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Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Comments

clayfu

tea station is easily the best tea out of all of them.

everything is freshly brewed delicious

nhbilly

You should try out lollicup they make good drinks. LOL rice is a side at a non Asian restaurant at an Asian restaurant its consider part of the main course.

Andy 美國土子

these boba places are hit and miss these days...one store may make it great and the other, horrible.. glad you found a place you like.

I remember ages ago.. like back in 2000.. the boba places originally made their boba milk teas with sweetended condensed milk. they have all gone by the wayside in favor of cheap powdered creamer =(

I've eaten at maybe 6-7 Ten Ren's branches (I think Tea Station is a Franchisee of Ten Ren) branches (including the one in your picture) and you know what? I can never taste the tea despite their it being called tea flavored!!!!

and the thing that bugs a little about tea station, is that they are inconsistent between restaurant to restaurant. The last Tea Station I went to, the pork chop rice did not look like that.

Try the pork stew rice or the pork stew with bean curd.. those are not bad.

Some of the Ten Ren's franchises have a drink called a Jade Teazer.... that is so yummy.. basically a green tea blended milkshake, Chinese style.....

Cathy

Hi, Clayfu. I did like the selection at Tea Station, but trying the standard black tea milk with ice, it just didn't have the tea flavor I was looking for. The selection there is good and I did like the coffee milk tea- could taste all flavors. More experimenting I guss. The food selection was excellent.
Hi Bill- We don't have Lolicup dowen here, but I am traveling north (to Fountain Valley)on Memorial Day, so will look for (and blog about) every place we stop at. The whole three side dishes thing threw me. I don't consider rice a side, esp with the pork and all...
Andy, I have heard that teh food quality varies, but, fortunately haven't experienced that yet. This Tea Station did have Ten Ren products. 99Ranch does all of its drinks with the sweetened condensed milk still, Sam Woo inside there either uses sweetened condensed or half and half- it's in the fridges with glass doors you can see in the restaurant. Totally different taste, I agree. I will try the stew with bean curd and ask about a jade teazer- sounds yummy! Thanks.

nhbilly

If you're around Bolsa the lolicup is located on the corner of bushard and bolsa it's a small shop behind buildings that face the street and adjacent to a closed down asian market. Pho Kimmy is right down the street too ;-)

Cathy

Pho Kimmy? ...hee hee...
Oh, sorry. I just looked up Lollicup and we have one in Chula Vista and one in National City. I can't beleive I missed both. But you know where I will be doing lunch soon... thanks for the road trip tips!

Wandering Chopsticks

Haha! Cathy, I loved how you called yourself such a white girl! :P Yeah, boba stuff is so a decade ago! hehe.

If you go to Tea Station, try their signature teas but iced. It takes longer b/c they'll brew the hot tea first, let it steep, then add ice and sugar. It's pricey though. Like $5, but sooo much better in quality.

And for Lollicup, I second the recommendation for the one on Bolsa. Try their matcha green tea slushy, it's literally like eating green tea ice cream. Other boba places don't seem to make it as green tea tasting to me.

There's also a Tapioca Express on Harbor Blvd, just off the 405 exit, going South, it'll be on the right side.

Janfrederick

In Mira Mesa there is a place that offers something called a rice burger. It is basically meat between two fried disks of steamed rice. Hoo Mama is it good. I tried the regular hamburger and my wife had spicy chicken. Both were great. Next time we'll try the pulled pork.

Ocha café
6755 Mira Mesa Blvd Suite 107

Trent

The Lollicup in Chula Vista is not the best, the main advantage being that it is down the street from the Drive-in Theater. That can make for a fun evening's entertainment. Another nice thing is the variety of add-ins.

Andy 食神

thanks for the tip Cathy! I will check out the 99, looking for real sweetened condensed milk!

