Tag Archives: restaurants

big apple overview.

There is something about New York City that gives me what feels like endless energy and the greatest ambition + after living there twice, it has truly become my home away from home. Jason and I spent time in the Big Apple this month for some work and some play, and I couldn’t help but share our go-to spots!

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Friend of a Farmer // 77 Irving Place

This is my favorite breakfast spot with the freshest ingredients – their zucchini bread, array of scrambles, and almond milk lattes are to die for. Not to mention, they serve the best blueberry pancakes I have ever tried. It is the coziest atmosphere with two fireplaces in the snowy winter and outdoor seating when the weather is pretty. Must try!

Butcher’s Daughter // 19 Kenmare

For all of you health lovers out there, this is your place. Not to mention, it is the most adorable spot in all the land. We love going there before dinner for a little appetizer or a pick-me-up elixir shot (my fave: the vampire slayer). Other must tries: avocado toast bites, the spicy kale salad, and the deviled eggs.

Cafe Cluny // 284 W 12th St

Jason introduced me to this adorable little cafe a few years ago. It is a romantic gem of a place in the heart of the cozy streets of West Village. The food is impeccable. Not many words are needed for this eatery except GO for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or all three!

13244628_10108179930989604_3784913934894037721_nMaman // 239 Centre Street

To. Die. For. This may be the most darling coffee shop with the yummiest match almond milk latte and the best almond milk latte (except for the one at the T Room in Dallas, of course). They also have fresh and delicious bakery items + a fantastic brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Yes, please!

Cafe Lalo // 201 West 83rd Street

For all of you You’ve Got Mail lovers, this is a special spot to visit on the Upper West Side. Positives: it is not touristy; it is absolutely delicious; it is the coziest escape from the hustle and bustle as it sits high on the street + they just provide a great cup of joe. All you need is the daily newspaper to start the day off right or your bestie as you break from the city walking.

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The Plaza Food Hall // 1 W 59th Street

Hi, Home Alone fans, this one is for you or just for anyone that loves an adorable underground food hall after a Central Park stroll. They provide everything your heart can imagine: fresh juices, overflowing lattes, bars that serve breakfast, crepes and macaroons. I most especially love this cozy yet bustling nook before I start my day.

Catch // 21 Ninth Avenue

This is a hearty and memorable seafood spot in the Meatpacking District accompanied by the coolest decor and atmosphere. Jason and I always love going here on a date when our energy is up and are desiring an intimate, yet conversational dinner. They have the yummiest drinks, too!

I am going to stop here, but if you want to look up my other listed favorites, here are a few:

Lure: fun date spot

Mercer Kitchen

Bubby’s: best kale chopped salad

The Smile

Lovely Day

The Red Door Spa

Le Labo: make your own perfume + best personal gifts!

The Clay Pot: a darling jewelry shop

P.S. Check out this rad video our friend Jesy made recording our #NYCnights

dallas favorites

Whether you’ve lived in Dallas your whole life, or you’re brand new here, finding your “regular” spots in a city can be a struggle. I want to share with ya’ll today some of my absolutely favorite spots in Dallas (or what I think are some of the best spots in Dallas – specifically for food, hair, nails, and lashes. you know – the important things in life!)

Speaking from personal experience here: I’ve lived in Dallas my whole life but it wasn’t until recently when I finally found my “regulars”, and honestly, they are just too good to not share with ya’ll! So, if you’re like me and have forever been searching for the perfect hair stylists, or nail salon, look no further.

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best-spots-in-dallasDress c/o Splendid | Clutch c/o Clare V | Earrings c/o Kendra Scott | Bracelets | Sunnies (endless eyewear subscription! use code “laurenkaysims” to get first month free!)

Favorite:

  1. Hair salon – Charleigh at FORM salon does my balayage color and she has been my hair hero! Going from dark brunette to “bronde” (brown/blonde) was a process but she has been amazing at really listening to and giving me exactly what I want! I personally think FORM is the best hair salon in Dallas, because of Charleigh, because of the location, and because I’m super happy with my hair everytime I leave there!
  2. Nail salon – Bellacures Dallas is the first nail salon I have ever been a “regular” at. The location is super convenient (in Preston center) and the people who work there are all so nice and friendly! Everything is super clean (and cute!) on the inside. They have tons of color options and they always do the best job with my mani/pedi. Lasts me 3 weeks at least! In my opinion, Bellacures is the best nail salon in Dallas.
  3. Lash extensions – Okay, I know what you’re thinking. This is not something that would be on most people’s “must” lists. I thought the same thing until I found Amanda at Southern Belle Lash in Plano. I first got lash extensions before going on a girls beach trip to Mexico. The lashes were amazing and I didn’t have to wear eye make-up the whole trip. After realizing how long they stayed on and how low maintenace they were, I decided I wanted them all the time! You basically wake up and go to the gym looking like you have full eye-make up on when you’re wearing none.

