One Year Anniversary: The Sun Dial

Can you believe y’all have been on this journey with me for the past year? Through the ups and the downs… Climbing up and down the coast, and even going over seas. And yes, the disappointment of me not posting as often as I should.

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BUT! I’m reinvigorated and I am here for y’all. Work (read: slavery trial) has been a little rough and I am in the process of signing up for the Bar exam. I even took the MPRE (multi-state professional responsibility exam… y’all know lawyers have ethics?? WILDT!). And to celebrate a couple of months of hard-work, I took a trip to Hotlanta to see one of my bestest friends. Yes, you can have more than one. And yes, I will fight you over my grammar usage.

Since brunch is my ~aesthestic~ and my friends know my oh so well, homegirl knew we HAD to brunch. AND we went to a cute place, The Sun Dial, with overpriced basic cocktails and food. $13 for a sticky bun? I didn’t buy it. But we were ~232 meters (if I remember correctly) off the ground in one of the tallest buildings in the southeast. This is what our waiter told me. No, I did not fact check.

They started the table off with 2 muffins: banana nut and chocolate. Uh. Chocolate wasn’t great but the banana nut was pretty good. Could have had a little but more moisture, but the butter (which my friend thought was ICE CREAM!!! I really should have let her eaten it omg) helped with the moisture. Could have done without the muffins, but since I wasn’t going to buy a $13 sticky bun, the muffins worked.

The water was nice too. I’m only saying this because they charged $1 for the water automatically, so I feel the need to comment on the water quality. But the peach iced tea (not mine, but my friend’s) was good too. Now, it would have been bomb with some champagne… or tequila… but at $18 a cocktail? Like a basic basic cocktail? Like a moscow mule but with peach or whatever? And not even at a cocktail bar to get fancy drinks? Y’all got my lack-of-income ass really confused. But anyways. Enough of my complaints, you’re here to read about food!

Remember when I said I was going to try to incorporate videos? Wellllllll, here you go. Somebody please PLEASE remind me to start taking my videos horizontal because vertical is not the move honestly. Don’t hate me. But uhm, look at the food??? Delicious??? Non??? By the way, I got the Surf and Turf Burger, cooked medium rare (which, was definitely more rare than medium, but alas).

These videos WILL get better, once I have more time whilst I study for the Bar exam (yes, you did read that correctly). They will also get better once I upgrade this site plan AGAIN to incorporate legit videos. Until then, you’re stuck with me, kid.

Ok ok ok, let’s just look at the burger definition… again. My goodness gracious. The cheese over the lobster, sitting over some sirloin beef burger? And crispy parmesan fries? *mouth watering* My friend ate the bun and she said the bun wasn’t the best, so I’m glad I skipped that part, even though I rarely ever eat the bun. 2 reasons: 1) I have a personal vendetta against burger buns and 2) I’m actually gluten intolerant and if I’m going to f- around my intestines, trust me when I tell you it’s NOT going to be over a burger bun.

As per ushe, I didn’t finish my food (this is why my friends hate taking me anywhere), so it’s packed up, waiting to be eaten as I waste my time away at the airport. My dumb ass thought taking a 9:30 flight would be the move. Well, it wasn’t.

I’m looking forward to 2019. It’s been good so far, and I can’t wait to keep you guys updated here on out :).

Champagne in my Membrane — BrunchFest ‘19

Hello friends, fans, and others. Miss me? You missed me. I really won’t boggle you down with my “Oh my goodness, my resolution is to be more attentive to my blog!” madness because… what’s the point of empty promises. I don’t like them. You don’t like them. Let’s skip alladat ;). Hey, but enjoy a picture of me in front of a mimosa bar sign, drinking what I believe is a mimosa (I ended up mixing all the liquors). What a great way to herald in February, right?

So first post of the new year??? BrunchFest 2019, hosted by Drink.Eat.Relax.

Yes, the sign was crinkled as hell, and I suck at taking pics

Too lazy to read the whole thing? Not same, but I’ll throw you a bone anyways.

