Having completed breakfast, the Missus was ready to start with today's mission....first chocolates, then beer.
A few blocks away was a location of Moonstruck Chocolate Café.
We entered the tiny shop so the Missus could add to Her collection of confections. The woman manning the counter was very nice and we found the Oregon Craft Brewers collection to be quite interesting. I did have a taste of the Rogue Hazelnut Brown, which was really, really, good.
And so the Missus was able to add to Her collection and we were able to grab a few gifts as well.
Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe 608 SW Alder St Portland, OR 97205
On our way back from The Cheese Shop the previous day, I pointed out a chocolate shop named Alma. The Missus did a Google Search and came up with an address. It said NE 28th Street......which was strange since I recall seeing the shop fairly close to the Hawthorne Bridge. But we trudged onward for 2 miles and change.....
I did get to take this really nice photo of the Steel Bridge though.
Upon arriving, I knew we hadn't passed this shop the day before. Temps were going to hit the mid 90's on this day and I was already hot and bothered by the time we arrived.
But at least the Missus got to add to Her chocolate collection.
We did learn that Alma had just opened their second shop on SE 7th a few days ago....which is why it didn't appear in the Google search. The girl here thought it was pretty funny that we'd walk all the way from Downtown to visit....
Alma Chocolate 140 NE 28th Ave Portland, OR 97232
Man was it getting hot......and the Missus could tell it was getting to me. We stopped and had a Pellegrino at the nearby Whole Foods, which I recalled from the time we ate at Davenport on our last trip. Revived we decided to do the mile and a half walk to The Commons Brewery, which we had also seen on the #15 bus the day before. It was a long mile and a half and by the time we saw the building, the Missus was doing a good bit of whining.
Loved the industrial look, the high ceilings and wide open spaces. I do wish there was some A/C though as was getting a bit warm in the building.
Loved the beer selection and the place seemed to complete the set with their own resident Hipster.
The Commons brews Belgians, a lot of Saisons, which seemed perfect for a hot day like this.
So we started with a flight of tasters.
My favorite on this day was the very clean, slightly grassy, refreshing, "Petit Classique".
This was a nice stop.
The Commons Brewery 630 SE Belmont St Portland, OR 97214
We decided on catching the bus back...on our now favorite route, #15. As we left, the bus had just stopped across the street. We were stuck on the red light. But this is Portland and they have some of the nicest bus drivers we've ever run into. I waved at the driver, she smiled and waved back and made a hand sign telling me not to rush across the street....you gotta love these folks!
If this post seems familiar, well, it should. Call me a creature of habit....or perhaps as the Missus puts it; "boring". On our second morning I got up before the Missus and went for a walk. Not far mind you. My joints were creaking from the day before.
I could tell that it was going to be a hot one as the sun rose quite brightly over Pioneer Courtyard Square. Though I've walked through this square quite a few times, I realized that I had never taken a decent photo of that iconic Bronze Sculpture named Allow Me, by Seward Johnson. So I finally got a fairly decent shot.....
I then headed up (down?) SW Washington and back to Blue Star Donuts.
Things weren't quite as busy as they were the last time around.
Since our breakfast destination didn't open until 9am, I decided to pick up (only) 2 donuts for the Missus and I to sample. I got the Missus the Chocolate Ganache...She loved the chocolate topping, but apparently is not a big fan on the brioche style dough used for the donuts.
Me...the one without a sweet tooth, really enjoyed the Orange - Olive Oil donut. It was totally an "grown up" flavored treat....not too sweet.
Just something to keep us until breakfast.....
Blue Star Donuts 1237 SW Washington St Portland, OR 97205
It might sound a bit strange, but we both enjoy veggies/salads for breakfast, so the "Simple Greens" was really nice....especially since it was already getting pretty hot outside.
Crisp,. nicely chilled vegetables.....very refreshing with a simple dressing.
I believed we needed something more substantial, so we went with Aaron's Northwest Migas.
Sort of like a Chilaquiles meets Tex-Mex version of Migas....this was fine. The corn and the green chilies made the dish. It was hearty without being too filling. Not sure if I would have this again....for us, it seems that TnA does veggies the best, but it was quite filling as we'd end up walking a lot more (duh) than I'd anticipated.
Tasty n Alder 580 SW 12th Ave Portland, OR 97205
After breakfast....we were off on a chocolate hunt for the Missus....stay tuned!
Once again, mmm-yoso!!! is here with another post. Kirk is having more technical difficulties today than he had yesterday; Ed (from Yuma) is enjoying being retired and isn't glued to his computer; Cathy is in front of her computer sharing a meal she enjoyed in the recent past.
