Food Spots

Griffin's Bakery and all its yummy goodness in Galway, Ireland

Yeah? Yeah!
 Craving a burger? Yeah me neither.
But take one step inside Atlanta's Yeah! Burger and I guarantee you will be hankering, itching, I daresay yearning for a burger. This place is so good even Bon Appetit gave it their stamp of approval (as in a "Favorite Burger Spot in America!").

Yay Yeah Yum

I visited the adorable Virginia Highland area's location of this retro joint. Yeah! Burger serves up your choice of a grass-fed beef or bison, or all-natural turkey, veggie or chicken patty with a wide array of pick-and-choose toppings (did I mention grilled vidalia onions??). Their ingredients are natural and organic which makes for a fresh meal of "real" food. No soggy fries able to withstand the elements for ten years here. 

 My personal selection included a bunless veggie burger topped with sunflower pesto (hands down the best pesto I've had), tomato, sauteed mushrooms, Napa coleslaw and sliced avocado. My favorite part of the meal? A sweet, mushy side of sweet potato fries. Heavenly.

The nice thing about Yeah! Burger was that it had healthy options from which to choose. Sure, it's totally fine to indulge in a juicy burger now and then. When you have options like a turkey or veggie burger, though, why not give them a shot? At a place like Yeah! Burger, they will ensure that you will not be let down. I honestly think even the most serious of carnivores out there would enjoy this flavorful, beef-textured veggie burger offering.

Check out my friend, Kristen's, review of our new favorite spot. (I have her to thank for not allowing me to buy a Yeah! Burger t-shirt despite the urge). 


MiMo Mexican

Tonight I had dinner at Fuego Coastal Mexican Eatery in Midtown Mobile (MiMo!). It was date night with my dad, and we decided to do what we do best and track down some good Mexican food. Neither of us had ever been to Fuego-- open since 2009-- and so decided to give it a shot. I am so glad we did!

My failed attempt at taking a picture out front

Fuego was started by a former Mobile resident who traveled both coasts before deciding to settle back in his native land. He focuses on fresh ingredients mixed with both traditional and modern, SoCal-influenced takes on Mexican cuisine. Fuego offers everything from the classic taco to "Carnitas a la Zosa"- "a slow-cooked pork with more than 23 flavors that will leave you speechless!" Baja fish tacos with jicama cabbage slaw and seafood enchiladas with shrimp and crab (a taste of Mobile) are also in the mix.

My dad and I began the night by splitting "El Pepin"- a watermelon-cucumber margarita. I do not come by margaritas naturally, but four years in undergrad has taught me to appreciate them. This margarita was so refreshing and not at all overly sweet as is often the case. It even came with a cucumber garnish that mocked the typical lime wedge.

I wish all margaritas could taste like this
We decided to order Fuego's famous guacamole as an appetizer. It 100% lived up to its name! This guac is prepared table-side and boy was it delicious. Fuego even sprinkles a little cotija cheese atop the guacamole-- something I've never heard of but loved.

My dad ordered the fish tacos with grilled mahi mahi. They came with a cilantro aioli and jicama slaw wrapped in homemade corn tortillas. Delicious. I went with the veggie enchiladas with black beans and puebla rice (rice with veggies in it) on the side. SO so so good.

Fuego stays true to their freshest ingredients possible mantra. Even their salsa tasted as though it had just been prepared moments before being served to us. A lively atmosphere with friendly service, Fuego will be seeing much more of me.


Risky Whiskey

This past weekend I ran the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in Nashville with my friend Kristen. I must admit that, while my anticipation of the race itself was certainly high, it was beat out by my eagerness to hit the Nashville food scene. And so we did.

After the race on Saturday, we needed a good meal to refuel (or that's what I tell myself, at least). We had heard several mentions of Whiskey Kitchen located in "the Gulch," a happening area downtown, and decided to check it out. We were expecting a wait due to the high influx of people to Nashville that weekend so planned to sit at the bar for a while upon arrival.

Vibrant and filled with a true young Nashvegas crowd, Whiskey Kitchen was an excellent choice. We actually realized that we spent a total of 4 1/2 hours there that night. We waited for an outdoor table for roughly 2 1/2 hours and then had a long meal after that. Crazy? Nah. The things we will do for good food and good times. It was a nice night topped with a bottle of wine and that was all we could ask for.

This was a night that I threw all nutritious eating out the window. Horrible-sounding, I know, but my body was starving for butter-soaked energy. 13.1 miles really takes a toll on a girl. After much debate, I ordered the Fried Chicken Southern Sliders-- "a basket of hot buttermilk biscuits with blackberry-peppercorn butter, caramelized honey and buttermilk horseradish." Biscuits and blackberries and buttermilk, oh my!

