Valentine’s Day came and went very quickly. Jack gave me a pretty bouquet of colorful mums and carnations that smelled very nice and lasted a couple of weeks (we’re a couple that appreciates value!) and about a week before we were at Julia Baker Chocolates at Biltmore Fashion Park and he bought me a 6 piece box.
It’s a very decadent thing.
Her chocolates are very rich and you only need to eat one at a time (well maybe two) to get the full effect. I like one or two with earl grey tea. There were light chocolate truffles with caramel, and dark chocolate truffles with hazelnuts. And some other flavors. They’re a blur now which means I need to go back for another box.
Julia Baker trained in Paris and she’s a local. Your chocolates are made in Scottsdale, a good thing.
The other thing that’s great about her place is that you can sit down in a fancy chair with a mirrored table and eat your chocolates. Yes, this is no joke. Or you can eat cake and have a port, an espresso or a latte. And she has melted european chocolate so if you are crafty (like moi) you can bring in your own croissant from AJ’s Fine Foods for dipping. There’s also champagne. It’s a lovely place to hang out on a Friday afternoon with your girlfriend (or solo, if she’s stood you up). I’ve taken my Dad there and Rob when he was visiting from South Carolina, and we all agree that Julia should sell us some stock in her place. We want little name tags on our individual tables.
For Valentine’s I did some shopping for my coworkers at A.T. Oasis, one of my favorite places to buy coffee. Look at the goodies I got there.
Included in my great bounty was organic kiwi and strawberry tea for my friend Dana (she had recently gifted me a tin of matcha so we are now tea buds) and truffles for Linda. There were also some turkish delights (like gummy bears covered in powdered sugar except they are square) and chocolate truffles.
Let’s just say I was very popular at work on Valentine’s Day. I like to take care of my people. And support local business. A.T. Oasis is my go to place to get beans. They are organic ethiopian beans and you can also buy iced coffee there, along with ful, sandwiches and pastries. You won’t leave hungry, or uncaffinated, for that matter.
On Valentine’s Day eve we found ourselves hungry and tired (hangry almost) and Jack had been doing something physical in my mom’s toolshed…we were going to cook something (that means Jack was going to cook something) but when we got in the car to head back to our place we stumbled onto China Village and just decided to eat there instead. The asparagus could wait.
China Village is not impressive to look at. It is clean but the inside feels like the 60’s and 70’s. And that doesn’t bother me at all. One of my favorite Chinese restaurants, China Doll was kind of the same thing and their food was always good. So when I walked in, I wasn’t phased at all. Come to think of it, Autumn Court isn’t the most impressive interior either but their food is really good. Enough said.
We enjoyed drinks before dinner, a mai tai for me (potent) and a long island iced tea for Jack. That’s one of his favorite mixed drinks. Then we ordered potstickers which were generous, 8 to a portion, so there wasn’t an “embarrassing potsticker” to fight over. Delicious potstickers by the way. Pork, ginger and garlic flavors, the way we like ‘em. Our server was kind enough to bring us hot oil and white vinegar to put on top of them as we like to do, Hong Kong style. Or at least I think that’s Hong Kong style because at Mekong Palace they have hot oil and vinegar on the table for dumplings at dim sum. We love that place.
I digress. Our entrees were Happy Family (kind of a seafood/veg medley) and house chow fun with the wide rice noodle. The chow fun is one of my favorite dishes at chinese restaurants and I’m happy to report that China Village does a very nice chow fun. Lookie lookie. I love the bean sprout, brown sauce and noodle combination. It’s very homey food.
When Jack makes his version of Thai beef noodle soup he always has leftover rice noodles and makes me a big place of chow fun. It’s the best I’ve ever tried but I will stand by the chow fun at China Village as my backup. Also the chow fun at Mekong Palace and Autumn Court. Can you tell we really like our chinese food?
Recently the Postino folks were kind enough to email me that they liked my yelp review (I’ll never tell which one it was) and they sent me a buy one get one brunch coupon. And Jack hadn’t been there for brunch before, so it seemed like a good idea. I really like their french toast, so I had that, along with a mimosa and a french press. The coffee was a little too strong for Jack so they brought him a cup of drip that the spoon didn’t stand up in and that suited him just fine. He went with the egg and toast breakfast option pictured below.
It came with bacon and breakfast potatoes which he likes a lot. It was the perfect breakfast because the weather was beautiful that day, we were on the patio and I remember asking one of the servers if Walt Richardson was coming in that day to perform. And he said yes. And with my mimosa buzz and caffeine high I thought to myself what a wonderful world we live in where we can get a mimosa, a french press and see Walt Richardson all in the same place.