A few weeks ago The Mister and I were in Mira Mesa, planning on going to that location of Seafood City and planning to eat before shopping, as we usually do, similar to the food court of the South Bay Seafood City location. But the parking lot was pretty full and we pulled up on the far West end and noticed this storefront. You know we had to stop and check it out. I vaguely recalled posts by cc, Kirbie and Mary from earlier this year...thinking this was a 'dessert only' place. But there are menus on the door and on the wall as you walk to the back to order. The Mister noticed a 'Ramen' page and I noticed 'Appetizers'. We walked in.The eclectic decor is interesting in that there are so many choices of 'eating areas' and levels of comfort. I'm glad I could take these photos, because almost all the tables filled up within about 15 minutes.Duck ramen with tonkatsu broth ($9.99) with the basic toppings (soft boiled egg, seaweed, scallions, sesame seeds and bean sprouts). This was very good in flavor and size (enough to share). The broth was rich, porky and not very salty. The noodles had a 'bite' and were not mushy. The duck leg was standard. The vegetarian pot stickers ($3.99) were also standard. Fresh fried and crispy with a good amount of filling. Quite large for pot stickers.
The Kani-Cheese Croquette ($2.99) is basically potatoes mashed with cream cheese, formed into a patty and rolled in bread crumbs then deep fried. Topping is kewpie and teriyaki. Again, freshly made but pretty standard. Nice sides to munch on while waiting for my turn with the ramen bowl.
Looking at the menu, I remembered the desserts I had seen online.Shubuya honey toast...presented with a theme. We decided on "London".Based on the photos from other bloggers and the menu, there was a small disaster during the assembly, but all the ingredients are there. The (very) large piece of honey toast was hollowed out and cubed, the cubes toasted and most placed back inside the outer large cube of (also) toasted bread. Ice cream, bananas, caramel sauce, toffee and a side of custard sauce. A really nice, and fun dessert.
T-Pop Desserts and More 8945 Mira Mesa Boulevard San Diego 92126 (858) 566-6494 Website open Sun-Th 11-10, Fir-Sat 11-11
Today's short post is written by Cathy. It's just too hot to think much about food today. The mmm-yoyo!!! men, Kirk and Ed (from Yuma) will write about food when they are ready.
Another hot and humid day in San Diego and not much can keep you cool or relaxed. Unless, maybe you can find gelato! ('gelato' means 'frozen' in Italian)
EscoGelato has been in this small storefront for about three years now, serving up coffee, soup, salad, panini and gelato (as well as a few sorbet flavors), seven days a week. The husband and wife owners are proud to use the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. This is the view if you are walking South from Grand Avenue, where many nice restaurants are located. You'll probably notice the ice cream cone logo before you notice any signage. Here is a link to cc's 2013 post, which shows a front view of the store.That is the entire menu. Because we had finished lunch elsewhere, we were only here 'for dessert'. I will write a post about the panini, soup and salads later.
What is gelato? Milk, cream and sugar, along with some fruits and/or nuts and/or other ingredients for flavors. Placed into a special machine which cooks, slow churns and then chills. The product is extruded from the machine into a pan and flash frozen. Gelato has less fat than regular ice cream, but it is higher in density than ice cream, so it's very creamy. All the flavors are made fresh daily at EscoGelato.The final product looks like this. Many traditional and some interesting, imaginative flavors. As I mentioned: locally sourced, highest quality, made fresh daily.Small ($3.50). Brown Butter Pecan gelato and Apricot Goat Cheese gelato. We asked for a sample first and each of these were refreshing. You can taste each flavor, and what great flavors these were! The buttery creamy gelato, crunchy pecans...fresh apricots and, yes, goat cheese, were wonderfully complimentary and great tasting.Salted caramel gelato used for an affogato ($4.75) ( Affogato is Italian for 'drowned'). Because I know the coffee here comes from locally owned Zumbar and I had a craving for a good cup of coffee, the shot of espresso with this salted caramel gelato was a perfect combination of flavors. It looks like a small amount of coffee, but because it is so strong, using it sparingly (more like a sauce) was just the perfect amount of espresso with this rather large amount of gelato.
I hope everyone is staying cool!
EscoGelato 122 S. Kalmia Escondido 92025 (between West Grand and 2nd Ave) (760) 745-6500Website Open Mon-Fri 8-9, Sat-Sun 10-9
mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. It is just too darn hot for Kirk, Ed (from Yuma) and Cathy to eat much or to write about much. Here's a short post about a local place that's been in operation for about two years.
