Lunch for $5: Original Pizza in Bay Ridge

I got off the R train on 69th Street and 4th Avenue after a long and slow ride back from Chinatown.  I was very hungry and not in the mood to spend $10 or more on lunch.  I went into Original Pizza for the first time today.  I was not disappointed in the pizza or the service.

The young men who serve at the counter are polite and work quickly to heat and then box your pizza.  If you want to eat in the pizza is put onto a paper plate.  I recommend asking for one of the round metal trays available because it’s so much easier to navigate your way to a table when using the tray.

I ordered two slices of the Grandma Pizza.  The crust was just right.  Crisp but not crunchy and the sauce was mild.  In addition to garlic salt, oregano and red pepper flakes, Original Pizza offers fresh basil leaves for topping your slice.  Today the basil was very fresh with a beautiful fragrance.  It complements the Grandma Pizza very well.  Two slices cost $5.  This was an excellent lunch.

The customers are from the working people and teenagers in the neighborhood.  They stay for a reasonable amount of time and then move on.  I do not think it will be difficult to find a seat on another weekday after 3 p.m.

Original Pizza is located at 6823 Fourth Avenue on the corner of Bay Ridge Avenue.  I highly recommend stopping by if you’re hungry when you get out of the Fourth Avenue Station or get off the bus that stops in front of the check casher across the street.

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Note:  This posting is for informational purposes only.  I do not receive any type of remuneration in return for a review.

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Time for a Treat: CREAM Coffee & Tea Shop

The Little Bear logo of the CREAM Coffee & Tea Shop.

CREAM
Coffee & Tea Shop
7210 Third Avenue
(bet. 72nd & 73rd Streets)
Bay Ridge,  Brooklyn, NY

I have saved so many coins and dollar bills over the summer.  Two penny jars full!  It has been too hot and humid the past month to venture out for a treat but this weekend the weather was lovely.  It was time to splurge on the kind of treats that make life sweet.

When I first saw the logo of the little bear on the shop awning I felt transported back to past vacations in Tokyo and Sapporo.  The Japanese cute factor has always held a place in that universe of things I’m fond of.  I had a feeling CREAM was going to fit into it, too.

The teas, coffees, muffins, scones and confections are only slightly higher than you’d pay at more run-of-the-mill coffee shops where you can get a cup of regular coffee, a sugar donut or a cinnamon raisin bagel.  What my initial impressions of CREAM were:

  • The excellent customer service.
  • The knowledgeable barristas.  They can explain every product and suggest what tea or coffee harmonize with the muffin or scone you’re considering.
  • The baked goods are fresh, light and come in wonderful combinations of flavors.
  • The inside is very small but relaxing.  You never hear the clatter of dishes and the music is at a low volume.

On Saturday I had a Café Au Lait made using Stumptown Coffee.  It was smooth and mild.  Along with that I had a Pear Corn Muffin.  It was soft and crumbly as corn muffins are but not dry.  The only thing I missed was having a pat of butter to go with the muffin.  I will ask next time.  The total cost was $5. but I thought this treat was not only worth it but also well earned.  It had been a very busy day and I accomplished completion of all errands early.

A late lunch on Sunday consisted of a cup of the de-caff blended tea called Gold.  It was a mixture of blossoms and black tea that was light and very soothing when had with honey.  I also had a Cheddar Scallion Scone and bought an extra one in case a friend joined me.  The scone was very light with a smooth blend of flavors between the cheddar cheese and finely chopped bits of scallion  inside the scones.  The Cheddar and Scallion scones are $2.75 each and a medium cup of the Gold tea was $2.50

After my second visit to CREAM the initial delight in the cute factor plummeted. This is because there are laptop hobos and table hogs amongst the clientele. Management has a very lax policy towards customers who use the free Wi-Fi long after they have finished their coffee and no longer order anything else. This is the one area where I find CREAM lacking in it’s overall approach. It is simply not fair to other customers who come in sometimes buying more than a beverage to have to leave when they see the people sitting there talking non-stop and oblivious of other people’s needs. I spent less than 20 minutes on each visit to this shop and saw a young mother with her little girl have to leave when the child complained she wanted to sit down. Another time I saw a couple who bought several baked goods also have to leave because none of the table hogs showed any indication of leaving.

The conversations indicate a well-educated, well-travelled and well-off customer. You would think they’d at least show some courtesy towards other customers clustering at the counter and looking for a seat. There are many places one can work on their laptop such as at home. I cannot believe the clientele cannot afford internet access at home. Nor can I believe they simply have no where else to go and conduct a non-stop conversation. CREAM would benefit from a much tighter policy in regards to how much time a customer can spend using free Wi-Fi and when they need to buy an additional menu item to stay. It would show more thoughtfulness and consideration to the other customers who come into the shop and purchase more than a beverage. These are the customers you want to cultivate. These are the ones who contribute to the profitability and success of the business.

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Note:  I am not affiliated with any business I review in this blog nor do I receive any form of remuneration.  These entries are for informational purposes only.

Lunch in Bay Ridge for $5-8: Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant and Take Out

Happy Garden Restaurant, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.

On busy days I do not want to cook.  Since I work from home most of the month I make use of the microwave very often.  Yet even then there are dishes to clean up and sometimes the food leaves an odor in the microwave.  That makes yet another thing to clean up!  When I feel this way I head out to get  lunch from Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant.  Their reasonably priced menu keeps me going back.

The Lunch Special menus offers a main dish with choice of different kinds of rice.  You can choose between soup or a can of soda, too.  The price range is between $5-$8.  Most of the items include meat, fish or poultry but there are a few dishes with tofu and vegetables, too.

The a la carte menu has a wider selection of vegetable dishes that range between $5-6 for the pint size portion.  I recommend the Broccoli with Garlic Sauce and Bean Curd Szechuan Style.  Sometimes I order both and have enough left for lunch the next day.

Although pork fried rice and white rice are listed in the menu, you can have brown rice if you ask for it.

Today I ordered one of the “All Day Sandwich Specials” and was not disappointed.  I got the fried fish filet on a soft roll with shredded lettuce.  A side order of fries and a choice of canned soda accompanied the sandwich.  Tartar sauce is provided as well.  The total cost plus tax was $5.25.  The fried fish was very light and the French fries were soft.  If you prefer more crunchy fries I suggest asking the cook to fry them a little longer.  There is also a chicken sandwich available.  If you do not want to drink soda, cans of seltzer are available.

The young women who work the kitchen and counter are pleasant and pack everything very well.  I have never had any food leak.  Happy Garden also does delivery on orders over $7.00

Happy Garden is located at 7211 Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.

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Please note:  I am not associated with any business I review in this blog nor do I receive any compensation in return for a review.

Crochet thread at 99 cents a spool

The 99 Cents Up & Less store located on Third Avenue between 72nd and 73rd Streets in Bay Ridge is under new management. It is now called Grace Lucas Bay Ridge 99 cents Store and Grocery.   The store now has a better layout with more room to navigate the aisles.  There is even a small assortment of women’s clothing and accessories available.

I’m finally getting back into crocheting 1:6 scale fashions for my Japanese fashion dolls thanks to the lovely crochet threads available at 99 Cents Up & Less.

The colors of this thread are very bright and the texture works out well for the small scale crochet I’m doing.  The silky finish makes it much prettier than the dull flat finish of South Maid no. 7 crochet thread.

The label on the spool has the name “Gold Thread Brand”.  When you go into the store ask for this brand so the cashier can direct you to the shelf it is on.  The spools are small so I’d recommend that if you plan to make something for yourself count on buying several.  If you’re making small scale items like doll clothes one spool will be enough.

The Grace Lucas  Bay Ridge 99 cents and Grocery Store is located at 7219 Third Avenue (bet. 72nd & 73rd Sts.) in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY

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Please note:  I do not have any relationship with the places reviewed in this blog nor do I receive any remuneration for the write-up.

Superettes and Mini-Markets of Bay Ridge: Bay Mart

Bay Mart at 6918 Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge.

I find that I can save money by shopping at the many smaller superettes and mini-markets in Bay Ridge.  This makes weekly shopping more time consuming but the efforts are well worth the money that can be saved.

Bay Mart has fresh bagels and rolls available at 3 for $1.00!  I go there every Saturday and buy 7 bagels for the week ahead.  I freeze them and take them out the night before.  This ensures the bagels will not get moldy if the weather turns hot and humid.  The rolls are also good but I do not recommend freezing them.

White Rose Anti-Bacterial Dish and Hand Washing Liquid.

Many 99 cent stores in this area charge  $1.19 or $1.39 for dishwashing liquid and cleaning products that previously sold for 99 cents.  At Bay Mart two of my favorite brand cleaning products are still available for 99 cents.  White Rose makes a good dishwashing liquid.  I buy their Anti-bacterial soap since it can be used for dishes and washing your hands.  For use as a hand soap I pour some into a pump dispenser.  White Rose also makes a Citrus Blend dishwashing liquid for the same price.

Mistolin Gardenia fragrance all-purpose cleaner.

Mistolin is one of the most fragrant all purpose cleaners I’ve used.  I mix it with water and put it into a mister.  It comes in several scents.  I recommend the Lavendar or the Rose.  I clean the bathroom with it everyday since I enjoy the lingering scent.  During the past weeks of hot and humid weather, Mistolin lived up to its claims of being a product that cleans and deodorizes any surface where it’s used.  I even used it to clean out the plastic pail in the kitchen.  It also cleans bathroom tiles and floors very well, too.

The cashiers and stock clerks are young and friendly which is another reason why I come back to Bay Mart for the items I need.  There is also a small deli counter with an assortment of cold cuts.

Bay Mart is located at 6918 Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.

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Please note:  I am not associated with any place I write up for this blog nor do I receive any remuneration for the review.

Lunch for under $10 in Bay Ridge: Ben’s Pizza & Restaurant

Ben’s Pizza & Restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.

Living in Bay Ridge and staying within a budget is a major challenge but it can be done.  Before going out to lunch in the vicinity of 70th through 86th Streets on Third or Fifth Avenues it pays to do some research.  I find Yelp! helpful because the reviews and price guides help me narrow my focus in the area.  Another thing you can do is compare the menus in the windows of the restaurants and spend some time walking in the area.  Many restaurants also put boards outside featuring their daily specials.

Today I treated myself to pizza at Ben’s Pizza and Restaurant.  I had one slice each of the Fresh Mozzarella and Grandma pizzas.  With a can of seltzer lunch cost  $7.50  The pizza came drizzled with a little bit of olive oil that added a beautiful touch of green color to the red sauce and white cheese.  The crust was crisp but not dry and all the toppings stayed put.  The sauce was sweet. and the cheese mild.  The pizza was very light and I did not feel like I’d indulged too much by having two slices.

Ben’s is located at 8125 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.  They offer free delivery and also do catering.  I highly recommend stopping here if you’re looking to enjoy pleasant service, and good pizza.

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Please note:  I am not affiliated with any of the places I blog about nor do I receive any form of remuneration.