Liquid Letdown

While I have kind of strayed away from product reviewing and cooking experimentations since summer began, I cannot help but relay my experience with a new product: Zico Pomberry. It’s a coconut water with flavoring, and while I enjoyed One Water’s Mango flavored coconut water, this just did not do it for me.

Unfortunately it was in the trash faster than I could take a picture of it myself

I was given this by a coworker a few weeks back. It has been sitting in my refrigerator for over a week because I wanted to wait for the perfect time to try it. This morning I opened it on the way to work and after taking one sip I was immediately letdown. It did not taste good at all, I don’t know how to describe it but maybe you could say it was salty?

Either way, I tried to keep sipping it, seeing if maybe it would grow on me but eventually I just had to reluctantly throw it in the trash and face the fast it just is not very good.

Has anyone else had this experience? Do you enjoy coconut water?

Weekend Escape!

The great thing about having friends all over the country is that it is a great excuse to travel! The past two weekends, the two Taylor’s ventured to NYC from DC and this weekend it was time for me and Bec to reciprocate. We took a bus to DC Friday afternoon to get there right in time for Jazz in the Gardens. It’s what my friend Megan describes as “picnics, beer and sangria.” She forgot to mention the hundreds of twenty-somethings flooding the sidewalk and lawns clearly relieved to be done with work for the week.While Bec enjoyed her very first sangria, we were entertained by people running through the ponds and the policemen who thought they really could do something about it. Dinner led us to Chinatown, although I would more aptly describe it as “Chinablock” since that’s about all it occupies. Nevertheless, with Chinese restaurants aplenty you can rest assured we stuffed ourselves with Sesame Chicken and Sweet and Sour pork that led to a perfect food coma for a restful night sleep. Bec has never been to DC and I haven’t been back since I was nine so we had a lot we wanted to do in our one full day in DC. Where do you start? That was an easy one. It was a journalist’s heaven. I could have spent all day in this one museum but unfortunately, there was lots more that needed to be seen. After a delectable lunch in Dupont Circle, we made it to the Folklife festival, Holocaust Museum and walked around the mall a bit. And of course, we found our state at the World War II Memorial.Now Ethiopian food is some of my favorite. My love affair with the cuisine started in elementary school at one restaurant called Zed’s in Georgetown. There was no way I was leaving DC without going there. Ethiopian is something my family enjoys together and the majority of my friends have never had it before. I decided that it was time and we devoured a delicious meal at my childhood spot.It was such a great day but when it comes down to it, one day is just not going to be enough to enjoy all that DC has to offer. I definitely need to go back soon.

This morning we headed to Baltimore to meet our friend to drive back to New York. My roomie is from Baltimore and works at a restaurant called Miss Shirleys Cafe. I have been hearing about this place since freshman year and knew that I had to go. After devouring sweet potato fries (with mango ketchup!), I was presented with a beautiful dish that was too pretty to not take a picture of.Definitely lived up to the hype and anticipation I’ve developed over the years and provided the perfect fuel for our long trek home! I’m wiped out but dreaming of the next time I can go to DC. Until then, NYC it is!

Ever Enchanted

This city never ceases to amaze me. I mean really amaze me.

Some friends of mine just discovered this blog (despite the fact I’ve had it for over a year now!) and ironically right when they started to read, I stopped writing. But I can’t help it… I’ve been too busy being enchanted. So you guys can keep making fun of my posts about coconut water and maybe check out my Madrid blog in the meantime and I will try to keep my posts more up to date.

But I finally have a little downtime so will try to relay to you some of the things I have run into but I know there is no way to fit everything in.

Jazz in Bryant Park.

With about an hour to spend before meeting up with fellow Miamians for “class” with our professor, I wanted to find a nice place to read. Then, I heard the sound of jazz music floating through the air and decided to follow the boppin’ beats until I wound up plopped down admidst a crowd of people listening to a few men playing jazz standards. Things like this is what makes living in a city so special. No matter where you are and what time of day it is, there is always something to enjoy.

Now I used to be a germaphobe. Anyone who knew me back in the day was well aware that I was not one to ask for when you needed some water and I would not do the same to you. Well, those days are long gone. After sharing multiple communal drinks in Espana, I became quite accustomed to sharing everything from food to drink and these days, there’s no way I would rather dine. Enter Zombie Hut:

An awesome bar in Brooklyn where one Scorpion Bowl can be shared amongst friends and the best part? Plenty of board games to play during the night. This evening we chose Boggle.

