…at Grand Central Station. Sorry, folks, if I misled you and you suddenly remembered your grand/parents talk about those (not really?) good ol’ days. The transportation hub is celebrating their 100th birthday on February 1st, and it has a fun-filled day planned with music, award ceremonies, and celebrity appearances. But let’s be real, most of us would probably only go because of this promise of extraordinarily cheap drinks/foods (and maybe to see that LEGO-replica of Grand Central?). Here’s what they’re offering:
In a post written many years ago, 105 Mosco Street used to be Mosco Pizza, the only pizzeria in Chinatown. But it has since closed down, and now something else has taken its place:
A close-up of the menu:
Everything Frosted (Menu)
Cupcakes? CHEESECAKE?! Oh goodness, I don’t know how much longer I will be able to resist.
Has anyone tried this place yet? What’s it like?
Johnny’s Reef Restaurant
JOHNNY’S REEF RESTAURANT
2 City Island Ave (Bronx)
My friend said to me before our little outing: “There is only one reason why we go to City Island.” So as we traveled from Queens (to pick up another friend) to the Bronx, I heard both of them exclaim (and squeal) in excitement over the food and what they were planning on ordering. I figured I could walk in and look at the menu — really, just take my time deciding. They turned to me: “What do you plan on getting?” And I told them I didn’t know since I had never been there, and they said, “Fried seafood. You have to order something like that.” So I responded: “I don’t know, I guess, clams? Fried clams? Is that good?” They nodded, satisfied with my answer.
Red Egg (Front)
202 Centre St
After that unpleasant experience at Lucky Plaza, I vowed to not let that place sully Chinatown Restaurant Week for me. But you know, life happened, so the next time I was able to experience it was on the last day. I decided to go to Red Egg after work on Sunday around 730pm.
Red Egg (Up)
Oh, just in case you missed the decal on the door, you can look up to see where you are. (Helpful note: It’s right across the street from Museum of Chinese in the Americas which I absolutely suggest you check out!) When we walked in, we were seated immediately, and the waiters were completely attentive but not pushy. They spoke English, and I heard a few of them conversing in Cantonese and Mandarin.
Garfield, Felix and Heathcliff as Maneki Neko
In a fairly untapped part of Chinatown (a neighborhood actually called “Two Bridges,” according to google maps), Klughaus Gallery has opened its doors and is currently holding its first show.
I stopped by the opening reception last Saturday with Kawai and Cindy to check out the work of a dude named Aaron Reimer, who does his art under the name OBLVN. Yes, in all caps like that. If that doesn’t sound pretentious enough, let’s also factor in that he’s from Portland.
Despite going into this experience with an obvious negative preconceived notion about LES art galleries and people with aliases that lack any vowels or lowercase letters, I was shocked and delighted by what I saw. First of all, Mr. OBLVN created 100 paintings for this show. That’s right, one fucking hundred. And it’s his first show in NY mind you. Second, they were all twists on famous comics and cartoons. Like Dennis the Menace as a graffiti artist, a suicidal Michigan J. Frog, and Felix the Cat as an art thief. Oh Klughaus Gallery and OBLVN, I am humbled by your surprising non-pretentiousness and also by your free wine.
Chinatown Fair Arcade 2012
There were 4 guys sweeping and cleaning out the guts of the place. Still sad to realize this piece of Chinatown will completely disappear.
156-24 Northern Blvd (Flushing)
After eating samgyupsal & bibimbap at Tong Sam Gyup Goo Ee (otherwise known as Migliore in English), my friend and I decided to get some dessert. I had just gotten a parking ticket (I was off by a minute — or at least, that’s what the hairdresser who came running after me let me know) so I suggested Paris Baguette since there was a parking lot. I hadn’t been to this location, and also, it’s been awhile since I visited a bakery.
LUCKY PLAZA RESTAURANT
81 Chrystie St
So, I was really excited to try out Chinatown Restaurant Week. I did my research: went to the website, checked out restaurants, looked at their menus, etc. And I decided to settle on Lucky Plaza Restaurant. Okay, I’m going to admit something kind of embarrassing: looking at the menu, I thought to myself, Wow, look at all these choices! When I was reading about CRW, all I ever saw was “multi-course meals” (I was told later on that it was typically 3-course meals, and CRW’s site changed it to specify). Really, admitting that is embarrassing. Moving on, however, to this rather uncomfortable experience.
BUK CHANG DONG
40-06 Queens Boulevard (Sunnyside)
11AM – 12AM
Soondubu jjigae (spicy soft tofu Korean stew) holds a very special and dear place in my heart. The first time I was ever introduced to Korean food was when my (Korean) friend introduced me to the BCD in Bayside, and there — there, I fell in love. However, I recently cheated and ate at the Sunnyside location. And while their menu is smaller, and they don’t have flat screen TVs broadcasting international soccer games, the ambiance is more private and low-key.
Anyone bummed that they missed NYC Winter Restaurant Week? Well, you can wait until later this year when dates are announced for the later season, or you can enjoy 10 days of Chinatown restaurants offering prix-fixe multi-course meals at $18.88 (how auspicious!) before tax and tip. Hopefully with this new venture, they can show that Chinese restaurants — and Chinese food, in general — can be easily accessible to tourists, generate more income, and also not constantly relegated to greasy take-out cartons.
Current participating restaurants are: