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Apple in a bag should be second choice

I went to Subway a while back and instead of getting Lays potato chips as my side, I decided to get Apple crisps. I like trying new things. Plus I am probably every marketer’s dream because I am a sucker for pretty packaging. I can admit this about myself and I tried not to let a product’s packaging way too heavily in my purchasing decision making.

While the packaging may catch my eye, I read the claims that are made and try to decide if the product is worth my purchase with that. The package said crunchy premium apple crisps. I like apples. I love crunchy apples but at times if the apple sits too long on the counter it will get soft. I thought this would be a good way to carry apples around with me without having to worry about the apples over ripening and getting too soft.

The good:
fat-free, not fried
100% natural – no added sugar- because apples are sweet enough only 45 calories for the whole bag!
gluten-free

The bad:
serving size was the equivalent of one apple -I should have had a fresh apple was not crunchy the texture of the Apple was chewy
it tasted tart – maybe a little sugar would have helped after they put the lemon juice to maintain apple’s color

Overall, the next time I will get a fresh apple instead.

Mission Mini – San Francisco

One of the benefits of visiting a large city is that they probably have plenty of specials using Groupon Now feature. It is where you look for deals at participating stores/restaurants that are happening for a limited time period (usually only for the day).

When Hubby and I were in San Francisco, I checked Groupon Now and found a Mission Mini cupcake deal. I love deals and I love cupcakes. And when they are mini cupcakes, I think I love them even more because I can get more flavors to satisfy my sweet tooth. I quickly bought the deal and told Hubby that we were on our way to Mission part of town for cupcakes. After he finished rolling his eyes (he has no sweet tooth), he put the address in the GPS so that we could drive there.

This bakery of minis offers different flavors depending on the seasons.

Flavors of the cupcakes I ordered (shown in the picture from top left going clockwise)

Ruby Red Velvet – Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting {This was all right, but not as sweet as I would have liked.}

Banana Maple – Banana cake topped with a pure maple syrup glaze {the texture seemed more like a breakfast bread and less like a cake, but I think that is because it is a vegan cake. It was still really yummy.}
Swiss Almond Coconut – Fresh coconut cake with buttercream topped with toasted almond and shredded coconut. {I always love coconut cupcakes.}

Cinnamon Horchata – Mexican rice milk cake with cream cheese frosting topped with freshly ground cinnamon. {This had a mix of flavors that I was not familiar with -sweet cinnamon with a hint of spice-, but tasty nonetheless. }

Pumpkin Spice – Pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting {Quite possibly, my favorite pick of all the cupcakes. The texture and flavor were perfect.}
Lemon – Lemon cake topped with cream cheese frosting {This was good lemony flavor, but a little drier than I would have liked for lemon cake.}

If are in San Francisco, especially the Mission area, do yourself a favor and go to Mission Minis.
Mission Minis 3168 22nd Street San Francisco, CA 94110
http://missionminis.com/index.html
(415) 817-1540

Mission Minis, your deal on Groupon worked! I might live on the other side of the country, but you have a customer anytime I am in the San Fran area!

Let’s go to SNOBs

When I was in Charleston, my friend said “We are going to SNOBs for lunch”. I was like, “Where?”

SNOB – Slightly North of Broad (as in Broad Street). Lovely acronym.

She made reservations for 12:30 in the afternoon. I thought she was being overly cautious to ensure we had a table. How crowded could a restaurant be in the middle of week in February? When we arrived, I realized that was so necessary. The place was packed on a Wednesday afternoon in such a way that most restaurants would dream for a Friday night.

Since we had a reservation, we were seated in about 10 minutes of our arrival. Once at our table, I began to review the menu. I did not know what I wanted to eat. The lunch menu had so many different choices, that I was hard pressed to choose just one. I decided I wanted something light but more heartier than a salad. In the end, I ordered the ahi tuna. It was accompanied with rice and cabbage and drizzled with some Asian style-flavored soy sauce reduction. I thought the portion size was small, but I was surprised that after eating all of it, I was so full afterwards. I think my eyes are bigger than my stomach, especially when I see so much good food.

