A bowl of SnoCream, which is shaved ice cream, from SnoCream Company.

There’s No (Ice) Cream Like SnoCream!

Ice cream is often thought of as the summer treat, dessert, snack, etc. Shops can be a dime a dozen, so finding the gems can take some time. I’ve been looking for great places to share.

I finally made another trip to the Block in Annandale, VA to try SnoCream Company, which is known for their shaved ice cream and chelo chelo. Snocream is a Taiwanese-inspired treat that is a cross between shaved ice and ice cream.

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Behind the counter of Snocream Company.

What I Ordered

The line was a little slower than I anticipated, but it gave me just enough time to decide what to order. You can choose up to two snocream flavors, two toppings, and one drizzle. Their flavors include Thai Tea, Taro, Honeydew, Vanilla Latte, and Mango. They separate their toppings into categories: crunchies, boba, nuts, cereal, fruit, jellies, and classics. Crunchies includes M&Ms, Pocky sticks, and Nilla Wafers. Their boba flavors include yogurt, lychee and passion fruit. Their cereals include Fruity Pebbles and Frosted Flakes. Their classics list includes aloe jelly, grass jelly, and taro pudding. Additional toppings are $0.50 each. There are three drizzle choices: condensed milk, chocolate, and white chocolate. You can ask for them to make it light, medium, or heavy.

A bowl of SnoCream, which is shaved ice cream, from SnoCream Company.

Peach and Thai Tea Snocream topped with Fruity Pebbles, pocky, and condensed milk.

I chose Peach and Thai Tea topped with Fruity Pebbles, Pocky sticks and drizzled with condensed milk. Peach wasn’t as sweet as I expected it to be. I think it could be because everything else was sweeter. Thai tea was my absolute favorite out of the two. It tastes just like the drink I tried at Sugar Lab. I ate the Pocky sticks by themselves, so it didn’t really affect how the snocream tasted. The Fruity Pebbles and the condensed milk complemented this very well. I’d definitely try this combination with a snocream flavor other than Peach.

Conclusion

I’d absolute go to SnoCream again! The service was great even while it was busy. They have a lot of options, which means there are so many combinations that you can create. I also want to try their other products. I’m looking forward to going back. I highly recommend trying SnoCream if you’re ever in the area!

I’d like to hear from you. What’s your favorite ice cream shop?

Brunchin’ at Boqueria

I haven’t gone out for brunch in months. The many suggestions for brunch in D.C. online don’t help narrow your choices down when there are so many great options, so you have to just pick something. Boqueria was the first on the list. The wait was worth it.

My friend, Carolina, and I agreed that Boqueria, a Spanish tapas bar and restaurant, would be a great spot to try. I made the reservation since it’s suggested that you make a reservation to ensure that you get a table. They have two D.C. locations: Penn Quarter and Dupont Circle.

What I Ordered

The menu has so many options: Spanish and brunch classics, paella, brunch feast, and tapas. Their bottomless brunch option is $42/person, and everyone at the table has to participate. We chose to keep it simple and not do bottomless brunch this time.

French toast topped with apples; drizzled with caramel; and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Boqueria’s torrija dish.

After looking through all of the options, I ordered the torrija dish and sangria The sangria was decent. It wasn’t as sweet as I wanted it to be, but it was still good. Torrija is caramelized French toast topped with seasonal fruit; drizzled with caramel sauce; and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This time of year, apples are the seasonal fruit available. I’ve had a lot of French toast in my lifetime and I have to say, this was the best French toast I’ve ever had. The bread’s texture was perfect, and the toppings complemented the French toast so well. I’d definitely get this dish again.

Churros rellenos filled with Nutella.

Churros rellenos filled with Nutella.

Carolina ordered churros rellenos that we split. Churros rellenos are filled churros, and you have the choice of Nutella or caramel. We got Nutella filling, and let me just tell you…I do not regret a single calorie. These were the tastiest churros I’ve ever had. They came out fresh and hot, so the Nutella slowly melted. Churros and Nutella are a perfect match, and I highly recommend that you try the ones at Boqueria.

Conclusion

I’m definitely coming back! It was a pretty affordable brunch option. From front desk to the check, it was fantastic. If you’re looking for a place to have brunch in D.C., consider giving Boqueria a try!

Until next time.

B. Doughnut Is the Doughnut Shop You Need to Try Right Now

Doughnuts may just be the best food group out there. There are tons of options when it comes to shops and flavors to try. I had the pleasure of trying a dozen of doughnuts at B. Doughnut. Thanks again for giving me the chance to try a dozen on you and review your delicious treats!

