Tag Archives: Yelp

An update

22 Feb

Hey all–glad you all  are entering the I Love My Dog bumper sticker contest—I absolutely love hearing about everyone’s dogs so keep em coming! Lots going on so I am going to attempt to categorize this and make it light and easy

On the food front: A whole lotta randomness has been happening. With the weather getting nice out (you know, since it’s February and all) I’ve been craving less than stellar stuff….like nachos. However, it’s rare that I have tortilla chips at home seeing that I can plow through an entire bag in one sitting. So what to do when a girl wants nachos and doesn’t have tortilla chips? Make her own!

Instead of brushing with extra virgin olive oil like I normally do, I sprayed with vegetable oil non stick spray then sprinkled black pepper on them. I popped them in the oven and cooked for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

This was a terrific way to make nachos in a pinch and did the trick for me!

Friday was a stressful day at work. I was running late plus we had a two-hour training to get to from 10A to noon–who does that? What kind of masochist schedules meetings and trainings on a Friday? I just don’t get it plus Friday is my day to catch up on stuff and tie up loose ends. I turned to old faithful to relieve some stress—a gyro and crinkle cut fries from Showmars.

Oh Beatles even though I love you so, I beg to differ, sometimes all you need is grease.

A new sweet treat I’ve been having lately is a chocolate Vita Top topped with Pumpkin Spice topping from Smuckers.

I bought the topping some time ago on clearance and completely forgot it. When scouring my cabinets I found it but had no clue what I was going to do with it since I rarely have ice cream at home (their fate ends the same was as tortilla chips)

Do I need to say how delicious this is or does the picture do it justice?

Another sweet treat that I indulged in this weekend?

SHAMROCK SHAKE!!!!!

Can I get a holla?

Yep, that Shamrock shake didn’t live to see five minutes of life on this earth. I slurped it down in record time….and without brain freeze thank you very much. Last year, I didn’t have success with finding a Shamrock shake so you can imagine how excited I was to find one this year! When going through the drive thru, I told the employee at the window how happy I was about the Shamrock shake and he told me that he was happy for me and I quote “Your hair looks good, boo” Just what I needed to hear after getting my hair done. Love. Now the question is, when am I going to have my next Shamrock shake?

Shortly after, I had plans to go day drinking so my friend picked me up and we had plans to go to Angry Ale’s since I had a Groupon for $20 worth of food

We thought it was a little odd when we drove up no one was out on the patio on such a beautiful day. I guess we didn’t hear about the fire that happened there back in January. Oops, sorry Angry Ale’s! And for those of you who know how frugal I am, don’t worry, I already contact Groupon and got a refund!

We ended up going down the street to Brazwell’s.

There is when we had some real nachos.

Those nachos but my mock nachos to shame.

I went with the buffalo shrimp as my main course. Why am I saying main course? It was 3pm on a Saturday on a patio where I was enjoying $2 Coors Lights. I guess I am too lazy to change it, yes, that’s what it is.

The crowd started to get a little too early 20’s, pastel colored popped collar crowd (i.e. the reason why I cannot date in this godforsaken city)  soon after so we headed to Dilworth Neighborhood Grill to let the day drinking commence.

I guess Coors Light is currently the “it” beer because there too it was only two bones. Or maybe they think Coors Light just sucks and they were trying to get rid of it. Lucky for them, I will drink cheap beer. I actually prefer Natty Light over some others.

I was just really happy to be back in dress-wearing weather. It felt nice not having to bundle up in layers and rocking some sandals.

I love day drinking, I prefer it over night drinking actually. Of course the sad thing is that day drinking must come to an end at some point unless you live in Alaska. I hate the transition from day-to-night drinking like when you’re at a bar day drinking, a couple of hours pass, you walk outside then boom, it’s night-time. It always catches me off guard as if I don’t know the night is coming or something.

