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Golden Steamer Red Bean Bun: Here's a classic Chinese bao favorite from Golden Steamer in NYC, filled with sweet red bean paste that is surprisingly mild in sweetness, especially compared to the typical sugar bomb you get elsewhere. Surrounded by soft and plump steamed white bread. This one is not bad, but it isn't especially interesting. If you like red bean buns, you will enjoy it, but it will taste like you expect it will. Costs under $1. 3.0/5.0

3.0 bun bean red goldensteamer chinatown buns nyc
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Beanitos White bean Mac n cheese crunch: These corn-alternative snacks have an irregular crunchy texture with a similar size to puffed Cheetos. The Mac n Cheese flavor is just a marketing spin on cheddar (more on an actual cheese puff whose flavor resembles boxed Mac and cheese in a forthcoming review). They have a slightly less neutral taste than regular corn puffs, with an aftertaste that resembles wheat snacks. Not bad, but not particularly memorable. 3.0/5.0

3.0 crunch n mac bean white beanitos cheesepuffs cheddar cheese junkfood
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Cha Cha Matcha Matcha lemonade with mint: More mint than matcha, this chilled lemonade is refreshing but doesn’t quite hit the mark as far as green tea flavor. It has a slight bitterness that sets it apart from a normal lemonade, but it would be hard to guess it contains matcha if you were to drink it without first seeing its identifying dark green color. Purchased from the ultra trendy matcha shop Cha Cha Matcha, a cafe seemingly built for Instagram, replete with a faux living wall and lifestyle neon signage. 3.0/5.0

3.0 mint lemonade matcha chachamatcha nyc drinks
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Superiority Burger Apricot and Labne ice cream: Two flavors, apricot and labne, ran for about $6 at this cramped East Village vegetarian spot. The apricot ice cream was strangely warm, very lightly sweetened, and faint though slightly tangy in flavor. The labne sorbet, on the other hand, was sharp and refreshing, tasting of high quality yogurt. Both had a slightly sticky texture reminiscent of Turkish ice cream (but not quite as elastic). Would definitely enjoy the labne again - the apricot, not so much. 3.0/5.0

3.0 cream ice labne apricot superiorityburger icecream sorbet dessert yogurt nyc
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Golden Steamer Lotus bun: My coworkers may think I was joking when I said I was going to try every bun from Chinese bao shop Golden Steamer, but let me assure you that I’m going to do my best. This lotus bun was a more traditional option, with a thick and sweet lotus seed paste filling and standard steamed white bun that is denser than other options at The Little Italy bakery. Not as good as the other buns I’ve had, but still, at under $1, it’s hard to complain. 3.0/5.0

3.0 bun lotus goldensteamer nyc chinese bao
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365 Mini cheddar crackers: Surprisingly salty mini cheese crackers from Whole Foods Brand 365. Still, if you’re looking for an organic alternative to Ritz, this may be it. 3.0/5.0

3.0 crackers cheddar mini 365