Carine’s childhood home.

The concept is simple and streamlined- walk up to the counter and choose either a bowl or a wrap, the bowl is recommended because it allows you to taste each dish individually, and you definitely will want to capture each of the unique flavors. You can choose lettuce or rice as your base (or half and half). Then, choose between two chicken dishes, two meat dishes and two vegetarian options. The Taouk chicken- simmered in vinegar tomato sauce and paprika is tangy, moist and flavorful. One of the vegetarian options- the wild thyme cauliflower is oven roasted with sumac and dried thyme, earthy and filling it will have even non-vegetarians salivating.

Semsom's wholesome Middle Eastern food will have you salivating. Photo by Tamar Lapin

Semsom’s wholesome Middle Eastern food will have you salivating. Photo by Tamar Lapin

You can then add two flavors such as pickled mushrooms or cabbage, tahini carrots, minted yoghurt, hummus or sweet and sour eggplant. The eggplant is a definite hit, made with pomegranate molasses it has an interesting zesty taste with sweet undertones. But the definite standout on the bowl is the hummus which is made with fresh chickpeas (never canned!) and soaked in water overnight. Lea Ghandour, Carine’s friend who heads marketing for the NYC branches tells me that the hummus, “takes 12 hours to prepare and two minutes to devour.” And she’s right! Using fresh chickpeas makes the hummus ultra creamy and smooth. You can slather it on any of the dishes or eat it by the forkful. Make sure to top your bowl with some mint leaves for an even fresher accent.

Tamar trying some delicious vegan soft serve at Semsom.

It’s all affordable too! Prices range from $7.00 to $8.50 for wraps and from $8.00 to $11 for bowls.

The food is simple, bright and colorful and all seasonal and locally sourced. The beef comes from New York institution Pat LaFrieda and the chicken is free-range and antibiotic free, all halal. Everything is flavorful and evenly spiced with an air of simplicity that’ll make you want to try to recreate the recipes at home. And you can- the owner’s thinking ahead set aside a corner of the restaurant- a souk of sorts which sells spices used in the recipes: turmeric, sumac and zaatar. You can also buy some of the sisters’ favorite cookbooks, handmade soaps, and cute, colorful clay cups.

In a rush? Grab one of Semsom’s readymade seasonal salads to go like the watermelon feta salad or indulge with a serving of sriracha hummus and some healthy pita chips. One of their new offerings, the vegan soft-serve is also a definite must-try. It comes in flavors like chocolate halva and frozen mhalabiyeh (rose and orange blossom water). Get some candied chick peas to sprinkle on top and you are set.

by Tamar Lapin


For an extra discount on Middle Eastern food like you’ve never tasted try the Campus Clipper coupon below:

 

CampusClipper2016

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 NYC 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 ebooks, we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!
Check our website for more student savings on food and services and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.
 
Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
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Student Foodie: Just Salad Serves Up Salads and Student Discounts at Their NYU Location

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/2b3LKCP

When searching for a perfectly fresh and filling salad, NYU students need not look much farther than Just Salad, an appropriately named clean and healthy cafeteria-esque salad and smoothie spot.

Nestled in the heart of the NYU campus on 8th Street between Broadway and University, Just Salad chops up hearty and healthy salads with a variety of choices and seasonal options (so you know it’s fresh), all locally sourced and organic.

With  locations all over the City, Just Salad just celebrated its 10-year anniversary in May and is expanding to Chicago. Derrick Moore, the manager of the 8th street location, hopes to make this store the NYU students’ healthy haven and says he is already planning specials for NYU students, such as a promotion for Freshman Welcome Week.

“One of our bigger focal points is serving students,” Moore said.

Even without the special promotion, Just Salad is already the perfect place for health-conscious students – most of their salads are about $10 and so hearty that they are the perfect post-workout meal. You can also buy a reusable salad bowl for just $1 and save the rest of your salad for later. If you end up going with the reusable bowl, reuse it at the store and you’ll get a free cheese or two free “essentials” on your next custom salad.

Most of the items in your salad are grown locally by farmers in the NYC vicinity. Just Salad also has rotating seasonal salads four times a year. One of their summer seasonals is the “Tulum Getaway” with crunchy tortilla chips and pumpkin seeds, smooth avocado, fresh corn and beans atop romaine. The salad has a little kick, thanks to the smoky poblano ranch dressing, and is tasty and filling. If you’re looking for something more classic, “The California” is a great, healthful option with chicken, egg whites, avocado and some surprising and mouth-watering roasted almonds. If you want to indulge a little, you can still grab a coke or snapple and a bag of chips or go the healthy route with a smoothie at the smoothie bar.

Photo by Tamar Lapin

Photo by Tamar Lapin

 Just Salad also has a culture of promoting health outside of the store. Each location has a    nutrition and fitness ambassador customers can contact for a FREE consultation or personal training session. You’ll find the name and contact info of your local ambassador pinned to a very student-friendly bulletin board right by the door.

