Posts Tagged ‘Sandwich’

cookies2Product Description:

These Jam Sandwich cookies will remind you of holiday baking with your family. The cookie sampler brings you four incredible flavors to try: raspberry lemon, blackberry lime, marionberry rosemary sea salt, and strawberry balsamic marjoram.

I received this sampler basket of cookies in my December Knoshbox; additional sampler baskets can be purchased for a limited time in Knoshbox’s Market.

Tea Suggestion:

I love shortbread cookies with a cup of good, hot black tea, and this English Breakfast tea from Butiki Teas proved to be just the right choice!  The richness of the tea together with the buttery, sumptuous flavor of the cookies was just heavenly!

What I Think:

Oh my goodness!  Is there anything better than a buttery shortbread cookie?  I think – other than peanut butter blossoms – that shortbread might just be my favorite kind of cookie.  And really, peanut butter blossoms are my favorite for sentimental reasons – they remind me of gramma.

But when it comes to the taste my palate craves, it’s butter shortbread cookies all the way!  I just love them.  So rich and delicious … I love the way the cookie just sort of crumbles over the palate and then seems to melt on the tongue, tasting of deliciously sweet butter.  YUM!

So, needless to say, I was thrilled when this cute little basket filled with four shortbread cookies … and because these are jam sandwich cookies that means double the shortbread pleasure.  And with a bakery name like Butter + Love, the buttery part of the shortbread is implied, isn’t it?  I knew I was in for a rich, buttery treat!

cookies
From the top, clockwise: Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt, Raspberry Lemon, Strawberry Balsamic Marjoram, and Blackberry Lime

The first thing I notice about this sampler is that each of the four cookies are different, so, I consult the Butter + Love website to find out which one was which!  Here are my thoughts on each cookie:

Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt:  This cookie is a culinary experience in savory and sweet.  The marionberry jam is sweet with just a hint of tartness to it.  I like that I am not noticing a lot of seeds from the marionberry jam here.  The rosemary is baked right in to the cookie, and it delivers a savory taste to the otherwise sweet, almost creamy taste of the shortbread.  Slightly resinous and woodsy tasting, I think that the rosemary gives this gourmet treat an almost rustic kind of taste.  The touch of sea salt here adds not so much of a salty taste (there is a bit of that too, though), and acts more to accentuate the flavors.  It brings out the buttery taste of the shortbread and marionberry and rosemary.

Blackberry Lime:  This was the next cookie I grabbed from the basket.  Another love at first bite!  Here I am able to notice the texture of the cookie better, I think, and I realize that these are not “golden brown” but quite pale.  They look like they might even be slightly underbaked, although they do not taste like it.  No doughy taste, they taste as though they’ve been perfectly cooked.  But what this pale color means is that there is very little crunch or crispy snap to the cookie, instead, it is soft and crumbly.  I like!  I like!  It tastes very fresh and I love the soft texture.  And the blackberry and lime is a compelling contrast of sweet and tart.  A well conceived combination of flavors.

Strawberry Balsamic Marjoram: YUM!  I love this sampler … every single cookie is like a new adventure.  The one thing in common between the four cookies is the cookie itself … the buttery shortbread.  But for the two square cookies – this and the Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt cookie – there are other ingredients added to the shortbread.  Here, the addition is marjoram.  The marjoram gives the cookie a slightly citrus-y undertone with just a hint of woodsy flavor.  The strawberry balsamic jam is delightfully sweet and tart, and I like that the balsamic is just a hint of flavor, acting more to accentuate the strawberry rather than take on a big presence of its own… except in the aftertaste, where I notice the balsamic more.  This was a really yummy cookie.

Raspberry Lemon: I saved this one for last because I had a feeling it would be my favorite … I love lemon cookies, and I love the combination of raspberry and lemon.  This is delightful!  The raspberry gives just a little bit of sweetness, and the lemon brightens the whole cookie.

My Final Thoughts: 

While the Raspberry Lemon was my favorite of the bunch, I loved every single one of these cookies … and I don’t know that I’d choose one over another!  I’d want to get all four of them again … these are definitely going on my re-order list!

Bridge City Cafe is not our (my husband and my) ordinary kind of lunch stop.  Especially the Bridge City Cafe in the Lloyd Center Mall.  We generally avoid the mall food court because it seems like they’re usually more expensive than other lunch stops.  After all, they do have the high overhead costs for their prime location in the mall, and they’ve got to recoup those expenses. 

