Tag Archives: pork

Filipino Dinner at Tito Rad’s

I came here with a medium sized group and we shared everything family style… Tito Rad’s Grill & Restaurant is perfect for that!

The appetizers we started off with were the lumpiang shanghai (lumpia) which is my all time favorite Filipino food and ukoy (bean sprout fritters). The lumpia had a mixture of pork, shrimp and mixed vegetable and was a perfect blend inside the extremely wonderful crispy shell. The bean sprout fritters were something new for me… The bean sprouts are fried in a batter, along with shrimp and vegetables. It was quite good as well with a nice bold flavor.

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We also had quite a few main courses, such as pork adobo, a departure from the usual chicken adobo dish. It was really good, marinated in soy sauce, peppercorn and spices, cooked with onions. The pork was perfectly tender and well seasoned.

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I also liked the BBQ pork chop and we even ordered another serving of that because we enjoyed it so much! The meat was juicy and very tasty. The accompanying sauce was worked really well with the pork chop.

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Then there was the grilled tuna belly, which was great as well. The skin was grilled just right and tasted wonderful with the meat.

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We chose 2 noodle dishes: Pancit and crispy noodles. The one I liked better was the pancit – sautéed egg noodles cooked with chicken, shrimp, chinese sausage, carrots, lettuce, other greens. It was a great medley of ingredients and each one tasted fresh and full of flavor. The other one had carrots, green beans, broccoli, chicken on top of a bed of crispy noodles. I liked the crunch of the noodles but it wasn’t quite as flavorful as the pancit.

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My least favorite dish was called Laing – taro leaves cooked with green peppers and apparently some sort of meat but I couldn’t taste any of that. It looked like a mess of green and I didn’t find it to be that good. It was lacking in flavor and I wasn’t a fan of the consistency and texture.

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After all that, we had to try some dessert. I was sold on the Halo Halo, which is shaved ice with ice cream, condensed milk, sweet beans, jello, taro cake, fruits! One of my table mates declared that it was good for one person, so I ordered that and it came in a HUGE cup. There was so much in there and it was delightful, although difficult to finish because the shaved ice was really cold (pointing out the obvious here, I know)! The ice cream was French Vanilla with strawberry jelly swirl on top and though I don’t normally enjoy vanilla ice cream by itself, this ice cream was incredibly delicious: Creamy, sweet, milky and most of all, intense and fresh vanilla flavor! All the other ingredients were also quite good and the condensed milk tinged everything and gave it an extra level of sweet yumminess!

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The service was pretty good and there was a lovely lady who came by several times to make sure we were doing okay and we got everything we ordered. She was a very gracious host.

All in all, a wonderful evening filled with quality Filippino food and great company!

 

Tito Rad’s Grill
49-10 Queens Blvd
Queens, NY

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Yelp’s Holiday Cruise 2016

This year’s Yelp Holiday Cruise aboard the Hornblower Infinity was off the hook amazing!

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The Hornblower Infinity was a beautiful, spacious yacht with 3 levels. “Recently remodeled with a bold design, this vessel is the largest in the New York fleet and matches the uniqueness of New York.”

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Upon entering, my group of friends and I headed downstairs to the first floor, where all the savory food vendors were. After a bit of noshing on yummy savory bites, I headed up to the 2nd level for some sweet treats. There was also CandyTwisted Balloons, where they make balloon hats of your choice… They were gorgeous! On the third floor, where there was an oxygen bar, massage area, painting and a magician.

                   MY FAVORITE TREATS OF THE NIGHT

Between the Bread
They presented us with a scallop on top of a tortilla chip, which was delicious. I really enjoyed the pan seared scallop and the flavorful pesto sauce on top.

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Otto’s Tacos
This pulled pork taco was quite large and chock full of wonderful tasting seasoning! The meat was juicy, tender and so yummy!

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City Cakes
I am a chocolate chip cookie girl (which I also tried of course), but one bite of the red velvet cake cookie and I was hooked… It was perfectly soft, had a mix of red velvet and white cream, just the right amount of sweetness and the definition of delicious. The chocolate chip cookie was also mouthwatering good.

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Tea & Milk
Cute bubble tea business. The folks making and serving the bubble tea were friendly and bubbly! I couldn’t decide between the regular black tea or the green jasmine tea so they let me try both! They were quite tasty, especially the jasmine tea. I liked the bit of cream they put on top and the tapioca balls were exactly the right texture and size.

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Oficina Latina
This booth had both savory and sweet… Gorgonzola gnocchi with greens which were great and for dessert, I chose the chocolate and nutella which was absolutely delectable: Very rich, creamy, chocolate-y smooth and decadent!

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Dough
Perfectly adorable mini donuts of quite a few different flavors. Each one moist and delightful, with sweet icing! Pictured below: Passionfruit and Chocolate.

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One vendor I didn’t really care for was Chickpea, though I loved their beautiful, colorful, unique and creative presentation of flowers, along with the meats. Beyond that, I thought the naan, chicken and falafel were quite bland and dry. Another that didn’t meet my expectations was Coppelia’s chicken fried rice, especially since I love the restaurant Coppelia. It might have benefited from more seasoning and fresh ingredients.

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The dance floor was super fun, with great songs and lots of characters, such as Elmo, Unicorns, dinosaurs, entertainers in glittery bedazzled costumes, dancers in white with masks and so on. The boat docked around 9pm, but the DJ and Hornblower Cruises staff stuck around for an extra hour so we could continue having a blast and dance the night away!

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The Ramen Burger

I had heard about “The Ramen Burger” as New York City’s next big food craze for awhile now and finally had the chance to try it this past weekend. My friend and I were wandering around St. Mark’s Place in search of a good Japanese restaurant. We finally came across Noodle Cafe Zen (my find!), where they were having 50% all sushi and a delicious looking lunch special. I was all set to order the salmon teriyaki until I saw the sign for The Ramen Burger. Total game changer and we both ended up getting it.

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It took awhile for the food to come, but it was well worth the wait. The Ramen Burger came with tortilla chips and a light green hummus-y dip. I thought the tortilla chips were cute, if a bit unorthodox in a Japanese restaurant. Though, it did look like the main chef was Mexican so he probably just wanted to add a bit of that flavor into the meal. We also tried a side of charsiu pork, which was way too fatty for me. I am used to the Chinese version which is bright red, lean BBQ pork so could not fully enjoy the Japanese version of the pork.

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I did, however thoroughly relished The Ramen Burger. The ramen itself was fried and the meat patty was a blend of beef and pork. The meat was incredibly juicy, savory, flavorful and delicious. There was also tomato, green onion, Asian mayonnaise and a sweet dark brown sauce that worked well together. It was pretty messy, but definitely worth it to try to get a bit of everything in one bite. It was also very filling and satisfying.

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I’m glad I had a chance to try this food creation and I would even come back to the restaurant to try other menu items, such as the shrimp tempura roll, salmon teriyaki, chicken katsu and ginger ice cream. (I was all set to order the ginger ice cream while I was there this weekend, but sadly they were out of it!) Overall, great experience, tasty food and excellent service.

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Noodle Cafe Zen
31 St. Mark’s Place
New York, NY

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