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East Coast Roadtrip: Hella’s

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There were two places that I needed to come back and visit on my trip back to Tarpon Springs, Rusty Bellies (check my previous post) and Hellas.  I love greek desserts, everything from baklava to their cookies…they are all delicious.  Even with my trips to Little Greece in Toronto (on the Danforth) I’ve never come across chocolate covered baklava and two years ago, I tried it for the first time.  So I was craving for some baklava and my favourite, diples.  These are rolled, deep fried dough that is then dipped in a honey syrup and topped with chopped nuts and cinnamon.  I discovered diples at Hellas and fell in love with this airy, sweet dessert.  Its a perfect place to stop by for dessert and a coffee…heck, do what I did – dinner at Rusty Bellies and dessert at Hellas, you can’t go wrong!

Hella's located on the main strip of the Sponge Docks.

Hellas located on the main strip of the Sponge Docks.

So much baklava to choose from.

So much baklava to choose from.

More pastries.

More pastries.

Homemade egg bread made especially for Easter.

Homemade egg bread made especially for Easter.

Delicious freshmade diples.

Delicious freshmade diples.

In addition to traditional greek desserts there are a number of cakes and pastries available as well.

In addition to traditional greek desserts there are a number of cakes and pastries available as well.

I love the name of these pastries, elephant ears!

I love the name of these pastries, elephant ears!

Hella's Tiramisu and Milfe.

Hellas Tiramisu and Milfe.

Napolean baklava.

Napolean baklava.

My order of diples.

My order of diples.

A delicious cup of greek coffee.

A delicious cup of greek coffee.

The retail bakery side of Hella's.

The retail bakery side of Hellas.

East Coast Roadtrip: The Daily

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Following other bloggers/instagramers is awesome because you find gems like this.  And I’m always on a mission to find a good cup of iced joe (aka, coffee) and we found it here at the Daily.  Owned by the Butcher & Bee, a restaurant that sits right next to it, you know this place is going not only have good coffee but good food too.  Before going on our carriage ride through old town Charleston, we stopped by to grab breakfast.  My iced coffee was satisfying but my breakfast was surprisingly delicious and fresh, I felt like I was eating at a farmer’s market.  On a large slice of sourdough that was perfectly toasted, Z’aatar seasoned and mashed avocados were spread as the base with two slices of ripe heirloom tomatoes topped with a drizzle of good olive oil.  The ricotta toast, made with the same sourdough but topped with fresh ricotta, honey and walnuts; and the breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and chorizo looked just as yummy!  I wish I lived here just so I could make a stop at the Daily a part of my everyday routine.

Daily

The Daily by the Butcher & Bee

Daily - inside

The beautiful interior of the Daily.

Daily - interior

Another view of the interior.

Daily - latte

Great looking latte art.

Daily - iced coffee

My order of iced coffee using Stumptown coffee.

Daily - ricotta

Ricotta toast topped with walnuts, honey and black pepper.

Daily - avocado

Avocado toast topped with Z’aatar, heirloom tomatoes, olive oil on sourdough.

Daily - tacos

Breakfast tacos filled with chorizo, scrambled eggs, cheese, cilantro and salsa verde.

Daily - cookies

Sweet goodies available at the Daily – rugelach, chocolate sandwich cookies and mini butter tarts.

Daily - pastries

Some more yummy pastries – butter croissants, brownies and bourekas.