In the far corner from Phuong Trang, which Kirk and I have written about numerous times, and also sharing the same parking lot with Big Joy Family Bakery (which I've also written about more than once) is a tiny store front...which I thought was maybe a water store that also sold bagged ice. In addition, cc had written about Ice Blast after other bloggers had after it opened and I took it for granted I would be writing a post, yet never got around to it. Until today. It's 5 p.m. and 99 degrees outside. I can't think of any sort of meal at this point. Fortunately, The Mister and I are always adventurous and unafraid to walk into places...or at least peek inside windows. Let me just say that if you are eating by (or ordering just for) yourself, the "tiny" size is more than enough. The outlines drawn on the glass are accurate.
The instructions on the glass and on the wall are there to help you...Alternately, there are flavor combination suggestions on the wall near the register and in the menu booklet. Order, pay, have a seat.Really, I do have too many photos of our orders here, but don't want to bore you. That's Jimmy, the owner, in the photo above. He is patient, professional and very nice. He makes the syrup flavors used here. Tigers Blood (a combination of strawberry and coconut) is a favorite, but really none of the flavors is automatically dismissed by me when we stop here, I take a while to decide what I want to try that day. Above, a small ($3.15) Sourbomb (Lime, Lemon and Pink Lemonade, no toppings). Just a great combination of the more sour flavors offered.
You can have the ices topped with sour spray, sour plum powder (ling hing mui), condensed milk or Hawaiian salt, for free. We've tried all and each has its place, depending on the flavors you choose. The most recent visit had us trying the 'exotic' (to us) combination of cherry, banana and guava. In addition, we paid 75¢ more for a scoop of coconut-pineapple ice cream (and yes, it's Thrifty brand; my favorite-extra creamy, old fashioned ice cream).
Another locally owned, really great place.
Ice Blast 4206 Convoy Street 92111 (858) 430-6104 open Mon-Wed noon-9, Thur-Sun noon-10
Thanks for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! Cathy is writing today; Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are busily researching places and food items.
Some days, I just want a simple meal-sandwich or salad, maybe a coffee. Ending up at Panera, Subway or Starbucks makes for a dull post. I've taken photos of every food item consumed for almost a decade, those don't necessarily show up on the blog but this time, simple foods from a locally owned place are worth sharing.Just a few weeks ago, while driving along 163 South, we noticed this signage over what had been a Starbucks, turned briefly into Pizza Studio (another one of those 'customizable' pizza places) (which, after six months, had a 'Closed for Remodeling' sign on the window). (I did write a post about Pizza Studio, but it was very negative and proven by the sudden closure so it was deleted). Lil' Farmers Cafe is in the same parking lot as Mitsuwa Marketplace,Chopstix Too and (soon to be open) Nishiki.The ubiquitous, hipster, reclaimed wood wall was already there......as was the walk along refrigerated glassed in area.The simple menu (nothing is priced over $5.99 except for the 'to go' organic beverage packs which serve 12) is pretty much all customizable.You can choose your bread and toppings for a sandwich......as well as salad ingredients if you want something added or not included in the menu selections.The beverage selection is interesting (as is the pricing variance between 12, 16 and 20 ounces) and I really like the organic coffee. The concept of a Bacon and Bean salad ($5.49) is interesting. For the first order, I wanted my personalization to be the lettuce choice and the salad dressing (Oil and vinegar, which was mixed thoroughly and in a perfect proportion). Lettuce, bacon, garbanzo and kidney beans, fresh tomatoes and Parmesan. This was very large, very fresh and just right (I am always afraid when the lettuce is already mixed in with dressing, but the technique used here is correct, with no excess 'pooling' at the bottom of the bowl). The Mister ordered a Farmer Panini ($5.49) Roast beef, cream cheese, tomato, onion and (our addition) sprouts. Panini'd and on sourdough, this was a really good sandwich. We ended up speaking with the manager, a very nice lady, who told us the owner is a former San Diego Socker. We've seen him in the restaurant the times we have visited; he is keeping an eye on things and looking for feedback and ways to improve the menu.Another visit had me craving a simple salad. Farmer Greens ($4.49), a nice mix of arugula, spinach, red pepper and roasted tomatoes (I chose sesame dressing) is very good (roasted tomatoes would be a great salad add-on in the future; such great flavor) and hit the spot. The Mister had another menu item in mind, the pesto-chicken flatbread ($5.99). The flatbread (a whole grain dough; very nice) is first warmed, then the items placed on top, then it's all placed back into the small oven for about one minute to melt the cheese and warm the chicken and the flatbread gets a bit crispier. Pesto, chicken, Mozzarella and shaved Parmesan are the only ingredients and truly is all that are needed needed. Again, the flavors are just right.You may or may not have noticed a small area at the bottom of the small menu. Ice cream. 99¢ a scoop ice cream. Only chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors (which can be made into a shake). Excellent, extra creamy, 'old fashioned' (to my tastebuds) ice cream. It reminds me of the 10¢ squared/not round scoops of wonderful ice cream from Thrifty's. The bottom of the menu 'flatbread' choice is a sweet version ($4.99). Again, the bread is first warmed, then spread with Nutella and sliced banana, folded over itself, warmed a bit more (the bread is almost toasty) and topped with caramel and chocolate sauce. This was good, if not a bit too sweet (I think a dollop of fatty whipped cream might cut the sweetness, but really have no complaints).
