Tag Archives: Yelp

Red, White & Zink

25 Jun

On Thursday night, I attended my *teardrop* last Yelp Charlotte Elite event—-Red, White & Zink at Zink. American Kitchen

I wasn’t completely stoked for an outdoor event since it felt extra steamy and sultry this week but give me an open patio with cushioned chairs and lots of room and my vote can be swayed.

Since it’s an Elite event, we were presented with our ultra cool Elite gift of the year. Who knew there was a gift of the year?

I present……

Awesome red watches

Apparently,  I really enjoyed March 7th since I didn’t change my settings for a good hour (who am I fooling, I had someone change it for me since I’m not technical)Which matched my outfit, even better!

I shall take the watch along with me on my travels since I don’t own a watch.

Beer provided by New Belgium and wine provided by Three Girls

I instantly fell in love with their pinot noir

(source)

And as always, I said I was going to leave after one or two drinks but we know that never happens. Sigh, how I long to be a woman of my word!

We also had some live music by Jonathan Brooks. This guy rocked! Ok, so I can’t really name anything he sang but I know I was jammin that night.

As for the food? WOW.

Some servers came out with trays of appetizers when we were having drinks

Duck confit flatbread

There were a few other appetizers going around such as the flatbread, tomato, basil and mozzarella kebabs and pork bellies. The main feature of the evening was their sliders

Both of the sliders were amazing however I heard there was a turkey burger one and another beef one topped with pimento cheese but didn’t see them so in my mind they really didn’t exist. The lamb one was excellent thanks to the tomato jam and the fact that , hello, it’s lamb and lamb is amazing. The angus one was so succulent it just melted in my mouth. Add the fact that it was on a mini pretzel roll, the salty taste of that and juiciness of the meat was the perfect combination.

Zink used to be located in Uptown Charlotte but closed and relocated. However, I like to think they stepped up their menu game with the move. While  I went to Zink a few different times  when it was Uptown, I can’t remember it. The food was that forgettable that I couldn’t even tell you if I had a salad, sandwich, entrée, etc. However, this experience was a complete 180 from when they were located Uptown. Maybe it was the ambience of their patio, live music and oh yeah, everything was free? Color me surprised because I was blown away. They also handed out coupons for free desserts that are valid through the rest of the year. Score.

The one thing that made it a sad evening was that it was my last event as a Charlotte Yelp Elite member. I’ve been to so many awesome events that have introduced me to not only new restaurants and vendors in the are but have also introduced me to an amazing group of people. Thanks Charlotte Yelp for everything in the past year, it’s been a wonderful experience.

Until we meet again, See you on Yelp, Charlotte Yelpers!

Advertisements

A couple of mayo’s

7 May

It’s around 5am and I’m supposed to be leaving for FL at 8am. Yeah, I don’t see that happening. I’ve been up since 3am and couldn’t get back to bed, which is just driving me crazy. Why does insomnia have to hit the night before an 11 hour drive??

So, we shall do a little recap of Cinco de Mayo and Yelpo de Mayo! I met up with some some friends for drinks at Three Amigos for Cinco de Mayo . Some of you may remember Three Amigos from my previous visits here and here—it’s officially my favorite hole in the wall Mexican joint in Charlotte.  The Cinco was a gorgeous day in Charlotte and I was all about getting a margarita in my system! But after three consecutive meals of Mexican food, I really wasn’t in the mood for a huge Mexican meal. So we just noshed on chips, salsa and guacamole instead.

Yep, works for me!

Oh, I didn’t mention the winner of the evening, did I?

Queso dip is proof from god that he indeed, loves us. Look at it spilling over—aw yeah.

On Friday evening, I went to Yelpo de Mayo sponsored by mi amore, Yelp. I go to Elite events every month but the cool thing about Yelpo de Mayo was that it was a free, open event to anyone with a Yelp account!

(source)

The nice part was that Elite members got to go at 7pm before the common folk. Love that since battling the masses was the last thing I wanted to do. The drinks were aflowing! Of course I had to try a margarita to properly kick the fiesta off with

Please disregard chipped nail polish

But then I said adios to the margarita and had the best drink I’ve tasted in awhile—Raspberry Truffle made with Whynatte Latte, vanilla vodka and raspberry schnapps.

