Tag Archives: Dessert

USA, Texas, Round Rock – Fogueira Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse

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(See my other posts related to Round Rock  and Food ) – I had dinner this evening at the Fogueira Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse located at 2000 South IH-35, Suite D1, Round Rock, Texas 78681. This is the third Brazilian Steakhouse I have dined at this year, though the first in Texas. I have to say that the food was excellent!

You first get to go to their salad bar. There are many selections to choose from. It is self serve and you can return as often as you like, but you really need to leave plenty of room for the meat!

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As soon as you are ready for the main course, you flip over a small card at your seat at the table. When the waiters see you have a ‘green’ card they stop at your table to see if you want a portion of the meat they are serving. You have several choices. Per their website:

Our 15 cuts of meat, consisting of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and sausage, will be carved and served to guest’s desired temperature by a gaucho – trained Brazilian chef, on a large skewer. The service and carving of the meats are initiated by each individual guest using a red and green sided card.

Their meat selections include:

  • Picanha – their signature cut, prime part of top sirloin. Comes with 2 additional flavors of Spicy and Garlic.
  • Filet Mignon- Tasty cut of tenderloin. Also served wrapped in bacon.
  • Rib Eye- Richly marbled steak seasoned with fajita.
  • Costela – Juicy beef ribs, rubbed with rock salt, slow roasted to bring forward natural flavors
  • Fraldinha – Flavorful cut of bottom sirloin.
  • Cordeiro- Succulent lamb chops and tender leg of lamb.
  • Frango – Beer-marinated chicken legs and juicy chicken breasts wrapped in bacon.
  • Costela de Porco – Pork ribs, seasoned and cooked to perfection.
  • Lombo de Porco – Pork tenderloin coated with parmesan cheese.
  • Linguica – Savory pork sausage.

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Tables are also served with bowls of garlic mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas, hot cheese breads, farofa, crispy polentas, and rice and beans. Waiters keep coming by with meats until you give up and turn your card over to red. If you need a short break, just turn your card over to red for a while, then back to green when you are ready for more.

Prices are $34.95 for weekday lunch and $49.95 for dinner any night. A salad bar only option is available for $26.95 and $31.50 for lunch and dinner respectively as well.

A number of very tasty desserts ($8 – $12) are available, though they are not included in the dinner meal price.

I can say with certainty that I will be going back!


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[Photos are from the Fogueira Gaúcha website and Facebook page]

Singapore, Singapore – Soufflé Restaurant

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(See my other Food posts) – A couple of weeks ago we went to a French restaurant here in Singapore, Soufflé. The restaurant is located at 5 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089591.

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Soufflé is not a very large place and as you would expect from the name, it specializes in preparing a variety of soufflés. I had an order of Soupe à l’Oignon (Classic French onion soup with grantinated cheese toasts) then a Roquefort Cheese (Freshly baked soufflé – with a hearty portion of Roquefort cheese) and a Mixed green salad lightly dressed with French vinaigrette as my dinner. I liked all of those choices. The others in our party tried a wide variety of items and they enjoyed them all. You can look over their full menu if you like. 

Then came the dessert soufflés. There are eight different “Sweet Soufflés” on the menu:

  1. Grand Marnier et Oranges Confites (Freshly baked soufflé with a generous dousing of Grand Marnier and candied orange Additional shot of Grand Marnier)
  2. A la Chartreuse (Freshly baked souffé with a generous dousing of Chartreuse; the popular French digestif made with over 100 plants and flowers)
  3. Valrhona Chocolat Noir et Glace Vanille (Freshly baked soufflé with Valrhona dark chocolate and vanilla ice cream)
  4. Framboises et Glace Vanille (Freshly baked soft soufflé with raspberries and vanilla ice cream)
  5. Caramel Beurre Salé, Glace Caramel (Freshly baked soufflé with salted caramel and salted caramel ice cream)
  6. Speculoos, Crème Speculoos (Freshly baked soufflé with speculoos spiced shortcrust biscuits accompanied by a speculoos cream)
  7. Soufflé Glacé Citron Vert (A tall fluffy zesty lime iced soufflé)
  8. Soufflé Glacé Fruits Confits (A tall fluffy iced soufflé laced with colorful candied fruit

 

There were six of us in the dinner party, so being the ‘crazy Americans’ that we are we ordered two of each! Well, actually three of the chocolate soufflé.

