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Nestle’s Cookies & Cream

Nestle’s Cookies & Cream

I can eat a whole box of Nestle’s Cookies & Cream Drumsticks and I have in many many occasions….

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La Val’s Pizza

La Val’s Pizza

Laval’s – located in Berkeley – seriously offers the very fresh, very best thin crust – and my favorite is tomato-less pizza, Pesto Veggie Primavera. This place is a student mecca -so the price is incredibly affordable, but mega mega good. They offer dining, take-out and delivery. And they have a comfortable sitting area – outside – perfect for a first date.

Another La Val’s favorite is Shrimp Alfredo pasta which contains sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, and garlic in Alfredo sauce. I’ve also ordered my own custom pizza by mixing two or three or more toppings.

www.lavals.com
1834 Euclid Avenue
(between Hearst Ave & Ridge Rd)
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 540-9333

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Italian Take Out

Italian Take Out

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One of my favorite italian restaurants is located in Reading, Pennsylvania. Sebastiano’s is owned by Sebastiano from Sicily and he makes the best veal parmesan in the world. The restaurant has been in business for over a decade, and now his son is taking over the joint. If you are ever driving across the country…make sure you make a pit stop during your trip to PA.

3227 Perkiomen Ave Reading, PA 19606
610-370-9660

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Fonda Restaurant

Fonda Restaurant

photo-4Two of my favorite restaurants in Berkeley are Fonda and Sea Salt – they are operated by the same owners. And the food at both restaurants is to die for. A few weekends ago, I went for breakfast at Fonda and ordered…..Haig’s shrimp (sautéed prawns with salsa negra,soft scrambled eggs, black beans, rice and tortillas). This restaurant has the perfect combination of food, pretty waiters and posh ambiance. The best possible way to dine out.

1501 Solano Ave. Albany, CA

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Miso Soup Diet

Miso Soup Diet

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Miso soup is one of my favorite winter meals and Marukome’s Ryoutei-no-Aji is the best of the bunch.  It has the right amount of bonito and kelp dashi mixed in with red miso base. I take my miso soup with a variety of condiments–tofu, green onion, radish – even konnyaku.

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Green Tea Diet

Green Tea Diet

Mate_Sencha_Shot.jpg-

By now you are probably aware of my love affair with Yamamoto Yama green tea. But I need to give kudos to another tea empire, Itoen (partly because my good friend Rona Tison works there). They also carry my favorite tea Sencha Shot, a green tea espresso. It has a strong condensed taste but packs the health benefits of green tea. Try it for yourself.

Read more about my favorite types of tea:

PG Tips
http://www.diiver.com/?p=2503

Samovar Tea Lounge
http://www.diiver.com/?p=2460

Garden of Dreams
http://www.diiver.com/?p=740

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Japanese Food Delivery

Japanese Food Delivery

KonnyakuKonnyaku, a staple Japanese food, is my new obsession. It’s hard to describe the food, for its made out of konjac plant and has no real taste to speak of…it is probably the most bland thing in the market, but a big block of konnyaku has close to zero-calories and can be paired with multiple kinds of dressing. It is well-known for its medicinal purposes as a detoxing agent for the body.

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Quick Desserts

Quick Desserts

1

xooro opened up in Southern California introducing yummier versions of fritters. The treats are probably some of the most original creations I’ve seen in the world of dessert…the flavors range from chocolate coconut, mississippi, triple chocolate, mango, maple bacon–they even have gluten free xooros. Seriously I am willing to fly to SoCal just to get a bite of this dessert…


How did xooro come about?

Being in Madrid watching the youngsters at the wee hours and wanting to bring something cool and unique to the US

How did  your fascination with fritters come about?

I’ve always loved food so it wasn’t difficult for me to come up with the flavors, although we had huge difficulty in the application, when we started we didn’t had the technology, it took us several months to master the process, it became so natural now that most  people don’t get it, but imagine setting liquid chocolate in a 300º burning xooro, physically it’s impossible and nobody believed we could do it.

You have some amazing creations (maple bacon, mango etc., flavors) – what is your inspiration for the flavors?

The key in our products is to incorporate flavors from cultures from all over the world, for example we use dulce de leche from south america, pistachio from the southern italy, dark chocolate from switzerland, vanilla creme from france, hazelnut from turkey and we use rice bran oil for the deep frying because being a health freak I wondered if japanese have been using it forever in their tempura and they stay so skinny, then it has to be good, by the way it tastes great.

DSC_7269

Where did fritters originate and how are the US audience welcoming your creation?

The fritter name came from the idea of being a unique product description, because a xooro is the result from a cross of a churro and an éclair so you won’t find them anywhere else, the basic churros come from spain and they’ve been around forever.


What is the telling sign of a good fritter? Crispy outside, warmness soft inside.

What determines your choice on what kind of flavor is used to xooro?

Initially I wanted to put together a full line of more traditional flavors first and from there start creating more exotic ones, it’s hard to believe but most of the people still go for the traditional.

03.12.20080812.xooro.036What are the most popular xooro among customers?

Triple Chocolate, Jordan’s favorite (Nutella filling, white chocolate coating), Almond Creme (Originally inspired in a more traditional spanish dessert called “Turron” we had to change the name to something more recognizable.

I love the choice of having customers choose their own fillings and topping – what is the most unique creation so far?

Peanut butter filling with nutella, dark chocolate coating with almond topping.

What was the biggest challenge/s in being an entrepreneur?

Funding and technology

What are some future flavor for debut in 2010?

S’more marshmallow/dark chocolate , Guava sea salt/dark chocolate, probably some savory ones.

The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do?

We love the fact that is so unique, we think it has huge potential, I can envision a xooro store in every major city of the world

What makes you want to wake up in the morning? My Son

Who is your inspiration? My Grandfather

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?

I wouldn’t change anything

chocoWhat is your favorite flavor of xooro?

Turkish Hazelnut

Your three rules to live by?

Honesty, persistency and loyalty

Your favorite bar to visit?

Hudson Bar NYC

Your city/country of origin?

Mexico City

Your proudest accomplishment?

Finishing The 2006 Chicago Marathon

Some of my favorite desserts at:

Soy Granola
http://www.diiver.com/?p=2542

Blueberry Toast
http://www.diiver.com/?p=281

Delicious Ice-Cream
http://www.diiver.com/?p=1401

Photo Credit: Xooro

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Nation’s Giant’s Burger

Nation’s Giant’s Burger

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This place rocks – sure it’s a simple burger joint, but they NEVER skimp on anything. With every order, I get generous amounts of lettuce, onion, tomato and dressing. And every entree tastes FRESH.

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Home-Made Fig Juice

Home-Made Fig Juice

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This juice is super easy to make and delicious. My friend Virginia passed on her recipe to me and I’ve been creating the juice ever since.

What you’ll need:
Handful of dried figs
Handful of prunes
Handful of raisins

Soak figs, prunes and raisins in water to cover the fruits. Cover and soak the fruit overnight. Optional ingredient – 1 tbsp of molasses for extra sweetness.

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