Tag Archives: chips

Chat n Chew

This local diner is in the vein of the American classic in feel, but with a bit less traditional menu items.

They have a great selection of cocktails, which are part of their happy hour menu as well.

I was impressed with the food. I tried a lot of stuff so here it goes:

Mac & Cheese

Great flavor on this and a nice blend of cheeses.

Asian Grilled Chicken Salad

Loved the sesame balsamic flavors on this.

Korean Wings

These are not batter fried in the traditional Korean style, but they are still sticky, sweet, spicy and crisp.

Fish & Chips

These are perfect. The best I’ve had, actually. The cod is juicy and flakey, and the batter is perfectly golden brown and crisp. They get hit with a dusting of curry too so the flavors are great.

Burger

This 10oz monster is great. Classic style, cheddar, LTO. Comes with fries for $15.

Crab Cake

This was nice and meaty. Also comes with fries and coleslaw.

Flatiron Steak

Lean and flavorful, this baby can be eaten with just a good sear on the outside. 6/10.

Coca-Cola Cake

Wow. They re-reduce the Coke back into a syrup and that gets mixed into a chocolate sponge and topped with crispy chocolate cookie bits, and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Really nice.

Give this place a shot! I know I will be back.

CHAT N CHEW
10 E 16th St
New York, NY 10003

Zapp’s Chips

God damn these are some fucking great kettle cooked potato chips. I always like to try regional or local snacks whenever we travel. I was eyeballing these fuckers from the moment we landed in New Orleans.

We tried three flavors: Spicy Cajun Crawtaters, Voodoo, and Hotter N’ Hot Jalapeño. Our favorite was the Crawtators.

They had a good level of spice without getting overly aggressive. The Voodoo flavor was pungent and interesting. Good to dabble into as well. The jalapeño chips were good too, just not as unique as the other two flavors.

Tortaria

Type 2 Creative and Be Fat Be Happy threw an awesome holiday bash at Tortaria to help promote the restaurant. But it ended up being the sort of unofficial holiday gathering for all of us foodporn slingers on Instagram.

Everyone slapped on hats and ugly sweaters to crank up the “festive” levels. This one, worn by @StuffBenEats, was by far the clear winner:

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And he was even sporting some nice Mexican corn there, which looked like yellow Christmas trees covered with cheese-snow.

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Here’s my sweater, in an awesome guac photo that Ben took:

A photo posted by Ben Hon (@stuffbeneats) on

The guacamole here is tight, speaking of. Lots of flavor, and good restaurant quality chips and salsa to go with.

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And the pitchers of margaritas? Slammable!

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A few interesting new menu items were trotted out for us; the tortas (sandwiches). This one is made with thinly sliced fried eggplant, and topped with chipotle sauce, bacon and avocado. Really nice.

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The one I was drawn to most, however, was this short rib torta:

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This, too, is topped with avocado. There’s also lettuce, fried onion and jalapeno peppers on there as well.

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And of course, tacos!

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I’ll definitely be back here. This is a great place to just get blasted and eat your face off. Nothing pretentious about it!

TORTARIA
94 University Pl
New York, NY 10003

Trader Joe’s Snacks

In addition to its jerky products, Trader Joe’s makes some great and wallet-friendly snacks. I’ve chosen to highlight three of them here in one review.

First is the Giant Peruvian Inca Corn.

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These are under $2 a bag, and are essentially giant corn nuts that are lightly salted.

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They’re light, and fulfilling. Very easy to just keep popping one after another, all night long.

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Next is the Baked Jalapeño Cheese Crunchies.

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These come regular style too, orange colored, but the jalapeño gives it a mildly spicy kick that’s just a bit nicer overall. These are also under $2 per bag.

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The flavor is light, not overly cheesy. There’s utterly no grease, since these are baked instead of fried. Great snack.

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Finally, these Roasted Plantain Chips are amazing.

