Restaurant Review: Bistro Du Midi

This restaurant was listed on my Bucket List post from a couple weeks ago! One of my friends from college, Devon, is an assistant pastry chef at Bistro Du Midi and received an awesome employee of the month gift card in recognition of her hard work! She decided to share the gift card with me so we could eat our hearts out!

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Bistro Du Midi is located at 272 Boylston Street, Boston MA. It’s a 2 minute walk from the Arlington T stop on the green line so it’s very easy to find. The restaurant is two floors with the kitchen being on the second floor. The view from the second floor overlooks the Boston Public Gardens! This place is definitely full of class, so dress up! The food and drinks were amazing too so let’s not dilly dally anymore:

Devon and I each ordered a crudite, entree, two sides to share a la carte and one dessert. But since she works there, we ended up getting…

Amuse Bouche: Smoked White Asparagus Soup with Escargot Beignet

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Fluke Crudite with Fried Squid Ink and Bottarga Consomme

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Faroe Island Salmon Crudite with Parmesan Crisps and salmon roe

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Pate Plate with Crispy Pork Belly Pate

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Duck Breast with Sweet Potato, Artichoke, Almonds and Duck Jus

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Thyme Garganelli Pasta, Lamb neck, Morels, Spring peas, Manchego

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Spring peas, favas, crispy pork belly

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Mushrooms, trumpet royale, hen of the woods

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Earl Grey and Elderflower Souffle

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Ice Cream Flight with Black Sesame , Caramel and Ganache, Marshmallow and Red Velvet Ice Cream

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Wild blueberry cheesecake, hazelnut cremeux, lavender sponge cake

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Mascarpone beignet, citrus sugar, pear cardamom butter

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Everything was so yummy! My personal favorites were the Smoked Asparagus Soup, Salmon Crudite, Duck Breast and the Ice Cream Flight! Such a great experience and service was impeccable. We each got awesome drinks that were well balanced and tasty. I definitely recommend this place for a splurge night out! Devon’s gift card was for $150 so after that, her employee discount and the free plates that were sent to us, the bill was ONLY 12 DOLLARS! I literally couldn’t have asked for a better deal or experience!

I have a couple more posts planned coming up but I’ve been busy at work working 6 day weeks consistently so my time is tight! Stay tuned for more things to come!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

 

 

Restaurant Bucket List: Boston!

It’s no secret that I love food and experiencing a great restaurant or new dish. Boston has so much to offer and despite being here for two years, my list is still long! So without further adieu and in no particular order, here’s my Boston Restaurant Bucket List!

Sweet Cheeks Q

Mistral

Craigie on Main

Bistro Du Midi

Alden and Harlow

Harvest

Sarma

Oleana

L’Espalier

Cutty’s

Island Creek Oyster Bar

Toro

Central Kitchen

Fairsted Kitchen

Neptune Oyster

Bronwyn

Lumiere

The Beehive

Highly recommended:Tiger Mama
Deuxave
Ribelle
Posto
Deep Ellum
Lulu’s

I’m 100% open to suggestions to beef up my list! What kind of restaurants are your favorite? Thank you for visiting and be sure to come back on Tuesday for another post grad blog!

Townsman and Haru!

Short post for the day! This past week has been filled with a lot of fun activities and included two new restaurants- can’t beat that!

I’ll start with Haru. So for Christmas, the pastry staff promised to take our Chef out for sushi because he’s a total glutton for it. My co-worker chose a restaurant called Haru located minutes off of the Prudential T stop on the Green E line.

I’m really not a huge fan of sushi so I ended up just eating some calamari that was served with a sweet chili peanut sauce. The sauce was a fantastic balance of sweet with a little heat. I don’t have much to say about everyone elses dinners, but I heard nothing but good things about the quality of sushi!

The restaurant itself was really nice; it had simple but elegent decor and the staff there was very polite. Looking for a different kind of drink menu? Look no further with Haru’s ecelectic menu featuring a number of hot and flavored sakis as well as a selection of plum wine.

