REVIEW: Hilltoss’ vs. South Block’s Avocado Toast

Finally, we’re back on (or new to) the Hilltop! So, of course, trying The Corp’s new avocado toast was a top priority for 4E. How will it compare to South Block’s infamous avocado toast? Here are some quick facts:

Price:

The Hilltoss: $6.25 ($4.75 for plain avocado toast; +$1.50 for goat cheese!)
South Block: $5.50

Though I ended up paying more at Hilltoss, I ended up getting more product and additional goat cheese!! If I hadn’t gotten the cheese (which you should), Hilltoss would be the way to go for cheaper toast.

Aesthetics:

We all know how important pictures are because the gram is important. So here are some photos for you to take a look  yourself and decide which takes the trophy!

The Hilltoss:

South Block:

Availability:

Finally. The Hilltoss is open. Beyond the glass doors was my avocado toast.

The Hilltoss: Unfortunately, the avocado toast is only available for breakfast (8:30AM – 12PM). But it’s a far shorter walk than South Block.

South Block: 0.7mi/14min walk from front gates (Google Maps).
Avocado toast  is available during all store hours:
-Weekdays: 8am-7pm
-Saturday: 9am-5pm
-Sunday: 10am-5pm

Taste:

The Hilltoss: Sadly, when I went to taste, the toaster wasn’t working- BUT JOKES ON THEM because I like my bread soft and ~emotional~. The goat cheese was definitely a good addition. But the salt added on the avocado/seasoning was just a little too much with the saltiness already present from the cheese. But that may also be because I have the sensitive palate of a grandma. All in all, 9/10.

South Block: It didn’t meet the expectations I had for South Block. The avocado tasted kind of..eggy? There was way too much salt. Way more than Hilltoss’ avocado toast. Nothing special about it at all. Stick to acai bowls, South Block. All in all, 5/10.

Final Decision:

DRUM ROLL PLEASE…..

The Hilltoss!!

There you have it. Not too shabby, Corp. Not too shabby.

Stay tuned for more foodie reviews from 4E!!

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, tumblr.com

Acai Bowls at Hilltoss!

acai3This week 4E decided to taste the Corp’s newest offering: Acai bowls at Hilltoss.

Pronounced ah-sah-ee, the acai berry is a superfood from Brazil. Available in the US mostly in a puree form, these berries contain antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats.

The Hilltoss blends up the organic acai with guarana and banana to form the base of the bowls, which are then finished with two sets of toppings.

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Ponta Negra, $6.99
Toppings: vanilla almond granola, blackberries, banana, pomegranate seeds, shredded coconut

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Catalina Island, $7.99
Toppings: vanilla almond granola, banana, blueberries, raspberries, chia seeds

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Additional toppings can be added, including agave nectar, hemp hearts and bee pollen.

The acai base has the texture of a dilute smoothie and the taste of sweet wild berries.
All of the ingredients were clearly fresh, and the granola added a much-needed crunch. The pomegranate seeds and blueberries offered an important sour contrast to the sweet acai in their respective bowls.

The two bowls, while both delicious, are very similar. The only problem we encountered was they did take a little while to prepare, as they are design intensive. So if you don’t have at least 10 minutes, you should change your food order.

The bowls are very reasonably priced considering the amount of food – these could easily be a big breakfast or a light lunch (both 4E tasters put half their bowls in the fridge for later).

Ratings:
Taste – 5/5
Presentation – 5/5 (these things are beautiful!)
Options – 4/5
Service – 4/5
Price – 5/5
Size – 5/5

Overall the bowls were great and you should definitely check them out at Hilltoss, located in the Healey Family Student Center.

Photo: sunshinesmoothie.com

Big Announcement: The Hilltoss Now Has Smoothies

 

smoothiesEveryone’s favorite on-campus hipster salad storefront has gotten even better, healthier and more colorful. Hilltoss now sells smoothies, and they are rad.

Each smoothie was built upon a concept and designed to represent a place in the world. The smoothies were carefully crafted by a diligent team of taste testers, striving to create new and different flavor combinations to produce the best smoothie possible.

4E, in our quest for truth and research, was given the opportunity to sample the five new and innovative fruit concoctions now available for purchase.

Here’s a rundown of the flavors:

The Rock

giphyIngredients: oat milk, Greek yogurt, banana, spinach, coconut sugar and vanilla whey protein

The Rock is based on a classic protein shake, but the ingredient combination gives it a sweet, vanilla milkshakey flavor.
Who should order it: Are you looking to get yoked? Do you look like this every time you go to Yates?
funny gifs With 40 grams of protein, The Rock is the smoothie for you.
Obscure ingredient fact: Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the flowers of coconut trees.

Eloise
Eloise
Ingredients: almond milk, coconut water, orange juice, Greek yogurt, banana, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, agave and flaxseed

The Eloise was the most smoothie-like smoothie of all the samples. It tasted like your classic strawberry banana smoothie.
Who should order it: Order the Eloise if you like to stick to the basics.
Obscure ingredient fact: Flaxseed was grown in Babylon as early as 3000, and Charlemagne passed laws requiring his subjects to eat it.

Ipanema
giphy-1 Ingredients: coconut milk, coconut water, Greek yogurt, coconut meat, pineapple and agave

The Ipanema tasted like a piña colada (minus the alcohol and regrettable decisions). If you love coconut, get the Ipanema.
Who should order it: If you chug coconut juice like there’s no tomorrow and have daydreams about the beach, the Ipanema is for you.
Obscure ingredient fact: Coconuts were named by Portuguese sailors who thought the three holes on the coconut looked like a face. “Coco” means “grinning face.”

