red santa suit, green basil seeds

This past weekend was Helping Hand Home for Children's annual Motorcycle Toy Run, an event where hundreds of bikers fill a trailer full of toys and ride in a caravan to deliver them!

They then form an epic assembly line of sorts and begin passing toys from trailer down to the conference room where they are sorted, inventoried, and put away to be used for the kids all through the year.  If the bombardment of holiday music on the airwaves and lights thrown up right after Thanksgiving hasn't managed to get you into the Christmas spirit, an event like this certainly will! (I typically love the holiday season but definitely felt like it came on way too quickly this year, before I was ready.  But sure enough I left this event humming "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" lol)

After playing Santa's workshop, I left to do some scouting around for a foodie holiday gift guide I'm writing.  I found myself WAY north and hungry, with not much money to spend (read: payday couldn't come fast enough.)  That could only mean one thing: Baguette House

I absolutely love this modern little Vietnamese cafe in the Chinatown Center.  I decided to get something different than the grilled or barbecued pork I normally get.  I went for the pork meatballs.  Holy moly!! I don't know how I'll ever force myself to get anything different ever again!  Just. Delicious.  And for only $3!!  (Sorry no picture-- I was doing an eating-on-the-go-whilst-driving thing). 

I also discovered a couple other new things here (I've only had the bahn mi, though I always eye the cream puffs!)  I got their housemade basil seed drink, pictured above.  Yummo!!  I think these things are as easy as soaking in water, much like chia seeds.  I really need to pop over to the Asian grocery store and get some.  They are great for digestion and allegedly for losing weight too!

They also had some housemade Vietnamese jerky by the front counter (coated with large and plentiful chile seeds too-- be warned!)  A little pricier than I expected ($10 for a box), but I will be back for some one of these days!