Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Paris in Japan – Sushi Han

July 29, 2013
Sushi Han, Richmond BC
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Paris Roll
Oyako Don
Geso Nigiri
Crab Salad Nigiri

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ImageThere were many individuals eating at Sushi Han so I decided to join them. The service was quick and friendly and the food was quite satisfying.

The Paris Roll had smoked salmon, avocado, and lettuce. I did not care much for the salmon but it was a good combination of savoury and creamy.Image

The Oyako Don lacked a tad of the sweet broth to go with all the rice but the flavour was light and delicious. The egg was nicely scrambled with the caramelized onions and the chicken was very tender and juicy.Image

The Geso Nigiri had a piece of very chewy squid. It had a mild BBQ flavour but could hardly be bitten through. It had wasabi between the squid and rice, the traditional Japanese way of eating nigiri sushi. The rice was vinegary and good.Image

The Crab Salad Nigiri had a lot of crab salad so the ratio of topping to rice was good. The imitation crab was mixed with plenty of mayonnaise to give it a creamy texture and bring out the natural sweetness.

Sushi Han is clearly very popular for casual lunches. The meal came in around $15 so it was definitely acceptable. I will be back for sure!

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Burger Month! – SpOt

May 28, 2013
SpOt, Philadelphia PA
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Yosemite Sam Burger
Umami Burger
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ImageNational Hamburger Month continues with a visit to SpOt, the best burgers off a cart you can ever find. The Yosemite Sam was the weekly special: a regular, juicy beef burger with bacon, grilled onions, provolone cheese, jalapenos, BBQ-sriracha, and a teriyaki-horseradish mayonnaise. I love sweet grilled onions on everything, especially balancing out the kick from the jalapenos. The sauces mixed together nicely as well – two types of sweet and spicy.

ImageThe Umami Burger had lettuce, pickled daikon, gilled onions, mushrooms, gochujang, and teriyaki. The lettuce and daikon gave it a nice crunch and I love the sweet and spicy from the onions and the two sauces. The mushrooms did not add flavour or texture but were great nonetheless. Overall, a very satisfying, juicy burger. 

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The Sweeet Burger – Chewy’s

May 22, 2013
Chewy’s, Philadelphia PA
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Brie Burger
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ImageAs part of National Hamburger Month, I paid a visit to Chewy’s, a food truck that had not been around recently and just came back to serve University City full time again. This colourful truck is known for its burgers and chicken and waffles. 

Preferring something a little sweet and unique, I decided on the Brie Burger with caramelized onions, honey grilled apples, arugula, brie cheese, and black pepper mayo. The beef burger patty was so juicy and the sesame bun was nice and toasted. I loved the sweet onions and apples, one soft and the other a little tart. The brie was creamy and provided flavouring contrast while the arugula added a touch of bitterness. The mayo did not quite stand out but I just loved those apples!

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Scallops by the River – The Yardley Inn

May 21, 2013
The Yardley Inn, Yardley PA
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Seared Scallops
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ImageAs a start to my internship, I got to have dinner at The Yardley Inn, the best restaurant in the area. The view was really nice by the river and the food quite decent for a small town. They had a lot of variety and seasonal ways to cook the proteins.

My Seared Scallops were served with a fava bean puree, roasted spring onions, almonds, and parsley. The puree was nice with a touch of saltiness and not perfectly smooth, which I thought was a nice contrast to the scallops. The scallops themselves were so succulent and juicy – love at first bite. The onions were a little too greasy but sweet and the almonds added a nice crunch. It was not a cheap dinner but a pleasant one. 

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A New Twist on Quesadillas – Philladilla

May 2, 2013
Philladilla, Philadelphia PA
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Roast Pork Taco
Philly Cheesesteak Quesadilla
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ImagePhilladilla is a new food cart that frequents 33rd and Arch, otherwise known as part of the Food Truck Mecca down at Drexel. To some, a Mexican-based food cart is one too many but this one adds the cute, fresh factor… oh, and the creativity.

The Roast Pork Taco, which I got one for $3, was quite tasty. I loved the Asian slaw on top but the taco could have used more flavour, which would go well with the tender pork. The cilantro pesto was a nice twist and a very refreshing one at that.Image

The Philly Cheesesteak Quesadilla may not seem to be worth the $6 at first. To be honest, it was small and probably will not fill you up as nicely as $6 spent on another food truck. However, I liked the flavour of the tender steak with sweet onions, and American cheese. They went so well with the flour tortilla and for some reason, was a little nostalgic for me. I also loved the sweet, homemade ketchup that came with it. Overall, the menu can be limited but Philladilla is worth a try!

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Martial Arts Food – Kung Fu Hoagies

April 18, 2013
Kung Fu Hoagies, Philadelphia PA
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Meatball Bánh Mì
Veggie “Shrimp” Fried Rice
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ImageI have had my eye on the colorful cart otherwise known as Kung Fu Hoagies for quite a while. Serving up vegetarian Vietnamese street food, they have a small menu of a regular bahn mi and two noodle soups (spicy ramen and pho). 

