Sunday, October 23, 2011

Breakfast at Peace Tree, Moab, Utah

After a few days of climbing at Indian Creek, we would go to Moab for some civilization and creature comforts. During one of our rare supply/bath/food runs into town, we had breakfast at a cozy cafe called Peace Tree. It's one of those homey places that serve local food and big hearty breakfasts.

I ordered their veggie scramble, which was described as "three scrambled eggs, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, sauteed seasonal vegetables, roasted potatoes, and toast". It sounded huge to me, and it certainly was. Although I was very hungry, I was not able to finish it.

Veggie Scramble

I finished about half of it and had the rest to go. (It was enough for another complete meal.) We had some coffee to top off our breakfast then we rushed off to make full use of our limited time in town. We're sure to come back during our next climbing day off.

Peace Tree
Juice Cafe
20 South Main
Moab, Utah
Tel. No. (435)259.0101

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CJ Arthur's, Wilmette, Illinois

Since I only packed a few sets of clothes for my US trip, it didn't take much time until I urgently needed to do some laundry after I set foot in Chicago. My friend Vicky obligingly took me to a nearby laundromat. While waiting for my clothes to attain newly-laundered status, I felt like having a snack.

We went to nearby CJ Arthur's Bar and Grill. At first I thought I wanted to eat something savory, but when I saw that they had some Molten Chocolate Cake, I changed gears and opted for something sweet instead.

Molten Chocolate Cake

I enjoyed eating this cake. It was warm, moist, dense, and just sweet enough. The amount of chocolate "lava" was just enough for the size of the cake. I left that place happy, as I always feel when I think that this cake was done just right.

CJ Arthur's
1168 Wilmette Ave
(between 11th St & Central Ave)
Wilmette, IL 60091
(847) 256-8870

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A break from US history at Le Pain Quotidien, Philadelphia, PA

Fil took me to visit historical sites in Philadelphia one afternoon. She said I’d be full of culture by the time the day was done. I don’t know if that aim was achieved, but I did learn a lot about US history at the very least. We went to visit the famous Liberty Bell as well as Independence Hall, where the first US Constitution was drafted.

After a lot of walking, listening to lectures and much photo-taking, I was ready for a snack. Fil suggested we walk around and see what was in the area. After checking out the menus of various other places, we settled on Le Pain Quotidien, a bakery chain. Their name translates to "the daily bread".

They had calorie counts of items on the menu, and that was helpful because I am desperately trying not to gain hundreds of pounds during my visit. (I was also saving some space for a big dinner.)

Le Pain Quotidien sells organic breads handmade daily at their own bakery, and also uses organic ingredients. It all sounded very healthy to me, so I was sold on the place.

The place was airy and sunny and perfect for a midafternoon snack. We sat by the window so we could watch the people walk briskly by.

I saw on their menu that they had a specialty dish- Tartines, which are their signature Belgian open-faced sandwiches on organic wheat bread. I chose to have their Ricotta Tartine, which had mission figs, organic acacia honey and black pepper. According to the menu, it had only 390 calories. This was much less than the other dish I was considering, a Vegetarian Quiche, but that one was around 600 calories.

Ricotta Tartine

I liked what I had, except that the bread was a bit hard at one edge. The tartine combined sweetness and saltiness, both tastes I was craving for at the time. I also liked the arugula salad that Fil had. She also ordered Butternut Squash Soup, which I normally like. Their version though was a bit too bland for me.

I'm glad we chose to eat there, mostly because I liked the cozy bakery/cafe ambience. Apparently, most of the Le Pain Quotidien branches in the US are in the east coast, so it was good that I got to try it while I was in Philly.

Le Pain Quotidien
801 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Corner of Walnut and 8th Street
Tel. No. 215.253.3114

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Students' lunch at Smile Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

Felicity wanted me to meet some of her friends from UPenn during my visit to Philadelphia, so she arranged a quick lunch with Rey, her classmate and one of her good friends in her Ph.D program. I met up with them at Smile Cafe, a Thai restaurant, after their morning class. Ph.D students apparently have very busy schedules so Rey could only spare exactly one hour for lunch.

The restaurant offered very reasonably priced lunch meals. I'm assuming this is because they cater to a lot of students. They had set meals at $7.95, inclusive of one entree and two starters. I chose the Shrimp Satay with spring rolls and steamed dumplings. It's a good thing the spring rolls were vegetarian, and the dumplings were filled with shrimp, both pescetarian-friendly fare.

For the price, I wasn't really expecting much of the meal. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the dumplings and the spring rolls were.

Steamed Dumplings and Spring Rolls

I wasn't as happy with the shrimp, as there were just a few pieces. But since it's a budget meal, I didn't really mind.

Shrimp Satay

I enjoyed that lunch because Rey was a cool girl, and it was nice to meet other people in Felicity's life. This is the first time I've seen her since grad school, so it's great that I get to see how her life is carrying on after all these years.

Smile Cafe
Thai Modern Food
105 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States 19103
Tel. No. (215)564.2502