Date Night @ Casa de Chocolates (Berkeley)

01.24.15

After a fun dinner at SoMa StrEAT Food Park in San Francisco, instead of going home, the BF surprised me by taking me  to Casa de Chocolates. 

Casa de Chocolates specializes in handcrafted Latin-inspired chocolates. The store itself is magical and enchanting. Definitely worth a visit.

The BF made me choose my chocolates but I only grabbed a small bar of the chile mango chocolate bar since I still have quite bit of chocolates that he gave me from just last weekend. He grabbed two heart-shaped chocolates on a stick as well as tres leches cake! The mango chile chocolate bar was exotic with interesting contrasts in flavors. The tres leches cake was sooo good! Light in flavors and super-moist.

NOTE TO SELF: Go back for the tres leches! Try more chocolates and have a cup of hot cocoa on our next visit!

WEEK IN PICTURES: January 19-25, 2015

  • MONDAY: A delicious free day/“me time” on  Martin Luther King’s Day Holiday at home.
  • TUESDAY: Finally gave in and satisfied my cravings for blueberry biscuit,  spiced strawberry jam and gumbo from Libby Jane in SF.
  • THURSDAY AM:  Almond croissant from Andersen’s and coffee to help me survive my  Thursday meeting that lasts for two hours.
  • THURSDAY PM: Post-holiday dinner with the girls at Chino’s in SF’s Mission district. It was too dark to take pics but we shared lots of delicious Asian-inspired dishes and drank few glasses of yummy cocktails. Always fun with my girls who spoil us with the cutest holiday presents. (Thanks for the cocktail shaker, earrings, lip gloss, pj’s and bathwash, A, J and H!)
  • FRIDAY AM: Breakfast of delish Red Robbin Chicken Empanada from Heather! (Thanks, Lovely Heather! xoxo)
  • FRIDAY LUNCH: Healthy but totally tasty vegan lunch with Kai at Golden Era Vegan in SF’s tenderloin neighborhood. So thrilled to discover this new lunch spot!
  • SATURDAY: Date night at SoMa Streat Food Truck Park  (SF) followed by surprise visit to Casa de Chocolates by BF in Berkeley where he bought me yummy handmade chocolates. 
  • SUNDAY: Church service with my parents followed by lunch at Tomi’s Buffet in San Jose to celebrate my uncle’s birthday. His youngest daughter treated the whole family. Another food coma! 

I am grateful for another year of beautiful friendships with my best gals,  BFF Heather who always spoils me with yummiest treats that make me feel loved, the BF who  indulges my love of chocolates and joins me in my food adventures, living in the Bay Area where all kinds of delicious food are plentiful, a free day to rest and recuperate, the legacy of a brave hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jr who gave his life for freedom, and the love of family and friends. I cannot say it enough but I thank God for all these abundant blessings.

Date Night @ True Burger (Oakland)

01. 17. 15

After hanging out all day with my parents at the Great Mall, it was too late to go somewhere for date night. The BF suggested for us to check out True Burger which just opened in the trendy Temescal neighborhood.

What a great addition! True Burger’s space is very contemporary, minimalist and modern-industrial.

The menu is small but adequate to satisfy a burger-crazed person:  burgers, fries, milkshakes, beer and soda.

The pride is in serving an “all natural, pasture raised beef (no hormones, no antibiotics) that is ground daily  and hand-formed into 4.8oz. patties. The burgers are then seasoned and seared “diner style”on a flat top griddle and served on a soft egg bun. Milkshakes are made with premium ice cream and spun to order…."   

 I hardly eat burgers but next time I have the cravings, I will definitely go to True Burger. I love the burgers that others have compared to "In N Out” which I like as well.  As for me, I will go back to True Burger because the burgers are solid,  I would like to support Oakland and I can walk to this place from my house!

What we had:

  • Hamburger $5.5, coleslaw $3 and bottled root beer: I am a “single patty/tomato/lettuce” gal. Hold the cheese. I do not like masking the tastes of the beef  with other toppings. My burger was dripping with juices and delish. I made a commitment to not eat French Fries this year so I had the coleslaw instead. It was nice, mild and crunchy.
  • Cheesey burger $6 , fries$3.75 and soda: The BF’s order which he really enjoyed.

A simple but fun date night.

CHECK: $33 including tax and tip

Week 3 of 2015:  January 12 – 18

SICK DAY TUESDAY

  • Stayed home sick on Tuesday. Sore throat,  body aches and fever. Thank God that I was able to recover within 3 days! The only nice part aside from being able to stay home was drinking coffee and eating a piece of mayorca bread. And indulging in my new hobby which is  staging the food before taking tons of pictures and devouring! LOL!)

SNACK TIME EVERYDAY

  • Have been drinking hot chocolate and eating biscotti almost everyday at 4 pm at work  for mid-afternoon snacks. So satisfying!

HAPPY REUNION FRIDAY

  • A heartfelt reunion with my ex-boss of almost 5 years on Friday. I truly miss his mentorship and support. He ended up treating my me and my co-workers at Golden Era. Golden Era is a vegan restaurant in SF that has been on my “to try” forever. With great company and good food, it was a very nice lunch albeit bittersweet.

PARENTS & SHOPPING SATURDAY

  • My parents asked me to drive them to Great Mall on Saturday in San Jose so they can hangout with their friends. My mom and my aunts left the oldies to eat and reminisce about old times while the gals shopped. Got a sweater and and some nice smelling soap and hand wash. It is always fun to shop with the “girls” even if the girls are in their 70s and 80s! It just shows that gals – no matter how “young” will always love shopping!

SATURDAY DATE NIGHT

  • Date night at True Burger.  I got home late after hanging out with my parents all day on Saturday. The BF and I went for a quick bite at True Burger – the newest addition to the trendy Temescal neighborhood. The best part? We just walked there! Some yummy burger!

ANOTHER FAMILY SUNDAY

  • Church and lunch with the family and as you already know, my most favorite Filipino dish is nilaga (boiled beef soup). My mom cooked me some nilaga and Alaskan crab legs. Food coma!

So grateful for another week of delicious food, old friendships, good health, simple joys and  the gift of my parents and old uncles/aunts.  God is faithful and good!

Date Night @ Troy Greek Restaurant (Berkeley)

01.10.2015

The BF was craving Mediterranean food after the New Year.  {Mediterranean diet, get it? 🙂 } 

I found Troy at the last minute on a food review site. Troy is small but charming. The ambiance was dark, cozy and old-worldly.

We had the following:

  • Meza Platter (an appetizer platter we shared): Hummus, Dolmas, Melitzano, Feta Cheese and Olives with Pita Bread $9.95
  • Lamb Souvlaki (for me): Charbroiled leg of lamb on skewer with rice, grilled veggies and tzatziki $13.95
  • Beef Souvlaki (for the BF): Same as above with charbroiled ribeye steak $13.95

Verdict:

Troy is a charming place to have a casual yet romantic dinner. No complaints on the food. It will not be our favorite Mediterranean restaurant although everything was good. However, we have had better and already have our favorites among Mediterranean restaurants in the Bay Area.

Another fun date night at a place that we have not been to before. After dinner. we walked around the quaint neighborhood while looking at the shop display windows. The BF got me a couple of fancy chocolate bars from one of the neighborhood grocers.

$63 including tip, soda and a glass of champagne

Not Bad! ♡