January 24, 2011
The title says it all.
Last week, I was contacted by the lovely folks over at Enjoy Life Foods asking if I was interested in sampling and reviewing their new and improved cookies. Um, vegan and gluten free cookies FO FREE? You know this girl ain’t gonna turn that down.
I can’t lie… playing with those packing peanuts was pretty darn fun.
On to the crux of the matter….the goods.
I received 3 boxes of cookies – 1 Snickerdoodle, 1 Lively lemon, and 1 Double Chocolate Brownie.
Before I go on, I have a confession to make: I wasn’t too sure I would like these cookies. You see, I bought Enjoy Life’s cookies before and was disappointed. I found the texture and taste to just be, well…off. You know when you give someone a vegan cookie and they can tell it’s a vegan cookie without you saying it? Yeah – that’s how they used to be. So when I heard that the recipe was new and improved I wondered if that meant they’d be less obviously vegan.
My thought process went like this: how can a cookie that is free of 12 allergens and also vegan and gluten free be delicious? There’s no:
Plus there’s no trans fats, GMOs, or artificial ingredients.
So…is it any good?
First I sampled the double chocolate brownie cookies. Would you ever expect any different from me?
Upon ripping open the plastic wrapper I could smell the cocoa powder and I didn’t even bother to get a plate. That’s juts a formality, anyway right? When Enjoy Life says new and improved, they really mean it. My doubts were gone and my world was full of butterflies, rainbows, and unicorns because I had delicious chocolate cookies in my life…finally. These cookies were even Roomie tested and Roomie approved. I do believe her word were along the lines of, “This is vegan?”
Once the sugar coma wore off (what’s a serving size again?!) I decided to sample a snickerdoodle. Hey, it’s a tough job but I have to get my review out there.
Two words: holy cow.
How on earth had I gone my entire life without eating a snickerdoodle before today!? Maybe it’s the cinnamon that scares me away (ever since attempting the cinnamon challenge, I’ve shied away from the stuff). I hesitantly took a small nibble of a snickerdoodle before promptly inhaling the rest. Good grief, Charlie Brown – these are delicious.
Another great thing I noticed about these cookies was the fact that they stayed so soft and moist, even after being opened. I forgot to put them in a ziploc baggie, but when I tried one the day after opening, they were still as soft as ever.
Oh, it’s love.
Finally, I tried the Lively Lemon flavor. I’m not the biggest fan of lemony desserts. Lemon bars and lemonade are too tart for me. My dad is a fan of anything lemon, so clearly, I didn’t get that trait from him.
I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I say I loved these cookies, too. There were flecks of lemon throughout, but there was a nice balance of sweet and tart; the lemony flavor wasn’t overpowering at all. It was more like a hint of lemon. Or, as the name suggests, a lively lemon flavor.
It’s safe to say that I’m addicted to the snickerdoodles and once I’m all out, I’ll get my butt to the nearest Earth Fare and buy
ten a few boxes. My only dislike was the size of these cookies. They’re kind of small, maybe three or four inches in diameter.
The verdict? Two thumbs up.
Thanks again to Enjoy Life Foods – check them out! They have a full line of allergy and gluten free products, everything from [delicious] chocolate chips to cookies to granolas and bagels.
Note: I was not compensated or paid in any way to write this review – I simply received the cookies in the mail and gave my honest opinion!
What’s your favorite kind of cookie?
Go buy these. Now.
November 8, 2010
The reason I have two jobs.
Now that boyfriend’s outta the picture (his loss anyway), Justin can have my heart. Actually, he stole it long ago. Back when I experienced Whole Foods for the first time I spotted a squeezie pack of this “Nutella knockoff” and nabbed it. I saved the little pouch of chocolate-y goodness until it was perfect weather: a rainy night in need of some chocolate. It was love at first bite.
I thought living as a vegan meant I’d never be able to drizzle Nutella on my pancakes or enjoy it straight up. Of course, I also thought it’d mean I would have to give up Bailey’s, but I didn’t…. Anyway, back to the point, Justin is a genius. A true hero. And if it means I have to go without gas for a week, then so be it.
