Central Perk? No, Ground Central

My favorite show of ALL TIME is Friends. I’ve watched episodes of Friend countless of times and now that it made its way into Netflix, I have every episode at my disposal. And even if you’re just an occasional watcher you’d know that their hangout place is this coffee shop called Central Perk.

Ever since I could remember, my dream was to find a coffee shop with a couch and be surrounded by my friends talking about life, complaining about work, dealing with problems, etc in that coffee shop. But first I had to find that coffee shop. AND I FOUND IT.

A quaint cozy coffee shop in Midtown East, in the middle of the hustle and bustle I found Ground Central. It was perfect because the name was ALSO a pun for a famous place in New York like Central Perk was. It was everything I hoped it would be. Cozy seating, great baristas, yummy coffee and tea.

Ground Central was where I brought my best friend and found out that we should get sandwiches elsewhere. Ground Central is where my boyfriend and I have coffee and breakfast and play Psych before our real day started. Ground Central is where me, my best friend and her husband (from Florida), and my boyfriend met up for a couple of mornings during their visit to NYC and where I got the call that I was chosen for the Session Assitant position at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

I’m already making a great handful of memories at this spot and I plan to make many more. If you’re looking for your Friends spot, look elsewhere because this is mine, LOL.

SPOTLIGHT: Chiptole Shrimp Tacos from Takumi Taco

Where from?
Takumi Taco in Urbanspace Vanderbilt
230 Park Ave, New York, NY 10169

As a part of the Kate & Roselle go to lunch on Thursdays saga, we ended up at Urbanspace Vanderbilt.

I was only going to order tacos and I liked the sound of chipotle shrimp. At first I thought it was 2 tacos for $4.85 (or something like that). But apparently it was only for one so the cashier told me “do you just want the bento it comes with a side salad and a side of your choice?” I suckered in and said yes, the total with tax came out to $12.75. Which is an averge city price for a lunch meal around here.

I asked her what the best side is and she gave me the choice between Japanese rice & beans and this grilled corn salad. I chose the grilled corn salad. I should have went with the rice & beans because the corn salad was a little mediocre for my taste. I think it would have been fine without the corn. But the side salad with just the greens were good because I liked the dressing they’ve splashed on it.

Did I finish my meal? YES. The tacos were amazing! I loved the crunch shell and the chipotle sauce with the shrimp was an amazing combo. I fought hard to finish the corn salad but I did because I didn’t want to waste my $12.75, lol. I’ll try the rice & beans next time.

 I love the little baggies they put the food in! (spot my friend’s taco in the back lol)

Urbanspace Vanderbilt (NYC)

Urbanspace Vanderbilt
230 Park Ave, New York, NY 10169

I like to describe this place as the professional food market place. It’s an area where you can spend half an hour walking around just trying to decide what to get. It’s a place where food vendors that usually have their parent/bigger restaurant elsewhere get to share their food to a crowd of professionals around the area.

I was brought here by a friend whom also came to love this place because of its great variety of food! The prices are the average city prices you’ll find for lunch and even happy hour!

This place is right behind Grand Central Terminal and it’s across the Metlife building so it’s so easy for me to get to the train from here and to here!

Please go! I plan to bring all my friends and amaze them with the wonderful choices of food they have here! So if you live in NY or just visiting come by and bring your friends too! BUT make sure during the peak hours (lunch & happy hour/dinner) you SCAVENGE for seats. Hover if you need to.. just hover politely! Everyone I’ve encountered while hunting for a seat were nice enough to let us hover politely haha!


BONUS!
HOW TO HOVER POLITELY:
Step 1. Eye contact. Make sure they’re almost done eating and make eye contact.
Step 2. Smile. It’s always good to show you’re not a mean vulture.
Step 3. Look around with your eyes. Make sure you let them know they’re looking for a seat, maybe even tell your friend “nope, don’t see anything yet.”
Step 4. Move a little closer. With every bite they take move just a bit closer but not to where you’re all up in their space.
Step 5. At this point they’ll either probably say, “We’re leaving soon you can have this seat.” OR you have to step up and say, “Are you almost finished?” it’s better if you hold off on you saying anything but that’s the last resort.

VOILA. Now you know how to hover politely.

Chicken with Garlic Sauce

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Here’s a little recipe I made the other day that came out yummy!

CHICKEN WITH GARLIC SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cubed cut chicken breast (I bought the pre-cut packaged in the grocery store, you can buy chicken breast and cut it yourself)
  • 1 cup breading of your choice (I chose italian shake and bake)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • oil
  • green onions (OPTIONAL)

Instructions:

  • Take out chicken (chop in cubes if you didn’t buy it pre-cut)
  • Mince the garlic
  • Combine breading and 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Bread the chicken in the breading+powder mix
  • Put fire into medium heat
  • Pour in oil until it covers the pan
  • Fry the chicken until cooked
  • Take out the chicken and set aside
  • Lower fire to low heat
  • Using the same pan, add 1 tsp more oil
  • Add the garlic and cook until light brown
  • Add the 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp of garlic salt
  • Mix the sauce until all are mixed together
  • Add the chicken back in and mix until the chicken is soaked in garlic sauce
  • If you have green onions, chop em up and add them to the dish!

This recipe is very “tweak-able.” You can adjust it to your own liking!
I love this because it’s so easy yet so tasty! Enjoy cooking and eating this!

**VEGETARIAN HACK
are you vegetarian? then substitute the chicken with TOFU!