Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Corn and Crabs – The Crab Pot

June 30, 2013
The Crab Pot, Bellevue WA
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Sourdough Loaf & Butter
Dungeness Crab Cocktail
The Westport Seafeast
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ImageCraving fresh seafood after being in Philly for so long, we went to Bellevue’s The Crab Pot to avoid the crowds in Seattle downtown but to have the same fun with our food.

First up was the Sourdough Loaf & Butter – boy, that was some sour sourdough. The butter was okay. The bread was very hard to bite on the outside, very airy but tough.Image

We had a voucher for a free appetizer and since they are known for their crab, we went with the Dungeness Crab Cocktail with some cold crab meat that was sweet and succulent. The cocktail sauce had a nice tang and was not watered down much. The celery added a nice refreshing crunch.

ImageFinally, we went at our two portions of The Westport Seafeast with our hands. Mallets? No thanks! My teeth will do just fine! The snow crabs were a little fishy but still good and the dungeness crab was also delicious. I loved the little mussels and clams as well. The shrimp were a little overcooked but at least the seasoning was good. The sausage was a little odd but had nice flavour and the potatoes a little plain but still decent. The corn, though, was absolutely scrumptious. Somehow, the seasoning made it creamier and sweeter and juicier – it was some of the best corn on the cob ever! Corn and crabs made me very happy that sunny afternoon.

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Cafe at its Best – Panera Bread

March 30, 2013
Panera Bread, New York NY
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Mediterranean Egg White on Ciabatta Signature Breakfast Sandwich
Easter Egg Cookie
Cobblestone
Peach Pecan Crunch Muffin
Bear Claw
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ImageJust like Au Bon Pain, I love the atmosphere at Panera Bread. Freshly baked pastries and goodies, made-to-order sandwiches with fresh ingredients, and a warm, cozy feel in a very relaxing cafe atmosphere. Whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I would always be happy eating here.

The Mediterranean Egg White on Ciabatta Signature Breakfast Sandwich was good, with lots of egg whites, spinach, flavourful roasted tomatoes, Vermont white cheddar, and basil pesto on a toasty ciabatta bun. Despite the quality, this was overpriced. The sandwich was too small for almost $5. Image

The Easter Egg Cookie was very generic but also very pretty with its colourful sugar icing and chocolate candies. The shortbread cookie itself was crumbly and buttery. This was one celebratory cookie!Image

The Cobblestone is a pastry made with cinnamon raisin dough, apples, streusel, and icing drizzle. It was such a splendid treat. I love raisins, apples, and spices together. Add to that streusel and icing and voila, the perfect, tastiest treat you can find. The dough could have been a little more moist but apart from that, it was delicious.Image

The Peach Pecan Crunch Muffin was okay. The muffin was not too sweet and was moist and dense. I liked the large pieces of peach inside, making it juicier. I wished there were pecans inside as well as on top, though.Image

The Bear Claw had that artificial almond taste but it was not overwhelming to the point that it becomes revolting. The pastry was flaky and the almond slices on top were nice. There could have been more filling so that you get it in every bite.

I wish there was a Panera on campus or even in center city. It is on the more expensive side but sometimes, the atmosphere, quality, and just overall feel of the place is worth it. 

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Hail The Queen of Hearts – Sabrina’s Café

March 24, 2013
Sabrina’s Café, Philadelphia PA
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The Queen’s ‘Paint the Roses Red’ Stuffed French Toast
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ImageI cannot believe after almost two years here in Philly that I have yet to have brunch at the ever-so-popular Sabrina’s Café. Well, I finally got to try their famous challah stuffed French toast. Oh, and it was Alice in Wonderland week!

I got The Queen’s ‘Paint the Roses Red’ Stuffed French Toast, and yes, it was pretty in red. Inside the thick, soft challah French toast – which had a nice exterior might I add – were sweet cream cheese, Irish cream caramelized apples, raisins, coconut, double fudge chocolate pieces, and mint preserves, all topped with a berry-orange syrup. The sweet cream cheese was so scrumptious with the French toast. The apples added a nice tang while the raisins added another layer or sweetness. I saw the chocolate pieces but the flavour did not stand out. I could not even taste the mint and coconut, which were even fainter than the chocolate. It was just a whole plate of sweetness! The berry-orange syrup was tangy and sweet, though, so it made it not an overwhelming sugar overload. It was tangy, sweet, and very red, with just the right thickness to be soaked up by the French toast. I loved the fresh strawberries and blueberries a lot, wishing there were more to make it more refreshing rather than a very dense breakfast.

