jitoseats

JITO'S EATS

JITO'S EATS: MEI LAI WAH

I'm gonna keep this post sweet and simple, just like these pork buns. These are simply the best in town and the best part? They're only $1.20. They used to be $1 but hey, I can't blame them... it's NYC and rent is expensive. So at the end of the day, these delicious and sweet pork buns are absolutely worth the extra 20 cents! So let's get started!

FOOD: SO. GOOD. Especially when you get them hot and fresh, they just taste amazing. One of the best part of these pork buns is the bun itself. It's like a sweet, and chewy bread that has been slightly baked to perfection. The inside, is filled with an equally amazing sweet and fatty pork goodness. The ratio of filling to bun is absolute perfection. 

SERVICE: Quick. They speak limited English here so just tell them how many pork buns you want and have your money ready because they really like efficiency.

ATMOSPHERE: The restaurant itself is small and doesn't offer any seating unless you're dining in. So unfortunately, you can't just buy your pork buns and try to sit down and eat. Instead, you'll spot people outside the shop happily devouring these pork buns. 

VALUE: $1.20. Cash only.

OVERALL: So worth it. I take all my out of town friends here because it's just so worth it. It's a perfect snack food while walking around NYC and will definitely satisfy you! 

JITO'S EATS

JITO'S EATS: KATSU-HAMA

As much as I love sushi, I also really love cooked Japanese comfort food. There's just something so delicate and simple about home cooked Japanese cuisine that always leaves me feeling beyond satisfied after these meals. One of my favorite classic Japanese and Korean dish is donkatsu (돈가스). Donkatsu originated from Japan and it consists of a deep-fried, breaded pork cutlet. It's one of Japan's classic dishes and there's a place here in NYC that does it just right, Katsu-Hama. Katsu-Hama sells classic Japanese comfort foods and has two locations here in the city. They have excellent lunch specials with good portions and the line to get seated is usually out the door... so let's get started! 

FOOD: The food here is pretty darn delicious and satisfying! The portions are fairly big and the food quality is wonderful. I usually order the classic donkatsu platter which comes with a rice bowl and an endless cabbage salad. This time I tried the donkatsu with American cheese in it and even though the first few bites were gooey, hot, and yummy... I decided I'd just stick with the classic because I ended up not liking the cheese very much. The curry came in a huge boat-like dish with rice underneath. Donkatsu and curry pair really well together and I love dipping the donkatsu pieces into the curry. I've tried some of their appetizers as well, but I think their classic donkatsu and curry entrees are the most popular and the most delicious.

SERVICE: They seat you fairly quickly and the servers also work very quickly. They're quick to get you a refill of the cabbage salad that usually comes with the donkatsu. Since the restaurant itself is always really busy with people coming in out, they're not that attentive but I don't have any huge complaints about their service. 

ATMOSPHERE: I don't know what it is about Katsu-Hama but immediately when I walk in it feels nostalgic and like home. Maybe it's because I used to go to a lot of cozy Japanese restaurants in NYC when I was younger but I love how clean and dim it is in there. The lighting isn't ideal for photos but it is very warm and cozy in there... perfect for a date! ;)

VALUE: It's a fairly good deal if you go here during their lunch hours! They have awesome lunch deals and since a lot of customers work near the area... they're usually in and out quickly which is great when there's a line. Apparently, their portions have gotten smaller but I still think the portions are fine here. I believe, around lunch time the donkatsu is $11-13 and during the dinner time it ranges from $14-17. 

OVERALL: If you're ever craving donkatsu, I would definitely recommend this cute little place. The food you get here is pretty straight-forward and its not the best thing I've eaten necessarily, but I absolutely LOVE it and it's one of my favorites here in the city. It's just Japanese comfort food and Katsu-Hama definitely does donkatsu right! 

JITO'S EATS

JITO'S EATS: THE BAGEL STORE

And introducing to you, the most colorful and fabulous bagels... EVER! Okay, maybe I seem a little too enthusiastic about this bagel, but let me tell you, when my friend told me about these rainbow bagels, I knew I had to try them. The good ol' classic way with funfetti cream cheese. Yes, FUNFETTI cream cheese which is equally fun and whacky.

This past Thanksgiving weekend, my family and I made the trek to Williamsburg, Brooklyn at 8 in the morning on a Sunday because I was raving about these (even though I had yet to try them). I won't bore you with any details, but get right into my actual thoughts about the bagel and other flavors from the store!

FOOD: As amazing and fun as it looks, the bagel itself actually isn't exploding with flavor. It's just a classic blueberry flavor. I do think though, what kind of cream cheese you choose to get is very, very important. I got one with the cannoli cream cheese and I've decided that anything cannoli flavored should remain in it's original glorious cannoli form. I was not a big fan of the rainbow bagel with cannoli cream cheese, but the one with funfetti cream cheese was delicious! That is, if you're into sweet bagels. After trying these sweet bagels with a sweet cream cheese, I've realized I'm more of a savory bagel kind of gal. However, the actual rainbow bagel was very chewy and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I also tried the cinammon cragel, which is a croissant- bagel hybrid but that was a big no no for me. Unfortunately, my poor sister had to eat that one because I was not a fan. I was expecting something of a chewy, flaky and light texture, but it wasn't chewy or flaky AT ALL. Instead it was super dense and had no resemblance to a croissant or bagel in any way. 

SERVICE: You have to go to the back and wait on line to order your bagel and fillings. I had reserved my rainbow bagels beforehand because I was told that I could do that. I was fearful that the rainbow bagels would be all sold out by the time I got there so I made sure to have them set aside for me. It usually takes a while for them to ring you up as well. It's not very fast paced and I'm not sure why, but even with the reserved bagels I had to wait a while to finally pay and eat. I'm not going to rave about their service at The Bagel Store, but at the same time I had no particular complaints. 

