When you’re in Ann Arbor, Michigan no trip would be complete without a visit to Zingerman’s, a local market and Food and Wine Magazine’s Top 10 Jewish Deli’s in the Country Located right in Kerrytown, this quirky and colorful shop evokes a Trader Joes feel with their “hand written” packaging and cartoony advertisements. However, in addition to their signature baked goods they also carry everything you need to make a perfect sandwich or bagel-wich. Though my favorite baked goods were definitely their dessert ones! If you have a sweet tooth you’re in for a treat! I picked up a few loaves of banana bread (various flavors) and the brownies – oh man!! Those were money!!! The Magic Brownies (with walnuts) and the Buenos Aires (a dulce leche flavor) specifically were so amazing! You definitely want to pick up a pack if you get a chance.
Overall, Zingerman’s is a super friendly neighborhood market and they allow you to sample their goods as well! Everyone is super hospitable and I can totally see how locals and residents would come here to enjoy fresh bread and other baked goods.
What would you get all this local bakery?
422 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Over the past few months I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my weekly visits to Knott’s Berry Farm – 1) because it’s close to home and I can complete my 10k steps and 2) everyone loves Snoopy! So when summer started and I prepared for my Midwest Trip I was immensely curious on how Knott’s sister park, Cedar Point, would compare.
On my visit I got to see both Schroeder and Snoopy in the Camp Snoopy Meet and Greet, and take tons of funny photos throughout the park. However, the sheer size of the park plus the variety of rides is on another level and while I came primarily for the rollers coasters (see Cedar Point Part 2 next week!), there were a number of attractions that I loved including the Horse Racing Carousel. My gawd! How ingenious! and it actually goes pretty fast! There was also a barnyard with camels, horses, pigs, goats and other farm critters. Many of the locals and tourists alike were taking selfies with Samuel and Camel. lol And for those of you aren’t afraid of heights Winkdseeker has the most uh-mazing view of the park and lake. This swing set goes up 301 feet giving you a birds eye view of the park in it’s glory and extends out at a 45 degree angle.
Would you be brave enough to see the entire park up that high?
1 Cedar Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870
I visit Las Vegas annually with my family and while I’ve heard of Ellis Island Hotel, Casino and Brewery I’ve never actually visited The Village Pub. Friends have often posted photos of the cheap eats there so this year I decided to check it out as it was walking distance from my hotel.
Upon entering the building, the casino has an old school charm to it, the restaurant had multiple plaques indicating awards it’s won in the past including: Best Microbrewery and Best Cheap Eats. My friend and I decided to share the Steak and Eggs ($11.99 – I’m sure cheaper if we played with the Players Card), a pint of rootbeer ($2.50) and a pint of their seasonal beer ($2.50).
I wasn’t expecting much, but to my surprise out came a what appeared to be a filet cut chunk with my two over-easy eggs. The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare and tasted as if it was from a fine-dinning restaurant – you could have fooled me! The sourdough toast was a nice touch and while the potatoes were forgettable, the overall meal was a hearty-one. The beer was surprisingly very VERY good. I even liked it more than the housemade root-beer that my friend ordered for me. lol I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here and for less than $20 this establishment is a great place to catch up with friends and enjoy a warm meal for cheap.
Alton Brown is one of my favorite celebrity chef’s so when he listed The Red Eyed Mule as one of favorite messy meals I wanted to check it out for myself. My friend and I visited several hot spots in Atlanta and Snack Boxe Bistro (blog post) was our #1 restaurant. Would Alton Brown’s pick knock-down our current champion? Would it even make the top 3?
The restaurant is located in Marietta a city about 20 miles outside of downtown Atlanta with morning/afternoon hours (6am-2pm daily). The brick exterior and humble interior resembled more of a local’s diner than a celebrity chef hang-out, and I was excited to try the coveted Jake’s Sloppy Slaw Burger.
The burger arrived and I was blown away by juicy patty made with a combination of coarse-ground chorizo and beef. The thick Texas toast was buttered and grilled to perfect – soft on the side with a beautiful char on the outside. The slaw and sauce gave the crunch and it was so saucy. I loved it!
Verdict: This was definitely the BEST thing I ever ate in Georgia and for $6.25, I’d glad re-arrange my plans to include this hidden gem in my plans.
Whats your favorite “Messy” item to eat and where do you get it?
When I think of Georgia I think of peach pie, fried chicken, and any and all good Southern soul food. Gosh, even the amazing brunch at Hen Mother Cookhouse (Stomach Souvenirs Entry) in Alpharetta would fit the bill. Yet, it’s hard to imagine that Atlanta would be home to one of my favorite ethnic restaurants – Snack Boxe Bistro, a Laotian restaurant focused on street food and one of Atlanta’s newest hot, up and coming restaurant.
