Weekend Away // Virginia

I love New York City, but as a girl who grew up amongst the mountains, rivers, and trees, I also love leaving it. This past weekend, Jordan and I went to visit my family in Virginia - my mom’s youngest sister lives there with her husband, three kids, and two dogs and it’s always such a breath of fresh air to be with them. They have a beautiful home with a yard on a tree-lined street filled with colonial style houses that just shine among the red and golden hues of the leaves. We are so lucky to experience their hospitality and generosity time and time again; there is nothing like quality moments with family to recharge my batteries. When we weren’t hanging out at the house chatting, making family recipes, or watching football, we were in downtown Fredericksburg perusing antique stores, drinking coffee from Hyperion Espresso and falling in love with the brioche at Eileen’s Bakery & Cafe (it’s located in an old church with beautiful arched doorways and exposed brick!).

Early Bird Biscuit Co

My favorite little food stop though, was found when we headed south for Jordan’s tattoo appointment, just north of Richmond in an area called Lakeside. Across the street was the teeny-tiny (even by New York standards!!) shop called Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery. It had so many elements of what I want for my bakery someday - classic, delicious items that my customers can count on, mixed with new treats daily, a great cup of coffee, short hours, and closed on Sundays!

The brand had a great vintage feel, and that feeling was further reinforced with their corner pastry case, antique rolling pin display, vintage clock radios, and a screen door entry that reminded me of walking into the home I grew up in - it doesn’t get much more inviting than that.

EBB Corner Display
EBB Counter

We ordered from the lunch menu - Jordan chose pimento cheese and bacon on their ‘biscuit of the day’ which was parmesan-pepperoni, and I went for cheddar/bacon/apple on a classic buttermilk. YUM. Times like 10. We ate them off the back of the car, sipping coffee, and appreciating the slowed-down Southern feel of it all.

Welcome to EBB

If you ever find yourself even within an hour of this charming place, you must seek it out; not only for the delicious baked goods, but also for the kind and welcoming people who work there. You won’t be disappointed!

EBB Mug

WARNING: You may also walk away with a tasty molasses cookie and an old-school diner mug to commemorate your visit!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

 

 

Weekend Away // Winnipeg, MB, Canada

My husband and I took a last minute trip to Winnipeg to spend some time with his Grandpa who had fallen quite ill and was in the hospital. Jordan is very close with him so it was tough knowing he was in pain and almost all the family was there but him. Luckily, he was well enough to leave the hospital the day after we arrived, and the good news on his health has poured in ever since - praise the Lord! Because this trip was not planned, and it wasn't during a major holiday as it is when we usually visit, it gave us a chance to explore and try out some new places to eat and drink. My husband grew up there, but a lot has changed and some great locally owned places have popped up since we last visited. If you ever find yourself in the center of North America, here a few places to check out!

DINNER & COCKTAILS:

The Grove Pub & Restaurant

This menu has a bit of something for everyone, but not in an overwhelming way. We split the poutine, which was great, but the crowning glory was the duck breast tacos. Out of this world! The layers of flavor were surprising and perfectly assembled to create a dish unlike any other I've tasted - I mean, there was duck crackling on the top people!! 

Duck Tacos

They also have seasonal drink specials, a great beer & wine list, and happy hour! I sipped on a melon mojito; it was delightful, not too sweet as some tend to be.

COFFEE:

Thom Bargen Coffee & Tea {Fun fact: The name comes from a combination of the co-owners names}

One of the first of its kind in Winnipeg, Thom Bargen offers a curated craft coffee menu, a few locally made pastry items, and a minimalist atmosphere with white walls, large windows, and wood & steel furnishings.

TB Latte

It also houses a leather shop called Wilder in the back that sells its beautifully crafted wares, along with some small batch body care products from a company, Northlore.

Northlore

Little Sister Coffee Maker

The name alone has a special place in my heart because I am a little sister to three of the best siblings out there. This adorable shop is accented with a mint green painted brick wall and matching ceramics for in-house coffee drinkers.

Little Sister

It’s set just below street level but has a great vintage street lamp with a coffee sign to alert the passerby. The owner, Vanessa, is kind and outgoing and really puts her passion into the place! She even has a branded bike rack out front so her customers can lock up and come in for a treat - if you’re ever in the neighborhood, I highly recommend it!

Little Sister Bike Rack

The thing I love most about these two coffee shops is that they are both owned and operated by people my husband grew up with and you just can’t beat supporting young entrepreneurs!

BRUNCH:

The Tallest Poppy and The Osborne Village Cafe

I’m not going to lie, you will be inclined to walk right by both of these places if you judge by looks alone, but once you get their vibe it all makes sense. These two places are not connected in any way, but they both provided amazing, creative, and fresh food in an unassuming atmosphere.

The Tallest Poppy has mismatched everything and wild paint colors, but it also boasts a huge front window and tall ceilings. I highly recommend the breakfast corndogs (what?!) and Jordan said his chicken & waffles were the best he’s ever had - and that’s saying something since we have some pretty great places here in Brooklyn.

The Osborne Village Cafe is set in an old motor inn and we never would have thought of it without the recommendation from a friend. From the outside, you might think it’s your average greasy spoon, but upon walking in, you see their house-grown microgreens and herbs and an ever-changing chalkboard menu of specials that highlight the season’s bounty, local eggs and potatoes and the enticing combinations that the chef is whipping up.

Jordan and Katie

Now, I know that you’re probably not headed to Winnipeg anytime soon, but I wanted to share this little adventure as a reminder to explore your own town, or somewhere close you thought you knew, to see what culinary gems might be hiding out there. It’s so important to support local businesses, whether they are your local or just local to the place you happen to be at the time - you can’t beat the heart & soul these folks put in!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

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Weekend Away // San Francisco {coffee edition}

I’m not going to lie, I pretty much drove six hours for great coffee. Jordan had the pleasure of a 4-day weekend so we planned a little road trip for an early anniversary celebration, and so I could show him around that great city! I planned every part around where I wanted to stop in for coffee - no word of a lie. Luckily, he loves coffee too so we were all good. Although I didn’t get to all of the places I wanted to, I did hit a lot of my favorites, and a new place, thanks to the recommendation of my brother.

SF Coffee Bags

Ritual Coffee Roasters- I bought two bags of their coffee, one for us and one for my other brother, who shares my obsession and went on a coffee pilgrimage with me in SanFran last year. I enjoyed their cold brew when I popped in this time, and the whole bean made for some excellent French press when I got home! They have several locations, but we visited the one in the Mission.

Sightglass - In terms of atmosphere, their shop on 20th is my favorite of all the coffee shops I have visited. I love the records they play and their loft-style seating area and Top Bar upstairs. I went to their shop on 7th this time and tried the vanilla toddy and I was in heaven. As someone who drinks her coffee black, I only dabble in the flavors or creams when it comes highly recommended and this one hit the mark was totally worth it.

Sightglass Coffee

FourBarrel- I have only been to the Valencia St location and only tasted the iced coffee (I am always walking a ton when there and craving iced!) but it was great, rich and bold and served from a seemingly endless jug. Also, some of the nicest people in the coffee business working there! You’ll know this place when you see it - there is a great iron structure out front that is a combination bike rack/seating area and the perfect place to enjoy your brew.

Blue Bottle Coffee - A favorite from New York that we miss dearly and it got two visits from us in SF, one at the Ferry Building and the other in SoMa. The lines are always crazy, but it’s always worth it, from the pour-over to the New Orleans iced. And some fabulous news, a location just moved into the Arts district in LA!!

Our last stop was Front Cafe, and we hit it on our way out of the city. We were quite taken with the interior, branding, and the nondescript location, so my husband snapped a few shots to share. 

Front Cafe

They share the space with artists who create the glassware that is used for serving and displays and sell it too. Very, very cool and excellent coffee. 

Front Cafe Counter

We had the cold brew to go - and got it in a mason jar - which locals bring back for a refill, but we got to keep since we were headed back to LA. I never would have found it just wandering the streets in my go-to areas, so do yourself a favor and make the trip over!

Iced Coffee

Next time you are in San Francisco, or are in a city that one of these shops has a location, check them out; you will not regret it. Not only is the coffee phenomenal, but each location has it’s own special features that make it memorable. Happy caffinating!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie