Author: thatyumfactor

Fully Loaded Sandwich


From: M & P Biancamano’s in Hoboken, NJ

If your stomach is growling during lunchtime, I think it is safe to say this will help satiate your hunger throughout the day. This might actually be able to count as your lunch and your dinner entirely. M & P Biancamano’s is a family-owned Italian spot that serves their sandwiches stuffed beyond belief.

This was the ham, roast beef, and mutz – basically make sure to just get anything with “mutz” on it. For those who are not from the East Coast (or tri-state area to be more specific), “mutz” is short for fresh mozzarella. Hoboken is not only known for baseball and Frank Sinatra but also its fresh mozzarella, so much so that they even have the annual “MUTZFEST.” The one at M&P is so tasty, plus it has actually won the contest before – and rightfully so because their cheese is on point.

If you want to try the best, make sure to go to the ‘fest!

Haru Happy Hour 

From: Haru (Gramercy) in New York City, NY 

Haru has multiple locations in Manhattan and the one I visited was in Gramercy. Their Happy Hour at this spot is from 3PM-7PM Monday through Friday and 3PM-6PM on Saturday. In order to get the deals, you must sit at the bar or high-top tables at the sushi bar. Regardless, it is still enjoyable and definitely worth it – IMO (which I just learned means in my opinion.) 🙂

On their happy hour menu, you get to choose from an assortment of beer, wine, specialty cocktails, and sake. They have various appetizers and three rolls: California, spicy tuna, and crunchy spicy salmon. It doesn’t have to stop at the happy hour, Haru is extremely affordable no matter what you get. Plus, you can access them from almost every area in the city since they are also located on the Upper West Side, Times Square, Upper East Side, and Wall Street.

What I loved the most? The vegetable spring rolls and the crunchy spicy salmon. Pictured above is their vegetable spring roll; it was a good-sized portion (came with four) and so full of flavor. The outside was moist and crunchy while the inside’s vegetables complimented each other well.

Summer Salad Special


From: Mossuto’s Market in Wall Township, NJ
I have officially joined the “be healthy” bandwagon when it comes to incorporating kale into my diet. Anytime I can order a refreshing kale salad, I jump on it. This is a summer special from Mossuto’s Market that comes with kale, toasted almonds, farro, ricotta salata and fresh squeezed lemon with olive oil. It’s packed with different textures, varying levels of nutrition, and look how pretty it is?

It doesn’t hurt that absolutely anything you order from Mossuto’s Market is absolute perfection. It is a family-owned spot that I have featured on my blog before and they know how to cook one heck of a meal and how to treat their customers right. If you stop by to order from them, tell Rosella or Ben I say hello.

Lady Gaga Roll


From: Ayame Hibachi & Sushi in Hoboken, NJ
If you want an endless assortment of specialty rolls to choose from, go to Ayame. The various arrangements they have is plentiful and satisfying. My particular favorite is the Lady Gaga roll which consists of King crab, shrimp tempura, spicy salmon, and honey wasabi sauce. It is safe to say there is no “Bad Romance” here!

You know what puts the icing on the cake (or the soy sauce on the roll)… the fact that it is a bring your own. I am happy to report I am on my way there tonight and will be picking up a nice, cold bottle of white wine to accompany my dinner. It will be myself, my friend, my Pinot, and my Lady Gaga.

Otto’s Tacos

From: Otto’s Tacos in New York City, NY
If you are looking for a quick place to grab some freshly made-to-order tacos when in Manhattan, check out Otto’s Tacos. They are an LA-inspired taqueria that makes all of their salsas, tortillas, and marinades from scratch. They are located in both the East Village and the West Village, plus did I mention each of their items are only about $3? You could test a bunch of their tacos and it would be an affordable, plus satisfying meal.

I love having choices when I go to grab some food, because let’s face it, you get three shots in your day to have an awesome meal and you don’t want to waste it on a poor selection. At Otto’s you can choose between carne asada, carnitas, mushroom, chicken and shrimp tacos. So you can feel free to mix and match. Again… each for only three bucks! (Insert shock-faced emoji here.)

The above image is of their carnitas taco which includes a very spicy salsa verde. The pork is well-marinated, tender, and I kind of want to leave work to go there right now.

I’m On A Roll

Clam Strip Rolls

From: Sea View Snack Bar in Mystic, CT
Every year my family takes a vacation to New England and there is always one place we must stop at, the Sea View Snack Bar in Connecticut. This cute family-owned, counter-serve spot is nestled right on the Mystic River and is a quick stop off of Route 27. You can grab delicious seafood and sit at a picnic table while overlooking the boats and scenery of the beautiful river.

There are two items I always need to get from here, the fried clam strip roll and the lobster roll! The clam strips are phenomenal (says Vince Vaughn circa Wedding Crashers.) They are tender, fresh, and I love drowning them in tartar sauce. There is also another must from here, the onion rings. Although they are a backup dancer in this pic, they deserve some credit too.