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East Coast Roadtrip: Baked & Wired

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I know it seems as though I was just in Florida but here I go again, 2 months later, this time for dragon boat training.  This time, instead of flying down to Tarpon Springs, Florida, a couple of my teammates (I and S) and I decide to take a bit of a detour and hit a few cities on the way down.  Our second stop was Washington D.C. – the first was Woodbury Commons for some well-deserved shopping.  Once we checked into our hotel, we drove down to Georgetown to stop at a cafe called Baked & Wired for a cup of java.  Named Washington’s top rated cafe and after my visit I know why.  Comprised of a space that is semi-divided into a “baked” side and a “wired” (coffee) side, the exterior is accented in pink (a old basket bike painted in pink sits just outside) and the interior is just as cute and inviting, a really chilled vibe.  We weren’t expecting to grab a bite but the line up of cupcakes along the counter just called to be eaten.  After ordering a cold drip, we decided to try the homemade raspberry pop tart and the car bomb cupcake.  The pop tart was unique with a thin shortbread base, a layer or raspberry preserves and topped with icing.  It was sweet so its perfect for sharing.  The cupcake is larger in size than most and comes wrapped in parchment so it has a “homemade” touch – it was a good cupcake with a moist cake.  The stop at Baked & Wired was a great way to recharge before heading back out to explore Georgetown’s high street.

Baked & Wired.

Baked & Wired.

Cupcakes all lined up as far as the eye can see.

Cupcakes all lined up as far as the eye can see.

The Baked counter of the cafe.

The Baked counter of the cafe.

A pile of raspberry pop tarts.

A pile of raspberry pop tarts.

The gluten free pop tart.

The gluten free pop tart.

The Car Bomb cupcake - a chocolate cake topped with Bailey's buttercream and a Jameson ganache filling.

The Car Bomb cupcake – a chocolate cake topped with Bailey’s buttercream and a Jameson ganache filling.

A look Inside the Car Bomb cupcake.

A look Inside the Car Bomb cupcake.

A ham quiche.

A ham quiche.

A cup of cold drip and a hot chai latte from the Wired side.

A cup of cold drip and a hot chai latte from the Wired side.

The Wired side of the cafe serving up coffees and espressos.

The Wired side of the cafe serving up coffees and espressos.

Inside the Baked & Wired cafe.

Inside the Baked & Wired cafe.

Miami: David’s Cafe Cafecito

Located in the up and coming area of Miami’s Design District (similar to Toronto’s King East which is lined with furniture shops), is a retail space called Chrome Hearts that allows emerging artists and designers a space to sell their goods.  And tucked away past the black gates right beside the open air atrium and patio is David’s Cafe Cafecito.  Normally we would have walked right past this cafe if it weren’t for the folks across the street at Jonathan Adler‘s store.  Taking their advice on getting some good coffee we ventured to David’s.  And what a gem!  Such a funky locale and the perfect weather to sit out on the patio.  Being an iced coffee junky, I ordered the iced cafe con leche.  Made with milk and a giant coffee ice cube – an ingenious way to avoid coffee dilution.  The menu is simple but we didn’t go there to eat.  It’s all about the coffee and the details here, even down to the designs on the sugar cubes.  Great place to sit, have a cup of coffee (iced for me) and catch up with a friend.

Chrome Hearts in Miami's Design District.

Chrome Hearts in Miami’s Design District.

The beautiful outdoor patio to David's Cafe Cafecito.

The beautiful outdoor patio to David’s Cafe Cafecito.

The counter at David's.

The counter at David’s.

Inside the funky space of David's Cafe.

Inside the funky space of David’s Cafe.

David's Iced Cafe Con Leche.

David’s Iced Cafe Con Leche.

A close up view of the coffee ice cube in the iced cafe con leche.

A close up view of the coffee ice cube in the iced cafe con leche.

Mango pastry.

Mango pastry.

Guava and cheese pastry.

Guava and cheese pastry.

Deliciously light guava and cheese pastry.

Deliciously light guava and cheese pastry.

A cup of David's cafe con leche.

A cup of David’s cafe con leche.