B. Doughnut's doughnut mural with a dozen of their doughnuts on the table. | Apple of My Eye

A dozen of B. Doughnut’s doughnuts in front of the mural inside of the shop.

 

What I Ordered

My goal was to have a good variety of sweet doughnuts. There are plenty of flavors, including the seasonal Key Lime Cheesecake doughnut, from which you can choose. I selected Pandan, Ube, Key Lime Cheesecake (x3), Coffee, Berry Jam (x2), Lemon Curd (x2), Cinnamon Sugar, and Vanilla Bean.

I wasn’t disappointed with any of these doughnuts. All of them are coated in cinnamon sugar, which definitely adds something different. All of these doughnuts were filled except for Cinnamon Sugar.

B. Doughnut's tangy Lemon Curd doughnut | Apple of My Eye

B. Doughnut’s Lemon Curd doughnut

The doughnuts I ordered from absolute favorite to favorite: Key Lime Cheesecake, Berry Jam, Lemon Curd, Pandan, Ube, Coffee, Vanilla Bean, and Cinnamon Sugar. Key Lime Cheesecake was my absolute favorite because the filling didn’t have the usual super tangy taste of key lime anything. I loved that this was a bit of a mellow take on it. Key Lime Cheesecake anything is always great in my book. I loved the way the filling sprinkled with crust crumbs and the cinnamon sugar worked.

Berry Jam was a classic jelly doughnut with B. Doughnut’s cinnamon sugar twist! I’ve always loved jelly doughnuts, and this one has joined the list of my faves. I liked that this doughnut wasn’t nearly as messy as jelly doughnuts I’ve had in the past.

Lemon Curd’s filling was the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. It wasn’t so tangy that your cheeks would squeeze together.

I have no clue what the fruit, pandan, tastes like, but this doughnut was a sweet and mellow. I definitely get this flavor again.

Ube (oo-BAY) has been my favorite flavor of anything this year, and this doughnut did not disappoint! If you love ube as much as I do, you’ll definitely love this one. Interestingly, the ube and pandan doughnuts have similar aftertastes that reminded me of bubble tea. This made me love both flavors even more!

B. Doughnut's Ube Doughnut | Apple of My Eye

B. Doughnut’s Ube Doughnut

Coffee Creme was a sweet doughnut with a great coffee kick! I loved the aftertaste was packed with flavor as well. The cinnamon sugar coating paired well with the scrumptious coffee filling.

Vanilla Bean was a super mellow flavor. It was good, but I wish the vanilla was a little bit stronger.

Cinnamon Sugar was different than all of the other flavors I ordered because it did not have any filling. This was a more traditional doughnut, which did not disappoint! The doughnut itself was soft and fresh, so you didn’t miss the filling at all. If you’re not a filling person, this doughnut is perfect for you!

Conclusion

I would absolutely go to B. Doughnut again. I love that they have a great variety of doughnuts, mostly sweet and a couple of savory. I would definitely get the flavors that I got this time again! The feeling of the shop itself is light and welcoming. I really can’t find a reason to not go back and highly recommend making the trip to try it.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a dozen for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

If you liked this article, please share using the social share buttons below.

Until next time.

Down for the Swirl at Smash’D Creamery

It was a warm summer night in the DMV. It only felt a little humid. People were out and about enjoying the unofficial summer weather. All I could think about was ice cream. Could you blame me? Is this frozen treat not the perfect way to bring in this time of year?

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Smash’D Creamery’s storefront.

Smash’D Creamery, an ice cream shop located in Fairfax, VA, was at the top of my list. It’s right by George Mason college, so you can imagine the number of people who might be out and about when school is in session. I got there about 30 minutes before they closed, and the employees were just as welcoming as I’m sure they were well before closing.

Smash’D offers many rolled ice cream options and a few options for those who want an ice cream cone. Their rolled ice cream flavors range from Fruity Pebbles to banana with Nutella. For the ice cream cone/cup, you can get ube, lychee, matcha, or a swirl of the ube and one of the others. Their ube and matcha swirl was just reintroduced a couple of weeks ago. I opted for the ube and lychee swirl cone.

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Ube and lychee swirl ice cream from Smash’D Creamery.

The ube and lychee swirl ice cream is very creamy. Neither flavor is loud or super strong. I imagine that the ube (oo-BAY; purple sweet potato) and lychee are also very mellow fruits, since the ice cream flavors are like that. The mellowness definitely shouldn’t make you count these flavors out. I thought they were delicious! My mom ordered the Nutella banana rolled ice cream, and that was tasty. If you prefer sweeter ice cream, this is a great option. There’s just something about bananas and chocolate that always works.