Red, White and Wings

From: Landsdowne Road in New York City, NY
First and foremost, a big congratulations to Team USA for winning the Women’s World Cup last night with a 5-2 victory over Japan. That was quite an exciting game with three goals scored by Team USA within the first 20 minutes. It helped me relax a bit while I sat and ate my wings.

If you are looking for a good sports bar, check out Landsdowne Road in Manhattan. It’s located on the corner of 44th Street and 10th Avenue. It is an Irish pub and sports bar with a great assortment of comfort food and wall-to-wall TVs for game-watching. Wherever we sat last night we had a prime view of Carli Lloyd scoring goal after goal.

I would highly recommend the mild buffalo wings. They are crunchy, fresh, and not overly-doused in sauce. I also had their avocado salad, which came with avocados, toasted almonds, tomatoes, and crumbled blue cheese over mixed greens that was served with a house balsamic vinaigrette. I also was told the pulled pork was good, so at this point, I am sure that whatever you go for will be delicious!

The Committed Pig 

From: The Committed Pig in Manasquan,  NJ
Happy Fourth of July everyone! If you are heading down to Squan for the long weekend, check out The Committed Pig. It is right on the corner of Main Street and right before you enter the mecca of Jersey Shore rentals. They had great options to chose from for both brunch and dinner.

Right before I began my night rocking out at Osprey, I stopped in for the Chipotle Bacon burger. It comes with muenster cheese, onion rings, and a bacon chipotle mayo. Can we just take a second to appreciate how delicious those onion rings look? Plus, as you can see I clearly needed an extra side of the bacon-infused mayo. I mean… I guess I didn’t really need it. It is summer and all. 😉

It was such a cute spot and definitely provides those in the area with a great dining option. Plus, they have one in Morristown! Enjoy.

Porta Pizza


From: Porta Pizza in Jersey City, NJ
You want to try an awesome spot in Jersey City? Check out Porta located near the Grove Street Path. The restaurant first opened up in Asbury Park back in 2011, where it’s not only a hit for its delicious food but for its nightlife. I went there one summer, enjoying the Jersey Shore as usual, and was blown away with how delicious the Neapolitan-style brick oven pizza was. Conveniently,  I was able to burn the calories off after since they have a great and spacious dance floor. It was truly the best of both worlds under one roof. Then I heard they opened one up in Jersey City so I had to try it out and it did not disappoint.

The restaurant itself is HUGE and that’s such a great thing to see and be a part of when normally all of the places in the surrounding area are smaller inside. Let’s put it this way, there’s one entrance on one street and the restaurant extends to the entrance on the next street. If they didn’t already have a ginormous space, they also have two separate floors. What I adore is the ambiance; it has a rustic feel, warm lighting, and varying types of tables to sit at including biergarten-like wooden tables. The staff we interacted with were extremely friendly and they didn’t rush us at all, they even made sure to take a quality table shot for us (since we were failing epically at the group selfie.)

Now onto the part you’ve been waiting for, the FOOD! The first picture I decided to post was their salad. It isn’t often that I go crazy for greens, I know they are necessary and I like to get them over with first, but this salad, was just phenomenal. It was called Cavolo Nero, which consisted of Tuscan kale, shaved sunchoke and watermelon radish, chile-garlic crostini, parmigiano reggiano, and a lemon-garlic dressing. The kale with the cheese, garlic, and lemon dressing was just making me so happy. Plus for $14, you get a huge portion. There were four of us females and we each had a generous serving of the shared dish. Next time, I would even order one just for myself.

However, there are still other things on the menu that need to be devoured. The dough for their pizza is just delightful and yummy. I meant to skip to the part about the type of pizza we tried, but I just had to throw that out as a disclaimer to how good it was. Therefore, any pie that you try will be the right choice. What we did try was the “Arugula” pie and the “14 1/2.” The 14 1/2 came with San Marzano tomatoes, homemade mozzarella, homemade ricotta, hot soppressata, Calarbian chiles, and extra virgin olive oil. This is what you see pictured above. The Arugula came with San Marzano tomatoes, homemade mozzarella, garlic, arugula, and truffle oil. You can clearly see that they use quality ingredients in everything they make.

I can’t believe I have written this much and haven’t even started talking about the nutella pie. Basically, you are taking the same type of dough with a denser consistency, smothering on a layer of nutella, sandwiching that with another piece of dough, then generously pouring it with powdered sugar. AMEN!

Fried Calzone.. Emphasis on the FRIED

Fried Calzone.. Yes.. a FRIED Calzone

From: Il Piccolo Bufalo in New York City, NY
This is one of my family’s favorite places to go in Little Italy and there is a reason why (pictured above.) This might look like your classic mutz and ricotta calzone, but it is actually fried. Fried calzones are a specialty my grandmother used to make, but this place brings back great memories of that crispy, cheesy deliciousness. I think it is safe to say that anything fried tastes that  much better, especially when it comes to dough stuffed with cheese. Let’s just say once you’ve tried the fried… baked will get put to the side.