mmm-yoso!!! is this food blog. Kirk is, right now, taking a well-deserved break. Ed (from Yuma) is having some connectivity problems. Cathy is awake and writing about another of her adventures with food.
I first discovered the concept of tea houses and boba in 2007 and subsequently wrote about some of the food choices enjoyed from Tapioca Express, as well as other places. Yes, they seem to be beverage oriented, and I get beverage overwhelmed.
This is the menu board at Tapioca Express. The first FIVE columns are beverage choices, the last two columns are food choices, where I zone in. (My beverage choice is always the 'Coffee Milk Tea' ($2.98), either hot or cold, no boba, no added sweetener). Our shared meal this day consisted of a boiled pork dumpling plate ($4.98) which comes with steamed broccoli and a vinegar-soy dipping sauce. Fried shrimp rolls ($3.98) with a mild level of spice. These are pleasant, with a good crunch.The calamari (always rings)($4.28) are quite meaty, a good choice with an added bonus of fried basil, which i really like. When I thought we were finished eating, The Mister walked back into line and ordered the Chinese donuts ($4.28) which came out piping hot. These are a fried bread dough, not a typical donut batter, and served with both whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk. A delightful end to another light meal.
Tapioca Express 4646 Convoy San Diego 92111 (858) 636-7889 Open Sun-Thurs 11:00-midnight, Fri-Sat 11:00-1 a.m. Website There are three stand alone San Diego locations as well as a few food court locations.
I saw this interesting little diner as we got off the train.
Spam Musubi....malasadas....loco moco...hmmm.... But of course the Missus was having none of that. Plus, I was still stuffed from breakfast.
We strolled on over to Hase-dera which was already starting to get pretty crowded on this fall morning.
The temple is built on the slope of a mountain. So while folks were headed to the Kannon Museum to view the statue of Kannon.
We decided to head up the "Prospect Road".
Which was still quite peaceful on this morning.
Which ended with a wonderful view of Kamakura and Sagami Bay.
We just meandered around the temple grounds.
Coming across the Benten-kutsu Cave.
Which contains bas-reliefs of Benzaiten and other Buddhist Gods.
There's something about the temples in Kamakura that just puts me at ease. I'm able to relax and mentally regroup and feel that yes, I am away from work.
The air seemed so fresh and clean that we decided to walk back to the Kamakura Station area. We walked along the large, but relatively quiet street, stopping along the way to buy some wagashi and also to just take it all in.
Reaching the relatively busy shopping street heading back to Kamakura Station we stopped for a coffee in a random Café.
And the Missus had Her kimishigure.
Feeling energized the Missus decided that instead of catching the train to the next stop up from Kamakura Station and get off at Kita-Kamakura; we would just walk.
Engaku-ji is right next to Kita-Kamakura Station and right behind Kencho-ji is ranked second among Kamakura's five great Zen temples.
The Butsuden displays a wooden statue of Shaka Buddha.
The Shariden displays what is supposed to be a tooth of Buddha.
This Juniper Tree is named Biyakushin and is said to have been planted by the founder of Engaku-ji, making it over 700 years old.
It's great fun wondering around the grounds of this good sized complex.
Up this hill resides the Ogane, the "Grand Bell", which of course has a story.....
And the Bentendo......
Fairly close by is Meigetsu-in. Meigetsu mean "bright moon", so you'll see representation of rabbits, (remember the Japanese children's story Tsuki no Usagi?) on the grounds. We found this one, right near the entrance to be quite charming.
The area is rather small, but hosts some important items. Kamakura was not well known for having a good fresh water supply. Therefore, any good drinkable water supply was considered a blessing. Kam--no-I is one of the ten wells of Kamakura.
There's a cave here as well; known as the Meigetsu-in Yagura. Yagura are human made caves that were used as tombs.
It is said that this is the tomb of Uesugi Norikata who is said to have founded this temple.
Along one of the walls were little "squirrel houses". There actually were squirrels scampering from house to house to grab a bite.
Speaking of grabbing a bite. Many of these temples have tea houses....which seemed kind of touristy to us. But we needed a short break so we thought why not.
This turned out to be a nice break for us.....
