Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Livin’ Off Convenient Stores – Wawa

March 19, 2013
Wawa, Philadelphia PA
Premium Honey Smoked Turkey w/ Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Hoagie
Sausage, Egg & Cheese Pancake Sizzli
Rainbow Cookie
Mozzarella Sticks
Sweet Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel
Red Velvet Muffin
BBQ Roast Pork Hoagie
Cookies & Cream Donut
Iced Chocolate Caramel Latte

ImageThere are just those days that Wawa is my go to place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks, of course. This was just one of those days.

ImageThe Premium Honey Smoked Turkey w/ Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Hoagie was actually great. It was also National Poultry Day so turkey fit the bill. The eggs were hot and fluffy. The turkey was slightly sweet and thinly sliced. The roll was toasted and crispy on the outside. I had a little trouble finding the cheese but otherwise, it was a good breakfast hoagie – more expensive than food trucks but I liked the eggs a lot more.Image

The Sausage, Egg & Cheese Pancake Sizzli was okay. I find it odd to have actual pancakes with no syrup as a breakfast sandwich but it was lightly sweet and nice. The sausage patty was a little dry but had good flavour, as did the cheese. I just was not a fan of the preformed egg omelet.

The Rainbow Cookie had a lot of chocolate candies, making it so colourful. I loved the crisp that a regular chocolate chip or chunk cookie that just has melted chocolate. I liked the lightly sweetened cookie dough but it was a little over-baked, neither crispy nor gooey. I prefer the latter.

The Mozzarella Sticks had a nice thin batter on the outside with very stringy, chewy mozzarella inside. I loved the chewiness of the cheese and I could pull it so long without it at all breaking. I was disappointed that if I wanted marinara sauce, I had to pay for it.Image

The Sweet Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel was chewy with a crisp exterior. The inside was filled with delicious sweet cream cheese. It was a nice balance between the sweet filling and the salt on the pretzel. I wished there was more of the cheese filling inside. I love the light sweetness of it.Image

The Red Velvet Muffin was so red that it was food colour overdose. The muffin was moist and dense with a crisp top. Inside was filled with sweet cream that was a little too buttery. The muffin was good though, compared to some smaller independent cafes.Image

The limited-time BBQ Roast Pork Hoagie was overloaded with Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. The sauce was great on the hot roast pork. The pork was juicy and decently tender. The BBQ sauce covered up the provolone cheese, though, and all the juices made half the bread somewhat soggy.Image

The Cookies & Cream Donut was actually good. I liked the cookie crumble with the frosting, and especially the cookies and cream filling. It was not too sweet but not greasy either. The doughnut was also fresh since it was still early in the day.Image

ImageFor National Chocolate Caramel Day and American Chocolate Week, I tried the Iced Chocolate Caramel Latte. It was decent, just milky enough and had the tastes of chocolate and caramel, although it was not very sweet. I liked how the ice is crushed ice so not large cubes. The whip cream with chocolate drizzle did not add much but it was refreshing.

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Melt that Ranch – Taco Bell

March 16, 2013
Taco Bell, Philadelphia PA
Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco
Caramel Apple Empanada

ImageI was really hungry after a day at a show and decided on something fast and cheesy. However, they did not offer the loaded grillers at the Taco Bell on campus, which is a total shame.

The Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos was decent. I could not taste too much of the cool ranch flavour as it was not that heavily seasoned. The taco shell was crispy and the ground beef, lettuce, and cheese was all decent for fast food.Image

The Meximelt was more like a beef burrito but skinnier and full of cheesy goodness. It was nice with the pico de gallo to add a tangy freshness to the burrito.

ImageFinally, the Caramel Apple Empanada was great. Crispy on the outside, the pastry was really sweet from the caramel but not overwhelming because of the acidity of the apples. The filling was piping hot and so good!Image

Taco Bell on Urbanspoon

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Specials, Specials, Specials – Dunkin’ Donuts

ImageMarch 13, 2013
Dunkin’ Donuts, Philadelphia PA
Irish Creme Iced Coffee
Irish Creme Donut
Angus Steak & Egg Breakfast Sandwich
Angus Steak & Egg Wake-up Wrap
Big n’ Toasted
Hash Browns

Lucky Mint Donut
Cinnamon Cake Donut
Apple Cheese Danish
Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Chocolate Chip Muffin
Corn Muffin
Caramel Latte Lite

ImageWith a bunch of coupons in my possession, St. Patrick’s Day promotions, and featured steak menu items, I basically had a day of just Dunkin’ Donuts food. Well, it was nice to share sweets with a friend, but still, the sandwiches were filling. However, I love breakfast all day long so it was no problem. Image