I indulged in some shrimp pad thai with shrimp from Noodles & Company. I wasn’t too impressed with their pad thai, it was more meh than anything. But then again, I really wasn’t expecting anything authentic from Noodles & Company when it comes to Asian fare. I got the shrimp pad thai and there was some chicken in it–good for me, bad if I was a vegetarian.

I had some oats with Pumpkin Spice topping + baked apple+cinnamon+flax seed

Holy deliciousness!

Roast beef sub with potato salad

On Sunday night, I made an interesting new dinner!

First I cooked some baby carrots in the crockpot for five hours on low with water and 1/4 cup brown sugar

Then the main event–cooking a whole chicken

I’ve never cooked one before so this was a new experience. I took it out of the packaging and just stared at it—what was I supposed to do with it?

I quickly googled what to do with an entire chicken and realized I had to reach inside and pull out the innards. Gross. Don’t worry, no pictures of that b.c I put on some gloves, grabbed it then tossed it in the trash.

I patted the chicken dry then rubbed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley and green onions

I cooked at 400 degrees for a little over an hour. Having a meat thermometer would have been extremely helpful

Such a beautiful bird! Luckily, it was cooked all the way through just right.

Dare I say, this was one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever made. Having the bone in makes such a difference with the flavor and makes it more succulent. The seasonings I added were simple but just enough to make my senses come alive!

Exercise wise: I went to the gym on Friday night and did 45 minutes on the Precor AMT then did some upper body exercises such as lateral pull down, chest press, row and deltoid row

On Sunday, I attended  a free  Combat Cardio class at Dick Harrell’s Martial Arts studio courtesy of Yelp.

I was a little nervous to go to the class after watching the videos–this looked like another CrossFit type of class. But I am always up for a free class and mixing it up from my normal regime.

We started out with a little jog then ran in a circle inside while people with in the middle individually and practiced kicks, jabs and crossover jabs.

Then we partnered up (I had the same partner at my CrossFit class so it was good to work with someone who I’ve worked with before) and there were five station rotations-burpees ,  sit up passes (with a 12 lb medicine ball), wall squats (with a 15 lb medicine ball) sprinting (with a resistance band while your partner pulls against you) and kicking. Not that that is exhausting enough but we did that set four times in a row which totally kicked my ass. I can say with certainty that I hate burpees and surprisingly enough, the sprinting was my favorite. I now have parts of my body hurting that I never thought could hurt but it’s a good hurt if that makes sense? Plus I had a pretty sweet calorie burn–thanks Yelp for sponsoring this–I am looking into going to more classes there!

Job wise: Work still sucks. Even though Monday was a bank holiday I went in for a couple of hours just to get stuff done. I will be putting in my two weeks notice in April so I can get a good reference (hopefully?) then ride out the rest of my lease. I have plans to check out Pittsburgh at the end of March. I have a bunch of friends who live there, hear it’s a fun city, near WVU where I went to college and is cheaper to live than Charlotte. I’ve been looking into what I will do financially and think I am going to take out some of my 401K–just enough that I will be able to live off of and then still have a nice portion left so I can roll over into a rollover IRA. Still working on paying off my one credit card I have and paying extra on my student loans and car loan.

So yep, that’s what’s going on over here–a busy and full weekend!

Have you ever cooked a whole chicken?
Anyone else having gorgeous weather?? I am confused how it’s 70 and sunny in February but I’m actually enjoying it!

Free antioxidants

17 Feb

 Since things were so crazy with my allergies last week, I completely forgot to post about the wine and chocolate pairing at Petit Philippe courtesy of Yelp that I attended. Petit Philippe is a “small, locally owned and operated wine and chocolate retail store with tasting room”

I’ve driven by this place a few times but wasn’t sure what it was about. When I heard they had both chocolate and wine, I got excited super quick because I love both items and the two together would be my idea of heaven.

On the wine menu:

*Trevisiol Prosecco Extra Dry

*Kermit Lynch Sunflower Cuvee Cotes de Rhone

*Esca Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

*Venge Silenciuex  Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

We gathered around and started off with the white wines. They told us about the company that makes it and what sets it apart from other vineyards. I was listening and sipping, well more sipping but I was waiting for the chocolate to come out and play.