A nice bit of tea......a not so sweet confection.
And all on the grounds of a lovely temple in Kamakura.....
I'm sure that not having too many folks visiting when we were added to the "atmosphere". But things surely seemed serene to us....and that's what really mattered, right?
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.
Our first night in Paris was rather low-keyed. We got a great night's sleep and the Missus was ready to go in the morning. The skies were overcast and hazy, but that didn't stop folks from enjoying the Eiffel Tower....like these Nuns, with smartphones and iPads, taking selfies even!
We had an outline of what the Missus wanted to do on this day and crossed the Seine on Pont d'lena.
I guess they decided not to turn on the fountains in Jardins du Trocadero because of the rather dreary weather on this morning.
From the Palais de Chaillot, the Missus decided She watned to wander Avenue d'Eylau and Rue de Longchamps to Avenue Victor Hugo where we stopped for some espresso and shared a croissant. Up Victot Hugo, we then crossed the super crazy roundabout and headed up Avenue Raymond Poincare to one of the richest and most prestigious streets in Paris; Avenue Foch. Finally stopping at the Arc de Triomphe.
This iconic to celebrate and symbolize France's victories and those who fought for and died for the country in a very Roman way. Take a look at the sculpture of Napoleon being crowned by the Goddess of Victory.
And while Napoleon died long before the completion of the Arc, his remains were passed through the Arc on its return from Saint Helena, on its way to Invalidies.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I was buried here on Armistice Day in 1920.
We decided to take the stairs, all 284 of them to the top.
The stairs weren't too bad, but somewhat dizzying.
The view from the top, even on a overcast, foggy day was still stunning.
And we'd be crossing over to Avenue des Champs-Élysées upon leaving.
There were a few "musts" on the Missus's list for being in Paris for the first time; one of them was a walk down Champs-Élysées. It was a pleasant walk, but really didn't have any of the type of shopping for the Missus's taste. There were some interesting things though, like why no "Golden Arches" for what is considered the "the largest McDonald's Restaurant in the world"?
Apparently, there's some strict sign codes on the Champs-Élysées and if Mickey D's, or "MacDo" as they call them here, wanted to operate on the Avenue. By the way, did you know that the second largest market for McDonalds is France? WTH..... But, according to this posting in NPR, there may be some really good reasons why.
The one must stop for the missus was the Flagship store of Laduree, established in 1862, one of the two "King of Macarons" in France; the other being Pierre Herme, whose namesake used to work for Laduree.
Man, this place was quite....well fancy schmancy.....the boutique and even the counter.
We decided to head to the back area; the "Bar Laduree", which has a bit of a strange underwater theme. Had me humming "Octopus's Garden" by the Beatles.
It seemed to be just the right place to take a break and the Missus's sweet tooth was telling Her it needed to be tended to.
I started with a café noir. I love the way that these lovely shops always provide a little piece of chocolate with your coffee.....or rather, the Missus loves collecting these little tidbits.
Not being big on sweets, it was the Missus ordering all the way. A couple of macarons, which we ended up taking with us. And something from the dessert menu called the Ispahan, which are rosewater macarons sandwiching raspberries and lychee. Not cheap at 12,5€, but it was something that even I enjoyed.
Note overly sweet, with a nice balance of tartness. This was quite fragrant and very elegant as I felt like a complete barbarian trying to eat this.
The Missus loved it and She also enjoyed Her macarons which we ended up taking to go.
The service was very professional, the vibe relaxed. It was a nice little stop on our walk down the Champs-Élysées.
Ladurée 75 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
Yep, so there I was....sipping a café noir, munching on a frou-frou dessert, in a underwater themed bar on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Who'd have thunk? My day dreams ended quite quickly when the Missus nudged me and said, "ok, enough of this....let's go spend some money." A phrase that sends shudders across my wallet.....
Thanks for reading!
For other thoughts on Laduree, please check out Kirbie's posts, here and here.
mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog with some 'regular' people who post. Today, Cathy is posting while Kirk is working and Ed(from Yuma) is out and about (in Yuma).