Is there a certain food that you’ll “splurge” on when you buy groceries?
October 12, 2010
Oh, how I love five day weekends. It’s the last 24 hours of fall break. This means it’s the last 24 hours of me procrastinating on studying for four, yes four, midterms that I have this week. I spent a good chunk of my weekend in Chapel Hill getting speeding tickets (those cops are sneaky as hell), being forced to watch Twilight (I hatehatehate those movies and books), stuffing my face with Mellow Mushroom pizza (hello, Daiya!) and last but certainly not least, going to Whole Foods for the first time in my life. Actually, I had a [rich] foodie’s dream day. I went to Earth Fare, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s all in the same day.
Sad speeding ticket face:
Yay for court dates.
I don’t even want to know how much this is going to cost me, between needing an attorney (I can’t make it as my court date is during a final exam) and the fact that I was going…well… let’s just say I was going a lot over the limit. But it will be okay in the end I know, so I’ve decided that I’m not going to let this affect me. After tweeting my speeding ticket anger away, Happy Whole Foods face ensued. But I’m a bad blogger and didn’t capture it. I realized as I walked into the store that I had forgotten my camera. Trust me, there was madness. I don’t know how I only spent $17, hot bar included. Oh God..the hot bar. Don’t even get me started. I had some of the banginest (that’s a word) tofu EVER. I am sad and happy that I don’t have a WH store back home. Happy because I’d never have any money, but sad because it’s Whole Foods, man.
I hope Heaven has a Whole Foods.
Other treats include Sweet and Sara marshmallows, a squeezie pack of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butta (!!!), Daiya, and a sh!t ton of chocolate. I also purchased something I’ve had my eyes on for a while…
I’ve only heard praise for this stuff. With the nutritionals, it was no surprise. Lotsa protein and fiber and goodies inside. I’ve been using Trader Joe’s chalktastic soy protein powder for my green monsters, so it goes without saying that a change was welcome. I’ve also been avoiding cafeteria food like the plague, so a smoothie for lunch sounded delicious the other day.
Into the blender went 2 very ripe bananas, a dash of vanilla almond milk, ice ice baby, and Vega’s Vanilla Chai optimzer.
I really wish I could say I loved this. I want to say that it was an explosion of vanilla-y, banana-y goodness. All my favorite flavors were there, but something was off. I took about four sips before having to pour the rest down the sink. It was just so chalky! Maybe I did something wrong? I’ll give Vega another chance sometime, but not for a while. I’ve lost my faith in protein powders.
Have you ever had a run-in with the cops? When I was 16, I got pulled over for the first time for running a stop sign. I turned on the water works and got away with a warning. Also, what’s your favorite brand of protein powder?
September 7, 2010
Being in college has definitely made me a lazier person, especially when it comes to cleaning. Last year, I discovered that having an unmade bed is acceptable (shock! horror!) and that shirts can totally be worn multiple times…. just as long as they don’t smell. Of course, I’ve also learned a lot of other fancy stuff, not just academically. Allow me to share:
1) If you can go 3 weeks without doing laundry, either you’ve got a sh!t ton of underwear or you’re a sick, sick person.
2) However, if you can go 3 weeks without having to lug your trash to the dumpsters, you’re a champ.
3) It is perfectly okay to drink apple juice straight from the container if it saves having to wash a cup.
4) You shouldn’t feel guilty for picking up a quarter you find on the sidewalk. That’s laundry money!
5) Taking a tupperware to the Caf on hummus night (!!!) is perfectly fine. Just don’t let the worker minions see you.