I also had the pleasure of visiting Townsman for the first time! A could of my friends from college were visiting the city for dinner and I met up with them at the end for a drink and catch up! I was so so happy to see my friends; it had literally been months since we all caught up!

Townsman has an special layout as a restaurant. The restaurant itself is very long. It has a couple tables in the front, followed by a long bar and a couple lounge chairs and small tables for small parties. Towards the back, you can request to be seated at the chef’s table and watch some of the line cooks in action!

Townsman is just a few minutes walk from the Chinatown T stop on the Orange Line. I’ve been really looking forward to a trip to Townsman because the Executive Chef, Matthew Jennings, owned a great restaurant in Providence (my college town) called Farmstead. While I only went for drinks, I was really impressed by their hospitality and knowledge so I cannot wait to make a return trip for dinner!

I ordered Dram #2 which had Jamaican rum, allspice and orange juice. YUM! That’s my kind of drink! Check out a couple pictures below of my time at Townsman!

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I have some fun blog posts floating around  in my brain for the upcoming weeks so be sure to check it out! Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Restaurant Review: Amada!

To kick off the beginning of my trip back to Pennsylvania to see my family, my sister and I spent a night in Philly during Restaurant Week! My sister is a graphic designer for the University of Pennsylvania, and so when I flew into the PHL airport, I just grabbed a train into Center City to meet her! Knowing that I’m a foodie, Steph and I planned on picking a restaurant from the list that most interested us. The winner was a place called Amada!
Amada is a Spanish tapas place created by Chef Jose Garces opened in 2005. Perfectly tucked away in the Old City neighborhood, Amada is located at 217-219 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA. It’s less than a 5 minute walk off of the subway stop at 2nd Street.
Upon entry, we were pleasantly greeted and they graciously stored my luggage in a separate room for safe keeping throughout our meal. We were lead through half of the dining room that accommodates both large and small parties and sits adjacent to an open kitchen where 6 lucky diners might sit during service. The décor was simple but rustic and while the seating arrangements were close together, each party still felt private.

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Being that it was restaurant week, their menu was limited but still offered a variety of choices. For our 3 course meal, we each had the option of 2 small plates per course, which meant that my sister and I could share 8 plates and 2 desserts. We were SO stoked. The sangria came strongly recommended by two of her staff members and we weren’t disappointed.

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Let’s dive into the meal!

First course:

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Aged Manchango Cheese with truffle lavender honey
Garrotxa Cheese with Garlic Dulce de Leche

These cheeses were SO delicious. I don’t know if it’s because we were both starving but it was the perfect opener to our meal. I also loved that they served granny apple slices with the bread, cheese and dips because it really elevated the cheese plate!

819Tortilla Espanola: Spanish tortilla and saffron aioli

This was probably my least favorite course of the meal, but it was still pretty tasty! The inside tasted sort of like a potato which I wasn’t expecting but it paired great with saffron aioli.

820Croquetas de Jamon: Ham Croquettes

These were outta this world! Small but mighty, they were served with a red pepper puree and I could’ve devoured an entire platter of them by myself!

Second Course:

815Coca de Costillas de Ternera: Flatbread with Beef Short Ribs, Horseradish, Parmesan, Bacon

This flatbread was perfect for sharing between two people. The beef short ribs were tender and the parm and bacon really blew its flavor out of the water!

816Hanger Steak Brochettes: Grilled a la Plancha

817Esparragos Con Trufas: Grilled Asparagus, Poached Egg, Mahon Crisp, Truffles

This had to be my FAVORITE course of the night. I’ve really been digging asparagus lately and this dish was tender and served in a garlic butter sauce. Once the poached egg was broken, the sauce became even more rich and dynamic! I would’ve even loved to have a piece of bread accompanying the plate so I could sop up all the delicious aftermath.

