Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Raspy Perhaps – Sugar Philly

March 13, 2013
Sugar Philly, Philadelphia PA
Raspberry French Macaron

ImageSweet and tangy, this Raspberry French Macaron had great flavour, tasting like fresh raspberries rather than being heavy on the artificial tastes. However, the shells were not exactly delicate. They had kind of sunk in a little and become a little hard. 

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Tangy and Sweet – Kiwi Yogurt

March 1, 2013
Kiwi Yogurt, Philadelphia PA
Sweet n Salty (Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel w/ Pretzels, Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips, and Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup)
Green Apple Sorbet

Pomegranate Raspberry Sorbet
Peach-Mango Tart
Toppings: Kiwi, Strawberries, Blueberries, Mango Boba, and Yogurt Chips

ImageI love promotions, especially when they coincide with your plan to visit the place to begin with. That was how I found myself at Kiwi Yogurt yet again, and this time with two bowls in front of me.

The first was a Kiwi Kreation called Sweet n Salty, made with Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel yogurt and swirled Pretzels, Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips, and Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup. I love the sea salt caramel pretzel yogurt as it was sweet but still had that salty undertone, adding a whole different layer of flavor. The pretzels and chocolate chips added some crunch.

My next bowl was a mix of Green Apple Sorbet, Pomegranate Raspberry Sorbet, and Peach-Mango Tart yogurt, all topped with Kiwi, Strawberries, Blueberries, Mango Boba, and Yogurt Chips. The green apple was really sour but very light and refreshing. The pomegranate raspberry had a similar sorbImageet texture but was not as sour. It was very pink, though. Finally, the peach-mango flavour did not really match that of the two in the case of texture since it was not a sorbet. The fruits were quite refreshing.

Overall, Kiwi Yogurt always offers a good break from the tedious textbooks and online assignments. Their flours changes monthly, so next month, hear I come! 

Kiwi Yogurt on Urbanspoon

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On the Need for Paninis: Part XIV – Penn Bookstore Cafe

February 22, 2013
Penn Bookstore Cafe, Philadelphia PA
Chocolate Lava Cake
Tomato Caprese
Mango Raspberry Twist Frappuccino Blended Beverage

The Penn Bookstore Café is one of the most popular study spots on campus, offering a slightly more exotic drink menu and various delicious-looking desserts and lunch options. The atmosphere in the bookstore is also nice, quiet without the stress of a regular school building. The smell of coffee also helps.Image

My Chocolate Lava Cake was decent enough, especially since it had a very strong chocolate flavour. The base of the cake was a little dry but the top was more of a ganache that was sweet, sticky, and amazing. It did lack the molten chocolate gushing out of the cake though, so I would not exactly call this a lava cake.

ImageThe Tomato Caprese panini was pricy at $6.50 but very delicious. It was pressed nicely and the mozzarella was light and fresh, as were the tomatoes. There was plenty of pesto, which added to the richness of the panini. I never mind a little too much olive oil and pesto so it was great for me.Image

Although their drinks are very similar to Starbucks, they offered a Mango Raspberry Twist Frappuccino Blended Beverage not available elsewhere. It was such a pretty color and tasted even more amazing, with a very strong flavour of mango puree. The raspberry was more in the background and just added another tone to the tang and sweetness. It was so refreshing.

I am definitely coming back here more often to try their other interesting desserts, drinks, and sandwiches. They also offer soup, which seems to be delicious on a cold day. 

