Dinner and a Game

Waterloo is one of those places where the population dictates what’s available. And the staples of the Waterloo diet is food (generally either free or Asian food), late nights, proximity to campus, and entertainment. Crossroads fulfills all of the above criteria.

Back in my first year at Waterloo, I went to Crossroads’ opening night. I still hold on to the stamp card from that night with pride. But over the years, Crossroads evolved. It went from just having appetizers and a menu written on paper to being a full fledged cafe.

Here’s your guide to crossroads.

First, check in on Facebook. If you look at the front page of the menu, they’ll give you a free scoop of ice cream if you do. Be sure to claim it.

Next, a few food reccomendations for vegetarians (as I am one).

First, they have a specifically veggie sandwich. It’s stuffed with veggies, cheese, and jalapeno aioli. Not a fan of spice? That’s fine. There’s also the regular grilled cheese or the tomato grilled cheese. The sandwiches come with chips (all dressed or regular) or a salad (in case you feel like being healthy. I didn’t. Lol.) and your choice of ketchup or chipotle. I personally love their chipotle. It’s both sweet and spicy, to just the right degree (in my opinion).

Not there to eat a full meal? That’s fine too. They have a bunch of appetizers and snacks. For a sweet tooth, try their candy bowl.

They can make it peanut free, or you can choose to add peanut m&ms. It’s the same price. Just do what works best for your playing group.

If you’re feeling more savoury, I reccomend their spinach dip and hummus platter and samosas.

Their cold spinach dip is great, and if not everyone in your group is feeling the dip, there’s roasted pepper hummus too. Choose whichever and split it amongst the group. You may or may not order more, prewarning.

As for the samosas, they come with a sweet yet spicy sauce, which you can choose if you’d like to try on your own. I personally reccomend it.

Next, let’s move to drinks. Their milkshakes are good, but let’s be honest. This is Waterloo, and they have bubble tea on their menu. Is it worth it? Yes. Bubble tea is always worth it.

They have jellies and tapioca. However it contains milk, so if you’re lactose intolerant, see what they can do for you before ordering.

And if you need caffination, my friend gave their approval for the hot drinks.

All in all, there is plenty to Crossroads, including good food with a side of games. 😉

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Aloe Drinks, My Newest Addiction!

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As with many first years, coming to university changed me in several ways. I made new friends, had new experiences but most importantly, I discovered aloe drinks. It all started when one of my friends suggested that I had one. To be honest, I wasn’t too keen on trying it since it didn’t seem very appetizing but eventually they convinced me and my life was changed forever. At one point, I was having like 3 of these a day. I also knew that I wasn’t the only one addicted to this aloe drink since the cafeteria at REV would run out of aloe drinks within a few days of them being restocked. Every time I noticed that they restocked the drink, I needed to buy like five and horde them.

But what really is this aloe drink and most importantly what does it taste like? Well, the brand that I drink is from a company called Koya and it comes in three flavours: regular, mango and pomegranate. If you’re going to try this drink, just go with the regular flavour as the other ones aren’t as good. The drink itself is just the right level of sweetness but what makes this interesting is that it has crushed aloe vera in it. It might look a little off-putting, but that’s what sets this drink apart from the rest. Overall, I would highly recommend trying it if you’ve never had an aloe drink before.
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If you’re still not convinced, maybe you will be after you hear about the health benefits it has. We’ve all seen numerous health products that have aloe vera in it used for a variety of things. That being said, aloe vera juice similarly has health benefits such as improving immunity and skin health. Even the caption for this aloe brand is “the nature’s drink”. All things considered, at the end of the day it’s still a soft drink that’s loaded with sugar, so it’s probably not the best idea to have too many of them, but having one every now and then might even give you some health benefits.

As of right now, I get my supply of aloe from the REV and V1 cafeterias, but most Asian supermarkets will carry some brand of it. Also, as aloe drinks become more popular, larger grocery stores will start to carry them. Over reading week, I even discovered that the FreshCo right by my house carries a few different brands of aloe drinks.

So, the next time you see an aloe drink try it, I really think they’re worth it!

The Waterloo Chinese Bakery Hunt

I’ve been trying to find an Asian bakery near the UWaterloo campus for a long time. Back home in Calgary, my parents and I drove to T&T for groceries every weekend, and I would always buy some delicious buns from their bakery. Unfortunately, or fortunately for my health depending on how you look at it, Asian bakery options are not as abundant here. I recently came back to Waterloo after being away for a while, and imagine my pleasant surprise when I found that there is a new Asian bakery right on Philip.

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O My Bakery is located a short walk away from campus at Blair House. This bakery sells a diverse variety of pastries, ranging from sweet to savoury. I think the buns are very fairly priced: most items I tried are about $1.50 per bun after tax. My personal favourites are the pineapple buns (if I have to choose, I’d go with the ones with custard filling), the black bean bun, and the egg tarts.

