Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Desi Food Truck

Yesterday for lunch I visited the Desi Food Truck for the first time. I've passed by it many times and thought about getting some kati rolls, but never actually tried it.

The truck, in addition to kati rolls, has vegetable and chicken dishes (like chicken tikka masala), biryani, and puri bhajji. As I looked over the menu, the guy told me that they had just made the biryani. I was already leaning toward that, so it was an easy choice. While I was waiting for the biryani, he gave me a sample of their haleem, which I had heard about online and sounded really good.

Haleem, according to the sign on the truck, is "a slow-cooked, thick, hearty soup made of lentils, wheat, barley, meat and spices." (In this case, it was made with chicken.) The soup is usually also garnished with ginger, fried onions, lemon juice and coriander leaves. (The only one I know for sure was in there was the ginger.) I loved this soup. It's perfect for the winter - full of complex flavors and like a spiced comfort food. I'm not even a fan of ginger but I liked it here.

The chicken biryani also had a giant potato and was accompanied by a salad of lettuce topped with a green dressing. I'm not sure what is in the dressing but it was tasty. So was the biryani, which I would order again.

An atoll in Belize in the background... looks so nice

My favorite part of the biryani was the basmati rice with the chicken that was tender and shredded. There were also some larger pieces of chicken, but some of these had cartilage and skin, and big pieces don't soak up flavor as well as the broken-up pieces. Tough call on whether I like the biryani better here or at Trini Paki Boys (although I like the latter's toppings on the biryani much better). Maybe I need to have a personal biryani taste-off.

February Custards

There are 2 more days left to February but we're done with the Shake Shack custard challenge for the month. We tried 4 new custards and previously got the other 3. Miss a review? Links to all of the February custard reviews below:

Saturday: PB&J

It must be a February thing. We tried all the custards last February too. Can't wait to see what they have for March!

Lemon Poppy Seed Creme Fraiche

Our last February custard was the one that most intrigued us - lemon poppy seed creme fraiche. The custard was a light yellow color (like lemon) with poppy seeds mixed in.

M's thoughts:
Back in the monthly preview, I mentioned that I hoped this custard would be light and airy like lemon poppy seed cake. Although it did have a light hint of lemon, it was not light and airy as a custard. I can't fault Shake Shack for making a custard that lives up to its name though. It was rich and creamy - but the creme fraiche part of this was very strong and I didn't love the creaminess. I can understand why some people would like this but it's just not my thing. A little too rich and creamy.

A's thoughts:
This custard was heavy. It had nice citrus undertones to it, and it had some nice texture from the poppy seeds, but the overriding flavor was creamy creme fraiche. It wasn't overly sweet, but it was just so rich and so creamy. I liked this more than M, but I didn't like it enough to consider going back to get it again.

Lemon Poppy Seed Creme Fraiche
A's rating: 4/10
M's rating: 3/10

Monday, February 27, 2012

Coconut Caramel Pecan

The Thursday flavor for February is coconut caramel pecan. We have had coconut caramel before but haven't blogged about it so we can't remember if we liked it. To settle the matter, we decided to try coconut caramel pecan.

Forgot to take a photo of the menu board to make a collage. Oops. The closer photo of the custard is unattractive because it melted and was dripping everywhere.

M's thoughts:
The first spoonful of custard reminded me of the inside of a Mounds bar (and I love Mounds bars). It was so full of sweet coconut flavor. I usually find that after the first spoonfuls the flavor becomes more muted as you get used to it and this one was no different. The custard generally did taste like coconut caramel and there were pecans mixed in (although I don't know how necessary they were). It was OK but I prefer the sweet coconut of last year's snowball flavor.

A's thoughts:
I didn't get much coconut flavor, and for most of the time eating this custard I forgot that it was coconut anything. I got a lot of caramel flavor, and there were plenty of pecans mixed in as well. Overall I liked the caramel and pecan, but I was still missing that coconut flavor. I really just didn't get any.

Coconut Caramel Pecan
A's rating: 6/10
M's rating: 6/10

Friday, February 24, 2012

Earl of Sugar Cookies

Yesterday I found myself at Earl of Sandwich for lunch. I was really hungry and the cookies on the counter looked so tempting... so I picked up a sugar cookie. I have already shared my love for Potbelly sugar cookies so I wanted to see how the Earl version would stack up. I also was able to start snacking on the cookie while waiting for my sandwich, so that was nice.