I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about trying Laotian food from a restaurant that seemed so far away from the country, but after hearing so many rave reviews I thought I’d check it out myself. My friend and I ordered the following items.
Mok Pha ($8) Banana leaf wrapped steamed herb fish
Beef Laap ($10) Minced salad with rice powder, kaffir, galanga, chili herbs.
And the verdict…
The Mok Pha was super soft and just melted in your mouth and the Khao Poon, a last minute addition was one of my favorite dish of my Atlanta trip! The were so many different textures and taste profiles that made the soupy noodle dish so complex and delicious. It was a little spicy, a little sweet and all the ingredients just worked so harmoniously. You definitely want to order the Khao Poon if you want an explosion of flavors. I’d love to try the cuisine in the motherland.
Brunch is one of those iconic meals to share with family and friends, so I picked Mother Hen Cookhouse after some extensive research to meet up one of of grad school girlfriends. She was very excited and informed me that though this restaurant had just opened up earlier this year and that it’s quickly become an Alpharetta staple. I did breakfast everyday that I was in Georgia, and this was by far my favorite brunch spot!
The homey restaurant evoked a sweet county kitchen feel and I loved the coziness of the space. After deep contemplation on what to eat we decided on the following:
Market Hash & Two Eggs ($13): I love has and the presentation of this was different but absolutely delicious. I always order mine with two sunnyside up eggs and this picture perfect dish encapsulated the perfect savory dish. I would eat this everyday if I could It had the crunch, the creaminess, and the ooey gooey egg yolk just running through it all. Yum!
Baked Brioche French Toast ($10): You had me at Brioche! and while I don’t typically do sweet for breakfast my friend and I shared and demolished it. The poached peaches, with the whipped custard and pure Vermont maple syrup over the fluffy bread was perfect and now I understand why this item was a crowd favorite.
Fluffy egg white & veggie omelet ($11.95): I found out that my friend didn’t eat red meat and that the four times she’s been here she always orders this. Must be a solid staple.
My friend and I had a wonderful time catching up and sharing stories on our lives. The venue for our 8 year reunion couldn’t have been more picture perfect and I’m glad that we got to share a delicious meal to commemorate it. I’ll definitely be back and eager to try all their other offerings.
While most of the San Diego Comic Con was up and runnin’ on Wednesday (SDCC Preview Night), I was among the first guests to enter the Laika Live Experience – a FREE exhibit in the Gaslamp District.
Upon waiting in line my friends and I were handed a fan with a character as well as a headband with the characters iconic headdress (I choose the helmet for Kubo) and we were seated to watch a short video regarding the movies. For my readers unfamiliar with the Laika, they’re known for handcrafted stop-motion animation and stunning visual effects. They swap out heads to mimic different expressions, but at the end of the day it takes hours to create a scene that lasts a couple of minutes. Whew!
They also recreated a few life-size versions of certain scenes, but don’t let this comfy lookin’ couch fool you, it’s as hard as a rock. So deceptive! And my hinny was in great pain, but anything for the shot! lol
I can’t say that I know the franchise all that well, but I am confidently impressed by the patience and care to detail these artists put in creating these features. During the exhibit the artist who worked on the movie showed us techniques and told us how they recorded people doing certain tasks and would emulate those actions with the characters. One artist informed us that his running style was used for one of the mother characters.
My friends who attended last year said that this was even bigger and better than last – who will check this exhibit out in 2019?
San Diego Comic Con is MASSIVE and I felt that I didn’t do the mecca nerd gathering justice by spending just a couple days. So, this year I allocated more time to dwell in the summer nerd capitol and tried to do as many of the outside convention stuff. (See Conan Taping LIVE here.)
On Wednesday my friends and I ventured behind the convention to checkout the Dragon Ball Z area and considering it was Preview Night I was surprised at how many people were already waiting in lines! But those lines were no match for the My Hero Academia panel line (check out post here). Nevertheless, the setup was most impressive and there was a ton to do and see for the ultimate Dragon Ball fan! * Note * this area was within the sectioned SDCC Badge area.
The main line was for dedicated to fans who wanted a Dragon Ball Z backpack and lanyard, among other goodies, whereas the side lines were for fans who wanted to try and win freebies such as a t-shirt or hat. There were also photo opportunities as well as figurine replicas re-enacting scenes from the series all to promote the third anniversary mobile game “Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle” – I tried it and it’s super hard, but practice makes perfect right? Lol
Dragon Ball Z will also be premiering a movie later this year. No word on which theaters, but I hope it’s “Over 9000” haha… If you can have a private viewing of an upcoming movie, what movie would you want to see?