I’ve made it my mission to expand my horizons on Buford Highway. Obviously I love Asian food and I love exploring new restaurants, but I can easily get into a rut where I visit the SAME places every time. I can’t help that I have specific cravings! Once I find something I like, it’s really hard to switch to something new.
Vivi Bubble Tea has all the makings of a good instagram, so I was skeptical about the quality of their bubble tea. Thankfully my new friend Helen (@atlanta_noms) got me to try it for our first IRL meeting and now I’m so happy we did! I’ve only been there twice now, but I was surprised by how much I liked their tea. I thought it was going to be too sweet for me, but it was on par with Kung Fu Tea.
I ordered this tiramisu bubble tea so I could get this cotton candy topping. Yes, for instagram. But again – to my delight – the bubble tea was delicious. I enjoyed the boba and also drank that little mason jar of extra tea. Probably not the healthiest thing for me to do, but you only live once right? I think my favorite bubble tea is still Tea House Formosa, but cheers to trying new things and making new friends!
Alright, alright. Let’s get something clear! People think I eat out ALL the time and try new stuff ALL the time and it’s simply not true. Now that food bloggers and food instagrammers abound in the ATL, I am 100% certain that I am right in this respect. When I go somewhere new, it takes effort. I’ve settled into a comfort zone for most types of food so I have a mile-long list of places I want to try. Thankfully I finally made it (thanks to some good friends) to Brush Sushi Izakaya in downtown Decatur for brunch! Brunch? Yes, Sunday brunch at Brush Sushi.
Another thing people think is just because you’re Asian means you’re an expert in all Asian cultures or foods. Also not true. I don’t know what I don’t know; all I know is what I like! I’ve been intrigued by Brush’s brunch for quite some time via social media – the menu is a little intimidating but I knew if I went hungry then I’d definitely find the right stuff.
Fried octopus? Delicious. Maybe not my favorite preparation of octopus (because come on, have you had the Optimist’s octopus?) but still cooked well and tasty. The next dishes though were my favorites — katsu don, the matcha french toast, and the souffle pancakes. The Katsu Don is a bowl of fried pork cutlet with egg and green onion. Simple hearty and really tasty; I’d actually much more prefer this for dinner on a cold night though. So comforting!
Ben got the Katsu Sando which essentially is a fried chicken sandwich. This was probably our least favorite out of everything but given the bar set by the best dishes, this doesn’t mean it was bad! It was just a bit too saucy and sweet for our particular liking. We were missing the crunch of the fried chicken.
The hands-down standout dishes were the brunchiest of everything – and on the sweet side! Matcha french toast was lovely, cut up into easy-to-eat-with-your-hands portions. The sweetness of this was balanced by the matcha so it was just a nice treat that I don’t think I’ve had anywhere else? Same goes for the souffle pancakes which were AMAZING. AMAZING. So fluffy, not too sweet, simply a delight all around.
Final verdict? A good brunch! Perhaps not the most versatile, but I think if you’re in the mood for a particular dish (ahem – souffle pancakes) then by all means. There wasn’t a wait, it was low key and easy in terms of the service. There was also a variety of ramen available but we didn’t sample those. So given that it’s kind of a drive and kind of a specific type of a brunch, I don’t think I’d be going there too often. I also feel that the menu skews very hot, as in a lot of the dishes and also the miso soup are dishes I’d prefer when it’s cold outside – but that’s just a me thing. Either way though, it was a treat to have a different kind of brunch experience. Definitely worth another visit.
Inman Park. Italian food. Covered patio. These are all words that entice me and probably every other 30-something living in Atlanta.
Despite what my Instagram may have you think, we actually don’t eat out really all that much. Save for BuHi, but that doesn’t count! Asian food is my comfort food so BuHi is like going to a cozy mom and pop shop down the street. At least that’s what I tell myself. For Ben’s birthday, we decided to revisit a restaurant we had remembered enjoying – BoccaLupo.
I can’t remember what was in this cocktail (this is how old I’m getting) but I do remember that it was tart, bright, and Florida themed. I really really enjoyed it. The cauliflower appetizer was delicious but I was disappointed by how much it cost given that it wasn’t a huge amount and the flavors weren’t revolutionary. A roasted cauliflower is always good, but when you pay double digits for a vegetable appetizer, you kind of want it to be extraordinary. Or at least a healthy amount. The picture above is the full amount that was given to us.
What we DID feel was worth it was the pasta. Oooohhhhh that pasta. I’m a real sucker for flat wide pasta; something about the mouth feel I think just really hits the spot. With the ragu, it was just delectable. I finished the whole. Thing. Ben’s pasta (below) was lovely but mine was totes better.The good thing about not ginormous portions is that there was plenty of room for dessert. And it was Ben’s birthday so that called for TWO desserts!! What can I say. I like to indulge.
All in all, BoccaLupo was good but I think our choices from the menu were just not the top notch ones. I guess that happens when you don’t frequent a restaurant often – you are more likely to stumble onto some things that are not their best. I think it’s also a challenge given that the restaurant scene is growing exponentially in Atlanta so everyone is asking themselves, what is gonna make me come back here? I like this place, but do I love this place? Hard to say.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
This particular morning that I went, I was feeling really down, out, and tired.