Category: Food

Food content from Leo Nelson

Ginger Milk Tea Recipe

I tweaked the ginger milk tea recipe from to suit my taste and convenience. Tastes as good as the last ginger milk tea I had.


  • 3 1/2 cups hot water
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger paste
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. Bring the water and ginger to a boil in a small pot. Once it is boiling, turn off the heat.
  2. Place the tea bags in and cover. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in half and half and sugar
  4. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large (6-cup) blender, discarding the ginger paste remnants
  5. Blend the mixture until foamy (use caution when blending hot liquids), then pour into mugs. Serve immediately.

Chima Steakhouse in Philadelphia

We went to Chima Steakhouse for the 2009 restaurant week in Philadelphia. Having visited Fogo de Chao last year, we were intentional about not eating a heavy lunch before going to Chima and I must say that this was a wise decision. The Chima Steakhouse is named after chimarrao, a traditional drink of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, that symbolizes hospitality and friendship. Legend has it, in South Brazil traditional gauchos (cowboys) would consume a diet that consisted almost entirely of beef. The meat was seasoned (rodizio), placed on skewers, and slow cooked over a wood burning flame. Historically, gauchos were known for their generosity and hospitality (Source: Chima Steakhouse)

This generosity and hospitality was clearly emphasized throughout the evening. From the salad bar, which had an extensive offering of soups, breads, cheeses, sea food and the regular stay away from green vegetables, to the side dishes to the meants. When you are done with your salad, you turn over your coaster from the red side to the orange side and various Gaúcho chefs come to your table to serve the highlight of the evening – meat. The meats are on skewers and are cut at your table and they’ll continue to come to your table as long as they see the orange coaster. With constants servings of sweet plantain and yucca, refills on Guarana Antarctica, we didn’t even attempt to find room for dessert. Overall, we had a great evening and Chima Steakhouse is definitely a Brazilian steakhouse that we’d recommend.

Sampling of the meats that were offered during our evening:


Thanh Son Tofu

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of tofu. However, earlier this weekend, I stopped by Thanh Son Tofu – one of the many stores in Eden Center, Falls Church’s Vietnamese center on Wilson Boulevard. The store has a number of puddings, mainly tapioca and soybean-based. We walked away with enough servings to last a couple of days. Highly recommend the jackfruit or tofu pudding.

If you decide to visit here’s their address:

Thanh Son Tofu
6793A Wilson Boulevard
Falls Church, Va.

Abbraccio Philadelphia

Earlier last week, The Coffee House of Friends were invited to an early birthday party for Mel. Since her parents were coming to town they decided to treat us to dinner at Abbraccio – an Italian restaurant located in West Philadelphia. It was quite funny to read that the name Abbraccio, the Italian word for “hug” or “embrace,” was chosen to reflect the partners’ fondness for the neighborhood in which they have lived for more than 25 years and most of all because the name also ensures that Abbraccio will be found towards the beginning of the restaurant listings in the Yellow Pages. Talk about product placement. I ended up getting Vitello Scalloppine Marsala which was essentially sauteed veal with mushrooms in a marsala sauce. The ambience in the restaurant and the great company more than made up for the tad bit of extra salt in my dish.

Either way, at the end of the evening, Mel’s parents shared two poems about our group. A poem that each of them had written earlier in the morning. I’m not sure about you, but when was the last time one of your friend’s parents wrote a poem on your circle of friends?

Mel’s Mom:

Some things are as special as special can be
Joy and laughter, times of glee
Hours spent lounging by the sea
Road tripping, sightseeing, naps at three
Biking, hiking, picnicking under a tree
Sharing thoughts over a cup of tea.

All these are made sweeter by the sharing
With those whose hearts are full of caring.
And so as parents to a daughter much loved
It makes us very happy to see
Melody has found harmony of heart of soul
With friends as lovely as all of thee…

Mel’s Dad:

There lives in Philly
A groupage of peeps
Diverse as from land and sea
And together they chill
At every weeks’ end
Known lovingly as: The Coffee House of Friends.
And I as a Dad
Of one of these few
Whose heart and whose soul love the Lord
Am grateful and am proud
That my little girl tends
To gather with her Coffee House of Friends.