What's good here?

Overall Restaurant – Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 – If you search Sweet Life Patisserie (755 Monroe Street, 97402) on Google, you’ll find an average rating of 4 ½ stars with 386 reviews. For the most part, I agree. I love the place and its atmosphere. I make a trip to Sweet Life with my friends almost once a month. Yes, I have a HUGE sweet tooth; I’ve probably been there at least 15 times since I’ve lived in Eugene. It’s a great place to chill with friends. I can’t exactly give the place 5 stars because I’ve had more fail desserts than winners. They have so many desserts and treats to choose from, it’s hard to figure out which one to choose. After going there so many times, I’ve learned that there are definitely some desserts you should just avoid ordering.

What I’ve tried:

Drinks

Mixed berry smoothie

Mixed berry smoothie – Rating: 2/5 – It tasted like a margarita without the alcohol. Okay, so a virgin mixed berry smoothie/margarita should be decent, right? Nope. It tasted like watered down fruit juice with an off-after taste.

Raspberry cremosa – Rating: 4/5 – Loved the cremosa and the raspberry taste, but I’d avoid sweet drinks with sweet desserts. It’s a sweetness overload! Stick with water or milk.

Desserts

Lemon bar

Lemon bar – Rating: 5/5 – If you like lemon bars (love it or hate it type of dessert), then this is a good lemon bar to try. The tart taste of the lemon bar is very well- balanced with a good amount of confectioner’s sugar. Yum.

Pumpkin cookie

Pumpkin cookie with frosting – Rating: 3/5 – Pumpkin desserts are kind of iffy to me. The pumpkin cookie was slightly too sweet and had a tad bit of nutmeg spice.

Red velvet cupcake – Rating: 2/5 – I read this article discussing the necessities of an authentic red velvet cake and the red velvet cupcake at Sweet Life didn’t seem to have any of the listed components, besides being red. The frosting was definitely not cream cheese.

Strawberries-topped cheesecake

Strawberries-topped cheesecake – Rating: 4/5 – Rich, a tad bit heavy but the strawberry topping balances the richness of the cheesecake.

Chocolate cream pie

Chocolate cream pie – Rating: 1/5 – No, don’t do it. What happened? The chocolate custard was way bitter, but had no taste of chocolate. It tasted more like cheap coffee ground. I am a chocoholic, but the chocolate custard just did not taste like chocolate. I was thoroughly disappointed. I took three bites hoping it’d start to taste better, but just ended up taking home the majority of the slice hoping to fix it somehow.

Tiramisu – Rating: 2/5 – Their Tiramisu tastes funny. I’ve had better Tiramisu from Fred Meyer’s, Safeway or even Cash N’ Carry’s frozen cake.

Cream cheese brownie

Cream cheese brownie – Rating: 5/5 – Oh my gosh, yum. My go-to dessert. So rich and so decadent. It totally satisfies my sweet tooth. My friends had theirs heated to make it even better. Warm or not, the brownie is delicious either way!

Brownie sundae

Brownie sundae – Rating: 5/5 – I saved the best for last. I’ve been to Sweet Life so many times, but once I discovered this dessert, I have not been able to try anything else. You can create your own brownie sundae by picking your choice of brownie and topping it with your choice of gelato. My favorite all-time combination: cream cheese brownie topped with dark Venezuelan chocolate. The turtle brownie topped with Tahitian vanilla gelato is amazing too. Describing this makes me want some right now. Yum!

Overall, Sweet Life is a great place to go to satisfy your sweet tooth, but be aware that not everything they offer will do the trick!

Check out Sweet Life Patisserie’s website for their menu and other information: http://www.sweetlifedesserts.com/

Here is urbanspoon’s reviews of Sweet Life:

Sweet Life Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Happy eating!

