Category Archives: Food

USA, Texas, Round Rock – Star Coffee

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While it has been open for a while, this is my first visit to Star Coffee, I have seen it several times while in downtown Round Rock, but decided to try it this morning as I was in need of free Wi-Fi (and breakfast). Star Coffee is located at 201 E. Main Street in Round Rock, TX. They have an extensive menu including breakfast, lunch and dinner – all served all day. They also have a large array of drinks – coffee, expresso, smoothies, etc.

As you may notice in the photo above, the building is an historical landmark. When I moved here in 1975, this building housed the local Farmer’s Co-Op. I used to go in there to buy ‘chicken scratch’ to feed the birds in my back yard. Over the years the location has hosted several businesses. I hope that Star Coffee is here to stay.

I went in this morning and had an omelette that was pretty good. Maybe not the best I ever had, but certainly a good omelette. The coffee was descent too. As they say on their website:

Before Star Coffee Texas opened in 2009, we had a vision to be the place where locals and visitors wanted to come to get an amazing cup coffee and some great food! We know that quality trumps everything, especially when it comes to creating a place where everyone wants to be. By 20015, our café was relocated to the building we are in now in order to provide our customers with a quaint atmosphere, supurb coffee, baked goods and of course the great food menu people have come to know and love.

 

At Star Coffee Texas, our mission is to serve our customers with the finest coffee beans, and beverages as well as a wonderfully diverse menu with breakfast, lunch, dinner and baked goods to satisfy every craving at any time of the day. Our aim is to become “the” local cafe that people love and want to come back to time and time agin due to our great customer service, wonderful coffee beverages, and menu items created with all the love and care that our amazing customers deserve.

The setting is simple, but comfortable. The staff has been courteous and helpful. All-in-all it is a place I intend to come back to. An added service is that they take Apple Pay so I could buy breakfast using my Apple Watch.


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Why I Love Coffee

Coffee – While I don’t have the same ‘romantic’ feeling towards coffee, I certainly can understand her feelings for this remarkable brew.

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Why do I love coffee..? Let me count the ways.
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The taste of coffee is comforting and grounding.
When I drink coffee I feel a nostalgia that is hard to explain; a warmth.
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The aroma, the taste, the buzz, the culture, and the connections, all are worthy reasons.
In the morning coffee lifts me up and boosts my day.

I love the culture and variety of coffee:

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I enjoy learning about the different countries that grow coffee.

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I’m intrigued by different roasting and brewing techniques. I love the roasted nutty smell and taste of good coffee beans. Experimenting with coffee flavors and styles can be a lot of fun.

cupsI am fascinated with all the wonderful different ways to enjoy the incredible edible coffee bean.

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Coffee is soothing on a rainy day, and melts away the brittle snow or ice of winter. When a day is full of hustle and bustle, taking the…

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‘Safe’ Level of Caffeine Confirmed

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Coffee – When I came across the article “Drinking Four Cups of Coffee Is Probably Safe” this morning I had to read it. I learned a few things from the article:

  1. We should all try to limit our daily consumption to about 400mg of caffeine (I have seen this suggestion before)
  2. The “World’s sTrongest Coffee” is something called Black Insomnia – they claim a minimum of 702 mg of Caffeine per 12 fl. oz. cup
  3. A close runner up to Black Insomnia is Death Wish – they also claim to be the “World’s Strongest Coffee”

That 400mg rule of course depends upon the individual and their state of health. If you want to get a good estimate of how much you are consuming per day you can check here, here and here. There are so many variables that it is difficult to get an exact number, but an average is 100-120 mg per 8oz. home brewed cup. I drink two 16 oz cups each morning, so that means I am right at or slightly over the recommended level. Perhaps a little less as I don’t like the taste of strongly brewed coffee and I adjust my brewing process accordingly.

A good rule of thumb would be if you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms (from the Mayo Clinic), you should consider reducing your daily caffeine consumption:

  • Migraine headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Frequent urination or inability to control urination
  • Stomach upset
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

Will I be buying either of the two “World’s Strongest Coffees” mentioned above – Not likely. Not only do they cost about twice as much as my regular Sprout’s Blend ($19.99 per pound for both Black Insomnia and Death Wish), as I mentioned above I don’t like the taste of strongly brewed coffee.

 

Happy Star Wars Day

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Star Wars – Well, it is May 4th again and time to celebrate Star Wars Day (You know, “May the 4th be With You”). The day’s activities are in full swing as I have seen many posts in Twitter and Facebook already.

