Ah, oui... le fromage, les croissants, les crêpes - they are all here. Le District is a French-inspired marketplace in downtown's Brookfield Place that's just a few weeks old. Being the dedicated francophile that I am, you can imagine my excitement when I first heard of its development, and this past weekend, my friend Paige and I made the trip down there to scope out the scene. The space is divided into stalls that sell all the amazing French goodies your heart may desire, including crepes, breads, pastries, cheese, charcuterie, sauces, and even flowers; . . .
Having been a dedicated weekend bruncher for the last couple of years, I've gotten to experience various tiers of NYC brunch. There's the all-you-can-drink brunch at questionable venues - geared toward eager NYU students - where the menu is most certainly an afterthought. There's the mid-level brunch, where the food is thoughtfully prepared but nothing to write home about. There's the cult brunch, like at Buvette and Joseph Leonard, where the food is fantastic, but it's so painfully crowded that they hand you the check as soon as the drop of coffee hits your throat. . . .
Rene spent a large part of the last two weeks being sick. If you're not familiar with pancreatitis, it's exactly as not fun as it sounds. This past weekend he actually had to fast, preceding an equally un-sexy liquid diet of green smoothies and water-based vegetable soups. By Monday he was eating some solid foods again, but mostly just vegetables. Monday also happened to be our three-year anniversary. I've been very excited about the prospect of this date and was hoping we could go somewhere old New York to celebrate with fat steaks and a bottle of red. I had all . . .
I don't know if it's because the weather was heavenly, because it was the first big city stop of our road trip, or because it truly is magical, but I fell completely in love with Charleston. If there was a meter for how many times I said "Oh my God, this is so beautiful" while we were out exploring, I'm sure the final tally would be somewhere in the thirties. I mean, come on... One of the most striking elements about Charleston is its architecture. The pastel-colored historic homes that make up most of downtown, juxtaposed with the gorgeous palm trees that line . . .
We arrived in Charlotte, NC - the first stop on our road trip down south - late on Christmas day. We were pretty exhausted from the 10-hour drive, and since everything was closed for the holiday, we ended up having dinner at the hotel and going to bed early. The following day, we started out with breakfast at a cafe inside the 7th Street Public Market called Local Loaf. Here's where we had the first biscuits and gravy experience of the trip - and there were many. If you're not familiar with the concept, it's a traditional Southern breakfast that consists of a buttery . . .
New Orleans is notorious for its parties, live music and Creole food, and we certainly got a taste of all three while passing through there on our road trip. There was live music in every bar and on every street corner in the French Quarter, and po' boys seem to be their equivalent of NYC pizza. All in all, there's a real liveliness and charm to the city. Love all the painted shutters! To sample the local gumbo and po' boys - must-haves in NOLA - we visited Liuzza's by the Track, a casual cafe/bar where locals grab lunch and everyone seems to know each . . .
When I heard the surprise announcement at work that we'd have nearly two weeks' paid time off for the holidays, my first thought was, "Paris." But realizing I only had a few weeks to buy plane tickets and how costly they'd be this time of year, my dream was quickly shattered. Rene took the opportunity to not-so-subtly talk me into a road trip - a quest he's been on for the past three years. Being a road trip veteran, it was a no-brainer to him, and after a little convincing, I was game, too. We headed south, ya'll. Prior to this trip, my understanding of the U.S. . . .