I’ve tried Whynatte before at a local bar (they only offer them in bars for the time being, a little confused why only in bars) and that just had vodka in it and was good. But vanilla vodka and raspberry schnapps? Hello, this takes me back to college where I drank White Russians until I dropped (which could also be the reason I gained weight along with the discovery of ranch dressing with french fries freshman year) If your local establishment offers Whynatte, you should definitely try it out!

There were a number of local restaurants providing food. The first thing I tried was duck confit tamale from Roots, a new food truck rolling around in Charlotte!

Then tried chicken enchiladas from Three Amigos. After two visits in less than 24 hours, Three Amigos and I are as thick as thieves!

And then the cupcakes from Cupcrazed

*sigh*

The margarita mini cupcakes were the death of me. I heard a rumor that they were going to be giving to go boxes of cupcakes away if they had any left over by the end of the night. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see if that was true or not which could be a good thing. I really don’t need a to go box of cupcakes but want? Fo sho.

All in all, a successful end to my three day Mexican celebration. If I don’t have to look at any burrito or enchilada, I wouldn’t be sad.

What’s your favorite cupcake?

Any tips to help me fall asleep? I may just leave tomorrow instead if I can’t get back to bed soon. Driving 11 hours is something I don’t want to do if I’m not alert!

Waiting…..

24 Apr

Ok, can I just say that this is my last week of work? Time has flown since I’ve given my notice to my employer, even with me giving away my whole portfolio. I am not going to miss the work one bit but I am really going to miss my coworkers. They are the best crew as a whole that I’ve worked with in a long time and none of them smell like my old co-worker who smelled like bleu cheese and ass.

As for the weekend, well, you guessed it. It went by too fast as usual. We didn’t get to leave early on Good Friday like everyone else I know but I ended up scooting out of there at 4:15pm. I’m sorry but if I have no accounts to work, am falling asleep at my desk in between reading cooking magazines, my time can definitely be spent better elsewhere. Plus, what are they going to do-fire me? I think not. I hope not at least.

I went to the gym right after work and it was a dead zone which was a nice change of pace. Nothing irritates me more than having to wait for a machine. Edit, nothing irritates me more than others who are waiting for machines and hover around you while you work out, as if that’s going to help time pass quicker. Why don’t they just go find something else to do instead of just standing there? They are there for a workout, yes?

Regardless, I don’t even remember what I did besides the Precor AMT but I must have had a rockin workout

I wasn’t in the mood to cook afterwards so I just whipped up a quick meal of asian cole slaw.

Always does the trick.

I also came home to a package from my sister—my Vera Bradley Puccini bag she picked up for me at the Vera Bradley sale in Indiana.

The theme for Saturday’s lunch was let’s-see-how-much-produce-I-can-fit-into-one-meal. It started with Athenos Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Spread on a tortilla to make a quick wrap with red peppers, cucumbers and carrots

 

Complete with a side of apples and nectarines

Shortly after, I attended the Yelp Charlotte Elite  Cajun Invasion at Cajun Queen. I visited this restaurant only once before and was let down by it since it’s supposed to be the best Cajun restaurant in Charlotte. But feed this girl free food and drink and my vote may be swayed.

Wine was provided by Three Girls Wine

I didn’t try any but my friend said it was wonderful. I am temped to buy a bottle since I am one of three girls. However, I am always skeptical of any company or product that doesn’t have a website. It’s 2011, get with it.

The reason I didn’t try any was all because of Mother Earth Brewing.  This was my first time hearing of this beer but found out there are a North Carolina brewery in the eastern part of the state. Hooray for local brews!

The Weeping Willow Wit was my favorite-very comparable to Blue Moon. By the end of the event, I switched over to Sisters of The Moon, which is an IPA. I’ve never been a huge fan of IPA’s but starting to grow an appreciation for them as of late. Plus, the hippie names make me smile. I couldn’t remember the name of Sisters of the Moon  but kept calling it obscure names like Brothers of Jupiter or Fathers of Saturn. The beer rep seemed amused and that’s what I was aiming for. What can I say, my need to make people laugh is part of my charm.

We started with appetizers of shrimp and fried oysters.

Then they told us that the buffet line of entrée items was being served so we grabbed some more grub. I didn’t even need any more since the fried oysters and shrimp had my heart but I wanted to see if the Cajun Queen could wow me this time around.

