Posts Tagged ‘Cheap Eats’

Giving Back: Starting from Home

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

So you kept reading eh? Expecting me to list the best organizations that will help you change the world? Think I’m going to start with some statistic that is going to make you feel on fire for Cambodia? Well I’m not. Yes it is true that according to Compassion International for only $1.25 a day you could supply food, clean water, medical care, and education to a child in need, but I won’t bombard you with these facts, at least not right now.

Instead, let’s start from home. No really, start at home! Contrary to popular belief, we are not created to be alone. Independence will only get you so far in life. Yes, you can go out and get a job, stand out among the rest and work your way up the ladder, but in order to be truly successful you need community. Growing up you needed someone to guide you, but now that you’re an “adult”, you need friends to hold you accountable to your goals, build you up, and simply laugh with. Because of the mutual love and comfort you find in each other, these relationships cannot flourish without sacrifice.

So what better way to begin this journey of “giving back” than starting from home? You can’t learn to serve those around the world and strangers on the street until you learn to serve those you love (and sometimes can’t stand).

Here are some simple suggestions that will surely show you care:

  1. Give Housework Help
    When you live with someone, you start picking up on their “telltale signs” of a good or bad day. You can feel their emotions vibrate through the floorboards into your room. You just know. So on those days when their door is shutting you out, or they burst through yours crying about the stresses of a new job, give a helping hand. After sitting with them listening to their cries, and affirming that, “Yes, your boss is a jerk, no, they don’t deserve you”, take a moment to think of how you can help. Maybe the dishes are piling up and it’s their day to do them. Follow the Nike cliché and “just do it”. They may or may not notice, but that’s not the point. The point is you showed a little love to the person you spend every day with.
  2. Bring Friends Food
    Why do people say, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” when we all know it’s actually pizza, or that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, when in reality the stomach is the key to every person’s soul? Sure we’re all poor students, but if just a few extra bucks can make your roommate’s whole day, why not “just do it”? I noticed the importance of this the other week when I ordered some Thai food to be delivered to my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn. I didn’t realize the portions would be so large, and there was no way I was gunna carry that back to Jersey. I offhandedly offered it to my friend and her eyes widened as she responded, “YES! That will be my lunch for tomorrow.” Finally I realized the importance of food to us struggling younglings in the city. So the next time you order from seamless.com or browse through all the meal coupons on the Campus Clipper, keep your friends in mind!

    If your roommate ever snaps at you, check around the room for a coupon...or unopened bag of chips...

  3. Being Sick Sucks
    Let’s just stop and contemplate all the places you touch on a daily basis. Just thinking about the subway alone is enough to make me gag. In the fast-paced rush of the city, we just don’t have time to get sick! Most of the time we don’t even have a chance to sit down to eat a healthy meal. Yet every winter we put off our flu shots and brave the cold. Even if you don’t catch anything, there’s a chance that one of your roommates will. Before you routinely run out the door, take a moment to check on the people you live with. More likely than not they don’t actually need anything, but knowing that someone is willing to take care of them is comfort enough. Maybe you’re not much of a cook, but opening a can of soup and popping it in the microwave can be exhausting for someone who’s sick with the flu. Doing this will only take two minutes, but showing that you care makes the heart happy, and healthy.
  4. Show Active Appreciation
    Hopefully, you live with someone who helps keep the place clean, or gives you a text while waiting in line at Starbucks asking what you want. (If not, maybe you could just slide this article underneath their door). Regardless, the most important component of keeping a relationship strong is the act of showing appreciation. So when they sacrifice for you don’t just say “thank you”. Verbally express appreciation for your roomie. It doesn’t need to be a sob fest, unless that’s what they need, (refer back to the girl in tip 1), but showing appreciation for each other will help calm those inevitable crazy days that come with a shared living space.

 

Sometimes all you need in a city full of pushy grimacing faces is a strong and joyful relationship with your house buds. But as I stated before, the act of helping only begins here. Now we continue onto serving outside.