+: “free” booze: champagne, rose, spritzers, ales, henny. bloody mary’s, boozy coffee bar, mimosa bar.
+: “free” food: eggs, sausage, bacon, mini-quiche, mini-poptarts, mini chicken biscuits, ham biscuits, bagel bites, donuts.
+: unlimited booze: well this is self-explanatory
-: the price: $77 with service fees? hahaha. for the lack of food there was… and long lines for alcohol… humph.
-: the food: continental breakfast, nothing from local food places (except the chicken biscuits lol)
-: the layout: take a rectangle square and put up awkward dividers.

Would I do it again? Only if I get the tickets on sale. Read on for a slightly longer (not by much) explanation. Or better yet, watch the video I tried creating that gives you no insights on the cons of the event.

I tried… I really did. No idea how to shrink the video. Bear with me as I figure this out. I might just have to download to YouTube and upload here… So much extra work, but I guess you guys are worth it (right, y’all are worth it…?) So stay tuned. For now, apologies.

So the video is kinda cool right? I did none of the work except provide the pictures and videos, thanks to Magisto App. So one thing I CAN promise you is that I will try to incorporate videos into my blogs. Let’s look forward to how my video “editing” progresses.

First of all, there should have been directions to the location because we, and others, walked around looking like that Swaggy P meme where he is confused as all heck, okay. But eventually we found it. ID check. Wristband. Security eyeing you. Ticket check. Plastic BrunchFest cup. Mimosa line!!!

The whole venue was explored in about 10 minutes, walking every square inch of the place. We scouted before we pounced. And by pounced, we meant alcohol since there was no food we were dying to try. And we had a lot of alcohol. I also tried Henny for the first time. Mixed it with champagne and orange juice. Talk about a turn up brunch.

As you can see… turnt.

If we’re being honest… there really isn’t much to talk about. There were vendors there who were trying to sell you clothing in your drunken stupor. There were also representatives from banks trying to get you to sign up for their bank? There were sweepstakes people also. Honestly, I would have enjoyed the whole thing more had there been no vendors. It would have been better if they were replaced by more food or drink stations, or even places to sit and high tables to eat at, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I did enjoy tasting samples from local distilleries and wineries, but not worth the full price paid. In the end, I did have fun. It is what you make of it, but unless the layout is changed, probably will not be going back (unless tickets are cheaper). I’m hoping to go to NYC’s BrunchCon. So long as it isn’t on my graduation (holy shite, yes, I’m GRADUATING from LAW SCHOOL), you’ll catch me there.

As always, hugs and kisses. I’ll catch y’all on the flip side. Enjoy some more stills with my friends from the day.

Bottomless Mimosas: Lago

Wow, hey. Did y’all miss me or did y’all miss me? Because I def did NOT miss myself. But shout out to the wonderful souls who kept harassi–checking in on me. This post is for you ;). Look at the G L O W. Anyways.

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So, let’s take you through my life from June all the way through now: nothing. Whew, glad we got caught up! Well, in all seriousness, amidst the boy drama, academic struggle, mental breakdown, friend drama, and food relationships, I’m still standing and going strong. I’m down weight and feeling healthier than before. I’ve also been switching in and out of vegan-seagan-keto etc. Not sure what I’m doing but I’m eating foods I like when I want. I am mainly plant-based. I don’t eat gluten (slight allergy). I avoid things with lactose (intolerance). And… that’s it really. I’m doing HIIT, yoga, barre, cycling, and strength training, too! Oh, and being natural is getting easier, thank GOODNESS.

And now, I’m back. And I know last time I said I would be better with this, so I’m not going to promise such a thing, but I will promise to try harder. As for the other updates I did promise… The travel diaries (London) will be up soon. During winter break (I know, 2 months from now) everything should be up and ready for your viewing pleasure. But, we’re gonna try to get it all up and running smoothly before then.

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But! You’re here because you saw the title “Bottomless Mimosas” and if you’re a Clevelander or Cleveland-visitor (student, friend, etc), you’re probably thinking “They have such a thing?” (I’m from the East Coast where we speak in bottomless brunch).

After HOURS of searching and calling different rumored restaurants… Ya girl FINALLY found a bottomless mimosas place. And, ya girl finally just recovered from that Olympic sport.

