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dining

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8 arm bar

When one of your favorite coffee spots opens up an al fresco bar, you go. So I went to 8 arm for some coffee and saw the bar open and instead of a coffee, I got a cocktail. What a treat! Twas a gorgeous day outside and we could’ve sat there all afternoon if not the need to beat traffic.

And those sweet vintage glasses?! Ugh, they just get me. Oh and don’t worry – the cocktail menu during the day wasn’t super strong. The drinks were appropriately light and fresh. It also didn’t hurt that there was an adorable pug laying down next to us. 

brash coffee

Have you heard of fika? Fika is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee” and I read a little more about its cultural significance in a lovely book one morning at Brash.

“Fika demands that we create space in our lives for a break. It discourages getting a cup of coffee to go and drinking it in solitude in front of a computer. Fika is about slowing down, getting together with friends, and spending a moment completely present in the company at hand. As any Swede will tell you, life without fika is unthinkable.” 

ladycrush: becky

Describe your style.
I’m often told I dress like Annie Hall, and I guess I’m cool with that (although I don’t think I’ve ever worn a vest with necktie). I like modern, structured silhouettes and tend to stray away from prints unless it’s a stripe or a polka dot. Maybe that would make me “preppy”? I wear whatever makes me feel good!

Do you have any style icons?
Not really…is that weird? I admire people who dress for themselves and are confident in doing so. 

yet tuh

yet-tuh-3aOkay so I’m Asian and I love food, but that doesn’t mean I’m an expert on all Asian food. Of all the variety of Asian cuisine out there, I undoubtedly have strong opinions about Chinese food and Vietnamese food because that’s my heritage and that’s what I’ve been eating all my life. What I don’t know much about is Korean and Japanese cuisine. So when it comes to trying new Asian restaurants, it’s those that I’m going to go for because I want to continue broadening my experiences with each. Being in Atlanta, I have plenty to choose from! Last week I tried Yet Tuh, a small little spot off of Buford Highway. Thanks Instagram!

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We got there extremely early so the place was completely empty. Its location is definitely off the beaten path but it’s well worth the trip. Again, I remind you that I know nothing about what good Korean food is supposed to be like. But I very much enjoyed most aspects of this dinner. It was tough to only be a two-person party because of how many items we ordered (we just had to try them), but that made for plenty of leftovers to carry me through the week. Of all the dishes, my favorite was

a weekday drink

I love myself a weekday drink with a friend and I’m assuming you do too. I mean if you don’t, you’re missing out on one of the great joys of being an adult. Meeting up in the afternoon and knowing that you’re going to catch up and simply enjoy a smooth drink and a salty snack – there’s not really a better way to top off your workday.

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I’m pretty lucky that I’m surrounded by women of such a high caliber in my life. I’m even luckier that they don’t hate me for taking pictures of our food and drinks before we dig in (they know me by now).

Last week I met up with a friend and we dipped our toes into the menu at Cooks & Soldiers over on the Westside. To be completely honest, I can’t say I’ve made a decision about whether or not it’s worth a visit. I’ve had high expectations for this restaurant for quite some time now. Maybe that can be blamed on instagram, particularly the mouth-watering shots of their chef stirring huge pans of paella. 

8 arm

When a new coffee spot in town opens up, you know you’ll find me there drinking lattes like there’s no tomorrow. Typically I visit a new place just once or twice to take pics and feel the vibe, but with 8 arm I’ve already been there like 5 times since I first visited it a month ago. Is that insane? I very rarely find a place I love as much as Octane but this one is right up there.

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First of all, how come no one knows about this spot? It’s right on Ponce, in that spot that used to have all the scooters. It’s open morning until night and has a breakfast lunch AND dinner menu. While the pricing is a little too high to be my every day spot, everything I’ve tried there is delish. Atlanta magazine claimed that 8 arm now has the best biscuit in Atlanta, but the item I’m dying over is the CINNAMON BUN. Go get it. The dining room is flooded with natural light and a weekday is quiet enough to sit and really enjoy the morning.

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 This particular morning that I went, I was feeling really down, out, and tired.

double zero

When you get to your late 20s (or are in your last year of them), weeknight dinner dates with friends are everything. Everything. There’s nothing like enjoying a lovely cocktail and delicious food with your girl. So when my friend Elizabeth and I do get the chance to meet up, we try to keep it fresh. Last week we tried the newly re-opened Double Zero in Emory Village.

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Featuring a diversely Italian American menu, this recently relocated restaurant (formly in Roswell) is a very welcome addition to the Druid Hills/Emory neighborhood. I live in Woodland Hills which is right off of Cheshire Bridge Road and often find myself having to go a little drive south, west, or north for good eats. General Muir is one of my favorite spots close-by and this may become a staple as well. Though slightly pricey for a casual weeknight, my birthday was a good reason to splurge on a good selection of their small but shareable plates.

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Seafood and pasta is no question some of my favorite to indulge in. When cooked properly, it’s an indulgence unlike anything else. We started with the clams with toasted bread and I mean, anything with toasted bread has my heart. The perfect plate to go with the refreshing-but-packs-a-punch drinks. We asked our waitress to help us make our choices and we were pretty satisfied with all of them. Elizabeth loved those briny and bright clams, I was surprisingly very much into the arancini and I think both of us needed two more bowls of the tonnarelli pasta.

