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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Restaurant Review - Lombardi's Pizza

New York, NY 10012
Lombardi's Pizza 
32 Spring Street
(212)941-7994
http://www.firstpizza.com/

Lombardi's is a signature location being that it is the first pizzeria to open in NYC. Opened by an Italian immigrant who started the tradition of staple foods around the world, the restaurant has over 100 years of tradition since it first opened back in 1905. Unfortunately for that matter, the hype is only behind the fact that it is the first pizza restaurant which ultimately leads it to be the one tourist destination in Little Italy of Nolita. 

Known for their pizzas, it is a must order for anyone who fancies to try out the signature pizza. Being that Italian food is circled around a family tradition, Lombardi's Pizza bakes up a fresh humongous pie that is to be shared. The pizza is ordered to your liking, selecting your desired toppings. It is recommended to share the pizzas between a group, leaving room for the extra things on the menu. Although it is a limited menu, calzones are one of the favorites at Lombardi's Pizza for a stuffed filling that is jammed with melted cheese. 


For anyone going in a bigger group that fancies alcoholic beverages, the fresh sangria pitcher is probably the kicker of the night. There isn't much on the menu for drinks, but we can't say no to a pitcher of sangria! 

All in all, Lombardi's Pizza is honestly just a F-O-M-O. It is one of those things that you may regret not trying when you visited NYC, but there's not much to rave about there. Therefore, get it checked off that bucket list, but don't wait on a long line to do so because you might regret that one as well!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hidden Treasures - Aux Epices

Aux Epices
121 Baxter Street
New York, NY 10013
(212)274-8585
http://auxepicesnyc.com/
Hours: 11AM to 10PM Daily

This hidden treasure is definitely a golden catch for amazing food along with great service. Located south of Chinatown, is it the one place that I can honestly recommend to anyone looking for good food and a good vibe. This small cozy restaurant is Malaysian infused French taken to a whole different level level. With a decent sized menu offering you all the good stuff from appetizers to desserts, this is the place to be.

One of the must orders, my personal favorite for starters is the extremely tender ribs that actually slides right off the bones. For anyone who is a clean eater and hates ribs for obvious reasons, this will definitely change the game for you. You will definitely be able to enjoy a nice rack of ribs, knowing you do not have to use your hand to eat! 

In addition to the ribs, the A La Plancha is another customer favorite with an amazing sauce that is perfect for a bread dip. Fish is the one recommendation for entrees which includes my all time favorite Ikan Panggang and the Tumeric Salmon, but of course there are a ton of other tasty dishes as well. The staff is always on point with their recommendations and will even offer the special lunch of the day which just might be Aux Epices' next upcoming dish to put on the menu. 
The one suggestion to make is to save room for dessert and order it ahead of time. Because desserts are made fresh and when ordered, the kitchen staff at Aux Epices must have sufficient time to prepare for it. Nonetheless, pastries and cakes are extremely fresh and hits the mark with it's French influences. The best part is probably it being served fresh and hot with the right touch of sweetness.

For bigger groups, be sure to make reservations ahead of time. With seating designed for pairs, the restaurant is able to cater roughly 25 guests at one time. The staff is extremely friendly in accommodating your every needs alongside a wonderful owner who actually interacts and eats with his guests. Providing superb customer service, you can feel good about every meal at Aux Epices. Within a second visit, the staff recognized me and soon lead me to become a weekly regular with the rib cravings and addiction to genuine customer service.

With a menu that is constantly updated and fresh new items, it is definitely a place that keeps you going back. Promoting a cafe, all hours of the day is a perfect time to visit Aux Epices for the amazing complements of food. 

Offering an online and call in delivery service, Aux Epices is one recommendation I stand by. It is the perfect place for a date night, girls night out, and even just a bonding session. With dim lighting and cozy seating, the atmosphere is just perfect for conversation without overpowering the table next to you. The friendly vibe allows for you to feed off of the positive energy that the staff fills the restaurant with.