The Irish Creme Iced Coffee, which I had with some skim milk, was creamy and sweet. I loved the traditional Irish creme flavour that was quite prominent, especially near the bottom of the cup. Image

The Irish Creme Donut was filled with a flavoured cream that was just as sweet and just as good. It looked very plain and unappetizing though so I think a warmer brown or a different colour altogether would have been nice. Image

The Angus Steak & Egg Breakfast Sandwich that I got on a plain bagel – just like their advertisements – was just okay. The bagel was nicely toasted and I liked the simple cheese and freshly fried egg. However, the steak was a little dry. Image

The Angus Steak & Egg Wake-up Wrap was the same, with a good toasty tortilla, gooey melted  cheese, half an egg patty, and dry steak. I really wanted some juicy meat so this was disappointing. 

The Big n’ Toasted was pretty good. The toast was nicely browned and thick enough. I liked the egg and cheese combination with the bacon. The bacon could have been a little crispier, I thought, and it was not as big as I had expected it to be, especially since the bread got moist again after being in the bag. Image

The Hash Browns were actually not bad, just too greasy. They were just the right size and crispy on the outside while the inside was mushy. It had decent seasoning, too. Image

The Lucky Mint Donut was certainly prettier than the Irish Creme one despite having the same, delicious filling. It was green and thus perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.Image

The Cinnamon Cake Donut was a little dry and a little bland on the inside. However, I did like the sweet cinnamon sugar, though it was messy to eat. 

The Apple Cheese Danish was nice and flaky, with some chew and density to the pastry. I liked the apple filling but could have used more sweet cream cheese inside to amp up the sweetness of the glaze and icing drizzle a bit.Image

The Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie was not that good. I prefer an ooey, gooey, and very soft cookie but this was only slightly soft and moist in the center. The edges were a little crunchy hard for me although the different kinds of chocolate was nice. Image

ImageThe Chocolate Chip Muffin had a lot of chocolate chips inside but the batter was a little dry, especially on the edge. I did like the sugar topping on top though to give it more sweetness.Image

The Corn Muffin was like a cornbread and moist and crumbly at the same time. It was not overly sweet but you can definitely get that corn aroma coming through.

Finally, the Caramel Latte Lite had a faint but nice caramel flavour. It was a decent latte that I probably would not have gotten had it been for the coupon. I just do not think their espresso is as good as those at other places.Image

There are so many more options to choose from at the store in 30th Street Station. The one on campus is just a little limited. Both seem rather clean and accommodating though. So many coupons that it was all for great value. 

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Drink That Vinegar – Skytree Cafe

ImageMarch 5, 2013
Skytree Cafe, Sumida, Tokyo, Japan
ブルーベリーの酢Xミルク (“Blueberry Vinegar” and Milk)
ライチの酢Xソーダ (“Lychee Vinegar” and Soda)
抹茶ドーナツ {Matcha Donut}

Our lovely tour guide extraordinaire, Eiichiro, somehow managed to secure us tickets for the Tokyo Skytree. Unbelievable, I know. It was so crowded but such an experience! Not to mention drinking vinegar while standing over one of the world’s large metropolis. Image

The ブルーベリーの酢Xミルク (“Blueberry Vinegar” and Milk) was quite sour but tasty. It reminded me of the sour, watery yogurt I used to drink in elementary back in Beijing. Less like milk and more like a watery yogurt drink, the blueberry aroma was there and it was actually quite refreshing. 

I actually liked the ライチの酢Xソーダ (“Lychee Vinegar” and Soda) just because lychee is one of my favourite fruits EVER and soda is more refreshing than milk. It was quite sour, though, and I could have used more fizz and lychee flavour. It was definitely a flavour I have never tried before. Image

Finally, I loved the bites of 抹茶ドーナツ {Matcha Donut}. It was more like a soft sponge cake that had the great, sweet, and aromatic green tea flavour. This was certainly an Asian version of a doughnut but it was just excellent.

I loved this afternoon snack while towering over the rest of Tokyo. It was really crowded on the 350 floor but well worth the wait to go up there and enjoy the view with some soft serve or vinegar drinks!


