Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chiffono's Bakery and Cafe - My Favorite Red Velvet Cupcake

1512 East Champlain Drive
Fresno, CA 93720
Website here.

2nd best red velvet cupcake ever was from Eddie's Bakery (in Fresno)
2nd best red velvet cupcake ever was from Sprinkles Cupcakes (various locations)
2nd best red velvet cupcake ever was from Love at First Bite (in Berkeley)

Yep. It's a 3-way tie for 2nd place.

3rd best red velvet cupcake ever was from Magnolia Bakery (in LA - also other locations like their original New York locations - They have the best vanilla cupcake I've ever had)

Why has it taken me so long to blog about my absolute favorite cupcake ever? Beats the heck outta me. I guess maybe I thought I already had posted about it. I have posted about Chiffono's before though! Anyway, this cupcake is amazing because the cake base isn't too rich, sweet, dense, chocolatey, or dry, and the frosting is the best cream cheese frosting in the world. Actually, I found a recipe for killer cream cheese frosting, but this is the best I've tasted from a store. This is my mom's favorite red velvet cupcake ever too. I remember Uncle Jerry and Auntie Joanne first introduced my family to this cupcake.

Here are more of their cupcakes. Mia LOVED their German chocolate cupcake:

Left column down to right column down (descriptions copied from the Chiffono's website):
Chocolate: chocolate fudge cupcake dipped in our own chocolate ganache
Carrot Cake: carrot cake with all your favorites like nuts and pineapple with cream cheese frosting
German Chocolate: our classic ganache cupcake with our homemade German chocolate topping
Lemon Chiffon (chiffon cupcake filled with lemon cream with white chocolate buttercream frosting)
Oreo (chocolate cupcake cooked with Oreo bits topped with Oreo fronting and crumbled Oreos)
Classic Yellow: moist yellow cupcake topped with classic vanilla frosting
--> M&M and I were very disappointed in the vanilla. Dry...not good...way-too-sweet frosting. We did not try the other flavors because they weren't all for us.

Eureka!Burger's Pulled Pork Sandwich + AWESOME Sweet Potato Fries

Eureka!Burger - Gourmet burgers & craft beer
7775 n. Palm ave #106
Fresno, CA 93711

I'm all about high-quality burgers, sandwiches, and salads, and I've started to like drinking beer with these kinds of foods too (well, maybe not with salads). A few weeks ago, the intern at my practicum site (for my grad school program) mentioned Eureka! (that exclamation point confuses me a little) being in Redlands, and since I had eaten at the Fresno location before, I figured it was a big chain, but a few days ago I found out they only have two locations, which happen to be in Fresno and Redlands. Funny. I love how they have menus designed according to the branch's location. For example, the veggie burger is called the Loma Linda in Redlands and the San Joaquin in Fresno. Both are made out of beets, which I don't really like, so I decided not to try that one--even though I was really tempted because I like veggie burgers made of good ingredients. Another example is what I ordered last time: the Fresno Fig Burger ("Homemade fig marmalade, melted goat cheese, crispy bacon, garnished with minced tomato, onion and arugula dolloped in a spicy porter mustard").

This time, I ordered a "Hickory Pulled Pork Smoked Sandwich" - "'In-house' slow roasted pulled pork shoulder, a jus, caramelized onions, and a special tangy vinegar sauce served on a homemade roll with our signature handcut fries."
-- Not a huge fan of the vinegar sauce, and the pork was too tough (soft but with tough edges), which is not such a great thing, but the flavor was still good, and THOSE FRIES ARE KILLER.

I also ordered the with "Golden Sweet Potato Fries," which are "[g]lazed with honey and cinnamon" and are the best sweet potato fries I've had. At first I wasn't so sure about eating them with honey and cinnamon because I thought they might be too sweet--especially to have with a sandwich, but they aren't overly sweet, and I love sweet-and-salty things together anyway. You can order these as a side or as a substitution for regular fries (currently, you add $1.25 to your order if you want to sub for regular fries, and you pay more if you want them as a side)

I am a sucker for words and phrases like "housemade," hand-crafted," "original," "#1," "

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Daily Grill's Trio of Hummus, Fruit Cobbler, & Mahi Fish Tacos

The Daily Grill
7855 North Palm Avenue
Fresno, CA 93711
Lunch menu here.
More of their food here and here.

Friday, 3/25/11 with Michelle and Paul

Trio of Hummus: "Sun-Dried Tomato, Kalamata Olive and Traditional Hummus, Served with
Grilled Flat Bread and Cucumbers"
-- YUMM. I'm a huge fan of hummus. I could just make a meal out of eating this appetizer. Actually, no. I'd still want more of their food. Their bread, by the way, is sourdough but only slightly sour, which is great for me because I don't like sourdough. It's also hard on the outside but soo soft and warm on the inside. I'd prefer the crust to be softer and the bread to be not sour at all, but this was still good bread.