I would definitely go back to Smash’D Creamery! It’s a super chill space with great ice cream and plenty of options that doesn’t hurt your pockets.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor or shop?

Crêpe and Tea Time at T-Swirl Crêpe

I’ve been wanting to try new tea spots recently and finally started a list of them. I planned by day based on a prior commitment and chose to stop by T-swirl Crêpe in Rockville, MD. This place was one of the first on my list, so I was excited to give it a try!

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T-Swirl Crepes – Rockville location

I went to T-swirl on a Sunday afternoon. It was super quiet, and my sister and I were the only customers there, which was fine with me because I didn’t have to make an impulse decision while in line.

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Grapefruit tea with boba pearls.

I came for the tea and ended up buying that and a sweet crêpe. T-swirl has tea flavors such as Mango Green Tea, Honey Cucumber Iced Tea, and Lavender Iced Tea. I chose their seasonal flavor, Grapefruit Tea with boba pearls. If you love citrus or tangy drinks, this is the tea for you. I loved the combo of citrus and sweet (boba). This was the first time I’ve had a citrus tea, and I would absolutely order it again!

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Blueberry NY Cheesecake crêpe.

I ordered the Blueberry NY Cheesecake crêpe and was impressed! They use 100% rice flour for their crêpes, so they’re gluten-free. The one I got had whipped cream cheese and vanilla gelato wrapped in the crêpe, topped with blueberries, almonds and chocolate pocky sticks. This was the best vanilla gelato I’ve EVER had. It wasn’t overly sweet, and the toppings complimented it very well. The pocky sticks were the best I’ve ever had. The cream cheese in the crêpe was scrumptious, and I really would’ve just had that without the other things. It was that good.

I’m definitely going again! I had a great experience and loved my purchases. If you like tea or enjoy crêpes, you should definitely try T-swirl Crêpe!

Until next time.

A close-up of Sugar Lab's ice cream wrapped in a bubble waffle. | Apple of My Eye

Sugar Lab

Ice cream shops may seem to be a dime a dozen, but Sugar Lab is different and doesn’t disappoint.

I decided to check out some spots in Georgetown that I’d been meaning to try on a Sunday of all days. If you haven’t visited there before, it’s always super busy on the weekend. The warm weather has brought more people out of hibernation. Since I was there in the evening, many things were starting to close. Sugar Lab was one of the few places I still had time to check out.

When you walk in, the space feels very open and calm. Pretty pastels, wall art, trinkets, and fan photos make this space the perfect place to chill. There’s a table and a couple of chairs by the window on the small, street-level floor. The sweet treats are downstairs, where you can also find more tables and chairs.

 

Sugar Lab's photo wall.

Sugar Lab’s photo wall, which was changed not long after this visit.

Sugar Lab’s flavors for that day were strawberry cheesecake, cookies and cream, chocolate, vanilla, matcha, and lychee. You have the option of getting your ice cream in a cup or a fresh bubble waffle. You can have up to three scoops in the waffle and three toppings for ice cream. They also have a few drinks on the menu. I ordered Thai Iced Tea with boba pearls and a bubble waffle with strawberry cheesecake and lychee ice cream with Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and mochi on top.

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Thai Iced Tea with boba pearls.

The Thai Iced Tea was so good. I think it tastes like a sweet milk tea. This drink has been on my list to try for a bit now, and it was perfect. Between the ice cream flavors I chose, lychee was my absolute favorite. I could be biased because I love pretty much anything with lychee. Also, you can never go wrong with strawberry cheesecake. Both flavors were sweet and creamy. The toppings I chose complimented the ice cream flavors very well. Don’t even get me started on the made-to-order bubble waffle. It was one of the best waffles I’ve ever had. If I had to choose between an ice cream cone and this, I’d absolutely choose the waffle. Sugar Lab’s ice cream pairs so well with it. The only downside about this is that you can’t have the ice cream upright depending on how your toppings stick. Some of the Fruity Pebbles fell off a few at a time.

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Two scoops of ice cream in a fresh bubble waffle.

I would definitely plan on going back soon. It’s one of the most affordable specialty ice cream shops I’ve tried. You won’t feel like you spent way too much on any one item.

Until next time.

5 D.C. Area Doughnut Shops You Need to Visit Now

Have you ever craved doughnuts and had no clue where to go? Finding the perfect doughnut shop can be hard. Here’s a guide to help you find the best doughnut shops for you in the D.C. Metropolitan area.