818Panceta: Crispy Pork Belly, Cauliflower Puree, Rioja Shallot Jam, Boquerone Salsa Verde

This pork belly was very tender and fatty, but in a way that it melts in your mouth. The cauliflower puree mellows out the fattiness of the pork belly and the shallot jam added a dash of sweetness.

Dessert:

814Tocinillo de Cielo: Citrus Vanilla, Pistachio

This dessert was peculiar but awesome! It was almost like a custard or yogurt but sweet. A citrus foam laid nicely on top with a dash of cocoa nibs. It was a nice light dessert after a heavily flavored meal!

813Tarta de Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Tart, Orange

This tart was small but mighty. The chocolate in the tart was intense and rich but was cut by the orange segment and sauce on the plate.

As always, there aren’t many restaurants I meet that I don’t like, but this one really took the cake! I’m glad to have been able to experience a great restaurant during a discount week and share so many unique dishes with my sister!

Hopefully you aren’t drooling too much! Have a great weekend and I’ll meet you back here on Tuesday for another post! Thanks for reading!

Sausage Potato Kale Soup!

Tis the season for perfectly cozy nights with a hot howl of hearty soup to warm you up! Practically overnight, Boston went from a warm-ish winter to bitterly cold and awful. It’s time to buckle down for the rest of the season and there’s no doubt about it that I want this soup by my side! And if you’re cooking for one, like me, this soup is perfect for freezing! Now you can actually stick to your meal prepping for the New Year!

Let’s get to it!

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1 large pot of boiling water, 2/3rds full
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 medium russet potatoes
1 large onion
6 slices of bacon (or more, I won’t judge you)
3-4 sausage links
1 large bunch of kale
1/2 pint of heavy cream

1. Begin by boiling the pot of water with a bouillon cube.
2. Wash, peel and cut your potatoes into small cubes and place into the boiling water. Cover the pot with a lid and cook potatoes until soft and you can pierce them with a fork.
3. In the meantime, chop and sweat the onions in one sautee pan.
4. Start cooking your sausage in another sautee pan. Ground sausage/pork/turkey would also work really well as a variation! When the sausage is fully cooked (very very small amount of pink or 165 degrees), slice and add into the onions draining off the excess fat.
5. Using the same pan as the sausage (just trying to save you an extra dish!), quickly cook your bacon without getting it too crunchy. Once cooked, cut into small pieces and also add to the sausage/onion mixture.
6. Once the potatoes are cooked, turn down the heat to a simmer and add the meat/onion mixture.
7. Slowly add heavy cream to the soup and mix just to taste.
8. De-vein the kale and cut into small pieces.Add while the soup is on low heat, stir in and cover the pot. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
9. Serve and enjoy or save for another day!

Coming up on Tuesday is another deliciously hilarious guest blog post by my dear friend, Lexy! She last wrote about her horse girl trauma… Read up over the weekend and I’ll see you back here on Tuesday! You won’t want to miss it!

Restaurant Review: Deuxave!

There is just SO much I love about being in this industry, but I think what I love the most is the community. I’ve been finding that the world in general is a small place, but the culinary/food service world is even smaller.

When I started working at the Taj, we all I know I experienced the “its a small world” feeling with my awkward tinder moment (you can catch up by clicking here!)… But I also have connections with each of my co-workers! One of them used to work with my old Flour co-worker and the rest went to Johnson & Wales where our worlds somehow crossed from time to time.

I ended up going to Deuxave with two of my Taj co-workers to try the dessert menu by pastry chef Jamie Davis Schick (check out her instagram here!) before she moved on to the next step in her career. My friend April used to work for Jamie at No. 9 Park so we were treated as extra special guests at an extra fancy restaurant!

692Deuxave is located at 371 Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay area. It’s easily accessible by the T; its just a few minutes walk from the Hynes Convention Center on the green line. They also do valet parking for a pricy $18 or if you’re the luckiest person on the planet, you might find a free metered spot along Massachusetts Avenue. Deuxave is open for dinner 5 to 10pm on the weekdays and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday.

