Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ghirardelli Limited Edition Peppermint Bark

Damn, hope Ghirardelli Limited Edition Peppermint Bark is still in stores, even tho it’s post-xmas. Otherwise that makes NYCE obsolete. so no, pepp bark is not brand new. but it's still surging in popularity (which makes it newsworthy) and this new ltd-ed (w/ its A+ shiny ribbon-candy wrapper) does a twist. The usual formula izza 3-layered construction: 1. milk choc base 2. white choc layer 3. cracked pep candies. Ghirardelli’s has the pep candy mixed right in to the white choc. a radical departure + also easier to eat, as the candy shards don’t fall all over yr keyboard

Friday, December 22, 2006

Juice It Up!

The topic of Smoothies offers endless fascination at NYCE HQ. but hey, it ain’t just self-indulgence: acc to Mintel, which does surveys of such things, smoothie sales rose 38% from 2003-2005 to reach $1.5 bil and will hit $2.5 bil by 2010. so this is important news, see. Thus stop the presses cuz a new chain hit dallas in aug: Juice It Up!, from cali (aren’t they all) (‘cept smoothie king = louisiana), w/ approx 120 branches in 7 states, and plans for 10-15 more in DFW over the next few yrs. a story in something called franchise wire says JUI’s smoothies have been picked as best in blind taste tests conducted by 3rd-party organizations, which surely sounds convincing; at the very least, it’s one of the good chains that uses unsweetened fruit (unlike evil you-know-who). of note: the store opened in lake highlands ctr next to the old shut-down WF, which has become an LA/Fitness

7215 Skillman St. (at walnut hill), 214-341-3661

Monday, December 18, 2006

Rush Patisserie

Rush Patisserie is named after chef-owner Samantha Rush (vs. the ’91 drug film vs the snicker canadian power trio), who moved back to D from Vegas, where she made pastry for hotels such as the Green Valley Ranch Resort. At Rush, she’ll do cakes, pastries, and hello, croissants. She’s taken over the space in Deep Ellum that used to be sweet endings, on the corner of elm & Malcolm X. oh but "taken over" doesn’t even hint at the transformation. IE, goodbye pepto-bismol pink exterior, we won’t miss you. and "hi" to the new exterior painted café au lait. She’s changed the whole vibe, man, from quaint pastry shop to boutique. To go w/ the pastries there'll be hot coffee .. none of that cappuccino silliness

2901 Elm St. 214-749-4040, opening any day now

Friday, December 15, 2006

oreo chocostix

note the strong little NYCE, bravely holding up the big new product. note also the 2 photos, one shot w/ light, the other w/out. feel free to cast a vote. anyhow, Oreo ChocoStix just arrived in plano tx but it turns out they're only semi-new (been out in australia a while; intro'd here in late oct). it's a choc-coated choc wafer w/ layers of choc & white "cream". you'd think they'd be an automatic 10, esp if you like wafers (which of course you should). but you know what? they're not all that. the proposition is that you get the oreo flavor in a wafer format. well, it's most definitely a wafer, but no sign of the "oreo flavor". i think the problem may be the choc coating. it tastes neither like choc nor oreo nor anything other than "wax"

Monday, December 11, 2006

Main Street Bistro & Bakery, Richardson

Restaurant impresario Dale Wamstad got some more good folks to drink the Kool-Aid: A third branch of Main Street Bistro & Bakery has opened in his Shire center at the corner of the 190 (George Bush Freeway) & Jupiter Rd. This is the development w/ a branch of Wamstad's Silver Fox steakhouse as well as Ye Shire Tavern. A Richardson chamber of commerce newsletter quotes Main St. co-owner Yasmine Bohsali as saying that she & her partner Fabien Goury "love the architecture, the look and touch of the materials", calling it "very European", before giving a nod to the "whole, larger vision that Dale has." Whoa. But hey, anyone living on the east side of plano has to love the Dale not only for the development, but for bringing in some of the area's best breads and baked goods. Like the original in grapevine and the 2nd branch at legacy in plano, this Main St has breads, pastries, sandwiches, light entrees, & coffee drinks. service, however, is N.S.G.

3600 Shire, Suite 100, Richardson. 972-578-0294

Friday, December 08, 2006

5th Street Pizza

Since when does every town get its own damn style of pizza? 5th Street Pizza claims to do it St. Louis-style: 1. thin crackery crust, 2. slices cut into rectangles rather than wedges (rectangles? whoo-hoo), and 3. a reliance on Provel cheese, which ain’t even real cheez but is instead what you call a cheese product. (this should tell you sumfin: you don’t gotta refrigerate it.) Here, from Wiki: "Fans consider Provel a delicious, mildly smoked flavor that is softer than mozzarella but that still maintains a cohesive consistency that doesn’t form messy strings when it is cut." IE, they like this cheese becuz it’s easy to eat. Dude, Styrofoam peanuts are easy to eat. Anyway, 5th street comes from a guy who previously owned upper crust, a mediocre pizza joint in plano which has since closed.

1223 W McDermott Dr. #85, Allen. 972-396-5557

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Odwalla pumpkin super protein

We’re so deep into pumpkin season (which truthfully runs from oct-nov) that this is almost too late, but it was purchased just last wk at the local smkt, so it’s still out there, somewhere. It has a couplo characteristics that make it A+ for NYCE: 1. it’s limited edition 2. it falls into that smoothie-protein-bar-meal-in-a-swallow category that fascinates some of us 3. pumpkin. Enough fanfare: limited edition Odwalla pumpkin super protein drink. Would you ever think pumpkin would make for a smoothie flavor? ("pumpkin puree" is like the 5th ingred; it was a bit chalky, tho not in a deal-breaking way.) Does this not seem like a reflection of the starbucks influence, specifically their recent pumpkin spice latte? Then again, doesn't everything

Monday, December 04, 2006

dallas threatdown: Jamba Juice vs Juice Zone

As a long-term Jamba Juice cheerleader, it’s been a bummer to see it get taken over in March by a consortium of $$ guys whose corporate-driven efforts to leanify & profitize have resulted in less choices for me-the-consumer. (boo-hoo, they discontinued my fave, Cranberry Craze … cran juice is a hot item amongst the ladeez, so I’m not being selfish here.) on the other hand, those corporate-driven efforts are also resulting in more jamba juice outlets, incl one in east plano an area that, alas, isn’t slated for gentrification until 2010. so cheers to that. in dallas, there's now a jamba juice @ knox-central, in what used to be a Juice Zone. Juice Zone, HQed in Vancouver and an xlent chain in its own right, open a branch 6 wks ago in West Village w/ more on the way. One thing's for sure: both are way better than smoothie king

Juice Zone: 3839 McKinney Ave. 214-522-9663
Jamba Juice @ Knox/75: 3001 Knox St. 214-559-6113
Jamba Juice in East Plano: 1201 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Suite 180. slated to open Feb. 1