New Peking

Located on Ford Rd, in Garden City, New Peking is one of the better Chinese restaurants I’ve been to. I’ve been craving General Tso’s Chicken and this place finally satisfied my craving. Introduced to me first by my brother, I wanted to share my experience with Josh. He liked it.

See how they rated: 

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price/Quality: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 1 out of 5 bites

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Egg Drop Soup: Classic Chinese soup with added tofu. I like this soup, because it doesn’t have that fake bright yellow hue that you get at some Chinese places. Creamy egg drop soup!

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Sizzling Rice Soup: Josh’s pick! Chicken and Chinese greens served with sizzling morsels of golden rice crust. The golden rice crust was poured in at the table and actually sizzled when it touched the broth. However, the rice crust tasted a bit burnt and distracted me from the rest of the ingredients. The veggies and the broth had a good flavor. I was disappointed I had to ask our server for those yummy soup noodles. Those soup noodles were the reason I ordered soup in the first place!

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Fried Wonton: Fried wontons filled with savory pork. The fried wonton was light and crispy and had a subtle sweetness tasting almost like elephant ear dough. Then you bite into the small center of savory pork and it added some saltiness to balance the sweetness. I only wish there were more of the pork filling.

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Hot mustard & what I think was sweet plum sauce. Be careful with the mustard, it’s potent. The plum sauce went well with the fried wonton.

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Chicken Fried Rice: I like that this fried rice is actually juicy and doesn’t taste like it was made hours ago.

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General Tso’s Chicken: Marinated chunks of chicken breast stir-fried with vegetables in a house special brown sauce. Huge chunks of juicy, chicken breast with a delicious breading. I like that the breading wasn’t too crispy and the veggies were fresh. The sauce was sweet and spicy. This is what General Tso’s Chicken should taste like!

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And now dessert…….

Almond Cookie: A little dry and didn’t taste fresh. Not the crumbly, soft almond cookie I’m used to. Eh.

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New Peking is an authentic Chinese restaurant serving up huge portions for your money. You still get the old school Asian decor, but the flat screen TVs add a modern touch. I recommend New Peking if you are looking for great food, decent prices, and good service.     My favorite part: fortune cookies!

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Caramel Crunch Mocha Latte

My significant other got me hooked on Tim Horton’s coffee. When I found out about the new Caramel Crunch Mocha Latte I couldn’t wait to try it.

Sweet, chocolatey, and delicious! The hot coffee melts the caramel crunch, adding a subtle sweetness that pairs well with the mocha.

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Melt

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Located on Cass Ave, in Detroit’s Midtown, this espresso and gelato shop battles your taste buds with rich, hot coffee, and cool and creamy Italian ice cream. With their opening in November of 2013, Melt is already a comfortable neighbor in the community. During my visit, I drank my latte and observed as person after person walked in to converse with the shops owner, Aaron and indulge in the daily treats.

See how they rated: 

Atmosphere:  4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Caramel Latte: Espresso and milk with a touch of caramel. I was afraid that this would be too sweet, but it was perfect

Mocha Latte: Perfect balance of chocolate, milk, and espresso. Delicious!

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Macaroons: Tiffany loves macaroons and really wanted to check em out. They weren’t the best, but they were OK. When you’re a macaroon snob like Tiffany it’s hard to find homemade macaroons that taste like Paris.

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Gelato: Around 10 unique flavors to tempt your palette, including French Toast & White Chocolate Raspberry. I tried a sample of the Pistachio and it was subtle and creamy. I will definitely be back to try more flavors. The green tea gelato cone caught my eye as well.

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Tip: Try a Signature Drink; gelato blended with coffee for a rich, tasty, treat.

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This adorable, quaint shop is kind of place you’d want to go back to. Aaaron was very catering and knowledgeable, answering the 20 questions we had for him. After placing our order, he served it to our table, which was a more personable approach to writing your name on a coffee mug and yelling it out for pick up. The best part, the February promo is $2 lattes, any size! So stop in and get your fix!

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Game Day

For the Superbowl Josh and I decided to play it safe and order pizza. I am a huge fan of Hungry Howie’s mainly because of the delicious flavored crust. And what goes better with game day then pizza? Check it out.

New Asiago Cheese Bread: Subtle Asiago cheese flavor, buttery, and cheesy. Pretty good and a good change from the classic 3 Cheeser Bread.

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It even tasted great dipped in nacho cheese (store bought, not from Hungry Howie’s) and even reminded me of high school lunch.