This restaurant is beautiful and definitely high end. Save your pretty pennies and dress up for a fancy night out! April and I waited at the bar for our friend Sarah and chatted with Jamie for a few minutes! I was definitely excited to try her menu and it was also really great to get to know her a little bit.

700After being seated, we were sent 3 glasses of champagne! We took a couple silly pictures, toasted and then reminded ourselves that we needed to behave in such a nice place. We perused the menu and picked one dessert for each of us to order with the intention to share.

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Also unexpectedly, we were sent an intermezzo. I’ts basically a pre-course to set the precedence for the rest of the meal. We were sent a fennel celery sorbet with compressed yuzu and tarragon. It was a really interesting mix of sweet and savory. The sorbet reminded me of chicken noodle soup- almost a little buttery!

696Our individual courses came out and they were absolutely beautiful. They were well executed with specific attention to detail. I’ll go through our courses one by one:

Local Peaches and Corn

691Corn panna cotta, hazelnut polenta financier, bourbon compressed peaches, peach sorbet and candied hazelnuts

Summer Berry “Trellis”

689White Chocolate Cheesecake, Summer Berries, Pistachio Pain de Genes, Blueberry Sorbet, Caramelized Puff Pastry, Pistachio Puree, Aged Balsalmic Glaze

Milk Chocolate Silk Ribbon

690Red Velvet Cake, Fresh Raspberries, Raspberry Sorbet, Cocoa Nibs, Malted Meringue

And again, we were sent EVEN MORE stuff! Jamie sent us the creme brulee with meyer lemon sorbet. The creme brulee was so creamy and rich and the sorbet was a nice change of pace from the fatty creme brulee. The sorbet wasn’t super tart because meyer lemons are small and sweet. YUMMM.

Jamie also sent us a new dessert in the testing phase!  It was yogurt panna cotta with a green apple gelee, chartreuse and apple sorbet, olive oil cake and green apple glass. The yogurt panna cotta was super super tart but I’m also not the biggest fan of yogurt. My friends were gobbling it up though! I really enjoyed the olive oil cake and green apple/chartreuse sorbet.

702Fat and happy, we were ready for our bill. We were sent little mignardise on the way out which are small bites (almost like mints that go with a bill). We each got a vanilla caramel, coconut macaroon and coffee bonbon. I WAS SO FULL AND HAPPY.

695They only charged us for the three plated desserts and our water (first time I’ve had that happen…) so our bill only came to $55 with tax. We each paid $25, leaving a healthy tip for our waiter and waitstaff who took such good care of us. I had an excellent time at Deuxave and was so happy to be able to experience someone else’s menu!

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On Tuesday, I divulge how to deal with crazy landlords and still walk away with a win! As stressful as adulting can be, it certainly isn’t boring. Have a great weekend eveyrone!

M

Restaurant Review: Naco Taco!

Naco Taco was a food truck in Boston that recently took their success and transformed their ideas into a restaurant. Located on 297 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Naco Taco is easily accessible by T (short walking distance from Central Square or Kendall Square stops) and buses. They opened their doors while I was working at Flour across the street so I couldn’t wait to finally check them out!

647The restaurant sports a large outdoor patio with the actual food truck parked right on the premise. While there was regular table-side service, the servers grabbed some of the food ordered from the windows of the food truck. Our waiter was super nice and attentive and did a great job at trying to up-sell the menu asking if we would want chips and salsa or second rounds of drinks.

646 648Their drink menu featured numerous Mexican beer, beer cocktails and a few wine/sangria options. What I really like about their food menu was that you can literally order as much or as little as you want. The pricing on the menu is based per taco so you can easily predict what you’ll be getting. I ordered an al pastor taco and a side of street corn to share with my friend.