Much to my disappointment (and I mean I was REALLY bummed out), the kitchen was out of biscuits by the time my order went through. Argh. I went with my second choice, the Spicy Pepperoni, Spinach and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza on a thin brick-oven baked crust. The pizza was delectable, but I had already stuffed my face with our appetizer of Tennessee Whiskey Yam Fries-- complete with sea salt, brown sugar and jalapeno ketchup-- so I was not even in the mood for pizza by the time it arrived. It made for a great dinner the following day, however.

My friend, Kristen, and me at Whiskey Kitchen

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Whiskey Kitchen. There were a few minor drawbacks, however. Though the wait was enjoyable thanks to good friends and fun atmosphere, it was excessive. All of the dishes had a certain kick to them, also. This was nice if you like a little pep to your meal, but I can see where it would be a bit too spicy in other cases. 

All in all, Whiskey Kitchen is the hip place to be in Nashville and is worthy of a fun night out should you be in the neighborhood. And how could you not like a place with a quote like this:

"Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake." -W.C. Fields


~the Boston series~

A group of fellow Nutrition majors (aka foodies) and I took a trip to Boston for the American Dietetic Association's annual conference this past November and came across so many great restaurant finds. Because I want to cover them all rather than pick and choose, I am running a "Boston series" for the Green Leafys featured food spots.

Union Oyster House. America's oldest restaurant (established 1826). Does it get any cooler?

Our group dined at this fine establishment our last night in Boston. So did the entire population of Massachusetts. Our wait was FOREVER long despite our reservation. We were not in the best of spirits as we finally sat down a couple of hours after we had originally arrived. This soon changed.

Union Oyster House is known for their cornbread, and it was immediately delivered to us upon being seated. Being from Alabama, I stuck my nose up at the idea of a Boston restaurant having extraordinary cornbread. Oh how ignorant of me! This dense wedge was so good it could be considered cake. Sweet and thick, there is no need to add honey or butter-- it was outstanding on its own. I even walked out with four bags of cornbread mix from the restaurant gift shop to give as souvenirs (TSA was not as appreciative of this cornbread as I and insisted on checking it for illegal substances on our departure from Boston).

My friend Callie and me

Though it may be a crime to not order a plate of oysters at Union OYSTER House, I did not order a plate of oysters. So shoot me. Instead, I split an order of the Lobster Ravioli with my friend, Dara. Oh. My. Golly. You know how famous chefs give their "best meals I've ever had" list? One day, when I'm rich and famous, I will report this one at the top of my list. Lobster and a cream sauce. Heavenly. 

Inside Union Oyster House with Amie and Kristen
Though one should not be physically capable of digesting a dessert post-this kind of meal, our group rose to the occasion. Our waitress, who had the thickest Bahston accent ya eva heard, surprisingly directed us away from the House's desserts ("They're really just not that great") and toward one of the local pastry shops. Maybe she was just trying to get rid of us, but it worked. Realizing Mike's Pastry closed in twenty minutes, we had 8 blocks to go in heels, it was raining, and that we had to be rolled out of Union Oyster House due to our excessive consumption of cornbread and lobster, we barrelled over each other through the streets of historic Boston until we reached our destination. We don't take our dessert lightly. 

Mike's was divine. Locals hate it because it has become such a tourist trap, but I, being a tourist, totally soaked it up. Bursting in the doors of the bakery, we were faced by a line of fellow tourists zig-zagging through the entire interior. In front of that line, however, were rows upon rows of oversized cannoli, cream puffs, whoopi pies, butter, eggs, cream, sugar, etc. Well worth the wait. I went with some type of cannoli and coffee. The choices were absolutely overwhelming. 

Though I felt like Violet-turned-blueberry in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory in the cab ride back to our hotel, it was such a good night of dining. And I now can say I have dined in the presence of Boston's finest's ghosts!

our progression through the evening:
We were NOT happy about having to wait so long
So we headed to a bar next door for a glass of vino
Let's try this again
After our scrumptious lobster ravioli

Slightly delirious and high off sugar at Mike's Pastry


Bake to Your Heart's Delight

Dara, Kristen and I at Harvard
A group of fellow Nutrition majors (aka foodies) and I took a trip to Boston for the American Dietetic Association's annual conference this past November and came across so many great restaurant finds. Because I want to cover them all rather than pick and choose, I am running a "Boston series" for the Green Leafys featured food spots.

Oh Cambridge. You and your enticing bakeries. How I melt like the butter in your oh-so-good pastries at the sight of fresh baked bread in a sidewalk window. 