Hold on, is that what I think it is?

CHOCOLATE!! It finally made an appearance!

There were four different kinds of chocolates offered-I wish I would remember what chocolates these were but give me some wine and no way to notate what it is and yeah, I don’t remember much. I remember a mojito one (sounds disgusting, surprisingly good though) and a salted caramel chocolate (my favorite). All the chocolates were fantastic, rich and made by a chocolatier in house….I think, I didn’t get that part but I did see someone’s card with the title of chocolatier. How did I miss out on choosing that career path? Once again, my advisor in college did me wrong.  My favorite wine of the night:

You can tell I like it by how I’m throwing it back like it’s a beer!

Sophisticated I am not. I can’t tell you if a wine is full-bodied, has certain aromatic characters, etc. I can tell you if I like it or not and that’s alright with me. Now if I could only put my damn pinky down when I drink….

Second runner-up

Definitely more of a red girl.

  All in all, it was a fun evening but I am not sure I would stop by Petit Philippe on my own.  They didn’t have a menu of different pairings for chocolate and wines, didn’t have sheets of paper and pens to write down what you liked and didn’t offer a lot of seating. They did offer a huge stock of wines to buy so it would be a great place to stop by to pick up something for a special occasion but that’s about it. I just don’t know when I would go there and what for if I don’t know what type of pairings they have.

Also, when I went to their Facebook page on the info section, the owners say “btw, we’re married”  Really? You’re business owners, act professional and stop talking about your marital status. If it were a personal page it would be different but on a business page?  That kinda turned me off.

I am definitely appreciative that I got to stop by there for a fun, free evening courtesy of Yelp and Petit Philippe but don’t see it as my new go to place for wine.

PS-Love Chick Fil A? I do! But definitely not as much as Christina from Hungry Meets Healthy. Homegirl slice should be the Chick Fil A ambassador wearing a cow print tiara and sash at all times since she is always pimping Chick Fil A out. You all should show her your love of Chick Fil A!

And so I whimper.

22 Jan

Ok, I hurt. Like really, really, really hurt. I haven’t hurt this much in a long ass time and the next day is going to be rough. Don’t worry, it’s not an emotional hurt, it’s all physical, all over.

“Why are you hurting so much?”

The answer involves two words—CrossFit.

Yelp sponsored a Cross Fit/Kettlebell class this morning at the new, swanky Metro Fitness Club. This place opened in September 2010 and I’ve been curious to see what it was about since it looked top-notch from what I’ve seen on their website plus they offer a number of programs such as CrossFit, kettlebell training, athletic conditioning and personal training plus offer the standard machines for cardio and strength training. I RSVP’d for this class at the last-minute last night out of boredom and  was just hoping for a good workout.

And a good workout I got.

I heard many people rave about CrossFit but never knew what it was about. From Metro’s website

   
  CrossFit is the Sport of Training. It’s different, it’s fun and will get you results fast. The camaraderie of our group training builds friendships, self-confidence and character. Our program focuses on varied full body functional movements that will make you stronger, faster, leaner and more powerful. Just come in and get started. You don’t have to get ready for it, that’s where our expertise comes into play! Everything we do can be scaled. If you are deconditioned, have a tweaked back or bad knees, we modify or scale our exercises and work load, so that everyone can participate. Our goal is to insure that you are working towards your potential with maximum effort in a safe environment. That means that everyone has different goals and ways to achieve them. We’ll get you there with great coaching, encouragement and support. See what our clients have to say about Metro CrossFit.

Hmm, still not sure what that meant but guess I had to go to see. When I walked into Metro Fitness, I was overtaken by the aesthetics of the place. It has orange and brown hues with very modern lighting and decor. I went into the locker room to drop off my stuff and while small, the locker room was visually pleasing as well and super clean. I started talking with one lady in there since I was wearing a WVU hat and turns out her ex was from there. I love seeing Mountaineers and repping my school! Turns out she was the General Manager and we would be seeing a lot of her in the next hour and a half. I met up with the rest of the Yelp group until it was time for us to start. We all moved back to the CrossFit area, not really knowing what to expect

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We did some warming up before getting started

 They started to explain what CrossFit was and how it worked.