But, because we were going to be in the mall anyway (we had to rent a suit at the Men’s Wearhouse for my husband), and there was a great deal on LivingSocial, we decided to “break the rules” and visit Bridge City Cafe in the Lloyd Center Mall.  We enjoyed it so much that when we had to return to the mall the next day, we stopped in again!

Location:  2304 Lloyd Center, Portland, Oregon

Order:  The Living Social voucher entitled us each to a sandwich of our choice, a bag of chips, a drink and a cookie.  On day one, I ordered the Steel Roast Beef sandwich, and on the second day, I ordered the St. John’s Turkey Cranberry sandwich.

What I Think:

The atmosphere … well, you know the atmosphere.  This Bridge City Cafe location is in the food court in the mall.  Kids running around and screaming, babies crying, mothers yelling, cell phones beeping, and generally a lot of hurrying and scurrying around.  As an agoraphobic, it isn’t my favorite kind of atmosphere … not at all conducive to a comfortable place to dine out.

But, sometimes, when one is hungry and time is short … my daughter was getting married in a matter of days and I didn’t have a lot of time to go out and enjoy myself.  So, we picked up lunch where we could and how could we NOT take advantage of the LivingSocial voucher!  We each got a whole sandwich of our choice, a bag of chips, a drink and a cookie!

The word of this paragraph is FRESH.  That’s because everything about the sandwiches is FRESH!  The sandwiches are all made fresh to order, the bread is fresh (and soft and amazing!) and all the trimmings were fresh.  The lettuce wasn’t wilted, it was crisp and … yes, fresh.  Everything looked really appetizing.  The one exception was the tomatoes, which were a bit more on the pink side than the red so I picked those off of the sandwich.  I usually only want a tomato on my sandwich if it’s really ripe and tender.

Truly the best part of these sandwiches IS the bread.  I love that I had a sandwich made with bread that was baked in the shop that very morning.  The sourdough used to make the Steel Roast Beef was soft but with enough of that sourdough texture to give it some real substance.  The St. John’s Turkey Cranberry was made on a honey molasses bread and it was sweet, soft, and delicious, and really complimented the tart cranberry and the mild, juicy turkey very well.

We also got our choice of cookie, and I chose the lemon cookie.  Let me tell you something, if you’re ever near a Bridge City Cafe and are hungry for a fresh, homemade cookie … stop in and TRY the lemon cookie!  It tastes like a lemon bar!  You know the kind with the shortbread crust and the lemon curd-like filling?  Yes… it tastes just like that… with the shortbread and the lemon curd baked right in.  It’s amazing.  If you’re a fan of lemon-y baked goods, these cookies ARE NOT to be missed!

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed both visits to Bridge City Cafe.  Sure, I’d rather not eat in the mall – the atmosphere is a bit much for me and tends to make me anxious.  But, if I happen to be in the mall and find myself hungry, I know where I want to go.  This is definitely one of the best stops at the food court!

Bridge City Cafe on Urbanspoon

Recently, we visited a few places that I had previously visited, enjoyed and reviewed, but, I think that most restaurants deserve a second visit, don’t you?  I like to see if my first impressions of places hold true to the second visit…

Kesone Thai Lao Bistro

Pad Thai with Chicken

Shortly after redeeming our first LivingSocial voucher for Kesone Thai Lao Bistro, I got an opportunity to purchase another one.  Since both my husband and I enjoyed the place, I jumped at this opportunity … I mean, hey, it’s Thai food!  This time around, I definitely wanted Pad Thai, mostly because I knew my husband had planned on amplifying the heat on his Pad Thai plate, and while I do enjoy the spicy, I wanted to enjoy it a little less spicy than he desired.

With this visit, I noticed that again, our appetizers were brought out at the same time as our entrees.  Again, this is not a complaint, because the food was brought out so quickly it wasn’t as if we were waiting very long at all for anything.

This time, we selected the appetizer sampler plate ($9), which included three different appetizers – two summer rolls, six golden bags and two chicken sa-tay.  I found the chicken sa-tay to be somewhat dry, but the golden bags were crispy and delicious, and I loved the fresh crunch of the summer rolls.  I have been wanting a good summer roll for a while now – I mean, sure, I love the crispy, golden-fried deliciousness of a spring roll, but, there is something about that fresh, minty taste of a summer roll that really brightens the palate.

