Well Done, Bien Cuit!

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

After visiting Bien Cuit, you’ll never look at pastries the same way again. Is it possible to love something without even trying it yet? That’s how I felt about this little bakery.

To preface this review, I have a short story…
As most of my family/friends know, I hardly ever watch TV. But when I do it’s usually a show about food of some sorts. This brings me to my next point: “Unique Sweets” featured Bien Cuit on one of their episodes and whenever I watch these shows, I make sure to make a mental note to visit ESPECIALLY when it’s close by. Just from the images and descriptions, I knew I had to visit. Their featured item was the elusive Chocolate Almond Croissant… double baked in brandy. I’m such a visual person and was immediately enticed when watching the show. More or less, I was sold.

Bien Cuit, meaning “well done” is certainly appropriate. All of the desserts here are carefully crafted down to the very last bite. Upon arrival, the storefront is simple/minimalist and reflects the rustic nature of the inside. Although its spacious, there isn’t much seating to go around. I was there on a mission. My friend was cooking me dinner that night and I can never go empty-handed. So I asked the girl at the counter for suggestions (she was very helpful) and I ended up deciding on three pastries:

-Huckleberry Danish with Yuzu Curd, Huckleberry Jam: Flaky, tart and very flavorful. Those berries certainly packed a punch. This was my wildcard if you will. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t had this fruit before, so take a chance on it. It’s good.

-Apple Cardamom Danish with Pureed Apple and Cardamom Strudel: Second favorite of the night. I’m a HUGE fan of apple desserts so this was a win-win. The unique pairing of flavors certainly works.

-(The true star of Bien Cuit) Chocolate Almond Croissant/Twice-baked with Brandy: If you have to pick an item, CHOOSE THIS. You can thank me later. It’s everything a croissant should be — flaky, soft, buttery, nutty (from the almond paste)… you get the idea. And the fact that its baked in brandy? Say no more. It’s a true showstopper.

Bien Cuit-Assortment

Yes, Bien Cuit may be a tad bit on the pricier side. But I can guarantee the quality is there within every single bite. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

120 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

(718) 852-0200

biencuit.com

Govinda’s

Govindas-meal

 

 

I feel like I’ve just hit the jackpot.

And by jackpot, I mean I’ve discovered delicious, cheap, fresh food in the most unexpected place imaginable. Yes, I’m talking about in the basement of a hare krishna temple. Don’t you just love that?

You can wander past this place without doing a double take. There’s no large neon sign. No flyers. No people advertising outside. It’s good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth marketing and of course many thanks to all of you. When you walk in, look past the man that sits by the door and past the temple services and to your right you will find Govinda’s. Picture this: Walk down a flight of stairs into what looks like a much-needed-rennovation space that reminds me of an older catering hall/cafeteria. The walls are a interesting shade of green and it’s a veryyyy casual atmosphere. And….. I love all of it.

The staff here is incredibly friendly and always have a smile on their faces. If you look at the sign on the wall (see picture) it’ll tell you the price breakdown. Everything is made that day (buffet style) and fresh out of the kitchen. Their desserts for the most part are vegan so if you have dietary restrictions, always ask! They’re very accommodating.

As for the food. Holy cow (irony, I know) this stuff is GOOD. No GREAT. They offer vegetarian/vegan options without sacrificing any flavor. I’ve been able to each lunch here (Mon-Fri 12:00-3:30pm) a few times and their star dish IMO has to be the eggplant parm. It’s not your traditional eggplant parm by any means in that there’s a underlying hint of curry with every bite. Super “meaty” and cheesy. I’ve also had their: pumpkin soup, quinoa salad, curry chickpeas, roasted curry potatoes/veggies, vegan cookies and cupcakes. Their meals come with their own homemade multigrain bread which is pretty stellar like everything else.

Not only are the portions pretty hefty (I have yet to finish my full lunch), but they’re very reasonably priced. Everything I’ve had here has been nothing short of amazing. I’m looking forward to becoming one of their “regulars”.

305 Schermerhorn St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 855-6714
https://www.facebook.com/govindaslunch

 

Bengal Tiger Indian

To be honest, sometimes I’m skeptical about price-fix menus. Yes, the food comes at a slight smaller portion. But that’s to be expected. In past experiences, sometimes even the quality/flavor lacks that luster that you would find in their regular dishes. Not here. No way, no how. Bengal Tiger Indian Food packs quite a punch when it comes to their cuisine.

Located on the 2nd floor, Bengal Tiger is a cozy, bright little space. There’s not much seating to go around so if you plan on coming for a bite… arrive before that dinner rush. They have beautiful artwork/phrases from wall to wall with those classic warm as well as jewel tones… very inviting. I was meeting my friend after work and we got there JUST in time. We managed to snag the last spot since a portion of the restaurant was conquered by a meetup group. Although a tight space, we sat comfortably.

