exceptional (129)
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Golden Steamer Big Bun with chicken, vegetables, and egg: Served in a scaldingly hot waxed bakery takeaway bag, the big bun from NYC Chinatown’s Golden Steamer takes several minutes to cool down before before consumption. Inside a fluffy and supple steamed white bun is a mixture of savory chicken, pickled mustard greens, and sliced hard-boiled egg. The lightly sweetened bun mixed with the meaty hearty filling, which steam has congealed into an almost meatball-like texture, is hard to beat at $1.25. 4.5/5.0

4.5 egg vegetables chicken bun big goldensteamer asian bread bao nyc chinatown exceptional
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Satie Chocolaterie Koi no Teppoudama Chocolates: Translated as "Love's Tadpole" via Google Translate (though I doubt that's accurate), these earplug-shaped chocolates from Japan are much tastier than they look. The pieces are dusted in cocoa powder and begin to melt instantly on the tongue, with an exceptionally creamy and rich flavor. I'm normally not a chocolate person, but these were some of the best chocolates I've had, reminding me of the high quality hot chocolate from L.A. Burdick but more snackable and slightly less rich, which I... (read more) 4.5/5.0

chocolate 4.5 teppoudama no koi satiechocolaterie dessert sweets japanese exceptional
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Mystic Muffin Banana Bread: Upon entering Mystic Muffin, I was greeted by the friendly owner Elias, who quickly handed me a warm loaf of banana bread. His salesmanship worked, and I ordered a slice which cost about $2 CAD. The banana bread is not a banana nut bread, with no trace of nuts as far as I could tell. It had chocolate chips mixed into the batter. The cake was extremely moist and delicious, and the banana chocolate mix was wholly satisfying without being heavy or overly sweet. You could eat it with anythi... (read more) 5.0/5.0

5.0 bread banana mysticmuffin desserts baked exceptional
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Mystic Muffin Apple Cake: Declared as "world famous," with newspaper clippings to support this claim, Mystic Muffin's apple cake is texturally fantastic, with an ultra moist interior and hearty slices of tender baked apple throughout. It's all topped with a sweet spiced crumble, buttery and baked such that it adds just enough tooth. The sweetness of the crumble sets it a bit over the top, but as far as cakes go, this is definitely one of the best I've had. And at less than $3 USD a slice, it's a wonderful affordab... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 cake apple mysticmuffin Toronto desserts exceptional
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OO Tea Jasmine milk tea with boba: OO Tea is a Taiwanese import of the brand “Wushiland.” As far as I know, there are only two locations in the US: one in a San Gabriel strip mall in LA and another in a Ranch 99 in San Diego. I went to the latter, which was an unassuming bubble tea stand without any seating; my order was taken in Mandarin, not English. Wushiland uses organic milk for their milk teas and it shows. I ordered their jasmine milk tea and found it to be the single best version of milk tea that I’ve ever had in the ... (read more) 4.5/5.0

drinks 4.5 boba tea milk jasmine ootea milktea bubbletea sandiego exceptional
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Dominique Ansel Bakery Gingerbread Pinecone: I still haven't tried a cronut, but I have tried some of Dominique Ansel's desserts in the past, mostly through special events held at his New York West Village Kitchen location. While some were exceptional, namely a pea and carrot dessert modeled after a baby's first word, others have actually been quite bad (like the pie night a few years ago). There is a relatively short line at his first bakery and restaurant in Los Angeles at The Grove, so I opted for a seasonal treat: the gingerbread... (read more) 4.5/5.0

4.5 pinecone gingerbread dominiqueanselbakery dominiqueansel la losangeles chocolate speculoos spiced ginger ganache cake desserts exceptional