It was good but it doesn't replace Potbelly's version as my current favorite. It's a little thicker, a little more buttery, and a lot oilier/greasier. Also, one of the things I love about the Potbelly version is the sugar itself. There's so much crunchy sugar on the top of the soft cookie and it's perfection. The Earl version mixed the sugar into the cookie a little more so it wasn't as crunchy, and I think there wasn't as much sugar. I wouldn't turn down this sugar cookie in the future, but, considering how unhealthy they really are, I think for now I should limit myself to the Potbelly one...

More Chipotle

A few days after my goodburger visit, I decided to backtrack on the block by block challenge and go to Chipotle since I had skipped it the first time around. I got my usual order - the burrito bowl with chicken and all the toppings other than hot salsa, sour cream and guacamole. I go back and forth on this Chipotle outlet because sometimes they're generous with their bowl filling and other times they can be really cheap. This time was in the middle but on some of the salsa toppings (which are my favorites as they're the healthy vegetable part) they were a little stingy.

I've written about Chipotle a few times before, but since then, they've made some improvements to their offerings. One is that they now offer brown rice instead of just white rice. (We had this at the test kitchen before and liked it, so we're glad they expanded it.) Also, now there are more salsas. They've added the mild salsa from the test kitchen but also kept the pico de gallo mild salsa they had before. I get both of them in the bowl. I like the "new" mild salsa but at the test kitchen I always missed having the pico de gallo. Being able to have them both is great.

Chipotle doesn't get very much praise from a lot of blogs, but I am a fan. I don't care if it's a chain - the food is relatively healthy (if you're on the color diet or just looking for a reliable place to get vegetables and balance in your meal) and they do have good practices when it comes to the products they use (just watch their ad which I love). I've tried most of the midtown Chipotle stores (and am quite proud of it!). Now I want some corn salsa...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pineapple Brown Sugar

The Wednesday flavor for February is pineapple brown sugar. As we mentioned in our monthly preview, this reminded us of the concrete available at the Upper East Side location which was modeled after the pineapple upside down cake. However, unlike that concrete, this wasn't vanilla with pineapples mixed in, but actual pineapple custard.

M's rating:
This custard was fine. It tasted like sweet pineapples, but I guess I had expected it to be more like caramelized pineapple (and it wasn't that sweet). I don't have a strong opinion on it though as it wasn't that exciting. And I like pineapples!

A's rating:
This was fairly basic. It did taste like pineapples, but I didn't get much of a brown sugar hint. I think had they just called it pineapple I would have rated it better. In the end this just sort of was...

Pineapple Brown Sugar
A's rating: 6/10
M's rating: 6/10

Goodbye Goodburger

Less than 2 weeks ago, I went to lunch at goodburger to continue the block by block challenge. Goodburger isn't actually the next establishment after Cafe Manhattan; the next place is Chipotle but I had just gotten dinner from Chipotle the night before and have been to that Chipotle numerous times so I decided to invoke one of my rules and just skipped it.

Yesterday I passed by that branch of goodburger and it was closed. I asked Midtown Lunch about it and they found out that it was closed for good due to a rent increase and decrease in customers. But since (a) it was there when I went, (b) I went as part of the block by block challenge and (c) there are still other branches that exist, I'm going to write about it anyway. (A previously wrote about his burger experience at a different goodburger here.)

I got a turkey burger (my usual) and a side of fries. I guess I was hungry. Or maybe I wanted to branch out for block by block and get something new. They had regular fries on the menu but supposedly also had sweet potato fries. I got the regular ones. (That reminds me -- there was a foursquare special for free sweet potato fries on your 3rd visit which I would have unlocked on my next visit but now it's gone!)

The fries were not very exciting. In fact, they were kind of boring. They reminded me of my intention to avoid unnecessary sabotage fries and how this fry order was a fail by that standard.

I have gotten the turkey burger before (as I said, my usual) and in the past, thought it was pretty good. The burger itself is a combination of turkey, tri-color bell peppers, red onions, parsley and olive oil. If you get it with "the works," it also comes with lettuce, tomato (although I don't remember there being any tomato this time), red onions, pickles, ketchup, mayo, and mustard. (All the toppings in "the works" are free.)

