10 Below: I Roll with this Ice Cream

Have you had the pleasure of trying the ice cream at 10 Below yet? Chances are you’ve passed by the Mott Street establishment numerous times on your way through Chinatown, but it’s also likely that you were scared off by the $7 price, or the insanely long lines! Throughout the fall and summer, 10 Below has attracted tourists and foodies alike, many of whom are willing to wait over an hour or more for a taste of the creamery’s Thai-inspired ice cream rolls!

The cool spectacle of watching someone literally turn a dollop of milk into ice cream before your very eyes is a draw that seems to yank crowds by their smart phones (think cool sculpting, but with ice cream instead of your abs), but even when that novelty wears off, there’s something special about the ice cream here. It’s light on the tongue and fresh! Strawberry Ice Cream just tastes better when the ripe, juicy berries were mashed mere moments before your first bite!

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Additionally, 10 Below features an almost limitless toppings policy–I say almost limitless because there’s so much ice cream in one cup, you’ll run the risk of overflowing if you go too crazy with the fresh fruit, whipped cream, and cookies they offer!

 

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Strawberry Shawty with Strawberries, Graham Crackers, Raspberries, and Whipped Cream!

As winter approaches the winding lines have died down tremendously. You can now get your ice cream here in as short a span of time as ten minutes! I’m sitting here on a Monday at 12 PM, and there are no soul-sucking, selfie-crazed sightseers in sight! I recommend you hightail it here ASAP. Seriously, I’m kind of hoping for lines now because otherwise, I just might eat all the ice cream!

 

10 Below Ice Cream

Address: 10 Mott Street, New York, NY.

Hours: 11-10 PM on Sundays-Thursdays,  11am – 11:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Website: http://www.10belowicecream.com/

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Zing’s Awesome Rice is Pretty Awesome

After another zany night of Improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre, I found myself stumbling through the Lower East Side on my winding trek home with a ravenous appetite. The area has some food offerings into the wee hours of the night, but cheap pizza or tacos or bar snacks just don’t put a smile on my face these days. Luckily, I came across Zing’s Awesome Rice on Ludlow Street, and after enjoying every visit, I can definitely recommend this specialty “seared rice” eatery!

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The owner, Zing Bai left her hectic job as an attorney to pursue a more flavorful dream. Her seared rice isn’t only an original twist on classic Chinese fried rice, it is also a more health-conscious option!

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Rice is such a ubiquitous food staple, yet before Zing’s Awesome Rice, I had yet to see much attention or care paid to it. Zing painstakingly tested over 20 different rice varieties before settling on sushi white rice (you can really tell in the texture), brown rice, and purple rice.

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Not stopping there, she also claims to marinate and season each grain of rice like a steakhouse does with their steaks. By searing the rice as opposed to frying it, Zing avoids burning the rice or making it too greasy. The result is rice that has a nice crunchy texture on the outside that still maintains some nutritional value as its core.

 

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Continuing to stay on the healthy side, Zing also makes sure each seared rice dish comes in a 1:1:2 of rice to meat to veggie to ensure balanced nutrition, and to limit calories to roughly 600 per plate. She also only sears her rice in olive oil for its heart-healthy characteristics. Lastly, she never salts any of the ingredients she uses, choosing to rely on the natural flavors of spices and meats.

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Cute Menus!

 

I’ve tasted the Chicken Seared Rice, the Sausage Seared Rice, and the Surprise Seared Rice, which turned out to be a very nice fish. Of these, the Chicken and Fish stood out to me the most. The ingredients were just so light and fresh. It was just as filling and tasty as any fried rice, but it didn’t leave me feeling dehydrated and bloated. The chicken was especially flavorful. Zing marinates it the night before in a little bit of sugar and vinegar, resulting in juicy boneless bites with subtle notes of sweet and savory that mingle quite nicely together.

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Chicken Seared Rice

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Fish Seared Rice (Purple)

Lastly, the shop has true New York City hours, staying open on Sundays-Thursdays until 3 AM and Friday and Saturday until 5 AM. “I have friends who get out of work no earlier than 12 AM,” Zing says, “New York is a night-owl city, so I cater to that side of it!” I, for one, cannot even begin to express my happiness at knowing that I can get this delicious rice at almost all hours of the night.

Whether I’m performing comedy, studying late for an exam (ha, I don’t really do that, but you understand my point), or just famished after a night on the town, I’m happy to add Zing’s Awesome Rice to my list of favorite places. Zing’s Awesome Rice IS Awesome–—Sear-iously!

Zing’s Awesome Rice

Address: 122 Ludlow St, between Delancey & Rivington

Website: http://www.zingsawesomerice.com/

Phone Number: (347) 857-7668

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