Looking at the weekly specials and the whole menu, I can easily come here every week. But that would just be sugar overload to the extreme, I guess.

Sabrina's Cafe @ Powelton on Urbanspoon

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King of Fast Food Specials – Burger King

March 23, 2013
Burger King, Philadelphia PA
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Sausage Burrito
Bacon Gouda Muffin
French Toast Sticks

Chipotle Chicken Wrap
Loaded Tater Tots
Veggie Burger
Peach Iced Tea
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ImageA day of competition in center city entails getting something quick yet unavailable in University City. With so many more specials than McDonald’s, Burger King was, I decided, the place to go. Image

The Sausage Burrito, at only $1, was certainly decent. The sausage was seasoned nicely and adequately juicy. I liked the onions and peppers with the melted American cheese. The tortilla was holding everything together, toasty warm.Image

The Bacon Gouda Muffin was their new, limited-time breakfast offering. On a toasted English muffin were strips of crispy bacon, a slice of gouda cheese, folded eggs, and a herb spread. The taste was quite light from the cheese but there was a nice garlic and herb undertone to the spread that made it different from your regular breakfast sandwich.Image

The French Toast Sticks, served with syrup, was a little too chewy. The outside was not exactly crispy and it was hard to bite and very greasy. Image

For lunch, the new Chipotle Chicken Wrap, which I got with grilled chicken, had a nice chipotle mayo that had some kick. The chicken was dry and tough, though. The lettuce, tomato, and pepper jack cheese did not add much in way of flavour. What I did like was the crispy bacon with the caramelized onions. The onions could be cooked a bit more, though, but it was still nice.Image

The Loaded Tater Tots were disappointing. There were barely any bacon bits and I could not taste any onions. It was just mushy potato with a semi-crispy fried exterior. These were certainly not satisfying. Image

The Veggie Burger, on the other hand, was great. I loved the veggie patty with the usual lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. What I really liked was the ratio of the ketchup to the mayonnaise that reminded me of sandwiches I used to eat when I was little. I finally found that flavour combination!Image

Finally, the Peach Iced Tea was rather refreshing. It had strong tea and peach flavours but I found this to be a bit pricey at around $2 for a small.Image

Burger King’s menu is now so much more interesting than McDonald’s. It’s a shame they do not have one on campus. I am now curious as to what flavours they will have over the summer.

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St. Patty on the Street – Street Food Philly

March 14, 2013
Street Food Philly, Philadelphia PA
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St. Pat Burger Special
Guiness Beef Stew
Guiness Budino
Salted Fudge Brownie
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It was National Potato Chip Day so what better way than to celebrate with a serving of freshly sliced and fried real potato chips. They are way better than the things that come in bags. Honestly. Street Food Philly was also serving up a variety of St. Patrick’s Day specials so let’s start with that.

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The St. Pat Burger Special included a juicy beef patty with Guiness glaze, beer onion rings, mustard cabbage, and cheese on a soft and toasted burger bun. It was so juicy and so flavourful with the glaze an the mustard seeds. The cabbage added a great crunch and the onion rings’ sweetness helped cut into the savoury and spicy kick. The chips that came along were crispy, not too oily, and very thing.Image

The Guinness Beef Stew had extremely tender cubes of beef. There was a bit too much potatoes and not enough carrots and onions. It was a little greasy on the top but the flavour was outstanding and incredibly rich and comforting. The Irish soda bread was very crispy and light, soaking up the stew nicely.

ImageThe Guinness Budino had the sweetest, smoothest, and tastiest Guinness custard. I could not taste much of the Guiness but the custard was great, as was the salted caramel, caramel whip cream, and the crushed animal crackers and the chocolate graham at the bottom. It was a light but sweet dessert.Image

Finally, being awesome, they gave me a Salted Fudge Brownie. It was dense, rich, and chewy. A little greasy on the fingers but the flavours were spot on.

Street Food Philly is not cheap – the three items costed me $20. However, the quality of the food really does justify the prices. Each portion is individually prepared and cooked to order. This is nothing like fast food out of a truck, that’s for sure!

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Sandwiches and Sweets – Starbucks

March 8, 2013
Starbucks, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
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ラントブロート クロックマダム (Landbrot Croque-madame)
イタリアンソーセージとチーズのタルティーヌ (Italian Sausage & Cheese Tartine)
パンプキンタルト (Pumpkin Tart)
クッキー&クリームチーズケーキ (Cookie & Cream Cheese Cake)
チェリー&カスタードマフィン (Cherry & Custard Muffin)
キャラメルピーカンナッツロール (Caramel & Pecan Nut Roll)
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ImageDoesn’t matter where you are, you can be sure Starbucks will be crowded in the morning. Their food selections are certainly getting better and the ones in Japan have way too many interesting choices that doesn’t matter how often I go, I still could not try all of them. So, I had to be selective. At least sharing with friends gave me more opportunities to taste all this delicious food!

