Red Star Sandwich Shop

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Sandwiches, people love them, right? Sure. I’m actually not wild about them (shhhh don’t judge), but, if they’re delicious enough, you’ve got me. And, if a place is serving them with amazing sides? Ok, definitely in. Well, you’ll find all that at Red Star Sandwich Shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. This fast-casual spot is serving up a variety of delicious Asian-American sandwiches, along with some equally tasty sides. Oh, and they even have a great collection of board games to play while you eat. No one said they had to be for the kids. Being mainly veggie, they had me covered with different options, and I was pretty pumped.

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To start, I had the Seaweed Noodle Salad. It was the perfect little bowl to get as a side. It’s light, but still has a wonderfully delicate vinegar flavor, mixed with sesame seeds, that goes so well with the noodles, cabbage and seaweed.

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Next, I had their Tater Tots as another side. So, heads up, these are probably my most favorite tater tots I’ve eaten. Why? Well, because they’re amazingly awesome, and they’re scratch made. Forget those frozen tots you’ve had in school, and probably in some lazy restaurants, and focus in on these little guys. They’re perfectly crisp and golden brown on the outside, and then, the inside is basically like mashed potatoes. Yeah, you’re pretty much eating fried mashed potato balls, and it’s incredible. Get some of their chili sauce on the side, and it might be the best decision you make that day.

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Finally, I had their Fried Tofu Sandwich (sautéed shiitake mushroom, corn, mixed greets, sweet Dijon mustard). This was great. The tofu has a marinade, making it really flavorful. The shiitakes are kind of everything in this sandwich though. They’re tender and savory, and really go well with all the ingredients. I love corn, so you could literally throw that in any dish and I’d eat it, and the sweet mustard brought everything together really nicely.

The Shorts:
Name: Red Star Sandwich Shop
Location: 176 Smith Street, Brooklyn NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Absolutely. The staff is awesome, and the restaurant itself is open and airy and super inviting.
Would I recommend it? For sure. And get those tots now, because rumor on the street is, they might be taking them off the menu (insert panic here). So, eat them, and then sign a petition to keep them on the menu.

Barcade

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I’m not a gamer, by any means. But, as a kid I definitely got down with some old school Mario and Duck Hunt. And, I still find something pretty charming about arcade games. But, you can’t find a lot of places in NYC to take part in a round of Ms. Pacman. Years ago, I went to a bar in Brooklyn that brought the two worlds of bars and arcades together. Now, Barcade has a new location in Chelsea. 

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With dozens of games to choose from, there’s something for everyone, even the non-gaming type. Who would say no to some Donkey Kong? And, for bragging rights, there’s a “High Score” board on the wall. 

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Of course, they’re a bar too, but in addition to a full bar, they also have food, serving typical bar fare with a twist. As a snack, we got some of their Tater Tots “California Style”. Now, I can’t be for certain as to what California style tater tots are, but, I will say they were good. Piled high, the tater tots were golden brown and crisp on the outside. Then, a layer of a sort of special sauce, that I might describe as a cheese sauce meets gravy with a bit of tang, is poured on top. But my favorite part about the basket was the thinly sliced shreds of perfectly caramelized onions. 

The Shorts:
Name: Barcade
Location: 148 West 24th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, it’s a novel place for me, but there’s such a relaxed atmosphere, that, you can almost forget there are video games if you’re just into grabbing a drink or snack at the bar. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially for those that do enjoy the arcade atmosphere. And even more for the competitive type. Get your name on that High Score board.