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Steak at Dawn – McDonald’s

ImageJanuary 8, 2013
McDonald’s, Richmond BC
Steak N’ Egg Bagel
Chocolate Raspberry Muffin

So much time spent at the airport means too much airport food. Therefore, I needed a decent breakfast sandwich that morning – not from the airport – so Mom drove me to McDonald’s before I took off.Image

The Steak N’ Egg Bagel is a limited time offer and will soon be gone. I made sure to try it before I miss my chance as steak, onions, and sauce sounds delicious with eggs and a bagel. The bagel itself was chewy and dense. The folded eggs were decent but went well with the steak sauce. The sautéed onions were a bit greasy for me but otherwise good. The steak was tender and juicy enough for a fast food place like McDonald’s. I think this was definitely a good idea, especially for those preferring more meaty substance in their breakfast sandwich.Image

I never knew they offered the Chocolate Raspberry Muffin until I checked the nutrition information online. I assume that this was released along with the Chocolate Raspberry Pie. The muffin was moist and fresh. It was light in color but had a decent chocolate taste. The raspberries were embedded throughout but I found it lacked the berry tartness in general. It was just a really light muffin, not greasy or overly sweet.

I have to say, sitting in the airport, I was excited to eat McDonald’s for breakfast. Looking at other options there, the people were paying a lot for something that was at best as good as my meal from McDonald’s. Despite not being able to take liquids past security, I always keep in mind that food is allowed!

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Rushing for Fast Food – McDonald’s

ImageJanuary 7, 2013
McDonald’s, Richmond BC
Bacon Chicken Snack Wrap
Chocolate Raspberry Pie

I had one day to try the new items McDonald’s Canada was churning out in the new year before heading back to Philly. Knowing me, it is not surprising I took full advantage of it!Image

The Bacon Chicken Snack Wrap was not a new item. I remember this from a couple of years ago. The grilled chicken strip was tender enough but there was not enough crispy bacon. It seemed like bacon bits rather than one large piece. There was enough sauce to make it decently flavorful at least.Image

The Chocolate Raspberry Pie was also interesting. This is completely new as far as I am aware. The chocolate pie shell was crumbly and not too sweet. The raspberry filing had quite a strong but generic raspberry flavour. It was preserve-like and rather sweet and tart. It was also very red.Image

New items are always exciting so I really hope McDonald’s keep it up, especially since all the other chain restaurants have picked up on this trend and is really churning out specials fast!

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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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Two Bucks and Cookies – Subway

December 7, 2012
Subway, Philadelphia PA
Meatball Marinara
Raspberry Cheesecake Cookie
Peanut Butter Cookie

Subway is having Customer Appreciation Month and offers two choices for 6” subs at $2 each. I love it when chains do such promotions. It gives you an excuse to go and get good food for such a low price.

12-12-07 - Meatball Marinara - Subway

The Meatball Marinara was just the way it always tasted. The pork meatballs were clearly overloaded with starch and flour but it was so tender and juicy, just soaking up the marinara sauce. The sauce was rich with a strong tangy tomato flavour. It was nicely seasoned as well. I asked for provolone cheese, which was not that apparent in the sandwich. Vegetables wise, I added lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers, my usual combination. Salt and pepper helped with the flavouring but not by much. This had always been my go-to, reliable Subway sandwich.

12-12-07 - Raspberry Cheesecake Cookie - Subway

The Raspberry Cheesecake Cookie was rather delicious. Quite soft and chewy, it was very sweet with an artificial raspberry flavour. The cheesecake flavour was apparent, too, and the white chocolate chips were a nice addition.

12-12-07 - Peanut Butter Cookie - Subway

The Peanut Butter Cookie was less chewy and soft, and more on the crunchy side. The peanut flavour was strong but tasted a little too oily. Perhaps it would have been nice to have peanut butter chips in the cookie as well as peanuts and the peanut butter cookie dough.

Subway on Urbanspoon

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Sausage and Sweets – Starbucks

12-12-02 - Chicken Sausage Breakfast Wrap(1) - StarbucksDecember 2, 2012

Starbucks, New York NY/Philadelphia PA
Chicken Sausage Breakfast Wrap
Banana Walnut Bread
Mallorca Sweet Bread
Raspberry Scone
Apple Pie
Cherry Pie
Apple Fritter
Grandma’s Turkey Sandwich

Instead of having bagels again the next morning, I opted for Starbucks. Not just in the morning either but rather throughout the day. Conveniently, one was located just across the street from the competition venue. Also, since it is New York, the quality of the café was quite decent. I also happen to pass by a Starbucks once I got back to Philly so I decided to get a quick dinner from there as well. All in all, it was just a Starbucks kind of day.