Unlike previous visits, this turkey burger was dry and not very flavorful. Did not live up to my expectations, which were not unreasonably high but based on past burgers.

This visit to goodburger was disappointing in quality, so I guess I'm not really upset that the branch is gone. Also, the turkey burger plus fries cost $11, which is more than I like to spend for lunch. I'm mostly sad that this burger used to be better and I know it can be better than it was this time!

Chocolate Passion Fruit

On Valentines Day, Shake Shack offered a gift of free custard - a small cup of vanilla, chocolate, or the flavor of the day which for Tuesday was chocolate passion fruit. We, of course, went for chocolate passion fruit. This was the flavor of the month that we were most unsure about, so getting it for free was a good incentive to try it.

M's thoughts:
I am still not sure how I feel about this flavor. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't amazing. You could taste the chocolate and you could taste the fruit (which I guess tasted like passion fruit but sometimes also tasted like strawberries to me). It was therefore more balanced than some of the other chocolate mixes they've done. But I just couldn't decide if I liked it or even wanted another spoonful. I'm also not sure why I felt that way. I just don't know if I liked it or not, but since it's not horrible, my rating reflects that.

A's thoughts:
This was a bit confusing as a flavor except that it was pretty much exactly as advertised. It tasted like chocolate, and it tasted like passion fruit. I didn't think the flavor pairing would work when I first heard it, and in the end I think I was right. It didn't taste bad, but it wasn't that great. The tartness of the passion fruit didn't seem to match well with the chocolate in my opinion. I love the flavors separately, but together I didn't think it worked.

Chocolate Passion Fruit
A's rating: 5/10
M's rating: 5.5/10

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chipotle Cowboy

I haven't been back to Just Salad in awhile (previous posts here and here), mostly because I couldn't find my loyalty card after taking it out of my wallet for a vacation.  The savings are only 5% of the total (or 10% if after 2 pm), so it's not really that much, but psychologically I would know I wasn't getting the discount and I needed an incentive to find my card.  I found it this weekend and immediately went back. I really needed to eat something healthy.
I decided to try one of the combination salads that I haven't had before, the Chipotle Cowboy.  The Chipotle Cowboy salad contains romaine-iceberg mix (I substituted just romaine), grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese, black beans, cilantro, crunchy onions (which I thought meant raw yellow onions but were actually fried onion pieces), and avocado.  I topped it off with sherry-shallot vinaigrette (instead of the recommended chipotle vinaigrette). 
It was a nice mix of ingredients.  I think next time I might substitute something for the crunchy onions since they're breaded - maybe red onions or something else.  But I would definitely get this combination again.  A salad under $10 with chicken, cheese and avocado (all premium (pay) ingredients at Just Salad) isn't a bad deal at all.  And their salads are just as tasty as always.  Maybe now that I have my card I can add salads back into my routine.

We Love Chilaquiles

Breakfast at our resort was only served at World Cafe, the place where we had gone for our lunch buffet the day before. (You could also order room service if you wanted.) Breakfast was a buffet consisting of several stations: kids station, "American" breakfast food (waffles, french toast, etc.), omelettes and eggs, fruit, cereal, yogurt, sausages and meats (including meat carving), grilled vegetables (tomatoes, etc.), juice machines, fresh juice bar, and in the back, the station which would be our favorite - the Mexican station. There were a lot of options.

A sampling of the buffet stations (clockwise from top left): chilaquiles at the Mexican station, tostadas freshly made at the Mexican station, corner of the fresh juice bar, interesting shapes for waffles, more of the fresh juice bar

We overdid it a little bit for our first breakfast at World Cafe, since we didn't know what was good or what we would like.

Left side - the two halves of my first plate; right side top - the yogurt we both got; right side bottom - A's first plate

For my first plate, I got chilaquiles, refried beans, pico de gallo, a grilled tomato, one piece of hash browns, 2 sausage links, and grilled plantains. A got a smaller portion of chilaquiles, the same sausage links and hash browns, a fried cheese empanada, and some smoked salmon with onions and capers. We both picked up a small container of Yoplait peach yogurt.

