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Review: Pakarang

Had a second birthday dinner last night, this time with my friends! We went to Pakarang on South Main Street, which I had been to with my parents once. It was very tasty both times around and lives up to its sign, which advertises “Exquisite Thai Food.” The restaurant itself is really cool- when you first walk in, you feel like you’re in some sort of cave, and then it opens up into the dining room, which has an underwater/ocean theme with coral and shells decorating the walls.

The menu has a large selection of main dishes, including various curries, meats, and noodle dishes. Definitely vegetarian friendly (you can get tofu in anything) but they have alot of different meat and fish dishes too. None of us ordered appetizers, and most of us ordered curry. I had the Choo Chee Curry with tofu, which is a milder curry (well, I think it’s pretty mild) of carrots, summer squash, red peppers, and snow peas in a creamy and slightly spicy, peanutty-curry sauce- very tasty. Other people had Pad Thai, Red Curry, and the Chicken Pineapple. Everyone cleaned their plate, so I’d say we were happy campers! For the huge portions you get, most dishes are reasonably priced in the $8-10 range. The restaurant is nice enough for a date, and casual enough for a weeknight Thai craving. They also do takeout, and their menu is online.

303 South Main Street, Providence, RI

Also, there’s another Thai place that I’ve been too called Sawaddee Thai Restuarant, which is pretty good too. It’s very small though, so get there early or expect to wait.

93 Hope Street, Providence, RI


Review: Kabob & Curry

My parents and I went to Kabob & Curry on Thayer St. this past weekend for an early birthday dinner. I love Indian food, and had never really had it until last year, but now I’m always on the lookout for a good Indian place. I think I found it! Originally, I had heard mixed reviews- usually along the lines of either “It’s not authentic Indian” or “The food is good, but the service sucks.” I can’t really vouche for the first statement, seeing as I can’t tell authentic from non-authentic, but there were some Indian people there so that’s a good sign, I guess? The second statement did hold true though.

I had made a reservation for 4 of us at 6:45pm. It was crowded when we arrived, but there didn’t seem to be a wait. Despite that fact, we had to wait nearly 15 minutes to be seated, while people without reservations were just waltzing in and getting tables. Not cool. We were too hungry to be patient. The service wasn’t that great in general, but whatev. The restaurant was pretty crowded, a good sign, but a bit noisy.

On to the food! The food was great! They have an extensive menu and weekly specials, so you’re sure to find something delicious. I always get garlic naan and vegetable curry, I’m not that adventurous. I had the Goan Vegetable Curry- very tasty and just spicy enough to burn my throat but not chap my lips. That’s the way I like it. Mom had something with “20 spices,” which was ridiculously fragrant and tasty. I don’t remember what everyone else had, but we were all very satisfied. We also shared garlic/cilantro naan and naan stuffed with potato and peas for appetizers. I heard their samosas are the best, but we didn’t get any. The ‘rents got wine, but my friend and I were ignored for drinks (also not cool).

So, all in all, the food is great Indian, authentic or not, but the service isn’t so great. Just be patient, the food is worth the wait! And if you can’t make the trek to Providence, there are recipes on their website!

Kabob & Curry, 261 Thayer St., Providence, RI 02912

Woosta Eats

I’ve been eating at my favorite restaurants throughout the whole week. The ‘rents and I just went to Da Lat, a Vietnamese restaurant that I love. I always get the same 3 things because they’re just so good: Vietnamese Tofu Salad (crunchy cabbage and veggies with fried tofu, in a sweet dressing), Steamed Pork & Shrimp Rolls (which come with the BEST peanut sauce), and Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup). The portions are huge and the food is cheap and delicious, so the place is usually filled with students from Clark and WPI. Mmm yummy in my tummy right now. 425 Park Ave, Worcester, MA.

Pho Ga is very different than your mom’s chicken noodle soup, in a good way. A good rainy day soup. I add Sriracha hot sauce to it.
Pho Sate, a very spicy beef noodle soup. Oh so spicy. Will clear your sinuses.

Other tasty Woosta destinations:
The Corner Grille has, in my opinion, the best pizza in the city! Uber-thin crust with any topping you can think of. My fav is the Greek Pie. 806 Pleasant St.
Tortilla Sam’s has great Mexican food, with lots of vegetarian dishes (I highly recommend the grilled tofu burritos) and yummy sweet potato fries. BYOB and open late most nights. 107 Highland St.
One Love Cafe is a tiny, 5 table Jamaican restaurant. Very cozy with an open kitchen and wonderful food. Also very veg-friendly and with lots of organics. 800 Main Street

My Favorite Eateries in NYC

I realize that I’m posting like crazy today, but that’s what happens when I don’t have my laptop all weekend. All in all, I had a good weekend. But I didn’t get to go to Magnolia, one of my favorite places in the city because it’s so cute and they make all their pastries from scratch in the tiny basement bakery. The best part of going, besides the eating, is watching them frost the cupcakes in the window while you wait in line (you’ll probably be waiting for awhile, it’s pretty damn popular but so worth the wait). Ok, so the cupcakes are nothing special (haha I don’t even like cake) but the frosting is possibly the best thing EVER. And trust me, I know my frosting, I am a conossiuer of frosting. It’s super sweet, creamy, topped with sprinkles and there’s tons of it! I’m not gonna lie, I make sure to always pick the ones with the most frosting…because I just like to lick it off. They have other good sweets too- cookies, cakes, brownies, etc- but everyone goes for the famous cupcakes. I have the recipe for them so maybe I’ll make cupcakes @ some point this week. Mmm cupcakes….

