Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chicago — Glazed & Infused

All right, all right, all right. Glazed & Infused. Best doughnut shop name ever? I'm sure Matthew McConaughey would agree.

After one too many over-the-top doughnuts, I came back to old-school doughnut roots while in Chicago at Glazed & Infused. I was beginning to stray from the appreciation of the classics. Give me glazed or give me death.

Cue Glazed & Infused and their Vanilla Bean Glazed doughnut. Utter perfection. This quintessential glazed cannot be beat.

Glazed & Infused is a local chain with five locations in the Chicago area. We went to the Lincoln Park location and utilized the adorable walk-up window to order and sat inside to enjoy.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy National Coffee Day!

Would you be shocked if I told you that there's no shortage of good coffee in Seattle

In this caffeinated land, fortunately you don't have to worry about obtaining coffee wherever you may be, because there is a place at practically every corner. When you want coffee or simply must have it to function, sometimes proximity is all that truly matters. Since Brian doesn't drink coffee (I know, crazy right?), I pretty much let the coffee gods lead me to wherever happened to be closest at the time. 

Being a rebel and all, I ordered a latte just about everywhere (hey, it was vacation). Not only did I enjoy those lattes, complete with their fancy foam art, but I admired that each coffee shop had so much character. I may not know the difference between a mad-scientist or retro Italian-looking coffee making contraption, but good branding and design will always get your coffee shop bonus points from me. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Shake Shack

I recently had my first Shake Shack experience in NYC. It's suitable that "shake" is in the name because my vanilla shake sure was scrumptious. The burgers and fries were pretty good too, although the long line and battle to find a table at the Times Square location was not fun. But, if you need a cheap grease fix, it's a good choice. Additionally, the Mast Brothers Chocolate Shake Shack-blend bar is dynamite too. 

It got me thinking though. Why do we get so excited about about regional burger-and-fries joints that aren't nearby? 

The Midwest has Sonic.
Texas has Whataburger.
The West Coast has In-N-Out.
New York has Shake Shack.

I have a friend in California who is absolutely obsessed with Sonic and I've always thought that to be bit funny. Don't get me wrong. Nothing beats a Sonic Happy Hour, even though I try not to drink it that much anymore (especially diet). Growing up in Kansas, Sonic Drive-Ins are like Starbucks in Seattle though. They are everywhere. 

When I first moved to Dallas, I was excited for Whataburger, but it's not a favorite. There's one right next door to my school so it's definitely a blessing that I'm not that into it. 

As for In-N-Out, my first trip there was in Scottsdale years ago. I had heard stories about how people would wait in line for hours, lining up for blocks to order from the drive-thru. In-N-Out used to have a very special place in my heart on trips to Arizona and California, but since they came to Texas a few years ago, I lost interest. The closeness makes it far less intriguing.

When I heard the news that Shake Shack is coming to Austin, I was a bit disappointed. There's something alluring about distance that makes burgers and fries taste better. Obviously, it's a mental thing. Is it just me?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy National Dog Day

Happy National Dog Day. 

Say hello to Lacy, Auggie, Sully, and Pancake.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Salt & Straw Ice Cream in Portland

I couldn't believe my luck when we randomly stumbled upon Salt & Straw, an ice cream shop on my mental radar, but not pinned on my map, on 23rd Street in Portland. At first glance, the beautiful branding at Salt & Straw enticed me, but more interestingly was that we happened to stop in during the middle of a photoshoot for one of their seasonal flavors. I watched in awe as the ice cream man Tyler Malek worked his magic in making their Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero picture perfect. The staff could not have been more helpful in helping me pick out the ice cream flavor that I would love the most, complete with unlimited samples served on antique spoons. When Tyler learned that I had a thing for ice cream, he was happy to chat it up with us for awhile, although I didn't press him for too much time considering he had melting ice cream to take pictures of. When it comes to adventurous sounding ice creams, don't be scared. Go for the flavors you know and love and generally you'll like the ice cream too. They certainly know what they are doing at Salt & Straw. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ladurée Macarons

Even though the sweet goodness of Ladurée macarons from Paris and have crossed the pond, it was still a treat to pop in their shop in London. Macarons have become a super trendy treat as of late but they have been popular in France for years. Ladurée is celebrating their 150th anniversary this year of making their most famous sugary confection. My favorites are Pétale de Rose, Marie Antoinette, and Caramel à la Fleur de Sel. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Best Belgian Waffles at Dandoy in Brussels, Belgium

Has anyone else been immersed in World Cup soccer these past few weeks? Perhaps that's a dumb question for most of the world, but as an American, it isn't. I briefly "played" soccer for a one season stint in the 4th grade in between picking dandelions and attempting handstands. Even though I wasn't successful in the sport, I continually become more and more intrigued by the passion and creativity in the sport.

While running errands this morning, I heard on the news that there were people who were boycotting all that is good about Belgium today... namely waffles, beer, and chocolate... all in the name of American soccer pride. Considering that today's game is on a mid-afternoon on a Tuesday, I don't believe anyone really has to go out of their way to avoid Belgian delicacies, but the idea behind it is funny.

Fortunately, we'll only play them once so you can go back to enjoying these great foods win or lose tomorrow. If you're in Belgium, you've got to go to Dandoy, who most likely has the best waffles in all of Belgium. They've been making sweets since 1829 so I'll let the famed waffle shop's longevity and my pictures do the talking. If you're in Brussels, make sure to go to the picturesque location behind Grand Place with the upstairs cafe.