The Pad Thai was just as delicious as I remember.  The chicken was cooked nicely – a little dry, perhaps, but not to the point of being overly chewy.  And really, when it comes to Pad Thai, it really is less about the chicken for me and more about the noodles.  I love the delicious rice noodles that have been coated with the spicy sauce, the crunchy texture from the bean sprouts and the crushed peanuts… Pad Thai really is a culinary delight.

Will we be returning to Kesone Thai Lao Bistro – YOU BET!

GRILLED CHEESE GRILL

Photo from Grilled Cheese Grill website, click on the pic to go there.

We’ve actually been to Grilled Cheese Grill a couple of times since my last review.  What can I say, I love a good grilled cheese sandwich, and I really like how the folks at Grilled Cheese Grill take a good thing (the classic grilled cheese) and push the envelope with it!

Case and point would be my newest favorite sandwiches from GCG:  The Jalapeño Popper ($5.75)!  Oh. My. Goodness.  This sandwich is GOOD!  Spicy, yes.  Be ready with something refreshing to cool the palate.

The sandwich is made with freshly roasted jalapeños (not the jarred stuff), colby jack cheese, cream cheese and corn tortilla chips sandwiched between two pieces of sourdough bread and grilled to golden perfection.  I ordered mine with bacon (add $1.75), because, what doesn’t taste better with bacon, right?  This sandwich is absolutely incredible.

I think that the GCG prepares the jalapeños themselves, because I didn’t notice any of the seeds or membranes of the pepper in my sandwich.  This helped to reduce the heat a little in my sandwich, and thus allowed some of the fruit notes of the pepper to emerge.  It was still HOT, make no mistake, but it wasn’t too hot.

The colby jack is melted and gives a nice, chewy texture to the sandwich.  The cream cheese is a little on the light side, but, I don’t think more cream cheese would have made this a better sandwich.  As it was, the cream cheese added a little bit of sweetness and curbed the heat of the jalapeño just enough.  The tortilla chips did not add any real crunch to the sandwich (although the crispy, grilled outer crust of the sandwich certainly did!) but it did add a nice dimension of flavor, and really added to that “popper” kind of taste as promised with the name of the sandwich.  The bacon … well, let’s just say that without the bacon, this sandwich was delicious.  But WITH the bacon, this sandwich becomes insanely irresistible, absolutely memorable, and completely crave-able.  I really, really liked this sandwich, and I’ll definitely order it again sometime.

On another visit, I ordered the Southsider ($5.75), which is artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms with mozzarella on sourdough bread.  This sandwich is also really outstanding, tasting a bit like a gourmet pizza in sandwich form.

The artichoke hearts were pickled and added a tangy flavor to the sandwich from the pickling, while the sundried tomatoes gave this a delicious base flavor … although, if I had been putting the sandwich together myself, I think I would have added more tomatoes (but then, I love sundried tomatoes).  The mushrooms I think would have been a little better if they were thicker cut, but they still added a nice, earthy flavor and pleasing texture to the sandwich.  This sandwich was very filling and satisfying, and one I’d recommend if you’re really hungry.  This one filled me up.

Will we be visiting Grilled Cheese Grill again – ABSOLUTELY!  It’s become my favorite cart in Portland … although, I admit that I’ve not visited many carts YET!

I’ll be reviewing a couple of “revisits” again soon … specifically, the Burger Bungalow and Soi 9 Thai Eatery.

Where to Buy:  Justin’s Online or in select stores

Price:  $5.99 for a 16 ounce jar

Product Description:

I don’t know kung fu and I’ve never learned to play the piano, but what I do know is how to make peanut butter really, really well.  Some people might consider my single-minded obsession with nut butters to be a waste of time, but I disagree.  Can you kung fu a piece of celery into tasting better?  I think not.

What I Think:

As with the two other nut butters that I’ve tried thus far from Justin’s, I am tasting this with a slice of toasted 8-grain bread and apple slices.

As with the classic peanut butter, the consistency is smooth and creamy.  Occasionally, I’ll pick up a tiny (teeny-tiny!) chunk of peanut.  Since my review of Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter, I’ve been contemplating how to explain the difference in flavor between Justin’s nut butters and everyone else’s (or at least those that I’ve tried).  It’s not just the flavor (although the flavor difference is significant), it’s the texture.  Yes, this is creamy and smooth, just like a creamy peanut butter off the grocery store shelf … but this has a less processed kind of texture to it.  You can not only taste the individual ingredients, but you can feel them too.  This tastes (and feels) real … like someone who really cared about the product made this.  Or… if I can borrow a phrase from Chef Carla Hall, I can taste the “love” in this.

