The Best Burger I’ve Ever Eaten

Let me just start this off by saying: I LOVE burgers. I think it’s in my top 3 of favorite foods and I always make a point of checking out a places best burger joint, so I’ve eaten a lot in my life. I think you can tell a lot about a place based on their burger…. I’ve also made a lot in my own kitchen and cooked/topped them to perfection, you may have seen on Insta.

While in DC, numerous people told me we should hit up Good Stuff Eatery in Cap Hill for burgers and shakes…You thought I was gonna stop after my Shake Stack and Fair Shake? No way! After a long day of bikes and the White House, we schlepped over to Good Stuff in the rain.

I had heard good things about the ‘Prez Obama Burger’ (Applewood Bacon, Onion Marmalade, Roquefort Cheese & Horseradish Mayo Sauce), so naturally I went with that with a side of onion petals. (A better name for onion rings).

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My sometimes-veggie bestie, Sarah, went for the ‘Michelle’ (Free Range Turkey Burger Caramelized Onions, Swiss Cheese, Ruby Tomato, Lettuce, Wheat Bun With Southlawn Herb Garden Mayo).good stuff eatery 2

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I’ll just say it right here and now: this was one of the best (if not the best) burger I’ve ever had. Now, this wasn’t a fancy gourmet burger à la My Father’s Office in Santa Monica with artisan bread, rare cheeses, and foie gras. This was a super busy burger stand in the middle of DC where you order at the counter and wait for your number to be called. Simple burgers, made quickly. Think: In-n-Out, the fast food burger of my youth, consumed after every football and basketball game in high school. Even now, In-n-Out is my first and last stop in and out (ha! Get it!?) of LA. good stuff eatery

These burgers weren’t overly large or overly topped. In fact they were rather petite, but packed a punch with flavor and had super fresh ingredients.

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However, have you EVER had a fast food joint cook your burger medium!? No, I don’t think you have; but Good Stuff Eatery does that! It doesn’t matter how long the line is or how many burgers are ordered before and after you, you will still get a perfectly cooked, perfectly juicy, and perfectly pink burger. And that my friends, is foodie heaven.

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Cap Hill and the Obamas!

After a day exploring Alexandria, we decided to wake up early and head into the city to meet a good friend of mine for brunch and bottomless mimosas, and then hit some museums.

After some discussion, we decided to hit U-Street for bottomless brunch at Vinoteca. Unfortunately, all the reviews I read were wrong and… well… the restaurant kind of sucked. I hate to say a place was bad, but our meal was nothing special. Definitely not $12 omelette special… I mean, it didn’t even come with toast!! Dafuqqq? Plus it was greasy…

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The company, of course, was fantastic and we all decided to get our fair share of mimosas and bellinis until we were happily buzzed.

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red wine lipstickWe said our goodbyes and Sarah and I walked around the neighborhood seeking more coffee and a good place to chat in the sun.

After our coffee we set off to find some bikes and ride to Cap Hill.

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Here’s a tip: do not drunk bike ride in a major city in extreme temperatures. It’s not as easy as one might think and by the time we parked our bikes, I thought I was about to faint. Dehydration is real people.

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We got some great pics out of the deal though! And honestly, it’s the best way to see the city while getting some exercise and learning your way about town.

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After our ride we popped into the Air and Space Museum which is always interesting. Grabbed some more coffee (duh) and then set out to The White House! We took our touristy pics…

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…crossed the street while commenting on the Secret Service car parked next to us (seriously, it said Secret Service. Not very secret…) when SUDDENLY! That secret service car busted a U-ie an parked in the middle of the street. Another cop car at the other send street did the same thing, and THENNN a parade of 6 or 7 black SUVs lead by cop cars drove into the White House side entrance! Did we just see the Obamas!? Omg, probably!! It was pretty cool, but it happened so quickly we only had time to Snapchat and take this one picture…

red wine lipstick We went around the front for more White House pics.

