Browsing Tag

food

trader-joes-faves
In the Kitchen

My Favorite Items From Trader Joe’s

I recently polled you guys on Instagram about what kind of content you wanted to see and this idea was a HUGE hit! I know that I’m always curious about what goods everyone else is finding – so of course I should share my own, duh. Trader Joe’s is one of my go to places to grocery shop – it’s affordable, nearby.. and a cult favorite for a reason! While I find that I can’t do my full weekly shopping there, I like to visit about once every other week to stock up. I’m going to organize this post into different categories such as staples in the produce section and seasonal finds – that way you guys can take away from it whatever you wish! Continue Reading

local-eats-delray-beach
South Florida Foodies

Eat Local: Delray Beach

I just adore little local restaurants that put their all into serving the best quality possible with every ounce of passion and love they have. I’d choose that over a corporate chain ANY day. The first of my “Eating Local” series puts a spotlight on Delray Beach because it’s my favorite – I love the Ave. My list has been curated over the many years I’ve eaten in Delray Beach, with some newbies and veterans all mixed in and categorized by which meal of the day I crave them.

Breakfast + Brunch

Max’s Harvest // 169 NE 2nd Ave.

Nestled down in Pineapple Grove, away from the hustle + bustle of the main strip, Max’s Harvest has my favorite brunch (& dinner, just sayin’!) just about anywhere in South Florida.  Chef Eric Baker clearly knows his way around the kitchen because his flavors are so on point. The menu changes from time-to-time, leaving me with that element of surprise that I can’t get enough of. Right now from their current menu (aside from their awesome Mimosa & Bloody Mary situation) I’m loving the Deviled Hen Eggs with truffle sea salt & chives, the Grilled Salami Benedict (an english muffin topped with sunny side hen eggs from Farmer Jay, whole grain mustard, braised collard greens, & roasted tomato hollandaise), and OF COURSE, the donuts! The donut flavor changes every week and I think that’s just amazing.

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Subculture Coffee // 123 E Atlantic Ave.

When I need a quick pick-me-up, Subculture Coffee is where I’m heading. New to Atlantic Avenue, Subculture started their roasting roots in West Palm Beach. I’ve tried quite a few items at Subculture, but I must say that my favorites are the good old iced coffee, the latte with almond milk, and then Alchemy Juice Co.’s (which they stock in their cooler) Stinger shot & Amazeballs – my favorite little snack combination! Their little patio is the perfect place to sip + snack.

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Park Tavern // 32 SE 2nd Ave.

I really enjoy Park Tavern for dinner too, but brunch always wins. Anywhere that serves pork belly for breakfast steals my heart. Park Tavern changes their menu often also, but right now I’m loving their Bahn Mi Hash, consisting of sweet chile pork belly, potatoes, shishito peppers, avocado, and fried eggs alongside Texas toast. I don’t understand why restaurants serve pork belly that isn’t crispy – Park Tavern does it right. As always, don’t skip the donuts – it would be a sin!

best-brunch-delray-beach

Lunch + Such

Rack’s Fish House + Oyster Bar // 5 SE 2nd Ave.

When I want a light (and not overly caloric) lunch, I think of Rack’s. I actually think this is the best Rack’s location, although I haven’t tried Fat Rooster yet (gasp!). I always walk into Rack’s Fish House + Oyster Bar wanting the Conch Ceviche with red onion, aji amarillo, & sweet potato, so that’s usually what I’m ordering – alongside a crisp glass of white wine.

delray-beach-local-foodie

Shaffer’s Tea Room // 14 S Swinton Ave.

Tucked away and pretty obscure from even the most seasoned Delray veteran, Shaffer’s Tea Room is truly a ‘hidden’ gem! After seeing this spot pop up on my Instagram and Facebook feeds from time to time, I knew I had to check it out since it seemed like my cup of tea (see what I did there?). Shaffer’s is located in what appears to be a colorfully decorated house right off Swinton Ave, less than a block south of Atlantic. When you walk in, you can’t help but feel like you’ve entered the pages of Alice in Wonderland. Brightly hued furniture is situated around a ‘living room’ set up, with a bar where you can order in the back (they also have some lite bites and some delicious looking baked goods!). With over 100 teas to choose from, the decision isn’t easy – but luckily you can mix and match the flavors and types of tea to get the perfect concoction customized just for you! One of my favorite combinations is the Happy Buddha mixed with the Renew over a little bit of ice – a not-too-sweet tropical flavor that helps refresh & renew you from the inside out. When the weather cools off a bit, I can’t wait to sit back & relax with a book and another Shaffer’s creation on their patio!

tea-room-delray-beach

Dinner + Drinks

3rd + 3rd // 301 NE 3rd Ave.

I really can’t say enough amazing things about 3rd & 3rd Delray – it’s just one of those spots that you NEED to try for yourself if you haven’t already. Chef Jessie Steele changes the menu every day – YES, EVERY SINGLE DAY! And his innovative menu hits the mark every time, which I can imagine is no easy task! The atmosphere is typical Delray hangout-ish (just makin’ up words over here!) – a little dark and mysterious inside, with a big wrap-around bar. They have a stage at one end for live music (if you’re into that) and some of the friendliest staff I’ve come across – our bartender remembered my name (Anika is a tough one to remember!) and it’s the little details like that that make a difference. On our table for the night was the Warm Veggie Jar which was served with grilled bread (I’m really obsessed with grilled bread!), the Steak and Farro ‘Fried Rice’ that was served with a delicious miso cashew butter, and the Local Grouper with sweet potato baba ghanoush and grilled zucchini – HOLY MOLY. This was one of the best meals I had had in a long while. I’ve been daydreaming of that fried rice ever since.

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The Grove // 187 NE 2nd Ave.

The Grove is on my list because I have a thing for restaurants that really incorporate seasonality into their menu – and then make it incredible. First of all, I think The Grove is so visually appealing – it sometimes doesn’t even look like Florida. The entire atmosphere just feels “intimate.” Of course their menu changes due to the changing of the seasons and their locally curated ingredients, so it’s hard to recommend specific dishes, but their pasta creations are fresh scrumptious perfection (if they have the Brioche Crusted Chicken, get that too!). Their dishes are special – not your typical everyday menu, and that’s what I love. If you have a sweet tooth  like me, order the monkey bread – it’s heavenly, sticky, delicious, and the perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

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Brulé Bistro // 200 NE 2nd Ave. #108

Brulé Bistro is a local favorite and a long-standing front runner of mine. Situated in Pineapple Grove, Brulé is off the beaten path, but never not full of happy winers & diners! Brulé is open for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, with seating both inside and outside and an awesome menu that’ll leave you wanting to try one of everything. This is one of those spots that perfect for date night or GNO (hello cocktail menu!). Some of my favorites are the Seared Tuna Poke with basil oil and toasted macadamias, the Prince Edward Island Mussels with red curry, & the Seared Diver Scallops topped with a fried quail egg. Find an adventurous friend and share a bunch of dishes – that way you can try a little of everything!

delray-beach-favorite-restaurants

Delray Beach has such a well-rounded food scene, gone are the days where you HAD to drive an hour to Miami for a decent meal. Stayed tuned as I continue my “Eat Local” series, who knows where I’ll end up next! Now that you’ve had a chance to read about my local favorites – what are some of yours?

C H E E R S // M + M

 

foodies-guide-to-nola
Travel

Noshing in NOLA

If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, you’ll understand when I say that it’s not just a location, but truly a way of life. Bursting at its seams with a cultural past, bright and whimsical architecture, harmonious jazz at every corner, and of course some of the country’s (maybe even the world’s!) best dishes, New Orleans is a must for all of your bucket lists. ‘The Big Easy’ is eclectic, vibrant, and almost never silent – making it one of the least boring places I’ve ever visited. Follow along for my foodie guide of New Orleans…

Breakfast + Brunch

District Donuts, Sliders, & Brew // 2209 Magazine Street

If you know me at all, even if it’s just from my Instagram page, you know donuts are my jam. No matter where I am in the world, I WILL find the best donut that location has to offer. In New Orleans, that title goes hands-down to District. Not only are their donuts absolutely delicious, but their flavors change every single day – and who doesn’t love that element of surprise?! If you’re feeling savory, try some of their other breakfast items – I had a pork belly breakfast taco that was ahhh-maze-ing.

After you’re done chowing down your donuts (yes plural because you won’t be able to choose just one), walk, browse, & shop along Magazine Street. Home to some of the cutest boutiques and antique shops all clustered conveniently together, you won’t want to miss it.

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Atchafalaya // 901 Louisiana Avenue

if you’re looking for more of a brunchy (that’s a word, isn’t it?) atmosphere, head to Atchafalaya. While it’s definitely a cab ride away from the French Quarter, it’s worth it just to get away from the chaos for a little bit – especially for a great meal. Their brunch menu is full of Louisiana inspired items, but most have their own interesting twist. I would highly recommend the ‘Duck Hash,’ which consists of poached eggs, duck confit, blackberries, & mango, smothered in hollandaise & bacon vinaigrette (what’s a diet?). Savory & sweet – the perfect combination. Don’t skip the coffee –  it’s GOOD.

atchafalaya-new-orleans-brunch

Lunch

Killer Po’Boys  // 811 Conti Street {Erin Rose Bar}

You will get lost finding this place. Don’t give up. It is worth every mile walked, every corner turned, every frustrating feeling you have towards your iPhone map. Killer Po’Boys is such a MUST when visiting New Orleans, I can’t reiterate that enough. It’s location is strange – in the wayyy back of a bar in a small square dark room. Their menu is small and consists only of about five different po’boy sandwiches. I had the Seared Gulf Shrimp Po’Boy and I wish I would’ve savored every bite a little bit longer. It was served banh mi style and the flavors were so on point. This place should be on every foodie’s list!

