I bet most of us never realized the name of this little joint that resides inside our favorite family Korean supermarket. It’s called Namoodol! I sure never realized it until I decided to write about it. For those that have no idea what I’m talking about, this little place is a haven of inexpensively expensive Korean dishes.
Located inside H-Mart Supermarkets, it boasts some of the most delicious dishes!! My personal favorites are the Spicy Pork (Dae-Ji Bulgugi) and the Rice Cake Soups (Duk Gook). But feel free to try anything else because I’m pretty sure it won’t disappoint. The ladies that work there can be a bit rough around the edges, and very demanding and can be scary at times, but don’t worry. Just order your food and feast. You can choose to sit in and eat (no tips required and they provide you with self-serve tea/water) or you can order for take out.
Atmosphere: 4/5 (I like it there, it’s usually quiet)
Cost: $8-$12 (really good pricing for the amount of food they give!)
I really enjoy some good latin food from time to time. Pio Pio is nice, but I really hate their super loud atmosphere. In order to have a conversation in there, I need to scream on like level 10 volume. I found a place on Steinway street (in Astoria) that is a little less populated, but can still offer a pretty decent meal- at a great price. I introduce you to… Tu Casa! The place has a nice home-like atmosphere, it’s quiet, quaint and sweet. The service was great- I mean, I went on a Thursday night, so it wasn’t too crowded. There were a few tables occupied, but it was mostly quiet in there- which I actually liked.
For dinner, I ordered the Half Chicken w/ Rice and Beans, and it came with a fried egg, a huge plantain and sausage. To be quiet honest, I’ve had some better Rotisserie chicken before– but the plantain was surprisingly delicious. I usually don’t like plantains but this one wasn’t super sweet and tasted really fresh. ***BEST PART OF THE MEAL*** – it was the Empenadas! Note! DO NOT ORDER THE CHICKEN- you MUST order the beef one. The chicken one was super dry- but the beef one was amazingly delicious! I think it was the best empenada I’ve ever had, and if I could, I’d go back just to pick one up in the future.
So, there you have it. My meal at Tu Casa. Personally I don’t think I’d make another trip there in the near future. The food was decent, but nothing spectacular. I still think Pio Pio tastes better, but this place has a better atmosphere. The price is also pretty decent here. If you guys aren’t using Yelp Deals, Groupons, Scoutmob, or any other 3rd party coupon sites– YOU NEED TO START NOW!! They work wonders and you really get a great deal out of a delicious meal. I think I had a coupon for $20 worth of $40 food from Yelp– and it came in so handy. SO START NOW!
Taste: 3/5 – Decent. nothing SPECTACULAR…
Yes, I’m doing it. Little Lamb (Shiao Fei Yun) Posting about the best hotpot place in all of Flushing. It’s a bittersweet type of place. The soup is simply amazing– so amazing that you won’t even need any of the extra sauces they provide. What is HOT POT? Well, it’s a style of eating where you purchase all the food raw, and throw it into a “hot pot” and boil, stir, and eat! It’s a fun way to keep warm in the winter. The soup is really what makes the food stand out.. and at Little Lamb… the soup outshines every other hotpot joint on the face of the world. HOWEVER, the service is pretty horrific. Having been to this place about 2-3 times, every single time I went, I was faced with rude and neglectful waiters and super slow service and disorganization… but I (and everyone else) STILL keep going back. … WHY!!! Because if you’ve ever tried the soup, YOU WOULD TOO!!!!
The place is pretty well decorated. Not super tacky and strange looking. It’s got a little lamb as it’s mascot and boasts the best herbal soup you’ve ever tasted. It’s actually totally Chinese– meaning most of the menu is in Chinese so if you can’t read it… you have to write your orders in English in the back of the paper. I got laughed at the first time I went there because I couldn’t speak/read Chinese. I was very offended. But I still went back. This is a sick cycle.
So here are a few tips if you decide to check the place out.
#1- bring a friend that can read chinese, OR a friend who goes to HotPot often (like me),
#2- prepare yourself, make sure you’re hungry
#3- bring money, because things can get pricey
#4- go in a group, it’s easier to split the bill and eat a larger variety of dishes
#5- always allow the soup to boil first, when it finishes the first time, make sure you fill your bowl with the soup because after you start putting in meats and other things into the soup to boil, the soup becomes oily and thick.