Cathy

Hey, WC- Kirk thought the title should be "White Girl Does Boa"...that made me giggle... I will try the iced signature tea. I like havingit made special (I ask for a press pot at Starbucks when I drink inside- it's the best. I guess I will be at that Lollicup on Bolsa this weekend, too...and I am always looking for tea- tasting tea...matcha green slushy tasting like itself is even better.
Thanks for the tip, Janfrederick- The Mister started researching Ocha and rice burgers before we met for lunch today. It will be done!
OK Trent, I'll take it with a grain of salt...and other add-ins.
I hope your 99 is the same as ours down here, Andy. I would think so. I just was there for the $2.29 lunch (it is shrimp fried rice on Wednesday) and decided on a coffee with sweetened condensed milk. It all went together.

chizzed

Another random yet very enjoyable post!

I've been interested in trying all of the boba places in the area since I first visited a friend who was in his freshman year at UCSD. We all went to Tea Station on Clairemont Mesa and I was just stunned by how good it was compared to what I normally had back in the Bay Area. After transferring to UCSD for junior year, I kept convincing friends to come out with me to try other places.
As of my knowledge, the only two places I have NOT tried are Bobalicious on Mira Mesa and Tapioca Heaven on Mira Mesa. Ironically, that's where I live. But back to the point. Out of TapEx, Green Tea House, Tea Station (the Mira Mesa branch is worse than the Clairemont Mesa one), Tea 'N More, and the other less memorable places, Tea 'N More is my boba place of choice.

There are a couple factors that made Tea 'N More my de facto boba milk tea place, first off being the taste of the drink, taste of the boba, the music being played, location, restaurant space, and staff attitude. I could talk all day about boba places in SD! Well, I'll go in order.
I don't know what other people do when they choose which drink they want from the huge selection of teas, but I have always had the taste for just plain boba milk tea. Not green milk tea, no fruit teas, not taro or red bean, just plain boba milk tea. I've tried the other ones, and I will admit that having a mango icee really hits the spot on a hot summer night, but somehow I am always led back to my BMT. I'm no connoisseur on what exactly the tea is supposed to taste like, but as far as my experience goes, you can usually have more of a Taiwanese style milk tea (which is generally lighter colored and sweeter) or a Hong Kong style milk tea, which has more of a tea flavor. The BMT at Tea 'N More is more Taiwanese in the taste of the actual drink, and is hardly ever disappointing, depending on who is in the back making it. The boba itself is just sweet enough and not too bland. I believe that when they make the boba they use brown sugar of some sort, like Tea Station (however, the boba at TNM is less sweet than Tea Station).
The music being played will vary on the staff there. Occasionally you will hear Asian (mostly Chinese) music such as Jay Chou or something, but other times you might hear the stereo playing hip-hop and R&B.
The location of the place, it is right next to Ranch 99, closer to the Convoy side. Very convenient if you are coming home from dinner with friends and want to grab some boba either to sit down or take home! I think they just renovated the place and it is very spacious right now in comparison to Tea Station which is always full and too small... and lots of smokers outside! What the heck. There IS free wi-fi and people definitely make use of it. Almost every other table will have someone with a laptop, studying or goofing off with youtube or something. This is why the side tables are popular and not so much the middle ones, because of the power outlets. The staff attitude isn't really anything special and you aren't greeted with a large smile when you enter (like Buga! nothing beats the service there).

I know firsthand that there are a TON of Tea Station die-hard fans out there so I won't try too hard to sway them. I enjoy TS myself every once in a while too :) But definitely, go to the Clairemont Mesa branch instead of the Mira Mesa one if you are trying to decide between the two. Oh, and the price at Tea Station is slightly higher because of the way they make it, even if you get a normal size.. maybe ranging from $4-5 for a drink as opposed to $3 at TNM. If you go to TNM during the day they actually give you a large size for the regular price.

Oh and Cathy, you're right about boba being so last year! It seems like the hot new place for young people to go now is Yogurt World, in the same square as Tapioca Express on Convoy. After reading your comments on Tapioca Heaven, I've decided to bring my friends there to try it out in the near future.

