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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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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All Star Fast Food – McDonald’s

March 7, 2013
McDonald’s, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
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マックシェイクブルーベリー (Blueberry McShake)
ジューシーシャカシャカチキン レッドペッパー (Juicy Shaka Shaka Chicken Red Pepper)
ジューシーシャカシャカチキン チェダーチーズ (Juicy Shaka Shaka Chicken Cheddar Cheese)
シャカシャカポテト アメリカンバーベキュー味 (Shaka Shaka Fry American BBQ)
アイダホバーガー (Idaho Burger)
てりやきマックバーガー (Teriyaki McBurger)
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ImageThe good thing about eating with one or two other people is you can share and get to try a variety of things without it getting awkward. This is how I got to try most of the items on McDonald’s Big America ALL STARS promotional menu.

First was the マックシェイクブルーベリー (Blueberry McShake). It was not overly sweet and had a light blueberry aroma. The ice cream milk shake was surprisingly refreshing in that lovely sweet way, with pretty lilac swirls. This is Japan after all, so I guess it makes sense not to be too heavy on the pure sugar. Image

Although not part of the special menu, the ジューシーシャカシャカチキン レッドペッパー (Juicy Shaka Shaka Chicken Red Pepper) was on my to-try list. The chicken was extremely juicy and tender on the inside with a very crispy and lovely exterior. The red pepper powder was slightly spicy and very flavourful. Image

The ジューシーシャカシャカチキン チェダーチーズ (Juicy Shaka Shaka Chicken Cheddar Cheese) was also tasty. I sometimes prefer dark meat chicken over white meat, especially when it is so moist and juicy like this. The cheddar cheese powder was surprisingly strong in cheese flavour.Image 

Part of the Big America ALL STARS menu, the シャカシャカポテト アメリカンバーベキュー味 (Shaka Shaka Fry American BBQ) was just okay. The BBQ powder was very tasty, savoury and sweet, reflecting barbecue sauce very nicely. However, it was not exactly too creative and french fries had never been my favourite. Image

The アイダホバーガー (Idaho Burger) was interesting. This had a beef patty, a hash brown, onions, bacon, pepper relish, a cheese slice, and ketchup on a toasted sesame bun. I guess even the Japanese know that Idaho is famous for its potatoes now! It was an odd combination and did not taste incredible to me. The hash brown had a nice crispy outside and mushy inside but lacked flavour. The beef patty was juicy and the bacon crispy but I found the onions a little overwhelming. The pepper relish, cheese, and ketchup gave a nice combination of flavours. All it all, it seemed odd.Image

Finally, the regular menu てりやきマックバーガー (Teriyaki McBurger) is by far the best thing I have had in McDonald’s burger-wise. The pork patty was so tender and juicy. I especially LOVED the sweet teriyaki sauce with the crisp lettuce and the slightly sweet sesame bun. It was just a sandwich of great flavours and combinations – the best, must-try, burger according to not just me but all the Japanese students I have met!

Regional menu items are certainly awesome, especially when the flavours are so appealing to my palate. Oh, the Japanese just make everything so much better!

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Drink That Vinegar – Skytree Cafe

ImageMarch 5, 2013
Skytree Cafe, Sumida, Tokyo, Japan
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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}
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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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Sweet and Tangy – Sweet Ending

February 28, 2013
Sweet Ending, Philadelphia PA
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Green Tea Yogurt
Blueberry Yogurt
Mango Yogurt
Toppings: Mochi, Blueberries, Strawberries, Mangos
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ImageAfter running some errands, I dropped by Sweet Ending to get some much-needed froyo from somewhere other than Kiwi Yogurt before heading home. It was cold outside, but inside was warm and nice. The store was clean, bright, and very casual.

I got Green Tea, Blueberry, and Mango Yogurt, topped with Mochi, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Mangoes. I wanted something sweet and refreshingly fruity but thought green tea would add a nice undertone. The green tea flavor was actually very strong and only slightly sweet, which I loved. The blueberry was good but did not have that fresh blueberry aroma. The mango was a little sour but incredibly refreshing, just like all the fresh fruits on top. The mochi were hard, probably having been left out for the whole day. They were not as chewy and soft as I would have liked.

