what i ate wednesday: london, baby!
if you follow me on instagram and snapchat [which you should be, duh!] you’re probably well aware that i spent the first 2 weeks of july in the u.k. and ireland with my family. it was a [much needed] vacation that exceeded my expectations in just about every way imaginable… the food being one of them.
it comes as no surprise that i. love. food. like… i really love food. i consider myself to be a “foodie” and aside from my pescatarian diet, will try juuuuusssstttttt about anything. so, when i started to hear that the food in the places we were going kinda sucked… i was… disappointed… but ultimately decided to brush off the haters and go in with a completely open mind.
and it turns out… those people didn’t know what the eff they were talking about. need proof? look no further! here’s another edition of what i ate wednesday… featuring london, baby!
full english breakfast at muriel’s kitchen:
traveling from l.a. to london involved being in airport/on a plane for nearly 24 hours, so by the time we arrived i was ready for some real food. since we landed in the late morning, brunch it was! i found muriel’s on instagram, and when i saw that they served traditional english breakfast [aka full english] i knew this would be a great first stop… a real “welcome to the u.k.” kinda meal, ya feel me?
a truly traditional full english involves bacon and/or sausage, but luckily for me, muriel’s served a vegetarian version, swapping out the meat for bubble and squeak, another traditional english dish made from potatoes and cabbage. i [obviously] added a mimosa because #vacation… perfect way to kick off the trip!
fish + chips [+ beer!] at the fish house:
naturally, our first dinner in england could have only been one thing… fish + chips! i’m honestly happier than i should be that i had never in my life experienced fish + chips until this moment… i feel like it made it that much better… and i instantly became obsessed [and proceeded to eat way more fried fish over the next 2 weeks than anyone should… so sue me].
the fish house was my favorite of them all… the breading was crispy, the fish literally melted in my mouth, and the chips [aka fries] were just how i like ’em… i normally cannot stand mayo… but in europe served with fries? bring it on.
high tea at the wolseley:
on day 2 in london, my mom, my aunt, and i sent the boys off on their own so we could enjoy afternoon tea at the wolseley, which was recommended to me by a dear friend who grew up between london and new york… oh. my. god. i don’t even know where to begin here.
the scones with jam and clotted cream: insane. the finger sandwiches [egg salad, cucumer, smoked salmon with cream cheese] were made with the softest bread of all time. the desserts, the jasmine tea, the champagne?! this is a meal… no, an experience… that i will remember for the rest of my life. speechless.
indian fare at thali:
ever since i went to india in 2014, indian food has just never been the same. luckily, london is known for having incredible indian cuisine all over the city, and we certainly had plenty of options. i had never tried thali before, but it was a perfect way to have a little bit of everything considering that everything on the menu sounded incredible.
thali is essentially a giant round sampler platter, served with basmati rice in the center and naan on the side… and then gulab jamun for dessert. my thali consisted of saag paneer, spicy red lentils, tandoori potatoes, fried okra with onions and tomatoes, and a yogurt dip. still didn’t live up to indian food in india… but it came pretty damn close… and the naan? i could have had about 4 more servings. so. damn. good.
ice cream at marshfield farm:
on our day trip from london to stonehenge, we stopped in bath for a few hours, and our tour guide insisted that we go to marshfield farm for ice cream. that soft serve on the top there? clotted. cream. ice cream. need i say more?
so, in conclusion… london was pretty spectacular, food-wise. the verdict:
must eat: high tea at the wolseley
must drink: a beer literally everywhere you go
honorable mention: fish + chips at the fish house
next time, for what i ate wednesday, i’ll dive into the food in the isle of man, belfast, and dublin… london really just needed its own post because of how effing good everything was.
where are your favorite london spots?! comment below… i’ll be making it back to this city one of these days!
what i ate wednesday: australia edition
i’m back from an amazing 16-day vacation in the land down under and the reverse culture shock is still going strong. i’ve spent the last few days recovering from jet lag [not as bad as i thought it would be considering the major time difference and crossing the international dateline] and while it’s always sad when vacation ends, i’m excited to get back into my routine this week.
let’s get right to it, and as always after every trip i take, first thing’s first is a what i ate wednesday post to cover everything i ate + drank while i was away. holy shit. where do I even begin? i think it’s best to just start from the top…
stop #1: broome
broome was the first town i visited because it was where my friend was getting married. we mostly ate in, as a bunch of us had rented a house with a full kitchen, but i did make my way to a health food store in an attempt to detox before the wedding.
