a taste of cappucino

Andrew and I went on a walking date this afternoon in the snow.

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Our first stop was Taste, where we got cappuccinos and an oatmeal-raisin cookie to share:

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Then we left and walked a few awnings down to Salut, a local wine store for which I had a coupon. After some recommendations, we ended up with a bottle of each: red and white.

We made one more stop–into Urban Design, a local reclaimed-wood furniture goods store–before heading home.

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What a fun date! I love that we can walk to all these places, even when it’s cold. And I love that my husband can walk again.

coffee taste-off

The other day I happened to be in East Aurora over lunch and decided to continue my quest to try various coffees and form an opinion about how they taste.  This isn’t the point of this post, but I’ll go ahead and tally up my findings so far:

-Tim Horton’s: terrible!  It’s bitter and acrid and burned-tasting.

-McDonald’s: not bad, certainly acceptable in terms of drive-thru coffee.  Not a huge fan of their McCafe drinks–they’re way too sweet, but when I ask for less syrup, they seem ‘off’ to me.

-Starbucks: LOVE their new blonde roasts (Willow and Veranda).  Whether I get plain coffee or a “fru-fru” drink, I’m always happy.  Plus, they’re happy to accommodate my “may I have half the pumps of flavor, please?” requests.

-Orchard Perk: it’s the cute little coffeehouse here in the village that is oh-so-convenient on my way to and from school.  However, whatever roast I had the other day wasn’t all that great.  I’d be up for going back to try another roast, if they have one.

-Taste: their coffee is OK (their fru-fru drinks always cool down too much!), but it’s the atmosphere you go for, anyway.  They have multiple roasts, and now that I’m becoming somewhat of a coffee ‘connoisseur’ (ha! hardly…), I feel like I can make a good decision when presented with options.

-Firefly: Perhaps the best brewed and most extensive selection. They source from two different small-batch roasting companies and have multiple roasts (with descriptions!) available at all times.  Each cup is hand-poured or french press, so while it might take five minutes, it’s worth it.  I keep getting Stumptown’s Columbia roast.

-Panera: LOVE their hazelnut roast–who doesn’t??  AND they have all-you-can-drink iced coffee in the summer!  Fantastic, except for that time I was studying and lost track of the time, and the number of cups I’d had…

-@ home: we have a Keurig and a tried and true favorite is Gloria Jean’s Butter Toffee (we’re high class, I tell you….)

-Dunkin’ Donuts:  LOVE their coffee!  It just has a really smooth taste and I’m always happy no matter what I get.  I typically just order a regular cup and add plain cream and sugar since I like the flavor so much. The problem, of course, is that there is one in East Aurora, so I can go ALL. THE. TIME.  The only thing that prevents me from going more is that it’s located in such a spot that makes it a little hard to get in and out quickly, nor do they have a drive-thru, so it’s not the quickest of stops.  But then again, I’m not exactly known for lightning-fast decision-making, either.  (My husband is falling off his chair laughing right now, I just know it.)

Shall we say I might be a bit over-caffeinated?  I blame school.

Zebb’s

We were feelin’ a night out yesterday since we’d been in all day.  Well, that’s not true–I did my usual Saturday morning routine of: eating a huge breakfast, hitting up Wegmans around 8 a.m. (before it gets busy), then swimming at the gym and returning home at 11, and Andrew was at the office from 10-3–but when it was pushing 4 p.m. and both of us were still in sweats, we needed a change!

We headed out for a visit at the in-laws’ before stopping at Taste for coffee (decaf for me), then running some errands at the Verizon store (clear display covers for my phone–post coming soon to show you my new case!) and shovels at Lowe’s.  You know, because we live in Buffalo now and it snows here…a lot.  We’ve gotten by so far this year on a metal dirt shovel and we’ve been lucky to have a mild winter.  (I think God is smiling on us transplants since we don’t have a garage for our cars–NOT fun.)

Anyway, we ended up at Zebb’s, a sport-bar-like place I drive by all the time and that Andrew frequented a bit in high school.

It’s a bar and grill and they’re known for their burgers.  They also have entree’s, wings (of course) and sandwiches.

We asked to sit in the bar area and were seating long before some who had arrived before us.  We also had some of the best service I’ve had in awhile, if not ever.  Colin was awesome.

We both ended up with Blue Moons (the pint for me, the tall for Andrew) and a sample of Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat because, well, I wouldn’t be ‘me’ if I didn’t have a sample of something.  The cherry wheat was good, but not as good as a Blue Moon.

We got wings as an appetizer.  I swear, since moving here, I’ve eaten more wings in these few months than I ever have before in my life.  This is, of course, both good and bad.  Good for my sense of ‘culture’ and assimilation into my new surroundings; bad for my hips.  And thighs.  And arteries.

I saw the “ZebbOriginalWings” and immediately wanted them, but the bleu cheese turned Andrew off, of course.  Awesome Colin said we could split an order and I eagerly anticipated their arrival.

And yes, they were everything I hoped for, and more.  They had enough “buffalo” flavor to fulfill that ubiquitous ‘wing taste,’ but with a kick of something more.  Not spicy, just really flavorful.  The bleu cheese wasn’t a dominant flavor, and Andrew was brave enough to give it a try.  We just might be ordering those next time…we both ended up saving the sauce to dip our fries!

Andrew had ordered a medium on the spicy-scale when we thought we were sharing, but Colin got the impression Andrew wanted a bit more heat than me, so he went ahead and bumped Andrew’s up to HOT…  Talk about great service!  Andrew enjoyed his wings, but they were no Pasquale’s.

Hockey is KING here, in case you didn’t know, and a tournament was on TV.  Really, all sports are pretty big here–the Bills Stadium is just a mile or so from Zebb’s–and watching football and hockey is very much a part of life here in Buffalo.  Guess I’m going to have to get a t-shirt…

Zebb’s is known for their burgers and topping bar (think Fuddrucker’s), and I’m a junkie for anything a restaurant is “known for,” so I went with the smallest burger and added cheese.  I mean, doesn’t cheese just make it?  A burger without cheese, to me, isn’t worth eating.

Speaking of eating…  I was good and only ate two of my wings in order to save room (and calories!) for my burger and fries.  But the angelic behavior ended there; I DEMOLISHED my burger and fries, with mayo, no less!  I must have been hungry.  And honestly, the burger wasn’t THAT good.  Definitely not good enough to eat it all.  Next time, I’ll stick to wings and fries 🙂

Meanwhile, it was snowing outside:

When we entered, there wasn’t really any snow on the ground.  By the time we left, it was blizzarding enough for us to have to drive slowly and there was about an inch or so on the ground.  It may sound odd, but I love that about living here–I love that you can go see a movie and come out to a completely different scene than when you entered.  (This, I’m sure, will get old after awhile.  But for now, it makes me smile.)

We’re going out, again, tonight to meet friends at Pearl Street (yay!), which might just mean more indulgent food for yours truly…  Good thing I did a tempo run this morning before church!