I saw an advertisement that Tip Top Meats (whichI've postedaboutmany times) was going to serve Thanksgiving dinner for $12.95 beginning at 1:30 that day. Trying to keep with our now non-tradition of going out for our Thanksgiving meal, The Mister and I planned our day around this time, but so did many other people; the line was to the door when we walked in. We turned around and did something non-traditional ( same as Kirk's Thanksgiving Day). A few weeks later, we drove North to Tip Top for breakfast. The breakfast menu is to the left as you approach the cash register, where you order and pay (food is brought to your table; you get your own beverage and water). The Mister chose the 'Big John' breakfast($7.98). Three eggs, potatoes, toast (rye) and -all you can eat- meat. Bacon is a choice, but because some people have been overly greedy in the past, now you can only have a single order/it's not all you can eat. Because we like but don't go crazy over bacon, the breakfast sausage and ham were part of the first order, with a return trip requesting the Polish sausage (bratwurst is also a meat choice). The sausages are made here; the breakfast sausages are large and have a hint of spicy red pepper as part of the ingredients. The thick slice of ham is quite wonderful and the Polish sausage is garlicky, peppery and smoked. All in all a great tasting meal. My 'Continental Breakfast' ($8.99) consisted of two thicker slices of cheese along with two quite large, crusty fresh fluffy rolls and two slices each of liverwurst, an in-store deli meat made in aspic with ham, mustard seeds and peppercorns (it's not head cheese, but a milder flavored, pleasant deli meat), two types of salamis and two thin slices of a wonderful Black Forest ham. This was a perfect breakfast for me. Walking through the store, we checked out the refrigerated section, countertops filled with fresh breads and pastries and the freezer area. Then, there were shelves just past the cash registers where you pay for the store purchases. That rack is for the Tip Top brand baked items. Mincemeat- made with beef suet-realmincemeat!The fresh, buttery and flaky pastry filled with the mixture of apples, raisins, currants, lemon and orange peel, sherry wine, brandy, citrons, spices and beef suet just tastes like Winter. Only made until December 31, it's a favorite holiday treat.
Tip Top Meats and European Delicatessen 6118 Paseo Del Norte Carlsbad, CA 92009 Website open daily 6 am-8 pm
Thanks for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! We (Kirk, Ed(from Yuma) and Cathy) try to keep things interesting, with musings about meals enjoyed in San Diego and elsewhere in the USA and world. Today is a quick post about a worldwide chain that has one location in San Diego.
mmm-yoso!!! is what you are reading; a food blog. Usually there is a daily blogpost about food or food related events written by either Kirk, Ed(from Yuma) or Cathy. Since the guys are out and about (elsewhere in the world and the USA), Cathy is writing a short post.
More than three years ago, I wrote a post about a small Filipino market located South of Chula Vista. That location closed and the new location is closer to home, for me.
Walking in the doorway to your right, bakery items are on shelves to the right. Steam trays are straight ahead and everything is always fresh and being refilled. This two item tray ($7 with rice, $8 with pancit)(this photo is with chicken adobo and pinakbet). Adobo anything (meats or vegetables) is a type of preparation: simmered in a sauce of vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and bay leaves. Pinakbet is primarily vegetables (almost always, bitter melon and eggplant), but sometimes (in the version here) also has pork, all of it is simmered in a fish or shrimp sauce complimented with ginger and garlic (or onion); usually shrimp paste is a condiment.
At the end of the steam tray area are fried things. Chicken skins, dilis (anchovies), bulaklak ('ruffle fat'-intestines), pig skin plus meat-chicharrones. All the fried items are $8.99/lb. I try to only buy a small bag, so none of it gets old. It comes with a vinegar-garlic dipping sauce. Ukoy, a shredded sweet potato/carrot/bean sprout fritter, topped with a whole shrimp are usually in a pan on top of the steam trays, at eye level. These are great snacks. Another item I will drop in to purchase is the garlic salted peanuts ($3.75 for the container). We both eat peanuts with skins and these are the best version of garlic peanuts we've ever had. cc likes the 'plain' peanuts from here, and other bakery items. There are also plenty of rice flour based desserts and, on weekends, skewers near the cash register.