fresh pressed juice at broome natural wellness:
the “liver lover” juice seemed appropriate… beet, carrot, lemon and ginger. a large cost around $6 usd… we aren’t in kansas anymore!
fresh, sustainable fare at jack’s bar + restaurant, eco beach:
my friends got married at an eco lodge, which was basically heaven for this chick. everything about this place was out. of. con. trol. they have their own organic farm on-site that produces 70% of the produce used in their restaurant. i ate the grilled haloumi salad every day. the cocktails were also amazing and definitely inspired me to keep experimenting with my own fresh, healthy cocktails!
stop #2: cairns
cairns is a fairly small town in north eastern australia that’s popular because of its proximity to the great barrier reef and the rainforest. there wasn’t a whole lot going on here, but there were a few places worth noting.
fresh coconuts at rusty’s market:
this massive coconut was full of the freshest, most flavorful coconut water. oh, and each coconut only cost about $2.50 usd. yea.
lunch at coco lavish:
this was a great little mom and pop style café with lots of fresh, healthy options… salads, smoothies, wraps and tons of coconut products! i had the kale and chickpea wrap.
kebabs… because you can’t get this sh*t in the u.s.:
a favorite of anyone who has spent time abroad, kebab stands are pretty common in australia, as well. the vegetarian option, falafel, wrapped in a pita and topped with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms and tzatziki… never disappoints.
dinner at the woolshed:
this place was recommended to us by some locals for dinner and drinks. after our day trip to the reef, we chilled out for a bit with a few beers and some good old-fashioned pub food. we started with the grilled haloumi fingers [loving all of the haloumi cheese in australia!] and for my main course i had the stuffed portobello mushroom, filled with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto and feta cheese.
nitrogen gelato at nitrolato:
i found this place on instagram and was immediately intrigued. the gelato for each order is made in individual servings on the spot and served sundae style. i had the swiss chocolate lindt ball which was vanilla gelato with a lindt truffle blended into it and topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. while i’m still not sure what nitrogen gelato is exactly and the decor/presentation of this place is pretty cheesy, the gelato was effing delicious.
stop #3: brisbane
okay, brisbane has some serious sh*t happening in the food world and i found myself with more options than i knew what to do with. so many, in fact, that i had to eat two breakfasts one day just to get to all of the places i wanted to try while i was there.
brunch at lock ‘n’ load:
lock ‘n’ load is in the west end, a brooklyn-esque neighborhood in brisbane that i absolutely loved with so many options for places to eat that i struggled with making a decision. the sweet corn fritters with avocado, poached eggs and spinach on the menu at lock ‘n’ load ultimately won me over and paired perfectly with a pacific ale from byron bay’s stone + wood brewing company, just down the road from brisbane!
dinner in chinatown at thai wi-rat:
i heard so much about the asian influence in australia that i had to make sure to check out an asian restaurant while i was there. i came across chinatown in brisbane and had dinner at thai wi-rat, where i gravitated due to the long line of locals standing outside. simple, flavorful and delicious. i had thin rice noodles with spicy sauce, tofu and veggies.
brunch at the little larder:
as you can probably tell, breakfast [or “brekky”] slash brunch is on. point. in australia. and the avocado toast game is on a whole other level. the little larder was just down the street from where i was staying in new farm, so it’s a little out of the way, but if you’re ever in brisbane, it’s worth checking out! i had the avocado toast, which was sourdough rye, also served with goat cheese whip and pickled beets. so, so, so good.
because i wanted to try both of these places and only had one morning left in brisbane, i did what any reasonable person would do and had two breakfasts, back to back.
i started at doughnut time after seeing pictures of long lines on social media and went with the creme brûlée doughnut. the custard filling was out of this world.
next, to balance out all of the sugar from the doughnut i had first and to hopefully counteract the onset of diabetes [kidding, kidding] i went to cocobliss, a superfoods bar in the west end specializing in açai bowls that change with the season. mine was topped with bananas, cacao nibs and coconut flakes. they also serve organic, fair trade coffee!
dinner at claret house:
my friends who got married in broome actually ended up in brisbane for a few days en route to their honeymoon, so we met up for a romantic dinner for three at claret house on my last night in town. the hand cut potatoes with rosemary, sea salt and garlic aioli were some of the best fries [or chips, as they say in australia] i’ve ever had, the haloumi salad [again with the haloumi!] was beautiful, with sweet potatoes and feta cheese and the desserts… omg. hand made chocolate truffles with blood orange and fresh macarons [lemon, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate]. everything was just lovely.
stop #4: sydney
again, another city just overflowing with food options.
