Recapping: Waking Windows

Ah yes, another one has come and gone (plus one day if you folks start your weeks on Monday like normal people). This past week was crazy at work and I learned that I am officially the most awkward interviewer ever. I told one fantastic applicant that I didn’t like NYC (where he’s from) very much and that “I have a lot of feelings.” Yeesh folks, yeesh. (He took the job p.s. so all is not lost). Anyway Friday night til Saturday afternoon I was pretty much working so I haven’t got much to say on that part of the weekend except YAY hotel busy season 😉

Saturday afternoon Zach and I met some friends at Waking Windows, a local music festival that takes over Winooski. The festival which has certainly grown since we went last year, took place at various businesses around the town of Winooski including a main stage and food truck area in the downtown area.  After meeting up we headed over to Four Quarters Brewing to catch a band called Iron Eyes Cody and grab some beers. The band was awesome and totally worth having to wait in line for the majority of it. Some of the beers put out by Four Quarters aren’t usually my style as some of their more popular options tend to be a bit too sour for my unrefined pallet… sue me. I was so excited to try their White Peach IPA, it was so crisp and refreshing and paired so well with being at an outdoor music festival. We all talked about how we easily could drink it all summer. This was the first Derby day that I didn’t do anything special for which felt a bit odd, I guess that’s how you know you’re really out of the south! Though there was cornhole at the brewery so I was real freakin’ pumped about that.

After the brewery we hung out at the main stage for awhile and rocked some delicious pulled pork poutine from one of the food trucks. I liked the layout of food options along the water this year and I wish we had gotten there sooner to check out some of the local artist’s tables. It’s awesome that Waking Windows is a 3-day event so you can pick and choose the day and the kind of music you want to hear at the different venues around town. I’m glad we got tickets for Saturday because all of the bands we heard were great. Though I will admit 5:40pm Kari was much more pumped for listening to new bands than 12:40am Kari… I made it 15 minutes into that show before casually stepping out to call an uber. Guess my Bonnaroo days are behind me…

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Sunday was officially my first day off in 12 days and all I wanted to do was sit around the house and do absolutely nothing so that’s what I did. I debated doing something active knowing that I’d feel better about the day but the furthest I got was to the corner store for some coffee and I’m quite okay with it.

Monday I had set up to be filled with appointments and getting my cleaning/laundry done but that was quickly turned upside down when I managed to completely throw out my back. 26 going on 86, I tell you. I forced myself to get out of the house for groceries (had to ask for help carrying them to my car at Trader Joes) but other than that I binge watched Happy Valley on Netflix all day. So that was a win at least.

What’s your beer style?

Have you been to any fun outdoor events lately?

Recapping: Restaurant Week(end)

Greetings Earthlings! Let’s get right into a recap shall we? After Zach and I got back from a beautiful wedding in NYC we had all of 1 night before having my sweet friend Sarah come visit for a long weekend. This was her first visit back since Maria & I moved her down to DC in August for her brand new big girl life so it was great to have her back in town and the fact that it fell during Vermont Restaurant Week was a great coincidence!

Thursday afternoon we got our gossip on while getting our nails done before heading over to Pizza Barrio. I had been to Barrio Bakery many times during the day for some great coffee & delicious sweet treats but had never actually made it for the evenings that they open up for Pizza.

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How cute is this place??

The restaurant week deal looked great but we ended up breaking it up a bit to try a few things between the three of us. The Focaccia and bacon marmalade was an awesome salty-sweet combination that we were all big fans of. My favorite part of the meal was the chopped salad that we decided to split. I loved how fresh the lettuce, avocado, and cherry peppers were and the buttermilk dressing perfectly accompanied the goat cheese. It’s been 4 days and I’m still dreaming about it. Will need to recreate…

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We tried two pizzas for our entrees, the Tricolore and the Green Mountain. The Tricolore was topped with mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and Prosciutto di Parma which was great but the Green Mountain pizza with it’s fresh apples and honey drizzle was the show stopper. Honestly you can throw apple slices and cheese together on anything and I’m in love, it’s the Vermont way.

