The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

sad puff and other things I ingested

The last entry left our food-laden heroes in the chewy, buttery enclaves of Milk & Cookies, where they fended off a giant knife-wielding cookie growling, "SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT IF I RIP YOU IN HALF AND NIBBLE ON YOUR WARM ORGANS AND GO 'MMM, SO TASTY,' HUH, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE THAT?"


See, that paragraph initially sounded too un-Robyn-ish, so I thought I'd make it a little weirder. Yeah? Did I succeed? Good.

Puff & Pao
Puff & Pao

So after that little incident, Joe and I went to Puff & Pao. Guess what they sell? PUFFS! AND PAOS! Yup, you're a quick one! Surely you know what a puff is, but a pao, short for "paolito", are little cheese bread balls.


Cute, eh? Like little babies, incubating for...some reason I haven't figured out yet. (Incubating for the feeeeding. Master likes it when the babies are toasty.) As you can see, they have a bucketload of flavors. However, we were most interested in trying the puff. Sugar! Gimmeh!

unfilled puffs
unfilled puffs
puff menu
puff menu

They fill their puffs to order from a menu of four promising flavors, unless you want something sugar free, in which case you can choose from two Spenda-fied flavors. Hell, I don't have diabetes (yet); sugar it is. We ordered a maple filled puff and watched as the young woman squooshed (alert: that is officially the first time I've ever used a form of the word "squoosh") cream into the puff's cavity using a handheld squooshing pump (it probably has a real name, but it can't be as cool as "squooshing pump"). It looked quite pretty after being dusted with confectioner's sugar. Time to DIG IN.

maple cream puff
maple cream puff, after being ripped apart

Ah. ...Um. Er. Okay. I don't write unfavorable reviews very much because luckily, I rarely eat anything that's bad. In most cases, if something doesn't taste good, it wouldn't be sold in the first place because that would be cruel and hopefully a black hole would instantly appear to whisk away the offensive product to a far off place where there's lots and lots of gravity. However, something was definitely wrong with this puff. The pastry was overly dry and tasteless and the cream was...well, if you can see from the photo, there wasn't much of it, it seemed too thin to qualify as cream puff filling, and it wasn't very flavorful. WHAT IS THIS MONSTROSITY? How could so many things have gone wrong? I looked up reviews for Puff & Pao and they've mainly been favorable. Did we go on a bad day? Did the crappy weather alter the puff's properties? Was it all a joke? APRIL FOOL'S, BUT IT AIN'T APRIL?! HUH?!

[Sigh] One puff will set you back $1.90, so I can't say I'm dying to try it again. Also, I'm not really a fan of cream puffs. If anyone else has been here, let me know what you think about the puffs or their other offerings. They were giving out samples of vegan chocolate cookies that tasted a little odd. Joe was reminded of cardboard, while I was reminded of a cookie I've had before, but not exactly. I could see the cardboard-ness of the cookie, but I once did try something that truly tasted like cardboard, a decision I could make at 10 years of age despite never having eaten cardboard before (10 years later, I'm still cardboard free!), and the cookie was far from that. I've definitely had better vegan cookies though. (For great vegan baked goods, check out Life Thyme. Some of their cakes are better than regular cakes for omnivores.)

We roamed around some more in the drizzle, stopping by Chocolate Bar and the recently closed Mary's Off Jane. Disappointingly, our stomachs called it a day; no more fooding. I couldn't eat much that night, but Joe went on a fooding spree that I won't reproduce here, as the list would make me queasy. (He way, way out-foods me. [hangs head in shame])

swapping time!
swapping time!