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We split up into two groups–one for athletic conditioning and the other for CrossFit, I was in the CrossFit group at first and they put 15 minutes on the clock and we did as many intervals as we could within the 15 minutes

*250m rowing

*10 shoulder press and dips

*25 box jumps (I couldn’t do this so I just did step ups)

*5 burpees

And repeat. Doesn’t sound hard right? No. It was difficult doing everything so fast repetitively and my the second round I started to feel it. I had my heart rate monitor on and it was looking quite effective at that point!

Next round was athletic conditioning which I thought would be easier but again-wrong!

We paired up and did intervals at five different stations such as mountain climbers, sprinting with backpedaling, single legged jumps, step ups and hurdling. Of course, all of these aren’t the technical names but the best I could remember them. This absolutely kicked my ass. I kept telling my partner that my knees were burning and could feel my butt jiggling and she laughed and told me then it was working and I just shot her a death look from all her enthusiasm!

Soon after, we did our cool down along with stretching and complimentary smoothie samples (absolutely delicious, the strawberry banana was my favorite).

I was cursing the workout while doing it but shouldn’t have because check out this calorie burn! 

Holy crap!! And my high heart rate was 197–absolutely ridiculous but it was really effective and have no doubt that it brings results. The staff at Metro Fitness was absolutely wonderful, supportive and friendly. I was expecting a bit of a Biggest Loser scenario  and if I heard a phrase like “We got some heroes up in this place!” like Bob always chants, I swore I would’ve gone ape-shit but no go. I definitely recommend this to anyone out there that wants to be challenged!

Thanks Metro Fitness and Yelp for sponsoring this challenging, sweaty event!

Afterwards, there was yet another Yelp event to attend-it was the day of Yelp apparently! This one was for lunch (much-needed after a 800 calorie burning workout) to try some pupusas at a local El Salvadorian restaurant-El Pulgarcito de America.

I had no clue what a pupusa was so I had to google it and this is what I found on Wiki:

A pupusa (from Pipil pupusawa) is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, hand-made corn tortilla (made using masa de maíz, a maize flour dough used in Latin American cuisine) that is filled with a blend of the following: cheese (queso) (usually a soft cheese called Quesillo found in all Central America), cooked pork meat ground to a paste consistency (called chicharrón, not to be confused with fried pork rind, which is also known as chicharrón in some other countries), squash (ayote), or (pataste), refried beans (frijoles refritos), or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America). Pupusas are typically served with curtido (lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar) and a watery tomato salsa.

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Slap me on the butt and call me intrigued b/c I was ready to get my pupusa on!

I ordered two pupusas

Under the hood shot…..

I also ordered a chicken tamale which wasn’t so good. It was too soggy and kept breaking apart

I loved the pupusas! I got mine filled with beans and cheese and they were hearty, tasty and full of queso. I loved it and had to stop myself from scarfing them down. Yay for trying new things! This place was super cheap. It was only $1.50/pupusa so I ordered two and $2 for the chicken tamale since that was the perfect amount of food for lunch. My bill? $6.60 for two pupusas, tamale and a diet coke. I will be coming back here fo sho-if you’re in the Charlotte area and want to take a chance on something new–try out El Pulgarcito de America. It’s in a bit of a sketch area on Central Avenue but worth a visit (during the day time at least)

Afterwards, another Yelper and I decided to check out  Central Coffee in Plaza Midwood. I follow them on Twitter and Facebook and they are a relatively newer company that I have been meaning to try.  We had coffee in house, served in a mismatching saucer set-just my style.  I’m not a saucer kinda girl at all but it was lovely and so was the Central Shorty (how cute of a name for a drink is that??)