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It also helped that Heady Toppers were $5 and our server though clearly incredibly busy and maybe the only one working (?) was fantastic. I’d highly recommend this cute neighborhood favorite.

After dinner we rushed over to the Vermont Comedy Club to catch “Belly Laughs” performed by the hilarious Unmentionables improv group. I know I have discussed many times how strongly I feel about free shit so you can only imagine how excited I was to walk into the show and receive a badass canvas bag filled with swag from various Vermont Restaurant Week sponsors.

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It’s quite difficult to have a bad time at a comedy show (plus the free shit high that I was riding helped) but this was particularly funny. I love the comedy club itself, it feels low-key and comfortable while still seeing top-notch performances and really fits what Burlington is all about. True to form the Unmentionables crushed all the glorious awkwardness that comes along with improv shows. They based their sets off of two interviews with people in the local restaurant/cider game which I thought was a cool way to connect to restaurant week.

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Check this swag out folks! #chevreforevre

We spent the rest of the weekend drinking *arguably*  too much alcohol, waking up  semi-hungover and hiking a mountain with growlers from Fiddlehead because, welcome to Vermont. We started Saturday with dinner reservations at Pizzeria Verita as classy ladies and finished the evening by eating delivery Domino’s pizza and watching Gary the Goat youtube videos on the Big Comfy Couch. 26 is a real transition year.

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It was a great time to have visitors and totally worth the fact that I am now exhausted to begin the month of May.

Do you participate in Restaurant Weeks around you?

 

Recapping: Cocktails, Comedy & Chili

Happy February Friends!

So I didn’t get any posts up last week but this week I have prepared for what I think is a great week of posts so definitely make sure you stop back by to find out what I’ve been up to (aka where I’ve been eating and drinking). Starting things off is a little recap from what turned out to be quite the busy weekend!

Friday

The new Hilton Garden Inn opened up in downtown Burlington on Friday and Sarah and I decided to check out the appropriately named Armory Grille & Bar just inside of it. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking but it’s definitely a very cool space that I think is really going to take off. The drink menu was a little on the small side but that was to be expected for their first day open to the public. I must say the Burlington Mule was absolutely delicious and I appreciate all places who serve them in the appropriate cups.

  Armory Grille & Bar

 Burlington Mule

Burlington Mule = Smuggler’s Notch Vodka + Rookies Ginger Beer

Sarah and I at the Armory

Saturday

One of the joys of living in a complex with an parking lot is that we have spots off of the street during the dreaded parking bans from snow storms. One of the downfalls is being woken up before 9am on a Saturday to move our cars for the plow to come through. Such was the case Saturday morning so instead of being lazy like we had planned Zach and I hit up the grocery store in order to make this epic feast…

Brunch

We somehow managed to push through our food coma and both make it to the gym after this meal, that’s dedication. Later that night we went out to support our friends in the Best In Show Comedy event at Hotel Vermont. I had seen some of these acts before but I must say that they were so much better than I remembered! I loved the different styles of comedy they each brought to the mic, it was an awesome excuse way to waste an evening laughing with some of my favorite humans. Big shout out to Mike & Adam for inviting us and being hilarious per usual! Oh and the $5 cans of Sip of Sunshine are always welcome in my book! If you are local and have a chance to check out these guys I’d highly recommend it!

Best in Show @ Hotel Vermont

(photo cred Hotel Vermont’s facebook)

Sunday

I really like to grocery shop. I like to make the lists, save the coupons, and I especially like sorting the groceries to bag them in the most appropriate manner possible. This is by far the dorkiest quality I have but it’s the truth. I’d dare say I’m the best grocery bagger that’s ever come out of the state of Vermont. That being said, I have a few deeply held beliefs on grocery shopping and they are as follows…

1) Do not go on the day of the Super Bowl.

2) Do not go on any Sunday, ever.

3) Do not ever go on the 1st of the month.

I am here to admit that I broke all of my rules yesterday and it was the worst decision I’ve made in a long time. I stood in line for an hour. There was a kid passed out under the flower stand the lines were so absurd. I’m still completely traumatized thinking about all of the horribly bagged groceries that must have come out of the place that dreadful afternoon. Hopefully when I turn 25 on Saturday I stop making such poor life decisions.

