Exploring coffee shops: 85°C Bakery Café

85C-CupertinoI was craving a mid-day pick me up, so I popped by 85°C Bakery Café in San Jose around 1:30 last Friday. I pulled up to a gigantic building, expecting a small coffee shop — I didn’t realize it was a chain. I didn’t do too much research on it, I simply found it on Yelp. 85°C Bakery Café isn’t your typical chilled out coffee spot. This coffee & cake bakery means business, and the customers know it. Flowing in and out constantly with multiple drinks in hand and large brown boxes of goodies.

Vanilla-Latte-85C-BakeryPer usual, I placed my order and got a vanilla latte. So while waiting for that I grabbed the last table and waited for my drink to be made.

Looking-other-way

85C-coffee-bakery

85-CupertinpThe ambiance of this spot is like being in a cafeteria. The building itself is nice and clean, but the place has an echo, it’s incredibly busy and loud with customers talking. Not the place to come and quietly drink your coffee in peace, especially with the staff yelling out peoples orders like at Starbucks, but instead “Guest number 449 please!” I guess that’s what I get for heading out to a popular bakery and café during lunch time on a weekday. At one point the place seemed a little less busy, so I decided to count the number of customers in the shop (because what else am I supposed to do when people watching by myself at a coffee shop?), and there were 43 people and it felt empty. Hoo wee! So imagine how large the spot really is.

85-Bakery

Walnut-Raisin-Multigrain

Green-tea-rolls

Bakery-and-pastries

Big-ol-latteThere were 7 tables for seating, all but one table was taken which was later snagged after I placed my order. First sip of the latte and I already said I’d be back (in my head – ha!). The whipped foam on top was great, but not the place to go for a fancy latte art, not that it really means much. It’s just to impress the customers a bit. Quite a bit of latte for the money, since I paid $3.50 for it. Which in practice is a dollar less than any of the other spots around, and I felt like I received a larger portion than usual.

I noticed the customers ordering snazzy looking drinks, many of them being bubble tea (I’m not a fan of tapioca in drinks), but some of them had real chopped up peaches in them. Many of the people were there for the cakes and pastries. Every couple of people walked out with a large box of them.

I’ll be back for sure but next time instead of hanging around the noisy spot, I’ll take it to go.

85°C Bakery Café

1183 South De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

 

Continue Reading

Bay Area Buddies

Bay-Area-BuddiesA number of years ago I posted about a couple of my favourite blog reads, today I’m doing the same. Starting 2015 off on the right foot, I decided to read less blogs, clear out my feedly RSS feed and focus on less quantity, more quality. Know what I’m gettin’ at here? I want to dive into the new year being a better friend, whether it be online or in person. I’m horrible at leaving blog comments, and I usually scroll through a lot of blogs I read without truly reading them.

I’ve put together a list of my blog friends from the San Francisco Bay Area that I’ve met and thoroughly enjoyed their company, had good laughs with, and cannot wait to spend more time with in 2015. Hope you enjoy their blogs as much as I do!

TeamWikingJessica | Team Wiking: to her gorgeous photography to her impeccable style, Jessica is someone who I look up to, not only in the online world, but also offline. I’ve known Jessica online for 10+ years until a few years ago we had the chance to meet in person one weekend when we planned a girls trip to San Diego. Never once did I think I’d be moving to her country 3 years later, let alone her neighbourhood! I mean, we’re kind of walking distance from one another (I drive there #GotACarWhyNotUseIt), and I love just heading over there just to hang out. Because really, her house is just as gorgeous in person, too.

CarlaCarla | Alyssa & Carla: Carla is the person I run up and squeal to whenever I see her. Carla and her best friend Alyssa run a blog together from their weekly updates to their creative DIY’s. Carla lives here in the Bay Area but her best bud Alyssa lives in Japan! I love it.

MontgomeryFestAnnie | Montgomeryfest: After reading Annie’s blog for a few months and missing each other at blog meet up’s, we finally met last month at an event. I admire Annie because she is a creative individual who pumps out incredible content on her blog. I love just heading over there and oggling at her photographer and styling.

A-side-of-sweetKelly | A Side of Sweet: Kelly is someone I truly admire, she has to be one of the most friendliest person I’ve met. One thing I cannot get over is how much of a go-getter she is, especially considering she runs her blog full time, and she is a full time pediatrician.

a-lady-goes-westAshley | A Lady Goes West: Is also new to the California area as she and her husband relocated from Florida, so we’re all pretty new here. I enjoy when she blogs about the restaurants she goes to, and adventures she goes on since I still want to take my husband out to new-to-us places. Ashley is not only a healthy living lifestyle blogger but she’s also a personal trainer. I always stop by her blog to get ideas on workouts she’s come up with.

Pink-on-the-cheekLauren | Pink on the Cheek: Lauren’s blog is full of ways to grow your blog with tons of tutorials, or ideas on how to get out of a blog rut. This year I plan on takin’ Lauren out to the rock climbing gym and go for a climb, or for me to join her at a CrossFit WOD. I want to hang out with her more often!