The sandwich, ラントブロート クロックマダム (Landbrot Croque-madame), was so tasty! A pressed panini, it had chicken, melted gooey mozzarella cheese, and an almost-runny egg. I really enjoyed the savoury combination. The cheese had great flavour and was not bland. The bread had a nice crisp exterior and soft on the inside. It was a great breakfast sandwich!Image

The イタリアンソーセージとチーズのタルティーヌ (Italian Sausage & Cheese Tartine) also had great flavour. I really loved the creamy white sauce that covered the sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, and cauliflower. The bread was a bit too crisp and hard for my liking and I was never a fan of potatoes. However, the other ingredients were all delicious.Image

The パンプキンタルト (Pumpkin Tart) was very good. It had a good pumpkin custard texture and the crust was crumbly but not too dry. Inside was cubes of kabocha, the Asian version of winter squash that is sometimes translated as pumpkin. The tart was not at all very sweet but rather had the hearty taste of the squash. The pepitas, whipped cream, and glaze added nice touches.Image

The クッキー&クリームチーズケーキ (Cookie & Cream Cheese Cake) was not as great as I thought it would be. It was a regular, albeit a very good and creamy, cheesecake with chocolate cookie swirled in. There was a chocolate cookie crust and it was topped with chunks of very crumbly chocolate cookies. It was not too sweet despite being all chocolate and cheesecake but I guess that’s the good thing about Asian desserts.Image

The チェリー&カスタードマフィン (Cherry & Custard Muffin) was actually decent. The inside was moist, dense, yet soft. I loved the large, semi-dried cherries that were very sweet. The custard could have been more custard-like. It was a little dry and there did not seem to be enough.

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The キャラメルピーカンナッツロール (Caramel & Pecan Nut Roll) was delicious and sweet. Finally, something sweet enough! Rather, it was where there was caramel drizzle that was sweet – and sticky. The pecans were good and crunchy. The roll was a little dry and the parts without caramel was not as good. With all the ingredients together, though, it was delicious.

So many choices, so many goodies! And all of this is only one country. Imagine the collection of Starbucks treats from all around the world. Now that would be a feast!

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Where Are My Scallops? – 生记–Sang Kee Noodle House

February 16, 2013
生记 – Sang Kee Noodle House, Philadelphia PA
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叉烧包 (Steamed Char Sui Bao)
冬阴汤 (Tom Yum Seafood Soup)
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ImageDespite being so close to Sang Kee, I have not been there since my parents left. So when I got a discount on LivingSocial, I took the chance and ordered take-out dinner. Service was fine, but a problem I had was that the food did not live up to the description.Image

The 叉烧包 (Steamed Char Sui Bao) were decent enough. I doubt they made these in-house, thinking that they bought these. The BBQ sauce inside was sweet with a slight tang, just the way I like it. The pork was tender and there was an okay amount of sticky filling. The bun was soft and sweet.Image

The 冬阴汤 (Tom Yum Seafood Soup) had good flavour. It was not traditional tom yum soup flavours, though. There was no lemongrass, basil, and the other various Thai spices. Instead, there were a lot of chilli pepper flavour and pineapple chunks. Seafood wise, I was really disappointed. They only put in flounder fish fillets, shrimp, clams, and squid. The one thing I was looking forward to eating the most – scallops – were missing! Vegetables wise, there was an array of snow peas, carrots, straw mushroom, water chestnuts, and grape tomatoes. The noodles started to clump together, despite being put in a separate container until I combined the two myself. At least I enjoyed the seafood and vegetables with the spicy, hot soup.

A good thing about takeout is that you do not have to pay tips and you get to eat in the comfort of your own room. A downside, though, is that the container may be a little awkward, less convenient than a large bowl with a large opening. 

Sang Kee Noodle House on Urbanspoon

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Sweets in the Hub – HubBub Coffee

February 12, 2013
HubBub Coffee, Philadelphia PA
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Cinnamon Roll
Pain au Chocolat
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ImageI went to a presentation by a Penn alum who is the founder of the HubBub Coffee truck on campus. It was very interesting to hear about the business, and to enjoy some of the treats that they get regularly from Au Fournil.

