Tag Archives: food review

The Doughbar Doughnuts

Last week REB and I indulged in a treat he had shipped to our house from The Dough Bar – protein doughnuts! As promised, here’s a quick review on them, what they are, how they tasted and overall thoughts!**

For those of you who don’t know what it is, The Dough Bar was started by a husband-and-wife team in California with a mission to provide a healthy alternative from traditional doughnuts and theirs are handmade, baked, lower in carbs and sugar and full of protein. It’s a great way for people to indulge in something sweet without straying from their fitness goals. They created this company, which will ship a box/pack of doughnuts right to your door.

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Orders are placed on a Thursday through their site, and then shipped on a Tuesday. And they sell out quick! It’s a pretty hot commodity I guess! REB placed the order the Thursday prior, they were shipped on a Tuesday and we received them on a Thursday; so about a week turn around time from order-to-door.

Upon arriving, the packaging was cute! I liked how they looked like homemade, hand packed boxes because they are. I also liked their little note card that explained their mission, how to eat them, store them and how to spread the word of the product and business.

My favorite thing is what they stood for: “We are excited and humbled to share our vision with you – which is defined by nutritious eating, active living, and giving back to others.” They find ways to give back to the community and charities. A portion of sales go towards a charity of their choosing for the month, like helping reduce childhood obesity or helping kids get up and moving. I really liked this about them!

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So now, onto the doughnuts! The doughnuts are in vacuum sealed plastic and the glazes that come with are in little plastic containers. REB ordered a dozen doughnuts in various packs/flavors:
• The Classic Variety Pack with 1 of each: Maple, Cake Batter, Chocolate and Vanilla
• A 4 Pack of Cookies & Creme
• A 4 pack of Vanilla Bourbon

We put half the doughnuts in the freezer to help keep them fresh since we knew we weren’t going to eat them all in that day. We placed them in the fridge to thaw overnight when we were ready to eat them the next day or whenever.

The concept to consume is pretty simple: remove doughnut from plastic, place on plate, warm in microwave for 10-15 seconds. Warm the glaze in the microwave for 5-8 seconds until melted/thinned out, drizzle over doughnut, add garnish if provided. E N J O Y !

We did find we had to warm the glaze up in batches of 3-4 seconds at a time since we didn’t want to melt the plastic container it came in, but other than that, the whole process is pretty fool-proof.

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Cookies & Creme with Oreo Crumble

Now, here’s the thing: you have to take these for what they are. These are not Krispy Kreme doughnuts, nor are they trying to be. You aren’t going to bite into it and taste something from your local bakery. However that said, these are not bad at all.

I will say that there are certain flavors I favored over others. For one thing, the chocolate did not remotely taste like chocolate or look like a chocolate glaze, which was a little bit of a disappointment. The vanilla bourbon and maple were probably my favorites – the glaze was more like an icing and tasted delicious! The doughnuts are pretty dough-y and can seem a little chewy, but again, you’re nuking them in the microwave and they’re baked, not fried.

Here’s the breakdown of Macros per doughnut on average (this includes the glaze):
Calories: 179
Carbs: 21-23g (depending on flavor/glaze)
Fat: 5g
Protein: 11g
Fiber: 2

Overall I am pleased with the product. It was a no-guilt treat for us. I know some of you might think “Well, if I’m going to treat myself, I’m going all out” and that’s totally fine! I’m not a big doughnut person to begin with, but these are something I can feel OK about eating every once in a while if I want that sweet treat or need something with protein post-lifting/working out a shake won’t cut it. They are a little expensive, but they are handmade, hand packaged and shipped from California. Plus, I really like their mission and the way they give back to the community, too! If you guys try them, let me know what you think!

What is your favorite doughnut flavor?

 

 **I was not compensated for providing this review. Nothing in this post was sponsored. The views and opinions are my own!

Jerusalem Garden

Every few days, REB and I have a date night. A lot of people do it, and we do too. It’s nice to be able to forget about work, other people, any thing else really and just focus on spending time together. I love when it happens all the time, though. OK enough gushy stuff.

We went to a place in downtown Ann Arbor called Jerusalem Garden. It’s located right off Liberty St. and is next to another favorite restaurant of mine, The Earthen Jar. We have never been to Jerusalem Garden and I was in the mood for some Middle Eastern food. There aren’t many places around here that have that kind of cuisine. I gave Palm Palace one chance and the place was the biggest disappointment, so we’ve never gone back. Though, I know my close friend B is all about that place.

