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Trader Joe’s Spicy mango lemonade: I wasn’t quite expecting this spicy mango lemonade to be as spicy as it is, thinking it would be more fruity with a small chili-spiked aftertaste, but this is definitely not a drink to gulp down as you might normally with a thirst-quenching glass of lemonade. The heat is pretty upfront, stemming from a mix of jalapeño and cayenne, but if you like spicy drinks, I can see how this can be a refreshing take. You can definitely taste the mango too. Kudos to Trader Joe’s for not diluting the ta... (read more) 3.0/5.0

drinks traderjoes spicy mango lemonade 3.0
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Happy Lemon Bubble waffle: There are several Happy Lemon shops in Seattle and one right in the middle of Amazon’s campus. It’s central location to downtown always gives it a sizable line, mostly because of the popularity of their bubble waffles, a snack I hadn’t yet seen at other locations I’ve been to (the last one I went to was in Shinjuku Tokyo about a year ago). They come in a few flavors including original, chocolate, Oreo, and matcha and are sized for sharing, though I have to admit I ate this one by myself over... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended dessert happylemon bubble waffle 4.0
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Milk Bar Pie ice cream: Available at Whole Foods, this Milk Bar branded ice cream is strangely slightly smaller than a pint and tastes more like breakfast than pie, thanks to oat-like crumbles throughout. It’s very rich and sweet and reminds me of Friendly’s butter crunch, with a brown butter caramel flavor. The type of dessert you can enjoy a few scoops of before you realize it’s too rich to eat more — but those couple of scoops are pretty enjoyable. 3.5/5.0

recommended whole foods icecream milkbar pie ice cream 3.5
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Mooala Strawberry Banana Milk: This brand of organic nut-free milk uses bananas, strawberries, and sunflower seeds to achieve a milky, thick consistency not unlike regular dairy milk. It doesn't taste anything like Nesquik strawberry milk syrup, but it felt like a product a health-conscious parent would buy their kid in place of Nesquik. I didn't find it overly sweet, and the strawberry banana flavor is pleasantly creamy, like a very light fruit smoothie. I'd try other products from this brand! Purchased at PCC. 3.5/5.0

recommended drinks PCC mooala strawberry banana milk 3.5
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Tim’s Sour cream and onion potato chips: When I arrived in Seattle, it was late enough that most restaurants were closed (10pm by the way, which I’m not sure is a COVID thing or just that things close earlier more generally). The only thing open was a little bodega type shop called NYC Deli; in true Seattle style, as I was walking there, I got caught in a sudden downpour and was drenched by the time I arrived. I don’t know if there’s a bigger insult to a former New Yorker than to serve a sandwich with sliced bread and pass it off a... (read more) 2.5/5.0

potatochips sourcreamandonion tims sour cream onion potato chips 2.5
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Mateo's Arrayan Paletas: Mateo's is a chain in Los Angeles that has a rainbow assortment of ice creams and fruit bars, or paletas, featuring tropical flavors from Central America ranging from yellow cherry, mamey, and sapote (a type of ash-colored persimmon fruit). The popular shop had a short line out the door, with two groups allowed in the store at a given time (and no samples during the pandemic). Their arrayan pop features fresh fruit from the arrayan guava, which reminded me a lot of Taiwanese guava I had wh... (read more) 3.0/5.0

losangeles tropical fruit mateos arrayan paletas 3.0