The Cinnamon Roll was absolutely scrumptious and probably would have been even more amazing if it was toasted. The roll itself was soft and full of swirled cinnamon and sugar. The icing was also great. It was a very sweet but satisfying cinnamon roll, and huge as well. This will make anyone happy in the morning with a coffee.Image

The Pain au Chocolat was a bit disappointing. The pastry dough was flaky and soft, a little moist and doughy, the way I like it. However, the chocolate inside was cold and frozen, almost hard. There was also very little of it. This pastry definitely needed to be toasted and more chocolate would have been good.Image

These pastries from Au Fournil can also be found in Capogiro and I would think a few other places as well. They were very fresh so despite HubBub not making it themselves, these would be fine to go along with the coffee that they sell.

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Golden Bread – Goldilocks

ImageDecember 24, 2012
Goldilocks, Vancouver BC
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Cheese Loaf
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Goldilocks is all the way in Vancouver but, thankfully, T&T also carried a small selection of their baked goods. Mom found one on sale and it was a great deal of bread for only $0.99!

The Cheese Loaf is a slightly sweet, soft, airy, and somewhat sticky bread with a sugar and butter glaze on top and cubes of cream cheese hidden inside each individual bun. The cream cheese was a little hard but went well with the bread. I just loved the texture of the hard but creamy cheese and the bread. The top layer of the bread was delicious from the sweet buttery glaze, the best part of this bread!Image

It was large but not dense at all. Apparently, it usually sells for around $5, in which case would not be worth it at all. Perhaps T&T sells even more variety than we were first aware of, but that is definitely a good thing!

Goldilocks on Urbanspoon

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Asian Jingling – 大统华面包坊–T&T Bakery

ImageDecember 24, 2012
大统华面包坊 – T&T Bakery, Richmond BC
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洛神花乳酪面包 (Roselle Cheese Bun)
枫糖黑豆面包 (Maple Syrup Black Bean Bun)
圣诞水果星形蛋糕 (Xmas Fruit Cake – Star Shape))
红豆麻薯椪 (Red Bean Mochi Pastry)
圣诞优格芝士蛋糕 (Christmas Yogurt Cheese Cake)

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New items from T&T Bakery seem to appear every couple of months so I got a pleasant surprise when I returned home. Mom and I just love trying out the newly created baked goodies.Image

First was the 洛神花乳酪面包 (Roselle Cheese Bun). The pink color was very visually appealing. It would seem from the appearance that it would be sweet, but the bread was actually soft and only lightly sweetened with the roselle. It was mostly doughy, although a little dry. The cheese filling was small in proportion but sticky and sweet. It was creamy and rich, pretty much a sweet cream cheese, and I loved it.Image

The 枫糖黑豆面包 (Maple Syrup Black Bean Bun) was a little less creative in my opinion. The black beans seemed present in the dough and the filling. The maple filling was a lot sweeter and stickier, which I loved, but there did not seem to be enough of it. The bread was soft and airy with a thick layer of dusting sugar on top to sweeten it just a touch.Image

Mom took out from the freezer the 圣诞水果星形蛋糕 (Xmas Fruit Cake – Star Shape). It was such a nice fusion of butter cake, fruitcake, and Asian cake. It was light but still rich and buttery. It was very dense and sweet but not at all overwhelming. The pieces of fruit strewn throughout added a nice tartness, but I just really loved the sweet, hard cake.Image

We also got a box of 红豆麻薯椪 (Red Bean Mochi Pastry) since it was on sale. Again, I am not a fan of layered pastry dough. It was okay, not too buttery or dry but still crumbly and thin. I was a lot more into the filling. The red bean paste was sweet and the yellow sweet potato-like paste just added a lighter sweet tone. Both were wrapped inside a thin layer of sticky, chewy mocha, before being surrounded by the pastry shell. The mochi did not have much flavour in comparison but I loved the contrast of the three textures.

Finally, Mom bought the 圣诞优格芝士蛋糕 (Christmas Yogurt Cheese Cake) to serve as dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner. It was extremely light and airy, lightly sweetened and tart. The texture was excellent and it was just slightly cheese. All the flavours were toned down but harmonious all the same. The thin layer of whip cream did not overwhelm anything and the cake on the bottom was also a light and airy cake, typical of Asian cakes.

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Such lovely new items make T&T Bakery one of the Asian bakeries to offer a large variety. They might have the most kinds of bread actually, compared to the regular bakeries around town. The new products are usually quite creative, too!
12-24-12 - 圣诞优格芝士蛋糕 - 大统华面包坊

Osaka Supermarket 大阪超級市場 on Urbanspoon

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