Not sure when I first discovered who Sarah Dodge was. I’m assuming it was when she was creating the insanely delicious cinnamon buns and biscuits at 8arm, but I’ve been enjoying her pastries before that too (when she was at Little Tart). It’s so exciting to see someone with culinary talent change and grow. Once I saw Sarah making bread on her instagram, I was on HIGH alert for any announcement that would mean I’d be able to eat her pastries again.
Well, she answered my dreams. Sarah is doing a breakfast pop-up at Queen of Cream every weekend with a rotating menu. It immediately shot up to the top of my to-do list and I went for a rainy Sunday with Ben even though I already had brunch plans. I went before brunch.
The whole experience was a delight. Believe it or not, I had never been inside Queen of Cream! I’ve eaten the ice cream from the carts, but never gone inside the shop. Now I’m so glad I did – the whole thing made me feel like I was back in Montreal, eating a casual breakfast sitting in the window of a simple shop eating delicious food. There’s nothing better than these little moments of life.
I had to resist getting the predictable thing, cinnamon bun and a biscuit. I know these are amazing because duh she made the ones we know and love so well at 8arm. Instead I took a risk and got the spaghetti squash hash with a fried egg on top… and I was not disappointed. Spaghetti squash needs to go on every brunch menu from now on. It’s such a great carrier for savory flavors! Ben got the waffle with a scoop of ice cream on top, which is funny because I thought he was only ever going to be able to have ice cream for breakfast at home. It was a good morning for both of us.
SO. What you need to do is put this on your calendar ASAP. She does run out of supplies so don’t dawdle – make it a priority! Also I’m so happy to see so many others in the Atlanta community coming out to eat her food. She deserves the spotlight she’s getting and I hope this means I’m going to be eating her food for a very long time…
I think at some point after I got into a serious relationship (like maybe two-ish years in), brunch somehow slipped off the table. Brunch in your early 20s was fun, carefree, and probably what you were looking forward to all week long. Then you start to realize you need to be practical. You gotta save money, you gotta run errands. Time becomes precious and you let go of the possibility of brunch, due to the sheer logistics of it all.
Last weekend, three girlfriends and I decided we were going to brunch. Not only that, but we committed to going to brunch at Bar Mercado, a new hot spot in Krog St Market. I looked forward to it all week long.
The vibe was HOPPIN. I was like oh dang, this is a spot to see and be seen. I didn’t know brunch was gonna be such a party. I almost wondered if I didn’t look good enough to be at brunch but then I remembered that IDGAF now that I’m older. But I imagine it’s a really great date spot, a really great bar spot at night. I got there earlier than my friends so I ordered a cadiz punch brunch cocktail (anything that sounds vaguely tropical is up my alley). The rainy weather had my lady dates trickling in one by one; we each ordered a cocktail. They were bright and fun, appropriate for the setting.
We started off with this seared banana bread that comes with whipped goat cheese butter. It was slightly burnt, but very rich (can you see how oily it is?) and definitely needed to be shared if you don’t want it going straight to your ass. I would probably skip it in the future; too indulgent without enough payoff.
Our main brunch dishes were overall really good though! The grain bowl and my eggs benedict were pretty delicious. The grain bowl had beautiful textures and was hearty without making you feel heavy. My benedict was a surefire hangover cure – really salty and buttery, best things in life. The avocado toast came with this sort of marinated egg on top which was a surprising delight, but there wasn’t as much avocado as we thought there should be. But we were pretty happy with our choices and even happier to just be allowing ourselves to enjoy a slow morning over a nice meal together.
Final thoughts: Bar Mercado is a fun place to enjoy with a group of girlfriends. The music was lively and the atmosphere had us wanting to keep going… (and we did! We moved to Ticonderoga Club right after for another drink) The service was a little on the slower side, but I think that’s okay for a lingering brunch. I’d definitely come back here, but I’d probably try completely different items than this first time. Their patio looks quite inviting so once the weather is warm again, that will take it up a notch! Have you been here yet? Where’s your favorite brunch spot?
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!
