California – Eating Notes

I’m back from a week in California, and food is lingering on my mind. This was a quick, intense work trip for my client in San Mateo, sneaking in under the radar (sorry, friends!!) While the focus of my time was very much on the job at hand, I was thankful that many client meals ended up being over good food, and I was able to sneak in a few meals across different parts of the bay.

Beyond the food, the weather was absolutely beautiful, and San Mateo had some great short trails for me to get in both my daily mile and some restorative long walks.

:: Meal Notes ::

My first meal off the plane was brunch at Plow (although depressing, as I went exclusively for the biscuit, which they ran out of while I was waiting in line.) I ordered “the Plow”, and a side of hollandaise. Scrambled eggs, crispy potatoes, a few rashers of Neuske’s bacon, and lemon ricotta pancakes. Next time, there’d better be a biscuit, and I’ll try their BLT if it’s still on the menu.

With the office in San Mateo, I ate several meals in the South Bay, including In Burlingame, where I imbibed an excellent virgin Paloma at Barrelhouse – grapefruit, lime, syrup, salt and seltzer. I’ve been craving citrus and it didn’t disappoint. Dinner at Limon Rotisserie: rotisserie chicken, Lomo Saltado, a ceviche trio – pulpo camaron, pescado, and camarones, yuca fries and tacu tacu (rice and beans).

There was a disappointing visit to Draeger’s (I remember it being more exciting?) where we stocked up on salad material, in contrast to a fulfilling one at Rainbow later in the week,where picked up some date balls, black tahini, a cashew chocolate caramel, and a glorious grapefruit. Meals at home included summer salads with chicken sausage on the grill, fresh parsley, mint, avocado and blue cheese. In California fashion, we also stocked up on good coffee, goat yogurt, raw sauerkraut, and a box of Its’-Its. One of my compatriots acquired a $25 bottle of mango cream coconut yogurt from the coconut cult – I won’t lie, it was delicious and I’d probably get another.

Admittedly while I love my morning Nespresso these days, the thing I was looking most forward to was my coffee routine at Philz. Usually an iced Tesora, either black or with a splash of cream before heading back to the office. They have a new mobile ordering system through their app which makes ordering reasonable. (Otherwise you don’t go to Philz in the morning if you don’t have time to kill…)

Mid-week office lunches included:

The Egg and Okra curry and tea leaf salad at Best of Burma. We don’t really have great Burmese food in the Boston area. (Nor Nepalese, or Filipino, a few more of my favorite cuisines living in SF.)

At one point, I rolled into the office with $200 dollars worth of tacos from Los Primos – barbacoa, al pastor, camarones, veggie, pescado, chicken, a few stuffed quesadillas, and a large container of refried beans. I ended up eating leftovers for a few days.

For an office happy hour we headed at Attic, with perfect crispy and salty sweet potato fries, lumpia cigarillos (double the length of normal lumpia), brussels sprouts with bonito flakes, oysters, and deviled eggs. I ordered a virgin “Calamansake” with soda water, muddled ginger, calamansi syrup and lime juice which hit the spot.

I organized an outing to Takahashi Market, an asian and Hawaiian market that has been open since 1906 (four generations!) where I picked up kalua pork with cabbage, spicy spam musubi, haupia, and a lilikoi cheesecake. (The cheesecake was saved for the following evening after a late night out.) I was given a large cardboard box to tote back my haul.

Most mornings I woke early, made a cup of coffee, pulled out my notebook, wrote and planned the day hours before going for a run and then heading into the office. This was the view. That astroturf was actually soft and stayed clean – by the end of the week I was praising them for their brilliance.

My walks were equally as beautiful in the morning and the evening, and my running route had me going past a dog park every day.

On Tuesday I made it into the city for a dinner at Hawker Fare which exceed expectations given the mixed reviews of friends. I had Thai iced tea, blistered green beans, crispy rice ball salad, pork laab, sticky rice, barbecue chicken (gai yang). Kat ordered a cocktail in a cat cup, and it came with an umbrella. Behold the fabulousness.