This Honey Peanut Butter blend tastes very much like the Classic Peanut Butter, but it is sweeter.  I can taste the honey, but it isn’t a strong or overpowering note.  It is subtle.  Unlike the Classic Peanut Butter, which is made with no sugar, it has a sweetness to it, but it isn’t cloy.  This nut butter does not rely upon the honey as it’s main flavor component, it is an accent to the main event:  the peanuts!

My Final Thoughts:

A delicious combination of sweet, nutty, and salty.  Justin’s is what peanut butter SHOULD be.

Where to Buy:  Justin’s online and in select stores

Product Description:

I like peanut butter so much I dedicated years of my life to creating an entirely new, one-of-a-kind way to make it.  I know what you’re thinking, how many ways can there be to make peanut butter?  Well, there are at least two.  What everyone else does and what we do.  And I guarantee once you try our way you’ll agree it is worth the effort.

What I Think:

As I mentioned when I received my Foodzie Tasting Box this month, I was very excited to have some of Justin’s nut butters in the box.  This is a product I have wanted to try since discovering it at Chuck’s.

For this tasting, I tried the Classic Peanut Butter a couple of different ways:  right out of the sample pouch, on a piece of toasted 8-grain bread, and on apple slices. I had to kneed the packet of peanut butter before opening it, which tells me that this peanut butter is prone to separation.  A bad thing?  No, it’s actually a good thing.  It means that this peanut butter doesn’t have any of those weird ingredients in it to keep it from separating.

My first impression:  this Classic Peanut Butter has a smooth consistency, similar to that you might find in a typical smooth peanut butter, but with one significant difference:  I can feel the tiniest chunks of real, roasted peanuts in this.  Not like a “crunchy” peanut butter texture, but, a superfine size “pebbles” of peanuts.  And, in my opinion, this makes for a more delicious product.

It tastes like smooth, creamy peanuts.  It doesn’t have sweeteners or other unnecessary ingredients.  The ingredient list is simply:  organic dry roast peanuts and organic palm fruit oil.  I like that.  While I am not a huge fan of peanut butter – I like it alright, but I am not one who eats peanut butter on a regular basis – I can say that if I kept this peanut butter on hand, I’d probably eat it more often than I do now.

My Final Thoughts:

This tastes like smooth, creamy peanut butter … only better!

photo from Subway website

Whenever my youngest daughter misses the bus and we need to drive her to school, my husband and I take that as an opportunity to go out for breakfast.  Usually, we go to Sheri’s, but yesterday, we decided to get something to go.  We had been meaning to try Subway’s new breakfast menu for a while now, so it seemed like a good opportunity to do just that.

Location: 11409 NE 28th St.,  Vancouver, WA   Store # 23581

Order: Double Bacon, Egg & Cheese 6-inch Flatbread Omelet sub

Specifics: Egg, bacon, cheddar cheese and tomato were toasted on the flatbread.  When finished toasting, a few onion slivers and olive slices were added to the omelet as well as a squirt of their Southwest Chipotle sauce to spice things up.

What I think:

First of all, I have to say that I really love the flatbread from Subway.  It’s soft, chewy and mild in flavor.  I love the texture that it brings to the subs.

That being said, even the flatbread couldn’t save this sandwich.  The eggs were rubbery.  The bacon was limp and so thin that it lent practically zero flavor to the sandwich.

The best part of this sandwich was the flatbread, the toasty tomato and the zesty flavor and crispness of the onion.  The sauce has a little bit of spice to it, but it is more mayo than anything else, and it along with the cheddar cheese became the most dominate flavors of the sandwich.

Overall impression:

The sandwich was edible, mostly because I was hungry.  However, I don’t think that I was inspired enough to ever go back to Subway for breakfast again.  I think I will stick to their classic subs.

My Final Thoughts:

The best thing about this Subway breakfast is that it happened to also be a Tuesday morning, and Tuesday is 25 cent cookie day… and I love those Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies from Subway!  The breakfast omelet sub was, at best, forgettable.