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Ham & Pepperoni with Garlic Butter Cheese Crust: Delicious, cheesy, garlicy, buttery. I love that the cheese doesn’t slide off the whole piece of pizza when you take a bite.

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I also made shredded chicken in a crock pot for tacos and nachos. The pictures didn’t turn out that good so I’m not posting any.

Here’s the recipe:

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken 

1. Combine 2 chicken breasts, 1 packet of taco seasoning, 1/2 diced onion, 1/4 cup of chicken broth, 1/2 jar of your favorite salsa, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper in a crock pot.

2. Set it on high heat for 4-6 hours or until it pulls apart and tastes great.

3. Add more seasoning if desired.

Tip: Great for tacos, nachos, or even as a topping on homemade pizza.

As disappointing of a game, at least the food was good.

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Bucharest Grill

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Located inside Park Bar Behind the Fox Theater lies a small little counter cranking out some of the best shawarma’s in the area. Normally I order to go, but this trip, Tiffany and I grabbed a seat. With a menu consisting of Middle Eastern favorites, burgers, gourmet dogs, and sides, Bucharest Grill is the hot spot after any concert, Tiger’s game, or night on the town. We stopped in for lunch and it was pretty busy.

How they measured up: 

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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Chicken Shawarma: Grilled marinated chicken, tomato, lettuce, pickles, garlic, and spices wrapped in a pita. First, the shawarma is huge and all for $4.50 plus tax. Second, the chicken is perfectly seasoned, grilled, and still juicy. So moist that the juices will drip from the sandwich and onto my hand.  It’s a beautiful thing. This time, the pita was a little wet from it’s contents but when you eat it as fast as I did, it doesn’t matter. Next, the pickles! Skinny, slightly sour, but still crunchy. I don’t know what it is about these pickles, but they are my favorite. Lastly, the garlic sauce can be a little overwhelming so I often get mine on the side.

Tip: Beware because they charge you $0.25 cents to get your sauce on the side. This boggled my mind, because actually getting it on the side is a smaller amount than what they slop on the wrap. I brought this to the attention of the woman who took my order and she only said they charge to get it on the side versus on the shawarma. Isn’t that backwards?

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“New” Cheese Pie Turnover: Crispy pastry crust loaded with feta, asiago, and muenster cheeses. I was disappointed when this was brought to our table and I’ll tell you why. By the description I expected a pastry crust similar to phyllo dough. What I got was basically pita bread or a tortilla. It tasted delicious, but it was more like what I would expect a quesadilla to taste like. And it even came with a side of sour cream just like a quesadilla!! On the other hand, muenster and feta make everything betta so it turned out to be good.

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If you haven’t been to Bucharest Grill, you are missing out. The shawarmas are seriously the best around. They’re so good that I have even stopped in on my way home from a long night. I’m not normally a person who eats alone, so this is kind of a big deal. Bucharest Grill is opening a new location in Corktown so stay tuned. They also cater and deliver for your every need.

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Vinsetta Garage

Located on Woodward, in Berkley, this garage turned restaurant prides itself on being the oldest car shop this side of the Mississippi River. I describe it as retro repair shop meets old school diner with a hipster feel. The menu consists of burgers, pies, pasta and some unique treats. The bad thing: Long wait times. The good thing: Once we did get a table, our service was great. Some things are just worth waiting for.

Here’s how they scored:

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites (wait time)

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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Josh went with a “Build Your Own” pasta bowl.

Coal fired chicken penne pasta with bacon pecorino cream sauce, house-smoked cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper, and spicy fried onions. The spicy fried onions were my favorite; they reminded of chopped fried onion straws with some heat. I honestly think any pasta bowl you ordered would be delicious, but we couldn’t stop eating this one. Creamy, cheesy, light, yet rich.

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I chose the Loaded Potato Pie

Redskin potatoes, house-smoked cheddar, cheese blend, garlic butter, shiitake bacon, chives, sour cream side. The crust was crispy and chewy and the pie was that perfect combo of potato and cheese. I just wish the potatoes were a little bit crispier because they were just barely done. The coolness of the sour cream was nice, but I don’t know about you, but with pizza, I prefer ranch dressing. You could imagine my disappointment when our server informed me that they didn’t have ranch. The pizza was a little on the dry side without any sauce so I just added Cholula Hot Sauce.

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The Wow Factor: Shitake Bacon. I ordered this on the side, since Josh doesn’t like mushrooms. If you don’t either, don’t worry. This topping tasted more like Rainbow Better Made Chips (ya know, the delicious burnt chips that are like gold). They were a little on the salty side, though.