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Overall Restaurant – Rating: 4/5 – Here’s a post for the people of Corvallis and its visitors! I go to school in Eugene, but I visit Corvallis about twice a term to see my pretty girlfriends that attend school there! Yes, I’m a g. The girls and I usually stick to coffee and a small breakfast when I’m there, but we went all out last weekend when my friends took me to The Broken Yolk Café (119 Southwest 3rd Street, 97333). The restaurant was super cool and artsy inside. I liked the vibes and the servers were all nice. The rating is not 5/5 because I love the restaurant itself, but this time, I made the mistake of not asking the server what I should order before actually ordering, and ended up with a bland dish. What my table ordered:

Drinks

The Broken Mocha

The Broken Mocha – Rating: 5/5 – ½ cocoa & ½ coffee topped with whipped cream. Wow, what a genius idea! This is how I make my coffee ever since my first sip of The Broken Mocha. By the way, the drink is served in a large beer mug and it’s only $2.95; that’s a pretty good deal, I’d say.

Cup of Coffee

Coffee – Rating: 5/5 – A very good cup of coffee and the best part: everyone gets their own coffee mug so yours is different from the person next to you. No more accidentally grabbing your friend’s cup of joe!

Breakfast

Big Bad Wet Burrito

Big Bad Wet Breakfast Burrito – Rating: 4/5 – A very good–sized burrito that should be shared (unless you want leftovers). It was a little bland, but I just added some Tabasco sauce and it was much better.

Hash browns – Rating: 5/5 – Just the way I like it: Crispy on top, soft on the bottom.

Ham and Cheese Omelette w/Hash Browns

Ham & Cheese Omelette – Rating: 3/5 – My boyfriend can usually clear his plate, but he stopped eating the omelette midway because he said it just got old. Well, it’s a ham and cheese omelette so it’s as basic as you can get, but there might be a way to spice it up more.

3rd Street Scramble

3rd Street Scramble – Rating: 5/5 – If you like vegetarian dishes, this would be an ideal breakfast dish – it’s scrambled eggs with roasted garlic, spinach, mushroom, feta and pine nuts. I like my dishes not too vegetarian, so I personally thought it was a little bland, but the girls at my table loved this dish.

Of course being somewhat hung over, I decided to ask the waitress what were popular dishes people often ordered AFTER everyone at my table had finished eating. To her surprise, no one at the table ordered anything popular, of course. These are the dishes she said customers loved:
The Cajun Skillet
Hobo Hash
Corned Beef Hash & Eggs (hate it or love it type of dish)
Oh and don’t forget, I repeat, do not forget to try their Grandma’s homemade strawberry jam (Rating – 5/5* must try). I wanted to drink it. The jam was a bit runny, but it tasted amazing! It was worth all the stickiness.

Overall, it was not too bad of an experience. The food was a bit bland and the prices were a bit on the higher end for breakfast foods (around $9.50/plate), but I liked the atmosphere and the service. If you order the right dish, you’ll love the place. If you still have the stomach for it, it’s a great place for a hangover breakfast!

Here’s the website with the Broken Yolk Café menus and other information: http://www.broken–yolk.com/

Check out urbanspoon’s reviews of Broken Yolk Café:
Broken Yolk Cafe on Urbanspoon

Happy eating!

Overall Restaurant – Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 – Success! Finally found a bomb hot wings joint in Eugene. Check out their Facebook: Hot Mama’s Wings’ Facebook.

Hot Mama’s Wings (420 West 13th Avenue, 97401) just opened yesterday and you can already find a ton of information about the hot, new restaurant on the Internet. Big ups to them for using social media as a marketing tool! Instead of going into details about the whole restaurant, I’ll just recommend to you what to order from there. If you’re interested in learning more about the restaurant, you can check out Oregon Daily Emerald’s article or Eugene Weekly’s article on the joint. I’ll just eat there and tell you what’s good.

So first off, I got to tell you: Their wings are meaty. This is a good thing. I had wings at the other hot wings joint near campus last weekend and those were literally just bones. Those tasted like frozen wings you buy at the grocery store and reheat them in the microwave.

The wings at Hot Mama’s however, are real, meaty chicken wings.

