Bri’s Top 5 Go-To Basic Drinks

This is my favorite margarita! I get this beauty at Casa Tina in Dunedin, Florida. You know you want one.

I really enjoy fancy cocktails. I do! They have fun names and they let you try new flavors and liquors. However, I do have a few go-to drinks I know I can always fall back on and be happy with while out and about on the town. No menu-reading required!

1. Vodka with Club Soda and Lime

This drink is the one drink that cannot be messed up. It’s refreshing and not at all sweet. It’s my go-to when I want (or need) to be okay the next day.

2. Moscow Mule

You’re going to notice a trend with me and clear liquor drinks. They are my poison of choice for sure. Moscow Mules are honestly just delicious. Ginger beer is lightly carbonated, sweet, and has a biting flavor that mixes perfectly with vodka. Add in the lime and now we have a party!

3. Margarita

I love margaritas. They’re sweet, tequila makes me feel good, and the salt rim balances the sweet drink perfectly. Ole!

4. Hefeweizen

When it comes to beer, I’ve identified a few types of brews that agree with my palette. Hefeweizen is light, often has a citrus-y flavor, and most importantly – not bitter. When it comes to drinkability, this type of beer is at the top of the list.

5. Dirty Shirley

This is my pick for weddings/fancy events. It brings me right back to a childhood favorite, but my friend vodka comes in clutch to make it “adult”. Who doesn’t love Sprite and grenadine? Like really.

What are your favorite “adult beverages”? Let me know in the comments below!

St. Pete Eat – The Avenue

Living in the Tampa Bay Area, I have seriously sweeeeeeet access to delicious food.

I recently had the pleasure of going to a St. Pete must-try, The Avenue. This place has a funky, casual, and modern vibe. And the food – oh, the food. Honestly you could just stop reading this and go there right now. Just go. Now.

Here’s a photo of what I got:

Cal-Berkeley - The Avenue | St. Petersburg FL
This is the Cal-Berkeley burger. Try not to drool.

This is the Cal-Berkeley burger. It’s a beef burger topped with Swiss cheese, thick cut bacon, avocado and chipotle mayonnaise. It was tasty, and I ate every last bite. But let’s talk about the french fries! They were perfectly crispy, salty, and addictive – their salt-laden golden exterior does not deceive. I was in HEAVEN.

The rating:

Service – A+, our waitress was quick and efficient!

Food – A+,  would recommend and go again. Excellent flavor combos and the menu has variety that caters to special dietary needs, including my veggie friends.

Health – D, There’s nothing health-conscious on this menu! If greasy comfort food isn’t your thing, steer clear. But if you plan to go to town on a burger or some fun apps, this is soooo the place to be. Plus, full bar!

Basically, I cannot wait to go back. Being just a few blocks from the Rowdies stadium, I think I can predict a date in my future…

Have you been to The Avenue? Do you have another burger joint you recommend I try? Let me know below!

Friends Do France, Part 1 – Paris

France is a foodie paradise. I recently went on a blissful 9-day trip there with one of my all-time best friends, Jackie. The reason for our trip? Celebrating our beautiful friendship and celebrating her success in completing medical school and matching with a surgery residency program. Go Jackie go!

Jackie at her med school graduation! I AM SO PROUD OF THIS WOMAN.

Since our trip was so long and filled with exorbitant amounts of food, wine, and fun, I’m going to break up our trip into multiple parts! Starting, of course, with Paris!

Day 1: Paris

We were tired, we were hungry, and we were DETERMINED. Our first mission: eat delicious food.

…Which obviously meant a detour for our first sighting of the Eiffel Tower, which is actually really stunning.

Our first sighting of the Eiffel Tower.

Okay, THEN food.

The first restaurant of our time in France was this adorable little place not far from the tower. The waiter didn’t speak much English, but between our elementary French and his English we ended up ordering Riesling to drink (YUM), a tasty starter of a salad with Dijon mustard dressing served with baguette and melted goat cheese, and an entree featuring sausage served in a delicious sauce with mashed potatoes. Needless to say, we went from famished to full in that hour and a half lunch.

The salad with goat cheese melted on the baguette.
Sausage and mashed potatoes. YUM!

Then began sightseeing! We went to Musee Rodin (Augustus Rodin made the famous “Thinker” sculpture), Tuileries Gardens, and The Louvre. We rounded out our day by buying a picnic dinner and dining in the park beside the Eiffel Tower. It was a picturesque day!

The Thinker at Musee Rodin
Jackie and I at the Louvre!
Us in the gardens!
Our picnic! Nothing like cheese, bread, charcuterie and wine!

Day 2: Paris

We jumped right into sightseeing this morning. We started at the Catacombes de Paris, which unlike the catacombes in Rome, were very orderly and structured. We really enjoyed this experience.

In the Catacombes!
Yepp. Those are bones.

Then, we traveled to the Latin Quarter, which is famous for food. We went to the oldest cafe in the Latin Quarter, Le Procope, which has been functioning as a cafe since 1686. Holy smokes, was this place the jackpot of restaurants.

As one does, we began with wine. Then we proceeded with a 3 course meal: ravioli that just about melted in my mouth, a savory flank steak with baby potatoes, and creme brulee for dessert!

The ravioli I wish I could eat every day.
Flank steak with herb butter and baby potatoes.
My tasty creme brulee!

After food, sightseeing continued. Notre Dame (worth the wait to climb, by the way!) took me back a few hundred years. I got to see the bell towers, the STUNNING chapel, and I left wishing I could take a gargoyle back with me.

Notre Dame!
The view from the top of Notre Dame! (400 steps was the climb, in case you’re curious!)

After the Notre Dame, we had ice cream from Berthillon. So tasty and creamy!

Mmmmm… ice cream!

Post-sweet-treat, we trekked back to the Latin Quarter where we explored St. Etienne Du Mont (chapel that was stunning, located on the street where part of Midnight in Paris was filmed), found meringue cookies the size of our heads, the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and lots of stunning views of the Seine river. Our day was rounded out by a night viewing of the Eiffel Tower and crepes for dinner!

St Etienne Du Mont – not going to lie, I thought this inside of this chapel was prettier than Notre Dame.
I’d use the photo with Jackie’s head for scale reference, but she’d kill me.
I bought “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr
It sparkles for five minutes every hour on the hour after sunset!

This rounds out part one of our France trip! Stay tuned for part two: Versailles and Disneyland Paris!

Have you been to Paris? What was your favorite sight? Do you want to go to Paris? Tell me why! Sound off in the comments!

Foodie Destination: Austin, TX

FRIENDS!

I know my hiatus was long, but your girl has been doing a SERIOUS amount of traveling (and eating, and drinking…). As a result, I have so many bar and foodie adventures to share with you! So let me get to business.

Sean and I are definitely a foodie couple. Our travels together thus far have centered around finding great breweries and unique eateries. Our trip to Austin, Texas, to celebrate his birthday in early April fell right in line with that.

Austin, the capital city of Texas, is this perfect little progressive and hip oasis in an otherwise conservative state. Located in Texas’s hill country, the scenery is beyond gorgeous. We visited Hamilton Pool, a natural pool that developed due to erosion and a collapsed underground river dome thousands of years ago, and that was breathtaking. We also spend some quality time walking the trails around Lady Bird Lake – there is no shortage of outdoorsy activities here. But the real reason Sean and I went to Austin? BARBECUE. And lots of it!

So without further ado, I share with you all the foodie adventures of Bri and Sean!

Day 1:

The first thing we did when we stepped off the plane was head to a brewery that Sean spotted OUT THE WINDOW of our plane while landing. That brewery turned out to be Live Oak Brewery, which has this outrageous outdoor area that’s perfect for enjoying a cold beer on a sunny day. Which is what we did. Best hefeweizen I have had to date.

Live Oak Brewery
This is me and my hefeweizen at Live Oak!

Then, based on the recommendation of Sean’s pal, we headed to Bangers, which was the funkiest restaurant and bar! Aptly named, the joint served gourmet sausage sandwiches with creative toppings. I had the banger of the day, which had asparagus, mushrooms, and a tasty aioli among other toppings. But the coolest part about this place was the bar itself. It boasted the largest tap in the state, with 96 taps of beer. And the waiters could not have been more funky and friendly. We had a blast here.

The tap at Bangers in Austin, TX!
My banger! This thing was tasty!

And then, we went to our hotel and passed out from our food coma.

Day 2:

We started our day nice and early to visit Round Rock Donuts, which was featured on Adam Richman’s show on the Travel Channel, Man VS. Food. THESE DONUTS YOU GUYS. They like, actually melted in our mouths. SO. RIDICULOUSLY. GOOD. Also, they are famous for their “Texas-sized” donuts and cinnamon roll. I snapped a picture. Regular size donuts for reference.

These are the donuts at Round Rock Donuts. Like…look at the size difference!

After a nature break to visit Hamilton Pool, we went to get ourselves on the wait list at Salt Lick Barbecue (the original location in Driftwood). This was also featured on Adam’s show, and for good reason. I had a rather euphoric experience whilst eating the burnt ends. No joke.

This plate got demolished by yours truly!
I could NOT believe how good this food was.

We also visited a few breweries today, the most notable being Jester King Brewery. I would describe this place as like a brewery mecca. The grounds were STUNNING, as it is located on these rolling farmlands. They’ve taken advantage of this by setting up a massive outdoor seating area complete with picturesque string lights and chandeliers hanging from trees. I had a blast, and a stranger let me hold their puppy.

Need I say more?
Me and my beer at Jester King Brewery!

We wrapped up our day by grabbing dinner at In N Out, my first experience at this famed California-based fast food joint! This chain and Whataburger (which is actually Texas-based) were all over the place, so we knew we had to eat there. I got my burger and my fries “animal style”, and I have no regrets.

Animal Style, Baby!

And then another early night passing out due to food coma. We are a really exciting young couple.

Day 3:

We did the thing, you guys. We got up nice and early, and got in line for the super famous Franklin Barbecue (If Anthony Bourdain says it’s good…it’s gotta be good). At 8:30 in the morning, the line was already to the back of their lot…they don’t open until 11! We made it into the restaurant and ordered our food at 12:45. We were eating by 12:50. Was it worth the 4+ hours of waiting? YES. YES IT WAS.

The brisket, though.
I get why Anthony Bourdain likes this place.

The rest of our day entailed more breweries. I snapped this gorgeous photo at our final brewery of the day, St. Elmo.

Sadly, no beer named “St. Elmo’s Fire”

Day 4:

Our last day. We had one more foodie stop, another Adam Richman find: Juan in a Million. Adam had an epic failure while attempting their eating challenge, which is basically eating as many of their famous Don Juan Grande breakfast tacos as you can. We had to meet this taco.

Guys. This taco was EPIC. It was one pound of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and cheese among other ingredients all on a tortilla. It was SO GOOD. SO SO GOOD.

This taco…I can’t. It was just too good.

The rest of our day was spent walking around downtown Austin to help digest this epic taco. We explored the State Capitol building, and took our time meandering around the University of Texas campus.

All in all, I SUPER recommend Austin as a long weekend trip. It was by far one of my favorite cities I have had the pleasure of visiting, and I can’t wait to go back!

What’s your favorite city that you’ve visited? Why do you travel? Sound off in the comments below!