All posts by Johnny Prime

Petey’s Burger

I stopped in this joint with some guys from the NYC Zooz Club after a ride, and stuffed a double cheeseburger down my throat.

It was really good! I didn’t get a photo of their shoestring fries, but they were excellent. All in, with a drink, $17. Excellent deal!

PETEY’S BURGER
46-46 Vernon Blvd.
Queens, NY 11101

Amber Steakhouse

Amber Steakhouse overall score: 83

I had heard good things about this place from a few different people recently, so I had to go give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised! First, watch my Ride & Review on YouTube below. Then read on!

Flavor: 8

We had the bone-in dry-aged rib eye, and the dry-aged t-bone. Both had a really nice char on the outside from the broiler, and both were just slightly over medium-rare. They were both really juicy, though, so that made up for any slight overcooking. Both were on the mild side for dry-aged flavor, but they both packed a punch for beefy, satiating flavor in general. I give the rib eye a 9/10, and the t-bone a 7/10, bringing the overall score to an 8/10.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

Everything here is Certified Angus Beef brand (typically prime) and dry-aged. They cover all of the major cuts in various sizes, with shared steaks coming to the table in “sizzling plate” format.

Portion Size & Plating: 10

The portions are great here. Our sides were quite large, and the appetizers were big too. The plating is standard clean white elegance, cast iron skillets, etc.

Price: 8

Some stuff here is really well priced, like the cocktails, whiskey pours, apps, sides, desserts… especially when figuring in the price. But the steaks themselves are at midtown prices despite the “mom and pop” nature of the place and the neighborhood.

Bar: 5

Sadly, I had to dock some points here because there is actually no place to sit at the bar. It is a service-only bar with no stools. Our table was beside it, though, so we got a good look at their bottle selections. They have a really awesome spirits list, and they made some great cocktails, so don’t let the score here deceive you.

Specials and Other Meats: 9

There were no real specials read to us, but they offer lamb, chicken, duck and numerous other interesting proteins that I’d like to come back and try. Next visit, we are definitely getting the bacon (had to be 1.5″ thick for $18 – like a steak in itself), the roasted duck legs (plural, for $39), and the lamb chops (looked like four per plate).

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 9

We started with the escargots, which were served in a really nice creamy mushroom broth/gravy, and had to have at least a dozen snails in the order. A great deal.

The steak tartare was a little bit too finely minced or ground, but the flavor was great, as was the portion size.

The roasted potatoes with peppers and onions were also a massive portion size, but the only negative here was that the dill was a little bit overpowering. It did smell nice though.

The sautéed spinach and mushrooms side was soupier than I expected, but really nicely flavored. This was just the right side for the steaks in my opinion.

For dessert, we had a scoop of espresso ice cream (very nice and creamy), the chocolate mousse cake (perfect thickness, richness and you could tell it was homemade instead of pre-purchase from a box like many midtown steak joints give), a glass of Hakushu 12yr ($30) and a double espresso. The double espresso was the only bad item of the entire meal. it tasted like burnt bean water.

Seafood Selection: 7

This was a rare occasion in which we tried absolutely no seafood. I saw the shellfish coming out though, and it all looked nice. Next time we will definitely delve into their raw bar selections and broader seafood entree menu.

Service: 10

Service was excellent. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and super helpful/attentive without being pushy, annoying or intrusive.

Their table bread is similar to Luger’s style – a stuffed onion roll.

Ambiance: 8

For a small neighborhood mom and pop joint, they really did a great job with making the place feel like an old-timey, age-old steakhouse that’s been there forever. It’s been there since 2010, and in that time it has established itself as a staple for the neighborhood drawing in weekly regulars as well as exploratory outsiders like us.

I will definitely be back for more!

AMBER STEAKHOUSE
119 Nassau Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Sushi Fan

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

This joint has a really nice 15-piece omakase for just $85. You get a lot of what would normally be “upgrade” toppings on the pieces, too. Things like uni, foie, etc. Here are some pics of everything we had (minus the hand roll).

My favorite was the wagyu beef with uni on top (obvious?). It was A5 rib eye!

I would definitely go back here again, and the joint is BYOB so that’s perfect! They also offer a super-upgraded 18-piece omakase for $140. But honestly, the 15-course is such a great value that I don’t think I’d get the 18-course.

SUSHI FAN
102 St Marks Pl.
New York, NY 10009

The Baroness

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

I’ve been meaning to get over to this joint ever since I learned that my guys over at Golden Packing supply the burgers and some other meat proteins here. So I rode up on the Zooz and met with Tyson and Lupe, both Golden gang members, to chow down.

The savage wings are smoked and then fried, so they pack a ton of flavor. The burnt ends bologna was masterful. I’ve always wanted to try smoked BBQ style bologna, and this place definitely has me wanting more. The skillet mac and cheese was really nice. Also smoky and flavorful. The standard “Judith” 6oz burger was perfect. Great crisp on the patty, some caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles… really nice. I probably could have crushed two of these!

