Snack of the Afternoon, 8/21/12: Quadratini

August 21, 2012

Hello, wafers.

I’m back to working at an office with a stocked kitchen (for now), and as usual it’s a dream and a curse. As you may recall, one of the reasons I started this blog was to categorize some of the strange snacks that came through the stocked kitchen at my last job (which was several shows ago, but only 1 or 2 bosses ago… TV is blow-with-the-wind like that).

Staples here include Powerberries, Dark Chocolate Pretzel Thins, Trader Joe’s trail mixes, Jasmine Green Tea and some relatively less healthy fare. (For the first month or so I was regularly snacking on Skittles, Red Vines, and assorted Mini Hershey’s bars, but I’ve managed to reel that in.)

One snack that caught my eye from the start was the adorable wafer known as a Quadratini (the internets inform me that it’s Italian). I’m a sucker for a wafer, especially an “all natural” one.

We currently have lemon, chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla and hazelnut in our office kitchen. I think dark chocolate is my favorite. Lemon is REALLY lemon-y, and vanilla and hazelnut were… not what I expected. I’m really keen to try tiramisu, especially now that I know the company is Italian.

They’re quite small, but I provided nothing to show scale.

Most importantly, it’s fun to exclaim “Quadratini!” when the new groceries come in every week.

But I’m trying to limit myself to just a few of this snack, because I have a hefty fruit salad waiting for me at home. And I have a pipe dream of potentially making myself some baked eggs in tomato sauce for dinner (a dish I’ve never before eaten/attempted), though I’m not sure how to get around the yolk of it all (it would definitely be modified/potentially botched). And come to think of it, I’m not sure I want to fire up my oven on an August night.

If you know where to obtain a tiramisu-flavored Quadratini (or anything interesting about baked eggs), let me know…


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Snack Trek: VEGAN TIRAMISU (Cafe Gratitude)

July 30, 2011

If it's tiramisu, I'm in.

Today I met a friend for lunch at Cafe Gratitude on Larchmont. It’s vegan and the menu is a little… theme-y. Like, I have no idea how the servers memorize the names of the dishes. I just said, “I’ll have the tacos.”

I forgot to take pictures until dessert– but yeah, I had the tacos (“I Am Transformed”). (For the record– I was not transformed… other than feeling full after I ate them.) We also ordered the potato appetizer (“I Am Grounded”), as I bumped into another friend who gave the potatoes rave reviews. (I did not see any pink salt on them, but the menu says that’s the case.)

The nice thing about Cafe Gratitude is that they’re not taking tofu and trying to make it taste like meat. That can be a little dicey. (They do have a sandwich that they call a “BLT,” but apparently it’s not fake-meaty, and very good.)

The vegan tiramisu is called “I Am Adoring.” I was happy about the cake-to-”cream” ratio… I like cake!

So yeah, next time your favorite vegan wants to hang out, take them to Cafe Gratitude. They’ll be grateful to you, and you’ll be grateful it actually tastes good.


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Snack Trek: FRANCOLI GOURMET (The Orange Circle)

April 3, 2011

I'm a sucker for tiramisu.

Over the weekend I was home for eye reasons (I’m halfway healed!), and I accompanied my family to lunch at Francoli Gourmet in the Orange Circle (aka Old Towne Orange).

Francoli’s serves food in the Northern Italian style, and it felt very authentic because the people next to us (the owners?) were speaking Italian with the waiters. It was also cool because we sat at a big window that looked out onto the Circle, so the people-watching was prime.

Oh, and apparently they shot some of the ABC pilot “Hallelujah” there. (The site says that the restaurant was closed from March 22-24 “due to filming by ABC Channel 7.”) So… Terry O’Quinn was probably there. (And from the description, I have no idea what that show is going to be about… but it sounds weird.)

I ordered a panini, which was probably my least favorite part of the meal. (It was okay, but I liked the bread, bruschetta, salad & desserts better.) (There are a lot of really good paninis out there. I’m a tough crowd, panini-wise.)

I ate half. Gotta save room for tiramisu.

The presentation of the desserts was very appealing…

Chocolate fondant cake-- but not the fondant you're thinking of.