A few days before the sad puff came into my life, I received this package of primarily edible delights (you could eat the plush donut, but I wouldn't recommend it if you want your organs to function properly) from the lovely Heather. Ah! Cute things! Cute tasty things bursting with calories! All that stands in the way of my gluttony are thin plastic wrappers and willpower.

teddy bear peanut butter cookies
teddy bear peanut butter cookies

I ate the bag of Heather's homemade peanut butter cookies in record time. One day, there was a thriving teddy bear community; a few days later, they had been wiped out, made extinct by the Wrath of Robyn. It was written in the Teddy Bear Prophecy, but unfortunately, the teddy bears were illiterate. Ah. Well. The cookies were of the cakey/bready (that's a really bad description but I honestly don't know what to compare them to) variety, not very sweet, and weren't overly peanut buttery, but I think the subdued flavors just made them easier to eat. That, and the detachable body parts. "GONNA EAT YOUR ARM, MR. BEAR. HAR HAR HAR. *chomp*"

[You want to know something kind of disturbing? While I never play shooting games, I can go absolutely insane in an arcade, put in front of "House of the Dead". Thankfully, it's only happened twice, but both times I was in very odd form. "OH GOD, DIE *bam bam* AHH ZOMBIE...wait not the human...AHH ZOMBIE SEE YOU IN HELL *bam bam*" Conclusion: I like shooting zombies. ...Good lord, why am I telling you this?]

Yesterday in between classes, I hopped on the subway to Grand Central to check out Tokyo Festa with James. There should've been a warning: Things on Internet May Be Smaller Than They Appear. The event was a very small little "COME TO JAPAN, SILLY AMERICANS!!!" thingy where they had posters up and some people dressed up in a la cosplay in front of the Anime display. The food section consisted of a little food table with FAKE FOOD. Yeah, I love me some mouthwatering plastic as much as the next gal. I took a crapload of free pamphlets and maps to get the most of my free visit and perhaps something useful for when I go to Japan. However, by the time that opportunity comes along, Japan may be 50 years in the future, consisting floating islands and having mastered the science of teleportation (because that's how human civilization progresses, duuuh), possibly rendering my maps useless. Or maybe they'll build a New Japan to ease the population density and I can visit the perfectly preserved Old Japan, where everything will be made of plastic, but look highly realistic!

Oh. Um. Food. After roaming around the lower food concourse for a while, a woman holding a cone full of ice cream passed us.

"Oooh, I want ice cream. I know it's KNOW IT."

And after a while, we found Ciao Bella.

ice cream/gelato/yeah I know they're not the same but WHATEVER, OKAY

I've never had Ciao Bella before, despite that I've had the chance to get it at Grand Central and their Mott Street location before, AND that you can buy pints in a gazillion different store. While I'd usually try samples, I decided to be semi-spontaneous and go straight for the maple gingersnap and fresh mint with chocolate chip ($3.75 for 2 scoops).

mm, snack
mm, snaack

Damn, it was a good choice. On my first bite, I thougth, "...This is really good...why is it really good?" Because it's real mint! If you haven't had real mint ice cream, you're missing out terribly. Typical green-colored mint ice cream (or not always green-colored) doesn't compare to the "mm, like chewing on a wad of mint leaves" feeling that comes from eating anything infused with real mint. The only other time I've had real mint was at Il Laboratorio del Gelato. So delicious. Commence drooling. But this was also real mint! More drooling! The maple gingersnap was great, but the mint flavor really won me over. While I'd still prefer Il Laboratorio, whose texture is in my opinion richer and denser (sidenote: I've tried Cones and found it too fluffy to want to try again; did I make a wrong judgement?), Ciao Bella is also very good and more easily accessible.


James said I could blog this photo. I think. He's trying looking strange on purpose, although I don't think he looks as strange as he would've hoped. Instead, he just looks overly happy to be holding that cup. Darn it. The conclusion about the shake was that it was too liquidy. Double darn it! Liquidy milkshakes are totally not cool. Skip the milkshake.

it's yummy

I tried less hard at looking weird, but I usually look weird when I eat (and fatter, but luckily this photo hides the fat, mrahaha!). Look closely and you can see the burn on my arm sustained from my cooking class last semester. I've gotten a gazillion compliments on that t-shirt (whaddaya know; people love them drum-playing squirrels!), so I'll direct you to ferdinand where you can purchase your own bit of musically-inclined squirrel goodness (although they don't seem to have red shirts anymore).

