Meze Grill – Middle Eastern Food on a Budget

For Fordham students who either live or work near the Lincoln Center campus, a visit to Meze Grill is a must for students on a budget who love Middle Eastern food. A combination between a sit-down restaurant and a fast-food chain, Meze Grill churns out authentic and tasty Middle Eastern food at the pace perfect for a lunch break. Located at 55th and 8th, Meze offers healthy food at a fraction of the cost. A typical lunch consisting of a “pita sandwich” and a drink usually end up costing around ten dollars. The menu itself is interesting to figure out your first time at Meze; you can order either a “pita sandwich”, salad or rice platter filled with steak, chicken, lamb or falafel. Then, much like at Subway, you can choose what toppings to put on your order – my personal favorites being the garlic and tahini sauces. The absolute BEST thing about Meze is that if you become a fan of them on Facebook, you get a coupon for a free sandwich! Along with offering some of the best Middle Eastern food around, the prices at Meze can best be described as a steal.

Conveniently located near Lincoln Center, Meze Grill is designed for people on their lunch breaks – this is not a leisurely, sit down restaurant. While there are always plenty of tables in the restaurant to eat at, on nice days it is extremely convenient to eat your lunch in Central Park. The service at the counter is always friendly and prompt, and the line always moves fairly quickly. I would highly recommend Meze Grill because it offers great Middle Eastern food at a fraction of the cost, perfect for the Fordham student.

For more information and a menu, please visit… http://www.mezegrill.com/index.html

Wallet: $                

Romantic: <3

Friendship: ***

Relaxation: ~ ~

Eclectic: + + +

Euzkadi – Best Tapas in New York

Reviewed by: John Scott

If you have never tried Spanish cuisine, then visiting Euzkadi is an absolute must – and has some of the best Tapas in the City.  Tapas is the name of a wide variety of appetizers in Spanish cuisine, and are mean to be ordered and shared among one’s party. Euzkadi is the perfect place to have Tapas if you’ve never tried it before, and also a great place if you’re a seasoned veteran of Spanish food. All of the tapas on the menu are reasonably priced, with the most expensive item being $12 – definitely within the average college student’s budget. While you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, the “Patatas Bravas” and “Pintxo de Aguacate” were personal favorites. If you order a few of these dishes, there is more than enough food for a small group of people. For the seafood lovers out there, their seafood Paella with chorizo is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. While it can be a bit pricy, it is meant for two people to share. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu, so if it’s your first time, pick something that sounds interesting and enjoy!

When I dined at Euzkadi, it was a Friday night and was absolutely packed. The restaurant itself is pretty tiny, but on nice nights they open the doors to give it a more spacious vibe. Expect to be sitting rather close to another table, but everyone keeps to themselves. On Tuesday nights, there are live flamenco dancers who perform in the restaurant. And, on weekends a live DJ provides music after 8 PM. While the restaurant does get crowded, you can make a reservation directly on the website. This is strongly recommended so that you are ensured a table when you get there. Located on East 4th street in the East Village, it is a short walk from the D Train or about a fifteen minute walk from Union Square. No matter if it’s your first time having Tapas or you’re a seasoned veteran, Euzkadi has something that everyone can enjoy.

For more information, visit the website at… http://www.euzkadirestaurant.com/intro.html

Wallet: $$

Romantic: <3 <3 <3

Friendship: ***

Relaxation: ~ ~ ~ ~

Eclectic: + + + +

Arthur Ave Cafe

I recently went to the Arthur Ave Cafe with my mother and grandmother. Out of all the various Italian restaurants on Arthur Ave, you would not expect this small little cafe to be one too. As we were walking down Arthur Ave, trying to decide where to go, we came by this little place with people sitting outside. My mom proceeded to ask one of the groups if the food was good here, and one of the men provided us with the information that the food was excellent, especially the eggplant parmesan. Why was the eggplant parmesan so good here? Well according to this man and the waitress serving him, this small little cafe was on the Food Network Bobby Flay Throwdown, and beat Bobby Flay himself with their eggplant parmesan recipe. So it was finished, my mom, grandmother, and I decided we would have lunch here.

There was adorable seating outside, which had the feel that you were in Italy, but being that it was a little cold we decided to dine inside. The inside was quite small, and it had a very cafe type of feel to it, with desserts at the front counter, etc. But this small cafe setting gave our dining experience a homier and very comfortable feel. There was one waitress which made it quite personal, compared to other places where waitresses would be rushing around. I ordered the chicken parmesan, my mom and grandmother ordered the famous eggplant parmesan. The wait wasn’t long at all and once the food came it was delicious. I really enjoyed my chicken parmesan. I’d say it was second best on Arthur Ave, next to the chicken parmesan I’ve had at Anne & Tony’s. My mom loved the eggplant parmesan. She said it was great because too many times eggplant parmesan is too tender, but this was the perfect texture and she loved the sauce. It was a great dining experience. Everyone was very friendly and it was such a cute setting, with the cafe feel and french doors open to a cute little patio. I would say it was one of my best dining experiences on Arthur Ave this year, and I’ve had quite a few. I would definitely recommend Arthur Ave Cafe to anyone looking for a great atmosphere that is comfortable and not overwhelming, and of course great Italian food!

