Fast, Healthy, Korean in the Desolate Sunnyvale Culinary Wasteland
Fast, Healthy Korean Food in the Desolate Sunnyvale Culinary Wasteland at Bibimbowl

Fast, Healthy, Korean in the Desolate Sunnyvale Culinary Wasteland

In Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale is one of the more vacuous towns in the area. It’s mostly filled with bleak, white-washed office buildings, parking lots, and roads leading nowhere. If you work there, as I currently do, you’ll quickly learn how limited the lunch options are, especially if you want to walk to lunch.

Fortunately for me, I’ve found a lunchtime gem in a nondescript mini-mall called Bibimbowl just a half mile’s walk from the office serving fresh, healthy, high-quality Korean food at a reasonable price.

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Chinatown’s Perfect Hangover Cure at Congee Village in NYC
Chinatown’s Perfect Hangover Cure at Congee Village in NYC

Chinatown’s Perfect Hangover Cure at Congee Village in NYC

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OH DEAR GOD, what have I done? Why the hell was I out ’til 4 in the morning last night? Why on earth did I drink so damn much? Ergggghhhhh.

Does this sound familiar to you? I guess from time to time it happens to the best of us and when it does, you’re gonna want to fix that hangover as soon as humanly possible. For me, it’s become a bit of a hangover tradition to come to Congee Village for that awful New Years Day hangover. I almost always head there for a soothing and healing meal but New Years is certainly not the only excuse I need to go.

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Get the Noodles at Best of Thai Noodle in SF
Get the Noodles at Best of Thai Noodle in San Francisco

Get the Noodles at Best of Thai Noodle in SF

*Editor’s Note 10/23/15: Best of Thai Noodle is under new ownership and is for some reason rebranding as Hippie Thai Street Food, presumably with a similar menu. Only time will tell if the food is the same.

In the vibrant, artsy, dirty hippie-filled San Francisco neighborhood of Haight Ashbury, amongst the many clothing and bong shops, there are many dining options. Wading through the good and the bad isn’t always an easy task, but I found a wholly unnoticed gem of a lunch spot called Best of Thai Noodle hidden in plain sight right on the main drag.

It was a fairly small restaurant by Californian standards, but still had a tall, lofty ceiling and a big kitchen with fiery flaming woks open to the dining area. With just one glance at that wok setup and inferno, I knew this was gonna be great.

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Seriously Soothing Soba Noodle Soup at Cocoron in Nolita
Seriously Soothing Soba Noodle Soup at Cocoron in Nolita

Seriously Soothing Soba Noodle Soup at Cocoron in Nolita

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Located on a strange, dirty, vacant segment of town somewhere between NoHo, Nolita, and the Bowery you’ll find the bright, orange signage for Cocoron.

Inside, you’ll find some of the cleanest, most comforting food in NY that’ll leave you feeling fresh and healthy after. Inside is a tiny, bustling shop with two-tops, a communal table, and noodle bar seating. Despite the rapid turnover in the shop it’s still quite a nice experience that would be good enough to work as a casual, low-key date night or a cheap eats cold-weather lunch.

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Fresh, Flavorful, & Spicy Chipotle-Style Indian Food in the Flatiron at Indikitch
Fresh, Flavorful, & Spicy Chipotle-Style Indian Food in the Flatiron at Indikitch

Fresh, Flavorful, & Spicy Chipotle-Style Indian Food in the Flatiron at Indikitch

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Last week, while walking across 23rd Street, I noticed a new addition to the Flatiron/Chelsea lunching landscape. Right next to Eataly, I spotted an enormous storefront window bearing the name Indikitch. After further examination, I learned that Indikitch would soon be open and I knew I had to check it out once it did.

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New Zealand Style Meat Pies & More at Dub Pies
New Zealand Style Meat Pies & More at Dub Pies

New Zealand Style Meat Pies & More at Dub Pies

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*Editor’s Note: I’m sad to report that this restaurant is not longer open.

A year and a half ago, I spent a week in Sydney while my younger sister was studying abroad. Each night would involve some heavy drinking before we’d stumble our way into a local meat pie shop to help our bodies process all of the alcohol we had consumed.

This is where I first developed my love for savory Aussie meat pies. Recently, the meat pie has been taking Manhattan by storm with many pie shops popping up all over the city. Fortunately for me, this included the recent opening of Dub Pies, a New Zealand-style meat pie shop in Greenwich Village near my apartment.

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City Limits: A Local Watering Hole with Excellent Deep Fried Dishes in Sherman, Texas

An hour north of Dallas, on the Texas-Oklahoma border along the Red River you’ll find a small town called Denison. It’s a small blue collar town where my girlfriend, Amy, grew up.

Over the past two years, I’ve spent quite a bit of time there and every visit always includes trip to neighboring Sherman for a requisite stop at City Limits for dinner and drinks. It’s the kind of place where clouds of cigarette smoke billow indoors and beards, rhinestone belts, and camouflaged clothes are the norm.

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A Real Cheesesteak without the Drive to Philly at Phil’s Steaks in NYC
A Real Cheesesteak without the Drive to Philly at Phil’s Steaks in NYC

A Real Cheesesteak without the Drive to Philly at Phil’s Steaks in NYC

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I’ve spent a good chunk of time in Philly during my four years of college. Over this time, I ate my fair share of cheesesteak. No surprise there. So, when it comes to cheesesteaks, I have really high standards. I’ve eaten most of the big names in Philly and I know what makes a good cheesesteak great.

Now, I get it. Cheesesteaks are not going to be as cheap in New York as they are in Philly. And that’s a shame since it is street food and is supposed to be cheap. It’s a blue collar sandwich for the common man, but I’ve come to terms with it. However, there are still a few aspects of a cheesesteak that are musts and only a few of the cheesesteak shops in NYC have met my requirements. On the many visits I’ve taken to the mobile Phil’s Steaks trucks, they have passed my tests with flying colors.

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Unusual Persian Comfort Food at Cafe Nadery in Greenwich Village

When I first spotted Cafe Nadery on this quickly growing, but still quiet section of 8th street, my interest was piqued. It appeared to have a quiet and leisurely vibe and really seemed more like a cafe for coffee and tea than a restaurant. Functionally, it is a coffee shop in every respect with many of people plugged into their laptops working silently. The biggest difference between it and your usual coffee shop is that their kitchen prepares homestyle Persian comfort food. I don’t know much about Persian food, but I certainly wanted to try this very underrepresented cuisine in NYC.

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The Best Hand Pulled Noodles in Chinatown are at Lam Zhou
The Best Hand Pulled Noodles in Chinatown are at Lam Zhou

The Best Hand Pulled Noodles in Chinatown are at Lam Zhou

On these stingingly cold winter days we’ve been experiencing, there’s nothing better than a steaming hot bowl of noodle soup. So if you want the best, you should head over to Lam Zhou in the lower east reaches of Chinatown. There’s not a lot going on in this remote corner beside Lam Zhou, though one could argue that Lam Zhou itself isn’t a whole lot.

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