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Archive for the ‘Yummy’ Category

Phở

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It had been a while since visiting one of the local Vietnamese places in town, the Rau Ram Café, down a side street, a few meters from the Marapara Golf and Country Club in Bacolod City. Ever since the first visit, always ordered a big bowl of phở, a traditional beef noodle soup.

Arriving at the table, the steaming bowl comes with a plate full of fresh herbs, including basil, cilantro, and sawtooth coriander; along with hot sauce and hoisin sauce, in order to customize each individual bowl.

With ever bowl prepared, tore up various herbs and threw them in before adding in the soup. Once the hot broth makes contact with the leaves, the aromatics consume the table and before taking one bite of the soup, the impression the smells leave is already remarkable.

Even though this place does not serve it with the traditional thin slices of beef that cook quickly in the hot soup, instead its small cubes of beef, the dish is still delicious.

Encountering a sweet monster in Hong Kong

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Wandering Mong Kok, meandering through the market stands just opening up for business, walking in and out of the endless shoe stores, and perusing menus of all the restaurants lining the shopping avenues in the area, attention was grabbed immediately while passing a shop covered in cartoon monsters. Took a closer look and it was a soft-serve stand.

Amongst the bright colors and caricatures, there were a variety of toppings offered for, what appears to be, the standard delicious soft-serve ice cream.

Of course, with a soft spot for peanut butter, it was the first choice – did spend time going back and forth, but it is always good to stick with instincts.

Watched the attendant gather a healthy portion of ice cream into the cone, decorated with the shop’s monsters, followed by sprinkling on powdered peanut butter and garnishing with a pretzel, it looked exactly like the picture on the wall. There was no doubting how amazing it would be and it was exactly what was needed after hours of window-shopping.

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Peanut butter soft serve in the middle of Mong Kok, Kowloon.

Autumn Treat

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Upon visiting New Jersey, it was an immediate dash to getting shopping done to pack supplies for a box to send back to the Philippines. Visiting a warehouse store, picked up a good number of items that would be useful back home, on that last stop before the cash register, a box of cider donuts was added to the cart. Automatically, that brought back memories of apple picking with friends – a pretty remarkable tale – along with everything that makes autumn in the northeast something special.

Getting to enjoy the donut, paired with a cup of tea, it was everything one would expect. Sweet and delicious, the donut was rich, without being heavy, and coated with a light sugary powder that helped completely the experience.

Donuts can be found all over the place, in a variety of flavors, but there’s something that makes the cider donut so special. Perhaps the sentimental value of the season, the warm memories they seem to bring out in people, or just the plain great taste of them that usually isn’t imitated at any other time of the year. Definitely something unique to the northeast and something residents are very lucky to enjoy during that time of the year.

Cider Donut

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 23, 2016 at 10:32 AM

The Fitz

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Wandering somewhere in between where Midtown ends and Lenox Hill begins, as usual, it was a time for scoping out a place for lunch. Had the phone out to geolocate myself and walked passed multitudes of markers showing spots for a meal. Walked by PJ Clarke’s, been there a couple times, and it seemed like the peak of lunch rush – barely able to step inside. Immediately, left and the journey continued. Stumbled across the menu for The Fitz restaurant, housed within The Fitzpatrick Hotel, and they offered an overall decent-looking menu, was a couple blocks over and decided to give it a try.

Walked in (by this time, peak lunch was probably over) and the main seating area was filled with people having tea and coffee. Continued walking towards the back and found a full bar, equipped with bar counter seating along with high-top tables along the other side of the room. Took a seat at the bar and admired the beautifully designed bar area; dark wood, modern-looking taps, with lit-up bottles along the back wall.

