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Life in DFW

My life as a wife and mom in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and all things fun about it!

Filtering by Tag: dallas eats

Garlic Knots, $3 Wines, Pizzas - It's Girls Night at Russo's

Debora Manusama

Delicious pizzas made of fresh ingredients, warm garlic knots, creamy tiramisu - I had a great time with my girlfriends at Russo's in Richardson, TX. Read along, leave a comment, and get a chance to win a $25 gift card!

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Best Macarons in DFW So Far

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

As you could probably tell, I have this undying passion for sweets and desserts. I think most of the things I learn to cook/bake and spend money on are sweets. Now I don't like sodas and pop tarts, I'm not into artificial sugars. I'm into real desserts with good quality ingredients that are worth spending money on. Among all of the famous desserts out there, I consider macarons as the Vogue of desserts -- pretty, elegant, and delicate.



You don't eat them for comfort on daily basis. They're not cookies that you can just bake in 20 minutes. Made of ground almonds, sugar and egg whites, macarons require a special skill to make that you don't just develop overnight. Oh talk about the flavoring! It takes creativity and imagination to come up with the ones that work!

This post is to celebrate some of the best macarons I've tasted in DFW so far. So here it goes! 

Let's start with Chocolate Secrets

Ignore the bad reviews you might see online. And don't be intimidated by the $$$ label on google. It's really not that expensive (unless you're getting the specialty chocolate boxes), especially the macarons. For under $3, you get a good size of pretty macarons with crisp shells and gooey center that are uniquely flavored!

When I go out and try macarons, I try to stir clear from the basic flavours like Pistachio and chocolate, because they pretty much taste similar in one patisserie and another. So I'd usually go for the unique ones, like my favorite flavours here at Chocolate Secrets, Raspberry Vodka and the seasonal Popcorn macarons (the white one at the top) that they had a few months ago. The Green Apple one on the bottom is also good, and if you still want something boozy, try the Mojito macarons. What I also love about this place is that it's very kid-friendly. In fact, kids get 1 chocolate (any chocolate of their choice!) for FREE every day. They have buy 1 get 1 macaron promo, weekly Jazz nights, and sets of board games and what-not that you can play with. It's a great place to hangout for hours even with kids.

Next, my new favorite place, JOY macarons. I've actually tried some of their macarons in January, when I went to Davis St espresso. But I must've had the wrong ones because they didn't impress me. Today however, I had some of the yummiest macarons ever there!


I'm talking about Pear and Basil Macaron Ice Cream sammy here! Oh my lord was that good! The other one that stood out for me was the Lavender & Honey macaron (the purple one at the bottom). You can actually taste both ingredients in one bite! The seasonal Pumpkin macaron is also really good, with all of the pumpkin spice and cinnamony taste. I would like to try the Rose and Lychee one next time! Anyhow, JOY is not really a place for hanging out with your kiddo. It's actually more of a grab-and-go place for you to get a quick sugar fix and leave.



Ah, kids don't even care though. As long as you give them those ice cream sambas, they'd be happy ;) The best part is : the macarons are only $2 each and the ice cream sambas are $6 ! So worth it!


You can also get some merch like these tumblers right here and some temporary tattoos by Tattly (like the ones they sell at Met Ice Cream in Fort Worth).


Now what about the other famous patisserie like uptown's Bisous Bisous? Hmm...I honestly think it doesn't come close to these two places I just wrote about. The flavours are not as unique as JOY or Chocolate Secrets (the most 'unusual' one is probably the PB & J, but it doesn't work as magically good as popcorn or honey-lavender).

This was my favourite from Bisous Bisous and it was their 4th of July special : Mixed berry and cream cheese. The usuals are pretty standard, so I don't get why it's on the Best of Big D. But hey, if you want to check the place out, click here :) It's still a cute place to take photos. For more reviews follow my dineline here :)

Monkey King : Asian Noodles Made Hip

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Mr. Man loves noodles! He loves them like I love cupcakes and nutella. Whether you put in a bowl of soup or pan fry it with eggs and veggies, he digs them! And in this sweater weather (yeay, finally some chills in Texan air!!), he wants nothing more than a bowl of good noodle soup. So we went online in search for the best noodle place in Dallas-Fort Worth area, to where we found various reviews of this Deep Ellum joint popping on yelp, Dallas Observer, and D Magazine. And last Friday night, we decided to give Monkey King Noodle Company a try. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The place is open for dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (11 a.m. - 2 p.m. for lunch), so we got there at about 5.55 p.m. Just in time, because we later figured out that if we came a little later, more people were going to show up and make a long line. So, yeay.

Anyways, First impression, wow. Cool place. Unlike the typical Asian restaurants (with nearly no decoration, white walls, and often wrong spelling of English words on site), this place had 'hip' and 'young' written all over it.

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Their concept is simple : providing a good Northern Chinese street food experience. Since it offers noodle as a street food, you will find no indoor seating area and no waiters running around trying to take your order. You come, you get in the line in front the "order here" window, you pay, and you wait for your food to be served on disposable containers, and you can either eat them at the patio upstairs, or on the 3 street-side tables provided downstairs.

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And the price of the menu ranges only from $7 to $9.

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Hey, you can even order some Pocky! too! hahaa...to those of you who are not familiar with it, it's a Japanese chocolate-covered stick snack. I used to eat lots of them when I was a kid (a fat one haha). What also brought back the memory of home was this 1,000 Indonesian Rupiah bill we found inside of the tip jar on the cashier window.

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Who did this? Must be a visiting Indonesian :) Anyways, another awesome stuff that reminded us of home is this "noodle hand-pulling show" you get to see here when you wait for your food.

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The noodle is called LaMian (hand-pulled) or in Indonesia, they call it Mie Tarik. It's quite thick and chewy. Now the only thing that would go well with it is some yummy soup!

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I ordered the Dan Dan Pork Noodle (on the left) and Mr. Man got the Hot Spicy Beef Noodle (on the right). He asked for 'extra spicy' (of course, like he always does). But his expectation was a little too high, and he ended up getting disappointed. "This is not spicy at all," he said. Well, for a man who adds up to 2 tablespoons of hot sauce into his meal on daily basis, and who's used to having chicken noodles made by Chinese-Indonesian back home, I can see why he was disappointed. But then I think no one cooks noodles the way  Chinese-Indonesians do. Even when we went to Hong Kong last year, we couldn't find any noodles that tasted nearly as 'good' (or maybe as familiar) as the ones we find at Indonesia's Chinatown a.k.a Kota & Mangga Besar.

It was a different story with my Dan Dan Pork Noodle, though. It was delicious! The wontons in chili sauce were also good. For the location, the price, and the taste, I think Monkey King is a fairly good place to have some noodle in downtown Dallas, especially in this kind of weather. If you expect a more 'authentic' taste, you might need to go to a more Asian-populated areas like Richardson, Carrollton, or Plano. But then again, those restaurants won't have the cool patio & the hip crowd hanging around it. Ha!