Food Truck Aficionado

In one of my first posts on the blog, I talked about my love for food trucks (and really all things food!). As the trend continues to grow throughout cities in the nation, I become even more excited seeing that it’s here to stay. One of my first encounters with a food truck was while I was at school in Greenville, SC and I noticed one parked downtown. I had heard about them from magazines and seen them on TV shows, such as “The Great Food Truck Race“, but had never eaten off of one. So that’s exactly what I did, one bite and I became a food truck fanatic.

It doesn’t take much to get me excited about trying new foods, but when it comes to trying new food trucks I’m like a kid at Disney World wanting to try everything at least once. For my Spring Break this past year I went to San Francisco for a few days and was able to attend Off the Grid – basically a food truck aficionado’s dream come true. Between 30-40 food trucks, carts, and stands line up in a giant parking lot on the San Francisco Bay and serve hundreds of people their delicacies.

IMG_3798The entrance to Off the Grid – my own personal heaven.

IMG_3779Picky eaters, you’re lucky – there’s every type of food served so you’re bound to find something you’ll want!

IMG_3786Homemade sangria from a Mexican food truck and fresh dumplings from a Chinese food truck, literally food from all over the world unites at Off the Grid.

IMG_3746The sunset we caught right outside the venue.

My love for food trucks only continues to grow, and no matter where I end up living or traveling to, it’s always food trucks I look up first, rather than dining at a restaurant. I love how you can grab your food from a downtown area off of a truck, meet the chef who cooked it, hear their story and passion for serving the community, and then catch a beautiful sunset or other aspect of nature as you eat your food in a picnic-like setting.

Wherever I end up, I sure hope there’s a food truck or two. Otherwise, I just might have to open my own!

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Spiced Up Shrimp Tacos

Mexican food is something I crave on a regular basis – there’s no better way to end a long day than with a cup of queso shared with friends and an ice cold margarita, especially in the summer heat! This past weekend, I was definitely feeling the craving come on and knew I would have to find an easy way to satisfy it. Being from Florida, I’m also a huge seafood fanatic, therefore when I came across this recipe for shrimp tacos with cilantro-lime sour cream, I knew it was the best of both worlds.

It’s a super easy, no mess recipe that can be fixed up quickly on even the busiest of nights. It took me about 30 minutes maximum from start to finish.

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The blend of spices mixed in with the shrimp glaze made the dish turn out top notch!

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The sliced avocado and cilantro-lime sour cream made this dish refreshing for a summer meal.

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Serve with a margarita on the rocks and you have yourself a meal!

What’s your favorite go-to Mexican dish?

All Things NYC

This afternoon, I’m heading to South Station to hop on the Amtrack and head to the Big Apple. I always love visiting New York City to take in all it has to offer: the people, the food, the sites, the culture, and the fact that your bucket list is always never-ending -there’s always something new and exciting you haven’t done just yet.

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Isn’t this view enough to make you want to go visit?!

Ever since graduating from high school (was it really only four years ago!?), I’ve had my mind made up on setting my sights towards getting to New York City for the long run. Only time will tell, so for now I’ll have to settle on spending a few days there to celebrate my friend Danielle’s 22nd birthday by seeing Beyonce & Jay-Z in concert (yes, dreams DO come true!).

For those of you making a trip to NYC or just in the process of thinking about it, I’ve made a list of some of my favorite things to do/see/eat/and much, much more in the city that never sleeps:

–  Smorgasburg, the most awesome flea market you will ever attend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tons of food trucks/carts, craft jewelry, artwork, vintage finds. A hipster’s playground!

–  Momofuku, literally one of my favorite NYC restaurants. You definitely need a reservation, but if you go late enough at night with a small group you can sit at the bar. My favorite dish: the steamed buns (soooo good!)

–  Big Gay Ice Cream, craving ice cream on a hot summer day? This is the place to go whether you’re a nutella-lover, chocolate & sea salt fan, or just want something different in the realm of ice cream, it’s a MUST have!

–  The High Line, for the best view of the sunset head to the High Line and take a sunset stroll before catching dinner. Along the path you’ll come across native art such as this neat mural:

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–  The Met, for some history & art head here. The building itself is a force to be reckoned with and it houses some of the world’s most famous art pieces as well as really innovative exhibitions. Oh and be sure to make it up to the roof top for the most serene view of the city looking over Central Park.