Aaaaand wow. I've just wasted a whole class period writing about boba! Good thing the professor can't see my laptop screen :)

Cathy

Hey, Chizzed! Ironically, I met The Mister for lunch inside 99Ranch today and thought about TNM, but then didn't go. I will, soon, though...and yes, basics of certain things everywhere are what I get- coffee at Starbucks (I will have a sip of The Mister's hot chocolate and order one eggnog latte a year, maybe try one of the new drinks. Once. Iced coffee or iced tea, no sweetener on hot days.). I am going to try Ocha Cafe, as recommended above. I love free wi fi and don't bother even looking for an outlet, but do use it if I happen to be sitting next to one. I will re-charge at home in the evening; it's only an iBook G4... ummm...finals are coming up- as I recall, clues as to what is on them are given at this time of year...pay attention in class! I'm only a blog and will be here no matter what. :)

Liz

I am drinking boba milk tea as I read your blog. You were so missing out about those boba drink places and their snack food. So yummy. We have so many them here.

Cathy

Actually, I started the post in January, Liz..and went back and forth about how to blog it. It is amazing that I wasn't aware of the snack food part of all the beverage. I have gone to a lot of them now and am back and forth between boba and Starbucks...but I see I have a lot to learn about the intricacies of ordering the beverages and I am appreciative of the hints given to me so far today.

Brian Bautista

chizzed is right ... boba is not the latest fad anymore ... it's all about the self serve yogurt places. The Yogurt World in the same plaza as Tapioca Express is garnering a lot of attention. You choose what flavors, how much of it, and add on any topping you want and is paid for by the amount of weight you've placed into your bowl. Island Banana is my favorite btw! There is also PinkBerry which is blowing up the scene in the LA area. There are 30 minute lines just to savor the treats they offer.

There's also a Tea Stop near the end of Mira Mesa Rd. and in the same mall as Excel Photo and Chuckie Cheese that also offers PC Gaming and regular Chinese food :) It's one of my favorites.

chizzed

hi brian,

Island Banana, huh? Maybe I'll try that out next time I hit up Yogurt World! I usually stick with the 'tart' flavors like mango or asian peach though. I really like those :)

Cathy

"Regular Chinese food", eh, Brian? Now I am curious. The Mister and I went to Yogurt World this past Monday and it was tasty. I only took a small amount- one pull of the machine knobs of peach and wild cherry (no toppings)- and mine was $1.64. It was exactly enough for me to eat, though. They seem to be on the lookout for anyone with a camera and were kind of weird, asking me immediately if I was planning on taking any photos. I never take photos of people anyhow, but felt intimidated. There must be some sort of competition fear going on or something. I think Pinkberry is coming to San Diego and I kind of don't understand the lines they talk abut in LA. Frozen yogurt is good and all, but I am perfectly happy eating the Trader Joe brand cream top yougurt and not having brain freeze afer each spoonful. ANYHOW, all of this boba stuff really is new to me, and I bet to a lot of other Caucasians out there, so that was why I felt I should do this post...and reasearch it thoroughly, of course :D

Alice Q. Foodie

Cathy, I don't think it's so much that we're white as it is that we're OLD. Talk about old news, Frozen Yogurt is like Back to the Future to me! Personally, I'm a fiend for the iced milk coffee from K Sandwiches but can take or leave the boba. Hilarious post, by the way!

Cathy

You are right, Alice. I used to go to Heidi's Frogen Yozurt all the time and so this new flavored stuff isn't so unique or crave-able to me (again, not giving out our ages here, are we?). The beverages made with sweetened condensed milk are great and go with the Vietnamese spices and flavorings in the foods. Had no idea those "Tea Houses" served such snacks and meals; fried, hot foods...I thought cookies and pastries maybe, just like Starbucks. Finding out about meals inside was eye opening. Thanks for the kind words.

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