Before the evening was over, we hopped in a Lyft to head for dessert: a scoop of olive oil rhubarb ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe, including a nostalgic celebrity sighting (BD Wong). While I was looking forward to a scoop of Secret Breakfast, I have to admit I found most of the flavors much sweeter than I remembered after so many years.

On Thursday, we had an excellent dinner at Foreign Cinema – starting with my first cocktail of my week – the Felicity – Hennessey VSOP, passionfruit liqueur, dry amaretto, fleur de sea, lemon and lime juice. I couldn’t resist. Kat, one of my dining partners who is also a stylist, gave me a side part, and a dark lip, which managed to stay perfectly through an entire evening of food and drink. I think I’ll keep it up.

For dinner: the lavender baked goat cheese; the plancha with calamari, clams, and mole rojo; Ceviche; pasta with corn; the sesame fried chicken; and a steak with corn and peppers. Dessert was similarly blissful – a chocolate pot with a thumbprint cookie; and the standout – rose meringue with cherries, sorbet, vanilla almond cream. The film was Splash, but regretfully I was sitting right under the big screen, and my only comfortable view was that of the rest of the diners.

To extend the evening – we headed to the Make Out Room, where the DJ was playing a mix of Cumbia and early 00’s favorites – enjoyable until someone came up to us to ask if we were having “mom’s night out” (Who says that as a pick up line?? Also, so what if we were??), at which point he was escorted out of our eye-roll zone, and a round of tequila was ordered for the group. Our evening progressed – five minutes in a completely empty Double Dutch, and then wrapping up the night over quiet conversation at Casanova.

The next day: a plate of pasta with spring vegetables and tomato cream sauce at Merchant Roots (very good!), as well as a slice of warm carrot sandwich. I headed over to the Rothy’s show room to try on a multitude of sizes, but alas, determined that none were a perfect fit.

For my parting dinner, I had a reservation at Boulevard. I’d never been, despite long admiring Nancy Oakes, and so many of the accomplished chefs that have come up in this kitchen. We shared Spanish octopus; Sea Scallops, and a plate of salad with burrata. We shared the pork chop (the meat was perfect), and a steak; dessert was a peach tart and the summer berry buckle. My observation: classic, California, nothing flashy, just all executed well and the taste of the season.

For my final morning, work people all packed up and headed their separate ways to the airport, and I had the house and the trails to myself for a final few hours.

Before heading home, I made one completely out of the way trip I couldn’t miss: I packed my bags, and took a Lyft from San Mateo to Berkeley for one last perfect bite.

Finally, two slices of always delicious Cheeseboard pizza, and a salad with yogurt and mint dressing. A last iced mocha Tesora at Philz, and then despite giving myself well over an hour to commute back to the airport, I barely made the airplane, arriving nearly 25 minutes after the plane had started boarding. I made it on the flight, waved out the window, and spent the trip listening to my audiobook. So long, Bay Area, I’ll be back before you know it.

PS: California, you are weird sometimes.

Aussie Lamb at Tremont 647 + a Tomato Braised Lamb Recipe

Tomato Braised Lamb with Cannelini Beans

Disclaimer: when I started blogging, my goal was to get out and eat on a regular basis, and I tried to hit up any event that would have me. I got into this game to eat, and now, I’m boring and more of a homebody, so I try to only say yes to things that I know in advance that I’ll love. So take this at face value – this isn’t sponsored, but I wittingly got myself into a situation where I acquired free Australian lamb, and then ate said lamb.

A few weeks ago, I headed to an industry event in the South End, at Andy Husbands’ Tremont 647 – a spring campaign for Australian lamb. (This was a total treat. Andy Husbands has been a lynchpin of the food community in Boston for a long time  – there aren’t too many restaurants that have been around for two decades under the helm of one person.)

After braving the then Hoth-like roads of the Greater Boston area, I managed to find parking in the South End less than 100 feet from the restaurant (this was at the tail end of the multiple storm situation, and parking was in short supply), and walked into the warm comfort of Tremont 647 on a pajama brunch morning. I was immediately give coffee (praise all that is good), got cozy at a table with Bianca, William, and Dan, and the gingerbread mini muffins, rosemary cornbread muffins, and sticky buns which were put right infront of me.