table with stuff
counter with stuff made of soy

So. That was fun. Last night I had a "lets make stuff out of soy" cooking lab, which I could talk at length about, but rates low on the "worth talking about" scale. It wasn't bad--surprisingly, most of the food tasted good, like the mac and "cheese", but I'm too lazy to talk about it and...whatever, we don't need no fake things made of soy! One girl in the class was allergic to soy and had to miss out on the end-of-lab gorging/tasting. That was probably fort he best; I was so freakin' full. Hopefully I'll never be driven to eat that many dishes made with soy products again. (They were right there and we spent almost 2 hours preparing them; I had to eat them!)


mzn / February 9, 2006 12:17 AM

Bad cream puffs are a tragedy.

Fussy types disagree with me, but I think ice cream and gelato are not so different from one another. Hard to tell them apart in many instances. II would say that it's most accurate to call gelato a kind of ice cream. And I'm with you 100% on mint. Ice cream made with real mint is incredible.

Anne / February 9, 2006 10:24 AM


The chili you made for your soy cooking lab looks so good. Would you mind sending me the recipe if you get the chance?

Heather / February 9, 2006 11:20 AM

Hey Robyn girl,

Thanks for putting the pics on here, and OHMYGAWD THE CREAM PUFFS!!! looks sinfully good! Hope you enjoy the rest of stuff in the box!

Jacob / February 9, 2006 2:47 PM

intresting, the puffs especially. Do you believe they are a full puff pastry? Or maybe it's a danish pastry? Rather curious especially because they add the cream upon serving (something our bakery has trouble with; our front staff are quite limited with what they can do). Well, the concept sounds awesome - maybe you did go on a bad day rob. Plastic in the afterlife

roboppy / February 9, 2006 7:31 PM

mzn: Bad [most foods] are a tragedy! :( My tastebuds! THE HORROOOR.

My assumption is that I haven't had reeaaally good gelato, or maybe really good ice cream is close to gelato? I DON'T KNOW. Gelato as a type of ice cream sounds good to me (like how a square is a type of rectangle!

Once I had a real mint truffle. That was good. Fake mint goo makes me gaggy.

Anne: The chili is so easy to make (and I just ate some for dinner, hehe). Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 tsp soybean oil (or any veg oil)
1 (15 oz) can white soybeans (or any other bean)
1 (15 oz) can black soybeans (...or not)
1 (15 oz) can red beans (oo, generic beans!)
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chili powder

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook onions until soft. Drain and rince three beans and add to onions. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Yields 9 cups (6 servings); it's a LOT.

Ani: You mean the ice cream? Or the puffs. Ice cream = good! Puffs = not so good.

Heather: Nooo, the cream puff was sad! Sadness! Prevailed! It sinned, not in the good way!

Jacob: Was it a full puff pastry? Not sure what you mean exactly, but it was definitely more like a puff pastry than a danish, just one with a not so pleasing texture or taste. Beard Papa's, the main cream puff chain here (I think they're taking over the world) also fills the puffs upon serving. Bakeries that don't solely specialize in cream puffs usually have them pre-filled, I think.

James Mullan / February 10, 2006 5:30 PM

That is an absolutely adorable picture of you.

I, however, look sleep deprived, my hair is messed up, and I think one of my eyes might be lazy after seeing that picture. :)

roboppy / February 10, 2006 10:00 PM

foodcrazee: Not fat...yet. Ye know it's coming. ;D Anyhoo, I'm fat compared to my family and friends, so there's definiteyl something funky there. Of course, I eat more than most of them,'s not surprising.


James: You took the photo; be proud!

Haha, sleep deprived...dude, I'm sleep deprived! Unless you give me ice cream, in which case I just light up. Aren't you napping enough? :D

Tokyo / February 14, 2006 10:08 PM

You didn't try the Pao's? Those looked more up my savory alley. But who am I kidding? I'd never expect you to opt for such nonesense when sweets were an option.

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