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What I ate in…Richmond!

I love Richmond. I’m not sure why. I’ve been three times in the past couple of years and each time I’ve only stayed for one night. But during each brief visit, I’ve had great meals, discovered some good shopping and found some quality cocktails. This past weekend was no exception.

I met my best girl Brittany, who lives in Raleigh, there on Saturday. The halfway point between DC and the Triangle, it was the perfect meeting spot for us to hang for a night.

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As great of a time as we had, we could have hung out in a Motel 6 in east bumble and it would have been perfect. With all of our “busy” schedules, I personally value the time I get to spend with my friends who live near and far. Although it was just one night, I think we were both happy to leave the kids (hers, real and human; mine, furry and canine) with the husbands and just focus on ourselves. Brittany and I went to college together, and as much as our lives have changed since our Tar Heel days, our friendship has grown stronger with time. I’ve loved watching her become the woman she is today and am eternally grateful for her friendship.

But enough mush – here’s what we loved!

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Where to stay: We shacked it up at the brand new Quirk Hotel. Beautiful rooms, comfy beds, great bar. Because of our new overlord, Rain, we didn’t get to check out the rooftop, so that was a bit of a bummer. But the hotel was charming and full of….yes, quirk! They also have Nest soaps and lotions and now I’m totally buying the Sicilian Tangerine soap because it smells amazing. Quirk Hotel, 201 W. Broad St.

Where to shop: You know when you set out to “go shopping”, but not actually buy anything?? We attempted to do that, but failed due to the cuteness of mod&soul. The shop owner was darling and had JUST opened her brick and mortar store. I bought this shirt and this dress, which has strategically placed lines and a deep-V, aka my two favorite clothing features. This dress is begging to be worn on a beach….if the sun ever decides to show itself again. mod&soul, 323 W.Broad St.

 

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Where to eat dinner: Food and drinks at Heritage were delicious. I advise grabbing a reservation as it is small and popular. The food Gods smiled on us and we got seats at the bar fairly quickly (which I actually love doing at restaurants). We chatted it up with owner and bartender, Mattias Häaglund, about Richmond, his restaurant and his 3-month old baby boy who he was smitten with. The Pork Fries were really good, but the Fried Broccoli and Thai style Soft Shell Crab stole the show. Served with a Japanese Mayo, the Fried Broccoli crunched and basically melted in your mouth. The soft shell crab special was two perfectly fried crabs served with a sweet, spicy Thai curry sauce and bok choy. Absolutely loved it. Heritage, 1627 W. Main St.

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Where to drank: Richmond’s cocktail scene is having some fun and I sampled way too much of it for one night. Mattias at the aforementioned Heritage made me a Belle Isle Brace Up, created with Belle Isle Honey Habenero Moonshine, a local product, and mixed with lemon, lime and rhubarb bitters. It was way too drinkable. I loved it. Damn you, moonshine.

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They steered us to Balliceaux for some Thai-esque cocktails (I promise, I eat/drink things that aren’t Thai-inspired). My Kampot in 1806 was a good twist on a Manhattan, but Brittany’s Rap Game was so fun. The rum-coconut concoction felt familiar, but mixed with root beer and served with a salty pretzel that muted the sweetness, this made me wish I was on a beach. Apparently, they have K-pop dance parties in the back which we sadly missed out on. Balliceaux, 203 N. Lombardy St.

We stopped at Saison for a final nightcap. I kept it simple with a rye old fashioned but it was well-made and $6. Perfect end to the night. Saison, 23 W. Marshall St. 

Where to order late night food: Because I obviously needed a second dinner, I called room service to ask if they were open. They were not, but directed me to J. Kogi, aka KOREAN DELIVERY. You know how most late night delivery is shit?? This was legit amazing. I got the soy garlic wings, which avoided the dreaded delivery sogginess and were surprisingly crispy and a bulgogi rib eye bowl with bacon kimchi fried rice. As Britt slept, I ate three wings, took two bites of the ribeye bowl, declared it amazing and promptly passed out. I hope I never change. J Kogi, Wherever you need it to be.

Where to brunch: Okay, so, DON’T go to where we ate. I won’t even mention it. Do check out the Roosevelt instead. We were told to eat brunch there, we did not, we regretted it. Learn from my mistakes. Apparently, Heritage also has a great brunch, but we thought it’d be a bit excessive to do dinner and breakfast there (although, I’d definitely try it on my next go round). Roosevelt, 623 N. 25th St.

Where to caffeinate: Before I hopped on 95 to join the masses heading north, I grabbed an iced red eye, French Bun and Almond Croissant from Whisk. Surprisingly, both pastries made it back to the District and Jay and I split them. Flaky, buttery, awesome. An adorable coffee shop and bakery. Whisk, 2100 E. Main St.  

So, my lovelies! Do you have any Richmond spots that you love? What’s your favorite easy road trip from your house?? Tell me, tell me so I can check them out, I’m always up for an adventure!

xo

Drinks Restaurants Travel

Austin: Land of Hospitality, Home of Tito’s.

Friend and travel buddy, Adrienne, rounded up 8 of her nearest and dearest and we headed to Austin (aka, the home of Tito’s Vodka!) for her 30th birthday. We had an absolute blast, ate and drank our faces off and really enjoyed the town. 4 days is NOT enough time to eat your way through that city. I’ll definitely be back soon.

Coming from Mexican-starved DC, we ran to the closest place we could find to scratch our taco itch. Las Cazuelas was a close walk, cheap and delicious. The pre-meal beans were an unexpected delight and the food was great. The carnitas taco was my favorite.

We moseyed on down to Mongers Fish Market where we realized we were in for an amazing weekend of hospitality. After splitting a bottle of wine, our lovely server gave us samples of the house sangrias. The white one was made of rum and reminiscent of a rum punch. Ironically, I’m not huge on sangria or rum punch (typically too sweet for me), but this concoction was delightful! And look how gorgeous they and the birthday girl were.

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For dinner that night, we went to Uchi. Eat sushi?? In Austin?? YES, EAT SUSHI IN AUSTIN. There’s a reason Uchi is constantly at the top of many Best of Austin lists. The food is impeccable, the service delightful and the price was enough to make me consider relocating. Our big city appetites got the best of us and we ordered way too much. Luckily our waitress made us hold off for a bit. Our favorites:

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Drinks

Thyme Lemonade

I finally admitted to myself that my thyme was dying. I cut off what was fresh and wondered what I should do. A brand new handle of Tito’s vodka whispered to me, “Thyme Lemonade.” Yes, Tito. Yes.

Ingredients

  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4-6 Lemons
  • 2 quarts of water

Steps

  1. Combine one cup of water and one cup of sugar together in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while continuously stirring.
  2. When sugar has dissolved, turn heat off. Add thyme to the pot, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. If you want a stronger thyme flavor, let it settle in there for an hour. When thyme flavor achieved, strain the thyme simple syrup.
  3. Combine the juice of the lemons, the syrup and the water in a pitcher. Drink as is or throw in some vodka or gin. Yum!