The yogurt had a fresh and clean flavor, just like Yoplait yogurt at home, and it didn't taste dramatically different. We found the non-Mexican food to be just okay - the hash browns were the same fried thing we could get at home, the sausages were fine but nothing special, the plantains were a little heavy but fine, the grilled tomato was a grilled tomato, and A found the smoked salmon so salty that I didn't even bother trying it. The Mexican breakfast food, however, was amazingly delicious. The chilaquiles were creamy and like comfort food, and topped with the pico de gallo and mixed with the refried beans, it was so full of flavor and refreshing. It was all so good.

(If you don't know what chilaquiles are, they're lightly fried tortilla pieces topped with salsa, cheese and sour cream, and garnished with raw onions and cilantro.)

Looking at our second plates, you can tell what we liked best:

My plate (left side), A's plate (right side), choco zucaritas cereal that we took back to the room for snack but never ended up eating

I got more chilaquiles, more refried beans and more pico de gallo, with a little bit of fruit for dessert. A got more chilaquiles, more refried beans and more pico de gallo, with papayas and the pork stew (also from the Mexican station). A also got another bowl of papayas after that. Clearly, our favorite items were Mexican breakfast dishes.

We also loved the fresh juice bar:

Gorgeous colors for the juices

We tried a lot of the fresh juices. Two of them were orange - orange/carrot and orange/papaya. Between the 2, we preferred the orange/papaya. But that came in second to what turned out to be our favorite juice from the fresh juice bar - beetroot and orange juice (the reddish purple colored one). The green juice there is celery, cactus, pineapple and orange juice. I didn't try this one but A said it was a little salty and you could definitely taste the celery.

I'm not really a big fan of breakfast, as I've mentioned before. (Unlike me, A likes breakfast.) But until the last full day of our trip, I found myself saying that breakfast at World Cafe might be my favorite meal of the day! I think it's the chilaquiles. I could eat chilaquiles for breakfast everyday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Channa Masala

Channa masala is one of my favorite dishes to order at an Indian restaurant. I love the depth of flavor, the soft (but not completely mushy) chickpeas, the onions and tomatoes in the sauce, and of course, all the spices. It's my go-to dish, the one by which I compare Indian restaurants, and I've had some really great chana masala over the years.

Tonight I tried the Trader Joe's version that has been sitting in our freezer door for a bit. It's easy to make - just microwave for a few minutes and then you're done.


I thought this version was just okay. My biggest issue was the texture. The chickpeas were a little hard and kind of dry and chalky in the middle. I don't know if this is because there was a block of ice on top of the dish when I took it out of the box, or if that's just how it's made. But the chickpeas themselves were disappointing. The sauce was fine but not very spicy, unlike some reviews I had read which talked about its heat. I ate it plain instead of over rice or naan like I would normally eat chana masala, but I don't think that would have changed my opinion about it. Not sure I would get this again since I can get better chana masala delivered from a neighborhood place (it would cost more but it would be better).


The second pasta course in our pasta tasting menu at Babbo (yes, it has been a long time since our last recap in this series) was "casunzei" with poppy seeds. The folks at Babbo have put this recipe online, which you can find here.

Casunzei is a ravioli dish, consisting of thin pasta wrapped around roasted beets, potatoes and ricotta cheese. The dish came with 3 large ravioli pieces. The sauce was a little creamy and the pasta was topped with scallions, poppy seeds and more ricotta. I really liked this ravioli dish; the combination of flavors was a little smoky and the texture of the pasta with the soft beet and cheese interior was nice. A thought the beets were understated and that the smokiness produced a flavor that was a little like bacon. Generally we thought this was really good.

The wine accompanying the casunzei course was "Baccabianca," Tenuta Grillo 2005. (Unfortunately we don't have a clear photo of the wine.) It was an orange color, which was different. It tasted a little woody and citrusy to us and A noted that swishing it around produced a peppercorn flavor.

I'm working off our notes on the meal (which, in my case, are not many) and it's not as fresh in my mind as it was last summer. (Just another lesson to myself about timely blogging!) But I do remember one thing distinctly about this course - I liked it. I liked it more than the one that came before it and the one that came after it. It wasn't my favorite pasta course but it was in the top half. I just wish I had blogged about it earlier!


Our last stop on our first night in Cancun was the OXXO convenience store. The store is very similar to a 7-Eleven and there was a location right next to our resort. We decided to check it out since we usually visit a grocery store when we go to other countries. We hadn't seen a supermarket on our way to the resort so we figured this might be the closest we got.