On the other hand, I’ve learned something important! If you can get a job as a full time student, you’re lucky. If you can get a job that you love, you’re probably lying. But I’m not… I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful family that needed a nanny for their adorable 11 year old. My old RA, who transferred, recommended me to them and I was fortunate enough to land the job. I’ll just tell you this: I LOVE IT! I work 2-3 days a week, picking her up from school and driving her to dance class, then coming home afterward and tutoring her. And to think, I was nearly desperate enough to apply for a job at the library…
The only downside to the job is that I get back around 7 sometimes. And I eat at 6. Now, my tummy does not like to have a disrupted eating schedule, so I usually stash a Larabar or piece of fruit in my purse to tide me over until I get back on campus for dindins. Sometimes I go to the caf, and other times I realize I have a bag of spinach that needs to be used in my fridge.
There’s no way I’m letting that $4 sucker go to waste (Thanks for your expensive prices, Earth Fare >.<) so I decided to have some veggie POWA in my dinner today! This meal is pretty great for someone lazy busy like me who doesn’t want to spend a long time cooking after work and loves something easy yet healthy. You could probably feed this to your kids and trick them, too. Bwahaha. This isn’t really much of a recipe, just a “throw everything together,” kind of thing, but still. It’s tasty, and you don’t argue with tasty things.
It even says it’s tasty on the box. No arguing.
Easy Peasy Mac ‘n’ Chreese the College Way
You’re gonna need:
1 box of mac ‘n’ chreese
1 can of no-salt added vegetables
1 bag of spinach (preferably the kind that’s not on it’s way out)
A splash of unsweetened non-dairy milk
First, set your pot to boil with a drop or two of extra virgin olive oil just to make sure that nothing sticks to it. Doesn’t it suck when that happens? Once it’s boiling, cook your shells according to the box directions.
This stuff is great in a pinch!
When the pasta is alllllmost al dente (you have to say that in a Giada de Laurentiis accent, by the way. Overannunciate!), toss in your can o veggies so they can heat through.
Don’t judge me!
Then in the last 30 seconds or so, toss in all of your spinach. Remember, it looks like a lot when you put it into the water, but you only get a little in the end. It’s like a bag of chips. Half of it’s always air. >=(
Post drain-age, pour in your choice of non-dairy milk and the cheeze sauce. I like unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla because I usually add a ton of maple syrup to my cereal or oatmeal, so I don’t want to be on a mega sugar high from syrup + almond milk.
I drink this shiz straight up, yo.
Don’t be alarmed by my man-hands. Or the look of the cheeze sauce.
In the end, you’ll get this pile of wonder!
I like to top mine with a bunch of dried basil and oregano.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot the last epic college discovery!
Putting leftovers in a plastic cup is Classy with a capital C.
What’s your favorite college memory?
August 1, 2010
Birthdays are fun. Especially when they involve raw vegan restaurants, chocolate, and cupcakes.
This will be a post of few words but of many pictures..mostly because I’m exhausted as I type this…and I know y’all just want the food porn.
Did not disappoint!
Luna’s Living Kitchen was previously a pure vegetarian restaurant. I was devastated when they shut down a few months ago – so when I found out that they re-opened you KNOW I had to pay them a visit. Very much improved – everything on the menu was vegan and raw!
Raw zucchini spaghetti with mushrooms and pesto.
Sissy and Mum got the sprouted quinoa and kamut burger.
At one point, my carnivorous counterpart said “OHEMGEE this is SO good. It’s amazing!” Yep. Future vegan.
Go ahead and drool.
Or do what I did, and try to lick up all the drippy parts. So worth it.
El Luchador: banana, peanut, hemp milk, hemp protein, raw cacao, agave. Oh yeah, and bliss.
Next up: vegan cupcakes.
After reading about these babies on Caitlin’s blog, I knew I just had to find ‘em.
This display was beautiful!
Vanilla cupcakes with raspberry and chocolate frosting.
Eh. I wasn’t crazy about this cupcake. For $2.75, it wasn’t super expensive but it wasn’t a fantastic deal either. The Boston cupcake (AKA best in da world) was $3.50 but double the size and less oily.
This vanilla cupcake sure was moist, but that was because I’m betting there was a ton’o vegetable oil in there. I know cuppycakes aren’t supposed to be healthy and all, but I don’t like when they’re just plain old greasy. The frosting was a bit of a disappointed, too. Upon first tasting it, I didn’t think it tasted like much at all. It was kind of bland. And then I noticed the texture. It was chewy, mushy, almost like eating jam? I can’t really describe it – it made me wonder if there was gelatin in it, though.
I’ll give it a C+ but an A for effort. After all, being able to get vegan cupcakes in the dirty dirty is pretty freakin awesome.
All in all, today was purdy darn good. Food, gifties, and family time.
Oh yeah… and chocolate.
What’s the best birthday you’ve ever had?
July 23, 2010
Okay, so I thought I should let you guys know that I’m back in the dirty dirty. I didn’t blog and wasn’t really supa active in the blogosphere while I was gone, so I apologize for the lack of life. Anyways, onwards and upwards we go.
New Yawk was amazing. Bawston was immense. Posts from here will be about the trip for a while, cause I have a lot to say, mmmkay? I promise I won’t be boring.
Goodbye, New York! Hello, Boston!
Such pretty architecture,
I will own this one day.
and a crap ton of cute shops.
(This reminded me of you, Mama Pea!)
And amongst all our shopping and dropping, Roomie and I made an amazing, fabulous, epic, and very sweet discovery today, nestled among rows and rows of fancy and uber expensive boutiques… a cupcake store! But not just any old cupcake store.
This brand new and oh so adorable little cupcake shop was called Sweet. You’re gonna see this word so many times it’s going to stop making sense… don’t you hate when that happens? Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet…..
Everything was pink and there was a large chandelier over our table. How cute is this place?! It was as if it came out of a fairy tale or a dream. Everything was sleek, modern, and PINK!
The menu was pretty extensive, and the selection in the case was even bigger.
Of course, I instantly saw the bestest cuppycake flavor within a few moments of being behind the counter. My cupcake senses were tingling.
I feel like the decision to buy this little gem had been made even before I walked into the store. It was fate. Destiny. Whatever you want to call it, me and that little cupcake were meant to be together forever.
Happy cupcake face!
Adorable Roomie and her red velvet cupcake.
I can’t remember the last time I had a good cupcake. And by good, I don’t mean the crappy Betty Crocker kind or the one that comes in a box from the grocery store. I mean a made-from-scratch-with-oodles-of-love-inside kind of cupcake. The ones that make your heart sing and your taste buds dance. To be honest, I can’t remember much of this cupcake, but only because it BLEW my freaking mind.
Roomie tested, Roomie approved.
This is the part that I’m supposed to show you pictures of the inside and how moist (ew, I hate that word), soft, and chocolate-y this sucker was. But I was too busy having multiple parties in my mouth to remember to take pictures. Just imagine the best cupcake your grandmother/mommy/lover/private chef could ever bake for you and then make it even better. That’s how good this was.
That’s why I have a sad-last-bite face.
Now I just wish we had a vegan cupcakery in the dirty dirty. Until we do, I’ll be singing.
Have you ever made an epic, tasty, fantastic discovery?
PS – don’t forget to enter my giveaway!
July 21, 2010
There’s a giveaway in this post!
On our second (and last) day in NYC, I was persuasive lucky enough to get to visit One Lucky Duck, the takeaway shop attached to Pure Food & Wine.. Do a Google search for “vegan food in NYC” and I can guarantee you One Lucky Duck will be on the top five places listed, along with Babycakes vegan bakery. Admittedly, One Lucky Duck wasn’t first on my list. Babycakes NYC was…because let’s face it, I hadn’t had a legit cupcake in the longest time and I was jonesing for a refined sugar free high. It’s hard to make good vegan cupcakes.
When we realized that Babycakes was 3.66 miles away from the hotel we were staying at (and I couldn’t make Roomie and her mum walk over 7 miles for vegan food), I looked up where One Lucky Duck was. 1.2 miles? Right on. 1.2 miles in the heat? Major suckage. By the end of our trip there, my jeans were stuck to my legs like jeggings (what the heck are those things all about?!?) and I could feel the sweat dripping down my back. My feet were aching (by this time, we had walked over a marathon distance as well as running at ze gym) and I knew blisters were well on their way.