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When we had enough of pretending to be Olivia Pope, we headed for burgers (again) but I’ll save that for the next post!

Until then! xo

DC, the Shake Stack and Lunch by the Water.

Do you follow me on Instagram? If you do, you probably already saw that I was in DC this weekend! I headed east for a few days to visit one of my oldest friends, Sarah, in her new home! It was a great weekend of delicious food and catching up and LOTS of walking!

Disclaimer: This post is long and filled with delicious looking (and tasting!) food. It may cause jealousy. Please do not attempt to eat your screen while reading. 

I met her on the metro and we headed straight for one of our NYC favorites: Shake Shack! I haven’t had a Shake Shack burger in years, but omgzzz have I missed it! Their ‘shroom burger is to die for but I’ve been craving a classic burger for days now so I decided to go big with the Shake Stack (cheese burger with portobello stacked on top) and a Fair Shake (vanilla shake with  fair trade (!!) COFFEE extract swirled through). God it was good.

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I did notice the portobello was fried. Has it always been fried!? I could have sworn that back in the day it was grilled. I feel like I remember it being fried when I visited Shake Shack Miami (circa 2012) but I have memories of Shake Shack NYC (circa 2010) being grilled. Am I cray? Anyone know? PLEASE TELL ME! red wine lipstick

Stuff and happy we headed back to her house in Alexandria after a long day of travel. Plus, we needed to rest up for more DC-foodie adventures that awaited us!

The next day started with an iced coffee and a much needed mani-pedi while Sarah was at work. Then we met up and headed to King St. in old town Alexandria for lunch!

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After a little bit of window shopping, we decided on seafood! We figured you could get pizza and salads anywhere and being as I’m landlocked most of the year, I lovvvee some fresh seafood!

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This place was INCREDIBLE! We went for a late lunch, so the entire restaurant was empty for the first half of our meal. The old interior was very much the colonial style you except in Alexandria, absolutely beautiful with a nautical feel. I wish I would have snapped a couple photos because it was perfectly detailed and gorgeous. Apparently, some of the interior wood is charred black from a Civil War fire! If that’s not a side of history with your dinner, I don’t know what is!

After choosing our win, which was an exceptionally crisp white Zin, we decided to go family style and order a couple plates that looked delicious to us and share them.

Our calamari was a giant heaping plate of perfectly golden and fried pieces and a curry spiced dipping sauce (maybe curry mayo?). God, it was good. I miss it already…

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Next, we shared a lump crab cake with okra and corn relish. I might have eaten okra once or twice before at Roscoe’s in LA… but I certainly don’t remember it being that delicious! It was sweet and a little crunchy, giving just the perfect hint of southern flair to this dish. Go ahead, take a look at it…

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Alright one more look…

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The crab cake was superb. Flakey, soft, and full of flavor. I was hoping to get more than one of these bad boys (the plate was $12) but it was such a large piece that we didn’t have too much of an issue sharing.

For our final course, we decided on their special: grilled salmon, topped with shrimp, scallops, and crab in a sherry sauce. It might have been my least favorite of the three dishes (mostly because I’m still dreaming about the calamari and crab cake) but it was still delicious! Perfectly cooked and rather light, I wouldn’t mind making a version of this back home!

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After such a huge lunch, we needed to walk it off so we strolled down to the Potomac River.

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Shorts and shirt: Zara, Shoes, Birkenstocks.

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We spotted a man who performed elaborate jazz pieces on crystal glasses and chatted up all the ladies who stopped to watch. Red Wine Lipstick

 

We stopped into Sarah’s fave coffee shop of the moment: Misha’s. It was a bright, quirky local spot with magnet letters spelling out the menu and piles and piles of Colombian coffee ready to be roasted. They do a pretty killer almond milk iced latte, too(I think i’m an addict).