 I kept looking for images of Jesus or the Virgin Mary in my coffee but no go.However, I think I saw a heart  which was appropriate because I fell in love with CC today.

It was nice to sit, enjoy a cup of coffee with no rush for time and talk. This is going to be my new go to spot for coffee and free Wi Fi access when I’m in the Plaza area.

When I got back home, Lincoln was super excited to see his momma and I wanted to take him out for a long walk but I was too achey too so we went out for a bit and tried to exhaust as much energy from him as possible. Then, all I wanted to do for the rest of the day was shower, get in comfy clothes and sleep on the couch. It was wonderful. When I woke up, I had plans on making pasta but really didn’t want to stand up or do anything that didn’t involve sitting so I ordered an individual sized pizza from Donato’s and it hit the spot!

Awwww yeah.

The rest of the night will be spent with little man.

 I just want to lounge, cuddle with him and whimper. Not asking for too much right?

And for those who asked about the marinade I used on the fail of a tofu the other night—it’s from Cloister Honey, a local company here in Charlotte.  I believe they deliver so you should check out their website, they also offer an infused vanilla honey.

Have you ever tried CrossFit?

 If so, what are your thoughts on it?

If not, do you have any interest in trying it?

Weekend reunion

16 Jan

Hi All! This weekend has been so fun and fabulous it’s a shame it went by so quickly! One of my best friends from college came into town to hang for a couple of days in Charlotte. She is in the Army and will be moving to Colorado this spring so it’s one of the last times we will get to hang out for an extended amount of time while she’s on the East Coast.

On Saturday, we went to Yelp’s Charlote Elite Event: Holiday Detox at the Breathing Room yoga studio. The fun included an hour-long yoga session, complimentary grub from Blynk Organic, tons of Vitamin Water (including a lot of swag!), champagne provided by Palm Bay International, free hand massages and manicures and mini massages. Yeah, it was awesome. Even more awesome that it was free just for being Elite ’11!

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Vitamin Water Champagne Dreams!

I got my nails done in Luxedo by Essie

Plus TONS of free goodies courtesy of Vitamin Water!!

Tote
Yoga Mat + Bag
Grey T Shirt with Yelp and Vitamin Water logos
Lavender Eye Mask
Spa set

Such a fun time! Don’t worry, Lincoln wasn’t neglected at all. We got back home and watched the Steelers-Ravens game before we were to head out. Lincoln was showing his team spirit!

It was great to see her this wknd, it’s funny how you can go without seeing someone for a long time but then when we reunite, things are the same and not awkward at all. I like to think we haven’t aged that much either

Oh to be young again!

This afternoon, I hit up the Y and had an amazing workout! I did 35 minutes on the Precor Crossramp elliptical then did

* seated leg adductions (100 lbs 15 reps, 3 sets) 

 * seated leg abductions (140 lbs 15 reps, 3 sets) 

*leg extensions (65 lbs 13 reps, 4 sets)

*leg curls (50 lbs, 3 sets)

Of course I had some freak next to me when I was on the elliptical. This older guy was going ballistic on the machine next to me and he kept grunting and hitting the machine with his fists-wtf?? I turned up my music in an attempt to drown him out but it did nothing and he kept getting louder. Thankfully, he finished about 10 minutes into my workout but I was trying not to stare at him and say something. Don’t need to me burning bridges this early into my membership but yeah, he was a freak.

So happy to be back at the Y. Working out at home just wasn’t cutting it for me and unfortunately, my pants can attest to that as I’ve gained weight ever since I stopped running. I definitely need a consistent cardio routine in my life and am looking forward to more workouts.

My body was a bit confused with the 50 degree, sunny weather we had today. It’s been so miserable and dreary this week (which I am weird because I love that kind of weather) so I was surprised to see the sun again. I stopped by Dairy Queen after going to hood Wal Mart and picked up a cherry Artic Rush. But when I went, I ordered a Mr. Misty because that’s what I’ve known it as so it took a few seconds for us to communicate with each other as to what I wanted. When did this whole name change nonsense happen?

