Kung Pao Tofu and Tea Talk


August 12th – Okay, I lied. THIS is the last of the purple potato salad. This is a new bento that I purchased from Bento Crazy. I don’t know how I missed this store before, but she’s right by me in Maryland too! Many many (too many!) cute things that caused me to spend an exorbitant amount of unnecessary money. This bento is now living at my sister’s house. She started college yesterday and I thought this would be a nice and fun bento to ease her into making lunches. It comes with a nifty bag and I love the gold glittery interior. Chopsticks are from UGM (loFt, Japan).

Some homemade kung pao tofu (read: Chinese fried tofu cooked in store bought kung pao sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds), purple potato salad, raisins, and a ginger senbei cracker. Rice is sprinkled with some scallions. The tofu had gone bad before I cooked it. In fact, the outer fried skin of the tofu had some mold spots on it. But, I took my dad’s advice and just cut around the molded parts and cooked it anyways. I don’t know if this was part of the equation, or if I just don’t like big triangles of refrigerated fried tofu, but the texture was off.
Continue reading

Mini Turkey Sammies, Purple Potato Salad


August 7th – This was the last of the purple potato salad, besides of course, the amount that I ate straight out of the container when I got home. My boyfriend made the cute potato roll turkey sandwiches in the top box. Potato salad is joined with pretzels and honeydew mochi in the bottom. This is a very “potatoey” lunch I just realized.

Buzz Bakery

Buzz Bakery: August!

This is an update on my previous post about Buzz Bakery. We’ll leave the scores all the same, but I’ll share my experience, which I have mixed feelings about.

I returned back to Buzz Bakery August 15th to try their much-famed flavor-of-the month cupcake: Bacon. The bacon cupcake consists of a chocolate cake topped with peanut butter mousse and sprinkled with crisped pieces of thick-cut applewood smoked bacon. Sounds all fine and dandy right? Wrong! This cupcake, touted as the cashier’s “second-fave” really leads me to wonder the staff’s tastebuds! (re: previous visit & toffee cupcake)

The cake itself just tasted wrong wrong wrong — lighter-fluid-doused kinda wrong. Paired with the frosting that tasted like the chipped gravy poured over biscuits in dining halls, I was turned off. After several bites of disbelief, trying to *force* myself to like this cupcake after all the media it’s received, the rest of the ‘cake went uneaten. Shame on you buzz, shame.

The trip was redeemed by some awesome Candyland and a glass of fresh, thirst-quenching lemonade. And I know it’s fresh because the same guy that sold me the disgusting lard-cake fresh-squeezed it and mixed it in front of me! Mmm Mmm!

Co Co. Sala

August 9th, 2009

Because a friend and I both purchased $50 for $25 coupons for co co. sala we decided to try their brunch and dinner. I will re-review/re-post ratings with the upcoming dinner, taking into account this brunch and the past two dinners that I have had there. I can’t believe that by the end of this, I will have gone to co co. sala four times! It’s really not that great of food, but it’s the novelty of going to a chocolate lounge. I met one of the managers/co-owner (?) at the “Best of Washingtonian” party about a month ago and told him that I did not enjoy my last experience there. He gave me a card and invited me back, but I was still hesitant. But then I saw the coupon deal and figured that I would get them another try (at half price). I took my friend there for her first time since she loves Brunch and I informed co co. sala ahead for time that I would be re-visiting for a special occasion.

My friend was running a little late, so I waited for her at the bar. The manager told me they were launching a new “bubbly” menu today and encouraged me to try one. I was torn between the ginger liquer (canton) and the chocolate/coconut/roobis tea one. In the end, I didn’t choose the canton one because it seemed a bit heavy for 11:30 in the morning. Once past the slight acidity of the champagne, the real subtle notes of chocolate and coconut were quite pleasant. I also liked the chocolate swirl accent that traveled through the glass with the level of liquid.

We were seated in the “back room”, and it was beautiful. Nice wooden tables with either stubby chairs on one end or cushy red crushed velvet booths on the other. Gold curtains separate most tables on at least one side, which leads an air of privacy that you wouldn’t expect in a lounge. The menus are also printed on beautiful iridescent paper and are substantial and of good quality.

Our server, Melissa, was attentive and friendly and had no qualms about sharing her likes and dislikes on the menu. We both ordered the prix fixe menu and shared each dish with each other. The amuse chocolat reminded me of a chocolate donut with a caramel sauce that had some hints of orange juice. Inside the fritter was a warm mini-volcano of chocolate. My friend ordered a frosted salted caramel co co since it was so hot outside, and it really hit the spot. It was the perfect richness and balance between salty and sweet.

The hotcake obsession was delightfully light and citrus-y, the perfect brunch fare. The pancakes were thinner and thicker and consistency than most household pancakes and had a texture similar to crepes. The lemon thyme butter with just a bit of the berry compote made this dish delicious.The S’Mores, which our server had warned was her least favorite dish, was alright. It was all just a little too much for a brunch meal. The french toast had a hole carved out of it which was oozing dark chocolate and had been stuffed with house-made marshmallows. Some bites of it had the texture of bread pudding because it had absorbed the marshmallow and chocolate, but at times it was too rich for even me. The milk chocolate mousse cracker and banana compote were separate from the french toast. I could have done without the milk chocolate mousse and wished the banana was served on the french toast because it was a bit awkward to keep going back and forth between the two.

By the time the last course came, we were completely stuffed. But, we had to make room for the delicious desserts! We each received a two choices of four desserts, so naturally we got all four so we could try them all! They were each all the perfect size and very rich. From left to right below: Pistachio panna cotta, raspberry/dark chocolate tart, triple chocolate mousse, and chocolate peanut butter “cup”. I liked the light flavor of the pistachio, but the peanut butter dessert was too rich. The triple mousse was alright, but the three different flavors weren’t distinct. The raspberry chocolate tart was the worst because it was plain and the pastry itself seemed store-bought. That, and I don’t care for hairy berries~.

co co. sala has an interesting and unique idea for brunch, and for $22 its a real deal. It might be just a tad too decadent for my taste, so I’ll reserve it for special occasions like an afternoon tea at the Ritz.


WEIL by Nature’s Path Chia Razz Bar


Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Chia Razz BarIf you really like raspberry, you’re going to love this bar. Unfortunately, I don’t. Truthfully, the only reason I purchased this bar was because it has chia in it and I wanted to try chia!

The first few bites of this bar were sticky and sweet, but I became accustomed to it and quickly finished it off as breakfast.

This one is the healthiest (?) so far with 180 calories, 3 grams of fat (0.5 of which are saturated), but 28 sugar.

Again, the first ingredient is not one from the namesake of the bar: dates. In fact, raspberry, cashew, and chia appear fifth, third, and sixth (respectively) in the list. I’m also not too sure how I feel about the ingredient “organic flavor” . All proceeds from this bar go to the Weil Foundation, so I guess that’s a redeeming factor.