 

If my short snippet about Compassion International did in fact interest you, you can find more information here: http://www.compassion.com

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Samantha Bringas

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Defining who you want to be in a commodity-fetishizing society

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

In life, we are forced to make sacrifices. We do things we don’t necessarily want to do because we have to do them. What are some things you do because you feel like you have to?

Some actions, like earning money to pay for shelter and food, are necessary in order to achieve and sustain a comfortable lifestyle. But think about it: beyond this, not much is necessary. So why do we often feel like we’re lacking something, even if our most basic needs are fulfilled?

I believe that this constant drive to do more and be more is a result of the ideological apparatus of our society, which the mass media and we ourselves are agents of.

Tyler Durden from Fight Club may have captured it best when he said:

“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”

Eccentric philosopher Slavoj Žižek has applied psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s frameworks to cultural and ideological analysis. Žižek is one of many thinkers who have argued that the dominant ideology in modern society conditions us to rationalize, idealize, and endorse certain actions and ideas without even realizing it.

Slavoj tellin' it like it is.

For example, people often ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

From an early age, without even realizing it, we push kids to define their future selves in terms of the type of work they see themselves doing. “An all-around nice person” is usually not the type of answer we seek when asking this question.

As subjects in a given society, we are conditioned from childhood to allow the dominant ideology to shape our innermost values and desires. We are taught to define ourselves according to certain standards which we usually consent to and perpetuate without even realizing it.

In effect, we often find ourselves inadvertently supporting the powers-that-be through things we do and say every single day.

When we are faced with one of life’s many obstacles which prevent us from realizing a goal, it’s not uncommon to have an emotional breakdown and feel like it’s all our fault, rather than realizing that society has taught us to fetishize certain things that despite the advertisements for these products and experiences telling us otherwise, cannot actually rectify our inherent emptiness.

Given this seemingly untenable situation, what is to be done for those of us who still manage to dream about living up to standards that we consciously define? I believe that, to an extent, we can try to reclaim our agency and become self-defining subjects.

But how do we do this?

The first step is to become conscious of those things you do out of compulsion because you’re told that it’s the “right thing to do.” Demarcate the border between these actions and those things you actually value and want to do and have.

Michel Foucault was a scholar who challenged taken-for-granted conceptions of power and "normality" through his histories of prisons, biopolitics, and sexuality, among other topics.

“But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?” — Michel Foucault

Treat your life as a work of art–pick and choose the qualities you would like to embody, and start doing just that. Realize that some of the ideas that you value and perpetuate in your daily life may have been influenced by societal forces, and weed them out with a vengeance if they do not serve you. Constantly strive to become someone you would admire. Transcend societal-imposed standards to the fullest extent possible, and begin living on your own terms.

Now that we’ve laid out the problem that we’re dealing with (as I see it), the rest of a book will be a guide to living up to our conscious, self-defined values and standards in a stupor-enducing culture.

 

Amanda Fox-Rouch (Hunter College)

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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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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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Sweet Asian Fusion at Just Sweet Dessert House

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

One banana. One Twinkie. Whipped cream. All stuffed in a sweet, buttery crepe and smothered in Nutella. This, my friends, is the Heart Breaker. A swirl of creamy vanilla, chocolate hazelnut, and fresh banana in one bite—your heart might actually break, and this is just dessert.

Just Sweet Dessert House, a few blocks away from Union Square and only a few steps away from both New School and NYU dorms, is located on the corner of 12th Street and 3rd Ave. Adorned with bright and colorful letters spelling out “Just Sweet,” Just Sweet Dessert House stands out among the various surrounding shops. With roomy outdoor seating, a prime spot in Manhattan’s East Village, and a collaborative menu filled with Asian infused dishes ranging from savory dumplings to sweet crepes, Just Sweet Dessert House is a great spot to sit and have a bite or grab a bubble tea on the go!

