Minca Ramen Factory | East Village NYC, NY

(Pork Belly) Ramen, I love it, I always crave it and unfortunately I’ve tried every Ramen Joint in Boston…. NYC, is a whole other ball game, so I am always on the look out for a good Ramen Ya in NYC. On this Particular night I checked out Minca Ramen Factory in East Village.

I originally wanted to check out Go Ramen’s author Keizo Shimamoto’s Restaurant in the Financial District Ramen.Co Unfortunately they weren’t opened on Weekends….
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So I called up the Uber and went to Minca Ramen Factory. They were no lines so I was immediately seated. Awesome!

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Typical Ramen Ya Choices, although they are doing the double broth!
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I got front row seats to the action. I wonder what kind of noodles they use…..

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Shoyu for the Gyoza
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Homemade Pork GYOZA
-pan fried pork & vegetable dumpling

Gyoza crisp to perfection and still hot. This isn’t the frozen ones that unfortunately most shops use…
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Spicy Miso Ramen – Pork and Chicken Broth
This was good. The double broth adds a depth that cannot be achieved with one. I wish the egg was soft boiled, I prefer soft boiled eggs in my Ramen. The meat was very tender and melts in your mouth.
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Good bye Minca Ramen, I’ll see you again.
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Overall Minca Ramen Factory is a great choice if you want Ramen without the extremely long wait of the other Ramen joints in the city. The Double Broth is a plus! The restaurant is what I love about Ramen Restaurants, just Quick Delicious food at a good price. Japanese Soul food. Oh yeah, CASH ONLY!

Minca Ramen Factory
536 East 5th Street,
New York, NY, 10009
(Between Avenue A and Avenue B)
PHONE: 212.505.8001
Minca on Urbanspoon

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Eight Turn Crepes | NYC SoHo, NY

(PorkBelly) It was a hot summers day and I was wandering around NYC looking for something cold. I walked past a sign that advertised Japanese Crepes. I thought, why not.

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This brought me to Eight Turn Crepe, I saw the Green Tea ice cream and I knew I had to have this
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They have various types of crepes such as savory and desserts, I went for the later….

Azuki Berries: Strawberries, Il Laboratoria del Gelato Matcha green tea gelato, Azuki beans, Eight Turn whipped yogurt,Eight Turn Matcha (green tea) custard cream, Slivered almonds,Chocolate Pocky sticks

This crepe really hit the spot! It is perfect harmony, the sweetness of the strawberries and Red Bean with the slight bitter-sweet flavor of the Matcha Ice cream and the crunchiness of the Pocky sticks all in a warm perfect crepe. It was fucking awesome.
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I want to roll up in the crepe and sleep on the pocky sticks…….
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If you are ever looking for a quick and easy dessert, definitely try out eight turn crepes! I didn’t get to try their other crepes since they were more like sandwiches. I probably never will since there is so much in that department New York already offers.

Eight Turn Crepe
55 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
(212) 334-3408
Eight Turn Crêpe on Urbanspoon

Parla | North End Boston, MA

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i tried to avoid the north end as much as i could, but the newly opened parla looked decent to me so we went i check it out after a longgggg week of work.

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left: bootleg old-fashioned – black mission fig infused rye, angostura bitters, demerara sugar, orange, luxardo cherry (the cocktail of champions, aspiring don draper types)

right: sword swallower – ancho reyes, cinzano dry, st. germain, grapefruit bitters, lemon

i didnt like both of the cocktails

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Truffle “Capuccino” – fresh black truffle, lobster demi, crab meat cauliflower espuma
it tasted like a creamy crab soup, i really liked this.
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Braised Oxtail Arancini
crispy fried rice balls, oxtail, peas
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Crispy Duck Breast
sweet potato two ways, roasted baby carrots, foraged grape gastrique
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the meat was very tender, was cooked just right
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Lamb Leg Fettuccine
house made fettuccine, braised leg of lamb, english peas, wild mushrooms, pecorino-romano
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Mixed Seafood Brodetto
1/2 maine lobster, littleneck clams, maine mussels, fish of the day, tomato fume, black garlic bread, garden herbs
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Ramen Noodle “Carbonara”
slow roasted karabuta pork belly, chilies, poached egg, broccoli rabè, guanciale dashi, parmesan
more like a brothless mazemen. the pork belly tasted fried rather than slow roasted. the texture of the noodles were actually not bad, pretty al dente.
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pan seared sea scallops – ricotta gnocchi, brown butter sauce, toasted garlic green beans, salsify espuma, herbs
the butter sauce was a bit too oily. the scallops were nicely seared but unfortunately they were sandy.
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although i didnt enjoy the cocktails, the food at parla was decent overall. service was slow and inattentive.

after dinner, we walked down to mike’s pastry to get some cannoli and cakes and ate at thinking cup next door to parla with coffee and green tea latte.