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After our coffee, we continued on to Union St. Public House to meet her friends for a happy hour drink. The spot used to be an old hangout of George Washington, himself! #prettycool

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We continued our walk afterwards and found a boutique with a really awesome name…

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We strolled talking until dark, stopped in for some pizza at a local place, grabbed a cupcake at another, and then stopped at Whole Foods for a bottle of vino (that we never drank) before heading back to her house to rest. We were exhausted, but we ate well and the trip had only just begun!

We figured we should rest our eyes before a day packed with bottomless mimosas and bike riding…

Until tomorrow! xo

Champagne from a Straw and RodGab

A few weeks ago, Tyty and I went to Red Rocks to see one of my all time favorites: Rodrigo y Gabriela!

If you’re a music buff, you’ve probably heard of the venue. It’s pretty spectacular and it looks like this:

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All the greats have played there and are usually as in awe about it as you are to see them. Lucky for us, it’s only a short drive from Boulder!

We decided to celebrate our Sunday evening by stopping by our favorite Boulder shop, Cured. It’s a fantastic little charcuterie shop on East Pearl St. (I wrote about it here), with an amazing selection of meats and cheeses and local or hand crafted goods. The cheesemongers know everything there is to know about cheese and are exceptionally helpful! We picked out a couple pairings along with some bread, olives, chocolate, and champagne, packed everything into a picnic basket and headed out to Red Rocks.

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We sipped some bubbly from straws and nibbled away at our treats while chatting with others who parked around us!

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Beaded dress by Zara

At sun down, we packed up our stuff and headed into the amphitheater for the show! I’ve been a long time fan of RodGab and somehow always manage to miss them when they come to town! We managed to get amazing seats (thanks Tyty!!) and danced into the night with the epic guitar duo.

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Their music is an awesome blend of Spanish guitar, heavy metal, jazz and flamenco. If you haven’t listened to them, I highly recommend you do. In fact, do it tonight. You will thank me later.

Personally, I find their tunes are best enjoyed with a nice glass of red wine, a good book, and your dog cuddled up at your feet.

The Ultimate Spicy-Sticky Grilled Chicken

I love summer. Mostly because it means I’m allowed to lounge in a bathing suit all day, but also because I love summer time food! Grilling is my number one cooking method during warm months: Peaches, cherries, corn on the cob, hot dogs, pineapple, stuffed burgers… you get the point. My favorite thing to grill, you ask? Why chicken, of course! There’s no better way to enjoy chicken then grillin’ it! It’s quick and easy and creates a crunchy outer crust with a juicy inside.

When grilling, a marinade is key! And the longer you marinade, the better! A quick browse on Pinterest will reveal a million and one marinades for newbie grillers to try, so it’s best to go in with a flavor you’re feelin: sweet, spicy, light and citrusy, Asian-inspired, BBQ, south of the border, etc. etc.

I’ve been experimenting with my own marinades lately and finally settled on one that combines sticky sweetness, with a sharp zing of citrus and spice. It’s GOOD. Really good. So good, that I’ve decided to share it.

To make spicy, sticky chicken with a kick of Patron you’ll need:

  • 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs, free range! (I promise, it makes a diff!!!!)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 can of chipotles in adobo (2 chipotles, 3 tbsp of adobo sauce)
  • spoonful of honey
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • GOOD tequila (I use Arta Tequila), about one shot or a big splash… the more the merrier though.. ;)
  • 1 Tbsp Whole Spice Chipotle & Honey Rub
  • 1 Tbsp Monterey seasoning

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Now, rub the chicken with the Chipotle & Honey Rub and salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix the rest of your ingredients and dump your chicken in and slather it in your mixture. Make sure it’s completely coated and then over the bowl with a lid and pop it in the fridge. They say 3+ hours, but I left mine in for nearly 24 hours. The longer the better!

When you’ve marinated the chicken for as long as you want, take it out and fire up that grill. Once it’s hot, pop those bad boys on for about 6 minutes each side. Take them off and cut them into strips.