killer-po-boys-new-orleans

Acme Oyster House // 724 Iberville Street

Normally I don’t recommend overly-touristy spots, because well, they usually suck to be honest. But when you have a hankering for oysters in a city that’s really well known for their oysters, you just have to go for it. Acme Oyster House proved my theory wrong! Despite the line out front, the oysters were phenom. And fresh. They’re known for their chargrilled oysters, but I had to go for the steamed and chilled – it was super hot outside. Go for either, or both.

acme-oyster-house-new-orleans

Dinner

August // 301 Tchoupitoulas Street

This was one of the best meals I’ve EVER had. John Besh has quite the reputation in New Orleans, and for very good reason – his food is to die for. Restaurant August is situated on a street that I still can’t quite pronounce, outside of the hustle & bustle of the quarter. Definitely make a reservation in advance because I would hate to see you miss it. August offers a degustation menu (with optional wine pairing) or you can order a la carte. I wasn’t starving, so we ordered off the menu. What to order, you ask?

  • Start with the salad of brûléed goat cheese and strawberry and prepare to be mesmerized. It’s crazy to think that just a salad can mesmerize you, but trust me and you’ll see.
  • For your next course, order the handmade potato gnocchi tossed with blue crab and black truffle – what couldn’t be amazing about that?
  • As your main dish, go for the Wagyu hangar steak with sesame, kimchi, & cured yard egg – WOW, just wow.
  • As stuffed as you are, you better save a teensy bit of room for dessert – the lemon soufflé. You’re welcome.

The pictures don’t do August justice – it’s very romantic and dark inside!

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Cochon // 930 Tchoupitoulas Street

Cochon was recommended to me by so many people when I said I was visiting New Orleans, that I knew I had to go or I would regret it. Cochon has an awesome vibe, and a menu to match. Their cocktail menu is pretty enticing – I would recommend imbibing in the ‘hey, jack’ (chinaco tequila, pama liqueur, jalapeno, tarragon, lime juice, & ginger beer) or a bourbon flight if you’re feeling adventurous. Speaking of adventurous, this is where we decided to go all out and try some interesting flavors and textures we’re not used to.

  • We started with the fried alligator with chili garlic mayonnaise. If you’ve never tried alligator,  there might not be a better place to try it. Alligator has the texture of calamari and the flavor of chicken, a very cool combination!
  • Next up – the mixed green salad with fried cheese, hard boiled egg & pickled radish. Pickled anything usually sells me.
  • For the main course, the rabbit & dumplings won the vote. This dish is served similar to a pot-pie of sorts – stewy, hot, and topped with biscuit-y goodness. Southern comfort in all its glory.

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We decided to keep the night going with some true New Orleans pralines from the French Quarter. I may have taken a bunch home, and they may all be gone now – just saying!

new-orleans-pralines

New Orleans has it all – incredible food, interesting people, & a lot to explore. It isn’t all raging drunken fools throwing beads on Bourbon Street (although that is GREAT people watching) – it’s so much more. I hope one day you enjoy New Orleans as much as I did! Cheers!

 

 

downtown-atlanta-skyline
Travel

Georgia on My Mind: Atlanta

Last weekend I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia and was blown away by its beauty (Atlanta goes from city to woodsy in a heartbeat!) and mostly by the utter fact that i didn’t have a single bad, or even mediocre, meal! Georgia is a new foodie favorite for me and I’m excited to share my Atlanta hall of fame with you. Continue Reading

Travel

New York City

New York City is the ConcrEAT Jungle.

The city that never sleeps is what foodie dreams are made of.  Any type of food you could ever possibly imagine is available in the ‘Big Apple.’ From Soho to Midtown and through the villages, you can pretty much find anything you want, anytime of the day.  Next time you’re in NYC, add the following five foodie havens to your list. Be sure to come with an empty stomach and a full wallet – and don’t blame me if you leave with the opposite!

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Travel

The Epcot International Food + Wine [+ Waiting in Line!] Festival

Let’s just be honest here.. Epcot is Disney World for grown-ups.

When I was a kid, a trip to Epcot was almost as bad as a trip to the pediatrician. I much preferred the bewitchment of the Magic Kingdom and the retro streets of the park formerly known as MGM, even though I was too small for the best rides.  Epcot was just “too boring” and “too educational” to have fun for my seven-year old self.
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Travel

Whirlwind Through the Windy City

Chicago in a day. A nearly impossible task. With some determination and a big appetite, I made it happen.

Since time was of the essence, location was key. The Park Hyatt Chicago on the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave.) was our home for the weekend and I couldn’t have asked for more.  Perfection! The view was everything. Our room was large with a bench at the window that overlooked the city and Lake Michigan.  And any hotel that offers mid-day snacks and water, tea, and coffee is good in my book!
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