The look and feel is like Pasion's other locations. My java chip frappe was delicious! Staff were friendly and it seems to be well-frequented based on my visit on a Sunday afternoon. Wifi seems to be locked, didn't have enough time to ask to see if they share the password or not but all other Pasion locations I've been to offer free wifi.
After going to college close to Chicago, I became obsessed with finding delicious Mexican food in Miami. Toro Taco is definitely one of those places that people often would mention to me as the only Mexican place they knew about closeby. Due to this, I decided to give Toro Taco a chance and see what's up. Note: to be fair, I visited Toro Taco three times in hopes that I would change my rating but really, three stars is being more than generous.
While the food that we had was okay and not horrible, their service was. On all of my visits we had to wait for an hour or more to receive our food in a restaurant that was practically empty. Waitresses never came by the table to communicate the delay, we were essentially abandoned. Also, when I visit Mexican restaurants, I'm in search of very particular dishes (eg, chile relleno and tacos de nopales, etc). Each time I visited, I would order the chile relleno and each time I would be told that they didn't have it that day. Boo, Toro Taco!
Down a quiet alleyway in the center of Leuven close to Sint-Pieterkirk (Saint Peter's Church) and Leuven's Stadhuis (townhall), you'll find Bittersweet Chocolatier. This small but very welcoming shop lures you in with the smells of chocolate wafting outside of its door. Inside, the a selection of about ten chocolate flavors is presented for you to pick and choose from. While you can find very typical Belgian flavors represented here --such as one filled with speculoos -- my boyfriend and I were delighted to find some very curious combinations such as caramel and banana, violet, and a Leffe (Belgian beer) flavored one too! Both times, we were greeted at the door with chocolates to try and met with the owner and chocolatier.
Many chocolate places sell by the piece, but they sell by the weight. We found that our Euro stretched for quite a bit and were able to take a good selection home! While one can find Leonidas, Nauhaus, and Godiva in Leuven as well, it was nice to taste and take home chocolates one cannot find outside of Leuven.
What a great ice cream shop! We visited Chill-N during the middle of the day on a Sunday in an effort to avoid running into kids and to avoid the crowds. The boyfriend and I are not too keen on having them around. They have a good selection of ingredients and have laid it out in a way that makes it easy to figure out how to order. The ice cream itself was like a gelato! Very thick and creamy! I'm a fan of cake batter ice cream (you can blame Coldstone's for becoming popular during my adolescence for that one!) and decided to see how Chill-N's measured up. I added cookie dough and brownie pieces to it. The cake batter taste was there but it definitely was not as sugary as Coldstone's. This is a very, very good thing. The cookie dough and brownie pieces were well-distributed throughout the ice cream too.
As a business, they have a good community vibe going too. They are active on social media and I found that to be pretty neat. For example, when you walk in, you can find three flavors of the week that are submitted by their followers on social media. I discovered a friend's creation posted as one of the flavors of the week! That means they're legit and not just making up these creations themselves! I also posted a picture of my visit on Instagram and they liked it within a day. That's pretty cool Chill-N, just like your ice cream.
This place just opened and we have ordered pizza from them three times in the past month. The boyfriend and I are big fans --and frequest customers-- of Big Tomato, Big Cheese, and Giordano's in Chicago (yes, we have ordered their pizzas to be shipped to us). To say that we've chosen to order from Gaetano's three times in a row for our pizza fix is rather impressive. The crust has a good crisp to it but remains chewy in the center.
Suffice to say, we have not tried all of the options but their veggie pizza is soooo good! They put eggplant parm slices in with all the other typical vegetables one finds on a veggie pizza. If you're looking to round out your meal with dessert, their cannolis had a nice creamy texture with just a hint of cinnamon. We are big fans and plan on going back often. They also have daily specials (except for Fridays) that are tough to beat. For the price and quality of ingredients, it's definitely worth checking out.
I've eaten at POC a few times. The selection and attentive wait staff is what pushes it to 4 stars; although the taste of certain food items was definitely questionable (eg, creme brûlée that tastes like Froot Loops and panna cotta that is very Jello-like in consistency).
I've always gone with a large group of friends (often 6 or 8 in the party) and seating has often been quite speedy. Having gone on a Friday night I was surprised to see how many couples were eating here in their "date night" outfits. The decor is rather stylish for a buffet, but I wouldn't consider it intimate.
Some of my favorites at POC: shrimp tempura, the crazy roll (many of the sushi rolls are rather tasty too!), caprese salad (tomato and a generous slab of mozarella cheese), the tiramisu, and chocolate mousse.
Our review in one sentence: If you ever need anything done related to website or graphic design, Luis is the man to call; he's super talented and works hard to make sure you're 100% satisfied with the job.
