Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Grand Opening

Hapa Cupcakes
105 W. Amerige Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

  The first time I wrote about Hapa Cupcakes (article here) they were just getting started in a location in Anaheim, sharing a store front with another restaurant. Over the weekend I was stoked to be invited to their grand open in Downtown Fullerton. The new shop is small and quaint but loaded with the alcohol infused cupcakes that have helped Hapa Cupcakes become successful. Since last I visited Hapa Cupcakes they have added more then a few new flavors of cupcakes, added cakes, brownies and even cookies to the line up.

  I was treated to a four pack of cupcake so I wanted to to try different or new flavors then the last time. I first tried the salted caramel cupcake. The cake was moist and had a nice caramel flavor to it. The frosting was sweet but not overly sweet and it complimented the cupcake nicely. My only issue is I wish there was a bit more salt on this cupcake. I really enjoy the salty sweetness that most salted caramel confections provide but this one was missing the salty.

  The second one down the hatch was the "Squeeze my Lemon" cupcake. Again the cake it self was moist and had the classic lemon cake flavor. The frosting was creamy and smooth which added a nice lusciousness to the entire cake. The lemon flavor was bit too subtle for me but overall another very well made cupcake.

  Next up was the "Strawberries and Champagne" cupcake. I really did like this cupcake more then I thought I would. The strawberry flavor was pronounced enough that it was the first thing I tasted, then as I continued to enjoy the cupcake the champagne flavor finished off the bite. The frosting on this cupcake was delicate and worked hand in hand with the cake to deliver an awesome cupcake.

  The last cupcake tasting was the "My Cookies Make You Cream" cupcake. This is Valrhona chocolate cupcake with chocolate cream cookie topping. The cupcake packed a punch of chocolate flavor while the cookies added a nice crunchy texture. Like the previous cupcakes this cake was also moist with a sweet cream cheese frosting loaded with cookie bits. If you are chocoholic then this cupcake will surely cure that craving. 

   I finished off my Hapa Cupcake treats with something completely new which was a creme de menthe brownie. This brownie reminded me of thin chocolate mints. The brownie it self was dense and chewy. The layer of creme de menthe was thin but packed a lot of flavor and it was topped with fudge coating. All together this brick sized treat fed three members of my family and we were plenty happy.

  I am a sucker for sweets and Hapa Cupcakes can deliver. I am happy to see these ladies finally move into their own store front. I wish them the best of luck and many years of success. But I would urge you if you are in Downtown Fullerton to stop by Hapa Cupcakes and tell them PapaKaster sent you.

Hapa Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lunch with Mom

Hill Street Cafe
1004 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada, CA 91011

 I took my Mom to the doctor and on the way home we wanted to eat lunch. I saw the Hill Street Cafe and we decided to stop and try it out. The menu at Hill Street Cafe is expansive and covers many different food types from American, Mexican, to Italian.  Not wanting to be stuffed my Mom and I decided to share a sourdough melt and onion rings. This sandwich was turkey, grilled onions, ortega chilies, tomatoes, Jack cheese and thousand island dressing all on grilled sourdough bread. The sandwich and side was $12.50.

  The sandwich was loaded with so much sliced turkey that it was spilling out the sides of the grilled bread. The turkey was thin yet moist and it too was grilled so it had a slight toasted flavor to it. The Jack cheese was melted and gooey which made it string with each bite of the sandwich. The tomatoes added a hint of sweetness and a lot of moisture. The ortega chilies added the slightest bit of heat and brought a ton a of flavor to the sandwich. The bread was crisp and perfectly grilled on the outside while still being soft in the middle. What a great sandwich! Each bite was full of every flavor which really made this a complete sandwich. I am glad I shared the sandwich with my Mom because I could have easily eaten the whole thing but half was just enough to fill me up. The onion rings we got were super crunchy yet still had a good onion flavor. A very well made ring.

  I did not expect much from Hill Street Cafe because cafes can be hit or miss but this was definitely a hit. So much so that as I write this I am thinking of how I might be able to get back there again. I think the next time I visit Mom we may have make a trip to Hill Street Cafe and I would suggest if you are anywhere near that you should too.

Hill Street Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 6, 2014

Homemade Ice Cream is Here

Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert
1549 E. Katella #C
Orange, CA 92867

  I heard about Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert from a fellow foodie and former blogger Dan. He made mention of this place, the nice owner and the quality ice cream, so I figured I would take the family there after dinner to see for myself. Immediately upon walking in we were welcomed with a hearty hello and a warm smile from the owner. He told us about his ice cream and how he made the majority of the ice cream in store. Happily to my wife's suprise, he also stocked a few classics from Thrifty's. He gladly offered as many samples as we wanted until we all made our final choices. My daughter being the sugar fiend that she is went right for the Thrifty's cotton candy and small bit of banana cabana (small), my son went with banana cabana with mint and chip (medium), my wife ordered house made Butter Finger and Thrifty's chocolate malted crunch (small), I went with banana cabana and eggnog (medium). The prices for Thrifty's ice cream are $2 for a small, $3 for a medium and $4 for a large, the home made ice creams are a dollar more for each size. All together this treat was $13.

  My daughter devoured her ice cream and ended up with a blue and pink haze all around her mouth by the end of her cup. My son enjoyed his ice cream not saying much. They both seemed content with their choices, not one complaint was muttered from either. My wife loves Thrifty's Chocolate Malted Crunch so I know that was a hit for her and she said the Butter Finger ice cream was loaded with large pieces of the candy bar.

  As for me I went with all home made ice cream so I could really try something different. The eggnog ice cream was rich, silky smooth and full of the traditional eggnog flavors. A frozen version of the classic holiday drink. The true stand out to me was the banana cabana. The ice cream had an abundance of banana flavor with a tremendous amount of chocolate chips and thick ribbons of fudge throughout. Each bite of ice cream combined the flavors perfectly and was reminiscent of a frozen banana on a stick. This is now one of my favorite ice cream flavors and I will have to return to Andrew's Ice Cream to get more banana cabana.

  Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert has only been open for a few months now so I'm sure he is still trying to gain a good customer base but if he continues with these quality ice creams and super friendly service I do not see this as being a problem. It's rare these days to see these kind of family run ice cream shops and it is a great addition to the community. If you are anywhere near Tustin and Katella I highly recommend stopping by Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert.

Andrew's Ice Cream & Dessert on Urbanspoon