Each visit we've shared a cup of the organic coffee, which is very good. There are no claims made about other organic items here; the freshness on each visit has been remarkable. It's nice to have a local place to enjoy a good, simple meal.
Lil' Farmers Cafe 4240 Kearny Mesa Road San Diego 92111 (between Ross and Trex, just across from the In-n-Out) (858) 430-6554Website Open Mon-Fri 8-6, Sat 10-6
I was really craving a Lahmacun and Sultan had always made a pretty good one. It is in fact, better than many that we've had in Turkey. It's a tribute to the food Sultan makes that inspired us to travel to Turkey. Still, the location always seems to be a hassle. And for some strange reason, I'm worried that someday the place may jump the shark. I hope not....... Yet, I shouldn't worry, especially when I get antepezme (acili ezme) as super spicy as this.
Whoa, this was much more spicy than I recalled. I'm wondering if it's me, or if they've really turned up the heat on this. Still, it was wonderful with the lavas.
Of course I had come here for the lahmacun.
The Missus was working so I sent Her a photo and a caption; "as good as ever". Yeasty, savory, and so satisfying. The spices were right on; adding a nice complex component to this $4 bread topped with spiced meat.
As I was finishing up, I felt a hand on my shoulder and another hand placed a plate with a baklava in front of me. It was the owner; one of the nicest folks....... He had a seat and we chatted for a while....first things first you know; the inquiry about how our families are doing. Then about how business was....I was a bit worried since it was 530 on a Friday and the place was empty. He smiled and said, "it is great....right now because it is Ramadan there is a line outside the restaurant at 8 every night". The baklava was fresh, still warm, crisp, light, and satisfying. Much like my visit.
I gotta drop by more often.
Sultan Baklava Mediterranean Cuisine 770 4th Ave San Diego, CA
Thank you for (once again or first time) stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! a blog about food. Since Kirk is vacationing, Ed (from Yuma) decided to also take some time out for a road trip and Cathy is staycationing in San Diego, walking around malls for today's post.
It really has been years since Either The Mister and I have ventured into a Shopping mall. This year, we decided to make our daily walks a bit more interesting and that's worked out.
We went back to Westfield UTC with the intention of stopping here for a respite. This rather large kiosk is in between the Banana Republic and Anthologie stores (and on the way to the parking garage-which was the only reason we noticed it). It opens at 7 a.m. Mon-Fri and at 8 on Saturday, 9 on Sunday...before the mall opens.
You order and pay at one window, find a seat and your order will be called when it's ready.Peeking inside, you can see the crêpe machine and to the right is the espresso machine. That's all that is on the menu here...coffees and crêpes.Calabria Coffee is what's used, and it is excellent and artfully prepared. [That's a small latte above ($3.50)]Since it was early, we decided to share a breakfast crêpe ($5.25). The description is simple 'ham, egg and cheese'...so I assumed the egg would be scrambled, cheese melted in and sliced deli ham would be laid on top and the crêpe would surround it, like a burrito...but no!
Notice the edge of the egg over the edge yet baked within the thin pancake-like crêpe. The ham was *really* good- a smoked ham, cut in chunks, not slices. The cheese added a good tangy flavor with gooey melty component. Far more than I expected at a mall kiosk. Wonderful food here.
Elixir Espresso Bar La Jolla Village Drive 92037 (858) Open daily 9-8 website
The weather started getting warmer a few days later, and we decided to go walking at an enclosed (air conditioned) mall. Westfield North County mall it was!Traveling down the third set of escalators, I noticed this large open eating area from above and was surprised at its name when we stopped to look. Elixir Espresso AND Wine Bar...The menu board was similar, yet had additional food items, and in the seating area, the clipboard menu was most interesting...Sandwiches, bakery items, gelato and wine, all out in the open part of the mall. Crazy. We had to.First, we ordered a Viennese crêpe ($4.75) Simple, filled with honey and cinnamon (and served on an appropriately sized and shaped plate, although I thought the hot dog liner paper was a good way to serve the outdoor crêpe at the outdoor kiosk). This was a nice way to enjoy a sweet crêpe.