The al pastor taco was made with spit roasted pork and burnt pineapple. It was the perfect size for a light lunch with my side of street corn. I think the taco could’ve been a little more flavorful or feature a sauce to keep it from being too dry. I would give the taco 3 Abby stars.

644The street corn is what got me. I love corn, especially in the summer. And I love nothing more than corn smothered in cotija cheese. Depending on the week, the street corn is prepared in different ways, but ours came with cotija, pine nuts and thin slices of peppers. I can dig it. 5/5 Abby stars.

645My friend also got their chips and salsa which was pretty good! I would definitely recommend this place as a meet up spot for after work drinks and light apps. The patio is awesome for the summer and the inside of the restaurant is pretty large with a cool, relaxed vibe. Definitely a great addition to Central Square!

As always, does anyone have a Boston restaurant recommendation? I’m always looking for new places to try! If you liked what you read, you can hit the follow button at the top of the page (for my fellow wordpress friends) or you can click follow by email on the right side of the web page to receive my posts weekly via email! Have a great weekend and check back on Tuesday to read about my first kayaking experience along the Charles River!

Restaurant Review- Park

I know I know, it really seems like I’ve been going out to dinner a lot. But hey, I like to eat. Who doesn’t? A friend from work asked me to grab dinner with her at a place in Harvard Square called Park. Her boyfriend is the sous chef there so he said he’d send out a couple appetizers on the house (PERK) and also it was Dine Out Boston which is basically Boston’s restaurant week with different featured deals.

Park is at 59 JFK Street in Cambridge, MA or just a short walk off of the Harvard Square T stop (red line). It was super easy to get to and it was kind of tucked away in the lower level of a huge building that houses other restaurants and a parking garage. My friend Cathy accurately described it as having a speakeasy feel. There were a couple different rooms with themed old-timey pictures and articles in each other with a range of different seating options- booths, bar stools, long hightop tables, or even a lounge-y room with high back, comfy chairs. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of dim lighting in a restaurant, I’d give the atmosphere an A++.

236235Park is mostly open for dinner service with the exception of brunch on Saturday and Sunday where they apparently do a decent amount of covers. Before Cathy and I could even figure out what we wanted to drink or whether we were going to order from their Dine Out menu, Corey (Cathy’s boyfriend) brought us out two appetizers: A cheese plate with different jams and the duck confit egg rolls. These cheeses came from Vermont; one was similar to a hard white cheddar, another a soft brie and a crumbly blue cheese. They were paired with fig jam (YUM, my fav with the brie), a tri-berry jam, and candied apricot slices.

237The duck confit egg rolls didn’t even have a chance of me getting a good picture of them because we dug right in. They came with an Asian slaw and a sweet/tangy dipping sauce. The duck was really tender and it complemented well with the crunch egg roll outside. They also brought us out housemade “chips” and another soft cheese that kind of resembled Boursin cheese. So we nibbled on those things, ordered some drinks and then kept perusing the entrees on the menu.

I decided to try a fancy drink before going to my regular (a madras or a bay breeze) and went with one called Lavender Moon. It was made with Greylock Gin, St. Germain, Lavender Rose Honey Syrup and lemon juice. I’m really not a fan of gin, I’m usually a rum or vodka girl all the way, but was told that the bartenders make a banging, well-balanced drink so I went for it. It was SO good guys. It was a strong drink, but nothing like a pine tree punching you in the jaw. It was fresh and sweet and flowery from the St. Germain and lavender rose honey syrup. I could’ve drank those all night but they were kind of expensive and lets face it, I’m a broke college kid so I only had one.

We finally ordered entrees, and I wasn’t too hungry since I had just eaten my weight in appetizers but basically I just said “hey girl, treat yo self” so YOLO. (Forgive me for just saying YOLO…). I ordered the Butternut Squash Risotto and Cathy got the Braised Pork Shank. Of course, we shared with each other so I got to try some of the pork shank which was pretty delish! Definitely well cooked and tender on the inside. It came with a olive, bacon, pearl onion and mushroom hash on top of a bed of arugala.

234The Butternut Squash Risotto came with local apples, brie and red wine reduction. I ate a lot of cheese that night apparently. The risotto was really creamy with pieces of squash in it adding a touch of savory sweetness to the dish. They julienned apples on top for crunch and the reduction kept the dish in balance with it’s acidity. I definitely couldn’t eat it all but it’ll make for some good leftovers!

233I was really excited to go out with Cathy because we had always been friends at work but now we were also friends outside of work. We ended up being out for 6 hours between eating our apps and meal, and then having after shift drinks with her boyfriend once he was done. Although the food wasn’t blow my mind incredible, it was well prepared and came out in decent portions. The atmosphere and cocktails were my favorite part of the night but overall, I had a good time with great company! Harvard Square is such a cool place to check out in Boston during day OR night so add it to your places to check out if you ever come to Boston!

Check back on Tuesday for a new blog about my post grad life! L8tr.

Restaurant Review- Posto!

I recently went out to dinner with my co-workers to a place in Davis Square called Posto!  Flour is pretty cool to their employees and each team gets an allotment of money to put towards something that improves team morale and whatnot. So we all voted to go out to dinner and Posto was the restaurant that won!

Posto is at 187 Elm Street in Somerville, within just a few minutes walking distance from the Davis Square T stop on the Red line. It’s known for their wood burning ovens and famous pizzas and homemade pastas. The menu was super italian and also offered a couple vegetarian options which appealed to one of my co-workers. We were all set!

The menu was split into five sections: anitpasti, insalate, pasta, carne e pesce, and pizze. While I was tempted to try a pizza, I was in the mood for some pasta. But first, I had to order a drink! I’m not much of a wine or beer fanatic unfortunately, but Posto had a huge backbar and plenty of fancy italian wines to choose from. Most of my co-workers got a glass of wine but I stuck with what I was comfortable with- a madras (orange and cranberry juice with vodka).

For my first course, I ordered their winter salad which had scarlet butter greens, pommegranate seeds, goat cheese and a pommegranate vinagrette. It was a perfectly light salad which incorporated very wintery flavors! Yum! A couple of my other co-workers ordered the Arancini which is basically a fried rice ball with cheese in the center. It came with a spicy marinara sauce, oregano and lemon juice. I was almost sad I didn’t order that, but the salad was a perfect opener to the pasta I ordered which I knew would be a heavier course.

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For my next course, I ordered the tortellini stuffed with jonah crab on top of a butternut squash puree and a parmesan crema. Oh man, was this good. Crab and butternut squash are naturally sweet ingredients as far as savory foods good which was awesome with the housemade tortellini and parmesan crema. It also came with diced squash pieces and crispy kale bits on top which really helped add another layer of texture to the plate. It was a good portion for one person, as were all the dishes. We all ended up finishing everything on our plates from both courses. I ended up opting out of dessert but once everyone was finished, I think we were sitting comfortably but not stuffed to the brim.

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Overall, this place was pretty cool. They embraced their open kitchen and allowed guests to watch them make pizzas that went directly in their wood burning oven which is an added entertainment value to the guests. Service was friendly too which always helps! Sorry about the lighting in all of my pictures; the ambiance was pretty dim and candlelit. Which I guess can be all romantical if you’re on a date (whats that like though?) but I’ve never been a fan of when the lighting is too low. How do you see the person sitting across from you? All in all, I had a great night out with my co-workers and it was cool to try and new restaurant I didn’t know about but was also slightly out of my price range as a poor post grad!
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225Also in Davis Square that I’ve been told to try out is The Painted Burro and Rosebud Cafe. The Painted Burro is known for their lively Mexican food and Rosebud Cafe has a decent dessert menu if you really dig pie! I’m definitely going to add them to my list of restaurants to try in the future!

Until next week, friends!