Thanks so much for stopping by mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk is way busy with work and Ed (from Yuma) is kind of busy engaging in things retired people do (in Yuma). Cathy isn't busy in comparison, so she's writing today's post.
It's back to work time for most of us; the holidays are over. Even though it's cold and rainy today, posts about soups and stews may be a bit boring. Here's something to look forward to when our weather gets back to 'normal'.
When growing up, ice cream was a big treat for my brother and I. Whenever we can meet, its for a meal-and dessert. Always. Recently Bing Haus opened in the same Convoy street mall as Grandma's Tofu, a convenient location. I needed to check it out for a future meet up. Stepping inside, the menu is on the wall to the right.
There are also some grab and go beverages as well as a pastry case. Orders are being prepped behind the cash register, but just past that area is what fascinates most. Those are 'anti-griddles'- steel surfaced flash freezers. Order a 'rolled ice cream' ($6.25) and a measured cup of heavy cream is then poured onto the surface where it begins to solidify after being evenly dispersed. The cream may then have an ingredient mixed/chopped in and then the thin, frozen layer is scraped into rolls, placed into your cup and topped.
This results in a very fresh ice cream treat. Today's choice was fresh coffee mixed in to make ice cream topped with Heath Bar candy bits and sliced banana. The creamy texture along with a bitter-sweet coffee flavor, complimented by the toffee and banana was very refreshing.
That pastry case sometimes has 'day old' items for $1. Based on past experience, I know that day old scones age well. This one had chocolate chips and coconut as well as almond slices and was delightfully flaky and light. It went well with a fresh cup of coffee.
The Mister and I decided to drop in the other day and tried a Chai tea latte ($4.25) and an affogato ($4.50), as shared desserts. The chai tea was subtle in its melded flavors, with a good black tea undertone. We were curious about the soft serve ice cream made here and it was of high quality, natural vanilla flavored and very smooth. Pouring the fresh made, hot espresso over the soft serve ('drowning' it) made the resulting flavor of coffee and cream quite similar to our coffee rolled ice cream from the first visit.
There sure have been quite a few openings during the usually slow holiday season this year. Back in October, "FOY" (friend of yoso) Jan Frederick sent me an email regarding a Banh Bao shop opening in Mira Mesa. I found out through my sources that they opened on Christmas Eve.
Apparently the other two T.P. Banh Bao shops are in Houston and Garden Grove. I'll get a post done after I sample a few more items from the place.
Thanks for the heads-up Jan Frederick!
11271 Camino Ruiz San Diego, CA 92126
Xi'an Kitchen Closes. Noodle Hut Taking Its Place:
Back in early November I noticed that Xian Kitchen had shuttered quite suddenly. I walked up and read the gory details to the right. 'Nuff said.
Apparently something named "Noodle Hut" is taking its place.
4690 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
The Missus Gets Her Kenya Guama Peaberry Fix:
Once in a while the really nice guys at Birdrock on Morena will tell me when something special is going to be available. This year they mentioned that the Kenya Guama Peaberry had scored a 97 on Coffee Review and told me it might be in the top 5 coffees of the year. So when it became available I reserved a bag. Turns out the coffee took #1 of the top 30 coffees of the year.
While the Missus prefers the light acid a fruitiness of Natural Processed beans; these washed processed Peaberry beans were quite distinctive....super smooth, rich, with a long finish. The Missus was a happy coffee nerd.
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters 1270 Morena Blvd. San Diego, CA 92110
mmm-yoso!!! is the name of the blog you are reading. Kirk has an even busier day than usual and Ed (from Yuma) is out and about (in Yuma) doing his things, so Cathy is writing today's post.
Caffe Bene has over 1600 locations in a dozen countries around the world. One of those locations is in San Diego, on Convoy Street (it shares the same parking lot with Prime Grill). Opening over a year ago, cc and Kirbie posted about it.Spacious with a simple decor, the 'Global Coffee House' offers a fairly quiet meeting space with free wifi...
coffees, teas, beverages as well as a variety of snack foods, treats and small sandwiches. The Signature drink here, 'multigrain power drink', Misugaru, can be served cold or hot and I like each version and have purchased one or the other on each visit here. It's tasty, not too sweet and quite filling. I think it may also be good for you.
There is a small selection of sandwiches on the menu. The above is a Spicy Chicken Sandwich ($8.95). Served hot on a fresh roll, the chicken breast, fresh spinach and melted cheese were quite fresh and tasty. The 'spicy' sauce was nicely hot, (not Sriracha sweet, just a good punch of heat). The side of potato salad was just enough to compliment the other flavors.