Dairy Queen, will you marry me?

Lunch was an oldie but goodie—nachos! I love love love nachos but haven’t made any in awhile, which makes me sad. So to happify myself, I whipped up a plate in no time! I used these chips as they are my latest obsession and way better than Baked Scoops.

I topped with black beans, fresh jalapeno and cheese for a simple meal then mixed plain greek yogurt and salsa in a bowl for dipping

Fabulous. So fabulous it left me in a mini food coma which resulted in a two-hour nap through episodes of RH of Beverly Hills and Atlanta.

I made Olie Pants falafel recipe for dinner tonight. I saved this recipe since it would be killing two of my resolutions in one—eating less meat and making ethnic meals. I didn’t have any wheat germ so I used ground flax-seed that I had on hand.

I have a small oven so I didn’t get to make the entire batch that I prepared but saved it for later use. Anyone know if the wet mix will freeze well or if I have to make it within the next few days?

I don’t have a food processor on hand so I used my Magic Bullet but it doesn’t blend stuff as well as my food processor, especially dry ingredients. I used some of the bean juice (ew, that just sounds dirty) when I blended it so my mix turned out wetter than expected. I ended up making them as patties instead of balls (hehehe, again, dirty)

I bought some kale earlier today and made kale chips for a healthy side dish. Plus I haven’t had them in forever which always happens with kale chips, I go in major spurts of eating it.  That needs to stop since they are delicious and remind me of actual chips just healthy and with more flavor! I tossed in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with Spike seasoning.

They turned out extra crispy-just the way I like!

While the falafel was cooking, I whipped up a bowl of tzaziki sauce. I love using mint however when I started chopping it, I was majorly jonesing for a mojito.

Holy patties (get it, holy balls normally but they were patties this time around, yes, no? Is this thing on??), such a fantastic meal! It was like there was an international flavor party occurring in my mouth and I loved it. So many flavors, so little time. I recommend trying the falafel recipe–it was fun to mix it up with trying different flavors!

Looking forward to a day off tomorrow–anyone else off or are you working?

PS-If you like Tastycakes (which, cmon, who doesn’t??), click here to win some!

And click here to win a Herbivore Prize Pack!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

8 Dec

 I attended the Yelp Elite Ugly Christmas Sweater Party last night and it was a super fabulous time! When I heard about the event back in November, I got off my butt and went to Value Village to find an ugly sweater. I could’ve asked my mom for an ugly sweater but then she would ask what it was for and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. So I found an ugly Christmas sweater…..and an ugly Christmas moo moo.

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I heart any soiree that requires drinking bracelets. Makes me feel like a young pup again!

The event was at Dressler’s and had tasty libations from sponsors New Belgium, Country Vintner & Palm Bay International plus a few complimentary appetizers like hot sausage and spinach and artichoke dip to nosh on while socializing. 

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There were many ugly sweaters

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 And some people wore the same sweaters!

Or as I like to call it a Christmas miracle!

Yours truly won 1st place in the Women’s Tacky Sweater Contest and won a nice swag bag 

Such a fabulous time, I can’t wait to attend another Ugly Christmas Sweater party and find something even tackier!

 And the winner of the Einstein’s Free Bagel coupons …..

nic – the auspicious squirrel December 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm Edit #

I used to eat at Einsteins whenever I could… which wasn’t nearly as often as I wanted b/c they never seem to be close to me. Now there is one up the street and I haven’t visited because I’m a vegan now… figures. I know that, obviously, the schmear isn’t vegan… I wonder if the bagels are… oh cool, just looked up the ingredients, many of them are milk & egg free.

Favorite Christmas song… “Carol of the bells”, both with words or just instrumental.

I also like one (I don’t know what it’s called)… that’s instrumental also, and there are sounds of horses hooves and the cracking of a whip at specific spots in the song.

Least favorite… While I’d have to agree with the hippopatmus song being a non-fav… I really can’t stand “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”. Ugh.

Congrats Nic! Please email me your address so I can send them out to you 🙂 

 Thanks all for participating!!

