Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dole Whips in Clovis!

1177 N. Willow Ave., Suite 106
Clovis, CA 93611
(559) 900-79-50

* They also have locations in Glendale and now Riverside (Tyler Mall)!  I lived in the Riverside area for grad school so I can picture Leilani in that mall. *

I've been MIA for almost a full year now. Yikes. Time flies. Why haven't I been posting? I've been busy, lazy about posting, and mostly prefer sharing via Instagram (@corriefood) since it's so fast and easy. I also tend to share more in a blog post and I don't feel like sharing like I used to anymore.

Anyway, I was excited when I found out awhile ago that you can get a Dole Whip or Dole Whip float in the Fresno area! I had my first one (and second) at Disneyland and figured you could only get one there. Apparently the Dole Plantation in Hawaii and these branches have them too. I also learned some Disney parks serve Dole Whip with rum. Leilani's Dole Whip is SO GOOD! You can also get Hawaiian-style shave (not "shaved"!) ice, which is one of my favorite things to eat ever, but this post is about their Dole Whip options.

Cup/cone: $3.49
Chamoy & tajin: $3.99
Waffle cone: $4.49
Float (famous Dole Whip float!): $4.49 (Pineapple juice topped with pineapple soft serve)

I recently started LOVING tajin, so of course I chose the chamoy & tajin option. SO delicious. I could have had the pineapple soft serve swirled with mango soft serve, which is probably also delicious. The sweet Dole Whip combined with the salty, tangy, spiciness of the tajin is just perfect!

My friend got the pineapple and mango swirl:

My other friend got a plain Dole Whip:

Here's the inside of my Dole Whip w/ chamoy and tajin. Yep. It's hollow. :/ SO so good.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Dandelion Chocolate - San Francisco, CA

Dandelion Chocolate
740 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 349-0942
Drink menu and treats menu (These were kind of difficult to find on their website)

I lived in Berkeley for four years for undergrad, but I didn't go into the city (SF) all that often. During a break at a training in SF, I tried looking for foodie places I could try nearby. I had a few options in mind and spent a good deal of time looking at websites, checking store hours, reading Yelp reviews, and looking at pictures. I decided to try Dandelion, which I had actually never heard of until that day. Ohhh my goodness. If you love chocolate, you will love this place. You can even go on a tour and take classes! This is a small batch chocolate chocolatier with chocolate bars, drinking chocolate, hot chocolate, pastries, and special treats like toffee. They also had free samples!!
   ** Foodie note: It happens to be a couple doors down from Craftsman & Wolves! You know...where you can find a whole egg baked into your savory muffin! My friend, Grace, had just told me about this place.

Anyway, I got a few items for my family (parents and in-laws), including this beautiful dulce de leche bar ("Almond and hazelnut sable crust, dulce de leche layer, and chocolate caramel ganache"):
Delicious flavors. My only small critique is that the bottom was slightly harder than I would like. It was slightly difficult to cut and bite, but it wasn't teeth-breaking or anything.
Another shot of that dulce de leche bar
Just look at those options. I don't even know how I chose what I chose without buying two of everything. Recently someone from my newest favorite food show, Unique Sweets, said that she has ordered one of everything from a dessert menu before. Total desire and feeling validation.

I love drinking chocolate but have only had it twice now (once in New York at Marie Belle and now once at Dandelion), and it is just heaven. This one below (Marocchino: "European drinking chocolate topped with espresso and cocoa nib infused whipped cream") was exactly what I was hoping it would be: deep flavors, only slightly sweet toward the end, and topped with whipped cream...and then they made it even better with a free delicious cookie! I just wish it would be maybe five times bigger? Is that bad? I wonder how much I would have had if I had made it myself.
 Here's the bottom of my drinking chocolate:
And here's their "nibbun" ("Our version of a morning bun with Camino Verde chocolate custard and nibs. Rolled in cinnamon and nib sugar") below. Sooo good in flavor, texture, and sweetness. It actually is not at sweet as it looks in my opinion. You also have to be a fan of nibs and be open to its slight bitterness. If you're expecting chocolate chips all over, that's not what this is. There's definitely chocolate flavor everywhere, but it's less sweet than, for example, a morning bun loaded with chocolate chips or a chocolate babka. So delicious.
 I HAD to take a picture of the inside!! How beautiful is that?!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Kuppa Joy - Fresno & Clovis, CA

Kuppa Joy (Website)
Original location in Clovis:
518 Clovis Avenue
Clovis, CA 93612

Newer location in Fresno:
1900 N Echo Avenue
Fresno, CA 93704

I highly recommend this place!