But it was worth it. Soooo worth it.
The menu was so intense. I wanted it all.
The first thing I noticed when I walked inside was the super chill atmosphere. There was some music playing in the background – perhaps The Decemberists – and the decor was abso-freaking-lutely adorable. One wall, painted red, had pictures of ducks and stringed lights hanging from the ceiling. I took a picture, but it ended up blurry. Sad times.
The other wall, however, was full of DELICIOUSness.
O hai, Roomie!
These little pouches of goodness are worth the ridiculously expensive prices. Seriously… despite the fact that I spent $25 on an epic smoothie, cookies, and crispies. But you’re paying for amazing quality. Everything in the shop is raw, vegan, gluten and refined sugar free, and it’s also organic. And orgasmic.
On to the eats!
This little treat was so tasty, I couldn’t stop sipping it. I was surprised I made it out the door with a fifth left in the cup. The first thing that hit me when I took that glorious first sip was bananas and then a hit of cinnamon. I think they put a loaf of banana bread into the vitamix. It was frothy, rich, creamy, and just how a milkshake should be. On such a hot day, it didn’t leave me with an overly sweet mouth and desperate for a sip of water.
I was also surprised that the chocolate crispies that I bought lasted the train ride to Boston. They made the four hours of reading about Hitler and the Cold war soooo much better. These crispies are intended to go in cereal, kind of like raw cocoa pops, but there was no way these babies were going to make it another week – I had a long arse train ride as well as a trip on a plane to make it through. I needed these.
Organic buckwheat, organic maple syrup, organic maple powder, organic cocoa powder, organic vanilla extract, Himalayan crystal salt.
What?! Where’d they put the crack? Cause these things are good eats… even if they weren’t cereal-ized.
Which is why this demolition happened approximately two hours later in the hotel room…They lasted a whole 8 hours!
One Lucky Duck luckily, I still had something chocolate-y and fantastic up my sleeve.
Chocolate chip heroin cookies.
(seriously, why do I keep adding addictive substances to these cookies?! They must have put ‘em in there, how can something raw taste so great?)
These adorable heart-shaped cookies were fantastic. Phenomenal. “Fantasmagasmic,” as Roomie says.
I wish I could tell you guys how much I loved this place. But I just can’t put it into words. I now understand why One Lucky Duck is a must. Why it’s on so many vegan websites, featured in magazines, and why it’s so well known. I understand why people can “do” raw food without missing things like cookies, chocolate cereal, and ice cream.
Sarma, you are a goddess.
So do you want to be a lucky duck too?! Well read on, my friends! That’s right, I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY!
One Lucky Duck Gift Card
One lucky duck reader is going to receive a $10 gift card to One Lucky Duck’s online store, sent straight to their e-mail address. With those ten buckaroos, they can get some [help in buying] fantabulous snacks, great books, or wonderful body products. We’re talking macaroons, chocolate bars, cookies, chocolate truffle butter (!!!!), and *Atisana* products. You do not want to miss out on this, take it from me. The best part is that the heroes at One Lucky Duck will ship their store products worldwide, so this contest is open to everyone and anyone!
How to enter:
1.) Leave a comment on here telling me your best restaurant experience and why. Or bribe me with chocolate.
2.) Tweet about this and let me know. (You can follow me on twitter @southernbritish)
3.) For an extra entry, link to this on your blog and post that in your comment, too!
You will automatically win if you buy me chocolate.*
I will randomly pick a winner one week from today.
Good luck, ducklings!
July 20, 2010
My first NYC breakfast probably wasn’t what you’re expecting. I didn’t go to Babycakes and pick up a cupcake (though I totally would do that, regardless of the time of day) and I didn’t find a small, chic café and sip on a soy-no-whip-mocha-vanilla-chino something with a newspaper in my hand. After a 6am flight (that meant getting up at 4 to make it to the airport in time! Brutal!) I was in no mood to be chic or fancy. So instead of going to a restaurant, I experienced my first NY take out deli. It was everything I hoped for and more.