We saw lots of snack food, including peanuts in flavors like salt with lemon flavor, Japanese and chili:

The fridge section was full of cheese, including lots of Oaxacan cheese (someday we hope to make it to Oaxaca):

Cookies and cream Oreo cookies? Do we have these here?

I know that in Mexico "bimbo" doesn't have the same meaning that it does here, but it still caught my attention. The little teddy bear is also really cute. There were lots of Bimbo products at the store.

I hadn't seen these marshmallow, coconut and cookie treats before but they looked good. I just looked it up and they have them online from places like Walmart, so I guess we have these here.

In addition to all of the snack foods, drinks and other ingredients to go, there was also a section for cooked food like tacos and tamales.

I love tacos and tamales and the ones in those photos look so good. I didn't see the real ones but A said that the photos looked better than the real thing. Oh well.

We didn't end up buying anything on our visit since we figured we could probably get some of this stuff at home (didn't know about the widespread availability of the sponch at the time but we live near some Mexican grocery stores) and we didn't have any pesos anyway. But we enjoyed our visit!


For our first dinner in Cancun, we picked Oceana, the seafood restaurant at the resort. We were looking forward to some healthy seafood dishes after a long day of traveling. Since we were staying at an all-inclusive resort, we could order anything we wanted without caring about prices. That type of freedom was fantastic.

Oceana Restaurant (the next morning)

The meal started with some bread and butter. The rolls were plain and the butter didn't have any special flavoring, so this wasn't really very exciting.

For her appetizer, M ordered the turbante de salmón ahumado y camarón, preparado con pepino, cilantro y lima, perfumado de miel y mostaza (smoked salmon and shrimp turban, prepared with cucumber, cilantro and lime, perfumed with honey and mustard).

The plate consisted of some salad greens, carrots and cucumbers and a piece of smoked salmon wrapped around what M thought would be shrimp based on the menu description. Instead, what was inside the smoked salmon was more like ceviche.

This was a good appetizer. It had the light and clean flavors that M was looking for and the salmon and ceviche tasted really fresh.

A got the bisquet de langosta, perfumada de cognac y pernod (lobster bisque, perfumed with cognac and pernot).

This was a very rich and flavorful soup. A could definitely taste the lobster that was used to flavor the soup even if there really wasn't much actual lobster. It was surprisingly not creamy even though it was a bisque. It seemed much more tomato-based instead of cream-based, and that was really nice.

For the main course, M got the seafood special - mariscada dreams - camarón, pescado, calamar, callo de hacha y mejillón, parrillados con pesto (shrimp, fish, squid, scallops and mussels, grilled with pesto).

From the menu description, we thought this would be a healthy plate of grilled seafood. A little bit of oil from the pesto, but otherwise just simply grilled. If that's what you thought from the description, the picture should be your first indication that you're wrong. The seafood may have been grilled, but it was also drenched in a ton of butter sauce. So. Much. Butter. It was completely overwhelming. On top of that, M asked when ordering to confirm there was no broccoli in the dish, and it showed up with broccoli. If the broccoli were just grilled or steamed, we could move it with no issue, but with all that butter sauce, there was broccoli floating everywhere. All the butter made this a rather disappointing dish, especially after such a clean appetizer. There was also no pesto that we noticed, but that was less of an issue than the butter.

A got the surf and turf - mar y tierra - filete de res y camarones a la parrilla, servido con salsa de pimiento rojo y salsa de oporto (grilled beef fillet and shrimp, served with red pepper and port sauce).

As always, A ordered his filet rare. It came out much closer to medium rare, which for any other steak would have been okay, but this was filet, and that was disappointing. The sauce tasted a lot like the bisque he had just eaten but infused with some butter. He also got some of the same buttery vegetables that M got with her dish. Overall it was a bit disappointing, but certainly more edible than the buttery mess that M got.

We had a nice and relaxing dinner at Oceana, but the food was just okay. We both agreed that our appetizers were better than the entrees. We decided to skip dessert since we were pretty full after dinner.

Blurry photo of us at Oceana

Since our resort had multiple restaurant options, we planned to try different restaurants every night. Oceana was much too buttery for our liking, so we figured that, even with a longer trip, we would most likely not return for dinner. We hoped the other restaurants would be better (and use less butter)!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jeremy Lin-Mint

When we dropped by Shake Shack on Valentines Day (for the free custard), we noticed that they were advertising a special shake - the Jeremy Lin-Mint - which is a chocolate mint cookie milkshake.