Tremont 647 Sticky Buns The Second Lunch

As Dan tried to tell me about Snapchat, the demo got started. [A brief note, I have now downloaded snapchat. After realizing a bot had taken my moniker that I use on every form of social media, I became deeply distressed, and have not opened it again since. It makes me feel old and crotchety.] For our demo, we watched Master Butcher Doug Piper expertly break down the back half of a lamb. And by expertly, I mean, to a level of skill that made me uncomfortable. His knife was outrageously sharp, but I’m pretty sure with his abilities, he could have done it with a dull blade, and mind control.

Tremont 657 Doug Piper Aussie Lamb Demo

While we watched, and discussed the taste, environmental impact, and general topic of Australian lamb, we also got to eat it. Everyone got some lamb pastrami on toast with mustard and sauerkraut made of brussels sprouts (smart!). We each got to choose our meals, and I went with the Tremont 647 classic Huevos Rancheros, while Bianca ordered the lamb sausage breakfast sandwich right across from me.

Tremont 647 Lamb Pastrami Tremont647 Huevos Rancheros

After filling ourselves to the gills, we were each sent home with a cooler bag of lamb. I’ve been eating lamb all winter with my meat share, and largely been doing the same thing each time: braising it in a jar of Rao’s marinara. It’s truly the best sauce on the market. I buy it in quantity any time I see it on sale at the store. The recipe is another two ingredient deal – lamb and sauce, three if you add garlic. You can gussy it up, of course, sometimes I’ll add beans at the end, or some carrots and potato.

Tomato and Garlic Braised Lamb

It goes particularly well on a vegetable noodle – I’ve been on a kick lately, as you may have noticed. (As a side note, Inspiralized, the book, just came out, and I’m currently reading through my copy.)

Tomato Braised Lamb over Zucchini Noodles

Tomato Braised Lamb

This recipe is how I cook lamb the most often – nestled in a tomato sauce. You can make it with thick braising cuts of lamb, or lamb stew meat, but I most often make it with lamb shanks, which I’ll cook, and then strip off the bone before serving. I reserve the bones and marrow for myself as cooks treat. Like all braises, it tastes best when you let it rest after cooking overnight in the refrigerator, remove the hardened fat once cooled, and reheat it the next day for dinner. I like it plain, served over zucchini noodles, or sometimes I’ll add a can of cannelini beans in the final half hour of cooking.

assorted lamb pieces, 2 – 5 lbs.
1 large jar Rao’s Marinara, or your favorite sauce (32 ounces)
several cloves garlic
salt and pepper

Generously season your lamb with salt and pepper.  I like my meat to come to room temperature with the seasoning on it before cooking, but if you are in a hurry, and want to cook right out of the fridge, that’s fine. In a large skillet, pour half of the marinara sauce, and nestle the seasoned lamb into the sauce, pouring the rest around the pieces. Nestle in several cloves of garlic (as many as you’d like). On medium high heat, bring the skillet to simmering, cover, and turn down to just under medium. Cook the lamb for at minimum 45 minutes for small pieces, up to a few hours for large steaks and shanks, until the meat is tender. If I’m cooking shanks, or larger pieces, I’ll flip the pieces a few times during cooking, about every 45 minutes.

The Second Lunch Week 2/1 – 2/7

Fleck Coffee Newton Highlands

Hello from the impending blizzard zone! Yes, more snow. More Snow. Snowwwww. Why do I live here? This week I’ve been braving the weather to try out some new places, head to some food events, and even squish in a few races! Last we left off, I was making a game plan for January: lots of braising, healthy salads, meal planning, and gym going. Lofty goals. I knew it was going to be bad on January 5th, a coworker mentioned that I had been posting a lot on my blog. “That’s not going to last, is it….” ah, votes of confidence. Thanks. Of course he was right – it’s been a long, cold, month, and I didn’t think that anyone would want to hear my complaints about the MBTA. There was a lot of bitterness and salty language. California, I miss you. (You too, California friends.)