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Parla
230 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
b/t Richmond St & Board Aly in North End
Phone number (617) 367-2824
parlaboston
Parla on Urbanspoon

The Boil | New York City, NY

(Porkbelly) Ever since Bunny and I went to LA and ate at The Boiling Crab (The First Time), we’ve been eating at plenty of what seems like Boiling Crab imitation restaurants on the East Coast, such as Chasing Tails in Arlington, HotNJuicy in DC, and now the Boil. Hey I’m all for it if they can nail down that signature Whole Shabang Sauce.

I thought I would check out the Boil in NYC, since it seems like a rip off of the Boiling Crab in LA….. It’s right in Chinatown(some would say LES) on Chrystie Street, just a one block from a Subway stop. Sorry for the iPhone pictures guys….

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It was only a Tuesday Evening, but the wait was around 1hr long or so they said, it was more like 30min!
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Like many places in Chinatown, it’s CASH ONLY. So be sure to bring some cash with you, if not there is an ATM on the premise.
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There is a bar in the front and a seating area in the rear.
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My friend and I were seated in the rear, a bucket was already waiting for us. The bucket is for the carcases.

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Some Hot Sauce and ketchup
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Gumbo chicken, shrimp & pork:
We started off with some Gumbo, nothing was too overpowering, tasted like standard gumbo nothing too special about this dish. It did come out piping hot, which is a plus.
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It came with some fries, they were straight out of the fryer, hot and crispy.
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They gave us some latex gloves and put a bib around us……

1lb Crawfish & 1lb Shrimp:
We ordered 1lb of Crawfish and 1lb of Shrimp (highest Spice level) with the The Boil Special sauce, which is a combination of Garlic Butter, Old Bay, and Lemon Pepper. The spicyness was just right, there is some corn and sausages in the bag too. The Shrimp and Crawfish were a decent size, unlike some restaurants were they are tiny, I didn’t feel ripped off here. It was good, better than the Crawfish places in DC and VA, still not up to Boiling Crab level though. The gloves came in handy, it is messy business eating this stuff.

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We were still hungry at the end so we ordered the Catfish Basket.

Catfish Basket:
The Catfish Basket also comes with fries. Like all of the other fried items we order, it was scalding hot. Which is awesome. It was perfect, crispy on the outside tender on the inside. When it comes to fried food, it’s all about the timing, they definitely have this down.

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Overall, the Boil is not quite up to The Boiling Crab Level, it is a solid attempt though. If I ever get a craving for Crawfish in NYC, this is my go to. Cash Only is a bummer since most non-asian restaurants of this size take Credit Cards in this day in age (Chase Double Dining Points FTW!). I liked how you can choose the spiciness of the sauce, and how everything comes out piping hot. You can burn yourself if you’re not careful. Service was fast and friendly. I think I ordered too many fillers, all of the fried food you can’t really mess up on. My next trip will be straight seafood + corn + extra sausages!

The Boil
139 Chrystie St New York, NY 10002
The Boil on Urbanspoon

Cafe Artscience | Cambridge, MA Kendall Square/MIT Boston

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cafe artscience is one of the most anticipated openings this fall. like the name says, it’s supposed to be an art/science inspired restaurant. it’s connected to Le Laborataire in paris which is a unique “art and design center for creativity, invention and boundless learning … dedicated to igniting fundamental change in education, culture, industry and society through its three pillars: cutting-edge exhibitions, dynamic public programming, and immersive food and drink experiences.”

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in addition to the founder of Le Laborataire, david edwards, the team also includes patrick campbell from eastern standard as executive chef, chris cordeiro from clio as sous chef, renae connolly from marea as pastry chef.

