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Cherry Bombe #9!

Pia Mileaf-Patel

Finals were just made much brighter by the release of Cherry Bombe's spring issue with Martha Stewart! So excited to have a story in this issue of my favorite magazine.

Pick up a copy to read my piece about Florence Lin, the inspirational Chinese chef who brought regional Chinese cooking to NYC in the 70's. The mag is also filled with other wonderful stories and art—I can't wait to devour it.


Brown University's Salad Bars

Pia Mileaf-Patel


It's been a minute, but I still incessantly think/write about food. Here's a link to a satirical review I wrote about my school's salad bars for our paper, the Herald. The dining hall is truly a lifestyle... and yes, the "Baseball Burrito Bar" is real.


Traditional Salad Bar

This is your average salad bar. It’s fine. The official recommended system is to get a to-go box, add all your ingredients and dressing, then shake it like you’re listening to OutKast in 7th grade. If this sounds like your type of lunch, this is the right salad bar for you.

Mediterranean Salad Bar

Two words: feta cheese. Feta makes this a salad bar to die for. Romaine, tomato, and cucumber? Eh. Romaine, tomato, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese? Greek salad? Sort of. Authentic in the true-to-the-dining-hall-salad-bar sense. And if there’s tahini or tzatziki, you’ve got an inventive dressing! Pita chips go well in salad, by the way.

Cobb Salad Bar

I don’t know. Between the translucent avocado and sweaty turkey chunks, if you manage to find something you actually want to eat, it’s bound to be coated in a hearty sprinkling of crumbly hard boiled egg. In the morning, when I log onto my most visited website,, (does anyone else have the rest of that autofill on Google Chrome if they type “b”? Asking for a friend…), I chant repeatedly, mildly hoping to see “Italian Antipasto Bar.” Instead, “Cobb Salad Bar” appears, conjuring images of deceptive black bean salad, where half of the black beans are sweet, bloated raisins, and I have to push these thoughts out of my mind. Skip it. Or eat it and complain to your uninterested friends. How could one person think so much about salad?

Caesar Salad Bar

Pretty nicely done, Caesar Salad Bar, although nothing to write a listicle about. The bite-sized pieces of cold chicken make for even-temperature salads (as opposed to that spinach wilt you get from throwing a piece of “Grilled Montreal Chicken” straight from the Ratty grill onto your leaves). There’s just no excitement for me about the Caesar Salad Bar. I don’t see those words and get pumped about lunch that day. In fact, Caesar Salad Bar weeks are ones where I am prone to PB&J.

However, a Caesar Salad Bar week coupled with the Roots and Shoots Wheatberry Grain Bar, now that’s a salad bra to write home about. The grilled broccoli! (If you caught that I just wrote “bra,” it was on purpose. I think the readers should get at least a sneak peek at the uncountable amount of times I’ve typed salad bra instead of salad bar while writing these reviews. On another note, I just googled salad bra, and evidently your bras will last years longer if you toss them around in a salad spinner with some gentle detergent like little gems of lettuce. Learn something new every day.) On that note, alternative lettuce varieties are welcome and encouraged by students.

Italian Antipasto Bar

This is definitively the best salad bar because of mozzarella.

Bonus Round

Baseball Burrito Bar

This one is just a big question mark. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Good? Not that either. You can end up with… a hard taco shell crisply enveloping a boiled hot dog of little league nostalgia. Smother that in sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and relish? I mean, why not? Points for variety. Also notable, the Caesar Salad Pizza Bar. (See next week’s post “10 Reasons We Love the V-Dub.”)

Vicky's Tasty Treat

Pia Mileaf-Patel

Do you ever find soft serve late at night that is so creamy and thick and vanilla-y that you sit in your car with your mom in silence until every last bite is gone? Does it come with a zesty, punchy, icy orange twist, towering out of the crisp wafer cone? Or does it come layered with the family-recipe lemon ice, combining delicately with the melting fluffy ice cream?

Do you ever wake up the next morning and go back?

Will you dream about it, and consider driving 4+ hours to get it again? Then text your friend about how good it was and how you should design a road trip around going there?

Decorated with an Italian flag and photos of customers enjoying their soft serve ice cream sundaes, sprinkle-dipped ice cream sandwiches, or frozen bananas, Vicky's is your next ice cream stop before it's fall. But honestly, I'd go here if it were snowing it was so good.


Pia Mileaf-Patel

$15 a person

Maybe it was watching the gluten free pita (pit-uh) challenge on The Great British Bake Off, or spending too much time stalking food accounts on Instagram, or perhaps it was a combination of the two, but last weekend I couldn't stop imagining pillowy, doughy pita bread fresh from the oven with some smooth, buttery hummus. Thank Dizengoff for supplying exactly that, topped with stewed eggplant, crunchy shallots, and drizzled olive oil—the kind that is so flavorful it's almost spicy.

The internet-food world is freaking out over Dizengoff's NYC location and now that I've tried it, I know why. The actual storefront is in Chelsea Market, which is admittedly unpleasant if you try and find seating, or wish to navigate your way through the hoards quickly. But, it is indoors, so that's definitely an upside in this steamy, sweltering heat. Also, sometimes you can get a free sample at Lilac Chocolate, or Fat Witch bakery ;). And Dizengoff has its own seats! You and a friend can tuck yourselves away in a corner and enjoy shakshuka for breakfast. Or you can pick up some hummus to go for lunch. If you work nearby, I am seriously jealous of your lunch options. The wood-burning oven fresh pita is so good you'll crave it even while standing outside in the sun.

I loved the pickled garlic and peaches, and the other salatim were alright (I prefer traditional tabouleh), but the real star is the hummus. I didn't know it could be that good. I now understand why the dad in You Don't Mess With the Zohan (and now it's in writing that I have seen that movie—oops) eats it using his glasses as a spoon. It comes with seasonal toppings, pickles, and a refreshing chopped cucumber salad. The one we got was sauteed eggplant topped with crunchy fried shallots and chopped herbs. And I will be back for more.

Looking Forward to Pondicheri

Pia Mileaf-Patel

I haven't had a meal here yet (the soft opening was just yesterday), but I wanted to post some photos of the beautiful pastries at Pondicheri and say that I can't wait to have breakfast here this week! Indian spices in baked goods are the best—if you don't believe me, throw two cardamom pods into your next summer peach pie. The bakery counter has enticing treats, and coffee or chai to go, and the breakfast and lunch menu is one of those lucky situations where everything looks so good you can't decide what to get. I have been craving Indian breakfast the past few days, so look for another post soon! What a good surprise.