Friday, April 4, 2014

My Current Obsession - Innisfree Eco Science Wrinkle Spot Essence Pro

One product that is a must rave is the Innisfree Eco Science Wrinkle Spot Essence (Pro with a vibrating head) for problematic wrinkles that are difficult to target. It is perfect for the eye area with circular motion to prevent wrinkles as well as decrease fine lines. Innisfree incorporates anti-wrinkle products into their cream and tops it off with a head that allows for extra vibration signals to concentrate on those problem areas. It is the perfect compliment of product and the mechanics to enhance beauty attributes for women of all ages. It is a kick starter to prevent wrinkles, yet also helps to reduce the fine lines that have developed over time.
For anyone who is busy on the go and wish for something that helps to reduce the time spent on wrinkles and such, the gentle vibrations cut the amount of time spent on caring for your problem areas. The micro vibrations are gentle on the skin and the smooth metal surface helps to glide the cream onto the skin without tugging too hard to cause even more wrinkles. This can definitely happen with those who are pulling on the skin too hard which causes problems rather than fixing any. 
If you are on a budget and trying to get more bang for your buck, definitely go with the regular spot essence. It is the same exact solution minus the metal vibrating head. In order to maximize the use of the vibrating head for it's price which is priced the same as the regular eco science wrinkle spot essence in most places, you can simply refill the pro with the cream and extend the value of your dollar that much more. The smooth metal head is extremely gentle on the skin and will make you want to circle around the problem areas that much more. Be sure to use it on a clean face to reduce the number of bacteria build up. This is definitely one product that is to rave about and a genius idea for anyone who is just in need of time or is just that lazy!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Restaurant Review - Shanghai Heping Restaurant

Shanghai Heping Restaurant
104 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
(212) 925-1118
Shanghai food mainly consists of the ever so popular soup dumplings made of ground pork meat wrapped in a wonton-like tortilla that is steamed where each individual soup dumpling is filled with a delicious juice. The Shanghai Heping Restaurant is one of those restaurants that actually cook up a good soup dumpling in addition to the famous New York spot of Joe's Shanghai. In addition to the popular soup dumplings, the Shanghai Heping Restaurant offers a handful of other popular Chinese dishes that include the classic Chinese-American style dishes of fried rice, noodles, sweet and sour soup and so on and so forth.

What many people fail to realize is their specialty dishes as well. With their unique touch on traditional Chinese foods and even new creations which include their deep fried duck that is served over a bed of mushroom glaze. 

It is definitely suggested to visit the Shanghai Heping Restaurant with a group of friends to share a few dishes in order to maximize the number of dishes one can sample. Because Chinese dishes are usually served family style, it is always recommended to get a few main courses that can be shared between a group, specialty rice dishes included. Although the restaurant is on the higher end for foods in Chinatown, it is still worth the splurge to sample the variety of dishes they have to offer.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hidden Treasures - Kam Hing Coffee Shop

Kam Hing Coffee Shop
Address: 119 Baxter Street, New York, NY 10013

Phone Number: 212-925-0425



One of the hidden treasures for generations now is the Kam Hing Coffee Shop that many local residents are familiar with. In fact, they are regulars here where their orders are pretty much picked up once they enter the door and delivered by the time they get to the counter without having to wait. Keeping the tradition of generations of soft and moist Chinese sponge cakes (the Chinese version of a cupcake that is less sweet without the icing), the exterior has been maintained for years already. 



This is reflected with their original cafe layout. The door, sign, store front and even most of the store is preserved since the beginning. The best part, of course, is the sponge cakes that have been handed down from generation to generation. With the original sponge cakes, Kam Hing Coffee Shop has been making small tweaks on the this traditional cheap eat.