This month I’ve done little to drag myself out of the house. It’s been a lot of pathetic pantry meals. A few too many take out meals. And a whole lot of sitting on the couch. So last week after getting some energy back on my trip to Portland, Maine, I decided to get myself out, visit the new super shiny Whole Foods South End (it’s great), run a race, and meet up with some bloggers. Some of my favorite activities!

Of course, life is better caffeinated. With my dwindling coffee supply – both fresh beans from Portland, and my shameful comfort coffee (Trader Joe’s Gingerbread) being done for the season, I decided that I’d try out the new Fleck Coffee right at the Newton Highlands T-stop, because they were giving away free coffee this weekend…. and… free coffee! They brew Counter Culture, and I’m all for local coffee shops! They officially open on Monday, and keep hours of 6am – 4pm daily.

On the fitness front, I decided that I needed to “train” for my upcoming Hyannis Half marathon, so on a whim I signed up for the Super Sunday 5k and 5 miler, and ran it with my friend Matt. How do you dress for a race that has a real feel of around 5? Like a ninja. My super secret trick is to treat myself to hand warmers in my gloves for a cold winter run. I hoard hot hands like I’ll be living in the polar vortex for all time. This race was fun, cold, and flat!

Super Sunday 5k and 5 Miler

The other reason that I signed up on a whim for a freezing cold race is that I was heading to a Boston Brunchers blogger brunch at Beat Hôtel (Beat Brasserie), and needed to work off some of those calories before eating ALL OF THE FOODS. The fine print: Boston Brunchers events come with free brunch (although generous tip is always provided), and provide me a comfortable space to take as many photos of my food as I want, without any of my dining partners judging me.

Beat Hôtel is in the old Tannery space in Harvard Square, and despite it’s convenient location, I really don’t get out all that much, and hadn’t been there yet. It’s the same team behind the South End’s Beehive, and they have jazz brunch on the weekends. The space is big and airy, and they have large tables for groups of friends. Another thing to note, I was a little out of it after running my race, and after rushing in to say hi to folks, I didn’t actually notice that the music was live until I turned around to look at the glowing purple stage (I mention this because, one, the live band was very good – and two, the acoustics are very well set up for the room – somehow I was sitting directly next to a drum kit and could still hear my dining partners conversation.)

Beat Hotel Brasserie Bar Live Jazz Brunch

We managed to get a good sampling of their brunch fare – starting off with the Bohemian Platter (hummus, dips, salads, cheese, pickled vegetables, and olives) – the photo in the top right. It was a plentiful platter, but the star for me was this really brilliant pickled radish. Yep, a superlative radish. The absolute winner of brunch was the Buffalo Cauliflower with blue cheese dipping sauce. This being Super Bowl Sunday, one of my dining partners actually took home an extra order, and I regretted not doing the same.

For our meals, we tried quiche, a few Benedicts, and I ordered the Shakshuka with merguez. Now, I do have high standards for Shakshuka, and while this didn’t make my top two of all time (my own, and the Shakshuka from Sofra), it was good! The merguez was neither here nor there, but it came with wobbly eggs served over this wonderfully creamy polenta. Plus, extra points for a beautiful presentation. (Bottom left.)

Beat Hotel Boston Brunchers Brunch

If you go to Beat Brasserie, please order the Buffalo Cauliflower. I will be returning specifically for this dish.

Before I leave you, here’s my meal plan for the week:

Sunday: lamb shanks with Ranch Gordo beans
Monday: chicken with cauliflower potato curry
Tuesday: deconstructed shepherds pie (Cook Smarts)
Wednesday: Shakshuka
Thursday: chicken soba noodles
Friday: Out

New Englanders, best of luck tonight in the storm.

This is what date night looked like.

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Yeah, that’s right, Home Depot. Romance! We’re waging war against some tiny grey fuzzy terrorists, and needed to get some extra weaponry. If anyone has any great solutions for dealing with mice (other than getting a cat), please share your wisdom in the comments!  I also picked up some of those hand warmers (great for skiing, or running on a cold morning), a space heater, and entirely too many Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges. They really are magic!

