Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tea Rooms (not) Inspired by Tea Rooms


My coworkers and I went to Crown and Crumpet tearoom on Monday in Ghirardelli Square. Crown and Crumpet is very pink and lets play tea partyish kind of place. I did not order the traditional for fear of being extreamly let down, but most everyone else did. We did share everything, so we could all have a little taste. The sandwiches on the traditional were crusty like they had been sitting out for a long time, and the smoked salmon was disgustingly fishy, I had to spit it out. Cucumber tasted fine, dill something, cucumber. It's hard to mess up a cucumber sandwich. The large pots of tea we had were all good


The crumpets and scones were good. They did not serve Devon or Clotted cream, but butter, jam and lemon curd. The bottom tray of sweets, a tartlet shell filled with blue something, and had sprinkles. It was supposed to be passion fruit flavor, but tasted like whipped cream. There was a little nickel sized short bread cookie which was good. Then two different mini chocolate cups with cheese cake filling, very fluffy and creamy, like a light sour flavor folded into whipped cream.

I ordered the jacket potato, which came with mixed greens. A potato came on a plate, which had been cut in half with lunch meat like ham stuffed inside, and cheddar cheese on top. The potato had an obvious been cooked in a microwave taste, and once the ham and cheese were gone, was just a potato. I have no complaints about the greens. A few ordered the soup of the day, and I some how ended up with a cup of it. Vegetable sausage soup. In the cup was broth, with some onion bits, and three little sausage rounds. Greasy, and tasteless. Two people ordred the crumpet sandwiches, and they seemed to be happy with it, except for, the ROCK hard avocado that couldn't be cut.

Long story short, go there for the experience,tea, scones and crumpets. But if you are hungry go some where else.


Kara's Cupcakes was some what of a let down. They have 6 locations around the bay area. The girls who worked there didn't seem very happy to be there, they wren't very friendly. I ordred a peanutbutter cup cake, raspberry cup cake with a raspberry curd like filling (which was really good), java cup cake, and an orange creamsicle cup cake. All of them had chocolate cake bottoms, and the cake was wonderful! The peanutbutter one was my favorite, and Adam enjoied the orange creamsicle.
The Java and raspberry were not so good. The frosting on both of them tasted like whipped butter with a little bit of flavoring. Not sweet in the slightest. It grossed me out! Imagine biting into a spoon full of whipped, unsalted butter with a coffee flavor or barely raspberry flavor. I probably won't be getting cup cakes from them in the future.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm not a real chef, I just play one on TV.

I miss old school cooking shows, before the whole food thing got popular. When I was like 6, I would get up super early on Saturday and Sunday morning to watch TV. Not cartoons, but cooking shows. Jacques Torres was one of my favorites! He would make these chocolate cups with blown up water balloons. I always dreamed of the day my mom would let me make them, but of course it didn't happen till my advanced baking and pastry class at culinary school.
Even though I had never made them in real life, I considered myself a pro at it. How many times had I seen that episode? Far to many to count. Tempering the chocolate is always touchy, blow up the balloon, dip deep in one side, then the other sides to create a flower like pattern, shake and let it drizzle off so when you set it down on parchment it doesn't create a large foot at the bottom. When fully set up and hard, pop the balloon and hope for the best.

I have been working 6 days a week since 2011 hit, and It has really opened my eyes to how many people are in the food industry that just should not be in it. Why would you open a restaurant and then complain the few days you do come in about having to make food for it? And then thinking it's acceptable to serve something you messed up on because you "didn't feel like" making another batch correctly? If I did that, I would be fired. I try not to complain about working so much, when i'm tired because I had a hard night sleeping, just want a second day off, or not being able to go out late with friends. I try to just be thankful I have a job at all.

With all of this, super popular bad food tv, and people not giving a care about what's being served in their restaurants has renewed a fire in me, to want to make sure I can put out the best food I can possibly put out. To just grit and bare it, do it right from the start or do it over again until it's the best I can possibly do.

In my next post I will be talking about my trip to Ghirardeli Square, Crown and Crumpet Tea Room and Kara's Cup Cakes. Which fuels my fire even more, such a let down everything was!