Full Review: Last May, my boyfriend was in charge of organizing an event at his local university. The event was a week long "dissertation retreat", designed to help graduate students currently working on their doctoral dissertation with any issue related to writing. Since this was the first event of its kind, my boyfriend wanted to make sure he had the most professional looking posters possible--but the posters also had to be fun and inviting. We contacted Luis at Art Spark, and the results could not have been better!
Luis is the guy in charge at Art Spark, and it's easy to tell why. He's talented, professional, quick on his feet, and willing to work with you every step of the way. He met with my boyfriend personally to discuss his (my boyfriend's) initial ideas, and from that meeting, came up with a design that matched everything he wanted--and then some. His poster design was classy and fun.
My boyfriend liked working with him so much, that he commissioned Luis again to design a poster we gave to a group of friends for Christmas (it was filled with a lot of nerdy inside jokes). Luis even remembered who we were! Fast forward to after Christmas, and all of our friends have framed their copy of the poster.
One of the best parts about working with Luis is how trustworthy he is. When you call him up, you know that he's going to do everything he can to deliver something that you can be proud of. He does everything in house--and the quality speaks for itself. He's as trustworthy as he is talented! So if you ever need something designed, don't hesitate to check out Art Spark!
After moving back to Miami from Belgium, I thought I would never find any chocolate to fill the Cote d'or or Neuhaus-shaped hole in my heart. Lo and behold, I discover Cao Chocolates at the Fairchild's Chocolate Festival last year! Their chocolate tastes phenomenal. Their selection of flavors is both creative and delicious. I've met the chocolatier, Ricardo, quite a few times while there and he doesn't make a chocolate he can't add his own personal spin to.
The owners are a married couple and whenever we come in, we are treated like family. They have a big heart and you can feel their warmth when you come in. Not only that, but they're also very much into paying it forward in the community. They organize fundraisers at their shop every month or so to give back to causes such as pediatric cancer, homelessness, and the Humane Society. They're also all about chocolate and love to share their passion with others.
When we were living in Belgium, we would bring back chocolate as gifts for our friends and family. Now, our family receives Cao Chocolates. This past Christmas, a family member received a box of Norman Love (from a son) and Cao chocolates (from us, duh). After tasting Cao's, they were sold and made a trip down to the shop soon after.
If you go, definitely try their almond crunch, passionfruit, double dark chocolate truffle, and scotch one. Their selection does rotate, so you might not always find the same flavors. They also have a chocolate tasting event on Thursdays you can sign up for that is lots of fun.
Trader Joe's has often eluded me throughout the last ten years I have known of its existence.Now, it's within walking distance! So it's become our go-to grocery store. Even after all of the hype, I am quite satisfied with its selection. Below, are some of the good and bad finds the boyfriend and I have discovered since it opened. All are vegetarian-friendly finds.
-organic produce and bread (heads up: shelf life is much shorter)
-Mozzarella balls in olive oil (beware: there's ones in water too (yuck!))
-frozen foods (none have disappointed, thus far)
-Tofurkey franks are cheaper here than Publix!
-Charles Shaw (aka two-buck chuck) Merlot. If you like red wines, this one is the best I've tried of their selection so far.
-Super Nutty Toffee Clusters! Best cereal there. Definitely not the healthiest for you.
-Olive ciabatta bread and pretzel roll (both are chewy and fresh. The pretzel roll's texture is more like a bagel. The olive bread has a great olive-y taste to it)
-Stuffed pasta: raviolis, tortellinis, etc (we've tried many varieties and they were all generously filled and tasty!)
-Cookie butter with chocolate swirl (this is based off of a Belgian cookie called Speculoos whose popularity is akin to an Oreo in the States. When we moved back, this was something we often missed. Its flavor is not exact, but close enough. For a more accurate flavor, you can buy Lotus brand Speculoos cookies and spread in publix by the Nutella and PB.)
Not so good:
-cereals (some of the flavors fall flat) EXCEPT Super Nutty Toffee Clusters, as mentioned above.
-ice cream. We're obsessed with Blue Bell and buying locally made icecream. TJ's brand tastes too much like soy. Definitely not creamy enough for us.
-chai tea. Tasted too much like ginger/ vinegar to us. But we don't like ginger, so this might not apply to all.
The boyfriend and I ordered a large Grandma Tookit pizza and garlic rolls for take-out. We added artichoke and onions to it and they were generous with all of the toppings.
While the price to add extra toppings can range from 2$-5$ we felt satisfied with the amount that they added and the placement felt thought-out. Sometimes, toppings seemed like they're just tossed on and some slices end up getting more than others. On this pie, distribution was even. The pizza tasted fresh and wasn't greasy, which would make sense for a more upscale pizza place like Apizza. Growing up on Big Cheese garlic rolls, Apizza's rolls couldn't compete. I like my bread to be thick and chewy and Apizza's are more light and airy. Not bad, but not my preference.
I would say this is definitely more of an upscale pizza restaurant and less of a take-out option. The prices are a little higher than the pizza places we usually order from.