coffee + lunch at katipo coffee house:
this place was just down the road from where i was staying in bondi and it was such a cute little escape! the lunch i had there on my first day in sydney was great… israeli couscous with lentils, pepper, butternut squash, carrots, almonds and feta cheese.
the best ice cream ever at aqua s:
okay. another one i came across on instagram that immediately went on my list. the ice cream here… just un. real. the flavors were so unique and the presentation was spot. on. i couldn’t not get the sea salt ice cream, which was perfectly sweet and salty and creamy. the black sesame cone was the perfect pairing and i got the toasted marshmallow on a chocolate covered pretzel stick garnish because it looked so effing perfect. i would eat here every day if i could.
obviously i would stumble upon a food market when wandering around sydney. this little neighborhood was right next to the harbor and had a lot of great options. i tried the turkisk gözleme, a flatbread stuffed with cheese, spinach and mushrooms.
pizza at vacanza:
this was a great local spot in surry hills that two friends took me to for dinner. while eating pizza wasn’t something i imagined i’d be doing in australia, this place was worth it! we started with the pear and bresola salad, which was arugula [wild rocket in australia], parmesan cheese, pears and bresola on the side. i went for the vacanza pizza, a white pie with fresh mozzarella and pecorino cheeses, truffle oil and mushrooms… and then I added burrata… because why wouldn’t i add burrata? And i ate the whole thing by myself. i think that says it all.
kombucha on tap at the bondi market:
again, i just so happened to stumbled across the farmer’s market in bondi beach one morning on my way to breakfast. the fresh kombucha on tap was amazing!
breakfast at bondi wholefoods:
bondi beach and the surrounding area was just crawling with healthy spots, so i was in heaven. bondi wholefoods is a health food store and restaurant all in one, which is pretty much my idea of perfect. i had to go with the cacao and berry pancakes and omg. they were topped with bananas, strawberries, berry chia jam, cacao cashew cream and cacao nibs. i have nothing more to say on this matter except: JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURE. so many heart-eye emojis.
gelato at messina:
the amount of ice cream i ate on this trip definitely started bordering on offensive. my friends who live in sydney told me to check this place out and i never say no to recommendations from locals. milk chocolate with chocolate peanut butter fudge on top and the mighty gm on the bottom, which was one of their weekly specials and i cannot for the life of me remember what it was… but i do remember that it was damn good.
brunch at bill’s:
another recommendation from locals specifically for the scrambled eggs, i had my last aussie breakfast here. the scrambled eggs with buttered sourdough toast and avocado on the side was so simple and the eggs were cooked so perfectly that no frills were needed.
drinks at opera bar:
while i don’t have any pictures from this stop, i spent my last night in sydney having drinks at opera bar, which has a stunning view of the sydney harbour bridge, circular quay and, as the name suggests, the opera house. it was the perfect way to end my vacation and i recommend that anyone visiting sydney stop here for a cocktail [or two, or three, or five].
must eat: bondi wholefoods + aqua s, both in sydney
must drink: opera bar, sydney
honorable mention: the little larder, brisbane
what i ate wednesday: l.a. edition
from the minute i booked my birthday trip to l.a. back in january, i’ve been researching restaurants and mapping out my meals. i find myself planning weekend trips and full vacations around where and what i’ll be eating [and drinking!] more than what tourist spots and sightseeing i want to do… i guess that means i’m officially a “foodie”?
if that’s the case, l.a. is definitely a great city for foodies and even more so, a great city for health conscious foodies. while i’m all about balance and believe in letting yourself go all out, especially when you’re in a new place or celebrating a special occasion, i have to say that i didn’t really feel like i was overdoing it at any point, simply because 90% of the meals i ate were vegan… and i didn’t even have to try! here’s a round up of the places i ate and most importantly, what i ate.
breakfast at rawvolution:
this little café in santa monica is 100% raw and organic. i had the probiotic coconut yogurt with berries, a little agave and bee pollen with a hot cup of organic coffee after a yoga class. great food, really great service [as with just about every place in l.a., the people are so nice!] and very eco-chic environment.
lunch at kreation kafé:
this place was #soLA i could have died. i met up with a friend here for lunch and we sat outside on the patio [duh]. the vibe was great, the service was also great [again, you’ll notice a pattern in l.a. with this] and they serve your water with chlorophyll in it. yea, right up my alley. i had the hummus garden salad and a green juice [naturally]. kreation kafé has multiple locations in the l.a. area and also happens to have a full juice bar/cleanse line, so they kinda kill two birds with one stone here.
