Monthly Archives: March 2013

Ramen and dumplings from “Bob & Jo Truck”

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“Bob & Jo” is one of my absolute favorite food trucks in the city, as readers will recall of my first article about their traveling Korean BBQ truck. I’ve been a regular customer of theirs for some time now, and was aware of their catering menu that included items like bulgogi hot dogs and galbi hamburgers, but they have never been available to street shoppers. While I enjoyed the menu from “Bob & Jo”, even I need some change.

I was excited to see their winter and spring menu a few months back introduce some new items into the mix, specifically their ramen and dumplings. How does this compare against their usual fare? Let’s find out!
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Carnitas Tacos from “Dos Caminos”

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Hard to believe that I have yet to review a proper Mexican place, despite doing articles about tacos. We have seen tacos with a Korean influence and Japanese tastes, but nothing more authentic yet, or something close to that. I think we can safely consider “Dos Caminos” to be that classic Mexican dining experience, with a modern upgrade.

“Dos Caminos” is from the BR Guest Hospitality family of upscale restaurants, which also includes “Blue FIn”, “Ruby Foos”, and “Strip House”. While it is technically a franchise, it’s small enough to qualify for a review (just don’t ever expect one of “Olive Garden” on this site). Most of the “tradition” from this place would be the base ingredients and concepts, and while this is not Tacos Nouveau (imagine a deconstructed burrito… the horror), these are dishes adapted for an American palate.
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Crispy Carrot Bar from “Vosges Haut-Chocolat”

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Originating out of Chicago, “Vosges Haut-Chocolate” has been selling their “chocolate experience” since 1998. Founded by Katrina Markoff, a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute in France, hers is a story of success that can teach all entrepreneurs a lesson. Starting off with $15,000 and making chocolates in her home, she has since expanded to a national business that brings in millions a year, making unique flavor combinations that few other chocolatiers were daring enough to make. The big idea – travel the world through chocolate.

But this site is not about business, we are about two things – crushing pretentiousness in food, and eating. Lots of eating. Checking out the Vosges website, it was quick to see that I could accomplish both of those things in one post. Seriously, the “About” page makes my brain numb. But pretentiousness aside, I absolutely appreciate Katrina’s concept, and I was curious to taste what this 15 year-old business could offer. Today, we are looking at what is easily one of the tamer flavor concoctions from the company, the Crispy Carrot Bar.
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Schnitzel and Pretzels from “Doma Na Rohu”

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Originally a small restaurant on West 4th and Perry St., “Doma Na Rohu” has nestled itself into one of those peculiar half-street spots on Morton St. and 7th Avenue. The eatery, which translates to “home on a corner” from the Slovak language, is an eclectic traditional menu featuring items from Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Large windows allow plenty of natural light to envelop this cozy European restaurant, that features a board game night, live music, and plenty of other family-friendly events. The interior feels like a small family-owned German restaurant, with ye olde German illustrations hanging on the wall and vintage-looking furniture. Known for their variety of sausages, I came with something else in my mind – schnitzel.
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Pizza and Pasta from “Pizza Mezzaluna”

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“Pizza Mezzaluna” has just celebrated its fourth anniversary of being in business on Houston Street in New York City. Located conveniently next to an Italian butcher shop, this quaint Neopolitan restaurant features a brick-oven in the front of the store for the most authentic pizzeria experience possible. Augmented by a selection of fresh pastas, owners (and husband and wife) Francesco Vitale and Lili Chu have created an experience that feels equally as authentic as their food.

With a marble-top bar by the ovens and a small but cozy seating arrangements, highlighted by actual “mezza luna” cutters hanging all over the walls, “Pizza Mezzaluna” has been reviewed by others as flying under the radar. I can attest to this, as I have come back many times after this review (spoiler alert) and have never seen the place too crowded. This is a tragedy, as you will read, since this might be one of the area’s best kept secrets in such a busy restaurant area.
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Homemade Oreo from “Westville”

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Oreo cookies are not just for hungry kids looking for an after-school snack or nostalgic adults wishing they were back in school. It’s safe to say that the Oreo cookie is a perfect food, from its pleasing shape to balance of chocolate cookie and cream filling.

“Westville”, which initially opened in 2003 and has since expanded to multiple spots in NYC, has been offering its own take on the Oreo for some time now, and as much as I did my best to practice self-restraint, I was forced to give into deliciousness.
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Japan meets Mexico at “Domo Taco” Truck

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Taco trucks were one of the earliest forms of culinary vehicles in most states to have them, and variations on the classic formula are now just as plentiful as the popular Mexican standby. Last time, we took a look at a Korean taco truck, “Kimchi Taco“, and today we continue into the world of Asian tacos with “Domo Taco”.

With its lime green truck and adorable batter-fried mascot adorning the sides, “Domo Taco” stands out on the streets that it parks on, and offers a taste from different parts of the East, mostly Japan but with a small Chinese and Thai influence too. I have had tacos from this truck plenty of times before, and was always surprised when I read mediocre reviews about the place, so it is time for Blowtorch Pudding to either set things straight, or figure out why my peers were not as into “Domo Taco” as I am.
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Soup and Sandwich from “Snack” in SoHo

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… And that is the end of my alliterations for this review, I promise. Tucked away on Thompson street (I lied about the alliterations), “Snack” is a cozy hideaway that would be barely noticeable if not for the yellow sign swinging overhead.

“Snack” is also notable for a pretty big vegetarian menu. In fact, the majority of the menu is ovo-lacto vegetarian friendly, so as long as you are not like the lady sitting next to me that was gluten-free, carb-free, and all-around pain in the ass, there is something for everyone! Be it there impressive omelette bar or traditional Greek pies, or array of dips, “Snack” is a hot-spot for lunch and dinner in the SoHo area, and my first trip there would be the average businessperson meal of soup and a sandwich.
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Korean BBQ from “Bob & Jo” Truck

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I want to introduce you readers to one of my favorite food trucks in the entire city. It is no understatement when I say that I have followed this vehicle to different locations just to order the same thing from it every time. The “Bob & Jo” Korean Fusion Cuisine food truck, which opened for business in July 2011, travels around the city doing lunch and dinner (pending they have enough food left for dinner), serving traditional Korean grilled delicacies with a taste of NY in every bite.

Their name is also a play on words, as the name of their truck does not just represent the name of the owners, but also a Korean phrase that means “feed me more”. Once you get a forkful of this, I am confident you will be saying the same.
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A slice of dollar pizza from “Percy’s Pizza”

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Dollar pizza joints have been popping up since the recession first hit New York in 2009, and have become a very popular and seemingly successful business venture since then. By its nature, pizza is a food meant for peasants – bread, cheese, and some sauce. Thanks to evil geniuses like Wolfgang Puck, the traditional pizza has been elevated to different levels throughout the years, and the price has elevated too.

There is an actual correlation between the cost of subway fare and a slice of pizza in NY (seriously, look it up if you don’t believe me), but for cheapo’s like me who want to eat on the run, we don’t have time or money to waste on fancy pies. Enter “Percy’s Pizza”, and their beckoning claim of a slice of Italy for a single buck.
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