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Tokyo Delights – Starbucks

March 4, 2013
Starbucks, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
さくらシフォンケーキ (SAKURA Chiffon Cake)
ザッハトルテ (Sachertorte)
さくらシフォンケーキ (SAKURA Chiffon Cake)
キャラメル&ウォールナッツパウンド フード (Caramel & Walnuts Pound)
さくらマカロン (Sakura Macaron)
フィローネ 春野菜&ミートローフ (Filone Spring Vegetables & Meatloaf)
ハニー&カスタードドーナツ (Honey & Custard Doughnut)
マンゴー パッション ティー フラペチーノ (Mango Passion Tea Frappuccino Blended Juice Drink)

ImageI had been waiting so long to visit a Japanese Starbucks. They have some different drinks and a completely different food menu from that in the US. I was extremely eager to try out the sweet pastries, savoury snacks, and sandwiches. Unfortunately, they had sold out of the SAKURA lattes and frappuccinos, something I was really looking forwards to. However, there were so many other choices to choose from.Image

Sticking with their spring promotion, Casey and I decided first on a slice of さくらシフォンケーキ (SAKURA Chiffon Cake). It was light and aromatic, with the lovely cherry blossom fragrance. The pink was so lovely to look at. The cake itself was airy, light, and slightly sweet. The cream on top was the same, and the little cherry blossom was also good. It was such a delicate dessert!Image

The ザッハトルテ (Sachertorte) was a slight let down after the pink delight of that first dessert. The chocolate shell was crunchy and the chocolate cake inside dense. The cocoa flavour was very strong and rich, and not overly sweetened. However, the cake was just slightly dry and this was just not particularly special.Image

The キャラメル&ウォールナッツパウンド フード (Caramel & Walnuts Pound) was delicious as well, and perfect for celebrating National Pound Cake Day (despite the fact that I was out of the US!). The caramel flavour was light and the walnuts added a wonderful crunch to the otherwise moist yet dense cake. My favourite part was the caramel frosting on top, which was not as sticky or moist as some frostings, more like a fondant layer. It was sweet and very yummy though.Image

The さくらマカロン (Sakura Macaron) was not to be outdone. Delicate and sweet, it also had a distinct cherry blossom fragrance that was just so light. The cream inside was a little denser and sweeter, contrasting the cookies nicely.Image

The フィローネ 春野菜&ミートローフ (Filone Spring Vegetables & Meatloaf) was incredible. The baguette was a little tough, the way I like it. I loved the asparagus, peppers, and other vegetables with the gravy and melted cheese. The meatloaf was thin but provided a richness to the sandwich. The flavour was clearly an Asian take on a western food, something I am familiar with and like very much.Image

The ハニー&カスタードドーナツ (Honey & Custard Doughnut) was not outstanding but still good. The honey made it sweet and the custard inside was dense, egg-y, and quite sweet as well. The doughnut dough was actually made from wheat or grain flour, not just white flour, giving it a fuller taste.Image

To drink, I got the マンゴー パッション ティー フラペチーノ (Mango Passion Tea Frappuccino Blended Juice Drink). It was not very sweet at all, with the aroma of the mango and the passion fruit juice that was slightly bitter and very tangy. It was incredibly refreshing and a better alternative for just cold juice.Image

My first visit at a Japanese Starbucks was just fantastic. The food and drinks were wonderful, not to mention the great service. Despite taking some time to communicate to the baristas what I wanted, they were very patient and helpful. They also had very interesting liquid sugar for people getting regular coffee. Everything was just splendid!

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Bacon and Bagels – Dunkin’ Donuts

February 9, 2013
Dunkin’ Donuts, Philadelphia PA
Glazed Donut
Vanilla Frosted Donut
Old Fashioned Cake Donut 
Marble Frosted Donut
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich


The morning of the conference that we had been planning for the past half a year, we had to be there early. So, the club president bought everyone lots of donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts. At least we did not have to wake up early and starve.Image

The Glazed Donut was simple yet good. The doughnut was soft and moist, with the glaze very sugary and sweet. This will never be the best doughnut ever but it will always be one of those that you can depend on.Image

The Vanilla Frosted Donut was also very generic. The vanilla frosting was sweet and sugary. I loved the crunch the sprinkles provided. The yeast doughnut was airy and light.

The Old Fashioned Cake Donut was rather disappointing. I remember this doughnut from my childhood and Tim Hortons that it was a very dense cake-based doughnut with a lot of spices and cinnamon. The flavour was a little faint and the doughnut was on the dry side. Perhaps I should go back to Superstore or Tim Hortons.Image

I went out and bought myself the Marble Frosted Donut. The yeast-based doughnut was light and soft, very puffy. The frosting on top looked really cool but tasted very generic. It was simply white icing with a chocolate icing drizzle. Both were sweet and the chocolate icing provided a light cocoa flavour.Image

Finally, because it was National Bagel Day, I just had to get a bagel – on a breakfast sandwich. The Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich could have been served on anything but was pictured on a bagel, so that was what I got. Instead of plain, though, I got an Everything Bagel. I loved all the sesame and poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and oats. They added a nice crunch and aroma. The bacon was crispy, the egg omelet very yellow but airy, and the cheese generic and nicely melted. It was a good sandwich for fast food standards.

ImageFor reliable, cheap, and quick breakfast, Dunkin’ Donuts is definitely one of the best options around. However, I still wish they had Tim Hortons here, just because it feels so much more home-y. 

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Cupid’s Heart – Dunkin’ Donuts

January 30, 2013
Dunkin’ Donuts, Philadelphia PA
Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
Tuna Melt
Cupid’s Choice Donut
Brownie Batter Donut

ImageWhen I want some comforting breakfast foods with some sweet treats, I head to Dunkin’ Donuts because they offer quite decent sandwiches and doughnuts. I appreciate the varieties that they offer, and the one on campus is more than half decent.Image

The new promotional sandwich was the Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich, which had a turkey sausage patty, fried egg, and cheese on a toasted English muffin. The sausage was savoury and somewhat juicy. It did not taste that different from a pork sausage patty, which is to say it was good. It was perhaps just a touch less fatty, as expected. The egg was done nicely and the rest of the sandwich was just as I had expected, fresh and comforting.Image

It was National Croissant Day so I also decided to try the Tuna Melt – tuna salad and a slice of cheddar cheese on a croissant. It was toasted nicely but the cheese was obscured by all the tuna flavour-wise. The tuna salad was very good, though. It was a little too watery, with perhaps a touch too much mayonnaise. There was that canned tuna and mayonnaise flavour that reminds me of my childhood. I liked the addition of the freshly diced celery to add crunch and texture.Image

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Dunkin’ Donuts offered some seasonal doughnuts. The Cupid’s Choice Donut was a heart-shaped doughnut filled with Bavarian cream and topped with strawberry frosting and Valentine heart sprinkles. I loved the combination of the cream and frosting, as they are my two favourite flavours.Image

The second one was the new Brownie Batter Donut, filled with chocolate brownie filling and topped with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. I liked the rough, sugary texture of the brownie batter filling. It was so sweet and chocolate-y, just like the frosting. For those who do not like very sweet chocolate, stay away. However, it was fine by me.Image

Dunkin’ Donuts is certainly coming up with some interesting twists to their doughnuts. After all, there are only so much you can do with filling and frosting. However, I would like to see some unique flavours soon, perhaps some exotic fruit flavour. That would be a nice addition.


A Happy Meal in the Happiest State – McDonald’s

December 30, 2012
McDonald’s, Honolulu HI
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit
Portuguese Sausage, Eggs & Rice Platter

Apple Pie
Taro Pie
Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich
Side Salad


With yet another McDonald’s right below our hotel, we knew exactly where to go for breakfast and dinner when we did not feel like spending a whole lot on a fancy meal and would rather stay inside our room, playing cards, and eating somethin

g quick and light. So, we woke up and before heading out to shop on the first full day in Hawaii, went to get rice and eggs from McDonald’s – a Hawaiian specialty we had been looking forwards to.Image

Mom got a Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit since it had been a while since any of us had that. The buttermilk biscuit was crumbly, buttery, flaky, and light. It went well with the melted cheese, folded egg, and crispy bacon. However, I would still prefer English muffins or griddle cakes to the biscuit.

We all ate some of Dad’s Portuguese Sausage, Eggs & Rice Platter. The sausage slices were a little greasy but nicely spiced and wonderfully savoury. They were tender and juicy, too. The eggs were fluffy and moist, the way I love them. The rice was cooked to a nice texture, not overdone but not raw. The soy sauce packet even said “Aloha!” just reminding you where you were (aka in paradise).
12-12-30 - Apple Pie(1) - McDonald's

That evening, we left the hotel to stroll along the beach, but not before having a quick dinner at the same McDonald’s. The Apple Pie was so tasty. Now, I finally know why people love the FRIED apple pies rather than the baked ones found elsewhere in North America. The fried one was chubbier but smaller. However, the crispy pastry was a lot better. It was not that greasy but the texture was great with the cinnamon and apple mixture inside.
12-12-30 - Apple Pie(2) - McDonald's12-12-30 - Taro Pie(1) - McDonald's

The Taro Pie was also fried. The crispiness cut into the smooth and sweet taro filling. It had an artificial purple colour to be sure and tasted of artificially sweetening the taro paste. However, the texture was almost creamy. Both Mom and I liked it a lot.12-12-30 - Taro Pie(2) - McDonald's

Dad had a Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich that was okay. The ranch gave it flavour but it was nothing special. The chicken was fried nicely but would have been better had it been fried to order. The bacon was crispy and the ingredients decent. There was just nothing extraordinary about this sandwich.12-12-30 - Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich(1) - McDonald's

My Side Salad was oddly simple but refreshing. Two grape tomatoes, slices of carrots, and spring mix with some romaine, multiply that by two, and I have got myself more than half of dinner. It was not the freshest salad but not the worst that I have seen at McDonald’s either.12-12-30 - Side Salad - McDonald's

Having a McDonald’s close by really solves eating problems on vacation. Not being able to cook, you are stuck with expensive meals or fast food that you do not really want. McDonald’s is at least familiar enough, cheap enough, and offers some healthier options. Oh, and do not forget to try those breakfast platters, exclusively from the happiest state!

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Rounds of Xmas – Tim Hortons

December 28, 2012
Tim Hortons, Richmond BC
BBQ Hot Chicken Wrap
Festive Raspberry Vanilla Bloom Donut
Glazed Gingerbread Donut
Candy Cane Chocolate Donut
Ginger Molasses Cookie
Caramel Chocolate Pecan Cookie


Being Canadian means enjoying Tim Hortons, especially on a cold winter day. Although I do not generally get a double double, I do love escaping the chill by sitting in a warm little café, eating something sweet, and feeling very relaxed and comforting. The line was so long on this particular day that it did not have that homey sense. However, the food was still delicious.

The BBQ Hot Chicken Wrap was generic but a decent and light lunch. The chicken was tender enough, though not the best I have had. They were just a little bland. The BBQ sauce was flavourful but again, very generic. The crisp of the lettuce was refreshing and it was a few decent, healthy bites.Image

The Festive Raspberry Vanilla Bloom Donut was quite tasty. Not until I took my first bite did I realize just how much I had missed a simple donut with frosting and sprinkles. The crunch of pure sugar was so comforting. The raspberry jam in the middle was also nice.Image

The Glazed Gingerbread Donut was nicely spiced and quite sweet, especially with the sugar glaze. It was very dense but not at all overwhelmingly cloying because of the spice from the ginger. This, just like the other donuts, was very fresh.Image

The last donut, the Candy Cane Chocolate Donut, was a regular chocolate cake donut with candy cane bits on top. Mint and chocolate is one of my favourite holiday sweet combinations. Also, it was National Chocolate Candy Day, in the US at least. This donut had both! Chocolate can get overwhelming but the minty, fresh goodness cuts into that sweetness and makes it refreshing. This was the case with the donut.Image

I had to compare Timmy’s Ginger Molasses Cookie with that of Starbucks. This was noticeably smaller and thinner. It was not as soft and chewy. The center was okay but the edges were a little hard for my liking. However, this was more than 50% cheaper. My friend Rachel loves this cookie and the ginger with molasses flavour was very nicely blended.Image

Loving caramel, I just had to try the Caramel Chocolate Pecan Cookie. Full of caramel, chocolate, and pecans, it was nutty and sweet goodness through and through. I wish it were thicker so it would have been chewier. However, I was glad it was not hard. The chocolate and caramel flavours were not very strong so it was not too overwhelming.

I just could not go home without visiting Timmy’s at least once. Hey, this is what Canadians do. Next time, I will be sure to get that classic, the double double.

Tim Hortons (Richmond Centre) on Urbanspoon

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Round n’ Round – Dunkin’ Donuts

ImageDecember 9, 2012
Dunkin’ Donuts, Philadelphia PA
Kreme Delight Donut
Glazed Chocolate Cake Donut
Coffee Cake Muffin
Veggie Egg White Flat

I had the sudden urge to grab brunch from Dunkin’ Donuts after my workout at the gym, so I did. This is one of the pros of living alone – you do whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like. The only person to consult is you.Image

A holiday special, the Kreme Delight Donut was indeed delightful. The chocolate frosting was sweet and rich, with the star sprinkles adding a nice crunch. The doughnut itself was soft and airy and the vanilla cream frosting inside was super sweet and lovely. A huge sugar overdose is sometimes very pleasant.Image

The Glazed Chocolate Cake Donut was also chocolate-y and good. Dense yet moist, the cake was itself very good but even better when paired with the sugary glaze. This is one of my favourite all-time classics.Image

The Coffee Cake Muffin was mediocre. It was not as sweet as a coffee cake or a muffin but rather buttery. The cinnamon was not strong enough and it was more or less just a cross between a cake and muffin, nothing too special.Image

The Veggie Egg White Flat served as my main brunch item. It was savoury and delicious. The flatbread was very chewy and the egg white omelet had diced peppers and onions throughout, making it quite tasty and light. The cheese added a nice savoury touch despite not being the best cheese. It was good enough for Dunkin’ though.

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