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they sell some wikipearl products at the restaurant.

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instead of seating in the bright and comfortable looking main dining room, we got seated in the dark, cheap looking foldable chairs back room. i asked if we could seat in the main room because it looked like there were plenty of empty seats. the host just gave us a lame reason and didnt even try to accommodate us.

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what i love the most about a new restaurant are the new shining silverware and glasses. November 08, 2014-IMG_3543

stephen c – mezcal, lime juice, simple syrup
altho im a huge mezcal fan, i was hesitant to get this drink because i was looking for something cooler, but the waiter told me it’s actually a cool drink so i just went with it. he said the ice was flavored and froze at a lower temperature so it takes longer to melt. in the end, i didnt like this drink at all. it was super sour almost takes like vinegar.
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whiskey – pork belly enjoyed it.
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Marinated Oyster
Ginger Gold Apple, Burgundy Truffle, Perilla
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House Smoked Salmon Mille-Feuille – Whipped Cream Cheese, American Caviar
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Spanish Octopus
Fingerling Potato, Late Season Romesco, Castelveltrano Olive
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Berkshire Pork Belly
Sweet Potato Agnolotti, Burgundian Escargot, Persliadde
delicate crispy skin with melt in your mouth fat
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Veal Loin en Crepeniette
Pancetta, Gnocchi Parisienne, Grilled Cabbage
veal was really tender and flavorful, good texture of the gnocchi
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potato crusted tautog – celeriac brown butter, brussels sprouts, lardo
again, super tender and had a good flavor.
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from what i read about the restaurant, we were expecting something more adventurous and playful like molecular gastronomy, the Apple Store of food, a sensorial experience, but what we experienced was totally the opposite: very traditional well executed french cooking. Although cafe artscience was a little pretentious for my taste, i have to admit all the dishes were very well executed and some of the best i had recently. we enjoyed all the dishes. the veal and the pork belly being the highlights of all, i also really liked the tautog. menu items were rather limited, but i would def come back again when they bring new items to the menu.

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Cafe ArtScience
650 E kendall St
Cambridge, MA 02142
East Cambridge, Kendall Square/MIT

http://www.cafeartscience.com/

Cafe ArtScience on Urbanspoon

Tabata Ramen | New York City, NY

Another Porkbelly post. Something about Ramen and NYC seems so right, especially during the colder months. I wanted to check out Tabata Ramen because they won the 2012 NY Street Ramen Contest awhile back. They triumphed over the competition with their incredibly complex “Dark Men” Ramen, a black sesame based broth. Here is a picture to remind everyone what that looked like.

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This day I went to Tabata Ramen to see what else they have to offer. Sorry for the iPhone Photos!

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Tabata Ramen is located near Port Authority, not too far from the hotel I usually stay in NYC.
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Once you enter, you are greeted by the Bar, or a larger dinning area in the back

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From the bar you can catch a glimpse of some Wok-Action
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Like many Ramen shops in the area, you can see where they roast their pork bones
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I was watching this guy all night stir frying beansprouts and making fried rice
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I’m all about the Calpico Soda……
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Chicken Wings (チキンウィング) Spicy:
For starters I ordered their Spicy Chicken Wings
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It was super hot, I almost burned my Tongue, they were fried to perfection.

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Tabata Ramen(タバタラーメン)
Soybean Powder & Coconut Flavored Noodle Soup
(Spicy Chicken,Red Onions, Flavored Eggs, Cilantro):
I went with the Tabata ramen.
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Since I tried their DarkMen already, I thought I should try their house Ramen. I wasn’t a big fan at all, it tasted more like a Thai soup than Ramen due to the coconut broth.
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The Noodles also made it seem like a Thai soup since it has the consistency of rice noodles……
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Overall, Tabata Ramen is a real hit or miss restaurant. The Darkmen Ramen I had was awesome, but their Tabata Ramen really disappointed me. When I want to eat Ramen, I want Ramen, not something that resembles a South-Asian Soup, especially something that has their restaurant’s name on. The appetizer was good, but who can really fuck up fried chicken? On the bright side, if you are near the Port Authority, this is probably the best thing around….

Tabata Ramen
540 9th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Tabata Noodle on Urbanspoon

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