Let me present to you: Lago (Bireria, Cucina, Enotecca).

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Service was a little… slow. We sat down for 15 or so minutes without anybody checking in on us. We started off with the bottomless mimosas right away. We were going to make the most bang for our buck. It was $15 for the bottomless, so truly, even 3 would be cost efficient. 5 would be better. But 10?! A steal! 15 would have been… hospital inducing honestly.

I am used to mimosas being like at least 75% champagne, but these were a good… 50%? Or something like that. But I don’t really eat grains, so alcohol hit me H A R D.

So mimosas are mimosas. But the food? So, listen. I asked for the wagyu steak and eggs… $64. My eyes popped out of my head. I don’t mind spending money for some good steak, but for breakfast? Am I made out of money? I was literally just there for the bottomless mimosas. Whew, chile…

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We ended up getting the burgers. Mine sans buns and a side of tater tots. The burger was goooooood. And the house chips were very good too, but the tater tots were AMAZING.

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One got the Avocado Benedict. And… It pictured well. It was literally guac on toast with an egg. Not sure what we were actually expecting, but it wasn’t that. We don’t recommend it (even though it was recommended to us). So we were able to sub it out for the breakfast burrito and that tasted amazing.

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The waiters we had were pretty cool. Lots of jokes and was pretty quick on the refills (the most important part).

The interior was very nice and I would love to come back at night for their dinner menu. If you’ve tried it, do let me know!

We showed up at 11am and didn’t leave until almost 2? And we all had takeout boxes. I ended up snacking out of it while sobering up when walking around.

After, we just goofed around in the Flats, one of my favorite places in Cleveland. I got a pic with a Rolls Royce (yes, I’m annoying).

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Walked around by the water and I pretended to be an IG model. Then I ate a hot dog as we played some corn hole. Then when I got home, I drank some electrolyte water and took my sweet sweet drunk booty to bed. And woke up at 7pm. And went straight back to sleep.

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Ah, the joys of day drinking. Overall, I do recommend Lagos; if not for their food then for the bottomless mimosas. If not for that, then because I told you to.

The Land of Kush: Vegan Food for the Soul

For Summer 2018, I have decided to vegan(ish). I started in June. Like my seagan that I was during Lent. Vegan foods and meals, sometimes with a side of fish. Although, as I have been diving deeper into plant-based vegan, I’ve been straying away from supplementing parts of my protein intake with fish. But, I’ve read horror stories about people becoming violently ill after ingesting even chicken broth after months of not eating meat. SO, that will not be me. Homegirl is definitely going to have meat once a month. So for my blog posts, don’t be concerned about all the meat posts, lots of my posts are queued up for future posting.

After a night of wild shenanigans, with my other vegan-ish friend, we went to a black owned vegan restaurant: The Land of Kush.

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I’ve been here once before, because my friend wanted some vegan crab cakes. Kush is known for having the best vegan crab cakes, buuuutttttt, it’s made out of gluten (seitan). I’m a bit gluten and lactose intolerant, so to avoid dying later, I had to take a pass on the crab cakes today. But honestly, I’m never going to not eat a real crab cake. So if I’m going to die, might as well have the real deal amiright?

 

It’s a cute little place. You can sit down and eat, but it’s mainly you go in, get your food, and dip out.

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Everything is pre-made and heated, for a fast casual experience. I don’t like soul food, so I stayed away from the usual culprits: collard greens, candied yams, mac & cheese…

 

I got the lentil burger with gravy (in the cup), “tuna” salad, and rice.

 

My friend got the collard greens and candied yams haha. But we both decided to get some of the fresh juice. She got the ginger spice (and boy, did it have a kick!) and I got the liver detox (after years of college induced binge drinking, my liver probably needed some extra TLC).

 

Goodness! The food was AMAZING. And man, it was hearty and filling. For the first time at a restaurant, I wasn’t feeling bloated and gross (probs because this is my first time eating something without any of my food intolerances and plant based so funny how life works). I brought the rest of my food home, and I cannot wait to finish the rest.

Anyways, we will see how the rest of the summer brings with my vegan lifestyle, and more importantly… how long I will be vegan. So, wish me luck.