Out of this delicious list, I liked the chocolate, caramel, and lime soufflés the best. I got too involved in the enjoying the soufflés so I did not get photos of them all. As you can see though, they all look good.

I have to say that I much prefer eating at a restaurant with a good steak. This was an interesting dinner though and it was great to sample all of their dessert soufflés. If you like French cooking or soufflés, then you will enjoy this restaurant.


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Singapore, Singapore – Black Tap

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Food – A good friend here in Singapore recommended the Black Tap restaurant. We have now been there twice and have really enjoyed it. The Black Tap is located in the Marina Bay Sands Mall. Officially the address is 2 BAYFRONT AVE, SINGAPORE 018972. I didn’t realize it when I was there that the Black Tap is a chain of restaurants out of New York City.

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The Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino are shown above, with the Mall spread out at its base. The Black Tap is actually located at the near end of the Mall (building with the curved roof) shown in the photo above.

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It is one of the many shops and restaurants in the Mall. Notice at the bottom of the photo above you can see the ‘canal’ that goes through the center of this section of the Mall. It is complete with gondolas that you can purchase rides on.

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Exploring the Mall alone is worth a trip to the Marina Bay Sands.

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But we had come to the Mall specifically to dine. I chose the Steak Au Poivre Burger (a Blue Cheese Burger) with fries. It was very good.

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My wife had the Baja Grilled Chicken Sandwich with fries, which she enjoyed. While these, and the other items on the menu, were good, they were not why we visited the Black Tap.

The Black Tap also specializes in Crazyshake Milkshakes. If memory serves me, we ordered the Cookies ‘N Cream Supreme Oreo Shake (vanilla frosted rim with crushed Oreos topped with a ‘cookies ’n cream’ sandwich, crumbled oreo, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle) and the Sweet N’ Salty Peanut Butter Shake (chocolate frosted rim with chocolate gems & PB cups topped with a sugar daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzel, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle). These are just two of the eight shake masterpieces that are available.

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We were lucky to have a seat where we could look over to where the shakes were being made. What better entertainment! Dining at the Black Tap is an experience I am sure I will repeat and I recommend it to anyone.


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Singapore, Singapore – L’Espresso Cafe​ at the Goodwood Park Hotel

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Food – A couple of days ago my wife and I walked over to the Goodwood Park Hotel for Afternoon Tea at the L’Espresso cafe. The hotel is located at 22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221. This is not the first Tea I have been to in Singapore, nor is it the best (still have to post about that experience), but it was very nice.

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The Goodwood Park is a beautiful older hotel. The building dates from 1900 and has an interesting history. It is now one of Singapore’s upscale 5-star hotels. (Note the Ferrari we saw parked by the hotel the day we were there).

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The original building has been added to and modernized over the years. The hotel now offers 233 guest rooms and suites.

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We were headed to the L’Espresso cafe to have Afternoon Tea. We were actually seated a the table shown in the center of the photo.

We had a long buffet table of items to dine on for our main meal. As they say on their website:

Established as a choice destination for English Afternoon Tea in Singapore, L’Espresso is a cosy café by day and a chic lounge by night, complete with a breezy poolside terrace area. This spacious and breezy terrace has also become an ideal location for wedding solemnizations.

Since the 1970s, the English Afternoon Tea has earned a reputation for L’Espresso as the “place for elegant teatime pursuits”. The buffet spread is a dazzling assortment of dainty sandwiches, salads, savories, pastries, desserts, chocolate fountain and of course, traditional English scones.