The ham and egg sandwich ($7.95) was not served hot, but was just as pleasant in flavor pairings. Hard boiled eggs, a good amount of ham, spinach, red onion and a mustard based sauce were all complimentary and made a nice little shared meal.
Caffe Bene is known for its Liege waffles and honey bread and we tried a simple order of a waffle with gelato ($5.50). Liege waffles are small, rich, stretchy/chewy and a bit crunchy from embedded pearl sugar in the batter; another variety of waffle. The gelato? Strawberry- a very densely flavored gelato, which would be good on its own but also went very well with pieces of the waffle.
Yes, it is a chain, but this is the only location around and it is quite nice.
Caffè Bene Website 4620 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111 (858) 278-2204 Open daily 9 a.m.-midnight Website
Well, here you are, looking at a food blog named mmm-yoso!!! Three of us write about food and happenings in and around San Diego, parts of California, other states across the USA as well as various countries around the globe. Kirk needs a rest (and maybe a vacation), Ed (from Yuma) is resting (after returning from a mini-vacation), so Cathy is writing today about a place in East County.
The Mister and I went driving early in the morning, while it was still chilly and overcast, looking for someplace to stop for breakfast. As is our habit, there was no planning and we merely drive and the passenger yells out 'turn here!'. This fine day got us to Campo Road and we noticed this new (to us) aqua colored signage.
Driving around the building, we realized it used to be a bank. The Drive Up Menu looked fairly interesting, so we went inside. With some research, I found out that Butler's opened in May. The interior is decorated for Halloween. In addition to the wall menu, there are more items written on that black glass area. There is also a small pastry shelving area and a refrigerated item area. You can see the interior is quite large. That's the bank safe there on the right (with the zig zag 'caution' tape across the front). I must admit that since the advent of Direct Deposit and ATMs, I don't recall the interior of my Credit Union, but guess it's probably as spacious.
We only ordered a large 'bold' coffee (beans from local company, Cafe Moto ) to share, because I had been awake since about 3 a.m. that morning and had finished an entire press pot already. The sandwiches are made to order. I chose a spinach, egg and cheese ($3.95) (choice of cheese: Provolone, American or Pepper Jack. Of course I chose Provolone). Toasted, buttered English muffin topped with the egg fluffily lightly scrambled with fresh chopped spinach and topped with melty Provolone. This was very good. The Mister chose the ham, egg and cheese sandwich ($4.25) (same cheese as I chose). You can see the ham is not from a deli package, it is an off the bone slice - a nice sized portion, not salty. The Provolone was also melted, the English muffin toasted and the egg scrambled to a fluffy lightness.
All in all, great quality and another local business found.
Butler's Coffee House 9631 Campo Road, Spring Valley 91977 (619)433-8913 Open Mon-Sat 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 6 a.m.-3 p.m.
Here you are once more, reading mmm-yoso!!!. a food-centric blog. Kirk has been having some really busy days of late and so has Ed (from Yuma), so it's Cathy doing the blogging today.
We've been having some really dry, hot weather lately. Since home has no air conditioning, The Mister and I go out when still cool to run errands and grab a bite. In keeping with a New Year Resolution, 'shop local' isn't easy yet it turns out to be quite rewarding. One day last week, we were heading to Swami's in La Mesa for a refreshing beverage and noticed this new storefront, two doors west.
Public Square Coffee took over the space of a long time coffee house/gathering place, Cosmo's Coffee, which unceremoniously closed about a year ago.
The space has been refurbished and is brighter. Since it is a 'soft' opening, there is a sort of temporary menu taped near the cash register, as well as a simple beverage menu on the wall.
More photos of the refurbishing, including a very nice outdoor patio area in front.
Deciding on a Cold Brew (large, $3) and a pour over (Columbian, $3.75), we were delightfully surprised at the 'for here' pot and cup brought out on a personalized board (see the 'square' symbol in the bottom left corner? It matches the designs out front) and the large size glass for the cold brew. Each coffee was very good.
Returning a few days later, we ordered a 'Gibraltar' ($3.25)-two shots of espresso mixed with about the same amount of warmed milk. This was also very good, if not a bit too mild for my taste.
We ordered a 'Rooted Salad' ($5.95) described as having kohlrabi, golden beets, celery root, green apple, orange, greens, candied almonds and a lemon maple vinaigrette. Other than no kohlrabi or celery root and instead slices of wonderful radish, it was a good salad. Since Public Square is still in its 'soft opening', we understood.
Then we saw this at the top of the menu.
Homemade sugar scones ($3.50 each), with a choice of flavored butters (50¢ each) (or two scones and a flight of all six butters for $9.50)...and so we did.