 

Enter in jambalaya, etouffee with crawfidh, grilled chicken and peach bread pudding. All of it was absolutely delectable and I could have gone for seconds but didn’t want to seem like a complete pig.

You win Cajun Queen.

All in all, it was a fun event to attend. They open at 5pm daily so it was pretty baller to have the restaurant to ourselves and the house band that has been performing there for 24 years even came in to play for us.

Thank god, I had all that beer in my system because it helped me out with falling asleep right after. I needed the energy since it was one of my co-workers birthdays and didn’t want to bring the lame sauce by only staying out for a few hours.

Carrying on the cajun theme from that afternoon, we started at Bourdreaux’s in NoDa for hurricanes.

 

I love their hurricane menu because they are categorized by Category 1-5 Hurricanes-1 being the weakest, 5 being the most hooch filled hurricane you can get. I settled on a category 4 since I had to drive that night and wanted to enjoy the drink instead of wincing every time I took a sip.

Soon after, we headed to Solstice Tavern then to Sin City for karaoke.

Sin City was not what I thought it was going to be. When I think Sin City, I think of bright lights, a huge area and sketchy people. Well, sketchy people it did have. I’m talking more men with neck tattoos than I’ve ever seen in my life, bad hair pieces, worse karaoke singing and vampires.

Yeah, I said vampires. This guy was standing next to us and he had his vampire teeth in. As soon as I saw this, I was on a mission to relocate to another area of the already-small karaoke area.

I heart when randoms get in the background of pictures. And why do I still throw deuces? So three years ago.

Good times had by all. And I even hung until 1am or so with only having a couple of drinks. I am really going to miss these people.

And now it’s Easter afternoon. My Easter hasn’t been the greatest……I woke up early and went to the park with Lincoln where I killed two birds with one stone by listening to a church service that was going on. Then I came home to lay outside before going to a friends for lunch. All was right with the world, the sun was out, it was hot out but not so hot I sweating my balls off and I had Bitter is The New Black in hand since I can read Jen Lancaster over and over again. I made my way inside to freshen up and my door was locked. I started to panic—I never lock my back door if I am hanging out in my yard but for some reason the second lock was locked….not by my doing. I suspect by my landlord when he showed my house a few days ago. I went to the front door and it was locked and thank God I had my phone on me because I had to get in touch with my landlord stat. I called him up and he told me he was three hours away. Of course he was. He told me his wife was in town and could come by and let me in but she would be an hour or so. So I waited…..in the sun which only got hotter and the minutes were going by so slowly. Soon, she showed up and let me in but by that time I was in no mood to be social with anyone (I’m a bit moody for those who do not know me) and just wanted to cool off at home. He called me to make sure I got in and then sprung it on me that he was showing my house. Today. From 4pm to 6pm. On Easter Sunday, in case you didn’t catch that part. Who the hell shows a  house on Easter afternoon, can’t they wait one day? What if I had plans or people coming over? I charged up my computer and went to one coffee house but this random creeper kept following me around. I would get up and move because he smelled like trash and was singing “Amazing Grace” but once I found a new location, there he was. I drove home since it was around 530pm to check the status of if he was done or not and he said he had one more set of people that he was waiting on. So I sit here at Starbucks, blogging my little heart out.

Please tell me your Easter was better??! I just want to go home.

That’s amore!

5 Apr

On Thursday, I attended yet another fabulous Yelp Elite event at Vivace — Rat Pack Rendezvous! I’ve been to Vivace once before and only got to experience the downstairs bar and dining area. The event was held on the second floor, I was curious about the second floor since I have never been up there and saw people go up there when I went before yet no one ever came down, hmmm. What are you all about elusive second floor? Turns out they have a bar, open floor and gorgeous outdoor patio area up there.

It would be a gorgeous view of Uptown Charlotte on a clear day but it was overcast so there wasn’t a lot to see. The patio also faces the greenway and downstairs outdoor seating where they have live music in the summer. I could totally see myself lounging here in the summertime listening to some live jams….with a cold drink of course!

Wine was provided by Palm Bay International-Feudi di San Gregio and Bertrani wines not to mention beer provided by Miller Coors-Peroni.