I took my trip to the “house” after a long day of classes, no sleep, and no lunch. I made my way to the lovely east end of downtown Manhattan and was greeted with the friendly faces of Just Sweet’s staff. I was quickly handed a menu, seated, and greeted by my server. There was no waiting and no being ignored. As I looked over a fairly large dessert menu and a lunch menu with at least fifteen options to choose from, I glanced around the restaurant. Fun music was playing at an appropriate volume, and the interior was just as bright and energetic as the signs outside. In addition, there was a wide range of people dining: a student working on her laptop, a young girl, still in her school uniform, accompanied by her mother, and a group of twenty somethings sipping on ice cold bubble tea.
“It’s interesting; I see a lot of personality here. Plus NYU basically embodies diversity. I meet folks from all walks of life,” said William Wong, owner of Just Sweet, as he sat at my table for a brief Q&A. And it’s true; Just Sweet seems to meet the needs of just about everyone.

I continued to look down at my menu. . . my dessert menu. While I needed real food, I couldn’t help but look at all of the delectable dessert options—crepes, ice cream, pancakes, and the well-known Korean-style shaved ice, an item featured on the Cooking Channel program hosted by Kelsey Nixon, a finalist in season four of the Next Food Network Star. So I started with bubble tea while I continued to decide on my lunch. I ordered a Mango Peach tea and my friend joining me for lunch ordered the classic Thai iced tea. Both drinks came out great. The tapioca was firm and not falling apart, the flavors blended perfectly and the iced tea wasn’t too strong, but tasty and refreshing. In fact, the owner buys fresh tea leaves for his beverages, so refreshing is an understatement. Even better, the drinks came in cute glass mason jars, a final glimpse of the season as summer begins to fade.

Finally we ordered our food: scallion pancakes, pork and shrimp dumplings, and for dessert, the Heart Breaker crepe. Everything came out in a timely fashion. The pancakes seemed to be made out of phyllo dough and were crisped and covered in scallions. They were precut, so the dish was perfect for sharing, and were matched with a light curry sauce, which was not terribly spicy, but a nice flavorful and cultural addition to add to the classic Korean dish. Then came the dumplings, recommended by the owner himself. The dumplings are homemade, and boy, you can tell. The dough was fresh and thick to hold in the mixture of pork and shrimp. Everything was so filling that by the end of the meal, my companion and I weren’t sure if we could handle the Heart Breaker, dreamed up by the owner’s love of Twinkies growing up. But we endured, and while we couldn’t finish the entire plate, we did our best to indulge on a dish made for the ultimate sweet tooth. We were stuffed and happy.

Just Sweet Dessert House is a friendly, inexpensive, quaint Korean-American restaurant that has a lot to offer. They even take NYU Campus Cash! Upon leaving, everyone waved us goodbye and never stopped smiling. The atmosphere was relaxed and the food was great. While I may have to wait a couple weeks to try another Heart Breaker, there’s a full menu of desserts waiting to be tasted, and on another stressful day of school and work, a nice place to sit and a tasty dessert is just what I need.

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

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Bareburger

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

New York might well be one of the best places in the world for food. The City has been the gateway to the USA for over a century with over a third of all Americans able to trace their ancestry through Ellis Island, and with such an astonishing mix of races and peoples from all over the world, diversity is the watchword in NYC. It’s no surprise that all these peoples kept their local cuisines going – many of them have managed to keep whole languages going!

With so much choice in food in New York, it can be hard keeping track of it all. You would certainly be forgiven for thinking that Pizza was devised here, the way it has taken hold… But the only, really, truly American food, has to be the humble hamburger, which like so much of US culture, seems to have gone on to dominate the World! Like all food that has found its way to New York, it seems to be popular, and there are now so many interesting hamburger restaurants and joints, and variations on the concept it can be impressive, if not rather overwhelming.

