Taking Back My Twenties

Posts Tagged "Restaurants"

Mystery Brewing + Mystery Risotto

Posted on Oct 7, 2012 | 6 comments

Man, I love fall weekends. Except when it’s freezing and rainy and there’s a leak in my bedroom! But really, I have no complaints about the weekend. Friday, I barely made it out of the house, but we ended up grabbing dinner at Six Plates wine bar. A friend of ours got a major job offer and invited us to celebrate with a bottle of champagne! Of course I didn’t have my camera because I didn’t know I was going to eat, but we ordered pretty much all the plates we enjoyed the last time I was at Six Plates.

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Saturday, after my usual spinning class and procrastinating going to the grocery store, Matt and I headed to Hillsborough to redeem a Living Social deal at Mystery Brewing Company. Being a big beer person, I am very proud that my little town opened a craft brewery and I was very excited to visit. There was a huge crowd there too.

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You really never know with a new brewery, but the beer was just my style – aka: thick, really flavorful, and high gravity. Mystery is a seasonal brewery, so they don’t have a flagship beer and are always making something new. Although, they do always brew a saison, one of my favorites! The owner, Erik, told us all about about their brewing process, and I think he said they made a saison yeast strain that has mutated into something totally unique. I don’t really know what that means, but I know I loooved the current saison, which was a rye beer called Evangeline.

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We tasted four beers (well not really tasted – we got hefty pours!!) and my other favorite was the stout. It was described as a Caribbean/summer stout and had hints of lemongrass!! The deal also included a growler, and although I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t get to pick which beer it was filled with, I’m pretty excited to drink it next weekend. It was a very fun activity for a Saturday – I can’t wait to visit again over Christmas break!
Matt and I hung out with my mom while we were in Hillsborough, and then decided to grab dinner in Chapel Hill, since were on that side of town. We ended up at the famous Crook’s Corner, a cute and classy bbq restaurant. Hunger hit hard after beers and a long wait for a table, so we immediately started with a plate of jalapeno cheddar hushpuppies. We easily cleaned this plate in about 7 minutes. Whoops.
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We also shared the pumpkin risotto with grilled okra,
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and the Carolina Sampler, with pulled pork, collard greens, pepper cornbread, and Hoppin’ John. The sampler was amazing and it was fun to try so many southern favorites. I wish I could say the same about the risotto. It was really creamy, but also really bland, and Matt and I wondered if they just forgot the seasoning? It was kinda like putting your spoon in a can of pumpkin that was not flavored with pumpkin pie spice. We still had a positive experience though!

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This morning, as I alluded to above, I was up at 6:30 because of rain dripping off the heating duct into my closet. Luckily, it didn’t seem to do much damage, as only a few sprinkles made it down to my clothes, but it sure kept me awake! I woke up around 9 feeling like a zombie and was pretty much unproductive for a majority of the day. I did manage a run, groceries, and laundry, so I guess it was pretty successful in the end. Nothing like a lazy, rainy Sunday.
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Denver: The Food

Posted on Aug 20, 2012 | 4 comments

EVERYTHING in Denver was delicious, thanks to recommendations from readers and friends. To those of you who recommended Snooze and Tag: I love you.

So, here’s a quick recap – Matt and I shared almost everything.

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Sugared hush puppies,

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crawfish, shrimp, & andouille etouffee,

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and a vegetarian chili relleno – all from Steubens.

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Blackened fish & celery root remoulade sandwich and root beer braised beef short rib – from Lou’s Food Bar.

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Taco sushi (ahi tuna, sushi rice, guac, and mango salsa in little shells) and seafood pot-stickers with Korean hot pepper butter,

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as well as a fresh summer vegetable sandwich – from Tag.

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The best meal of the trip goes to Rioja in cute Larimer square:

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Goat cheese biscuits,

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Thai scallops with lemongrass panna cotta, compressed pineapple, plantain tuile, coconut kaffir lime purée, and Thai red curry vinaigrette,
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Cardamom spiced Kurobuta pork belly with Madras curry scented garbanzo bean purée,
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crimson sea bass with heirloom tomato and crispy eggplant stack, olive tapenade, caper beurre blanc, tarragon Hawaiian hearts of palm, & avocado mousse,
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carrot “baklava” – crispy phyllo layers, raisin goat cheese mousse, currant coulis, & carrot marmalade,
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and beignets – sweet goat cheese and black mission fig filled pastries with ruby port wine reduction.
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And our final meal at the highly anticipated Snooze:

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a ‘brewmosa’ (OJ and New Belgium Trippell)

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and a flight of pancakes: a peanut butter cup pancake with powdered sugar, a pineapple upside down pancake with caramelized pineapple chunks & cinnamon butter, and a “coffee n donuts” pancake with maple icing & crushed pecans with a cup o’ espresso cream.

If that doesn’t make you salivate, I don’t know what will. And on that note, I’m gonna go work on my wedding body.