The clipboard menu had a 'Flatbread' section on it...and the Pears, Bleu Cheese and Coastal Cheddar ($10.75) sounded nice.
Wow. Thinly sliced pears overlapped and covered this freshly made, soft yet baked to a light crunch flatbread. The toppings of the Bleu and Cheddar, melted in and melded with the bread and pear and this was wonderful. If we had ever thought to do this at home, a nice glass of wine would accompany it.
We have learned to stop and enjoy our breaks and so far, we have been really pleased.
mmm-yoso!!!, a food-centric blog with (almost) daily writings shares posts about various cuisines, new and established restaurants, pubs and other places where food can be found, as well as sometimes home cooking. Today, a short post written by Cathy about a small three-location establishment.
Not that I wrote any posts about the holidays or any New Year resolutions, but now, almost six months into 2015, I feel successful. The free "Steps" app on our mobile phones record how much The Mister and I walk each day and the goal of 10,000 steps a day has become easier and almost regular since about mid-April.
The only thing was, it started getting a bit boring, despite the almost daily weather changes. So, we've become 'those people'- Mall Walkers.Parkway Plaza is covered and air conditioned, Grossmont Plaza is also close to home, but not that interesting to us any more, so one day we drove West to Westfield University Town Center, where we haven't regularly stopped in years.
The Ice Rink and surrounding restaurant choices are new to us and so are most of the shops. (edit- the Ice Rink seating area used to be open to the rink and is now enclosed. Most of the food court restaurants and the food court seating area have been redone since we were last here).
There's also a new movie theater building that was added onto the mall.Down the steps near the entrance (or, exit) of the Arclight Cinemas is Bottega Italiana.
Kirbie visited in January.cc visited the other (Coronado) San Diego location selling Bottega Italiana gelati in November. Faye also mentioned Bottega Italiana in the middle of this post. There is an area selling coffees and San Diego made Chuao Chocolates to take home.The menu is simple, the coffee preparation area is observable, there are a few sweets for sale at the cash register. The gelato is made right here. Daily. The fresh made gelato are beautiful...and overwhelming. We've been offered samples and sometimes that makes decisions more difficult. Fortunately, two flavors can be part of a 'small' size.Also, an affogato (small size gelato ($3.80) with a shot of espresso over it (+$1)) can have two flavors within...in this case, panna cotta (vanilla flavored sweet cream; it's different than (the excellent) vanilla) and hazelnut went perfectly with the brisk shot of concentrated coffee.Another day, a small ($3.80) with Speciale (burnt cream, dark chocolate chips, caramel and sea salt: all able to be tasted in one bite) with a scoop of Opera (pistachio, hazelnut and almond nuts and flavors) was enjoyed at the patio tables out front.
Bottega Italiana is a nice place to stop and get a shareable, excellent treat.
Bottega Italiana 4445 La Jolla Village Drive Suite H-17 (just down from the movie theaters) San Diego 92122 (858)404-0799 website Mon-Th 10-9:30, Fri-Sat 10-10 Sun 10:30-9:30
mmm-yoso!!!, food blog. Kirk is in another country, Ed(from Yuma) is in another state and Cathy is here, in sunny Southern California, blogging about food.
Another overcast day here and time for a snack. I haven't posted about Up 2 Yoü for about two years, even though The Mister and I find time to stop here fairly often. The overhead has been replaced recently.The menu has stayed with almost exactly the same choices.The decor is also about the same as it was...eclectic.
As always, our order remained eerily similar yet with slight variances...This time, a fresh made crepe ($3.75) filled with egg custard ( 75¢) was a refreshing and not too sweet of a choice...However, still wanting an ice cream as well as a caffeinated product, an affogato ($3.95) with my choice of (unimaginative yet quite tasty) vanilla ice cream was our other shared item.
In the past two years, Up 2 Yoü has remained steadfast, profitable and even opened a second location near Mesa College, around the corner from K Sandwiches. (the pink square on the Up 2 You web page)
Most bloggers went here when it first opened, including Kirbie, cc and Jinxie. There are plenty of seating areas and board games you can check out. It's a nice relaxing local owned spot.
Up 2 Yoü Cafe 7770 Vickers Street (at Convoy) San Diego 92111 (619)663-6388 Website