ATMOSPHERE: Nothing too special as it's on the corner of the street in Williamsburg. VERY limited seating. There's basically one row alongside the window. The only thing that pops about this bagel store are the rainbow bagels peeking out from their glass containment in the back. 

VALUE: EXPENSIVE. No other way around it. However, I do understand it takes a lot of effort to make one rainbow bagel... I mean, look at it! For one rainbow bagel with funfetti cream cheese it was a whopping $6.90. If you decide to get a lot of rainbow bagels, it definitely adds up. We also got an everything bagel with lox and onions which was a little more than $10. Very expensive. 

OVERALL: An experience all should try when in NYC. These bagels are so fun and pretty to look at and when paired with the right cream cheese... it's really fun to eat! Although it's expensive, I think it's worth it to try at least once! I'm definitely going to come back and eat it again! Plus, they're Instagram worthy and who doesn't love that, right? :) 

JITO'S EATS

JITO'S EATS: ABSOLUTE BAGELS

Happy Monday everyone! I'm so excited to talk about the Jito's Eats today. It's an absolute (ha! pun intended) favorite of mine here in the city and I wake up most mornings craving this bagel! Absolute Bagels is located on the Upper West Side near Columbia University (108th Street) and is one of the most popular bagel spots here in NYC. So let's get started. 

FOOD: Absolutely delicious. Hands down, one of the best bagels ever! It's so fresh in the mornings. It's just chewy enough, and also has an amazing and extensive cream cheese selection to choose from. I usually stick with my favorite: an onion bagel with chives and garlic cream cheese. It's so delicious and savory... I love it! I've always enjoyed my bagels not toasted and usually if it's a good quality bagel, there's no need for you to toast it. I've tried their bagels toasted as well, but I definitely prefer it fresh. It's soft and moist on the inside of the actual bagel, but just crispy enough on the outside. TIP: When choosing a bagel, try to go for a lighter colored one as opposed to a darker one. These are usually just chewy enough on the inside and the outside doesn't have a too-cooked taste to it (if that makes sense). 

SERVICE: The service is pretty friendly here and although there's usually always a wait here (sometimes it's out the door!) the line moves fairly quickly and they get your bagels ready as quickly as possible. So think of what you want to order while you wait on the line because everything happens so quickly once it's your turn. It's cash only though, so be prepared!

ATMOSPHERE: Nothing special... slightly run down but who needs a fancy bagel shop when the taste of the bagel speaks for itself?! There's a decent amount of seating inside but most people take their bagels to go, so if you're wanting a seat to sit inside the shop, it won't be too hard to find one. 

VALUE: It's around $4.30 ish for a bagel and cream cheese. The value seems to be pretty average for a good quality bagel, so I'm always definitely up for one! Again, it is cash only so make sure you're aware of that, if you decide to go. 

OVERALL: It's one of my favorite things to eat here in the city. I don't even want to really try a lot of other bagel places, except for the rainbow bagel at The Bagel Store, because it is just that good. You won't regret it... plus, it's a beautiful walk down the Upper West Side to Midtown! 

JITO'S EATS

JITO'S EATS: CHOBANI (SOHO)

Helloo! I'm back again here with another review of one of my now all time favorites here in the city... the Chobani Store! I'll be getting some other posts out that aren't food reviews this week, but I was just so excited to do this review! Now I know it all sounds pretty interesting and exciting but at the same time I'm sure you're thinking how a yogurt store could be that good, exciting, and worth it. Oh but it is... I can't exactly explain how good it is and what makes it so delicious, but all the flavors just work really well together and aesthetically the yogurt cups are beautiful. Before I get started I just also wanted to tell you all that I'll just be combining "Jito's Eats" and "Jito's Sweets" into one, "Jito's Eats". I figured it might just be easier this way... now let's get started!

FOOD: My favorite flavor was the "Pumpkin + Cranberry" yogurt. Chobani has a good selection of both savory and sweet options, however I wasn't adventurous enough yet to try the savory ones. Hopefully one day I'll get myself to do it! Anyways, the "Pumpkin + Cranberry" is absolutely delicious and I wish it wasn't a seasonal flavor because I bet I would order this flavor every time I go. My next favorite flavor, which is one of their classics is "Fresh Fruit + Honey". It sounds simple and it is, but it's also fresh and the honey adds just enough sweetness. I've also tried the "Pineapple + Coconut" and the "Pistachio + Chocolate" which were also pretty good but I don't think I would order those again. They use the same type of original greek yogurt in all of the flavors and they just add in different toppings, but the actual yogurt tastes so fresh and creamy. Also, the presentation of these yogurts are so lovely... they're served on a wooden plate and at times it's almost too beautiful to eat. I'm a huge fan!

SERVICE: All the employee's there are so generous and are great at helping explain the different flavors to the customers. You order up front and then they call your name once they are finished making your oder upon request. 

ATMOSPHERE: I've never been more excited to talk about the atmosphere of a food store like this! It's not a huge store but it's a good size with a decent amount of seating, although I do wish there was more seating inside. There are huge windows which makes it feel more spacious and they've decorated the place very cleanly with all wood and stainless steel. I love eating inside the store even if it means fighting for a seat!  It's also a plus that the store is located in Soho which means you can just pop in there for a little snack while you walk around.

VALUE: It's expensive. There's no way around the fact that each yogurt is very pricey. They have two different sizes: half and whole. I think the half is enough for one person and the whole is good to share. It's expensive here but personally I think it's worth it. The experience you get in store is fun and exciting and the store itself is also beautiful! 

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Photography & Styling: Jito