Sunday, March 25, 2012

West Side Story

Today was beautiful and sunny and I hope everyone was able to get outside! I decided to spend the day with my family at Pike Place Market on the "west side" in Seattle. Here is my West Side Story and I don't mean the old fashioned movie! Everyone knows Pike Place Market is a good place to see the people throwing fish, the delicious fruits and vegetables, and the live music and street performers. Today we saw a man with a trained bird. He was sort of a hobo but his bird was awesome! It meowed like a cat and did backward somersaults! I love Pike Place Market, and here are some of my all time favorite "must see places" that you might not know about...

I love the hum bow at Mee Sum Pastry. I always get their steamed pork hum bow and you should too. Hum bow are steamed chinese dumplings that you mostly see at dim sum places but are made fresh here. The light, fluffy, sweet and airy dough is the perfect bite with the sweet but savory hot pork stuffing in the middle. I think these are the best ever.

The best donuts EVER are in the market at Daily Dozen. The donuts are made with a robotic machine and it is fun to watch. This place has been open since I was little and there is always a long line. Their donuts are AMAZING!!! You  can smell the sensation from around the corner. They are very light and doughy and served fresh and hot. I don't know what they are fried in but they are way better than normal and are flavorful and genius. You can get cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, frosted with sprinkles and plain. I personally like the cinnamon sugar ones the best but they are all delicious. They are served in a paper bag and you should make sure to eat them right away. 

Note to kids: Pike Place can be a little scary sometimes and if you don't look around something like this could be in back of you...


Speaking of creepy, the Magic Shop...

 I don't know about you but magic scares me! It confuses me big time but my grandpa loves it and I respect his decision. My favorite things here are the gag tricks like candy that makes your tongue turn blue or fake puke. My sister bought invisible ink and my mom squirted it all over her shirt! When it is first applied, it looks bright blue and permanent so my sister freaked out. My parents played along that they accidentally bought the wrong one so my sister thought that her shirt was ruined. We went on a fake hunt for a new shirt but on the walk the ink started to disappear and my sister felt gullible but yet astounded. It was hilarious!

The scariest part of the magic store are the fortune tellers! I know some people love them, but ever since I saw the movie Big with Tom Hanks I personally stay away.

A not-to-miss stop is Vital Tea Leaf.

 Vital Tea Leaf is a tea store where you can sit at a counter and taste amazing teas. The people who work there are really nice and will let you taste as many teas as you want. When I taste the tea, I feel very calm and zen so I try not to drink too much caffeine. They have over 82 different types of tea and you can buy them buy the pound to drink at home. Warning: some of the teas are really expensive. Like $300 per pound. Not even joking. It is interesting to watch all of the different preparations for the different types of tea.

The hibiscus tea is definitely the best. It tastes just like sweet tarts, both sweet and sour! Of course, it is my sister's favorite.

I just love to see all of the unusual things going on around the market. Could this car have any more swag? I hope it's still around when I turn 16!

There is one more place I never miss when I am in the market. The gum wall! Today I added my special touch...

Pike Place Market has so much to see, and lots of food to try. If you have already to been to Beecher's Cheese and don't want to stand in line at the original Starbucks, go on a little adventure and find something new. There is always something lurking around the corner at the market! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Yogurtland, You Rule!

Today I reviewed Yogurtland in downtown Bellevue, and there are also locations in Seattle. There have been a lot of self-serve yogurt places opening on the eastside in the last year, but rule!

On decor of restaurant, I give it a 4. When I walked in the store, the first thing I noticed is that everything is green! It has been proven that green is a soothing color and it makes you feel healthy. I definitely felt healthy just being there. The place was very modern and everything that wasn't green was either white or dark wood. It looked very nice together. There were plenty of tables and chairs and the only pictures on the walls were of  fresh fruit. There were skylights on the ceiling which made the place look very bright and white. Be warned...the chairs look like they are tilted forward and my mom kept asking me not to tip my chair. I wasn't!


