Rita’s Italian Ice

Posted by on Oct 1, 2011 in New York Eats | 3 comments

The last signs of warm summer are starting to fade away into cloudy and rainy days as fall approaches. Soon enough, we’ll be sipping from mugs of hot cocoa while snow falls outside and the holidays will be on us in no time. But before then, why not relish the last bits of summer while we can? How? What better way than enjoying something cold and fruity –  like a cup of delectable Italian ice! Italian ice has become my thing lately, along with frozen yogurt as healthier alternatives to ice cream (not that I could ever turn down ice cream…) and Rita’s Italian Ice has stolen the spotlight as my favorite go-to place. Not only is their Italian ice deliciously smooth and their flavors tantalizingly tasty, but what really makes Rita’s different is their custard. Rita’s serves their Italian ice with the option of adding custard to the top and bottom of the cup, nicely sandwiching the tangy (mango for me) ice in between creamy goodness. The custard is deliciously thick, almost like frozen cream without the oily aftertaste you get from devouring a mouthful of whipped cream. Yet it’s surprisingly not cloyingly sweet at all. I know that some people feel that sweets aren’t truly sweets unless they’re overwhelming sweet (Okay guys, let’s start counting how many times I can use the word ‘sweet’ in one sentence!), but I prefer lighter foods in general. After tasting Rita’s, no other Italian ice joint has been able to compare. Ralph’s Italian Ice across the street? They don’t stand a chance, both in flavor and service as well. Did I mention that the employees at Rita’s are always more than happy to help you? It’s no wonder that there’s always a line of customers outside their tiny little shack while Ralph’s sitting area is forever empty! Rita’s closes for the winter sometime in mid-October, so if you plan on trying them out there’s only a few more weeks left! They open again in the middle of March but just the thought of months without Rita’s…I think I better go and sate the craving before then! To find your nearest Rita’s, check out their website here. ~ AJ~ Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie...

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Shaved Ice in New York? Oh yea!

Posted by on Sep 23, 2011 in New York Eats | 9 comments

Heyo all! Many of you who have experienced the magnificence of eating shaved ice or snow ice in Taiwan probably know what I’m talking about when I say it is almost impossible to find any good comparison in the States. For those confused out there, shaved ice is a common street dessert in Taiwan where you take finely shaved ice and put all sorts of crazy toppings on it. Snow ice is actually shaved frozen ice cream, and melts on your tongue like snowflakes. Yummmmm. Anyways, this is where Flushing, New York comes in. With such a large Asian population, you’re bound to find some good shaved ice right? No. Until now that is!! Recently, the New World Mall in Flushing opened up a new shop Snopo that sells snow ice. Woot! I must say, it’s pretty darn good if you’re craving some Taiwan flavor in your diet. Here’s the Golden Mango that my friend Yoonsun and I shared. I recommend bringing a friend, because this is HUGE! The generous lady kept heaping it on the plate, and when some fell off, she just added another scoop. I was a very happy girl. The Golden Mango comes with shaved mango snow ice, mango jelly, caramelized popcorn, peaches, and almond jelly. The snow ice itself was pretty good and smooth, unlike the rough crunchy ice that the other store (Ponju) in New World Mall had. My other friends shared a lychee one, which also looked delicious. Upon tasting however, I have to say I still personally prefer mango. Mango and I share a deep bond… =] That’s it for today! Hope you guys enjoyed this short post, definitely visit New World Mall if you guys are ever in Flushing. Please leave some feedback, and I love comments and subscribers! -Jas Photographs taken by Jasmine...

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Beard Papas: Cream Puffs!

Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 in New York Eats | 1 comment

Hi all! To apologize for the absolute lack of new posts in a while, I will be doing an extensive review of a little shop I love to visit. Beard Papas! Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that I have a love for cream puffs. Unfortunately, there are very few places to get passable puffs where I live. Thank goodness for Beard Papas. A few years ago I discovered a Beard Papas a few subway stops from my school. Long story short, my friend and I were lost while Christmas shopping and stumbled along the shop in the hopes of getting directions. When we finally got cream puff cravings again earlier this year, we decided to look for the shop again, only to find out that they had closed and moved. The sadness! Anyway, we finally found another Beard Papas just 2 stops from Penn Station and a few blocks walk from 72nd street. It’s a really cute little shop with extremely neat and polite Japanese workers. There’s a cute sitting area too! I definitely recommend you all to try their puffs sometime. They also have eclairs, paris brests, and drinks. Now that it’s summer they are also selling some delicious looking mango ice smoothies with huge chunks of mango on top which I have yet to try……Anyways, enough blabbering and on to the review! If you had to try just one flavor, definitely go for the original. You really  can’t beat original! For $1.95 you get a round palm sized puff that has a nice firm crust with plenty of vanilla custard inside. What I love is the detail they put in the puffs. You can always see little black dots in the custard that signify the use of vanilla beans, NOT just vanilla extract, and each puff is freshly filled with custard and sprinkled with powdered sugar just before they hand it over to you to ensure it’s fresh and not soggy. Yummm. Not a great picture, but you guys get the idea right? Next is their version of the Mont Blanc. Since I adore chestnuts, I thought this was delicious, but if you guys don’t then I guess don’t get it? Anyway, the cream puff is in my opinion a bit bigger than the regular ones, and it has a mountain of chestnut mousse/cream/puree (not sure how to explain the texture. It’s very creamy and smooth, but has substance unlike whipped cream.) on top. To make it even better, they put a cute little chestnut on the mountain. Awwww. The combination of the custard and the chestnuts was delicious! It had a really natural chestnut flavor that was sweetened by the custard. Here’s a pic of the insides: Then there’s the beautiful Puff Paniers. So far, I’ve seen the store sell two types: strawberry and pineapple. I tried the strawberry one today and was extremely satisfied. A panier is basically a big cream puff with a mound of homemade whipped cream and fruit on top. Here’s a pic of the paniers I enjoyed with my friends: Mmmmm. You can tell the whipped cream is homemade, and not the kind that you spray out of a can. The combination of the whipped cream, strawberries, and custard was delightful and oh so goooood. The inside: I also aught to mention that Beard Papas has special flavors that change daily. For example, my friend who went on valentines day had a strawberry flavored cream puff with a strawberry on top. I myself have tried the green tea flavored one with powdered macha on...