We thought this was hilarious and knew we had to try it. Tonight was the first Knicks loss since Lin became a starter but that didn't stop Linsanity and we dropped in to try the shake before its last day on Sunday.

It sure didn't look like much, but we figured it wouldn't be pretty. It tasted just like a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie, even more so than the thin mint flavored custard. It wasn't overpoweringly chocolate-y, and it had a good hint of mint to it. If you like Thin Mint cookies we highly recommend that you make it out to a Shake Shack sometime before they close on Sunday so that you can try one.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AmeriCone Dream

Today, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Stephen Colbert's ice cream flavor at Ben & Jerry's, they were giving out free scoops of his flavor, AmeriCone Dream. We've sadly missed free scoop day for the past few years, but we heard that the Ben & Jerry's in Rockefeller Center (the only one nearby) was participating in this promotion so we decided to head over after work.

The AmeriCone Dream flavor consists of vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl.

M's thoughts:
I loved this flavor and wanted more! The fudge-covered waffle pieces were like chocolate crispies, which I love mixed in with ice cream. Although I haven't tried Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack (vanilla with salty caramel and fudge-covered potato chip clusters), I think in their "feud" I would pick AmeriCone Dream since I like waffle pieces better than potato chips. This ice cream flavor was really, really good. I would definitely get this again.

A's thoughts:
This was really good ice cream. The waffle fudge-covered waffle pieces offered a nice little chocolate-y crunch, and the caramel swirl gave the ice cream an additional creamy sweetness (as if ice cream needs more, but it worked). It's interesting that with everyone having waffle cones to hold ice cream that no one ever thought to put waffle cones in ice cream before. Such a simple idea, but it works so well. Given the opportunity I would seriously consider buying a full pint (and probably eat it all in one sitting...).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Taiwanese Treats

Due to the amazing phenomenon known as Linsanity gripping this nation and world, and in honor of his fantastic game against the Lakers last night, M and I celebrated with a Taiwanese meal split between the two of us.

The only place we know of that advertises straight-up Taiwanese fare is Bian Dang. Bian Dang has a storefront in the Food Gallery 32 Asian food court located in K-Town and also a food truck that is currently closed for the winter. We had a Groupon deal for one chicken or pork rice plate and an order of dumplings. M and I opted for the chicken plate.

Fried chicken with rice covered in pork sauce with vegetables, soup, and dumplings

The chicken at the store is fried a bit more than the chicken from the truck, and M and I both agreed that it's better from the truck. The rice and pork sauce, though, is always a hit. The scallion and ginger infused sauce mixed with the minced pork is heavenly on the palate, and the pickled vegetables accompanying it adds a nice crunch and a touch of sourness to everything. The soup was just sort of there. It was simply chicken stock with some diced tomatoes stewed into it. The dumplings came steamed. We were expecting pan-fried so the steamed was nice. Overall they weren't the best dumplings we've ever had, but they had a good texture, good flavor, and the added hot sauce finished the dumpling nicely.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Smoked Turkey Caesar Wrap

The February monthly sandwich special at Hale and Hearty is the smoked turkey caesar wrap. The wrap consists of crisp romaine, smoked turkey, homemade croutons, parmesan cheese and garlic parmesan dressing in a flour tortilla. I debated whether to get this - I wanted to try the monthly special but the wrap also looked a little empty compared to the ciabatta sandwiches I usually like. In the end, I decided to go for it.

The good: The wrap definitely tasted like a caesar salad. The croutons were good, had a nice flavor and crunch. The parmesan cheese and garlic parmesan dressing also added a good cheesy flavor. There were turkey cubes (not visible in the photo) and it wasn't completely empty. It reminded me of the ABP chicken caesar wrap that I ate all through college but that was more full (or maybe that's because I used to go near closing time).

The just okay: There wasn't a lot of filling to the wrap. All the ingredients were present but the wraps from Hale and Hearty are always a little on the thinner side. The calories probably come from the tortilla itself more than the inside stuff.

The wrap wasn't bad, and if you like caesar wraps, it's worth a try. I probably won't get this again this month though; I still prefer my ciabatta sandwiches with mozzarella.