In addition to the best seller original for the older generations and even young children who crave for a twist on the morning cupcake, the Kam Hing Coffee Shop in Chinatown has added new flavors of green tea and chocolate chip. The green tea, also known as matcha is fused with sweet and bitter green tea which may not look appealing, but it is the first twist on the traditional recipe that has customers craving for more. The chocolate chip sponge cake is just as popular made with thinly sliced chocolate chips baked in rather than the traditional chocolate chip muffin.  These two are blasted with flavors that simply just melt in your mouth along with the sponge cake. Those at the Kam Hing Coffee shop is now experimenting with new flavors that include the sweet strawberry. This is definitely one to be anticipated!
Be sure to swing by Kam Hing Coffee shop and pick up your morning coffee or milk tea along with their traditional Chinese style cup cakes; you definitely won't regret this one located at the Southern end of Chinatown just before Little Italy. There's definitely some competition there, but nothing beats the price of Kam Hing's sponge cakes for just a dollar, especially with early hours of operation to cater to the early birds of both the younger school generation along with the older working generation.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tourist Destinations - Chinatown in Incheon, Korea

Incheon, Korea is a landmark for having the best airport in the world year after year. It is still my favorite airport in the world and trust me, I have been to quite the number of airports this past year with all of the traveling done. In addition to having the best airport in the world, Incheon is also known to be the one place that the locals go to for their Chinatown. Although Chinese food and Chinese goods in Korea has its Korean influences, the Chinatown in Incheon is still worth a visit for their food.
Many locals and foreigners visit the Chinatown in Incheon to buy a handful of Chinese goods. You will see the many red and gold designs because of the Chinese influences, those being the strongest two colors. Red and gold basically stands for luck and fortune which is dispersed all over Chinatown. Using the influences of the Chinese culture, the decorations of Incheon is very similar. It is also one of the very few places in Korea that you will actually find Chinese characters which is also the traditional Korean writing, from years ago. 
The Incheon Chinatown is extremely small with a few streets of food and stores located right across the street from the Incheon station and up the block. Spending half a day in the Chinatown is more than enough, especially during lunch time. You can leisurely walk the streets and explore, eating your way up the alleys and if your stomach can hold it, go for the Korean Chinese infusion foods. There are countless numbers of Jajangmyeon restaurants in the alleys. With so many restaurants in the area, it can get a little difficult to choose, but I always look for those with the longest lines and most locals of course!
 
The one thing I will rave about, the must have here is the clay pot buns. With two stoves that are made of clay and a fire that cooks the buns stuck to the side of the huge furnace, it is one thing that everyone lines up for. You can't miss it with a huge figurine replica of the store. The owner is hugging his many buns and the best thing is, he promotes picture taking. Once the buns are in the old fashion stove and almost ready to be sold, he will open it for locals and foreigners to snap a photo. Now that's some customer service there! It is extremely difficult to find stores that will allow you to come up close and personal with the things that they are cooking, but this store is extremely friendly.
There are a handful of street vendors that sell food for you to consume as you walk through the rest of the Chinatown. This is the one place you will find a ton of cookies, sweet to the taste with a caramel inside. You can also find the Korean version of moon cakes here in Incheon. Mooncakes is something that is special to the Chinese during the Full Moon festival. For this very reason, I found Incheon special because they actually carry the moon cake. Although it is not the same as the traditional Chinese moon cakes, it is rather close enough. With different kinds of filings, they are all something to sample. You will definitely find tons of samples out along the streets because of the amount of competition. Although most taste fairly similar to one another, very few are able to distinguish the difference, myself included!
 
It is definitely recommended to go with a bunch of friends to share snacks because you just might be too full for lunch. A day of adventure with a handful of friends is always the way to go. Knowing most people who live in Seoul, Incheon is quite a trip out so be sure to make it worth it! There are a handful of parks and stores nearby that you can explore and make it a full day's trip. You'll be surprised at what you can find.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's Skin Real Real Orange Lip and Eye Jelly Remover

This lip and eye jelly remover by It's Skin is definitely not one to be raved about. Although it is one of the best sellers, this product is nothing as advertised as a jelly. It is more like a lotion that helps to rub off the makeup that is on the eye and lip area. This gentle product does help to remove the top layer of makeup for cleansing, but it is not one to be used alone without proper washing after. Aside from the wonderful smell, there is not much about the product that drives me to make a second purchase. It is quite a disappointment for something that is labeled to be a "best seller" of the store.