Mattie’s Diner

16 Nov

I went to a Charlotte Elite Yelp Event at Mattie’s Diner on Monday night. Mattie’s is a new diner at the NC Music Factory. When I first moved to Charlotte, I noticed that it didn’t really have a lot of breakfast options or diners that my north of the Mason Dixon line friends hold near and dear to their hearts. However, lately they have been popping up all over the place just like the cupcake craze in the last few years. Affordable food in a bright, nostalgic setting that’s open 24 hours? Count me in.

When I read the invite to this event two words stood out to me: Spiked Milkshakes. Liquor and milkshakes living together in harmony? Say it ain’t so! I’ve never had a spiked milkshake before (from a restaurant at least, I’m sure I’ve made one in a drunken stupor in the past) and I was intrigued by the idea. They don’t have their liquor license yet so a liquor distributor supplied the booze for the evening and the selection limited but still sounded tasty.

All of them sounded terrific but the Cherry Kick Float was at the top of my list to try since I love all things cherry. The others sounded good but a bit too heavy for me and I didn’t want to go into sugary, lactose shock at first sip.

I tried the Spiked Elvis afterwards and that was everything I dreamed of and more. After two of those, I was done. It was too heavy and sweet for me and unfortunately left me in a sugar coma the remainder of the evening . So much that I contemplated walking over to my neighbor’s house to see if he would rub my belly, don’t worry I didn’t (because seeing that we are on a hi-bye basis would have made that awkward). But oh yes….back to the milkshakes. They have over 25 hand spun milkshakes on their menu and I saw their seasonal special– Pumpkin Cheesecake Milkshake. Thanks Mattie’s for still having fall/Thanksgiving theme shakes still around as opposed to other places who are bringing out the Christmas themed ones already.

Some  of the food offered :  Fried Hot Dogs wrapped in bacon (a heart attack on a plate if you will), Italian Meatloaf, Buffalo Chicken Dip, Peach Cobbler, Carrot Cake and Peanut Butter French Toast. Basically any kind of down home, diner comfort food you could think of. Thankfully, they served everything in sampler sizes so nothing was too overbearing but add a few bites of everything up together and I was as stuffed as a turkey

Everything was tasty but the Buffalo Chicken Dip was by far my favorite. Not only did I love that they served it with both homemade thick cut chips, celery and carrots but it was very spicy and later found out they make their own hot sauce there. I love anything spicy and buffalo wing flavored stuff never really has me reaching for a glass of water but this had me sweating a bit! Score! Once I tried a little of everything I thought I was done but then ordered another helping of the dip. They dip alone will have me coming back to Mattie’s

I was talking with the owner and the diner is a  historic diner saved from Hurricane Floyd in the late 40’s. They restored it and then moved it down to Charlotte a few years back so this was the real deal! There wasn’t too much seating available so I would love to see what this spot would be like at 3A on a Saturday morning with all the drunks from the bars/clubs at the Music Factory.

Even though I am a bit claustrophobic, I really dug the cozy space that they offered. Not many place still offer a counter space to schmooze and enjoy a quick, classic All American meal. I just loved the nostalgic, no frills  feeling that came with Mattie’s.All in all, this was a fantastic event and it was great to try a new place out. Now when I need a 50’s fix, I can dine at Mattie’s instead of watching Happy Days!

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Holding Out For a Gyro Til The End Of The Night

13 Sep

I went to the Yiasou Greek Festival on Saturday night.

This is an annual festival here in Charlotte that is supposed to be one of the best in the country and I never miss it. It’s only $2 admission, they have great food with lines that move fast (they also have wine and beer-along with Greek beer and American), tours of the church, entertainment such as traditional Greek dancing along with little stands of jewelry, art and little trinkets. If you don’t feel like fighting the masses, you can drive up and get a meat-o-licious gyro to go or other goodies such as baklava, spanokopita and more. I have to get a gyro each time I go and get my gyro I did.

