adventure, fitness and nutrition

Taco Time

Let’s talk about tacos for a minute. I’m not a super huge taco fan girl but I do eat them when it’s Taco Tuesday night at home or when my pals want to eat some tacos for a get together. On these occasions I am pretty simple. ground beef or chicken and maybe a sprinkle of cheese and some simple adorns like avocado or onion. Rarely am I ever a shrimp, fish or steak taco girl.

This leads me to an interesting decision. I opted for tacos for lunch on a recent trip. It was a simple choice. Bartaco noted above or street tacos per Yelp were close, within budget and rated high. I opted for Bartaco just because it won on the number of high reviews.

Enter the posh indoor/outdoor venue. A unique set up to start and the flair was added upon seating. You scanned the menu and ordered at will. Meaning if you ordered a steak taco that came out to table. If you ordered a drink that arrived. If you ordered guacamole and chips that arrived. If you ordered off the kids menu that was okay, too. All hit the table in the order each order was placed. For us we had some street corn, some guacamole and chips, a kids taco and then a bowl loaded with all our favorites. I opted for chicken and shrimp. My partner opened for chicken, fish and mushrooms. All were flavored well and had a zesty zing.

All was served on metal trays for added flair. The bill was electronic just like the menu. No real waiting on the check or the service. You decided the speed of service. For us we were limited for time this we ordered a bunch to share and packed up a nice size to-go bag/box. I must also take a moment to explain the to-go setup as I favored it!

I received a bowl and plastic lid for the leftover rice bowl. I received a small box that had an insert to stand up a taco as well as hold a street corn in place. For the added special touch the young lady provided a sleeve of hard shell tacos. The crunch! She packed the crunch to go! For anyone who appreciates a crunch this is such a winning move to elevates one’s to-go image. The crunch is packed separately not to get soggy or lose its appeal. This was confirmation I picked the winning lunch spot.

Not to mention, I had over ordered so now I have an early dinner all ready to go which helps immensely when traveling. Not sure if this is a local spot or a chain but if you are ever in Chapel Hill, North Carolina I recommend Bartaco. The pic below shows that the guacamole bowl was basically licked clean. The crunch I mentioned is the oversized shell below, half eaten. The trays for style points. The corn is obviously flavored well. Need I say more?

dare to be different

Crepe Adventures

I got a last minute invite to a breakfast spot I had never been to. I thought of why I shouldn’t go but then said I’ve never been so just go and check it out. I’m glad I made that decision.

It was fabulous! The table of girls did a share order so we could sample and to my surprise I loved all of it. Not just one, but three amazing and oh so different crepes.
First one was a sweet one. Big mounds of Chantilly (whip cream), fresh strawberries, and just a little drizzle of other sweetness. Great presentation and such a delicious delight that seemed so light. Maybe it felt light as we shared. No photo as it was gone fast.

Next one was eggs, chicken, and brie cheese. I wasn’t sure if I would like the chicken but it was flavored so well. Paired with the eggs and cheese was just right. It was not long until it was all gone. Every item on the crepe was just right. The seasoning. The presentation. The flavors. A repeat order for sure.

Number three was mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and strips of fancy bacon. A little crunch. A little munch. A lot of goo from the cheese. Oh was it tasty. Another one down the hatch. There were a lot of mushrooms but they tasted good and were sliced just right. I could see the care of presentation in this dish.

This little place was a great find. We all had so much fun we invited a few friends to go back the next day. Guess we needed to try some more crepe flavor combinations. So many to choose from. I am so glad I took a chance on a new place.

I almost forgot to mention I grabbed a coffee to go. It has a twist I couldn’t resist. Ice cream, caramel, espresso and Chantilly. Yes more whip cream. It tasted so good on my drive home. Sneaking a peek under the lid was confirmation of the goodness.

Until next time. Take a detour. Try a new place for a change. You might be surprised what you find.

adventure

Ice Cream

Who wants ice cream? This girl I suppose. I haven’t really beeen a super big ice cream person but in the past few months I’ve been tempted or teased by available options especially when traveling.

I was on trip to Maryland and had a chance to grab an ice cream at a local dairy farm shop. It was delicious. Tons of homemade flavors that were ever so creamy and tasty. This has been my favorite treat this summer and I’d classify it as a must stop again spot.

On another adventure in Colorado I had a different ice cream experience. Here you picked your flavor but you got Mix-ins. I opted for the tasty cream flavor and mixed in some graham crumbles. The little gritty feeling and taste made this one a good choice. On the flip side my kiddo opted for cinnamon ice cream which was good if you tasted it solo but she chose all the crazy fixings like colored sprinkles and others. That dulled the ice cream flavor and left it half eaten or more wasted than eaten. Two similar experiences, two different outcomes. This was good but not great when I consider available options.