Duck Donuts

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An assorted dozen from Duck Donuts

If made-to-order doughnuts are your thing, Duck Donuts is the place for you! They have great options for coating, icing, toppings, and drizzles. They also have set doughnut combinations from which you can choose. The lemon and (new) key lime glazes is absolutely amazing, FYI. Duck Donuts has locations spread throughout the DMV: Rockville, Gaithersburg, Arlington, Alexandria, and more.

1431, 1327 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852

https://www.duckdonuts.com/

Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee

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Sugar Shack’s red velvet donut.

Red velvet donuts? Check. Samoa donuts? As in Girl Scout cookie-inspired donuts? Check. Wow. Would you believe it if I told you they have thirty more flavors?! There’s truly a donut for everyone at Sugar Shack. They’re based in Virginia and recently added a Washington, D.C. location to their list!

1932 9th Street, Washinton DC, 20001

sugarshackdonuts.com/

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Astro Doughnuts' seasonal cherry pie doughnut.

Astro Doughnuts’ seasonal cherry pie doughnut.

If you’re looking for a menu with a mix of traditional and seasonal flavors, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is the place to go. For the month of August, they’re offering Chocolate S’mores, Cherry Pie, Lemon Poppyseed, and Blueberry Cotton Candy. Their regular flavors include vanilla glazed and PB&J. Although their doughnut menu is on the smaller side, their options are fresh, tasty, worth every calorie! I recently found out that the cake doughnuts are made to order. Astro is also known for their chicken dishes that would go well with your doughnut of choice. 😉

1308 G St. N.W., Washington, DC 20005

www.astrodoughnuts.com

District Doughnut

District Doughnut's seasonal Nutella S'more doughnut. | Apple of My Eye

District Doughnut’s seasonal Nutella S’more doughnut

District Doughnut has a set menu of regular and seasonal flavors that are made fresh daily. Their seasonal flavors truly compliment the seasons well. Currently, they offer summer flavors such as Creamsicle Brulee, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Nutella S’more. There are four locations: Georgetown, Capital Hill, the Wharf, and Union Market. It gets the perfect amount of natural light and has great backdrops for your #doughnutface (District’s hashtag) or #foodstagram pics.

3327 Cady’s Alley NW, Washinton DC, 20007

www.districtdoughnut.com

B Doughnut

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B Doughnut’s Oreo Cheesecake doughnut

Sweet or savory? Creme? Fruit? B Doughnut has options in both categories. Above is their Oreo Cheesecake flavor that I don’t see on the menu right now, but they update flavors regularly. Cinnamon Sugar is absolutely delicious as well. You really can’t go wrong with any of these flavors. They have one permanent locations in Leesburg, VA, a pop-up in Ashburn, and a Vienna, VA location coming soon. You can also find their doughnuts in their parter’s, Post Coffee Bar, shops.

7 Loudoun St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175

bdoughnut.com/

Also offered at:

Post Coffee Bar
7902 Tysons One Pl
Tysons, VA 22102
www.postcoffeebar.com/

 

What’s your favorite D.C. doughnut shop? Write a comment below!

Until next time.

4 Things You Need to Do during Cherry Blossom Season in D.C.

Have you ever wondered how to fully embrace cherry blossom season in Washington, D.C.? It’s one of the busiest times of year in the area, and the perfect time to do any and everything you can before the blossoms go. Strolling, or being stuck in foot traffic, around the Tidal Basin is a given. Indulging in the cherry blossom-inspired food and events are some things that you must consider to fully experience this special time of year. Peak bloom is April 1, which means at least 70% of them will be fully bloomed on that day. You definitely want to partake before it comes to an end!

Cherry Blossoms 2016

Cherry Blossoms on the Tidal Basin 2016

This time only comes once a year, so this is the perfect time to explore! Check out my list of things to do in D.C. to compliment your cherry blossom viewing activities. Note: This time of year brings a LOT of traffic to D.C. area. Driving times are based on low traffic times. Expect some traffic patterns to change and a lot of tourists.