After the disaster that was the grocery store Zach and I managed to pull off a pretty decent spread for a few friends coming over for the Super Bowl. We had ourselves a little chili cook off and managed to incorporate cheese into every single dish which is never a bad bet.

Super Bowl Chili Cook Off

While I was thoroughly bummed with the outcome (I freaking hate the Patriots) I did find solace in knowing that one day my dream of becoming a mascot can not only come true but it can come true in the form of a singing shark during the Super Bowl halftime show. My career goals have just changed dramatically.Super Bowl Singing Shark

So yeah now you know that I’m a grocery store nerd and an aspiring dancing shark, you are welcome.

Hope everyone is having a great Monday! Come back tomorrow for the first half of my Quebec City recap!

🙂

Have you attended many comedy shows?

How do you feel about the grocery store? I’m willing to bet probably not as strongly as I feel.

Recapping: An Overnight in Saratoga Springs

Hello all!

I wrote out this entire post on Sunday to be able to post Monday and then of course my computer crashed without even saving a single draft… #bloggerproblems. So anyway sorry it took a couple of days to post but in any event Sarah and I had a great time during our little getaway to race country Friday night.

First stop was to Olde Saratoga Brewing Co where I managed to walk in on someone using the restroom immediately upon arrival. Where there is an awkward situation, there is an incredibly awkward Kari finding it. Sorry dude! After that adventure I spent 5 hard earned dollars on choosing 6 beers to sample from their impressively long list. The tasting room was really cool and they even had some doughboys for sale from a local company.  The beers ranged from Lagers to Stouts and everything in between. I really liked their Saratoga Lager but the IPA stole the show. The Moonpie Oatmeal Stout was surprisingly delicious and Sarah and I both liked their Peanut Butter & Jelly Stout.

Olde Saratoga Brewing Company

We made a quick stop at the Courtyard we were staying for the night before the chilly but easy walk downtown. While most of the shops were closed on Broadway you could tell that this would be an incredibly fun spot to hang out in during the warmer months. Very similar to Church Street in it’s design and even some of the shops they had mirrored the ones here in Vermont.

The girl at the brewery recommended Boca Bistro for it’s fantastic tapas menu. The space itself was awesome! From the exposed brick to the tin ceilings, they really did rustic meets modern so well. I have had a small huge obsession with pigs since I was a kid so the metal pigs scattered through the shelves were my favorite part. Sarah and I were beyond impressed with the staff, everyone we encountered was so warm and welcoming. The food itself was delicious and it came out unbelievably fast. We tried the ham croquettes as well as the pork belly for our plates. The croquettes were good but I don’t think I’ve ever had pork belly that well done. We could have easily bellied up (pun intended) to the beautiful bar and reordered that one plate 10 times that night. Instead we asked our friendly waiter, Mark where we should head to next.

Boca Bistro Tapas

Don’t be fooled by my horrendous plate photo abilities, that sweet potato puree mixed with the tomato relish was perfection.

Mark suggested we try out Seven Horse Pub for round two of appetizers and other beer options so off we went. I can’t say too much about this place other than your typical bar/restaurant. The beer was pretty good, the spinach and artichoke dip was standard but it definitely seemed like a fun place to get out and watch a game.

Our lovely friend Chelsea suggested we hit up Circus Cafe for a cocktail during our trip so that was the next step. It was a little dead in there but that was easily overlooked thanks to the amazingly funky atmosphere! To be fair though we were there about 5 hours before I assume real people go out (we had a self-given curfew). We just ordered a couple of drinks but the menu looked so fun! I would love to go back to try it out for lunch or dinner (if I can pull myself away from that tapas menu that is).

Circus Cafe Margarita

The final stop of the evening was to Henry Street Taproom a place that if it relocated to Vermont I would without a doubt become a regular. This place was at the top of my to do list going in and every single person confirmed that we needed to try it out. So many beers, an awesome fireplace, such a great casual place for the locals and non-locals to hang out.