Sweet Ending on Urbanspoon

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Sweet n’ Salty – Street Food Philly

February 25, 2013
Street Food Philly, Philadelphia PA
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Miso Eggplant Sandwich
Lemon Curd w/ Shortbread Cookies
Pecan Bar w/ Bourbon Cream
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ImageIt was only a matter of days before I returned to Street Food Philly. Their menu constantly changes and everything just sounds so delicious.

On this occasion, I tried their Miso Eggplant Sandwich, which was fried eggplants, sautéed spinach, grilled slices of firm but still soft tofu, and tomato miso sauce on a long roll. The eggplant was a little thin for me, as I prefer more eggplant than batter. The tofu tasted good with the sauce but the spinach were overly salty. It was okay with the whole sandwich not having much other strong flavors but I prefer my spinach light and healthy-tasting.Image

The Lemon Curd w/ Shortbread Cookies was actually great with all the sweet fresh strawberries and blueberries. The shortbread cookies added a crunchy, buttery sweetness to contrast the smooth and sour lemon curd. It was a tad too sour but not overwhelming.

ImageThe Pecan Bar w/ Bourbon Cream was huge but then again, it was $3. The pecan in the syrup glaze was sweet but I love sweet things that are over the top so it was great. It was sticky and crunchy at the same time. The bottom crust was not too sweet and quite dense. I could not taste much bourbon in the cream and it was not sweet so it was rather light but very bland. It was luckily not greasy but I did not think the bar needed that much of it.

I really do appreciate the variety Street Food Philly provides. It was a good change from Penn’s food trucks so get ready for more!

Street Food Philly on Urbanspoon

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Cheesecake in a Sauce – Paris La Petit Creperie

February 5, 2013
Paris La Petite Creperie, Philadelphia PA
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Sausage & Egg Crepe
Fred Special Crepe
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To celebrate National Nutella Day (yum, I know!), I knew I had to try, after failing to do so in one and a half years, some crepes from Paris La Petite Creperie. They are so popular among students and whenever I walk past, the smell is just amazing.Image

I started with the Sausage & Egg Crepe in the morning, asking for egg whites to be substituted. I loved that they used real sausage links, chopped up. However, the guy was not very careful and when he took the sausage out of the freezer, left it for a second on the freezer rack. That raised an eyebrow for cleanliness procedures. The egg whites were mixed with various vegetable, which I thoroughly enjoyed, as well as shredded mozzarella cheese. The cheese melted under the heat of the other ingredients and bound the meat, vegetables, and eggs together. The herbed crepe was very aromatic, decently thick, chewy, and very good. I think I may have just found my new favourite breakfast. Image

In the afternoon, I indulged in the Fred Special Crepe and literally fell in love with this student hub. On a warm, chewy wheat crepe was the best cheesecake sauce ever. It was gooey, sweet, and cheesy, yet light. It had the texture of an Asian custard or a sticky, slightly heavy mayonnaise. The taste was phenomenal. Mixed with that were strawberries, cold blueberries, blackberries, and a freshly slice banana, all topped with delicious, nutty Nutella and chocolate sauce. The mixture was just absolutely amazing. It was fresh, tangy, sweet, warm, cold, and delicious, all in one huge crepe!

They have specials everyday and during early and late hours. I am sure that I would be back soon for more, just to try some other savoury options, as well as some more of that cheesecake sauce. And so begins my relationship with crepes.

Pari Cafe' Creperie on Urbanspoon

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Little Blue Devils – Starbucks

ImageJanuary 8, 2013
Starbucks, Minneapolis MN
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Blueberry Streusel Muffin
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Having had that Blueberry Bar earlier, I was suddenly craving blueberries. Sweet, dear blueberries are my favourite berries, hands down. So, when I got to Minneapolis and had a long while before my connecting flight, I stopped by Starbucks again.