Vegetarians, have no fear. You have options here! (Rhyme not intended.) My friend had plenty of meatless options which was great. For the price of $16.95, you get an appetizer, entree and dessert. Not bad IMO.

bengaltiger-samosa

App/Veggie Samosa: Phenomenal. The outside is crispy and the inside was generously seasoned filled with potato and peas. And it was on top of a green & red sauce that had quite the kick. Let’s just say I asked for a personal pitcher of water.

bengaltiger-chickentikka

Entree/Chicken TIkka Masala: Had to go with the classic choice, of course Indian spicy. (Go big or go home!) The chicken was extremely tender and there was just the right amount of sauce to meat ratio. The layers and depth of earthiness and savory flavors were on par.

bengaltiger-kheer

Dessert/Kheer: I’m a rice pudding lover. Add cashews? Spices? Home run.

All in all, I highly recommend Bengal Tiger. There’s unlimited basmati rice and their Naan is superb. The prices won’t burn a hole in your wallet and they don’t sacrifice on the spice. Staff was incredibly friendly and my water glass was never empty. This is a fantastic little spot to satisfy all your Indian Food cravings.

58 W 56th St
2nd Fl
New York, NY 10019

(212) 265-2703

bengaltigerindianfood.com

Pho Sho.

front-Rolling Spring Roll

PC: Yelp

You may cringe, you may laugh or you may scoff at the ridiculous amount of puns I am about to unleash in this review. You have been warned.

THIS PLACE IS ON A ROLL. (Here we go.)
One of my many food missions in life has been completed: to try Pho. I’m pretty new to everything in the Vietnamese food chain, so I went in with an open mind and stomach. I know what you’re thinking. Your first Pho experience was on Long Island of all places? Yes. And let me tell you, no regrets people. Rolling Spring Roll provided a wonderful foundation for my Vietnamese food pallet. It can only go up from here.

When my partner in crime (Steph M.) asked me to come here, I was like “Pho sho’!” First impression? Tiny. Casual. And a weird shade of green. The menu is small but covers all the essentials. Naturally I wanted to try everything but ended up settling on:
-Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi: VERY flavorful. The chicken was moist, bread was toasty and the flavors just melded together.
-Beef Pho: Great first experience. The different varieties of meat in one bowl was interesting. I enjoyed the pairing of bean sprouts, basil and jalapenos. Steph showed me how its done with the addition of hoisin and sriracha. Delicious and not too salty.

Bahn Mi-Rolling Spring Roll

Beef Pho-Rolling Spring Roll

Our waiter/comedian of the night was Joe. Joe has a sense of humor like me and our conversation went like this:

(At the beginning of the meal.)
Me: “This pho is PHO-nomenal.”
Joe: “That’s great, I’m definitely taking that one.”

(During the meal.)
Me to Steph: “Wow the music selection here is really interesting and amusing.” *
Joe: *does a little dance while he passes by*

(At the end of the meal.)
Joe: “You didn’t finish it it all?! I’m sorry but we’re not friends anymore.” **
Me:  “………wat?”

That pretty much sums up our hilarious interactions with the waiter that night. Needless to say, I will definitely be back. If you’re looking for delicious, quality Vietnamese food and you can only venture to LI, come here. This place will be pho you. Rolling Spring Roll Shop pho ever.***
______________________________­__________________________
*I think I heard Bryan Adams, Bonnie Tyler and Destiny’s Child in a row.
**I’m sorry, but I didn’t think we were at that level yet… lmao.
***buzzfeed.com/arivoukydis… — you’re welcome.

189 Main St

Farmingdale, NY 11735

(516) 586-6097

therollingspringroll.com

Lazzat, where have you been all my life?

Image

How has this place been here without my knowing for TEN YEARS?! I clearly have not scoped out Nassau County as much as I thought I have. Shame oh me. I don’t take the term “hidden gem” lightly, but it most certainly pertains to Lazzat Restaurant. An authentic Indian establishment in my area is rare indeed. I owe this discovery all thanks to my Yelpers.

Inside is a very casual atmosphere. They have a few tables, but I’d consider this place more geared towards take-out. My interaction with the staff went like this:

Me: “Wow! The food looks amazing! How long has your restaurant been here? Are you new?”
Girl: “…..We’ve been here for ten years.”
Me: “You’re joking.”
Girl: “No, it’s true! People don’t believe us when we tell them!”
Me: “Well, expect to see me a lottt. You have no idea how happy I am.” *

I ordered take-out and received 10% off with my Yelp check-in. I ended up ordering Veggie Samosas, Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan. I figured I’d start off with the basics. The samosas were very flaky and a good ratio of dough to filling. Naan… well how can you go wrong? It was freaking delicious. And Chicken Tikka Masala, pretty darn good. I thought there was a bit too much oil in it, but deliciously creamy and full of flavor. They also give you a nice portion of Jasmine rice.

Everything was very reasonably priced and I will most certainly be back here. Lazzat is a wonderful find. Can’t wait to explore the menu some more!!!

________________________
*I don’t know if the girl saw this as a good thing. Yes, I’m that overly enthusiastic customer who literally looks like she won the lotto.**
**And yes finding a close by Indian Restaurant is like winning the lotto.

1892 Bellmore Avenue, North Bellmore, NY 11710

(516) 826-6060

http://www.yourlazzat.com