Snixy-KitchenSarah | Snixy Kitchen: I think I need to drive over to Sarah’s house and get her to teach me her ways. As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t really have a knack for coming up with recipes on my own, and throwing in whatever ingredients I have laying around and have it come out amazing. I feel like Sarah can whip up the most intricate meals without looking into a recipe book. It’s crazy, and I love it.

Continue Reading

Date night in Cupertino

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and BJ’s Restaurants, but all my opinions are my own. #DineInOrderAhead #pmedia  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

When we first moved to California (it’s like I’m a natural here now, being here for all of five months), my friend Jessica, as I’ve stated before was a Godsend to me and my little family. She took me around Silicon Valley, showing me the sites, and basically showed me the ropes on how to get around the cities.

Not only that, I’m glad that we live close to one another — I’m talking walking distance. Except I never walk to her house, always drive ;)

BJs Restaurant CupertinoOne point, we were coming back from browsing around at a few stores and stopped into BJ’s restaurant and Brewhouse in Cupertino, where we ordered a quick lunch. I enjoyed the meal last time I was there, so I decided to have a little date night supper with my husband.

Rather than the usual dinner and a movie, we opted for a 3.6 mile run before supper, then quickly stopped by the mall to pick up my wedding rings as they were finally back from getting resized. So our bellies were empty, grumbling and ready for some grub.

It wasn’t just any date night supper, it was our first time ordering food on our smart phone’s, and paying the same way! I’m telling ya, technology these days have come a long way in the last 2-3 years. It’s crazy to think of.

We used the BJ’s Restaurants Mobile App (found on any iPhone/Android) to use the Dine In Order Ahead to choose our food and beverages, with options to customize your order. For instance, since I chose a regular favourite of mine, a grilled chicken sandwich I could easily use the drop down menu on the app to select any additional or ingredients I didn’t want on the sandwich.

The overall process for the app was incredibly user-friendly and easy to use, especially for first-time users. I still can’t get over something like this exists, I love it.

Once we arrived to the restaurant, I checked in with the hostess and let them know we made reservations and ordered online. She quickly found our name, and guided us to a booth. Can I just say how much I love booths, and not only that, a booth fit for two? Hanging out at BJs restaurantAny time I eat out, I always request to sit in one.

Our waiter was punctual and came over to us with our drinks after we sat down, mentioning that our food would be out in ten minutes. We sat and chatted about our day, while watching the World Cup soccer game that was on the TV at the restaurant. Anyone else keeping track of the games? It’s one sport I enjoy watching on TV, since I played for more than half my life. I actually get the sport as opposed to being completely oblivious to it.

….and there it was.BJs Grilled Chicken Club sandwichI got a good feed of grilled chicken club sandwich with avocado and bacon with a garlic mayo and crispy fries with a pepsi. Mmm.

Half pound burgerMy husband ordered a half pound burger called Brewhouse Double Deluxe with wedge fries, and water.

Got our foodI love heading out for a meal with my husband. We rarely eat out, primarily because we’re such clean eaters at home. But I have to remind him it’s okay to indulge once in a while. Plus, it gives me a much needed break from cooking in the kitchen. ;)

The server we had was great and efficient. He joked to us that “they” are trying to get rid of servers, but not all is lost in the waiter-industry! Servers are definitely still needed in the restaurants to check in on how things are going with our food, refilling drinks and simply the social interaction between the customer and the worker. I mean, looking at a menu at a restaurant takes up valuable time, where as if you order ahead of time, that’s more customers coming and going out of your restaurant. More bellies filled, more tips for him.

PizookieThe Guy’s dessert finally came out at the end. As we were ordering online, I asked him to get something I knew I wouldn’t like, because I didn’t want any. Out came the peanut butter cookie (the size of a small pizza, hence “pizookie”) — and I dislike anything peanut butter. My hand is there for size reference. It was topped with a vanilla and a chocolate scoop of ice cream drizzled with oreo cream around it. As soon as I saw it, my mouth started watering. I definitely had a few spoonfuls of the toppings. It was tremendous.

The young server we had was so friendly to us, and did a great job, so of course we tipped him well using the Mobile Pay app on my husbands Android phone. He said it was also quick and easy to use. We received the O-K from our server that everything went through fine, and we were on our merry way. It felt so much easier than waiting on a server to grab the wireless paying device, give them the credit/debit card, walking back and fourth with the card. This was a much faster process, which I’m pleased with.

I have to say, the ordering online via mobile app, would be sufficient if you know what type of food is already on the menu and have an idea of what you’re craving. Especially if you’ve spent a long day at the beach, are already on the road. Whip open that application on your phone, and order away. It’s also pretty great if you have younger children and need to eat and run in a hurry for fear of them having a fit.

If there’s one around you I encourage you to try out the BJ’s Restaurant Mobile App available for iPhone and Android.

Cupertino BJs RestaurantBJ’s Restaurant, Cupertino

http://www.bjsbrewhouse.com/

10690 N. De Anza Blvd. Cupertino, CA 95014
T: 408.865.6970

Facebook /// Twitter /// Instagram /// Google+

Continue Reading