Tag Archives: Food

USA, New York, New York – Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen

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The Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen (located at 551 Amsterdam Ave., New York City 10024) is one of many bakeries you can find on the streets of New York City. During my week in New York, we ate at Kirsh twice and enjoyed it both times. It is modestly priced and enjoys a 7.9 rating on Foursquare and a 4 on Yelp.

I had lunch one day and breakfast the other, my wife having breakfast both times. The servings were large and very good. They do deliveries in their immediate area of New York and are open 7 AM to 11 PM 7 days a week.

The restaurant is actually divided into two locations – the Bakery on the left and the Kitchen on the right. The Bakery side is more for fast meals and take out, the Kitchen for traditional seating and longer stays.

This is a place I can recommend for breakfast or lunch.


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Coffee Nap?

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Coffee – I am not much in the way of taking naps. I always seem to feel worse afterwards. I did come across “Scientists agree: Coffee naps are better than coffee or naps alone” recently, though the article is from two years ago.

So what is a ‘coffee nap”? Drink a cup of coffee, then take a quick nap. 

You would think that the coffee would keep you from sleeping, but if to lay your head down immediately after drinking the coffee, you have a window before the coffee takes affect. Nap then for 20 minutes and you will wake up not only benefiting from the nap, but also from the caffeine that has finally hit your system.

Studies cited in the article indicate that a coffee nap is more beneficial than either coffee or a nap in reviving you.

 

Celebrate International Beer Day

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Beer – I just discovered that today is International Beer Day. Per the website “International Beer Day is a global celebration of beer, taking place in pubs, breweries, and backyards all over the world. It’s a day for beer lovers everywhere to raise a toast to our brewers and bartenders and rejoice in the greatness of beer!

Want to celebrate International Beer Day? Check out these suggested activities. Today marks the 10th annual celebration of International Beer Day. Want a poster to help celebrate? You can find two for download at the website.

As the Czech Proverb says “A fine beer may be judged with only one sip . . . but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.” Today is a great day to be “thoroughly sure” that your favorite brew meets your taste standards.

USA, New York, New York – Cafe Lalo

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My wife and I are in New York for a little vacation. Cafe Lalo (http://cafelalo.com) was recommended to us. We went by there yesterday for a late breakfast. This in a nice place that is stuck in amongst apartment buildings. It is located at 201 West 83rd St.
New York, NY 10024.

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They claim on their website that Cafe Lalo is “The cafe Europeans would love to have in Europe! Cafe Lalo has become known as the place to go before and after the movies, the theater or dinner to enjoy a great dessert and an expertly-made cappuccino. With our unique European design and open air atmosphere by floor-to-ceiling French windows, Cafe Lalo is the place to see and to be seen. Come sip an espresso with the writers, artists and celebrities who join the locals to enjoy soothing jazz and classical music in a relaxing atmosphere.

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I don’t know about that, but I do know that they  had good breakfasts. I had a three cheese omelette – Sharp cheddar, Brie and Blue Cheese.

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My wife had three scrambled eggs shiitake & porcini mushrooms.

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We went back to Lalo’s  a second time (we both had the same dishes) and I did captured a photo of the deserts. They have a great selection! I hope to sample some of those.

This is a place we would recommend to anyone and it likely a place we will return at least once on our brief trip to New York.


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The Truth About Myths Regarding Beer Revealed

Beer – I like an occasional beer. I came across the article “7 of the Most Common Myths About Beer, Debunked” and thought the results was interesting. The essence of the article is that many have these common misconceptions about beer:

  1.  Beer gets ‘skunked’ when it gets warm – NO, ‘skunking’ is caused from exposure to light.
  2. The darker the beer the stronger – NO, color is no indication of strength. The darker color is due to longer roasted grains.
  3. Beer is best served cold – MAYBE, it depends on the style of the brew. If the beer is too cold, it is often hard to taste. Pilsners and IPAs are best served at 40-44 F. Heavier styles should be served warmer, around 55 F.
  4. Lagers and pilsners are the same thing – SORT OF, Pilsners are a type of Lager (see below). Pilsners are golden, Lagers can be dark, malty and strong
  5. Bottles are better than cans – NO, cans are the best packaging since they protect the beer from light and oxygen better
  6. Craft beers should be aged – MAYBE, while aging helps some high alcohol beers, IPAs should be consumed while fresh
  7. All beer is basically the same – NO, beer is diverse. Styles range from bitter to sweet to sour. Likewise the alcohol content can vary considerably.