A small seating area is just past the cash registers. That area used to be with shelving and refrigerated beverages, but last year a small pop-up stand was set up (see how it looked in cc's post here) and about three months later, it moved into the Water Store which was behind the wall, and is all built in with the bakery. Snoice is a family run dessert shop, making Filipino-inspired and Taiwanese customizable desserts. Here is a better photo of the menu These are the prices.
I've taken many photos of the traditional Halo-Halo here ($4.25+), none of those photos will come out upright. Halo-halo means 'mix-mix'. Shaved ice is placed in a cup with with evaporated milk, sweet banana (saging), sweet potato (kamote), jello (gulaman), purple yam (ube) and topped with a cube of caramel flan and 'toasted rice' (pinipig-young, flattened crisp rice (that green you see on top)). Basically, you mix all the ingredients together in the cup, so each spoonful is a combination of the flavors. The optional ice cream you see in the first photo is the mais queso- corn cheese; I have always been curious about the flavor but never wanted to buy a half gallon in the store. The 'traditional' ice cream topping is ube. (This link is what Halo-halo is NOT.)
Of course, there is indeed Snoice here-shaved snow. This is a strawberry shaved snow (excellent on its own) topped with bananas and lychee jelly (small snow, $4, toppings 50¢ each). Simple and just right.
This little corner store in San Diego has a couple of great family owned and run businesses with authentic, fresh and tasty food-of all types.
Kababayan Bakery 8423 Paradise Valley Road (at Worthington) Spring Valley 91977 (619) 267-1493 open 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m., seven days
Snoice (inside Kababayan) same address, (619)432-5735 Open 11 a.m. daily, closed at 8p.m. Mon-Thurs, 9 p.m. Fri-Sat-Sun Website
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
Thank you for stopping to read this blog, mmm-yoso!!! Kirk is still working long days. Ed (from Yuma) is also really busy with appointments and things retired folks do. Cathy only has classes to take, so there is free time for her to write about some meals.
There are two main eat-in areas ( as well as a nice outdoor space). The menu is filled with photos.
We usually try a different hot tea each visit. So far, our favorite has also been the osmanthus, a light colored, fragrant, deep flavored tea ($6.99 for this pot) I want to say the flavor is a fruity black...not that there is fruit added, just the leaves have that background flavor of peaches. The shredded pork plate ($10.25) comes with the large portion of tea flavored pork, rice and the (daily changing) three sides: one hot and two cold this time. The cabbage and green beans had a light pickled flavor and the corn had more of a tea/tannin/brisk taste. All were complimentary to the meat.
The deli plate with pork house noodle (or rice noodle) soup ($9.99) is a good choice which we can share. The soup is quite nice and not salty; good flavors from the ingredients. The 'deli plate' is quite interesting, with tea flavored bites of hard boiled egg, seaweed knot, smoky tofu and a dried preserved vegetable. Tea flavored dumplings ($8.99) are almost always a fallback choice. The tea flavoring the meat is subtle, but there. The presentation is always pretty. You can see the skins were not thin. The taiwanese tea sausage ($5.99) is also an automatic choice. It's served with slices of raw garlic, which are just so perfect with the flavorings in the sausage. The spicy fried chicken appetizer ($5.99) (light/medium spice level) is always perfectly lightly breaded and crispy fried; not greasy.
On a recent visit, we tried a pot of the chrysanthemum/Pu-ehr tea ($5.50) This photo of the filter shows you the mix of chrysanthemum flowers and tea. We really liked the more subtle fermented flavor of this tea. You can see it was darker, and Pu-Ehr is fermented; quite earthy in flavor on its own, but by being 'cut' with the chrysanthemum flowers, it was a flavorful accompaniment to our meal this time. There are three menu pages devoted to 'dessert', which is shaved ice, which you can create or order. We have asked for the menu, stared at it, then always agree we want this same item: grass jelly with sour plum ice ($5.75). I have eight photos of this dessert. No condensed milk or any other toppings. Just a light, pleasant way to end a meal, with some tea, of course.
I hope you are having a good week so far!
Tea Station 7315 Clairmont Mesa Boulevard San Diego 92111 (858) 268-8198 website
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.