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Chinese Food Has Its Day

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 in Ethnic Eats, Trendwatch

In light of New York’s current, expansively multi-cultural dining scene, it’s hard to remember that for years, higher-end restaurants in the city were almost exclusively Italian or French. What’s interesting, though, is how long it took Chinese cooking to make its way out of the fast-casual ethnic realm…

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Authentic Isan Eats at Larb Ubol

Posted on Sep 24, 2014 in Ethnic Eats, Restaurant Spotting

Cheap Thai restaurants are pretty much a dime a dozen in New York — you know, the kind that serves plates of sweet, limp Drunken Noodles and wan saucers of Red, Yellow or Green Curry, each utterly indistinguishable from the next. And the dim stretch of 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen has more than its share, which makes it difficult to pick out diamonds in the rough like Larb Ubol…

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Where to Dine During the Jewish High Holidays

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 in Best Of, Ethnic Eats, Holiday Eats

Autumn is an especially holy season for Jewish people, beginning with Rosh Hashanah on September 24th (the start of the New Year), extending through Sukkot and concluding with Yom Kippur on October 4th. And if you know anything about the Jews, it’s that they love to eat so here’s where and what to eat during the upcoming Jewish High Holidays — from honey-dipped Challah at Breads Bakery in Union Square, to an elegant, Eastern European-style feast at The Russian Tea Room…

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Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2014

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 in Best Of, Eating Events, Ethnic Eats, Holiday Eats

Fall is high season for all manner of harvest-centric celebrations, but none are quite as — shall we say, boisterous — as Oktoberfest. The annual, 16-day festival lasts from September 20th to October 5th this year, an all-out carnival of German culture, including oompah bands, traditional foods, and massive liters of beer. So here’s where to spend the joyfully rowdy holiday this year, from Zum Schneider’s Gallic gala on the East River, to the New York City Wine and Food Festival’s all-star chef feast…

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Redefining Brunch at the Modern Chinese Eatery, Fung Tu

Posted on Feb 14, 2014 in Ethnic Eats, Holiday Eats

If you’re going to give someone your heart this Valentine’s day, make it a chocolate one—Belgian chocolate, to be exact. After all, in the world of chocolate, Belgium is king. The country houses a higher concentration of chocolatiers than any other on the planet, and still sticks faithfully to Old World, artisanal methods of making their candy by hand…

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Unique Indian Fare at Awadh

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 in Ethnic Eats, First Bite, Restaurant Spotting, Reviews

For all of the cuisines represented by New York’s uniquely multicultural dining scene, there’s never been an especially strong showing of Indian restaurants. Especially really regional ones. Sure, there’s a sizable concentration of standard, tikka masala spots in Murray (Curry) Hill as well as a more recent handful of scattered, casual eateries representing the Southern, largely vegetarian side of the country. But there have been precious few places that have examined the more nuanced, hyper-regional dishes from very specific areas of India, making the newly opened Awadh a notable addition to the Upper West Side…

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Where to Celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 in Best Of, Ethnic Eats, Holiday Eats

Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, today is the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Coinciding with the harvest moon, the centuries-old Chinese celebration is marked by several traditions, including hanging shining lanterns and eating sticky, sweet moon cakes. Since it’s also a time to gather family and give thanks for the fall harvest, it’s often referred to as “Chinese Thanksgiving,” meaning scrumptious, expansive feasts are frequently part of the package!