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The egg tarts here might be my favourite egg tarts ever. The crust is the perfect texture and the filling satisfies my sweet tooth without going overboard. I’ve also tried the green tea bun, swiss rolls, cream cheese buns, and custard buns: basically all sorts of buns. Personally, I would recommend most of them except for the green tea bun, which sounds good in theory but it does not taste like real green tea at all. I haven’t ventured into trying the savoury buns yet, but I’ve heard good things about the pork buns.

The drinks menu is filled with the usual items such as milk tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. The drinks all come in hot and cold; hot versions are around two dollars while cold drinks are more expensive. I have tried the Hong Kong milk tea, which was decent for the price. I’ve also tried the bakery’s soy milk a few times and it tastes freshly made, which is a huge plus.

Disclaimer: I wrote a bit about the attached restaurant, iNoodle. Unfortunately one of the workers at O My Bakery just told me that all of the food on the menu will be eliminated soon.

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O My Bakery is half-bakery, half-restaurant. The other half is iNoodle, which serves noodles and some Chinese breakfast foods. My favourite dish is the sliced noodle with tomato and egg sauce. I’ve tried their beef noodle as well, but it lacked in beef and flavour. I’d like to try more breakfast foods options when I get the chance.

Side note: O My Bakery is open until 10 pm. If you’re looking for some late night snacks, a lot of the buns sell out by this time, so try to come earlier if you really have your heart set on those black bean buns.

O My Bakery is my favourite new addition in the UW plaza area. Make sure you give it a try, especially if you have a sweet tooth. I’ve heard good things about Hot Wheels Tea House too, that will be my next stop in my quest to find and eat delicious bakery items.

Dreaming of Bubble Tea

sweet-dreams-2October 29th, 2016

 

Yes that’s right. Midterm season is at its end and it’s time to reward yourself with what you like; a nice, cold (or hot), beautiful, creamy, smooth, nice –did I already say nice? – Cup of beverage at Sweet Dreams! While there, you may also purchase me a Moshi Moshi Matcha bubble tea –which is the green one down there- or the chocolate flavoured bubble tea –the brown one down there– as a gift. Wait what? Jokes aside, they have a large amount of drink combinations that could leave you spending hours and hours trying to finally figure out what you want but then end up not buying anything (which is exactly what I did once). You may end up wanting several drinks but then realize you are broke.

Perhaps you do not know but there are many other possible things to look at while standing in a long line waiting to order your beverage. You could: grab some hot food items like a Panini or a pack of 6 spring rolls or buy a large bowl of shaved ice or buy a piece of cake, all for a decent price; rent out some board games; purchase some socks for your girlfriend; and maybe even donate spare change for your PokĂ©mon Go team (yes Sweet Dreams is a hotspot). You should really try it out, but it’s really up to you. Really. Up. To. You. So you should go here. Now. OPEN 11AM-2AM ON WEEKDAYS, 12PM-2AM SATURDAYS,  & 12PM-12AM SUNDAYS! SWEET DREAMS IS YOUR GO-TO FOR BUBBLE TEA!sweet-dreams-4

Written by: Helen Chen

Here’s How You’ve Been Drinking Coffee Wrong All This Time

It is impossible to be a student at Waterloo and not develop a caffeine addiction. You’ve seen the queue for Tim Hortons, right?

However, despite the fact that all Canadians collectively buy 2.1 billion cups of coffee every year, a coffee expert informed me that most people don’t even know how to consume their caffeine properly.

But never fear caffeine addicts, I bring you the ultimate wisdom of Kyle, the President of the Coffee Lovers Club, so you never need to waste a perfectly good cup of French Vanilla again.

STEP ONE:

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Select your bean type. The stronger the better: be a full-bodied kind of drinker. Don’t add milk and sugar, that is for the weak.

STEP TWO:

Mmm, waft that bean
Mmm, waft that bean

Hold the mug under your nose and sniff. Use your hand to waft the smell towards you – you don’t want to miss any of that lovely coffee scent after all. That’s it, have a good old sniff.

STEP THREE:

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Take a small sip. Not a big old gulp to get those blood vessels open. Channel your inner Queen sipping her afternoon tea. You can do it.

STEP FOUR:

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Hold the coffee under your tongue a minute, as this will allow your body to really process the Tim’s. You will also look fab and have a great excuse not to talk to anyone for a few minutes.

STEP FIVE:

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Swallow, don’t spit. Look around condescendingly at everyone less educated than you just slurping away. Feel content that you’re better than them at life.

Easy, right?

If you want more top tips like this then head on over to a Coffee Lovers Club meeting and have a FREE cup of coffee. What other reason do you need to go?

By: Corrie Gold