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I was able to fill my first plate with an assortment of sandwiches, bread, shrimp and lasagna, among other goodies. Needless to say, during our two plus hour stay (most places serving Tea expect you to stay two hours or longer) I filled more than just this one plate. By the time we finally left to walk back to our apartment we were both stuffed and the Tea was our only meal of the day.

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From where we were seated we had a great view out onto the pool and courtyard.

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Of course, I had to go back one last time and pick up a few goodies from the dessert bar. They were featuring items in shades of pink the day we were there in honor of Breast Cancer awareness.

This was a very tasty and filling afternoon. I would return there anytime, though I would want to plan in advance to that I could fast ahead of time. I would recommend the experience to anyone.


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Singapore, Singapore – marché Mövenpick

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Food & Locations – We had never heard of the marché Mövenpick until we came across it in the 313@Sumerset mall the other day. On the main floor, it looks like a coffee shop and bakery (it has some very nice breads and rolls). If you go downstairs though you find a full, very large restaurant.

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This restaurant is one of 80 around the world (only two in North America, and unfortunately they are both in Toronto, Canada), though I have never come across them before. They seem to be very family friendly and even offer birthday packages for kids.  These packages start at $29.90 SD (Singapore Dollars) per child with a minimum of 10.

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When you enter the restaurant, you are given a card, much like a credit card. As you wander about the floor you choose the items you want to eat. You hand the cook/server your card and they electronically record your selection. You do have to be careful or you could easily run up a pretty hefty bill.

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When you are done eating, you exit through a cashier who scans your card and then prepares a bill based upon your selections. I was happy to find that Apple Pay was accepted here.

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We tried marché for dinner one night, then again for breakfast. The food was very good and, for the most part, prepared to your order. It is a little expensive, but then Singapore (Where is Singapore?) is an expensive city to live in. Shown above is the daily special of “White Asparagus Savory Crepe” at $19.90 SD or about $14.80 USD at today’s exchange rate. You do get a good meal for your money. That Crepe is about 14″ long and about 3″ in diameter and comes with a side salad.

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There is a station (shown above) where you can have a pasta dish prepared.

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There is also a salad station where you choose a small, medium or large plate, then fill it with your choice of salads and vegetables.

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There is a selection of meats and fish that you can have prepared to your taste. About the only difference we saw between the dinner and breakfast menu was the availability of omelets and waffles during breakfast. The omelet was good, but the ingredients were fixed – onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

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There is a dessert station where they have ice cream and baked goods. After our dinner, we tried a couple of their desserts. A Vanilla Marange and a piece of Praline Chocolate cake. They were both very good.

Would I come back to marché? – definitely, though I am not sure if I would come for breakfast again. If you are in the Somerset MRT (subway) Station area in Singapore, this is a place I would recommend.


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Japan, Tokyo – Cookie Time Cookie Bar Harajuku

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We were out exploring Tokyo a few days ago. We came out of the Harajuku subway station and started down the street. We unexpectedly came upon the Cookie Time Cookie Bar. The shop is located at 1-21-15 Jingumae | 1F Napole Harajuku Bldg., Shibuya 150-0011, Tokyo Prefecture. This was quite a different dessert place.

They had several different types of cookies, but we controlled ourselves and only ordered three. They were served warm, and they were all very good.

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We thought that the “freakshakes” (see the red sign to upper left) looked intriguing. As we sat discussing which one to try, an American couple sitting next to us overheard us talking about the shakes. They suggested the Nutella shake, which they had ordered. We took their advice and we were not disappointed.

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What can I say? This was an awesome shake. And yes, that is a chocolate cookie topping it off.

I chatted with some of the young women working at the shop. CookieTime got its start in 1983 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two Cookie Bars are now open, one in Queensland and the other in Tokyo. My wife and I both believe one of these shops would do great in the Domain or Domain Northside areas back in Austin.

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I told the young ladies working at CookieTime I wrote a blog and asked them for a photo. They (two Americans and an Australian) gathered around their “cookie monster” and posed for the shot above.