Wallet- $$ (The menu isn’t too pricey and there are a lot of great choices)

Romantic- <3 <3 <3 (You could definitely come here for lunch and dinner with that someone special and have a great romantic time)

Friendship- *** (Friends could definitely enjoy a small meal together, or even a nice dinner. Plus its not far from campus)

Relaxation- ~~~~ (The great atmosphere provides a very relaxing feel)

Eclectic- !! (You wouldn’t expect this small cafe to be the great Italian restaurant that it is)

$1 Pizza

Located on 9th Ave. right in the theater district, Two Bros. Pizza is a great place to grab a quick slice before seeing a show.  They are one of many pizza places offering one dollar pizza.  They offer a great deal, two slices and a soda for only $2.75.  On top of the great deals, the pizza is exceptional too! Two Bros. is a small establishment with limited seating but a great atmosphere. In the back there are a few benches placed against the walls with small tables in front of them.  You will most likely end up sitting with a few new friends due to the limited amount of seating.  There also a few tables outside the restaurant to stand around and eat your pizza.  A variety of people stopped in, creating great entertainment from obvious regulars to tourists looking for a cheap bite stopped in.  Although Two Bros. main entrée is pizza they also feature a few other Italian dishes including pasta and chicken dishes.  The pizza is by far the best seller, both the phenomenal price as well as the delicious taste clearly lead to this.  In a city where dinner can run you upwards of $35, Two Bros. is a great place to stop for a quick meal.

Wallet: $

Romantic: <3

Friendship: ****

Relaxation: ~~

Eclectic: !!

David Burke’s Townhouse

133 East 61st Street between Park and Lexingtion

Located on the Upper East Side, David Burke’s Townhouse is a more expensive dining experience, but well worth every penny. The atmosphere is a wonderful mix between a regal elegance and a swanky modern style. The high ceilings, vibrant red colors, and beautiful chandeliers give the room a very graceful look. The artwork gives the restaurant a very modern and chic decor. Great atmosphere aside, they have a menu that is both strange and magnificent. There are meal combinations that I have not come across at any other restaurant. For an appetizer we had a pretzel crusted crab cake that was out of this world. The side dishes include a wide variety of options, from salads to fruits and vegetables, to tater tots. No, you did not misread that last one. This restaurant serves tater tots as a side dish. Might I add, the best tater tots I have ever tasted in my life. The main course dishes range from seafood to steaks to chicken, each cooked to perfection. As for the deserts, their best known is, without a doubt, the cheesecake lollipop tree. Although it is expensive, it is really worth the experience. If you want to save money, I suggest taking a trip during lunchtime or during restaurant week. Before you leave New York City you have to take a trip to David Burke’s Townhouse, it is a life changer.

Wallet: $$$$$
Romantic: <3 <3 <3 <3
Friendship: ***
Relaxation: ~~~~
Eclectic: +++33 E

Breakfast at its Best

Sarabeth’s

40 Central Park South
(212) 826-5959

If you love breakfast like I do, this place is worth the wait and the little extra cash. Located on Central Park South, Sarabeth’s is a wonderful little restaurant that always pleases. Due to its popularity, even if you make a reservation you may have to wait a bit, but your meal won’t disappoint. The staff is friendly and makes you feel welcome, to the extent that if you go for breakfast, it’s tempting to stay for lunch. The interior is modern and clean, accented with bright colors and flowers centerpieces. There are also a few tables outdoors, so if you are looking for café type dining or just eager to enjoy the view of central park, as long as it’s not too chilly outdoor seating is ideal. The atmosphere is not formal but classy, so make sure you don’t go in sweats! However the setting isn’t even half the appeal, for the food itself would be just as delicious regardless of the environment.

I had difficulty choosing my meal because the menu was so full of delicious sounding options. The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blackberries are potentially the best pancakes I have ever had (which is saying a lot because I LOVE pancakes). They are the perfect combination of light and fluffy texture and tangy flavor. The Eggs Benedict is also delicious, especially with smoked salmon. Make sure you order the Four Flowers Juice, a delicious combination of oranges, pineapples, pomegranates and bananas. The food is fantastic, so if you have the time and money, make sure you dine here at least once!

Wallet: $$$

Romantic: <3<3<3

Friendship: ****

Relaxation: ~~~

Eclectic: +

Sunshine Cinema

Reviewed by Jenn Schwartz.

143 E Houston St.

Sunshine Cinema

This indie theater is a more personalized movie-going experience than your usual AMC or Regal offers. The theater was voted “Best Theater for Cult Films” and “Best Theater for American Indies” by Time Out New York. They were also named “Hippest Theater in NYC” by the Village Voice, who sponsors Friday and Saturday 90’s midnight movie nights at the theater. I went with friends to see Jurassic Park one weekend, and it was the most welcome blast from the past possible (almost as cool as wearing those light-up sneakers again). In upcoming weeks, 90’s kids can look forward to Clerks (May 7-8) and Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn (May 14-15).

Sunshine Cinema Not only are the movies unique, from American to European indie, but the staff is great and the snack selection is excellent, including popcorn served in eco-friendly bags with different seasonings (no more overdrenched-in-butter popcorn), an espresso bar, vegan cookies, and Swiss chocolate. (If you’re not one for movie snacks, this section of the Bowery is also filled with little cafes that you can check out before or after your movie.) While you wait on line, the staff will likely engage you in some sort of humorous conversation, possibly about the grade school-style handmade displays advertising the midnight movie of the week (see: right).

Last but not least, go for the crowds. I haven’t seen kids there, so no babies will cry during your movie, but you may find some very enthusiastic people in the stadium-style seating around you, such as the ones who made dinosaur helmets for Jurassic Park the night I went. Overall, Sunshine Cinema is a friendly, interesting theater and is one place where you definitely get your money’s worth!

Find out what’s playing here: http://www.landmarktheatres.com/Market/NewYork/NewYork_frameset.htm

Wallet- $
Romantic- <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Friendship- * * * * *
Relaxation- ~ ~
Eclectic- + + +