PEr FYI

May 11, 2019

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai…a coffee-lover’s Disneyland

Once upon a time, Starbucks prompted millions of consumers to do away with cheaper instant coffee for a more expensive specialty product. With this Reserve Roastery, it is third-wave coffee.

Upscale, and they feature cocktail bars, bakeries, snake-like tubes that transport beans across the store and unique elements, this roastery is completely unlike a typical Starbucks. There are tons of food and coffee options, plus plenty of places to sit and stay for a while with staffers navigating selections the way a sommelier might do with a wine list.

Indeed the food and drinks are, well, a few stars better than your standard Starbucks offerings. My personal favorite is the dark chocolate mocha, which is just sweet enough with a good bitter bite from the espresso. Milanese bakery Princi provides the food, notable ones are cheesecake lampone, carrot loaf cake and torta princi.

Looking around, I see coffee fiends pilgrimage here from all over. You’ll hear different languages, see a spectrum of generations, and many different styles of clothing. If you’re a coffee lover, you won’t want to miss this stop.

This massive, gleaming roastery is the Starbucks Mecca. Translation: Be prepared to be awed and overwhelmed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 9, 2018

Shanghai Disneyland…..authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese

Unlike the mickey mouse Disneyland in Hong Kong, this Shanghai Disneyland features six themed areas.

With its giant Starbucks, Cheesecake Factory and Wolfgang Puck restaurant, you might for a minute mistake Shanghai Disney Resort for theme parks in Anaheim or Orlando. However, there’s more of a Chinese feel to it than to Hong Kong Disney, that’s for sure. Main Street has been replaced by Mickey Avenue and it’s easier to find Kung Pao chicken for lunch than, say, a hot dog.

Easily the best attraction, Tron ride, an exhilarating roller coaster in the park’s Tomorrowland area is the first of its kind in a Disney park. Riders race headlong into dark tunnels interspersed with shows of red, blue and yellow lights. The Pirates of the Caribbean is equally amazing and technically astonishing. Gone are the classic animatronic characters of other parks. In its place, high-definition, computer-animated trip across the ocean floor when the riders move between to real boats while an animated pirate ship battle takes place in front of them, sending animated (and real) water into the air.

This isn’t Disneyland in China; it’s China’s Disneyland. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 8, 2015

Peet’s Coffee, San Francisco…”must-not-miss” clam chowder

So, I’ll admit it, I’m not a coffee snob. I’m not likely to highbrow with the best of them when it comes to coffee

The must-do thing in San Francisco of course is to have Boudin clam chowder soup which is clam chowder in fresh-baked sourdough bread bowl. In a feat of chowder engineering, the impossibly creamy textured and rich in taste but not overly salty soup, comes loaded with chunky potatoes, and fresh, chewy and tender clams in a huge fresh sourdough bread bowl. This was literally one of the best clam chowders I’ve ever tasted – it doesn’t get much better. If it’s not already obvious enough how much I’m loving this chowder, let me start raving about the best part yet: the sourdough bread. With a crispy outer crust, a soft inner texture, and a slightly sweet and sour taste, this sourdough bread paired with creamy clam chowder is simple perfection. By the end of my meal, I became a happy digger myself, scraping off every little piece of that delicious bread bowl and dipping it into the chowder with every bite.

Peet’s seems to be way more popular than Starbucks over in San Francisco. The service is quick and this coffee is strong.

Give it a try and see what all this sourdough snobbery is all about. To me it tastes like a hug feels. It’s kind of a nice place, so maybe don’t lick the bowl? This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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