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I served mine with corn tortillas, simple guac (lime, salt, cilantro, garlic, and avo), and lime creme (Creme Fraiche mixed with lime and paprika) and grilled corn. But anything goes with this! You could make a killer bowl with quinoa, corn salsa, avocado and veggies.

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Rainy Days.

Boulder is known for its predictably unpredictable bi-polar weather (say that 5x fast…). Remember when I told you it was unbearably hot? Well not its raining. And when it rains in Boulder, it pours. All day long. GIVE ME SUMMER BACK!

I will admit: its nice to wake up to the sound of rain.

Being a summer rain, it’s not very cold so shorts are still acceptable. Here was my look for running around town with Trish.

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I bought these Adidas slides about a week ago and haven’t taken them off. They’re my new Birks. I love the bold, graphic feel they have. Best $20 ever. Every wardrobe needs a comfy tee and this Local Heros one is mine. I live in it. Brining a little California casual to the streets of Boulder.

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Shirt: Local Heros/Jacket: H&M/Sandals: Adidas

Livin the GF-Lifestyle, Without Giving Up Your (Foodie) Life.

If you live on this planet, you know that there is a lot of hoopla around the whole “gluten free” thing. I don’t have Celiac disease, but I have observed the significant differences in how my body functions on both a gluten and gluten-free diet. With a G diet, I’m sluggish, groggy, bloated, and just generally feel unpleasant. When I’m eating GF diet, I sleep 100x better (and I take less melatonin!), I’m focused and energized, and that bloated, sick feeling is gone. It took me nearly six months of self observation and becoming conscious of what I was putting in my body (4 months observing my diet, 2 months integrating new changes)

In January 2014, I made the switch to a 90-10 diet (because yes, I LOOOOVVVEEE pasta puttanesca, pizza, cookies, fresh scones, tempura-fried things, gravy, Chipotle burritos, craft beer, cheese and crackers, crusty artisan olive breads and MAC AND CHEESE!!!! I had to give my foodie self something to live for.) And while, admittedly, I have a week here and there where all I do is stuff my face with all gluten errythang (nobody’s perfect) I have seen and felt a remarkable difference on how my body works. gluten Free

Thinking of making the switch? Here’s a couple tips on how I did it.

1. Educate Yo Self: Despite what you’ve heard, being gluten-free is not a trend. And it’s not going to make you lose weight. Some people with Celiac suffer severely, and if given the chance might offer their first born just to get down on a big plate of Easy Mac. Do you know what “gluten” even is? It’s two proteins combining to create that elastic doughy texture you love so much. It is found in all wheat, rye, and barley.

I recommend reading a couple articles about exactly what the hard G is, where it’s commonly found, and how it might affect you. This Women’s Health article is a good one to wrapping your head around it.

2. Evaluate, Observe, Learn to be Conscious: When I started my GF journey, I spent months just observing what I ate without changing my diet. I found that I ate some form of gluten with EVERY meal (5-6x a day!!), even when I thought I was eating a “gluten free” meal. It was in my toast at breakfast, veggie patties for lunch, and in my sushi during happy hour. It made me so much more aware of how much gluten is in the average American diet. Taking what I had observed, I was able to create meal plans and shopping list that eventually eliminated GF-products, and thus led me to eat a cleaner (ie: less processed) diet.

3. Start with a Clean Slate: It’s hard to make any change when you’re surrounded by reminders or temptations of the thing you’re trying to change. So, if necessary, for the first few weeks remove all tempting gluten-filled things from your cupboards and fridge: beer, cereal, Oreos, soy sauce, ramen, crackers… well, you get it. If you’re anything like me, gluten-loving you might eat an entire sleeve of Oreos just to spite your gluten-free other half.

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I made this change while I was home in Los Angeles for 3 weeks this winter because I knew Tyty was going to eat gluten-y things in front of me and I didn’t want any temptation. It takes two weeks to get create a habit!

