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LOBSTER NIGHT

24/09/2009

I don’t see how I was unaware of this phenomenon for two years.

Olga tore me away from Siebel Center to go with her and Kellie to the most ridiculous thing ever: Lobster Night at the campus dining halls. The line didn’t quite wrap around the entire dorm but it was pushing it, and once we entered there were vast lines to be served said lobster one-by-one by a dining hall worker who enjoyed naming lobsters as he dished them out (I believe Olga’s was Inglourious Basterd, and I didn’t catch my lobster’s name).

Miraculously, the three of us found three adjacent spots at a table and sat down next to some baloons. We skipped the line where they rip your lobster apart for you, and despite having no special utensils Olga and I managed to destroy our lobsters with some success. Om nom nom indeed. Kellie watched, somewhat revolted, and commented on the dining staff dressed in lobster hats, a giant lobster suit, and a clam suit…

Here is my lobster. I didn’t name him, since server-boy failed to:
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This is what I did to the poor thing. Made him into the monolith from 2001.
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The dining hall was filled to roughly 3x the normal capacity. This meant we were very cozy with our neighbors, who we kept spraying in lobster. Messiest food ever. Luckily we were not the kid at the tray return who spilled lobster juice all over his foot. Bad night for flip flops. I do, however, regret having to use my iPhone during this meal. I’m sorry iPhone… I need to give you a bath now…

Olga went all-out on this meal. Her lobster enjoyed spooning with the corn.
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DAMN surreal.

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Bubble Tea in Mountain View: Verde Tea Lounge

29/06/2009

I swear not *everything* I do lately is tea. For example, on Friday we went out to dinner and to the beach. On Saturday, we spent all day at the beach. But tonight, we experienced some really good bubble tea.

Taken by Wit’s suggestion, we ventured to Mountain View, which has many good food venues, some of which are classier than others. Dinner was consumed at a Mongolian BBQ place which was okay, like Flat Top but more low-key and fewer sauce choices (good for indecisive people like me).

After dinner we got bubble tea at Verde Tea Espresso Bar which held the magical bubble tea. At 10pm on a Sunday night it was crowded, but despite the hefty line, the bubble tea was served with amazing speed. Very impressed. Good ambience. They had all the flavors on the menu (as far as we could tell) and didn’t glare you down when you ordered something from there, unlike certain bubble tea places in Chambana…

Also, my sesame bubble tea was some of the best I’ve ever had. Bubbles were just right, and sesame, well, how can you go wrong?

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We got the following flavors which apparently all turned out good:
• Strawberry – Tastes like strawberries (amazing!)
• Green Bean – no, not like the vegetable. Kind of like red bean (a sweet bean, with the skins still on) but green.
• Rose Green Tea – beautiful and tasted like you were eating a flower. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but Bhargav seemed to enjoy it.
• Sesame – pure heaven on ice + tapioca balls.

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Chillin’ at the bar. Or counter. Whatever.
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Another successful tea journey in the San Francisco Bay area!

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Teacrawl in Santa Cruz

26/06/2009

So two years into college, we’ve gotten the whole barcrawl thing down. Some random Tuesday, we all wear matching shirts, 1 bar per hour until closing time. Yeah, yeah, yeah, old news.

But last night, I embarked on a new kind of nighttime journey: the teacrawl. Same principle of course, but replace the bars with cafes, the bartenders with baristas.

Bhargav and Mukund made their way down from San Jose, just to check the whole Santa Cruz thing out I ‘spose. Unfortunately, I realized yesterday that my roommate Sarah and I had a Yoga class to attend that night. Luckily, Bhargav rolled with it and partook in some free yoga, and Mukund requested that we drop him off at the Santa Cruz hangout, Cafe Pergolesi.

An hour and a half later, we were stretched out, in our zone, and ready for the teacrawl.

After reuniting with Mukund, we made our way to Pacific Thai, since we had intended to find bubble/boba tea (depending on what you call it). They make you choose a tea base (green or black) and choose iced or blended (whether they just put ice in, or they make it more smoothie-like with the ice blended in). The flavors were fine, but nothing special I’d say — we tried Jasmine, which was good, Avocado, which was subtle, and Thai iced tea, which was exactly what you would expect — thai iced tea with boba (go figure). Delightful boba though. Not too big, chewy, or icy.

Here is Mukund eagerly anticipating what his avocado boba tea will taste like, as Bhargav swoops in:
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But Pacific Thai wasn’t much of a hangout. So we crawled. Downtown SC.

Clock tower:
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Building at the end of Pacific, the main downtown street. No, Jamba Juice is NOT part of any teacrawl.
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Then we walked by every cafe on Pacific, and checked how late they were open. This was at 9:30pm. Almost all of them closed at 10. This is simply not acceptable! I’m usually offended that Espresso closes at MIDNIGHT! Come on now, cafes.

So, after passing up several other options due to early closing times, including Bad Ass Coffee, which I went to with Joey on my very first day in SC, we decided to head back to Cafe Pergolesi, where Mukund had spent some time.

And thus the sugar explosion began.
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A hot chai, a mint papaya tea, an iced chai, and cookies, flavored roughly as chocolate/coconut/some kinda nut, “Mexican Mocha”, and chocolate/peanut butter/some kind of nut… I don’t know. It was a pretty epic order, and made me feel like we had some assembly to program in the middle of the night or something.
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This place is pretty cool. Too cool for school. Too cool for us, probably. Some foreign hip-hop was playing the entire time. And very, very Santa Cruz. The chalkboard back there says, “dude, I know this is Santa Cruz, but please, no dope smokin’ on the patio. Thanks”
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Cafe Pergolesi is too cool to have standardized seating. Bhargav’s chair was about four feet below our table. Which is okay I guess, if you have chai to worship.
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This chai was friggin’ AMAZING. It was the most spiced chai I’ve ever had — left your throat all tingly! And just the right amount of foam. Yummmm to the max.
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Bhargav summons the power of the iced chai, which was kind of too milky and not as intense as my SPICY CHAI of wonder and amazement.
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After another hour of chilling, our favorite barista said we had to leave so he could go kill zombies, and thus ended the epic June ’09 Santa Cruz Teacrawl.

This must be repeated.

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