I would definitely go back to try more!

THE BARONESS
47-18 Vernon Blvd.
Queens, NY 11101

Crazy Burger

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

Crazy Burger is a brand new smash burger joint on Avenue C at 12th Street. Their double cheeseburger is just $9.50 and it tastes like a cross between a White Castle slider and a Big Mac.

The fries are the batter-fried style, with that great crisp on the outside of each log.

Great food at a great price. I will definitely be back.

CRAZY BURGER
193 Avenue C
New York, NY 10009

Monsieur Vo

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

I finally got over to Jimmy & Yen’s husband restaurant to Madame Vo, aptly named Monsieur Vo. All I can say is… WOW!

We started with this incredible beef tartare made from rib eye!

Fried soft shell crab egg drop soup? Hell yes! I absolutely loved this. it also had corn and asparagus in it. really tasty! Big thanks to The Cake Dealer for snapping some of these pics that I’m using here…

These prawns served over steamed rice cake crepe type thingies were also delicious, and perfectly cooked, I might add. Tons of flavor.

We also tried their dry chicken pho dish, which is made with juicy chicken thigh, crispy chicken skin, and lots of herbs and spices. It will hit you with both sweet and savory together in perfect harmony. I loved it!

The star of the show for me was the beef shank in bun bo hue (spicy lemongrass) sauce.

This thing is enormous. We got the sice that’s meant for 4-6 people, just so you know.

It was fall-apart tender, juicy and crazy flavorful.

This is definitely up there with some of my favorite “beast feasts.” You need to try it!

For dessert, their toasted rice ice cream over flan with boba was the perfect ending to an incredible meal.

I was really excited to learn that Golden Packing supplies most of their meat proteins too! Love those guys! Best in the biz.

I can’t wait to go back and try more stuff.

MONSIEUR VO
104 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Sushi Lab

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

 

This joint was offering a 12-piece omakase for just $60 during restaurant week, so my wife and I jumped on it!

I would definitely come back here again for the 15-course $100 omakase. We noticed that they really bump up the quality when you go for that.

That’s not to say that the 12-piece wasn’t worth it. To the contrary! It was a sweet deal.

SUSHI LAB
320 E 11th St.
New York, NY 10003

Paradise Lost

I didn’t really take pics at this place, so you should watch my episode of Around the Hood HERE:

This place is an awesome tiki bar in the east village that serves up some great food in addition to their awesome selection of tiki drinks.

We tried the Holy Ground ribs, chicken thigh skewers, pastrami musubi and shrimp skewers. All were good, but the ribs stood out as the best, with the shrimp being the last in the lineup.

I will definitely be back here again to try more tiki drinks!

PARADISE LOST
100 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Kinzan

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

Kinzan is an omakase joint in the west village that offers a $100 meal, and, currently, a 15% discount is you pay in cash.

While this doesn’t quite break the top five for low cost/high value omakase joints, there were definitely some highlights, like the albacore with chili garlic crisp…

Tuna with caviar…

And their Instagram claim to fame, the smoked martini course.

Definitely worth a shot! Great service and reasonable prices.

KINZAN
259 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10014

Little Pepper

We hitched a ride out to Little Pepper in Queens with another foodie couple who has been there a bunch of times. We tried a lot of shit, so I’m gonna just get right into it.

This Szechuan style pork sausage was packed with flavor and ate like dry salumi with a kick!

The sliced pork belly in chili garlic sauce was probably one of the best items of the night. That sauce was dynamite.

My favorite item of the meal, though, was the shrimp. “Prawn with chili pepper” is what to order on the menu. The lightly fried crisp batter on the outside gave this such an amazing texture. I could eat buckets.

The lotus root was a great veg item for the side, as were the string beans.

The tea smoked duck lacked smoke or tea flavor, and was a bit on the dry side. But it was really flavorful and still very tender.

The scallion fried rice doesn’t look like much, but it’s a meal in itself for sure. It’s really delicious, and it sure as fuck beats regular white rice. So get this for all your rice eating needs (to soak up the ma-po sauce).

Speaking of ma-po, their tofu dish was excellent!

Another classic done well are the dan dan noodles. Get these.

One of the more surprising dishes was the pork meatballs. These were tender, soft and gingery flavored. A little more on the sweet side when compared to some of the spicy items we tried.

Finally, the spicy and tingly cumin lamb dish was really nice. The lamb is thin sliced and tossed with tin slices of veg and onions. Really earthy and flavorful.

This place is definitely a banger. With the abundance of spots nearby in Chinatown, however, I’m not sure how often I would be back here in Queens. I do highly recommend it though.

LITTLE PEPPER
18-24 College Point Blvd
College Point, NY 11356