–  Think Coffee, rumor has it Ryan Gosling hangs out here when he’s in town. Coffee lovers unite here for a welcoming atmosphere where you can enjoy a warm pastry and espresso while people watching in the Village.

Nizza, the best spaghetti & meatballs in the city hands down! Located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen.

Juliette, a quaint, quiet French restaurant tucked away in Brooklyn with a rooftop seating area perfect for a July summer night. They have delicious sangria!

Lincoln Center, whether you come here to see a show or just to walk through the courtyard it’s a beautiful area to take in the scenery. You may even stumble upon an impromptu, free outdoor performance!

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Washington Square Park, after a long day it’s always nice to walk through this park and people watch or grab a spot on the grass for a good read.

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The Smith, craving a hearty brunch with a bloody mary in hand? Head here!

Grey Dog Cafe, for a low-key brunch with a big ‘ole cup of joe, this is the place to go.

As Sinatra said, “start spreading the news, I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it, New York, New York!”

Adventures at SoWa Sundays

Whenever I arrive in a new town or city, I find the best way to explore and discover a new place is by foot. I’ve been in the Boston area for a little over a week now and lucky for me, the weather has been beautiful so far (minus one rainy day or two, but I was at work all day, so no biggie). I took it upon myself to “master” the T this weekend from the nearest station to my home into Downtown. Minus the crazy highways up here (I find myself cringing every time I merge onto one), all ran smoothly as I made my way from the suburbs into Boston Common.

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A scenic view of the Massachusetts State House from the center of Boston Common.

I’m a HUGE food truck fan (or connoisseur as I like to say) and first discovered them while going to school in Greenville, SC. In fact, I loved them so much I even devoted a semester-long project to them for my Digital Communications class (find my sub-par Youtube video on them here). There were only a few food truck options in Greenville, but I loved reading articles in the paper about the “food truck revolution” taking place across the nation. Needless to say, whenever I relocate to a new city the first thing I research is the food and restaurant scene.

Hence, here in Boston I discovered SoWa Sundays (SoWa = the cultural district south of Washington Street), which has a Food Truck Court where 25+ food trucks convene every Sunday (May – October) rain or shine to serve delicious plates to Bostonians and visitors alike. On my walk there, I happened upon a farmer’s market, a craft goods market, and a vintage/antique market. It was like a dream come true – handmade earrings, homemade candles, vintage magazine covers and clothing galore. Plus, how could I forget the fresh, local produce (I’m a huge proponent of the local food movement).

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Entrance into the Vintage Market.

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Hunting for treasure.

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They even had a vintage telephone booth from London!

It took a lot of willpower not to buy everything I saw…but of course I couldn’t leave empty-handed. I managed to find a baking book from a San Francisco pastry shop – I’ll be sure to attempt the recipes and share them with you all. I also had to manage not to eat any of the freshly baked goods on display at the Farmer’s Market as I had to save my appetite for the abundance of food truck options awaiting me. Which leads me to the best part of my adventure: the Food Truck Court.

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This was too good to be true! (I’m quite the cookie monster myself).

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Batch, redefining the “ice cream truck”.

I came hungry and left happy. My favorites were the Rosemary Lemonade (I’ve got to find an at-home recipe for this – very refreshing for hot summer days) and the Korean Pork Bulgogi Slider from the Dining Car. The food truck owners had their whole family onboard helping them prepare the food for the 20+ people waiting in line, wide-eyed and hungry. Definitely worth the wait!

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The Korean Pork Bulgogi Slider -yum! (Notice I couldn’t wait to take a bite before snapping a photo).

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Just a few of the many satisfied customers.

Of course I couldn’t leave without some dessert, which is where The Cookie Monstah came to the rescue. Anyone who knows me well enough, knows cookies are my weakness. I bought a freshly baked M&M cookie, but they’re famous for their cookie ice cream sandwiches (I’ll be back for one, don’t you worry!). After the long, hot walk back to Boston Common, it was the perfect treat while taking in the afternoon in the park.

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As the Cookie Monster would say, “Me want cookie!”

All in all, it was a Sunday well spent!