Friday, June 17, 2011

The other rebate shoe drops at Costco

A piping-hot Korean soft-tofu stew with egg.

On Thursday, I received a rebate check of $151.35 -- 2% cash back on purchases at Costco Wholesale, where I pay an annual fee of $100 for an Executive Membership.

In February, I received a $322 rebate check from American Express for purchases I made in 2010, including 3% back at restaurants and on gasoline purchases, 1% back for Costco purchases; 2% back for travel purchases and 1% everywhere else.

The American Express credit card is called the Costco True Earnings Card. 

Tofu hits the spot

We couldn't wait for the weekend, when we usually dine out, so we returned to our favorite Korean restaurant on Thursday night for a filling meal of spicy tofu stew, vegetable side dishes, eggs and rice.

We don't seem to be able to stay away from Restaurant So Gong Dong in Palisades Park for more than a few weeks. 

We've tried other tofu houses and other Korean restaurants that serve soft tofu, but So Gong Dong remains our favorite. The price of $9.99 for a complete meal -- including tax -- doesn't hurt, either.

Even if you don't choose oysters, clams or shrimp in your tofu stew, this is a healthy meal. The stew is available from not spicy to "more spicy."

The soft tofu is brought to the table is a stone bowl, and it's bubbling furiously. This is when you crack one of the small eggs on the rim and empty it into the hot stew to cook it.

There's nothing like breaking the barely cooked yolk over the rice, and eating them together.

After you place your order, you are brought the eggs and side dishes of cabbage and cucumber kimchi, bean sprouts and a peppery concoction of raw squid.

The stew and a second stone bowl with steamed rice come later.

We also ordered a seafood pancake to share ($10.99), but the tofu stew meal is so generous, it will more than satisfy most people.

The $9.99 and $10.99 include tax, as I said, but they are rounded up to $10 and $11 on the bill.

So Gong Dong, 118 Broad Ave., Second Floor, Palisades Park;
201-313-5550. Open seven days. BYO. Valet parking available.

Restaurant deals 

Many North Jersey restaurants are offering discounts to lure customers, and in some cases, you can sign up for e-mail coupons.

Others arrive in the mail. Today, the Money Mailer contained the following discounts:

  • Luka's Italian Cuisine, 238 Main St., Ridgefield Park, is offering $8.95 lunch specials with soup or salad and pasta; 25% off dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 15% off dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Restaurant Galapagos, 222 Main St., Hackensack, allows kids to eat free on Thursdays and gives $2 off any Ecuadorian dinner of $10 or more. Breakfasts of $6 or more are cut by $1.
  • Uncle Paulie's Puro Sabor, a Peruvian restaurant at 109A W. Pleasant Ave., Maywood, is giving 20% off meal checks of $10, $25 or $50.
  • Presto's New York, a brick-oven pizza and pasta restaurant at 772 Main St., Hackensack, is offering a number of discounts, including 15% off the entire check and a free small pie with the purchase of two large pies.

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