Sometimes You Just Need to Try it Once

May 9, 2013 § 1 Comment

I usually don’t eat fast food, but while we were in New York yesterday, we were in Harlem waiting for a show to begin and there weren’t too many dinner options in the neighborhood. We finally came across a White Castle, a somewhat culturally iconic American fast food establishment.

The prices here are really cheap. Granted, the sliders are tiny (there are 4 included in one meal package), but you can get one for 79 cents! I don’t know when was the last time I saw something that costs under $1. I decided to try one original slider, which is a beef patty with pickles and ketchup, and a chicken breast slider, which is a little fried chicken patty with melted cheese. I also ordered a small soda, which came in a really large cup! I’m sure it was at least 24 oz, which is at least a medium at other fast food establishments.


The sliders come in cute little cartons. One is slightly smaller than the palm of my hand, and I have really small hands!


This experience reminded why I don’t like eating fast food. The sliders weren’t bad-tasting, but they just didn’t taste like…food. The buns were soft and squishy, and the thin patty had a generic meat-like flavor. I ate it in about three bites and it was quite unsatisfying. The chicken slider was a bit better ($1.49), as the chicken breast at least seemed to be made of real meat, albeit covered in a crunchy fried coating.

I tried a few of my friend’s crinkle-cut fries and onion rings. The onion rings were tasty, though we noticed the suspicious lack of actual onions in each ring, so much so that we began to call them “ring rings” rather than onion rings.

After the meal, I didn’t really feel like I had eaten anything – maybe the food was so processed that my stomach did not need to digest anything and was confused? But there was definitely a caloric impact, as I didn’t feel the need to eat anything until almost 6 hours later, almost unheard of for me since I’m usually a snacker.


Restaurant Review: Prime 16

August 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

These past three years I haven’t been doing a good job of trying too many New Haven restaurants, though this city is famous for so many types of food. I will try my best to remedy the situation during my last year at Yale. Last weekend I went with a group of friends to a restaurant in downtown New Haven called Prime 16. It is known for its reasonably-priced burgers.

The restaurant itself is rather small and dimly lit, but our group of five was seated relatively quickly. The tables are kind of close together so it was a bit hard to hear the conversation – maybe not the best place for an intimate dinner, but good for a casual gathering of friends. The menu is extensive, consisting mainly of various types of burgers and toppings. There is a salmon burger, a turkey burgey, bison, and a house made veggie burger. Toppings include different cheeses, guacamole, mayo, etc. I chose the option of topping a salad with a medium-done burger.

It took a while for us to receive our entrees but we were quite pleased with them. The serving sizes are tremendous – you will definitely get your money’s worth here! The burger was massive and delicious – juicy and flavorful, with just a hint of pinkness. There were candied walnuts and cranberries in the salad – I felt like I needed some vegetables to balance out all the meatiness.

I polished off the burger, no problem. My friends ordered various types of burgers and they all enjoyed their dishes as well. My order was about $12, a reasonable price, especially since the burger could have been big enough to split into two meals. I’m glad to have found this place in case I ever have another burger craving.

Restaurant Review: Shake Shack

June 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

For lunch on Saturday I headed out to the Shake Shack on 19th St. between M and N Streets. I have heard good things about this place, I was ready to try it out for myself. It wasn’t as busy as I had expected, until a group of about 100 school kids ran in. The service was pretty fast and orderly though, so we didn’t have to wait too long for our food. When you order, you receive a buzzer so you can sit down and wait instead of hanging around the front.

I ordered the single shake burger, which is a single patty with American cheese and shake sauce on a bun. It was definitely an indulgence – a soft, buttery white bun, slightly toasted on the inside, rich sauce, melted cheese, and a greasy patty. Unfortunately my patty was burnt around the edges. It was good meat but the texture was rather chewy and gristly. The sauce was nondescript – it provided a creamy mouthfeel but I actually can’t describe how it tasted. My favorite part of the burger was the bun (no surprise – I love carbs!); it actually was slightly sweet. I didn’t really notice the cheese – it might have melded into the sauce. Then again, American cheese isn’t known to have a distinct taste.

Overall, the shake burger was pretty good – definitely better than a lot of chains, but not something I would crave. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t not pay the $5 for it again.

Restaurant Review: Johnny Rockets

May 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

It was difficult to find a place for dinner on Memorial Day! We wandered around the college campus but many restaurants were closed. There was one that did not have air conditioning. Finally, we discovered that a Johnny Rockets was open. It is a 1950s style diner, with a menu full of classics such as milkshakes, burgers, and fries.

I decided to get the “Streamliner,” which is a vegetarian burger made with a Boca patty. It also includes grilled onions, lettuce, mustard, and pickles. I realize that this is probably not the standard order of someone who wants to go to a Johnny Rockets but if you are vegetarian/vegan/health conscious, this is a good choice. It comes with a side of fries or salad, at $7.59.

If you’ve ever had a Boca patty, that’s basically what this burger tastes like. It is made of soy protein and has a pretty generic taste and a meaty texture. With the mustard, onions, pickles, and some ketchup, it can almost pass as a real burger. The bun was a generous size and it was lightly toasted, maybe with a bit of butter (vegans beware!), giving it a slight crunch.

So don’t rush to Johnny Rockets to get this burger, but it’s an acceptable meal if you are in the situation. Kudos to the restaurant for catering to people with dietary restrictions. Alternatively, vegetarians could also order a grilled cheese.

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