Restaurant Week deals and DIY food hacks to fire up your taste buds this summer

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With August underway and the clock starting to tick towards September, there are a variety of foods to still explore before time runs out. With New York City being one of the world’s fine dining headquarters, there are always new experiences to try, especially during summer. There’s one issue: the price. That’s where Restaurant Week comes in, and it’s the first of our recommendations for a summer food adventure.

Restaurant Week

If you are interested in going out and dining, New York City Restaurant Week launched in mid-July and will run until August 21 for its 30th anniversary. During this time frame, many restaurants and other food-related businesses offer coupons and deals to let more people celebrate the rich, diverse history of New York City’s many cultural meals. The participating restaurants are found in almost all areas of the 5 boroughs but here are some popular locations across Manhattan and Queens to check out:


  • BLACK TAP (SoHo): Well known for their massive CrazyShakes, Black Tap is offering a choice between three different appetizers, a delicious classic burger, and choice of vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate classic shake all for thirty dollars. There is also a wide variety of other dishes, such as the All-American Burger (prime burger, American cheese and a mysterious special sauce).
  • BLT STEAK (Midtown East): This highly acclaimed eatery is offering various different types of steak and other fine dining options. With some steaks normally running well over sixty dollars, this menu is undergoing significant changes to appeal to a much wider audience for Restaurant Week. If steak is not your thing, there are chicken and fish options for the entree.  One example of what you can buy is their version of ROASTED CHICKEN (with preserved lemons and dates).
  • MANHATTAN INDIAN FLAVOR (Gramercy): A small Indian restaurant  focused on serving many traditional meals, now at a lower price for a limited time. The ingredients are purchased from local farmers’ markets to ensure the best quality meals. The three course dinner option offers a choice between a chicken, vegetarian, lamb, goat, beef or a seafood entree.


  • TUSCAN HILLS (Queens Blvd) This Italian themed eatery is claimed by many to be one of the best in the city. It is one of only a handful of restaurants to be participating in NYC Restaurant Week from a Queens location. An example of what you can buy is the Fettuccine Alla Diavola (fettuccine and spicy shrimp in a sauteed tomato sauce).
  • GUANTANAMERA RESTAURANT (Forest Hills) If you want to experience traditional Cuban food with the feeling of being in Old Havana, Guantanamera Restaurant is the place to go. The restaurant has an abundance of traditional Cuban foods. An example of what you can buy here is the Arroz de Camarones (yellow rice, shrimp and mixed vegetables).

Even though these prices are reduced from their normal rates, some students might still find the prices at restaurant week to be out of their range. So, since Restaurant Week offers you a chance to try something you might not normally get, we thought we’d recommend a few inexpensive do-it-yourself outrageous food combinations that will give you a different kind of culinary experience. Here are our recommendations that are easy to make and just as adventurous as their expensive counterparts:

  1. Dippable Options: First, try French fries with Ice Cream Dip. Next time you visit your nearest McDonald’s, instead of ordering a Big Mac or Happy Meal, why not try some ice cream and french fries? Rather than using ketchup, dip the french fries into the ice cream for the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Or if ice cream isn’t your thing, Flaming Hot Cheetos with Cream Cheese Dip is nothing short of brilliant. The richness of the cream cheese will not only neutralize the spice of the chip but enhance its flavor as well.

  2. Ranch Pizza: Ranch dressing works surprisingly well as a delicious complement to any pizza slice. Some restaurants offer the option of adding other sauces and dressings, so make sure to inquire about it at your local pizzeria. The ranch will be just as savory as fresh tomato sauce.

  3. Bacon/Peanut Butter Sandwich: Many people like bacon sandwiches and many like peanut butter sandwiches, so why not combine the two? The crunchy and creamy mixture alongside the saltiness of the two ingredients will leave your mouth savoring every bite.

  4. Frito Pie: This is basically a burrito bowl in a chip bag. It’s simple: to make a Frito Pie, all you have to do is open a Frito bag and add whatever you want into it.  Many put chili, peppers, cheese, and salsa, but you could make it however you like.

And that is the end of our list. We hope that you will try at least one of our suggestions. Whether it be one of the fine dining options or the not-so-fine food combos, summer is the time to try new things.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.