I had the pleasure recently to try one of the newest and more rapidly developing restaurants selling their own version of this timeless classic, Bareburger. After an initial start in Brooklyn, this small but rather excellent little chain is now franchising across the city. I had the pleasure of trying it at 85 2nd Ave along with my better half; Bottom Line Up Front: Tasty burger. Do you need to know more?

The restaurant itself is on a fairly quiet corner, a few blocks down from St Marks. It is a really bright space, decorated with a slight, modern twist on classic rural Americana – though the fork chandelier made me feel slightly wary! The service was quick, pleasant and very knowledgeable. The hamburgers themselves are close to a design-your-own set up, where you can specify the meat and the bun with selections including Beef, Turkey, Elk, Boar, Portabella Mushroom, Brioche Bun, Lettuce Wrap, Wheat Flour Wrap or a Multi-Grain Roll. Wanting to get the best comparison, I took a classic beef/roll combo, but I’ll have to return to try the Elk now…

A Classic American Feast!

Aside from the content, there is also the style to consider, with a further fourteen menu choices for your burger. I took the ‘Supreme’, while my date went for the Maple Bacon Cheeseburger. We were not disappointed at all. The presentation was really excellent and both burgers were juicy, tasty and different enough that we could be certain Bareburger has its own signature and style. The food came in the classic basket, with a simple bu t very effective selection of sides – we took the onion rings and fries. Even the beverages were organic, and my blueberry soda went really well with the whole meal, that unusual, organic edge of a healthy drink (without being so-called ‘health food’) perfectly complimenting the natural food.

Food Goes in Here

You do not get hamburgers in the UK like you do in New York, and I love them. I have a running list in my head of the top 5 places, but it just doesn’t seem like enough (or even reasonable to try and rank them!), and now I have another one to juggle in there. Bareburger has nine (soon to be ten) outlets across the City. If you like your hamburgers, if you like to support good organic food, and particularly if both, you need to check them out. We have a student discount coupon for you right here!

Dan
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Tasty! Cheap! Fast! Japanese food on St. Marks!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Oh! Taisho skewers

What’s your experience with Japanese cuisine? When asked, many people mention eating sushi at least once, ramen more than once, and some are even familiar with Hibachi, the practice of stylishly cooking a number of different foods in front of the customer for his or her immediate consumption. However, mention foods like yakitori and onigiri and most people are clueless about the tastes of these unique Japanese foods. Fortunately, there are many cheap and delicious places in the East Village to sample these cuisines. In this article I’ll introduce you to a few favorites of mine, all on the same block on St. Marks Place between 3rd Avenue and Astor Place.

First is a spot called Oh! Taisho at 9 St. Marks Place. Though usually crowded and quite noisy, the food is yummy, cheap, and just plain fun to eat. The yakitori, skewers of meat, fish, veggies or even eggs, are the big draw, and for the most part under $2. The chicken skin yakitori is great, but don’t think you have to stick with meat if you’re looking for flavor. The grilled green pepper and garlic skewers are just as good, as are the onigiri (rice balls) with savory fillings like pickled plum. The sweet and sour pork over rice, avocado, and tuna salad are great dishes as well, the former simply plated in a giant bowl while the latter is arranged beautifully on a square dish. Variety is the keyword at Oh! Taisho, and other typical Japanese foods like udon soup as well as side dishes like french fries with creamy sauce are available.

Udon West, a small restaurant named for it’s variety of soups with thick noodles, or “udon,” is right next door to Oh! Taisho at 11 St. Marks Place. Udon West is usually much quieter than most of the St. Marks eateries, and dining space is limited. However, this small shop usually has seats available, most of them stools right in front of where the chefs cook. The udon broth is flavorful and comes with a variety of different toppings, including vegetables, many of which are tempura-style (deep fried). The curry here, though, is my favorite. Thick and flavorful, the sauce is eaten with plain white rice using a spoon. The dish is very satisfying; the optional croquette, chicken katsu, or shrimp tempura on the side are welcome additions, but for me the curry is more than enough on its own. On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself riding into the city just to pick up some of Udon West’s amazing curry.