  • Visit the Cherry Blossom Pub pop-up – This pop-up has been super popular since its beginning. It tends to be super busy after 6:30 pm, per their FAQs page. They have cherry blossom-themed drinks and ramen. It’s located near the Shaw-Howard University metro stop, which isn’t super close to the Tidal Basin. It’s about 30 minutes by metro and 15-20 minutes away, if you’re driving. Street parking is available. (Shaw) 1843 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 
  • Munch on cherry blossom dessertsAstro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken – Cherry Cheesecake doughnut. This Astro location is about a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute metro ride from the Tidal Basin. 1308 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
    • District Doughnut – A cherry blossom doughnut made up of vanilla bean dough, cream cheese glaze, and cherry pie filling, topped with crumbled pie crust and cream cheese drizzle. The Wharf location is about a five-minute drive from the Tidal Basin and about 12 minutes via metro. (The Wharf) 5 Market Square SW
      Washington DC, 20024. 2 other locations on Capitol Hill – Barracks Row and in Georgetown.
    • Baked & Wired – A cherry blossom cupcake made up of vanilla cake with maraschino cherries in the batter topped with a cherry buttercream. (Georgetown) 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington DC 20007
  • Sip Rosé at the Watergate Hotel on the weekend. – Until Sunday, April 14, the Watergate Hotel offers cherry blossom-themed afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu includes Veuve Cliquot Champagne Rosé and cherry blossom macarons. Reservations are required. The hotel is 26 minutes from the Tidal Basin via metro and eight minutes by car. 2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20037
  • Learn about Japanese culture at the Japanese Street Festival. – Formally known as Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival is an opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions through food, performances, and art. This part of 7th St. NW is about six minutes away, if you’re driving, and 25 minutes by metro. Pennsylvania Ave., NW between 3rd and 7th Streets.

Check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc.’s official 2019 event guide.

Until next time.

An Absolutely Awesome Bottomless Brunch Sunday at Dos Caminos

Finding a bottomless brunch restaurant can be hard when most recommend reservations. You might end up bummed if you do it too late. Thankfully, some places still have spots available even the night before, which are hard to come by.

Dos Caminos is a restaurant, which has a few different locations in Manhattan, that offers a two-hour bottomless brunch add-on for $18. This prices is one of the cheapest I’ve ever seen. You can choose mimosas, frozen margaritas, bloody Mary’s, screwdrivers, or sparkling wine. This add-on is truly worth it, since the waiters don’t leave you with an empty glass for long.

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The front of Dos Caminos’ menu

Dos Caminos’ menu has so many great drink and meal options that it was hard to choose! After weighing my options, I ordered bottomless frozen margaritas and Mexican French Toast.

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Frozen margarita

This dish already sounded amazing. It tasted even better! This dish is described in the menu as “crispy pan torrejas, rum, and cajeta caramel roasted bananas. Cajeta is a syrup which is usually made of sweetened, caramelized goat’s milk, according to Wikipedia.

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Mexican French Toast

The cajeta roasted bananas, whipped cream, and syrup made the perfect topping combo for French Toast. Dos Caminos got it just right, and it was so hard not to order some to-go. If you like or want to try French toast, this is one you definitely need to try!

Dos Caminos’ bottomless brunch is absolutely worth it. If you’re looking for a place to brunch in NYC during the weekend, definitely check it out!

Until next time.

Update 8/2/19: Updated and added links.

And the Beat Goes On

Happy New Year! I was out of town for the first time ever on New Year’s Day for my friend, Donia’s, birthday. She organized a trip to New York that was super fun.

I had heard good things about Beatstro, a hip hop-themed restaurant located in the Bronx AKA the birthplace of hip hop. We decided to make the trek to the Bronx from Brooklyn, and I’m glad we did. Per my friend, Remi, it’s strongly recommended that you make a reservation. Shout out to her for recommending this spot, too! This place is poppin, especially on the weekends.

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This restaurant felt just right. It felt home-y to me. I’ve been a super hip hop fan ever since 2011, when I started college at St. John’s University. This was my kind of place: the vibe, the food, the people, the art-covered…it was dope.

The drink menu had a lot of great options. I chose the sangria before dinner and (finally) tried limoncello after. This was the best sangria I’ve ever had! It was the perfect balance of alcohol and fruit, and I definitely wanted another one. Instead, I chose to try limoncello, like I’ve been meaning to do for years. I don’t regret a single calorie. It’s the sweetest alcoholic beverage I’ve had, which is right up my alley.

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Limoncello

I chose the Thick Thighs & Hot Waffles, which is a waffle topped with fried chicken, pickled strawberries, and syrup. I’m a big fan of chicken and waffles, and this dish did not disappoint. The chicken was made to perfection, and the waffle was fluffy and delicious. The strawberries complimented everything, particularly the syrup, very well.

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Thick Thighs & Hot Waffles

I absolutely would get this dish again and can’t wait to go to Beatstro the next time I visit NYC. There are so many great options for food and drinks that it’s hard to just choose one! If you’re looking for a great brunch or dinner spot, this is it!

Until next time.