Anyway, we loved Jerusalem Garden! It’s a quaint, little place that doesn’t seat a whole lot of people, but the prices are very reasonable and the portions are great. It reminded me of my favorite Middle Eastern place in East Lansing, Woody’s Oasis.

When you walk in you’re in the kitchen! You have the option of being seated (sign not pictured, but is to the right), or you can eat at the bar or order take out. If you go past that wooden post on the left, there are high-top tables if you choose to eat up front near the grill.

Should you choose to dine in (which I recommend), simply wait to be seated. You’ll be taken up three little steps and then into the back of the tiny building to the seating area. Bathrooms are located all the way in the back behind the curtain. There is additional seating outside, which is of course used during the warmer months.

As you can see from the prices, this place isn’t that bad at all. And, like many places in Ann Arbor, they have an entire section of vegetarian dishes. This place already was a winner for us!

We decided to get an appetizer and ordered the hommus served with warm pita. We also each got the lentil soup (which to me, is basically like eating dal straight up).

This portion was enormous! Granted, it was the large, but we didn’t expect it to be this much! Overall, it tasted really good. I could definitely taste the tahini and garlic. I wish it was a little more spice though. Fear not! They have hot sauce sitting right on the table. I had to add a few dashes of that into my soup. I love dal, but I need the heat.

I ordered the falafel sandwich with fattoush. I was in heaven. This was an amazing sandwich! It was warm, flavorful, fresh and seasoned so well. All the vegetables tasted fresh and crunchy and the hommus was an excellent condiment. I could only eat half since I was so full from everything else, but the other half came home with me to be eaten later. REB got the plain falafel sandwich, which he gave two thumbs up (and a big satisfying smile).

Overall, I give this place two very big thumbs up. The service was outstanding and our server was really friendly. The prices are more than reasonable. We got all that food for around $20. Not bad at all. Location can kind of stink, since it is downtown, so you either have to find street parking (unless that’s all for residents living on that street), or park in any of the parking garages in downtown Ann Arbor (which isn’t horribly priced for the amount of time we spent downtown after dinner).

Definitely give Jerusalem Garden a shot! I was really pleased with everything there and will most definitely make a trip back!

A Guide to Indian Food in A2

I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to Indian food (for obvious reasons). Like most people, I don’t always like to cook it, and sometimes enjoy going out and eating it at a restaurant. I’ve lived in Ann Arbor for over a year and am sad to say that the Indian restaurants here aren’t horrible, but also don’t “wow” me like other Indian restaurants I’ve been to in the state. It’s disappointing, really. I mean, the Indian community here in Ann Arbor is huge, and yes, they have quite a few Indian restaurants in the area. However, they just don’t really live up to what I expect out of an Indian restaurant.