And you didn’t really think I could post without mentioning food, did you? Well this past week has been full of great food, French food to be exact! First, a fantastic meal at Pastis with these lovely ladies and a family friend of Court’s who wanted to treat us. It was my first experience with soft shell crab and I wish I had a picture. When my meal first came, I realized quickly I had no idea how to eat soft shell crab. While I ended up mucking down most of the specimen, I was unsure if what I was doing was correct and too afraid to ask our sophisticated dining host. Coming home, my first stop was google to investigate the issue. Just to save you any future embarassment- you eat the whole thing.

Cioppino- Lobster, scallops, mussels and shrimp in a savory broth

This week is Yelp Eats! Brooklyn so of course I had to take advantage. Me and a few friends decided we would pick one restaurant and have a special splurge dinner. When I asked which restaurant would be the “one” to go to, Petite Crevette was recommended and so we went on Monday night. From the starter of tuna carpaccio (and tastes of the fried french oysters) to the creme caramel ending I was in heaven, or paradis as the French might say. The star of the meal, this baby:

Breakfast taco and Watermelon Mint “Agua Fresca”

Other smattering of events from this past week include another trip to Govenors Island for Yelp Summer Camp! This time was a potluck picnic, so me and Court boarded the ferry with cookies and chips in hand to relax and eat for a bit. I also made it back to the Hester Street fair on Sunday morning for some more vintage shopping and some of this:

Me and Bec also fulfilled a goal of ours- to get to the Fred Flare store. For those who don’t know about Fred Flare, it’s a website filled with such great things and they have one store located in Greenpoint. Not having very much to do on Sunday, we made the trek out there and it was surreal to say the least. We also found a cool vintage/consignment store I had read about called Beacon’s Closet where I picked up a skirt.

I’ve also found my new favorite bookstore, attended (a part) of a Mets game, and ran lots of times across the Brooklyn Bridge!

I just booked my bus ticket to D.C. to visit friends who are interning there this summer. I haven’t been back to Maryland since I moved away about ten years ago so I am excited to say the least. I have some things I want to do like go to the Newseum and eat at my old favorite Ethiopian restaurant but the rest is unplanned.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Washington D.C.?

Foodies take on New York!

Week one of ten is over and done! I can’t believe that I have only been here a ten days, it’s weird but I already feel like a local. Walking around, I feel like the pavement beneath my feet is now familiar territory. Thankfully, this weekend was a time I could actually enjoy. While last week I was still running around to grocery stores and Bed, Bath and Beyond, this weekend marked the arrival of one of my best friends, Bec, to the city for her six-week internship along with a visit from another best friend, T, interning in DC. That alone secured a good weekend outlook from the start.

After meeting Bec at her new apartment, we needed some food so headed to the V-Spot Cafe for some vegan fare. After munching on some guac, kale tostadas, and sweet potato fries, I was feeling satisfied. We headed to an apartment of some friends from home for a BBQ that night and T’s bus finally got in from DC at the ripe hour of 1am. After indulging in some smores we headed home for a bit of shuteye. She was antsy to do lots of activities the next day and I knew just what would do. After eating some chocolate chip banana pancakes, we headed to the Hester Street Fair to scope out vintage garbs and sample tasty food. There were so many tents that were filled with new and old things. Court picked up a packet of old love letters, I bought a vintage purse and handsewn dress, while T scored a ring and one of the best cookies I have ever ever ate.

Look at all those spices!

Next up, we decided to wander and find a place to watch the World Cup. I figured I could be patriotic for a second and it seemed like a good idea and excuse to plop down for a little. Little did I know that while getting lost in Little Italy (that’s a lot of littles) I would run into my extended family from Iowa. Seriously one of the most surreal experiences ever. In a city so huge and populous, full of bustling people turning down so many alleyways, it seems nearly impossible to run into someone you know. But I am here to tell you that it happens, and I could not believe my eyes. Not only was it just my cousins who live in Conneticut that were down in NY for the afternoon, my grandma, three aunts, and other cousins were there visiting them and destiny brought us all together! Seriously- craziness.Anyways, after watching the game we made it to one of my favorite New York spots: Katz Deli.If you love pastrami or don’t know if you do, you need to come here. Hands down the best sandwich I have ever had, anywhere. Me, Bec and T split one whole sandwich (they’re that big), french fries, pickles, and matzoh ball soup for a iconic New York meal.Stuffed to the max, it was time to head home and prepare for the long night ahead.

Waking up a bit tired the next morning, there was one destination we had in mind: Central Park.Lying on the Great Lawn, our tummies starting rumbling and I knew where we needed to go.While the line was out the door, I had no doubt that this was going to be worth the wait, and boy was I right. Not only was it the best burger I have had in a while, it was the dessert that really did me in. We split a Vanilla Concrete with chocolate truffle cookie dough and peanut butter sauce thrown in the mix. I could not stop thinking about it all day long. I told myself upon moving to New York that I won’t eat at the same place twice because there are so many great things to try. Unfortunately, I can’t resist coming here again. But I decided if I go to the other location in Madison Square Park it is acceptable. And guess what? There’s one coming to Miami this summer so I’ll be able to enjoy it all year long!