pre-dinner drinks at nobu malibu:
no explanation needed.
dinner at malibu farm:
the pictures are a little dark because we were seated outside, but this was one of the best meals i had on this trip for a few reasons. let’s just state the obvious first: malibu. now, more specifically, this place is located at the end of the malibu pier… outdoor seating, cute decor, big fleece blankets to stay warm with on those chilly southern california nights… you see what i’m saying right? second, all the food is fresh, organic, sourced locally and doesn’t contain any sh*tty ingredients. simply prepared, but so. effing. good. we started with the cauliflower pizza [and wine, duh] and i had the vegan coconut entrée [tofu, veggies, wild rice and coconut sauce].
brunch at gracias madre:
plant-based mexican food. again… do i really need to elaborate? easily my favorite meal of the weekend. first of all, just look at those drinks. now take those, add some chips and guac, vegan cauliflower and mushroom tacos with black bean sauce and cashew cream, and then wrap it all up with a fudge brownie topped with salted mezcal caramel, cashew coconut whipped cream, and coconut bacon… PINCH ME, I MUST BE DREAMING. amazing ambience with an outdoor patio, the best service ever, and bangin’ food. don’t be scared away by the whole “plant-based” thing if you’re not really into that. i promise you won’t even be able to tell the difference.
dinner at sur:
if you’re a bravo fan, you’ll know that we really just ate here more for the novelty factor than anything else. i’m a huge fan of the real housewives of beverly hills [no shame, everyone’s allowed a guilty pleasure] so i felt like not eating here wasn’t an option… and i really wanted to meet giggy. the food was fine, but a little pricey and the portions were pretty small. i had the fried goat cheese balls and the endive salad with gorgonzola cheese and pears [and a cucumber cocktail]. no signs of giggy or lisa… soooo like… did we really even eat at sur?
ice cream at kippy’s:
coconut ice cream [i tried a combination of the cinnamon and date flavors] with a coconut-based chocolate shell and coconut-based caramel syrup. yup.
lunch at true food kitchen:
so, at this point you can probably see what i meant when i said how effortless it is to remain conscious of what you are eating in l.a. i had the “tlt” – tempeh, lettuce, and tomato – sandwich with avocado and two sides [kale salad and sweet potato hash] and the kale-aid green juice… really effing good.
birthday donuts! from dk’s donuts:
finally, my friends surprised me on the morning of my birthday with these babies [and “21” candles, because i’m 21 and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise]. i’ve never seen donuts quite like this before – literally sliced in half and assembled with fillings like sandwiches. one was strawberry shortcake and one was strawberry nutella. yea, i’m done here.
so, my final thoughts are:
must-eat: gracias madre
must-drink: nobu malibu
honorable mention: malibu farm + dk’s donuts
your turn! tell me all of your favorite l.a. spots! my list has grown to 50+ restaurants/bars/cafés… so i have a lot of work to do, but always want more recommendations!
what i ate wednesday: boston + chatham edition
as i mentioned yesterday, i was in boston over the weekend visiting a friend, and what would a weekend getaway be without checking out some local spots for amazing food and a what i ate wednesday recap? not a getaway i’m interested in taking, that’s for sure!
saturday morning, we went for a run down near the harbor, grabbed breakfast, and drove down to the cape for the afternoon, specifically, to the town of chatham, which was like… storybook perfection. it was such a gorgeous day, and even though it was a little windy and chilly, we still took advantage of the sun and spent most of the day outside… and eating. this post is a little more cape heavy, but it’s all relevant [i think]!
smoothies + juices at the juice box:
we hit this cute little juice bar in south boston post-run and i went with the green glow smoothie. they also have breakfast bowls and cleanses available… and a trail mix bar!
flavored coffee at marylou’s:
we stopped for coffee at marylou’s, a massachusetts/rhode island staple, on our way down to the cape. Normally flavored coffee is not something i would ever entertain [sugars, syrups, etc. = major yuck factor] but instead of flavoring the coffee with the sh*t they use at most coffee shops, marylou’s infuses the beans with flavor so you avoid all of those terrible additives. i had a really hard time deciding what to get, but i ended up with an iced mocha mint coffee with a splash of almond milk. you can guess how it was.
afternoon cocktails at chatham bars inn:
we arrived in chatham and immediately went to the chatham bars inn for a drink. the raspberry lemonade [pictured here] was perfect – refreshing, but not too sweet – and i think the view made this even more enjoyable. cocktails + adirondack chairs + the beach + the sun = pure happiness.
