Weekends Before Social Distancing :)

I thought it would be nice to look back on the good ol’ days that were filled with friends, food, and fun…gosh you guys I do love a good alliteration πŸ™‚

This particular weekend recap is from a while ago so pleaaase enjoy the post and continue to stay at home and Facetime!

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We’ve always been big into including workouts and plenty of activity just to help balance out some of the goodies we eat during the weekends. We started Friday off with a good workout and a walk to Starbucks for breakfast.

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We always love their spinach egg white feta wrap, turkey bacon and cheddar and egg English muffin, and the egg white sous vide. It was a really great breakfast! There was a farmer’s market so after breakfast we walked around and bought some mandarins and oranges.

We had a fun little dinner at King’s Fish House. We somehow ended up getting full of apps and their delicious sourdough bread and that was totally fine!

We ended up walking home as rain started sprinkling down and had some dessert at home. We’ve both been enjoying having more fruit and I am so excited for summer fruit season!

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We watched The Stranger-you guys we literally watched every single episode in this one night. It was so good!

Saturday included another workout and we ended up heading to the mall to find some work shoes for me. We found some good options, but ultimately decided to find some online.

We did find a kiosk selling these marshmallow treats and we had to try them! They ended up being just okay, but I am happy to have tried them.

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We hung out with some friends Saturday night. Our initial plan was sushi, but there was an hour to 90 minute wait and we were not about that. We left and went to a food market and tried out the wing spot-Fire Wings.

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I loved doing this because we got to try a bunch of different flavors and my absolute favorite out of all of this was the seasoned fries and the Thai chili wings. You guys these were some crispy wings! I cannot wait to go back and see if the quality stands and try more flavors!

We kept Sunday pretty chill. Instead of a workout we went on a walk and picked up some last minute groceries.

We caught up on stuff and got ready for the week ahead. After wrapping up laundry we went and walked to pick up dinner and dessert.

We’ve been loving the larger pizzas from Blaze so we ordered a couple (one for today and one for the week).

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I got some mini cupcakes from Baked and I am so sad to report that three out of four of these cupcakes were “meh.” They seemed almost dry? The dulce de leche was still so good though πŸ™‚

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We consumed more fruit and went for another walk before settling in to chill out for the night.

Let me know what your current weekends are looking like in the comments below!

 

Oh the food we will eat…Catch LA

Catch LA has never been one of those spots that’s been on my radar. I’m an avid Yelp user and am super blessed to live around so much good food! There are so many spots that are 4.5 stars with hundreds if not thousands of reviews. It’s insane!

Catch LA is 3.5 stars which is good and it’s a super popular Insta spot in LA. It’s one of those places you go to “see and be seen.” It’s super LA in vibe-music, loud chatter, dim lighting, eclectic decor. It’s cute!

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It was explained to us that the menu was meant for sharing but if we wanted to do larger individual dishes the “Big Fish” or “Big Meat” menu would be the way to go. We opted to go the sharing route so we could try a few of their popular things.

We ordered five items: Catch Ceviche, Truffle Sashimi, Crunchy Rice Cake, Cod Lettuce Wraps, and Lobster Mac and Cheese.

The first dish that came out was the truffle sashimi. Tuna, hamachi, chili ponzu, caviar, and black truffle came together to create the most delectable bite. This was almost melt in your mouth-so buttery! This was one of the group’s favorites!

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The ceviche was a combination of Alaskan king crab, Maine lobster, shrimp, and scallops with mango and blood orange ponzu. It was fresh and bright and enjoyable. I don’t know if this is a dish I think you need to order, but it was good.

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Hubby enjoyed the cod lettuce wraps, but I thought they were kinda bland? These came with bourbon miso, kataifi, and shitake mushrooms. The fish was well cooked but that’s all I could say about this one. If you come here I would skip this one…

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Now, the lobster mac and cheese. OH.EM.GEE. The lobster mac and cheese. It was not super ooey gooey cheesy, but it had the best savory umami flavor and it held up well to the lobster. It was hardy and delicious! You should absolutely get this πŸ™‚

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The last dish to come out was the crunchy rice cake with tuna tartare and wasabi tobiko. I love a good crunchy rice cake and this dish ended up being the favorite of the night. The crispy rice cake, the mildly spiced fish…please get this. 3/3 of us said this was our favorite dish of the night!

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We did get dessert and decided to go for the most popular and probably Insta-worthy? The Hit Me Chocolate Cake. Liquid Klondike, roasted white chocolate ice-cream, brownie, and devil’s food. It’s called “Hit Me” because you have to hit the “Klondike” bar with your spoon to crack it open. It was a deliciously chocolatey but not overly chocolatey dish. I think chocolate lovers and chocolate likers will both enjoy this dish immensely. I would recommend this to add to your list of “do get.”