 I was going to try the Greek beer but after Friday night’s events, I wasn’t up to drinking. Their pastries looked amazing as well but nothing was really singing to me. Then I saw the Loukoumades stand.

$3 for a small order? Bring it. I was done after a few of these but I enjoyed every last bite that I could handle. I added some powdered sugar and cinnamon to mine to make them extra sweet along with the touch of honey in them. Sadness that I couldn’t finish them all but I didn’t want to carry the box around toting only three.

I felt back to my old self on Sunday and got a little kettlebell/weight session in

Kettlebell-20 lbs

Halos (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shrugs (13 reps, 2 sets)

Squats (15 reps, 2 sets)

Pliq Squats  (15 reps, 2 sets)

Upright Deltoid Row (13 reps, 2 sets)

Swings (13 reps, 3 sets)

Side Bends (20 reps, 3 sets)

Dumbbell-15 lbs

Curls (13 reps, 2 sets)

Concentration Curls (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shoulder Press (13 reps, 2 sets)

Dumbbell -10 lbs

Tricep Extension (13 reps, 2 sets)

Tricep Kickback (13 reps, 2 sets)

Afterwards, I made a ham and cheese sandwich with a bowl of kiwi. I’ll be sad to see you go, summer fruits

 I went to Harris Teeter and found a bag of four bell peppers for $2 since they would be going bad soon. I had no clue what I was going to make with them but when I got home thought of Stuffed Peppers I put a bag of boil a bag brown rice to cooking and while that was going on, I took a can of black beans and rinsed them.

I chopped up ½ white onion and chopped about ¼ cup of jalapenos and ½ cup shredded cheese and mixed together. I added chile powder, garlic and black pepper and El Pato salsa for flavor.

I cleaned and gutted the peppers once that was set and saved the tops. I chopped up so I can add to a meal this wk. Once the rice was done, I added that to my mixture.  I stuffed the four bell peppers with the mixture then let cook for 30 mins at 400 degrees and voila-a filling meal in a pepper.

 You can’t beat nature’s dishware.

 I have a confession—I’m addicted to the Yelp. I go on there all the time to read reviews of places I want to check out and love the lists that different users create. I’ve been writing some of my own reviews for the past few months and recently got invited to join their Elite squad for this year.

On Sunday night, I took a break from football and attended an event sponsored by Yelp Elite via Yelp.com at the Custom Shop

There was free beer from Olde Mecklenberg Brewery and wine courtesy of Planeta Wines along with an array of appetizers—even vegetarian ones!

 I would be lying if I said I remembered what everything was but it was all F—fantastic, fresh and flavorful. I want to go have a real meal here soon! And they even gave us some swag

Since everything was free, I felt compelled to try every drink available-beer or wine. I am 30 years old and should really know not to mix my liquors. Suffice to say, I was feeling ill today.

 Some of you all were asking for my turkey burger recipe—I didn’t measure anything but I would say it was about ½ lb ground turkey, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, one egg, chopped jalapenos (I like my stuff spicy so I loaded them on) and about ¼ chopped onion with pepper, garlic and chile powder and formed into patties. They were breaking about while they were cooking so I would add more breadcrumbs next time around but I let them cook on the stovetop until cooked well throughout the pattie. I added Laughing Cow cheese on top of mine right when they were done so it would spread easily and added salsa. Another easy one and two thumbs up. The nice thing is that you vary this up quite a bit with making them Mexican style how I did or even Italian style with oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes and marinara.Ohhhhh or do an Asian influence and add soy or wasabi to it on a bed of slaw with vinaigrette.

On a final note (because I am Jerry Springer) thanks all for understanding my lack of blogging, I’m happy to hear that there are others that can sympathize. I’m still around…..even if I’m not saying much, I’m still here and reading your blogs 🙂

And today is my 30th and 3/4 birthday-wtf? Where did time go? How the hell am I going to be 31 in three months? When did that happen?

So many questions…..

PS—-Check out April’s blog for a wonderful giveaway-you can win a Healthy Food Snacker!