I knew I needed to take T to Dylan’s Candy Bar where this display of cupcakes had me mesmerized.

Crumbs Bakery will be getting a visit from me in the VERY near future.

Sadly, T had to leave that night and we dropped her off for her bus while on the way to watch the Tony’s at Joe Allen. While I do love the Tony Awards, I was completely beat by the end of the show and have never slept so hard. Already this week is off to a great start though and I’m looking forward to more NY experiences comin’ right up!

What a way to make a livin’

Although I feel like I have no time to sit down and write, I know that if I don’t now then I never will. The reason? So much keeps happening I cannot keep track of it all and eventually, it will all just fly away from me! So let’s do this.

Monday came around and it was time for my first day of the internship. It was great to meet the other interns for the summer and everything I heard made me really excited for the next ten weeks. After work, I hopped the subway for the Taste of Times Square. With booths from around Times Sqaure lining Restaurant Row and flaunting their best food, I had a tough decision to make.

Thankfully, my residence sold discounted tickets to the event so we got 2 for 1. Still, deciding how to spend my ten tickets was no easy feat. I started with a Kung Pao Nacho from iconic Ruby Foos followed by this Eggplant Parmesean from Carmines.That wasn’t all. I also got some Junior’s Cheesecake and this amazing BBQ Chicken slider from a restaurant I don’t remember. This may be a good thing because I’m pretty sure I would end up there often. Of course, I had bites of my companion’s goodies along the way. One of my favorites? DOUBLE TREE COOKIES! Thank goodness Alex was in the mood for a cookie because I really wanted one of these but ran out of tickets. I’m telling you people- if you’ve never had them, order a tin right now.

Needless to say, I left this event full! But the eating didn’t end there. Me and Alex had a Yelp event to attend- country club style. Here, instead of lots of little tents there was one HUGE tent stuffed with just as much amazing food and drinks. This time though? No tickets needed! It was all absolutely free and delicious. Needless to say, I have never ate so much in one night.This was just a great culinary experience out on Randall’s Island with fun people and lively atmosphere. From carnita tacos served by the Taco Truck, to pizza from Slice, not to mention a key lime delight from Two Little Red Hens, I wish I had pictures to share but it might just make you really really jealous.

Tuesday was just as exciting, but in a different way. I got to go into work where I fell even more in love with my job and got the opportunity to attend a screening of the upcoming movie Cyrus later that evening. It’s not your typical Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly movie but it’s worth checking out if you’re into more Indie-type films. The best part about it for me was that it was only 90 minutes long so I was guaranteed to stay awake. Afterwards me, another intern, and a producer headed to McGee’s to talk about the movie. It’s the Irish bar where McLaren’s from How I Met Your Mother is based off of. I was happy.

Today brought lots of excitement, like always. The highlight? Lunch at The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English. Not only did I get to meet him, I got to indulge in an amazing sushi roll and take in the atmosphere. This place is located really close to where I work and I will no doubt be frequenting here quite often for lunch. It’s like heaven in a food market. Tonight, we had our first “class” for my school of the summer. Some interns from UM joined together to listen to a speaker and catch up on our internships. I can’t believe tomorrow is Thursday and that means that weekend anticipation is starting to build…

One Weekend Down

After a much needed night in, I awoke to beautiful weather that boded quite well for the day’s main event- Yoga on Governor’s Island! For those familiar with Yelp, you might know that they are doing a summer series here in New York called Yelp Summer Camp. Fortunately, I got in town just in time for the first event and brought Alex along with me. It was opening day of Governor’s Island which is located right by Staten Island, but a little bit easier to get to from Brooklyn. First we walked a few blocks down to the pier at Brooklyn Bridge Park and boarded a ferry that took us there in about ten minutes!Once on land, we bended and breathed through poses for about an hour under a shaded area inside of this beautiful park! I am so excited for all the other events Yelp is hosting this summer on the island, especially the next one- a potluck!

After getting in touch with my inner yogi, we boarded the ferry to head back to Brooklyn to prepare for the arrival of the roomie! She got in smoothly and we hung out while she unpacked. Then, it was time to eat. We live a few blocks away from one of the cutest streets lined with restaurants, boutiques, and other businesses that I have perused quite a few times. I walked by one particular restaurant called the Vegetarian Ginger which is all vegan and knew that I needed to take Courtney there ASAP. So that’s where we went for dinner.