Even Moore, the 8th Street location manager, said that Just Salad helped him get in shape and feel healthy. Since he started working there three years ago, he lost 94 pounds by taking advantage of the free personal training sessions and by being inspired to eat healthy, thanks to Just Salad’s creative menu. Moore said he’d never really taken advantage of free meals at his other restaurant jobs but that Just Salad’s offerings like the “Buffalo Kale Caesar,” the inspired dressings and the avocado smoothie opened his eyes and palate when it came to healthy, tasty food.

“I feel clean. I feel like I’m eating clean,” he said.

With their monthly specials and the loyalty rewards program on their app, Just Salad strongly believes in making eating healthy fun and affordable. It’s the perfect, well-priced refueling station in the heart of NYU.

If you choose to hang out at this clean and airy restaurant, with its lime green walls and beige beachwood panels, make sure to bring a sweater because the A.C is pumping. And stop by next month for the smoothie special happy hour, with $1 smoothies between 3 and 6 pm.

By Tamar Lapin


Enticed by Just Salad and looking for an extra student deal? Check out this Campus Clipper coupon here:

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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 NYC 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 ebooks, we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Check our website for more student savings on food and services and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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A Taste of India at Spice Lane with Student Discount

Monday, July 20th, 2015

spice6Craving a taste of Indian Food while in Union Square? Spice Lane on 3rd Ave offers great meals with affordable prices for students. They currently offer a student discount with Campus Clipper! My brother and I stopped by the restaurant for lunch and really enjoyed the experience.

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The atmosphere was fairly quiet; Indian music was playing in the background and it didn’t seem very busy. Only a few tables were occupied. But despite it not being very busy, the food was good. To start, the table was served chips with mint sauce and tamarind chutney sauce. Both sauces were extremely delicious. The mint sauce had a good kick and the tamarind chutney sauce was nice and sweet.

spice5

The waitress was really friendly and made sure our table had everything we needed. The waitress also recommended the lamb curry to me and I really liked it. The curry was just a bit spicy. And I’m very wimpy about spicy foods, so that was good! My brother ordered the chicken tikka masala, which was also really good! The spices blended well together. The chicken and lamb were so soft you could cut them with just a fork. We also ordered a side of fresh naan. If you’ve never had Indian food before, naan is their signature bread and it’s so delicious. It’s very light, fluffy, and addictive. Once you have one slice, you just want more. You can dip your bread in your sauce or just enjoy it on your own.

spice2

 

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To drink, we got the mango lassi. I’ve eaten Indian food a lot, and I’ve ordered lassi a few times. It’s this yogurt-like drink, similar to a smoothie. It was really good, very refreshing. The yogurt and mango blended well together. Some places use milk instead of yogurt because it’s cheaper. But with milk, the drink doesn’t taste as rich, filling, and creamy. But Spice Lane does use real yogurt! Their lassi was super delicious.

spice8

For desert, we got the Kheer, or rice pudding, which was light and sweet. Overall, it was a pretty good experience. And it’s pretty close to Union Square, without BEING in Union Square, so the street is peaceful. Overall, I recommend the restaurant if you want good food and a quiet night out.

A spice lane_v4

 ~By Megan Soyars

Spice Lane

aspicelanenyc.com

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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

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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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

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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Hidden Gem in Lower East Side: El Maguey Y La Tuna

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

If you are looking for a fun and authentic Mexican dining experience, look no further than El Maguey Y La Tuna, a small but festive restaurant in the lower east side. The service was great and the dishes were definitely some of the best Mexican food I have had in NYC. (I’m from Southern California where there is an abundance of good Mexican food.) I went on a Thursday night with a friend, and the welcoming hostess seated us right away.

El Maguey Y La Tuna

The waiter was helpful and let us know what was particularly good on the menu. As an appetizer we had the guacamole, which was fresh and just the right amount of spicy.  I had the Enchiladas El Maguey along with homemade Tamarind Juice (you should definitely give it a try). The mole sauce was really delicious and different from any flavor I had tried before. Out of curiosity I asked the waiter how it was made and he told me that it takes two days to blend all the spices and hours of cooking time. My friend had chicken simmered in mole sauce, which I tried a little bit of and was also very tasty. The upbeat music kept us in a good mood while we ate our food. Overall it was a enjoyable dining experience in a lively and authentic place.

 

If you’re into Mexican food you should definitely check out El Maguey Y La Tuna. The dishes there are unique and they have a large menu with many options. The portions are also very large and reasonably priced. It is the perfect place for a large get-together or party, but also simply a great place to go on the weekend to chill with a friend or two while enjoying yummy food.

Kristen Toms, New York University ’16

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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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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