12-12-02 - Chicken Sausage Breakfast Wrap(2) - StarbucksI started my morning with the Chicken Sausage Breakfast Wrap. It was toasted and came out piping hot. The wheat tortilla was warming, surrounding melted, gooey cheese, chicken sausage, and eggs. The cheese and the sausage were both very flavourful. The sausage was especially nicely seasoned and tender. The eggs were great and everything came together for one delicious breakfast wrap.12-12-02 - Banana Walnut Bread - Starbucks

The Banana Walnut Bread was sweet and nutty. The banana flavour was that of a sweet and ripened fruit. The cake was moist yet dense and studded with crunchy nuts. The slightest tinge of bitterness was almost masked by the banana flavour but not quite.12-12-02 - Mallorca Sweet Bread - Starbucks

The Mallorca Sweet Bread was bite after bite of scrumptiousness. It was very doughy and chewy, moist and sticky at the same time. The powder sugar on top was not very sweet and kind of stuck to my mouth a bit. However, it was not the kind that you eat and end up covered in powder sugar. It was rich in a very non-buttery kind of way.

12-12-02 - Raspberry Scone - StarbucksThe Raspberry Scone was rather disappointing. The scone itself was not very sweet but rather buttery. The raspberries were not that plentiful and they were not extremely juicy either. They did have that raspberry bitterness but it was not masked nicely by the sugar on top. It was a little bland, a little too buttery, and a little too dry for me.

The Apple Pie was rightfully eaten. The previous day was National Red Apple Day and National Pie Day. The next day was National Apple Pie Day. No matter how you look at it, it was apples and pies. This mini pie packed in a ton of flavour. The sweet and tangy apple mixture with a touch of cinnamon worked well in the crumbly pie crust that was slightly buttery.12-12-02 - Apple PIe - Starbucks

The Cherry Pie was the other petite pie Starbucks offers. The cherry filling was rather artificial tasting, though, and not very sweet or strong of any flavour. Thus, the crust to filling ratio was a little high for me. The bright red seemed to suggest a strong cherry flavour but I got none of that. However, it was still a nice small bite in the evening.12-12-02 - Cherry Pie - Starbucks

I also got the Apple Fritter since it was National Fritters Day. What is with all these apple treats around the beginning of December of all times? The last one in the case, it was left out too long. The apple and cinnamon flavours were there and the sugar glaze was good and sweet. The doughnut itself was dry, though. I did like the few mini slices of apple I got and wished there were more of those embedded throughout.

Finally, for dinner, I had Grandma’s Turkey Sandwich. It was a rather good sandwich. The wheat bread was hearty and fresh. The turkey breast was slightly dry and bland but the well-seasoned stuffing made up for it, as did the sweet and tasty cranberry sauce, with juicy cranberries clearly distinguishable inside. I did not touch the mayonnaise as the cranberry sauce and stuffing gave the sandwich enough flavour already.
12-12-02 - Apple Fritter - Starbucks

Quality food? Check… at least when it is not left out on display for too long. Starbucks seems to have a way of providing fresh offers despite the cafes not having capabilities to freshly bake the goodies on the premises. Taking this into consideration, they clearly offer some of the best café goodies at comparable prices.
12-12-02 - Grandma's Turkey Sandwich - Starbucks

Starbucks on Urbanspoon

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Fruits in the Mornin’ – McDonald’s

ImageNovember 25, 2012
McDonald’s, Philadelphia PA
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait
Sausage McGriddles
Sausage McMuffin with Egg
Chicken McNuggets

It is always a nice morning when the sun is out, the morning air has a chill to it, to be out jogging. Then, to step into a warm restaurant to grab a bite to refuel is just wonderful.