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The light dusting of salt on them cuts their natural sweetness. They’re thick cut too, so you feel like you’re eating a kettle cooked potato chip, only much healthier.

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These are only about $1 or $1.20 a bag, so get a bunch of them to stock up. Trust me; you’ll go through them like crazy, and they’re way better and cheaper than the plastic tubs that sell for about $8 for a similar amount at Whole Foods.

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Cafe O’Lei

Cafe O’Lei

Then it was time for lunch at Cafe O’Lei. This joint is nice inside. It’s on the second floor of a strip mall type group of storefronts right near S&Q’s. There’s a big bar in the center of the restaurant, and some interesting paintings by local artists on the walls:

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Here, I really wanted to try either the prime rib or the roast pork entrees, but they are only offered at dinner time. Instead, I had my first official burger of the trip. It was cooked almost correctly – slightly over medium – but the large helping of ooey-gooey cheddar cheese really took this burger up a notch.

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My wife and I shared a pair of crab cakes. These were sweet, using snow crab meat, fruit and avocado in the preparation. Very nice. Meaty and crispy.

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My wife had the Mahi Mahi fish and chips, which were expertly batter-fried to a light, golden crisp. The fries here were top notch, by the way. Really nicely done.

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Empire Diner

NOTE: THIS JOINT IS NOW  UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP

Chef Amanda Freitag’s upscale diner (which I like to refer to as a “finer”) really delivers some solid menu items. My wife and I popped in for lunch when it was crowded and took a comfortable seat at the large, old fashioned art-deco inspired bar area.

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empire diner eat

We started with some cocktails. I had a jalapeño bloody Mary, and my wife had a riff on the Pimm’s Cup cocktail. Both were masterfully mixed. Look at the size of the basil floating in my wife’s drink! It was a mutant leaf.

empire diner drinks

Our meal came out a bit backwards, as the pop tarts arrived first, and we sort of assumed they were more of a dessert item. I guess they are there for the brunch menu. They were filled with apricot jam and had a nice, light texture to the strudel-style dough pocket. Very nice, and actually kind of filling for only $6 a pair.

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I had the burger. This is a top contender. It comes garnished with red onion, cheddar cheese, pickles and a Big Mac style special sauce. Really tasty, and the gooey cheese is enough to solve any problems in the event your patty comes out cooked too much. At first, I thought mine was a little beyond medium, but it was fine once I got into the center a bit more. The bun is brioche style, but it isn’t flaky or weak. I prefer a potato bun, but this was fine.

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This is a great buy at $13, because you get the salt and pepper fries in a pretty good portion size on the side as well. And let me just say: these fries were fucking amazing.

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My wife ordered the fish and chips. The portion size was pretty large, although her plate came with less fries than my burger plate. The fish was a large single piece that was enveloped in a really nice batter. My wife referred to it as “fish Wellington.” The fish itself was a cod; nice and flaky, and perfectly cooked.

empire diner fish chips

Craft & Claw

Craft & Claw is this season’s eat-spot at the Hudson Hotel. They’re slinging craft beers in a German/Bavarian beer hall type setting for Oktoberfest, and serving up some tasty lobster and crab rolls.

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As usual, my wife nabbed a sweet deal. For $40 we got two beers and two rolls. Below are the beers we selected. The hefeweizen was flavorful, and the Abita really did have a pecan taste to it.

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We ordered the sri racha banh mi lobster roll, and the yuzu mayo crab roll. Both were served with a side of lightly seasoned old bay kettle-style potato chips.

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The crab roll was a bit heavy on the mayo. I was hoping for more lump meat but the crab was highly shredded. It was still really good though, especially given the deal we had.

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The big winner of the night was the lobster roll. The veggies added a good crunch to the texture, and the lobster meat was substantially chunky. Very satisfying.

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I’m not sure this would all be worth it had it not been for the deal my wife scored though ($25 for each roll). Icing on the cake was a mug and t-shirt for each of us:

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