ice cream

Syrup (Downtown) – Waffles and Ice Cream

by Franklin on January 18, 2014

Downtown is such a dirty place. You have the coexistence of the rich and poor, and everyone in between. Cars wiz by, polluting the air. The buildings are old, dingy, and most of them block out the sun. With urban development slowly making things better, downtown is certainly looking up. Eats in downtown are starting to get better too. A certain dessert spot has got me scratching my head though. Syrup on Spring St. isn’t really anything special. For some odd reason, it seems to be quite popular. They have their signature desserts and coffees, but nothing is spectacular. Well, their waffles are nice…

No, their waffles are not nice. In fact, their waffles taste like nothing. In another fact, I’ve had better at a brunch waffle bar, at El Torito grill. Now, the waffle bashing will stop. Maybe I was a bit mad that they ran out of their signature blackberry jasmine ice cream. But seriously, it’s just a bland waffle with fruit and whipped cream, with a side of ice cream. Aren’t Liege waffles supposed to be dense and sugary? Syrup needs to take a few pages out of the Waffles de Liege truck.

Honestly, don’t go crazy over this stuff. The upstairs lounge area is cool and all with their board games and what not. If you want to lounge it up with your friends over dessert, stay home, bakes some cookies, grab the ice cream, and whip out Monopoly Deal. Your night is right again.

On a totally random note, but still contenting on about how dirty downtown was, I crossed paths with an actual street rat that day. Not to say that Syrup has a rat problem, but I just saw a rat just roaming around on the street. The only street rats I really know of are Ratatouille, or Aladdin, but to actually see one in real life was kind of cool. Cute in a way, but dirty as can be, the street rat made my day. Why I was looking into maybe buying a condo in downtown is beyond me.

Syrup Desserts on Urbanspoon

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I know its Winter, and it’s cold. Typically, you don’t eat cold things in the Winter. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy something sweet. It’s Los Angeles we are talking here — its okay. Entering Manhattan Beach Creamery, I was a kid in a candy store. There was candy on display with every sweet thing you can think of. There is something magical about having ice cream or a snack at the beach. You feel young again. I had my eye on one thing and one thing only — the chocolate dipped ice cream sandwich.

The cookie part was quite sweet, a little too sweet. The dark chocolate that coated the sandwich cookie actually rounded out the sweetness a lot. The ice cream sandwich was thick over frozen. This helped in keeping things together. Once the cookie sandwich thawed out a bit, it was just a perfect ice cream sandwich. It was a bit large, and I don’t recall finishing the whole thing. I was just happy. Cookies and Ice cream? All in a sandwich? Covered in dark chocolate?

Manhattan Beach Creamery is in a nice location in one of the best beaches in Los Angeles. Any sweet lover can appreciate what they offer. From candy, baked goods and ice cream, this is a great pit stop for dessert and sweets. It’s fun to just walk around and look at all they have. I think it’s a nice way to kill time at the beach, and you get a sweet snack with that.

Manhattan Beach Creamery on Urbanspoon

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Waffles de Liege – A Match Made In Heaven

by Franklin on June 5, 2012

Food trucks are an amazing thing. You can get practically any kind of food you desire off of a food truck. Waffles De Liege, for example serves up some awesome waffles. Their waffles are not the breakfast kind, though anyone would be happy to have these for breakfast. According to their website, there are two kinds of Belgium waffles. Brussels waffles, the ones we see everywhere, is the more common kind of waffle. Liege waffles are more rich and sweet. Obviously, the waffles they cook up are Liege waffles. Hence the name, Waffles de Liege. Their dessert waffles are simply amazing and topped with Fosselman’s ice cream — A match made in heaven.

The line for this truck was long. Not too long where we were deterred from waiting, but there was a nice crowd in front of the truck. Looking for something sweet, I knew this was a perfect choice. When I found out they served Fosselman’s ice cream with their waffles, I knew it could not lose. I was honored to find that my hometown ice cream was being served on this truck. I had to have it.

I ordered the toffee ice cream on a waffle with chocolate and caramel sauce. As much as the Fosselman’s ice cream was superb, the waffle was amazing. The outside was crisp and had a perfect crust to it. The inside was nice and cakey and wonderfully soft. The texture contrast of the soft inside and the crispy outside, and of course the creamy ice cream was perfect. I wouldn’t mind eating this every morning by itself. It really held its own as a waffle. The dough was indeed the star of this dessert. It was sweet, but not too sweet. It was perfectly delicious.