La Tasca

Whheewww, child. I know it’s been a while. I would like to thank my followers who have reached out to ask me if I’m okay or if I need any emotional support. Truly. I am so sorry I’ve been MIA. First week of my dream internship is done, and I really do love every minute of it. The people, the other intern, and the work. Where I am in Baltimore is a biiiiiittttt suspect, but I’m also only a 10 minute walk to work, so you win some and you lose some. Once I have my affairs in order, I’ll start a new tab for Baltimore eateries. I will also continue to keep you updated about my adventures in London. As for the natural hair… I’m going to hold off on that new column. It’s going to be a little bumpy for the next couple of weeks, but we’ll get through this together :).

BUT, this is not a post about me. This is about one of my new favorite restaurants. If you know me, you know how much I love love love (when it comes to food): my mom’s food, latin american cuisine, spanish cuisine, tacos without the shell, mediterranean cuisine, sushi, hibachi, and trashy $8 dinner specials american-chinese take out. Even if you didn’t know me, now you do. You’re welcome.

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Just checkin’ out the district of columbia

So, I was super excited to come across this cute gem, La Tasca. My friend had come in from Kansas to visit yours truly, so we ate a lot, we drank a lot, and we watched TV a lot. La Tasca was one of 2 notable places that I decided to blog about.

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This place was paaaaacked during the Stanley Cup. Go Caps! Had a bit of FOMO even though I don’t even watch hockey.

When we went, it was pretty empty. We also went after the lunch rush in the middle of the week. People started pouring in towards happy hour though. The waitress was a delight. I like how she actually was from Spain. The other waitress who served our food was from Colombia. Not sure why, but I enjoy when a restaurant (either by coincidence or intention) employs people from the cuisine location.

My friend and I used the lunch menu and decided to split two tapas and a paella, in addition to getting two sangrias.

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She’s boooorrriinngg, so she got a dry red sangria. Not that people who get dry red sangrias are boring, she just happened to not want to try anything new, even though I suggested lots of other flavors. My personal fave is the cava sangria, because your girl loves prosecco. I’m not the biggest fan of blueberries, but I love all fruits when they’re in wine. Next time, I’m getting the Mango Blackberry, because does that not sound amazing???

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For our tapas, we got the Bistec, cooked medium or medium well. The “fries” were two potato wedges (I only like french fries when they’re in the form of super crispy and tater tots and chips). And a spicy sauce. The Haitian in me loves spicy, but I let out a couple of coughs upon the first taste. It really had a kick.Ask me about the time I thought I was a daredevil and ate a spoon of Habanero sauce in Mexico. Wow.

The steak was amazing too. I was eating it slowly to savor the taste, and she asked if I was going to finish it! So rude.

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The other tapa was the Albodigas, the lamb meatballs. I love lamb. I prefer it ground, but a good seared lamb shank with a green harissa spot will hit the spot 10 out of 10 times. The meatballs were cooked in a tomato sauce and topped with some goat cheese. The meatballs were the melt-in-your-mouth variety and at that point in time, life was gooood.

We didn’t get the Calamares… which I really wanted. I love calamari. But my friend does not like the idea of breaded fried squid. I just let out a deep sigh. Next time I’m taking my mother, because she LOVES calamari.

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Lastly, we got the vegetarian paella. The paella was my favorite, by far. Came in a cast iron pan and the lunch size was enough to feed the two of us (along with the other tapas).

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I got sooooo hungry while writing this post

I’m never sure how to best describe paella except that when I was in Spain, that was primarily all I ate. It’s like having a taste of wonderful in your mouth. And La Tasca’s paella was no different. I love a good rice. The perfect amounts of moist and sticky but not soggy. Maybe it’s the saffron that I truly enjoy. No kidding, this has been the best paella I’ve had outside of Spain. I loved it so much, I called my parents and told them that we need to go the location by us, in Rockville. My dad is not a fan of Spanish dishes or latin-american cuisine, but he LOVES a good paella. So I hope he will enjoy it as much as I did.

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happy member of the clean plate club

Towards the end of the summer, I’m taking my mom to the paella making class La Tasca offers, and I am pumped. So definitely stay tuned.