4. Prepare Yourself with Pinterest/Blogs:  Being the foodie that I am, making (or eating) dinner is a big part of my day. And rather than jump into a very bland and boring gluten-free diet of “baked chicken, rice, and steamed veggies” (which for the record, I now eat very often), I created a Pinterest board with lots of tasty looking GF and paleo-inspired dishes to help me.

I spend about 20 minutes each day checking out my favorite foodie blogs for GF recipes and poking around Pinterest to see what you guys have pinned to your healthy boards. When you have tons of delicious looking options or alternatives, you stay inspired to make delicious GF meals! And trust me, just because it’s gluten-free, DOESN’T mean it lacks flavor! One of my favorite recipes is The Londoner’s cauliflower pizza! I made it for my brothers once, and they didn’t suspect a thing. ;)

5. Know Where Gluten Might Hide: If you really wanna be a GF betch, you’re gonna have to start reading labels. Gluten is in almost every processed food product from cereal, to salad dressings, to hot dogs and even some ice cream (aw hell nah!). Here are some products you should keep an eye for:

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6. Indulge Yourself: Unless you are truly Celiac, you don’t have to live in a gluten-free world forever! Frankly, you can find a GF substitute or recipe for anything these days; but I also know that no amount of rice pasta or quinoa cookies can offer the same delicious happiness as a plate of homemade pasta. This is the same reason I allow myself to indulge in non-GF foods every once in a while.

I hate making others create a completely separate menu for me just because I’m GF so if Tyty’s grandma invites me over lasagna, I’m not gonna say no. If I go to brunch, I might spring the extra $2 and order gluten-free toast OR I might say fuck it and go with that amazing pain au chocolat. My one rule is: if I make it at home, I’ll make it GF. And thats how I stay happy, healthy, and foodie!

Bon Appetite everyone!

Pajama Party

It’s been unbelievably hot this last week or so in Boulder. Like, being-naked-is-too-much-clothes kind of hot. I’m even rejecting jean shorts at this point. Too clingy.

When I’m forced to put clothes on and leave the house, I opt for something lighter. I’ve been dying for a pair of breezy shorts this summer. You know the kind: drawstring, PJ-style shorts, casual but can be dressed up?

I’ve yet to find a pair I love enough to buy, so on this particularly hot day I wore actual pajama shorts. From VS. Yeah, I did it even though Tyty told me not to. It was SOO hot. But they were exactly what I’ve been looking for: light, silky, black, not too short, can be styled up or down. I don’t know, what do you think?

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Victoria Secret PJ shorts/H&M top/Converse/Panama Hat/Neiman Marcus bag

Wearing all black probably didn’t help the heat though…

#GIRLBOSS

So a month ago (actually, it was probably more like a month a half ago) I went home to LA (which I blogged about here) for a short trip. While on that trip, I was very lucky to be invited to the Nasty Gal Headquarters by a friend! You’ve probably already seen my pictures on Instagram.

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It was awesome! I definitely fan-girled while there and I’m not ashamed about it. Obviously I had to take an epic selfie.

The office is 1000x bigger than I expected, and very cool and lofty and hip. It was pretty amazing getting to see behind the scenes of a place that has been so influential in recent fashion history.

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That’s Dom and I, snapping a quick photo op by the Nasty Gal philosophy. #noassholes

And obviously, being #GIRLBOSSes, we had to take a couple pictures with the proper signage. NastyGal-GirlBOSS #girlboss

If you haven’t read Sophia Amoruso’s book #GIRLBOSS yet, I highly recommend you do so! Part autobiography, part origin story, part business philosophy, you’ll find that it makes you laugh out loud more than once.

It was a super fun afternoon, which was followed by cocktails on the Standard Rooftop and lunch at Bottega Louie. How downtown of us, non?

(For those wondering about outfit details: pants, H&M/crop top, H&M/hat, Colombia/purse, vintage Neiman Marcus)

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