Miami: Versailles

The first time I went to Versailles was back in 2008 when I went down to visit my good friend M who was working in Miami at the time.  Seven years later, I’m back in Miami on a girls weekend and after a full day at the outlets shopping we stopped at Versailles for dinner.  Its almost a given that whenever you visit Miami, you have to go to Versailles for cuban food.  I tried the classic cuban sampler platter the first time here so I decided to try something else.  The server recommended the most popular dish, “Chicken Versailles”, grilled half chicken that is marinated in cuban mojo and served with moros rice, sweet plantains and garlic butter.  To this day, I still remember how delicious the fried plantains were and eight years later, nothing has changed – they remain my favourite thing at Versailles.  The server also recommended cuban coffee to finish off the meal and at first I was hesitant, not sure why, but I’m glad I listened to him.  The concentrated and rich coffee was delicious, already sweetened and comes black – you definitely can’t have more than one.

Versailles Cuban Cuisine Restaurant.

Versailles Cuban Cuisine Restaurant.

The dining room side of the restaurant.

The dining room side of the restaurant.

The bakery and cafe side of the restaurant.

The bakery and cafe side of the restaurant.

Pitcher of sangria to start.

Pitcher of sangria to start.

Slices of soft warm baguette brushed with butter.

Slices of soft warm baguette brushed with butter.

The Chicken Versailles - grilled half chicken platter.

The Chicken Versailles – grilled half chicken platter.

The Versailles salad with fresh mango, candied pecans and goat cheese.

The Versailles salad with fresh mango, candied pecans and goat cheese.

Yuca fries.

Yuca fries.

Roast pork cuban style.

Roast pork cuban style.

Cuban coffee.

Cuban coffee.

After a few sips of the cuban coffee you can see the rich, dark colour.

After a few sips of the cuban coffee you can see the rich, dark colour.

Denmark: Holm’s Bager

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I did not visit every single bakery in Denmark but I wish I had!  Don’t get me wrong, France is still my number one love when it comes to pastries and sweets but who knew Denmark would have such a sweet tooth.  They know how to incorporate grains and I love their hearty breads.  One particular bakery located in Illum department store in Copenhagen was probably my favourite, Holm’s Bager, and I think we went there at least once a day during our stay.  I ordered at least three pastries each time and tried something new on each visit but it still wasn’t enough.  I’m just going to have to go back to Copenhagen!

Inside Holm's Bager located at street level on the corner of the main square.

Inside Holm’s Bager located at street level on the corner of the main square.

Taking some big bites of spandauer.

Taking some big bites of spandauer.

A delicious sweet sugar puff pastry.

A delicious sweet sugar puff pastry.

The slice of kringlestang.

The slice of kringlestang.

Trays of musli bar.

Trays of musli bar.

Looks like a Danish version of strudel.

Looks like a Danish version of strudel.

Lots of danishes.

Lots of danishes.

Some more delicious pastries.

Some more delicious pastries.

Fresh buns, scones and bread.

Fresh buns, scones and bread.

A danish version of hindbaersnitter.

A danish version of hindbaersnitter.

A chocolate chip scone.

A chocolate chip scone.

Denmark: Mc Donald’s

So I can’t remember why but one morning we decided to go searching for a McDonald’s and lucky for us, we found one in the main square in downtown Aarhus.  The breakfast menu wasn’t as extensive as they are in the North American McDonald’s but the staples were there.  The egg, sausage and bacon mcmuffins, pancakes, coffee and hashbrowns (which taste exactly the same as those sold here) were all available but the Morgenbrod is what caught my eye.  Literally translated, the “morning bread” is ham and cheese (tasted sharp like swiss cheese) on a handcrafted poppyseed roll.  To be honest, there was nothing special about the ham or the cheese but the bread roll was absolutely delicious, almost artisan like with a crusty exterior and not the usual “wonder bread” texture that is typical of their sandwich buns.  They need to bring this to Canada!

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We finally found a Mc Donald’s.

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Breakfast at Mc Donald’s in Denmark.

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The Morgenbrod available for approximately $3.

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The Morgenbrod combo with a hashbrown and a coffee.

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A close up of my morning sandwich.

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How cute are these? They are single packets of milk.

 

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