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Three of the five dishes were incredible. That’s a pretty good amount I think? In terms of service I don’t have much to say because it was just okay. There was no Republique type of attentiveness or attention to detail, but it wasn’t bad either.

I really enjoyed our time at Catch LA. I think a big part of that had to do with being there with people I enjoy. I do think there are better foodie spots to explore, but it is super popular and Instagramable.

Talk to me in the comments and let me know if you’ve been to Catch LA? Did you like it? Thanks for reading and I’ll see you Thursday!

 

Oh the food we will eat…Mario’s Place

For a little date night we decided to take a hop, skip, and jump over to Riverside.

I had been craving pasta for a bit now so we decided on Italian. Hubby found the place and made the reservation.

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We were seated immediately upon arrival. On Yelp the attire recommended was California casual. If you don’t know it just means some are usually casual and some are super dressed. Being date night we had dressed up a little and I am so glad because so was everyone else there.

The restaurant was a lot more formal than either of us were thinking. White table cloths and prettily folded napkins greeted us at our candle lit table.

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I had glanced through photos on Yelp and saw some items that were popular. We had already decided to skip apps to save room for a pasta dish and a pizza.

Our final decision ended up being the mushroom ravioli and their pizza of the night-a red sauce, mozz cheese, cauliflower, sausage creation.

After we ordered we were brought this beautiful bread-warm, crusty outside and oh so soft inside. It came with butter at the most perfect temp. Super easy to spread without being overly melty.

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Since we don’t eat sausage we got the ‘za sans sausage. Even though it ended up being a cheese pizza with cauliflower it was a very delicious pizza with cauliflower.

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The sauce was savory, the cheese had good pull, the chilli flakes added some heat and the cauliflower added a nice textural change. We each had one slice and decided to dig into the pasta.

The mushroom ravioli was swimming in cream sauce and porcini mushrooms. It had a nice heap of shaved parm on top too.

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The ravioli was filled with the most savory mushroom filling. The sauce was creamy, but not overly so and very well seasoned. The mushrooms added a nice meaty texture and flavor.

I’m not big into white sauce pizza or pasta but this pasta has me rethinking all of that!

We ended up taking the rest of the pizza home since we were so full from the pasta. Not to worry…I ate every last slice over the period of a week πŸ˜‰

We had a lovely time at Mario’s place. If you happen to live in or near Riverside it’s a great little spot for a date night!

Pizza and friends

Our friends that had moved out of state came to visit and we had to see them! They are the most wonderful people and they have the sweetest kiddos.

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We had been to the Luggage Room in Pasadena with them before and hadn’t been back since then so we decided it was time for a visit!

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After chatting for a bit the husbands went to order and oh man did we order!

They ordered a couple of pizzas and a salad. We ordered a chopped salad, a burrata pizza, and some deviled eggs.

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You guys, I love a good chopped salad. Nothing makes me happier than being able to shovel salad in my mouth without the interruption of oddly shaped leaves being half in and half out of my mouth. This salad was right up my ally!

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The deviled eggs were yummy. There was either mustard or horseradish or something mixed in to give it a bit of a kick. We both really like deviled eggs, but it’s not something we commonly see on a menu. I think we were surprised and intrigued by the fact it was at a pizza place.

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The pizza was a Neapolitan style and you know how much I LOVE a good Neapolitan pizza.

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The burrata was gooey and soft, the sauce added a really great brightness to contrast the rich cheese. I love that they just chop up a bunch of basil to top off their pizzas. It adds a nice herby freshness.

After eating, talking, and more eating and talking we had to go our separate ways. We had plans to go to Alcove and were sad they couldn’t join us, but so happy to have seen them.

Alcove had a line to order food but since we just wanted a slice of cake we were able to skip the line. We eye drooled over all the cakes on display but settled on an oldie but a goodie-the birthday cake πŸ˜‹

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Okay so that’s where we had planned on our food adventure ending, but B mentioned that Donut Man was on the way home.

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Donut Man is kinda famous in SoCal for their glazed donut filled with strawberries. There is usually a line and we had been once before. Sadly the other donut they are known for is a tiger tail but they ran out before we ordered the last time.

We were determined to get a tiger tail this time. And we did…along with a couple of other donuts…

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The tiger tail was warm and I could feel it through the box. That led us to trying that and all the donuts in the car 😬

Totally worth it because very few things are as wonderful as a warm, yeasty donut. This was a good combination of melt in your mouth and having a good chew. Donut Man does a great classic donut!

