Friday, February 23, 2018

Divine Treasures Valentine's Day 2018

Had a special treat for Valentine's Day this year: chocolates from Divine Treasures!

In addition to the above assortment, which we'll get back to, were other wonderful treats that I'm still enjoying because I'm trying not to overdo it (for example, please see previous V-day posts).

The first thing I dug into was one of these Hettie the Hedgehogs. Filled with coconut cream and almonds, these are basically the most delicious coconut/almond/dark chocolate candy bars, but, because they're hedgehog-shaped, they're infinitely superior to any non-hedgehog shaped candy bar. Absolutely DELICIOUS and the proportion of chocolate to yummy filling was perfection. i have a special affinity for hedgies because 89 loves 'em (plush versions). *edited to ad that you can't tell how cute the hedgie is in this pic because if I open another one, I will immediately stuff it in my pie hole.

Then I opened the assortment, which was wrapped quite nicely (bag not included).

Even better, though, was the fact that there was a chocolate key inside! You know: the little chart that tells you exactly which chocolates are which flavors; I love that.

But the BEST part about getting an assortment like this is that dogs can't eat chocolate, so... NO SHARING NECESSARY! Sorry, nerd.


The first thing I devoured ate was the non-pareils. Lucky for me, there was another box full of them lurking in my V-day package, so there were many to fall back on.


The rest of the flavors were truly an assortment. I've done you the favor of rating them one through eight, with 1 being best (obviously). I'm hoping this information will be very helpful to my chocolate benefactors when buying me more chocolate you.

Here's some specifics to back up my ratings:
  1. mello bar: vegan marshmallow, crisp rice and chocolate. WOW. Who doesn't want what basically amounts to a chewy, marshmallowy krackel bar?
  2. non-pareils: chocolate covered in naturally dyed organic sprinkles. First of all, you get two in this slot, so that's a major bonus. Secondly, when I was a kid, the Russell Stover assortment my dad got me annually had one slot that was filled with two candies and we called those the dog biscuits and I would get fed them under the table. TRUE STORY. Last, I love sprinkles, so the non-pareils are always a winner.
  3. peanut butter melt: organic peanut butter and chocolate. I mean, obviously. The peanut butter in this was subtle, which somehow made it fancier. It also really did melt in my mouth, which was kind of awesome.
  4. hazelnut praline: Enough said, right? Agreed.
  5. caramel with sea salt: caramel with himalayan pink salt. Super soft caramel with a medium coating of chocolate and a dusting of salt.
  6. toffee bark: ground toffee mixed in our chocolate. I expected to like this one much more than I did. The toffee just had all of the stick-to-your-teethedness with not as much toffee flavor as I would have liked.
  7. woodford reserve bourbon with pecans: OOF; this was STRONG! I actually had to take a bite, eat a different candy, and then come back to this one. I swear there was a whole pecan (yay!) in there and probably a full shot of bourbon (oof).
  8. strawberry margarita: tequila & sea salt. I'm going to be honest with you; I did not even try this one. I'm not super into fruit in chocolate AND I hate margaritas; they taste like when you get ocean water up your nose. VM ate it and immediately confirmed, "you wouldn't have liked it."

Other than my chocolate, 89 got a pink stuffed lamb to devour and flowers.

I got flowers too. Beautiful. Not edible.

When's the next chocolate-appropriate gift-giving holiday?
In the meantime, you can check out 89's insta for the rest of her valentine's outfits and assorted shenanigans.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Jajaja Mexicana

The stars finally aligned and I found myself at the door to Jajaja- right at the top of the F train stairs, 5 minutes before opening on a weekend morning.


But, I'm getting ahead of myself with this picture.

The interior is bright and adorable; kitschy and inviting.

There's bar seating, tables, and a couple of booths.

During our meal, we were attended to by a number of servers and staff: all were professional, knowledgeable, and helpful with great personalities.

When the two of us attempted to order the large nachos, our initial server explained to us, completely without judgement, that we might want to add 2-4 additional people to our party if we were going to attempt to finish that serving size and all of the other things we wanted to try. Noted and appreciated!

These nachos: "our chorizo, fermented black beans, turmeric queso fundido, spicy vegetable relish, sour cream, and added guacamole" were exquisite. I'm not usually a fan of "meaty" nachos, but the chorizo crumbles (suspiciously reminiscent of those in the by Chloe taco salad) were ideally proportioned to all of the other toppings which, in turn, were perfectly proportioned to the chips, as well as throughout the dish. All that and nary a mushy chip anywhere within the bowl. So very well done; I don't know how you could come to Jajaja and not order these. *edited to add: if you really like heat, you should DEFINITELY eat the two dried peppers that my friend dismissed as garnish.

if there has to be cilantro in the universe, at least this was easily removable!

It was early and we'd decided not to do cocktails, which was fine- except for that they all looked so great as they were delivered around us from the bar. Instead, I chose the almond milk horchata, which came out looking uber festive with a rim of coconut, square ice cubes (I'm a sucker for square ice cubes), and a floral paper straw. Truly a creamy, non-alcoholic indulgence.

To ensure we'd have enough room for dessert, we decided to share the pupusas: two corn tortillas stuffed with beans, cashew cotija, serranos, topped with sour cream, shiitake bacon, romaine lettuce. The fresh toppings paired with the rich pupusas and umami mushroom bacon lent itself to a wholly decadent dish.

Blah, blah, blah; it was finally time for dessert! There was no question we were ordering the churritos with coconut dulce de leche and they far exceeded my expectations.

First of all, how cute are they: served in their own little, branded baggie? The churros were thick, crisp, perfection and the dulce de leche sauce was divine. Totally Superb.

As if all that wasn't enough, the restroom...IS PINK! I was so enamored by it upon entry that I actually stopped in my tracks, causing the employee who entered behind me to kindly excuse my mindlessness by saying, "I know; it's a lot to take in."

Jajaja hit all the right notes of atmosphere, service, food, drink and extra details; the only thing that seemed to be missing was pretense and I much prefer friendliness.

Highly recommend visiting soon and often. They don't take reservations, so you too may find yourself waiting for the doors to open 5 minutes before time. Enjoy!