After lunch, we walked over to Dragonfly Shops & Gardens. I was completely enamored of the flowers that were growing in front of the shop. Which– as it turned out– were sweet peas! (I thought they were edible, but apparently not?)


I overheard the woman say that she planted these in November. The MINUTE I have a garden in a November, I am planting pink and purple knee-high sweet peas.

For now, I’m just obsessed with the picture. (And I have my pink hydrangea plant, and a vase filled with eerily moving-around-a-lot red tulips.)


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August 25, 2010

Pumpkin ravioli, not yet ravaged.

Last night I went to Amalfi Ristorante with Cole and our friend Crystal. She’s basically a dining genius/guru, always in possession of Groupons for amazing restaurants I’ve never tried. When she told me about Amalfi and uttered the words “pumpkin ravioli,” I said, “We need to go there, STAT!”

And go there we did.

We ate more than just pumpkin ravioli, but I put pumpkin ravioli (and the cake of the night!) in the title of this post, because it’s “snack trek,” not “meal trek.” Maybe I need to think of a new category name. Restaurant Food Glamour Shots? (If I call it Food Porn one more time, I’m worried about the creeps I’m going to attract to this pristine site.)

We ordered family style, so we all shared everything you’re about to see, plus a bread basket. (Okay… two bread baskets.)

But blah blah blah. I’m going to sit back and let the food do the talking…

First up: Bruschetta. The waiter called it BRUSH-etta, but I’ve been told that it’s BRUSK-etta. I’m always afraid to say it aloud, for fear of sounding like a rube… or a snob. (But who really cares how its pronounced? Bottom line: It’s delicious.)

Shiny shiny tomato amazingness.

Unlike every bruschetta I’ve had before, this was on some sort of Italian pita. Nice twist! And there was SO MUCH tomato topping that I had leftover, which I piled onto a piece of the bread-basket bread. I am TEAM TOMATO, so I was very happy to have a maximal amount.

Moving from a pizza-looking appetizer to ACTUAL PIZZA, here’s the Parmigiana: roasted eggplant, fresh tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella with basil and parmigiano cheese. I’m also TEAM EGGPLANT, so I was very excited about this.

Pizza a la slice.

Cole was worried that he’d be in that picture, but I aimed with precision. Haha. Seriously, I’m starting to fall in love with taking pictures of food. If writing doesn’t work out, I’m sure food photography is a very lucrative field just dying for a bunch of amateurs to flood it. (Paging Dr. Sarcasm.)

This pizza had the unfortunate distinction of being sandwiched in between my Mozza experience and PUMPKIN RAVIOLI, so it was a bit overshadowed. But it was good. The thin crust got a little soggy under the toppings after a few minutes. That’s my one note.

And then… pumpkin ravioli. Are you surprised to know that I’m also very much TEAM PUMPKIN? I knew I’d knock myself later if I didn’t get a picture of the cross-section.


(A nurse-friend who worked in NY told me that at her hospital, Code Orange meant that two surgeons were fighting violently DURING SURGERY. Over an open patient. Skeevy.)

In case you’re wondering what all that is, it’s “pumpkin-filled ravioli with braised short rib in a mascarpone sage sauce.” AKA heaven on Earth.

I was really happy that the pumpkin ravioli tasted pumpkin-y. I was afraid it would all be a ruse to attract the members of TEAM PUMPKIN. The real surprise was the deliciousness of the short ribs. They were SO TENDER. And that little ragout or whatever it’s called on top was amazing, too.

I want to eat it again, right now. Mmmmm.

After all that we were stuffed, but we had to make room for tiramisu. (I call it TEE-rah-miss-SOO, other people call it TEE-rah-MEE-soo… I don’t know what’s right.) You know what they say: There’s ALWAYS room for tiramisu. It’s one of my favorite desserts, but there are so many variations– some disappointing. This was a GOOD version.

And it was eaaasy on the eyes.


The rum-to-cake ratio was high… and perfect. Cole said it might be the best tiramisu he’s ever had.

And thanks to Groupon, I only had to cough up $10 at the end! What a steal. What a MEAL.

Whatever I have for lunch is going to pale in comparison.



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