Photo of wrap sandwich with Gullfoss (Golden Falls) in Iceland in the background. Wish we were in Iceland having hot dogs instead of here.

World Cafe

We arrived at our resort, Dreams Cancun, late in the afternoon. We were really hungry so we ventured over to the World Cafe, the buffet where they were serving lunch until 5 or so. There were a few different places serving lunch but we figured a buffet would be quickest and unlike the other restaurants, we already knew where it was (passed it on the way to our room).

I was a little wary of the food and drink at lunch since it was my first really "adventurous" meal after the food poisoning incident (the half sandwich and soup I had for breakfast at the airport was relatively tame) and I wasn't sure how my stomach would react to the fruits and vegetables in Mexico. I was even worried about the ice cubes in my iced tea. (I hadn't yet read the resort guide which talked about food safety and how all the water in the resort was purified).

For my first plate, I got an assortment of cooked food, figuring that was safest.

Generally, the food was just okay, but a little too much butter and salt in some dishes. Here's what I got on the first plate:
- fried citrus squid ring (fine but nothing special, reminded me that I don't really love plain fried food)
- sweet and sour pork (pretty good)
- slice of pizza with yellow bell pepper topping (fine but nothing special)
- orange fish (probably the best cooked item on the plate but a little too much butter and salt)
- mahi mahi in lemon sauce (very heavy butter flavor and salty)
- sauteed mushrooms (again, buttery)
- chicken and peppers from kids section (like a fajita, not that salty and pretty good; generally the kids section seemed to be lower in salt)

I got raw vegetables on my second plate, branching out a little as my stomach got more comfortable with the food.

On the second plate I got:
- ensalada mixta (contained tomato, jicama, onion - nice and light)
- corn, peas, grilled chicken (from the make your own salad section)
- chopped salad from kids section (also nice and light)
- chicken in tomato sauce (the piece I tried earlier from A's plate was good but mine was almost inedibly salty)
- chicken in demiglace sauce (buttery, salty, like the other dishes)
- more orange fish and mahi mahi since I figured it would be good to eat more fish at a seaside resort and I hoped it would less buttery and salty the second time (nope)

We didn't take photos of A's plates but we tried a lot of the same things. Overall our conclusion was that the meal was fine, especially since we were hungry, but too much butter and salt for our liking. We hoped that the other meals (both at the buffet and the other restaurants) would be less buttery and less salty.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


We just got back last night from a fantastic vacation in Cancun, Mexico. It was a great break from the winter doldrums and despite the thunderstorms, we did end up getting some sun to recharge. It was our first time in Mexico and we didn't want to leave!

Our resort was all-inclusive, so it was like a cruise, but on land. We ate all of our meals at the different restaurants at the resort and will label all the recap posts with "Dreams Cancun 2012." Can't wait to share our experiences (and hopefully this trip recap will be finished more quickly than some of our others...)!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 2012 Custard Calendar

The February custard calendar went up last night with some interesting flavors. The most exciting part for me was that I was able to read through the list without my stomach turning in circles, which is a great improvement from the previous days where I was suffering from the worst food poisoning I've ever had (not fun). None of that was Shake Shack's fault, and I feel a little bad that I'm sullying their custard post with talk of illness, but there's my explanation for not posting. I couldn't think about food, much less look at photos of it.

On to the custard breakdown:

Flavors we've never had before:
Lemon poppy seed creme fraiche (Monday) - hope this is like lemon poppy seed cake and light & airy
Chocolate passion fruit (Tuesday) - this just doesn't sound good to us (but hey, neither did cinnamon cream cheese last month at first) but we could be convinced...

Flavors that are variations on other things we've had:
Pineapple brown sugar (Wednesday) - reminds us of the Pineapple Upper East Side Cake concrete
Coconut caramel pecan (Thursday) - we've had coconut caramel before (even if we didn't blog about it), but this one adds pecan

Flavors we've had before:
Chocolate chip cookie (Friday) - seems like we liked this one and maybe we'll check it out again
PB&J (Saturday) - we didn't like it last time; has it improved?
Coffee and donuts (Sunday) - A liked this because it was like a coffee drink but I don't like coffee so I wasn't a fan

Funny how the list broke down perfectly in day order!

What flavor most intrigues you?