DAILY BITES
RedFarm's Greenmarket Sensibility

While standing on the sidewalk outside of 529 Hudson Street in the West Village the last thought that crosses your mind is that you’re about to walk into a modern Chinese restaurant. The 1828 townhouse that’s parlor-level space now holds Ed Schoenfeld’s RedFarm, has a rustic, farmhouse feel. Not your immediate vision of a modern Chinese restaurant but somehow the farm-look works. Ed Schoenfeld, a food expert responsible for Chinatown Brasserie, Pig Heaven, and other Asian restaurants throughout the city, grew up Jewish in Brooklyn but always gravitated toward Chinese cuisine. Schoenfeld is living proof that food can easily cross all boundaries no matter your culinary and cultural upbringing.

CHEAP EATS
Cheap + Tasty Eats Around St. Marks

Situated between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, it takes after its original MacDougal Street location, except with shorter lines. They offer their falafel sandwich, now priced at $2.50, a signature classic wrapped in tin foil, complete with ample tomatoes, lettuce and tahina sauce (be sure to grab extra paper napkins!). Mamoun’s also offers a vast selection of discounted Middle Eastern Cuisine, with options like lentil soup, tabouleh, hummus and shawarma. There are a couple booths inside Mamoun’s St. Marks, as well as a few small outdoor-seating tables, a perfect vantage-point to enjoy some cheap-eats while you check out the heart of the St. Marks scene.

DAILY BITES
Cafe China Goes Greener

Good news for all you Chinese food snobs: Cafe China is revamping their menu this spring and we know what's coming! Inspired by the markets back in Shanghai, Cafe China sought out produce at the Union Square Green Market. The restaurant has decided to include organic veggies on their specials menu and for the month of March, there will be in-season Chinese broccoli, bok choi, and spinach.

But this new menu isn't all about your greens. Flounder (caught off Long Island) will now be offered for any dish with fish filets. The popular dish, tea smoked duck, which is lightly browned with a smoky flavor (delicious paired with red wine), is now going to be organic free-range, making the dish even better.

RESTAURANT 101
Baumgart's Cafe: A Blast From The Past

Those who think New York has everything New Jersey has (plus more) are greatly mistaken. Where else can you order a burger, fries and sesame chicken all in one restaurant? In addition to turnpikes, New Jersey has one of the most unique restaurants around: Baumgart's Cafe.

Located in Englewood, New Jersey, Baumgart's Cafe serves multi-national fare, combining chinese food with classic 1950's cuisine and decor. Sip their famously thick and creamy milkshakes at the counter or sit in a booth and order their tender yet crispy sesame chicken, a favorite of the locals. Whether it's just you and a friend or twenty of your nearest and dearest, Baumgart's has something to satisfy every craving. The best part: every portion size is generous and prices are reasonable, something that has become a rarity today.

FOOD + DRINK
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with Heavenly Food and Festivities!

In the Chinese culture, 2011 is coined the Year of the Rabbit. Also known by its formal name Xin Mao, the Chinese Rabbit is one of the most stylish creatures of the Animal Signs and is described as being classy, sophisticated and fashionable; seems like a perfect opportunity to celebrate!

In this spirit, Pig Heaven restaurant is offering (now through February 5th) its first-ever Family Fun Festival packed with events. Care to join in the festivities?

Beginning with their traditional Dragon Parade, which represents vigor, luck and super natural forces, the wonderful New Year is kicked off with a big party! Seventy dollars per person gets you entrance to their two hours of festivities; a delicious menu including three appetizers, one entrée and a scrumptious dessert; and a dance party, hosted by owner Nancy Lee, complete with karaoke and colorful Chinese costumes worn by staff. (And yes, feel free to pull out your fanciest kimono and dress up too!)

CHEAP EATS
No Dim Sum, No Cry

Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago’s ChinaTown is very well known for its dim sum, which can be quite expensive.

You are ordering with your eyes and before you know it, the bill is insane. However, I think ordering off the menu is more reasonable and less predictable.

For about $20.00 per person, you can get a satisfying lunch at Phoenix Restaurant. If you have several friends and you all like to share, you can get a really satisfying meal.

A couple things to remember: A ten minute wait really means a 30 minute wait and parking can be a hassle. Otherwise, it’s a great place to hang out and have good Chinese Food.

Phoenix Restaurant

2131 South Archer Avenue # 1

Chicago, IL

CHEAP EATS
New Moon Restaurant
MAI TAI
Sucking Up Bowls of Laughs at The Comedy Studio

Cheap comedy and chow mein: could a better combination exist?

Located on the 3rd floor of a Chinese restaurant, The Comedy Studio is one of Boston’s best-kept secrets. High above the bustle of Hong Kong Restaurant in Harvard Square exists Rick Jenkin’s masterpiece, a small dark room with a stage, bar, and tables, lit up by the fluorescent blinking eyes of a dragon mounted on the wall. Each night, 6 – 12 comedians, all ranging in ability, talent and gender, light up the stage for an audience mixed with familiar faces and new curious souls.