We drove back home sugared up and tummies full!

Do you have a favorite local donut shop? Talk to me in the comments below!

Our Valentine’s Date

I know I’m a bit late posting this, but I am happy to finally share our Valentine’s Day. Being completely transparent, we hadn’t planned on doing anything major. We were going to stay in, cook dinner, and watch a movie. Everyday is basically Valentine’s Day for me because I get to spend it with the best husband ever, but he knows how much I love a good date night so out we went.

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We had no reservations anywhere but forged ahead and walked to an outdoor mall with plenty of options. Our plan was King’s Fish House but the wait would be an hour to an hour and a half. We decided to check out somewhere else and put our names down for Kabuki because the wait was 35 minutes!

While “waiting” we walked around and asked about some other waiting times. Lucille’s BBQ had a wait for three hours!! I was astonished!

Thankfully for us all of that killed some time and we arrived back at Kabuki and chatted for a little while before it was our turn to get seated. We were both so happy to finally be sitting and looking at a menu! To say we went a bit overboard with ordering is being kind.

Anytime we go get sushi we always get edamame. Whether it’s plain or garlicky and spicy we love the stuff. It’s something delicious to munch on and distract you while you wait for everything else. This time was no different and we ordered the spicy garlic edamame.

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This menu had pictures and when I noticed the black miso cod it looked so good so we had to try it. The cod was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The freshness of the cucumbers and carrots that came with it added a nice contrast to the perfectly cooked fish.

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Ever since discovering spicy tuna on crispy rice we always look for it on the menu. There’s something so magical about the tuna piled high on the crispy cake of rice. The texture of the soft fish and the crispy rice patty really make it delectable.

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We ordered three sushi rolls. The first was a nice basic spicy tuna roll. It was good and fresh! Nothing to complain about and nothing to write home about..

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I wish I could remember what the 2nd and 3rd rolls were, but I can’t and I’ve been combing through the menu now for a good 10 minutes and have had no luck figuring it out.

I think the second one was the Sun Kissed Roll with salmon the outside and spicy tuna and avocado on the inside.

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The other had this coconut curry base with red bell pepper, cilantro, and shrimp on top of a California roll (maybe??)..

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We both left feeling fully and happy! It was a little panicky in the beginning trying to figure out a plan B on the fly, but thankfully it all worked out! We had a great time and enjoyed spending some together time…goodness I do love my guy!

For Valentine’s are you guys stay at home and relax to the max people or go out people? Let me know in the comments below!

Oh the food we will eat…Porto’s

For hubby’s birthday one of his co-workers had very sweetly gifted him a gift card to Porto’s. Now, we love Porto’s and would have gone anyway, but having the gift card was definitely an added incentive πŸ™‚

Porto’s is this amazing Cuban bakery that has delicious baked goods (duh), coffees/teas/beverages, and incredible food. The lines are always long, but go pretty quickly. Once you get to the front of the line you get called by an available person where you order all the baked goods your heart desires. You do have to be a bit loud because people all around you are ordering too.

Once you order your person tells you to wait right there while they run and grab all your treats. They then have you go to the cashier and order any other drinks or food you’d like and pay. After ordering our treats this time we decided to order food. We ordered and got a tracker so they could bring us the food to our table.

It’s quite the experience to say the least!

Now for what we got! We were hungry so we ordered the grilled citrus chicken breast with salsa verde. We wanted a sandwich as well and got the Porto’s Torta with grilled steak.

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The chicken dish came with rice, black beans, and plantains. Every part of this dish was so good-my highlights were the chicken and plantain. The chicken was savory and the salsa verde added a good acidity. The plantains I saved for last because they were sweet and caramelized and the perfect little ending (except we also had cookies…more on that later).

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The sandwich had guac, black bean spread, cotija cheese, lettuce and tomato. I loved that the grilled steak was chopped up so it was easy to bite through. It drives me a bit bonkers when there are grilled pieces of steak and when you bite into your sandwich that whole piece of steak comes out. The sandwich came with a side of plantain chips-y’all know I love my plantain chips!

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On to the sweeter side of things…I had gone there with the intention of getting these soft, shortbread type cookies filled with dulce de leche. They are called besitos and they are one of the best things on the planet. We each had one after our meal and lordyyy…one of the best meals ever!

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Other than the besitos we had gotten a few things to have throughout the next few days. The caramel flan which is absolutely delicious and not to sweet. If it’s your first time here I would recommend the individual size tres leches, the caramel flan, guava and cheese pastry (we didn’t get this time) and besitos.