On friendliness of staff towards kids, I give it a 4. The staff didn't say much, but they certainly didn't care about how many samples of yogurt I took. Believe me, I took a lot. How else would I know if chocolate milkshake tasted good with mint? Turns out it is great! They even offered me samples of the toppings. There were kids everywhere and I felt very welcome. After I finished my yogurt, I took some more "samples" of the toppings and noone cared!

On service speed, I give it a 5! You serve yourself.  I'm pretty fast so I give myself a 5.

On taste of food, I give it a 5! They had great flavors for kids like chocolate milkshake and root beer float! The flavors tasted just like the real thing. I could really tell that they had good intentions when they placed the flavors since you could swirl two flavors together - like chocolate milkshake and mint, and strawberry and cheesecake. They also had some really good tart flavors that I don't usually like, but this yogurt is creamy, rich and sweet. This time I chose plain tart yogurt with fresh fruit as a topping. The clean and cold yogurt was the perfect match for the fresh fruit. The tart was not too sour or bitter and it was not too sweet like vanilla. It was just perfect. They also had a really great topping selection like fresh fruit, candy and cookies. They even had asian toppings like mochi, popping boba and asian red beans!? All serve yourself.

On appearance of food, I give mine a 5! The appearance is actually up to you! You can make the swirls and toppings as pretty or as nasty as you want. Like my sister's - gloppy with strawberry yogurt, sour gummy worms, frosted animal cookies...etc. Mine was pretty, I give mine a 5 and hers like a 1. 

On price, I give it a 4. It is $0.35 per ounce and most people average 5-7 oz or $1.75-$2.45. The price is up to you! 

Yogurtland gets a total score of 27/30!!! You rule! The tasting cups are left out on the table so you can take as many as you want with no sweat. All of the yogurt is low calorie, non-fat, gluten free and has added vitamin C! Not only does it taste great, but it is healthy. Yogurtland is delicious, great for kids and I will definitely be back soon.  

Their motto is "you rule", as in when you are there, you decide what to get. They are definitely right, and I say, Yogurtland YOU RULE!!!!

Yogurtland (Broadway) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 8, 2012

You Can't Judge A Taco By It's Shell

If you can't judge a book by it's cover, you can't judge a taco by it's shell! Last night was the grand release of the epic Doritos Locos Tacos. I was so excited to try one that my Dad agreed to take me at midnight. On a school night! We were the first ones in line, and I was the first person to be served a Dorito Taco in Bellevue! Proof...

We went through the drive thru so I waited until we were home to try my taco. The first thing I noticed was that my taco didn't come in a sleeve like I have seen in the pictures. That made it not as special.

The taco looked like a normal Taco Bell taco but with a bright orange shell. I was so excited for the grand reveal that my first bite was a sad disappointment. I expected the shell to actually taste like a Dorito, but it didn't. The cheesy taste was milder than Doritos and it was dominated by the flavor of the "meat." The consistency was nothing like a real Dorito chip. It wasn't crisp and light, but instead was dense and tortilla-ish. Almost like a normal taco shell but not as crispy. Parts of the shell were even soggy and seemed stale. Maybe it is possible that they expected a lot of people and made my tacos in advance?

I really wanted these tacos to be amazing because the idea is so awesome! How could Taco Bell, home of "food" and "meat" get this wrong? The lessons I learned were that I love to have adventures with my dad, and that you can't judge a taco by it's shell. Even if the shell claims to be a Dorito.

I am going on record. Jack In The Box tacos are the best.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Countdown Has Begun!

The countdown has begun. In 1 day, 14 hours, 6 minutes and 36 seconds, the greatest invention in history will be born.

Article Tab: menu-new-taco-foods

The Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos!
 Get yours starting Thursday at midnight. My dad is waking me up and taking me so I can witness history and taste this brilliant invention. Stay tuned for the review...