My snack (I had already eaten lunch): "Today’s Selection of Baked Fruits with a Cinnamon
Walnut Crumble, Served A La Mode with Vanilla Ice Cream"
-- Very good but not extremely flavorful, which is good for some but not so great for others. I liked it, but it was missing moisture I think. Loved that walnut crumble though and how the apples (chunky!! = good) and blackberries were fresh. And almost anything a la mode excites me.

Michelle and Paul had the Mahi Fish Tacos: "Two Soft Corn Tortillas with Cabbage, Radishes
and Cilantro, Tossed in a Chipotle Aioli, Served with Black Beans and Spanish Rice"
-- They had it with spinach mashed potatoes instead of rice, and they were delicious. Here are Michelle's thoughts: "the fish was good and plump, but the cole slaw was overpowering" ... "the spinach creamy mashed potatoes had a nice texture and the spinach was cooked to perfection... the black beans were average but at least they weren't mushy or undercooked"

The Daily Grill's Santa Fe Chicken Wrap - Fresno, CA

The Daily Grill
7855 North Palm Avenue
Fresno, CA 93711
Lunch menu here.

Saturday, 3/19/11

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Fresno. The food is awesome, and Blake and I had our first meal together there, so I have an extra strong emotional attachment to this place. The first time we went there (this post is about our second time there) I ordered the California Turkey Melt, which is when I had the best pickle ever (note that this is coming from a pickle lovers might not like this one due to its mild flavor) and when the waitress was absolutely shocked that I didn't want fries. haha!

Anyway, here's what I ordered this time: Santa Fe Chicken Wrap: "Blackened Chicken, Corn, Black Beans, Avocado, Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers and Chipotle Aioli, Wrapped in a Whole Wheat Tortilla" - Best side of fruit ever. So fresh...three of my favorite fruits (none of that melon junk restaurants often serve...and such big slices! The wrap was very good, and I'd order it again, but I do have to say that people who like strong flavors and/or dislike healthy wraps might not like it. It was also on the dry side, but it wasn't so dry that I didn't like it. I think it'd be awesome wrapped in a homemade tortilla. :) That's become one of my latest food obsessions--homemade/restaurant-made tortillas.

Fresh-squeezed, hand-shaken lemonade (and strawberry lemonade). Both were awesome.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Lime Light

The Lime Lite
1054 West Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA 93711-3701
Website here.

Blake and I ate here on Friday, 3/18/11. Blake had a steak. Here's my delicious tilapia, which was not too fishy for me! Sooo good. And those yummy mashed potatoes! Blake's family has been eating here for many years. Great food, friendly service. Would love to go back. I know...choppy notes again. Sorry.

Teazer World Tea Market - Tower District Location

Below is the draft I started in 2009. I completely forgot that I never posted it until just now. My bad. Here's the original post (go here for pictures of their River Park location):

645 E Olive Ave
Fresno, CA 93728
Yelp ratings here

Tried on Thursday, July 2, 2009. WOW. My dad was a fan of this place, and then he introduced my brother & me to it yesterday. The tea isn't overly sweet, and there are a LOT of drink options (see picture below).

Ryan and Dad got a Dragon Well tea sweetened VERY lightly with honey. I loved how it was barely sweet. I need to learn how to make it so that my tea tastes good with honey...every time I try that, it tastes too much like honey, which I think makes it taste gross.

Teazer World Tea Market - River Park Location

Teazer World Tea Market (aka Teazer)
River Park location (pictured below): 115 Paseo Del Centro, Fresno, CA 93720
Tower District location:
645 E. Olive Ave., Fresno, CA 93728
Downtown Fresno location:
2405 Capitol Street, Fresno, Ca 93721
Website here.

This place is packed almost every time I get tea here, so this time I was excited to FINALLY take pictures of the inside (I can't take pictures of food places or food when a lot of people are watching or can be in the pictures unintentionally). I love, love their decorations. It has a very East Asian/South Asian (Indian, to be specific) atmosphere, which I love (just like how I love the things World Market sells). Now I just need pictures of their Downtown location. See pictures of their Tower District location here. Pictures of their drinks to come! Oh...and let's not forget to mention how awesome their tea drinks are! I prefer light flavors, so my favorites are Lychee black tea (China Beauty, which doesn't actually taste like lychee, thank goodness), Monk's blend (a mix of black tea, vanilla, and grenadine + cream, honey, & vanilla...but I also just like the tea without the added cream), and and kind of black or white tea LIGHTLY sweetened. They only use honey and sugar as sweeteners--no artificial sweeteners, which people request often. They also do NOT sell boba. They sell high-quality fine teas for high prices, but it's because of the quality. I highly recommend Teazer. If you're not a huge tea fan, you can get a mixed tea drink (the most popular drinks include Malibu Kiss, cherry lemon teazer, and the Honolulu). Honestly, I am not a fan of the Honolulu because it's really strong on the flavor and too sweet, but that's just me. LOTS of people love that drink.

