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This was my first meal at Five Guys, a restaurant chain that originated in Arlington, Virginia. The whole establishment is decorated with large quotes from various publications stating how good the burgers and fries are. My expectations are already heightened the moment I walk into Five Guys.

Cindy and I both ordered the cheeseburger with different toppings that match our individual taste buds. I, of course had mine with: hot sauce, jalapeños, tomatoes, and mayo. Cindy had hers with barbecue sauce, grilled onions, lettuce, and tomato. I did not want to add too many toppings, for the fear of having a mushy burger.

The burgers tasted like a homemade burger that you would grill outside in the park. I never had a burger well done but at Five Guys, you have no choice. Well done burgers were good and had a nice flavor to it without it being extremely juicy. The cajun fries we had were heavily seasoned. I am going to order regular fries the next time I go. They were good none the less. They also had a sign up stating that their french fries are cooked in pure, no cholesterol peanut oil.

Oh, did I mention there are complimentary open boxes of roasted peanuts everywhere in the restaurant? Feel free to help yourself.

2100 88th Street
North Bergen, NJ 07047
201-662-7800

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We originally went to the Brooklyn bowl to attend the third day of the Pitchfork Offline Festival. We got really hungry and ended up eating at the place which featured some great eats. I ordered the fried catfish with corn tartar on ciabatta. The catfish was fried really well having a very crunchy exterior which complimented well with the hard texture of the ciabatta bread.

Cindy had the bbq beef with slo-roast brisket, pickles, and sweet-n-spicy gravy. The sweet and spicy gravy gave it a unique flavor which was also very good. We finished the food off with some tasty pale ales on draught.

61 Wythe Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718-963-3369

After craving for some Italian, my friend Gloria and I decided to go to Scottadito Osteria Toscana, which was located in Park Slope. It’s a very cozy Italian restaurant and perfect for dates! Service was quite attentive and the environment was very pleasant.

Gloria ordered the handmade spinach gnocci with sage and butter sauce and I ordered a dish of penne with plum tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant. All the ingredients were organic and fresh. Along with our dishes, we also ordered a couple of glasses of rosé wine (totally forgot the name but it was awesome).

I would definitely come back again next time. Perhaps for their brunch special on weekends– unlimited mimosas, champagne, and coffee! Yum.

788A Union St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 636-4800

It’s rare for me to bake because, well, I’m not that good at it. This was my first time baking cupcakes. I practically had all the ingredients for these cupcakes so I thought it would turn out very well. I took the recipe from allrecipes.com and instead of making a carrot cake, I wanted to put them in little cupcake papers.

Here is the recipe:

Original Recipe Yield 1 – 9×13 inch cake

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.
 

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 491 | Total Fat: 26.1g | Cholesterol: 74mg

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I read the comments and tweaked some things. For example, I used less vegetable oil (3/4 cup rather than 1 1/4 cups). Instead of pecans, I used this bag of soy nut trail mix I found at home (pumpkin seeds, soy nuts, raisins, etc). You don’t have to add nuts if you are not a fan.

I also used less carrots because of my lame excuse…my hands were too tired to grate anymore (I grated enough carrots for 1 1/2 cups rather than the recommended 3). After putting it in the oven for 35 minutes, I took them out and it tasted more like cupcakes with nuts rather than what a normal carrot cake would taste like. Baking just takes a lot of practice and patience and I guess I don’t have the patience. 😦 At least, they were still edible haha.

McDonald’s infamous McRib is back and I couldn’t resist the urge to purchase one this weekend. These sandwiches were first sold in the 1980’s and disappeared for a while and now they’re back only for a limited time until December 5th (my birthday :)) and who knows when it will come back.

Yes, this boneless slab of pork slathered in sweet barbecue sauce must be extremely bad for you but it’s quite delicious. I just wish it was a little cheaper (it costs $2.99 plus tax in my neighborhood). I think two of them would fill me up but that would be a sin.

After work, I decided to visit John and as usual, I didn’t have the time to grab lunch or dinner before I went. So, there is this neat catering place in his neighborhood and I got two of these items under 10 bucks!

The first one was the spicy bulgogi (Korean dish which consists of marinated beef) and the second one I picked was jap chae (Korean dish made of cellophane noodles). They were both average…I didn’t care; as long as I had food in my stomach.

It was more than enough food for me that I had leftovers. The store had a variety of Korean dishes that were fresh and wrapped on the day of. Always make sure you have cash on you…you never know when you’re going to need it.

306 Broad Ave
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
(201) 944-8716

After a day of drinking, my friend and I ventured for some Mexican food for breakfast. We entered into Cinco De Mayo way too early so we just sat at our tables thinking about all the Mexican food we were going to eat while we waited for the waitress to clock in.

We finally ordered and were treated to some beef quesadilla. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the appetizer was very good and also filled with a lot of cheese. Then came the paella which was loaded with various seafoods such as mussels, clams, tilapia, etc. Although the food was good the fish was over steamed which led to a fishier experience… which I did not want to get accustomed to.

2428 Lemoine Ave
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
201-947-4780

One of my sorority sisters, Bonnie, whom I haven’t seen in a very long time, had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Hoai Restaurant which is located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I ordered a bowl of pho. If you aren’t familiar with pho, it is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup, cooked with lots of spices and is usually garnished with bean sprouts, basil and other vegetables. The flavors weren’t that strong but it still tasted good with my beef brisket, which was cooked well done. Bonnie ordered a rice dish with beef.

What I love about living in New York City is that there are so many places that serve cheap, yet delicious food. Food here was descent and the portions were okay; even though I think I can definitely eat more than this! You get what you pay for.

8616 4th Ave.
(between 86th St & 87th St)
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 745-1640

Don’t let the name fool you. This is a Korean Chinese Fusion restaurant. They use a lot of Chinese base ingredients and mix it up with Korean spices to fit the taste buds of native Koreans. Eating at places like this brings up a lot of childhood memories. Although I did eat jjajjangmyun (noodles in black bean sauce), I did not take a picture.

The main dish I had was the jumbo shrimp ggangpoongi. The jumbo shrimp is fried and breaded with numerous amount of spices which I cannot name. It was extremely tasty and also had a soft but crunchy texture. I know I am contradicting myself but you would have to taste it to really know what I am saying.

270 Broad Ave
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
201-592-8993

So Moon Nan Jip literally means “the house everyone is taking about” or “the most popular house” in Korean. I just hoped that the restaurant lived up to its name.

I ordered the dolsot bibimbop which came in a stone pot which makes the rice on the bottom extra crunchy which I always like. My girl ordered the Yookgyejang which is a spicy beef stew. Both tasted how it should taste and also came with a assortment of side dishes. All in all, I was not disappointed. They are known for their Korean BBQ but did not have a chance to order it. Maybe next time?

238 Broad Ave.
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
201-944-3998

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