Here’s what my friends and I tried today:

Starters:

Crispy, brown French fries

French fries – Rating: 5/5 – They were brown, but crispy. The color of the French fries threw me off at first, but dang, they were good. They crunch in your mouth.

Jalapeno Poppers - Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon

Jalapeno poppers – Rating: 3/5 – Hollowed out peppers, stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon. The pepper-filled cream cheese was a bit rich for my taste. I ended up just eating the bacon wrap.

Tater tots – Rating: 4/5 – Crispy tater tots, good, but could have used more seasoning.

Main course:

Wings – Rating: 5/5 – Meaty & crispy. The best part: Not messy. It’s like they cooked the sauce into the wings. It’s not your usual deep-fried wings smothered in sauce. You get the flavors when you bite into the wings without having your face and hands covered in sauce. They offered tempeh, grilled and fried wings. We all went with the fried.

Upper left: Chipotle Bourbon, Upper right: Jalapeno Poppers, Middle: Hot

Flavors of wings we tried (I don’t have the exact flavor names. I made the mistake of not taking a picture of the menu):

Hot – Rating: 3/5 – Not too flavorful, but spicy. Have some fun, order something that’s spicy and flavorful.

Medium – Rating: 4/5 – Not too flavorful, but a good amount of spicy for those who cannot handle hot.

BBQ – Rating: 4/5 – Plain, standard BBQ flavor, as expect. Maybe they should offer Honey BBQ also so it’s not as standard.

Cilantro Lime – Rating: 3/5 – The flavor of the cilantro did not come out, neither did the lime. It just tasted like a piece of fried chicken.

Root-beer Glazed – Rating: 5/5 – The table’s first favorite. A tad bit sweet, a tad bit spicy and a tad bit salty, perfecto. You can taste that spicy, sweet root beer flavor. Awesome! *Must try!

Pineapple – Ratings: 3/5 – More like limey than pineapple-y? A little bit too tangy of a flavor for wings.

Chipotle Bourbon – Rating 5/5 – My table’s second favorite. Extremely spicy and flavorful at the same time. *Must try!

All of us ordered 9 wings for $8.50 and chose three different flavors. Appetizers were about $4 and drinks were $2. They had many other choices of food besides wings, but we went for the wings. I’ll post a copy of the menu for prices and choices as soon as I get my hands on one. Post comments if you tried anything else from the restaurant that I should review! I’ll definitely be back there soon.

Check out urbanspoon’s rating of Hot Mama’s Wings:

Hot Mama's Wings on Urbanspoon

Happy eating!

Eating like there's no tomorrow.

I started this blog knowing only one thing: I wanted to write about food.

But, what about food? I don’t know. I just know I love food when I’m hungry…or bored.

After talking to a fellow journalist, he suggested I review local restaurants around campus to give Eugenites some insight and ideas on where to eat and what to eat.

I liked the idea, but thought it was too local; I want to appeal to anyone from anywhere.

But then, he asked me how do I expect to generate buzz nationally, when I haven’t done so locally?

Ah, words of wisdom, my friends. So, here goes the new direction and focus of my blog:

I will be stopping by local restaurants around the University of Oregon campus area and around Eugene to review their food, prices, menu selections, atmosphere and anything else that comes to mind.

I am, however, a starving college student and therefore cannot afford to go out to eat so often, so here’s what I am going to do: Alternate between restaurant reviews and recipe reviews. Quite the tongue-twister there.

Well, folks. Wish me luck!

AllRecipes.com: #1 Food Site

I’m not sure what happened to me, but I used to hate food.

No, I wasn’t anorexic; I was four-years-old. Eating anything else besides candy and cake sounded awful to me! I used pull all kinds of tricks when my mom tried to feed me, like chewing for a long time and not swallowing so she wouldn’t feed me more. I would also spit out my food in the garbage when she wasn’t looking. When my mom found out I was doing that, I got smart and started spitting my food into the toilet then flushing. Aha! No evidence.