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Cold Spring Plaza Delicatessen Breakfast Sandwiches

Posted by on Jan 18, 2011 in New York Eats | 5 comments

A belated Happy New Year!!! wish to all, and hoping that your holidays were fantastic! They do say better late than never right? Holding on to that belief…here’s a very late post. The first for S.S. Munchies’ new year! Also, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has read, commented, or even subscribed to our blog right now. Seeing that the blog actually has views, as well as reading your comments…that’s really the primary factor that keeps us posting! Please support us yet again this year! =] Now on to the stuff about food… Right about now, I think some of us may be suffering through the post-holiday blues…or busy moaning and groaning as school/work continues anew. Though this time, sadly, there won’t be any big holiday breaks to save us from the crushing, mind-numbing insanity of daily routine. So how do you all start your day off? With an oversized mug of coffee? With a healthy alternative of fresh fruits? Or…are you a fan of the breakfast sandwich? Mmm, someone needs to remind me not to write these posts when I’m hungry… Needless to say, the breakfast sandwich is rather appealing to me. After dropping by and trying various places on the way to and from Queens and Long Island, as well as a few out of the way locations, the Cold Spring Plaza Delicatessen is the best we’ve had so far. Not only does it taste better than most (Those guys really know how to make their sandwiches!) but the price by itself already gives them a few bonus points. One large coffee, a two meat with egg and cheese sandwich, and orange juice. Get this, the orange juice comes complementary. Sometimes we get one…sometimes they give us two…hey, if we’re lucky we get three! What’s the damage you say? At some places we’ve gone to, that can cost as much as around $8 (orange juice not included). Yet here, the total comes up to around $5. A $3 difference in a meal can really add up. Not to mention that I’m, uh, poor and thus when it comes to money I turn into Scrooge. Did I ever tell you guys that I really like orange juice? Their sandwiches and coffee are both delicious, we get free orange juice, and it’s probably cheaper than a breakfast combo at Burger King…not to mention healthier too. So I don’t know. I think this place is awesome but the final say will be from you (yes, you -points through the monitor-). I’ll let you guys decide. ~ AJ ~ P.S. For those of you wondering what kind of sandwiches we got. Turkey, bacon, muenster cheese, and two eggs on a toasted roll. Yum. Cold Spring Harbor Delicatessen 15 Harbor Road Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724 (631) 367-3533 Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie...

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Chipotle – Chicken Burrito

Posted by on Dec 9, 2010 in New York Eats | 1 comment

Sometimes, when you finish class around 8:30 PM at night and it takes you another hour or so to get home…the thought of cooking something and then eating at 10 PM or later isn’t the most appealing idea. So we turn to fast food. Why? Because fast food joints are everywhere, it’s fast, supposedly cheaper, and we’re Americans. So there. Oh, and I’m lazy as hell. Yea, that too. I was first introduced to the existence of Chipotle through South Park. Sad? Yes. At least I didn’t end the day ordering Chipotlaway, so that’s a good thing right? Anyway, on my third trip ever to Chipotle, I realized a few things. That yes, it was actually pretty quick. Possibly due to our arriving so late at night that the joint is practically deserted, but quick nevertheless. The next is that when my dad orders a burrito with everything they really mean everything. That thing was a monster and I found myself wondering why they didn’t use two tortillas to wrap it since it looked just about to overflow (or rip) — in fact, the person putting it all together seemed to be having trouble getting the tortilla to cooperate with all that filling. With a bag of their chips and a serving of guacamole on the side, we went on our merry way to devour the beast at home. After splitting it in half, it came to my attention that my half of the burrito was approximately the same size as my fist. Should that bother me? I suppose it sort of did, but it didn’t stop me from eating it (chips and everything). The chips were quite tasty with a light lemony taste. You could really just eat them on their own, no need for salsa (or guacamole in this case). They didn’t skimp on the filling, in fact, there was so much stuffing that the tortilla seemed like an afterthought. Overall it was not only incredibly filling (which didn’t come as a surprise considering the amount of rice and beans) but tasty too. Not a bad dinner at all. While it did take me about an hour to finish (Has anyone ever mentioned how distracting the internet can be?), and left me feeling slightly disgusted with myself, if you asked me if I’d go again. Probably. Not that there aren’t better burritos out there, but more due to the fact that it’s convenient. So yea, that’s my lazy story for the week. For those of you who may not be craving some Chipotles, check out their website: here. Hope you guys enjoyed a few laughs and giggles~! ~ AJ ~ Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie...

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