July 12, 2013
Dutch Bakery, Victoria BC
I 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.
The 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!
June 29, 2013
Dutch Eating Place, Philadelphia PA
Hot Apple Dumpling served w/ Cream
Initially featured on The Food Network, the Hot Apple Dumpling served w/ Cream was a must-try at the Dutch Eating Place in the Reading Terminal Market. It was clearly their most popular dish, with rows upon rows of piping hot dumplings lined up by the glass on the countertop.
The pastry dough was chewy but nicely layered. The cinnamon and sugar taste was not overwhelming either. I did love that syrup mixed with the full apple in the center, though. The apple was a surprise to me especially since it was a full apple and quite big. It was soft and chewy but had a sweet tartness. The cream cut through the tartness but I did not need much of it. It was just a super delicious dessert!
March 16, 2013
Taco Bell, Philadelphia PA
Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco
Caramel Apple Empanada
I 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.
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.
Finally, 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!
March 12, 2013
Seasons at Drexel, Philadelphia PA
Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich
Seasons at Drexel draws my attention every time I pass it, with its brightly lit, clean interior and delicious cafe fare in its showcases.
The Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich was very good, although it seemed more like a multigrain roll rather than a ciabatta. The Mediterranean vegetable caponata (eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, red peppers, and perhaps another type that I do not recall), kalamata, and sundried tomato tapenade inside was very flavourful, tasty and not too greasy. It paired nicely with the fresh mozzarella, making for a very good quality sandwich.
The Pear Strudel just sounded too good to pass. The flaky pastry was incredibly, well, flaky, after being toasted. It broke apart so easily and got crumbs all over the place. The brown sugar and pear mixture inside was sweet on sweet but I did not mind as the pastry shell was not sweet itself. It was a gooey, sweet mess.
Their food is quite pricey for what they are offering but at least the quality is good and the service friendly. They also have some interesting items that cannot be found elsewhere near campus, so that was definitely a plus!
March 9, 2013
Starbucks, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
ダーク モカ チップ フラペチーノ (Dark Mocha Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee)
ほうれん草とハムのキッシュ (Spinach & Ham Quiche)
メイプルクリームの全粒粉スコーン (Maple Cream & Whole Grain Scone)
There were still so many things to try at Starbucks and I knew I could not get to all of them. So, I had to be selective for my final breakfast in Tokyo.
The ダーク モカ チップ フラペチーノ (Dark Mocha Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee) was incredibly good. It had the sweetness of the chocolate in the mocha sauce but it was also made from dark chocolate, giving it a slightly bitter but richer taste to it. The ice was blended finely and the drink was not overly sweet. The whip cream was quite watery and not as greasy as back in the US. I really liked that. It was a finely made drink.
The ほうれん草とハムのキッシュ (Spinach & Ham Quiche) was also delicious. The pastry was flaky and buttery, although it was a bit hard to cut into with a fork. The egg and spinach filling was so good that I wished there were more of it. The ham was savoury and I enjoyed the vegetable stems inside. However, I also got large pieces of potatoes under the ham, which just made it creamy but slightly bland.
The メイプルクリームの全粒粉スコーン (Maple Cream & Whole Grain Scone) was better than I expected. It was just whole grain scone with a little bit of maple cream spread into the middle. I wanted more of the sweet cream, but for what was there, the maple aroma was strong. The whole grain scone itself was crumbly but slightly dry. However, it was sweet and for that, I loved it.
My last visit to a Japan Starbucks for at least quite a while was definitely a good one. Starbucks service is already great to begin with. Add to that a country that prides itself on the respectful culture, you have got a café with perhaps the best service around.