Happy National Dessert Day

  

 

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Hope everyone has a sweet day!!!

I just tasted these delicious cupcakes from Huascar & Co Bake Shop.  The flavors going clockwise were Nutty Fella (chocolate fudge cupcake with Nutella filling, Glanduja buttercream frosting with chocolate pearls toasted hazelnuts), Pink Lemonade (lemon sour cream and raspberry cupcake with raspberry buttercream frosting and raspberry chocolate curls) and Berry Champgne (pink champagne cupcake with strawberries baked in iced with vanilla-pink champagne frosting)! 

Huascar & Co had a bunch of fun flavors and other items in the store, such as spiked tres leches cake which is one of my favorite kind of cakes!  The cupcakes were pretty tasty, more dense than fluffy, the Nutty Fella even had a filling, which was delicious. As for the frosting, I thought it was a bit hard and too bitter tasting, however they did have interesting frosting flavors to go with the different cupcakes. 

Little Havana Food Tour in Miami

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During my vacation in Miami, I wanted to more than just your typical beach and party routine.  After seeking out some recommendations from my new friends from Sunrise, Florida, my friend and I decided to take a food tour with Miami Culinary Tours.  They had a few tour options, but decided the Little Havana Food tour, would give us a new cultural tour in addition to some yummy Cuban Food!

Stop 1 - El Pub Restaurant

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Stop 1 of the food tour was at El Pub restaurant, they are best known for their beef empanadas & coffee, which exactly what we had and a great way to start the tour!  For those of you who do not know, an empanada is basically dough filled with something, such as beef.  Variations of empanadas exist in many different cultures, such as calzones and dumplings.  I also learned about the "colada," which is a Cuban coffee that is mean to be shared (you should not have a full cup, but rather a small little shot, the size of a creamer).

 
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Stop 2 - Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co.

Next we headed to the Cuba Tobacco Cigar Factory, where we learned how cigars were made and got to see it first hand.  Fun Fact - The owner of this factory was actually imprisoned for 20 years prior to starting this factory and was sitting on the couch in the front of the store.

 
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Stop 3 - Domino Park

Domino Park is where all of the seniors go to play, you guessed it... dominos!  The park is a social club and the place to be during teh day for dominos and chess (but gambling is not allowed). Don’t forget to bring your ID, because they will card you!

 
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Stop 4 - Old's Havana

We then headed lunch at Old Havana, where we had a delicious Cuban sandwich & croquette.  A cuban sandwich consists of pernil (one of my favorites!), ham, pickle and cheese, croquettes are basically fried sticks of food, usually consisting of potato.

 
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Stop 5 - Ball & Chain

We migrated to some live Latin music at Ball & Chain for some refreshing mojitos!  Ball & Chain is definitely one of the most lively places in Little Havana, with a fantastic live band in the front of the restaurant and a pineapple theme!   They also have a nice little patio area in the back, this may have been my favorite spot on the tour - I will definitely be back next time I am in Little Havana!

 
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Stop 6 - Yisell Bakery

On to Yisell Bakery for some guava filled pastries (pastelitos).  This little hole in the wall bakery, looked kind of small and run down, but had some great pastries, bread and was very busy with locals. The bakery was crowded in the middle of the day while we were there, which says a lot about a place.

 

Stop 7 - Los Pinarenos Fruteria

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This fruit stand has a variety of fruits that you would not find at your local grocery store, here you can find giant avocados, green plantains, lady fingers (baby bananas), dragon fruit, star fruit and fresh mangos to name a few!  Here we had a very fresh mango smoothie, which you could tell was made right on the spot, I could definitely use another one in this heat! 

Fun Fact: this is one of the only open air fruit stands left standing AND was featured in some movies.

 
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Stop 8 - Azucar

Time for dessert!  For the final stop of the tour we headed to Azucar for some mantecado ICE CREAM topped with guava syrup! This shop was created by a local who saw the need to create a place for tourists to enjoy the local culture, thus Azucar was born!

 

Along the tour, we saw many roosters, both statues and real ones, very depicting of islands in general.   

Needless to say my friend and I were STUFFED by the end of this tour.  I would definitely recommend taking this tour if you want to learn about the culture, while stuffing your face!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Rainbow Cookie Ice Cream topped with Homemade Lemon Meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream

Rainbow Cookie Ice Cream topped with Homemade Lemon Meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day at the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard - with a variety of NYC's most unique artisan ice cream makers and flavors.

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day at the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard - with a variety of NYC's most unique artisan ice cream makers and flavors.

For those of you who know me well, you know I have a big sweet tooth and LOVE ice cream!  

Today I attended the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard at the Grand Baazar NYC on the Upper West Side. There were so many varieties of ice cream it was hard to choose where to go! There was everything from ice cream mochi from My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery and Thai ice cream rolls from Minus Celsius Ice Cream to ice cream stuffed donuts from Stax Ice Cream, ice cream like cookie dough from 2 Dough Boyz and deep fried ice cream from Sam's Fried Ice Cream to name a few.   

I decided to get something new that I had not seen before (which is rare when it comes to ice cream) - rainbow cookie ice cream topped with toasted lemon meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream! If you’re wondering, yes it tastes as good as it looks!  The rainbow cookie ice cream had bits of rainbow cookie in it (one of my favorite cookies), and the toasted lemon meringue added a nice touch, definitely a good decision made today! 

Thank you to my friend Della for indulging in my love of ice cream and attending this, despite the intense heat today!  

Until next time, stayed tuned for more ice cream and foodie adventures!