2. La Focaccia is a wonderful, cozy Italian restuarant that’s perfect for a romantic date or special occasion. I went there for my birthday dinner last year. They have a large menu of pasta and other dishes, freshly baked bread and an extensive wine list. Keep your eyes out for the specials, often utilizing seasonal ingredients- last time I had the Pumpkin Ravioli with a light white wine sauce of tomatoes and zucchini and it was perfect. I also like the classic Gnocchi with Pesto and Tomato and Mozzarella Salad. 51 Bank St. b/w 7th and 8th Avenues

3. Karen’s on Astor is a great lunch spot, if you can find a seat. They have a healthy assortment of soups, sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. The prices are a little high, but the food is yummy and alot of it is organic. I especially like the Carrot Ginger Soup and Chicken Curry Wrap. I also had a Coconut-something soup last time I was there, but I don’t remember what else was in it. 1 Astor Place b/w Broadway and 4th Ave

4. I like to go to Peanut Butter and Co. because it brings me back to 3rd grade…or yesterday. I realize that I could easily make my own PB sandwich, but it just tastes so much better when someone else makes it for you. They have 6 or 7 different PBs to choose from, milkshakes and cookies, and sandwiches come with carrot sticks and chips. The restaurant is cute with antique Fluff and Coca-Cola ads on the walls. My favorite sandwiches are the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl (cinnamon-raisin PB, vanilla cream cheese, and apple slices on whole wheat) or the Peanut Butter Cup (PB and Nutella! It doesn’t get any better than that!). You can also buy jars of their creative PBs at the store, or at Whole Foods. 240 Sullivan St. b/w W. 3rd and Bleecker

5. If you like Indian food, you should check out “Curry Row,” basically anywhere on E. 6th St. between 2nd and 1st Avenues where every restuarant is authentic Indian. The food is really cheap (we’re talking ~$20 or less average for 2 people, including appetizers and tip) and pretty good if you’re in the mood for Indian. I always get Vegetable Curry and Garlic Nan, which are pretty much the same anywhere. All the restaurants along here are basically the same quality and look/taste the same, but the only name I can remember is Raj Mahal, just because it’s so cheesy. Avoid the ones playing live music though, it just gets annoying when you can’t hear your date speaking. If you want more upscale Indian, go to Tamarind, which is more expensive and fancier. I had Vegetable Curry there too, but it was better. E. 22nd b/w Park Ave. and Broadway

6. My friend Celeste (my usual dining partner) introduced me to Venezuelan arepas at Caracas Arepa Bar. We call it “the arepa place.” Arepas are like pitas, only thicker and made from cornmeal. You can get them with a variety of fillings, including meat, cheese, veggies, or guacamole. Venezuelan guac is not what you might expect- it’s chunkier, with more tomato and less avocado, and not as slimy as the usual guac. I don’t really like guacamole but I liked this kind in my Cheese and Guacamole Arepa. The restuarant is really small, so you might have to wait or sit at the counter. E. 7th St. b/w 2nd and 1st Avenues

I’m sure that I will add to this list later but that’s all for now folks because I’ve had to retype this post 3 times now because Blogger hates me.

Do You Fondue?

My first experience with fondue and it was delicious! On Saturday night, we went to this tiny wine bar/fondue bar in the East Village called The Bourgeois Pig (E. 7th St. b/w 1st Ave. and Avenue A). The place has maybe 6 small tables, with comfortable chairs and a cozy atmosphere. The portions are generous and yummy, we had more than enough for the 6 of us. First, we ordered the Five Italian Cheeses fondue, which came with garlic bread, proscuitto, fries, and an assortment of fruit. The cheese was flecked with oregano, thyme, and rosemary–very tasty, especially good with apples. Then we ordered dark chocolate fondue with caramel, which came with slices of brownies, some sort of chocolate chip bread, strawberries, and other fruit. SO GOOD. Why had I never had fondue before? I was missing out! This would also be easy and fun to do at home.

Last night, inspired by the Food Network’s Good Deal with Dave Leiberman, we made an elegant dinner for 3: Braised Hoisin Beer Short Ribs, with Mashed Potatoes and Sesame Sugarsnap peas. I don’t even eat meat, and the short ribs smelled amazing while they were cooking for 3 hours–the recipe is super easy, you basically just let the ribs simmer in beer so it’s not labor-intensive. I had a tiny little bite, and I have to admit it was pretty tasty (as I’m sure those who actually ate them would tell you). I haven’t really ventured to cook meat before, but this one was so easy I may try to make it for my boyfriend sometime. The potatoes and peas were also yummy, those I did eat.

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