La Cocina de Luz: Telluride, Colorado

La Cocina de Luz: Telluride, CO

La Cocina de Luz: Telluride, CO

Wowza. First official post of 2015, I’m feeling excited. Are you feeling excited? Let’s get this show on the road.

So let’s talk Mexican food. Specifically, this pretty party La Cocina de Luz located in my top 3 favorite places in the world (ranked with Disney World and Rosemary Beach in no particular order). La Cocina, as the locals affectionately call it, is the so-called local haunch of town, and I know this because I went with some said locals.

Again with the locals, they rave about this place. They love it. They eat it up. I personally favorited the underground Mexicano restaurant located further up the street, but it closed down, so I’ve now converted happily to La Cocina. The extra cool thing about La Cocina is that a ton of their food is organic, and they really really cater to allergies and intolerances.

Which, hey, last time I checked you and I totally fall into that category.

La Cocina de Luz Menu

I have tried a lot of different menu items here, but I went for the tostadas this time.

Basically a flat crispy corn tortilla topped with roasted chicken, guacamole, lettuce, and then a side of their 95% organic rice and beans. That’s what’s up.

It’s my favorite thing I’ve had on the menu, and like I said before, though it’s not my favorite favorite restaurant in the hip cool town of Tride, it’s extremely accommodating and an enjoyable meal. It gets really busy too so make sure to get there a little earlier or later than usual to catch a table. And kids are totally welcomed and encouraged in La Cocina too, of course!

It’s an order and sit down kind of restaurant with a top of the notch salsa bar. I take my salsa eating very seriously. [Read more…]

Coast: Grayton Beach, Florida

Coast in Grayton Beach, Florida

Coast in Grayton Beach, Florida

If you have ever been to the Panhandle, more specifically 30A, you’ve probably heard of a little restaurant in Rosemary Beach called Summer Kitchen. It’s basically the food I grew up on in the town I’ve called home since I was 9 years old. My sister eats four meals a week there, and many of our friends have secret orders named after them. It’s the place where moments in life have happened and wonderful memories have been made.

The owners of Summer Kitchen, James and Miriam Dillon, have just opened a new restaurant in Grayton Beach called Coast, and we’ll follow them anywhere. Coast has delicious, fresh food with a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, great service, and one of our favorite chefs in the world. What I love about Summer Kitchen, that I can order anything and I know exactly what ingredients are in it, translates to Coast as well. I asked about two menu items; the crab and corn spring rolls and the seafood stew, and both were dairy-free. Yippee!

Needless to say, ordering was a breeze. There are tons of amazing seafood, chicken, and beef dishes on the menu with a wide variety while still sticking to the “coast” theme. [Read more…]

Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck: Dallas, Texas

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Soaring high above the city of Dallas, Texas hosts a beautiful Asian cuisine developed by the famed Wolfgang Puck called Five Sixty.

Five Sixty is a super delicious Dallas hotspot.

We had an early reservation to celebrate my 21st (!!!) birthday on top of the city enjoying sushi and poppin’ pink champagne.

Couldn’t get better.

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Speaking of the sushi, I have one extra long word to describe it: melt-in-your-mouth.

It was so good! I also ordered my meal, lobster fried rice and shrimp dumplings, before everyone else so the waiter could check with the chef to make sure I could safely enjoy my meal.

Hello service. [Read more…]

A Day on the Boat + The Bay: Fort Walton Beach, Florida

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Well, I can now say I am an official blogger. For two reasons.

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First, I flubbed my post for today. A friend had come over at the last minute and asked to borrow my camera to film something, and I absentmindedly cleared my card to give her more room thinking that I had saved all my pictures already for this post and from my trip to Biloxi the other weekend. Then last night as I went through my photos to edit everything, I realized that I had only saved a few, and none from Biloxi.

I’m thinking of it like how equestrians don’t consider you a real horseback rider or whatever you call it until you’ve fallen off your horse at least three times. I’ve fallen off my blogging horse, guess I gotta get back up. The only difference is, that when I fell off my horse horse, I messed up my back and my paranoid mother made me give up horseback riding, not that I really minded because it was pain-ful.

Anyway, my second blogging accomplishment is that I got accepted into BlogHer’s advertising network. Which is pretty awesome stuff if you’re a blogger, because it means that you can put little ads on your site to make some money (pennies for me! Ha ha). I promise it won’t decrease your user experience (thanks for being here!), and you probably didn’t even notice the nifty ad in the sidebar, did ya? But hey, it’s there. And I just wanted to tell you about it.Bay-Restaurant-6

[Read more…]

Shaws Booksellers Pub & Eating House: London, England

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The Europe adventure continues!

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Although I’ve been home for a few weeks now from the big trip to Europe, I still have a few more awesome restaurants/places I went to share with you!

While we were in London, the group was hangry for lunch and couldn’t find a place that would allow under 21 year olds to eat in (it was clearly late afternoon AKA pub beer time with the co-workers) so we wandered through Harry Potter-esque cobbled streets until we found the place. The most perfect place to have our wonderful English lunch.

We went to London towards the end of our trip so we were no longer feeling the traditional European fare. When we stumbled upon Shaws Booksellers we were delighted to eat in a traditional looking pub for lunch that allowed kiddos and offered organic and allergy friendly meals (thumbs up!). [Read more…]

The Laduree Restaurant: Paris, France

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A young lady’s dream: think pastels, fancy china, and macarons all while sitting along the Champs-Élysées surrounded by chic Parisians on their way to work or afternoon tea.