First, the scones are *perfect*; flaky, buttery and creamy. The rock sugar topping is not disturbingly crunchy nor too sweet.
2. The butters were such a variety of flavors: pumpkin spice (which I imagine will change with the seasons), guava, cinnamon, maple cayenne, blueberry tea and Nutella bacon. Each was unique, not salty (except for bacon pieces in the nutella) and oddly, began melting from the bottom of the cold, wood tray.
This was very good and far more interesting of a sweet than some sort of baked or fried pastry.
After getting back to Tokyo and a good nights sleep; the Missus was ready to go fairly early in the morning. Being a short minute walk from Tokyo Station meant transportation would be a snap. The Missus had decided on a day trip to Kamakura, the former capital during the Kamakura Shogunate from 1185 - 1333. She was interested in all the temples and of course, the Daibutsu (The Great Buddha). We enjoyed Kamakura so much that we ended up returning the next day.
We arrived quite early.....during this part of the day; before hordes of tourists descend on Kamakura, the place has a relaxed, sleepy feel to. Even Komachi Street......
We decided to find a place to stop for our caffeine fix; so I kept on the look-out. I noticed the sign for Komeda's Coffee on the scond floor of one of the buildings. The place looked open so we walked up the stairs. We were cheerfully seated and handed some menus.
Looking at the menus, we were nicely surprised to see that Komeda's had a "morning special", free toast and a boiled egg with any beverage purchase. I guess the Komeda chain is well known for this special. Perfect!
The Missus and I both ordered coffee along with the "special".
Which turned out to be enough to hold us until lunch.
The young lady working was very nice........and heck, you can't complain about free breakfast, right?
Komeda's Coffee Komachi, 2 Chome−2−18 2F Kamakura
After finishing up; bolstered by caffeine, it was a short walk down the street to our first stop, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. The shrine, dedicated to Hachiman, god of war, is Kamakura's most well known and important shrine.
The backdrop and greenery makes for quite a dramatic sight.
I read that over two million people visit this shrine over the New Year holiday.
The bridges and ponds are quite lovely.
We saw this family; children in traditional garb ascending the stairs..... About halfway up; you could tell the kids were totally over the experience!
We exited via the gate on the northwest side of the temple and ended up on the road leading to our next stop.
I believe this marker is to commemorate the visit of Dogen, the famous Zen Masters' visit to Kamakura.
It was a nice walk; slightly uphill at first, then back downhill. The weather was cool, but pleasant. We had thoughts of stopping at Orindo....but decided to pass.
We also passed on a couple of other temples along the way as well.
And ended up at Kenchoji, Japan's oldest Zen Monastery, founded in 1253.
Things are set-up in the very typical Zen style with all the gates and the main buildings built in a straight line.
The Bonsho (Temple Bell) is considered a National Treasure. The Butsuden (Buddha Hall) contains a well worn statue of Jizō Bosatsu (Bodhisattva).
In direct contrast to the rather austere structures was this gate, which really stood out.
This is the Karamon (Grand Gate).
After lingering for a few minutes more, we set off.....to the next set of temples the Missus wanted to see.
Here's an interesting tidbit; mention Easter Island to someone in the Spanish speaking world and you might get a blank stare. The official Spanish name is Isla de Pascua. I mentioned Easter Island a few times in Santiago and got quizzical looks. Upon returning, I mentioned Easter Island to one of the folks in another department, she is Peruvian (Tusan!), and she had no idea what I was talking about until I said Isla de Pascua! She loves talking to me about Peruvian food and I'm definitely going to get some recommendations from her next time we travel to Peru.
Our The flight out of Hanga Roa didn't leave until 11, so we had some time to take a short drive and refill the fuel, and stuffs like that. While I was taking the trash out I heard the sound of hooves and took a look around the hedges! There was a guy riding a horse down the street....with a pony following! You sure don't see that everyday here in San Diego!
I quietly walked back to the cabanas, when, I was met by a familiar creature....dum, da, dum, dum......
He looked rather irritated and I'd had enough. I let the cat sit in my lap and gave it some attention. When I put the cat down....it got rather angry, but I moved quickly enough and avoided any parting shots.
Having escaped the clutches of the cat, we headed off and did a last short drive around Hanga Roa.
We got the specialty of the house; the eggs and Nescafe. This time I got a polka dot cup.....
We then went to the gas station, filled up and headed back to the cabanas to relax before our trip.
Check-out went smoothly. When Vero, the wonderful woman at Marae - Cabañas went to call us a shuttle, we told her that we'd rather walk. The airport was just a 15 minute walk away.
Check-In and everything else was fine; a bit slow, but again...this is island life....you don't rush things. Once past security, while waiting we watched the excited visitors exit the place. This is where we were just a few days before.