Bakersfield

Tacos. Tequila. Whiskey.

Cinco de Mayo.

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We actually were able to see somebody take shots after shots on the luge. $3 shots were dope.

I love tacos. And I love tequila. And I love them both at the same time. Who doesn’t? I also love any excuse to drink shamelessly. Finals were over and I just cannot pass up watching white people wear sombreros and use bad Mexican accents.

Quick history lesson: Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla during the American Civil War. That’s really all I know. I don’t even know what really happened during the American Civil War. Our education system needs to do better and my brain needs to remember and retain more information.

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Anyways. I get the same exact thing every time I come to Bakersfield: carne tacos and baja shrimp tacos. I honestly recommend the baja shrimp. Crispy shrimp, avocado, chipotle lime cream, and some cole slaw. I just have this habit of ordering 2-3 of the shrimp (and the carne) and just eating the fillings out of the tacos.

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I should just start asking for the taco without the taco shell… But I already am extra for ordering burgers with the bun on the side, just for the picture aesthetics.

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Oh, and the pineapple margarita. Pitcher every time.

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I know what I want. I know what I like. And I stick with it.

Honestly, I’m surprised that I even got some good pictures from this day. Started day drinking only to end at Bakersfield. And then woke up right at midnight, confused as heck. But survived. The two friends I went with… We were all struggling. BUT Your girl is officially in her third year of law school!!!

As per always, stay tuned for more posts. It’ll be a Cleveland hiatus, while I explore Baltimore and D.C. For any of my DMV friends or visitors, let me know some of your favorite places so that I can check them out!

Izakaya by Sushi and Robata

This was my first stop in London. After the most stressful traveling 12 hours–stranded on the runway due to bad weather and waiting almost 2 hours in the immigration line to enter–I finally got to London.

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So, my international plan did NOT kick in, so when I first landed, I was confined to only the wifi. Which was shitty as hell. And then trying to figure out the Tube to get to my sister. And then trying to get to her. And then my parents were like “So, listen, you only have $175 for the week.” HAHAHAHAHA. Surpassed that day 3 into London. They were wild.

And then when I finally got to my sister, she told me that she had to take the Tube to go to a group meeting. So after napping for 3 hours, I ventured with her. We went into Whole Foods, where I had my pick of restaurants. I was feeling some raw fish, so the cute, expensive-looking Sushi restaurant ran by French men was obviously where I had to go. Partly because I really wanted sushi. Partly because my parents told me not spend money.

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Eating alone alone (so not doing any work while eating) is not a new thing for me in general, but I have not eaten alone since… freshman year college? So… 6 years ago? Sometimes I would eat alone and do some homework or catch up on emails. But I haven’t sat down and been conscious of my surroundings while eating alone. So this was a first, and it was pleasant.

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The aesthetic was pretty adorable. I loved the cherry blossoms paired with the more “modern” look of the place. I learned that “Izakaya” is a term for a Japanese pub, so I’m guessing that a traditional Sushi and Robata is more formal and less… izakaya-y.

To conserve my parents’ money, I decided to be kind and get the 2 courses for 15 pounds. My math is horrible and the conversion rates change, so I won’t even begin to figure out how many American dollars I spent.

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I got the dragon roll. It wasn’t on the actual menu, but it was on the pick-2 menu. It was… avocado, cucumber, topped with salmon. That’s really all I was able to get from that. It was a little spicy and very refreshing. Normally, I like my sushi with tempura flakes for a little bit of crunch and texture, but my paleo-ish self is opting out of tempura for the time being.

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I also got some spicy beef dumplings. Usually, I get them gyoza style, so this was the first time having an open top dumpling, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, dumplings made out of wheat. Yes, I’m supposed to be paleo-ish. Oh well.

I did learn how to use chopsticks better, so that was exciting. I always just used to eat sushi with my fingers, but your girl is learning! One day, I’ll be able to flip omelettes with chopsticks. Probably not, but we will see.

A friend told me a story about how one of her friends only posts pictures of empty plates. And I like that concept. An empty plate is a happy stomach. So watch for those end-of-post pictures with my empty plates.

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