If you still want to do something to celebrate, you will find a few suggestion in “5 NEW WAYS TO CELEBRATE STAR WARS DAY“. Ideas from watching one or more of the films with friends to cooking up something special. There are even a recipes (“5 BLUE MILK RECIPES FOR STAR WARS DAY“) for creating your own “blue bantha milk” to serve your guests.

How ever you choose to celebrate today MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

Disney Temps Us with Smells

Disney – In today’s issue of “Now I know” titled “The Nose Knows“, Dan Lewis tell about how Disney has for years been using the “Smellitzer”. This device, for which Disney holds the patent granted in 1984, is able to blow odors at the guests.

Many report tantalizing odors near candy stores, popcorn stands and similar venues. The next time I go to Disney I will be on the lookout for these odors. I think that it is interesting that the Disney engineers have been working all these years to immerse us in a variety of ways when we enter the Disney properties.

Which way to Brew?

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Coffee – I found the article”Which coffee brewing method makes the tastiest cup?‘ on Quora a couple of says ago. The author’s answer, not a surprise to me, is that the ‘tastiest’ cup of coffee is going to vary from person to person. 

He mentions that each person should try different brewing methods:

  1. Expresso
  2. Drip
  3. French Press
  4. Turkish
  5. Cold Brew

For myself, I prefer Drip as . . . well it is simple an quick. When I get up of a morning, I want my coffee as soon as I can get it with as little trouble as possible. Drip might be brew the tastiest coffee, but it is my preferred method.

 

Clear Coffee????

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Coffee – I came across the article “Clear Coffee That Won’t Stain Your Teeth Has Arrived” this morning. CLRCFF is what the drink is called. Hmmm . . . even though they claim that it tastes like coffee and has the same caffeine, I just don’t think it would be the same to drink this new concoction.

This is a drink produced in the UK, so we may not even be able to try it over here in the States anytime soon. Though since Whole Foods seems to be carrying it in the UK, we may see it here sooner than I expect. The price may also be a deterrent with two 200 ml (about 7oz) bottles selling in the U.K. for £5.99 (about $7.50 today).

Since I like my coffee hot and black, I’m not sure that this will ever appeal to me. I guess if you like iced coffee this might appeal to you. While this is an interesting development, I’ll stick with what I brew at home every morning.

Is this something that you would buy to satisfy your caffeine cravings every day?

Food for Thought: Where to find Bookish Restaurants

Books – I really liked some of the suggestions in this post. In particular I plan to look up the “Hobbit Cafe” when I travel to Houston this summer. I can’t think of a better combination than good food and a good book.

K.L. Kranes, Author

I love to sit alone at a restaurant or a cafe and read a book. When I was a kid, I’d see someone doing this and feel so sorry for them I’d want to go sit with them. As an adult, if some kid did that I’d think it’s cute, but prefer to be left alone. I love a good lit lunch.

For me food and restaurants are linked to books. On our a recent trip to Williamsburg, VA, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of literary references and motifs in the local restaurants.

Here are just a few.

Food For Thought

20170410_184846I stole the name of this blog from this restaurant, which doesn’t just center it’s theme on books but books that make you think. It had my favorite book – Atlas Shrugged front and center over the waiting room seating inside. Large letters hang from the walls…

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Bulletproof Coffee

I like coffee, so when I saw an article on Bulletproof Coffee it intrigued me. I haven’t tried adding butter to my coffee yet, but one of these mornings I’ll get adventurous and try it. Not sure about the “Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee Beans” and “Brain Octane Oil” though. Making Bulletproof Coffee with these ingredients is claimed to give improved IQ and cognitive function.

Dave Asprey (the ‘Bulletproof’ founder) also recommends using a French Press or Pour Over Method. He likes taking the time to slowly pour his hot water over the grounds in the Pour Over Method. I’m not sure I want to suffer that delay getting to my first cup of the morning.

I see that Picnik, both a Restaurant and Food Truck here in Austin, serves Bulletproof coffee. Perhaps I’ll try it there first before committing to the process myself.

Have you tried it? What do you think?

Spain, Barcelona – La Boqueria Market

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2016 Cruise – Day 3 – After completing our shopping we continued on down La Rambla to the La Boqueria Market (Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, España). In this open air market you can find all sorts of food.

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Not only can you buy fish, meat, fruits and vegetables, there are also places to buy prepared food and drinks.

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We enjoyed strolling though the crowded market looking at what the many stalls had to offer. It was an interesting place to visit. Certainly far different than we are used to in Central Texas.


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