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Tasty Travels

Tasty Travels | Birmingham, AL

Back in June, I needed to head to Alabama for work. Luckily, the purpose of the visit included food and working with a fellow foodie. That meant every meal of the trip was superb. Get yourself a foodie friend wherever you go – trust me.

First stop of the trip wasn’t specifically for food, but it was related to food. We got to take a tour of Time Inc. Food Studios  – whaaaaat. If you’ve ever seen those awesome food/recipe videos on your Facebook or Instagram feed – chances are this is where they are made. We got to walk through the filming studios, the supply rooms full of every shape/color/size plate you could ever imagine, and more. I was in heaven.

Time Inc. Food Studios

 

First meal stop of the trip in Birmingham was The Grill at Iron City. I needed about fifteen minutes to look at the menu so I could narrow down what I wanted. I decided on their ramen and now I have a new standard for ramen that I hope can be met back at home. All the flavors, toppings, everything was superb. The broth was wonderful on its own but the extra ingredients made it even better.

The Grill at Iron City – Ramen

 

We went to Steel City Pops for dessert and I had their Peaches ‘N Cream popsicle – so yummy. You could tell this wasn’t peach puree from a can, but instead it was freshly picked peaches diced up in a creamy concoction. YUM.

The next morning we got to go to Pepper Place Market which is their farmers market – which put my hometown farmers market to shame. It was massive, it took up multiple parking lots. It had a good amount of prepared food options, fresh veggies, and even some fun decor and clothing merchants. For breakfast I had cold brew coffee and a delicious breakfast burrito from Homewood Gourmet. I could have easily spent all day walking around looking at all of the vendors. Farmers markets are my happy place.

Icebox cold brew coffee and breakfast burrito

 

For dinner that night I got to try Saw’s BBQ and I’m not sure I’ll ever look at a chicken sandwich the same way. I got the Colonel which was practically a heart attack in a to-go box. Sweet tea brined chicken which is fried and then topped with pimiento cheese, white BBQ sauce, and tomatoes. With a side of fried green tomatoes and a small dessert of homemade banana pudding – because why not? It was probably the messiest thing I have ever eaten, but also the tastiest.

All the fried goodness.

 

Our last meal before heading to Atlanta to go home was at Urban Cookhouse. I have been there before and was glad to go back for a little lighter meal, especially after the weekend of indulgence. I feel like if I lived in Birmingham I would eat here all the time. Simple, good, fresh food.

Wrap, veggies and cheesy pasta (aka mac ‘n cheese)

 

This trip definitely made me fall in love with Birmingham. You can tell there is a lot of growth there and it is a city on its way to having a younger, bigger city vibe. I wouldn’t hate living here one day – but then I remember that I would have to live without Cafe Patachou and then I change my mind. But this is gladly a town I would visit over and over again!

 

In the midst of reminiscing,

Samantha

Tasty Travels

The Loft @ Traders Point Creamery

Traders Point Creamery. If you live in Indy, you’ve probably seen their fancy glass bottles of milk, yogurt, and cheese in the dairy section of the grocery store. You’ve thought about purchasing them from time to time as a treat, but you probably thought that was all they did. But you are wrong – and luckily being wrong means you have a wonderful restaurant to discover for yourself!

Since I went with a group of fellow foodies/photographers/food bloggers we coordinated the visit ahead of time and were able to get a tour of the grounds. This elevated the entire experience and really gave meaning to “farm-to-table” unlike any other meal has for me.

Most peaceful spot in Indy.

Baby chicks

The farm

Piggy posing for the camera

 

To start off we had a cheese plate and a cottage cheese dish. I was a little leary about the cottage cheese, it is just something I have never gravitated towards. I figured if it was going to be made here where the milk is superior then I should give it a try. I am so glad I did! It was creamy, fatty, and delicious. I might need to give cottage cheese another chance.

Ricotta Dish

 

For dinner, I knew I was going to get a burger from the second I showed up. Mostly because I read the menu beforehand, but after seeing their farm and how they raised the cattle, pigs, and chickens I wanted to try something that involved all of those things. That may sound morbid to eat the animal you just saw roaming around outside, but for me knowing that it was grown humanely and treated well made me feel better about eating it compared to eating meat that was questionably raised. I hope that makes sense, and I hope that PETA doesn’t come after me for this post.

The other dishes around the table were great. Pork shoulder, pasta, and a few other things. But the burger was the most ordered for a reason. They grind bacon into the meat (yum) and we all put an egg on top to make it extra indulgent. The lighting was rough and the burger didn’t look nearly as pretty as these other dishes, but believe me it tasted amazing! I would get it again, but maybe this time split it with someone.

Egg and pasta dish

Delicious dishes and setup

 

Even though my stomach was beyond full, I HAD to get some sort of dessert. They’re a creamery so I knew I had to try some of their ice cream. Just about everyone at the table got a sundae or milkshake but Megan and I split some pie and a scoop of vanilla. It was perfect.

The Dairy Bar – lot of options!

 

If you would have told me that Traders Point Creamery was two hours outside of Indianapolis on a remote farm, I would have believed you. The grounds were quiet and peaceful and felt like I was far, far away from the city. Like I had escaped the busy-ness of the city and gotten away for a few hours. Luckily, this gem of a restaurant/farm/event space is right of 86th and 465. If you ever need to get away for a night and feel connected to nature, I suggest eating here!

 

In the Midst of farm land,

Samantha

Read Samantha A.‘s review of Traders Point Creamery on Yelp

Tasty Travels

Hometown Food

I went back home to Las Vegas this spring and I was excited for two things: Time with friends/family and FOOD. Yep, that about sums up my life. Give me a cookie and time to catch up with friends and I am a happy camper. Since I document most of my life from the food I eat, this trip was no different. So here is my trip home according to pictures of my food:

Giada – this was a real treat! For any Food Network fans – Giada De Laurentiis has a restaurant on Las Vegas Boulevard. We have a great family friend who works at her restaurant and so we wanted to visit him while we were in town. We had a big group and decided to get a few entrees and appetizers and split it among everyone. That was a wonderful decision. The food is impeccable and so is the ambiance. It was nice enough outside that they opened up the huge windows that look out onto Las Vegas Blvd. As if all of that isn’t perfect, the chairs are the perfect amount of comfy. This is worth the splurge if you are in town.

 

Massive assortment of all kinds of delicious things – pizza, pasta, stuffed peppers, meatballs, and more.

 

But wait, there was more – dessert! I’m usually a chocolate person but all of the lemon desserts were extra superb. I still dream of the fluffy soufflé that was rich, creamy, and yet light all at the same time.

Lemon souffle with lemon curd and gelato to go inside. DIVINE.

 

Chocolate cake and lemon ricotta cookies with raspberry sorbet in the middle. Mmm…

 

Next favorite of the trip: Cafe Rio. This place originally opened up in Utah and found its way to the suburbs when I was in high school. I would say I had this at least twice a month throughout high school and college. Their most popular (and my favorite) dish is anything with the sweet barbacoa pork. It is unlike any other flavor. Sweet, luscious, wonderful. That mixed with their cilantro vinaigrette gives a sweet and tangy combo unlike anything else. They’ve grown to be all over the country in the last few years, sadly not yet anywhere near me (one day).

Sweet Pork Barbacoa Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

 

But you know what is the best meal in Las Vegas? Any meal that I get to share with friends that I love. Two to mention are coffee with childhood friends and a homemade meal in a house I practically grew up in. Sure, these weren’t restaurants I dreamed about eating at but they are the memories I will cherish.

When your childhood friend brings homemade scones to your coffee date – YUM.

Dinner and dessert at home, just what the soul needed.

 

Living in the Midwest for the last two years has been a glorious experience. The people are so kind and the food is SO GOOD. I am so happy to be in Indy, but whenever I go home I get very excited for all the delightful foods I get to eat when catching up with friends in town. At any given moment I could easily list of 3-5 foods I am missing from home. Currently: In-N-Out, Cafe Rio, Crepe Shack, and West Coast Mexican food of any kind. But these foods would be nothing if they didn’t have company to accompany them.

Time with my brother – Giada’s Photobooth

Brunching with college sorority sisters!

Family time with our forever favorite landlord/friend/almost-in-law, Rhonda!

 

So for that I am grateful for not only great food but even better friends to enjoy the meals with me. I may not get to go home often, but when I do I can always count on my friends to meet me for a great meal and pick up right where we left.

Home isn’t a place, but it’s a sense of belonging. I feel at home at the table surrounded with those I love.

In the Midst of Reminiscing,

Samantha

 

Tasty Travels

Tasty Travels | Borel’s Cajun & Creole Cookery

I have my usuals that I love in Indy, but I am always looking to try new spots and new cuisines. A friend of mine posted about a Creole and Cajun spot that was right down the street from my work. I have a coworker who is from Louisiana so I knew the next time we had a work outing, this is where we would go! We were not disappointed. Amazing hospitality and such a cool variety of food. I can’t say I’ll ever desire trying blood sausage again, but I would definitely go back for just about everything else.

 

Check out my Yelp review below for more details and to see other reviewers’ thoughts on the place!

Read Samantha A.‘s review of Borel’s Cajun & Creole Cookery on Yelp

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Tasty Travels

Tasty Travels | Denver Biscuit Company

One of my favorite spots to go when I am in Denver!

LOCATION: Denver, CO
RESTAURANT: Denver Biscuit Company
MUST GET MEAL: The Franklin

This was a “must go to” spot when I had a reunion with friends in December. I went this restaurant the year before and I had been craving it ever since. Massive biscuits with unique flavors, that is my kind of breakfast. This restaurant has a story to tell. It is three things in one: a breakfast spot, a pizza joint, and a bar. What you get depends upon the time of day.

My recommendation is to go with someone so you can order two things and split. I am all about having a sweet and salty option, so splitting is the way I can guarantee that. The picture above is of their Dahlia biscuit which is a sweet and savory in one. But we also ordered The Franklin which included fried chicken and gravy. So delicious.

Another one of my favorite things about this place is the atmosphere and decor. I love when restaurants have a modge podge of coffee mugs, and I love it even more when there is a mug with my name on it! To add another level of fun, their water pitchers had humorous sayings on them, and I appreciate that small touch.

If you want to learn more about Denver Biscuit Company, check out their site here. Check them out the next time you are in Denver, it won’t disappoint!

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Tasty Travels

Tasty Travels | Mod Market

LOCATION: Denver International Airport (DEN)
RESTAURANT: Mod Market (Next to C29)
MUST GET MEAL: Flat Iron Steak Salad (Half is only $8!)

Iced Tea from Denver Airport’s Mod Market

I will run across the airport for this meal. Luckily, the last two times I have flown through Denver, my Southwest flight conveniently has been right next to Mod Market. I came across this tasty place by accident, and now it is my go to recommendation for anyone that has a layover in Denver. Everything on the menu looks phenomenal, but I stick to ordering the Flatiron Salad.

They also print the nutrition facts right on the receipt, which I find fun. Others may not agree.

Check them out next time your are in the Denver airport! Click here to take a look at their menu.

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