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I wanted to try the creme brulee this time but it ended up being a bit of a fail. The custard was a bit to runny and there wasn’t that satisfying crispy top. I wasn’t too devastated by this because they have way too many other delicious treats.

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We also got the chocolate twist which was so flaky and mildly sweet with chocolate swirled throughout the pastry. I really liked the cinnamon roll, it had a super vanilla smell and flavor. We warmed it up and it was sweet and gooey!

The brownie was dense but cakey at the same time. It was not my favorite chocolatey treat, but the hubs really liked it. I think if you like dark chocolate then you would definitely enjoy this!

Now the piece de resistance was this tres leches cake roll. To be honest it wasn’t much of a cake roll, but I didn’t mind that one bit. Tres leches cakes are one of my favorite cakes and I can never turn one down. The frosting was thick and fluffy at the same time but not at all sweet. I like that they left the sweetness up to the milky cake. It was a great balance.

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I was telling B that the only thing to make this even better would have been some fruit! I mentioned before you should try the individual tres leches, but after you’ve done that I highly recommend the tres leches “cake roll.”

I’ve had the opportunity to try their large sheet cake of tres leches with fruit and it is incredible and remains on my list of favorite cakes of all time, but there’s only 2 of us and we don’t need that large of a cake no matter how much my eyes and stomach say otherwise.

If you ever get the chance to visit Porto’s I highly recommend you to go and experience it for yourself! Have you ever been to a Cuban bakery? What are some of your favorite treats?

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next time!

 

Republique Round 2

I think I mentioned in my Saturday Lunch post that we were spending the day in LA because we had a friend’s birthday thing that evening. Well, our friend’s birthday thing was at Republique and ended up being one of my favorite foodie experiences!

Once we arrived we were taken upstairs to a space reserved for the event. We caught up and chatted with our friends and before we knew it food started showing up. It was served family style with course after course and I definitely had to work hard to pace myself.

In true Republique style the service was so incredible and the food was brought out with what seemed like the perfect amount of timing. You had enough time to chat and eat the dish that was brought out before the next one came out.

All these pictures are taken by B, but there are some dishes that were missed. He did a great job of managing to eat, talk, serve our little group, and take pictures! He’s a gem!

We started with oysters…neither the hubs nor I could figure out if this was our first or second time with oysters. I was convinced that it was our second! Either way the oysters were amazing with a squeeze of lemon…

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These crostinis with fish and caviar were a real treat! Crispy, salty, and delicious!

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We had two pasta dishes. One was filled with butternut squash and sweet while the other was a cacio y pepe and much more on the savory side of things.

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These fried potato puffs were so good and I can’t remember what the sauce was, but it was really good.

I think I’ve had duck once before and I am so happy that this was my second duck dish ever because it was so tender and perfectly cooked!

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From what I remember there was a salmon dish and a short rib dish which were both really good. The short rib dish was one of my favorite things we ate, but I have no pictures. In fact the night was a big blur of food and I can’t remember all the other savory things we ate.

There were three desserts and they were all beautiful and delicious and balanced. We don’t have a picture of the first one, but I believe it was a berry sort of situation. The second one that came out was this chocolatey glass of goodness. It had some hints of hazelnut and although looking super chocolatey I don’t remember thinking it was overwhelmingly chocolatey…if that makes sense?

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This last dessert was a pastry boat with caramelized apples (or pears?) and a scoop of soft vanilla ice-cream. The big surprise was that once it was brought out they shaved cheese on top of it. We were all a bit in awe, but once we dug in we were all cheesy grins (sorry, not sorry for the pun)! It was sweet, savory, crispy, creamy, cold and warm-one of my favorite desserts of the night!

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You guys we were there for four hours…FOUR hours and we had no idea! A large part of that was the great company. We had planned on heading home after dinner, but spontaneously decided to head to the next birthday destination-Lucky Strike.

We bowled, played pool, had more snacks, had more cake, and by the time we got home and got ready for bed it was 2:30am…we crashed hard to say the least!

I love food experiences where you get to try a little bit of everything, are you the same? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for coming by!

 

 

Saturday Lunch

You know how you sometimes go to a place, love it, and never really get a chance to go back? Well, you know how when you go back and you fall in love all over again? Yeah that happened to me recently…

This particular Saturday we needed to be in LA for a friend’s birthday so we decided to just make a whole day of it. We worked out, got ready, and headed out to Pasadena to eat at Fiore Market Cafe.

We were really worried that they were going to be out of bread (fresh baked in house) because we have had that happen before, but lucky for us bread was a plenty!

We ordered 2 sandwiches to split-the tempeh bacon sandwich and the short rib sandwich.

The short rib had an Asian slaw, pickles and chipotle mayo. It was super simple, but so yummy. The beef was shredded and savory while the slaw and pickles added acidity and freshness. If you’re a first timer here I would highly recommend this!

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The tempeh bacon sandwich was their take on a vegan BLTA. It had tomato, lettuce, avocado, and veganaise. This was the hubby’s favorite out of the 2 which surprised us both. The tempeh had a bit of sweetness which I think he enjoyed.

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Both of these came on their freshly baked bread. You guys this bread is soft, fluffy white bread with this crusty outside. If I weren’t starving and ready to inhale anything put in front of me I would have cried at the beauty of this bread.

We obviously had to get some chips on the side and the jalapeno cheddar kettle chips reminded me of queso? B did not agree, but I kept eating and exclaiming how much it tasted like queso! The sandwiches came with a simple side salad dressed with a vinegary dressing of sorts-honestly it was really good. I love a good side salad!

After lunch we walked around the area and enjoyed the trees, houses, and stores until we came across Berry Opera. It was a little French bakery and I needed something sweet so I decided that we should share one of their mini cream puffs. B decided on the pistachio-this puff was nothing we expected. The puff itself was more bready than pastry and the cream was thick and butter creamy. We both enjoyed it and our sweet tooth was satiated!

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I love Pasadena in general and if you guys ever find yourselves here you won’t find a shortage of yummy things to eat or beautiful things to see. What is one of your favorite cities/towns to visit where you live? Let me know in the comments!

Oh the food we will eat…Pikunico

One of the blessings of living close to LA is that when you hear about a food spot on YouTube or TV it’s close enough to drive to go and check it out.

We are big fans of Worth It on YouTube and recently they had a show about fried chicken sandwiches. One of the spots they talked about was Pikunico and the way they described this sandwich and the way it looked had us drooling!

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We were in OK at the time, but we made plans that when we got back from our trip we would be trying this place out. We arrived on a Friday night to find it pretty empty minus a few people. We had to order the Golden Chicken Sandwich so we did along with the salad sampler and fingerling fries.

The salad sampler had their 3 salads that were fresh and delicious, but I could easily skip next time. The broccoli and beet were my favorite out of the three.

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The fingerling potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft and buttery on the inside. These were seasoned really well with salt and negi!

The sandwich was the star of the show. The bun was a golden turmeric bun with pickled daikon, watercress, sprouts, lemon aioli, jalapeno, and miso jam. The chicken was dark meat and fried to a delicious crispiness.Β All of these ingredients came together to create the most incredible melody of salt, fat, acid, and heat (love that docuseries)!

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This was one of our favorite chicken sandwiches and definitely one of the more complex, in terms of flavor. I highly recommend Pikunico if you ever get a chance to try it! Get the chicken sandwich and fingerling potatoes πŸ™‚

Do you have a favorite chicken sandwich? Also has anyone had the Popeye’s? What’s the hype?

Christmas in OK

We had a lovely Christmas back at home, but are also happy to be back in a routine after the holidays.

I always feel a bit sad post holiday season, but this year I am happy to get back to day to day.

On the day we arrived we went and stayed at my parents house. I showed hubby family albums and we ate a lot of cookies.

Day 2 was Christmas! Since everything was closed we were restless so we explored some of our old stomping grounds and reminisced about the past and the changes. We decided to grab lunch at IHOP (it was the only thing open)! Pancakes, omelettes, and burgers galore.

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Day 3 we finally had the opportunity to hit up the gym and we headed to B’s parent’s house. Before that we had grabbed some treats from Trader Joe’s and had the fam meet us at Torchy’s for tacos.

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Day 4 we went to the gym and hung out until dinner time. We checked out a mall and went to Ted’s. I guess we missed our Tex-Mex! Andy’s frozen custard was walking distance so we obviously had to check it out πŸ˜πŸ˜‹

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Day 5 included another gym session and eating leftover Ted’s post workout. It’s a commonly known fact that when you go to Ted’s you end up filling up on tortillas, chips, salsa and queso so you take home your entree and that is what happened. It made for a yummy meal! We got some donuts from Hurts donuts for dessert #health. We headed to my parent’s for the night and hung out for a bit before calling it a night!

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On Sunday, we woke up dark and early at 4am to get to the airport the next day. We flew home with no bumps or delays and arrived home to run errands and get ready for the week of New Year’s and a busy work week! We had some Blaze pizza with high rise dough this time and cupcakes from our favorite place! We hit the hay quite early-we were pooped!

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That, my friends, concludes our Christmas! I hope you all had a lovely holiday!!