You may have noticed that I haven’t been showing my face as much as I used to – there are less style posts and less selfies overall (instastories don’t count). The reason for that is doublefold; the first is that I no longer work at Anthro so I’m not constantly buying new clothes. That’s a good reason. The second is that I’ve had a lot of trouble with my skin lately. Somehow in this year alone, I’ve gotten more cystic acne than ever before in my life!
I turned 30 this year and I have no idea if that has anything at all to do with it. I thought I had a skincare regimen down last winter and then sometime earlier this year.. things just began erupting. Not only that, but because of all the activity and how easily my skin darkens, I’m left with dark marks of pimples past. So there’s just crap all over my face! Relative to actual acne, I know it’s not that bad. But for me with the history of my skin, it really has been the worst (this picture doesn’t feel like it really portrays the worst I’ve had).
My Salon Suite came to my rescue, like the universe answered my prayers! They offered me a complimentary service of my choice and of course – duh – I wanted to see an aesthetician. I needed someone who could look at my skin objectively and help a sister out. I had never heard of My Salon Suite; it’s sort of like a boutique beauty office where you can have the opportunity to work with as many or as few beauty professionals in one space as possible. The suite set up allows each expert to set up their own suite and be their own boss. The lovely aesthetician I spent the morning with is named Donai with D’Vivre Beauty and she was telling me how much she really enjoyed having the freedom My Salon Suite provides to her, allowing her to branch out as an independent entrepreneur.
There’s not really many pictures because essentially it’s a dark and meditative room where I had it, but this is actually why it was so relaxing. I spent an hour and a half there with Donai working on my skin and me asking every question that came to my head, like a skin therapy session. The products she used on me were great – honestly I don’t know what they are but they’re all natural. I remember hearing papaya and pineapple (because those words get me going) enzymes and natural oils. She’s the expert – not me!
Donai also does massage therapy soooo it didn’t hurt that during my mask time, she also gave me a neck and head message. YAAASSSS. It was just wonderful; Donai talked about her goal being that she wants to give people the power to take care of themselves, to treat themselves, and feel beautiful. Yes it’s about the skin but it’s also about the way you feel and how it emanates outwards. She was pretty amazing. Her own journey into becoming an aesthetician started when she was dealing with her own skin issues. She found that there was so much information out there that it was too overwhelming and she decided she was going to figure out her skin the right way – which led her to here.
My skin is still on the road to recovery, but this facial got me on the right path and using My Salon Suite was easy. I’m a believer! Now how soon is too soon for another facial?…
If you’re feeling like you need a little pampering, please check out D’Vivre and book an appt ASAP! Before those winter feels really set in…
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.
Oof. I’ve been taking some long breaks in between blog posts. To some degree it’s willful but I also think that time has just been zooming past me. Since the last time I wrote, I’ve been breaking in a “new” job. Well technically it’s an old job I used to have, but I’m new to it again. I’m in the process of figuring out my true routine and also wondering if there exists such a thing. But that’s for another post.
THIS POST is centered around a delicious Korean dinner I had out in Duluth. I’m trying to get back on the train of trying new stuff instead of wading in my comfort zone. Tasting and experiencing new things is a big part of my life and something that really motivates me to blog, to instagram, and ultimately to make art. I can’t make new work unless I feel new myself.
Jang Su Jang. SO GOOD. I’m not an expert in Korean food – like by far one of the asian cuisines I’ve had the least experience with – but this shit was bananas. We were a table of two but we ordered four dishes because… because. Thankfully I had a friend of mine who is actually Korean guide us in our choices. This led us to try many a dish we definitely wouldn’t have just picked out ourselves.
Maxi dresses will never ever ever not be in style. Jumpsuits are obviously having a moment (as evidenced by how many retailers are upping their jumpsuit game) so I had to tell myself I needed to cool it on the jumpsuit front and find other kinds of pieces. This maxi dress is one I resisted for weeks and then finally gave in to.
The ease of the fit plus the boldness of the pattern equaled perfection for me. It floats away from the body, allowing me to feel comfortable. I love that you can wear this casually or dress it up with the change of a hairdo and jewelry. As I’ve said before, I’m striving for a wardrobe that will take me through my 30s with ease. I think I’m getting there.
dress / anthropologie
earrings / anthropologie
sunglasses / anthropologie