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Steamboat: The Food

Posted on Aug 17, 2012 | 4 comments

Well, we’ve been eating for 4 days and I’ve got lots to share with you.

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A big draw for us to vacation in Colorado was all the beer! I enjoyed a summer wheat beer from Odell and an amber from the Alaskan Brewing Co., while enjoying great view of the cute Yampa River. Happy hours seem to be big here and you can easily get a pint for $2!

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We stayed in a studio room at the Trailhead Lodge, which had a little kitchen, living room, and a nice balcony. Surprisingly, we actually found ourselves so content in our little room that we decided to eat in not one, but two nights! That’s so not like me, but I just found staying in to be more relaxing on this trip, especially since we could hit up happy hour and then come home and have a laid back evening.

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On our first night, we got a six pack of Moose Drool and ordered an amazing pizza that was packed with pineapple, bacon, jalapenos, chicken, ad bbq sauce. It was ridiculous.

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For lunch the next day, we checked out the highly recommended Creekside Cafe and it did not disappoint. I had an enormous falafel wrap and the famous green chile soup.

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And for dinner, we tried the Mahogany Ridge Brewery – brewpubs can be hit or miss and this one was a big hit. We tried all the beers and enjoyed the amber, rye, cherry ale, and brown the best.

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And my tuna with israeli couscous and chimichurri was excellent.

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For burger night, we picked up a bottle of wine and sipped it out on our balcony.

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And then we went down to the giant fireplace! Temps were in the 50′s at night and the warmth was much needed.

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Matt took care of the meat and made great blue cheese burgers.
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Fudge from the candy store was for dessert!

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Mmmmm. Peanut butter cup and salted caramel!

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The highlight of our dining experiences in Steamboat was Cafe Diva. I read Trip Advisor reviews when choosing most of the restaurants and found them to be very accurate for Steamboat.

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Warm focaccia started the meal, and I even tried one of the green olives!

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Matt and I shared the pork belly lettuce wraps with peanut sauce – phenomenal!

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I loved my entree because it was soo unique.

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It was a huge Asian sesame and lentil cake in a curry coconut broth with black rice salad and pickled watermelon rind. The whole dish was bursting with flavor and I really loved the texture of the cake with the black rice.

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I tried some of Matt’s Elk and liked it too!!

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Yesterday was our last day in Steamboat, and I really didn’t want to leave without trying the famous giant cinnamon roll. Oh my goodness, it exceeded expectations! The icing was a mix between cream cheese and buttercream, so it was basically like eating cake for breakfast.

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Of course, I balanced the roll with this awesome trifecta salad for lunch – quinoa and peach, sweet potato and ricotta, and farro and apple salads all on one plate! The food in Steamboat was just wonderful, and though I’m sad to leave, I’m pretty excited to check out the Denver food scene. I’ll report back.

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The Quick Version

Posted on Jun 24, 2012 | 9 comments

Guys, my weekend was absolutely packed!! Matt and I are trying to explore as much as possible, as we only have 3 free weekends left in Atlanta (we’re traveling a lot in July for various events). I’m exhausted, but so so content:) I’m gonna give you the quick version of the weekend recap:

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Prickly pear margaritas and seafood paella at La Fonda

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Hiking to the top of Stone Mountain

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Tastes of beer at the Tap in Midtown

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Delicious shrimp, fish, and fried chicken tacos

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Saturday night’s epic dinner involved an outstanding dessert that arrived in this bag (full restaurant recap tomorrow)

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Beer and watching the Euros at Taco Mac this afternoon

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Three episodes of the Wonder Years on Netflix (Winnie Cooper looks just like Blair Waldorf!)
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And lots and lots of walking that left my toe looking like this (is it totally gross/inappropriate that I just posted my foot on the internet?)
What were the highlights of your weekend?
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Bleu Burger

Posted on May 8, 2012 | 4 comments

Happy Tuesday.

After a failed day of babysitting (kid got sick = I went home), I tackled my to-do list and got in some extra relaxation. Matt and I leave for Atlanta in three weeks, so we paid a visit to Hillsborough to see my parents and have dinner. I had also hoped to vote, but when I let it slip that I live in Durham now, I wasn’t allowed to vote in Hillsborough where I’m registered to vote (duh, should have known this). I caught myself when I started to state my address, but just couldn’t tell a lie when I realized my mistake. So sad.

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We brought the leftover sangria to my parents house and finished off what was left. It tasted even better after 2 days. My dad ate every single bit of fruit from the bottom of the pitcher!

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We walked down to the Saratoga Grill for the best burgers in the Triangle! They also have amazing scones.

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For just $8.50 on Tuesdays, you can get a burger, salad, and beer and it’s a hellaofa burger at that. This guy is thick and the middle is stuffed with blue cheese.

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It’s not always pretty, but it’s always tasty. This was Matt’s first time and he declared that the burger was definitely one of the best he’s ever had.

I wish I could stick around and chat, but bedtime comes so fast on school nights:( Tomorrow’s a big day and I’m really feeling the pressure of the end of the school year. Adios.

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