I had a voucher for the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal but silly me forgot to use it. This had always tasted great. I love the oatmeal mixed with apples, cranberries, raisins, and brown sugar; it is ever so sweet yet refreshing. The tart apples were especially good, adding a much needed crunch. Unfortunately, the server did not stir it properly so the fruits were not spread out evenly.Image

It was National Parfait Day so I got the Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait, which was a lot better than I had expected. The yogurt was sweet and tasted lightly of artificial vanilla flavour. It was not too overpowering that it became bad, though. The Nature Valley granola was not enough to add a crunch to the whole parfait. The berries in the sweetened syrup was good, though. I loved the strawberries and blueberries in particular. Image

The Sausage McGriddles were so simple. The griddle cakes were good with syrup inside. It is like a pancake but you can eat more of it because it is not so cloyingly sweet. The sausage patty was savoury and very nicely spiced. Sweet and savoury paired nicely together.Image

The Sausage McMuffin with Egg was also good. Together with the Sausage McGriddles, they cost only $3, such a great value. The egg was slightly charred on the edge but I really enjoyed it regardless, especially the whites. The cheese was decent, just like any other slice of McDonald’s cheese, melted into the sandwich. The sausage added more flavour. The English muffin was nicely toasted, soft yet chewy and slightly tough.

ImageLater in the day, I decided to get Chicken McNuggets, something I have not had in a long time. By accident, they gave me seven pieces instead of six. They were hot with a nice crunchy exterior. However, the chicken inside seemed too tender compared to the quality of the batter to seem like completely chicken breast meat. They were still welcoming since I have not had them for years.Image

The McDouble was rather simple: two very thin patties, a slice of cheese, onions, relish, ketchup, and mustard on a burger bun. It was literally just a Cheeseburger with an extra patty. The patties were rather dry and left out too long. The mixed flavours of the simple condiments was generic yet never bad.

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On the Need for Paninis: Part IX – Au Bon Pain

ImageNovember 24, 2012
Au Bon Pain, Philadelphia PA
Egg Whites & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich
Chocolate & Creme Torsade
Holiday Linzer Cookie
English Toffee Cookie
Caprese Sandwich

I was not the only disappointed student to discover the news that the Au Bon Pain on campus would close at the end of last school year. Fortunately, there is another one at 30th Street Station, only a short walk away. When the weather is nice, a brisk jog is quite lovely.

The Egg Whites & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich was slightly disappointing. The bagel was fine, chewy and dense. However, I would have liked a thicker egg omelette, even though it was light and fluffy. The cheddar was slightly too bland. I like a good sharp cheddar and flavourful cheeses in general.Image

The Chocolate & Creme Torsade was fine. The pastry was multilayered and very flaky. The sticky glaze on top added to the sweetness. The chocolate was decent, though I could have used more chocolate. I was never a fan of layered pastry dough but this was decent enough. Image

In celebration of the holidays, I tried the Holiday Linzer Cookie. The shortbread cookie was buttery, crumbly, and very good. The raspberry filling was sweet and tart. It was a nice small bite, and visually appealing.Image

The English Toffee Cookie was exceptionally good. The edges were a little crunchy while the middle was soft and chewy. I love toffee and it is rare to find a toffee cookie. The sweet and sticky toffee went well with the sweet cookie dough. I love this idea.Image

Finally, I ordered a Caprese Sandwich. The ingredients were fresh and generous. I loved the pesto and mozzarella. It was very flavourful and the cheese had a great texture and light taste. The tomato and arugula added a nice touch. However, I was not very pleased with the ciabatta bun. It was fresh but cold and a little tough.Image

Au Bon Pain is slightly overpriced, especially considering it is somewhat of a fast food/cafe type of restaurant. The food is fresh and I cannot wait to try one of their various soups.

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