  • The first place REB and I tried to eat at when we moved here was Shalimar on Main Street. The people who own Shalimar also own Bombay Grille in West Bloomfield Hills, which really should have been my first clue. Bombay Grille is TERRIBLE. I’ve never had such horrible service in my entire life. Waiting 15-20 minutes to be seated when the entire place is desolate, and then waiting another 15-20 minutes before even being served water is completely unacceptable to me. So I was a bit apprehensive when we decided to check out Shalimar. I can sadly say that the exact same thing happen to us yet again. Granted, it was a busy night so we had to wait a few minutes for a table – no big deal. We were sat by the window so we could look out onto Main Street and were also seated by the bar. So 15 minutes rolled by. Then 20 minutes, and we hadn’t been served water, any menus, nothing. I looked up and noticed all the servers (all students) hanging out by the bar talking to each other. Not one person noticed we weren’t being waited on. Finally, the BARTENDER (who was already busy caring for the people sitting at the bar) came up to us and said she’d take care of us and was incredibly nice and apologized over and over again. She even gave us free dessert since we were so unhappy with the service. The food overall was OK, but the place is entirely too over-priced for any one’s wallets – yuppy of Ann Arbor or not ($12-16). This can really add up if you get appetizers, mango lassis, a tandoori dish, etc. The service alone is the one reason I will not return to this restaurant and since then, have advised many people to do the same.
  • There was a place we checked out yesterday called Mahek Indian Cuisine on Washington. It’s located across from The Blue Nile, which is an Ethiopian restaurant. I was really looking forward to Mahek because it was a new place I’d never heard of. The smart thing was to check out their lunch buffet, because 1). it’s cheaper and 2). it gives you a good idea of what kinds of foods they serve on their menu. Yes, you can just look at a menu online, but seeing the food in person is what makes me think it’s appealing or not. The place is a good sized restaurant and not a lot of people were in there. We checked out the buffet before deciding to stay. The entire thing was made up of fried food passing off as curry. Ick. Last time I checked, deep fried cauliflower was not a curry my mom prepared in my house. It looked like General Tso’s Chicken if you were at a Chinese buffet. We ended up not staying.
  • REB and I were a bit nervous to try anything else, but kept our search going. We had found a place called SeaJoys, which was also on Main Street next to Sabor Latina Mexican Restaurant. This place was really good and owned by a family. The food came out in actual Corning-ware bowls and the servers and hosts were family members just dressed as if you were going to their home for dinner. It was the ultimate comfort food place and I found that extremely appealing. The food was priced very reasonably (between $7-10 per entree) and it was never over crowded. Unfortunately, the economy has forced the restaurateur to shut down and Seajoys is no more.
  • Our quest continued. I had once taken my coworkers (since some of them had never had Indian food before) to Raja Rani on Williams and Division. We went there for the lunch buffet (which by the way is the way to go when you’re trying Indian food for the first time) and I can’t really say I was impressed, but may be it was because we had gotten there in the middle-to-end of their buffet time. I wasn’t giving up on them though, because their service is really good and the atmosphere in the restaurant is really nice, clean and sophisticated. REB and I went back, but this time for dinner so we could order real entrees. We were pleased to see they had a Vegetarian Deal for Two, which included: two appetizers, two curries (of your choice), rice, naan, and dessert – all for $30. In case you didn’t already do the math – that’s a STEAL Everything was pretty good though we had asked for a high spice level and didn’t really receive it. But the service was really great. It can be a bit pricey ($10-15 entrees), but it’s worth a visit, though it’s not my first place of choice.
  • Another place to check out is Madras Masala on Maynard by the big Borders downtown. This place can be a bit iffy. Sometimes their buffet is spot-on and looks amazing, and other times (like yesterday) they’ll have a few Chinese dishes (?!?!?!) in their buffet. We’ve been there a few times for dinner though, and for the most part it’s pretty good. I think the main reason I like it, is because it caters to a lot of South Indians (which I am) so it’s really the place to go if you want dosa, vada, potato masala (for the dosa), etc. The atmosphere isn’t horrible either, but sometimes they rock out the Indian techno music, which in my opinion isn’t exactly dinner music. Some of the servers can be a bit flaky or frazzled if it gets too busy in there, but the food more than makes up for it. It has the right amount of spice and if you ask for something spicy, they’ll make it that way (with a warning to boot). It’s also located right next to the Maynard/Thompson parking garage, which makes walking to where you parked a cinch. The prices are on the high end ($10-15), but if you’re getting good food it’s worth it. I think the buffet is probably the best way to enjoy it though. One thing to keep in mind: when you leave, you end up smelling entirely of curry, which can be a bit overwhelming for some.
  • The final place I’ve been to is a small almost market-like place on 5th (off Liberty) called The Earthen Jar. It’s right next to Jerusalem Garden. This place is all vegetarian and also serves some curries that are vegan, so this is a plus for a lot of Ann Arbor residents. It’s basically a buffet-to-go type place. You pick up a carton, go through the buffet and fill it up and then pay by the pound ($4.99/pound). They have quite an assortment of food there, too. You can choose to eat there because they have tables set up, or you can leave and go back to your office or home. It’s a very small place, but the family that owns it is very nice and extremely helpful if you’re new to Indian cuisine. They offer other items, such as samosas and naan behind the counter, which they’ll warm up for you if you can wait a few minutes for them to do so. I filled up an entire to-go box, as did REB, and we couldn’t even come close to finishing everything. It didn’t look like we had a lot of stuff in there, but we did. You only grab 1-2 serving spoonfuls of different curries, and it ends up being enough to feed up to 3 people. Unreal. This is a place I definitely recommend, especially for people on the go.

So there you have it. I know there are some other places I’ll need to check out, but these are the ones I’ve been to so far. I don’t mean to come off sounding mean or like a you-know-what, but Indian food is something I know very well and make myself. If I want to go out and enjoy it without having to cook it, I want to go to a place that will prepare it the way I expect so I keep coming back. Overall, the places here in Ann Arbor aren’t quite as good as some of the places in Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and East Lansing. But the places here I DO enjoy going to, I have frequented back to and will continue to do so. So check them out and see how your experience goes!