My family would have trick me into eating by telling me if I ate enough chicken wings, I’d grow wings to fly. Okay, what four-year-old wouldn’t want to fly?! So, that’s all I ate growing up. Chicken wings. But I didn’t like it. I just wanted to fly.

All right, four-year-old Linda. What were you thinking?

Now at 20, I love food. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about before going to bed.

Being a full-time student, working half-time and being involved on campus gives me very little time to cook. When I do cook though, I want the food to be amazing because most likely, I’ll be heating and reheating the food until I get a chance to cook again. Oh, college.

Here’s where Allrecipes.com comes in. So I’m making a meal that I might be eating for several days. It better be good.

Let’s say I want to make a recipe with chicken, I can type in “chicken” in the search bar, then sort the recipes by ratings.

Now, here’s the best part: Allrecipes.com is completely user-generated with more than 434 million visits a year, worldwide with 2.7 billion pages of recipes. So you’re hearing from millions of home cooks of all different skill levels. On most recipe websites, recipes are only getting five or six reviews while the current top recipe (Banana crumb muffins, yum!) on Allrecipes has 5,830 ratings and a bunch of helpful recipe improvement tips from its users. Now this here is what we call a social network. Home cooks from all over are brought together on one network to share recipes, photos, tips and reviews.

Allrecipes.com recently even topped FoodNetwork.com as the number one recipe website on the Internet. What is this saying about celebrity chefs vs. everyday home cooks? As a home cook myself, I’m more likely going to trust the opinions of other millions of home cooks rather than the one celebrity who insists on her show what she’s dishing up is delicious.

Relatability, although not a real word (but one day will be, I’ve decided), is key to building social networks.

Visit: http://allrecipes.com/

"The Big Easy" Eggs Benedict from Studio One Cafe: Cajun hollandaise on top of poached eggs, jack cheese, grilled tomato, spinach, and a grilled English Muffin, served with a side of homefries.

I am a complete supporter of small, local businesses. I rarely choose to go out to big name restaurants. I prefer to try out local, small restaurants. You never know when you’ll walk into a hole-in-the-wall that serves the most amazing food you’ve ever tasted!

Today I went to Studio One Cafe in Eugene, Oregon for brunch. I got “The Big Easy” from their Eggs Benedict menu. Now I’ve tried eggs benedict in many, many places. But The Big Easy from Studio One Cafe is my most favorite! And to think, I would’ve never found this out if I didn’t try local restaurants and only went to iHop!

My mom owns a little salon in Gresham, Oregon called Paradise Day Spa & Salon. Her business has been suffering for a few years since the economy went into recession. My mom’s a single mom, raising three kids while attempting to run a business, pay off a house and a car.

Being the eldest, I wish there were more I could do for her business. Back in high school, I would go out to her shop and work as a receptionist. I worked to build relationships with the customers. I greeted everyone by their names and made sure customers felt completely comfortable.

Now that I’m away for college, there’s not much I can do. I’m hoping to take the public relations and communication skills I learn from my PR and business administration courses to help her business out once I graduate! I started a Facebook page for her business, but I’m having a hard time gathering any fans. I’ve figured out that personal use of social media is much easier than business’ use of social media. Kudos to those businesses that succeed in the social media world!

Crawfish at the Boiling Crab in San Jose, CA

Being a college student, I can’t afford fine dining, so I consume what I like to call “fun dining.” Affordable food and ingredients are my favorite. I like delicious, cheap eats and a good time to go along with amazing food!

With this blog, I hope to explore the food culture in social media. There are people out there who build online communities to share their love for food. I am one of those community members.

I hope to one day work in the food and entertainment industry because food and entertainment makes people happy, and well, I like happy people!

This blog is a project I am super stoked to get started on. I hope to provide some useful and interesting information to all those food and social media lovers out there. One day I hope to help the world end hunger. Somehow, some way, it’s going to happen!

Blogger Linda Lam

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