Now for the food. This dress was shot last night at R+D Kitchen in Dallas. Absolutely in my top 3 favorite restaurants in Dallas.

best-spots-in-dallas best-spots-in-dallas best-spots-in-dallas best-spots-in-dallas best-spots-in-dallas best-spots-in-dallas best-spots-in-dallas best-spots-in-dallasI’ll be real with ya’ll – I’m a foodie, and I’m pretty picky when it comes to food. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll eat anything but I really, really enjoy good food. R+D Kitchen has been my favorite for a while for a few reasons:

  1. Ambiance – it’s not too casual but it’s not too fancy. It’s the perfect date night spot, but could also be the perfect “mom’s in town, let’s go to brunch” spot. You can dress up if you want, or jeans would also be just fine!
  2. Service – I’ve never had a bad waiter at R+D. They are all so kind and helpful, but not in a way that interrupts your meal. They make the best recommendations and always take such good care of us
  3. The food, duh. If you can’t tell by these pictures, their food is OUT of this world. They have a smaller menu, but everything on it is a 10 on a 10. (My favorite is the Thai Tuna roll!)

I hope this guide helps you find some new favorite spots in Dallas and enjoy this city even more! Comment with any questions you might have, or let me know some of your favorite Dallas spots!

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It’s Brunch Time in NYC: Clinton Street Baking Co.

“A table for two” the woman in front of me said to the host. “That will be a two hour wait” he responded.  “No problem”. And she waited for two hours to get into Clinton Street Baking Co. Some things are just worth the wait.

From the outside, it doesn’t look like anything special. It’s a small restaurant. A maximum capacity of only 32. The décor is nothing to write home about; simple booths, barstools, a couple old pictures on the wall. But they don’t need to impress with décor, their food speak for itself. I ordered the Wild Maine blueberry pancakes, a popular choice at Clinton Street, which came with a nifty little cup of melted butter to dip the pancakes in, and could not have been more pleased. All food is made fresh and with completely organic ingredients, including cage free eggs.

The restaurant is filled with other tasty delights such as in-house ground French roast coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory ice cream milkshakes.

For a perfect companion to the blueberry pancakes, order the sugar coated bacon. If you’re having trouble wrapping your mind around what might taste like, just imagine bacon… coated with sugar. Pretty simple. The portions to all dishes are large. So for people who don’t like brunch because they can never fill themselves up, Clinton Street Baking Co. is the place for you.

If you don’t want to wait in line for two hours on a weekend brunch to get the blueberry pancakes, you can also get brunch any other day of the week at any time of the day and avoid the lines.

I suppose that one of the greatest parts of Clinton Street Bakery is the staff. Everyone is constantly smiling and in a wonderful mood, even though they are being bombarded with hundreds of patrons waiting for a table. When I asked the man working at the front how he does what he does, amidst all the business of the restaurant, with a smile on his face the entire time, he said “it’s just because I love serving the people here and making every experience at Clinton Street a positive one”.

These are just some of the reasons to wait two hours in line to get some pancakes.


			

A Newly Opened Local Treasure: Coffee House Cafe

If you live in the suburbs, you understand the difficulty in finding a cool-atmosphere coffee house that doesn’t require driving thirty minutes to the heart of the Big D. All we seem to have is a Starbucks on every corner. Well, suburbanites and city-dwellers (it’s worth driving North), I am excited to introduce you to the Coffee House Cafe. It quaintly sits on the corner of Frankford and Preston, and it’s starting to gain some notice. This little nook is my new “home” to work from, the perfect place to have a business meeting, and an excellent choice for a brunch date.

Why I love it so much:

1. On a beautiful day, you can sit on the big patio next to the gigantic fire place and sip on some coffee or work on a new business idea.

2. You quickly become a regular. The servers learn your name and order. Who doesn’t love this?

3. They have the best cinnamon tea in the world. The best part: they bring it out to you in the cutest mini teapot.

4. The espresso and house blend is 100% certified organic, fair trade, and shade grown, and the coffee flavors are all house made with no preservatives, additives, high fructose corn syrup or other crazy scientific words that are too hard to pronounce. Cool beans!

Did I mention their breakfast is sublime? Sitting at the espresso bar, reading the paper, and eating a scrumptious Saturday morning meal has become my family’s favorite weekend ritual. What we order: their signature lemon pancakes, eggs and the best gluten free pancakes on the planet. No wonder the hype is high. Check out their extraordinary lunch and dinner menu too. I hope to see you there!

A Dallas Weekend Adventure: Food Truck Central

My friends make fun of me because I am slightly obsessed with food trucks (you can imagine my excitement in writing this post right now). I think this is the case for two reasons: the trucks are modernly vintage and each traveling kitchen is highly unique to itself, adopting a totally rad personality of its own. Oh, and just in case you are bad with context clues, these are TRUCKS with FOOD IN THEM!!

I feel like it was just a few months ago that I was roaming the streets of Austin and New York, bursting out in exclamations when I spotted one of these restaurants on wheels, and now I am beyond thrilled to announce that they have entered into the Big D. The trend has caught on, and I like it.

I am thankful that the days are long gone where these fast foodies are looked upon as gross. Now they are cool, so go dive in the fun! Where to start: Saturdays at the One Arts Plaza in Dallas.

What to expect: Over 8 local trucks will be here to stay every Saturday in the One Arts Plaza. If you are familiar at all, Jack’s Chowhound, the Butcher’s Son, and 3 Men and a Taco will all be there or be square. Which one will you try first?

Saturdays, 4-8pm, One Arts Plaza, 1722 Routh St, 214-270-0936

What To Do for Date Night: Tableside S’mores

Are you looking for a new place to spend date night? Or maybe a night to catch up with the girls?  We have something in store for you. Try out Halcyon Coffee Bar & Lounge in Austin for a nice little treat, tableside s’mores. The delicious dessert is served with a small personal fire pit to enjoy the full experience of roasting marshmallows. Creative and fun!