Loud, busy, and full of people behind the counter, belting out people’s orders. The lights were dim and there were fingerprints all over the counter tops. There were even flies in the seating area. A public health student’s nightmare. The cooks taking the orders were pretty ruthless, taking orders at the speed of light and frying, grilling, chopping, and speaking with a thick Spanish New York accent. At first, I was kind of intimidated because I didn’t want to be that complicated vegan and order something no one would be able to make. And then I realized that there wasn’t really anything vegan on the menu and even if there was, it would probably be cooked on the same surface/with the same utensils and gloves as the meat…so that would just be a waste of time.
So I picked up some local-looking bar that was vegan as well as an apple and a banana. When I say local, I mean the company is based in NYC (I think).
Hey there, Gnu Foods!
This little sucker was apparently a Peanut Butter flavor, and it was vegan so I decided to give it a try. Apparently one bar has about half of your daily fiber needs with 12 grams packed in there, and the bird on the wrapper felt the need to tell me that the roughage really is stuffed in there.
TMI, little buddy.
What creeped me out a little bit more was the visible mechanical innards of a cow. I guess this wrapper is just… creative.
Upon further investigation, I found just what that cow is doing on the wrapper.
“The Gnu has an ox-like head, the mane of a horse, and the horns of a buffalo. It may look unusual from the outside, but inside, it functions beautifully. Flourishing in the grasslands and plains of Southern and Eastern Africa, the gnu lives in balance with nature” (from Gnu Foods’ website).
Creepy label aside, this bar wasn’t really something to write home about. The ingredients list was relatively short with no weird chemicals or refined grains. The fiber came from 6 legit sources (whole grains) and there were no refined or added sugars. The ingredients list made me a happy vegan.
Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic kamut, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, rice, canola oil, peanuts, apples, plums, natural flavors, wheat protein isolate, salt, baking powder.
But I think the happiness kind of ended there. Once I took my first bite, I was less than impressed. The texture was pretty darn grainy, and I didn’t really get a taste of peanut butter. I got banana bread-y with a hint of flour-y wheat-y flavor.
Overall, if given the choice, I probably wouldn’t buy this bar again. For $1.50, it was only marginally cheaper than a Larabar, and I can easily get my fiber from other sources. The taste wasn’t too peanut buttery, and if I’m going to get a peanut butter bar, I want some peanut butter darnit. I think perhaps this bar was intended for people who eat nothing but white bread and meat?
Either way, the bird on the wrapper was right.
June 29, 2010
Have you ever heard of Larabars? If not, you should get out of whatever cave you live in, trot down to your local grocer’s, and grab as many different flavors of these suckers in as many flavors as you possibly can.
I say this in complete confidence that just one taste of one will send you over to the dark Larabar loving side. These things are immense. Fabulous. Wonderful. They are, without a doubt, the best bar out there on the market.
A blurry peanut butter cookie explosion!
“LÄRABAR firmly believes that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat. And what you eat is healthiest and most satisfying when it’s in a whole, natural state.” (from larabar.com)
Well, you know what I believe? I believe in a thing called love that I could eat these things for every meal and not get sick of them. From Banana Bread (my favorite!) to Key Lime Pie to Cocoa Mole to their fabulous new Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavors… I’m in love.
The best thing about these bars is that the company really sticks to their word. There’s no added sugar, refined grains, artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, or unpronounceable ingredients. In fact, the ingredients list for Peanut Butter Cookie? Peanuts, dates, and a smidgen of salt.
Simplicity at its finest.
Of course, the main factor for me is the taste. Something that’s gluten, dairy, soy, and GMO free as well as being vegan and kosher? Usually bars like that are bland. Well the Peanut Butter Cookie hits you like BAM, baby! (In the words of Emeril Lagasse, apparently?)
I should have picked a more appropriate background.
The only word I can use to describe the taste of these bars…. EPICyumtasticamazingfabuloustastydeliciousness. Packed full of vitamins, minerals, good-for-you fats, some protein, and carbs, this was fabulous post-workout fuel.
