This past summer, I had the privilege of trying Filipino food for the first time. Mama Meena's Family Restaurant is located in Richmond Hill, Queens and serves home cooked, authentic Filipino cuisine six days a week.
Since everything was completely new to me, I took a chance when I chose my dish and ended up loving my choice! I ordered Bicol Express, which is described as a stew made from chilies, coconut milk, shrimp paste, onion, pork, and garlic. The dish also had chunks of eggplant, string beans, and came with a bowl of white rice.
I love spicy foods, so Bicol Express was the perfect dish for me. It wasn't overwhelmingly spicy either, thanks to the coconut milk. Another plus is that this dish is filled with veggies! If you're not a big vegetable eater, I definitely recommend giving this a try because the sauce it's covered in is amazing and is also a good topper for the rice.
Afterwards, a friend and I shared Halo-Halo for dessert.
Halo-halo is basically shaved ice mixed with condensed milk, beans, and fruit. Ours also came with a scoop of purple yam ice cream on top. Needless to say, this was a delicious and refreshing way to end our meal and time at Mama Meena's. I need to go back again and you should take a trip there too. Trust me when I say, it's well worth it!
I love potatoes, whether they're fried, baked, or mashed. Ever since I can remember, I've always had a taste for potatoes. So it is no surprise that when I found out about Pommes Frites -- a shop that specializes in authentic Belgian Fries -- I had to try it out!
What makes this place special is not only the fact that they serve freshly cut fries, they also offer over 25 different sauces to pair them with. Pommes Frites has flavors like smoked eggplant mayo, parmesan peppercorn, and pesto mayo, just to name a few. But don't worry, if these are a little too out of the ordinary for you, they also have ketchup and mustard.
If you make the trip there, it wouldn't hurt to be a little bit adventurous though! They give free samples before you make your purchase, just in case you're skeptical, overwhelmed, or can't make a decision (trust me, I had a hard time choosing myself).
When I went, I ended up going for the roasted garlic mayo and I'd definitely have it again. In fact, I think I prefer it over ketchup.
The fries are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It's very obvious that they're made fresh! They're lightly salted too.
The servings are more than generous and they also come in these nifty paper cones.
So what sauce would you get? Would you go for the more exotic choices or the regular ones?
If you're ever in St. Marks in New York City, the one place you should definitely check out is Spot Dessert Bar -- a small dessert shop that offers delicious treats with an Asian twist at very affordable prices.
My absolute favorite dessert there is the "Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake," pictured above. What is it exactly? It's warm dark chocolate cake, green tea ganache and green tea ice cream -- all in one! Sounds amazing, right? Well, I can promise you it's just as good as it sounds.
The cake oozes with melted chocolate and green tea ganache once you break into it. When you combine it with the ice cream on the side, your tastebuds will be asking for more.
But not only will it satisfy your sweet tooth, it will also fill you up. One plate of this was enough to fill me and two of my friends. At $8.75, you can't really ask for more.
So if you're ever craving something sweet, warm, AND chocolatey, make your way to Spot Dessert Bar and order the Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake. Also, feel free to comment below and let me know how you liked it!