Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chef Michelle's Restaurant

After a crazy day at work and school, I thought it would be a good idea to cook. Somehow, I believed it would help me de-stress.

This usually never happens. I mean, wouldn't it make more sense to just order take out after a long, hard day? My mind doesn't work that way, I suppose. If I've had a difficult day, I like concentrating on something else. So, I put all my energy into cooking a real meal!

I impulsively bought some uncooked shrimp and beef at my local grocery store. After peeling the shrimp and putting them in boiling water to cook, I added olive oil, garlic salt, regular salt, and pepper to give the dead shrimp some zest. That was doable.

Funny enough, the beef was tougher. Rarely have I ever cooked beef in a way I dislike. I eat beef often enough to know how to cook it well for myself. This time, however, I unnecessarily boiled the beef cubes before I cooked them. After draining the water and dousing the meat with the same stuff I used on the shrimp, I realized just how overcooked it might taste.

I still managed, but I'll know better next time! Somehow, I got some tasty au jus out of the whole situation.

-- Michelle

Hungarian Pastry Shop

Check out the cream puff and Russian Coffee at the Hungarian Pastry Shop! The cream puff tasted good, but the coffee makes this place special. There are so many coffees and desserts to choose from, I'm going to sample them one at a time. I would recommend the Russian Coffee to chocolate-lovers.

Good luck finding a spot inside. Chances are, someone has already beaten you to that table and is permanently parked there. That's okay; I prefer studying and eating breakfast outside where I can people-watch and listen to the church bells toll every hour.

-- Michelle


Good friends + good food = happy stomach

That's water, if anyone was wondering. :)

Fruit smoothie!

Sunday brunch and study session

When I don't know what to get, I order a butter and sugar crepe. It has never disappointed me before, and neither does Artopolis.

Waffle station

...Sandwiches, salads, savory crepes, sweet crepes, gelato, cakes, and more! Artopolis has variety. This cafe is one of my favorites! It has a warm vibe all year round.

Halal Food

There are food carts all over New York City. Some sell hotdogs, croissant sandwiches, orange juice, coffee, or ice cream. Others sell something I had never heard of before: Halal food. Before I tried it, I didn't know why people would wait in line for chicken and rice, or gyros from a one-man cart stand.

The guy at the stand cooks the food in front of you. The portions are huge. The price is right. $5 for a full lunch box? I wouldn't have it any other way.

Not only does the food smell amazing and attract hungry people, the cuisine has a religious component as well. I googled the word, "halal" online. According to, halal means "permissable" or "lawful". In terms of food and drink, halal includes anything that follows Islamic dietary guidelines.

I definitely recommend that tourists, especially, try food from a halal cart. It's a new experience that shouldn't be overlooked.

FYI: Ask for the white sauce if you prefer non-spicy food. I tried a plate with white sauce, and it was tasty. I also asked for "everything" during my second halal cart experience and got a flaming red sauce mixed in with the white sauce. If you're brave enough to try the red sauce, make sure you have water with you!



328 Malcolm X Blvd. and West 127th St is the home of an incredible restaurant that every New Yorker has heard of called Sylvia's. It serves delicious soul food! My friends from graduate school asked where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner. I chose Sylvia's because I had never been to this restaurant before, and my cousin kept saying, "You have to eat there!"

Yes, I'm well aware my birthday was months ago...but I wanted to post pictures of Sylvia's!!!!

After our evening class, we waited for a bus to take us to my birthday dinner. Unfortunately, it was sprinkling. Within seconds, we were pelted with hail. (See the white specks in the picture above....)

...Happy birthday to me!

What's more amazing is that these girls hopped on the bus in spite of the crazy weather. That was one of the best birthday presents ever.

Check out our feast:

-- Michelle

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jazz Reggae Festival at UCLA

I wish I remembered the name of this restaurant. I truly do. It was a stall at UCLA's 25th Jazz Reggae Festival, and surprisingly one with a short line. But boy...did it serve up a mean catfish sandwich. DELICIOUS. And I got to eat it while listening to Lupe Fiasco, live.


Also, my friend Amrik tried a jamaican dinner plate with jerk chicken and rice. :) His review is in the video. He's new to this.