What happened when I told my mum I would need a few snackypoos for my upcoming trip to NYC and Boston.
If my fabulous mother hasn’t bought the entire country’s stock of Larabars, go out and buy some! But then again, if she has, they are so good that I can’t really apologize.
If buying thirty bars at a time is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
June 24, 2010
If I had to pick a last meal other than breakfast (which is, hands down, banana and peanut butter pancakes), I’d pick sushi. End of story. There’s just something about it that makes it a perfect meal. Maybe it’s the cool, crisp veggies, the smooth, creamy avocado, the B vitamins and texture of the nori holding it together, or even the carbohydrates from the rice. Whatever is in that combination, it makes sushi a stellar meal for me.
So while we were at the beach, my dad and I sampled two different sushi joints. Both claimed to be Japanese and Thai. Both claimed to have the best sushi in town. Both had legit, almost novel-like menus. Of course, you can’t really have two favorite sushi places, according to one of my friends. So I present to you…. *drumroll please*
The Great Sushi-off Competition 2010
In the first corner, we have Siam Orchid. An old favorite, a seasoned contender, and a fabulous meal every time. Siam Orchid boasts a full Thai and Japanese menu as well as a sushi bar. It also has ballin’ decor.
In our second corner is Sake, a definite underdog. Unknown until a few weeks ago (though they’ve been open since 2000), Sake claims to serve the best sushi in all of town.
Round one: Menus
At Siam Orchid, the menu, as mentioned above, is extensive. But it’s Barbie pink. That’s a possible weakness. Plus, the pictures can give the diner the impression that the food is more or less the same quality as those takeaway Chinese places with similar pictures. As if I didn’t know what sweet and sour chicken looked like..
At Sake, the menu is NOT hot pink. Plus. But the menu is a novel to get through and has a ton of good options.
See that strength? It’s in a binder, enough said. The food is also clearly divided into sections by geographical location, and is well organized. Plus it has less typos. Round one goes to Sake.
Round 2: Appetizers
At Siam Orchid, there’s only one appetizer that will satisfy a hungry vegan until sushi arrives. And that is… tofu rolls!
Served on a gorgeous plate with scrumptious peanut sauce. The outside tapioca roll is the perfect compliment to its innards. Inside the rolls are the usual suspects – vermacelli noodles, carrots, cucumber, and tofu. BUT WAIT, what’s this?! Arugula? Some kind of spicy green leafy! Unexpected and definitely a good twist. Sake’s going to have to try hard to recover from that blow.
Sake’s appetizer is a pretty legit bowl of vegetable soup. It might appear to be a plain looking broth with mushy vegetables, but looks can be deceiving! First off, the spoon that’s hiding behind is adorable. Secondly, the broth was tasty without being overly salty like a lot of soups are. And the veggies? Crisp and delicious. But what’s this? Mushrooms?!*puke*
Round 2 definitely goes to Siam Orchid!
The Final Round…
The long awaited moment has arrived. We’re all tied up in the last round, whoever wins this is going to take it all.
And just LOOK at that presentation from Siam Orchid! The sauteed vegetables were served in a martini glass, which was “glued” to the plate with hot wasabi paste. Genius. All of the basics are covered – makizushi, wasabi and other assorted hot pastes, tofu, and Nigiri-zushi. Looking good.
What this plate of deliciousness lacks in martini-glass-ness, it certainly makes up for it with flavor. It packs a giant tastebud punch (what a pun, ha ha). The tofu (inzrizushi) is moist yet crunchy without being chewy; the makizushi itself is absolutely divine. Having the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside is just plain awesome, because I don’t like the look of nori that much. This plate of sushi was colossal. Amazing. Delicious. I was actually unable to finish it. Om nom nom.
The winner of round 3 goes to Siam Orchid because I just can’t get over that darn martini glass.
So the winner of the first ever Sushi-Off… is actually both Siam Orchid and Sake!
Because wrestling is silly. And sushi is always a winner.
What’s your favorite restaurant and why?