Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sushi Yoko

Tempura - Deep fried shrimp and vegetables

Shrimp tempura roll

I've never been to Sushi Yoko before, and I have no excuse since I pass by it every Monday through Friday. The menu is in two languages; the English version starts about halfway through the menu. There's sushi in the regular menu but there's also a separate sushi menu. Confused? Yep, I was curious about that, too. I wasn't hungry enough for a full meal so I opted for one sushi roll and one appetizer. I don't normally order fried items but I knew tempura is quick, tasty, and timeless. Tempura is a pretty safe choice though; I need to get out of my comfort zone on this one. The shrimp tempura roll (there's that tempura again!) was all right. I do like roe and there was plenty of it in the roll. When it comes to sushi, I really lean towards those high-falutin' rolls with the medley of contents and /or the spicy mayo on top. I can't help myself but I think those are super delicious. The ice cream was complimentary and had clearly been scooped earlier in the day and kept frozen in the dish in the freezer. :o\ Not how I would serve it but I ate it anyway. It was quite malleable considering the circumstances.

Moose Munch

I received a package of Moose Munch as a Christmas gift this year. Moose Munch can be found at Harry and David stores. It reminded me of larger versions of Cracker Jacks. To be honest, I preferred the chocolate over the original flavor. What's not to like about chocolate?! I ate the whole bag in two days. O_o

La Madeleine

Shrimp Crepe Florentine - Shrimp, tomatoes, garlic, spinach, and pesto cream sauce

I had lunch at La Madeleine before meeting up with friends for yet another shopping expedition. Does shopping make me hungry or what? ;o) I ordered the Shrimp Crepe Florentine; there were two sizes available and I opted for the smaller one. Good thing too because this filled me up! The bread was complimentary; you can pick it up before getting your drink at the soda fountain.

The crepe was pretty soft and a little fluffy; the contents were tasty. I think the pesto cream sauce really makes this dish. It's pretty liquid-y, so you can use the complimentary bread to soak up whatever sneaks out from the crepe. :o) In my opinion, the entrees are a bit pricey for what you get. I'm glad I went and what I ordered was delicious but I probably won't be going back any time soon. The indoor fireplace is a nice touch though, particularly because of this cold weather we're having. 

Graduation Party

I went to a friend's graduation party. This time it's a friend from grad school. I was invited to his home, and he and his wife had this beautiful spread. I am eyeing that three pot crockpot warmer! Plus, I know my friends don't read minds but I really love those pinwheels. They are so addicting! I think you can purchase them at Kroger and Publix. 

Corner Bakery

Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder

I was shopping at Lenox Square Mall with a friend, and got hungry about midway through the search for her relatives' gifts. I wasn't hungry enough for a meal, so Corner Bakery fit the bill quite nicely. I ordered a cup of the Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder. They offer a variety of soups on different days; believe me, I was tempted to order lentil soup or chili instead but I wanted to try the chowder because I hadn't had a Southwest flavor in a while.

Aside from the film on the top of the soup (kind of oily), the contents were yummy. I like my soups to be thick and hearty, which this was. I had intended on eating it with crackers but, to my surprise, the bread came with it. Thinking back, I can't remember what kind of bread it was though. Perhaps sourdough. Anyway, it's a bit pricey for soup and I can't help but think I could make a similar version at home but it worked for me at the time. It did have that Southwest flavor but without the spicy kick. I think the soup would work both ways, really.

Cheesecake Factory

Crispy Fried Cheese - Mozzarella and Fontina cheese with marinara sauce

Fire-Roasted Fresh Artichoke - Fresh artichoke fire-roasted and served with a spicy vinaigrette and garlic dip (Seasonal)

Factory Chopped Salad - A delicious blend of chopped romaine, grilled chicken, tomato, avocado, corn, bacon, blue cheese, and apple with our SkinnyLicious vinaigrette

I went to The Cheesecake Factory for a friend's graduation dinner. I've been to the Perimeter Mall location before, but not the North Point Mall one. In case your GPS device tells you otherwise, this restaurant is located near the Dillard's parking deck at North Point. I don't know how long the SkinnyLicious menu has been out but it's certainly appropriate given the holidays. I'm sure this menu will become super popular come January 1st. It's much easier to look for healthy options in this menu than to search for them in the regular menu. In hopes of keeping at bay an expanding waistline (ever-present around the holidays), I opted to get the Factory Chopped Salad. I always order dressing on the side because typically restaurants are heavy-handed with the dressing when they put it on salads; I find that whenever I get the dressing on the side I never use all of it anyway. But I digress!

The group I ate with ordered several appetizers and small plates including the Fire-Roasted Artichoke and Fried Cheese. We also ate Stuffed Mushrooms; Fried Zucchini; and Warm Crab & Artichoke Dip; and Roasted Pear and Blue Cheese Flatbread - all off of the small plates menu. Oh my goodness, I got full off of the appetizers and small plates! I liked all of the small plates but I enjoyed the dip the most. I would never order fried cheese or fried zucchini for myself but it was nice to try - I hadn't had those items in the longest time. Each small plate was "bad" in its own way, and I'm sorry to say there were complimentary bread baskets as well. O.o Suffice it to say, I had enough salad left over to make a second meal the next day. There was definitely no room for dessert, though I did get a spoon or two of whatever desserts other people ordered.

Mini Hot Pot, Part 2

Second trip to Mini Hot Pot! [Note: For the menu, the Yelp entry is more helpful than the actual website.] This time around, my friend and I split a hot pot order. This strategy turned out AWESOME because I couldn't finish one by myself last time. O_O We ordered the meat combo (we chose beef and lamb) with beef bone broth. There's a sauce stand in the back - this time I had BBQ sauce with garlic sauce and cilantro. One sauce combo that is also good is to mix BBQ sauce with creamy peanut butter, to your tastes. You'd have to supply your own peanut butter but TRUST ME, it tastes SO GOOD! You can't go wrong with hot pot - you're effectively boiling food for your meal.

Here is a previous post about Mini Hot Pot, which includes a better picture of the menu. We didn't get the complimentary taro this time around.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Tempura Sweet Potatoes with sweet chili aioli

9 Veg Curry Falafel - Four falafel discs covered in spicy curry vegetables

Churro Bread Pudding with hot chocolate sauce

Second trip to Takorea! This time I took a few more friends with me, and I was able to sample a couple of different menu items. They *had* to try the sweet potato fries - these are in the running against the sesame fries for best junk food menu item. I still love the sauce that comes with it! While my friends ordered tacos and bibim bop, I went for the unusual: falafel. I had no idea what the plate would look like when I got it, but it was a glorious plate. You can get full off of it, easily. The falafel discs were smothered with vegetable curry which, despite the menu's claims, wasn't spicy. Of course, I didn't mind this. I was more entranced by the combination of falafel and curry to really pay attention to that minor detail. The dish was quite tasty.

Afterwards, one of us was still hungry so we shared a dessert: churro bread pudding. This sounded so delicious (even without a description), so I was glad to see that it was a moist cake. I was a little surprised by the appearance as it looked more like a cake than a bread pudding, but it tasted delicious. The hot chocolate was not too hot, so you could eat it right away. The whipped cream appeared to be made in-house - it was quite thick and definitely did not come out of a can. I'm glad we shared this dessert because there was no way I could have eaten it alone, not after the sweet potato fries and the veg curry. O_O

I still love this place plus its sister street food restaurant, Hankook Taqueria. You can find older posts about these two restaurants here, here, and here.