Ashram
giphy-2 Ingredients: orange juice, pineapples, strawberries, wheatgrass, goji powder, spirulina and emergen-c

The Ashram was my personal favorite. Despite the dark green color, which suggests scary vegetables, the Ashram was very refreshing. It also has emergen-c to get you through your winter stuffy-nose blues.
Who should order it: If you’re looking to cure your cold or just want to promote your health-conscious image while drinking a fantastic smoothie, the Ashram is for you.
Obscure ingredient fact: Spirulina is the culprit for the dark green color. It’s a cyanobacteria that comes from fresh water lake moss.

Central Perk
giphy-3 Ingredients: coffee, chocolate almond milk, almond milk, banana, dates, cacao powder, cinnamon and coconut sugar.

The Central Perk is a game changer for everyone who loves their Starbucks frappuccinos. It has a strong cinnamon flavor, and was similar to a coffee milkshake.
Who should order it: If you love coffee and can’t get enough of your non-fat caramel frappuccino with extra whipped cream and chocolate sauce, give the Central Perk a try. Also, who among us is strong enough to resist Friends references?
Obscure ingredient fact: Contrary to popular belief, almond milk is not made by milking almonds.

The remnants of the Ashram, Eloise, The Rock, Ipanema, and Central Perk
The remnants of the Ashram, Eloise, The Rock, Ipanema, and Central Perk

In conclusion, spend all your money on smoothies at the Hilltoss. You will not regret it.

Photos/Gifs: giphy, gifbin.com, tumblr.com, hercampus.com

Hilltoss Menu Preview

Hilltoss copy

The Corp’s new salad storefront in the Healey Family Student Center, Hilltoss, opens tomorrow. Ahead of the grand opening, we were able to get a sneak preview of their salads. The restaurant lets you create your own salad or choose from one of eight menu options. Here’s what to expect from each of these eight “Signature Salads.”

AlmalfiCoastAmalfi Coast ($8.50)

Arugula/romaine, cherry tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, quinoa, salt, pepper, oregano, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil

The Almalfi Coast salad is probably the simplest on the menu, with a plain base of romaine, arugula and quinoa and only tomatoes, mozzarella and chicken as toppings. The salad is reminiscent of a Caprese salad and is nice and light for if you’re not feeling too hungry.

BrutusBrutus ($8.75)

Kale/mesclun, cherry tomatoes, lemon pepper chicken, parmesan, croutons, lemon squeeze and asiago peppercorn dressing

The Brutus is definitely for the cheese lovers amongst us with both parmesan and an asiago-based dressing. The one we tried was a little heavy on the lemon squeeze, throwing off the salad’s balance, but was still good. This is a reliable salad and is one of the more filling options on the menu.

JayGatsbyJay Gatsby ($8)

Spinach, strawberries, avocado, goat cheese, walnuts, lemon squeeze and blush wine vinaigrette

Our personal favorite, the Jay Gatsby salad, combines the sweetness of strawberries with a slight hint of sourness from the lemon squeeze and the tanginess of the dressing. The salad is very summery and is light but still filling. Our guess is that this salad will be the Hilltoss’ most popular offering.

LibertyCobbLiberty Cobb ($9.75)

Mesclun/romaine, cherry tomatoes, avocado, hard-boiled egg, bacon, lemon-pepper chicken, bleu cheese, Italian vinaigrette

A classic Cobb salad, the Liberty Cobb is exactly what you’d expect it to be and one of the more solid, dependable choices on the menu. The flavors worked well together and with the egg, bacon and chicken, the salad packs a protein punch. The large chunks of avocado add some extra flavor and creaminess to the bowl.

FarEastMovementFar East Movement ($9)

Kale/mesclun, oranges, sesame seeds, green onions, ginger-spiced tofu, garlic broccoli, red cabbage and ginger mandarin dressing

Hilltoss’ version of an Asian salad, the Far East Movement, combines savory greens and dressing with the sweetness of oranges. While the flavors of the oranges and various vegetables can be a bit conflicting at times, overall they combine favorably. Our only other complaint about this salad is the sometimes overwhelming amount of greens in the one we tried, which overpowered some of the other, more delicate ingredients like the broccoli.

PanthanonParthenon ($10)

Romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, mint, feta cheese, hummus and rosemary garlic dressing

A twist on the classic Greek salad, the Parthenon has everything you’d expect: tomatoes, olives and feta. In addition to these staples of the Greek salad, the Hilltoss’ version includes some good quality hummus and an unexpected dressing, which somewhat surprisingly works. Overall, the salad is a good option on their menu and shouldn’t be ignored in favor of some of the more imaginative creations.

TaosTaos ($10.75)

Kale/romaine, cherry tomatoes, corn, red onion, black beans, avocado, lemon-pepper chicken, tortilla chips, cilantro and spicy chipotle dressing

If you’re craving a Chipotle bowl but don’t want to walk to M Street or eat that many calories, the Taos may be the salad for you. The Southwest-inspired salad offers a lot of the same ingredients as your favorite burrito joint with beans, avocado, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and chicken, topped with a chipotle dressing. The abundance of beans and chicken made the salad a very filling option, while still not getting overly heavy.

WaldenWalden ($11)

Quinoa, arugula, yellow pepper, cranberries, roasted sweet potato, goat cheese, lemon-pepper chicken and creamy balsamic

The Walden is a good fall salad option, perfect for these days as the temperature drops and the sun’s out less and less. The creamy dressing mixes well with the smooth sweet potato and goat cheese, and the dried cranberries provide a sweet and tangy addition to each bite. The yellow pepper seemed the most out of place in the salad but actually worked in the end, adding a bit of sweetness to the mix.

Photos: Michelle Xu/The Hoya