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We at dinner at Strip T’s. It’s been some time since we had been in there – they went through a weird period after Ribelle opened, but it was nice to stop by and get some good dinner tonight. We split a wicked small caesar, and french fries. I had the lamb sandwich, and Devon had the meatball. Dessert was rice pudding with sour cherry compote and caramelized nuts, and a slice of dense chocolate cake with caramelized white chocolate icing and pretzel crunch. It was a two dessert kind of evening, and I saved some of the rice pudding for breakfast tomorrow.

Almost as good as home made rice pudding for breakfast.

Savannah Georgia, Day 2

Flat White The Collins Cafe

Well, hello, again, from Savannah, Georgia! I’m here for the Savannah Rock and Roll Marathon with my coworkers Rebecca and Matt, and we’ve had a grand time so far. (Check out my first day, if you haven’t read it yet.)

Despite a late night out, I woke up before 8:30, ready to find a coffee drink and wake up for reals. Matt was still sleeping on the couch, so Rebecca and I walked for a quick errand to CVS, I had my first coffee of the day, a Flat White at The Collins Quarter, which was so good that we determined that we’d like to head back there for brunch. (I felt a little bit like I was cheating on my main squeeze, the Cuppa flat white. This was very good!)

On the way back to picking up our sleeping room mate, Rebecca gave a quick call to the apartment managers, because upon initial inspection, we noticed that our apartment didn’t have smoke detectors. I’m glad that Rebecca cares enough that we don’t die in a fire! They were incredibly responsive, and by the time we returned home tonight, we’ve been outfitted with two protective devices.

Here’s the lovely outdoor tables at The Colllins Quarter:

The Collins Quarter

For brunch, I had the All American ($10): two eggs any style, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and Beaufort artisan toast.  It came with a little salad of fresh herbs, and was served in a gorgeous plate! Rebecca and I also ordered Iced Espresso Mint Juleps, which reminded me a little bit of my very favorite Philz Mocha Tesora with a mint leaf.

The Collins Quarter Breakfast

Rebecca at The Collins Quarter

Rebecca went with the gorgeous Smashed Avocado ($10): with Beaufort artisan bakery toast, Persian feta, cherry tomatoes, lemon, micro herbs & shaved radishes, and a poached egg.

The Collins Quarter Avocado Toast

Matt went with the Niman Ranch Brown Egg Omelette, to which he added pretty much all of the fillings, and was a very happy camper.

The Collins Quarter Omelet

After brunch, we headed across the street from the restaurant to the Juliette Gordon Low House front stoop, in order to pick up an “Old Savannah Tours” on and off bus, so that we could explore a good amount of the city without totally overusing our limbs before our race. They have a special where you get discounted tickets online (we paid $71 for three people, for a 90 minute tour that you can take as many times as you want in the day) and so we purchased tickets before brunch, and simply hopped on and the closest stop.

I’ve taken a handful of bus tours like this, and the on and off is a great way to get around the city, and see a good amount of sites. I will note that the tours are only as good as the drivers, so if you don’t like your tour guide, simply hop off, and wait until the next bus comes along. Luckily, we had two great drivers (we had to switch to a new bus at the first “official” stop, so that they can drive people to their hotels when they finish the tour.)

We definitely enjoyed the tour, which took us around 16 of the squares, down to Forsyth park, and around the top part of the historic district. (One odd thing to note: they do periodic checks to see if everyone has a ticket on board. Because we got our tickets online, we had to show them our receipt on my phone, which happened to say “this is your ticket”, but then one of the ticket checkers instructed us to fill out a voucher at stop “one”, and then exchange that for printed pay stubs from the ticket checker at the next stop. I have absolutely no idea why that was necessary, but I did find it amusing!

Old Savannah Tours Bus

Old Savannah Tours

After finishing the tour at the Juliette Gordon Low stop – no girl scout cookies in sight, alas – we headed to the convention center to pick up our race packets. A word of warning to those prone to seasickness coming to the race – the convention center is actually located across the river from the city, and you have to take a (free) 5 minute ferry ride across.