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Faygo Rock & Rye Milkshake with Pop Rocks: Whaaaaaat?! Yes, I said it. It was amazing, delicious, and local. There’s something nostalgic about your favorite soda made into a milkshake. Who doesn’t like Pop Rocks exploding with each sip as well? I forgot how fun they were.

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When you leave a restaurant feeling like a kid again, that’s a good sign. Vinsetta Garage is serving some great grub with their unique brand stamped all over it. Parking is a little tricky, but they do have valet available. I’ve only tried to get a seat during dinner hours, so try lunch and see if the wait is any better. Get there soon and experience Vinsetta Garage.

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Hop Sheing Noodle House

Ma and I finally made it in to Hop Sheing Noodle House. Located on Fort St. in Lincoln Park, MI, this new local addition opened about a week ago. With nothing like this restaurant in the area, the noodle house has a competitive advantage.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Service/Quality: 4 out of 5 bites

Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

 

How the order sheet works:

1. You choose your style of noodles

2. You choose your meat

3. You choose your veggies

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Since I never had bubble tea, that’s what I started with

Green Tea Bubble Tea: also known as “pearl milk tea” is a drink invented in tea shops in Taiwan in the 1980′s. The creamy green tea flavor was nice. The tapioca pearls in the tea were like flavorless gummy balls. I honestly don’t see what all the craze is about. I personally don’t want to drink gummy balls when having tea. Kudos for something different though.

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After we ordered, our server brought those delicious crunchy soup noodles sprinkled with sugar. They were delicious!

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Udon: Classic Japanese style wheat noodles with clear broth, meat, and veggies. The chicken was tender and the veggies were fresh. The broth didn’t have much flavor and the bowl reminded me of a hearty chicken noodle soup.

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Hong Kong: Egg noodles quick fried with a red pepper oil. I got mine with Chicken. This dish took me back to my high school days of spicy veggie Low Mein @ Cathay House also in Lincoln Park. Good flavor with some heat. Lots of veggies and big chunks of chicken breast.

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I liked that the decor was fresh and there wasn’t an overwhelming red hue that normally floods Oriental or Asian restaurants. Our server did a good job explaining the menu and checked on us frequently. The owner cashed us out, was very friendly and even checked on us during our meal. The only thing I was missing was fortune cookies delivered along with the bill. I always look forward to these and was disappointed they didn’t come. Wink, Wink. I’m looking forward to seeing how Hop Sheing Noodle House does in 2014. Stop in and show them some love!

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Taco Night

For Ma’s birthday I made taco’s with all the fixins.

I started with fresh guacamole.

Guacamole

I bought avocado’s & limes from a local Mexican store located on Fort St in Lincoln Park: Abarrotes Sin Limite & Taqueria. Whenever I buy avocados from Kroger or Meijer they either aren’t ripe or they are rotten. When I buy them @ this local grocery store they are perfectly ripe and less expensive. I bought 3 avocado’s, 2 limes, and one package of small tortillas and my total came to $4.65. That’s so cheap! 

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Combine 2 avocados, 1/4 small diced onion, 1 clove of garlic, juice of 1 lime, salt, pepper, and red pepper seasoning for a little heat.

I left out tomato, but add it if you like.

Tip: Place the pit of the avocado in the guacamole to prevent it from turning brown in the fridge. Lime juice also works.

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Taco Meat

Next, I browned up 1 lb of ground turkey and drained the grease.

Saute with onions and peppers and season with cumin salt, and pepper.

I added one package of taco seasoning and 1 small can of tomato sauce. I like using tomato sauce versus just water because it creates a thicker sauce.

Let simmer on low heat to marry all the flavors together for 20 min.

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Fried Corn Relish

While the meat is simmering, I saute onions and peppers in olive oil and butter.

Add corn and saute on medium-high heat until corn gets browned.

Butter is great for browning and you may need to add another tablespoons to help the corn along.

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Since I have issues when it comes to making rice, I cheated and went to Taco Especial located on Southfield Rd in Ecorse, and bought authentic Spanish rice and refried beans. This is a local Mexican restaurant that I have been going to ever since I was little and it’s pretty tasty.

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Toppings

I thinly sliced carrots, yellow bell peppers, and green onions.

I chopped romaine mix with purple cabbage & spinach.

Top with your favorite cheese, sour cream, guacamole, veggies, and corn relish.

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I fried flour tortillas in olive oil to give them a slight crispy crunch.

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Our taco dinner turned out great and Ma was very impressed with the meal. Tacos are also great for any meal including game day!!

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