dessert (44)
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2017 05 04 12.25.39

Blue Star Donuts Buttermilk Lemon Poppyseed Donut: Portland is pretty serious about donuts. On my latest visit, I saw a much higher percentage of commuters eating donuts for breakfast than I have witnessed in any other city. So when I was about to fly out from PDX and realized there was a Blue Star next to ticketing, I willingly went through security a second time in order to see what all the fuss was about. There were many flavors I was interested in trying, from their strawberry-rhubarb jam-filled pastry to a more traditional donut ring ... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 donut poppyseed lemon buttermilk bluestardonuts portland dessert sweets
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Powder Black sesame Taiwanese shaved ice with mochi: During my childhood, my family would visit Taiwan every few years, spending several weeks in the scorching heat of the summer months. Once in a while, we would be treated with the best cure for a heatwave: baobing, or Taiwanese shaved ice served alongside a variety of toppings like peanut and red bean, all saturated with a sweet syrup that flavored the ice crystals. In anticipation, we would watch as a machine transformed a large block of ice into a heap of snow, spinning into a sharp rotar... (read more) 4.5/5.0

frozen dessert 4.5 mochi ice shaved taiwanese sesame black powder blacksesame powdershavedice sanfrancisco exceptional
2017 04 13 07.09.52

Cheeseboard Sticky Bun: I wouldn't say I have a sweet tooth, but I can enjoy sweet things. I definitely have a preference, though, for lighter desserts. This sticky bun from Cheeseboard falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. Soaked with a buttery glaze and topped with chopped pecans, it's the type of sweet that will actually induce a physical reaction, as your body and teeth rejects what it knows is not good for it. Because the sticky bun is from Cheeseboard, I have some confidence in the quality of the ing... (read more) 2.0/5.0

2.0 bun sticky cheeseboard sweets baked bakery bread nuts pecans dessert
2017 04 08 13.02.35

Benkyodo Co Mochi: One of the original mochi shops in the US, Benkyodo in Japantown, SF opened back in 1906. Today, the storefront is an odd mix of diner counter, Asian 7-11-type snacks, and fresh made mochi. All of their mochi come in cupcake liners and taste very fresh because they are. The texture is softer than I personally prefer, and there is a little too much starch that coats your mouth with each bite. But I did enjoy that they were not overly sweet. The best was certainly a mango mochi that had f... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 mochi benkyodoco dessert sweets japanese sanfrancisco japantown
2017 04 07 20.23.58

Koreana Plaza Market Mochi: Inside the Koreana Plaza Market in Oakland is a small cash-only bakery with a variety of asian sweets, including lotus-paste-filled pastries (review forthcoming), pineapple buns, and almond cookies. I purchased a pack of two red-bean mochi (despite the oven-fresh sticker on the packaging, I'm pretty sure they were steamed). The mochi are about 125% the size of packaged mochi. Biting into a piece, I could instantly tell that it was very fresh. The glutinous rice flour had a bit more resis... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 mochi koreanaplazamarket japanese dessert sweets oakland
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Tara's Organic Ice Cream Jasmine green tea ice cream: On the northern edge of the Elmwood district, at the border of Oakland and Berkeley, is a small ice cream shop called Tara's Organic Ice Cream. They feature a rotating menu of ice creams and sorbet. I was hoping they would have black sesame ice cream, but I was out of luck on the day I went and got a scoop of jasmine green tea instead. The texture was not as smooth as it could be, but the subtle herbal flavor was unique - clean but also very creamy. The type of ice cream that needs to be acc... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 cream ice green jasmine tarasorganicicecream sesame dessert tea berkeley icecream