Kenka at night

Kenka is by far the most interesting restaurant on St. Marks and also the noisiest. The sign boasts delicious, cheap, and fast food, an awesome combo seemingly emphasized by the silly drawing to the left. Those who can’t read Japanese characters can spot this eatery by the giant tanuki, or racoon-dog, to the right of the shop’s doors. Also, Kenka usually has a large queue of people waiting outside for a seat on any night of the week. Don’t be deterred; Kenka’s seating is kind of uncomfortable so the turnover rate is pretty quick. What it lacks in comfort, though, Kenka makes up in decor and food. Entering the shop, you’d think you just walked onto the set of a low-budget yakuza flick, and the menu design matches the restaurant’s kitschy interior. Many of the items on the menu are fried, grilled, or come dressed with creamy mayo and tangy barbeque sauce. Sashimi is available here, but so are onigiri, a savory pancake-like dish called okanamiyaki, and more atypical dishes like skewered frog. Kenka also has much of what you’d find at Oh! Taisho, but if you’re looking for much larger selection, as well as sushi, visit Kenka. As a bonus, at the end of your meal your server will give you a small plastic cup filled with sugar to make your own cotton candy. The machine is outside the shop. Simply switch it on, pour in the sugar, and swirl a chopstick inside the basin to gather your candy. Fun way to end a meal, huh?

Don’t let your experience with Japanese cuisine end here, as there many places throughout the city offering a wide variety of traditional and modern Japanese food. Places like Monster sushi serve more familiar food, but in a fun atmosphere like Kenka.

Evelyn Oluwole

Image Credit: Clicktrips, mightysweet.com

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MONSTER SUSHI_BABY

MONSTER SUSHI_BABY

07-Kenka-restaurant

07-Kenka-restaurant

Kenka

taisho-skewers

taisho-skewers

Kenka sign

Kenka sign

Kenka's Sign

07-Kenka-restaurant

07-Kenka-restaurant

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MAN TESTED, LADY APPROVED

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Agreeing on a flick for a night at home shouldn’t be a terribly difficult decision for most couples, but sometimes a girl needs a little warm and fuzzy happy ending romantic comedy and no amount of rhetoric can make a guy settle down to some tear filled giggles. Then, there are the guys who agree to a chick flick and suffer through ninety minutes of watch checking and sighing, waiting to cash in their newly earned brownie points. Ladies, take it easy on them, and especially with Valentine’s Day around the corner.

Here’s a list of chick flicks, man tested, ladies approve:

Knocked Up: It’s criminal to have never seen this flick, or not to find it a source of quotable, comedic material. Seth Rogan and Katherine Heigl play a pair whose one night stand ends in conception and begins a whirl wind relationship where, like their child, everything is unplanned. Warning: may temporarily kill libido, best watched with committed partner.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Guys, don’t write this one off just because it’s got Audrey Hepburn in it. This is a staple in everyone’s film diet, and should not be ignored due to media attention and age. Nothing blows up, but this Truman Capote adaptation involves two escorts, Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak, jaded and living in New York, avoiding love and trying to make it. The score is amazing, and once you hear it, you’ll notice it popping up everywhere, even in Minority Report. If you have to choose between Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Casablanca, for a movie night, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the more lighthearted choice.

Going the Distance: Don’t let the cover deceive you! The case for this flick looks like a made for TV movie, but it’s nothing if not brilliant. This star studded cast includes Drew Barrymore (on her A game), Justin Long, Charlie Day (Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Jason Sudeikis (30 Rock), Christina Applegate, & Jim Gaffigan. Barrymore and Long play a couple attempting a long distance relationship from New York to San Francisco. While the plot is easily identifiable, the candid conversations will keep you, and your beau, stifling laughter so you can hear the next line. I would easily label this as the best romantic comedy of 2010, hands down.

