How to Order [FOOD]

Legend

Legend is my new go-to Sichuan fix in New York City. It deserves this fair warning: the dishes are very spicy. For people like me, that is a plus. The appetizers here are on the smaller side, but their prices are competitively suited for the size. On the other hand, the entrees come in rather large portions. Therefore, for a table of two, an appetizer and entrée with rice OR two entrees should do the trick, give or take an appetizer or two. The flavors here are pretty authentic and provide no mercy with the amount of peppers and cilantro in the dishes. Strangely, some of the dishes mix in cheaper...

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Empire Cake Bakery

I happened to be passing by when I saw an amazing layered cake in its window. This fabulous, rotating cake was decorated with many iconic symbols and artworks for Pride Day 2014: As someone whose favorite dessert is an exotic fruit, my perfect level of sweetness is relatively low to medium. The snowball offered at Empire Cake Bakery had a very nice texture without being overly sweet. The cake filling and marshmallow complemented each other well. Perhaps head here for a wedding cake, though I’m not too sure. There seemed to be a lot of promotion for catered cakes in-store. Planning...

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Nando’s PERi PERi

This Portuguese franchises serves a wonderful Peri Peri or Flame-grilled chicken. The portions are very large and the flavors are worth the try. The décor is interesting, and the order system is modern. The utensil and napkin station has a ton of interesting seasonings and spices for you to sprinkle on top of the sides with the order. The garlic bread is well seasoned and has great color. The peas are minty. The rice is yellow with some small pieces of vegetables. The overall menu's flavors are exotic and tasty. Nandos PERi PERi: 4231 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016 + (202)...

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Otafuku

My favorite hole-in-the-wall takoyaki joint has moved its location to a slightly bigger store that fits more than three customers inside! Its menu expanded as well to include nutella and banana taiyaki. Takoyai is a ball-shaped Japanese snack usually made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special pan. Otafuku fills them with a generous piece of octopus (tako), ginger, and onion. The restaurant decorates the order of six balls with a dark takoyaki sauce and pink bonito (dried squid) flakes, which is used in many Japanese soup broths. Get the set with the octopus balls and Taiyaki is a Japanese...

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Xi’an Famous Foods (Bayard St)

For all who are not aware, Xi'an Famous Foods - dubbed hipster Chinese food by New York magazine - is a chain restaurant opened by Chinese American Jason Wang and his father. Some of the chain's most notable dishes include cold skin noodles, freshly hand-ripped noodles, savory Chinese street cart style burgers, and lamb head salad. The restaurants are located in various locations in Queens and Manhattan. The Bayard Street location in Chinatown is a decent location with about 35 stools on long tables and wall counters. Since I had first discovered one of this chain's original locations in Flushing...

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Liberating Spices

"It’s true that hot foods can help your body burn more calories. When you eat foods with a kick, the spiciness elevates your body temperature and makes your heart beat faster, both which require energy. But the main reason that those who consume spicy foods are able to stay slimmer than others does not lie solely in the metabolism-boosting effects." When I was around nine years old, my grandfather told me that eating spicy foods would make me warmer in the cold weather. Since I was so skinny, I bravely examined and consumed a simple peppered piece of stir fry. I forced myself to eat what...

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New Malaysia Chinatown

The curry at New Malaysia Chinatown uses too little curry powder for my taste but is flavored nicely with more coconut milk. For many non-spicy eaters, this is an advantage. The prices are decent here in Chinatown. Be sure to try some Roti Canai, a type of Indian-influenced flatbread found in Malaysia and Indonesia. This Roti Canai is a single thick slice with a thick curry sauce, and worth a try. I do not normally like ordering satay meats because I find these orders not worth it. I like to make my own or get street cart version because at a restaurant, I expect a little more work and something...

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Fresca La Crepe

Fresca La Crepe is owned and run by an insightful and friendly chef Patricia Chu. It is one of the most intimate and friendly places in New York City to grab a French crepe. The menu is generally small but appropriate for the hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Choose from the small and satisfying selection of savory and sweet crepes as well as an accompaniment of an exceptional cold/hot drink. This crepe joint is conveniently located near the 61st/Woodside 7 train station.

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Greenwich Grill

This Tokyo-Italian fusion is satisfying. Greenwich Grill has made two lasting impressions on me already in terms of service and raw fish. I am comforted in knowing that walking into this restaurant, the lunch menu can satiate my needs for proper nutrition, no matter what I order, with a good amount of vegetables (what I truly appreciate), starch, carbohydrates, and protein. This also reveals an attempt to balance flavors well. The restaurant, table, seating, and food design carries well the Japanese's attention to detail when food is involved. Some of the waitresses are Japanese, as the art on the walls...

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Sichuan Gourmet Framingham

Sichuan Gourmet Framingham is a popular location for Sichuan outside of Boston, close to Natick Mall. Explore this menu! The food here is very spicy but don't order as you would at any Chinese take out place in that you should try more foods by eating family style. Effective use of chili oil is essential to some of the dishes I recommend below. If you need some suggestions, try: Dan Dan Noodles Sichuan Kung Bao Chicken Beef Tendon w. Spicy Wonder Sauce Fish Filets & Napa Cabbage w. Spicy Chili Sauce Ma Po Tofu (with pork as required) (Very spicy) Chinese Eggplant w. Yu Xiang Sauce House...

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