The Blueberry Streusel Muffin was so delicious. It was moist, dense, slightly buttery, and just sweet with a lovely blueberry aroma. There were not as many blueberries as I would have liked, but the muffin itself was just exceptional.

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Fruity and Healthy – Starbucks

ImageJanuary 8, 2013
Starbucks, Richmond BC
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Cranberry Omega Loaf
Blueberry Bar
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Upon taking a peek at the food display case of the airport Starbucks, I was surprised to find the Cranberry Omega Loaf, something I have never seen elsewhere. It was full of different grains and cranberries but was not sweet at all. It was rather moist and like a pound cake but a lot lighter and refreshing. This is certainly the cake for the health conscious. Image

The Blueberry Bar was very good. It was sweet, which I loved, but not purely sugary. The crumbs were sugary and buttery, and that was great. However, the blueberry preserve filling was sweetened and full of juicy plump blueberries. Those little devils are the best. 

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Wickedly Ordinary – Wendy’s

ImageDecember 17, 2012
Wendy’s, Philadelphia PA
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Mornin’ Melt Panini
Sausage & Egg Burrito
Fresh-Baked Oatmeal Bar
Mozzarella Chicken Supreme
Spicy Chicken Nuggets
Sweet & Sour Sauce
Caramel Apple Frosty Parfait
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With a lack of fast food restaurant chains on campus, I jogged over to the train station in the morning for breakfast at Wendy’s. My first time ever. Yes, you should be proud. Slightly more expensive than a regular Wendy’s restaurant, since it was one of those special stores in the station, I was glad they offered breakfast selections that are apparently still in their test stages.Image

The Mornin’ Melt Panini was as wonderful a panini as I would ever expect from a fast food place. The sourdough bread was nicely pressed. The fried egg was sprinkled with salt and pepper and was just lovely, especially the egg whites. It was clearly a whole egg, rather than a processed egg omelet. The Asiago and cheddar cheeses were savoury and tasted unlike regular processed cheese but slightly more gourmet. The applewood smoked bacon was also thick and crispy, adding a nice texture. It was as good a breakfast sandwich you can ever get for the price.Image

The Sausage & Egg Burrito was small but still tasty. The sausage bits were savoury and the scrambled eggs fluffy and rather delicious. The savoury burrito owed most of its flavour to the American cheese that was more than gooey and stringy. All of it was wrapped in a warm tortilla, making for a light but satisfying bite in the morning.Image

The Fresh-Baked Oatmeal Bar was even tastier. It was full of oats and all the good stuff, including tart, juicy cranberries and very sweet blueberries. The bar itself was soft and warm, and also very sweet, which was perfect for my sweet tooth. One bar was more than enough, but I could eat one every day with no problem.Image

I returned to Wendy’s for dinner as well. The Mozzarella Chicken Supreme sandwich was not so supreme and a little bland. Most of the flavour came from the seasoned batter on the fried homestyle chicken fillet and the Parmesan cheese sauce. The mozzarella was not the fresh kind, obviously, and quite mild. The lettuce and bun were generic. It was a good sandwich to be sure, but not an amazing one.Image

The Spicy Chicken Nuggets were decent, though. Looking spicier than they tasted, they still had a little kick, especially the after taste. They were $1.19 I believe so relatively inexpensive. The chicken was tender and the batter not too thin or too thick. I wish they came out piping hot, though.Image

I asked for a side of Sweet & Sour Sauce. The red coloring was a little revolting for a sauce and it was rather thick. It could have been tangier as well. I definitely prefer McDonald’s version, although this was more like what you would normally find at the supermarket.Image

For dessert, I gave the Caramel Apple Frosty Parfait a try. It was sweet and tasty. I loved the frosty base, or rather vanilla soft serve. Sweet but not overwhelming, it was light and still decently creamy. The caramel sauce was sticky and added to the creaminess while the apple slices were crunchy, juicy, and tart. There could have been more of the crunchy granola to add more texture but for $1.99, it was a lovely way to end a fast food meal.Image

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