Friday, January 02, 2015

Braw Bars (UK)

As you've been reading on Tuesdays for the past few weeks, I recently went on a trip that involved a few days in London.  While there, I not only indulged in local restaurants, but I also had to try out the snack foods, including assorted bars, like the mediocre Eat Natural or Alpen Light bars, or the truly delicious Seed Stacked Flapjacks.

Braw makes gluten-free oat and fruit bars in a variety of flavors.  They aren't horrible.
The bar is mostly a mix of actual fruit; apples, pears, and dates each clock in at 16% each, plus an apple, pear, grape juice concentrate (5%).  The strawberry comes as both a juice concentrate (another 5%) and as freeze dried bits (a mere 0.8%).  Oats round it out.

The aroma was fairly strong strawberry, just like the Nakd bar I tried.  But, unlike the Nakd bar, it used oats in the base rather than soy protein crispies, so it wasn't totally dead to me.  The taste wasn't bad.  The texture was a bit crumbly, not like a granola bar I'm used to, but also not like a firm fruit bar.

It was interesting.  It wasn't particularly good.  But it also wasn't horrible.  No reason to try another though.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Black Jet Bakery

I remember when Black Jet Bakery opened in the Ferry Building.  I was so excited to have another bakery close by. You know me and my love of baked goods!  Plus, they had all sorts of interesting sounding items, like "German Shepherds", aka, homemade Devil Dogs with german choc cake filling!  And homemade "Nuttah Buttahs"!  And of course, homemade pop tarts with a variety of fillings, and absolutely adorable mini pies.

I tried many items over the years, but didn't take notes, as it was before my food blogging days.  A few years ago, as I mentioned last week, I wanted both pumpkin and pecan pies for Thanksgiving, so I decided to purchase mini versions of each, and Black Jet was where I immediately went for one of them, since I'd been eyeing their mini pies for years, even though I was never all that impressed with anything else I'd tried there.

They have since closed their Ferry Building location, but have a shop in the Mission, and are available around town through Good Eggs.  But I don't see any reason to seek them out.
Lil Pumpkin Pie. $5.
"This little 3.5 inch beauty is quite the treat for 1 or 2.  Excellent crust to filling ratio, to boot."

The pumpkin filling was not particularly interesting, not very spiced, just kinda there.  The crust on the bottom and where the pumpkin filling touched it was ok, but otherwise it was pretty dry.  It was also buttery, but not in a good way. There was no real flavor to the crust.  Meh, meh, meh

If you want a tasty pie, get it from Flour & Co.

[ Not Pictured ]
  • Cookies
    • Chocolate Chip Cookie with Sea Salt: "Classic chocolate chip cookies filled with milk and dark chocolate and topped with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes."  Tasting notes: Meh. (wow, that memorable huh?  Sorry, this is literally all my notes say!)
    • Sugar Cookie: Soft, but no flavor complexity, just buttery, meh [ Slight lemon flavor, moist, bad mouthfeel, too much butter]
    • Boozy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie: Tum!  Nice and moist, good flavor in cookie itself.
  • Cakes
    • Sour Cream Coffee Cake: "Classic Sour Cream Coffee cake. Delicious for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with coffee!"  Tasting notes: Nothing special, not bad but not good.
  • Bars
    • Salty Nutty Brownie: Nice rich chocolate flavor, moist, pretty good.
    • Lemon Square: Way too sweet.  Very lemony.  Not my thing at all.
    • Brown Butter Blondie: Not good.  Really plain, very little chocolate, no nuts.
Black Jet Baking Co. on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Travelin' Tuesdays: London!

For the past few months, I've spent Tuesdays reviewing all the places I visited during my business trip in Tokyo, including my insane First Class Cathay Pacific Flight, 8 Michelin stars, and some indescribable experiences, like the Robot Restaurant.  You can read all about those adventures, and more, in my Travelin' Tuesdays: Tokyo series.

Now, it is time to travel again, on another business trip.  The trip was actually to Zurich, for a conference, and I (gasp!) decided to spend the time engaged with my co-workers, and not take dining notes.  Sorry!

To get to Zurich, we went by way of Mallorca, (which actually did make sense, I promise!), where we enjoyed a few days of sunshine, cocktails, and of course some Michelin star dining.  You can read all about those good times in my already published Mallorca Mondays series.

On our return journey, we went via London, since we were flying on British Airways and Heathrow is their home base.  We have an office there, so we opted to make a quick stop, rather than just breeze through.

After a few days off from blogging in Zurich, I was in full reviewing mode, so you'll get to read all about my time in London, starting with the breakfast in the executive lounge at my hotel, The Park Plaza.  I had only two meals in London, so I made them count, netting two more Michelin stars at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (I just HAD to compare to the Tokyo L'Atelier, right?), and seeking out indian food at Cafe Spice Nameste, since good indian cuisine is hard to come by in SF.  And of course, I'll review the airline lounges, including the Galleries Business Class Lounge, the Galleries First Class Lounge, and ... the Concorde room (for both breakfast and lunch).  I'll conclude with the First Class flight back.

Stay tuned, starting next Tuesday!  London, here we come :)


Monday, December 29, 2014

Pacific Puffs Truck

For the past few weeks, you've been reading about food trucks on Mondays, although they have all been savory offerings.  I finally found a food truck offering something I like: desserts!

Pacific Puffs has a storefront on Union Street, plus a smaller space downstairs in the Westfield Mall, both of which I've walked by many times, yet somehow never stopped in.  I guess cream puffs aren't generally what I gravitate towards, although Ojan really likes them.

Anyway, I finally got a chance to try one, when I stumbled across the food truck one day.
Classic Sugar Puff. $3.25.
I opted for the "Classic Sugar" version, described as a "freshly baked choux pastry puff filled with a madagascar bourbon vanilla cream, dusted with powdered sugar" (the regular Classic has a chocolate glaze instead of powdered sugar).

The puff shell was fairly thin, resulting in a different ratio of shell to filling that I'm used to (more filling).  You couldn't really taste the pastry itself, which was ok for me, since I often find choux pastry to be too eggy.  The filling was creamy, but reminded me more of a vanilla pudding than standard cream puff filling.

Overall, it was fine, but not particularly remarkable.  I don't feel compelled to venture into one of the stores now.