How more perfect can it get?

Ladurée is a must stop shop when you’re in Paris. Home to the best macarons (in my opinion), it was always on my bucket list the last few times I’ve been to Paris. But what always ended up happening was that I would run out of time to get from my hotel over to Ladurée and have to end up settling on buying them at the kiosk at the airport. Hey, they tasted just as good.

[Read more…]

Afternoon Tea at Brown’s Hotel: London, England

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The Vivian/Hunter family clan is off to Europe!

In these next few travel posts I’ll be writing all about our wonderful three week European Adventure!

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In any traveling entity, there’s always a planner. In my own traveling entity comprised of my family and Vivian’s family, the planner would be my father. He loves it.

He’s got us planned on:

where we’re staying.

where we’re eating.

what we’re doing.

what train we’re riding on.

what plane we’re flying in.

what car we’re renting, and the list goes on and on.

Literally being with him is like being with your own personal travel agent. We are so lucky to have a wonderful dad/husband/friend like that to give us such incredible vacations. He really researches where we’re going and fun exciting things we can do in each place. My family and I have been lucky enough to visit London many times, and this time my dad gave us the opportunity of a lifetime.

We all got to put on our fancy dresses and go have afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel Tea Room! Let me give you some background to get you excited:

Brown’s Hotel was founded in 1837, therefore making it a super duper old hotel in the heart of London. What’s most notable about Brown’s Hotel is the famous people that have stayed there. Popular guests include: Theodore Roosevelt, Napoleon III, and Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgiums. Many writers have also stayed at Brown’s; Rudyard Kipling completed The Jungle Book there, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, and many more.

Pretty neat, huh?

Not only were we able to have wonderful hot tea (Vivian’s new drink of choice), but my dad also made sure that the tea room knew about our dairy allergy. So when we arrived, we had our own afternoon snacks with no dairy! It was fabulous. We got to choose from little sandwiches filled with meats and jams and eggs and veggies and seafood, then dairy-free scones, and finally chocolatey desserts. We also got soy milk to go with our tea.

The desserts were definitely gluten-free too, and we think the scones!

We had such a beautiful experience and would urge anyone who wants to create some fun and lasting memories to visit Brown’s Hotel Tea Room next time you’re in London, and make sure to call ahead to tell them about your allergy!

Now on to the pictures…

[Read more…]

The Wild Cow: Nashville, Tennessee

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I could probably eat every meal of my life in this restaurant. The Wild Cow is located in East Nashville and offers fresh, awesomely delicious vegan fare.

As the last stop on the McKenzie/Hunter road trip, we definitely went out with a bang. A yummy, over-the-top, local produce, VEGAN, food fantasy dream of a restaurant. I’m sure like most of you dairy-free people that actually lived some years with dairy in your life, you will understand my constant lust for queso dip.

The smell wafts through any restaurant and I can still perfectly taste the creamy smooth flavor and texture of my favorite queso dip at home.

So when I was suggesting restaurants to McKenzie that we could stop by for dinner, and I saw The Wild Cow’s menu, I practically caused her to wreck in my screaming excitement.

[Read more…]

HUSK: Nashville, Tennessee

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Farm-to-table is the bomb dot com. First of all, it’s a problem that every restaurant ISN’T farm-to-table. But, for those ones that really advertise it and make it a priority, I am giving you a massive applause right now.

During the McKenzie and Hunter road trip through the southeast, we tried to eat at restaurants that were out of our comfort zone, but also really served us easily with our food allergies. While I have just the dairy allergy, McKenzie cannot eat dairy or gluten. We tried to choose restaurants that were fresh so that we knew the food would be made to order, meaning we could make any necessary changes.

When we found HUSK, we were beyond pumped. It’s located right up the road from Honky Tonk Central, kind of in it’s own little suburb while still being in the city. It’s in a house, which is adorable. We ate lunch there, but it seemed to have a really popular nightlife too with a huge bar (for the mommies and daddies).

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From such an early age, my parents took me out to all types of restaurants, ranging anywhere from quick and simple to fancy and nice. I think it’s amazing to have been given the opportunity to learn how to behave in public settings and just getting used to eating out at restaurants, especially those on the more “fancier” side, at a young age. What I loved about HUSK was that lunch seemed to be their slower time, with just a few business meetings and couples eating, and multiple rooms to sit in. So the atmosphere is super comfortable and private, which would be perfect to bring the kiddos for a nice lunch where they (and you, mama!) can test the surroundings.

And for that, it’s a great lunch spot if you ask me!

The service was excellent. Our waiter was extremely nice and helpful. He went back to the kitchen four times to check on our food and make sure everything was cooked separately and safe from any allergens. The chefs were amazing as well. They had to change some ingredients around but were totally willing to do whatever it took to get us what we wanted.

[Read more…]

The Laughing Seed: Asheville, North Carolina

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So if you happen to read my blog posts on the daily, then you know that I recently took a super cool road trip with my super cool friend mckenzie to super cool places.

And one of those super cool places happened to be Asheville, North Carolina.

Where they had this super cool restaurant called The Laughing Seed.

Needless to say, it was super cool.

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The Laughing Seed stuck out to us after our friend, Jodie, recommended it when she found out we were going to Asheville (Btdubs, she’s literally been telling us to go to Asheville for years, so we were very excited when we finally got the chance to go!).

The Laughing Seed is a vegetarian restaurant with tons of vegan options. We knew that would be right up our alley, and so we decided to try their Sunday brunch before we got back out on the open road.

[Read more…]