When Harry Met Sally: This is another must see for all movie goers. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll recognize a lot of other films imitating this one, monumental chick flick. From writer Nora Ephron (You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Julie & Julia, etc), the queen of romantic comedies, is the story of a twenty year friendship that tackles the crux: can men and women be just friends? Be wary of the debates this will bring up, as it’s known to cause an argument or twenty, but if you take it with a grain of salt, this one is sure to keep you giggling.

Life as We Know it: This Katherine Heigl film takes off in the comedic department where Knocked Up left off. An unlikely pair are given custody of their mutual friend’s child after the couple passes away and they struggle to find where they fit into their new lives. This one is smart, funny, and on the girlier side, so choose wisely. Ladies, be prepared to shed a few tears in front of your movie partner.

If you and your other half are tight on cash, why not pick up some take out and rent a movie for Valentine’s Day? Keep things light, funny, and romantic with one of the choices above, and take it easy on the fiscal expectations.

Written by Ashley Teal, Campus Clipper Blogger

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Cheap Eats Vegan

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

written by Christina Roylance

Think being a vegetarian means expensive specialty restaurants, and lots of drama when you go out to dinner with friends? Do you feel that you’ll have to be the most finicky customer of all time and waiters will hate you? This could not be further from the truth.  Living in NYC is getting easier and more enjoyable every day to be a vegetarian or vegan.  There’s tons of options, and you don’t need to drag everyone to your all-veg restaurants; there are simple ways to get cheap awesome vegetarian food by being knowledgeable about good places and keeping a few things in mind.
NYC is a mecca of different cultures and backgrounds. Ethnic foods abound in the city, and there’s often cheap, local places for whatever foreign flavor you want–Indian, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, whatever.  Many of these cuisines are sensitive to vegetarians, and can easily be requested vegan, as long as you know what to ask for.

Middle Eastern food is a great resource for vegetarians.  Falafels are cheap, vegetarian fast food sandwiches: deep fried tahini balls with hummus and veggies!  It’s a great, simple, yet filling option.  Aldiwan Lebanese restaurant is located on A if you want a sit-down Middle Eastern dinner.  It also has a great selection of vegetarian appetizers, as well as a tasty vegetarian Mousaka entrée that’s big enough for two.

At lunchtime, there’s always Indian food all-you-can-eat buffets for cheap.  Indian Taj on Bleeker has a $10 deal that’s even cheaper with a Campus Clipper Coupon.  Indian food is hearty and flavorful, and you can just ask the servers which dishes do not have any meat or cheese.  These buffets are usually huge, so there’s bound to be a selection of vegetarian things to eat.

Thai food is a personal favorite of mine.  Entrées tend to be large so you can cut the cost by splitting dishes.  There are always a great deal of vegetarian options, but just ask if there are any eggs in the dish and it’s easy enough for you to be accommodated.  Boyd Thai on Thompson has great vegetarian options, and vegan treats and desserts available as well!

Mexican cuisine is great because if that’s what you’re craving, you can either get fast and cheap take-out style places or sit down to dinner.  Vegetarian and vegan burritos are easy since you often custom order them.  With rice, beans, veggies, and guacamole, (and cheese and sour cream if you’re not a vegan) a vegetarian burrito is filling and quick.  Try grabbing one from Burritoville, and use your Campus Clipper Coupon to save $1.

Surprisingly, lots of sushi restaurants can accommodate vegetarians as well, with veggie filled sushi rolls. It is important to make sure the restaurant doesn’t use fish sauces or oils in the preparation though if you’re a strict vegetarian.  Sushi Yawa on 8th street has tons of vegetable rolls (cucumber, avocado, sweet potato, spinach, and more!), and a bunch of vegetarian appetizers as well.  Plus, everyone I know loves sushi, so non-veg friends will be happy to accompany you.