The Convention Center

Ferry Ride to the Convention Center

Taking the Ferry in Savannah

We arrived to a *very* quiet convention center, and things started to get real! Bib pickup was super easy, but they hadn’t yet gotten in race tees yet, so we actually ended up waiting for an hour or so outside in the sunshine, so that we wouldn’t have to pick up the shirts post race. I had assumed that I might want to buy a bunch of things at the expo, but I ended up just picking up a few margarita shot blocs from the Fleet Feet booth.

Savannah Marathon Countdown

Brooks Smile Booth

Savannah Race Expo Selfie

The race expo was decent, but I didn’t feel compelled to do any more shopping. Instead we sat outside and looked at this view. Some of us took naps.

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Matt taking a nap in Savannah

Savannah in the late afternoon

Around five, we headed back across the river, and took a short walk down River Street, which reminds me of so many of the other boardwalk streets intended solely for tourists, and then down Broughton to take a peek at some of the shops before dinner. We stopped by the Savannah Bee Company for some samples, and I wish I could have purchased some of their white winter honey to take home with me! It was delicious!

I saw this little guy, but he was too heavy to take home in my carryon. (Concrete.)

Shop Dogs

After our long day, we got ourselves to dinner at Public Kitchen & Bar just at the beginning of happy hour, which we opted to do tonight, because they don’t take reservations, a risky prospect when 18,000 people are in town for a marathon. (Most people are likely going to arrive tomorrow.)

We sat outside, and our meal started awkwardly, with some general confusion about our happy hour wine orders. Rebecca ordered a Twisted Cabernet, but the waiter gave her a white wine (which was likely Chardonnay), and insisted that this was the Cab when she repeatedly expressed confusion. She finally gave up and ordered a different wine, but our first experience with service made me nervous for my meal. I on the other hand, made my own mistake, ordering a sickly sweet riesling when I assumed it was going to be a dry one. I just didn’t drink my grape juice, although our waiter seemed to take no notice of this, even by the end of our meal.

The food, however, was good – Matt opted for an arugula salad with chicken (a prudent choice, although he had been eying the kimchi cheeseburger), Rebecca the risotto. I made the best choice of all, the shrimp and grits with bacon cheddar grits, peas, chorizo, tomato, and a sherry cream sauce. While I was bracing myself for a dish that was outrageously heavy, I was actually pleasantly surprised to find it quite light, and incredibly well seasoned and balanced. I left not a single bite.

For the second night in a row, we passed on dessert. It makes me a little dubious of my coworkers, but it’s probably for the best :p

Public Kitchen Shrimp and Grits

We did, however, make a final pitstop to World of Beer, so Matt could order a beer to go, to drink while walking home, as this is apparently legal in this fine city. He went for a Southbound Hop-lin IPA, which I got a sip of – yet another fine choice from this state!

World of Beer

And with that, we’re back at the apartment again, and it’s 9:30 pm, and I’m thinking of turning in.


Savannah, Georgia, Day 1

Savannah Flight on Jet Blue

Well hello from warm Savannah, Georgia!

Usually I don’t blog while I’m actually on a trip, but I’m here for five days for the marathon, and judging from how much we’ve done on day one, I thought I’d start keeping a log here now, otherwise I’m never going to keep up!

Our flight was an otherwise smooth one from Boston, despite a little bit of turbulence. I happened to be sitting in a window seat, where both my front and back neighbors decided that the windows that shared a crack with their seats should be closed immediately, leaving me windowless for most of the flight. That left me with plenty of time to finish reading Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking, and get started on a new book: Cowboys and Indies, a so far captivating history of the music industry.

We arrived to an airy southern airport, and shared at taxi to downtown. It ended up being a little steep $39 (they tacked on $5 for each extra person, and I wasn’t looking to haggle on my first day here.) We drove through strip suburbia, saw an air force base. When I travel I’m always on the lookout for interesting fast food chains, or other local specialties, but the ride from the airport wasn’t the most busy.

Savannah Apartment

Instead of staying in a hotel, we decided to rent an apartment, which ended up being both more affordable, and really adorable! After getting settled, we immediately headed to our first meal of the day: Zunzi’s, a local sandwich shop with a following. (It’s one of the most reviewed places on Yelp in general, but several locals recommended it to me. After hearing the guy behind the counter selling the African tea to the woman in front of me, I accepted the sample … which tasted like sweet lip gloss. I actually really like sweet tea, but when you are expecting unsweetened, and you get what will put someone in a diabetic coma, it’s a shock to the system.