By that time, after the search for lunch, needed some kind of burger or sandwich and zeroed in on the New York Steak Sandwich. Upon arrival, the sandwich was one on the beautiful side, a generous size, with plenty of steak making its appearance upon first glance. That first bite, it was on the chewier side, but nonetheless delicious; the combination of a firm steak with hearty bread made it one you had to take a good bite out of. Definitely a satisfying lunch and the steak fries that were paired with the sandwich; hot, fresh, and everything one loves about french fries.

The Fitz

Would probably consider this place for a Happy Hour.

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 13, 2016 at 7:34 AM

More Than a Double Scoop

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A first visit to Myrtle Beach, hit up a few spots for shopping on one of the days and found attractions at Broadway at the Beach. Usually a sucker for ice cream, especially when it was getting a bit warm from all the walking, happened upon a location of The Fudgery. Like many fudge shops, you’re welcomed by the scent of sugary goodness of the varieties of fudge made on-site. Having been, pretty much, on a hangover from enjoying fudge between the Carolinas, the focus was on the ice cream.

Peanut butter fudge ice cream – absolutely.

Ordered a double scoop in a waffle cone and the friendly server was happy to oblige. Expecting a double scoop, the server hands over a giant cone that, clearly, includes more than two scoops – it was overwhelming. She explained their location happened to be changing suppliers and since the peanut butter fudge was pretty much at the bottom of the tub, she just emptied it out… into the cone. She said, “It may look weird,” yes, it looked weird, but even more delicious.

She caught me taking a photo of it, she says, “Yes, I did that. You can say I did that!”

The Fudgery has retail locations in 15 states.

The Fudgery has retail locations in 15 states.

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 21, 2015 at 6:59 PM

Zagat Liked it on Instagram

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On a walk back through Park Slope after enjoying lunch, felt the need for some dessert, but wasn’t sure where to go. Was pretty sure there was a bakery down one of the streets along the way back, it was just a matter of picking the right one. Crisscrossed a couple blocks and found myself along 8th Avenue, the correct street and found Ladybird Bakery – have visited a few times before, just wasn’t 100% sure of the location.

Step inside and there is a small seating area, next to an expansive display case, that greets you. Cookies, cakes, and cupcakes bombard your vision and it usually takes a couple views before deciding what would suit you for the day – there have been visits where a cake looked like a viable option. After a few walks back-and-forth before the glass display, saw these large carrot cake bars – thick-cut slabs of carrot cake, with a healthy layer of icing topping it off.

Brought it home and took a bite, the cake is moist with nuts that add a much-needed crunchy texture, then that icing – the icing melds everything together – one of those icings you could eat with a spoon.

A picture of the Carrot Cake Bar was added to Instagram (@pau_loreto) and, yes, it earned a “Like” from Zagat.

A picture of the Carrot Cake Bar was added to Instagram (@pau_loreto) and, yes, it earned a “Like” from Zagat.

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 17, 2015 at 6:11 AM

Chinatown

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One of the best things about New York City’s Chinatown is the availability of delicious and cheap eats at every corner. While it seems more and more shops offering trendy Asian-inspired treats are popping up throughout the city, selling everything from bubble tea to specialty dumplings, it’s still a different experience wandering the winding streets of lower Manhattan to find meals that can be both unique and classic.

On this particular day, stopped into one of those spots that seems to carry a similar menu as any other place in Chinatown, but still will whip up a delicious plate of whatever is ordered. Can’t really go wrong with char siu and rice, really, anything “on rice” is really good, but that roast pork that nearly every Chinese restaurant has hanging in their windows – can probably eat that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and probably have at some point).

Since the char siu already prepared, just waiting to be sliced, it comes very quick to the table, the rice is hot, the vegetables are getting to a nice temperature sitting between the rice and the sliced pork, and the pork is, as always, amazing – the delicious sweet glaze tops everything off.

Chinatown

While it may be nothing out of the ordinary, sometimes sitting down to one of those “on rice” meals is what hits the spot, and you’re usually only paying $4 or $6 for a hearty plate of food.

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 13, 2015 at 4:57 AM