Italian food is everyone’s favorite–who doesn’t love pasta?  It just takes a few easy questions when ordering your pasta dish to know if it’s vegetarian or vegan.  Just ask if there’s meat in the sauce, request no parmesan, and ask for your food cooked with olive oil instead of butter.  Most dishes are prepared that way already, but if you just check it should be easy to make any changes.  Grotta Azzurra in Little Italy has an affordable $10 prix fixe for lunch, as well as a Thursday night ladies night, with free appetizers and half-off on drinks!

So just because you’re vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean eating out has to be boring or expensive!  You can still eat your favorite things; just be a little conscientious and ask the right questions.  You don’t have to miss out on any great deals or fun nights out just because you have different dietary needs.  So remember to use Campus Clipper coupons to get the best deals, and be sure to experiment and have fun.

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VegEats! A Rationale

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

The poster for the wonderful documentary by Robert Kenner - a must-see!

VegEats is a Campus Clipper column where we discuss the benefits of vegan/vegetarian-friendly eating in New York City and find ways for students to eat healthy and be environmentally friendly with their food while still saving money.

I want to share with you why I went veg. I am not trying to tell you to make the same choice. But most students who move to New York City encounter a much larger number of vegetarians and vegans than they have before, and I want to offer an idea of why someone might have chosen this diet/lifestyle. And for those of you who might be considering going veg, I hope to give you some things to consider and some advice. I went veg because I researched and educated myself about how eating animals and animal byproducts affected my health, the health of the planet, and the life of the animals. What I learned upset me and made me not want to use my money to support a system that has so many negative consequences. (If you would like to educate yourself, there are a abundance of resources online. I would personally recommend the site goveg.com, as well as other resources like Robert Kenner’s excellent 2008 documentary Food, Inc.)

But I think the reason I was successful in going veg and have felt so good about the decision is I didn’t make any changes too quickly and allowed myself to work at my own timeline. There’s a term in psychology, cognitive dissonance, which means the uncomfortable feeling you get by trying to maintain two contradictory ideas simultaneously. I was brought up, like many others, believing it’s okay to eat animals. But as I learned more about the consequences of this action, I increasingly found reasons why it wasn’t. Over time, months and months, my discomfort grew so that when I ate meat or cheese or eggs, I didn’t feel good about it. The food didn’t seem satisfying anymore.

Even once I decided to actually change my diet, I did it in baby steps: I gave up red meat, then waited a few months, then gave up turkey, then waited; and when I began to consider veganism, I went on “practice runs” every few months for over a year, adopting a complete vegan diet for longer and longer periods of time. During both of these process’, I was careful to note what cravings I had and what foods assuaged them. For example, when I went vegetarian, I kept a jar of crunchy peanut butter within reach at all times – I even had one under my bed with a spoon! Whenever I was feeling sluggish or craving a cheeseburger, I ate a big scoop of crunchy PB. Almost immediately I trained my body to crave peanuts when it needed protein instead of meat; it’s amazing how quickly and easily the body will adapt to changes we make as long as we are attentive to it and make sure it gets what it needs.

I paid attention to how hungry or not hungry I felt, my energy levels, how well I was sleeping, my mood, everything. Diet is probably one of the easiest ways to change your whole life, for better or worse; making huge sudden changes and expecting your body to immediately adjust is a recipe for disaster. By the time I was fully vegetarian and fully vegan, I no longer had any craving for those foods – I knew what my body could use to replace them, and I liked being able to eat food that was not only delicious but good for me, animals, and the planet.

If you are interested in going vegetarian or vegan, that’s great – I’ll have more advice about that in future posts. But even if you’re not, college is an important time for your diet. For many of us, this is the first time we’re deciding what’s for dinner, and that’s actually a really important decision. The quality and quantity of food you put into your body affects you physically and in a multitude of other ways – underestimating the importance of a healthy diet is a huge mistake too many students make. Please research your food – where does it come from, how is it prepared, what nutrients, fats, and calories does it contain, and how will these properties affect you. Knowledge is power, so do what you came to college to do: learn.

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