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Summer Sips: Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 in Drink Spotting, Ethnic Eats

Now that iced coffee season is in full swing, you may find yourself craving a little variety from your daily cold-brew. For those willing to venture into sweeter realms of coffee on the rocks, Vietnamese-style iced coffee (Ca Phe Sua Da) may just be your summer salvation. Restaurant Girl dishes on where to find some of the best Vietnamese iced coffee in New York…

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Mexican Breakfast On-the-Go at Gotham West Market

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 in Ethnic Eats, Food Markets

Gotham West Market’s newest tenant, Choza Taqueria, recently took over the small storefront vacated by Caroline Fidanza’s Little Chef. Overseen by Akhtar Nawab (who’s culturally Indian and French trained, but spent time at the helm of a succession of Mexican restaurants, such as La Esquina and La Cenita), Choza serves tasty, roadside-inspired fare well into the evening — such as Shrimp, Chicken, Lamb or Pork Tacos, Mahi Mahi Ceviche and cheesy Elote — but also offers a surprisingly sizable and diverse menu during breakfast…

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A Delicious Spin on the Classic Croque Monsieur

Posted on May 8, 2014 in Ethnic Eats

Is there any sandwich more classically French than the Croque Monsieur? The simple, yet oh-so-satisfying layered masterpiece of Gruyere (or Emmental), ham, and French bread fried in butter has been satiating hungry Parisians for just over a hundred years. Luckily for us New Yorkers, we only have to go as far as the West Village to find one of the best croques this side of the Atlantic…

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Get Your Caffeine Fix with Yerba Mate

Posted on Apr 3, 2014 in Ethnic Eats

Looking for a jitter-free alternative to your daily cup(s) of coffee? Try mate, a tea-like beverage made from the leaves of the South American holly plant yerba mate. This national drink of Uruguay and Argentina is loved for the clean energy boost it provides…

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Try This: Slovak Dumplings, Two Ways

Posted on Mar 27, 2014 in Ethnic Eats

You may be familiar with spaetzle, the Central European egg dumpling found on menus at popular New York Austrian restaurants like Edi & the Wolf and Blaue Gans, but does the name halusky ring a bell? Restaurant Girl samples this lesser-known Slovak cousin to spaetzle at East Village eatery Korzo Haus.

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Alphabet City’s Most Authentic Mexican Street Food

Posted on Mar 12, 2014 in Ethnic Eats

We’re a tad preoccupied with Latin American eats this week and thanks to hip cantinas like Empellon Cocina and Toloache, the modern taco has been elevated to gourmet status. But let’s not forget its humble beginnings as a Mexican street food staple. Much like the ubiquitous New York pretzel stands, vendors selling tacos and other antojitos (snack foods) pepper city corners and roadsides all over Mexico, their most popular offering arguably being the taco. Hungry foodies craving a truly authentic, no-frills taco will find just that at Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocer in the East Village…

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Sunset Park’s Awesome Latin American Eats

Posted on Mar 11, 2014 in Best Of, Brooklyn, Ethnic Eats

Since Brooklyn is a borough largely settled by immigrants, you’d be hard pressed to find a neighborhood that doesn’t boast a pocket of exotic, affordable, and seriously delicious eats. And Sunset Park is especially rich in multicultural influence; you’ll find a bustling Chinatown (currently the largest in New York) centralized along 8th avenue from 42nd to 68th street, and a vibrant Hispanic population west of 5th avenue. We’re focusing on the culinary imprint made by Sunset Park’s Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican and Ecuadorian communities, so here’s where to find a few of Brooklyn’s best tacos, cemitas, huaraches and more.,,

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Sochi’s Killer Cheese Bread

Posted on Feb 21, 2014 in Ethnic Eats

Are you as obsessed with the Olympics as I am? Beautiful mountain scenery, cute athletes, stray puppy adoptions—what’s not to love? A month ago most of us would have been hard-pressed to pinpoint Sochi’s whereabouts on a map of Russia. Now you can get its killer cheese bread at the East Village’s tasty newcomer, Oda House…

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Dark Chocolate and Désir: A Taste of Belgium

Posted on Feb 14, 2014 in Ethnic Eats, Holiday Eats

If you’re going to give someone your heart this Valentine’s day, make it a chocolate one—Belgian chocolate, to be exact. After all, in the world of chocolate, Belgium is king. The country houses a higher concentration of chocolatiers than any other on the planet, and still sticks faithfully to Old World, artisanal methods of making their candy by hand…

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