I have a spot I hit in the mountains on my travels to the farm. Locally made. Creamy. Limited flavors but the best butter pecan I have ever had. Hours of operation are limited and the lines are long so I don’t stop often. When I do stop, I enjoy the indulgence.

Then I was in the famous area of Hershey, Pennsylvania where I once again landed in an ice cream shop. Here it was Hershey ice cream that was served of course. They had many flavors but not out of this world creations. This was a big disappointment for me. The ice cream seemed like what you would get in the grocery store. A big dud for me.

Now as I got this calendar reminder for ice cream it was yet another sign to see what was out there on my next trip. Cape May, NJ area had a big selection. Funny though I was going to have an afternoon treat before dinner after a day by the ocean. Fate said otherwise. Most shops were closed and don’t open until 4 or 5pm. Had to skip the ice cream as the good rating places were not open during my available time to indulge.

Late night it was for me at the end of the short stay. A trip to Ben and Jerry’s shop on the street. I got two scoops of my favorites smeared on a cookie. No cone for this girl. A soft freshly baked cookie bottom. Such a treat. Maybe the same flavor from the local grocery store but the vibe was present in the locally-owned shop on the stretch of street that folks visited for shopping and dining. This store flavor was different than the Hershey experience above. Kudos to the Ben and Jerry brand for consistency in their deliverables. 

My ice cream adventures surely added to my waistline this summer but it also took me down memory lane. Visits to boardwalks and barn-like shops when I was a kid to get a treat. I even extended the experience to my mom who doesn’t get out as often these days. Taking a pint to go can make for a great delivery to a loved one. It was nice to reciprocate with my kids and share the stories of yesterday when sharing some sweet treats on the road too.

Orange sherbet from the local dairy stand where I grew up will still have my most memorable days of childhood but today I look to add to my list with my kids and savor the flavor of many places in as many new towns as we get the chance to explore.

Travel with an open heart and an eye for adventure but keep Yelp close for a sweet treat stop to fill in a bit of your day. You can skip the calorie or carb count for a few hours!

adventure, friendship

Breakfast Time

It was time for breakfast on a sunny Sunday morning. Visiting a new town and not an egg in the house. Time to eat out.

Off we go online for reviews. We find a local place in town. Palmer’s Cafe on St. Simons Island. It was a cozy place in town. There was a line outside which was a good sign.

Then there was the menu:

Well this is just one page to highlight and really the reason for this post. I wanted an omelette but I was just unsure what to order. They sparked my curiosity but sounded weird too.

I went with the chicken pot pie. Partly because of the name but also because I just had to see what it was like. Let me me just say it was delicious from the first bite to the last. I made a happy plate for sure.

My omelette was not the only tasty one. Everyone at the table opted for a different one which enabled us to share. The Local, the Hooch, even the special of the day with brisket was amazing. This is a must visit place if you ever are on St. Simons Island.

I can’t even stop at the omelettes. They have delicious pancakes as well. One was even named Buddy and it was a banana pudding pancake that had banana goop oozing out the sides. I’m not a fan of oozy banana flavors but everyone else at the table was nibbling and savoring the flavor.

All the while I was polishing off some grits. Not just any grits. They were pimento cheese grits that were extremely tasty. Another staple to try if you make it to St. Simons Island.
Enjoy my tidbit for your tastebuds. Hope you don’t get too hungry reading this.

celebrations

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

It’s Mr. Milkshake from Bruster’s ice cream.

What do you want?

I want you to come order a milkshake and enjoy it this evening?

I can’t do that, it’s not in my macros.

So what. It’s Sunday, indulge!

Are you serious?

Yes, everyone needs a spurge now and again.
………..
May I take your order?

I’d like to order a birthday cake shake please.

That will be $5.50, please drive around.

That thick creamy dreamy shake went down the hatch without hesitation. Slivers of sprinkles sucked through the straw one by one. Bright blue gobs of straight sugar fighting their way through the straw. All tangled in creamy vanilla flavor. Heaven in a cup. A heavy, heavy cup.

All that protein. All that sugar. All that fat. It was an amazing treat on this Sunday night. So glad Mr. Milkshake swindled me into coming for a visit. It was just was I needed.
Sometimes a sweet treat is well deserved. I decided today was my day to be deserving the reward. 

If you don’t have a Bruster’s near you, I hope you have a local spot to get a sweet treat.
Enjoy!