My recommendations is that you MUST order the HERBAL SOUP. You can always do a half/half pot, one herbal soup side and one spicy mala side. But I would just stick with Herbal to start. They start you with a combo that gives you a dish of veggies/random things and a side of beef.. but I would also try the lamb, fishballs (with beef filling), the regular fish balls, the rice cakes and anything else that would interest you. You can create your own sauces in the back of the restaurant (but I think it’ll be unnecessary since the soup will out do everything.
Atmosphere: 1 – I hate the service. Enough said.
Cost: $30-60/person (really depends on how hungry you are, and how much you order, but at the base rate of getting full, it starts at $30)
Back in the Fall, when the weather was nicer, my friend and I spent the day running errands, and when we got hungry, we realized we were at the lower East side. Yelping up a place, we found “Cocoron- Soba”. Cocoron means “heart-warming” in Japanese. It’s located at 61 Delancey St
(between Eldridge St & Allen St).
If you guys read from my previous post, I was never really a huge fan of Japanese food, and Soba definitely wasn’t something I craved, but I decided to give this place a chance. It was packed. Honestly, the place is probably 50×50 square feet, with a bar that sat about 8 people and maybe four other 2 seaters squished at the side. The restroom was probably 1.5x.1.5 square foot, and it was VERY CRAMP. But, none the less, they were able to dazzle me with amazing, amazing soba. I ordered the Tsukemen Soba (dipping soba– they have a simliar dish for ramen) The soup is kept separate from the soba so when you’re ready to dunk your cold soba noodles into the soup, you can do so at your own pace. This keeps the noodles firm and bouncy. It was delicious, rich and so, so tasty! I ordered the “Stamina Dip Soba” which is pretty much the pork-based broth soba combination. It was so delicious even drinking the soup was an option!
Atmosphere: .5/5 TOO CROWDED. Don’t even bother going with 3+ people. You’ll never get a seat. I went during lunchtime and it was already insane, if you went there for dinner, I’m sure the waits would be like…. hours.
On my way to a Phil Wickham & Shane & Shane concert, we stopped at Mitsuwa to get some Ramen & other snacks. Mitsuwa is probably one of the best places to get the most authentic Japanese food (besides St. Marks). Anyway, it’s not really a place you’d venture to if you live in the city (because why would you? You’d just end up going to St Marks! Ha!) BUT, if you live in Queens, Jersey, Staten Island, Brooklyn…. I suggest checking Mitsuwa out. My friends seem to love it so much that they go there every other week… haha. Inside Mitsuwa, consists mostly as a supermarket, with a few bakeries and restaurants on the side. Every year they have Japanese festivals as well and they bring the “taste of Japan” to the Jersey shores.
Anyway, here are some of my favorite spots inside the “largest Japanese supermarket in the US” (according to their website, haha)
First we have my ULTIMATE snack, a custard bun. It’s a delicate blend of salty dough stuffed with an amazing warm creme filling. This is my favorite part of Mitsuwa– and the only reason you can get me to go. Everytime my friends pass by, I always order a custard bun!!
Now onto the real food…this is the Ramen shop we got our food at:
This is Alan’s dish. He got some type of rice with an omelet and fried pork (?) and a side of soba noodles (cold buckwheat noodles- one of my not-favorite foods) He looks quite happy to be eating.
This is my dish. It is a toriniku-ramen, and a half shredded beef dish (shared with Jed). The noodles in the ramen are delicious, bounces in your mouth and sturdy- I personally hate soggy noodles, so this one is solid. My only complain on this dish is that it was super-super- salty. Some may say,” well that’s RAMEN”- — ehh but I disagree. It was so salty that I had to pour a cup of water into the soup it make it a bit more edible… but overall, it’s good stuff. I used to hate Japanese food. Used to never liked Ramen and I (even now) cannot stomach any sashimi. I even hated it when I studied abroad in Japan, and all I hate was pork over rice. But more and more I have been seeing that Japanese food is really amazing.. it’s growing more and more on me.
To kill some, we decided to check out the Japanese Bookstore across the street, and of course the boys were happily distracted by these puzzle-shape-animal-japanese toys. Basically it’s like lego’s but a little more intricate. They all bought their own animal and built them. Mine is the panda
Aren’t they cute? Spot my custard bun, someone!
I also really love their green-tea and black sesame ice cream that they sell there as well. So many wonderful treasures you can find at this supermarket, so if you get a chance, check it out!
Atmosphere: 2.3/5 can be EXTREMELY crowded, especially during the “festival” seasons. painful to find seating sometimes. but they do offer free tea/lemon water.