And of course, there was a wonderful spread of Italian food from Vivace

(source)

And boy did Vivace treat us well! They had charcuterie and cheese plates, flatbread pizza, mushroom pizza, fresh bread with chutney and balls.

Lots and lots of balls!

The first ball selection were the now-famous risotto balls.

I’ve never heard of such thing together but like all great combinations in history, I like both so the idea of the two together seemed like heaven. They had two selections of risotto balls-shrimp and mushroom which were equally delightful. I had to try both a few times just to be sure they were tasty. You never know how Italian wine can mess with your tastebuds so trying them multiple times was essential.

The second set of balls was dessert balls. I was actually too full to even try them but I heard they have chocolate truffles and balls with a raspberry glaze.

There was some entertainment for the evening- a Dean Martin impersonator which was good because I needed a distraction from the risotto balls.

(source)

Good times had by all!

(source)

What’s your favorite Italian dish?

The wise man reads both books and life itself

30 Mar

First and foremost, thanks everyone for the encouraging words, thoughts and experiences of your own from  my last post.  I have so many emotions about quitting my job but feel like it’s the right thing to do for me and was relieved to see that others have been in the same boat. I was also pleased to see some haven’t been in the same boat and it hasn’t been all butterfly farts and rainbows so I appreciate the honest feedback!

Today was a pretty slow day for once, maybe it was because of the nasty weather outside? I woke up to rain hitting the window and knew it was gonna be one of those days. Lincoln didn’t even want to step foot outside and I begged him to just go potty for momma, I didn’t even care if he went #2 inside (he never does but I would make an exception for rain). And of course, it was one of those days where my hair looked awesome without even running a brush through it but once I stepped outside-hello Diana Ross! I felt productive in the morning but maybe that was due to this breakfast of champions?

And of course, I forgot my milk. I contemplated pouring the Red Bell &Cola into the cereal for a nano second but figured it would be the worst of the worst so I kept separate like a normal person. Because normal people drink Red Bell & Cola’s and eat cereal without milk for breakfast right?

But after a little trip to the library, all hopes of productivity went out the window. Maybe because I was really excited for the new reads I got?

And has anyone else seen Awkward Family Photos: The Wedding Edition? I was looking at this at work and I was dying from some of the pics. The girls holding up their dresses and the one with the coffin in the background are my personal favorites.

A preview of dinner since dinner is going to get an entire post of it’s own.

Those are fried risotto balls. Takes a guess as to whether I ate only two or not. Here’s a hint-I have a fried risotto food baby sitting inside of me.

What are your favorite books? Three favorites off the top of my head are

1) Bitter is The New Black (and basically anything by Jen Lancaster)

I rarely buy books anymore but make an exception for Jen Lancaster.

2) Smart Women Finish Rich

I read this two or three times a year

3) Affluenza

Did you participate in the Book It program back in the day?

Sometimes when I read, I still crave pizza. Hot, cheesy, pepperoni topped pizza. I blame this all on Book It.

Around the World!

9 Mar

Last weekend, I got to attend yet another fabulous Charlotte Yelp Elite Event-Around the World at Fran’s Filling Station.

And around the world we went. There were stations set up throughout the restaurant representing different continents full of souvenirs, cuisines and of course, Yelp swag!

Oh slap bracelets, you bring me back to my fifth grade days but animal print slap bracelets connect with my current self.

The first “location” we tried was North America-with mini burgers and bacon wrapped tater tots

Bacon and tater tots living together in harmony? Some had a sweet maple syrup glazed, others had a jalapeno glaze with just the right amount of spice to make your taste buds come alive. And the Fran’s employee told me they have bacon wrapped sweet potato tots on their menu which I will definitely be back to try! Once I heard bacon wrapped tater tots, I knew where I was going to be parked the rest of the night!

The next stop was Europe complete with mini meatballs, polenta and eggplant parmesan.

Hooray for berets!


Hooray for berets and beer-courtesy of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

After Europe, we roamed  to Asia

Tandori salmon with lentils

Seared Tuna-ummm-yeah I wanted this whole tray for myself! The tuna was seared to perfect and had a hint of wasabi.

We got back to the mainland and went to South America after Asia

Mini Latin Wedges

Carnitas-ay yi yi yi

So succulent and delicious, this melted right in my mouth.