We had a blast exploring downtown and I can definitely see many more trips to the area in the future… like when the weather is above zero degrees. My only regret is not taking a picture on the horse statue outside of the hotel. You avoided me this trip horse statue, next time you won’t be so lucky. There you have it folks, I’ve officially run out of synonyms for “delicious” and “awesome” so I guess I’ll end this recap here.

See ya later, Saratoga Springs 🙂

Have you ever been to that area of New York?

Do you have any trips coming up? Zach and I will be joining another couple for a trip to Quebec City this weekend and we can’t wait!

Recapping: A New York City Adventure

Recapping last weekend minutes before the new weekend starts? Sure! Why not?

Saturday

Zach and I spent a quick overnight in Fairfield Friday and woke up to enjoy a lovely breakfast with the family before his mom and I headed to our much needed nail appointment. The ladies at Posh Nail & Spa were so cute and thoughtful! I was so impressed with the manicure but really it was such a great excuse to spend some girl time with Mama Deaks!

Posh Spa ManicureRed again, who saw that coming?

My dad is from Brooklyn so as a family we had made a few trips into NYC as kids but I was really looking forward to hanging out in the city as an adult. Thankfully for our trip we had two great tour guides in Zach’s best friend Pete and his sweetheart of a girlfriend Kate who went above and beyond to make our trip so amazing.  Here are some of the highlights:

The Highline NYCPete and Kate took us for a walk along the newer section of the High Line and I thought it was a really cool way to wind through the different sites of New York.

Zach and I NYCOur next stop was for dinner at Mari Vanna, a very eccentric Russian restaurant in the Flatiron district. They aren’t joking when they say it’s like walking into a Russian apartment, it was absolutely incredible. We were seated in the corner by potentially the creepiest photo ever of a little boy and a bunny rabbit… let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be the one that has to close the restaurant at night.

Mari Vanna Vodka TastingWe started off with a Vodka flight with flavors ranging from Horseradish to Pomegranate. While I’m not the biggest liquor drinker I did find the Cucumber flavor quite refreshing.  We literally ate food until we couldn’t see straight (or maybe that was the vodka) and it was so delicious. From the authentic appetizers to my entree of stuffed cabbage I cannot recommend this restaurant enough!

EatalyI literally could have spent hours in Eataly but this little beer caught my eye the most. While the thought of an oyster stout is horrendous how cute is this freaking bottle? I used to collect all things pig as a kid- I’m talking straight up obsession with all things pig related. Surely others had weird obsessions right?

Sunday

The main purpose of the trip was to go to a Jets game at the Meadowlands so Sunday morning we hopped on the train and headed out to New Jersey for what we thought would be a straight up Steelers blowout.

Zach and I NYCWe were like really excited obviously.

After a series of unfortunate events including purchasing tickets to Disney on Ice instead of the game we finally made it into the stadium just in time to see the second Jets touchdown.

Beer and FootballBeer and sports, that is the way to my heart.

Zach and I JETSJ-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!

The Jets straight up shut down the Steelers and it was so sick to be there! We had such a blast 🙂

Also please note the Steelers fan in the right corner… in the final quarter he got straight up taken out by another Steelers fan falling down a couple rows behind us. It was the most slow motion fall but I’m so glad everyone is okay!

When we got back to the city we headed over to Astoria for a highly recommended dinner the Dog House which will get it’s very own post next week, just know it was incredible.

Monday

Bluebell NYCBreakfast food is the best food in my opinion so I took my job of finding a great brunch spot in the city VERY seriously. After reading tons of reviews and taking into account our location we decided to try the Bluebell Cafe and I’m happy to report we were not disappointed. The decor was so cute and the food was exactly what we were hoping for. I seriously could have eaten an entire plate of that bacon and the homemade biscuit? To die for.

Grand Central Station

Thank you so much to Pete & Kate for such amazing hospitality, you guys are the coolest 🙂

It should come as no surprise that traveling is my favorite thing to do and this was a hell of a way to celebrate our Anniversary, thanks for the amazing trip Zach!

Have you ever been to an NFL game?

Anyone have exciting plans this weekend?