I've loved everything about this place: The atmosphere, the friendly employees, the interesting menu options, the homemade-looking pastries, the latte/coffee art, and the delicious coffee. Another awesome fact about this place is that its founder is a Clovis native named Zack Follett, who played pro football for the Detroit Lions. He decided to bring back the joy of a coffee shop he visited in London to the Clovis/Fresno area with the goal of connecting to his community. He has also spread the love and joy of God through this business, which I think is an amazing thing whether or not you are a Christian. 

This cinnamon roll was sooo good warmed up, and it was just perfect with my coffee, which I'll describe below.

Sometimes I like to buy myself a pastry and a coffee (black if with a pastry) or just a coffee and enjoy them alone. I think it's perfectly fine to go to restaurants and cafes by yourself. One time at the UC Berkeley Crossroads dining commons I got breakfast or lunch by myself, and a peer saw me and made fun of me for being there alone. I believe he expressed his shock and then said, "That's sad." I was already slightly self-conscious about not having my usual floormates and friends from Units 1 and 2, but I didn't see anything wrong with being independent. Ever since that meal I decided it's not cool to make fun of people for eating alone. People do it all the time. If anything, it shows that you don't NEED others to be happy.
How can you resist?

"The Fire" pour over: I believe this is actually my first pour over. The idea is that the coffee is made individually for someone to drink. How you pour the water over the beans affects how the drink turns out. I guess it's like the idea of "small batch" chocolate and other delicious things. It's more personal and isn't made exactly the same for each person. Anyway, "The Fire" is a new menu option that's a Nicaragua/Brazil blend with a medium/dark roast profile. Kuppa Joy states that it has notes of "Campfire Smore // Toffee // French Toast," but my cousin (Eric) and I are not really sure how people identify these notes. I guess I could taste these flavors if I thought about it, but I'm guessing they just need a way to describe the flavor to people who are considering their options. Anyway, the main point is that I enjoyed this coffee very much and would order it again. I love darker blends, and this didn't taste bitter or burnt at all to me. Speaking of Eric, he's pretty much my go-to person for local and Bay Area food and drink recommendations. He also lived in SoCal, so I could always ask him about that area too. He strongly recommends the almond croissant from Kuppa Joy, which I was going to try yesterday, but they were out! I'll try again.
The Fire up close
Below is a Kuppa Joy I ordered from the Clovis location on 12/30/15 when my dear friend and former classmate and roommate (I forgot we took MCB together!), Kurtis, was in town. We used to study at libraries and cafes like FSM (Free Speech Movement Cafe) together while at Cal, and I even remember us waiting outside of a library for it to open on a Sunday. Nerdy much? Lol Who cares? I actually started to enjoy studying probably because of the good company and coffee. I conditioned myself well. This time we studied together again but for grad school/work instead of undergrad classes. Good memories. The Kuppa Joy is espresso blended‏ with chocolate and creme brulee-infused milk. Love it! Not too sweet. I could have ordered another one easily.
Kuppa Joy at the Clovis location
Below is a regular cappuccino from the Fresno location on Echo. Also delicious and just beautiful! I think latte art makes everyone happy and excited, and it's perfect for Instagram. :)

The pour over bar at the Clovis location
Inside the Fresno location
It says "Kuppa Joy," but you can't see the "y."

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cookiebar - Alameda, CA

1606 Webster Street
Alameda, CA 94501
Second location in Oakland)

Grace took me to this awesome ice cream/cookie/ice cream sandwich place in Alameda the other day when I visited the Bay Area. Check out their Yelp ratings if you don't believe me! Yum! We both thought their peanut butter chocolate pretzel ice cream was really good. Everything was good, although we both agreed that the Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream needed some more cinnamon flavor. It tasted exactly like whole milk leftover from eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (except a little creamier than just milk), but it didn't have a strong cinnamon or Cinnamon Toast Crunch flavor. I'd definitely go back!

Peanut butter chocolate pretzel ice cream for me and Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream between a snickerdoodle cookie and an oatmeal cookie for Grace! Everything was delicious!

Oo..cookies 'n' cream cookies!
Even the font made me want to try their ice cream!