lunch [+ beers] at the squire:
the squire is your typical dive bar with walls covered in snarky license plates from all over the country. they serve pub-fare with an emphasis on seafood [this is cape cod, after all] and if you’re into that sorta thing, you should definitely check this place out. as a vegetarian, i went with the black bean veggie burger served with a side of fries and coleslaw. naturally, i washed it down with the cape cod i.p.a. they had on tap. #foodcoma
brunch at anthony’s café:
finally, on Sunday morning, we had a quick [hungover] brunch at anthony’s café. this place is pretty old school: cash only, walk right up to the counter, order, take a seat [inside or outside] and they bring you your food… served on paper plates. i had the three egg omelette with spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese, served with a side of whole wheat toast and home fries. the picture does not do it justice [i was too busy inhaling my meal to get a good shot], but i guarantee you will understand why this place is a neighborhood staple if you try it out for yourself.
must-eat: anthony’s café
honorable mention: chatham bars inn
what are your favorite boston spots?! share in the comments below!
what i ate wednesday: philly edition
when i’m planning a trip, whether it’s a full-fledged vacation or weekend getaway, i would say about 75% of the things i end up putting on my to-do lists are related to food and drink. making sure to try a famous local/national dish, experiencing a popular restaurant that’s famous for x-y-z, enjoying coffee, wine or beer that is specific to the city or region i am in and of course, finding the hidden gems that are go-to spots for the locals.
i spent last weekend in philly, which you might have seen on instagram, and naturally spent a decent portion of the weekend checking out some places that came highly recommend by friends, and investigating a few spots that caught my eye on social media [one of the many ways i put instagram to use]. i did what i ate wednesday recaps for my last eurotrip and my weekend in south beach, so i figured why no continue this tradition and fill you guys in on some incredible philly eats.
dinner at cuba libre:
firtst and foremost: the cocktail list was massive and had some really unique libations [we opted for the pineapple-basil, and mint, ginger and honey caipirinhas] which is always a nice starting point. we shared the yucca fries, and spinach and manchengo buñuelos as appetizers… definitely opt for the latter here… and the vegetable paella [pictured] as our main course. i love when a vegetarian friendly paella is offered… you really don’t see this much! also, the vibe here is great. you really feel like you are sitting outside under palm trees and street lamps in havana… or at least that’s what i imagine it would be like to be sitting outside under palm trees and street lamps in havana!
ice cream at franklin fountain:
the moment you set foot in this ice cream shop you feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. the décor is all vintage, the employees dress the part and the ice cream is unbelievable. they have an extensive menu of sundaes, milkshakes, and floats, but since i didn’t really feel like going into a food coma at 2pm on a saturday afternoon, i opted for a good old-fashioned two-scooper in a cup: one scoop chocolate and one scoop whirly berly [chocolate with salted caramel swirls and cocoa nibs.. yea]. two scoops was probably much more than i needed but i polished that sucker off anyway. #yolo
beer flights at 2nd story brewing company:
flights… because why limit yourself to only one… or two… or three… beers? they had eight signature brews on tap, so how perfect was the option for two flights [four beers each] so we could give each one a try? they had a few different stouts and an i.p.a., but my personal favorite was the fritzie’s lager… i ordered a draft of this and in my mind i was transported right back to oktoberfest.
brunch at hawthorne’s:
what would a weekend getaway be without a brunch stop? not my kinda weekend getaway, that’s what! sunday morning we headed to hawthorne’s and expected a long wait, but were seated immediately [it probably helped that we arrived at 11am, before the brunch crowd]. they have a full, help yourself style “beer boutique” here, but i opted for mimosaw instead. they serve them “deconstructed” with your own little mini-bottle of champagne, so you know they aren’t skimping on the bubbly. the menu was amazing and making a decision was truly a challenge, but the bananas foster waffle really hit the spot. i sampled a bite of the funnel cake french toast and this would have been another great option. you really can’t go wrong here.
i don’t have pictures from a few of the other places we stopped, but reading terminal market is definitely worth checking out. there are basically 1,000 options here and it’s mostly grab-and-go/bakery/deli style places, so it’s a good place for a casual and inexpensive lunch. we had dinner at continental mid-town on saturday night and while i was super confused by the menu when i first glanced at it, i wasn’t disappointed at all. it’s all tapas/shared style dishes and the eclectic variety of cuisines is almost as awesome as the ambience and décor.
so, to sum it all up, when it comes to philly [based on this trip]:
must eat: hawthorne’s
must drink: cuba libre
honorable mention: franklin fountain
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