It started with a cinnamon bun and cheap candles. Only three candles had been lit and already my entire cake was almost flooded with wax. I refused to give up even as my fingers burned and candles outed. But after the 13th candle, I figured you guys would get the point.
Villa Italia is a pastry shop in Schenectady, NY that specializes in a wide range of confections such as Italian rum cakes, raspberry cream cakes and caramel frosted cupcakes with toasted coconut carvings.
The staff is friendly, the vibe is chill and they even have a delicious variety of gelato if you’re in the mood to melt into a cup of paradise!
Lucky for me, the wax on my cinnamon bun hardened and was super easy to peel off without destroying my desert. When I got to the warm, gooey center I was pretty much ready to snuggle up and fall asleep right on my chair.
Next was this. Looks delicious, right?
Everything about this sandwich was perfect except my request for a bean burger. At first I figured I probably shouldn’t order vegan options in a non-vegan restaurant. Then, I realized I probably need to actually read the descriptions of my orders.
The Ruck is a late night sports bar in Troy, NY with amazing vibes and awesome service. The menu options are on point and the sweet potato waffle fries are literally worth jail time.
Going through the menu and seeing titles like “Millennials Can’t Buy Houses,” confirmed that this was the place for me.
Unfortunately, my bean burger tasted more like a beet burger and I couldn’t figure out why there were red splotches in my pattie until I took another look at the menu and read: “Bean AND BEET burger.”
For me, it’s not so much that the beets were bad. But, have you ever had a glass of water while thinking about and expecting juice?–Traumatizing.
That being said, I’ll definitely be returning, except this time I’ll try the “Sausage Party.” It feels like the right thing to do.
When we finally hit the road, our next stop was an Orchard in Ghent, NY that was known for selling fresh Mexican food daily.
It’s too bad that it was too early for such heavy food when we arrived, but that didn’t stop us from stockpiling on sweets!
Espresso-salted brownies, sugared apple cider donuts and molasses cookies— it was a sugary mess, but each bite was warm and perfect.
I highly recommend heading out to your nearest orchard or farm if you have any weekend free time. The fruits are usually cheaper, but fresher and it’s a great place to clear your mind and breathe some clean air.
Who says you can’t take kids out to eat?
I was surprised at the blast I had eating out with my big guy and little guy. This spot was called BC Kitchen and is smack center of a college town in Poughkeepsie, NY. The menu was cozy, but simple and the venue was small and intimate.
I didn’t learn from my earlier mistake and ended up ordering a portobello mushroom wrap with goat cheese. I ordered a side of honey mustard instead of the balsamic vinaigrette that the wrap came with and was convinced that this was it!
This was not it. I spent the date sneaking bites of Tae’s delicious chipotle chicken sandwich with melted cheddar and the right amount of chipotle mayo.
Finally, my last stop was NYC. No matter how far I go, NYC is always my home and safe space. So, it only made sense that I spent the night wining and dining with my three favorite girls!
We had originally planned to head to Bahama Breeze in NJ, but when that rain hit, we took a calm seat over at The Ainsworth near 34th st.
Decor was nice.
Music was nice.
Chicken— undercooked, underseasoned, overrated.
The host and manager were very graceful about comping the order, but I was a little let down that I didn’t have ANY meal in my entire trip that really blew my mind.
But, the night didn’t end there.
The thing about food is, it’s better with people you can enjoy it with. I had so much fun with all of the people who I ate with, that I didn’t even mind that a lot of the food I tried wasn’t all of that.
My friends and I roamed the streets of Manhattan in heels feeling like Sex in the City: Brown Sugar Edition. We talked, laughed and even danced.
For the next two days, I had a wine picnic with my love and a seafood dinner with my family. Tae and I made tempeh and avocado sandwiches and enjoyed them with fruit, cookies and sweet plantains. My mother, my grandfather and myself had a fancy evening filled with crab stuffed shrimp and amaretto piña colada’s. I decided to leave the camera at home to make the most out of these moments. It worked.
I learned a lot about myself on this little trip:
1. My food standards are higher than I thought.
2. I love taking my little guy out to eat.
3. It’s important to read the menu throughly before ordering.
4. Food should always be an experience.
That said, would I do it again? Absolutely.