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The portions are definitely shareable and we had enough food, but I just wanted more. How could you not want more? We scraped up every little bit of the pork cheek ragu from the plate pictured above. I will say though the scallops were awesome, it was probably at the bottom for me. Just not worth $15, sorry. I probably would have preferred a second bowl of clams or pasta instead. But now I know!

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One thing we did not get to dabble in was the pizza. I’ve seen their pizzas on instagram so my eye is on them next. I’m glad the restaurant is big, open, and uncomplicated. The cocktails were light but strong, clear and fresh. I won’t be coming here often (like as often as I eat on Buford Highwat) but it’ll be perfect for the occasional date night instead of the farther away alternatives. All in all, a great addition to the neighborhood!

charleston meals: spero

Yes, believe it – I have MORE photos from Charleston. The lighting was a bit weird for this one, but I have to share this little gem of a spot with you. A little bit more under the radar, and best of all was the bread flight. Three kinds of bread and three kinds of spread – I was there in a heartbeat. Everything was pretty tasty and it was a good spot for a low-key beer and shared meal; filled us up really fast!

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charleston meals: chez nous

Yes, two weeks later and I’m still ruminating on the best moments of our Charleston trip. That and also my normal life is just not that exciting. So I finally get to bring to you photos from one of my favorite meals in the Holy City, a lovely Sunday dinner at Chez Nous. We did our due diligence prior to the trip and Chez Nous was at the top of our list – the kind of place that focused on high quality simplicity, changing their menu every single day to suit the prime ingredients of the season.

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The day we drove to Charleston we checked Chez Nous’ instagram to see what was on the menu. Every day features two starters, two entrees, and two desserts – you can select however many you’d like for the table, even just a dessert if that’s your fancy. Their dishes are inspired by French, Italian, and Spanish cuisines – classic flavor combinations cooked exactly as they’re meant to be.

On top of that, we were lucky enough to get the best al fresco table in the house. Well, outside the house. Sitting outside as the light slowly dipped beneath the trees, everything felt exactly as it should be. The service, ambiance… it was all juuust right.

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I guess I should talk a little bit about the food, right?

coffee in charleston

Earlier this week, I spent two-and-half days in Charleston. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but if you know me then you know that I can pack in a whole lot of sightseeing into one day. This was my summer mini holiday and so I wanted to go somewhere new and do all the things I love with the person I love. Those things include: eating, drinking, walking, marveling, and taking photos of it all. I’m breaking down my trip into categories so I can share every little bit of inspiration with you! And one of my new goals for the rest of this year is to make more time for short trips to nearby cities so that I can continue finding beautiful places and sharing them here.

Anywhere I travel, I have to visit coffee shops. Multiple coffee shops. Partially because I need coffee to function, but also because coffee shops are local cultural landmarks. No matter where I go, if I find the right coffee shop then I can get a glimpse into what it would be like for me to live in that city. So in a way they make me feel at home.

I would never consider myself a sophisticated coffee connoisseur, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. I visited a total of 4 coffee places in Charleston (narrowed down from many internet searches) and here’s what went down.

Black Tap Coffee
The vibe: quiet neighborhood, minimal interiors, a place to sit and work/read on your computer
What I got: black julep (a refreshing espresso, honey, mint concoction) & a blueberry lemon scone
How it made me feel: not cool enough. It was extremely quiet and anonymous inside; there were plenty of people around, but everyone was into their own space which is really good if you want to stay and linger for some peace. Great natural light coming in.

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Would I go back again? Yes. I didn’t try their traditional coffee drinks because I had read about the Black Julep online prior to the visit. I would probably go back if I were alone and wanted to sit and think. They do play music so it’s not silent, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a private conversation in the shop.

The Daily
The vibe: easy parking, more of a market/lunch place, meeting up with friends for a chat
What I got: cold brew and a cherry pistachio pastry… thing

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How it made me feel: Casual. Definitely a great weekend spot or breakfast meeting place. They have a wide array of items for your pantry and dishes made to order, but it seemed bustling and perhaps a little more tourist-y. Loved the little patio seating area outside (but it was too hot to partake) and the decor shops right next door.

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Would I go back again? Definitely. Delicious delicious pastry – which makes me think the rest of the food will probably done just as well. A place to go with family or friends to enjoy brunch and browsing.

The Rise
The vibe: Accidentally happened upon this while walking around sightseeing. Found out it was actually a hotel cafe (there are many in Charleston), attached to The Restoration.
What I drank: another cold brew! it’s an easy go-to.

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How it made me feel: I don’t know how I feel about hotel cafes. It was a lovely small space, completely empty and seemed like maybe only made for tourists or hotel guests.
Would I go back again? Probably not. My drink was sufficient due to my need for refueling, but it’s not a coffee destination for me. Totally acceptable though!

Kudu Coffee
The vibe: Easygoing. It makes you want to stay a while, except there’s no wifi.
What I drank: vanilla latte

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How it made me feel: really really good. As the last coffee visit in Charleston, it ended up being perhaps one of my favorites. The side patio is absolutely darling and this spot could easily become a staple in my life if I lived in Charleston.
Would I go back again? Definitely for sure. The patio was lush and serence, and my latte was just what I wanted.

That’s all I got! Did I hit all of the good spots? Probably not. But I think for two days, four coffee shops is definitely a good run. Next time I visit Charleston, I might find it hard not to go back to some of these!