S'mores Adventures Goldfish!

New favorite snack!! The marshmallows are exactly like those in Lucky Charms, and the fish are like little graham cracker-like cookies. Addictive. Good and also bad for studying times. These babies helped me get through my last two horrid weeks of winter quarter.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Limón Peruvian Cuisine - Fresno, CA

Website here.
Limón on Urbanspoon

DELICIOUS!! I found a new favorite dinner place in Fresno! My parents had been there before with friends and raved about how good it was, but I actually decided to try it later once I found out that the family of this adorable preschooler (from work) owned it. I knew that the family was really sweet (and their daughter is SO cute), so I just had to take Blake there as soon as I could. Last December (2010) I talked with the preschooler's mom about eating at Limón, and then I took Blake there two days later. Soo, so good. Top-quality food. Blake thought it was all delicious too--especially the empanadas. And the TRUFFLE OIL mac 'n' cheese. MMMm.. Must go back!

Empanada Don Walter (Appetizer): "Pastry filled with sautéed beef, olives, onions, eggs, raisins and served with rocoto cream sauce." Um....We could have eaten about 10 more of these and still not been satisfied. :)

Pollo Latino: "Pan-roasted chicken breast served over a Dijon mustard sauce and truffle infused 'Mac & Cheese'": Those are sweet potato chips on top. Oh man. Blake and I love truffle mac 'n' cheese now. Truffle oil is so, soo good.

Lomo Saltado: "Traditional Peruvian dish of sliced top sirloin sautéed with soy sauce, onions, tomatoes and fries, served with a side of rice."
I was not expecting a dish with fries to be considered "traditional," but whatever! This was just the right size for me, and the sauce was really good. I wish I could offer you better details, but honestly this was from December, and I didn't take notes. Dang...

Chocolate Bandido: "Chocolate flourless cake with vanilla ice cream and mix berries coulis."
We took our desserts home, but they were both still delicious even after sitting in take-out boxes for a little bit. The chocolate cake was extra good and rich when I reheated it.


Helado [de fresas - Strawberry ice cream]: "Homemade tropical Peruvian ice cream: Lucuma, Mango, Guanabana Chirimoya and Strawberry.": Somehow the ice cream stayed intact through the ride home. It was so tasty and refreshing. Would love to have more of their homemade ice cream!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Changes/Food Blog Update

I've decided to only post about really good food here and avoid posting not-so-great pictures. I want to shift over to a better baking blog too because this one sucks. Summer project? haha

Also, since I won't be (and already haven't been) updating all that much, here's a list of the edibles I've been in LOVE with lately (expect to see lots of posts about these in the future):

* Loaded green salads (like with egg, avocado, seeds, fruit, corn chips, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, kidney beans, dried cranberries, apples, pears, edamame, candied walnuts, etc. -- not necessarily all of these together though)
* Pulled pork sandwiches
* Dark chocolate
* S'mores things
* Peanut butter
* Flourless chocolate cake
* Homemade bread (not sourdough)
* Bread containing seeds, nuts, etc.
* Cinnamon rolls
* Good-quality cupcakes
* Sweet-and-salty things
* Baked goods containing chunks of apple
* Homemade kettle corn

Packaged/store-bought products I've discovered recently:
* Nature Valley's Oats 'n['] Dark Chocolate Crunchy Granola Bars
* Pepperidge Farm's S'mores Adventures Goldfish

Current favorite drinks:
* Peet's Coffee - Caffe Freddo Extra Bold
* Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's Black Forest Ice Blended

OK. Back to schoolwork.

Tess's Place | VegetarianTurkey Sandwich - Loma Linda, CA

Tess's Place
25875 Barton Rd, Ste. 105
Loma Linda, CA 92354

I've found a good sandwich/dessert place in SoCal (recommended by my practicum supervisor). had this vegetarian turkey sandwich, a tuna salad sandwich, and a real turkey sandwich, and I really liked all three, although I'm not a fan of that fake turkey stuff (the rest on that plate was good). The texture was like turkey trying to morph into bologna, and the flavor was just kinda mehh. The pasta salad was good. The sundried tomatoes weren't over-powering like they can sometimes be, and the dressing was not too salty or sour, which is a huge plus for me. I don't have pictures of this, but I LOVE their kalamata olive bread. Made fresh daily. good. Sliced thick and fluffy...delicious. Their pickles are pretty good too, although they are still a few notches below the pickles from The Daily Grill, which aren't sour at all (Note: I don't like sour pickles). Their big selection of amazing-looking desserts was impressive too. I've only had a bite of their blackberry-topped cheesecake, but that was good to me! I want to try other things for sure. Check out pictures of their food on Yelp here. I wanna try one of their meat-dipping sandwiches.

Figured I should post an up-close picture of the wannabe turkey: