Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Sunday Snack – Steveston Bakery

July 14, 2013
Steveston Bakery, Richmond BC
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Strawberry, Spinach, Feta, Pecan Salad
Tuxedo Cake

Nanaimo Bar
Blueberry Scone
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ImageAfter staying inside all day, I decided to venture out and grab a late afternoon snack at Steveston Bakery. There were a couple of people who came in to buy some baked goods and two other ladies drinking tea at a table. Considering it was an hour before closing on a Sunday, it was pretty good. 

My Strawberry, Spinach, Feta, Pecan Salad, at $2.50 for a small, was really good. The quality and the size together would have easily cost double in most casual restaurants. The dressing was tangy and light, and everything was just very fresh.Image

The Tuxedo Cake was also delicious, not too sweet with cake that was soft and moist. I loved the multi-layered treat, especially the shaved chocolate on the side and the chocolate frosting layer on top.Image

The Nanaimo Bar was wonderful as well. It was a perfect amount of sweetness that did not leave you grossed out. I loved the custard and the coconut chocolate bar layer on the bottom was not overly greasy and dense. Image

Finally, the Blueberry Scone, being a day-old item, was a little disappointing. It was okay but not buttery enough or light enough. It was just overall quite bland. It was still fresh enough, though.

The service was extremely friendly; the two girls behind the counter were eager to answer any questions and served everyone with a smile, making it a nice end to a day. 

Steveston Bakery on Urbanspoon

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The Best Tasting Dollar – Dutch Bakery

July 12, 2013
Dutch Bakery, Victoria BC
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Vanilla Slice
Dollar Roll
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ImageI knew I had to seek out at least one bakery for some sweets in Victoria before I left so after some searching, I decided to make the short journey over to Dutch Bakery. Although I did not get to eat in the cafe, I did get some pastries to go.

The Vanilla Slice, which is well-known among the bakeries’ fans, was quite good. Layers of puff pastry and vanilla custard seems almost like a Napoleon, just with more space between the layers and more vanilla filling. It was not very sweet and was a light bite with cake mixed in. 

ImageThe Dollar Roll, another famous pastry, was one of the best marzipan treats I have ever had. Actually, it was the first time I thoroughly enjoyed marzipan, which was the layer on the outside that wrapped around the whole pastry. Inside was a light cake and cream with almonds on the ends. I just loved the chewy marzipan!

All of their desserts look absolutely scrumptious and I wish I had some more time to try a few more. Well, there’s something to look forward to next time!

Dutch Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Waves of Spritzers – Waves Coffee House

July 3, 2013
Waves Coffee House, Richmond BC
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Sticky Toffee Pudding
Tomato & Spinach Panini
Date Square
Sparkling Pomegranate Spritzer
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ImageWaves Coffee House is a lovely little local coffee chain, certainly giving Starbucks a run for its share of customers. This particular location has a spacious interior with huge windows to allow the light to come into the store. With couches and tables, and free wifi, this is easily a working place.

The Sticky Toffee Pudding looked so tempting. The sticky toffee layer on top was delicious, as were the different layers of crumble and cake underneath. It was extremely sweet but with that deep toffee flavour.Image

The Tomato & Spinach Panini was light and tasty. The panini bread was nicely pressed and had a nice herbal note. The tomato and spinach made it somewhat refreshing, while the sun-dried tomato mayo and pepper jack cheese made it creamier.Image

The Date Square tasted okay with a light hint of date flavour in the paste. The granola crumble was quite dense but I wish it was a little chewier rather than crumbly. More date paste would have made it more like a date dessert rather than granola dessert.Image

Finally, their new Sparkling Pomegranate Spritzer was very refreshing. Tangy, sweet, and carbonated, it was a perfect summer drink. The cold beverage certainly did it for me that afternoon.

I definitely would not mind to grab a sandwich, soup, dessert, and later a beverage while I sat there for the whole day with my laptop. That would actually be very productive and… well… delicious.

Waves Coffee on Urbanspoon

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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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The Freshest Hawaiian Slice – Ted’s Bakery

January 5, 2013
Ted’s Bakery, Haleiwa HI
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Pineapple Pie
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ImageMom had read from a magazine that a popular bakery existed on the north shore – Ted’s Bakery. We dropped by and it was small but with many visitors, all purchasing coffee and pies. Despite their famous pie being the Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie, I knew Mom was not into chocolate or haupia cream.

Therefore, we got a slice of the Pineapple Pie. The pineapple preserve-like filling was sweet, a little tart, and very delicious. The chunks of pineapple were fresh and really good. The piecrust was thin and crumbly, which I was glad of. Nothing is worse in a dessert than a thick, bland piecrust. The sugar on top was also a nice addition but the freshness of the pineapples was what made the pie great.

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Rounds of Xmas – Tim Hortons

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

ImageDecember 26, 2012
McDonald’s, Surrey BC
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Gingerbread Cupcake
Caramella Cupcake
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It has been a very long time since I last had cupcakes from Cupcakes by Heather and Lori. That was way back when this store just opened with the opening of Morgan Crossing. Mom and Dad wanted to check out the new mall and I liked the cupcakes I got after MUN conferences in downtown. This time, we went for Boxing Day and was only my second time there. I just could not resist not dropping in to get some sweet treats.

I started with a Gingerbread Cupcake, mini-sized. It was so adorable! The gingerbread flavour was actually quite strong and lovely, perfectly sweetened and spiced with ginger. The frosting was a little buttery for me, but it did not taste too oily. Only the texture was a little bit on the ‘oily’ side. More icing sugar and less whipping would have been good. The cake was a delicate bite.Image

The Caramella Cupcake was filled with caramel, so you should definitely get the regular size as minis do not have fillings. The caramel filling was sticky and sweet. I wish there were more. The chocolate cake was decent, with a nice cocoa flavour and not too sweet. The caramel buttercream was again just slightly oily in texture for me and could have been a lot more sugary and sweet. The caramel flavour in general could have been stronger but it was not a bad cupcake.Image

I do not think it is the quality that is lacking. It is just that the buttercream and cake textures were not the most appealing to my palate. However, their stores are so pretty and their varieties so colourful and beautiful. It is a whole experience just being inside the pink, girly store alone!

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A Coconut-y Christmas – Goldilocks

ImageDecember 25, 2012
Goldilocks, Vancouver BC
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Buko Pie
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Christmas Day is always so relaxing and this year was no exception. You get up whenever you just happen to wake up. Then you greet everyone a good morning and a Merry Christmas as you raid the fridge. Then you snack throughout the day before raiding the fridge in the afternoon yet again. So that was what I did and this is what I ate.Image

The Buko Pie from Goldilocks was brought over my Auntie the day before. It was National Pumpkin Pie day, but hey, at least I was eating pie. This is a traditional Filipino twist on a coconut cream pie, minus the cream. The crust was not flaky, but rather crumbly, like a super large tart shell. It was lightly sweetened and I loved it. Inside had a layer of young coconut meat with custard. The coconut was chewy, slightly juicy and sweet, and very refreshing. The custard was sweeter and light, with two different textures. One was more moist and creamier surrounding the coconut meat, while the layer on the bottom held its shape better. This is by far my favourite pie ever, hands down. So sweet yet light and refreshing – just perfect for a relaxing Christmas Day. 

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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!

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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

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