The last stop of the evening was naturally for dessert—for some bread pudding in Antartica. Who knew?

I got mine all the way with ice cream, berries, caramel and whipped cream. It was a perfect end to a short adventure around the world! The names isn’t a lie at all, Fran’s Filling Station really did fill me up! I love the variety of dishes they offer and this was only a sampling (the only thing not offered on their regular menu is the tandori salmon)

Suffice to say, I left with a full belly and a smile on my face.

(source)

Thanks Yelp for yet another fantastic event!!!

What continent represents your favorite cuisine?

Field Trippin’

6 Mar

On Saturday, a bunch of Charlotte Yelpers had an Unofficial Yelp Event at Three Amigos.

Supposedly, Three Amigos is one of the best Mexican places in town but as of late it’s been getting some negative reviews which puzzled some Yelpers. I’ve never been to Three Amigos though. Why I haven’t is still a mystery to me, especially if they are one of the best places in Charlotte so I thought this would be the perfect time to go.

Can we say hola to cheap prices?

One of the girls had a check in offer for a free order of guacamole so we noshed on that along with the chips and salsa. The chips were fried to perfection and had a tangy seasoning on them. I could have had this alone and been a happy girl.

(source)

Yeah, it was good. It was very rich and creamy but didn’t had enough spice to it so it would have been better with more kick to it but it was still quite tasty.

I slept in on Saturday and didn’t have time to eat any breakfast so this was going to be my first meal of the day. I went all out and ordered the Chilaquiles Verdes with two fried eggs

Look at the platter of food that was sat down in front of me! And all of that was only $5.99-can you believe it??

I finished about half of the plate and took the rest to go but I still can’t believe how much food I got for such a cheap price! Everything was out of this world–the chips, the salsa, the eggs, rice, beans, you name it. Plus, they had Mexican Coke which is sooooo much better than regular Coke. Coke and this meal for under $9? Oh yes, I see another visit to Three Amigos in my near future.

I was definitely a happy girl after this meal full of great food and great conversation

(source)

But we didn’t stop there, the day soon turned into a field trip around Charlotte. Some of us ended up going to Sunflour Baking Company, a new bakery in Elizabeth that offers mostly organic (but some non organic) pastries and coffees using local ingredients.

(source)

They offer so much–breads, cupcakes, truffles, pies, pop tars, fig newtons and more!

I got an Americano to drink because, eek, I hadn’t had any coffee up until that point of the day! I love their Americano, it didn’t taste burnt like Starbucks Americano tends to taste.

I couldn’t go without trying one of their delectable pastries so one of the girls and I split the chocolate cream pie

Oh hell yes. Because chocolate cream pie was exactly what I needed after a plate full of eggs, cheese and beans!

The chocolate creme was fantastic-very rich and light and the crust must have had a stick of butter in it and totally worth it. We weren’t too crazy for the whipped cream-it was kind of stale and didn’t taste like the real stuff. All in all, the trip was a win and I now know of a new place to check out when I want a smooth cup of coffee and get my free Wi Fi on.

(source)

After that we headed over to Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find, a local comic book shop. Never would I venture into this place but I was game to tag along. I’ve driven by this place many times and up until a year ago, thought it was a sub shop. Oops.

Did you all know there was a Betty White comic book? Neither did I.

After that, our day of fun ended but it was really fun to take a field trip around Charlotte to places I’ve never been to in my five years here. It made me start to think that I have a lot of places to check out before I move in July, I must make a list soon!

I made the mistake of going to the gym afterwards. I thought all my food had digested but the food baby was still sitting in my stomach which resulted in a pretty weak workout. I did 20 minutes on the elliptical, five minutes rowing and a few lateral pulldown sets.

I was full the rest of the day, I didn’t want to even drink anything for fear my stomach would pop so I took it easy for dinner and had Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Bisque.

The soup was pretty bland at first taste so I added some pepper and that didn’t help too much. It was edible but nothing to write home about. As much as I love sweet potatoes I don’t think I will buy this again, I prefer my sweet potatoes in solid form.

Afterwards I watched “Going The Distance”

(source)

Really cute movie but I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy!

Are there things in your town or city you’ve been wanting to check out but haven’t? If so, what are they?