For dessert, I had the special of the day: key lime pie with a shortbread crust topped with a passion fruit sauce. I really liked the pie because it was tart enough in the way that I like it, but still sweet. The shortbread crust was buttery and went well with the creaminess of the pie. If I ordered this again, I would opt to leave off the passion fruit sauce. It was too sweet and I could not fully enjoy the tartness of the pie for the sweet sauce. It seems harder and harder to find restaurants that make key lime pie. So if I come to SNOBs again, I hope they have the key lime pie that day so that I can order it.

 

SNOBs has won awards for their food and their efforts to buy local ingredients. This restaurant is worth all the hype that has been created around it. Everything was delicious. I could tell that the ingredients were high quality. The food was fresh tasting and the flavors were bold. Price wise, this restaurant is not too hard on a budget for lunch. You could probably spend $10-15 per entree. I think that is about the same as some chain restaurants, but the food at the chain restaurants does not have the same complexity of flavors. And dessert prices were comparable to chain restaurants but 1000 times better.

Next time you are in Charleston, go to SNOBs…but make sure you make a reservation if you do not want an extremely long wait. When you ask for directions, ask “How do I get to SNOBs?” I doubt many people know the restaurant by its full name.

Rainbow Drive-in Honolulu, Hawaii

Our first stop in Hawaii was to get something to eat. I already checked to see what Guy Fieri triple D restaurant was between the airport and our hotel: Rainbow Drive In.

I told hubby that was where we were going. He was understandably hesitant because he knew that the quality of triple D restaurant were sometimes hit or miss. We have had awesome experiences and then there have been mediocre ones.

When we arrived, I was excited. I do not let hubby’s lack of enthusiasm affect me. And the crowds of people there bolstered my confidence that this was a good place to eat. I ordered the mahi-mahi plate with fries and coleslaw. Hubby ordered a hamburger.

The best part of the meal was the anticipation. It did not live up to the hype. In the picture is my food. The mahi-mahi was tough like it was overcooked. I think maybe they fried it and had it sitting under heat lamps (I do not know, just guessing). The coleslaw was good. It had a nice vinegary, light peppery taste. The fries were okay-nothing outstanding or special about them. Hubby’s hamburger was one sorry little sad piece of meat between two pieces of bread slathered with their special sauce. To me, it looked like one of those 59 cent burgers from McDonalds.

Hubby said that he was picking the next restaurant meal. Justifiably so. I did not even argue. I felt like I wasted my pick because I bought into what Guy Fieri was selling.

Overall, if you are in Hawaii, do not fall for the hype. The food is average, not spectacular.

Let’s go to Cookout – a fast food restaurant

There is a new fast food restaurant in town called Cookout. They were so busy for the first few months that I did not care to brave the crowds. But when I finally went, I realized what all the hype was about. It is really cheap. Plus, you can get 2 sides. Albeit small portions, but two sides nonetheless.

I ordered the spicy chicken grilled sandwich with sides (1) onion rings and (2) coleslaw. The combo comes with a large tea for less than $5.

As you can see from the picture, the chicken sandwich was bun+meat+tomato+lettuce leaf. Nothing fancy. Nothing special. The bun was cold so I just ate the meat, tomato, and lettuce. I like toasted buns.
I was a little annoyed that I only received 4 onion rings, but I guess that is about right for a small portion. The coleslaw was okay too.

The whole meal was okay. Nothing spectacular BUT it was cheap. And there is always something to be said about a low cost meal.

Cookout is supposedly known for their delicious milkshakes. I can vouch for those (even though I did not get a picture of it). I had a strawberry milkshake that was really yummy. It was almost as good as Chick-fil-a! And that is saying a lot.

I recommend this place when you want something fast and cheap. Or if you have teenagers who eat a lot of food.