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Congee Village

This entry has a rating of 4
3 votes* * * ½  
Congee Village $$ [Chinese][Lower East Side]
100 Allen St. (Delancey St.)
New York, NY 10002
[website]  [map]
Metro: Delancey St (F); Essex St (J)(M)(Z)
Hours: 10:30am-2am daily
Contact: 212-941-1818 /// info@congeevillage.com
Congee Village serves some of the best chinese(cantonese) food I’ve had here and at good prices.

Visited: 11:30pm Sat. September 16, 2006
Entrance:
congee village
It’s easy to spot this place with its bright neon lights, and there’s usually a crowd of people waiting to be seated on weekend nights. We went pretty late that day so we were lucky to be seated immediately.

Main room:
congee village
The first room, where I’ve been seated every time I’ve been here, is decorated with a forest theme with leafy branches covering the ceilings. Congee Village is actually pretty large, and when you go past this room, you’ll find yourself in a more traditionally decorated asian restaurant with lots of reds, golds, and brick walls.

Salted peanuts.
congee village
A small complimentary bowl of addicting salted and oily fried peanuts to keep my hungry mouth busy as I read the menu.

Cashew Nuts and Shredded Squid with Salted Pepper $8.95
congee village
Salt and pepper squid is one of my favorite chinese dishes so I had to order this. Crunchy oily and crisp battered fried squid strips, spicy peppers, onions and cashews which made a really good mix. If you’re not afraid of oil, the salty thin crisp and chewy squid is really good, especially when alternating bites with the soft and sweet cashews. The last time I came here with 5 other friends, the squid disappeared really fast and we spent the rest of the dinner digging through the onions and peppers with our chopsticks, hoping to find one last piece of squid!
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Sushi Samba 7 (Brunch)

This entry has a rating of 4
1 votes* * *    
Sushi Samba 7 $$ [Japanese][Brazilian][Brunch][West Village]
87 7th Avenue South
New York, NY 10014
[website]  [map]
Metro: West 4th St. (F)(V)(B)(D)(A)(C)(E), Christopher St.(1)(9)
Hours: Brunch Sundays 11:30am-3:30pm
Contact: 212-691-7885 /// celebrate@sushisamba.com
Having been to Sushi Samba for dinners only, I was really curious about their brunch. It turned out to be pretty good! From eggs, to french toast, to churros, to sushi, you’ll definitely leave with a full and happy stomach.
Visited: 1:30pm Sun. October 8, 2006
Entrance:
sushi samba
Sushi Samba 7 in the sun. Unlike at night, Sushi Samba was fairly empty that Sunday afternoon, so reservations are probably not necessary. We were seated right away.

Roof seating:
sushi samba
Sun and shade on a quiet deck overlooking the west village and blue skies.

Bottle of water $7
Large Orange Juice $5
sushi samba

The main item on the brunch menu is the Samba Brunch ($15 per person, minimum 2 people), which is what we ordered. The Samba Brunch includes your choice of any 3 dishes from the first course section and any 3 from the second course section.

First courses:

(1) Assorted Pastries & Breakfast Cakes
sushi samba
This little basket alone was enough carbs and sugar to last for the day! 8 pieces which included 2 crumbly cornbreads with crunchy edges, a crispy sugar glazed pastry shell filled with tangy passion fruit jam and sweet cheese, 2 small chewy sour dough rolls (which tasted like beer!) topped with salt and pepper, 2 mini moist cinnamon walnut muffins, and a large moist cinnamon coffee cake sprinkled with tiny bits of walnuts. Served with a small scoop of soft salted butter, sweet butter, and strawberry jam.

(2) Warm Brazilian Churros
peruvian chocolate & spiced caramel dipping sauces
sushi samba
I missed Spain dearly, and was excited to have some churros with chocolate! 3 or 4 crispy crunchy cinnamon sugar covered churros with a starchy pudding-like bitter dark chocolate dip and a sweet and spicy creamy dip that tasted like caramelly sweet condensed milk spiced up with hot red peppers.
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Cal Pep

This entry has a rating of 5
4 votes* * * * ½
Cal Pep $$$ [Tapas][Mediterranean][Seafood][Born]
Plaça de les Olles, 8
08003 Barcelona, Spain
[website]  [map]
Metro: Jaume 1 (L4), Barceloneta (L4)
Hours: M 8pm-11:30pm; Tu-Sa 1pm-4pm, 8pm-11:30pm;
closed Sundays

Contact: 93-310-79-61 /// calpep@eresmas.net, calpep@calpep.com
One of the best places in Barcelona for fresh seafood tapas that is becoming more and more packed by tourists as the “secret” is let out.

Visited: 2pm Sat. May 20, 2006
Entrance: Cal Pep
In the middle of shops and restaurants in a small square. I never really noticed this place when I was walking around, as the entrance is so small. Sometimes you’ll see a line of people going out the door.

The tapas bar.
Cal Pep
There is also a restaurant with tables in the back, but come here for the fun tapas bar! Very narrow area, with one wall lined with fan artwork and the people waiting to eat, the other with the fresh seafood on display and the cooking, and the center occupied by the diners at the bar. There are only about 20 seats, so be prepared to wait up to an hour before getting seated. Cal Pep does not take reservations for the bar seating area, but the wait is not so bad. I spent the 45 minutes drooling as I watched them prepare the food and breathing down the necks of the diners, staring at the delicious looking dishes they were eating. Okay, the space is not that tight, but it’s pretty tight! They’re also pretty fair with the line; you must be in line to get seated. For example, right when you enter, you let them know how many your party is, and all of you must wait in line. We got bumped up because someone in front of us was saving spots for 6 other friends.

Pan con tomate €2.30
pan con tomate
Finally seated at the bar, we started off with some crunchy toasted bread smeared with tomatoes and olive oil. The waiter who took our order was very quick and helped us pick some dishes.

Fried Artichoke €4.30
artichoke
These were the best fried artichokes I’ve ever had! Soft artichoke hearts fried crisp in ultra light and thin salted batter. It didn’t feel too oily at all, and retained a lot of yummy artichoke flavor.
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