If I am in Tokyo again and have the chance, I will be returning to CookieTime! If you are in Tokyo and near the Meiji Shrine or Takeshita Street, take a few minutes and drop by CookieTime. You will not be disappointed!

 


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USA, New York, New York – Zabar’s

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While in New York, I unexpectedly ran into a friend from when I worked at IBM in Austin, TX. While we were looking for a place to eat dinner, he introduced me to Zabar’s. Zabar’s is located right on Broadway at 2245 Broadway (at 80th Street), New York, NY 10024. Zabar’s Store Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am – 7:30pm, Saturday: 8am – 8pm, and Sunday: 9am – 6pm.

Zabar’s was opened in 1934 at their current location. The beginning found Zabar’s with a modest 22-foot wide storefront, today it nearly spans the entire block. As they say on their website:

The principles and practices of our founder and father continue to guide us: Respect the customer. Never, ever stint on quality. Offer fair value. And last but not least, keep searching for the new and wonderful.

Without question, this last point has accounted for some memorable moments. Back in the 1960’s, we introduced New York to Brie, in the ‘70’s we brought them sun-dried tomatoes and gnocchi, and in the ‘80’s, we got so excited about caviar – and wanted everyone to taste it – that our prices set off a so-called “Caviar War”. (Incidentally, we won.)

Over the years, the business kept growing, and today we span practically the entire block front. With our sons, daughters and their cousins, we’re still at it – hand-slicing meltingly delicious smoked fish behind our deli counter…offering tastes of the latest artisanal cheeses…setting out fresh-baked batches of rugelach (it’s our Bubbe’s recipe)…overseeing the roasting of our special coffee blends (we sell 400,000 pounds a year!)

You can find all sorts of things to eat at Zabar’s. They have a large bakery with all sort of goodies. They also have a wide range of fish, meat, and cheese. There is also a small cafe attached to Zabar’s and the second floor is filled with various housewares. In addition to what you can walk in and buy, they do a brisk online business, particularly at holidays. They have nice catalogs of both their food and housewares offerings.

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For those who want to pick up something pre-cooked to take home, they have a great selection. I took my wife and granddaughter into Zabar’s the night after I was introduced to it and they loved it. We each were able to pick something appealing out of the ready-made counter (photo above) to take home for dinner.

We liked it so much we returned the next night for dinner again. We would have made three nights in a row, but it closed (it was a Sunday) before we could get there the third night.

Should I find myself in New York, hungry and near Broadway and 80th, Zabar’s will be where I go.


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Spain, Barcelona – chök the chocolate kitchen

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2016 cruise – Day 3 – After visiting Late Pau Claris, we came back to La Rambla for a little shopping. We had read about the cafe “chök the chocolate kitchen” that specializes in chocolate and specialty donuts. The shop we visited is located at c/ del Carme, 3 t: +34 933 042 360 and was just off of La Rambla.

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This turned out to be another wonderful bakery!

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We chose a couple of their donuts as a ‘second breakfast’ to sustain us for the rest of our day in Barcelona.

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As you can see from the photo above, these were not your everyday donuts. These bakeries were wonderful places to visit, but I am glad that they are so far away. Having them close at hand would be too much of a temptation.


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Spain, Barcelona – Laie Pau Claris Bookstore

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2016 Cruise – Day 3 – While on our travels, my wife and I like to visit local bookstores. On our third day in Barcelona we had breakfast in our hotel then headed to the bookstore Laie Pau Claris (Carrer de Pau Claris, 85, 08010 Barcelona, Spain).

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Not only was it a nice bookstore, it also had a very nice cafe where we had a cup of hot chocolate.

You can follow Laie on Twitter


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Spain, Barcelona – El Arte del helado

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2016 Cruise – Day 2 – After our wonderful dinner at the Restaurant La Rambla, we headed on up the La Ramba towards our hotel. Along the way we came across the El Arte del helado. They had a wide selection and we each got a gelato to top off our evening.

There seemed to gelato or bakeries in every block. This wrapped up our second day in Barcelona. I finished the day with 16,176 steps according to my Apple Watch.


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