Just FYI, per Wikipedia the styles of beer are:

  • Pale ale is a beer which uses a top-fermenting yeast and predominantly pale malt. It is one of the world’s major beer styles.
  • Stout and porter are dark beers made using roasted malts or roast barley, and typically brewed with slow fermenting yeast. There are a number of variations including Baltic porter, dry stout, and Imperial stout. The name “porter” was first used in 1721 to describe a dark brown beer popular with the street and river porters of London. This same beer later also became known as stout, though the word stout had been used as early as 1677.
  • Mild ale has a predominantly malty palate. It is usually dark coloured with an abv of 3% to 3.6%, although there are lighter hued milds as well as stronger examples reaching 6% abv and higher.
  • Wheat beer is brewed with a large proportion of wheat although it often also contains a significant proportion of malted barley. Wheat beers are usually top-fermented (in Germany they have to be by law). The flavour of wheat beers varies considerably, depending upon the specific style.
  • Lambic, a beer of Belgium, is naturally fermented using wild yeasts, rather than cultivated. Many of these are not strains of brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and may have significant differences in aroma and sourness.
  • Lager is cool fermented beer. Pale lagers are the most commonly consumed beers in the world. The name “lager” comes from the German “lagern” for “to store”, as brewers around Bavaria stored beer in cool cellars and caves during the warm summer months. These brewers noticed that the beers continued to ferment, and to also clear of sediment, when stored in cool conditions. Lager yeast is a cool bottom-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) and typically undergoes primary fermentation at 7–12 °C (45–54 °F) (the fermentation phase), and then is given a long secondary fermentation at 0–4 °C (32–39 °F) (the lagering phase). During the secondary stage, the lager clears and mellows. The cooler conditions also inhibit the natural production of esters and other byproducts, resulting in a “cleaner”-tasting beer.

How much Caffeine is in Your coffee?

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Coffee – Many stop on their way into work each morning and pick up a cup of coffee. How much caffeine are we getting when we do that? It varies. A lot.

BuzzFeed commissioned a study to see how much caffeine was in coffee from some of the most frequent stops (Starbucks, 7-Eleven, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts). Samples were taken from shops in New York City and in San Francisco.

First, their results showed that East Coast coffee is stronger, on average, than West Coast coffee. The other surprising outcome was that 7-Eleven coffee had the most (280 mg) caffeine. All the samples were medium cups of coffee and black (the way coffee should always be consumed in my opinion). For those of you who are Starbuck’s fans, their coffee came in second (267 mg) in caffeine strength.

Just to put that in perspective, a report in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology has says that a healthy adult can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day.  The FDA says that the average American consumes about 300 mg of caffeine a day.

While it May Not be the Best, You CAN Hydrate with Coffee

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Coffee – The study “A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index” published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that coffee does not cause dehydration as previously thought.

A study of the effect of coffee published in 1928 had set the thinking that because coffee is a diuretic, it would not help in hydration. The new, more comprehensive study indicates that coffee will contribute to hydration. While coffee is certainly inferior to water for hydration, coffee will help regardless of the many trips to the restroom it may cause.

Another Benefit of Coffee – It Can Blunt Pain

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Coffee – I like coffee. That makes me keep an eye out for positive information about drinking it.

Back in May of 2017 researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Boston Children’s Hospital published a report that “shows that chronic sleep loss increases pain sensitivity. It suggests that chronic pain sufferers can get relief by getting more sleep, or, short of that, taking medications to promote wakefulness such as caffeine.

The report goes on to say:

. . . rather than just taking painkillers, patients with chronic pain might benefit from better sleep habits or sleep-promoting medications at night, coupled with daytime alertness-promoting agents to try to break the pain cycle. Some painkillers already include caffeine as an ingredient, although its mechanism of action isn’t yet known. Both caffeine and modafinil boost dopamine circuits in the brain, so that may provide a clue.

If you, or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, a nice cup of coffee may help.

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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