Zunzis for all

Rebecca had the falafel, Matt ordered a salmon sandwich, and I went with Oliver’s lunch: a bed of mashed potatoes with chopped grilled chicken, and chopped house made sausage and smoked sausage. And a roll. And a spinach salad that I ended up passing on. It was quite a meal to start the day! Here’s a close-up of Oliver’s Lunch:

Zunzis Olivers Lunch

After consuming much of the meal, we headed for a good long walk down Broughton Street, one of the main drives. We popped into a handful of shops, with so many cute details. Here’s one from a gift shop called Sylvester & Co that had a coffee shop in the back.

Sylvester and Co

And here are a few photos from the lower level of Paris Market & Brocante, a shop primarily with gorgeous French housewares and gifts, with some delightfully bizarre decorations around each and every corner. I should have taken more photos, the place was gorgeous, but as usual, I’m drawn to the weird.

Hands at Paris Market
PIgs at Paris Market

Near the end of Broughton, we stopped into Chocolat by Adam Turoni, seduced by the wafting scent of chocolate that they were tempering in house, and crafting into individual truffles. I absolutely loved this quirky looking chocolate shop, and will be heading back for more before I leave. I had a single blood orange Grand Marnier truffle that was the perfect bite.

Chocolat by Adam Turoni wares

Chocolat by Adam Turoni window

Chocolat by Adam Turoni window two

Chocolate Shop

Blood Orange and Grand Marnier Truffle Adam Turoni

Of course, by late afternoon, we needed to fortify ourselves again, so we headed to Leopold’s for some good old fashioned ice cream. Rebecca went for the historically significant “chocolate chews and cream” flavor, Matt got pistachio, and I had a perfectly done butter pecan. We then took ourselves on a walk, down by the waterfront, and then back up to Colonial Park Cemetery. I’ll take more pictures before we leave, but the cemeteries here are so interesting!

Leopolds Butter Pecan Ice Cream

And then we did more walking, so we had to caffeinate. We stopped into The Coffee Fox, a coffee shop owned by a Texan (I couldn’t help but notice the kolache in the case). I drank espresso with milk, Rebecca had a cortadito (sweetened, cuban style), and Matt got the “eye-opener” nitro milk stout with a shot of espresso, yep, coffee and beer combined. Magic!

The Coffee Fox

Finally, after resting for a few hours in our apartment, we headed out for a good Southern meal at The Olde Pink House. How could we not? I must admit, I was a little skeptical, but when good friends (including one who went to school in the south and hit up the Kentucky Derby this year) recommended it, I knew I’d have to keep it on my list.

The Olde Pink House

The Olde Pink House is exactly that – but possibly it should be called The Olde Very Large Pink House with lavish rooms that made me feel like everything was magical.

Dining Room in the Olde Pink House

We all ordered beers from Georgia, and gorged on their cornbread and biscuits. The room was lively, filled with people, and one of the hostesses was going from table to table, breaking into song.

Terrapin Rye Beer

Rebecca prudently started with a salad, while I went for the she crab soup, which was similar to a clam chowder, but smooth, silky, and rather elegant. To my utter delight, the waitress asked me if I’d like some sherry *sherry!!* to stir into my soup, to which I could not possibly refuse. It makes the crab sweeter – and she was so very right.

She Crab Soup at the Olde Pink House

For dinner, Matt ordered the deep chicken pot pie, which came with a splendid buttery crust, and Rebecca had the sweet potato ravioli, with oyster mushrooms. For my meal, I knew I had to go bold, and not look back: deep fried chicken livers with grits and fried spinach. (Actual fried spinach!). It was rich. It was delicious.

Fried Chicken Livers and Grits Olde Pink House

I wish I could tell you of the pecan pie, or key lime we devoured after dinner, but wisely we decided to tap out early. We went for a very long walk to counter the meal, found everything closed (including CVS… they close at 9pm, apparently), and now we are back. Sleep soon, there will undoubtably be so much more tomorrow!