Just thinking back to the number of coffee shop-esque locations we frequented in Boston gives me a sugar high. Here are the highlights of Cambridge (Yes, these were all the result of ONE day's worth of exploring. Judge away.)

photo courtesy of Leighann F. from

If you could scheme up a quaint sidewalk bakery nestled in the heart of a village and laden with home-baked goods far from any de-thawed Starbucks offering, Hi-Rise Bread Company would take shape. This bakery, which also serves lunch, is located in Harvard Square inside the famed Blacksmith House--the setting of an early 19th century Longfellow poem. Though a bit cramped, the cottage offers delicious and unique baked goods and is definitely worth a visit.
photo courtesy of Morgan T. from

I regret not paying a longer visit to this fantastic coffee shop. Also located by Harvard Square, this cafe has a wide array of treats ranging from an almond financier with a dollop of raspberry syrup to a cinnamon cake with a rooibos tea frosting. It's lunch selection was intriguing, to say the least, as it boasted such items as a Rosemary Goat Cheese sandwich with walnuts and honey and a Sweet Potato sandwich with a caramelized shallot vinaigrette.

Late in the afternoon of our Cambridge trip, it started raining cats and dogs. We naturally had to duck inside of a cupcake shop to avoid the treacherous weather. We had been advised to avoid Sweet as it was a cliche local chain, but those little cakes used their power to stare us down from behind their glass case and lure us inside. We were then forced to try them against our will.
That being said, I went with the Molasses Ginger cupcake. It was good but not great. I guess we should have heeded our insider source's advice. I blame the cupcakes.  



Wine and Chocolate

A group of fellow Nutrition majors (aka foodies) and I took a trip to Boston for the American Dietetic Association's annual conference this past November and came across so many great restaurant finds. Because I want to cover them all rather than pick and choose, I am running a "Boston series" for the Green Leafys featured food spots.

After dinner our first night in Boston, we were exhausted. We awoke at 4 a.m. that morning to catch a flight out of Birmingham, and our day had finally caught up to us. Despite our zombie state, my friend, Kristen, and I decided we still needed a night on the town. While the rest of our group headed back to the hotel, we set out down Newbury St. in search of a good time. What a wonderful night it would turn out to be!
We moseyed along until we came across "Piattini," a wine cafe. It looked promising so we went inside and checked it out. We were seated amongst a crowd who clearly knew their wine, but they didn't seemed phased in the least bit by two Southern college girls trying to "expand their horizons." We were given a dessert wine menu, and I ordered a glass of "Rosenblum Desiree Chocolate" with flavors of vanilla, chocolate, coconut and raspberry. Wowzers. It was incredible. 
We struck up conversation with a sweet couple seated next to us who knew the local Boston scene well. They gave us tips as to where to eat, shop, avoid, etc. Their advice proved helpful the remainder of the trip. (And who said Bostonians were gruff??)
While sipping and chatting, we learned that Piattini was also a dessert bar and gelateria. Our waitress brought us house-made biscotti to go with our wine. How sweet of her. Our bill later proved this was not merely a kind gesture mimicking the bread basket but rather some costly biscotti. Still delish.
Perfect night. One can truly get into some trouble on Newbury St. not only through shopping but also eating at any of the number of great spots the area has to offer. Piattini was simple and perfect for good conversation and wine (and $$ biscotti).


A group of fellow Nutrition majors (aka foodies) and I took a trip to Boston for the American Dietetic Association's annual conference this past November and came across so many great restaurant finds. Because I want to cover them all rather than pick and choose, I am running a "Boston series" for the Green Leafys featured food spots.
 Dinner our first night there was at a restaurant named Sonsie that was located on the magical Newbury St. (*sigh*). We had been told that this was the spot for Red Sox player and other hot locals sightings (a major draw for seven Bama college gals). Though we did not run into Mr. Pitt or any other celebs, we still had a fabulous kick-off dinner to our trip. 
Sonsie's menu offers such items as brick oven pizzas (I've heard the pumpkin one is incredible) and lobster risotto. Their cocktails are amazing, as well (I tried the lemon drop martini-- think lemon sugar cookie in a milkshake form with a little sin added in....YUM.). And just in case Sonsie still isn't good enough for you-- throw in some delectable desserts. "Apple upside down cake with wild flower honey ice cream" is rivaled by the "Cocoa nib pizzelle" garnished with rum bananas and nutella swirl ice cream. Mouth watering? Mine is.
Sonsie is a vibrant, hip scene in a fun part of town  A quick walk from our hotel, we made our way down Newbury St. for a late dinner. Though we had reservations, we still had a bit of a wait upon arrival due to the packed house on a crisp and pretty Boston Saturday night. We were immediately offered a drink menu while we waited, and this ended up being one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening as we sipped our cocktails and chatted while nestled among our coats and scarves. Once seated, our waiter, clearly swamped with tables, was so sweet and patient with our many curious questions about the menu.
 The food was delicious-- interesting touches on old classics but nothing too bizarre or that gave off those try-me-if-you-dare-but-know-that-only-a-highly-skilled-food-critic-would-appreciate-me vibes. There were no airs about the place (which was refreshing) but rather good, fine dining set against a cool and laidback location. I highly recommend Sonsie should you be in the Boston area- you will not be disappointed! 
Two of my Nutrition buds, Kristen and Dara, and I at Sonsie in Boston.

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