Now, I have never been to an all vegan restaurant so did not quite know what seitan, earthen casserole, bean curd, and other ingredients really consisted of. Thankfully, the waitress was nice enough to talk me through it. Even though after taking “my” order, I wasn’t quite exactly sure what I was getting, it was ended up being delicious. Later that night, I met up with some friends in the city for an eventful evening that took me all around and just made me more anxious to do exploring in the daytime! It really is crazy though how much is open so late. I thought Madrid was always awake but this really is the city that never sleeps.

After eventually getting to sleep, I awoke ready to celebrate Japan Day in Central Park!Not sure what to expect, upon entering I could tell we were in for some excitement. The park was filled with people participating in origami, face painting, and trying Japanese food. All the while, a stage was step up with dancers and singers performing throughout the day.We stuck around long enough to wait in the long lines for dumplings and one of the strangest things I have ever seen: sushi poppers!

Imagine a Flintstone Push-Pop, California Roll style. It was good, but I’m not sure if I’d be bulk-ordering them in the future. After that, we headed to Whole Foods and made a long trek back home, absolutely wiped! I went to Pilates to stretch and relax on the mat which was nice but am definitely heading to bed early tonight. Orientation for the internship is tomorrow and to say I am anxious is the understatement of the century.

I Can’t Stand Still

I woke up this morning and opened my curtain blinds to this. That’s right, I made it to Brooklyn Heights and have a lovely apartment on the 11th floor with a dorm-size room that looks a little something like this.It’s just what I need: cable TV, a full size fridge, microwave, and the most important thing of all- AIR CONDITIONING!

After a painless taxi ride to get to my building, I immediately got down to business! I unpacked my suitcases, picked up my membership from the gym and started to make a list of everything I needed to buy. My roomie from Miami, Alex, is also interning and living in Brooklyn this summer and before we left school I gave her a box of things to bring to NYC for me since she was driving. For better or worse it was some pretty important cargo (i.e. bed sheets, towels, a comforter…) so meeting up with her was one of my top priorities! She met me at my place with about half the stuff then we made the trip to her apartment to get the rest. It’s crazy because although she lives in the same borough, it takes about forty minutes to get to her neighborhood. NY maps are so deceiving- this place is HUGE.

My building had a Pizza Social last night that started at 8. The pizza was gone by 8:07. If nothing screams poor college kids, I don’t know what does. But my mouth was expecting pizza and so we hit up Fascati right next door for a New York slice. Later, we went to a place called McSorley’s, and eventually made it home in the wee hours of the night. What a first day!

Today I woke up knowing that things needed to be done. But first, I wanted to test out the Pilates class at my gym! Not to mention, my room did not come with a shower curtain so until I bought one, I needed to take a shower at the gym. Now I’ve never really done that before so was not prepared. Meaning, I did not bring many essential items (like a pair of shoes other than my running shoes to change into) but you learn something new everyday, and I’m pretty sure I rocked the dark skinny jeans and Asics look. Something else I learned? Masterlocks come with their own code. I thought I was making up my own three digit code and messed up which is why it wasn’t unlocking. Luckily, I saw the secret numbers on the paper before I got too frustrated to toss the thing in the trash.

Squeaky clean after the gym, my next stop was Bed Bath and Beyond. Despite the fact I left the store carrying too big bags filled with items like a trashcan, bathmat, and canvas box, one of my old friends from Miami told me she was in town from DC. Not having seen her in several months, I hopped on the subway and headed to a New York staple- Serendipity 3 instead of returning to my apartment to unload. For those of you who have never been there, you are missing out. Their speciality? Frrrrozen Hot Chocolate. We got one of those and also a Mint Oreo drink to split between us. It was the first time I have had it since I was about 13 and it took me right back!I knew that I would need to get one of these eventually and it’s even better that I got to on my first official day in the city!

Next, it was time to go home and drop my bags off before moving on to my next adventure. Trader Joes. Some might remember when I made my first trek to TJs on my roadtrip to Miami last summer. Just imagine how thrilled I was to find out I would be living less than a mile away from one in New York. Thank goodness too because I am realizing more and more, this city really is a million times more expensive than any other. Well, needless to say I spent a lot of time weaving in and out of aisles stocking up on food!One cool find? Mochi ICE CREAM!I knew I couldn’t get too carried away though because I had limited carrying capacity so stocked up on some staples. I will definitely be back soon for more!

On the walk home I got tempted into buying a bag of mangos for $2 off a cart. I saw the same ladies chopping it up yesterday and could simply not resist another day. A bag of delicious mangos later, I made it home, prepared some dinner, and finally organized my room so that Court can do her thang without interference with my stuff when she gets in tomorrow. As for tonight? I passed up the opportunity to hop around town to sleep. Something I have not done efficiently for the past couple days. After running around all day today, I’m sure it won’t be a problem.