The Meatball Bánh Mì was actually quite delicious with three tofu meatballs, vegan ham, fried onions, pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeños, spicy red sauce, and vegan mayo. The roll was crispy and tough on the outside but soft on the inside. The flavours were certainly traditional and some tht I had not tasted for some time. I do feel that for $5 this was overpriced. Food trucks and especially food carts are supposed to be cheap, even if these are vegetarian and vegan ingredients.
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The special was the Veggie “Shrimp” Fried Rice, which had vegetarian shrimp that were incredibly chewy. It also had carrots, green beans, and onions with scallions to top it off. I wish there were more vegetables and maybe even some eggs. However, the rice was cooked to a nice texture and had the smoky grill taste that added to the otherwise bland flavour. I would suggest to add either seasoning sauce or the spicy sauce on this.

I do not think I will be back anytime soon but the guys serving the food were nice. This is a great option for vegetarians and vegans but if you are neither, go somewhere cheaper.

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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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The Darkest Noodles – Koreana

February 28, 2013
Koreana, Philadelphia PA
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Jajang Myun
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ImageI had a special discount offer from LivingSocial so I decided to spend it on a bowl of Jajang Myun from Koreana. This whole in the wall is always impressive, especially since there are always so many diners inside. The noodles were a little over-cooked for my liking since I prefer more al dente, chewy noodles. However, the black bean sauce was sweet and savoury, despite being just slightly watered down. I loved the cabbage and the onions, which added to the sweetness but did not fancy the potatoes. Overall a comforting, filling dish. 

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Spot That Burger – SpOt

February 18, 2013
SpOt, Philadelphia PA
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George Washington Burger
Maui Roast Pork
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ImageOn this sunny Presidents Day, SpOt Gourmet Burgers was selling their special George Washington Burger, so I thought it was time I tried a juicy burger from a food cart. At $7.50, this burger was amazing. The juicy beef patty was topped with cherry marmalade, horseradish mayo, and blue cheese, all sandwiched between a toasted burger bun. The bun was a little dry for me, but not the other ingredients. It was perfect for National Cherry Month – the marmalade was sweet and slightly tangy, with actual cherries. The blue cheese provided the savoury flavour, and the horseradish mayo gave it a creamy kick.Image

Slightly more expensive at $8, the Maui Roast Pork sandwich was gigantic! Bacon, smoked mozzarella, grilled onions, pineapples, and tomatoes all went onto the roll before it was topped with Sriracha, mayonnaise, and a mound roast pork that was boiled to heat it up on the spot (pun intended). The pork was not as tender and juicy as I would have liked and not very flavourful. It was also kind of dripping hot water, making the roll all soggy. The other ingredients were great, though. I loved the spicy kick from the Sriracha with the creaminess of the mayonnaise, the savoury melted cheese and bacon, and the sweetness of the onions and pineapple. The tomatoes got lost amidst all this chaos, but the sandwich was so huge it was definitely worth it.

I really appreciate a great burger with a juicy patty. It is just one of those classics that get so boring but when it is done properly, can be just as exotic and amazing as some other fine dining dishes. Oh, and I do not think anything from SpOt can be eaten daintily and cleanly, so beware!

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Shamrocks and Fish – McDonald’s

February 12, 2013
McDonald’s, Philadelphia PA
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Shamrock Shake
Fish McBites
Tartar Sauce
Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger
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ImageIt seems I am always repeating this, but McDonald’s needs more than three special menu items every four months. Honestly, that would keep the menu so much more interesting, but we digress.

It was only the beginning of February but since Valentine’s Day was over, it was apparently prime time to roll out the Shamrock Shake again. I was not going to miss it this year, and I am glad I did not. It was lovely and sweet, smooth as all McDonald’s shakes go. The mint added a different layer of flavour and made it light and refreshing, despite it still being a caloric bomb. The green was actually pretty and appetizing looking, and I just liked the balance of sweet vanilla and mint.Image

The new Fish McBites were on promotion for three days; a snack size was only $1. This was such a deal, as they were really good. Well, as good as fast food fish can get anyways. Each mini fish nugget had tender Alaskan Pollock inside, flaky with the layers visible. The batter on the outside was slightly crispy and quite thin, as well as nicely seasoned. The Tartar Sauce that came with it was the same as the one on the Filet-O-Fish, tangy, sour from the relish, and creamy.Image

The Grilled Cheddar Onion Burger was also only $1, now part of their regular Dollar Menu. The bun was slightly sweet and toasted. However, the ingredients were subpar. The onions were a little too greasy; the white cheddar was a little bland; the hamburger patty was dry and overdone, not juicy in any way. The idea of the burger is nice but the execution needed some serious improvement.

Now, I am wondering what they will churn out for Easter and late spring. That should be interesting, but something with chocolate would be nice. Those Easter bunnies would like that, too.

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