Due to the time change, it was almost 9pm when we got into Santiago. Our flight to Lima left at 8 the next morning so there was no sense in heading into Santiago. There's a very convenient Holiday Inn right across the street from the airport. After grabbing a sandwich in the airport, this is where we settled in. We decided on a nightcap and went to the bar.
The guy working the bar was so nice and friendly that we decided to stay for a second drink. We talked about Santiago and he mentioned how busy the city is. We asked about classic Chilean dishes and he was nice enough to pull photos from Instagram and other sites, describing the various dishes. What a great guy.
He also made a decent Old Fashioned.....
Soon enough, it was time to head back up to our room. We'd try to grab some shut-eye before our flight to Lima in the morning......though I could still see Moai dancing in my dreams!
From our arrival to exploring the maze of alleyways of Barrio Santa Cruz, ending with a nice dinner at La Azotea, we'd really enjoyed our time in Seville so far. Still, the streets had us pretty confused. So the next morning, we'd start finding our way around further afield. Our little flat was located in a"casa de palacio", a palace house, down the small street of Calle San Isidoro. You really get the feeling you're immersed in the history of Seville as just a few meters away, you run into the Iglesia de San Isidoro. There are over 115 neighborhood churches in Seville.
At this time of the day; Plaza del Salvador was quiet and sedate, a far cry from the loads of young folks packing the square the previous evening.
Then on over to Plaza Nueva. The statue in the middle of the square is of King Ferdinand III who defeated and drove the Moors from Seville.
From here it was a walk down the side streets, then across the Canal de Alfonso XIII also known as the Guadalquivir River on the Puente de Isabel II......I know, so many names.
The place I wanted to visit was Mercado de Triana. The Triana District, though it is part of Seville has its own distinct vibe and personality and the Mercado is a nice place to get acquainted.
Built on the ruins of St. George´s Castle this market was a fun stop for us. Triana is historically famous for its "azulejos", tile work, which reminded us of places we visited in Portugal. You see them used as signage for each booth.
There's definite semi-touristy vibe to part of the place as there's a lot of restaurants, even a sushi place. But still, it seems that locals come here for the wonderful looking produce.....
And other stuffs......
We actually returned to this stand and got the Jamon Bellota Summum - "summum" is a designation from the province of Huelva of the highest quality Jamon.
Not cheap at 31,5Euroes for 100 grams, but it was cut perfectly.
There's a lot to see in Mercado de Triana and the museum next door....there's even a craft beer bar; which was sadly closed on both our visits. Well, I guess that just gives me reason to return, right?
We left the market and walked around the area a bit. The Missus and I really needed A caffeine boost....most of the little shop were quite full, so we just stopped into a little chain restaurant.
The Missus got some espresso and I got an Americano....we needed something small to tide us over....all the tourists were getting really bad looking tapas....the locals were getting simple slices of bread.....which is how we ended up ordering tostadas de tomate. Toast with tomato and olive oil.
Being that we love the grassy-peppery Spanish olive oil, this was such a nice fit! As in "why didn't we get this before".....who cares about the tomato.....tostada de aciete....that was the way to go. Toast with good olive oil.....breakfast of champions.
It started pouring at about 8pm.......but it was the wind that was quite impressive. I decided to hang out on the porch and have a brew. Suddenly, this little orange tabby hops on the porch and onto my lap....purring away like crazy! Strange..... So I gave the little fella' some TLC and the little cat just ate it up. By now I had finished my beer; it was time to call it a night. I put the cat down and it turned and sunk its claws into me and then bit a nice little chunk out of my leg! Geeeez! It was bleeding pretty good....I washed it out; the Missus was worried about some of the rather common cat bite infections or even...no not that "Cat Scratch Fever", but actual CSD. Luckily, nothing really happened except I bled pretty good. The other strange thing was that the cat would now stalk me....we'd park the SUV and as we would be getting out, the cat would come out of nowhere.....the Missus was terrified and she'd run into the cabanas. I'd wake up in the morning, open the front door and the cat would be there! I actually think this was fairly humorous, but the Missus wasn't amused...... No good deed goes unpunished I guess?
Anyway, the Missus wanted to head back to Tongariki and watch the sunrise yet again. Well, we were on an island, what else would we be doing at 5 in the morning? So the Missus starts pushing me awake....I swear, it's like 230 am and I ask Her what the heck is going on? She shows me Her phone, it says it's 430am, we're going to be late! I show Her my phone, which says 230.....it's that crazy thing where my phone is on Hanga Roa time and the Missus's phone is on mainland Chile time.....
Anyway, we do get up and make it back to Tongariki. The weather says it's going to be a beautiful day; the storm has passed.
The sky is bright and clear....I dunno, I kinda liked the deep red sky we had on the previous morning. This time around there are a few more folks milling about. Also, there's a Park Ranger at the entrance of the place checking passes.
You could tell that it was going to be a bright and clear day.
As on the previous day; there's a good bit of chatter while things are still rather dark. Then it gets quiet, almost solemn as the sun slowly rises over the 15 Moai.....
You realize that you've seen something special. And to see it twice.......
The drive back to Hanga Roa was just as beautiful as the previous morning......
The backdrop has the ability to turn every photo into something special......
Meanwhile, back in Hanga Roa it was morning rush hour.
Looking around, we noticed there wasn't much open at this time of the morning. However, on the previous day, I'd noticed a little coffee stand inside of the "Feria" (fair) building which was full of stands selling all sorts of tourist and other goods. Indeed, the place was open on this morning and full of locals.
The place had a simple greaseboard menu; with items like empanadas (2000 CLP - $3)....you know the Missus was not having that. Coffee, 500CLP (80 cents US), con leche (with cream) 1000CLP. Huevo Frito, fried eggs, 500CLP.
So we got two coffee.....they basically gave you a thermos with hot water and passed the jar of Nescafe to you.
They love Nescafe in Chile, you'll find it everywhere, even here on Isla de Pascua.
Outside of the building produce and meat stands were set-up.
We stopped by one of what seems like one of many mini-marts in the town and picked up a few things. We then headed back to the cabanas to drop said items off before heading out to our next destination.
As we neared the airport end of Atamu Tekena, we noticed this dog tailing the red SUV........
He would not let it out of his line of sight.
Finally the vehicle made a stop at the has station and the guy driving came out and gave the dog a big hug....... I guess it's his dog and he follows him to work every day. Must be some kind of daily ritual?
Meanwhile, we got back to the cottage, stowed things away. The Missus opened the door and out came an "eeeek"!
It looks like we were trapped by the "Killer Pussy".......
Full of historic buildings that are now glass and souvenir shops, tons of restaurant, and a little sweets kingdom known as LeTAO.
We loved the charming streets, the buildings just gave off a nice vibe, especially since things weren't especially busy.
We were getting a bit chilly, the warming effects of the umeshu was wearing off, so we decided to stop in at this charming little coffee and tea shop built in the former location of the Kubo Store, which was built in 1907.
The Missus got a nice cup of matcha and I a well made pour over, very smooth, but with enough of a nice kick for me.
The barista was a wonderfully dignified looking woman, who just rocked her lavender highlites perfectly. A study in aging well, gracefully, but with just the perfect amount of hipness and edge.
Refreshed and energized, we ended our little walk at LeTAO, which several folks told me I "had to" visit when going to Otaru.
This a multifloor deal, with a sweet shop upstairs, a very popular hot chocolate stand....but the item that LeTAO is known for is their cheesecake.
The cheesecake portion of the shop actually looks more like a jewelry store.
For some reason, I wasn't too keen on the stuff here, but of course, I don't have much of a sweet tooth.
LeTAO 7-16 Sakaimachi Dori Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan
We headed back around and took Rinkosen Street back to the canal area. There was one last stop I wanted to check out before heading to lunch. I'd enjoyed the bottle of Otaru Weisse I had in Hokkaido. I also recalled Kat's post on Otaru Brewery, so I thought we'd give it a try. The place has quite the Bavarian Beer Garden look and makes some interesting claims on the English menu.
Hmmmm.....not hangover with the beer here, eh? Well, let me have at it! I ordered the Dunkel, which had quite a head. The finish reminded me of caramel-burnt sugar with a touch of stone fruit mixed with a bready yeasty fragrance. Not bad at 5.2 ABV....clean finish, sugary flavors lingering, not too bitter.
The place filled up pretty quickly as most folks were starting up on lunch. Several large parties; all Japanese came in, and a couple looked like they were doing some kind of brewery tour finished up as well.
For some reason, I just wasn't motivated to eat here.....we were in Otaru and I wanted to finish up with some seafood.
The Missus got the Weisse and like the bottle I had previously, it had that banana thing going on. I read that in addition to the classic Weisse wort used for the product, it's also sticking to the traditional brewing method and tightly controlling the 4 VG level (4-vinyl guaiacol), hence the increased banana flavor (iso-amyl acetate) and less of the spicy clove that I'm used too. It's quite a pleasant beer, easy to drink, light, high carbonation, very nice overall.
We enjoyed stopping here, it was relaxing, though he place started getting really busy when we left.