When you have something so good, you hold on to it. The Waffles de Liege Truck has something amazing on their hands. Waffles and ice cream, that is the golden ticket. Sauce it up with caramel and chocolate, or make it “healthy” with some bananas and strawberries — it is all good. But really though, that Liege waffle is all I need.

Waffles de Liege (food truck) on Urbanspoon

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It’s official. The Italians got it right again and gelato is the perfect “ice cream”. It always seems like the beach and the ocean always makes me want some ice cream. The sunshine and the ocean breeze all can be enjoyed a little better with a nice velvety, creamy treat. If you couldn’t tell by the name, Geltao Paradiso only serve gelato. It may not be ice cream, but if its frozen and it’s creamy, it’s ice cream. The quaint little gelato shop in Laguna Beach was a nice find and an even better treat. Nearby the vicinity of one of my favorite Laguna Beach restaurants, Nick’s, it turned out to be a nice treat at the beach. Gelato at the beach is a win-win.

I opted for the largest cone and shared. After trying many different flavors (I must have tried more than I can count on one hand), I chose 3 of my favorite — dark chocolate nutella, tirmisu, and Italian cream. The Italian cream was neutral and sweet, the dark chocolate nutella was strong and intense, and the tiramisu met both of them half way. The flavors in itself were nice and rich. Gelato in its dense flavor profile, each bite was perfect. Having all of this on a giant waffle cone made it even better. The waffle cone never let up — It was thick and crunchy and was always crispy. Enjoying this at one of my favorite beaches in Southern California, things couldn’t have been better.

Gelato Paradiso is tucked away in a little alley (Peppertree Land) surrounded by small shops. The price was reasonable and their selection is classic, but perfect. What is better than ice cream at the beach? It doesn’t get any more All-American than that. Well in this case, it’s mixed in with Italian, but you get my drift. You can’t help but enjoy yourself in the perfect beach city with a nice big scoop of all the flavors you desire. Give me my ice cream, give me my beach and the perfect sunset. Consider me happy.

Gelato Paradiso on Urbanspoon

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Remember the olden days? Well, my olden days are like the late 80s, early 90s. I mean before then, like the 60s and 70s. Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours was booming. Starting from Portland, Oregon, the restaurants were an old time favorite. After being bought out and sold again, they are making a come back in Orange County. They opened their newest Farrell’s in Brea, CA.

Upon going on opening day, it was chaotic to say the least. The line was amazingly long, but moved quickly. The ambiance was almost surreal. You only see all these smiley faces and colorful olden days decor in the movies. The waiters and workers yelled and sang almost every 5 minutes. Either somebody was celebrating a birthday or someone ordered the $50 Belly Buster ice cream sundae. The atmosphere was loud and obnoxious. It was not for me. The food was sub par and the ambiance just killed it for me.

A restaurant is only as good as its burger. I ordered the talk of the town burger which had bacon. I substituted the American cheese for blue cheese. They charged me for the cheese substitute, and I wasn’t told about the extra charge. Bummer. I asked for a medium rare, hoping for a medium well at the least, but that didn’t happen. The burger was as normal as can be. Nothing special or inspiring. I guess my expectations were a bit high, or I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

What did surprise me was the grown up mac and 4 cheese. It had cheddar, mozzarella, American, and smoked gouda. What really set this off was the white truffle oil. It had that rich taste and was pleasant. A sense of classiness and a descent tasting plate was refreshing. I definitely did not like the crostinni bread that came with it. It was stale and the cheese melted on top seemed out of place and old. Other than that, I wouldn’t mind ordering this again.

One interesting item I saw on the menu was the gastronomicaldelicatessenepicuren’s delight.  I am not kidding.  That is what they call it. The gastro sandwich for short, had corned beef, ham, turkey breast, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion. The funny thing is, it looked like a normal sandwich, but the waiters sang a song and made a big deal about us ordering that sandwich. It was good, but not that big of a deal as they made it out to be.

For dessert, we had to have a sundae. It is an ice cream parlour after all. We couldn’t order the belly buster, but we ordered the Oreo Bliss. It had vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, Oreos, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. I know they couldn’t mess this up, and it was good as it should be. Oreos and ice cream is a great combination, and a great ending to our so-so lunch.

I was waiting and waiting for Farrell’s to open. I didn’t hear of it or know of it until now. They sell all American classics and their ice cream shakes and sundaes are their specialty. They even sell candy like all soda fountains did in the olden days. Culinarily, the food didn’t do it for me. It was just too plain and boring. As an establishment, it was kind of cool. Kids would like it as there is a lot of singing and excitement. I guess I wouldn’t mind stopping by for just an ice cream sundae. Good thing they have a separate window for just dessert. I can only wonder when the craze and long lines will die down.

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